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.
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.
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?
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.”
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.
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 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!"
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.
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.
Suspect may have approached children in San Diego, too, authorities warn
May 30, 2014 (La Mesa)--La Mesa Police seek public help to locate a man who approached two girls, ages 11 and 12, in a vehicle and asked them inappropriate questions on Friday, May 23 between 4 and 5 p.m. The girls were walking in the 6000 block of Bob Street when approached by the man, who sped off northbound.
The suspect has been described as a White male in his early 30’s. He has brown wavy hair, a mustache and goatee. He was wearing black framed eye glasses with clear lenses. He was well dressed and possibly has an earring in one ear. The suspect vehicle is described as a gold, silver, or grey older model four door sedan with beige interior.
May 29, 2014 (La Mesa) -- The City of La Mesa hosts its annual Flag Day parade on Saturday, May 31st in the downtown village. The festivities kick off at 9:00 a.m., with pre-parade concerts by La Mesa Middle and Parkway Middle Schools. At 10:00 a.m. the parade led by the United States 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band starts through the downtown La Mesa Village. Enjoy this year’s Grand Marshal celebration of the Ford Mustang 50th anniversary.View floats, military vehicles, active and retired war heroes, equestrian units, service clubs, and youth groups. This year the City of La Mesa will also have the First Class Petty Officers Association from Tactical Training Group Pacific carry a community Living Flag to conclude the parade.
Spectators are encouraged to dress in patriotic attire and cheer on the participants in this annual parade. After the parade, join the La Mesa’s Human Relations Advisory Commission for ice cream, see classic and new Mustang cars, and talk to the car owners at Palm Avenue and La Mesa Boulevard.
May 17, 2014 (La Mesa) – A Kaiser Hospital nurse who rescued a baby and helped save the driver of a burning car in La Mesa has been honored for her actions at the Burn Institute’s Spirit of Courage Awards ceremony held on May 15th.
May 14, 2014 (La Mesa) - Applications are now being accepted for positions on the City’s boards, commissions, and committees. The deadline for submission of applications is 5:30 p.m., Thursday, June 5, 2014, in the City Clerk’s office at La Mesa City Hall, 8130 Allison Avenue. Applications may be obtained at City Hall or by accessing the City of La Mesa website, www.cityoflamesa.com.
Update May 15, 2014: by a 4 to 1 vote, with Mayor Art Madrid opposed, Council voted to move forward with this proposal, with voters having the ultimate decision on a future ballot measure to make the City Clerk an appointed position.
May 12, 2014 (La Mesa) -- On Thursday, May 13 the La Mesa City Council will discuss whether to place an item on the November election ballot to change the City Clerk position from one that is elected to a staff position that would be appointed.
Citing the increasing complexity of the position, Council Members Ernie Ewin and Ruth Sterling wrote, “City Clerk responsibilities require professional skills and expertise in areas such as election law, records management and conflict of interest regulations.”
Among other things, the Clerks Office must have a thorough knowledge of election procedures and the public notification requirements of the Brown Act.
$12,500 NEA Arts Work Grant will bring music to at risk Communities
May 10, 2014 (La Mesa)--The National Endowment for the Arts recently awarded SDSU’s Heartpower Performances a $12,500 Art Works Grant to fund its unique combination of music performances, classes and clinics for at-risk audiences throughout Southern California.
May 9, 2014 (La Mesa)—Meet local authors and artists from 9 .a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, May 10 at the La Mesa Civic Center, 8174 Allison Avenue). This free, fun and informative "Authors and Artists" event supports arts and literature in La Mesa.
The event also includes special presentations, notably by Richard Lederer, renowned wordsmith from public radio and the Union-Tribune, speaking on “The Writing Life.”
May 5, 2014 (La Mesa)- At a Proposition H executive briefing held on April 25 by Grossmont Hospital, community leaders in San Diego and East County showed up to learn more about the measure, which will be on the upcoming June ballot. The measure seeks to extend Grossmont Healthcare District’s leae agreement with Sharp Healthcare at Grossmont Hospital for 30 years, until 2051.
May 3, 2014 (La Mesa) -- Today from 11 a.m to 5 p.m., Johnny B's restaurant in La Mesa will donate 10 percent of proceeds to benefit a new pocket park project called the "Lookout" planned in La Mesa's downtown vlllage. The restaurant owner, John Bedlion, wlil also match the amount raised today. Drawings will also be held, along with a live auction.
“TheLookout” at Legacy Park will become a permanent piece of art that will honor the City’s Centennial celebration. Located at the convergence of La Mesa Boulevard (known as Lookout Avenue until 1940), Allison Avenue, and 4th Street; The Lookout will serve a traditional gazebo function – as a gathering place for social interaction. Center city gazebos have historically occupied a special place in the heart of communities; this one will be no different.