La Mesa/Mt. Helix

GROSSMONT CENTER FARMER’S MARKET LAUNCHES AS NONPROFIT: MALL REDUCES RATES FOR FARMERS AND DONATES 100% TO LA MESA PARKS

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2019 (La Mesa)—Samples of sweet tangerines, Moroccan olives, duck pate and doughnut peaches—along with free shopping bags—were among the treats welcoming shoppers at Grossmont Center’s inaugural farmer’s market today. Other tempting items included culinary herbs and teas, plump dates, lamb and duck sausages, hummus and tzatziki dips, marinades, sauces and more.

I picked up some microgreens, juicy citrus and ripe avocados, then spoke with market organizer Trevor Moore, also the public relations director for the regional shopping mall.

“We’ve decided to run our market as a nonprofit and donate 100% of proceeds to the La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation,” he says, adding that Grossmont’s owners, the Cushman family, want to help farmers and give back to their community. “We were charging farmers 8% of sales. We’ve cut that in half, to 4%.” That’s far below rates at other local markets, where charges range as high as 15%. 


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CALAWARE ATTORNEY: COUNCILMAN PARENT SHOULD RECUSE FROM VOTING ON FARMER’S MARKET

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 23, 2019 (La Mesa) – An attorney with Californians Aware (CalAware), an organization that protects the public’s rights in open government matters, has advised ECM that Councilman Colin Parent should likely recuse himself from tonight’s vote on the La Mesa Farmer’s Market for showing bias prior to public testimony.

Four applicants have submitted applicants. Three would keep the market downtown and one, Grossmont Center, would move it to the regional shopping mall.

ECM sought Calaware's opinion after Councilman Parent posted a notice on the NextDoor forum urging residents to email a form letter to fellow councilmembers asking that the farmer’s market be kept downtown. A resident sent us a reader’s editorial and a letter to the full Council and  City Manager complaining of bias.  

Parent also sent a media advisory announcing a press conference to be held at 5 p.m., before tonight’s meeting, which he plans to hold with Brian Beevers, who currently operates the farmer’s market along with the La Mesa Village Association. The media notification states,  “ Both support the current location and date of the Farmer’s Market.”


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READER’S EDITORIAL: COLIN PARENT – YOUR BIAS IS SHOWING ON FARMER’S MARKET

Who does Colin Parent really serve?

An Open letter to the La Mesa City Council and City Manager

By Marcia Tolin, La Mesa resident

July 23, 2019 (La Mesa) -- I am a bit taken back by this recent post on a thread on NextDoor regarding the Farmer’s Market before tonight’s vote on which of four proposals to adopt.  The scare mongers are out there in full force and one of your colleagues is spear heading it.  If you have not seen this link and web page, I encourage all of you to look at it.  https://www.colinparent.org/farmersmarket

It seems to me that Councilmember Parent is using the "power of his elected position" to garner support for the Market in the Village. Also he is using the City's current Farmer's Market marketing collateral and slogan on his website for the Farmer's Market and slogan and data on his Social Media and outreach.  In addition, he is using the City of La Mesa Logo with the Farmer's Market "logo" while he is sitting on the dais in pushing his agenda and exhibiting his bias. 


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LA MESA CHAMBER WITHDRAWS FARMERS MARKET PROPOSAL, ENDORSES GROSSMONT CENTER’S —BUT STAFF PUSHES TO KEEP MARKET DOWNTOWN

 

Updated July 23, 2019 with comments from Grossmont Center

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2019 (La Mesa) – At tomorrow night’s 6 p.m. meeting, the La Mesa City Council is expected to decide on the future of the city’s farmer’s market, following a rift in the community over the market’s location and who should run the popular event.

The city received four proposals, but one applicant, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, has withdrawn its bid and endorsed a proposal submitted by Grossmont Center. “The Chamber is all about serving our members and our community and that is why we took this path,” Chamber President and CEO Mary England told ECM in an email tonight.


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WINNERS OF 2019 HEART OF MT. HELIX ART COMPETITION ANNOUNCED

East County News Service
 
Photo: First place fine arts, “Mountain Path,” acrylic by Linda Morton
 
July 19, 2019 (La Mesa) – Winners of the 2019 HeART of Mt. Helix juried art show are on display at Nainsook Framing + Art in La Mesa now through August 28. These fine art and photography works feature the people, places and events of Mt. Helix.  Twenty percent of art sales will benefit the Mt. Helix Park Foundation.
 

