Assistant Fire Chief Brian Mendoza is retiring this week after serving with the Carlsbad Fire Department for 26 years. Mendoza was the team captain of the Honor Guard until he became assistant chief in 2013. He also served as the Decon Team Leader for the Hazmat Team.
Brian was a hard worker who always made sure everyone at the fire department was outfitted with the best gear possible. He even helped design vehicles and two fire stations. He also designed the Dodge Charger you’ve probably seen in parades and at football games.
Brian is also the grandson of Carlsbad Hall of Fame selection Cruz Fernandez, who was considered one of the most outstanding law enforcement officers in the state and later served with two U.S. Senators. We were honored to have Brian serve with the City of Carlsbad and wish him the best.
Beginning on Veterans Day, the federal government will grant free access to national parks and other public lands to veterans and Gold Star families. Gold Star families are those who have a loved one who was killed in military service. Veterans Day is also a free day for everyone.
The national park system has also waived park entrance fees for fifth graders and their families who didn’t get to use a pass for fourth-grade students when many national parks were closed in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. This waiver extends through the end of August 2021.
Thanks to former park Superintendent Larry Henderson for keeping us up to date on special national park opportunities such as these. Larry is also a former city councilor who serves this community on numerous boards and organizations and is one of Carlsbad’s true outstanding citizens.
It seems like we are all saying goodbye to so many good friends this year. We said farewell to an outstanding lady Thursday at a graveside service. Kathy Kelly has served as a role model for those with severe disabilities on being able to live a dedicated life of service to her community and her family. Kathy was diagnosed with MS in her late 20s and the disease grew progressively worse through the years. Kathy never complained despite all of the challenges. She and her husband, Don, owned Carlsbad Floral for many years. She will be missed.
Funeral services for long-time educator Lee Richards are scheduled Saturday. Richards was recently honored as one of our “Outstanding Educators” for his service. He taught at Carlsbad Municipal Schools for 36 years before retiring in 1989. He was fondly remembered by so many of his former students.
Please have a safe and fun celebration on Oct. 31 and do your best to keep up with CDC guidelines on celebrating safely. Many businesses and churches are advertising COVID-safe drive thru options online for families. There are also numerous high-tech Halloween decorations up this year around Carlsbad. Thank you to all of these organizations for putting in extra effort to develop fun activities.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway