Employee Bowling Tournament Was a Striking Success

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Sixteen teams participated in the first-ever Employee Wellness Bowl-O-Rama tournament this weekend at Mira Mesa Lanes. The day-long event on Saturday was filled with friendly competition and camaraderie.

Congratulations to team “Splitz and Gutter Love,” Sharmaine Brown, Leslie Coulter, Thien Ngo, and John Pizzo from Edgemoor Nursing Facility, for clinching the championship.

The runner-up was team “Turkey Gang”: Joseph Densmore, Liah Ector and John Koummalasy from the Sheriff’s Department, and Carlos Mendez from HHSA.

Thousands Thrive at Live Well San Diego 5K

San Diego residents arrived early and ready to participate in the 6th annual Live Well San Diego 5K and 1-mile Fun Run event at Waterfront Park on Sunday.

Did you join in the fun? Share your event pictures

Fitting Fitness Into Your Daily Routine

Employees at the mills Building Participate in daily zumba dance breaks

Employees at the mills Building Participate in daily zumba dance breaks

Staying active can be hard, especially when work and family obligations fill up your schedule. But starting or keeping up a workout routine doesn’t have to be difficult.

Debbie Ordonez, Revenue & Budget Manager with the Financial & Support Services Division for the Health & Human Services Agency, turned her coffee breaks into dance breaks. Ordonez and a group of County employees at the Mills Building meet up in the building’s fitness center twice a day for 10-15 minutes of Zumba fitness.

“Doing Zumba during the breaks is a way to step away from work, exercise and dance to music,” said Ordonez. “People in the office develop friendships from participating and it’s a fun way to relieve stress and find balance in your life.”

Ordonez and several co-workers started with line dancing breaks about 10 years ago but eventually switched to Zumba since they enjoyed those routines more. The group liked the mini dance breaks so much that they worked with the County’s Employee Wellness Program to bring an hourlong Zumba class to the Mills Building. That class is led by a professional Zumba instructor and meets every Tuesday evening.

The County offers regular onsite workout classes at many of its locations. The Employee Wellness Program also gives you access to relaxation and meditation sessions and various other health resources. Best of all, these are free benefits for all permanent County employees.

But employees like Ordonez also go beyond the classes and start their own routines, inviting co-workers to join them.

Have you and your colleagues started a regular workout during breaks at your worksite to help you de-stress and stay active? Send us a picture and tell us what you do to stay in shape.


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This story came to us from an employee’s suggestion. Suggest a story.

Sheriff's ASTREA Deputies Honored For East County Rescue

Deputies Bill Liniewicz (center left) and Michael Davis (center right) at the APSA ceremony on July 19.

Deputies Bill Liniewicz (center left) and Michael Davis (center right) at the APSA ceremony on July 19.

They help keep San Diego County safe from high above the ground. Two deputies with the Sheriff's Aerial Support To Regional Enforcement Agencies (ASTREA) helicopter unit have been honored by the Airborne Public Safety Association (APSA) for the demanding technical rescue of a cross-country skier near Pine Valley earlier this year.

ASTREA Deputy Pilot Bill Liniewicz and ASTREA Tactical Flight Officer Michael Davis received the prestigious Captain 'Gus' Crawford Memorial Aircrew Of The Year Award during a ceremony at the APSA Conference in Omaha, Nebraska on July 19. The honor is given to individuals whose flying efforts and professionalism epitomize the APSA's motto of "To Serve and Protect from the Air." They were chosen from a large number of other award submissions from air support units all across the country.

ASTREA 1 hovering over the distressed cross-country skier on Feb. 24.

ASTREA 1 hovering over the distressed cross-country skier on Feb. 24.

On Feb. 24, Liniewicz and Davis were flying in ASTREA 1 when they were dispatched to a call of a cross-country skier in distress at Big Laguna Lake. When they arrived at the scene, they found the victim had fallen through the frozen lake and was struggling to stay afloat.

Liniewicz and Davis wasted no time in getting the man to safety. While hovering over the skier, ASTREA 1 dragged a flotation device across the ice and into his hands. Once he grabbed it, the skier was gently pulled across the ice to shore where onlookers helped remove his cold, wet clothing and replaced it with some of their own. The skier later said that had ASTREA 1 not arrived when they did, he would not have had the strength to stay afloat or hold on to the rescue device.

The skier was flown to the hospital, treated for severe hypothermia and made a full recovery.

