La Mesa

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE RECEIVES $100,000 GRANT FROM FACEBOOK JOURNALISM PROJECT

 

COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund aids over 200 newsrooms nationwide

By Miriam Raftery

East County Magazine has been selected to receive $100,000 through the Facebook Journalism Project COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program.  Facebook announced that more than 200 news organizations will receive nearly $16 million in grants through the program as part of Facebook’s $100 million global investment in news.

Read more about our grant project here.  View an index of our grant works to date, organized by topic. 


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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 STUDENT, 12, KILLED BY STRAY BULLET IN BACKYARD OF AUNT’S SKYLINE HOME

East County News Service

November 28, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Angel Gaspar Gallegos, 12, a student at Parkway Middle School in La Mesa, was killed on Thanksgiving night by a bullet while playing with cousins in his aunt’s backyard in the Skyline neighborhood.


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REVIEW: 1940S RADIO HOUR - STEP BACK IN TIME AT LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE

By Kathy Carpenter 

November 28, 2021 (La Mesa) - Once upon a time, before scrolling through your social media feed, before television, in a simpler time, there was radio--with only a couple of options to choose from. But the family came together and listened. Lamplighter's theatre presents "The 1940s Radio Hour," a musical by Walton Jones touching on the nostalgia of the era. The play is a soothing and peaceful interlude among the chaos of the holiday season’s hustle and bustle.


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RENOVATED AND REBRANDED, SAMMY’S IN LA MESA OFFERS CASUAL ELEGANCE AND FULL VARIETY OF FABULOUS FOODS

By Henri Migala, East County Eater

Photos by Henri Migala, Miriam Raftery and Sammy’s

November 27, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Having been reviewing restaurants in East County for nearly two years now I have been reporting that East County has become the new gastronomic center of San Diego.


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DIANE POWERS’ CASA DE PICO RESTAURANT CELEBRATES 50 YEARS IN BUSINESS

Celebrate “50 Days of Fiesta” with special menu and more now through Dec. 24  

East County News Service

November 27, 2021 (La Mesa) – Diane Powers’ Casa de Pico Mexican restaurant is celebrating 50 years of delicious and festive fun starting November 4 through December 24 in La Mesa’s Grossmont Center.  


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LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE PRESENTS “THE 1940S RADIO HOUR”

East County News Service

November 22, 2021 (La Mesa) – Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa will provide a look into yesteryear with its presentation of “The 1940s Radio Hour” by Walton Jones November 26 through December 19.


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LA MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT AWARDED GRANT FROM THE OFFICE OF TRAFFIC SAFETY FOR BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY PROGRAM

Source:  City of La Mesa

November 15, 2021 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Police Department is the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) that will prioritize the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.


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LA MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT AWARDED $96,000 GRANT FROM THE OFFICE OF TRAFFIC SAFETY

Source:  City of La Mesa

November 15, 2021 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Police Department will roll out a police traffic services program to deter dangerous and illegal driving behaviors that increase the risk of crashes in the community.


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PUBLIC TURNS IN NEARLY 300 UNWANTED GUNS FOR GIFT CARDS IN LA MESA

East County News Service

November 13, 2021 (La Mesa) -- This weekend, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department teamed up with its law enforcement and community partners to help get unwanted weapons off our streets through a Guns for Gift Cards event in East County.


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TURN IN GUNS FOR GIFT CARDS: SUNDAY IN LA MESA

Source: San Diego Sheriff

November 13, 2021 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is partnering with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, La Mesa Police Department, El Cajon Police Department and the United African American Ministerial Action Council to get unwanted guns off our streets.

Join the Guns For Gift Cards event on Saturday, November 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the La Mesa Civic Center, 4825 Date Avenue, La Mesa. Turn in your unwanted gun and receive a gift card ($100 for handguns, rifles and shotguns & $200 for assault weapons).  Remain anonymous.  No questions asked.


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LOTHIAN WINS LA MESA COUNCIL SPECIAL ELECTION

 

 

 

Update November 2, 2021:  The final, official results give Lothian the win with 4,474 votes, or 38.43% of the vote, a comfortable margin of nearly 2,000 votes. Out of 39, 346 registered voters, 11,686 cast votes. Afghsan too, 21.67%, Dillard 20.36%, Stieringer 10.95%, Brand 6.84%, and Louden 1.76%.

