La Mesa/Mt. Helix

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.

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP URGES LA MESA RESIDENTS TO ATTEND MEETINGS ON CITY’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN AUG. 15 AND SEPT. 19

 

Public input also sought Aug. 3 on community choice alternative for electric power

East County News Service

July 30, 2016 (La Mesa)—The City of La Mesa seeks public input on its draft Climate Action Plan.  Two public meetings are planned with the City’s Enviornmental Sustainability Commission at City Hall (8130 Allison Ave.) at 7 p.m. on August 16 and September 19. 

“These are great opportunities for you and your neighbors to help shape the Plan that will guide the City of La Mesa to a clean energy future over the next 20 years,”says Angela Deegan at San Diego 350.org,a nonprofit environmental group dedicated to stopping climate change…If you live in La Mesa, we need you to help provide input to ensure La Mesa adopts a strong, enforceable Climate Action Plan which includes a goal of 100% clean energy and which incentivizes renewable energy and local green jobs.”

INTERSTATE 8, STATE ROUTE 125 CONNECTOR RAMPS CLOSED SATURDAY NIGHTS

 

Bridge work to take place four consecutive weekends

Source: Caltrans news release

July 29, 2016 (San Diego) - Caltrans announced that the connector ramps from westbound Interstate 8 (I-8) to northbound and southbound State Route 125 (SR-125) will be closed for bridge work Saturday from 9 p.m. until Sunday at 9 a.m. on four consecutive weekends beginning July 30.

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN HOSTS FREE CUSTOMER APPRECIATON DAY JULY 31 FOR HELIX WATER AND SWEETWATER AUTHORITY RATEPAYERS

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (Rancho San Diego) – The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College will host a free Customer Appreciation Day for Helix Water and Sweetwater Authority customers on Sunday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Discover different varieties of drought-tolerant plants, learn how to "Toss the Turf" and get inspiration on how to incorporate water-wise gardening into your own garden. Plus you can enjoy free activities including docent-led garden tours, tips on butterfly gardening, veggie growing,soils and native habitat, meet Ms. Smarty-Plants, watch a butterfly release, savor free shaved ice, and get discounts on gift shop items.  See full schedule of events below.

GROCERY STORE BOYCOTT BEGINS: STORES IN LA MESA AND SPRING VALLEY AMONG THOSE TARGETED

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (San Diego)—A boycott of six Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons grocery store locations is underway starting this week, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union in San Diego has announced.  If no contract agreement is reached by August 8th,the union has voted to call a strike against all of the stores’ locations throughout southern California.

The boycott locations include two in East County:  the Vons store at 8011 University Ave. in La Mesa and the Albertsons at 9831 Campo Road in Spring Valley.

GIRLS NIGHT OUT - THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB JULY 8 - AUGUST 7, 2016 AT LAMPLIGHTERS

 

By Kathy Carpenter

Associate/Youth Reviewer www.sdtheatreereviews.com

July 27, 2016 (La Mesa) - Remember the good times you've enjoyed with your girlfriends over the years? The Dixie Swim Club is the story of five friends who won a championship swim meet together in college. They bonded together and meet every year on the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina at the same rental beach cottage. Best friends stay together no matter what.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD TO CONSIDER CANCELLING PEPPER DRIVE FIRE STATION, PURSUING ANNEXATION OF CSA 115 BY LAKESIDE FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Miguel Fire Protection District board meets Wednesday, July 27th at the district board room at 2850 Via Orange Way, Spring Valley.  The board will discuss possible action to reestablish discussions with Lakeside Fire District over a possible joint annexation of County Service Area (CSA) 115, a 441-acre parcel that includes the planned Pepper Drive fire station.  The board will also consider halting development of Station 19 at Pepper Drive pending results of discussions with Lakeside Fire District over annexation.

In addition, board members will discuss and may take action to approve recommendations from the Transitional Ad Hoc Committee regarding a contract for a Transitional Consultant and may approve appointment of a Transitional Consultant.  Purchase of a fire prevention vehicle will also be considered.

WANT TO RUN FOR A LOCAL OFFICE? FILING DEADLINE IS OPEN NOW THROUGH AUGUST 12

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The filing period to run for local offices is now open, closing August 12.   Concerned citizens can often make positive differences in their communities by become elected officials serving as members of school boards, community planning groups, fire boards, water boards, hospital districts, city councils, or as mayors.

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.

HEALTH CARE LIBRARY IN LA MESA WILL HIGHLIGHT MEALS ON WHEELS PROGRAM FOR ELDERLY

 

East County News Service

 

July 20, 2016 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District’s Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, will host “More than a Meal,” a free presentation about Meals on Wheels San Diego County, from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 27. 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. Speaking will be Brian Midkiff, community outreach coordinator with Meals on Wheels San Diego County, a community nonprofit organization. 

