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La Mesa News

La Mesa Politics

Posted by La Mesa Today on September 20, 2014 at 8:00am 1 Comment

Mayor's Race In The Spotlight

LA MESA -- La Mesa's campaign season got a moment in the spotlight Friday as a segment on KPBS Radio and TV Editor's Roundtable. La Mesa Today Editor Chris Lavin discussed the mayoral race with host Mark Sauer and other local journalists.

CLICK HERE or on the picture above to watch the show, which also includes segments on development and electric rates.

La Mesa Volunteers

Posted by Gina Garcia on September 20, 2014 at 8:04am 0 Comments

8,000 Hours With Our Firefighters

LA MESA -- George H. W. Bush was president in 1991 when Joan Allenson applied for a volunteer job with the La Mesa Fire Department.

Today, 23 years later, she has seen fire chiefs come and go, young firefighters turn into middle-age men and women join the ranks. The Department itself is now known as the Heartland Fire & Rescue.

And Joan is still here.

Each week she spends three days keeping the payroll in order, picking up and distributing checks and cheerfully greeting the public who come to the door with all sorts of needs and problems.

"She's out there every week keeping this place together,'' said Deputy Chief Greg McAlpine (in photo below). "She does a great job.''

And the price is right. No salary and no raise in the 23 years of service.

Recently, the department stopped, as it does every few years, to mark a new milestone in Allenson's work. This one was 8,000 hours and was marked with a badge collection to go with the personalized chief hat they gave her years ago.

Allenson's story is like many of the La Mesa residents who came here during a population boomlet in the middle of the last century. She arrived in 1951, driving with her husband in a car they were delivering for an auto dealer. They had no job, little money and had to give up the car to be sold. 

Her husband found work in the aviation industry and she eventually joined on with the phone company, retiring after two kids and 21 years of paid service. Then…


La Mesa Philanthropy

Posted by rick griffin on September 19, 2014 at 1:30pm 0 Comments

Fazio, Boys & Girls Club Fundraiser, Will Retire

LA MESA -- After 35 years, Jerry Fazio, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of East County Foundation, has announced his retirement.

 Fazio plans to begin his retirement Oct. 24. His official retirement date, after enjoying some well-deserved vacation time, will be Dec. 4, three days after his 35th anniversary with the youth organization that has served hundreds of thousands of young people in the East County since its founding in 1961.

 Since joining the organization on Dec. 1, 1979, Fazio has served in several executive positions with the Girls’ Club and Boys & Girls Clubs, as well as executive director of the Foundation, a non-profit fundraising entity, on two occasions, most recently since July 2008.

 Fazio’s honors during his career have included El Cajon Citizen of the Year in 1992, Boys & Girls Clubs Pacific Region Executive of the Year in 2006, and National Executive Director of the Year from Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 2007. He is known throughout San Diego for his friendly smile and fundraising passion on behalf of the organization.

 “He is the instantly recognizable fundraiser and pitch man for our organization,” said Jack Doyle, board president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of East County Foundation. “During his 35 years, Jerry has steered the development of our new and updated facilities in El Cajon, Lakeside, Santee and La Mesa. He leaves us a legacy to be proud of in East County. We wish him well as he moves into retirement.”

 Fazio’s decision to retire was prompted by recent good news from doctors that he is cancer free, five years after battling colon cancer, a disease…


La Mesa Politics

Posted by La Mesa Today on September 18, 2014 at 10:30pm 1 Comment

Candidates Forum A Polite Affair

LA MESA -- As he began the Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum Thursday night, La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid endeavored to draw a clear distinction between he and his opponent, saying "Elections are about choices and here you have two candidates who couldn't be more different.''

Madrid dramatically challenged his opponent, City Councilman Mark Arapostathis, to a two-hour debate, but as this two-hour forum unfolded it wasn't so easy for the 100 in attendance to draw substantive differences between Madrid and Arapostathis, nor among the five other candidates vying for the other two open council seats.

Everyone on the panel had long resumes of public service. All the candidates expressed love for La Mesa and stood, with only slight differences, for protecting and defending police and fire services and the small town feel of the Jewel of the Hills.

It was a sort of low-key, get-to-know-you candidates night in which each candidate, presented below in alphabetical order, sought to establish their own theme:

Two For Mayor

Mark Arapostathis

Enjoying the endorsement of the other three current council members, "Dr. A," as he is often called, listed the new police, fire and library facilities as well as the Allison Avenue…


Volunteer La Mesa

Posted by Chiho Powell on September 18, 2014 at 10:00pm 0 Comments

Can You Help A Young Reader?

