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La Mesa News

On La Mesa: Thanksgiving Options In The Village

Posted by La Mesa Today on November 26, 2014 at 7:52am 0 Comments

A Rational Choice For Thanksgiving Excesses

By Chris Lavin

La Mesa Today Editor

LA MESA -- Okay, let's agree that we all would love the Saturday Evening Post, Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving (see above). Loving family all scrubbed and nice. Turkey moist and brown and side dishes displaying the richness of America and our own cooking talents.

If you got this, flaunt it and stop reading. Good for you.

But in an unofficial and unscientific survey of residents of the Jewels of the Hill, La Mesa Today estimates that for roughly 52.56 percent of us, there are a few predictable clumps in the Thanksgiving gravy, including:

  • The congregation of relatives who share, it seems, only DNA. Differences in politics, religion, and NFL affiliations mix with long festering family wounds that react in many ways, all of them bad.
  • The tendency of family members to revert to childhood patterns in which Mom does all the cooking, sisters do all the cleaning and parenting and men sit and watch TV while drinking too much. (There is a reason why male honeybees -- called drones -- are driven from the hive and to their deaths each winter!)
  • Guests who impose their family's long-honored side dish -- some gelatinous concoction from the deep Balkan woods -- and insist everyone celebrate the goo!
  • Orators who let the food cool as they share a list of annual thanks that includes, it seems, everything but an appreciation for brevity.
  • Visitors who believe that it is acceptable, post…

La Mesa Health Care

Posted by La Mesa Today on November 25, 2014 at 9:30am 0 Comments

Hospital Names New Finance, Nursing Chiefs

LA MESA -- Sharp Grossmont Hospital has named two new senior managers at the La Mesa hospital.

Daniel Kindron has been named Chief Financial Officer of the 536-bed acute care hospital. Kindron has been with Sharp Grossmont Hospital since 2006. During his time at Sharp he has fulfilled interim CFO duties and served as Finance Director, Manager, Supervisor, and Senior Financial Analyst.

As CFO, Kindron’s duties include overseeing the hospital, hospice care, home infusion, centralized pharmacy, outpatient surgery and imaging centers, behavioral health, women’s center and rehabilitation. Annual net revenues total $634 million.

Kindron brings nearly 17 years of financial experience to his new role at the hospital. Before coming to Sharp Grossmont Hospital, he worked for Scripps Health (finance), Mack/Barclay, Inc. (forensic accounting), and Gateway Partners, Inc. (mergers & acquisitions). He graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Business Administration, Finance.

Kindron holds an Active Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification. He was named a Sharp Grossmont Hospital Leader of the Month in 2012. He is also a current member of the Health Financial Management Association (HFMA).

The La Mesa resident is a husband and father of two girls. He was a competitive swimmer and an Olympic trial qualifier.

The hospital's managed also announced that Louise White, RN, BSN, MHA has been named Chief Nursing Officer. She has also been named Vice President of Patient Care Services and will be responsible for the Clinical Nursing Departments.

White comes to Sharp Grossmont Hospital…


La Mesa Politics

Posted by La Mesa Today on November 20, 2014 at 8:00am 18 Comments

Winds Of Change On Allison Avenue

By Chris Lavin

La Mesa Today Editor

LA MESA -- It has been almost a quarter century since they had to change the name of the mayor on the forms at City Hall.

Check signing procedures and contract processing requirements are being adjusted in anticipation of a new regime as well.

Around City Hall, the impact of the recent election is sinking in as long-time relationships begin to change like the names on the city stationery.

There have been three popes since La Mesa last had a new mayor. Virtually everyone working in City Hall today was hired during Mayor Art Madrid's tenure. It is never easy when there's change at the top.

Government, however, is a process, not a sports car. It moves more like an aircraft carrier and, as the new members of the City Council and its new mayor, will learn, it tends to resist the winds of change.

The new mayor, Mark Arapostathis, has not had a formal meeting with the new council-to-be, but has congratulated the newly elected. He has stopped in with City Manager Dave Witt and sketched out plans for the transition.

The Dec. 9th council meeting will feature a certification of the election results, the swearing-in of the new members and mayor and then a recess to the Police Department meeting room to mark the moment with cake and coffee before returning for what is traditionally a brief agenda for the new council to execute.

