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chris shea commented on chris shea's blog post 'A Time To Break Down: A Time To Snack'
"I'm sure there are some new trees just itching to show up soon. Even a few that will shed…"
Lisa Moore commented on chris shea's blog post 'A Time To Break Down: A Time To Snack'
"Chris, love your messages and stories.  I'll know you will survive the disruption as you…"
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La Mesa Beautiful Annual Meeting at Nan Couts Cottage near La Mesa Community Center

March 1, 2015 from 4pm to 5:30pm
Annual meeting, open to the public,…See More
Gina Garcia posted an event


March 12, 2015 from 6pm to 7pm
Live Well 2015Community Wellness SeriesCelebrate National Nutrition Month with a free food…See More
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Free Home Brewing for Beginners Presentation at Rancho San Diego Library

March 14, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
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Inspire SD Studio offers family friendly art classes in La Mesa

Inspire SD Studio located at 7332 University Ave in La Mesa offers art classes that are great for…See More
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La Mesa Beautiful Annual Meeting at Nan Couts Cottage near La Mesa Community Center

March 1, 2015 from 4pm to 5:30pm
Annual meeting, open to the public,…See More
An event by Linda Johnson was featured

La Mesa Beautiful Annual Meeting at Nan Couts Cottage near La Mesa Community Center

March 1, 2015 from 4pm to 5:30pm
Annual meeting, open to the public,…See More
Linda Johnson commented on Amy Stirnkorb's page 'La Mesa News'
"La Mesa Beautiful Annual meeting, open to the public, features local arborist/horticulturist Robin…"

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La Mesa News

A Time To Break Down: A Time To Snack

Posted by chris shea on February 27, 2015 at 11:00am 2 Comments

LA MESA -- It's quiet out in front of my store today.  The past three days have been a symphony of motors and back-up beeps and digging, chopping, scraping and dumping tons of concrete sidewalks and curbs, parking meter poles and other underground treasures into sturdy dump trucks.

So today I can wander around the middle of the street with no cars or heavy equipment to worry about.  It's like Oktoberfest without the Kettle Corn and sausages, Christmas in the Village without the fire pits and Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

The corollary to "the time to break down" is "the time to build up."  We are still at the break down stage here after a mere three days of noisy activity.   After the predicted rains come, there will probably be a drying out time too, but I don't find "a time to dry out" in the Scriptures.  Well the whole Noah thing, but that's not particularly relevant here...

For every five people who stop in my store and say how much they hate this Project, there is one who says,

"Don't you just love how this is going to turn out?"  And then I am compelled to show them my Richard Scarry book in the window and point out my new little plastic dump truck.  I can't help it.  I believe in progress, even when it brings a little chaos in its wake.  It makes me happy, because it shows even more life will begin to sprout here in our Village.

Yesterday when I got to work I had to have someone escort me to my store because there was not yet a little path to traverse from street to front door.  Now there is.  The nice thing about being escorted?  I got to meet a very nice man who was watchful for me weaving through a couple of huge pieces of equipment.  So polite, but the courtesy of all these guys doing the work is pretty wonderful so I could not say he was an exception.…


La Mesa Arts

Posted by rick griffin on February 26, 2015 at 10:00am 0 Comments

Library Hosts Art Exhibit

LA MESA -- The Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, a consumer health library at 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, is now hosting its Winter Art Exhibit featuring artwork from Sophie’s Art Gallery, an off-campus art program of St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC), a non-profit, non-denominational organization serving adults with developmental disabilities.

 The exhibit, which runs through mid-March, features 15 abstract oil paintings by Corinne Latorre of Sophie’s Art Gallery and nine felt pieces featuring bird art by other Sophie’s artists.

Latorre’s exhibit, titled “Ambient Visions,” is a collection of abstract paintings. According to officials with Sophie’s Art Gallery, Latorre’s physical gestures of horizontal brushwork and layers of dripped paint are wave-like and soothing to the eye.

