La Mesa/Mt. Helix

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.

MOUNTAIN CHILD MUSINGS: SHOCK AND PAUSE

By Jake Zawlacki
File photo: Peter Carzis, speaking at a 2015 La Mesa City Council meeting
 
January 23, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The night I heard of Peter Carzis’ arrest, I was shocked. I was shocked because I had often gone to Peter’s Men’s Apparel, his eponymous men’s clothing store in La Mesa, and had always known him to be a kind man. He had reminded me of the old Hollywood-type black and white movies with their pressed suits and greased hair and salesman type of smile. He was cool in the old sense of the word.

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.

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. 

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.

GOD OF CARNAGE REVIEW: A MORALITY COIN TOSS

By Kathy Carpenter

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa presents "God of Carnage." Written by Yasmina Reza and Directed  by Tyler Richard Hewes, “God of Carnage” is full of moral dilemmas. What is okay for one person outrages another. The result is hilarious--the kind of humor that we should not find funny but do.

EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF WATER IN EAST COUNTY ON JANUARY 25

Source: Helix Water District

Photo: Dignitaries rode boats to celebrate opening day of the San Diego Flume in 1889, which brought water from Lake Cuyamaca to meet the needs of East County residents.

 January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At the next Helix Water Talks, on Saturday, January 25, Helix Water District will take customers through 130 years of local history including how the need for a robust water infrastructure played into development of East County and how Helix Water District was formed to meet that need.

The doors open at 8:30 a.m. at Helix’s administration office in La Mesa. The free event includes coffee and bagels, a presentation and an hour-long, 3-floor tour of the district’s collection of historical photos.

“The history of Helix Water District and our role in developing and providing water for East County over the last century is fascinating,” said Helix Water District General Manager Carlos Lugo. “Our customers really enjoy this event.”

LANE-SPLITTING MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN LA MESA

East County News Service

Update: The deceased has been identified as Everett Burgess, 31, of Lemon Grove

January 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – A Lemon Grove motorcyclist who was “splitting lanes at a high rate of speed in stop and go traffic” on State Route 125 northbound near Spring Street in La Mesa died after a multi-vehicle collision this morning, says Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol.

The victim, a 31-year-old Lemon Grove man, was riding a 2013 Suzuki GW250 motorcycle at 7:22 a.m. when he sideswiped a Dodge Challenger driven by a Coronado man, 46.  The motorcyclist then veered left and struck the rear of a 2014 Toyota Corolla driven by an El Cajon man, 39.

LA MESA CHAMBER TO HOST BEER GARDEN AT GROSSMONT CENTER’S FIRST FRIDAY MARKETS

Celebrate vegan lifestyle with all-vegan eats, drinks, music and more

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce has inked a deal with Grossmont Center to host a beer garden at all of the center’s First Friday markets starting February 7th through the end of this year. The beer garden will feature featuring Mike Hess Brewing Company and Local Roots kombucha.

The markets are held on the first Friday of each month from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.in the shopping mall’s parking lot between Chuze Fitness and Fuddruckers. The  market celebrates the vegan lifestyle with all-vegan foods, sweets, drinks, goods for sale and live music. Grossmont Center is located at 5500 Grossmont Center Blvd., La Mesa. 

The beer garden will have a seating area beneath lighted tents for dining and drinking under the stars. 

LA MESA POLICE SEEK WITNESSES TO CRASH NEAR GROSSMONT CENTER: INJURED PEDESTRIAN UNIDENTIFIED; DRIVER ARRESTED

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police seek witnesses to a serious injury accident that occurred at 6:16 p.m. at the intersection of Grossmont Center Drive and Center Drive.  Police also seek the identity of the victim, a white male pedestrian in his 50s who was struck while crossing the street by a 2004 Nissan SUV.

The victim suffered a compound fracture to his lower right leg and a fractured left hip, according to Lt. Brian Stoney. “Unfortunately he did not have any identification on him and we have not been able to positively identify him at this time,” he said.

PASSAGES: FRANK READ, 108, EARLY LA MESA PHARMACIST

By Miriam Raftery

 

December 26, 2019 (La Mesa) – Frank Read, former owner of Read Pharmacy and pharmacist at Grossmont Hospital, passed away today at his home in La Mesa’s Windsor Hill neighborhood.  He was 108—older than the city of La Mesa.  Back in 2012, when the city celebrated its centennial, Read provided an exclusive interview to East County Magazine, reflecting back on his carefree childhood days of riding a bike to the bay, swimming at local watering holes and watching helium dirigibles. He shared many memories of early La Mesa, also recalling hardships in World War I, Prohibition and the Great Depression as well as his pharmacy career and travels later in life.

