La Mesa/Mt. Helix

WELCOME, LA MESANS!

Our La Mesa section covers the communities of La Mesa and Mount Helix.  Click here to read some fascinating facts about La Mesa and Mt. Helix.  Click here for links to city services, activities, shopping, business groups, farmers’ market,  schools, library, hospital, service groups, theaters, transportation, utilities, weather and more in La Mesa.


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MAN CONVICTED OF POSSESSING EXPLOSIVE DEVICES DURING LA MESA RIOT

By Miriam Raftery
 
May 14, 2021 (La Mesa) – A federal jury in San Diego has convicted Zachary Alexander Karas, 28, of possessing incendiary devices including Molotov cocktail explosives during the riot in La Mesa following a May 30 racial justice protest. His sentencing is scheduled for August 13; the San Diego resident could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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LA MESA COMMISSION OF CITYWIDE COMMUNICATION HOLDS BRIEF MEETING

By Briana Gomez 

May 12, 2021 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa’s community relations division hosted a Commission on Citywide Communication meeting in late April via Zoom. Commissioners began by answering questions about internet access, linguistics, and education. The main concern was improving how to get information out to residents following the COVID-19 pandemic and the riots that plagued La Mesa last year.


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HELIX CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL TO HOST VACCINE CLINIC MAY 22

By Alexa Oslowski

 

May 11, 2021 (La Mesa) - The City of La Mesa announced in a news release on May 7 that it will be hosting a vaccine clinic on May 22 in partnership with the County of San Diego, Helix Charter High School, Champions for Health, and the Philippine Nurses Association of San Diego. This is one of the latest efforts by the city to improve vaccine equitability and access.


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LA MESA LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE LAUNCHES

 

East County News Service

May 11,  2021 (La Mesa) -- Thousands of La Mesa residents saw a surprise in their mailboxes recently with the launch of a beautiful new glossy magazine called La Mesa Lifestyles. (View the debut edition: click here)

The magazine is the latest release from local publishing house Local Umbrella Media which directly mails community publications for over 100,000 homes in local neighborhoods throughout San Diego County.

Local residents were treated to features on local history including the Mt. Helix Artists’ Colony, real estate information, community stories, food features and more in the full-color initial edition.


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LA MESA WELCOMES NEW COFFEE SHOP: PINK ROSE CAFE

By Angela Kurysh

May 11, 2021 (La Mesa) – “You can never have too much pink,” said Nadia Zamora, who finally opens up her coffee shop, Pink Rose Cafe on La Mesa Boulevard this week.

After working on this project for over 14 months amid pandemic lockdowns and a riot, Zamora and her husband were ready to peacefully give up, but with the constant support of the community and the mission behind their business, Pink Rose Cafe will be launching its new spot with a ribbon cutting ceremony this Wednesday, May 12, at 10:30am; the official grand opening will be Saturday, May 15, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR WAKEFIELD PLACEMENT DENIED BY JUDGE HARUTUNIAN

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Merle Wakefield, via San Diego Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force

May 10, 2021 (Mt. Helix) -- A San Diego Superior Court judge ruled today that a home in unincorporated El Cajon near Mt. Helix house is not an appropriate location to place a sexually violent predator (SVP).

Superior Court Judge Albert T. Harutunian III said that the house at 10957 Horizon Hills Drive is not appropriate to place sexually violent predator Merle Wade Wakefield. The judge indicated he will deny the placement because the neighborhood is too dense, and the house is too close to other homes with children, according to a press release issued by the Grossmont-Mount Helix Improvement Association (GMIA).

“It is not a safe placement for the community,” Harutunian said.


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EAST COUNTY CONCERTS, FESTIVALS AND CAR SHOWS COME ROARING BACK

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – As COVID-19 restrictions ease, some East County cities and organizations have announced plans to restart community events after a year of shutdowns.


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FIGHT OUTSIDE ALIBI BAR IN LA MESA LEADS TO SHOOTINGS

East County News Service
 
May 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police officers responded to reports of gunshots heard at 1:32 a.m. near the Alibi Bar at 5286 Baltimore Drive. Officers found a man in the parking lot who had been shot in the buttocks and rendered aid until paramedics arrived and took him to a hospital.

