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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LA MESA APPROVES COLLABORATING WITH COUNTY AND CITIES TO HOUSE HOMELESS, BUT REJECTS LOTHIAN PLAN TO BUY CAMPO SITE

By J.W. August

 

May 12, 2022 (La Mesa) -- The Tuesday evening La Mesa City Council meeting was a study in contrasts as elected leaders tackled a discussion that has no doubt played out in other council chambers across the country — what to do about the homeless problem. 


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ALVARADO HOSPITAL RECEIVES “C” RATING FOR SAFETY DUE TO INFECTIONS; SHARP GROSSMONT RATES AN “A”

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Operating room, CC by ND via Bing

May 10, 2022 (San Diego) -- The Spring 2022 Hospital Safety Grades report released today by The Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit health care watchdog organization,  gave most local hospitals an “A” rating for patient safety during the pandemic, including Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, which serves East County. But East County’s other hospital, Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, received a dismal “C” rating due largely to its below average performance in preventing infections including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. 


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READER'S EDITORIAL: PLEASE DO NOT EXPORT YOUR HOMELESS PROBLEM TO CAMPO

This letter was written in response to La Mesa City Councilmember Laura Lothian's proposal to purchase land in Campo to house La Mesa's homeless population. The item is slated to be heard tonight, May 10. Tisdale sent copies of her letter to the city of La Mesa, Supervisor Joel Anderson, and Campo-Lake Morena's planning group chair Billie Jo Jannen.

By Donna Tisdale, Chair, Boulevard Planning Group (photo, left)

First and foremost, It would be the courteous and ethical thing to do to provide timely notice and ask the Campo - Lake Morena Community Planning Group to weigh in on your proposal to export your problem to their predominantly low-income rural community where most residents are already struggling to survive the pandemic, government-induced inflated cost of living, and a basically open US/Mexico border with daily smuggling activities. They don't need an additional problem foisted on them.

Rural residents have the added burden of an expensive commute due to the increasing cost of gas. We make many sacrifices in order to enjoy the benefits of quiet country living.  A serious lack of local services is one of those sacrifices ,including very limited medical and law enforcement .  In some cases, it may take days for law enforcement to answer a call to a rural home.

Exporting your homeless problem to Campo's underserved rural area is neither justified nor warranted for local residents or the homeless population. Shelters / alternative housing should be placed close to services, not an hour away.


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SUSPECTED SERIAL THIEF ARRESTED, TIED TO MAGNOLIA HOMELESS CAMP AS CITIES AND COUNTY WEIGH REGIONAL SOLUTION TO HOMELESSNESS

East County News Service

May 7, 2022 (El Cajon) – A man accused of stealing a bicycle and a suitcase full of goods from a Target Store was arrested following a pursuit by El Cajon Police officers on Monday, May 2.  According to Lt. Randy Soulard, the suspect, Sterle Floyd Sisco lived at a homeless camp at Magnolia near the Vernon St. overpass in the unincorporated area. Sisco was on probation for assault with a deadly weapon and has an extensive criminal history including prior arrests for assault, burglary, theft, domestic violence and drug possession. He is also a suspect in numerous prior retail thefts.

The recent arrest highlights concerns over the encampment just days after Supervisor Joel Anderson held a press conference calling for a regional solution to homelessness, an action that will require cooperation from the four cities in East County.


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THE COLONIZED AND THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA: LA MESA AUTHOR’S TRUE STORY DEPICTS STRUGGLES IN KENYA

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

Author to hold book signing at Julian Library on May 10 at 1 p.m.

 

May 5, 2022 (La Mesa) -- The Colonized and the Scramble for Africa, the first of The Colonized series, provides true stories of how the author, Wanjirũ Waramaher family and community lived in abject poverty on British colonial farms in Kenya.

Warama, a resident of La Mesa, is a member of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. She will host a book signing in Julian at the County Library on May 10 at 1 p.m.


