La Mesa/Mt. Helix

CHICK-FIL-A IN SANTEE, LA MESA OFFERS FREE FOOD TO MOBILE APP USERS

 

East County News Service

November 7, 2018 (San Diego's East County) –  The 14 Chick-fil-A restaurants across San Diego County are teaming up to offer free food to customers who download or log into the Chick-fil-A Mobile App in November through Dec. 1. Chick-fil-A restaurants in East County are located at 8200 Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa, and 9418 Mission Gorge Road, Santee.

WOMEN WINNING IN LA MESA SPRING-VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD RACE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left to right:  Rebecca McRae, Charda Fontenot, and Megan Epperson

November 7, 2018 (La Mesa-Spring Valley) – Three seats are open in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District due to three conservative Republicans stepping down.  Two slates have been vying for those seats and with 63% of precincts tallied, voters appear to have split among the conservative and reform slates. The common factor among the three currently in the lead is gender: all three are women in an election season that’s seen women winning races across the nation.

Teacher Rebecca McRae and lactation consultant/parent Charda Fontenot, both endorsed by the district’s teacher’s union and by the Democratic party in the official nonpartisan race, are currently in first and second place with 21.25% and 15.34%.  Megan Epperson, a parent backed by the Republican Party, has 15.19%.

WEBER, BABER LEAD IN TIGHT RACE IN LA MESA

 

Update November 7, 2018:  With 39% of precincts tallied, Weber and Baber maintain the lead with 27.43% and 25.94% respectively over McWhirter at 24.79% and Myers at 21.84%. 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dr. Akilah Weber and her sons at Democratic Party celebration downtown

November 6, 2018 (La Mesa) — One of the closest races in East County is unfolding in La Mesa, where incumbents Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter face tough challenges from physician Akilah Weber and retired Sheriff’s commander Dave Myers.  Weber is currently in first place with 27.06% of the vote, narrowly leading over Baber at 26.22% and McWhirter at 25.03%, with Myers at 21.68%.  But only five of 33 precincts have been counted as of midnight.

The offices are officially nonpartisan, but Weber and Myers are endorsed by Democrats while Baber and McWhirter are backed by Republicans.  The “blue wave” that swept Democrats into control of the House of Representatives thus far appears to have split in La Mesa.

FALSE AND MISLEADING HIT PIECES TARGET DEMOCRATS IN LA MESA

Updated with comments from Councilmembers Baber and McWhirter, plus additional information on the Public Safety Advocates PAC.

By Miriam Raftery

November 4, 2018 (La Mesa) – A flurry of deceptive mailers have been sent to Democrats in La Mesa, where two Democratic candidates, Dr. Akilah Weber and retired Sheriff commander Dave Myers are challenge Republican incumbents Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter.  

One mailer paid for by the Baber-McWhirter campaign urged Democrats to vote – on the wrong date. (The election is Tuesday, November 6th.) The flyer had photos endorsing Republicans McWhirter and Baber as well as Mayor Mark Arapostathis, who is running unopposed. Baber says this was his mistake. "It was a typo. I wish I had Miriam as my editor!" he quipped. His campaign later sent a corrected copy, which he forwarded to ECM.

Two other mailers were sent by the “Public Safety Advocates” PAC in Encinitas and include negative information on the two Democrats, including false statements about Weber

LA MESA HOLIDAYS IN THE VILLAGE DEC. 7-8

 

East County News Service

November 1, 2018 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Village Association will present Holiday in the Village December 7th   from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and 8th from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  You’re invited to stroll through the streets of La Mesa’s historic downtown to enjoy live music and dance, cozy fires, craft vendors, food, and a kids' area with holiday movies and activities.

There will also be fire pits, caroling and more in the spirit of the season.

Find more information at www.LaMesaVillageAssociation.org.

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR HALLOWEEN PARTY! OCT. 28 AT OUR EDITOR'S "HIDEAWAY HAVEN"

 

October 18, 2018  (La Mesa/Mt. Helix) -- You're invited to East County Magazine's Halloween party at our editor's "haunting Hideaway haven"  in the La Mesa/Mt. Helix area (4438 Hideaway Place, La Mesa).  The fun begins at 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 28th.

Costume contest for best individual and best couples costumes

Costumes are optional but recommended for those with the holiday "spirit!"

Music by Paul Nichols and Tim Luranc: guitar/harmonica/vocal: folks, blues, pop and of course, Monster Mash!

Cost: Just $10 and bring a dish to share.

RSVP  Call 619-698-7617 or email editor@eastcountymagazine.org and please let us know if you'll bring an appetizer, side dish, main dish or dessert.

Over $1,000 in prizes!

