La Mesa/Mt. Helix

BLUEBIRDS EXPAND RANGE INTO URBAN/SUBURBAN AREAS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2016 (Mt Helix) – I grew up in La Mesa, where my mother had a bird feeder.  It attracted many species, but never bluebirds.  Until recently, I’d seen bluebirds only rarely, in the mountain areas.  So I was delighted to spot one in our yard on Mt. Helix this week—and soon learned that bluebirds are expanding their range locally.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: LA MESA COUNCILWOMAN KRISTINE ALESSIO

 

By  Miriam Raftery

East County Magazine sat down with Councilwoman Kristine Alessio, who is seeking reelection to the La Mesa City Council.  Alessio, an attorney specializing in land use issues, was born and raised in La Mesa and previously served on the  Planning Commission.  “I have a very good understanding of the city,” she says. 

You can hear her interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio,  by clicking the orange button above, or click “read more” and scroll down to read highlights.

Audio: 

INTERFAITH COUNCIL HOSTS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE IN LA MESA SEPT. 25

 

East County News Service

Photo:   Last year’s International Peace  Day in La Mesa drew a crowd.

September 17, 2016  (La Mesa)--The Interfaith Council of La Mesa is celebrating it's 3rd annual International Day of Peace in La Mesa on Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m. in Aztec Park (7945 Morocco Drive) as part of a global effort.  All are welcome at the event, which aims to bring awareness to “the need to promote peace, unity and good will in both local and global communities.”  (View flyer)

LA MESA COUNCIL CANDIDATES OFFER DIFFERING VIEWS ON HOMELESSNESS, HOUSING, TRANSIT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND MORE

 

By Janis Russell

Hear audio of candidates' response on homelessness by clicking the orange link above

September 16, 2016 (La Mesa)-Last night, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum for La Mesa City Council candidates at the La Mesa Community Center.  Councilmember Kristine Alessio and newcomer Colin Parent participated; Councilmember Ruth Sterling was unable to attend due to surgery on a broken arm.The candidates agreed on some issues, such as helping local businesses thrive, but offered divergent views on others, such as how to address homelessness and transit funding.

Mary England, President/CEO of the Chamber, welcomed attendees. Bill Hammett, a Chamber board member, was moderator for the forum.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: JOHN LINDEN, HELIX WATER BOARD DIRECTOR

 

You can listen now  to a podcast of our interview by clicking the orange button above, or click "read more" and scroll down for highlights.

By Miriam Raftery

Mark your calendars for our candidate forum with Helix Water Board candidates and Lemon Grove Mayoral candidates on Wednesday, September 21 at the Lemon Grove Library.Meet candidates at 5 p.m. with the forum starting at 5:30.

September 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – John Linden has served on the Helix Water District Board since 2000.  He’s proud of his service and of the Helix district’s long history since its establishment back in the 1880s.  He’s running for reelection in district 1, against three challengers. We sat down for an interview with Linden that originally aired on KNSJ radio.

Audio: 

LA MESA CANDIDATES’ FORUM SEPT. 28 ALSO INCLUDES KEY INITIATIVES AND ISSUES

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 16, 2016 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa First United Methodist Church will host a public forum for Mesa City Council candidates and important ballot initiatives.  The forum will be held on September 28th, with a candidates’ meet and greet at 6:30 and the forum beginning at 7 p.m.

AROUND MT. HELIX: AUTHOR/HISTORIAN JAMES NEWLAND SPEAKS SEPT. 17

 

East County News Service

September 16, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Local author and La Mesa Historical Society President James Newland will make a presentation based on his book "Around Mt. Helix" at the La Mesa branch of the county library (8047 Allison Ave.) in La Mesa on Saturday, September 17 at 10:30 a.m.


MT. HELIX PARK FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES FALL/WINTER EVENTS

 

East County News Service

September 16, 2016 (Mt. Helix) – The Mt. Helix Park Foundation announces an array of upcoming events, including Art in the Park camp for kids, Christmas caroling atop Mt. Helix, a GMIA walk up Mt. Helix and more.  Scroll down for details.


LA MESA: SPECIAL MEETING ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY PROGRAM SEPT. 21

 

East County News Service

September 16, 2016 (La Mesa) — The City of La Mesa announces a joint special meeting of the Environmental Sustainability Commission and La Mesa Planning Commission on Wednesday, September 21st at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers (8130 Allison Avenue).   The meeting wil be to consider a presentation on La Mesa adopting a community choice energy program.

DEAN DEFENDS FOUNDING MEMBERS OF NEW MERCHANTS GROUP

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 15,2016 (La Mesa) – After receiving a reader’s editorial and a call from another local businessperson critical of the new La Mesa Village Association (LMVA), which ECM recently profiled, ECM reached out to Aaron Dean, LMVA  Chair, to respond.

READER’S EDITORIAL: IS THE LMVA REALLY A FRESH START?





Regarding your article "new La Mesa Village Association has big ideas for revitalizing city's historic heart"

By Peter Carzis, Owner, Peter’s Gentlemen’s Apparel

Editor's note: Aaron Dean, chair of the new LMVA, spoke with ECM and provided his responses to concerns raised by Carzis and others.  You can read his remarks here.