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SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY POWER EXPLAINS ITS PROGRAM

By Pennell Paugh

May 4, 2022 (La Mesa) – On Wednesday, April 27, the City of La Mesa (the City) provided a virtual meeting between the public and San Diego Community Power (SDCP) and San Diego Electric and Gas (SDG&E) to discuss the new SDCP program.


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SAN DIEGO CONCERT BAND ANNOUNCES SUMMER OF MUSIC

East County News Service

May 3, 2022 (San Diego) – The San Diego Concert Band has announced five concerts in its upcoming “summer of music” series including a performance July 10 in East County at La Mesa’s Harry Griffin Park.

Below is the full schedule of events.


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U.S. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION NAMES ST. MARTIN OF TOURS ACADEMY A 2022 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION GREEN RIBBON SCHOOL

East County News Service

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

April 23, 2022 (La Mesa) - The U.S. Department of Education announced today that St. Martin of Tours Academy in La Mesa, CA is among the 2022 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees.


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LA MESA CHAMBER INVITES YOU TO SHOP & DINE LA MESA MAY 21 TO HELP LOCAL BUSINESSES AT LAKE MURRAY VILLAGE

East County News Service

Photo: Brew Coffee Spot is one of many shops in the Lake Murray Village Shopping Center

April 22, 2022 (La Mesa) -- On Saturday, May 21st the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to join them at a new community event, “Shop & Dine La Mesa” located at the Marketplace at Lake Murray Village Shopping Center, at the corner of Lake Murray Blvd. and Baltimore Drive (5550-5680 Lake Murray Blvd.) between 11:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.


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LA MESA TO HOST MEETING ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY APRIL 27

Photo: La Mesa Townhalls in 2018

By Jonathan Goetz

April 16, 2022 (La Mesa) - Building on a unanimous September 10, 2019 decision by this City's Council in California to join a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) with Chula Vista, Encinitas, Imperial Beach and San Diego, cityoflamesa.us will livecast a forum on April 27 at 6 p.m. 

Representatives from La Mesa, San Diego Gas & Electric and San Diego Community Power will discuss their design to expand cheaper cleaner electricity.

There are two options to participate:

1. Zoom (https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87079769622)

2. La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center (8450 La Mesa Blvd.)


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CITY OF LA MESA HIRES NEW DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

Veteran Public Works czar Michael Throne brings vast experience to the position

Source:  City of La Mesa

April 14, 2022 (La Mesa) - With a commitment to tackling aging infrastructure, the City of La Mesa has tapped Michael Throne to be the new Director of Public Works. Throne, who started on April 11, has more than three decades of experience in reimagining engineering in the public sector.


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VACCINE CASH AND MORE: LA MESA APPROVES PHASE TWO ALLOCATION OF ARPA FUNDS

By Elijah McKee

April 13, 2022 (La Mesa) — City of La Mesa employees are now eligible for $500 bonus checks — and if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, they can receive an additional $500. 


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JUDGE FINDS LA MESA WAS JUSTIFIED IN FIRING OFFICER MATT DAGES

By Miriam Raftery

April 13, 2022 (La Mesa) – The city of La Mesa’s decision to fire La Mesa Police Officer Matt Dages in 2020 was “supported by the weight of the evidence”, according to a tentative ruling issued by Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal.  According to the Judge, the evidence showed that Dages provided “false and misleading” information in his report on his arrest of Amaurie Johnson.


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MISSING WOMAN: NICOLE PARE’S PURSE FOUND IN LA MESA, WHITE AUDI SEEN IN LA MESA AND LEMON GROVE

East County News Service

Update April 14:  Nicole Pare has been found safe, according to SDPD, which did not release details.

April 13, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Police seek help to locate Nicole Marie Paré, 32, a Pacific Beach woman who vanished without picking up a family member at the airport on Monday, April 11. Her white Audi A5 (CA license plate 7VAZ668) was seen Monday in La Mesa and Lemon Grove, and her purse was found in La Mesa.