MASS CASUALTY/ACTIVE SHOOTER TRAINING IN LA MESA THIS THURSDAY

 

Source: Heartland Fire Press Release

July 18, 2016 (La Mesa) - On Thursday July 21st at 9:45 a.m., Heartland Fire & Rescue in partnership with La Mesa Police Department and allied agencies, will be conducting our annual Mass Casualty Incident training. The training will include an Active Shooter element. This training allows Law Enforcement and Fire Department personnel to work together in the event of an actual active shooter, like what we have recently seen in Dallas, Texas and San Bernardino, California. To make this training more realistic, we will have live actors in moulage, simulating injuries that we would encounter in this type of emergency.

READER'S EDITORIAL: SMOKE-FREE OUTDOOR DINING--GOOD FOR HEALTH, GOOD FOR BUSINESS

Click here for a list of La Mesa smoke-free restaurants.

By Dani Womack

Pastor Dani Womack is the Community Life Pastor at Crosspointe Life Church and Chairperson of the La Mesa Collaborative.

July 11, 2016 (La Mesa)--Summer is finally here and what better place to enjoy being outdoors than San Diego County! La Mesa has invested millions to renovate their Downtown Village, putting a priority on outdoor seating in public spaces and local restaurants have joined in by growing their outdoor dining patios. Many cities throughout San Diego County and the state have passed local laws restricting smoking in outdoor areas such as parks, beaches, farmer’s markets, and outdoor dining patios.

LET YOUR DAUGHTER BE A PRINCESS THIS SUMMER - BEUATY AND THE BEAST JULY 9-16, 2016

 

Young Actor's Theatre Presents Beauty and the Beast July 7 - 16th, 2016

By Kathy Carpenter

Associate/ Youth Reviewer www.sdtheatre.com

July 9, 2016 (La Mesa) - Did you ever want to be a Disney princess as a little girl? According to Isbella Lenhoff's bio, when she was four, she believed she was Princess Belle. Many years later, Isabella is the perfect Belle. I've been watching her act for several years now and this was her best role. She is a true star with an amazing voice.

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. 

MIXING AND MINGLING WITH LOCAL ELECTORAL CANDIDATES AT POLITICS IN PARADISE

 

By Janis Russell

July 4, 2016 (Rancho San Diego) - The East County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual ‘Politics in Paradise’ at the Water Conservation Garden on July 1st. This year, instead of a panel of speakers, the public got to mix and mingle with the local candidates. Then, throughout the night, candidates came up in three different groups to introduce themselves and explain why they’re running.

LA MESA APPOINTS YVONNE GARRETT AS NEW CITY MANAGER

 

Some fault Council for lack of transparency on selection process

East County News Service

July 2, 2016 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa City Council has appointed Yvonne Garrett as the new City Manager, replacing Dave Witt, who is retiring on August 5 after 31 years with the Planning Department.  Garrett has served as Assistant City Manager Director of City Services for a decade. 

HEART OF MT HELIX AUG. 13: SAVOR THE FLAVORS OF 15 RESTAURANTS, PLUS LIVE ART AND DANCING UNDER THE STARS

 

East County News Service

June 19, 2016 (Mt. Helix) -- Tickets are now on sale for the 9th annual heART of Mt. Helix set for Saturday, August 13 - 5:30 to 10 p.m. at the park atop Mt. Helix.  The popular party on the hill will feature dancing under the stars to the Mighty Untouchables, samplings from over 15 local restaurants along with wine and spirits from several local establishments including, St. Petersberg Vodka, Hennebery Whiskey, and this year's signature cocktail, The Helix, created by Vom Fass, as well as local brews from Helix Brewing Co., Ballast Point and more.

HOPE FOR IRAQI CHRISTIANS SEEKS MATCHING FUNDS BY JULY 4 TO HELP 200 REFUGEE FAMILIES: ADOPT A FAMILY FOR JUST $1 A DAY

 

East County News Service

June 25, 2016 (La Mesa)—Hope for Iraqi Christians, a La Mesa based organization that assists Iraqi Christian refugees fleeing genocide in the Middle East, has received a pledge from the  Anahid Oram Memorial Refugee Fund to match $10,000 in monthly donations, sponsoring 100 families per month, but only if they can secure sponsors for at least 100 families by July 4. If that goal is met, the matching funds will mean that 200 families will be helped.

You can sponsor a family for as little as  $1 a day. Each donor will receive information on the family adopted.  Smaller donations will be pooled to help reach the total. Or consider adopting multiple families.

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