By Miriam Raftery

November 3, 2021 (La Mesa) – Realtor Laura Lothian appears poised to win the La Mesa City Council special election.  Preliminary results posted by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters show Lothian with 39.18% of the vote in the six-candidate race, more than double the vote tally of the next highest candidate.

With 2,000 votes yet to be tallied, Lothian has a lead of 1,451 votes over Patricia Dillard, who has 20.85% of the votes.


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LOCAL AGENCIES JOIN TOGETHER NOV. 13 TO DISCUSS WOMEN WHO PROTECT AND SERVE

Source: AAUW

October 29, 2021 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa-El Cajon Branch of the American Association of University Women will hold a panel discussion about women in law enforcement, fire protection and who serve as dispatchers for local agencies. The meeting will take place on November 13, 2021 in King Hall at Foothills United Methodist Church beginning at 9:30 a.m.


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HALL-O-WINE FUN OCT. 30 AT WINE WORKS IN LA MESA

East County News Service 

October 29, 2021 (La Mesa) - Wine Works in La Mesa invites you to Hall-o-Ween on Saturday, October 30th. Come in costume for a 7 p.m. costume contest and get $2 off a glass of wine or $5 off bottles.  You can also enjoy live music by Blame Betty and food from Birria Madrical.

 

Wine Works is located at 8167 Center Street, La Mesa, CA 91942.


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WEST COAST SMOKE AND TAP HOUSE HAS BEST YEAR EVER WITH NEW OWNERS

By Henri Migala, East County Eater

October 26, 2021 (La Mesa) -- East County is quickly becoming the new go-to place in San Diego for the best BBQ in town. One of the most delicious is West Coast Smoke and Tap House in La Mesa, where new owners defied all odds by taking over amid the pandemic and serving up the restaurant’s most successful year ever.


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BODY OF LA MESA WOMAN, 22, FOUND IN BONITA

By Miriam Raftery

October 26, 2021 (La Mesa) – A body found on a dark, dead-end road in Bonita has been identified as Kimberly Gutierrez, 22, of La Mesa.  An autopsy found that she died of gunshot wounds.

According to Lieutenant Thomas Seiver, evidence at the scene indicated she was killed at the site, not dumped there. Her death was ruled a homicide.


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ECM FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: MUSKET STAYS IN LA MESA AS SCOTTIES TOP FOOTHILLERS 29-14

Story and photos by Liz Alper
 
October 22, 2021 (La Mesa) - It has been far, far too long since ECM Sports was on the gridiron for some good old-fashioned Friday Night Lights.  But tonight, we are back in La Mesa for one game that’s always fun to watch.  Grossmont vs. Helix.  Foothillers vs. Scottie dawgs.  The two teams met on Jim Arnaiz Field for the annual Battle for the Musket.  The Highlanders are 4-3 overall and 1-0 so far in the Grossmont Hills League, while the Hillers aren’t faring as well at 3-5 overall, but still 1-0 in league play.  The Scotties have possession of the Musket, beating the Hillers in the makeshift football season in the spring 49-35.  Click the cut to see if they got to keep it on their Senior Night.

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SUSPECT PLEADS GUILTY TO BURNING CHASE BANK, LOOTING LA MESA BUSINESSES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left by Jake Rose: Chase Bank in flames

October 21, 2021 (La Mesa) – Ricky Bernard Cooper, 34, has pleaded guilty to setting an arson fire that burned down Chase Bank in downtown La Mesa during a riot on May 30, 2020.  Cooper also pleaded guilty to a burglary count for looting at the La Mesa Springs Shopping Center. His sentencing is slated for next month.


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MAN ARRESTED FOR BATTERY AT LA MESA BEAUTY SALON

By Miriam Raftery

October 21, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police arrested a man this evening for domestic violence after a physical altercation at Salon Radiance.

Officers responded to a report of the altercation between a man and woman around 5:30 p.m. at the hair salon located at 4753 Palm Avenue in the La Mesa downtown village.

