La Mesa/Mt. Helix

MT. HELIX PARK FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES FALL/WINTER EVENTS

 

East County News Service

September 16, 2016 (Mt. Helix) – The Mt. Helix Park Foundation announces an array of upcoming events, including Art in the Park camp for kids, Christmas caroling atop Mt. Helix, a GMIA walk up Mt. Helix and more.  Scroll down for details.


LA MESA: SPECIAL MEETING ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY PROGRAM SEPT. 21

 

East County News Service

September 16, 2016 (La Mesa) — The City of La Mesa announces a joint special meeting of the Environmental Sustainability Commission and La Mesa Planning Commission on Wednesday, September 21st at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers (8130 Allison Avenue).   The meeting wil be to consider a presentation on La Mesa adopting a community choice energy program.

DEAN DEFENDS FOUNDING MEMBERS OF NEW MERCHANTS GROUP

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 15,2016 (La Mesa) – After receiving a reader’s editorial and a call from another local businessperson critical of the new La Mesa Village Association (LMVA), which ECM recently profiled, ECM reached out to Aaron Dean, LMVA  Chair, to respond.

READER’S EDITORIAL: IS THE LMVA REALLY A FRESH START?





Regarding your article "new La Mesa Village Association has big ideas for revitalizing city's historic heart"

By Peter Carzis, Owner, Peter’s Gentlemen’s Apparel

Editor's note: Aaron Dean, chair of the new LMVA, spoke with ECM and provided his responses to concerns raised by Carzis and others.  You can read his remarks here.

October 14,2016 (La Mesa)--I attended the first meeting of this new group. They said they want this group to be a "fresh start" in the village, but yet they boast four Founding Members who are officers and directors of the "old" group that owes the taxpayers and the City of La Mesa $47,900.50.  (Per the city clerk, this amount was turned over to collection and none of the debt has been repaid as of today.)

MEET THE CANDIDATES FORUM: SEPT. 15 IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

September 14, 2016 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to a "Meet The Candidates" forum on Thursday, September 15 at the La Mesa Community Center (4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa).

All three candidates for the La Mesa City Councill will be present:  incumbents Ruth Sterling and Kristine Alessio, as well as challengerColin Parent.

This is a great opportunity to meet the candidates who wish to serve you. 

LA MESA WINE WORKS GRAND OPENING DRAWS A FULL HOUSE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2016 (La Mesa)--La Mesa's first cooperative wine-tasting venture is born.

The Barnyard Cassanovas provided lively music from Johnny Cash to rock 'n' roll at the grand opening of La Mesa Wine Works on August 27th. Winemaker Linda McWilliams, sporting a T-shirt reading "Well behaved women rarely make history" and her husband,Mike, chatted with guests about wines offered up from  San Pasqual Winery and Wyatt Oaks  Winery,  both local ventures. 

NEW LA MESA VILLAGE ASSOCIATION HAS BIG IDEAS FOR REVITALIZING CITY’S HISTORIC HEART

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 5, 2016 (La Mesa) – A new business association led by prominent business leaders in La Mesa has arisen to fill the gap left by the troubled La Mesa Village Merchants Association. The new 501(c)6 nonprofit, the La Mesa Village Association (LMVA), held its inaugural community outreach meeting last week at the San Pasqual Wine  Bar Tasting Room in the village,  drawing a packed house.

NEXT BOULEVARD STROLL SEPT. 7 IN LA MESA HAS ADDED ATTRACTIONS

 

East County News Service

September 4, 2016 (La Mesa) – The kick-off “Boulevard Stroll” in La Mesa last month was a big success.  If you missed the launch, Boulevard Stroll events will be held the first Wednesday each month from 4-8 p.m.  The next one is set for Wednesday, September 7 along La Mes Blvd and adjacent streets will feature 11 newly added businesses!  Start your stroll on the south end of the boulevard in the Vons Shopping Center.  

"To start the fun, in the courtyard by Albert's Mexican Food we'll have music and a couple performances by the TeeDee Dance Team . The School of Rock will be performing from 5-7 p.m. in front of Jolt-n-Joes.  We've created a new Kids Korner in front of Yogurt Mill where you will find a puppet show and face painting...Some of the other music to look for : Marissa Grace and her band, The PushPins, and Flavor Company Dancers," says Roz Oserin, organizer of the event.

