Mt. Helix

JUDGE BLOCKS BADGER’S PLACEMENT AT MT. HELIX; JONES BILL WOULD LIMIT STATE DUMPING OF VIOLENT SEX OFFENDERS IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

May 22, 2021 (Mt. Helix) – Residents on Horizon Hills near Mt. Helix are reveling in a ruling by Superior Court Judge Theodore Weathers which blocks the state from placing Douglas Badger, a sexually violent predator (SVP) in the community. Earlier this month, another judge blocked placement of a second SVP, Merle Wakefield, at the same site.

The residents have announced a "Super Victory Party" on May 31 to celebrate keeping their neighborhood safe.

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.

NEW RANCHO HELIX DE ORO FIRE SAFE COUNCIL OFFERS FIRE-SAFE TIPS

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) --Under the authority of the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County, the Rancho Helix De Oro is a newly formed fire safe council dedicated to educating and preparing our community in order to avoid devastating fires. The group has created an educational fire-safe flyer  (click link to view flyer) with information including tips for fire safety, an evacuation map, who to call during an emergency, and how to get emergency notification for the communities of Rancho San Diego, Mt. Helix and Casa de Oro.

The new group was formed with support from then-County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association, Valle de Oro Planning Group, Casa De Oro Alliance, and community members in collaboration with San Miguel Fire and Rescue, Cal Fire, San Diego County Sheriff, San Diego Gas & Electric, and the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County.

ELDERLY COUPLE FOUND DEAD OF GUNSHOTS IN MT. HELIX HOME

Update December 16, 2020:  The County Medical Examiner has identified the deceased as Judith Ann Caruthers, 72, and ehr husband, Herman Caruthers, 74.  Their deaths have been found to be murder-suicide; Herman Caruthers killed his wife and then himself, each with a gunshot to the head.

By Miriam Raftery

December 15, 2020 (Mt. Helix) – An elderly man and woman were found dead in their home yesterday in the 4900 block of Resmar Road on Mt Helix in unincorporated La Mesa. Both had suffered gunshot wounds.

HOW DID THE LION ON MOUNT HELIX GET HIS ROAR?

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

 

May 21, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Tucked away on a Mt. Helix homeowner’s path, a lion sleeps – and roars to life whenever someone strolls past.     

 

Here is the backstory on this big cat in hiding—actually an African lion statue—and an intriguing mystery on how he got his voice. 

WATCH THE MOON RISE AND MORE: ASTRONOMY NIGHT ON MT. HELIX SEPT. 14

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 3, 2019 (Mt. Helix) – The San Diego Astronomy Association will be setting up telescopes in Mt. Helix Park on September 14 starting at 6 p.m. for free astronomical viewings.  

500 TURN OUT TO PARTY ON THE HILL AT THE HEART OF MT. HELIX

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Twilight atop Mt. Helix during auction at HeART of Mt. Helix

 

August 16, 2019 (Mt. Helix) – More than 500 art aficionados, philanthropists, food and drink fans, and people who like to party turned out at the 12th annual HeART of Mt. Helix  The event benefits the Mt. Helix Park Foundation which maintains the stone-stepped amphitheater, historic cross, surrounding park and wildlife habitat atop the mountain.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: KRISTA POWERS, MT. HELIX PARK FOUNDATION

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: HeART of Mt. Helix

Listen to our interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link.

August 1, 2019 (Mt. Helix) – Krista Powers with the Mt. Helix Park Foundation shared some fascinating history of Mt. Helix and the evolution of the foundation in an interview on our East County Magazine Radio Show. 

She also talked about the upcoming heart of Mt. Helix food, wine and art festival coming up on August 10th.  The benefit event features live music and dancing, art demonstrations, a high-value raffle and auction, food tastings from local restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries and more – all at the mountaintop amphitheater with 360 degree views. This year, the Old Town trolley will shuttle people to the event.

“They come up the mountain and right away, guests walk into a live art experience,” Powers says. Up to Sunset Peak, you can do tastings and enjoy music, after which there will be a live auction with vacation stays and more, cooking demonstration, and even a new VIP seating area with lounge chairs and continued tastings. After sunset, the Good Mojo band will provide dancing under the stars. 

The event helps fund habitat restoration in the park and a wealth of other events held there, including a Halloween Harvest Festival, yoga, astronomy nights, classes, concerts, and a holiday event that this year will including the annual caroling party as well as an event similar to the Christmas markets of Europe.

Audio: 

Interview with Krista Powers-Mt. Helix Park Foundation

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.
 

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.

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.

ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR JURIED MT. HELIX ART SHOW

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 14, 2019 (Mt. Helix) – Calling all artists! It’s time to head to the top of the mountain for inspiration to draw, paint and photograph Mt. Helix.  A juried art show reception will take place on Saturday, July 13th at 6 p.m. Award winners will receive a complimentary ticket to the heart of NMt. Helix event August 10th, where their artworks will be on sale.

 

This year, a photography category has been added and Nainsook Framing + Art is the sponsor.  Award winning art will also be on display at Nainsook July 13-Aug. 28. Entries are due by July 10. Below are entry details:

RANCHO SAN DIEGO SHERIFF STATION HOSTS COFFEE WITH COMMUNITY MARCH 13

 

 

East County News Service

March 12, 2019 (Rancho San DIego) -- The Rancho San Diego Sheriff's Station will host coffee with the community on Wednesday, March 13 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Butler's Coffee House, 9631 Campo Rd. in Spring Valley.

The community is invited to meet deputies who patrol your neighborhoods, ask questions and learn about crime prevention.  Representatives from the San Diego District Attorney and the California Highway Patrol will also be on hand.

This will be the first community coffee for the Rancho San Diego station since the annocement that Captain Marco Garmo has been placed on administrative leave amid a federal criminal probe involving firearms sales that also resulted in raids earlier this month at the Jamul home and businesses of jeweler Leo Hamel.

Captain Charles Cinnamo, who previously headed up the Vista station, is currently in charge of the Rancho San Diego station.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: MT. HELIX ACTIVISTS WHO LED SUCCESSFUL EFFORT TO STOP A PAROLE OFFICE FROM OPENING IN COMMUNITY

By Miriam Raftery

The Boethin family with State Senator Brian Jones

February 3, 2019 (Mt. Helix) –  When Daniel and Stephanie Boethin learned that the state planned to open a parole office near their Mt. Helix home in La Mesa, they took action  As government contractors, they knew how to get the attention of bureaucrats and public officials. In just a few short weeks, they organized their community to successfully halt the parole office near homes, schools and businesses in their neighborhood.

We interviewed the Boethins on our East County Magazine Radio Show, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM Radio. The Boethins offered advice for people in other communities on how to successfully organize to stand up against projects with negative impacts on neighborhoods.

Audio: 

Interview with Daniel and Stephanie Boethin

A SPIRITED HOLIDAY CELEBRATION WITH EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE







By Briana Gomez

Miriam Raftery, editor of East County Magazine hosted a spirited holiday party on Sunday, December 16 at her home on Mt. Helix.

In attendance at our "Feasting and Merrymaking" celebration were staff members, board members, and volunteers for the non-profit publication, as well as community members who purchased tickets to support the online magazine.

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: BRAD WEBER, LA MESA MAGAZINE PUBLISHER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

February 11, 2018 (La Mesa) – His motto is “community, kids and causes.” 

Brad Weber, publisher of the brand new Discovering My City: La Mesa Magazine and other community pubilcations in our region, sat down for an exclusive interview with East County Magazine on KNSJ radio. 

You can hear the full interview at the audio link below this story, and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Interview with Brad Weber, Discovering Our City - La Mesa Magazine

FELONY WARRANT SUSPECT ARRESTED ON MT. HELIX

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 27, 2017 (Mt. Helix) – Michael Todd Littlefield, 50, was taken into custody Monday on Weston Road near Grandview in the Mt. Helix area.  “Littlefield had a felony warrant for auto theft,” Ryan Keim, Media Relations Director for the San Diego Sheriff department informed East County Magazine.

ASTRONOMY NIGHT ON MT. HELIX JULY 15

 

East County News Service

June 1, 2017 (Mt. Helix) – Mt. Helix Park is partnering with the San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA) to host “Astronomy Night” atop Mt. Helix on Saturday, July 15th from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Bring your own telescope or witness the cosmos through one provided by members of the SDAA, who will be on site to help you interpret the night sky.

NEW YEAR’S DAY BEGAN WITH PRAYER AT MOUNT HELIX PARK AMPHITHEATER

 

 

East County News Service

January 3, 2017 (La Mesa) – About 100 people gathered on New Year’s Day afternoon at Mount Helix Park Amphitheater for a “Prayer Summit,” hosted by Unite San Diego, an East County-based coalition of pastors, elected officials, business owners and community leaders.

