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La Mesa News

La Mesa Development

Posted by Gina Garcia on September 1, 2014 at 12:30pm 1 Comment

New Trees Coming For Village

LA MESA -- After crews recently removed virtually all the trees along the section of La Mesa Boulevard currently under re-construction, some local residents became concerned about plans for trees in the new design of this city's historic downtown.

Though the city has said throughout the project planning that trees needed to be replaced, city officials issued a new statement to help citizens who may not have paid attention before with the reasons for the removal and plans for the replacements.

Here is the city's latest statement, printed in full:

Perhaps no feature can enhance a street more than a tree. Street trees make a street more aesthetically pleasing, slow traffic, provide shade, improve walk-ability, reduce storm water pollution, provide a buffer and enhance sense of place. Growing healthy trees in the Downtown Village has been a challenge. La Mesa is ‘blessed’ with hard soil and a lot of rock (affectionately known as La Mesa cobble). The trees that survived in the village tended to have invasive, shallow roots that did not get along well with concrete sidewalks or buildings.

In an effort to ensure successful new tree growth, the proposed design will incorporate enhanced, subsurface tree root development areas. This will be accomplished by bringing in select top soil and placing it beneath the planting area and the sidewalk areas utilizing innovative structures called Silva Cells. These enhanced planting areas will also assist with complying with storm water treatment requirements. In order to obtain sufficient space for successful tree growth, trees will need to be located within bulb outs that are located at the intersections.…


On La Mesa: Chris Shea

Posted by chris shea on August 29, 2014 at 2:30pm 14 Comments

Help Thy Neighbor's Store!

LA MESA -- As soon as I finish writing this article I am going to close my store for 30 minutes,  grab a little cash and walk up across Spring Street and go buy something in the Street Scape Zone.  I don't really need anything, but I'm sure by just walking into one of the stores affected by the growing pains it will convey my sympathy for what each store is going through up there.  

It occurs to me that for the next several months, it will be important that I as a citizen make an effort to do something positive for a store that is caught in between the future fantastic view of La Mesa Boulevard and the current orange barricade zone, complete with no trees and lots of dirt, in which they are stuck.

I'm looking at this as one of those old fashioned barn-raising things where all the neighbors help out the one person who needs a barn and can't build it alone.

Maybe I can put a smile on the face of someone who won't see too many customers today. I would hate to think that by my ignoring my shop neighbors I would contribute to additional suffering that can have real and long lasting consequences. After all, we're pretty much in this together...

Additionally I would like to say something to the Parking Commission folks.  I am not sure what the official recommendation to the City Council will be or has been regarding the temporary cessation of parking meters along the boulevard here in the ZONE.  I suppose if you are not a store owner, it won't sound all that important to do this.  But it seems to me that allowing free one or two hour parking in front of these stores would be a tremendous boost to shoppers who might otherwise just drive on…


Crime Watch

Posted by La Mesa Today on August 30, 2014 at 7:31am 0 Comments

Deputies Seek Fugitive With La Mesa Ties

LA MESA -- Sheriff's Deputies are asking the public's help in finding a fugitive who has been known to have La Mesa ties.

Every month, the Sheriff's Department works with the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force (FTF) and Crime Stoppers to find and arrest people wanted for committing crimes.

The deputies are asking that you be on the lookout for Tavarris Deshawn Garcia. He is wanted on charges connected with an attempted robbery that happened in Vista in 2013. A felony warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Garcia has a history of assaultive incidents. He has been known to frequent El Cajon, La Mesa, Logan Heights, Oceanside and Vista. Investigators say Garcia may also be in Las Vegas.

Anyone with information on Garcia's whereabouts is urged to call the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. You could be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Anonymous email and text messages can be sent in via
Contact Information:
Crime Stoppers

Weekly Crime Report

Posted by La Mesa Today on August 27, 2014 at 7:14am 1 Comment

Some Tips To Encourage Buckling Up

LA MESA -- Police are offering some constructive approaches to persuading loved ones to use their seat belts -- described as the most effective protection in a crash. See Traffic Information below:

Case Highlights: On August 19, 2014, at approximately 12:01 AM, the La Mesa Police Department received a 911 call from an employee of the Carl’s Jr. Restaurant at 8110 Parkway Drive in the City of La Mesa. The 

caller reported to police a subject walked up to the drive through window just as the business was closing and the exterior lights shut off and brandished a black colored semi-automatic handgun and demanded money from the assistant manager. The assistant manager fled from the suspect and told the other employees to go into the freezer and call the police. The suspect fled on foot in an unknown direction. Officers searched the area along with a San Diego County Sheriffs Department helicopter, but were unable to locate the suspect.

The suspect was described as:

Suspect #1: Black male unknown age, approximately 5’ 10”, thin, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with grey horizontal lines, and wearing a black mask. This subject was armed with a black semi-automatic handgun.

