Meet Bayside's New Executive Director

Plus, a Search for LV Googie Architecture, and Upcoming Linda Vista Recreation Center Activities

Linda Vista’s Bayside Community Center recently selected a new executive director. The Center didn’t have to go far to make their selection. Though the selection committee enjoyed the opportunity to sort through eighty applications received from throughout the country, Kim Heinle, serving as the interim director of the Center, was picked to be the new leader of this vital Linda Vista asset.

As many locals already know, Ms Heinle has been working at the Bayside Community Center for seven years. She has played a very active role in the community and enjoys a reputation for being an engaged leader amongst Linda Vista residents.

As indicated on Bayside’s web site, the Center’s mission is “to empower our diverse community to improve its quality of life through services, education, and advocacy.”

In addition to congratulating her on the selection, the Linda Vista Update wanted to ask her a few questions in the hopes of getting more people in the community to know her and what she plans to do in her new position.

She was kind enough to take the time to answer our questions. Here is what she had to say:

What would you like to see happen at Bayside Community Center during the next couple years?

We have so much to come. Re-establishing our programs like senior lunch and health and wellness classes; expanding our social services to include additional language accessibility beyond Spanish, Vietnamese, and English; launching a third site for our afterschool Academic Club program; reinstalling the Linda Vista Community Garden; securing long-term, physical space for our office and programs; etc. But what underlies all of Bayside’s programs and projects are the relationships both with residents and fellow community partners. We can’t do this work alone, nor do we want to. There are so many great agencies, organizations, and institutions doing good work, too. We need to work smart, not hard and partner with them in support of Linda Vista.

 

What would you like to see happen in the Linda Vista community during the next two years?

In the immediacy, we need to get our farmers market back. The residents want it, the vendors depend on it, and the community deserves it. We also are advocating for the reinstallation of the Linda Vista Community Garden, though this time at the Linda Vista Community Park. How cool will it be to have a flourishing garden, a community space, educational outdoor activities, and urban agriculture addressing food insecurity in a food desert all while sitting adjacent to one of the nation’s coolest skate parks? I mean, come on now.

But at the end of the day, it’s not about what I want. It’s about what the community wants and needs. We hear time and time again from our clients about needing access to stable, affordable, and quality housing; more afterschool programs and recreational activities; improved transit and street safety; and safe, walkable parks. We need WiFi so our students learning at home aren’t dependent on mobile hotspots. We need pre-K for all students. We need COVID-19 relief efforts over the long-term that will address the impacts of today’s crisis. And to do that, we need a community that speaks up, speaks out, and is heard. That’s what I hope we see more of in Linda Vista in the next few years. Residents continuing to speak up so their wants and needs are heard and addressed. Whatever role Bayside can play in that, we’re here to support.

Besides Bayside Community Center, what other Linda Vista organizations are you associated with?

I serve as a board member with the Linda Vista Planning Group, chair of the Planning Group’s Affordable Housing Task Force, coordinator of the Linda Vista Collaborative, board member of Co-Harvest Foundation, and a contributing researcher at the Justice in Mexico research initiative housed at the University of San Diego’s Political Science Department.

Do you have a favorite Linda Vista memory?  (i.e., a memorable Linda Vista experience that you back upon fondly?) 

There’s so many, but one in particular that stands out was back in my first year working at Bayside in 2014 when I was helping to staff our holiday mass food distribution. Hundreds of people coming through the line to get their food items, including a frozen turkey for the holiday. After we had run out of food and were starting to close up, a homeless gentleman came in seeking food. One of our volunteers – a low-income, Linda Vista resident who comes to get the food items at the distribution and volunteer her time to help run it – reached into her bag and handed her turkey to the gentleman. They didn’t speak the same language so not many words were exchanged, but they understood each other’s need, hunger, empathy, and kindness. I’ll never forget being witness to that exchange. 

Based on your experiences working in Linda Vista, tell us something about the Linda Vista community that most people don’t know or understand.   