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LA MESA COMMUNITY GARDEN TAKES ROOT

By Brianna Gomez
 
Photo:  Misty Thompson (left) stands with Laurie MacDonald (right) celebrating the garden opening.
 
May 2, 2021 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation opened its long-awaited community garden yesterday morning.
 
“Everybody’s been waiting so long and they’re so excited,” said Misty Thompson, Executive Director. “So many people just don’t have that opportunity to have a garden in their yard, they might live in an apartment or something and to give them this opportunity is just amazing.”

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VICTIM IN LA MESA SHOOTING WAS SAILOR STATIONED AT CORONADO

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police have identified Cornelius Donte Brown, 22, as the victim shot and killed April 24 after answering a knock at the door of his apartment at 4306 Echo Court. Originally from South Carolina, Brown was on active duty with the U.S. Navy, stationed at Naval Base Coronado.

Witnesses inside the apartment told police that two black men in ski masks and black hooded sweatshirts were outside; one fired three shots at the victim, striking him twice, according to Lt. Gregory Runge with La Mesa Police.

The shooting occurred at 12:26 a.m. Police officers responding to several 9-1-1 calls reporting gunshots found Brown unresponsive, with gunshot wounds to his chest and neck.


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EMBR DISPENSARY, LARGEST IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY, OPENS IN LA MESA

Source: La Mesa Chamber of Commerce

Photo courtesy of Sandra Small, photographer

April 27, 2021 (La Mesa) -- On Tuesday April 20, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce joined members of the community and vendors at the grand opening of EMBR Dispensary. This new 35,000 square-foot dispensary at 8300 Center Drive in La Mesa is the largest dispensary in San Diego county.


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EDCO’S BURR FAMILY RECEIVES STATEWIDE RECOGNITION AS CHAMPIONS OF COMMUNITY

East County News Service

 

Photo courtesy of Sharp Healthcare

 

April 27, 2021 (La Mesa) -- The California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) announced at its annual conference held virtually this month that Ed and Sandy Burr were recipients of the organization’s 2020 Champion of the Community Service Award of Excellence. The award honors individuals or organizations who have contributed significant effort to influence and improve the quality of their community through parks and recreation. This statewide award recognizes the contributions of those who volunteer and/or provide support and services that furthers the mission and quality delivery of park and recreation services, programs and facilities. 


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LA MESA MAN SHOT AND KILLED BY MASKED MEN

By Miriam Raftery
 
April 24, 2021 (La Mesa) – A 22-year-old man has died after answering a knock on the door of his apartment shortly after midnight. Witnesses inside the apartment told police that two black men in ski masks and black hooded sweatshirts were outside; one fired three shots at the victim, striking him twice, according to Lt. Gregory Runge with La Mesa Police.

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VACANT HOME DAMAGED BY FIRE IN LA MESA

East County News Service
 
April 23, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Heartland Fire & Rescue units from La Mesa and Lemon Grove, with assistance from San Miguel Fire, were dispatched to a residential structure fire in the 8800 block of Mariposa St. in La Mesa this morning around 6:20 a.m.

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THOUSANDS OPPOSE PREDATOR PLACEMENTS ON HORIZON HILLS: MONDAY DEADLINE TO OPPOSE SECOND PROPOSED RELEASE

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Thousands of residents signed petitions, sent letters and/or testified against placement of sexually violent predator Douglas Badger at 10957 Horizon Hills in unincorporated El Cajon. Public officials also spoke out to oppose the plan. While the community awaits the judge’s decision on the proposed release of Badger, which would be supervised by Liberty Healthcare, placement of a second SVP, Merle Wakefield, at the same address has triggered new outrage and a planned rally tomorrow to oppose the action.