October 14,2016 (La Mesa)--I attended the first meeting of this new group. They said they want this group to be a "fresh start" in the village, but yet they boast four Founding Members who are officers and directors of the "old" group that owes the taxpayers and the City of La Mesa $47,900.50.  (Per the city clerk, this amount was turned over to collection and none of the debt has been repaid as of today.)

MEET THE CANDIDATES FORUM: SEPT. 15 IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

September 14, 2016 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to a "Meet The Candidates" forum on Thursday, September 15 at the La Mesa Community Center (4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa).

All three candidates for the La Mesa City Councill will be present:  incumbents Ruth Sterling and Kristine Alessio, as well as challengerColin Parent.

This is a great opportunity to meet the candidates who wish to serve you. 

LA MESA WINE WORKS GRAND OPENING DRAWS A FULL HOUSE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2016 (La Mesa)--La Mesa's first cooperative wine-tasting venture is born.

The Barnyard Cassanovas provided lively music from Johnny Cash to rock 'n' roll at the grand opening of La Mesa Wine Works on August 27th. Winemaker Linda McWilliams, sporting a T-shirt reading "Well behaved women rarely make history" and her husband,Mike, chatted with guests about wines offered up from  San Pasqual Winery and Wyatt Oaks  Winery,  both local ventures. 

NEW LA MESA VILLAGE ASSOCIATION HAS BIG IDEAS FOR REVITALIZING CITY’S HISTORIC HEART

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 5, 2016 (La Mesa) – A new business association led by prominent business leaders in La Mesa has arisen to fill the gap left by the troubled La Mesa Village Merchants Association. The new 501(c)6 nonprofit, the La Mesa Village Association (LMVA), held its inaugural community outreach meeting last week at the San Pasqual Wine  Bar Tasting Room in the village,  drawing a packed house.

NEXT BOULEVARD STROLL SEPT. 7 IN LA MESA HAS ADDED ATTRACTIONS

 

East County News Service

September 4, 2016 (La Mesa) – The kick-off “Boulevard Stroll” in La Mesa last month was a big success.  If you missed the launch, Boulevard Stroll events will be held the first Wednesday each month from 4-8 p.m.  The next one is set for Wednesday, September 7 along La Mes Blvd and adjacent streets will feature 11 newly added businesses!  Start your stroll on the south end of the boulevard in the Vons Shopping Center.  

"To start the fun, in the courtyard by Albert's Mexican Food we'll have music and a couple performances by the TeeDee Dance Team . The School of Rock will be performing from 5-7 p.m. in front of Jolt-n-Joes.  We've created a new Kids Korner in front of Yogurt Mill where you will find a puppet show and face painting...Some of the other music to look for : Marissa Grace and her band, The PushPins, and Flavor Company Dancers," says Roz Oserin, organizer of the event.

FROM POT SHOPS TO SCHOOL BONDS TO A BUILDER’S BONANZA: INITIATIVES ON EAST COUNTY BALLOTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 1,2016  (San Diego’s East County) – Beyond the blizzard of ballot measures statewide and candidates on your November ballot, East County voters will be asked to weigh in on a variety of local initiatives with big impacts.

Those include countywide measures:  one a tax to fund transportation, the other  a measure that would set a precedent for developers to  evade environmental reviews by taking projects directly to voters.   There are also medical marijuana dispensary measures on the ballots in Lemon Grove and La Mesa, a redistricting proposal in El Cajon, and school bond measures in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College, Grossmont Union High School, and Cajon Valley  Union school districts.  Here are details:

THE LA MESA CHAMBER LAUNCHES ANNUAL SENIOR PROJECT

 

Source: La Mesa City Council Press Release

August 29, 2016 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber is beginning to gather items for the seniors that the Chamber adopts each year during the holidays. It is the goal of the Chamber to collect, purchase and assemble items and place them in large gift baskets.

POLICE SEEK SUSPECTS IN RED VAN WHO TERRORIZED WOMEN IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

August 26, 2016 (La Mesa) — Two women in south La Mesa awoke Tuesday around 3 a.m. to the sounds of banging on their front door.  10 News reports the women looked out and saw six people bashing the house and shattering car windows with hammers and a machete.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH COLIN PARENT: ATTORNEY, ENVIRONMENTALIST AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVOCATE RUNS FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our interview originally aired on on KNSJ Radio: Click the orange arrow above; scroll down to read highlights.

August 25,2016 (La Mesa) – Recently,  we  sat down for an in-depth interview with Colin Parent, a lawyer with extensive experience as an affordable housing expert in the Governor’s administration. Currently he’s the policy counsel/attorney for Circulate San Diego, an nonprofit that advocates for public transit, safe and pedestrian-friendly streets, safe routes to school, and smart growth issues.  He’s also cofounder of La Mesa Conversations, a civic discussion group.

Now he’s running for the La Mesa City Council in a three-way race for two seats currently held by incumbents Ruth Sterling and Kristine Alessio.

