La Mesa

PROST! THE 44TH ANNUAL LA MESA OKTOBERFEST OFFERS EXPANDED FESTIVAL GROUNDS, NEW OFFERINGS AND LONG-LOVED FAVORITES SEPT. 29-OCT. 1

 

East County News Service

August 14, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Celebrating its 44th year in 2017, the popular La Mesa Oktoberfest is going back to its roots to bring guests more entertainment, more vendors, more beer, and more "Prost!” (cheers!) than ever before, organizers have announced. Under the direction of the La Mesa Village Association, this year’s fest will showcase a revitalized and elevated experience for all ages on Friday, September 29th through Sunday, October 1st. Attractions include many vendors featuring craftwork and knick-knacks, foods ranging from scrumptious sausages to food truck favorites, live entertainment, beer and now, cocktails. 

THE HILLS’ CRAWFISH COOKOUT AUG. 26

 

Broil & brewfest will benefit La Mesa Police Department Peer Support Fundraiser

August 12, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Looking for a true southern cookout without having to travel to New Orleans? The Hills Pub has just the summer broil and brew event for you!

On Saturday, August 26, La Mesa’s The Hills Local Pub will be hosting its first annual neighborhood Crawfish Broil in conjunction with local breweries. From 2- 6 p.m., foodie enthusiasts can enjoy hearty portions of flavorful crawfish prepared and prepped in true bayou-style. The Hills will also have a smoker with slow-cooked sausages, and energetic live music will keep the party going all night long.

TRUCK CRASH ON 125 KILLED MOTHER-DAUGHTER FROM RAMONA AND INJURED IRAQI IMMGRANT FAMILY FROM SANTEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Scene photos credit:  Lynn Spicer

Photo: Kristina Andarus, 6, of Santee suffered a spinal injury in the crash. Her mother, Aneta Andarus, has asked for prayers.

August 3, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – The two people killed yesterday after a big-rig lost control on State Route 125 were a mother and daughter from Ramona:  Nancy Jeanette Bauerlein, 57,  and Jennifer Campbell, 29. Campbell leaves behind a husband and two children.  Bauerlein had a husband, five children and 10 grandchildren.

The crash has also left 6-year-old Kristina Andarus of Santee with severe spinal injuries.  She has undergone surgery but may be left paralyzed, her mother told 10 News. Her mother, Aneta Andarus, an Iraqi immigrant and owner of Threading by Aneta in Clairemont, has asked for prayers.

BURGLAR PEPPER SPRAYS DOGS AT LA MESA HOME

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2017 (La Mesa) – Thieves who entered a La Mesa home through a dog door attacked two small dogs with pepper spray. The intruders ransacked the home, stealing jewelry from a bedroom.

Jake Hutchison told 10 News that his wife came home to the family residence near Bancroft Drive and discovered orange marks on the fur of their Chihuahua Terrier mix dogs, along with the disarray.

DOUBLE FATALITY AT STATE ROUTE 125 AND I-8: LONG-TERM CLOSURE IN EFFECT

 

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

August 2, 2017 (La Mesa) – A long-term highway closure is in effect at State Route 125 and I-8 in La Mesa, where an out-of-control big rig truck struck multiple vehicles, killing two women in a green Chevy car and injuring six other people, including two children, ages 6 and 3.

The children were in an SUV that was struck.  The 6-year-old was not in a carseat suffered major injuries including a broken neck, KNSD reports. She was reportedly not breathing when emergency responders arrived but she was resusciated.The children were taken to Rady Children's Hospital.

According to the CHP site, the big rig on southbond  125 struck a center divider, then careened into northbound lanes, striking multiple vehicles before coming to rest, jackknifed across the freeway. 

LA MESA MEETING AUG. 9 ON FUTURE OF MACARTHUR PARK, EX- GOLF SITE

 

East County News Service

August 1, 2017 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Community Services Commission will host a public meeting on August 9 at 6 p.m. at La Mesa Community Center (4975 Memorial Drive) to get community input on proposed uses for MacArthur Park land, including the former Sun Valley Golf Course.

LA MESA BOY, 2, DROWNS IN PARENT’S POOL

 

By Miriam Raftery 

August 1, 2017 (La Mesa) – A two-year-old boy has drowned in a swimming pool at his family’s home in the 7200 block of Princeton Avenue in La Mesa.  According to La Mesa Police, it is believed that the boy’s parents put him to bed last night in his bedroom, but somehow the toddler got outside during the night or early morning through a rear sliding glass door that the parents believed was locked.