 

Below is our original article, reprinted in full:

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO SHUT DOWN ILLEGAL POT SHOPS?

By Miriam Raftery

December 19, 2019  (San Diego’s East County) – Although personal use of cannabis is legal in California, each city and county has the right to ban or restrict sales.  But closing down illegal pot shops has become a challenge for law enforcement and a headache for neighbors, since the process often takes months and once closed, illegal dispensaries often pop up again nearby or even in the same building repeatedly.

How concerned should residents be about an illegal marijuana operation in their neighborhood?

Unlike licensed dispensaries that are subject to inspections, state and local regulations, illegal dispensaries may sell marijuana that is adulterated with contaminants and is dangerous to customers. Some illicit dispensaries locally have also been caught selling other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines.  They may sell drugs to minors. The operators may create hazards to neighbors by tapping illegally into electricity, overloading circuits, and if manufacturing hash oil extracted from marijuana, utilize drums filled with flammable chemicals that can and have exploded, causing fires locally.

At times, illegal dispensaries  have engendered other crimes. Robberies and shootings have occurred; illegal operators tend not to report these crimes to police.  Corruption has also allegedly happened locally. Former Rancho San Diego Sheriff Captain Marco Garmo has been indicted for allegedly tipping off his cousin, an illegal dispensary owner, on raids by law enforcement, among other federal charges that he faces.

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR FEASTING & MERRYMAKING HOLIDAY PARTY DEC. 15!

You’re invited to feast and make merry at our annual VIP holiday party!  RSVP today to reserve space for this popular event.

When: Sunday, Dec. 15 from 3p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Our editor’s Mt. Helix home at 4438 Hideaway Place, La Mesa, CA 91941

Live music by Paul Nichols and Cindy Burnham at 4 pm; caroling sing-along after dinner

Holiday feast: We have a delicious menu including honey glazed ham, baked yams, cranberry-orange relish, red cabbage and greens slaw, macaroni and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, veggies with spinach and crab dip, gourmet cheese platter, winter salad with pecans and pomegranates, Wassail bowl/spiced cider, wine from the award-winning Vineyard Grant James, molasses gingerbread, lemon squares, holiday cookies and more. If you wish, bring a dish to share.

Special thanks to Smart & Final for donating delicious foods for our holiday feast!

Raffle: prizes include Hooley's gift certificate, Smart and final gift certificate $100 activity gift certificates to Fort Cross Ole Timey adventures,  Oasis Camel Dairy special event passes, jewelry, holiday accessories, gift basket for wine lovers, locally roasted coffee, chocolates, and more. 

Cost:  $15 with RSVP in advance, $20 at the door

Prepay online at www.EastCountyMedia.org/donate

DUI CHECKPOINT IN LA MESA THIS FRIDAY: POLICE ALSO PLAN EXTRA PATROLS THROUGH HOLIDAY SEASON

UPDATE: The DUI Checkpoint will be held in the 7200 block of University Avenue.

 

East County News Service

December 11, 2019 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police Department encourages everyone attending holiday parties and gatherings where alcohol may be involved to use a designated sober driver. From December 13th to New Year’s, the department will have extra officers on patrol looking for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. 

In addition, the LMPD Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint on Friday, December 13 at an undisclosed location within the city limits, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 2 a.m. 

LAMPLIGHTERS CHRISTMAS PAST REVIEW: TWO FOR ONE

By Kathy Carpenter

December 2, 2019 (La Mesa) - I'm a traditionalist. I want each holiday to have its time. Thus, I refused to watch Christmas movies until after Thanksgiving. Plays...well sometimes, I have to go earlier; I usually need to go in the first couple days to review them and give them adequate time for people to read. In this case, Black Friday was my induction into the Christmas season.

MOTORCYCLIST ARRESTED FOR FLEEING SCENE OF OCT. 31 FATALITY CRASH IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Therese Clouthier, via a GoFundMe page set up to help her daughter
 
November 30, 2019 (La Mesa) – A motorcyclist who fled the scene of a fatal crash that killed Theresa Clouthier, one of his passengers, in  La Mesa on October 31st has been arrested. Chad Paul Tucker, 44, was taken into custody on November 26 on charges of manslaughter with gross negligence and felony hit and run.  

SNOW FALLING ON I-8, HEAVY SNOW BLANKETS MOUNTAINS AS OTHER AREAS FLOOD

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left by Robert Scheid:  Snow falls along I-8 near the Sunrise Highway exit

November 28, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s a white Christmas across East County’s mountains and rural areas. Snow is falling along Interstate 8 east of Alpine.

