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Stefani as Generous as She Is Talented

Well, here’s a switch. John Rick, who worked as an engineer for his family’s business, Rick Engineering, took a huge risk a decade ago by switching careers from engineer to math teacher. He ended up at Marshall Middle School in Scripps Ranch. Here’s the rest of the story: Rick was named Teacher of the Year among competitors from all middle schools in the San Diego School District on May 6. It all adds up, as they say A duffer’s disappointment. The city of San Diego’s Torrey Pines Golf Course, north and south, closes in preparation for the 2008 U.S. Open, which plays June 9 through 15. The south course shutters May 21, to reopen June 19. The north course closed May 12 to reopen as a nine-hole course in July Wendy Palmer Davis, daughter of former local radio personality and station manager Paul Palmer, who now heads the local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter, is bringing “Suburban Showgirl,” her one-woman, 28-character performance to La Jolla High School’s Parker Auditorium June 7-8. She’s good. The professional dancer has appeared in 14 episodes of television’s popular “CSI.” Ticket info at ticketleap.com Speaking of show business. The one and only “Hollaback Girl” and OC native Gwen Stefani put in a surprise appearance at the San Diego Foundation’s scholarship awards at the University of San Diego on May 17. The back story: Stefani donated $165,000 after her Oct. 30 San Diego concert to The San Diego Foundation, which then used the cash to fund scholarships for high school and college students who suffered financial or other losses as a result of the wildfires Gary Jacobs, owner of the Lake Elsinore Storm minor league baseball team and founder of High Tech High, and Tal Brody, a professional basketball player who is a recipient of the Israel Prize, Israel’s highest civilian award, were honored at the Jewish American Chamber of Commerce annual dinner May 22 at the US Grant Hotel. Attendees also celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Israel. Shalom! With thoroughbred Big Brown galloping toward a possible Triple Crown, the obvious question kicks up like a clod of dirt. Would his owners truck him west, perhaps to Del Mar? No chance, says track PR master Mac MacBride. “The owners are East Coast people, and not likely want to come this way,” he pens in an e-mail. “So sad and too bad,” MacBride says. It’d be great to see him “hook into” 4-year-old Curlin, Horse of the Year, owned by Jess Jackson of Kendall Jackson Winery fame. “I think he’d take his head off” Good Deal. Our very own Heather Chambers reports that the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, which is planning to build an East Village high-rise in time for the 2010-2011 school year, said last week it sold its Old Town digs to PacVentures Inc. of San Diego. PacVentures President Andrew Kaplan said he bought the building for $12 million.

Contact Tom York at sdbjinsider@sdbj.com.

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