“INSPIRED TO RUN”: SUSAN DAVIS, SCOTT PETERS, LORENA GONZALEZ FLETCHER, TODD GLORIA & OTHERS TO SPEAK AUG. 2 AT LA MESA'S DEMOCRATIC CLUB

 

East County News Service

July 27, 2017 (La Mesa) –A high-powered panel of local political heavy-weights will discuss what inspired them to run and why others should consider entering the political arena at the Wednesday August 2 meeting of La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club (7 p.m. in the La Mesa Community Center (4975 Memorial Dr, La Mesa).

This panel includes Congressional members Susan Davis and Scott Peters, Assembly members Todd Gloria and Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, Helix Water Board Director Mark Gracyk, Executive director of The Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI), Dr. Kyra Greene.   (Photo, left)

Democrats outnumber Republicans in La Mesa, Lemon Grove and San Diego, yet there are scores of seats on local boards and jurisdictions where Republicans run unopposed every election cycle.  Now, Democrats are taking their “Resist Trump” agenda to the grass-roots by enticing new leaders to run for office.and inspiring those on the sidelines to get involved. 

LA MESA COUNCIL TO CONSIDER LITTLE FLOWERS APARTMENT PROJECT AUGUST 8: RESIDENTS VOICE PARKING CONCERNS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  Current structure on site, from city documents

July 26, 2017 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa City Council, at its August 8 meeting at 6 p.m. will consider the a proposal to build 130 apartment units on the former Little Flowers Haven convent site at 8585 la Mesa Blvd.  The key controversy centers around parking concerns raised by nearby residents.

Silvergate Development has taken advantage of a state law meant to encourage affordable housing.  In exchange for dedicated 10 percent of the project to units that fit the state’s definition of affordable housing for 55 years, the developer would be allowed to provide 25 percent fewer parking spaces than La Mesa normally requires. 

On a local community online forum, numerous residents have voiced concerns and at times, outrage.

SHOTGUN-WIELDING ROBBERY SUSPECT AND DRIVER SOUGHT



 

By Miriam Raftery

July 20, 2017 (La Mesa) – Authorities are seeking public help to locate a masked, gun-wielding suspect seen exiting Conroy’s Flower Shop  on Jackson Drive in la Mesa at 10:50 a.m.  Passerbys called police and reported eseing the suspect get into a Hyundai Elantra, license 7LNX477, driven by another suspect. They are considered armed and dangerous.

A second witness took a photo of the black Hyundai and its license plate.  Police arrived and confirmed that a robbery had occurred. Minutes later, La Mesa Police spotted the vehicle traveling westbound on I-8 in the College area.

SHOULD LA MESA GRANT SANCTUARY CITY STATUS—FOR FERRETS?

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 18, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Not long ago, La Mesa overturned a Prohibition-Era ban on wine making. Now LegalizeFerrets.org, a La Mesa-based group that claims to have 3,000 members, is  asking La Mesa’s City Council to end another long-time ban by declaring  sanctuary city status for pet ferrets.

Who knew that La Mesa was a hotbed of underground ferret activity?  

Now, furtive ferret owners may have found a champion in Councilwoman Kristine Alessio, who raises Bengal cats, has served as Legislative Director for The International Cat Association and as a volunteer for the City's Pet Therapy Program.

LA MESA COUNCILMAN PARENT NAMED INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CIRCULATE SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery

July 18, 2017 (La Mesa) – Circulate San Diego has announced that Colin Parent will serve as the organization’s interim executive director, filling the void left by departure of former executive director Jim Stone, who is joining the Elementary Institute of Science.. Parent also serves as an elected member of the La Mesa City Council.

Circulate San Diego is a nonprofit organization that  works to promote public transportation, active transportation (walking and bicycling), and accommodate sustainable growth.

APTS PROPOSED ON LITTLE FLOWER HAVEN CONVENT SITE SET FOR HEARINGS IN LA MESA: DEVELOPER TO ADD AFFORDABLE HOUSING AS SWAP FOR FEWER PARKING SPACES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Little Flower Haven circa 1954, via Postcards.com on City of La Mesa's website.

July 6, 2017 (La Mesa) – Two public meetings are set for Silvergate Development’s proposal to redevelop the former Little Flower Haven convent and nonprofit home for the elderly at 8585 La Mesa Blvd.  The Planning Commission will hold an informational-only meeting and environmental assessment on Wednesday, July 19 at 7 p.m.  The City Council will hold a hearing on the project on August 8th at 6 p.m.  Both meetings will be in Council Chambers at 8130 Alison Ave., La Mesa.

