By Miriam Raftery
April 17, 2013 (La Mesa) – Community members are invited to support arts programs in local schools on May 2, 2013 from 5-8:30 p.m. when winners of the Golden Artistry Jewelry Design competition will be unveiled at the La Mesa Community Center’s Arbor Room, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa.
Students from the Grossmont Union High School District compete annually in the competition sponsored by Golden Artistry. The program benefits arts programs in GUHSD schools. The winning design will be made into a dazzling piece of jewelry by master goldsmith Terry Whyte. You can vote for the Community’s Choice Award; this year’s theme is “growth.” View finalists: http://goldenartistrydesigncompetition.webstarts.com/
“When I was exposed to metalsmithing, it seemed accidental. I saw a professor silver solder a strip of silver into a ring form, and I knew I had to try to make a ring,” says Whyte. Three weeks after completing his first ring, he recalls, “I was in business. Nearly three years later, I was accepted into an apprenticeship situation with an English goldsmith.”
April 12, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- The cause of today's spot fires along Interstate 8 was accidental, says Heartland Fire spoksman Sonny Saghera. Heartland responded to reports of several small fires along westbound I-8 from West Main Street in El Cajon to Severin Drive in La Meas around 1 p.m. today.
Heartland Fire & Rescue units from La Mesa and El Cajon, assisted by engines from Cal Fire and Santee, were dispatched to contain the four individual fires approximately 100 yards apart from each other. A structure on Murray Drive in La Mesa was briefly threatened, but fire crews aggressively attacked the flames to keep them along the freeway’s shoulder.
March 31, 2013 (La Mesa) – Last Wednesday, La Mesa Police Detective Sean Snow arrested Nikolas Aledam, 29, of San Diego for a series of vehicle burglaries mainly targeted at Ford Rangers. Aledam taken into custody at the courthouse when he showed up for an unrelated court appearance. Police believe he is responsible for over 18 vehicle burglaries in La Mesa and numerous others in the San Diego County area.
FEDERAL SEQUESTRATION CUTS HIT HARD IN LA MESA; CITY ELIMINATES MOST PUBLIC SERVICES FOR ELDERLY AND YOUNG PEOPLE
March 27, 2013 (La Mesa)—The federal government has slashed Community Development Block Grant funding for La Mesa from $800,000 a few years ago down to just $350,000 this year. As a result, the City Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday to completely eliminate funds for all public services funded by CDGB, except for fair housing. The cuts fall largely on programs that help the elderly, poor and disabled.
Funds will be axed for the Alzheimer’s Association, East County YMCA Summer Camp, Meals on Wheels of Greater San Diego, San Diego Youth Services, Elder help, Interfaith Shelter Network, Senior Community Centers, and more.
Mayor Art Madrid called the elimination of public services a “tough decision” necessitated by federal sequestration cuts. Sequestration mandates cuts across the board in nearly all federal agencies as a result of Congress failing to reach agreement on how to reduce federal debt and resolve the federal budget. Democrats sought a combination of revenue increases and budget cuts, while Republicans have blocked such proposals, holding out for cuts-only solutions.
March 28, 2013 (La Mesa) – Harmonica John and Budd Willis will present the 14th annual Spring Harp Fest featuring top harmonica players live at Harry Griffen Park, 9550 Milden Street in La Mesa. Musical concerts will take place on March 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Admission is free, though a suggested $5 donation will benefit the San Diego Blues in the Schools program.
This year’s performers slated include Raphael Harp, Mark of the Blues Abbott, Nick “Chowda” Walsh, Dan “Dirty” Rice, Steve Bulger with 145th Steret, the World Famous Unknonw Player’s Jam, and Billy Watson.
WHAT IS REIKI? SENIORS GROUP AT LA MESA HEALTH CARE LIBRARY TO DISCUSS REIKI NATURAL HEALING WED. MARCH 27
March 25, 2013 (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 on “Reiki: How It Can Help You” from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27. The public is invited to attend, and RSVP is not required. The speaker will be Lucy Olivier, a master teacher and practitioner in Usui Reiki and Karuna Reiki natural healing systems since 1998.