The community plans a “Sexual Violent Predator Placement Protest” on Saturday, April 24 at 3 p.m. in the cul-de-sac at Horizon Hills Drive and Estates Way.  Comments on placement of Wakefield are due by April 26 and can be sent to sdsafe@sdsheriff.org or by calling (858)495-3619.  Residents may also contact Governor Gavin Newsom to ask that he issue an order requiring Wakefield and Badger be housed in a trailer at a state correctional facility instead of at the Horizon Hills site near Mt. Helix.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL SETS EFFORTS ON ACHIEVING VACCINE EQUITY BY JUNETEENTH

By Alexa Oslowski

 

Source: former Councilmember Akilah Weber’s Twitter feed

 

April 20, 2021 (La Mesa) - On April 13 La Mesa City Council passed a resolution proposed by councilmembers Jack Shu and Bill Baber to improve vaccine equity by Juneteenth, or June 19.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LA MESA COMMISSION HOSTS FORUM APRIL 28 ON CITYWIDE COMMUNICATION

Source: City of La Mesa

April 10, 2021 (La Mesa) --  As part of the Livable La Mesa Age Friendly project, the City of La Mesa Community Relations and Veterans Commission will host a virtual forum on Wednesday, April 28 at 6:00 p.m. to solicit feedback on the City’s information distribution methods. The event will foster dialogue on the current methods of communication being used by the City of La Mesa and solicit input for improvement.

Questions, comments and suggestions are encouraged from residents as the City looks to improve distribution of critical information to further involve and inform the community.


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SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR FATAL HIT AND RUN IN LA MESA

East County News Service

April 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – Scott Satterfield of Spring Valley, 61, was arrested April 7 by the La Mesa Police Department on charges of felony hit and run.  An investigation found that Satterfield struck and killed 18-year-old Jok Joseph Jok on February 27, then fleeing the scene of the accident on Bancroft Drive.

Detectives from the La Mesa Police Department’s Investigations and Traffic Divisions, working with San Diego County Crime Stoppers, the media, and our community, were able to identify Satterfield as the suspected operator of the vehicle that struck Jok. The white pickup truck depicted in the previously released photographs has been located and is in police custody for evidence processing, according to a press release issued by LMPD.


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LA MESA POLICE SEEK ROBBERY SUSPECT IN RED DODGE CHARGER

East County News Service
 
April 7, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police seek public help to locate a suspect who robbed the Denny’s on Alvarado Road shortly after 1 p.m. today, then fled in a red Dodge Charger (license 5YVT249).

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COMMUNITY ORGANIZES TO PREVENT PLACEMENT OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS IN HORIZON HILLS NEAR MT. HELIX

 April 9 is deadline for comments to block Badger's release just outside El Cajon city limits

By Henri Migala

April 6, 2021 (Horizon Hills/Mt. Helix) -- The Grossmont Mount Helix Improvement Association (GMIA) hosted a community meeting on Tuesday, April 6, at 5:30, to protest the proposed placement of two sexually violent predators (SVP), Merle Wade Wakefield and Douglass Badger, at 10957 Horizon Hills Drive in their community.

Well over 200 local community members of all ages attended the neighborhood meeting.


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DR. AKILAH WEBER TAKES BIG LEAD, COULD AVOID RUNOFF IN SPECIAL ELECTION FOR 79TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT

Update April 11: Dr. Akilah Weber has won the election outright, avoiding a runoff with 52% of the votes. Only 300 ballots remain to be counted, not enough to change the outcome.

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

April 7, 2021 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa City Councilmember Dr. Akilah Weber took a big lead Tuesday night and could avoid a runoff in the special election to succeed her mother in the 79th Assembly District.

The seat is open because five-term Assemblymember Shirley Weber was appointed to succeed Alex Padilla as Secretary of State in a series of changes prompted by Sen. Kamala Harris’ election as Vice President. Padilla was appointed to succeed Harris in the Senate.

The younger Weber, a Democrat, received 52% of the vote, according to final unofficial election-night results from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

The projected number of outstanding ballots is 9,500, according to the Registrar of Voters. If Weber’s total remains above 50%, she will be elected without a runoff. If it falls below 50%, she will face Marco Contreras, the lone Republican in the field of five candidates, in a runoff June 8.


