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    UC San Diego Health worker throws ceremonial first pitch at Padres’ ‘reopening game’
    by THOMAS MELVILLE
    Jun 22, 2021 | 11325 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Nancy Yam, associate chief pharmacy officer at UC San Diego Health, throws the ceremonial first pitch before the San Diego Padres’ ‘re-opening game’ on Thursday, June 17. Yam was part of the operations at the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station as well as other sites. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAN DIEGO PADRES
    Nancy Yam, associate chief pharmacy officer at UC San Diego Health, throws the ceremonial first pitch before the San Diego Padres’ ‘re-opening game’ on Thursday, June 17. Yam was part of the operations at the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station as well as other sites. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAN DIEGO PADRES
    slideshow

    In late May, Nancy Yam, PharmD, MHA, BCPS, associate chief pharmacy officer at UC San Diego Health, found out she would be the health care worker throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the San Diego Padres’ “reopening game” planned for June 17, two days after the state lifted most COVID restrictions for outdoor gatherings. She was shocked. But then she also prepared and practiced throwing a baseball with a friend, who happened to be a former MLB pitcher.

    UC San Diego Health is the official health care provider for the Padres, and under Yam’s management at the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station, as well as other sites, more than 500,000 COVID vaccine doses have been administered so far. The Padres wanted to honor all the hard work health care workers have done and are still doing to get San Diego (and the country) back to almost “normal,” and Yam delivered with a strike (well, close enough). We asked her how this event all came about.

     

    When did you find out you would be throwing the ceremonial first pitch?

    Yam: I was getting some work done on the evening of May 25 and saw the email from our chief marketing and communications officer, Kim Kennedy, come through. I remember tearing up and thinking how did we get here? I told my kids and they were so excited about it! I couldn’t believe it and was in a little bit of shock.

     

    How were you chosen?

    Yam: UC San Diego Health is the official health care provider for the San Diego Padres. My understanding is that they reached out to our CEO, Patricia S. Maysent, and the marketing team, who then in turn suggested me for the first pitch. It’s not lost on me that this was and is a team effort by many people and I was lucky I was asked. I continue to be so grateful and appreciative for that opportunity to represent so many people who have worked so hard in healthcare.

     

    How did it feel being on the field in front of 40,000 fans?

    Yam: Exhilarating. It was exciting, but I was a nervous wreck and things moved so fast. I knew it was reopening day and that the stadium would be full. I saw the mound and home plate and thought it was much farther than I thought it would be.

    It was a good thing I practiced with Aaron (former MLB pitcher) and Jennifer Harang that past weekend. I went to junior high and high school with them and then our kids ended up at the same school so we were able to reconnect. We had a fun practice and caught up on the past year of social distancing. My kids, Lucas and Ella, thought I was pretty cool to know them. My son got to throw with him too so that was exciting for him.

    To be at Petco Park that evening felt almost “normal;” and what life may soon be like as it was before. It was so special and that I knew this was an opportunity of a lifetime – I tear up thinking about it. I had my family there and a few of my friends surprised me (which I didn’t expect). There were a lot of UC San Diego Health people there too so my work family was definitely present. I loved feeling that our City and County of San Diego were in it together.

     

    Is it important is it to get vaccinated?  

    Yam: I think it’s extremely important to get vaccinated. I believe in the science and research that went into the development of these vaccines to get where we are today. This didn’t happen in a few days or weeks or months – it was years of hard work by scientists who made it happen and then clinical trials were conducted after that. Testing has shown that it’s safe and effective. Getting vaccinated helps protect yourself from getting seriously ill and it also protects others around you as well.