March 25, 2013 (La Mesa)--La Mesa Police Officers responded to a report of a fight and a possible stabbing in the 8100 block of La Mesa Boulevard last night. According to Police, a 29 year-old victim was walking with two friends westbound in the 8200 block of La Mesa Boulevard. Words were exchanged between the victim’s group and a group of five male suspects they encountered on the sidewalk. A fistfight broke out between both groups. During the fight one of the suspects armed himself with a pocket knife and stabbed the victim two times in the upper torso.
By Janis Mork
March 27, 2013 (La Mesa)- At yesterday’s La Mesa City Council meeting, Councilmember Ernie Ewin requested an update on the status of the Park Station project, a proposed 18-story mixed use building.
City manager David Witt asked Bill Chopyk, Community Development Director, to discuss the process.
THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT: SAN PASQUAL WINERY ANNOUNCES LIVE MUSIC, ART AND LITERARY EVENTS FOR APRIL IN LA MESA
March 24, 2013 (La Mesa) – San Pasqual Winery announces a creative series of upcoming events at its tasting room in La Mesa. Each Saturday night, find live entertainment including flamenco fusion, classic guitar, hits from yesterday and today, plus original local music. Other upcoming events include a painting class and a “big read” from a Ray Bradbury sci fi favorite read by La Mesa’s Vice Mayor and other local talents.
For details, scroll down or visit www.sanpasqualwinery.com.
March 18, 2013 – A man armed with a gun robbed the USA Gas Station located at 7594 University Avenue in La Mesa shortly after midnight March 17, 2013. The suspect entered the store, displayed a black semi-automatic handgun and demanded cash. After the clerk complied, the suspect left the store on foot in an unknown direction. Officers searched the surrounding areas but were unable to locate the suspect.
The suspect is described as a black male adult in his 30s, approximately 5’10 tall, 200 lbs, wearing a white shirt, dark pants, and a black baseball cap. The suspect also wore a white bandana covering the lower portion of his face.
March 19, 2013 (La Mesa)--It all started 30 years ago when a resident of a home for seniors spoke wistfully about the lack of music. His son took the complaint to heart and the Friendship Connection, a group of local singers and musicians, was born. They are still going strong today, performing at convalescent hospitals, senior residences and nursing facilities each Tuesday evening, their songs tapping into the audience’s memories of years gone by with singing along encouraged.
On Sunday, April 7 their music – folk, gospel and oldies as well as more current songs – will fill Friendship Hall at the United Church of Christ of La Mesa (UCCLM) at a fundraiser dinner and concert benefitting the church’s Chancel Choir.
March 2, 2013 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police Department, in an effort to keep everyone safe, was aggressively enforcing the state’s speed laws during the fourth “Traffic Safety Enforcement Program” operation, which took place Saturday February 23, 2013. The program relies on heavy enforcement and public education as a means to help reduce deaths and injuries on our local roadways.
When caught speeding, driver’s often ask for just a verbal warning. Though sometimes appropriate based on the overall circumstances, La Mesa Police Officers said “no” to that request at least 27 times and issued them speeding tickets during Saturday’s operation. One speeding driver was also driving on a suspended driver’s license, and his vehicle was impounded.
San Pasqual Winery is now offer a series of live music on Saturday nights in the back room of its tasting room on La Mesa Boulevard in La Mesa. On Saturday, February 23 from 7-10 p.m., The Sock Monkeys will perform.
February 19, 2013 (La Mesa)—La Mesa’s Community Development Department announces that the Environmental Impact Report for the city’s General Plan Update has been completed and is available for public review and comment. The 45-day public review period for the Draft EIR opened on February 14, 2013 and will close on April 1, 2013, at 5:30 p.m.
A copy of the Draft EIR may be reviewed, or purchased for the cost of reproduction, at City Hall, 8130 Allison Avenue, La Mesa, CA 91942. A copy of the Draft EIR will also be available for review at the La Mesa Library, 8074 Allison Avenue. The Draft EIR is also available on the City’s website: http://cityoflamesa.com/CivicAlerts.aspx .
February 17, 2013 (La Mesa) –Del Mar resident Sean Patrick Banks is accused of raping a La Mesa woman who he met through ChristianMingle.com, an online dating site. Police say he used several aliases on the site and has traveled considerably, leading to concerns that there could be other victims.
