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Pearl Harbor Survivors Meet in San Diego

Ray Chavez, 103 and James Downing, 101 meet as the 1st and 2nd oldest surviving Peal Harbor veterans

Ray Chavez, 103 and James Downing, 101 meet as the 1st and 2nd oldest surviving Peal Harbor veterans

Two of the oldest living survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor met this past Friday in San Diego.

Colorado James Downing, 101, and Ray Chavez, 103, met for the first time last Friday at Chavez’ home. The two shook hands, exchanged stories of war, and compared their memories of the attack. Both men still vividly remember that fateful day when the United States was thrown into World War II.

The meet up was arranged after Mr. Downing read an article in the paper on Downing back in March that described his experiences at Pearl Harbor. Both arrived in red electric-powered cars and wore ball caps

The two sat outside Chavez’s home, which he shares with his daughter Kathleen, for reminiscing.

Downing shared the story of the battleship that he served on, the West Virginia, and Chavez spoke of the 70th anniversary of the attack.

Japan attacked the U.S. Navy base in Hawaii on Dec 7, 1941 and the surprise air raid left 2,400+ Americans dead. In 1958, 13 Years after Japan surrendered at the end of WWII, The Pearl Harbor Association was created. The association was founded with 28,000 total members. Up until 2011 when illness struck, San Diego had the largest chapter of the organization.

Born and raised in San Bernadino, Chavez was opening as a quartermaster on a minesweeper ship, the Condor, when the attack commenced. At approximately 3:45am, the Condor narrowly missed colliding with a submarine that was at the waters surface in a channel just outside the harbor. The Condor messaged a destroyer ship, the Ward, which sunk the sub using depth charges.

Chavez’s ship then returned to port, and Chavez returned home and went to sleep. He woke up to his wife yelling.

“We’re being attacked!” she shouted.

Chavez, half asleep still and in disbelief, asked “Who’s would attack us”?

“Then I walked outside, to see the harbor engulfed in fire”

He then ran back to the Condor and it returned to patrol. His ship took fire from a Japanese fighter, but made it through the day unscathed and without any crew lost.

Chavez was part of several amphibious assaults throughout the remainder of the war, including the Marinaras Islands and finally at Okinawa.

Downing, ashore during that Dec 6-7 night, woke up and realized that his ship, the West Virginia, was under attack. He quickly ran on board and attempted to put out fires on the ship which had just been struck by a torpedo. The West Virginia inevitably sunk, and had to be abandoned. He recalls a nightmarish scene of men ablaze in the water from oil that had ignited from the destroyed ship.

Surviving veterans of Pearl Harbor are sparse today, with the estimated total number of survivors ranging from one to two thousand.

Today, Chavez and Downing are often asked to be guest speakers and guests at luncheons. Downing lives in Colorado Springs where he attends several events per week. Chavez does the same. Both men are scheduled to give speeches at Scripps Ranch this week before the Fun Run. Occasionally they are asked to make special appearances at Pearl Harbor tours

To keep up with this high demand, both men exercise regularly, abstain from alcohol and tobacco, and have healthy diets.

Downing, who has recently been mistakenly called the oldest living survivor of Pearl Harbor, is happy to have found a friend that disproves that statement.

“I’ll be 104 in March” Chavez told Downing”

“I’m not going to check your birth certificate”, Downing said as he laughed. “I’ll take your word for it”

Desalination Plant Opens in Carlsbad

After three years of construction, and 14 years since the planning process began, the largest desalination plant in the U.S. (and all of the Western hempisphere) opened this week in Carlsbad. Named the Claude “Bud” Lewis Desalination Plant, after the recently deceased long time mayor of Carlsbad who was a major player in having the city be the location for the plant.

Aerial view of the Carlsbad Desalination Plant

Aerial view of the Carlsbad Desalination Plant

The plant is built beside the Agua Hedionda Lagoon next to the Encina Power Station on about 6 acres of land. It operates as a private-public partnership. The plant, owned by Poseidon Water, sells the desalinated water to the San Diego County Water Authority.

Desalination is the term for the process of removing minerals (typically salt) from water. The plant in Carlsbad uses a specific type of filtering called reverse osmosis to remove the salt. Due to high costs, the process is not very popular compared to other ways of obtaining fresh water. Currently only around 1% of the world’s population depends on desalinated water. As sources continue to be depleted, that number will need to increase quickly, however. Israel is currently the country with the highest percentage of it’s water coming from desalination, at 40%.

The plant will be pumping approximately 50 million gallons of water to the San Diego County Water Authority every day, enough to fully supply 400,000 San Diegans with water. That’s about 10% of the total use of the city.

The process of desalination isn’t perfect, however, as it takes about 2 gallons of sea water for one gallon of fresh water. It is also more expensive than other sources of fresh water. San Diego residents can expect to see an average increase on their water bill of about $5. Long term, the

A majority (64%) of the water San Diego uses currently is imported from the Colorado River. Only about 10% of the total usage comes from local sources. With the new plant operating at full capacity, the local production will increase to about 25%.

Tips for Hiring a San Diego Personal Trainer

Hiring a personal trainer ensures that you get the best out of your workout regimens. So how do you identify and hire the right person for your fitness regimen? Here are handy tips for hiring a personal trainer in san diego:

Personal Trainer California

Ask for referrals

If you have colleagues, friends and relatives who love working out, these are the ideal people who are likely to provide valuable information and experience on credible trainers. Personal trainers who have worked in reputable fitness facilities for several years are likely to have built a network of satisfied clients.

Talk to previous clients

There is a common saying among fitness professional stipulating that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. This saying holds true for services offered by personal trainers. A qualified and reputable trainer should be able to demonstrate what he/she has achieved with previous clients.

When you have compiled a list of potential trainers, ask each of the prospective trainers to provide you with a list of contacts. Reaching out to people who have worked with a trainer before is an excellent way of gauging whether he/she would be compatible with you.

Type of clients they have trained

Different people require different workout regimens to achieve their fitness goals. If you are a male in your 20s and seeking to gain muscle mass, a trainer with a history of training elderly women just trying to remain active in their daily lives may not be what you are looking for.

Check their credentials

Checking a trainer’s credentials is one of the handy tips for hiring a personal trainer. Fitness enthusiasts who have earned a 4-year degree in a related field such as exercise science or kinesiology are likely to have the necessary expertise in the gym. Trainers who have studied kinesiology understand the science of human movements and can assist you to discover exercises that improve coordination and stability. On the other hand, trainers with exercise training skills are knowledgeable on healthy habits and fitness assessments.

Apart from checking their educational background, you need to find out whether a personal trainer is certified by the relevant organizations. Some of the reputable organizations that certify trainers include National Strength and Conditioning Association, American College of Sports Medicine and American Council on Exercise.

Observe their lifestyle

Observing a trainer’s lifestyle will tell you a lot about the person. Trainers who live a paltry lifestyle are not likely to be the best to motivate you in your journey towards fitness. Just as you would not take cooking lessons from a chef who has never cooked and does not enjoy cooking in their daily life, you should avoid getting involved with a trainer who does not practice what they train. If the trainer has not touched a dumbbell for years and is overweight, how do you expect such a person to motivate you to achieve your fitness goals?

The above tips for hiring personal trainers San Diego should assist you to wade through trainers who are not worth your time and money. These tips help you not only to identify whether a trainer is qualified enough for your fitness regimen but also find out whether the person can assist you to reach your goals effectively.