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La Mesa News

La Mesa Church News

Posted by Mary Domb Mikkelson on July 30, 2014 at 1:30pm 1 Comment

Church Sets 'Border Children' Event

LA MESA -- More than 50,000 young Central American children have sought refugee status in the United States this year.  Some are fleeing gang violence and drug trafficking, others are escaping grinding poverty or trying to reunite with family already here.  Heart-wrenching photos flood TV and intern et - children risking life and limb atop fast-moving trains… youngsters crammed into inadequate holding facilities… angry protestors raising signs and voices… concerned counter voices offering succor… politicians swaying in the ensuing squall.  The images are vivid, the discussion heated – and prolonged. 

And the children wait, caught in a seemingly endless – and excruciating - limbo.

Moved by their plight, the people of the United Church of Christ of La Mesa (UCCLM), have mobilized to seek knowledge, encourage concern and offer help and support.   Following a letter-writing campaign and a visit with Rep. Susan Davis, we are ready to take the next step, one we invite you to share. 

At 3:00 p.m.  Sunday, August 17, two people close to the situation, Enrique Morones (in photo above) of the Border Angels/Angeles de la Frontera and Sr. Justine Church of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice of San Diego County, will address the issues behind the headlines – the politics and economics behind the exodus of refugees – and suggest ways in which we may respond to the refugees with both compassion and practicality.  Dr. Richard L. Short will moderate the conversation.

We invite you join us in UCCLM’s Friendship Hall for this discussion.  Questions welcome!  The church is located at 5940 Kelton Avenue, La Mesa, CA 91942…

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Weekly Crime Report

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 30, 2014 at 9:30am 0 Comments

After-Hours Purchase Leads To Arrests

LA MESA -- An early morning transaction that wasn't what it first seemed had local police hopping this week. See Case Highlights below.

Case Highlights: On July 26th, at 1:38 a.m., police received a call from a victim stating that he had found his stolen camera on Craigslist and was going to meet the suspects at Grossmont Center at 2:00 AM. The victim’s camera was taken in a vehicle burglary that occurred in San Diego on 07-25-14. The victim was advised that it was not safe to meet the suspects and to wait in the area for officers. Due to other priority calls, the officers were not immediately able to meet with the victim. While officers were handling a separate felony vehicle stop, police received another call from the victim stating that the suspects had arrived and the victim attempted to buy his stolen camera back from them.

The victim told police that the suspects pulled a gun on him and fled the area in a beige Ford Explorer (The victim was not injured). The victim followed the vehicle and with the assistance of El Cajon Police officers were able to locate the vehicle as it turned from Johnson Avenue in El Cajon, onto the I-8 westbound on-ramp.

A felony stop was initiated and the stolen camera was recovered without incident. No gun was located and the investigation revealed that the allegation was false. All suspects were booked at San Diego County Jail. 31 year old Jessica Hart of La Mesa had two felony warrants and was also charged with possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools. 19 year old Joseph Kelly and 25 year old Dominic Gress, both from El Cajon were charged with possession of stolen property…

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Letter From A Distant Friend: Part Three

Posted by Bri Dugan on July 29, 2014 at 12:30pm 0 Comments

Synchronicity and Coincidence

Bri Dugan, a former La Mesan, is sharing the story of how her life at Cosmos Coffee Cafe led to world travel and now a life in England. This is her third installment. You can see earlier posts linked below.

ENGLAND -- "Synchronicity is an inexplicable and profoundly meaningful coincidence that stirs the soul and offers a glimpse of one's destiny." 

— Phil Cousineau in Coincidence or Destiny?

A couple weeks into our backpacking trip throughout India. Our group of four girls had been reduced to three early one morning as we arrived in a new city. Carly had traveled with us until we reached Kochi. We hopped off an early 3AM train and took a rickshaw to a quiet end of town where we were told we could find a room for the rest of the morning. When we arrived at the hostel Carly suddenly announced she was going to head back to the train station and travel another few hundred miles to live in an Ashram. We were all very taken aback and I think Carly’s sudden decisiveness to venture off on her own even surprised herself.  She had mentioned her interest in living in an Ashram and studying yoga and Hinduism before we left, but I hadn’t heard much about it in the first couple weeks we traveled together. We were extremely supportive and not entirely surprised because we had all promised each other to pursue our own paths if we felt the call. We parted ways wishing each other amazing adventures and to keep in touch.

The three of us girls continued to putter around southern India aimlessly for another couple weeks before stopping over in Munnar.…

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Crime Watch

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 29, 2014 at 8:30am 0 Comments

Firefighters Help Cops Nab Car Burglar

LA MESA -- On July 28, 2014, at approximately 5:51 PM, La Mesa Firefighters from Station #12 at 8844 Dallas Street called the La Mesa Police Department and said they found a man in their secure parking area burglarizing their personal vehicles. As La Mesa police officers responded, the suspect ran away and into a residential neighborhood. As the suspect fled from police, he found an open garage at a residence and began to steal items from the garage. The resident called the La Mesa Police Department as the suspect fled. Officers responded to the area and set up a perimeter. Officers called for air support and San Diego Police Department’s helicopter responded.