LA MESA -- Murray Manor Elementary School in La Mesa is looking for volunteer reading tutors who could commit 1 and 1/2 hours a week to help struggling 1, 2, 3 grade readers after a free 2-hour tutor training.

There is nothing more rewarding as seeing the smile on a child's face as they gain more confidence in their reading abilities, school work, and themselves. Find out how you can add more smiles by becoming a Murray Manor's Everyone A Reader Volunteer Tutor.

Everyone A Reader is a program designed and overseen by the San Diego County Office of Education and has proven to be a highly successful and positive way of supporting children in the process of learning to read.

Training/Orientation date and time:

Wednesday, October 1

Murray Manor Elementary School, Room 24

9:00 am to 11:00 am

Please contact Site Coordinator, Chiho Powell at to reserve your spot.…


La Mesa Arts

Posted by Gina Garcia on September 17, 2014 at 7:30am 0 Comments

Foothills Newsletter Charts Busy Course

LA MESA -- A note from the president:

I am so excited! There is so much that will be happening at Foothills over the next few months!

October is the Small Image Show… and the prize money has gone up! ($100/1st Prize; $75/2nd Prize; $50/3rd Prize) The size limit is seven inches of image in any direction… (the frame size doesn’t matter) and each artist may submit three entries. I can’t wait to see the “little gems”.

The Wildlife in Art Show is creeping up on us. Please do not forget that entries are now electronic and photographic and have to be submitted by the Wednesday, October 1st and that is only about two weeks away!

There will be no demo in December, but by popular request we are going to bring back the holiday art sale and pot luck. I bought a gorgeous watercolor last year which I eventually framed and gave as a gift to another art lover. Proceeds from the holiday art sale will go to Foothills funds. You will see more about this in the next issue.

The old debate has been brought up about demo times. The Board has decided that the three months December, January and February will again be daytime meetings (meetings will begin at 1:00 pm.) In March, we will revert to evening meetings. We have to remember that many of our members (myself included) are still working or have daytime commitments and find it difficult to attend daytime activities.

Sorry we can’t please everyone on this issue… we can only be fair.



La Mesa Weather

Posted by La Mesa Today on September 16, 2014 at 2:30pm 4 Comments

 Storm Cell Rips Through Avocado Boulevard

LA MESA -- Thunderstorms ripped through sections of El Cajon and the southeast corner of La Mesa this afternoon, knocking down trees and soaking the area with heavy rains.

 Sheriff's deputies said the storm cell hit sections of Rancho San Diego hard, knocking down trees and knocking out power to the Vons shopping center at Avocado Boulevard near the 94.

"It was like a hurricane just came down,'' one witness to the destruction said.

Sheriff's deputies dispatched to close off the area said it was miraculous no one was injured with so much timber flying around. One man who had just exited McDonald's heard branches snapping and ran inside just as large branches smashed his truck.

"It was good it was raining,'' an officer said. "People stayed inside.''

 The storm, however, was isolated as areas of La Mesa and El Cajon saw nothing but blue skies and a little wind as the cell moved through just after 1 p.m. Temperatures broke the 100 mark again in the Jewel of the Hills. The storm seemed to cut a swath starting along Fury Lane and moving south and slightly west as it crossed Avocado. Fences were knocked down and homes on the hills surrounding the area sustained some damage. Merchants were struggling to keep perishables cool in the heat as electricity remained out into the evening.

By evening, crews with chainsaws and front loaders had descended on the area and were clearing roads as deputies and Highway Patrol officers stood in for traffic lights dimmed by the power outage.


La Mesa Today photos by Gina Garcia, Luis Garcia and Chris Lavin.…


La Mesa Philanthropy

Posted by Gina Garcia on September 5, 2014 at 2:00pm 0 Comments

Lions Golf Tourney This Week

LA MESA -- The La Mesa Lions Club is hosting its 15th Annual Memorial Golf Tournament and fundraiser, Sat., Sept. 20th at the Sun Valley Golf Course on Memorial Dr. in La Mesa. Registration, which starts at 8:30 a.m. is $25 per person (including lunch!) and is open to the public.