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STRANGLING SUSPECT ARRESTED AT GROSSMONT CENTER

By Miriam Raftery
 
July 19, 2019 (La Mesa) – A man suspected of strangling his former girlfriend was arrested at 8:20 this morning in the parking garage next to Target in the Grossmont Center regional shopping mall.  The woman called police last night to report the strangling that allegedly occurred at her home in San Carlos on Hyde Park Drive. She was treated at a hospital, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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33 1/3 HOUSE OF DREAMS: A PIECE OF MUSICAL HISTORY

By Mimi Pollack

July 19, 2019 (La Mesa) - There is nothing better than to see a labor of love come to its fruition.  After six incarnations, the musical play, 33 1/3 House of Dreams, will be presented at the SD REP during the month of August. It is a “dream come true” for Jonathan Rosenberg and Dr. Brad Ross. The history ofhow this play came about is also interesting.

 

It all started at the dentist’s office. Since 1989, San Carlos dentist, Dr. Brad Ross, has been and continues to beJonathan Rosenberg’s dentist. For many years, they shared a cordial professional relationship. Ross knew that Rosenberg was a special education teacher/psychologist in La Mesa, but it took some years for him to discover that Rosenberg was also a musician and music historian.


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THE SUNSHINE BOYS REVIEW: BREAKUPS ARE NEVER EASY

By Kathy Carpenter

July 19, 2019 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Community theatre Presents The Sunshine Boys--a comfortable feud, with laughter at the stuff you can totally agree with.

Directed by Steve Murdock, The Sunshine Boys is about two old vaudeville partners. One day out of the blue, Al Lewis announces he is retiring. Willie Clark is so mad he does not speak to him for eleven years. Clark is not ready to retire.


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LA MESA COUNCIL WEIGHS PARKING DISTRICT FUND TO ATTRACT SHOPPERS DOWNTOWN, HOUSING ON EX- POLICE STATION SITE, AND CANNABIS TAX FIX

By Allan Acevedo
 
July 19, 2019 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa City Council meeting last week started with public comments from speakers advocating to keep a Farmer’s Market downtown. The early testimony foreshadows what could be a contentious next session, when Council will consider four proposals for the future of its farmer’s market.  

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SAN DIEGO RAILROAD HISTORY HIGHLIGHTED IN LA MESA ON JULY 23RD

East County News Service

July 18, 2019 (La Mesa) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association (PSRM), a San Diego-area historical and educational nonprofit, will host its monthly free “meet-and-greet” from 9 to 10 a.m., Tuesday, July 23, at the La Mesa Depot, 4695 Nebo Dr., La Mesa. The public is invited to attend.


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ALLEGED BURGLAR KILLED AT HOME NEAR LAKE MURRAY

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

Update July 19, 2019: Police have identified the decease as Hollis Forman, 38.

 

July 16, 2019 (San Carlos) – An alleged burglar was shot and killed after being confronted by a homeowner and the homeowner’s son in the 6300 block of Lake Shore Drive around 6:30 a.m. 


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TONIGHT: LA MESANS TO HEAR STUDY FINDINGS ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY ALTERNATIVE TO SDG&E

By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2019 (La Mesa)—The city of La Mesa is exploring a community choice aggregation (CCA) energy option to provide 100 percent clean energy for the entire community.

Tonight at 6 p.m., the city’s Environmental Sustainability Commission will discuss findings of a feasibility study funded jointly by the cities of La Mesa, Santee and Chula Vista on the viability of a CCA that would let each city purchase electrical power for its residents as an option to SDG&E for competitively priced clean energy. 


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LA MESA ROCKS: 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION JULY 20 BENEFITS LA MESA PARKS & RECREATION FOUNDATION

East County News Service

July 13, 2019 (La Mesa) – You’re invited to join honorary guest Bill Walton, basketball Hall of Fame champion, to celebrate 20 years of successful parks projects and programs in La Mesa as the La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation kicks off fundraising to renovate McArthur Park.


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FUTURE OF COLLIER PARK: LA MESA HOSTS PUBLIC MEETINGS

By Miriam Raftery

July 13, 2019 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa has an opportunity to apply for a Calif. Dept. of Parks and Recreation (Prop 68) grant. The grant will help the next phase of improvements at Collier Park.

The city is hosting a series of public meetings to get the community’s ideas and input.


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WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE HELIX WATER DISTRICT?

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 9, 2019 (La Mesa) – Ratepayers in the Helix Water District may want to be aware of several newsworthy matters including a new report on water quality, a July 25 Helix Water Chat on water supply, and upcoming votes on water rates. 