Plans submitted called for keeping the historic 1939 Spanish Mission style front structure and bell tower, which is eligible for listing in the California Register of Historical Resources. The property, recently sold, was formerly home to the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus.   The sisters have relocated to Texas, the Reader reported in March. 

CHA CHA’S SNAKE PIT CHALLENGE TO HELP THE HUNGRY: JUNE 24 AT GROSSMONT CENTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 22, 2017 (La Mesa)  -- Radio personality Cha Cha from106.7 FM will scale new heights –and slither in new depths—all to help the hungry. She’ll be broadcasting from inside an exotic jungle snake pit  at Grossmont Center’s courtyard on Saturday, June 24 starting at noon – and she won’t come out until at least 1,057 canned goods or dry food items are donated to help the Jacob and Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

You’re invited to face your fears and help fight hunger in our community. Bring canned or dry food items and hold a snake from the San Diego Reptile Association.  Post a picture of you overcoming your fears on Twitter or Instagram, and challenge others to do it too! Use the hashtag #SnakePitChallenge and tag 105.7 MAX FM. (Or skip the snake and just donate.)

HELIX WATER TO HOLD SPECIAL MEETING ON BUDGET AND RATES TONIGHT

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 13, 2017 (La Mesa)—Helix Water District’s board will hold a special meeting tonight at 6 p.m. at the district headquarters (7811 University Avenue, La Mesa) to consider the proposed fiscal year 2017-18 budget of $88,282,730. Click to view the complete board package.  Scroll down for details on a proposed rate increase, most due to a hike in rates from the County Water Authority:

CLIMATE CHANGE AND ECONOMICS PROFESSORS SPEAK TONIGHT IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

June 7, 2017 (La Mesa) --  Tonight’s meeting of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club will feature a veritable who’s who of leading San Diego experts in the political ramifications of executive orders dealing with our economy and the environment.   Social hour starts at 6:30 with the program at 7 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center.

Speakers included renowned climate scientist Jeff Severinghaus, Professor of Geosciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who has voiced concern at the drastic measures taken by the Trump Administration in rolling back recently enacted advances to combat global warming.

LA MESA RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR VOLUNTEER POSITIONS ON CITY BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

 

Source: City of La Mesa

May 12, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Applications are now being accepted for volunteer positions on the City’s boards and commissions. The deadline for submission of applications is 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 22, 2017, in the City Clerk’s office at La Mesa City Hall, 8130 Allison Avenue. Applications may be obtained at City Hall or from the City of La Mesa website, www.cityoflamesa.us.

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER TO SHARE EVIDENCE OF RUSSIAN ELECTION HACKING MAY 3 IN LA MESA

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 25, 2017 (La Mesa) – Was the 2016 presidential election hijacked by Russian hackers?  San Diego investigative reporter John Mattes believes so. The award-winning journalists’ disturbing findings have been published on numerous news sites. On Wednesday, May 3rd, he’ll be presenting his evidence at a meeting of the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club at 7 p.m. in the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa.

LA MESA CHAMBER WELCOMES FARMER'S TABLE TO COMMUNITY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson

 

April 22, 2017 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on Wednesday to celebrate the opening of Farmer's Table,  La Mesa's hot new dining spot. 

The restuarant specializes in farm-to-fork fresh cuisine, serving up hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners daily.  From a farmer's salad to wood-fired pizzas to a black and white tagliolini brimming with shellfish,  you'll find plenty to satisfy your appetite here.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HOW THE CITY OF LA MESA GAMES THE SYSTEM—PART 3

 

How the City of La Mesa games the system--even when it is not necessaary

By Joseph Glidden

April 12, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Prop. 218 will make it difficult for La Mesa’s ratepayers to reject the pending sewer rate increase. If the city has its way, it will be impossible.

In order for residents to defeat this proposal, the law requires that 50% (plus one) of the ratepayers submit a written “protest” letter. This is not likely to happen. La Mesans have not rejected a rate increase in recent history. In fact, the last two sewer rate increases have passed with 99.9% of the ratepayers not filing a protest letter. This should have been a red flag at City Hall. It is nearly impossible to get 99.9% of our community to agree on anything, let alone on a sewer rate increase. So how did the city manage such a feat? By gaming the system, of course.

