Around Lakeside – Todd Owens, picking up trash ‘One Street at a Time’


Lakeside’s Todd Owens had a question for Supervisor Dianne Jacob at one of her “Coffee with Constituents” community meetings earlier this year.

“What are you doing about cleaning up all the trash around Lakeside?”

Her reply was immediate and to the point: “What are you doing about it, Todd?”

Lakeside’s Todd Owens had a question for Supervisor Dianne Jacob at one of her “Coffee with Constituents” community meetings earlier this year.

“What are you doing about cleaning up all the trash around Lakeside?”

Her reply was immediate and to the point: “What are you doing about it, Todd?”

The question hit Todd just right, with the intended result. He almost immediately met with several other community members and together they hatched a plan. The result is a great example of community involvement: organize and execute a project to address a chronic and annoying problem impacting the community. As a supervisor with the Lakeside Unified School District (overseeing Maintenance, Transportation and Operations), Todd has had some experience managing people and projects. He soon organized Lakeside’s first litter cleanup and dubbed it, “One Street at a Time.”

The first event was held on July 22. A group of 35 volunteers worked two hours from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. and collected 85 bags of trash. They targeted Woodside Avenue north to Highway 67, between Maine and Channel. The second cleanup on Sept. 9 netted 95 bags gathered by 62 volunteers working Woodside south to Julian Avenue. This past Oct. 21, 88 volunteers filled 100 large plastic trash baggies.

Obviously there is a problem and the volunteer movement is growing to meet it.

The parking lot at the “old Vons” on Woodside (the newest site of Planet Fitness) serves as base camp. By 8:00 a.m. on the 21st, it had transformed from an empty lot to one filled with cars and people. The bustling crowd lined up to acquire necessary gear – gloves, bags, pickers, vests, water, and the like. A bit of a party atmosphere prevailed as old friends shook hands and newer folks introduced themselves.

Todd welcomed and thanked the attendees, then gave out the day’s assignment: nine streets would be canvassed. “Pick up trash,” was the simple instruction, but also, “don’t pick up anything you don’t feel comfortable with.” Ten minutes later, the lot was once again empty as the crowd had quickly dispersed into the streets of Lakeside. After a quick two hours, the volunteers trickled back to base camp and turned in their equipment. The bags were then loaded on a large trailer and deposited at several dumpsters, donated by the likes of Auto Zone, Lakeside Equipment, McGrath Consulting, and others.

“This is about citizens coming out and making a difference,” said Todd. It’s also about stepping up and finding a solution – and there is more to come.

The next “One Street at a Time” cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18. Meet at the parking lot on Woodside at 8:00 a.m. For more information, you can go to their website at or check out their Facebook page at “One Street at a Time.”

The Lakeside Community Revitalization Steering Committee met this past Halloween morning at the Lakeside Community Center. This is a good meeting to attend for anyone interested or involved in Lakeside. County Supervisor Dianne Jacob runs the meeting, which covers the community gambit, including Lindo Lake Park, local infrastructure, public safety, economic development, housing and planning, parks and recreation and youth programs, and even historic, cultural, and community character. If you would like to be included on any meeting reminder notifications, contact Donna Moore at (858) 694-4841 or by email at

Want to know about a community improvement project near you? This is the place to find out. Here are a few status notes:

The traffic signal project at Winter Gardens Drive (at Winter Gardens Boulevard) is planned to begin in Spring 2018.

New sidewalks for Winter Gardens between Woodside and Lemoncrest are slotted for 2019-2020.

Roadwork, sidewalks, and signals for Ashwood between Mapleview and Willow are scheduled for 2020-2022.

Sidewalks, bike lanes, and signals along the length of Woodside are due in 2020.

The storm drainage issue on Lemoncrest Drive is (finally) about to be addressed, with construction starting in December 2017, to be completed in the spring of 2018. 

Lakeside bits & pieces

Yours truly was the guest speaker at Kid’s Career Day in the Lakeside Library on November 3rd. I spoke to about a dozen kids and their parents about how to become a newspaper reporter. The bi-lingual story time is held every Friday and is free.

Downtown Lakeside’s annual “Trick or Treat on Maine Avenue” was full of fun and faux frights for local youngsters. Two hours and two blocks of free treats from local businesses, the event has been hosted by Lakeside Royalty for the past half dozen or so Halloweens – another example of some great small-town fun.

Although the owners of Lakeside Bait and Tackle have announced their retirement at the end of the year, the business may not be closing. Several offers are being considered that may keep the venerable fishing supply store open for years to come.

Homestyle Hawaiian, the newest Downtown Lakeside restaurant on Maine Avenue has enjoyed a “soft” opening to work out some issues. They are also hiring!

Lindo Lake Park now boasts a Butterfly Garden. Check it out over by the pavilions, near the rangers’ office.

For your calendar

Dec. 1 – The annual Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Resale Shoppe, hosted by the Lakeside Historical Society, will open in the Olde Community Church. It will run from Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., through December 23rd.

Dec. 2 – The Spirit of Christmas, an annual event sponsored by the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce, will celebrate the season from 4:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Downtown Lakeside. The lighting of the community Christmas tree will take place in front of Olde Community Church at 6:00 p.m. There will be local school performances, kid activities, photos with Santa, booths and crafts, food and drink along Maine Avenue, which will be closed to traffic. Come and enjoy our small town spirit.

Dec. 8 – The Lakeside Community Center will host Kid’s Night Out from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. For $10, kids ages five to fifteen will enjoy food, games, activities, and a movie. Reservations are required: call (619)443-9176 now.

Dec. 10 – The Lakeside Historical Society is once again holding its Holiday Home Tour from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tickets and information are available at (619) 561-1886.


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