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FREE FOOD AT CHICK-FIL-A THIS WEEK TO APP USERS

East County News Service

July 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The 14 Chick-fil-A restaurants in San Diego County are offering a free entrée to guests who create or log-in to their Chick-fil-A One app on either Monday, July 8, or Tuesday, July 9.  After connecting to the app, guests will receive a free entrée from Wednesday, July 10 through Wednesday, July 31, not including Sundays when Chick-fil-A is closed.


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CAR SHOW REVS INTO LA MESA

Story and photos by Emily Alessio

July 6, 2019 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa’s classic car show is back! Whether you’re a hot-rodder or a lowrider, there’s something for everyone at this show.

 

The show and music event complete with bandsis now being held every Thursday night from 5 to 8 p.m. through August 29th. Classic cars line La Mesa Boulevard in the downtown village for the summer show season, sponsored by Johnny B’s Burgers, Brew, and Spirits. 

 


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HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: JACK SHU AND JANET CASTAÑOS, ADVOCATES FOR A POLICE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE IN LA MESA

 

July 5, 2019 (La Mesa) – Should La Mesa form a citizens’ police oversight or advisory commission? Jack Shu, a former Superintendent of California State Parks and Janet Castaños, a former dean in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College district and past president of Helix Charter High School’s board, have a proposal that will soon be considered by the La Mesa City Council. 

We interviewed them on our East County Magazine Show on KNSJ.   You can hear the entire interview by clicking the audio link, or scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Jack Shu & Janet Castanos on police oversight in La Mesa

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HOW SHOULD COUNTY SPEND FEDERAL FUNDS IN YOUR COMMUNITY? SHARE YOUR VIEWS IN THESE PUBLIC FORUMS

 

East County News Service 

July 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- “San Diego County needs your input on how best to invest federal funds in our low- to moderate-income communities,” says Supervisor Dianne Jacob. 

The County is holding a series of public forums at county libraries, each one hour, including these East County locations, to hear your ideas:

  • Alpine, July 8 at 12:30 p.m.
  • Ramona, July 10 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Julian, July 12 at 11:30 a.m.
  • El Cajon, July 22, 3:30 p.m.
  • Borrego Springs, July 24 at 11:30 a.m.
  • Spring Valley on July 29 at 11:30 a.m.

You can also share your thoughts and suggestions in an online survey: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/sdhcd/ 


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LA MESA CONSIDERS LEASING FORMER POLICE STATION SITE TO HOUSING DEVELOPER

By Miriam Raftery

July 3, 2019 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa City Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, July 9 to discuss whether to consider leasing the former police station site at the southeast corner of Allison and Date avenues to USA Properties Fund.  


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SPECTACULAR SUNSET

East County News Service

June 30, 2019 (Mt. Helix) – Yvonne Goff shot this spectacular sunset from her home on Mt. Helix. Where else but San Diego could you frame a sunset with a pine tree and a palm tree?  Meteorologists say Thursday night’s dazzling sky show was due to high humidity in the air – or maybe it’s just magic.


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PARTY FOR A PURPOSE: 12TH ANNUAL HEART OF MT. HELIX AUGUST 10

East County News Service
 
June 28, 2019 (Mt. Helix) – You’re invited to come party for a purpose against the backdrop of the setting sun at the historic Mt. Helix Park, known for its 360-degree views. Early bird tickets are now on sale for the August 10 HeART of Mt. Helix event, a premier wine, food and art festival benefiting the Mt. Helix Park. Earlyb bird rates starting at $65 have been extended until July 31.

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REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON SUSPECT IN SHOOTING OF LA MESA WOMAN

East County News Service

 

June 27, 2019 (La Mesa) – A woman who was shot in the leg at her La Mesa home called 9-1-1 this evening.  La Mesa Police responded at 6:13 p.m. to the residence at 3752 Harris Street, where they found the woman in the front of the home and administered first aid until paramedics arrived.


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MUSIC, MISCHIEF AND MAGIC: MINDY DILLARD IN CONCERT JULY 28 AT THE TABLE UCC IN LA MESA

East County News Service

June 26, 2019 (La Mesa) -- Adventurer, musical alchemist and mythological scholar Mindy Dillard plays clawhammer banjo and rhythm guitar, often in alternate tunings to accompany her electric and raw, crystal-clear voice.  Through her music, which pulsates with funky rhythmic grooves and sparkles with heartfelt storytelling, she transforms the ordinary into the magical. A genre hopper, Mindy’s sound holds shades of old-time Appalachia, contemporary folk, gospel, musical theatre and rhythm and blues.  In the words of Ruthie Naccarato, “...She will make you laugh and cry and you’ll leave her performance with a genuine smile and feeling of goodness.”


