La Mesa

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR HALLOWEEN EVE MASQUERADE PARTY OCT. 30!

 

October 21, 2016 (La Mesa) -- East County Magazine invites you to our Halloween Eve Masquerade Party! 

On Sunday, October 30, 4-8 p.m. our party at a private home in La Mesa will be the “happening haunt” complete with Halloween Eve feast,  costume contest, live music with the "Bad Randies" string band & Paul Nichols' variety music (Monster Mash and more!) local ghost stories, a trove of prizes, spooky surprises, & a frightfully good time!

This party is open to our weekly newsletter subscribers, our wildfire alert subscribers, and invited guests age 21 and up.  Subscriptions are free!  Click here to subscribe

Cost: $12 and bring a dish to share  ($10 for Editor’s Club members/sustaining donors)

MISSING LA MESA WOMAN AT RISK MAY HAVE DRIVEN TO RURAL EAST COUNTY

 

Update:  KNSD reports Teresa Hudson has been found and is safe.  Authorities have not provided further details.

East County News Service

October 23, 2016 (La Mesa)—The family of missing La Mesa woman Teresa Hudson is pleading for help to find her.  She left home near  Dallas  Street and Lubbock  Avenue Saturday morning shortly after midnight and is believed to have driven her daughter’s car, a gray Kia Sportage, license plate 6RQX374.  She suffers from a psychiatric condition and left without her medication,  money, cell phone, food, or water.  She was last seen wearing a pink nightgown.

On Sunday, her husband, John, asked people to check back roads in East County. “We’ll be looking in the Dehesa area ourselves,  believing she went for a joy ride and got lost and ran out of gas with no way to get help.” The car was low on gas, the family has indicated.

LA MESA COUNCIL CANDIDATES SET FOR FORUM TUESDAY, OCT. 18

 

East County News Service

October 15, 2016 (La Mesa)—Three candidates vying for two seats on the  La Mesa City Council are slated to appear in a forum  on Tuesday, October 18 at 6 p.m.in the La Mesa Police Department’s community room.

This forum will be sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the  American Association of University Women.

Candidates are incumbents Ruth Sterling and Kristine Alessio,  as well as challenger Colin Parent.

TONIGHT: JOIN US AT THE HILLS! $2500 IN PRIZES--CHARGERS AUTOGRAPHED FOOTBALL, GULLS & AZTECS TICKETS, PADRES GEAR & MORE--BENEFITS OUR LOCAL SPORTS & NEWS REPORTING

October 12, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Bring you friends, family or favorite team to  East County Magazine's  "Good Sports" night out at the Hills Local Pub in La Mesa (8753 La Mesa Blvd.,  near Jackson Drive and La  Mesa Blvd) this Wednesday, October 12 between 5 p.m. and  9 p.m.!  There's no cover charge, but the Hills wil donate a percentage of all food and drinks sold to benefit East CountyMagazine and our coverage of  East County youth and high school sports, as well as Aztecs and pro sports.

JOIN US OCT. 12 AT THE HILLS PUB IN LA MESA! BENEFIT SUPPORTS EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE & OUR COVERAGE OF LOCAL YOUTH SPORTS

 

 

 

 

Win autographed Chargers and Padres memorabilia,Aztecs tickets, a pizza party package and much more!

October 7, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Bring you friends, family or favorite team to  East County Magazine's  "Good Sports" night out at the Hills Local Pub in La Mesa (8753 La Mesa Blvd.,  near Jackson Drive and La  Mesa Blvd) this Wednesday, October 12 between 5 p.m. and  9 p.m.!  There's no cover charge, but the Hills wil donate a percentage of all food and drinks sold to benefit East CountyMagazine and our coverage of  East County youth and high school sports, as well as Aztecs and pro sports.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER TO RECONSIDER ITS ENDORSEMENT OF MARIJUANA INITIATIVES IN LA MESA AND LEMON GROVE AFTER BACKLASH FROM CIVIC LEADERS

 

Update Oct. 12: The Chamber has rescinded its endorsement of Measures U and V after receiving more information from the cities of La Mesa and  Lemon Grove.