“I’m running to improve La Mesa,” says Parent, who calls La Mesa a great place, but adds that it can be even better.  Here are the ideas he discussed:

Audio: 

LA MESA WINE WORKS GRAND OPENING PARTY AUGUST 27

 

East County News Service

August 24, 2016 (La Mesa) - La Mesa Wine Works invites you to their grand opening celebration this Saturday, August 27th, including live music by the Barnyard Casanovas band from 7 to 10 p.m. The La Mesa Wine Works is a co-op designed to showcase local wines; currently they are pouring vintages from both the award-winning San Pasqual and Wyatt Oaks wineries.

43RD ANNUAL LA MESA OKTOBERFEST SEPT. 30 - OCT. 2

 

East County News Service

August 19, 2016 (La Mesa) - You're invited to the largest Oktoberfest celebration west of the Mississippi:  La Mesa Oktoberfest from September 30 to October 2, 2016.

The free event is spread out over nearly six blocks in La Mesa Village and features hundreds of exhibitors, family friendly activities, German food, music, dancing, outfits, games and of course, beer.

RAISING A TRANSGENDER CHILD: A MOM SPEAKS OUT

 

Q & A with author of “Raising Ryland”

Source: Foothills United Methodist Church press release

August 21, 2016 (La Mesa) - “When the family dies I’m going to cut my hair so I can be a boy,” said Ryland Whittington when he was just four years old. His family was stunned.

8 CANDIDATES IN RUNNING FOR 2 SEATS ON GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – For the first time,  the Grossmont Union High School District will elect its board trustees by individual trustee districts this fall, not at-large elections.  The two seats up for grabs have each attracted four candidates (eight total) offering candidates some diverse choices.

POINTE FIRE NOW 80% CONTAINED, EVACUATIONS LIFTED

 

Update August 19,2016 8 a.m.:The fire held to 26 acres overnight and is now 80% contained.

Update 8:40 p.m.: Evacuation orders are now lifted. Please watch for firefighters as you return home.

Update7 p.m.:The fire is 15 acres and 40% contained. A firefighter was bitten by a rattlesnake and has been hospitalized.

East County News Service

Photos by Kristink Kjaero taken off State Route 94 and Kathleen Coates-Hedberg, viewed from Mt. Helix.

August 17, 2016 (Spring Valley) – Evacuations have been ordered in Spring Valley on Ledge Side between Ledge View and South Barcelona due to the Pointe Fire, Cal Fire reports. Structures are threatened north of Point Parkway near the water tanks, NBC 7 news reports.

Monte Vista High School is being set up as an evacuation center at 3230 Sweetwater Springs Blvd. in Spring Valley. The fire is approximately 3 to 5 acres.

 

HELIX WATER TO CONSIDER FEES, CHANGES AT LAKE JENNINGS CAMPGROUND

 

East County News Service

August 17, 2016 (La  Mesa) – At today’s 2 p.m. meeting of the Helix Water District Board (7811 University Ave., La Mesa), directors will consider addition of fees and other changes at Lake Jennings, including adding kayak rentals and a tee-pee rental venue at the campground.  These are the latest improvements proposed by a committee led by director Joel Scalzitti.    As a result, the lake that some board  members sought to close due to budget shortfalls is now operating at a profit.  View board package and agenda.

At its last meeting, the board voted 3-2 for hefty rate hikes of 10.1%, effective on water use after  November 1,2016 and billings starting January 1,2017. That action has inspired five challengers to run against two board members who voted for this hefty rate hike as well as earlier recent increases—moves that fueled outrage in public comments and emails sent to the board.

LA MESA ARTIST EXHIBITS LANDMARKS IN WATERCOLORS AT LA MESA HEALTH LIBRARY

 

East County News Service

 

August 9, 2016 (La Mesa) –  The Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, a consumer health library at 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, is now hosting its Summer Art Exhibit featuring 19 watercolor paintings by award-winning artist Marilyn Hadley Hallam of La Mesa. The show runs through September 30. The exhibit features paintings of San Diego and Southern California landmarks, as well as landscapes.

HEALTH CARE LIBRARY IN LA MESA WILL DISCUSS PREVENTIVE CARE WITH ACUPUNCTURE

 

East County News Service

 

August 8, 2016 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District’s Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, will host “Preventive Care with Acupuncture,” a free presentation about how acupuncture can treat a variety of health issues, from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24. The program is part of the library’s Wellness Wednesday series, normally held on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Admission is free. Light refreshments will be served. Advance RSVP is not necessary.

LA MESA COUNCIL REFUSES GRAND JURY REQUST TO CREATE CITIZENS’ POLICE OVERSIGHT BOARD, ACCEPTS RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOMELESSNESS

By Tasha Matthews

ECM Editor Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

August 4, 2016 (La Mesa)--Councilmember Guy McWhirter opened the La Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 26th by expressing concern for our country in the wake of recent shootings of police officers. He thanked police for their brave work helping to protect citizens—two days before two San Diego Police officers were shot, one fatally.

But the Council rejected a Grand Jury recommendation to create a police oversight board aimed at assuring that citizens’ rights are protected if officer misconduct is alleged. The Grand Jury made its recommendations to La Mesa and other local cities in a report on Citizens Oversight Boards of Police Behavior.

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