Special thanks to our major sponsor:

Prize sponsors:  Granite Lion Cellars, EMed Spa, Giardino's, Mountain Mike's, Ranch Feed & Supply, Barnes and Noble, Maxwell's  House of Books, Club Pilates, Prete a Porte Salon, Maldini's Pizzeria, San Diego Festival Chorus & Orchestra, Filippi's Pizza Grotto, Gypsy Treasures, authors Joyce Strand & Teresa Burrell, Visionary Dance Theatre, & more.

Proceeds benefit:   East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts and East County Magazine community news published by the nonprofit 501c3 Heartland Coalition.

(actual photos of our past Halloween parties at our editor's Hideaway haven)

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: CHARDÁ FONTENOT, LMSV SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE ON RESTORING RESPECT AND CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT GAP

 

Reform candidates’ slate reveals opponents used deceptive tactics, including fake photo, misleading claim on backing by teachers, and scare tactic over theater program

Listen to our interview aired on KNSJ

East County News Service

October 26, 2018 (La Mesa) – Chardá Fontenot is representing a slate of three candidates running to bring changes to the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District board. She says  she wants to increase transparency, bridge the achievement gap between minority and white students, bring back sixth grade camp, increase revenue sources and restore respect by board members to students, teachers and parents. 

She’s also criticized an opposing slate for deceptive tactics used in their campaign, including running a fake candidate photo and misleading voters on which slate has backing from the LMSV Teacher's Association.

Fontenot has served as a district advisory council representative, parent volunteer, and currently chairs the school site council. A mother who once attended schools in the district herself, she’s also  a certified lactation counselor who owns a lactation business.

Hear her full interview on KNSJ 89.1 FM at the audio link and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Interview with Charda Fontenot, LMSV candidate

STUDENT BODY-SLAMMED AT HELIX HIGH FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST LA MESA AND POLICE OFFICER

By Miriam Raftery

October 25, 2018 (La Mesa)—Brianna Bell, a Helix Charter High School student shown on video slammed to the ground in handcuffs by a La Mesa Police officer, has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of La Mesa (Brianna Bell v. City of La Mesa, Scott Wulfing, U.S. District Court Case No. 18CV2455 BEN BLM).

The lawsuit alleges that LMPD School Resource Officer Scott Wulfing used excessive force, violated Bell’s civil rights, inflicted emotional distress, and committed assault and battery. Officer Wulfing is also named individually in the suit. He is on administrative leave pending the outcome of a third party independent investigation.

ENVISION LA MESA’S CLEAN UP MAKES THE WEST SIDE SHINE

 

Source: Envision La Mesa

October 24, 2018 (La Mesa) -- Last Saturday, volunteers from across the City of La Mesa took a hand in cleaning up University Avenue at Envision La Mesa’s “Shining Our Streets” event. Neighbors and students from nearby Helix High School gathered unsightly trash, reported issues requiring the city’s attention through the YourGov app and dropped by to thank local businesses who chipped in to ensure participants had the supplies they needed for a successful event.

DONATE TOYS FOR LA MESA MILITARY FAMILIES TOY DRIVE

 

East County News Service

October 22, 2018 (La Mesa) -- Make the holidays special for military children and families that live in La Mesa military housing. La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is gathering toys, diapers and items for children between the ages of 2 - 13 years old. The Chamber will host a toy drive party at BJ's restaurant in Grossmont Center on December 4th from 5:30 - 7 p.m. to celebrate. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and join in the fun! 

READER’S EDITORIAL: LA MESA’S CHOICE

 

By Dr. Anthony Mc Ivor

October 21, 2018 (La Mesa) -- This year’s City Council election offers La Mesa an exciting and encouraging choice. Exciting, because for the first time in many years the challengers present a bright contrast to the incumbents. And encouraging, because La Mesa surely needs the integrity, fresh ideas, community insights, and sheer energy the challengers are bringing to the contest.

LA MESA POLICE ASK MOTORCYLISTS TO SLOW DOWN AFTER FOUR HIGH-SPEED INJURY CRASHES, ONE FATAL

 

 

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of LMPD

October 20, 2018 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa Police are advising motorcylists to “please slow down and be careful, your life may depend on it,” after investigating four accidents involving serious motorcycle collisions including a fatality crash in the past six weeks.  “Excessive speed has been a factor in all of these crashes,” a tweet sent by LMSD states.  #Slowdown #drivesafe

ECM FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: FOUR-TOUCHDOWN THIRD LIFTS HELIX OVER GRANITE HILLS

 

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Check out our sports section for more sports stories!

Story and photos by Liz Alper

October 19, 2018 (El Cajon) - Unbelievable that it’s late October already, but we’re already on week nine of the prep football season and ECM Friday Night Lights is at Granite Hills for what should be a high-scoring matchup between the undefeated-in-league (5-3 overall, 3-0 league) Scottie Dawgs from Helix and the undefeated-in-every-sense-of-the-word Eagles (8-0 overall, 3-0 league).  The winner of this game is crowned the Grossmont Hills Championship game winner.