A blanket of snow covers the Cuyamaca area, Cal Trans reports on Twitter.  In Warner Springs, chains or snow tires are required, with two inches of snow on Chihuahua Valley Road, NBC 7 reports. Snow is heavy in the Julian area, leaving some residents snowed in, sources told ECM.

SENATOR JONES HONORS THREE LA MESA BROTHERS WHO EARNED NATIONAL EAGLE SCOUT AWARDS

Jacob, Joshua and Noah Epperson of La Mesa completed three local community projects

East County News Service

Photo:  pictured with Senator Brian Jones are Jacob, Noah and Joshua Epperson during a ceremony in Senator Jones' El Cajon District office.

November 27, 2019 (El Cajon) - Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) yesterday met with and presented official Senate Certificates of Recognition to three local brothers who all earned their National Eagle Scout awards on the same day last month.

LET IT SNOW! LA MESA’S HOLIDAY IN THE VILLAGE RINGS IN THE HOLIDAY SEASON DEC. 13-14

East County News Service
 
November 25, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Village Associations Holiday in the Village will once again be ringing in holiday cheer. This year will include snow to create a winter wonderland like no other, thanks to Viejas Casino and Resort, sponsor of the event. The holiday festival runs Friday, Dec. 13 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
 
In the historic downtown La Mesa Village, you’re invited to bring your friends and family to take part in free, festive fun with live music, cozy fires, dancing, reindeer games, craft vendors, live entertainment food, a strolling balloon artist, train rides for kids, and a “kids’ area bigger than Santa’s toy shop,” organizers say. 

VISIONARY DANCE THEATRE PRESENTS “BROTHERHOOD OF MAN” IN LA MESA DEC. 6-7

East County News Service

November 17, 2019 (La Mesa) – Visionary Dance Theatre will present “Brother of Man” at the Visionary Performance Space (8677 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa) on December 6 and 7at 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Spencer John Powell  and choreographed by the VDT male dancers, "Brotherhood of Man" is themed on the diversity of the male experience. The cast includes a broad spectrum of ages, races, and sexual orientations.  Each dancer presents a positive male role model going through the experiences and the struggles of life.

LA MESA CHAMBER HOSTS TOY DRIVE PARTY DEC. 4 FOR CHILDREN OF MILITARY FAMILIES

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2019 (La Mesa) – You’re invited to make a difference this holiday season for children of military personnel living in military housing in La Mesa.  The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is hosting a toy drive for the children, ages 2-13, on Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Grossmont Center.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

"The La Mesa Chamber is honored to be a part of this endeavor and making a difference in the lives of these children and their families, that do so much for our country," stated Mary England, President & CEO.  

Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the event, which is free to Chamber members.  Cost for non-member guests is $10, or $20 at the door. Admission includes pizzas, salads, hors d’ouvres, and two wine drink tickets. To register, click here.

EUROPEAN CHRISTMAS MARKETS, CAROLING AND MORE ATOP MT. HELIX DEC. 7

By Miriam Raftery

November 5, 2019 (Mt. Helix) – This year’s 29th annual Christmas on Mt Helix on Saturday, December 7th is expanding to feature European Christmas markets with local artisans from 2-5 p.m., followed by a family caroling sing-along from 5-6 p.m. and a reading of the Nativity story from 6-7 p.m.

PIANORAMA: FOUR PIANOS, FOUR ARTISTS NOV. 22 IN LA MESA

East County News Service

November 5, 2019 (La Mesa) - La Mesa’s Valerie Victor Concert Series presents PianoRama! on Friday, November 22 at 7 p.m.  This is an evening of piano music as you’ve never heard it before at the Table: United Church of Christ of La Mesa (5940 Kelton Ave., La Mesa), performed on four pianos (two grands and two electrics) with four artists in this pre-Thanksgiving treat.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH IN LA MESA KILLS EL CAJON WOMAN

Update: The victim has been identified a Theresa Chenelle Clouthier, according to the Medical Examiner.

East County News Service

November 1, 2019 (La Mesa) – A motorcycle crashed on the Severin Drive onramp to I-8 westbound at 11:19 p.m. last night, ejecting three people and killing an El Cajon woman, 38.  She was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene.

HELIX WATER CUSTOMERS VENT OVER HIGHER BILLS, BUT MOST WERE MISPERCEPTIONS, DISTRICT SAYS

By Mike Allen
 
October 30, 2019 (La Mesa) -- Customers of Helix Water District complaining about their bills doubling and tripling found out their perceptions weren’t in line with reality.
 
The venting about the bills began about a week ago on the online community forum website Nextdoor, instigated by one customer who said her family’s water bill increased 130 percent over bills she received in the last four years.

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