She is considered at risk due to the circumstances; her family told police she has never gone missing before.

She has blond hair, brown eyes, is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds.


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DRAMATIC MAKEOVER OF CAMPO ROAD CORRIDOR IN CASA DE ORO SET FOR COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION HEARING APRIL 22

By Miriam Raftery

April 12, 2022 (Casa de Oro) – A dramatic transformation of the Campo Road Corridor through Casa de Oro in Spring Valley is planned to create a Main Street ambience in the heart of the community.  On April 22, the County Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the proposed Campo Road Revitalization specific plan.

A central plaza for outdoor community activites, roundabouts, bike and pedestrian friendly changes, trees, outdoor seating, a center median, new street parking, and housing up to four-stories high are all in the revitalization plan. It covers 60 acres centered on Campo Road from Rodgers Rd. to Granada Ave. to be completed in three phases aimed at attracting private investors and enhancing the community. The plan would also seek grants and governmental funding, as well as potentially a planned business improvement district (PBID).

View the Campo Road Corridor Revitalization Specific Plan here, which includes many photos and illustrations of possible prototypes in other cities.The hearing will be both in person and online. The agenda and details will be posted under the “upcoming meetings” listing within 3 days of the April 22 hearing. Here are details on how to stream County Planning Commission meetings to watch from home or participate. Scroll down for details.


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LAMPLIGHTERS PRESENTS NEIL SIMON'S "RUMORS"

By Kathy Carpenter
 
April 12, 2022 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters'  "Rumors" is a classic farce.  A farce is defined as a comedy that seeks to entertain an audience through situations that are highly exaggerated, extravagant, ridiculous, absurd and improbable. With lots of doors, comings and goings and people impersonating other people. An evening of fun and laughter. 

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MT. HELIX TO HOST GOOD FRIDAY UNDER THE STARS AND EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE

By Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2022 (Mt. Helix) – The amphitheater atop Mt. Helix has been holding Sunrise Easter Service since 1917 and the tradition continues this year on April 17. Now for the first time, the venue will also hold a “Good Friday Under the Stars” on April 15.


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SECOND ARSONIST SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR BURNING DOWN CHASE BANK IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jake Rose: Chase Bank in flames during May 30, 2020 riot in downtown La Mesa

April 5, 2022 (La Mesa) – One of several people alleged to have set fires which burned down the Chase Bank in La Mesa following a May 30, 2020 riot has been sentenced to 16 months in prison.  Alexander King, 20, pleaded guilty in February to a felony count of recklessly causing fire of a structure.


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PRISONER ARRESTED AFTER ESCAPING FROM SHARP GROSSMONT HOSPITAL IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

April 5, 2022 (La Mesa) – A prisoner who had a medical emergency during an appearance at the El Cajon Courthouse  yesterday was taken by ambulance to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. He escaped from the hospital at 6:30 p.m., prompting a helicopter search, and was found in a creek near the trolley tracks a half hour later.


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CANDLELIGHT OPEN AIR CONCERT: POP ON STRINGS MAY 28 ON MT. HELIX

East County News Service

April 3, 2022 (Mt. Helix) – Live music returns to Mt. Helix Park on Saturday, May 28 at 8 p.m. with a candlelight open air pop concert on strings.  A talented string quartet will take you on a musical journey through the ages, performing pop songs on classical instruments while you savor the stunning outdoor backdrop in a memorable experience.


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SMALL FIRE DOUSED NEAR LA MESA TROLLEY STOP

East County News Service

Image: CC via Bing

Update April 2, 2022: A suspect, 31, has been arrested on suspicion of arson in this case, as well as throwing a rock at the trolley.

March 31, 2022 (La Mesa) – A brush fire scorched less than an acre yesterday afternoon before being doused by Heartland Fire & Rescue crews.