The tournament raised more than $5,000 last year from community participation and features a $1,000 cash prize for the Hole-In-One contest. The annual tournament benefits La Mesa’s youth and sight-impaired programs and is dedicated to the memory of two Lions who lived the Lions motto, “We Serve,” -- longtime East County physicians Jack Hardebeck and William Soldmann, Jr. Drs. Hardebeck and Soldmann were well-known medical leaders as well as members of the La Mesa Lions for decades.

 Dr. Soldmann was instrumental in the planning and building of Grossmont Hospital in the late 1940s, and served as the first Chief of Staff when it opened in 1954. For 12 years he served on the hospital board and was a nationally renowned expert on rattlesnakes, publishing many articles on the subject. In 1975, the physical rehabilitation center on the hospital campus was named in his honor. Dr. Soldmann was an original charter member of the La Mesa Lions when it was formed in 1948, and he helped establish and lead the club’s many projects.

Dr. Hardebeck was a recognized general practitioner, serving on the original Grossmont Hospital Medical Staff in 1955 until his retirement in 1998. He was Chief of Staff from1973-1974, and served on many clinical committees during his 33 years at the hospital. He also served on the Grossmont Hospital Foundation Board from 1994-2000,…


La Mesa Politics: Term Limits

Posted by La Mesa Today on September 15, 2014 at 1:32pm 28 Comments

After the Rhetoric, What’s the Record?

By Anthony D. Mc Ivor

Second of four essays on the Term Limit proposal submitted by  La Mesa Today member Anthony D. Mc Ivor. Readers are encouraged to comment below or submit formal responses to be considered for publication.

LA MESA -- In November, La Mesa voters will decide whether to change the Municipal Code and put into law a significant new ordinance. The ordinance will tell us – and future generations of La Mesa voters – who we can vote for, who we can’t and when.

Term limits are a politically-driven experiment that has already inflicted needless waste and expense on jurisdictions across the country. And the worst of it? There is simply no evidence that they work. Quite the contrary.

After 25 years of experimentation, the benefits claimed by advocates remain unrealized. Nor have term limits put a civic renaissance on the near horizon – anywhere. Experienced observers on both sides of the aisle now consider term limits political fool’s gold.

The word most often used to describe the impact of term limits is “disaster.” And not just in Sacramento. Evidence of failure comes from all directions.

The Joint Project on Term Limits – a cooperative effort by a team of political scientists, and professional staff at the National Council of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation – examined the effects of term limits…


La Mesa Business Profile

Posted by Alexis Aceves on September 14, 2014 at 12:30pm 0 Comments

A Special Energy For Skincare

LA MESA --  When I pitched the idea to La Mesa Today about creating business profiles for the website, Jessika’s Aware Skincare immediately came to my mind. I’ve been following Jessika for years. My mother and I had been going to a local spa for a long time but it was hit or miss, until I had my first appointment with Jessika. There was something about her that stood out to me, she genuinely cared about my skin and took the time to sculpt my eyebrows to perfection. We hit it off immediately, her aura mixed with the fading scent of burning incense soothes me (and my eyebrows). I’m a very loyal customer and even when I moved to San Francisco for college, she was always one of my first stops when returning home to San Diego. She currently offers her services from her little spa at 10791 Jamacha Blvd., Suite 5 in Spring Valley.

Jessika is more than an esthetician; she is a positive force whose influence goes beneath the skin. Her interest in spiritual health and the ways in which she challenges her customers to be aware of what their skin is telling them, sets her apart from the rest. This question and answer is to highlight more than Jessika’s business. This is a profile of a friend to the La Mesa Community, your health, and myself. I hope I can help you see her the way I do.

What sparked your interest in being an esthetician?

     I have been interested in botanical beauty since I was very young. Roses were blush brushes, honeysuckle was my lip-gloss, ground mica became shimmer dust, and pine needles were hair extensions. As a teen, I went from the clearest of skin to suffering with Acne and undergoing harsh Accutane treatments. This medication caused a very different set of issues with my skin, and I knew no way of relief by my dermatologist's shallow recommendations. I was gaining the…



Inside the lifestyle squeeze of tiny homes
Source: CNBC
As the tiny home movement sweeps the nation, potential adopters of this "living tiny" lifestyle might need to seriously consider whether it suits their personalities, as there are challenges to living small. This
includes having very few possessions, a zero-tolerance policy for clutter, and not being able to invite
many guests over to visit. Read the full story 


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La Mesa Candidates Forum Tonight

Candidates Forum Tonight!!!Candidates will have opening and closing statements. They will take…See More
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