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CVUSD ASST. SUPERINDTENDENT PAINTS POSITIVE FINANCIAL FORECAST FOR DISTRICT AND OTHER LOCAL SCHOOLS, BASED ON GOVERNOR’S REVISED BUDGET

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

June 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Cajon Valley Union School District Assistant Superintendent Scott Buxbaum (photo, left) painted a positive financial forecast for the district at its Board of Trustees meeting on Jun 11, after attending a meeting in Sacramento with Governor Gavin Newsom.

The latest financial forecast based on the Governor’s May budget revision is good news not only for the CVUSD, but for all local public school districts. Newsom, a father of young children, has pledged to make public education funding a priority.  

According to Buxbaum, the May Revision builds off of Newsom’s “California for All” vision from January. Due to strong April tax revenues, Newsom was able to retain most of his proposals from January, and invest additional funds into programs he has envisioned as prioirities.


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LA MESA COUNCIL APPROVES 3-YEAR OKTOBERFEST CONTRACT AND INCREASED EDCO FEES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: LMVA president Peter Soutowood and Councilwoman Akilah Weber, during Oktoberfest discussion

June 26, 2019 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s City Council, majority approved a 3-year permit for McFarlane Promotions to run the city’s popular Oktoberfest in partnership with the La Mesa Village Association, which will be from October 4-6 this year.

This year’s event will include several changes including an additional beer garden that will be German-themed with traditional German music, foods, and German-costumed servers.  Event-goers can still find a broader variety of music and foods at another beer garden plus food trucks that will be moved to a side street for improved flow; a total of 45 food vendors and 95 nonfood vendors will be included. There will be two kids fun zones with attractions such as a trampoline, inflatable jumps, and face painting. Wiener dog (dachshund) races, another crowd favorite, will return but be moved to Alison Avenue.

McFarlane will  provide a 50% cost recovery to the city, up to a maximum of $50,000 per year. Councilmembers Kristine Alessio and Akilah Weber voted no, wanting a higher cost recovery rate in the wake of projections that the city will likely have to tap its reserves to balance its budget in the next couple of years.


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JAYWALKING PEDESTRIAN KILLED ON LAKE MURRAY BLVD.

Update: The pedestrian has been identified as Billy Allen, 66, of La Mesa, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
June 25, 2019 (La Mesa) – A 66-year old man crossing mid-block on Lake Murray Blvd. near Marengo Ave. in La Mesa at 3:35 p.m. today was struck and killed by a black Toyota SUV.
 
“The pedestrian is being considered the party-at fault in this collision,” says Lt. Brian Stoney with La Mesa Police Dept.  The SUV, driven by a 19-year-old woman, had the right of way, he adds.

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HEALTHCARE LIBRARY IN LA MESA TO HOST FREE MEETING ON HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE CARE ON JUNE 26

Source:  Grossmont Healthcare District

Photo:  Janine Lortscher, Sharp HospiceCare representative  

June 25, 2019 (La Mesa) - The Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library will host a program on hospice and palliative care from 10 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, June 26, 2019, as part of its monthly “Wellness Wednesday” health education series.


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GROSSMONT CENTER TO HOST FARMER’S MARKET ON WEDNESDAYS STARTING JULY 24, AS LA MESA WEIGHS NEW PROPOSALS FOR FARMER’S MARKET

By Miriam Raftery

 

June 24, 2019 (La Mesa) – Grossmont Center shopping mall today announced that it will host a weekly farmer’s starting July 24th. From 2 to 6 p.m. every Wednesday, visitors can enjoy fresh produce straight from the farm and support local San Diego farmers. 


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RENTS RISING ACROSS SAN DIEGO AND EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

June 22, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The city of San Diego ranked second worst in the nation for rent hikes on  a one-bedroom apartment in 2018, at 17% with an average rent of $2,300, according to Rent.com. By contrast, the national average rent increase nationwide was 2.69% and California averaged a 4.48% increase in rents on one bedroom apartments during the same time period.

 

Rents are also skyrocketing in East County, where some communities had double digit rent hikes from March 2018 through March 2019 for 1 BR units:

Lemon Grove +15.66%

La Mesa +10.63%

El Cajon + 5.04%

Santee, by contrast, had only a modest 1.25% increase.

Spring Valley, the only unincorporated community in San Diego County with enough inventory to provide statistically valid data, had a 9.6% increase.


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