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SUCCESSFUL SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPING A CLICK AWAY FOR HELIX, PADRE DAM CUSTOMERS

Source: San Diego County Water Authority

Photos, before and after, courtesy of La Mesa resident Laurie Haeger: Haeger was inspired to replace her grassy front yard with sustainable, water-efficient landscaping thanks to landscape makeover classes and resources offered by the San Diego County Water Authority. 

April 6, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- No matter whether their landscaping is just a few square feet alongside a front porch or estate acreage, thousands of San Diego County residents have learned to embrace sustainability as a central principle for creating and renovating their landscapes. 


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SUSPECT ARRESTED AFTER ”DELIBERATELY” RAMMING MOTORISTS AT FOUR EAST COUNTY SITES

East County News Service
 
April 3, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – David Archer, 56, has been arrested after deliberately ramming multiple vehicles at three locations on Thursday. The suspect then fled, leading deputies in a pursuit from unincorporated La Mesa through Lemon Grove ending in Spring Valley, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s department.

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HEARING APRIL 20 ON PROPOSED RELEASE OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN EL CAJON NEAR MT. HELIX

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo courtesy of San Diego Sheriff’s department

 

Public comments accepted through April 9

 

March 30, 2021 (El Cajon) – The state has proposed releasing Douglas Badger, a sexually violent predator, into a supervised home at 10957 Horizon Hills Drive. The site is just east of Avocado Avenue in unincorporated El Cajon, near Mt. Helix.


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MISSING LA MESA WOMAN FOUND IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service
 
March 23, 2021 (La Mesa) – A missing elderly woman with early onset dementia was found safe and injured in Lemon Grove overnight.
 
“The La Mesa Police Department would like to thank the media and the public for their assistance,” says Lt. Greg Runge.

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RAILWAY MUSEUM SEEKS DONATIONS TO REPAIR DAMAGE TO LA MESA DEPOT

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 22, 2021 (La Mesa) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association (PSRMA) is asking for public help to repair extensive damage caused by an allegedly drunk driver last week. 

The La Mesa Depot Museum is La Mesa, California’s oldest building in its original form and is the sole surviving San Diego and Cuyamaca Railway Station in existence.

The driver struck the portico and main entryway of the historic structure, also damaging parked cars nearby. 
 
According to a Facebook Post by PSRMA, “Volunteers have boarded up and temporarily secured the structure from collapsing. We are waiting to receive damage and repair estimates and at the moment the museum has spent $1,700 just to remediate any further damage. At a time when the museum is already financially stretched, we need to ask the public for help with restoration costs.”

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PASSAGES: GROCERY INDUSTRY LEADER SHON BONEY DIES OF CANCER

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Shon Boney, a leader in the natural grocery store industry with long roots in East County, died March 8, 2021 at age 52 of brain cancer. 

Grandson of Henry Boney, the founder of Boney’s Marketplace, later known as Henry’s Marketplace, Shon worked in all aspects of the San Diego based business until it was sold to Wild Oats. He then moved to Arizona, where he co-founded and served as CEO of Sprouts Farmers Market, which grew into one of the nation’s preeminent healthy grocery store chains.


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HELIX WATER DISTRICT TO USE LEGAL SETTLEMENT TO REDUCE FUTURE RATES

District to hold rate hearing on April 28
 
Source: Helix Water District 
 
March 19, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Helix Water District will use $2.8 million received from the San Diego County Water Authority as part of a legal settlement with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to reduce future water rates for the district’s customers.

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LA MESA OFFICER'S 'HEART DROPPED' AFTER SHOOTING LESLIE FURCRON; HE'S FAULTED IN NEWLY RELEASED REPORT

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Arrow points to La Mesa police Detective Eric Knudson before he withdrew behind a wall and shot Leslie Furcron with a beanbag shell. LMPD photo

March 19, 2021 (La Mesa) - Eric Knudson, the La Mesa police officer cleared by county and local authorities in his beanbag shooting of Leslie Furcron last May at a George Floyd protest, returned to work last week, but remains under a cloud.


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