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Who’s News: 4/2/21


San Diego Botanic Garden is honored to be named a 2020 winner of the city of Encinitas Environmental Commission’s prestigious Environmental Award Program. The city of Encinitas recognized SDBG for its Excellence in Environmental Stewardship among non-profit organizations, noting that the Garden is “the preeminent plant conservation institute in the region, and one of the most important botanic gardens in the country.”


Jason Wexler, of The Grauer School, Kourosh Sadr and Payton Rosen of Canyon Crest Academy were awarded the prestigious title of San Diego-Hawaii Students of the Year and Woman of the Year, raising $119,607 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society — even though it meant running a fully virtual campaign.


New Village Arts, a performing-arts theater hosting musical and dramatic productions by a local ensemble group at 2787 State St, Carlsbad, has been approved for a $15,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support our upcoming world premiere production of “Desert Rock Garden” by Roy Sekigahama. This project is among projects selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category.


• Evita Woolsey from Encinitas, a student at the University of Iowa, was honored for making continued advancement in research, scholarship and innovation in 2020.

• Students earning the dean’s award with distinction at Colgate University included Caneel Young of Rancho Santa Fe, Gabriella Pacula of San Diego, Fabrizio Herrera Alfaro of Oceanside and Reagan Whittle of Encinitas.

• Kyle Manwaring of Carlsbad was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

• Lehigh University named Angela Ding of Rancho Santa Fe and Heidi Shen of San Diego to its dean’s list in fall 2020.


The Icebreakers Club at San Dieguito Academy High School is doing a last push for its latest fundraiser/drive, in support of International Women’s Month. They’re collecting tampons and pads for the food-and-shelter-insecure of San Diego and Encinitas. If you’d like to support these huge-hearted students in their solidarity with the homeless community, consider sending a box of tampons or pads through this link


Crest ‘Backyard’ Homes welcomes Project Manager Lenska Bracknell. Bracknell brings decades of investing, construction and real estate experience to the table and is ready, willing and able to strap on a tool belt, jump into the trenches and get her hands dirty. She understands every aspect of the design and construction process from the ground up. Bracknell can scope out any project, help with the design, permitting and construction process clear through to the certificate of ownership. As a licensed fixed wing and drone pilot she has video and photographed hundreds of real estate listings and construction projects from conception to completion.


The Vallecitos Water District recently received two awards for its innovative use of technology to reduce algae blooms at Mahr Reservoir. VWD received the “Excellence in Action” national award from the WateReuse Association and the “Innovation and Resiliency” state award from the California Association of Sanitation Agencies.


Promises2Kids’ newest board member is Mia Park. Park is an Encinitas resident, raised in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and also attended UCLA to graduate with a degree in music. She helped launch the career of Grammy award-winning rock act Switchfoot, and became their day-to-day manager.  Park also serves as a member of the board of directors of The Country Friends, has also helped organize galas for Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Kids Korps USA, and Shelter to Soldier. 


Members of the Oceanside Yacht Club received a grant from the Newport Beach, West Marine for the Oceanside Yacht Club Youth Foundation, an organization who supports groups that educate children about the maritime world. The Oceanside Yacht Club Youth Foundation will be able to use this grant money for anything they need – education programs, maintaining staff, new equipment and more.


To celebrate the 100th anniversary, Soroptimist International is launching its year-long “$100 for 100 Years” fundraiser, inviting supporters and companies to donate $100 ($1 for each year) by “buying a square” on its online Giving Grid. Donate at


Cal State San Marcos has received a $250,000 grant from The Conrad Prebys Foundation that it will use to continue to build out the Innovation Hub that first launched last spring. The gift is the first one that CSUSM has received from The Conrad Prebys Foundation.


Springs Charter Schools’ Vista Student Center in Vista received a technology boost with the addition of Owl brand cameras, with 360-degree camera, mic, and speaker, in each of its classrooms aimed at improving distance learning.


SANDAG successfully refinanced its 2014 Series A bonds at lower interest rates, providing more than $22 million in savings to the region and taxpayers. At the same time, new bonds were issued to support projects in the TransNet Major Corridors program. SANDAG, serving as the San Diego County Regional Transportation Commission, priced the taxable 2021 Series A Bonds with a total principal amount of $149.84 million at an all-in rate of 2.21% and the tax-exempt 2021 Series B Bonds with a total principal amount of $116.15 million at an all-in rate of 2.71%, resulting in a total of $130.4 million in project funds.