By Miriam Raftery

October 6, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) –Community leaders in La Mesa and Lemon Grove are reacting with shock and outrage over endorsement by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce (ECC) of Measures U and V, which would legalize medical marijuana dispensaries in the two cities.   Voters in both La Mesa and Lemon Grove rejected similar ballot measures in the last general election.

“The City of Lemon Grove is a dues-paying member of the ECC. Our tax dollars pay for those dues,” states an e-mail sent to  Lemon Grove’s mayor and others  from  Helen Ofield,  President of the Lemon Grove  Historical Society, and her husband, Jack.  “We urge the Lemon Grove City Council and City Manager to oppose the ECC’s action in the strongest possible terms and to cancel its membership in the ECC.”

BIG CROWD TURNS OUT FOR OPENING NIGHT FESTIVITIES AT LA MESA'S OKTOBERFEST

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 1, 2016 (La Mesa)-- Crowds thronged the streets of  La Mesa last night for the opening of Oktoberfest , savoring an array of international foods,  Bavarian beer, root beer, arts and crafts vendors, and dancing the night away in the beer garden to the strains of a German band.

View video of La Mesans and visitors partying hearty:

 

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: 

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.

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.)

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR NEWSLETTER?

 

September 2, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Our latest newsletter just came out --with all the hottest news and events impacting you in East County all in one single-page newsletter.  You can view the latest edition here.   

To get a free subscription to our weekly newsletter-- and also the option to get free wildfire and emergency alerts, click here

Tell your friends and family!

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:

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: 

FILING DEADLINE EXTENDED TO WEDNESDAY IN THESE RACES WHERE INCUMBENTS ARE NOT SEEKING REELECTION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 16,2016  (San Diego’s East County)—The deadline for candidates to file, submit signatures and run for local offices has been extended to 5 p.m. tomorrow in  races where incumbents  did not file ot seek reelection. This includes key city council and mayor races in East County, as well as many school boards and special districts such as fire and water boards,as well as community planning boards.

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.

HELIX WATER BOARD VOTES 3-2 FOR 10.3% RATE HIKE WITHOUT PUBLIC HEARING: CANDIDATES BLAST INCUMBENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 3, 2016 (La Mesa) – With scarcely any public notice, Helix Water Board passed a 10.3% rate hike by a slim one-vote majority. The stated reason was because water use has dropped due to customers conserving water--just as the district asked them to do.

Directors Kathleen Coates-Hedberg and Joel Scalziti voted against jacking up rates, while directors John Linden, Chuck Muse and Deana Verbeke voted for the rate hike over public objections.

JOIN US SUNDAY! ROARING ‘20S PARTY JULY 31 AT SAN PASQUAL WINE BAR IN LA MESA. COME PARTY WITH THE PRESS!

 

 

 

 

July 29, 2016 (La Mesa) – You’re invited to celebrate the era of Great Gatsby, flappers, gangsters, silent film stars, ragtime and jazz. Join East County Magazine at a benefit to support our nonprofit community reporting on Sunday, July 31 from 4-7 p.m. at the San Pasqual Wine Bar (8364 La Mesa Blvd.) in La Mesa--all to benefit our nonprofit reporting and wildfire alerts through East County Magazine.

Festivities include wine tasting, sparkling drinks  and Italian dinner plus dessert,  “All That Jazz” musical performance highlights,  live period music by the Classics, Douglas Fairbanks and Laurel & Hardy film clips, games, opportunity drawings and silent auction, games, surprises and more!

