La Mesa/Mt. Helix

WRONG-WAY DRIVER, SUSPECTED OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, CAUSES HEAD-ON CRASH ON I-8 IN LA MESA

By: Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Head On Collision - Wikipedia Commons (generic stock photo)
 
March 26, 2020 (La Mesa) – An SUV traveling the wrong-way on Interstate 8 just east of 70th Street in La Mesa struck a red BMW head-one shortly before midnight last night. Both motorists sustained major life-threatening injuries and were transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego.
 
According to California Highway Patrol Officer Travis Garrow, the CHP began getting calls at 11:56 p.m. reporting the SUV traveling west in the eastbound lanes of I-8.  Two minutes later, witnesses reported a head-on collision.

SHARP REES-STEALY TEMPORARILY CLOSING SOME FACILITIES IN LA MESA AND CHULA VISTA

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2020 (La Mesa) – Sharp Rees-Stealy has announced that due to the COVID-19 emergency, starting March 26 it will temporarily close its La Mesa West facility on El Cajon Blvd. (though the Grossmont facilities will remain open).  The medical group will also temporarily shut down most services at its Chula Vista facility, except for occupational medicine, pharmacy and urgent care, starting March 27.

THESE RESTAURANTS IN EAST COUNTY ARE OFFERING TAKE-OUT AND/OR DELIVERY

Note: This story is being updated as we learn of more restaurants with takeout or delivery options.  If you own a restaurant in East County, email your info to editor@eastcountymagazine.org. All readers and restaurants are also welcome to post comments in our comments section below. 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Hacienda Casa Blanca in El Cajon posted  these images of some take-out and delivery options

March 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Since yesterday’s county order for restaurants to stop dine-in service through March 31 due to the COVID-19 emergency, many owners are adapting by switching to curbside take-out service and a few are also offering home delivery through services such as GrubHub, UberEats, or through their own delivery service.

While this is by no means a complete list, here are many restaurants confirmed as offering take-out and/or delivery services.

Call or check the restaurant's website for details on hours and how to place orders, which vary at each location and may change.

If you know of any we missed, please post in the comments section below!

COUNTY NOW HAS 242 CASES OF COVID-19, INCLUDING TWO INFANTS

Cases expand countywide including more East County communities

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2020 (San Diego) – The number of COVID-19 cases in our region continues to grow at a steep pace.  San Diego County now has 242 confirmed cases, of whom 226 are county residents. Two of the new cases are in infants. Heath experts warn the actual number of cases could be ten times higher, since not enough tests are available and thus testing is being done primarily on those hospitalized with respiratory distress.

HUNGRY OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS? EMERGENCY FOOD DISTRIBUTIONS ANNOUNCED COUNTYWIDE

March 22, 2020 (San Diego) -- In addition to emergency food distributions, Feeding San Diego offers food assistance at many sites throughout San Diego County including rural, mountain, desert and urban communities. Click here to find a location near you.

 Feeding San Diego is working on adding additional distributions based on community input and the needs of specific populations. Listings of available emergency distributions will be updated daily and published at feedingsandiego.org/coronavirus.

NOTE: There are NO REQUIREMENTS to accessing any of Feeding San Diego’s food distributions.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE CEO ASKS FOR DONATIONS OF MASKS, INCLUDING HAND-SEWN; ALSO PROVIDES RESOURCE LINKS ON COVID-19

 

Update: Grossmont has secured a supply of masks and no longer asks for public help to sew masks, though donations of N95 masks are still appreciated.

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2020 (La Mesa) – Grossmont Healthcare District CEO Barry Jantz announced today on Facebook that while Sharp Grossmont Hospital currently has an adequate supply of masks, those supplies are expected to dwindle as ability to replace them becomes difficult nationwide. 

“Therefore, the district will be accepting donations of regular paper and hand-sewn masks,” he states. “On Monday a central donation site will be established for the various hospitals in the Sharp system, including Grossmont. A phone number may also be established for coordination of donations. Instructions on hand sewn masks will be included.”

The announcement follows inquiries from community members.  “Thanks so much for the community stepping up on this in such a significant way! You are all so much appreciated!,” Jantz concludes.

