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RA Sushi appoints new head sushi chef

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RA Sushi Bar Restaurant has announced the promotion of Joao Mezashi to head sushi chef. Born of Japanese parents and raised in Brazil, Chef Joao left an eight-year career in the pharmaceutical industry in his native Brazil to pursue a career more suited to his adventurous nature. After a traveling companion offered him a start in San Diego and an interview at RA Sushi, he worked his way from busing tables into the top position in the kitchen.

With a knack for making sushi seem approachable and personalized, Chef Joao is responsible for training all new sushi chefs and teaches specialized sushi courses to various audiences including downtown resident groups and Macy's school of cooking.

Carlsbad Chamber fires up The Village

After an initial positive impact two years ago, the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce is reviving its "Art in the Heart of the Village" fire hydrant painting program.

This year the theme is animals, and the community has been invited to participate as 28 hydrants and four power boxes throughout Carlsbad Village's downtown area are expected to be painted by August.

The cost to adopt a hydrant or power box varies depending on its location. Prices range from $300 to $750, which includes the adoption fee and paint.

It is the chamber's intent to bring locals and tourists alike to tour the downtown area in August to vote for their three favorite designs. Ballots will be available at select businesses in the Village, and the winners will be announced in September at a special event.

"As you drive around downtown, the painted fire hydrants represent the area's sense of community. Residents, businesses and visitors enjoy the creative designs and the great impact the art has on the appearance of the Village," said Ted Owen, president and chief executive officer of the Carlsbad Chamber.

A portion of the funds raised through this program will benefit Military Outreach Ministry Camp Pendleton. The program sponsors include Carlsbad Animal Hospital and DeNault's True Value Hardware.

Villa Group hosts military family

"Hey Sergeant, how about a free family vacation?" This is how Staff Sgt. Nicky Mota heard the news that The Villa Group had invited his entire family to enjoy an all-expense paid trip to the family resort Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa. Mota, a returning Iraq War veteran with several tours of duty in the Middle East, his wife and two children, Gabriel and Sara, are on their way to Cabo San Lucas.

Founded in 1984, The Villa Group is one of Mexico's privately owned real estate development companies. The family was nominated by Gabriel's third grade teacher, Jon Schwartz, at Camp Pendleton where all the kids in the public school on the base have a deployed Marine as one of their parents. With airfare arranged by Alaska Airlines at the request of The Villa Group, the family departed yesterday for a four-day trip that includes deep sea fishing, dining and entertainment excursions.

Speed Fest around the corner

As a part of Fleet Week San Diego, an organization that benefits the men and women of the military, the 11th annual Coronado Speed Festival is headed our way on Sept. 27 and 28. The event will feature 280 vintage racing machines chosen to compete on the basis of their historical significance and certified authenticity, along with contemporary race cars from today.

In past years, over 20,000 people have packed the grandstands and watched the 1.6-mile course race, which is constructed in a matter of days on Naval Air Station North Island. Car enthusiasts will be able to step back in time and enjoy auto racing's history, with tours of the racecar pits and opportunities to speak with the drivers. The Coronado Speed Festival also features a display of vintage & current Navy jets, helicopters, special boats and hovercrafts with crews eager to answer questions and allow access into the aircrafts, a vendor village and much more.

The Coronado Speed Festival is produced by San Diego Fleet Week Foundation and hosted by the Naval Base Coronado as well as the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Program (MWR), which benefits military personnel and their families. They in turn provide positive support for the active military community and their families through Quality of Life Programs, including single Sailor Recreation Centers, Fitness and Aquatic Facilities and the Base Theatre free movies.

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