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CITY OF LA MESA CELEBRATES EARTH DAY WITH FREE FAIR APRIL 9

Activities, resources & educational materials focus on ways to invest in our planet

Source:  City of La Mesa

March 29, 2022 (La Mesa) - The City of La Mesa, in partnership with the La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation and other sponsors, is ramping up efforts for the annual celebration of Earth Day at MacArthur Park on Saturday, April 9 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The event will showcase fun, educational, and sustainable activities, products and services.


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ASSEMBLYMEMBER WEBER TO HOST COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS WITH LA MESA RESIDENTS

East County News Service

March 27, 2022 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa Conversations invites you to meet with Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber on Sunday, April 3 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. for a legislative update and a chance to share your priorities for the City of La Mesa.

The meeting will be at La Mesita Park, located at 8855 Dallas Street, La Mesa.  Please bring your own lawn chair or blanket for comfortable seating.


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CASA DE PICO NAMED BEST RESTAURANT IN EAST COUNTY

Iconic Diane Powers restaurant honored by San Diego Regional East County Chamber of Commerce 

East County News Service

March 21, 2022 (La Mesa) - Diane Powers’ Mexican restaurant Casa de Pico has been named the “Best Restaurant in East County” by the members of the San Diego Regional East County Chamber of Commerce, awarded during the chamber’s 110th annual East County Honors ceremony on February 27.  


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SPRING VALLEY FREEWAY SHOOTING VICTIM DIES; ARREST MADE

By Miriam Raftery

March 19, 2022 (San Diego) – Today the California Highway Patrol announced the arrest of Thomas Evans III, 47 of La Mesa. He is charged with the murder of Saundralina Williams, 27, who was shot while driving her white SUV on State Route 94 in Spring Valley on March 5 near the Kenwood Drive exit. 

Williams was the mother of three young children and a resident of National City. 


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LA MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT PURCHASES SCHOOL SAFETY PATROL EQUIPMENT

Source:  City of La Mesa

March 11, 2022 (La Mesa) - “It is important that the commuting public is always mindful of the increase in children in and around our neighborhoods before and after school,” Sergeant Tim Purdy said. 


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PASSAGES: COMEDIAN, MUSICIAN AND RADIO HOST RUSS T NAILZ (RUSS STOLNACK)

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Russ T Nailz on Facebook

 

March 10, 2022 (San Diego)  He often said he’d been making people laugh since June 1957, when he was born. Yesterday, the laughter stopped when Russ Stolnack, Jr., aka Russ T Nailz, died at age 64. The long-time East County resident was a multiple Emmy award-winning entertainer best known as a comedian, radio hostmusician and celebrity auctioneer for charities.

 

On his Facebook page, he celebrated “making a living doing what I love.”

 

He also died doing what he loved, while filming "On The Air."  His  long-time TV and radio cohost, Robert “Sully” Sullivan, said Stolnack “was signing a song with the house band when he had a heart attack, and – just like that – he was gone.”


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TRUCK COLLIDES WITH MOTORCYCLE IN SANTEE, KILLING LA MESA MAN

East County News Service

March 10, 2022 (San Diego) – A La Mesa man, 26, died at the scene of an accident early this morning after he was struck by a truck and ejected off his Honda motorcycle onto westbound State Route 52.

The accident occurred at 5:13 a.m. just west of Mast Blvd.  According to the California Highway Patrol, a Freightliner truck tractor-trailer combination driven by a 34-year-old Lakeside man collided with the motorcycle.


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GIRL SCOUTS OFFERED TO SPEAK IN LA MESA AT AAUW MEETING MARCH 12

East County News Service

March 5, 2022 (La Mesa) -- On March 12 at 10 a.m., the La Mesa-El Cajon Branch of the American Association of University Women will welcome Michelle Mullen, Chief Mission Delivery Officer of the San Diego Girl Scouts at their general meeting. The topic for the presentation is Girl Scouts Today: Mission and Design.


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