 

AVIAN POX SUSPECTED IN HUMMINGBIRDS IN LA MESA/MT. HELIX AREA

 

By  Laura Ball

January 1, 2017 (La Mesa/Mt. Helix) -- I have very active hummingbird feeders and have noticed a few birds with tumors on their beaks (see photo). I have been in contact with a specialist at the University of California-Davis Vet Med Center about this, and she had some suggestions on how to help them. The hummingbirds probably have avian pox, which is contagious - to birds only, not humans - and can spread through the feeders we all have in our yards.

NEW YEAR’S DAY AFTERNOON PRAYER SERVICE PLANNED AT MT. HELIX PARK AMPHITHEATER

 

East County News Service

 

Photo: George Runyan

December 27, 2016 (La Mesa) – Unite San Diego, a coalition of pastors, elected officials, business owners and community leaders, will host a New Year’s Day “Prayer Summit” from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Sunday, January, 1, at the Mount Helix Park Amphitheater, 4901 Mt. Helix Dr., La Mesa. The public is invited to attend. Admission is free. The program will include music, worship and prayers. A prelude to worship will begin at 1 p.m. Several hundred people are expected to attend, said Michael Griffiths of Unite San Diego.

JOIN US SUNDAY AT OUR FEASTING AND MERRYMAKING HOLIDAY PARTY!

 

 

December 16, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Join us for East County Magazine's annual "Feasting and Merrymaking"  holiday party this Sunday, December 18 from 3-7 p.m. at our editor's home on Mt. Helix!  Our elves have been busy preparing a fabulous feast,  plus we'll have live music provided by singer/guitarist Paul Nichols and pianist Andrea Ladmer,  wines from San Pasqual Winery and a wealth of prizes,  holiday games and surprises!

Our party is open to our subscribers, donors and friends by invitation. Subscriptions are free!  Subscribe here to our newsletter and/or wildfire alerts or donate here

RSVP is required.  Call 619-698-7617 or e-mail editor@eastcountymagazine.org to reserve space and get the address to join the fun at our fabulous event--and support award-winning community journalism!

NEW YEAR WALK UP MT. HELIX JAN. 7

 

Photo: View from atop Mt. Helix

East County News Service

December 7, 2016 (Mt. Helix) --You’re invited to start the New Year off on the right foot by joining the Grossmont Mt. Helix Improvement Association’s (GMIA) Walk Up Mt. Helix on Saturday, January 7th at 10:00 am.

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR HALLOWEEN EVE MASQUERADE PARTY OCT. 30!

 

October 21, 2016 (La Mesa) -- East County Magazine invites you to our Halloween Eve Masquerade Party! 

On Sunday, October 30, 4-8 p.m. our party at a private home in La Mesa will be the “happening haunt” complete with Halloween Eve feast,  costume contest, live music with the "Bad Randies" string band & Paul Nichols' variety music (Monster Mash and more!) local ghost stories, a trove of prizes, spooky surprises, & a frightfully good time!

This party is open to our weekly newsletter subscribers, our wildfire alert subscribers, and invited guests age 21 and up.  Subscriptions are free!  Click here to subscribe

Cost: $12 and bring a dish to share  ($10 for Editor’s Club members/sustaining donors)

CANDIDATES CAN NOW FILE TO RUN FOR GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEE ELECTIONS; FILING DEADLINE IS AUGUST 12

No filing fees, ballot statement costs  $315 to $360 in smaller trustee districts

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County ) – For the first time, the Grossmont Union High School District will hold elections in November for individual trustee districts.   There are no filing fees, though modest fees are charged for candidates to publish ballot statements. With smaller districts, the cost for ballot statements is far less than in the past --just $315 in Trustee Area 1 (Lemon Grove/Spring Valley/La Prensa),which is an open seat, and $360 in Trustee Area 2 (La Mesa/Casa de Oro/Mt. Helix and part of Rancho San Diego) currently represented by Jim Stieringer.

The candidate filing period opened July 18 and closes August 12th.  August 12 is also the deadline for candidates to submit ballot statements, which for the first time will be accepted electronically.

MOUNTAIN LIONS SPOTTED ON MT. HELIX

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 8, 2016 (Mt. Helix) – Two mountain lions have been reported Monday by a homeowner on Mt. Helix.  La Mesa Today sent an alert warning the lions were seen  off Lemon Avenue in the Lake Helix area.  A CBS 8 news story ran two photos taken by the homeowner in unincorporated  La Mesa and footage of the location outside the home. 

The homeowner, who asked to stay anonymous, said the lions were on a hillside above a pool where her children were playing and two large dogs were present.

A long-time La Mesa resident  posted on a residents’ online forum that through the years he has previously seen mountain lions in the Boulder Hills area of La Mesa near Chevy Chase, above the La Mesa Village. 

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