  Latorre’s art work has been previously exhibited at Sophie’s Art Gallery, now celebrating its 15th year in operation. The innovative art curriculum at Sophie’s Art Gallery provides a creative outlet and promotes opportunities for self-expression for persons with developmental disabilities to express their rich inner lives through a variety of art media, said SMSC. It also builds students’ fine motor skills and provides a way for the students to earn a modest income through the sale of their artwork at various public art openings.

Based in El Cajon, SMSC serves and empowers nearly 400 adults with developmental disabilities to discover, experience and realize their full potential as members of the greater community. Developmental disabilities include autism, Down syndrome, mental retardation, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and other…


On La Mesa: Chris Shea

Posted by chris shea on February 24, 2015 at 1:00pm 0 Comments

The Hope of Spring

LA MESA -- Today, Tuesday, February 24, I have been watching the workers begin the Street Scape project here in front of my store.  Interestingly, from inside the store looking out to the orange and white barriers the street looks wider to me.  Maybe that's because there are no parked cars now and the barriers are on the double yellow line down the middle of the street.  

I guess it never occurred to me how much prep is involved in an undertaking of this size.  Put out no parking signs, take the meters off the parking meter poles, put out car barriers.  Next will come pedestrian markers I'm guessing.  This is kind of like watching the skies and waiting for the rain to come

A friend of mine walked in the store to tell me she is having surgery soon.  She seems optimistic and full of hope.  I told her that was the nice thing about Spring.  Hope comes to fruition, bulbs bloom, trees bud, icicles melt, birds sing and there is a kind of unspoken applause at the things that are returning after a winter's rest.  I know she will be fine and told her so.  My heart holds a prayer for her..  I have my Cars and Trucks and Things That Go on the table in my window.…


La Mesa Arts

Posted by La Mesa Today on February 20, 2015 at 2:33pm 1 Comment

La Mesa Artist Honored By Art Walk

LA MESA -- La Mesa-based artist Christine Schwimmer is among 10 artists selected as featured artists in April's Art Walk in Little Italy on April 25th and 26th.

More than 350 artists competed for the featured distinction. You can see more of Schwimmer's work on her website here.

Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy, San Diego, is the city’s first outdoor fine art festival, which will celebrate its 31st anniversary this year. Mission Federal ArtWalk will run from Saturday, April 25 to Sunday, April 26 and feature over 350 fine artists from San Diego, the US and Mexico. Mission Federal ArtWalk will feature collectable and approachable art from all kinds of mediums, such as drawings, jewelry, sculptures, paintings, photography, metal work, wood work and much more. More than a celebration of visual art, the festival offers a full lineup of live music, dance, and interactive art activities for families at KidsWalk. The event fills 17 blocks of Little Italy, and admission is free.

ArtReach, the non profit partner of ArtWalk San Diego, was introduced in 2007 to bring visual arts education to K-6 schools countywide, focusing on schools with no resources for art education. Programs are taught by professional artists and art teachers who believe that all students need art in their classrooms. The program will serve more than 15 schools this year.

For more information on Mission Federal ArtWalk, the featured artists or…


On La Mesa: Chris Shea

Posted by chris shea on February 18, 2015 at 2:00pm 3 Comments

. . . And Things That Go

LA MESA -- When my children were young they loved being read to.  And I loved to read, so it was a match made in heaven.  One of their favorite books as well as one of mine was Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.  In it was every conceivable thing that could go. Trucks and cars and fire engines.   A pumpkin car.  A broom-o-cycle. And every manner of construction vehicle you could ever wish to see.  That was my favorite spread in the book.  The construction vehicles.  

That's why I am so excited, or at least that's one of the reasons I am excited about the Street Scape coming to my block next week.  I have watched it happening up and down La Mesa Blvd, most recently in front of San Filippos.  I love the sights, the sounds, and the busy-ness of the entire process.  

Make no mistake, I know the difficulties it has brought to businesses, keeping shoppers at bay and bringing  dust and dirt and noise to the door. And I don't mean to minimize that hardship in any way.  But for me, for the next month or so, I am going to be over the moon watching all the heavy equipment right outside my door at 8219.   With my perfect perch here I will watch it go from destruction to completion, and if it looks as wonderful as it does down at San Filippos now, which of course it will, it will be a fascinating thing to behold.  