HEARTLAND FIRE & RESCUE APPOINTS NEW CHIEF

 

Source: Heartland Fire & Rescue

Photo:  Steve Swaney, new Heartland Fire Chief

October 17, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) --The Cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove, which jointly manage Heartland Fire & Rescue, have selected Steve Swaney as the next Fire Chief.  The City Managers for the three cities (Graham Mitchell of El Cajon, Yvonne Garrett of La Mesa, and Lydia Romero of Lemon Grove) made the announcement that Swaney will begin serving in this capacity on October 20, 2018.  Chief Swaney replaces Colin Stowell, who recently was appointed Fire Chief for the City of San Diego.

SANDAG HOSTS A COMMUNITY CONVERSATION IN EAST COUNTY TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF TRANSPORTATION

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2018 (La Mesa) – SANDAG will host a community conversation with East County on the future of transportation on Thursday, October 18th at the La Mesa Arts Academy (4200 Parks Ave. in La Mesa) from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.. The even will be hosted by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and La Mesa Councilmember Kristine Alessio. Below are details.

HIDDEN GEMS: DELI EDITION, A DELICIOUS SUCCESS

 

By Craig Reed, Envision La Mesa

October 16, 2018 (La Mesa) -- Envision La Mesa hosted its second Hidden Gems event on Saturday, October 13 at BMH Italian Deli located at 7670 El Cajon Blvd in La Mesa. More than 20 participants met Sammy Carini, the owner of the deli, while enjoying handcrafted deli sandwiches, soups, and cannolis.

FATHER OF THREE KILLED IN LA MESA SHED COLLAPSE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 16, 2018 (La Mesa) – Paul Sandoval, 33, died Wednesday after a shed he was demolishing in La Mesa collapsed on him, with a large beam landing on his back.  He was found with no pulse and though paramedics revived him, he suffered brain damage and ultimately could not survive. His kidneys and liver were donated to help others live.

LA MESA/SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES SHARE VIEWS IN COMMUNITY FORUM

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, from left to right:  Steve Babbit, Rebecca McRae, Jerry Lecko, Charda Fontenot

 

October 16, 2018 (La Mesa) - Political civility ruled when four candidates for three open positions on the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board appeared at a community forum put on by the La Mesa First United Methodist Church in downtown La Mesa. Appearing at the event were Steve Babbit, Jerry LeckoChardá Fontenot, and Rebecca McRae. Declared candidates Megan Epperson, Brianna Garza, and Matthew Austin Sablove, although invited, were not present at the forum.

 

LA MESA WINE WORKS CELEBRATES FRUITFUL TWO YEARS AT ANNIVERSARY PARTY SATURDAY

 

From Maine lobsters to wine slushies, games to rock ‘n’ roll music, urban winery is pulling out all the stops for anniversary bash Oct. 13 from  12 noon to 10 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

October 11, 2018 (La Mesa) – With a motto of “when all else fails, wine works!” La Mesa Wine Works opened its doors two years ago as a cooperative urban winery tasting room serving up award-winning vintages from San Pasqual Winery and Wyatt Oaks.  Now the space has become a hub of activities ranging from live music on weekends to trivia nights, classes, fundraisers for charities and the ever-popular $5 wine night complete with wine slushies and frozen sangrias.

“Business has been good,” says Mike McWilliams of San Pasqual Winery.  On Saturday, October 13th from 12 noon to 10 p.m., Wine Works is celebrating its two-year anniversary with festivities that start with Cousins Maine Lobster truck from noon to 3 p.m. and Quick Stop Grill from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Live music wil include the Sock Monkeys from 3 to5  pm. and the Phoenix Band from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.  Guests can also enjoy games and in the afternoon, $5 specials on all glasses of wine, wine slushiness and frozen sangrias. The party will go on rain or shine.

SURF RIDER PIZZA OPENS LA MESA LOCATION IN NOVEMBER COMPLETE WITH BAKERY AND BAR

 

Pizza goodness with an East Coast accent comes to San Diego’s East County community

East County News Service

October 10, 2018 (La Mesa) – Surf Rider Pizza Co. will officially open in downtown La Mesa the first week of November.  Surf Rider Pizza Co. is known for its East Coast-style pizza available whole or by the slice, fresh salads, authentic Stromboli and cheesesteaks and decadent homemade desserts from the onsite bakery. While born in the beachside communities of San Diego, the Surf Rider Pizza Co. brand continues to grow throughout the region, bringing a slice of the East Coast to San Diego.