It was the first time Liniewicz and Davis had performed an ice water rescue. They both said the rescue was probably the greatest day of their law enforcement careers.

"The life-saving actions and bravery displayed by Deputies Bill Liniewicz and Michael Davis are a fine example of the dedication and commitment displayed by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department on a daily basis," said Sheriff Bill Gore. "We congratulate our Sheriff's ASTREA Deputies on their incredible honor."

Pet of the Week - Gingersnap

Meet Gingersnap (Tag #N219)! A 6-year-old shepherd/chow chow mix looking for her new forever home.

Gingersnap is as sweet as…a gingersnap! This girl is sure to steal your heart. She loves going for walks, playing in the yard with her favorite tennis ball and is eager to make new friends. So let’s get her adopted!

You can see Gingersnap at the Department of Animal Services’ shelter in Carlsbad or visit sddac.com to give another animal their furever home.

Purchasing and Contracting – A Winning Department

Purchasing and Contracting may want to buy a little something for itself: another shelf to display all its awards!

The Institute for Public Procurement recognized the department with an Outstanding Agency Accreditation Achievement award in May.

This accreditation recognizes agencies that have implemented best practices and become leaders in the public procurement profession.

The County of San Diego is the only organization accredited in California and is one of only 21 accredited counties in the nation.

DPC has racked up a number of awards in the past. The National Procurement Institute has recognized the department with the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement award for the last 18 years in a row.

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Probation, Sheriff Honored at Petco Park

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San Diego County Probation and Sheriff’s Department were both honored at Petco Park on Friday for a First Responder Salute. Officers and deputies were recognized on the field before the Padres game against the Braves.

County Staff Embrace Little Free Libraries

Jennifer Lawson’s Little Free Library in Rancho Penasquitos

Jennifer Lawson’s Little Free Library in Rancho Penasquitos

Little Free Libraries have been popping up in neighborhoods all over the world in recent years. San Diego County has hundreds of them and chances are, you have one near where you live or work.

The neighborhood book exchanges first started ten years ago in Wisconsin and have since spread around the globe. The map on the Little Free Libraries registry lists more than 80,000 Little Free Libraries in 90+ countries around the world.

You might think that the community exchanges may be competition for traditional libraries. Not so, say San Diego County Library staff.

“These Little Free Libraries help traditional libraries by getting books and information in the hands of residents that can’t make it into the library as often as they want,” said Laura Zuckerman, branch manager of the Valley Center Library. “The little libraries promote literacy, strengthen neighborhoods and cultivate generosity.”

Valley Center has three Little Free Libraries that are officially recognized by the Little Free Libraries non-profit and branch staff drop off library calendars, bookmarks and free books to support the neighborhood book exchanges.

Laura Mendez’ Little Free Library in Normal Heights

Laura Mendez’ Little Free Library in Normal Heights

Some San Diego County Library staff take their love of books even further. Laura Mendez, branch manager of the Lemon Grove Library, started her own Little Free Library in her Normal Heights neighborhood. Community members donated a few books to get the exchange started, and Mendez supplemented the collection with items she purchased from Friends of the Library book sales held at the County Library.

“I think it’s a great way to promote literacy,” said Mendez. “People in the neighborhood really seem to like my pop-up library, and many signed the guest book I attached to the box.”

Since property limitations did not allow her to install her book exchange permanently, she assembled a book-filled vintage suitcase. Unfortunately, her pop-up library recently disappeared, but Mendez is already working on building a bigger and better Little Free Library.

“The neighbors have really banded together to help me out and have offered to replace the box and table,” said Mendez. “I’m actually looking into partnering with a nearby park to see if we can build a permanent structure there.”

Liz Vagani’s Little Free Library in Allied Gardens

Liz Vagani’s Little Free Library in Allied Gardens

Mendez is not the only County employee who started her own Little Free Library. There are several other library staff who have installed book exchanges in their neighborhoods.

Do you visit or maintain a Little Free Library in your neighborhood? Send us a picture and include where it is.


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This story came to us from an employee’s suggestion. Suggest a story.

County Marches with Pride

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The County was full of pride this weekend. Five departments marched in the San Diego Pride Parade in Hillcrest Saturday: the District Attorney's Office, Office of the Public Defender, Probation Department, San Diego County Library and the Sheriff's Department.

In addition, the LGBT & Allies Association Employee Resource Group held a building lighting ceremony on Thursday at the County Administration Center.