“When officers arrived, their investigation revealed that it was a domestic violence incident and the victim had a valid restraining order against the suspect. The victim suffered minor injuries (abrasions),” Lieutenant Greg Runge with La Mesa Police told ECM in an email response to our request for information.


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DIAL M FOR MURDER REVIEW : A GUILTY PLEASURE, NOW THROUGH NOV. 7 AT LAMPLIGHTERS IN LA MESA

Review By Kathy Carpenter

October 18, 2021 (La Mesa) - Is There a Perfect Crime? Lamplighters in La Mesa presents the classic "Dial M For Murder." The play is based on a 1954 movie starring Ray Millank and Grace Kelly, directed by Hitchcock--a thriller perfect for this time of year. Written by Frederick Knott, directed by Calvin Manson, the play combines to bring us a story with both plot and delicious characters--a detailed plot for murder. Will the would-be killer get away with it? 

The plot centers around a tennis star who married a wealthy socialite for her money. He can no longer play tennis and discovers his wife has cheated on him. Now he plans to murder her for her fortune. He concocts quite the plot. The man his wife cheated with is a writer, but her husband's imagination makes them equals.


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UMPIRES AND FRIENDS INVITED TO HONOR MIKE HART’S MEMORY NOV. 9 AT LA MESA NATIONAL LITTLE LEAGUE FIELD

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2021 (La Mesa) – A memorial service for long-time local umpire and newsman Michael “Mike” Jon Hart  will be held on November 9 at 11 a.m. at the La Mesa National Little League Field.  Hart spent years as an umpire behind the plate at the field where he also played baseball in his youth.  A 1970 graduate of Grossmont High, where he also coached, Hart spent decades umpiring local youth and college sports, became President of the San Diego County Umpires Association, and was inducted into the San Diego Sports Officials Hall of Fame.

“It would really mean a lot to our family, and a true honor to Mike, if we saw a lot of umpires in the audience,” says Carlynne Albee, sister of Hart’s wife, Michelle Harvey. Umpires are invited to dress in uniform as a tribute.

Hart, also known locally as the long-time publisher of the Julian News , died September 14 after battling brain and lung cancer.


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LA MESA COUNCIL CANDIDATES CLASH IN LIVELY FORUM HOSTED BY EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE: VIEW VIDEO

October 15, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Four candidates participated in a lively forum last night hosted by East County Magazine on Zoom and streamed live on Facebook.  Mejgan Afshan, Kathleen Brand, Patricia Dillard and Laura Lothian participated. (Note, Afshan joined a minute late and is not shown in the screenshot)

shared their diverse views on issues including homelessness, equity/police reforms and public safety,  affordable housing and development, the downtown district and neighborhood revitalization, the potential for a new library and/or community meeting space, public health mandates, the role of the new Arts and Culture Commission, and candidates' endorsements.

Each candidate gave a two minute opening statement and a one minute closing statement. (Two other candidates, Jim Stieringer and Michelle Louden, did not participate in the forum but Stieringer sent candidate information. Read more about the candidates at https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/ecm-host-la-mesa-city-council-candida... .

View forum full screen by clicking the Youtube image above or this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htVd2cSh-2E

You can also share this link on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine/videos/981838262677468

Hear radio versions of the forum broadcast on KNSJ (part 1 and part 2) by clicking the audio links below.



Audio: 


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LA MESA CITY COUNCIL APPROVES APARTMENTS ON OLD POLICE HEADQUARTERS' SITE AND CREATES COMMISSION TO SUPPORT ARTS, CULTURE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Image, left: Artist's rendering of the apartment project slated to be built on the former police station site on Allison Avenue

Oct. 14, 2021 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa City Council voted 3-0  on Tuesday to approve  development of the old police headquarters' site, where an apartment project is slated for construction.

Mayor Mark Arapostathis, Vice Mayor Jack Shu, and Councilman Colin Parent voted in favor. Councilman Bill Baber abstained due to a conflict of interest. One seat remains vacant, with a November 2 special election set to fill the vacancy.

The council also approved creation of an arts and culture commission during the October 12th Council meeting.