In an email sent to ECM, Jantz also provided links to information he’s been reading about on COVID-19, along with this note:

LA MESA FREEZES EVICTIONS ON RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL RENTERS, AS WELL AS MORTGAGE FORECLOSURES RELATED TO THE COVID-19 CRISIS THROUGH MAY 31

City offices also shut down for non-essential services

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The City of La Mesa today announced it will halt eviction of residential and commercial renters, as well as foreclosures on mortgages, related to the COVID-19 crisis untl May 31st.  The action does not eliminate responsibility for payment of these debts, but provides additional time for those impacted by COVID-19 such as through loss of income, closure of businesses, medical expenses or family leave.

The City's action enforces the Governor's  Executive Order N-28-20 to limit rent evictions. See see City of La Mesa’s Executive Order 1-2020.

La Mesa also took action to halt enforcement of parking limits during sweep sweeping, after residents sheltering in place received tickets or notices that vehicles parked in front of their homes would be towed.

LA MESA ISSUES EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION, BUT HAS NO COVID-19 CASES

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis
 
March 13, 2020 (La Mesa) – “In order to assure that the City of La Mesa is eligible to receive any available and necessary disaster relief funds, we have declared a formal state of emergencies,” La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis announced today.

CITY OF LA MESA PARTNERS WITH GROSSMONT CENTER TO HOST BICYCLE SAFETY FAIR MARCH 21

Source: City of La Mesa

 

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

 

March 11, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Children and teens are invited to bring their bicycles and helmets to participate in a Bicycle Safety Fair on Saturday, March 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Grossmont Center (in the West Court parking lot between Chuze Fitness and Fuddruckers, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive). Admission is free to this family-friendly event where children of all ages can engage in fun and educational cycling activities, visit vendors, and receive educational information and giveaways.  

SHARP HEALTHCARE TAKES STEPS TO PROTECT PATIENTS, VISITORS AND CAREGIVERS FROM COVID-19, OFFERS TIPS FOR PUBLIC

East County News Service
 
March 7, 2020 (La Mesa)--Sharp Healthcare, which operates Sharp Grossmont Hospital and other medical facilities in our region, has set up a webpage on the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) with information on steps Sharp is taking to protect against the virus and what the public should know.
 
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, which is spreading around the world.  Here are tips to help stop spread of the respiratory virus:
 

CHULA VISTA POLICE PROBE SLAYING OF GOOD SAMARITAN HELIX STUDENT, SEEK VIDEO

By Ken Stone
 
Photo: GoFundMe
 
Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
 
February 20, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Helix Charter High School student who tried to help a friend under attack nearly three weeks ago died Sunday of stab wounds, and police are looking for witnesses and potential assailants.

WITNESSES SOUGHT TO SHOOTINGS ON I-8 AND HIGHWAY 125 IN LA MESA

East County News Service
 
February 17, 2020 (La Mesa) – California Highway Patrol seeks witnesses to two separate shootings of a motorist Saturday night. The victim was driving on I-8 east near Waring Rd. around 9:30 p.m. when the driver of an unknown vehicle behind began firing a gun.  The victim turned onto State Route 125 north and the suspect followed, firing multiple rounds and striking the victim in the arm, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Salvador Castro.
 
The suspect fled and not been found. No vehicle description has been provided. The victim drove to his home in Grantville, where someone called for help. 

PETCO FOUNDATION PROVIDED A VALENTINE SURPRISE FOR SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY STAFF

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

February 15, 2020 (San Diego) - Petco Foundation provided a $250,000 grant valentine surprise to staff at the San Diego Humane Society on Gaines Street on Feb. 13.

“As part of our mission we have committed $10 million to making a difference to shelters and pets during the valentine day week,” said regional field program manager Bill Gialenes with the Petco Foundation.  The $10 million will go to animal welfare organizations across the country.

Two hundred staff, guests, and volunteers gathered for lunch followed by the presentation of an oversized check for $250,000 to Dr. Gary Weitzman, president/ceo of the San Diego Humane Society from Gialenes.

