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La Mesa News

La Mesa Philanthropy

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 21, 2014 at 7:00pm 0 Comments

West La Mesa's Little Miracle Unfolding

LA MESA -- On a typical night in La Mesa, when the residents above Lake Murray have turned in, when the comfortable residents in the hills above the Village have gone off to sleep and only the regulars are left in downtown bars, the police cruisers are often called to West La Mesa.

The modest homes, apartments and the neighborhood taverns crowded in off El Cajon Boulevard and University Avenue can be a source of constant calls for police help. Family disputes, thefts, car break-ins, a concentration of robberies. It isn't quite an urban jungle, police will say, but it shows all the signs of families struggling, children with more time on their hands and less attention than stressed parents can give.

But now for the good news. Smack dab in the middle of all this need, a La Mesa miracle of sorts is taking shape this summer.  As if directed by some higher power, a La Mesa philanthropist, an NBA star, a school district with ambition and a long-standing civic arts group have coalesced around this piece of La Mesa and are plotting moves that could literally transform this section of the city.

Millions of dollars are being raised and architects are working on plans. A new curriculum is being pioneered to reinvigorate the local school and may result in bringing more of the middle class back. A public-private partnership is forming into an effort that may literally make this corner of town into a national model.

This effort will certainly get national attention this week.…


La Mesa City Council

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 21, 2014 at 11:13am 2 Comments

Council May Consider A Parking Meter Vacation

LA MESA -- The La Mesa City Council will consider the impact of turning off the parking meters for the duration of the downtown streetscape project currently underway in La Mesa Village.

In the agenda for Tuesday's regular council meeting, council members Ernie Ewin and Kristine Alessio ask council approval for the City's Parking Commission to study the impact of letting parking be free throughout the extensive reconstruction effort.

The street redesign and renovation project is expected to last well into next year as sidewalks, streets and sides streets along La Mesa Boulevard between Fourth and Acacia get a complete face-lift.

The $5-million project has been much anticipated in a downtown that, while quaint, suffered from years of aging. However, local merchants have been concerned that the months of construction will inhibit business and reduce their revenues.

City officials have attempted to plan the project with night work and a schedule that will reduce the length of time crews are in front of any one establishment, but clearly the project will make it a bit of an adventure to get to La Mesa Boulevard shops as sidewalks, curbs, trees and streets are completely replaced. Eliminating the parking charges might make braving the construction zone a bit easier on customers.

The council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at its City Hall chambers on Allison Avenue. CLICK HERE for the complete…


East County Healthcare

Posted by rick griffin on July 17, 2014 at 11:30am 0 Comments

Lenac Will Fill Healthcare Board Vacancy

LA MESA -- Randy Lenac has been appointed to the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) board of directors. He was selected by the GHD board from among a field of eight East County residents who applied to fill a seat vacated by Dr. Michael Long, who resigned in June. Long was up for reelection this year and Lenac will serve the remainder of Long's term.

 Lenac (pronounced LEN-ack), 61, with executive management experience in administration, finance and program development and strategy, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1975 to 2002, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He has lived in Campo since 2002.

 During his military career, he served as director of personnel overseeing about 100,000 troops stationed oversees during the 1990-1991 Gulf War, known as “Operation Desert Shield.” He also assisting in drafting war plans that were implemented with t

he 2003 Iraq War, also referred to as “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

 After retiring from active military service, Lenac worked as executive director of the Southern Indian Health Council in Alpine.

 Since 2011, he has served as a board member of the Grossmont Hospital Corporation (GHC), a non-profit entity that oversees the management and operation of Grosssmont Hospital under a lease with Sharp HealthCare. He was appointed earlier this year to serve as GHC board treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee.

 He is a member of the East County Economic Development Council, San Diego County Taxpayers Association and the Lincoln Club of San Diego County. 

He also currently serves as board secretary of Mountain Health & Community Services, a primary health provider to residents of rural East County communities.

 An active cattle rancher and owner since 1998 of the 200-acre Big Springs Ranch in Campo, Lenac also is a member of…


On La Mesa: Chris Shea

Posted by chris shea on July 16, 2014 at 1:30pm 15 Comments


LA MESA -- So before the election cycle gets into full swing, I would like to share something I am working on.  I’m writing a new book and what follows is the introduction to it.  My reason for sharing this is that I know that our highest selves are all pretty much the same: we love people who love us, and grieve when we lose people and animals. We love our little town of La Mesa.  We feel empathy for people who suffer something we too have suffered.  It's how we're wired despite what it might seem like in the heat of election craziness.