He is free on bail, after pleading not guilty to sexual assault and burglary charges, ECM news partner 10 News reports. Banks also reportedly used the names Rarity, Ryan Butterwood, and Ryan Harlough online.
Lt. Matt Nicholass with La Mesa Police has said that Banks was invited to the victim’s home and “ultimately ended up raping her.” The dating site cooperated with authorities to track Banks down, he added.
February 17, 2013 (La Mesa) – By affiliating with National Derby Rallies (NDR), the Drew Ford/Kiwanis Club of La Mesa Soap Box Derby Rally Races set for March 2 and 3 on Junior High Drive in La Mesa, will allow drivers up to age 21 – if they can still fit in the race cars. The cut-off with All American Soap Box Derby is age 17.
“By affiliating with NDR, we are also gaining exposure of our La Mesa races to the NDR family of soap box derby,” said Derby Director Steve Blake. “NDR, which is based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, focuses on rally races.
Join the most fun event in town!
LIMITED SEATING -- RESERVE SPACE (619) 922-9057
By Caprice Harrison
February 22, 2013 (La Mesa) – Bring friends and come on out for some terrific comedy tonight (Feb. 22) at Holiday Inn Mesa Grill, 8000 Parkway Drive to benefit East County Magazine (ECM). Brew Ha Ha’s hilarious comedy team, Chris Clobber from HBO and Comedy Central and internationally known comic Diane Jean, will perform stand-up comedy for an evening of laughs. Show starts at 7 p.m., or come early to mix and mingle at 6 p.m. with our staff, readers and comics. Win prizes and surprises--including a Viejas gift basket, a winery tour, restaraunt gift certificates and more!
February 12, 2013 (La Mesa)—La Mesa Police warn that a 14-year-old girl riding her bicycle home on Dallas Street near Nagle Street this evening reports that a man in a white pickup truck jumped out of his vehicle and tried to kidnap her this evening.
Police responded at 6:23 p.m. According to the victim, the man wore a red and white jacket and black baseball cap with logo. He is described as mixed race, 20-30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a medium stocky build. He drove a newer, medium-sized white pickup with white camper shell.
February 12, 2013 (La Mesa) – The first annual CARE Fair San Diego will be held at Lake Murray Community Church, 5777 Lake Murray Blvd., La Mesa on February 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This free event offers information about assistance agencies, programs and ministries available in San Diego County.
Participating organizations will have informational booths about what services they offer, how to receive those services and how to volunteer. The types of information provided will include emergency preparedness, elder care, nutrition, foster care and much more. There will also be children’s activities throughout the day.
February 4, 2013 (La Mesa) – San Pasqual Winery will be hosting a Dessert & Wine Pairing at the Tasting Room & Gallery, 8364 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa Feb. 12 – 14 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. The Winery will pair five mini desserts with 5 specifically chosen San Pasqual Wines.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door ($20/$25 for wine club members). For more information visit www.sanpasqualwinery.com. For tickets call 619-462-1797.
January 26, 2013 (La Mesa) -- The board of directors of the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) has elected its board officers for 2013. Elected for one-year terms were Dr. Michael T. Long as president, Robert “Bob” Ayres as vice president and Gloria Chadwick as secretary. Long also appointed board member Michael Emerson as treasurer. Also serving on the five-member board is Betty Stieringer.
January 22, 2013 (La Mesa) -- The Senior Resource Center at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa offers free or low-cost educational programs and health screenings each month. The Senior Resource Center also provides information and assistance for health information and community resources. For more information, call 619-740-4214. For other programs, call 1-800-827-4277 or visit their web site at www.sharp.com.
January 20, 2013 (La Mesa) – La Mesa City Council will hear a presentation Tuesday regarding the San Diego Grantmakers’ Homelessness Working Group’s “Keys to Housing: Ending Family Homelessness Initiative.” In addition, a status update on construction of the downtown streetscape will be presented.
Also on the agenda are interviews of applicants for city board and commission vacancies, council committee reports, and discussion of council travel policy, among other items.
January 21, 2013 (La Mesa)--La Mesa Police Department, in an effort to reduce injuries and deaths on the Martin Luther King holiday, aggressively enforced state speed laws during the third “Traffic Safety Enforcement Program“ operation. uce deaths and injuries on local roadways.
