Kay Bodge pictured
  • Kay Bodge pictured
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Since l976, the City of Chula Vista has been slashing the hours of the Norman Park Senior Center. According to Kay Bodge, a Norman Park volunteer, the center was open 78 hours per week in 1976; last month, the center was open 20 hours per week. Now the City has proposed cutting Friday hours, which will take the center down to 16 hours per week.

Bodge has advocated for the Friday hours at city-council meetings. She said in a recent interview, “I hate to see this very special place cut up into little pieces.” Organizers of many of the programs at the center (such as Friday-night square-dancing) have had to look for other locations because of the reduced hours.

The center has offered tai chi classes, creative writing, guitar, and computer classes. Bodge teaches gentle yoga and chair yoga, and the classes are free. Norman Center also provides blood-pressure clinics and groups for cancer survivors. Bodge says that people at the center will make calls to shut-ins each day to make sure they’re okay.

But the seniors are not standing by and watching their hours cut even more. The Senior Unity group plans to have a sit-in just prior to the February 1 city-council meeting. Participants will dress in black and stage their sit-in on the steps of the Chula Vista Police Department. The flier to organize the event advises participants to bring pillows to sit on. If the City relents, Senior Unity plans to turn their protest into praise.

Beyond that, Senior Unity is looking for ways to fund additional center hours. Volunteers stand in front of Henry’s grocery store soliciting donations, and they are planning to have a fundraiser on February 21 at Fuddruckers.

Pictured: Kay Bodge

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Comments

Mindy Ross Jan. 31, 2011 @ 11:54 p.m.

It's disgusting that the cuts are being made on the backs of our seniors. They're the ones who paid the most taxes for all that we have. Over the weekend, I read that adult day care is being cut, and of course, good ol' Jerry Brown is cutting services to the developmentally disabled and Medi-Cal recipients.

If I ran the world,senior citizens, kids and animals would be the first ones I'd protect. The people with the least power always get screwed the most. Terrible!

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Evelyn Feb. 1, 2011 @ 2:08 p.m.

" The people with the least power always get screwed the most. "

this, unfortunately, goes hand in hand with having the least power. less power means less fighting power, means less of a voice.

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Susan Luzzaro Feb. 1, 2011 @ 12:10 p.m.

Mindy, I heard someone ask at a city council meeting a week or two ago--Isn't the purpose of leadership to plan ahead? There was a time when Chula Vista was rolling in the dough and during that time we had the most extravagant city hall and police station built you can imagine. But now our parks and recreation programs, library hours, things that serve the population are slashed to the point that they barely serve at all. Makes me think of the story of the three little pigs and the house built of straw.

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Evelyn Feb. 1, 2011 @ 2:11 p.m.

??? I fail to see what this has to do with chula vista, or budget cuts in chula vista..

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cvres Feb. 2, 2011 @ 9:02 a.m.

Four senior center hours --seems like a setup. A quick fix for a politician. There are a lot of service cuts--and a lot of layoffs -- that won't be so easy to fix.

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VigilantinCV Feb. 2, 2011 @ 6:15 p.m.

The mayor is a pro at token fixes that make her appear kind and benevolent in the eyes of the public ....as in letting the Girl Scout up to speak at the council meeting last evening. Who could be against girl scout cookies but how about all the other little girls who are trying to sell enough to get to go to camp? It was just another "feel good" bit of PR. What is she running for?

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Pancho Feb. 4, 2011 @ 7:40 p.m.

Ahh yes. The effects of Prop H's failure keep rolling down hill. I wonder why this article doesn't mention that all the rec centers in Chula Vista have been reduced to two-days a week open to the public. You want to see fireworks? I'll bet next council meeting on Feb. 8 will have lots of them during the public comment period, around 4:15 pm turn to channel 24.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 4, 2011 @ 11:09 p.m.

Lower the $200K comp of CV cops and ff's by 25%, problem solved.

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Pancho Feb. 6, 2011 @ 7:37 a.m.

Once again, you have no proof. Put up the proof or be stop spewing your BS.

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Susan Luzzaro Feb. 4, 2011 @ 11:20 p.m.

ahh Pancho good to see you back. I'm glad you mentioned that about all the rec centers. The effect on the children will be terrible. However, this article is about the people who are going out and making their cause. I would like to see more from parks and recs people before the council or wearing black and sitting down on the corner by the police station.

As for Prop H. We must take a longer view of the recent telecom hike that failed in November. Could all of Chula Vista's economic problems have started around then, or failed around then; no. If the city leaders have nothin shakin for their residents than a johnny -come -lately tax on telecom after being the wealthiest, fastest growing city in the country...well then maybe...they might have planned better or be more creative nowadays....

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Pancho Feb. 6, 2011 @ 7:46 a.m.

First, I think you spent more time reading Kay Bodge's flyer, than you did actually interviewing any person for this article. Second, if you had actually been there you would not falsely state that seniors sat on the steps of the police department. They originally stated they would, but they didn't because they realized it may be interpreted many ways, some not so well for their cause. Third, parents, like me, that use city rec centers, libraries, and pools have a difficult time to organize like the seniors have because we do not have as much disposable time as that demographic.

I challenge you, Susan, to attend Rudy Ramirez's Public Office hours on Monday, February 7 at 6:00 pm at the Salt Creek Rec Center, 2710 Otay Lakes Rd. You will hear a lot of organizing going on there. Furthermore, I challenge you to pay attention during the public comments on February 8 at city council. We are organizing.

Lastly, I am glad you finally admit that you were not in favor of Prop H. By reading your article before Prop H came to a vote, one would think you were attempting to be impartial. I could see through the BS. Maybe you can now admit you are more a commentator than an actual journalist.

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Pancho Feb. 6, 2011 @ 8:04 a.m.

One other thing, it was not the fastest growing city in the country. It was the fastest growing in the state and I believe the accurate number is the fifth fastest growing in the country.

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Ponzi Feb. 5, 2011 @ 7:16 a.m.

It’s real simple. Cushy pay, overtime, full benefits and outrageous pension for fire fighters and police or Norman Park Senior Center.

We simply need to get past the “holier than thou” attitude we have been brainwashed into about these public servants and treat and pay them like any other demanding, and yes – dangerous jobs. There are dozens of jobs in the private sector that are extremely more dangerous and yet we don’t fawn on them and deprive other essential service to coddle them and make their lives luxurious as we have been doing with fire and police personnel.

It’s time to stop this insane lopsided compensation before every park, library, street repair and other service become history.

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Susan Luzzaro Feb. 6, 2011 @ 11:21 a.m.

Pancho, You need to read more attentively before you lash out. The article was written and published prior to the demonstration. It came as a result of sitting in on a two hour Senior Unity planning meeting at the Norman Center several days prior to the council meeting. It was a pleasure to hear the group organizing for every eventuality—including the fundraiser at Fuddruckers. It was an article on how they had been affected by the cutbacks and the varied strategies they were planning to deal with the cutbacks.

It is also incorrect to presuppose that people’s “demographics” necessarily mean they have more time.

Also please read comments more carefully. The comment does not say for or against Prop H—what the comment says is that the city should have done more planning (saving) when it had lots of money—when as in 2003 (LA Times) it was among the 10 fast growing cities in the nation. Even now, I believe the CV centennial material calls it the 7th – in the nation. Chula Vista voted down Proposition H. And the city is no longer rich. Now what?

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Pancho Feb. 6, 2011 @ 8:16 p.m.

If you actually read what you wrote, Feb. 4, 11:20 pm, well after the "demonstration" you would know that there was no sit-in on the police steps. You just delineated it as a fact, but it was not.

Presuppose? That's all you do.

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