The helicopter began to do announcements of the suspect’s description. A neighbor heard the announcements and immediately called La Mesa Police Department and said they had witnessed the suspect run into a backyard. La Mesa officers entered the backyard and found the suspect hiding underneath a vehicle. The suspect eventually complied with officers’ commands and gave up. The suspect was positively identified by the victims in this case. During the investigation at Fire Station #12, it was determined the suspect stole personal belongings out of two separate vehicles. All of the stolen items were recovered.
The suspect is identified as:
Leu Brent Edwards, 29 years old, of Bonita. Edwards was charged with: burglary (Vehicles) and burglary (Residential).

La Mesa Arts

Posted by Gina Garcia on July 26, 2014 at 8:30am 2 Comments

A 'Pop-Up' Gallery Joins The Local Scene

See slideshow of more art below.

LA MESA -- Pop up restaurants have been the hot thing in cities for a while -- the sudden appearance of great eatery in an unexpected place for a short time.

The La Mesa Arts Alliance has taken a page from that book.

With the cooperation of the Grossmont Center, the Alliance has launched a pop-up art gallery in what had been a temporarily vacant space at the mall.

The gallery, which is up and running, has given a variety of local artists a high-traffic place to display and sell their art and has added a touch of local flare to the retail mix at the mall.

On Friday, the space was being managed by long-time Arts Alliance member Patty O'Reilly (above), who was welcoming browsers and explaining the origins of this gallery. "The mall management gave us the opportunity and we thought it was great idea,'' she said. "Local artists in our local mall!'' 

Some of the art and artists -- like Billy Martinez' distinct portraiture -- will be familiar to regular visitors to other local art spaces. Others seem to be getting a first high-profile shot at showing off their talents, from watercolor to a stunning collection of ceramics that claimed the front window.

The Alliance plans to host a number of special events in the space while it is open through the end of August.

For the entire month of August (opening reception on August 2nd) artworks created by people of all ages living with epilepsy…

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La Mesa Church News

Posted by Mary Domb Mikkelson on July 25, 2014 at 5:00pm 1 Comment

Refugee Crisis Mobilizes La Mesa Congregation

LA MESA -- More than 50,000 young children have sought refugee status this year.  Some are fleeing gang violence and drug trafficking, others are escaping grinding poverty or trying to reunite with family already in the United States.  Many have paid large sums to smugglers and made dangerous journeys atop trains to get here, only to be placed in overcrowded, often unhealthy holding facilities while awaiting determination of their status by understaffed courts.  Some have also endured the verbal abuse of militant protesters seeking to banish them back to the horrors from which they fled.

Inspired by The Rev. Kaji Douŝa’s sermon (photo right) on Sunday, July 13, 2014, members of the United Church of Christ of La Mesa gathered to discuss the child immigration crisis and how we, as a justice-oriented church, should respond.  Following the guidance of Jesus in Matthew 25 (“...to the extent that you did not do it to the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”), we searched for ways that we could help to resolve the crisis and add a progressive Christian voice to the debate.

A letter-writing campaign, directed toward our congresspersons and enthusiastically endorsed by the congregation, started us off.   We eagerly anticipate their responses.  Our next step was to request a meeting with Representative Susan Davis, a valued opportunity to further express our concerns.

An ad hoc committee, consisting of Becky Motlagh, Dick and Karen…

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Crime Watch

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 26, 2014 at 9:00am 0 Comments

I-Phone Tracker Catches Burglars 

LA MESA -- The overnight shift for the La Mesa Police Department was busy early Saturday morning with two late night burglary reports that had helicopters flying and police cruisers streaming across two La Mesa neighborhoods.

Just after midnight the police helicopter was soaring over the McRae Avenue and Melody Lane, a residential area just off Lake Murray Boulevard where there was a report of a burglar. The suspects at first eluded police.

Police said they had received a 911 call from the area of 5400 McRae Avenue. The victim reported waking up to see two unknown male suspects in his residence that had just fled out a backdoor. The loss was prescription medication, a Glock 23 .40 caliber handgun, cash, credit cards, and an iPhone. Officers searched the area with assistance from the Sheriff's helicopter and canine units but did not locate the suspects.

Using the Find-My-iPhone application, officers were able to track the phone to an address in Chula Vista. At approximately 1:45 a.m. officers notified Chula Vista police they were en route to the address and received notification from Chula Vista police a short time later regarding a call they received stating that two suspicious males left that area in a dark colored late model BMW. La Mesa police officers then saw the iPhone was moving again, back toward La Mesa.

Following the track to the area of Eastridge Drive and Seattle Drive in the City of La Mesa, officers set a perimeter and confirmed there was a dark blue late model BMW parked on Seattle Drive. As officers closed in, the vehicle drove off while blacked out. Officers initiated a felony stop at Murray Hill Drive and Yale Avenue with…

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Crime Watch

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 25, 2014 at 7:00am 2 Comments

Counterfeiters Hit La Mesa Coffee Shop

LA MESA -- Ari Bejar, the proprietor at Cosmos Coffee Cafe in the Village, enjoys a steady stream of customers every day.