People don’t understand how big, how different, and how diverse Linda Vista is. It stretches from Morena Boulevard up to the edge of Mesa College, and from Friars Road to Tecolote Canyon. It is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in all of San Diego with estimates of over two dozen dialects spoken. It is a community flush with diversity, culture, languages, histories, and populations. Yet most people outside of Linda Vista also don’t know how socio-economically distressed the neighborhood is – including having one of the six hardest hit blocks in all of San Diego! That’s a problem. It means resources and adequate attention haven’t been paid to addressing the underlying issues. Although that’s changing, there is a lot of work to be done.

You have some free time to spend in Linda Vista. How would you spend it?

Hanging out with our senior citizens. I just love spending time visiting; sharing lunch; listening, learning, and laughing; and just being in community with them. 

Do you have a favorite restaurant (or restaurants) in the local area?

I love Sab-e-lee and local vendors at the farmer’s market, but my heart lies with Tio Leo’s Mexican Restaurant. I worked there for several years under owner Frank Sciuto and his awesome family and my sweet colleagues. That place holds a special place in my heart.

Any additional comments you would like to make to our readership? 

The welcome signs as you enter and leave Linda Vista say it best. “Heart of San Diego: The people make our community great.” I’m so grateful to the people and the community of Linda Vista that challenge and inspire me every day.

***

The Linda Vista Update wishes to thank Kim Heinle for taking the time to answer our questions, and we wish her good luck in her new duties.


Searching for Googie Architecture in Linda Vista

A couple days ago, the San Diego Union Tribune reported that our City Council passed a resolution approving the building of a Home Depot on the grounds of the Scottish Rite Center in Mission Valley. Now, I’m not sure if we necessarily need another Home Depot, and like many other locals, I’m a bit concerned with the increase in traffic this commercial addition will bring to the area. However, I’ve long accepted the fact that Mission Valley will soon rank with Manila and Dhaka (in Bangladesh) as one of the densest cities in the world, so there’s not much sense in spending any more time fretting about this matter.  Nevertheless, what really got my attention in the article was the acknowledgement that Home Depot planned to incorporate some of the prominent architecture of the Scottish Rite Center building (which was originally a bowling alley during the 50’s and early 60’s), specifically the Googie architectural style represented by the building’s entrance.  This immediately got me wondering…is there any evidence of Googie architecture in Linda Vista?  

And thus began my Linda Vista architectural quest!   What amounted to a Googie (not Google) search.

I know what you’re thinking.  What is Googie architecture?  As a member of the baby Boomer generation, I believe this unique building style best represents that golden era in our country’s history—those days between World War II and the Vietnam War/Watergate scandal—a time when the future looked as promising as the one depicted in a Jetsons cartoon. 

According to Wikipedia, Googie architecture derived its inspiration from Southern California car culture, jets, the Space Age, and the Atomic Age. It was originally popular among motels, coffee houses and gas stations, and most often seen in Western states. Style characteristics included the following:

·       Bold geometric shapes with sharp angles and sweeping curves.

·       Boomerang shapes for pillars, roofs, and signage.

·       Starburst images on signs and building facades.

·       Cantilevered rooflines that appear weightless.

·       References to space age imagery, from rockets to flying saucers.

When I think of Googie architecture I nostalgically think back to Disneyland’s Tomorrow Land, as well as certain drive-in diners, coffee shops, and motels along Route 66.  

One can still see examples of Googie architecture in Southern California, but they are far and few between. Many of the buildings were taken down or remodeled beginning in the 1980’s, before any appreciation for this style became trendy.           

When one thinks of Linda Vista, one may not automatically think of car culture, jets, the Space Age, or the Atomic Age, and yet Linda Vista was already a vibrant community when these characteristics of what is known as Googie architecture became part of the Southern California mid-century modern building style (1950’s to early 1960’s).  That thought drove me to look around Linda Vista for some remaining evidence of Googie architecture. 

My search quickly grew dim. I didn’t see anything that could be called futuristic. There was a sharp angle located on the store front of the Minit Mart located on Ulric, but that wasn’t a strong enough feature of the building.