I have had remodeling done at my house a few times, and I know what a mess it can be.  And weather can cause delays.  But once done it is so precisely perfect it is a marvel to behold.  In the case of the…


Grossmont High School News

Posted by Grossmont High School NJROTC on February 13, 2015 at 4:30am 0 Comments


Recruiting at Middle Schools

A dedicated group of 10+ cadets have come together to create new ways to pique interest in prospective cadets for NJROTC. Eighth graders are their main priority; they wrote forty-second speeches about marksmanship, college and university, P.T., etc, to reach as many types of students as possible, get their interest, and hopefully have them sign up for more information on our program. They are going to Parkway Middle School on Feb. 13th, and Emerald Middle School on Feb. 16th. If you are interested in recruiting, see Master Gunnery Sergeant Brosnan, or the recruiting team commander, Cadet Ensign Burke.


Picture 1: The Marksmanship team that went to Troy High School for regionals. 


 Picture 2: Cadets Rosas, Than, Nguyen, and Nuno all shooting for GHS NJROTC in Marksmanship Regionals.

Foothiller Feature: What It Means To Be an NJROTC MARKSMAN

Here at GHS NJROTC, the jewel of our teams is the marksmanship program. Lead by our Naval Science Instructor, Master Gunnery Sergeant Mark Brosnan and the team commander Cadet Senior Chief Petty Officer Anah Rosas (left picture), the team has competed in multiple competitions. We caught up with Cadet Rosas to ask her some questions about the…


La Mesa Arts

Posted by La Mesa Today on February 16, 2015 at 8:26am 0 Comments

Spring Break Art Camp On Mt. Helix

MT. HELIX -- Following a successful fall run, Art Smarts and Mt. Helix Park are partnering up again this spring to bring a one-of-a-kind kids’ art camp to East County. From March 30 through April 3, Art Smarts, which hosts after-school art programs throughout San Diego, will be offering Art In The Park - at Mt. Helix Park for kids ages 5 to 12.

The camp coincides with the La Mesa Spring Valley and San Diego School District’s spring break and gives kids the opportunity to develop their creative skills from atop Mt. Helix Park with its inspirational views that span the entire county and beyond the border.

Penelope Quirk, the founder of Art Smarts, Inc. has been bringing art to local kids for the past 10 years with her after-school program in 21 schools throughout San Diego. Lessons for the spring camp will use primarily oil pastels and watercolors and will vary from animal portraits to cartooning and even landscapes. The camp is expanding its hours to include a full-day camp option. Art In The Park camp fees for each child are $150 for half-day camp (9am until noon) and $275 for full-day camp (9am until 3pm).

To register call Art Smarts, Inc. at (619) 944-3323 or (619) 995-1186 or download the registration form at and mail it in along with your payment before the March 27 registration deadline. Limited spaces are available so register early! Need-based scholarships are available; funding is provided by the Mt. Helix Park Foundation. For more information about Arts Smarts, Inc. CLICK…


East County Church News

Posted by rick griffin on February 16, 2015 at 2:30pm 0 Comments

From The Classroom To The Pulpit

LA MESA -- A former principal at t wo local elementary and a middle school has been named the preaching minister at the Johnson Avenue Church of Christ, 523 South Johnson Ave. in El Cajon.

Dr. Christopher Quinn, a resident of La Mesa, with more than 30 years of experience in education, was previously an associate professor in the education doctorate program at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif. He also has served the past eight years as a teacher trainer consultant, which included the training of hundreds of teachers in California on how to prepare, plan and deliver effective classroom instruction. He also has delivered presentations at state, regional, national and international conferences on educational research topics, including leadership and student engagement. He also has taught at Point Loma Nazarene University and National University.

 Quinn served as principal at Casa de Oro Elementary School in Spring Valley and Smythe Elementary School in San Ysidro, as well as assistant principal at San Ysidro Middle School and as a bilingual mathematics teacher at Castle Park Middle School. When he served at Casa de Oro between 1996 and 2000, the school recorded one of the state’s highest improvement scores in the Academic Performance Index (API), a measurement of academic performance and progress of individual schools in California.