La Mesa Police Officers wrote 29 speeding tickets including one to a driver traveling at 81 miles per hour on a city street with a posted speed limit of 35 mph.
January 17, 2013 (La Mesa) –The City of La Mesa is nearing completion of a draft environmental impact report on Park Station, a proposed 18-story high-rise project that would be 10 stories taller than any existing structure in the city.
Before planners and council members weigh in, Urban Housing Partners, marketers of the project have issued a survey, which you can take here:
January 16, 2013--(San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:
- Calif desert aquifers contain high chemical levels (Sacramento Bee)
- California Poverty Rate Highest in Nation Based on New Census Department Figures(Huffington Post)
- Judge continues to block part of Calif. Initiative on human trafficking (Sacramento Bee)
- Calif. teachers fund moves to divest from firearms (Sacramento Bee)
- Pilfering plastic a booming industry in Calif. (Sacramento Bee)
- Can San Andreas Break At Once? Study Says Maybe (AP)
- Gillespie Field Expansion Brings Promise And Controversy(KPBS)
- Filner’s agenda for change tempered by finances (U-T San Diego)
- Murder rises second year in row U-T San Diego)
- DA: La Mesa doctor is a fake (U-T San Diego)
- Date set for power plant implosion (UT San Diego)
- Steps taken for possible restart at Cal nuke plant (Sacramento Bee)
- Ground rules set for Somali terrorism trial (U-T San Diego)
- How Will Junior Seau's CTE Diagnosis Affect The Next Generation? (KPBS)
- Local college students turning to ‘sugar daddies?’ (U-T San Diego)
- FBI Says Crime Rates Increased Across San Diego Area In First Half Of 2012 (KPBS)
- San Diego Lawsuit Says Blue Cross Illegally Targeting HIV/AIDS Patients (KPBS)
- City Heights Stuck in the Middle of Filner-Gloria Spat (Voice of San Diego)
- San Diego Will Take A $40 Million Hit On Pension Costs (KPBS)
- San Diego Ordinance Would Require Businesses To Increase Recycling (KPBS)
- Shames sues UCAN for libel (U-T San Diego)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
By Miriam Raftery
January 13, 2013 (La Mesa) – Capping off a year of centennial celebrations, La Mesa hosted its “Party of the Century” last night. Held at the La Mesa Community Center, the event featured music through the decades and areas decorated to reflect the many colorful eras in La Mesa’s past.
Dignitaries past and present turned out. Many guests came in period attire, adding to the festive mood at this memorable occasion.
January 13, 2013 (La Mesa) -- Tradition holds that Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) ushers in the reflective season of Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 13th. The United Church of Christ of La Mesa (UCCLM) will be celebrating that tradition on Sunday, February 10, 2013 with a Mardi Gras Sunday worship service. The public is invited to dress up (carnival masks and beads welcome!) and join in this service celebrating the joy of faith. Music – from “Just a Closer Walk” to “When the Saints Go Marching In!” will highlight both the 8:30am (in Friendship Hall) and 10:00am (in the Sanctuary) services.
January 10, 2013 (La Mesa) – In an on-going commitment to communicate with residents, all five members of the La Mesa City Council will host two Town Hall Meetings. The open-forum sessions are scheduled at the following locations:
By Miriam Raftery
Jaunary 9, 2013 (La Mesa) – Mayor Art Madrid reflected on the past, praised the city’s present accomplishments, and looked ahead to the future in his annual city audit report delivered on January 8 in the City’s Centennial year.
“I dare say that in many ways we are glad to see 2012 in our rear view mirror,” he said, citing budget cuts by the state among the city's biggest challenges in the past year. Fiscal challenges will continue, he predicted, as Congress embarks on the federal budget negotiations battle. “We may be seeing the last of the Community Development Block Grants, CDBG and Housing Assistance Programs, plus other vital safety net programs that assist certain members of our society.”
Mayor Madrid also named climate change and environmental concerns among the key challenges ahead, spoken in a week when the National CIimatic Office announced that 2012 was the hottest year on record in the U.S. “What is the role of local governments, including La Mesa, in addressing these problems? First choosing facts and science over politics, acknowledge that these issues exist, and define their impact on our city by evaluating the costs and consequences of doing nothing,” said Madrid.