In addition, Juneteenth, a new federal holiday, will now be officially observed in La Mesa, commemorating the emancipation of African Americans from slavery. The order reached Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865.


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ECM TO HOST LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES FORUM THURSDAY, OCT. 14

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Participating candidates, left to right: Mejgan Afshan, Kathleen Brand, Patricia Dillard, and Laura Lothian

October 13, 2021 (La Mesa) – East County Magazine will host a virtual forum for La Mesa City Council candidates running to fill the vacancy left by Dr. Akilah Weber’s election to the state Assembly. The candidates will be Thursday, October 14 at 7 p.m.  It will be recorded via Zoom and livestreamed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine. A podcast will also be posted at www.EastCountyMagazine.org after the forum.

Six candidates are running and four have agreed to participate: Mejgan Afshan, Kathleen Brand, Patricia Dillard, and Laura Lothian. A fifth, Jim Stieringer, provided detailed information on his experience and goals if elected.

Find information on  these five candidates below.


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LOTS OF LAUGHS: COMEDY NIGHT OCTOBER 22 AT SPACE CAFÉ AND WINE BISTRO IN LA MESA

East County News Service

October 10, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Spacebar Café and Wine Bistro in La Mesa offers comedy nights the fourth Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m. On October 22, headliner Lisa Gilbert and featured comic Brian Apprille will join comedians Jarwan Nelson, Toni Torquato, Mohammed Sahul, Iris Neal and Gene Levin.


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LA MESA CHAMBER HOSTS SALUTE TO LOCAL HEROES OCTOBER 13 AT SYCUAN

East County News Service

October 9, 2021 (El Cajon) – La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will host its 13th annual Salute to Local Heroes and installation of officers dinner on Wednesday, October 13 at Sycuan Casino Resort in El Cajon.


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BARNES AND NOBLE LA MESA HOSTS VIRTUAL EVENT WITH HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON AND LOUISE PENNY OCTOBER 11 ON THEIR THRILLER NOVEL

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – Former Secretary of State, First Lady, and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton will appear in a virtual event Monday, October 11 at 4 p.m. along with best-selling author Louise Penny to discuss their new international thriller novel, State of Terror.

Secretary Clinton brings her insider’s expertise to bear in crafting plot twists in the book, which has been named one of the most anticipated novels of the season by People, Associated Press, TimeLos Angeles TimesParadeSt. Louis Post-DispatchThe Guardian, and Publishers Weekly

In the novel, a new president surprisingly chooses Ellen Adams, a political enemy for the vital position of secretary of state. With this appointment, he silences one of his harshest critics, since taking the job means Adams must step down as head of her multinational media conglomerate.


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LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES PARTICIPATE IN VIRTUAL FORUM

East County News Service

September 30, 2021 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa First United Methodist Church hosted a candidate forum for those running to fill a vacancy left on the La Mesa City Council when Dr. Akilah Weber won election to the state Assembly.  The election is November 2, with ballot drop-off locations available starting Oct. 25. View the forum at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2852523438206427/permalink/4288325947959495/.

Four of the six candidates participated in the forum; Michelle Louden and Jim Stieringer did not participate.

The candidates running are:


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D.A.’S HATE CRIMES PROSECUTOR SPEAKS OUT ON HATE CRIMES IN REGION AND EFFORTS TO COMBAT THEM

By Miriam Raftery

September 29, 2021 (La Mesa) – Hate crimes in California rose 30% in 2020 over 2019, when 1,015 hate crimes were reported, according to Leonard Trinh, lead hate crime prosecutor with the San Diego District Attorney. Hate crimes have been on the rise for several years, following a sharp spike after the election of Donald Trump as president.


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LA MESA OKTOBERFEST OCT.1-3 FEATURES BEER GARDENS, RIDES, LIVE MUSIC AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

September 19, 2021 (La Mesa) – The 48th annual La Mesa Oktoberfest returns October 1-3 with all of the event’s traditional activities including three bier gardens, Gluckglich games, Dackeldorft Daschsund Village, a Ferris wheel, Kinder Karneval, craft fair, over 100 vendors, live music including oompah bands, dancing, traditional and international foods and more.


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