Poway City Council: All Boys Club In A Town Of Women

This story was reported for KPBS News on Jan. 27, 2015.

The last woman to serve on the Poway City Council was Merrilee Boyack, who sat on the board from 2004 to 2012. Boyack said there were instances when she felt her approach was different because of her gender.

“I felt very drawn to and connected to the people,” Boyack said. “That reaction wasn’t quite the same with the other council members. It was just a different perspective.”

Women make up more than half of Poway’s population of 49,417 people. According to the census, 400 more women than men live in the city. But, at least for the next two years, Poway will have an all-male council leading the city. It joins Santee in being one of two cities in San Diego County without any female council members.

Read the full story at kpbs.org.

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Discount store closure is sign of North Park’s changing demographics

Discount_store_closure_is_sign_of_North_Park’s_changing_demographics_-_San_Diego_Uptown_News_-_2014-12-05_08.41.36This story was reported for Uptown News on Dec. 5, 2014.

A local real estate expert said the closure of a long-time North Park discount store is a sign of the neighborhood’s growing affluence.

Discount International Fashion Company, located at 3002 University Ave., announced it will close its doors in December after more than 25 years in North Park.

“The area has changed,” said owner Rafee Zakir, who also previously owned two restaurants in the area. “Our customers have moved because they can no longer afford to live here and the new customers are not spending here.”

Zakir said when he first purchased the business in the heart of North Park, he paid $1,200 for rent. He now pays $3,500 for the 2,344-square-foot space, which includes a 400-square-foot storage area and a 550-square-foot mezzanine.

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Street Angels ask public for help in serving homeless

Street_Angels_ask_public_for_help_in_serving_homeless_-_San_Diego_Uptown_News_-_2014-12-05_08.38.26This story was reported for Uptown News on Dec. 5, 2014.

The holidays have encouraged a North Park nonprofit to ramp up its efforts of serving the homeless.

Urban Street Angels (USA), an all-volunteer nonprofit that serves an estimated 3,000 homeless young people in San Diego each month, will host its third annual North Park Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 13.

The free event, which is sponsored by Thrivent Financial, will include music, food, drinks and raffle prizes with proceeds benefiting the charity. The nonprofit is also collecting sleeping bags to distribute to the homeless in San Diego.

USA began as a program out of Mission Gathering Christian Church in 2008 and was refashioned into its own nonprofit just this year. The agenda of the nonprofit is simple: bring hot meals and goods like shoes and blankets to homeless youth six to eight times a month. And, when the recipients are ready to receive additional help getting off the street, USA will provide them with resources and a guide on how to do that.

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Encinitas resident shares story of hope, courage in new book

This story was reported for Seaside Courier on Dec. 5, 2014.

An Encinitas resident who founded a nonprofit to support burn victims has taken her mission in life one step further with the release of her first book, “Heart of Fire.”

Lesia Stockall Cartelli, who founded Angel FaEncinitas_resident_shares_story_of_hope,_courage_in_new_book_-_Seaside_Courier_News_-_2014-12-05_08.28.38ces in 2003, tells her story of surviving a fire and finding confidence in her book that was released in September.

Cartelli was 9 years old when a fire broke out in her grandparents’ Detroit home, burning more than 50 percent of her face and body. Her injuries forced her into the hospital for months but she said the “real healing” began when she was released.

“The recovery process is very, very difficult,” Cartelli said. “Your whole world shatters open. Everything that was secured in your life is now blown into pieces. The real healing happens when you are discharged because you’re back into the real world. I had to face the teasing, the rejection and the feeling that I didn’t look like anybody else.”

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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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