Don't let the serious look fool ya -- Ben Petty-Hull is delighted with his life. PHOTO BY ED PIPER
Don't let the serious look fool ya -- Ben Petty-Hull is delighted with his life. PHOTO BY ED PIPER
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Ben Petty-Hull's versatility makes up for his size
by ED PIPER
Apr 28, 2015 | 57 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don't let the serious look fool ya -- Ben Petty-Hull is delighted with his life. PHOTO BY ED PIPER
Don't let the serious look fool ya -- Ben Petty-Hull is delighted with his life. PHOTO BY ED PIPER
slideshow
The word “intentional” comes to mind after getting to know a little about Ben Petty-Hull and his family. On the baseball field, La Jolla Country Day School coach John Edman says the multi-position player works hard at everything he does, making the most of his time. The Petty-Hull family also maximizes its time together intentionally, with Karen Petty and Kevin Hull working 12-hour shifts at Rady Children’s Hospital three nights a week each. She’s a nurse, he’s an X-ray technician. “My parents sleep during the day, then I get home at 6:30 (after practice), and we spend a few hours together before I do my homework,” says Petty-Hull, his 15 years packed into an efficient 5’6”, 150-pound body. Of course, which parent he spends time with depends on what night of the week it is, according to the Petty-Hulls’ carefully arranged schedule. On weekends, the family likes to spend time together at the beach; “My dad, my brother (Brady, 10), and I surf all day.” To further maximize time, the Petty-Hulls often eat out, with local Mexican food and sushi being highlights. While Ben plays two sports at Country Day, including football as a receiver and a safety, he opts to play pretty much every position in baseball, including catcher. He likes it that way. “If I play the outfield for a while, I want to play the infield,” he says. The skills required by one position reinforce what he needs to play another position, he explains, just as his surfing, football and baseball strengthen him and help him transfer skills among the sports. Says Edman of the focused sophomore: “He is incredibly selfless, hardworking and team-centered. He is the first to help where help is needed and does everything with his best effort. He is really talented, too.” Edman also makes mention of the seven positions Ben plays on the team. With the Torreys 2-0 early in Coastal Conference play and bearing an 11-6 overall record, Petty-Hull was hitting a solid .281, striking out only three times in 40 plate appearances. Meanwhile, he seemed composed and adept in people skills, asking his interviewer how long he had been reporting sports and talking about the reporter’s other job (teaching). Petty-Hull agrees with his baseball coach about maximizing his abilities. “Working hard is definitely part of (my philosophy),” he says. “My brother and I were told (by our parents) we’re probably not going to be the biggest guys, so we’re going to have to work hard for the good things.” “I’m not the biggest, strongest guy out there, so my work ethic helps get me there.” Comparing his sports, he says, “They’re all different. Football is more hyped up, rah-rah. You’re looking forward all week to Friday’s game. You play one game a week (instead of multiple games). “Playing safety, you don’t think. In baseball, it’s not as hyped up. You’re thinking more.” Petty-Hull built his upper body strength up early on when, at 8 and 9, he surfed nearly every day for a year and half. He says that strength, developed from paddling constantly, provided him a key tool in his athleticism. The Petty-Hull parents, professionals in the medical field, are acutely aware of the dangers in tackle football, according to their older son. He says that, as a result, neither he nor Brady have been allowed to play tackle until high school, a decision he seems to be okay with. Brady is presently playing flag football. A profession in the medical field could be in his future as well (his maternal grandfather is a doctor).
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Air Force vet receives five years in Pacific Beach man's La Jolla traffic death
Apr 28, 2015 | 214 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A packed courtroom watched the April 27 sentencing of a disabled Air Force veteran to five years in state prison for killing a Pacific Beach man in a crash on La Jolla Village Drive while she was under the influence of prescription drugs. Attorneys for Soranon Booppanon, 40, asked that she be placed on probation in a veteran’s program and presented some top Air Force officials who testified on her behalf. Booppanon pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter of George Matteson, 77, killed instantly on Oct. 23, 2013 when Booppanon ran a red light and struck two cars and a truck at the intersection of La Jolla Village Drive and Genesee Avenue. She also pleaded guilty to being under the influence of drugs and injuring Betty Matteson, 74, George's wife. She was also fined $2,174. Defense attorney G. Cole Casey told San Diego Superior Court Judge Timothy Walsh that Booppanon took the pain medications and tranquilizers the night before and that she was following the instructions of her Veterans Administration doctors. She was on her way to the Veterans Administration hospital in La Jolla when she ran the red light. Walsh said Booppanon should have known that the medications' instructions stated that a person should not use them and drive. Walsh said she put others in danger, and he denied probation because a death occurred. Deputy District Attorney Mackenzie Harvey urged seven years in prison, stating that Booppanon was driving at 68 miles an hour in a 45-mile-an-hour zone. Booppanon, Harvey said, showed “total disregard for public safety. “Our position is this is not an accident,” Harvey, said, adding Booppanon was playing the “blame game” by citing her medical problems and the suicides of two co-workers. Casey said Booppanon left the Air Force after 14 years and was declared 100 percent disabled because she had taken an inoculation that resulted in liver disease. Casey said she also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Retired Brig. Gen. Walter Jones told the judge that Booppanon was once responsible for cruise missile control command at an air force base. Col. Burnett Peters, who said he flew missions in Bosnia and Iraq, said Booppanon was his designated second officer. Both men said she didn’t know her medications affected her driving. Casey unsuccessfully urged Walsh to suspend a prison term and allow her to be admitted to a veterans residential program. He said she has no prior record and that alcohol was not a factor in the crash. Booppanon did not testify at her trial. Due to her disabilities, Booppanon might be housed at a prison medical facility. Walsh allowed her to remain free on own recognizance until May 4, setting a hearing for May 19 to determine credits. – Neal Putnam
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Park Row falls victim to business community
Apr 28, 2015 | 179 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I'm writing to once again talk about issues in the Park Row area. Our streets are in horrible condition, with curbs broken and trash everywhere. The concern for the business community is that employees park in our neighborhood, as we have a 72-hour parking restriction that allows waiters, clerks et cetera to park all day and into the night without paying or being ticketed. The issue is that trash et cetera is never cleaned. I've lived on Park Row for four years now, and not once has the gutter area of the street been swept. The street cleaner does come every other month (on the third Thursday), but when he arrives at 9 a.m., the street is filled with folks working in the Village, and thus the area where trash builds is never cleaned. You can only imagine the items of trash that accumulates – or maybe you can't (i.e., this week, human waste, with towels to wipe it with, was left across the street from my home on the circle on Park Row). I suggest that the business community take a closer look at how the employees affect the neighborhoods of our Village with employee parking, et cetera. How do we get someone to clean the human waste in the street where maybe "visitors" might park? The Park Row area is a victim here. Thanks for listening. Ed Witt, Park Row
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