It is in January, after the holidays, that the new council will start its real work. In many…


La Mesa Business

Posted by La Mesa Today on November 19, 2014 at 5:00am 2 Comments

Holiday Tradition: A 'Vigil' Of Lights

LA MESA -- La Mesa Village Merchants Association Executive Director John Vigil (in blue above) is well into his annual Christmas lights marathon this year, preparing The Village for the annual holiday season.

This year's Christmas in the Village event, scheduled for Dec. 12 and 13 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., is going to honor America's Vietnam War veterans, Vigil said, and this year the village is going for an "It's A Wonderful Life" look.

"We're stringing the lights along the street this year,'' Vigil explained. "Just like in the movie.''

"It's A Wonderful Life'' is an American classic starring Jimmy Stewart. The quaint small-city Christmas lights (see photo below) are certainly worth emulating, however, it is unlikely La Mesa will be able to copy the snow scenes that went along with those lights.

Shannon O'Dunn, proprietor of O'Dunn Fine Art on La Mesa Boulevard, is one of the events major sponsors this year. She said with the construction underway, this holiday season will be crucial for a number of merchants who are hoping the season can keep their businesses going through the project.

"It's a big year for us,'' she said.…


Crime Report

Posted by La Mesa Today on November 18, 2014 at 1:00pm 1 Comment

Would-Be Robber Flashes Gun, Flees

LA MESA -- Perhaps a robber in training.

On November 17th at approximately 10:57 p.m. a suspect armed with a handgun tried to rob the 7-11 Store located at 8747 La Mesa Boulevard, just off Jackson Drive. 

An employee was working behind the checkout counter when an unknown suspect walked into the store. The suspect browsed around the store for approximately three minutes before departing without making a purchase.

The suspect returned one minute later and walked up to the checkout counter. He lifted up his shirt and revealed a handgun tucked into his waistband. The suspect demanded that the employee open the cash register.

When the employee told the suspect they couldn't open the cash register, the suspect fled the store on foot. There was no loss or injuries during the incident.

Apparently, this robber was better at fleeing.

Officers searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect. The suspect is described as a white male adult, 20-25 years old, approximately 5’7” tall with a thin build. The suspect was wearing a black baseball cap, long sleeved white shirt and light colored blue jeans. The suspect had short black hair.

The investigation in ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-1400.

You may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line (888) 580-TIPS (or You can remain anonymous, and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00 for information in this…


Weekly Crime Report

Posted by La Mesa Today on November 18, 2014 at 10:27am 0 Comments

Thief Gets Bike From Open Garage

LA MESA -- From cold murder cases to bike thefts, La Mesa police are in search of suspects.

Case Highlights: On Sunday, November 16 at approximately 6:55 a.m., La Mesa Police received a report of a bicycle stolen from the garage of a residence in the 5000 block of Linden Way. The resident saw an unknown light skinned male wearing a multi-colored, hooded sweatshirt walking quickly walking down the driveway from the detached garage. The subject then got into a silver Nissan truck. The truck was last seen headed northbound on Linden Way. The resident then discovered his bicycle missing from the garage that had been left open. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the La Mesa Police Department. You may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line (888) 580-TIPS (or You can remain anonymous, and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for information in this case.


1. Walking Safely

Pedestrians 10 and younger must be accompanied by an adult or young adult on their way to and from school. Show them how to cross the street by stopping at the curb and looking left-right-left for traffic before crossing.

2. Biking Safely

The two best protections when biking to and from school are a properly fitted bicycle helmet and a good grasp of traffic safety rules. Let your child choose the helmet, and explain it's "just part of the gear," like football, skiing or hockey equipment.

3. Riding the Bus Safely



Weekly Crime Report

Posted by La Mesa Today on November 15, 2014 at 8:40am 0 Comments

Arson Arrest Follows Investigation

LA MESA -- A local fire caught the eye of arson investigators who quickly turned their investigation into an arrest. See Case Highlights below:

Case Highlights: On October 24, 2014, at approximately 11:42 p.m. police and firefighters responded to a residential structure fire in the 6700 block of Rolando Knolls Drive, La Mesa. Heartland Fire & Rescue crews from La Mesa and Lemon Grove engine companies, with assistance from San Diego Fire engine companies, arrived on scene and discovered heavy fire and smoke coming from the garage of a residence. Eight adult residents were safely evacuated from the residence and fire crews quickly contained and stopped the fire. There were no injuries to the residents or emergency personnel.