Space is very limited! RSVP by July 30 for discount rates and your “speakeasy” password!  619-698-7617 or editor@eastcountymagazine.org 

  • Live“All That Jazz” preview by singers/dancers from Visionary Dance Theatre plus  Laurel & Hardy and Douglas Fairbanks film clips;
  • Live music by the Classics
  • Toast the Prohibition Era with sparkling “bubbly” drinks ; relish a ‘20s style feast fit for Gatsby & guests, wine tasting, dinner & desserts by Tiramisu Trattoria, Swami’s & Little Roma that Al Capone would relish!
  • ‘Cocktail attire or 20s attire encouraged (flappers, film stars, gangsters, robber barons, etc.)
  • Opportunity drawings and silent auction; prizes and surprises!  Win a night on the town including steak dinner & “Chicago” theater tickets, Joe’s Crab Shack dinners, The Hills Pub and Lunchbox Cafe gift certificates, wine baskets, Hawaiian pearls, turquoise and coral jewelry, antiques, collectibles, elegant items, CDs, Julian Old Time Photos, T-shirts and more.

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP URGES LA MESA RESIDENTS TO ATTEND MEETINGS ON CITY’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN AUG. 15 AND SEPT. 19

 

Public input also sought Aug. 3 on community choice alternative for electric power

East County News Service

July 30, 2016 (La Mesa)—The City of La Mesa seeks public input on its draft Climate Action Plan.  Two public meetings are planned with the City’s Enviornmental Sustainability Commission at City Hall (8130 Allison Ave.) at 7 p.m. on August 16 and September 19. 

“These are great opportunities for you and your neighbors to help shape the Plan that will guide the City of La Mesa to a clean energy future over the next 20 years,”says Angela Deegan at San Diego 350.org,a nonprofit environmental group dedicated to stopping climate change…If you live in La Mesa, we need you to help provide input to ensure La Mesa adopts a strong, enforceable Climate Action Plan which includes a goal of 100% clean energy and which incentivizes renewable energy and local green jobs.”

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN HOSTS FREE CUSTOMER APPRECIATON DAY JULY 31 FOR HELIX WATER AND SWEETWATER AUTHORITY RATEPAYERS

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (Rancho San Diego) – The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College will host a free Customer Appreciation Day for Helix Water and Sweetwater Authority customers on Sunday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Discover different varieties of drought-tolerant plants, learn how to "Toss the Turf" and get inspiration on how to incorporate water-wise gardening into your own garden. Plus you can enjoy free activities including docent-led garden tours, tips on butterfly gardening, veggie growing,soils and native habitat, meet Ms. Smarty-Plants, watch a butterfly release, savor free shaved ice, and get discounts on gift shop items.  See full schedule of events below.

GROCERY STORE BOYCOTT BEGINS: STORES IN LA MESA AND SPRING VALLEY AMONG THOSE TARGETED

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (San Diego)—A boycott of six Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons grocery store locations is underway starting this week, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union in San Diego has announced.  If no contract agreement is reached by August 8th,the union has voted to call a strike against all of the stores’ locations throughout southern California.

The boycott locations include two in East County:  the Vons store at 8011 University Ave. in La Mesa and the Albertsons at 9831 Campo Road in Spring Valley.

CANDIDATES CAN NOW FILE TO RUN FOR GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEE ELECTIONS; FILING DEADLINE IS AUGUST 12

No filing fees, ballot statement costs  $315 to $360 in smaller trustee districts

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County ) – For the first time, the Grossmont Union High School District will hold elections in November for individual trustee districts.   There are no filing fees, though modest fees are charged for candidates to publish ballot statements. With smaller districts, the cost for ballot statements is far less than in the past --just $315 in Trustee Area 1 (Lemon Grove/Spring Valley/La Prensa),which is an open seat, and $360 in Trustee Area 2 (La Mesa/Casa de Oro/Mt. Helix and part of Rancho San Diego) currently represented by Jim Stieringer.

The candidate filing period opened July 18 and closes August 12th.  August 12 is also the deadline for candidates to submit ballot statements, which for the first time will be accepted electronically.

HEALTH CARE LIBRARY IN LA MESA WILL HIGHLIGHT MEALS ON WHEELS PROGRAM FOR ELDERLY

 

East County News Service

 

July 20, 2016 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District’s Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, will host “More than a Meal,” a free presentation about Meals on Wheels San Diego County, from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 27. 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. Speaking will be Brian Midkiff, community outreach coordinator with Meals on Wheels San Diego County, a community nonprofit organization. 

