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50 People to Watch in 2003


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There’s a heaping helping of politicians. We’re glad to say there’s also a generous portion of social advocates. Of course we’ve included captains of industry, TV talking heads, a budding sports superstar and a radio rogue. The spectrum of San Diego is visible within our latest list of local luminaries: Education activists. A scribe with the write stuff. Recording artists on the rise. One of our picks blinded us with science. Another fought federal law (and the law won—for now). We think you’ll want to keep watching them all.

aztec warriorAztec Warrior
He’s unofficial heir to the throne of Monty Montezuma, the once-proud mascot at SDSU. Monty was deposed from SDSU before the 2001 football season, after protests from Native Americans. The Aztec Warrior—created and funded by a nonprofit foundation—may have a new name. But the gent who dons the headdress is no stranger to the role. Carlos Gutierrez spent many a fall Saturday parading on the field at Qualcomm Stadium as Monty. As the non-school-affiliated Aztec Warrior, Gutierrez must content himself with cruising the stands, making his way among the 10 scattered seats bought by the Aztec Warrior Foundation. Yes, you can still call him Monty.

sandy rose baulerSandy Rose Bauler
Attention, racecar fans and anyone who needs a dose of amazing inspiration: Keep your eye on No. 76. Bauler, a Santee resident and driver in the Late Model Sportsman division of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series, returns to the dirt track in April after a near-fatal crash two years ago.

Doctors told her she would never walk again, but they underestimated the grit and determination that defines Bauler, a mother of four and the lead job developer for the San Diego Workforce Partnership. You’ll also see her this year in her new role as a national spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Keep in mind she has two steel plates and 13 screws in her hips and pelvis.

Ed Chapin
If nice guys really did finish last, Chapin would be dead last. That he manages to shine in the tough arena of civil litigation (he represented the chemical manufacturer in the Erin Brockovich case) while collecting new friends and admirers is a tribute to his own civility.

A sophisticated good ol’ boy with deep Missouri roots, Chapin came to San Diego in 1972 and joined the city attorney’s ranks. Today, after building his own law firm (Chapin Shea McNitt & Carter) to more than 40 attorneys, he’s set his sights on public service. Chapin is among the strongest candidates for appointment to judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. He decided to apply while pondering the lessons of 9/11. It’s time, says Chapin, to give something back.

Brian ChristieBrian Christie
The face is familiar—for good reason. The new anchor on Fox 6 News at 10 has made a career of bouncing back and forth between San Diego and CNN. Christie anchored CNN Headline News, among other duties, from 1985 to 1995. He spent the next five years cohosting a Channel 9/51 (KUSI-TV) news broadcast. Then it was back to CNN for a two-year stint. You can take the man out of San Diego... His return to these airwaves began in September.

This newsie is also a singing thespian. His stage credits include roles in The Music Man and Bye-Bye, Birdie. Christie also recently recorded a CD of oldies, called Newsflash.

Paula CordeiroPaula Cordeiro
As dean of USD’s School of Education, Cordeiro is committed to improving local schools, many of which employ her grad students. Cordeiro, president of the San Diego Council on Literacy, has launched a yearly conference for hundreds of school counselors and set up programs to supply teachers to local charter schools. But her biggest accomplishment may be the Educational Leadership Development Academy, a partnership with other colleges that provides training for school administrators. It’s partially funded by Los Angeles businessman Eli Broad, who’s a big backer of San Diego’s controversial schools chief, reform-minded Alan Bersin.
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