BUDGET MONITORING SHOWS LA MESA ON STEADY FINANCIAL COURSE GOING INTO 2020; CITY COMMISSIONS REPORT ON STATUS OF THEIR WORK

By Kathleen Connell

February 13, 2020 (La Mesa)  On February 11th, La Mesa’s Mayor and City Council heard from Director of Finance Sarah Waller-Bullock (photo, left) on the state of the City’s finances and metrics versus the budget for the quarter ending December 31, 2019.  Ms. Waller-Bullock also provided information on state and regional financial data.  In general, with the exception of housing, La Mesa is “flat” without extreme fluctuations in income or expenditures in the period; most departments are “at or slightly below expectations.”

HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS AND HEALTH AMONG HOT TOPICS AT SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES' FORUM

View video of full debate here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daR2Gmad0g4





By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Candidates Joel Anderson, Brian Sesko, Kenya Taylor, and Steve Vaus

February 6, 2020 (La Mesa) – Four candidates running to represent East County in the San Diego County Supervisors 2nd district seat participated in a lively forum on Jan. 29 at Murdock Elementary, hosted by the Grossmont Mount Helix Improvement Association and sponsored by East County Magazine.

Candidates fielded a broad range of in-depth questions provided by the public during the forum moderated by the League of Women Voters before a capacity crowd. 

The four candidates are Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, former State Senator Joel Anderson, behavioral health consultant Kenya Taylor, and homebuilder/cattle rancher  Brian Sesko.  They are running to fill the vacancy soon to be left when long-serving Supervisor Dianne Jacob leaves office next January due to term limits.

TOBY THE T-REX TO HAVE NEW NEIGHBORS IN LA MESA

By Jeff Phair
 
February 6, 2020 (La Mesa) -- For two years, Toby the T-Rex dinosaur has been living by himself high on a hill in La Mesa looking at the views of the Coronado Islands, Point Loma, the Cuyamacas, and Table Top Mountain in Mexico.  With the recent approval by the city of La Mesa for the La Mesa Summit Estates subdivision, Toby will soon be having new neighbors.
 
Grading will begin soon on a gated enclave of 30 homes.  Each home will feature a Multi-Generational suite.  The Multi-Generational suite is a second master bedroom with a full bath, a kitchenette, a media center, a stacked washer & dryer, and a separate entrance.  This allows grandparents or a boomerang adult child to live in a supportive extended family environment, but at the same time have a feeling of independence.

STUDENT HARASSED WHILE WALKING TO GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL

 

East County News Service

Image: Creative Commons via Bing

February 6, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Police Department is investigating an incident of verbal harassment that occurred this morning at approximately 7:10 a.m. yesterday. The victim, a 16-year-old Grossmont High School student, was verbally harassed by an adult male suspect while she walked from the Amaya Trolley Station towards the school.

The student arrived safely at the school and immediately reported the incident to school staff. A crime report regarding the incident has been taken and the investigation is continuing.

The suspect is described as a black male adult, approximately 35-40 years old, medium to heavy build, with a full goatee, wearing a gray beanie style hat, black shirt, and black pants. The suspect was on foot and no vehicle was observed.

LA MESA MAILMAN KILLED BY HIT AND RUN DRIVER ON DEHESA RD.; JULIAN MAN CHARGED

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo via Featheringill Mortuary
 
February 1, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa resident Kevin Charles Wilson 56, was struck by a Mitsubishi Mirage while riding his bicycle Jan. 20 on Dehesa Rd. near Singing Hills Golf Course in rural East County.  He was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where he was pronounced dead of his injuries.

LA MESA APPROVES MIXED-USE LA MESA QUARRY RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL PROJECT

By Kathleen Connell

February 1, 2020 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa City Council met on January 28th. The most prominent item on the agenda was a hearing to consider The La Mesa Planning Commission’s approval of The La Mesa Quarry 2 LLC development project, an in-fill mixed-use development at 4400 Palm Avenue on a sloped property near Collier Park.

The development includes a 3-story, 21 unit apartment building with parking beneath and a separate office building. The Council voted unanimously to follow staff's recommendation and upheld the Planning Commission’s approval. The project is now in the site development plan stage.

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL APPOINTS GREG HUMORA AS NEW CITY MANAGER

Source: City of La Mesa

January 31, 2020 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa's City Council voted on January 28 to approve  an employment agreement designating Greg Humora as La Mesa’s new City Manager.  He served as Assistant City Manager for  La Mesa since 2016.  Prior to that, Humora had been the La Mesa Director of Public Works/City Engineer since 2004, and Engineering Project Manager beginning in 1999.  He has worked for the City for a total of 20 years.