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.

Traffic Information: Seat belts are your most…


Grossmont High School News: NJROTC

Posted by La Mesa Today on August 26, 2014 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

Cadet Lieutenant Junior Grade Chairez playing a knowledge game with the incoming cadets, in which they answer general questions about NJROTC.

New Cadets Get Down To Basic Training

LA MESA -- On the week of Tuesday, August 18th, sixteen incoming ninth graders participated in a fast-paced intense indoctrination training to get a head start in achieving their goals to become future leaders in Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp. With vigorous PT, drill, academics, and lots of paperwork, these dedicated students learned the crucial basics of what it means to be a disciplined cadet.

At the end of the week, the increased skill levels of the future cadets were evaluated, and a handful were selected to receive certificates of achievement for subjects like “Best Academic Score”, and “Best Military Bearing.” Every cadet left with a certificate o

f completion and a sense of pride and accomplishment that, if cultivated, will expand throughout their years in Grossmont High School NJROTC.


Running concurrently with NS-1 indoctrination, fifteen highly qualified and motivated NS-2s, NS-3s and NS-4s took part in a different type of training: platoon commander training. Platoon commanders (PCs) are a  pivotal link in the NJROTC chain of command; they are responsible for being the leader of a platoon (15-30 cadets), teaching and refining the skills of their varying NS level cadets, and setting examples for all students to follow, not to mention their duties to their battalion!

Students were taught the correct way to command, how to carry out the cadre's orders in a dignified and efficient manner, and how to PT a platoon correctly, among other skills. Overall, a theme of…


La Mesa Transportation

Posted by La Mesa Today on August 26, 2014 at 3:00pm 0 Comments

Cyclist Struck By Trolley At Spring Street

LA MESA -- A bicyclist who witnesses say tried to beat the trolley crossing barriers was struck by a trolley and seriously injured Tuesday afternoon.

Police said that at 12:42 p.m.  La Mesa Police responded to a report of a traffic collision where a bicyclist was struck by an MTS Trolley at the intersection of Spring Street and University Avenue. The male bicyclist was riding westbound on University Avenue when the trolley lights activated and trolley arms lowered. Witnesses reported the bicyclist rode between the down trolley arms and was struck by the oncoming northbound trolley. The male was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital with a serious leg injury. Trolley service was stopped for about 90 minutes, but has since reopened.

The Spring-University crossing (pcitured above) where this event occurred is a particularly busy melange of pedestrians and motorists dueling with the tracks and a major pedestrian crossing just a few yards west of the trolley tracks and not far from a major bus stop.

La Mesa Village News

Posted by Jack Leary on August 26, 2014 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

Car Show Ends Its 12-Week Run Thursday

LA MESA -- Here it comes folks....the LAST "Back To The 50's Classic Car & Bike Show" of the season.

This Thursday, August 28th, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. the La Mesa Village Merchants will host their final show of the year. This summer boasted great attendance of both cars, bikes, and spectators. The last few weeks have been down, due to the new construction along La Mesa Boulevard but car show manager Jack Leary stated it was a positive season.

"I can't wait until next year,'' Jump'n Jack Flash said. " We will have all new street and sidewalks, the trees will be back and that 'old time' look and feel will be all new. Jack advised that the merchants' liaison Rick Bucklew and Merchants Association leader John Vigil are already making new plans to add more flavor to next year's shows.

Jack said this week that the Coast Riders band will be at Don Keating's Cars across from Bo-Beau and Crazy Steve will be at Palm Avenue and La Mesa Boulevard with some good tunes. It is undetermined who will be providing music at the Yogurt Mill site on the west side of the tracks.

Leary also advised that at 7:15 p.m. "special event" will take place at the trophy presentation area at the corner of Palm and La Mesa Boulevard. Rumor has it a bucket of ice water is involved (not confirmed) and our Chief of Police may be on notice. It would be advised to have your cameras and video ready.

Leary said: "I'd like to thank all the car guys and gals, and bikers for coming out this season and look forward to seeing them all next…


Labor Day: Summer's Last Gasp

Posted by Frank Robert Dittmer on August 23, 2014 at 3:30pm 0 Comments

Bringing The Outside Inside

LA MESA -- OK, this is it, the last big holiday of the summer, can you believe it-already. Since Labor Day weekend is all about rest, relaxation and a three day weekend, here are some easy, low key and relaxed ideas for your last big dinner party of the summer.

As I always say, “pick a theme!” Here are two fun and creative themes for your party. Have a “White Out Party” The old rule of NO WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY is a great idea as a party theme. Ask your guests to wear as much white as possible. It’s a fun way to poke fun at a very old idea. You can also go traditional and have a red, white and blue party. Again, ask your guest to come wearing their American flag appeal or red, white and blue clothing and shoes. Give a small gift for the best dressed.