FROM POT SHOPS TO SCHOOL BONDS TO A BUILDER’S BONANZA: INITIATIVES ON EAST COUNTY BALLOTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 1,2016  (San Diego’s East County) – Beyond the blizzard of ballot measures statewide and candidates on your November ballot, East County voters will be asked to weigh in on a variety of local initiatives with big impacts.

Those include countywide measures:  one a tax to fund transportation, the other  a measure that would set a precedent for developers to  evade environmental reviews by taking projects directly to voters.   There are also medical marijuana dispensary measures on the ballots in Lemon Grove and La Mesa, a redistricting proposal in El Cajon, and school bond measures in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College, Grossmont Union High School, and Cajon Valley  Union school districts.  Here are details:

THE LA MESA CHAMBER LAUNCHES ANNUAL SENIOR PROJECT

 

Source: La Mesa City Council Press Release

August 29, 2016 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber is beginning to gather items for the seniors that the Chamber adopts each year during the holidays. It is the goal of the Chamber to collect, purchase and assemble items and place them in large gift baskets.

POLICE SEEK SUSPECTS IN RED VAN WHO TERRORIZED WOMEN IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

August 26, 2016 (La Mesa) — Two women in south La Mesa awoke Tuesday around 3 a.m. to the sounds of banging on their front door.  10 News reports the women looked out and saw six people bashing the house and shattering car windows with hammers and a machete.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH COLIN PARENT: ATTORNEY, ENVIRONMENTALIST AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVOCATE RUNS FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our interview originally aired on on KNSJ Radio: Click the orange arrow above; scroll down to read highlights.

August 25,2016 (La Mesa) – Recently,  we  sat down for an in-depth interview with Colin Parent, a lawyer with extensive experience as an affordable housing expert in the Governor’s administration. Currently he’s the policy counsel/attorney for Circulate San Diego, an nonprofit that advocates for public transit, safe and pedestrian-friendly streets, safe routes to school, and smart growth issues.  He’s also cofounder of La Mesa Conversations, a civic discussion group.

Now he’s running for the La Mesa City Council in a three-way race for two seats currently held by incumbents Ruth Sterling and Kristine Alessio.

“I’m running to improve La Mesa,” says Parent, who calls La Mesa a great place, but adds that it can be even better.  Here are the ideas he discussed:

Audio: 

LA MESA WINE WORKS GRAND OPENING PARTY AUGUST 27

 

East County News Service

August 24, 2016 (La Mesa) - La Mesa Wine Works invites you to their grand opening celebration this Saturday, August 27th, including live music by the Barnyard Casanovas band from 7 to 10 p.m. The La Mesa Wine Works is a co-op designed to showcase local wines; currently they are pouring vintages from both the award-winning San Pasqual and Wyatt Oaks wineries.

43RD ANNUAL LA MESA OKTOBERFEST SEPT. 30 - OCT. 2

 

East County News Service

August 19, 2016 (La Mesa) - You're invited to the largest Oktoberfest celebration west of the Mississippi:  La Mesa Oktoberfest from September 30 to October 2, 2016.

The free event is spread out over nearly six blocks in La Mesa Village and features hundreds of exhibitors, family friendly activities, German food, music, dancing, outfits, games and of course, beer.

RAISING A TRANSGENDER CHILD: A MOM SPEAKS OUT

 

Q & A with author of “Raising Ryland”

Source: Foothills United Methodist Church press release

August 21, 2016 (La Mesa) - “When the family dies I’m going to cut my hair so I can be a boy,” said Ryland Whittington when he was just four years old. His family was stunned.

8 CANDIDATES IN RUNNING FOR 2 SEATS ON GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – For the first time,  the Grossmont Union High School District will elect its board trustees by individual trustee districts this fall, not at-large elections.  The two seats up for grabs have each attracted four candidates (eight total) offering candidates some diverse choices.

POINTE FIRE NOW 80% CONTAINED, EVACUATIONS LIFTED

 

Update August 19,2016 8 a.m.:The fire held to 26 acres overnight and is now 80% contained.

Update 8:40 p.m.: Evacuation orders are now lifted. Please watch for firefighters as you return home.