My hope for myself this election season is that even when someone I disagree with really, really vexes me I will be able to step back, take the time to reflect on how much greater are our shared ideals than are our disagreements.  It’s easy to make things personal, and that’s okay when they are.  But when it’s “just” politics or policy, I, for one, am going to be watchful that I keep everything in perspective. 

Please feel free to comment if you have any best pet moments.  I’m heading off to meet a new rescue in a couple of days. His name is Bear. Life without a dog is just not quite the same.  I have a new red collar in my car in case Bear wants to come home with me.

Introduction to STAY: What Dogs Do ©Chris Shea, 2014

When my beloved Newfoundland Ben died on the 2nd of June, 2014, I was stunned by the power of grief that came over me.  After he left, I lay my entire weight on his black furry body, warm in the June sun out in the cool green grass of the park outside my house. Within seconds of his last breath,  a neighbor’s bell on the balcony rang out like a school…


La Mesa Politics

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 15, 2014 at 3:30pm 2 Comments

Candidates Filing Now For Council, Mayor

LA MESA -- The first major deadline of the fall campaign season arrived this week and all but one of the candidates who have been talking about running have followed through.

According to the La Mesa City Clerk's office, Mayor Art Madrid and City Councilman Mark Arapostathis have filed the official form signaling their candidacy for the mayor's post in November.

With two City Council seats up for grabs and with no incumbent seeking those posts, the City Council race, as expected, has started heating up first.

Bill Baber, the attorney and current La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board member, was the first to file his papers this week as he continued his run for one of the two open council seats. Mary England, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce's Executive Director, also filed for the council race. She was joined by local insurance executive Guy McWhirter, a life-long La Mesa resident with an extensive civic resume.

The clerk's office also noted that local resident Pete Gregorovic had filed preliminary papers signaling a possible run for the open council seats as well.

While the routine of joint appearances and formal debates has not begun yet, there are early signs that this will be a hot campaign season in the Jewel of the Hills.

In recent weekends, McWhirter, Baber and their supporters have been walking La Mesa's neighborhoods, leaving door hangers and feeling out local residents on key issues.

Baber, who has endorsed Arapostathis…


Weekly Crime Report

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 15, 2014 at 9:52am 0 Comments

Hitchhikers Ask For Ride, Rob Driver 

LA MESA -- Police are looking for robber who held a gun to the head of his victim and demanded "your wallet or your life'' in a recent La Mesa robbery.

Case Highlights: On Friday, July 11, at approximately 8:19 a.m. AM, a robbery occurred in the 7600 block of El Cajon Boulevard. The victim stated that he was approached by a male and female at a 7-Eleven in Lemon Grove and asked for a ride to El Cajon Boulevard in La Mesa. The victim agreed and the suspects got into the vehicle. In the 7600 block of El Cajon Boulevard, the suspects told the victim to stop. The male suspect told the victim to give up his wallet. When the victim refused, the male pulled a revolver from his pocket and pointed it at the victim’s head and said, “Your wallet or your life”. The female reached into the victim’s pocket and took 30 dollars from him and then demanded his cell phone. The victim complied and both suspects exited the vehicle. The suspects were last seen running southbound on Parks Avenue. 

Suspect #1: Black male, 25-35 years old, 6’ 2”, 210-220 lbs., wearing a black t-shirt and dark pants, red hat, blue sunglasses and orange vest.

Suspect #2: Hispanic or Black female, 20-30 years old, 5’7”, 200-230 lbs., black tank top, white shorts with overall straps.

Anyone with information is asked to call the La Mesa Police Department at 619-667-1400 or you may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line at (888) 580-TIPS (or visit You can remain anonymous, and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for information in this case.



Weekly Crime Report

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 11, 2014 at 9:09am 0 Comments

Keeping Your Car From Getting Tired Out

LA MESA -- The best way to handle traffic accidents is to, of course, prevent them. Police are offering tips this week to make sure the tires on your car don't contribute to problems on the road.

See Traffic Information below.

