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March 2015

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Mayor Will Meet With RealtorsLA MESA -- La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis will be hosted by the…See More
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La Mesa City Council

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La Mesa City Council

Posted by rick griffin on March 26, 2015 at 11:30am 0 Comments

Mayor Will Meet With Realtors

LA MESA -- La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis will be hosted by the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors’ (PSAR) Government Affairs Committee starting at noon on Wednesday, April 1, at the PSAR East County Service Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. Admission is free and lunch will be provided. To RSVP, call PSAR at (619) 579-0333 or visit RSVPs are requested for food ordering.

 Arapostathis will discuss new projects and development opportunities, including future plans for Grossmont Center, Park Station, La Mesa Village street scape renovation and Boys and the Girls Clubs of East County’s new Brady Family Clubhouse to be built near the La Mesa Middle School campus. Other topics will include infrastructure improvements, advances at local schools and changes on the City Council resulting from the recent election.

 “Dr. A,” as he is called by his students and friends, served for eight years as a city councilman before his election as mayor in November 2014. He unseated Art Madrid who had been La Mesa’s mayor for nearly a quarter of a century.

 A graduate of Helix High School, co-creator of the La Mesa Arts Academy and Peter Pan Junior Theater director, Arapostathis has taught in the public schools for the past 24 years and is a past recipient of the Teacher of the Year award.  Dr. A has championed many programs in La Mesa, including Safe Routes to School, a program that encourages students to walk and ride bicycles to school, and the Neighborhood Watch and emergency preparedness programs, designed to promote safer streets and communities and help residents get prepared for emergencies.


PSAR, a…


Crime Watch

Posted by La Mesa Today on March 26, 2015 at 10:57am 0 Comments

Undercover Operation Nets 32 Arrests

LA MESA -- In July of 2014, the La Mesa Police Department was awarded a $21,668 grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to battle alcohol-related crime. This was important to the city of La Mesa in order to increase protection for youth and to keep our community safe. The grant was one of 47 awarded in California to local law enforcement agencies through ABC’s Grant Assistance Program (GAP). The grants strengthen local law enforcement efforts by combining the efforts of local police officers and ABC agents. ABC agents have expertise in alcoholic beverage laws and can help communities reduce alcohol-related problems.

Since the ABC Grant was awarded in July 2014 to present, the La Mesa Police Department and ABC Agents have completed eight Shoulder Tap Operations targeting underage drinking and those who provide alcohol to minors. To date all funds for the ABC Grant have been expended. The final results of the ABC Grant funded operations are listed below.

During 8 Shoulder Tap Operations, 53 visits were made to La Mesa businesses. Minor decoys were used to solicit individuals approaching the business to buy them alcohol. 127 contacts were made during these operations. Of the 127 contacts, 32 arrests were made. 29 of the arrests were for violation of 25658(a) BP Providing Alcohol to a Minor. 1 arrest was for 11377(a) HS Possession of Methamphetamine and 2 arrests were for outstanding warrants.

The ABC Grant also provided the La Mesa Police Department $1,961 for the purchase of surveillance equipment. This equipment helped with the recording, documentation and prosecution of these undercover…


La Mesa Church News

Posted by La Mesa Today on March 26, 2015 at 8:38am 0 Comments

90 Years Of Greeting Easter Sunrise

MT. HELIX -- This Easter, Sunday April 5 at 6:30 a.m., the Mt. Helix Park amphitheater will be home to its 90th sunrise service. Dedicated in 1925, this historic venue averages 1,000 participants who come from throughout the county, and beyond to celebrate against the backdrop of the Park’s spectacular 360 degree views.
Touted as being the second oldest continuous Easter sunrise service celebration in the United States and the oldest in San Diego, services began in the Park in 1917, prior to the construction of the amphitheater, when the ceremony was moved from Mt. Nebo to Mt. Helix.
Each year a different religious organization hosts the event which is free and open to the public, and this year the Foothills United Methodist Church will take the helm leading visitors in this anniversary ceremony.
Shuttles for the sunrise service will begin taking visitors to the amphitheater at 5:30 am from the parking lots next to and across from the Mt. Miguel Fire Station at the corner of Mt. Helix Drive and Vivera Drive with overflow parking at the Brigantine Restaurant located at the intersection of Fuerte Drive and Grossmont Boulevard.