Update7 p.m.:The fire is 15 acres and 40% contained. A firefighter was bitten by a rattlesnake and has been hospitalized.

East County News Service

Photos by Kristink Kjaero taken off State Route 94 and Kathleen Coates-Hedberg, viewed from Mt. Helix.

August 17, 2016 (Spring Valley) – Evacuations have been ordered in Spring Valley on Ledge Side between Ledge View and South Barcelona due to the Pointe Fire, Cal Fire reports. Structures are threatened north of Point Parkway near the water tanks, NBC 7 news reports.

Monte Vista High School is being set up as an evacuation center at 3230 Sweetwater Springs Blvd. in Spring Valley. The fire is approximately 3 to 5 acres.

 

HELIX WATER TO CONSIDER FEES, CHANGES AT LAKE JENNINGS CAMPGROUND

 

East County News Service

August 17, 2016 (La  Mesa) – At today’s 2 p.m. meeting of the Helix Water District Board (7811 University Ave., La Mesa), directors will consider addition of fees and other changes at Lake Jennings, including adding kayak rentals and a tee-pee rental venue at the campground.  These are the latest improvements proposed by a committee led by director Joel Scalzitti.    As a result, the lake that some board  members sought to close due to budget shortfalls is now operating at a profit.  View board package and agenda.

At its last meeting, the board voted 3-2 for hefty rate hikes of 10.1%, effective on water use after  November 1,2016 and billings starting January 1,2017. That action has inspired five challengers to run against two board members who voted for this hefty rate hike as well as earlier recent increases—moves that fueled outrage in public comments and emails sent to the board.

LA MESA ARTIST EXHIBITS LANDMARKS IN WATERCOLORS AT LA MESA HEALTH LIBRARY

 

East County News Service

 

August 9, 2016 (La Mesa) –  The Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, a consumer health library at 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, is now hosting its Summer Art Exhibit featuring 19 watercolor paintings by award-winning artist Marilyn Hadley Hallam of La Mesa. The show runs through September 30. The exhibit features paintings of San Diego and Southern California landmarks, as well as landscapes.

HEALTH CARE LIBRARY IN LA MESA WILL DISCUSS PREVENTIVE CARE WITH ACUPUNCTURE

 

East County News Service

 

August 8, 2016 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District’s Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, will host “Preventive Care with Acupuncture,” a free presentation about how acupuncture can treat a variety of health issues, from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24. The program is part of the library’s Wellness Wednesday series, normally held on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Admission is free. Light refreshments will be served. Advance RSVP is not necessary.

LA MESA COUNCIL REFUSES GRAND JURY REQUST TO CREATE CITIZENS’ POLICE OVERSIGHT BOARD, ACCEPTS RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOMELESSNESS

By Tasha Matthews

ECM Editor Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

August 4, 2016 (La Mesa)--Councilmember Guy McWhirter opened the La Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 26th by expressing concern for our country in the wake of recent shootings of police officers. He thanked police for their brave work helping to protect citizens—two days before two San Diego Police officers were shot, one fatally.

But the Council rejected a Grand Jury recommendation to create a police oversight board aimed at assuring that citizens’ rights are protected if officer misconduct is alleged. The Grand Jury made its recommendations to La Mesa and other local cities in a report on Citizens Oversight Boards of Police Behavior.

NOBODY IS RUNNING YET IN KEY EAST COUNTY RACES: DEADLINE IS AUGUST 11

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The deadline to file as a candidate to run for local offices is August 11. But so far, many East County races have no candidates declared or qualified for the ballot, according to the Registrar of Voters candidate list for the November election.  Most community planning groups have nobody running.  The same is true in some school, water and fire districts. Races with no candidates will be filled by appointment. In other districts, people are running unopposed—even incumbents on some of the most controversy-riddled boards.

No candidates are listed yet for the city councils in El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove or Santee, nor for the mayoral seats open in Lemon Grove and Santee, nor the La Mesa City Clerk or Treasurer seats.  Candidates have been actively campaigning in some of those races and some will likely file before deadline, but it’s also common for candidates to drop out before qualifying for the ballot.