Case Highlights: On Tuesday, June 17 at approximately 2:10 p.m., a robbery occurred at 8601 Fletcher 

Parkway. The victim stated that he was waiting at the Grossmont Trolley Station for a friend. When a train

arrived and the doors opened for boarding, two males walked up to the victim and asked to use his phone. The victim gave his cell phone to the suspects and they began to walk away. As the victim attempted to regain possession of the cell phone, both suspects pushed and threatened the victim. The suspects got on the train and fled the scene. La Mesa Police responded to both Grossmont Trolley and La Mesa Trolley Stations but were unable to locate the suspects. The investigation is continuing.

Suspect #1: Black male, 16-17 years old, 5ft 10in tall, 140lbs, normal build, black hair, and tattoos on both

forearms. Last seen wearing a black tank top and cargo shorts.

Suspect #2: Black male, 17-18 years old, 5ft 10in tall, 150lbs, normal build, and brown hair. Last seen wearing a baseball cap (no further description).

Anyone with information is asked to call the La Mesa Police Department at 619-667-1400 or you may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line at (888) 580-TIPS (or visit…


La Mesa Business

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 11, 2014 at 2:38pm 0 Comments

Bo-Beau Gets Another Brother

LA MESA -- Bo-Beau Kitchen + Garden, the new crown jewel of La Mesa Boulevard in the Village, has a new brother.

David and Lesley Cohn, whose team seems to have solved the mystery of succeeding at the corner of Allison and La Mesa Boulevard, have opened the third of the Cohn Restaurant Group's new Bo-Beau theme.

Located in Long Beach, the new venue seems to have taken the bohemian chic to a whole new level.

CLICK HERE or on the photo above to get a feel for Bo-Beau Kitchen + Roof Tap.

Letter From A Distant Friend

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 10, 2014 at 3:30pm 0 Comments

Like A Rolling Stone

Former La Mesa resident Bri Dugan left La Mesa years ago to see the world. How she ended up married and living in England is a tale she is sharing through this series of columns, called Letter From A Distant Friend.. This is her second installment. The first part of the series can be found here.

By Bri Dugan

ENGLAND -- Once in a great while you are presented with an opportunity to do something amazing. Some people crumble under the fear of the decision to commit to an opportunity for many reasons. The fear of change, lifestyle upheaval or what other people will think are just a few reasons why people willingly stay immobile. Making a decision only to realize it was the wrong one can do wonders to a conscience. The possibility of dealing with unforeseen consequences stops most people from even contemplating something new so when the opportunity arose to backpack through India I jumped at the chance.

Late in 2009 I had just returned from an extensive and exhausting, yet exhilarating three month backpacking trip through South East Asia - most of which I did alone. The moment I landed back in San Diego I scarfed a massive carne asada burrito from Rosarito’s #3 and immediately began researching the next big trip. I started working back at Cosmos again and soon Kayla, one of my closest friends, began telling me how her and her sister Laura wanted to travel around India after she graduated SDSU in 2010. The idea of India hadn’t really crossed my mind, but it sounded as good of a place as any. I immediately invited myself on…


La Mesa Philanthropy

Posted by Jay Steiger on July 8, 2014 at 11:30pm 0 Comments

Police Renovate Lemon Avenue Facilities

LA MESA -- Just in time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Little League baseball, La Mesa National Little League (LMNLL) was the beneficiary of a new and spacious snack bar at Lemon Avenue Elementary.  Lemon Ave hosts four playing fields for their T-ball, Rookies, CAPS, and Minors divisions.  The old snack bar was very cramped and poorly located.  The need was clear, but the funding was not.  In stepped the La Mesa Police Officers Association (LMPOA) and Officer Jeff Raybould.  Raybould, also a LMNLL coach and board member, worked with the league and school district to help bring improvements to the Lemon Ave fields. 

 The LMPOA funding support comes from both police officers and an annual golf tournament.  Raybould stated, “In 2010 when I first thought of having a charity golf tournament I reached out to several organizations to see if they were in need of anything that we would be able to help out with. La Mesa National Little League responded right away and provided me with a wish list. The board of Directors at LMNLL has been extremely helpful in promoting the golf tournament and been extremely grateful for all the work we have done. “

 Through this fundraising, the LMPOA has been able to improve the Lemon Ave batting cages, redo the CAPS infield, and build a new snack bar at Lemon Ave. …




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chris shea commented on chris shea's blog post 'On La Mesa: Chris Shea'
"There really are no words, are there? I'm sorry you had to say goodbye to your kitty. But cats…"
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La Mesa Politics

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Rally To Protect Iraqi Christians at El Cajon City Hall

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