MASS CASUALTY/ACTIVE SHOOTER TRAINING IN LA MESA THIS THURSDAY

 

Source: Heartland Fire Press Release

July 18, 2016 (La Mesa) - On Thursday July 21st at 9:45 a.m., Heartland Fire & Rescue in partnership with La Mesa Police Department and allied agencies, will be conducting our annual Mass Casualty Incident training. The training will include an Active Shooter element. This training allows Law Enforcement and Fire Department personnel to work together in the event of an actual active shooter, like what we have recently seen in Dallas, Texas and San Bernardino, California. To make this training more realistic, we will have live actors in moulage, simulating injuries that we would encounter in this type of emergency.

READER'S EDITORIAL: SMOKE-FREE OUTDOOR DINING--GOOD FOR HEALTH, GOOD FOR BUSINESS

Click here for a list of La Mesa smoke-free restaurants.

By Dani Womack

Pastor Dani Womack is the Community Life Pastor at Crosspointe Life Church and Chairperson of the La Mesa Collaborative.

July 11, 2016 (La Mesa)--Summer is finally here and what better place to enjoy being outdoors than San Diego County! La Mesa has invested millions to renovate their Downtown Village, putting a priority on outdoor seating in public spaces and local restaurants have joined in by growing their outdoor dining patios. Many cities throughout San Diego County and the state have passed local laws restricting smoking in outdoor areas such as parks, beaches, farmer’s markets, and outdoor dining patios.

MOUNTAIN LIONS SPOTTED ON MT. HELIX

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 8, 2016 (Mt. Helix) – Two mountain lions have been reported Monday by a homeowner on Mt. Helix.  La Mesa Today sent an alert warning the lions were seen  off Lemon Avenue in the Lake Helix area.  A CBS 8 news story ran two photos taken by the homeowner in unincorporated  La Mesa and footage of the location outside the home. 

The homeowner, who asked to stay anonymous, said the lions were on a hillside above a pool where her children were playing and two large dogs were present.

A long-time La Mesa resident  posted on a residents’ online forum that through the years he has previously seen mountain lions in the Boulder Hills area of La Mesa near Chevy Chase, above the La Mesa Village. 

HOPE FOR IRAQI CHRISTIANS SEEKS MATCHING FUNDS BY JULY 4 TO HELP 200 REFUGEE FAMILIES: ADOPT A FAMILY FOR JUST $1 A DAY

 

East County News Service

June 25, 2016 (La Mesa)—Hope for Iraqi Christians, a La Mesa based organization that assists Iraqi Christian refugees fleeing genocide in the Middle East, has received a pledge from the  Anahid Oram Memorial Refugee Fund to match $10,000 in monthly donations, sponsoring 100 families per month, but only if they can secure sponsors for at least 100 families by July 4. If that goal is met, the matching funds will mean that 200 families will be helped.

You can sponsor a family for as little as  $1 a day. Each donor will receive information on the family adopted.  Smaller donations will be pooled to help reach the total. Or consider adopting multiple families.

LA MESA GREAT-GRANDMOTHER WINS CAR ON PRICE IS RIGHT

East County News Service

Video credit:  Fremantle Media North America

June 27, 2016 (La Mesa) – Ellen "Gigi" Draper from La Mesa won a car on the Price is Right earlier this month. She and her husband, Robert “Bob” Draper went to Los Angeles the night before in order to be first in line in hopes of being picked by host Drew Carey.

“I had on an orange shirt and it says, `HI Drew, I need help. Married 58 years to Pop Pop, Mother of four boys and 1 girl, grandmother of 18 and great-grandmother of 15. I need a vacation – Gigi.”

HIT AND RUN DRIVER SOUGHT IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

June 24, 2016 (La Mesa) — California Highway Patrol seeks public help to locate a black pickup truck with a male driver that struck and injured a motorcyclist early this morning.  The accident occurred at 3:12 a.m. on westbound Interstate 8 just west of the Jackson Drive exit, said CHP Officer Kevin Pearlstein.

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