La Mesa Arts

Posted by La Mesa Today on March 23, 2015 at 5:27am 0 Comments

Out On The Edge

LA MESA -- La Mesa Today member Mike Nixon shared this piece, part of a gallery showing at the On The Edge Gallery.

La Mesa Business

Posted by La Mesa Today on March 20, 2015 at 10:56am 6 Comments

Hobby Lobby Coming To La Mesa

LA MESA -- Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a privately held national retail chain of craft and home decor stores, is set to open a new store in La Mesa at the site of the old Linens 'n Things store just off Jackson Drive near Grossmont Boulevard.

This chain made national headlines last year when it challenged the Affordable Care Act's provision that the company's devout christian owners felt forced them to abandon their religious beliefs in supplying contraceptive services through company supported health care.

Construction and renovations on the new La Mesa store (photo above is an Ohio store) have begun on this 43,000 square-foot building.

This is Hobby Lobby’s 28th location in California, which is projected to open at the beginning of May. The location will bring about 35–50 jobs to the community paying $15 per hour for full-time and $10 per hour for part-time associates.

“The success of our stores in California is a good indicator that area shoppers will be pleased with the quality, selection and value we offer in the craft and home decor market.

New customers and customers already familiar with the Hobby Lobby shopping experience are greatly anticipating this store opening,” stated John Schumacher, Assistant Vice President of Advertising.

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, began as Greco, a miniature picture frames company in 1970. When David Green moved his business from the family’s garage to a 300 square foot retail space in 1972, Hobby Lobby was founded.

Today, Hobby Lobby has over…


La Mesa Healthcare

Posted by rick griffin on March 19, 2015 at 2:30pm 0 Comments

Free Diet Seminar, But No Donuts!

LA MESA -- The Grossmont Healthcare District’s Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, will host a free program on “Diets, Diets and More Diets” from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25. The program is part of the library’s “Wellness Wednesday” series, normally held on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

 Millions of Americans resolve every year to eat healthier and lose weight. The list is growing of popular diets designed to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of heart disease. Popular diets have included low carbohydrates, high protein, gluten free, Paleo, DASH, anti-inflammatory and Mediterranean.

Speaking at the Herrick Library will be Kathy Quinn, library director. She will discuss the features of popular diets and how to distinguish one diet from another. Quinn, with a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Dominican University in the Chicago area, has served as director of the Herrick Library since 2007.

 The Herrick Library, which opened in 2002, is a consumer health public library specializing in health research information, accessible both on-site and via the Internet. The library is operated by the Grossmont Healthcare District, a public agency that supports health-related community programs and services in San Diego’s East County. For more information, phone the library at (619) 825‑5010 or visit…


Boys & Girls Club News

Posted by rick griffin on March 19, 2015 at 8:30am 0 Comments

Dancing For The Kids On Saturday

LA MESA -- The Boys & Girls Club of East County will present its 49th annual Children’s Ball, a fundraiser on Saturday, March 21, at the Omni San Diego Hotel, 675 “L” St., Downtown San Diego. Reception and silent auction will begin at 6 p.m., with dinner beginning at 7:30 p.m. The theme for the evening is “Take Me Out to the Children’s Ball.” Individual tickets begin at $325 per person. To RSVP, call Samantha Olsen at (619) 440-1600 or visit Major event sponsors include Conrad Prebys and Debbie Turner and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

 Members of the 2015 Children’s Ball Honorary Committee include David Shaw, Ron and Lisa Oberndorfer, Robert and Marcia Malkus, Bill and Marilee Fischbeck, Dr. and Mrs. Philip Szold, Tony Rowe, Robert Scheid, Laurie McGrath, Gene and Susie Chubb, Ed and Sandy Burr, Conrad Prebys and Debbie Turner, Steve and Tracy South, Phil Justo, Dana Sass, John Eppstein,  Tim and Stanna McDougal, Thomas Page, Kimberly Hunt and Bill Ray Smith, Rolf Benirschke, James Nigro, Stan and Penny Boney, Brian and Rosemarie Marshall, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, The Hon. Supervisor Dianne Jacob and Paul Jacob, Gabe Matthews, Jerry and Judy Hollingsworth, Floyd Pickrell, Tom and Sue Sparrow, Kelly Prasser, Bill Hulsey, Ron and Mary Alice Brady, Val O’Connor, Sam and Reena Horowitz, Michael Bradley, Kathy Aylott, Randal Okamura, Steve Devan, and Bob and Anne Caya. The musical band performing at the fundraiser will be The Mighty Untouchables.

