January 27, 2014Don't you grow weary of all the dreadful news you read about in major newspaper dailies or on television, primarily the never-ending boasts that only the government can serve the needs of everyone and provide for "necessities" through more and more tax dollars.
It's time for a Shout Out for groups and individuals not attached to the government. But I'm not going to ignore service districts, which are regulated public agencies – i.e. government. There is a prime example in Pauma Valley, although I was more interested in the key figure that heads its security division, Captain Albert Tempel. I will discuss him a bit later in this column.
Shout Out No. 1 involves the Escondido homeless shelter called Haven House that serves hundreds of people, partly the 40 homeless men and women who reside in the shelter but also those in need of help who drop by for food and personal needs. Special attention is also given to our military veterans.
This column, however, is about the givers, not the receivers.
The Roadrunner subscription area most likely does not include Escondido. But churches, social groups and individuals in our valley serve the shelter because that is the where the need is. This is not about geography. Two Valley Center churches, Ridgeview and Seventh Day Adventist Church, plus two local LDS (Mormon) churches all contribute to Haven House.
For example, Ridgeview covers 12 dates during the 4-month time frame when the shelter is open from December through March. A smaller Seventh Day Adventist church fills seven dates. A number of different LDS wards – San Pasqual, Bear Valley included – commit to dates. The cost each night is about $200 for the food – bought or prepared – plus the hours to cook, deliver and serve.
One Valley Center realtor, Diane Conaway, has a group called Conaway Family and Friends and they have signed up for seven nights. That's a big commitment. Since the shelter has many needs besides food, there is no way to calculate the number of other contributors. It's in the hundreds, for sure.
The shelter has a non-food Wish List with umpteen needs, led by clothes. But there are such ongoing items as batteries, blankets, sleeping bags, plastic forks, Styrofoam cups, tooth brushes, ad infinitum. The shelter is next door to Interfaith Council, a Good Deeds machine that is no doubt worthy of a story at another time.
A year ago the San Pasqual ward of LDS provided 40 quilts for the shelter. I suspect they knitted all of them, not bought them. Another ward provided pillow cases.
SO WHO IS Albert Tempel? He is the captain – equivalent to a sheriff – who leads the security division of the Valley Center Community Service District, which serves six square miles of homes, businesses, recreational areas. Pauma Valley Country Club is the largest user in the jurisdiction. Most don't know or care who actually employs Captain Tempel. Everyone thinks he works for them.
I'm writing about Albert because he is ending his service Jan. 31 and moving to Hawaii, where he was raised. He will work for a zip line company, at least at the outset. For more than decade he has been involved in security and safety. He doesn't know where his new journey will take him. He will be missed.
This is not a bio on Mr. Tempel. This is to inform you about an inspiration he had some years ago to develop a helicopter landing pad on Cole Grade Road, both with public and donated private funds. It is called Tempel Field. The purpose was to develop a secure area where Mercy Air could land its helicopter when an emergency arose.
Think about that for a moment. Prior to the pad being built, Mercy Air would have to find a safe and available landing spot in the area based on lots of factors. If too much time elapsed it was too late. Not anymore. Ambulances, fire units, etc. that need a victim air-lifted now know exactly where Mercy Air will be within the six square miles that the service district covers. This saves lives.
The service has been used 12 times, mostly injuries involving children. Mr. Tempel didn't succeed in his endeavor because he was a government agency employee but because he was an individual with a good idea. He was an individual who stepped up and used both public and private funds to get the job done.
If space permitted, I would love to single out the Lions Club, or Kiwanis, or other like area service clubs which donate time and money that includes a litany of projects helping others. I am a lifetime member and past president of The Exchange Club of Long Beach. The point is that there are thousands of men and women everywhere who ignore the media doom and gloom who willingly provide services to those in need without any real need for recognition.
P.S. Please don't pay much attention to my oft-mentioned retirement threats. Someday it will happen – next week, next month, or next year. Actually, I am retired, having been out of the workforce for a decade. Writing is a hobby and sometimes I have a story that needs telling. Truth be told, Kim Harris has been doubling my salary every week since I began penning columns three months ago. The salary started at zero. You do the math.