By Miriam Raftery
July 29, 2014 (La Mesa)--A La Mesa coffee shop has been victimized by patrons passing counterfeit bills, La Mesa Today reports.
By Miriam Raftery
July 30, 2014 (La Mesa)--Downtown La Mesa is getting a facelift.
Construction has begun on the Downtown village Streetscape Project, which will include new landscaping, sidewalks, outdoor lighting, benches, and enhanced pedestrian features, as well as upgrades to sewers and street signs. The project will take several months with construction expected next year.
"ELECTRIC BRAIN" AND OTHER EXPRESSIVE ARTS CREATIONS CHANGING LIVES OF PEOPLE WITH EPILEPSY: GALLERY RECEPTION AUG. 2 AT GROSSMONT CENTER
July 30, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Artistic works by people with epilepsy in the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County’s Expressive Arts program is an art gallery event sponsored by Grossmont Center and La Mesa Arts Alliance which will include artwork by local San Diego artists.
Suspects arrested for residential burglaries and Craig’s list sale of stolen property
July 30, 2014 (La Mesa) – Two separate incidents kept local police officers busy in the wee hours on July 26.
Hear highlights of Bill Walton's inspirational speech, originally aired on East County Magazine's radio show on KNSJ 89.1 FM, here: http://kiwi6.com/file/rdlekk220f
By Miriam Raftery
July 26, 2014 (La Mesa)—NBA Hall of Famer and former Helix High School superstar Bill Walton is best known for his exceptional achievements on the basketball court. But he’s also proud to be in the boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame, and knows first-hand the importance of positive role models.
So now he’s leading efforts to raise funds to build a Bill Walton Gymnasium at the Boys & Girls Club in La Mesa, giving back to the children in this community, where mentors before him helped young Walton to achieve his dreams. On Thursday, Walton delivered an inspiration speech at the Boys and Girls Club’s new Brady Family Clubhouse.
“What great leaders do is inspire pride and loyalty,” said Walton. “Loyalty is that human attribute that allows us as a community to come together and be part of a team—and to realize that what we have is so special, as a result of our caring about what goes on. It’s not about us; it’s about these young children here who just have these fantastic smiles…who are just so full of dreams and full of hope.”
By Miriam Raftery
July 20, 2014 (La Mesa) - Basketball superstar Bill Walton, a Helix High School graduate in La Mesa, got his start playing basketball at neighborhood centers such as the Boys & Girls Club. He earned his way to the Boys & Girls Clubs Hall of Fame and went on to play with the UCLA Bruins. He later became a National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player and won two NBA championships.
July 17, 2014 (La Mesa)-- Applications are being accepted for several openings on the City’s Youth Advisory Commission. Applicants must live within the city limits of La Mesa and be at least 13 years old, but not more than 20 years old, at the time of appointment.
SENIORS GROUP AT HEALTH CARE LIBRARY TO HOST DISCUSSION ON ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE ON WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27
July 18, 2014 (La Mesa)-The Grossmont Healthcare District’s Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, will host a free senior discussion group program titled “Alzheimer’s Disease and Clinical Trials,” from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 27. The public is invited to attend and RSVP is not required. The speaker will be Mark Dobrina, lead clinical trials specialist, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital Research Dept.
By Ariele Johannson
Christian Community Theater has been entertaining San Diegans and providing quality theatrical productions for over 30 years.
This summer’s performance of Les Misérables is exceptional for its casting, talent, music and singing, costumes, child actors, and technology in a fine outdoor performance of this epic work. Also, it is a return to Mt. Helix for CCT after being away for seven years. Christian Youth Theater also participated in this production.
July 12, 2014 (La Mesa)—A 9-month-old baby and a 4-year old child were left unattended inside a locked car at Grossmont Center on Friday afternoon amid sweltering heat. Bystanders called 911 and were able to get the 4-year-old to unlock the door by the time Heartland Fire & Rescue crew arrived. The mother said she had been gone only five minutes; paramedics evaluated the children and released them to their father.
Memorial fund to be established to benefit hospice care; services pending
By Miriam Raftery
July 12, 2014 (La Mesa) – Grossmont Hospital is mourning the loss of its chief executive officer, Michele Tarbet, who passed away yesterday morning at her home surrounded by her family members, under the care of Grossmont’s hospice care.
An announcement issued jointly by Sharp Healthcare and Sharp Grossmont Hospital yesterday, voiced “a heavy heart and great sadness” at the news. “Michele’s passing was peaceful and she left this world with dignity and grace,” he stated. “We will miss her immensely. Fortunately for us, Michele has left an indelible mark on Sharp HealthCare, Grossmont Hospital, the East County, and the countless individuals she worked with and knew.”
July 11, 2014 (San Diego and East County) – Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), whose district includes several East County communities such as La Mesa, Mt. Helix and portions of El Cajon, will host a coffee with constituents this Saturday, July 12. The event will be held from 12-2 p.m. at the Linda Vista branch library, 2160 Ulric Street in San Diego.