 The Boys & Girls Clubs of East County, a chartered member of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, has more than…


La Mesa Arts

Posted by La Mesa Today on March 17, 2015 at 4:00am 4 Comments

Peter Pan Takes On The "Mattress"

LA MESA -- La Mesa's venerable Peter Pan Jr. Theater marks its 45th year of annual performances with next-week's side-splitting production of "Once Upon A Mattress" (based on the comic fable "The Princess and the Pea.")

The show runs March 25-28 at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Performing Arts Center. It features a cast of 90 4th through 8th grade students who reside in the La Mesa Spring Valley School District.

While PPJT focuses on performing arts, the program has a broader target, aiming to teach students character and leadership during the six-months of rehearsals leading up to the production.

"We're more than a youth theater program," says Director Dr. Mark Arapostathis, a La Mesa - Spring Valley teacher and recently-elected La Mesa mayor. "We build character and develop future leaders. We just happen to use professional-quality stagecraft as our medium for doing that."

Peter Pan Jr. Theater shows are widely considered to be some of the best in San Diego County, employing a professional pit orchestra and a small army of parent volunteers to make each performance go off without a hitch. The troupe has garnered numerous accolades and awards throughout its 45-year history.

In addition to the 90 students in the cast, PPJT funds tickets and buses so that nearly 2,000 students can see the production for free.

CLICK HERE to buy tickets or make a donation.

East County Health News

Posted by rick griffin on March 12, 2015 at 11:30am 0 Comments

Take A Test, Eat A Chicken

SANTEE -- The Chick-fil-A restaurant in Santee, 9418 Mission Gorge Road, is supporting the American Diabetes Association’s “Alert Day” by rewarding customers with free food giveaway on Tuesday, March 24.

Held annually on the fourth Tuesday in March, the ADA’s Alert Day encourages people to find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by taking the ADA’s diabetes risk test at The risk test, consisting of eight questions covering such topics as family history, weight and age, takes less than 60 seconds to complete.

 Anyone who visits a local Chick-fil-A restaurant in San Diego County between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on March 24, and shows proof they completed the diabetes risk test, will receive their choice of a free Chick-fil-A grilled chicken sandwich entrée or a free eight-piece grilled nugget entrée. Proof can include either a printout from the website page or show the risk test’s final page on a smart phone. No personal information or test results will be collected. No purchase is required. Limit of one free entree per customer per day. Not valid with meals purchases.

 Chick-fil-A in Santee is among the nine Chick-fil-A restaurants in San Diego County offering free food on Tuesday, March 24. The nine Chick-fil-A restaurants in San Diego County are located in Chula Vista, Encinitas, Oceanside, San Marcos, Santee, Escondido and in San Diego on Sports Arena Blvd., Camino Ruiz in Mira Mesa and Carmel Mountain Road in Carmel Mountain Ranch. For addresses and directions, visit…


Regional News

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California housing market bounces back in February after slow start to year

Source: C.A.R.

Slowing home price appreciation and improving inventory combined to boost California’s housing market in February as existing home sales and median home prices increased from both the previous month and year, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Making sense of the story:

 Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 368,160 units in February, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.

 Sales in February were up 4.7 percent from a revised 351,480 in January and up 2.4 percent from a revised 359,600 in February 2014. The year-over-year increase was the largest observed since December 2012.

 “While February’s statewide improvement in the housing market was moderate, it’s an encouraging sign, nevertheless, as we head into the spring home-buying season,” said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. “On the supply side, housing inventory improved overall with active listings growing at a faster pace of 5.3 percent when compared to last February.”

 The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home was essentially flat from January’s median price, inching up from $426,660 in January to $428,970 in February. February’s median price was 5.5 percent higher than the revised $406,460 recorded in February 2014.

 While the statewide median home price is higher than a year ago, the rate of increase has narrowed significantly since early 2014. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

 The available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale statewide in February was unchanged from the 5 months reported in January. The index was 4.7 months in February 2014. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.

 The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home shortened in February, down from a 52.4 days in January to 47 days in February but up from 40.1 days in February 2014.


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