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    Pointers fall short in Div. I championship bid
    by SCOTT HOPKINS
    Jun 21, 2021 | 3612 views | 6 6 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Granite Hills players rush onto the field at the moment they scored a walk-off run to defeat Point Loma 3-2 in the CIF Div. I championship game. Pointer catcher Nick Garcia was unable to glove a desperate throw from the outfield that arrived after the winning run crossed the plate. SCOTT HOPKINS/THE PENINSULA BEACON
    Granite Hills players rush onto the field at the moment they scored a walk-off run to defeat Point Loma 3-2 in the CIF Div. I championship game. Pointer catcher Nick Garcia was unable to glove a desperate throw from the outfield that arrived after the winning run crossed the plate. SCOTT HOPKINS/THE PENINSULA BEACON
    slideshow
    After failing to score in the top of the seventh inning with the score tied 2-2, the visiting team Point Loma Pointers were trying to hold Granite Hills scoreless and send last Saturday's (June 19) CIF Div. I championship games to extra innings. But after a one-out single, Pointer throwing error and fielder's choice the Eagles found themselves in a good position: a runner at third with one out. The next hitter sent a first-pitch fly ball to short center field with Pointer Kien Vu racing in to attempt a catch. But when the ball fell to the natural grass surface, the Eagle runner sprinted home as their dugout erupted in celebration. The walk-off loss prevented the Pointers from winning their first CIF baseball crown since the 1982 team that featured a pitcher named David Wells, complemented by top athlete David Camara. Both coached the Pointers in recent years before Wells left following the 2018 season. The loss left the Pointers with an overall record of 20-13 and they automatically qualified for the upcoming regional state tournament. They will travel to Riverside to play Arlington High School at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 22. "This year's team is the best we've had in a long time," Corbin Chianello said after players finished a postgame meeting. "The coaches kept telling us we needed to change the culture (of PLHS baseball) and I believe we did. With the community's support, the seniors will  pass it down to the juniors and sophomores and they'll thrive." The Pointers wasted no time getting on the scoreboard Saturday when a bomb hit by Chianello went over the heads of Eagle outfielders and hit the fence in left field. Vu raced home with the first run before Duke Ekstrom roped a solid single up the middle to bring Chianello home. Several other scoring opportunities for the Dogs failed while the Eagles caught up with single runs in the second and fifth innings. For the game, Pointer pitchers Ekstrom (five innings) and Blake Ledbetter (two innings) gave up seven hits, all singles. They walked five and struck out seven. "We did our best attempting to beat them," Chianello said. "It happens to the best of us. It's over now and we can't do anything about it but look forward"  Chianello recently wore a U.S. Navy drape over his graduation gown and will be entering basic training within the next month. For head coach Jeff Solis, his three-year varsity record moved to 30-20-2  including 24 wins in 2019, his first season. When added to his JV record over four years (86-18) his winning  percentage jumps to .753. His teams have never failed to win at least 20 games. Graduating seniors besides Chianello and Ledbetter include Duce Gourson, Liam Watters, Nolan Crim, Matt Nuanez and Hunter Hargett. Returning juniors include Vu, Chance Kreuger, Jet Taylor, Diego Mansur, Brevin Taft, Ayden Rygiel, Cole Madden, Marco Lopez, Drew Brawner, Lorenzo Sardo and Bubba Nunez. Sophomores who earned varsity spots this year include Ekstrom, David Miramontes, Jordan Otjen, Nick Garcia and Jarrett Judd.              
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    Become smitten with a kitten: 180-plus kittens need homes
    Jun 18, 2021 | 41168 views | 2 2 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print

    San Diego Humane Society is offering residents a unique opportunity for the second half of June: Become smitten with a kitten and adopt for only $25. Since kittens are better in twos, adopters can bring home a second kitten for just $5! The promotion, sponsored by Petco Love, lasts through June 30.

    Each kitten available for adoption has been spayed/neutered, microchipped, and provided with preliminary vaccinations. All adopters will receive a sample bag of kitten food and adopter support from San Diego Humane Society for the life of the pet. Currently, more than 180 adoptable kittens remain in care at San Diego Humane Society campuses. This adoption promotion will enable San Diego Humane Society to care for more than 6,000 kittens this year alone.

    “Every animal who is adopted makes space for another animal who is in urgent need of care,” said San Diego Humane Society COO Jessica Des Lauriers. “Adoption specials like this one help to find homes for these animals and bring attention to the issue of cat overpopulation in our community.”

    Most kittens are born between the months of March through September and each year San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten and Foster programs respond by providing lifesaving care.

    To find a kitten, visit https://www.sdhumane.org/adopt/adoption-process/, click browse available pets, choose “cat” as the species and click “young” on the age button. Adopters can also learn about San Diego Humane Society’s adoption process at sdhumane.org/adopt and make an appointment. While appointments are recommended for guaranteed service, walk-ins are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

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    The James honored for Wisteria Cottage and Garden Party in Ocean Beach
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jun 18, 2021 | 1713 views | 4 4 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Susan and Pat James of OB have been caretakers of the historic beach cottage since 2012. COURTESY PHOTO
    Susan and Pat James of OB have been caretakers of the historic beach cottage since 2012. COURTESY PHOTO
    slideshow

    Among the artifacts preserved at the historic wisteria vine-covered cottage at 4761 Niagara Ave. are a huge Ocean Beach monument sign, nostalgic community business signs, and the old Strand Theatre’s film projector (1925-1998).