HOW THE CITY OF LA MESA GAMES THE SYSTEM - PART 2



By Joseph Glidden

 

How the City Games the System to Keep Its Residents Uninformed, Unengaged, and Uninspired.

April 11, 2017 (La Mesa)--The Strategic Planning Workshop is arguably the city council’s most important public meeting of the year. Police, Fire and city employees are always well represented, but few residents are in attendance. The city does little to promote civic engagement. If anything, it actively discourages community involvement in the following ways:

HOW THE CITY OF LA MESA GAMES THE SYSTEM—PART 1



 

How the City Games the System Through Sampling Bias

By Joseph Glidden

April 10, 2017 (La Mesa) --At its annual Town Hall Meetings, the City of La Mesa gathers skewed data that is then uses to make important decisions at the Strategic Planning Session held later in the year. While the town hall meetings might give the illusion of civic engagement, the data collected is misleading at best. Once again the City Council is busy with the irrelevant, at the expense of the essential.  

La Mesa has been holding annual town hall meetings for the past 10 years. One on the east side of town and the other on the west. Over the years and at both locations, the concerns voiced by residents have been conspicuously similar. Why would this be so?

APRIL POOLS DAY: APRIL 8 IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

April 7, 2017 (La Mesa) -- April Pools Day, a free event for the whole family, will be held Saturday, April 8th from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the La Mesa Municipal Pool, 5100 Memorial Drive.  The event promotes water safety in preparation for May, which is Drowning Prevention Month.

LIBERAL BILLIONAIRE TOM STEYER ON POLITICAL FUTURE: ‘NOTHING IS OFF THE TABLE’

 

 

Story and photo by Ken Stone

Originally published at Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Tom Steyer speaks at La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

April 6, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Billionaire Tom Steyer gave a stemwinder Wednesday, railing against the “liars and cheaters” of the Trump administration and calling the White House “malevolent, shallow and incompetent.”

Tom Steyer slammed the White House but cautioned against a “Fortress California” mind-set. But a La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club audience didn’t hear what some wanted most from the biggest single donor in the 2016 election.

LA MESA TO GAIN NEW LIBRARY—AND A VIRTUAL CITY HALL

 

 

By Abel Reader

April 1, 2017 (La Mesa) --By a unanimous vote, La Mesa’s City Council has voted to eliminate City Hall and build a state-of-the-art new library in its place, fulfilling a years-long promise to residents.  The project will be paid for by selling off the old police station to a developer who has committed to build affordable housing on the site.

PROPOSALS ROLL IN TO REPLACE SUN VALLEY GOLF COURSE IN LA MESA

 

 

By  O.K. Putter

April 1, 2017 (La Mesa) – Last month, La Mesa City Council announced it would not be renewing a lease with Sun Valley Golf Course near the community center.  The city asked for ideas for alternative uses of the site. 

Today, the city announced that a wide variety of  creative proposals have been submitted.  They include:

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: LOIS KNOWLTON AND BONNIE BARANOFF SPEAK OUT ON HELPING HOMELESS IN LA MESA

 

 

Listen to our interview,  originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM, by clicking the audio link.

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2017 (La Mesa) – This Thursday, La Mesa Conversations will host an event at Johnny B’s Restaurant in La  Mesa from 5:30 to 7 :30 p.m.  on homelessness in La Mesa.  We sat down with Bonnie Baranoff, a steering committee member from La Mesa Conservations, and with Lois Knowlton from the La Mesa First United Methodist Church on signicant progress helping the homeless—and how you can help. 

The church holds regular events to help the homeless get back on their feet, offering clothes for job interviews, haircuts and meals.  The church has long helped homeless people who showed up on their doorstep.  Now, church leaders aim to take that to a higher level by creating La Mesa’s first temporary shelter for homeless people in the church’s basement.

Audio: 

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SPRINGTIME IN HARRY GRIFFEN PARK

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 19, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Wildflowers are popping up all East County over after the winter rains -- including these sunflowers springing forth at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa.

The park, located behind Grossmont High School,  has idyllic paths for strolling  or walking your dogs through areas of native vegetation just starting to blossom.

ST. PAWTRICK’S DAY PHOTO BOOTH AT HARRY GRIFFEN PARK

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2017 (La Mesa)—If you’d like an Irish-themed photo with your dogs,  stop by the first-ever holiday photo booth today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. just outside the dog run, on the grass, at Harry Griffen Park (9950 Milden St.)  in La Mesa .  You’ll find props, clothes and signs to put you and your pups in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit – free of charge, thanks to the nonprofit Canine Corners board.

Pages