I took a look at the Super Bronco building on Linda Vista Road. I thought the shape of the roof might qualify, but not really.  It lack bold angles.

I was ready to end my quest and go home, afraid to admit that perhaps Linda Vista was indeed bereft of Googie architecture, and thereby lacking in the optimistic future that the Space Age once promised us, when lo and behold, I drove further up Linda Vista Road, and caught sight of what has to be one of the best examples of Googie architecture in all of San Diego County! 

Turns out the Canyon Ridge Baptist Church building on Linda Vista Road epitomizes the futuristic aspects of Googie architecture.  Built in 1961 as the Calvary Southern Baptist Church, this building definitely looks like something that was constructed during America’s Space Race to the moon… it’s as if the style is sending the message that “One day in the not too distant future we will build a church on Mars.”  It reminds me of the Theme Building at the Los Angeles Airport. I learned there is even a building in Las Vegas (the visitors center at the Neon Sign Museum) that looks very similar in style. 

Whew!  I am now so relieved. I hated thinking that Linda Vista might be totally lacking in the presence of an important American architectural style. 

What’s next on my architectural agenda?  Later this summer I plan to search throughout Linda Vista for any evidence of Gothic architecture.  If you happen to see gargoyles lurking on area buildings, please let me know.   


Linda Vista Recreation Center Activities Starting Up Again

After a long pandemic hiatus, we are happy to report that activities at the Linda Vista Recreation Center are beginning to open up just in time for the summer months.

Recreation Center Director Ira Patron wants Linda Vista Update readers to know of the youth activities listed below. According to Patron, “Come Play Outside” sponsored programs have limited scholarships for qualified students.  The parents need to call and schedule an appointment.  They will need to bring a copy of their tax return.

As stated on the San Diego Parks Foundation web site, “focussing on often overlooked communities, Come Play Outside organizes and funds programs such as aquatics, outdoor nature adventure camp, Teen Nite, and movies in the park in 21 recreation centers and aquatic centers across San Diego's South and Central neighborhoods. Come Play Outside is part of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria's "Summer for All of Us" initiative. It is made possible by County of San Diego HHSA, City of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation, the San Diego Parks Foundation and Price Philanthropies Foundation.”  

  • Nature Camp: Outdoor Adventures

    • ActiveNet Code: 88633

    • Age: 6 to 12 years old

    • Date: July 12 through 16

    • Time: 9 am to 5 pm

    • Cost: $50.00

  • Summer Skate Camp (2 1-week sessions)

    • ActiveNet Code: 91275 (June 21), 91276 (June 28)

    • Age: 6 to 12 years old

    • Date: June 21 through 25 and June 28 through July 2

    • Time: 9 am to 12 noon

    • Cost: $50.00

  • Summer Tennis Camp (6 1-week sessions)

    • ActiveNet Code and Date

      • 92085 July 6

      • 92086 July 12

      • 92088 July 19

      • 92089 July 26

      • 92090 August 2

      • 92091 August 9

    • Age: 6 to 12 years old

    • Time: 8:30 am to 11 am

    • Cost: $50.00

  • Theater Arts Camp

    • ActiveNet Code: 92094

    • Age: 10 to 15 years old

    • Days: Monday and Wednesday

    • Date: July 7 through August 25

    • Time: 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

    • Cost: $25.00

Other programs:

Theater Arts Refresh (91622)  FREE

Ceramics (91644 – June) and (91649 – July) FREE

Please get the word out to friends and neighbors about these activities. The Linda Vista Recreation Center can be contacted at (858) 573-1392.


Upcoming Community Events

San Diego Loyal FC Home Opener: Our local professional soccer team will play its 2021 season home opener on May 29 (7:30pm) at USD’s Torero Stadium. For detailed ticket info, click here.

Linda Vista Serve Day (Sponsored by the Linda Vista Town Council) : June 5 is the next Service Project Day. 9:30am to Noon. Volunteers meet in the parking lot of 2130 Ulric Street at 9:30 am on the 1st Saturday every month. We have various projects going on to help the citizens of Linda Vista.


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