 Quinn has been preaching for more than 40 years at churches in San Diego, as well as Pennsylvania and Indiana. He received his ordination at the Sunset Institute of Biblical Studies in Lubbock, Tex.., and has served as a missionary at the Iglesia de Cristo in Medellin, Columbia.

Quinn had can be heard…


Crime Watch

Posted by La Mesa Today on February 16, 2015 at 10:22am 0 Comments

Suspect Arrested After Attempted Robbery

LA MESA -- On February 13th, at approximately 10:44 a.m., La Mesa police received a report of an attempted robbery that occurred at the 70th Street/Alvarado Road Trolley Station, located at 7255 Alvarado Road. The adult victim reported that after she got off the trolley, she began walking eastbound on Alvarado Road. A male approached her from behind, grabbed her purse by the strap and began to pull it away.
The victim struggled to maintain possession of the purse and the strap broke. The victim was able to push off the suspect and run to a local business to call the police. The suspect fled on foot back towards the trolley platform. Officers arrived and located a male near the trolley platform matching the description of the suspect. The male was positively identified by the victim during a curbstone line-up and also had an unrelated felony warrant for his arrest. The victim was not injured. 25-year-old Robert Mixon of San Diego was arrested and booked at San Diego County Jail on the outstanding warrant and a new attempted robbery charge.

La Mesa Philanthropy

Posted by rick griffin on February 14, 2015 at 9:22am 0 Comments

They Made Christmas Bear-able

LA MESA -- The San Diego Blood Bank reports that 350 plush stuffed teddy bears were delivered as gifts to patients admitted to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in December during the holiday season. The gift delivery was part of the Blood Bank’s annual “Winter Wishes” program sponsored by the Grossmont Healthcare District, a public agency that supports health-related community programs and serves as landlord of the hospital on behalf of East County taxpayers.

 “Eyes would light up when the patients received the stuffed bears,” said Sandy Pugliese, hospital community relations manager. “It’s difficult to be away from home during the holidays. So, this was one special way to bring the spirit of Christmas to their bedside.” 

 The plush bears were provided to hospital patients by blood donors enrolled in the Blood Bank’s “Donors 4 Life” loyalty program, which awards points to blood donors who can redeem their points at the Blood Bank’s online store. In December, blood donors are given a choice to donate the points they have accrued throughout the year to purchase a Winter Wishes stuffed animal, which are then delivered to patients at the hospital. Blood Bank officials said the annual Winter Wishes stuffed animal is typically the most popular item purchased through its online store at that time of year. The Blood Bank began its Winter Wishes stuffed animal giveaway at the La Mesa hospital in 2008.

 “Winter Wishes is another way blood donors can make a difference in life and connect with hospital patients whose lives depend on donated blood,” said Dr. David Wellis, CEO, San Diego Blood Bank.



California pending home sales lift in January after disappointing December

Source: C.A.R.

Pending home sales rose from December’s extreme lows and posted month-to-month and year-to-year increases in January, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

Additionally, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.’s January Market Pulse Survey saw more price reductions and an increase in open house traffic, compared to a year ago.

Making sense of the story:

- California pending home sales increased in January, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* rising 26.7 percent from 70.9 in December to 89.8 in January, based on signed contracts.

- The month-to-month increase was better than the long-run average increase of 16.3 percent observed in the last six years, and is attributed primarily to seasonal factors.

- California pending home sales were up 6 percent from the 84.7 index recorded in January 2014. The yearly increase was the largest since May 2012.

- The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – fell for the third straight month in January. Equity sales made up 88 percent of all sales in January, down from 89.8 percent recorded in December.

- Equity sales have been more than 80 percent of total sales since July 2013 and have risen at or near 90 percent since mid-2014. Equity sales made up 84.3 percent of sales in January 2014.

- Conversely, the combined share of all distressed property sales rose in January, up from 10.2 percent in December to 12 percent in January. Distressed sales made up 15.7 percent of total sales a year ago.

Indicative of a less competitive buyers’ market, the percentage of homes selling above asking price has dropped from its peak of 40 percent in March 2014 to 16 percent in January. The share is also down from 25 percent during the previous month and 27 percent a year ago.

Read the full story:


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