Since we have a theme- Labor Day, let’s concentrate on decorations and menu ideas. If you’re like me you will be cooking outside (weather permitting), but for those of you who don’t want to have a BBQ, you can still celebrate Labor Day in style and inside. First, bring the outside in. Use a picnic style tablecloth on your dining room table. Using a plastic or vinyl table covering in tradition red gingham or stripe is the best way to accomplish the feeling of an indoor picnic. Use paper placemats or, if you have them, bamboo! Pair your placemats with cloth napkins in a different color gingham or different color seersucker. Your casual dinnerware will do in a pinch and use mason jars or jelly jars as glassware. If you’re staying inside string outdoor party lights inside your house. One or two strings of party lights over your dining room table is a great way to bring the outside…


On La Mesa: Gina Garcia

Posted by Gina Garcia on August 24, 2014 at 6:44am 1 Comment

Ideas From A Distance

LA MESA -- The great thing about summer vacations is the distance you can gain on your own life, your own job and town.

The tiresome elements of your routine can look petty and inconsequential with the benefit of the longer view travel gives.

Still, on a recent trip east, I found myself discovering little aspects of life which, with leadership, could add a little polish to the Jewel of the Hills.

I share them here not at all as a scold, but as reminder that the difference between a good town and a great town can be the little human things that differentiate one town from the next.


In a small town in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State, I walked one morning through its old downtown. Trees lined the streets, flower-filled baskets hung from the light posts. Virtually all of the shops were filled. The local merchants credited the town's Business Improvement District and its executive, John Hicks, with finding the grants, polishing the little details and creating a "buzz" and sense of ownership of the downtown that went beyond the merchants who happened to be renting space at this time.

Looking a bit further, I learned that the BID's leader was not an expensive employee, but a retired executive who had held high-powered jobs and wanted to keep contributing in his latter years. The untapped talents of our senior workforce might be something to consider as La Mesa looks to build on its niche as a great, livable small town city.


Traveling a bit south, I was walking along the Hudson River in one of New York City's great public spaces -- Riverside Park -- when…


Crime Watch

Posted by La Mesa Today on August 23, 2014 at 10:21am 0 Comments

Police Investigating Trolley 'Use Of Force' Incident

LA MESA -- On August 18, 2014, La Mesa Police Officers were called to assist trolley security at the 70th Street Trolley Station. It was reported that the trolley security officers were fighting with a patron while the trolley was traveling through La Mesa. Officers responded and were advised the incident was under control and trolley security would handle it.

On August 21, 2014, La Mesa Police were contacted by MTS and asked to review the previous incident because of a concern of use of force by the TSS employees. MTS provided La Mesa Police with video of the altercation involving the Transit Systems Security onboard the trolley. The officers involved have been suspended while the incident is being investigated. Click on the image above to watch raw video footage.

La Mesa Police Department will be evaluating the case and working with the District Attorney’s Office to evaluate for criminal charges. At this time, La Mesa Police are asking for anyone who witnessed this incident, or has video or photographs, to please contact Lieutenant Matt Nicholass at 619-667-7512.

La Mesa Police will not be providing any statements regarding this incident over the weekend as we are still obtaining initial information.



Bank of America to Pay Record $16.65 Billion to Settle Mortgage Claims

Source: LA Times

In what amounts to the largest settlement by a single company in U.S. history, the Justice Department has announced that Bank of America Corp. will pay $16.65 billion to end federal and state investigations into the sale of toxic mortgage securities during the subprime housing boom. California will receive $300 million from the settlement to reimburse the CalPERS and CalSTRS pension funds. Read the full story:

3 Facts Crippling California's Housing Recovery

Source: HousingWire

While California’s job growth and economy continue to improve, major hurdles remain for housing’s recovery. Firstly, affordability is a huge concern as rapid home price increases, mixed with a lack of affordable inventory is leaving little room for first-time borrowers to jump into the market. Tight credit and stagnant incomes are another concern if prices remain high.

Read the full story:

Construction Surges in July

Source: The Hill

During July, housing construction hit its highest level in eight months as the sector shows signs of picking up pace in the second half of the year. After two months of drops, construction jumped 15.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million homes, the fastest pace since the 1.11 million posted in November, according to the Commerce Department.

Read the full story:


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SoCal Parrot's Picnic with the Parrots at SoCal Parrot Sanctuary & Garden

October 26, 2014 from 12pm to 4:30pm
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An event by Brooke Durham was featured

SoCal Parrot's Picnic with the Parrots at SoCal Parrot Sanctuary & Garden

October 26, 2014 from 12pm to 4:30pm
Once-in-a-lifetime animal encounters, expert talks, live art, hands-on educational opportunities,…See More
19 hours ago
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Barry Jantz commented on chris shea's blog post 'On La Mesa: Chris Shea'
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