JOIN LA MESA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO HELP HOMEBOUND SENIORS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

 

Source: La Mesa Chamber of Commerce

October 10, 2018 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce encourages you to join them and make a difference in the lives of La Mesa homebound seniors. The Chamber is gathering items now through November 30th for 24 seniors as part of its annual drive.

MAINE LOBSTERS AND LIVE MUSIC AT WINE WORKS ANNIVERSARY PARTY OCT. 13 IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

October 4, 2018 (La Mesa)—La Mesa Wine Works is pulling out all the stops for its second anniversary party – and not just stoppers in wine bottles.

For the celebration on Saturday, October 13 from 12 to 10 p.m., the wine tasting room will also have live music, food trucks including main lobsters, games, and during the afternoon hours, specials on all glasses of wine, wine slushies, and frozen sangrias ($5).

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS: FOUR CANDIDATES VIE FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Dave Myers, Bill Baber, Akilah Weber and Guy McWhirter

 

September 29, 2018 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Councilmembers Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter are running on their records. Their challengers, retired Sheriff’s commander Dave Myers and physician Akilah Weber, are running on the slogan “Elect a cop and a doc.” East County Magazine sat down with all four candidates on our radio show, originally aired on KNSJ. 

Key issues in La Mesa include affordable housing and development vs. community character, downtown revitalization, crime and public safety, public health,  marijuana regulations, the city’s climate action plan, and a potential new library.

You can click the audio links to hear each interview, and scroll down for highlights. Candidates are listed in the order that they scheduled their interviews.

Audio: 

Interview with Dave Myers, La Mesa City Council candidate 2018
Interview with Bill Baber, La Mesa City Councilmember on candidacy 2018
Interview with Dr. Akilah Weber, La Mesa City Council candidate 2018
Interview with Guy McWhirter, La Mesa City Councilmember on candidacy 2018

FULL HOUSE FOR EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB AT FOURPENNY HOUSE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 29, 2018 (La Mesa) – Our East County Dining Club filled up Fourpenny House in La Mesa Wednesday night for a sold-out event.  Guests savored dishes ranging from Scottish mussels to Yorkshire wraps, also enjoying a demonstration of the Scottish pipes by proprietary Peter Soutowood. 

TOBY THE T-REX HAS NEW HILLTOP HOME IN LA MESA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos provided by Jeff Phair

September 28, 2018 (La Mesa) – Last week,  San Diego Union-Tribune writer Karen Pearlman posted a photo of a Tyrannosaurus Rex metal sculpture that mysteriously appeared in La Mesa at the future site of the La Mesa Summit Estates, raising the question of why the giant dinosaur statue had suddenly shown up in the Jewel of the Hills, as La Mesa is known.

SKYLINE CHURCH PLAN FOR SENIOR FACILITY ON OPEN LAND DRAWS CONTROVERSY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 25, 2018 (Rancho San Diego) – The Valle de Oro Planning Group has voted 12-2 on September 4th to oppose a proposal by Skyline Church to build a senior living facility on 9 acres of open land  north of Highway 94 in Rancho San Diego.  Planners and long-time community residents say that when the evangelical megachurch was built, church leaders promised the county to preserve this site as open space. 

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS OF EAST COUNTY SCHEDULES RIBBON CUTTING IN LA MESA FOR NEW BRADY FAMILY CLUBHOUSE AND GAGON ACADEMY

East County News Service

September 24, 2018 (La Mesa) – The Boys and Girls Clubs of East County (BGCEC) has scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the end of 14 months of construction for its new Brady Family Clubhouse in La Mesa that houses the Gagon Academy, a learning center and homework room, and the Bill Walton Gymnasium.

SAVOR SCOTTISH CUISINE AND BREWS WITH EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB SEPT. 26 AT FOURPENNY HOUSE IN LA MESA

 

 

East County Dining Club

September 7, 2018 (La Mesa) – Our next East County Dining Club adventure will be on Wednesday, September 26th at 6:30 p.m. at Fourpenny House, a delightfully cozy and delicious Scottish restaurant and pub in La Mesa’s downtown Village (8383 La Mesa Blvd.)  RSVP early to reserve space at this popular new eatery.

Savor Scottish foods such as bangers and mash, crofter’s pie, salmon, ale-braised mussels, artisanal cheese, Yorkshire wraps, bread pudding and more, plus custom-brewed craft beers, wine and spirits.  

Order anything you desire off the menu and Fourpenny House will donate 20% of proceeds to benefit East County Magazine and East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts.

We will also have lots of prizes including gift certificates from Fourpenny House, Farmer's Table, Vine Cottage, Reanimated Records, books from Maxwell's House of Books, a Celtic music CD, jewelry, San Pasqual wine, and more!

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