    “I collect a lot of relics, like this entryway sign to Ocean Beach that was on the highway for 35 years, and business signs from Quiggs Bar & Grill and the Electric Chair,” said Pat James who, along with wife Susan, have been caretakers of the charming OB beach cottage built in 1907 by a couple from New Mexico.

    The garden party tradition was started by the late Ned Titlow, past president of OBHS, and Carol Bowers, OBHS co-founder. Now known as the Wisteria Garden Party, the spring event brings local artists and famous OB residents together to play music, showcase art, and bring photos and memorabilia showcasing the beach community's long history.

    Pat and Susan James have resided in the Niagara Avenue beach cottage since 2012. They are both extremely active in Ocean Beach Historical Society. Pat, a lifelong Obecian, was OBHS president for 14 years.

    Together, the James were recently honored for maintaining the tradition of the Wisteria Cottage and Garden Party by Save Our Heritage Organization. The James’ award was presented to them by the historical preservation group during its May 27 online awards meeting.

    “We did it every year for a long time,” noted Susan of the spring event. “The garden party is usually in the third week in March when the flowers are blooming. In spring it’s just really beautiful. It’s a great time of the year to have it. People are ready to get out and enjoy the sun. We’ve only had to cancel it once for wind and rain.”

    “It’s a fundraiser for the OB Historical Society, which is now every other year, except last year and this year,” noted Pat of the garden party. “We hope to bring it back in 2022.”

    Asked about living in a historic cottage Susan replied. “We love it. You feel like you’re part of the history.”

    Pat concurred. “We feel super blessed to be living here, feeling like stewards of this historic cottage with its magnificent wisteria vines that has been here for a long time – longer than all of us,” he said.

    The Wisteria Garden Party is truly something special, both Pat and Susan agree.

    “We have live bands and mostly finger foods,” noted Pat. “We’ve had speakers come out talking about the wisteria and the history of the place. We dress the place up with the same colors as the wisteria. It’s magical. When the wisteria is in bloom, you come out and you hear bees humming and it’s very fragrant. You can smell it from a block away.”

    “No one’s ever been stung,” pointed out Susan of the wisteria’s bees adding about the semi-annual garden party, “There’s an opportunity drawing, a raffle, where people can buy tickets. We have live auctions sometimes. We’ve had ladies come out in period dress, or at least wearing garden hats.”

    Pat noted the cottage and the historical society are linked.

    “OBHS started in 1994 with just eight or 10 members at our first meeting,” he said. “This cottage has always been sort of our society’s headquarters.”

    Susan pointed out OBHS membership has grown over the years and now stands at about 300.

    Pat said he and Susan take great pride in preserving the history and tradition of their unique cottage in its one-of-a-kind beach community. “We’re one of the earliest beach towns founded in 1887,” he pointed out. “The first settlers in Old Town, the birthplace of California, used to come here to picnic. Point Loma is just so chock full of history. It’s truly amazing. We even have evidence that the Kumeyaay Indians came down here in their spring groups for collecting shellfish.”

    Concluded Pat of OB history including its turn-of-the-20th-century beach cottages: “We’ve got a really colorful past. It’s pretty exciting to be part of this.”

     

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    Cozima Utley
    |
    June 19, 2021
    Do they know how old the wisteria vine is? It's so big!
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    June 19, 2021
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    Point Loma High's Class of 2021 graduates at Petco Park
    Jun 17, 2021 | 2759 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Caps flew at Petco Park on Saturday, June 12 as the commencement ceremony for Point Loma High School's Class of 2021 concluded. These students spent their senior year and the final months of their junior year in distance learning, something that has never happened before in the 96-year history of the school. 
    Caps flew at Petco Park on Saturday, June 12 as the commencement ceremony for Point Loma High School's Class of 2021 concluded. These students spent their senior year and the final months of their junior year in distance learning, something that has never happened before in the 96-year history of the school. 
    slideshow
    Following a high school career unlike any other in its 96-year history, seniors at Point Loma High School even left the Peninsula to graduate. The mid-day ceremony at Petco Park saw 400 gown-clad young adults seated in field level seats under a warm sun before their turn came to walk across the Padres' infield, from third to first base, crossing a stage at second base to receive their diplomas.  Ironically, their classes for the past 16 months were held via Zoom, which hadn't even been invented when they began kindergarten. The venue did allow thousands to attend and relax in comfortable shaded seating. The sound quality was excellent, and every student appeared on the stadium's massive Jumbotron. The Class of 2021’s valedictorian, Ximena Escobar, will attend Yale University. Salutatorians were Sierra Courchesne and Jordyn Duby. STORY AND PHOTOS BY SCOTT HOPKINS
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