Walter Mencken 7 p.m., Dec. 10
I live in a place considered crummy by most. Described as laden with crime and absent of hope, this place I call home isn’t as tragic as the stories tell. I grew up here, without any drama, and moved out into another home in the area due to its affordability and convenient location. There are homes with white picket fences, green grassy lawns, and friendly flags flying from residencies. There are schools, churches, local parks, and during the day I can hear the sounds of happy children laughing while playing during recess. This place that I have called home all my life is Paradise Hills. Zip 92139 is the next biggest thing, full of undiscovered talent and creativity in waiting. The neighborhood could stand to unite just a bit, to get uplifted with hope and be filled with inspiration. We could use some fresh paint and more streetlights on the block. There are roads in dire need of speed bumps to increase safety for the younger families. Children smile, neighbors say “hello”. This place is home. The only way to make it even better is to increase education and awareness, resources and opportunity. I hope you’ll visit and decide for yourself, instead of listening to the hearsay. I have high hopes and big dreams for this place, this place I call home in Paradise Hills.