LA MESA CHAMBER SALUTES LOCAL HEROES MARCH 12 AT SYCUAN RESORT

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to its 12th annual Salute to local Heroes. This year’s theme is "Hooray for Hollywood: and the event will be held on March 12 at Sycuan Casino Resort from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

First responders from La Mesa Police, fire and paramedics will be honored as well as members of the retired senior volunteer patrol. The celebration also includes installation of the Chamber’s new board of directors.

Suggested attire is Hollywood glam, cocktail or business.

ENJOY A FLAMENCO SHOW, TAPAS AND PAELLA WITH OUR EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB JANUARY 30TH

January 21, 2020 (La Mesa) -- You're invited to support East County Magazine at our most exciting East County Dining Club event yet!  At the Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro in La Mesa on  Thursday, January 30th, take a virtual trip to Spain.

Tapas, dinner and Flamenco music show: This special event begins with happy hour and Spanish-style tapas (appetizers) at 6 p.m., followed by delicious dinner options incuding Paella Valencia and a live Flamenco show at 7 p.m. We will have prize drawings galore, too!

Feast your eyes on our very special menu here, with a range of options in every price range including Paellla Valencia (seafood or meat versions), the national dish of Spain.

RSVP by Monday: The restaurant asks that you pre-order your main dish (entree) when you RSVP to us by Monday Jan. 27 at (619)698-7617 or email editor@eastcountymagazine.org.  You can pay at the event, and you can order everything else there including appetizers, deserts, salads, wine, beer, or other beverages.

Prizes:  Our raffle includes whalewatching tickets from Hornblower Cruises, Spacebar Cafe and Wine Bar gift certificate, gift certificate to Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures, wine lovers gifts, cuisine of Spain cookbook, leather purse, jewelry, gift certificates to local stores and restaurants, and more!

Benefits: Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro will donate 20% of proceeds to East County Media to benefit East County Magazine and East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts. In addition, 100% of raffle ticket sales will benefit these nonprofit causes.

SUPERVISORS TAKE NEW STEPS TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS, INCLUDING SHELTERS

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 28, 2020 (San Diego) -- The County Board of Supervisors today voted to adopt several measures, including sheltering options and expanded outreach teams, to deal with homelessness in unincorporated communities.

The measures, brought forward by Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Jim Desmond, are expected to help with homelessness in unincorporated areas that have seen a significant increase of people who don’t have a place to live. Recent encampments at Lamar Park, Spring Valley Park and in other outlying areas are the latest reminders that homelessness is a regional crisis.

“Like in the city of San Diego and the rest of California, homelessness has become a huge concern in the suburban and rural parts of our region,” said District 2 Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents East County. “Today’s board vote opens the door to creating a comprehensive approach to homelessness that includes immediate and long-range measures.”

ALL 4 SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES IN DISTRICT 2 WILL APPEAR AT FORUM JAN. 29 IN LA MESA HOSTED BY GMIA AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

Residents encouraged to submit questions for candidates 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Joel Anderson, Kenya Taylor, Brian Sesko, and Steve Vaus.

January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- A forum for candidates seeking to fill the District 2 county supervisor seat will be held Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Murdock Elementary School (4354 Conrad. Drive, La Mesa). The forum is sponsored by the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association, along with East County Magazine.

All four candidates running for the East County seat have indicated they will attend. The candidates are former state Senator Joel Anderson, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, Kenya Taylor, co-chair of the Southeastern Live Well Center Health Workgroup, and Brian Sesko, Broker and General Contractor. Click their names to view their websites and learn more about their stances and priorities.

The candidates are running to succeed County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is leaving office after 28 years because of term limits.

Residents are encouraged to submit questions for consideration in advance to editor@eastcountymagazine.org or to yourGMIAneighbor@gmail.com.  Written questions will also be accepted at the forum. 