Arson Investigators from Heartland Fire & Rescue and the La Mesa Police Department began investigating the cause of the fire and quickly determined it to be arson related. Through their collaborative efforts, the Arson Investigators from both agencies identified one of the residents as a person of interest. 58-year-old Brad Bach of La Mesa was subsequently arrested and booked into County Jail in the early morning of October 25, 2014 on the following charge: 451(b)PC—Arson of Inhabited Structure. 

Heartland Fire & Rescue has estimated the damage to the structure and contents at approximately $260,000. The Red Cross assisted the seven residents who were displaced by the fire. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the La Mesa Police Department or Heartland Fire & Rescue. You may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line (888) 580-TIPS (or…


La Mesa City Council

Posted by La Mesa Today on November 13, 2014 at 7:17am 1 Comment

After The Election, Routine Returns

LA MESA -- It was the calm after the storm.

The City Council gathered for the first time since the election redrew the lines on the local political map, but the business was routine and the news was tension free and largely good.

Revenues continue to improve as sales tax takes climb back from the Great Recession lows, the finance people report.

City investments continue to grow as market conditions remain favorable.

Crime rates -- particularly property crimes and robberies -- are down about 10 percent, Chief Ed Aceves reports, though there was a bit of an ominous warning.

The voters passage of Proposition 47, which reclassified a variety of crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, promise to release a number of prisoners and could ultimately challenge police efforts to reduce crime, Aceves warns.


  • John Vigil, the former banker who now heads the La Mesa Village Merchants Association, came in to thank in prose the many police and city officials who he credited with helping this year's Oktoberfest to its success.
  • The City Attorney noted that the passage of the Term Limit and City Clerk propositions will not require formal adoption by the council. Once the results are certified by the Registrar of Voters, the propositions simply become law. City officials also promised continued action to close down any marijuana dispensaries operating in the city as Proposition J, which would have set out plans for such establishments, was soundly defeated by the voters.
  • And among a series of items brought forth by departing council member Ernie Ewin was the fact that La Mesa's official ethics policy is simply the Gold…

La Mesa City Council

Posted by La Mesa Today on November 12, 2014 at 8:42am 2 Comments

Council's First Lame Duck Session Today

LA MESA -- Because of Tuesday's Veterans Day holiday, the City Council meets Wednesday at 4 p.m. for the first of the lame duck sessions following last Tuesday's elections.
The meeting agenda is fairly routine, but the transition from long-sitting Mayor Art Madrid to the new mayor Mark Arapostathis and two new members begins with this session.
Council member Ernie Ewin, who is leaving the council at year's end, continues on this agenda his series of items meant to get on the record issues he wants to keep front and center as he gives up the mantle.
Among Ewin's parting concerns are handling the marijuana dispensaries that opened illegally in the last few months as the city was considering the dispensary proposition -- which was soundly defeated by the voters. Ewin also wants to revisit facts about trolley security, merchant impacts of the streetscape project and the impact of the passage of term limits and reclassification of the City Clerk position.
The meeting begins at 4 p.m. in the Council Chambers on Allison Avenue.

CLICK HERE for the full agenda.

Veterans Day 2014

Posted by La Mesa Today on November 11, 2014 at 5:55am 8 Comments


LA MESA -- Life in the Jewel of the Hills slowed Tuesday in honor of those who have sacrificed and served the nation in the armed forces over our history. La Mesa photographer Gary Junker offered the photographic tribute above.

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Foreclosures Surge? Take a Closer Look

Source: Wall St. Journal

Claims regarding a new “surge” in foreclosures and bad debt appear to be exaggerated based on data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The foreclosure picture is looking better, not worse, than it was one year ago. The share of loans in the foreclosure process during the July-to-September period fell to 2.4 percent of all loans, from 3.1 percent one year earlier.

Read the full story:

Nine Reasons to Buy a House Right Now

Source: RealtyTimes

If you’re in the market to buy a home, then now might be the perfect time to seal the deal on your purchase, as there are several conditions working in the favor of home buyers. Firstly, gains in home prices have slowed down and mortgage rates historically remain low. Furthermore, loan requirements are softening, and with fewer buyers around the holidays, there could be less competition and more bargaining power for buyers.

Read the full story:


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