In the Grossmont Union High School District, incumbent Jim Stieringer is thus far running unopposed in district two (La Mesa/Mt. Helix/Rancho San Diego); in district one (Lemon Grove/Spring Valley) which is an open seat, only one candidate has filed: Pastor Steve Babbitt from Spring Valley Community Church.

LA MESA POLICE HOLDS PUBLIC SAFETY FAIR AUG. 6

 

East County News Service

August 4, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Continuing with the National Night Out celebration, the La Mesa Police Department will be hosting its 5th Annual Safety Fair on Saturday, August 6, 2016. The event will begin at 8:00 am and last until 12:00 pm. This event is free to the public and will provide many interactive displays on police related issues; such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and demonstrations by our emergency Special Response Team. We will also display our police vehicles and a Heartland fire truck. In addition, there will be kids fingerprinting and a jump house. Free hotdogs, chips and water will also be provided. The public will be able to take guided tours of the La Mesa Police Department as well.

HELIX WATER BOARD VOTES 3-2 FOR 10.3% RATE HIKE WITHOUT PUBLIC HEARING: CANDIDATES BLAST INCUMBENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 3, 2016 (La Mesa) – With scarcely any public notice, Helix Water Board passed a 10.3% rate hike by a slim one-vote majority. The stated reason was because water use has dropped due to customers conserving water--just as the district asked them to do.

Directors Kathleen Coates-Hedberg and Joel Scalziti voted against jacking up rates, while directors John Linden, Chuck Muse and Deana Verbeke voted for the rate hike over public objections.

HELIX WATER BOARD TO VOTE ON BIG RATE HIKES WEDNESDAY

 

East County News Service



August 1, 2016 (La Mesa) — Helix Water District’s Board will vote Wednesday on a hefty proposed rate increase to offset revenue losses due, ironically, to residents conserving water as they were asked to do. Two proposals would raise rates for the average water customer by 8.3% or 10.1%.  View board package here and see a table of proposed rate hikes at the bottom of this story. 

LA MESA TO HOLD SPECIAL MEETING AUG. 3 ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY PROGRAM; ALTERNATIVE TO SDG&E

 

East County News Service

July 28, 2016 (La Mesa) – Should La Mesa give its residents an option to purchase power through a  community choice energy program (also known as community choice aggregation) instead of from SDG&E?

JOIN US SUNDAY! ROARING ‘20S PARTY JULY 31 AT SAN PASQUAL WINE BAR IN LA MESA. COME PARTY WITH THE PRESS!

 

 

 

 

July 29, 2016 (La Mesa) – You’re invited to celebrate the era of Great Gatsby, flappers, gangsters, silent film stars, ragtime and jazz. Join East County Magazine at a benefit to support our nonprofit community reporting on Sunday, July 31 from 4-7 p.m. at the San Pasqual Wine Bar (8364 La Mesa Blvd.) in La Mesa--all to benefit our nonprofit reporting and wildfire alerts through East County Magazine.

Festivities include wine tasting, sparkling drinks  and Italian dinner plus dessert,  “All That Jazz” musical performance highlights,  live period music by the Classics, Douglas Fairbanks and Laurel & Hardy film clips, games, opportunity drawings and silent auction, games, surprises and more!

Space is very limited! RSVP by July 30 for discount rates and your “speakeasy” password!  619-698-7617 or editor@eastcountymagazine.org 

  • Live“All That Jazz” preview by singers/dancers from Visionary Dance Theatre plus  Laurel & Hardy and Douglas Fairbanks film clips;
  • Live music by the Classics
  • Toast the Prohibition Era with sparkling “bubbly” drinks ; relish a ‘20s style feast fit for Gatsby & guests, wine tasting, dinner & desserts by Tiramisu Trattoria, Swami’s & Little Roma that Al Capone would relish!
  • ‘Cocktail attire or 20s attire encouraged (flappers, film stars, gangsters, robber barons, etc.)
  • Opportunity drawings and silent auction; prizes and surprises!  Win a night on the town including steak dinner & “Chicago” theater tickets, Joe’s Crab Shack dinners, The Hills Pub and Lunchbox Cafe gift certificates, wine baskets, Hawaiian pearls, turquoise and coral jewelry, antiques, collectibles, elegant items, CDs, Julian Old Time Photos, T-shirts and more.

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