Dad becomes author with help of autistic son

Dad_becomes_author_with_help_of_autistic_son_-_San_Diego_Uptown_News_-_2014-11-07_11.57.29This story was reported for Uptown News on Nov. 7, 2014.

In 2009, six words changed Rusty Trimble’s life.

“Daddy,” said Andrew, Trimble’s son, “can you write a book?”

It was Andrew’s response to a bath-time puppet show Trimble had put on for him every day. The puppet show, complete with five to 10 different characters, was conceived by Trimble to keep Andrew entertained in the bath and interested in stories.

Adhering to his toddler’s request, Trimble got to work and wrote his first book, “Andrew’s Great Train Adventure,” in just three months at the age of 38.

Read the full story at sduptownnews.com.

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North Park Nursery continues to blossom

North_Park_Nursery_continues_to_blossom_-_San_Diego_Uptown_News_-_2014-11-05_14.53.02This story was reported for Uptown News on Oct. 24, 2014.

Paul Hunyady had a love for designing landscapes early on.

He remembers spending hours on end with his mother in their yard and suggesting certain areas for her plants. Hunyady described his mother as a single mom of three who worked constantly. But when she was home, she was in her garden.

“It was my only opportunity to spend time with her,” said Hunyady, 47. “I would put together compilations with her that would just blow her mind. I guess it was a little bit of my willingness to be accepted by her but I knew I wanted to spend this time with her.”

Sadly, his mother passed away before Hunyady had a chance to start Mooch Exterior Designs and North Park Nursery, but he said he knows she would’ve been proud of him.

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Bone marrow recipient officiates donor’s wedding

Bone_marrow_recipient_officiates_donor’s_wedding_-_San_Diego_Uptown_News_-_2014-11-05_14.50.30This story was reported for Uptown News on Oct. 24, 2014.

One could say a couple’s wedding officiant will always be a part of the couple.

But, in the case of North Park’s Kevin Zempko and Erica Wacker, it’s the groom that will always be a part of the officiant. That’s because Zempko donated his bone marrow to his officiant, Dianne Mahura, in 2008.

After meeting face to face in 2009, the two have maintained a close bond, enough so that Zempko and his fiancé asked Mahura to officiate their Oct. 11 wedding in San Diego.

“It means the world to me personally and to Erica as well,” Zempko said. “I have a fantastic relationship with Dianne and her family. It comes naturally; nothing is forced.”

Their connection started two months after Mahura was diagnosed with leukemia. At the age of 44, Mahura, a mother of three, was told she wouldn’t live without a transplant.

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Passion earns Carlsbad teacher regional honor

Passion_earns_Carlsbad_teacher_regional_honor_-_Seaside_Courier_News_-_2014-11-05_14.47.37This story was reported for Seaside Courier on Nov. 4, 2014.

Although Carlsbad teacher Maria Teran-Cruz, 47, always knew she wanted to work with children, her path of discovery was likely far different than many others.

Teran-Cruz escaped civil war in Nicaragua but left with vivid memories.

“My younger years were my happier years,” Teran-Cruz said. “I went to a private Catholic school and all my teachers were nuns. My later years were pretty tough. My country was going through an upheaval. I remember going to bed hearing gunfire at night. It gets to the point where you get desensitized because you’ve already seen the unthinkable…”

She worked alongside her mother, a phlebotomist, at war clinics.

“I saw many terrible things,” she said. “I saw children dying, literally, in front of my eyes.”

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Lively home goods store taking over North Park

Lively_home_goods_store_taking_over_North_Park_-_San_Diego_Uptown_News_-_2014-10-08_10.05.26This story was reported for San Diego Uptown News on Sept. 12, 2014.

It isn’t a typical business one would see in North Park, but on any given day, it draws just as large of a crowd as its neighbors.

University Avenue’s kaleidoscope, which opened in May, is owned by neighborhood residents Becki and Lee Kaplan, who say their shop is already winning the affections of locals.

The store attempts to distinguish itself from typical home goods stores by catering to fashion lovers.

“When we decided to open our first retail store, we asked ourselves what will set us apart from all the competition out there,” Lee said. “We ultimately decided to focus on mixing fashion kitchen essentials with great fashion gifts for the home. And our customers have given us an overwhelming positive response to our product mix.”

The store offers goods ranging from kitchen products to gifts that are vibrant, colorful and uncommon — such as a silicone spatula in purple.The shop’s unique name is derived from its eclectic bunch of products.

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