By Miriam Raftery
July 6, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- Below are some of the newsworthy items on this week's agendas for boards, commissions and councils in East County. Taxes, electronic cigarettes and land use issues are among the hot topics to be discussed in these public meetings. You can find full agendas and meeting details at the websites for each local governing body.
URGENT POLL: ASK KNSJ TO AIR LIVE WILDFIRE ALERTS & WILDFIRE REPORTING: HONOR PROMISES MADE TO DONORS & HELP SAVE LIVES
A year ago when KNSJ radio launched, the station promised to air our live wildfire and emergency alerts. Saturday is their anniversary party - please send a message TODAY asking them to honor this promise!
In the July 2013 Chariot Fire the station did go live and I reported on the fire on Mt. Laguna. For a few weeks, KNSJ aired our alerts with a delay of an hour or so, promising to improve technology to get real live alerts. Later KNSJ stopped airing wildfire alerts at all. I’ve pleaded with KNSJ to air Viejas Wildfire Alerts as promised, which we offer them free, to save lives and keep you safe. In the backcountry when power lines burn and some have no cell service, battery-powered radio is often the only way to get news during fires.
KNSJ’s CEO says having the federal emergency broadcast system in place is enough, but it’s not. It wasn’t activated during recent fires in East County. KNSJ's CEO and Board refuse to even guarantee a start date for alerts or an exact dollar figure that would guarantee these would air. They ask for more money, without delivering on promises made to donors who already gave to support getting alerts on the air. KNSJ also has zero live broadcasting, even for breaking news during fires.
TAKE OUR POLL AND SEND A MESSAGE TO KNSJ: Should the FCC ask KNSJ to keep its promise and air live Viejas Wildfire & Emergency Alerts & have live news broadcasts during wildfires?
By Miriam Raftery
July 4, 2014 (La Mesa) – On the heels of the American Legion backing out of the Park Station proposal, the City of La Mesa announced today that it has cancelled a Planning Commission Public Hearing on the project’s specific plan and environmental impact report that had been slated for July 16.
The announcement issued by Bill Chopyk, Director of Community Development for La Mesa, specifically states that the hearing is cancelled “due to a change in the application and project description because the American Legion has withdrawn as a co-applicant. A new notice of public hearing will be distributed to interested parties once the specific plan and environmental documents are revised and ready for Planning Commission consideration and further public review.”
Plus previews of coming attractions
by Ariele Johannson
July 2, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County has a run-down on 4th of July festivities throughout our inland region. No need to fight traffic to watch fireworks at the beach when you can choose from an array of venues right here in East County—where our cities and historic small towns show their patriotic spirit with parades, picnics, festivals and fireworks. You’ll hear about KNSJ radio’s anniversary celebration at Mission Trails.
Plus we’ll have a preview of some unique events coming up next week—from a firefighters’ fishing derby to outdoor musical theater, twilight walks, a star party, and a super full moon jazz concert amid fragrant fields of lavender!
July 1, 2014 (La Mesa)--The Mission Times Courier, Mission Valley News and La Mesa Courier are joining the San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN) and its group of award-winning community newspapers, strengthening SDCNN’s community news voice in San Diego.
SDCNN’s purchase of the trio of newspapers from Jim Madaffer’s Mission Publishing Group takes effect July 1. The acquisition also includes Mission Publishing Group’s online news site, ScoopSanDiego.com, a press release issued yesterday by Mission Publishing announced.
By Mimi Pollack
June 28, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - How can one have a healthier and more meaningful lifestyle? The psychologist Dr. Michael Mantell likes to use acronyms when conveying his healing messages as he believes they are a helpful way for people to remember them.
For him, the acronym PERMA is an important message as it stands for positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment. Although coined by Marty Seligman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, it is a way of life for Dr. Michael Mantell and his wife Paula, who live in El Cajon and share an office in La Mesa near Grossmont Center.
As Mantell says, “It is important in life to create positive emotion in every situation and be engaged or in the flow of whatever you are doing. Relationships are also valuable as is finding meaning in every moment and doing the best you can to accomplish and reach your goals.”
June 27, 2014 (El Cajon) - From student body president at Grossmont College during the 1960s to his fundraising efforts on behalf of students over the past 10 years, Ernest Ewin is the gift to East County’s community colleges that keeps on giving.
June 28, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The Grossmont Healthcare District, an East County public agency, is accepting applications to fill a vacant seat on its board of directors.
By Miriam Raftery
Photo, right: La Jolla Cove, by W. Jason Situ
June 25, 2014 (La Mesa)— When an out-of-control truck smashed through the picture window of her gallery on La Mesa Boulevard back on June 2, artist Shannon O’Dunn kept it all in perspective.
Now she’s hosting a grand reopening at O’Dunn Fine Art, 8325 La Mesa Boulevard, inviting the community to share in champaign, chocolates, live music, and some fine new works of art that she has acquired since the unexpected closure. The event will be held on Friday, June 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. “Come celebrate a new chapter in fine art for East County,” says O’Dunn. “We would love to see you here!"
LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: HOT LAND USES ISSUES IMPACTING EAST COUNTY ARE AMONG AGENDA ITEMS THIS WEEK
By Miriam Raftery
June 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Here are highlights of important issues on the agenda this week impacting San Diego's unincorporated areas as well as residents in the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Santee.
The San Diego Board of Supervisors meets on Tuesday and Wednesday this week with many important items slated to be heard. On Tuesday, Supervisors will deliberate the county budget and a joint powers agreement with Caltrans for the Next Generation regional communications system and more.
On Wednesday, supervisors will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to the Forest Conservation Initiative Lands General Plan amendment. This is a controversial issue that will determine what sort of development will be allowed on properties in the vicinity of Cleveland National Forest in East County.
July 12, 2014 (La Mesa) – Polonia United invites the public to attend a charity event to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital. The benefit begins at 6 p.m. with a reception followed by a live music concert by artist Ivan Quiceno from 7-9 p.m. as well as a silent auction. The event costs $25 per person and will be held at 4518 Mayapan Drive in La Mesa, CA 91941.
June 19, 2014 (La Mesa)—La Mesa Village Merchants Association invites you to step back in time each Thursday night from 5 p.m. starting June 19 through August 28. The Car Show happens along La Mesa Blvd between Acacia and Fourth Streets, in the heart of La Mesa Village.
Six trophies are awarded each night: four to cars, one to a motorcycle, and the La Mesa Police Department’s Police Officer’s Choice Award. Cruising is encouraged!
By Janis Russell; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report
June 18, 2014 (La Mesa)- An overflow crowd filled Council Chambers and spilled outside at last night’s La Mesa Planning Commission meeting on the controversial Park Station project, a multi-use development proposed at Baltimore and Nebo Drive. Kitzman, the developer, has scaled down original plans from 18 stories to 11, still well over double the height limit for the area. The new plan also eliminates a park and makes other changes.
Testimony ran on for over to four hours, with 23 speakers opposed and 26 in favor (most from outside La Mesa). The evening ended with a shocker, when Lenny Guccione, business manager for the American Legion – the project’s co-applicant-- criticized the project as “too big” for the neighborhood, then abruptly announced withdrawal of the American Legion’s support and walked out.
The announcement stunned planners and project backers. A recess was swiftly called, after which Sherman Harmer with Urban Housing Partners admitted the American Legion’s withdrawal came as a “total shock” to the applicant.
The Planning Commission voted 7-0 to close the public hearing and end public input on the project. Following internal discussion and staff input, a new meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, July 16 at 7 p.m.
June 17, 2014 (La Mesa)—Jorge Alberto-Rocha Osuna, 26, is on life support with life-threatening injuries after a bizarre confrontation that began in the drive-in lane at McDonald’s, then ended in a vehicle intentionally striking the victim and pinning him against a building at a residence in the 3600 block of Avocado Village Court. Both locations are in unincorporated portions of La Mesa.
June 16, 2014 (La Mesa) -- On Wednesday, June 18 the La Mesa Planning Commission will hear a request for a proposed “Park Station Specific Plan” and “Final Environmental Impact Report,” a conceptual plan for a 5.23 acre project in the Village which could include commercial and retail space, as well as 416 residential units with an option for a 500 room hotel in lieu of the residential units.
The developer is requesting the properties be removed from the city’s Village Specific Plan and given its own proposed plan, to be called the Park Station Specific Plan.
While scaled down from the original proposal, the current iteration still proposes double the density, up to a little more than double the height limit, and to cut the residential parking by half compared to current requirements as part of the Village Specific Plan.
Source: Helix Water District
June 14, 2014 (La Mesa)--Helix Water District’s board of directors on Tuesday approved a preliminary budget for fiscal year 2014-15 that calls for a rate increase of 4.5 percent for the average domestic-class customer. The increase amounts to $5.93 on the average bimonthly bill—well below the anticipated 6.2 percent or $8.23 increase that was approved last year as part of a two-year rate notice in accordance with requirements of Proposition 218.
June 9, 2014 (La Mesa)-- Volunteer worship leaders at Journey Community Church in La Mesa have been teaching students at La Mesa Middle School to play instruments and create their own bands in what is called “Rock University.” The after-school program was instituted three years ago as school funding dried up for music classes in the schools. The music team at Journey – all accomplished musicians – decided to fill in the gap and give the free lessons to students who have never experienced playing music. This event is the recital/concert for nearly 20 students who have gone through Rock University this past school year and takes place Saturday, June 14, 2014 at Journey Community Church.
June 14, 2014 (La Mesa)--If you’ve ever wished that you could play football one more time, you’re wish has been granted. Alumni football is coming to La Mesa. Gridiron Alumni is planning several full contact alumni football games. Gridiron Alumni travels the nation pitting old football rivals against each other one more time. Hundreds of players and thousands of fans swarmed stadiums to watch their hometown heroes strap it on one more time. Gridiron Alumni is targeting teams like Grossmont, Foothills Christian, Mount Miguel, and many others. Players from the local area are invited to register and play. The first 40 players on each team get to play. The team that gets 30 people registered first gets home field advantage.