This Saturday, May 9, is shaping up to be a very busy day. In addition to the previously mentioned San Diego River Days and the second weekend of CYT-East’s production of “Cinderella,” we have Stamp Out Hunger Day. This is the day that postal carriers will pick up donations of non-perishable foods to be distributed to the needy. It’s a very simple process – just put a bag full of canned or boxed foods (no glass containers, please) by your mailbox, and your carrier will pick it up. They ask that you check and make sure that nothing is past its expiration date; if it is, then toss it away so no one gets ill from eating bad food.
For more information, check out Help Stamp Out Hunger.
This Saturday, May 9, San Diego River Days will kick off with events stretching from the river mouth at Dog Beach, through Old Town and Mission Valley, to Santee and finally Barona Reservation. River Days continues with more events on Sunday, May 10, and the following weekend (May 16 & 17). In Santee the Friends of Santee’s River Park will be coordinating a salt cedar (tamarisk) and trash removal project. If you have read some of my earlier posts on the river, you know that salt cedar is a dangerously invasive tree that causes severe habitat damage. If you are interested in helping out our local river, this is a good way to start. The local activities start at 9:00 am at Mast Park and run until noon. Other activities along the river have various times and locations, which you can find at the San Diego River Days site.
This coming Saturday, May 9, will be the final in a series of discussions on “Love and Forgiveness” at the Santee Library. This five-part series has so far covered such works as Homer’s Iliad, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and Ana Castillo’s Guardians. The final book under discussion is Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, a story of music and an international hostage situation in an “unnamed” South American country. The story revolves around an American opera singer who is chosen to perform at a birthday party given for a Japanese industrialist at the home of the country’s vice president. Revolutionaries storm the party looking for the country’s president, who is not there, and the resulting hostage situation drags on interminably. Reviewer Victoria Jenkins says that the book “remains a gentle reminder of the transcendence of beauty and love,” so it should be a good discussion.
The discussion begins at 10:30 am and will be led by Dr. Martha Stoddard-Holmes, Associate Professor of Literature and Writing at Cal State San Marcos. The Santee Library was one of 50 libraries nation-wide to receive grants through the American Library Association and the Fetzer Institute’s Campaign for Love and Forgiveness to host this discussion series.
Thursday evening, April 30, was Simply Spa’s first Wellness Expo and Open House. This was an opportunity for people to stop in, see the facility, and get information about various alternative health care methods (“alternative” in that they are not mainstream medicine). I was already scheduled to help backstage at the dress rehearsal of CYT’s “Cinderella,” so I was not able to spend a lot of time at the Expo, but I did have a chance to talk to some of the experts, as well as Simply Spa’s owner.
Wellness experts at the Expo included Dr. Kenneth Greenberg, a local chiropracter who has an office up on Lake Murray Blvd., and acupuncuture specialist Jane Mergens, who practices at the same office. Also there were health and wellness experts Ben and Carol Flick to talk about nutrition, exercise, and more, and Dharlene Fahl-Birttian, a Certified Tea Expert, who shared the stress-releaving power of tea. All of these experts were available to answer any questions visitors had on their fields.
Thomas Hootman is the owner of Simply Spa, when he isn’t working in radio advertising or one of his other projects. His goal for Simply Spa is to be a major source of education for the community as well as wellness services. He hopes to have three spas open in the next few years, and then to expand outside the county through franchises. As part of his community outreach Simply Spa participated in the Relay for Life of Santee and and Vet Fest, and will be at the May Ride to support Operation Homefront. You can also find them at the Santee Street Fair on May 30 and at Santee Day at the San Diego County Fair on June 20.
You can get more information at the Simply Spa website.