At some point in the last week, a couple of his clients handed his baristas $20 bills, ordered a cup of coffee and took $17 and change away with them.

When the daily receipts made it to Union Bank, however, the bills were rejected as fakes.

Upon closer inspection, the paper was a little bit too rigid and the printing techniques weren't quite perfect. But the bills did have the ghosted watermarks and, in the rush of a busy morning, probably would have gotten by most people at a register.

"They are pretty good,'' Bejar (in photo above) said. "I might have taken one of them myself. Not sure yet.''

Bejar was holding the bills for the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates counterfeiting episodes. He was also holding quick seminars with his employees, using the bills to train them on how to identify the bad bills.

"I got stuck with a bad $50 a while ago and that's why we won't take any more than a $20 now,'' Bejar said.

With advances in printing technology, counterfeiters have been in a sort of arms race with the U.S. Treasury which has been redesigning the real bills with increasingly complex methods to make them harder to counterfeit.

Still, as Bejar found this week, sometime the counterfeiters still win. And Bejar, and all merchants hit by these sophisticated thieves, lose -- both the sale proceeds and the change returned…

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La Mesa Boys And Girls Club Project

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 24, 2014 at 9:30pm 1 Comment

To see the video above on YouTube CLICK HERE.

A Local Hero Returns To Show Thanks

See video slideshow below.

LA MESA -- On a warm La Mesa evening they gathered -- the men and women of business, of education, of finance and politics.

And literally above all, a man of sports.

This was not a gathering of tension or difference. It was a celebration of a community gathering to revel a bit in a moment of unity, of single purpose.

The schools gave the land. The city a building. Ron and Mary Alice Brady gave a portion of their fortune. And Bill Walton, called the greatest college basketball player in history, gave back in his special way to the community that had spawned him more than six decades ago.

"I'm Bill Walton,'' he said simply, smiling broadly. "I'm from La Mesa. I went to Helix High. I am in the Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame. And I am the luckiest man in the world.''

Walton was the keynote speaker of an event to honor the Bradys for their $3-million donation to a Boys and Girls Club project that is in the process of transforming this corner of the west side of La Mesa.

The $9-million dollar fundraising campaign is nearly past the $5-million mark and Walton was also here this day, his wife and mother in his entourage, to kick off the Friends of Bill Walton Fundraising Campaign within the overall Boys and Girls Club effort here.

Many friends and teammates from Walton's days at Helix High School came to visit and he thanked them, often rattling off not just their names but the names of…

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Crime Watch

Posted by La Mesa Today on July 24, 2014 at 2:00pm 2 Comments

Missing Man Found Safe

CASA DE ORO -- The San Diego Sheriff's Department was asking the public's help in finding an elderly man who had been reported lost in our area.

72-year-old Robert Silva was reported missing in Casa de Oro just before 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 24th when he walked away from his home in the 9900 block of San Juan Street in Casa de Oro near Spring Valley. Family members say Silva suffers from Dementia and does not know how to return home, but knows how to use public transportation. Silva also told family members he will be visiting relatives in City Heights.

Later in the afternoon, sheriff's deputies reported  Silva had been found safe in City Heights. Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers found Silva around 3:15 p.m today (July 24th) near 44th Street and University Avenue. The Sheriff's Department thanked everyone, especially the SAR volunteers, for their help in locating Silva.

The Sheriff's Search and Rescue is an all-volunteer unit. Together they perform wilderness and urban rescues, as well as search for missing and at-risk persons. Teams are available 24 hours per day to respond to local, state and federal agency requests. To learn how you can become a volunteer, visit: http://goo.gl/UgZaf.

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HousingWire

What To Expect From Housing In The Second Half Of 2014
Source: Forbes

With numbers going up and down and a variety of new headlines each month, the major takeaway for this year so far is that the housing market is steadily on the road back to normal, according to Forbes. Experts predict that the slowdown in prices will continue for the rest of 2014, and inventory will pick up as well. There will continue to be strong demand for apartment rentals as younger Americans delay marriage and the home-buying process. Read the full story: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2014/07/23/what-to-expect-from-housing-in-the-second-half-of-2014

Selling my daughter on homeownership

Source: CNBC

David H. Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, advocates professionally for aspiring homeowners all across the nation by promoting a healthy entry-level housing market. But he cannot convince his own daughter that the time is right for her to buy a home of her own. Stevens argues that one of the best decisions he ever made was buying his first home at the age of 27 in 1984. Pointing to his own daughter, Stevens writes, “We cannot underestimate the impact of this decline in first-time buyers; the health of the housing market relies heavily on them.”

Read the full story:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101856536

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50,000 and Counting: A Border Crisis Discussion with Enrique Morones and Sr. Justine Church at Friendship Hall, United Church of Christ of La Mesa

August 17, 2014 from 3pm to 5pm
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