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL HOLDS TOWN HALL MEETING THIS THURS. JAN. 23

 
January 23, 2020 (La Mesa) --Tonight, the La Mesa City Council will host a Town Hall Meeting. This open-forum session provides an opportunity for citizens to share their concerns, ideas, and opinions on issues in their neighborhood and throughout the City. The meeting will be held  at Maryland Avenue Elementary, 5400 Maryland Avenue, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
 
The Town Hall Meeting is intended as a means for citizens to learn about City services, state what they like about La Mesa, how they envision the future of their city, and to express concerns. Members of the City Council and City staff will be present. Additionally, information will be available about the City’s Climate Action Plan, crime prevention, emergency preparedness, and recreation classes.

CARZIS CHARGED AND RELEASED: ARRAIGNMENT SET FOR FEB. 24

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Peter Carzis addressing La Mesa City Council i 2016

January 23, 2020 (La Mesa) – The District Attorney’s office has charged Peer Carzis, 76, owner of  Peter’s Mens Apparel in La Mesa, with one count of felony vandalism and three counts of misdemeanor battery stemming from an altercation with members of the media on January 20th.  Videos posted at multiple media sights showed Carzis punching and pushing several photographers, also destroying a $7,000 camera.

An additional misdemeanor charge of committing a lewd act in public on January 18 was also issued against Carzis.A video that went viral on social media appeared to show Carzis reaching under a woman's shirt to fondle her breasts while she was straddling his lap on a sidewalk in front of his store in the La Mesa downtown village.

READER’S EDITORIAL: AL FRESCO DINING AND HEALTHY CHOICES DURING SAN DIEGO 2020 RESTAURANT WEEK

By Dana Stevens, Executive Director, Community Action Service & Advocacy
 
January 21, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - Let’s embrace healthy living in 2020, as we head into San Diego’s 2020 Restaurant Week (January 19-26). Let’s dine at restaurants that offer smoke-free outdoor dining patios as well as healthy, fresh, delicious food.

MEN’S CLOTHING STORE OWNER PETER CARZIS ARRESTED AFTER ATTACKS ON NEWS PHOTOGRAPHERS AND LEWD ACT CAUGHT ON VIDEO IN LA MESA

Update January 21:  Peter Carzis was arrested this morning in San DIego for felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery on multiple reporters, Lt. Greg Runge has informed ECM,.  He is accused of destroying a camera valued at $7,000. In addition, La Mesa Police will  also be sending two reports for lewd acts in public and misdemeanor battery from a spitting incident on Saturday to the District Attorney “recommending prosecution on all charges."

Lt. Runge also confirmed that Carzis, 76, “is undergoing a medical evaluation at a local hospital prior to being cleared for booking.”  The LMPD lieutenant concluded, “I hope this will bring closure for all concerned.”

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left, via Fox News Twitter feed and 10 News, an ECM news partner

January 20, 2020 (La Mesa) – Peter Carzis, owner of Peter’s Men’s Apparel in downtown La Mesa, is wanted for questioning by police tonight for  misdemeanor battery and felony property destruction after violently  attacking at least three news photographers today. He is also wanted by police for complaints filed over a lewd act in public caught on video Saturday and posted on Twitter, as well as for an additional battery complaint after he allegedly spit on a passerby over the weekend.

“Mr. Carzis was no longer on scene when officer went to talk to him and his whereabouts are currently unknown, so he has not been arrested. We are currently attempting to locate him so we can continue the investigation,” Lt. Greg Runge with La Mesa Police Department said in an e-mail to ECM this evening “The Investigations Division has the reports and Detectives are conducting follow up on both cases. If anyone as information regarding these cases, they are encouraged to contact us at (619)667-1400.”

LA MESA MAYOR LAYS OUT PROGRESS ON CLIMATE ACTION; COUNCIL BANS SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND WELCOMES DOMESTIC POULTRY

Story and photos by Kathleen Connell

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At its first meeting of 2020, the La Mesa City Council and Mayor Araapostathis considered legislation on the city docket ranging from expanding chicken ownership opportunities to snuffing out smoking in public places.

The Mayor presented his State of The City Address at the January 14th meeting at City Hall. He pointed out that “the City continued to work towards its Climate Action Plan goals by embracing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), and becoming a founding member of The San Diego Community Power Joint Powers Authority.” He stated the CCA will eventually account for 32% of the City’s anticipated Green House Gas reduction, on a path to 100% renewable energy.

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