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LA MESA - The City Council gave a little gift of the magi to regulars and staff at Tuesday's meeting. It postponed the only issue of substance on the agenda and sent everyone out into the night while happy hour was still on at local restaurants.
Call it Silent Night.
A hearing had been scheduled for 6 p.m. to discuss the city's sometimes contentious plans for the overhaul of Collier Park, but City Manager Dave Witt said there was still some work to do on the Environmental Impact Report and said the issue would be rescheduled.
That put off a potentially lengthy debate about what to do with the historic Spring House that sits amid the park but has been largely abandoned and decaying for years. Earlier city proposals weighed the option of razing the structure and replacing it with an interpretive historical element, but that raised the ire of local historians.
The new proposal that would have been discussed Tuesday calls for "mothballing" the structure to slow decay while plans for restoring the early La Mesa water source could be pursued.
With that issue aside, the council moved quickly through perfunctory actions - honored local realtors for rehabbing a dilapidated home (see photo above) -- and only lingered for a brief debate over whether the city should take unilateral action to chase panhandlers from the medians of local roads.
With courts already having ruled that limiting such "free speech" unconstitutional, municipalities like La…Continue
LA MESA -- When the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District board approved adding an arts academy on the La Mesa Middle School campus, officials hoped a newly focused, energized program featuring music, visual and performing arts would attract students the district was losing to other districts and charter schools.
They couldn't have predicted the outcome.
Speaking at Tuesday evening's City Council meeting, City Councilman Mark Arapostathis, who is also part of the steering committee for the newly formed La Mesa Arts Academy, said enrollments for the new school closed last week with 521 applicants.
The LMAAC committee had been planning for just over 300 students when classes open in August of 2014, but Arapostathis and fellow committee member teacher Jon Hayman (photographed above at last summer's LMAAC Summer Conservatory) said the school administration has advised them to accept all the applicants.
That means the school population at La Mesa Middle School will increase by more than 300 students, returning that school perhaps within a hundred or so of its historic high's of 1,100. Last year La Mesa Middle had over 600 students and much of the facility was underused.
And better news for La Mesa-Spring Valley is that perhaps as many as 50 to 60 of the students who will join LMAAC in August come from outside the La Mesa-Spring Valley District. That means higher…Continue
Slides is sponsoring an Art Competition for Helix Charter High School Art students.
This competition can be a success with your help. The Artworks are currently on display at Slides and we would love to have your participation in voting for the top three art pieces. The 1st place winner will win a $100 prize, the second $50 and the third $25 prize.
Come join us in this event that will help foster young artists in La Mesa. The voting period will end on January 6, 2014. We will also have an award event to anounce the winners and give out the prizes on January 10, 2014 @ 6:30PM. Mark your calendar and come out to see if your favorite artist is among the winners.
Slides is located at 7406 University Avenue, La Mesa, CA 91942. Our phone number is 619-461-4462
Below are some of the links to our restaurant:
Art Is Where You Find It
LA MESA -- Our friends at the Parkway Bar off Fletcher Parkway have been doing great work promoting the arts in an atmosphere that is conducive to thoughtful relaxation.
Last weekend, they featured local artist Billy Martinez doing original live work as their patrons enjoyed beer, wine, finger foods and, perhaps, glanced at the football games on the ubiquitous TV sets.
They filed this video for those who missed it and this message:
We simply can't say thank you enough to all those who participated and supported this event. What a wonderful night. We look forward to the next show.
LA MESA -- Wind and rain may be common in other regions of the country, but here in Camelot La Mesa storms like we have been having recently inspire the local police to give some Driving 101 tips to us all.
This week's Weekly Crime Report offers these directions for those who may be new to rain-slickened roads:
Traffic Information: Driving in Rain Tips: Before it starts to rain, replace old or brittle wiper blades. Stay toward the middle lanes – water tends to pool in outside lanes. Maintain proper following distance (3 second rule). This needs to be increased in wet weather.
Be more alert watching for brake lights in front of you. Avoid using your brakes; if possible, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down. Turn your headlights on in a light rain and in gloomy, foggy, or overcast conditions to help you see the road and help other drivers see you. Never drive beyond the limits of visibility. The glare of oncoming lights, amplified by the rain on the windshield, can cause temporary loss of visibility while substantially increasing driver fatigue.
Never drive through moving water if you can’t see the ground through it; your vehicle could be swept off the road. Avoid driving through deep water, because it can cause serious damage to a modern vehicle’s electrical system.
When you need to stop or slow, do not brake hard or lock the wheels and risk a skid. Maintain mild pressure on the brake pedal. Watch out for places where floodwater collects,…Continue
LA MESA - Authorities are pleading for caution on San Diego roads Saturday night. Heavy rains that moved through the area have left roads slick and accidents are occurring throughout the county.
Lakeside Fire at 5 p.m. was working multiple accidents on Highway 67 between Slaughterhouse and Scripps Poway.
With the holiday party season underway, authorities are also stepping up DUI enforcement and encourage motorists to use a designated driver to avoid accidents and costly penalties.
LA MESA -- The San Diego Association of Governments issued a report this week on the impact of gangs in San Diego County.
For the most part, the report was a macro analysis, reporting 7,500 "documented" gang members in the county with 158 different gangs of all stripes and descriptions, including new Somali gangs as well as the Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations that are so well established SANDAG has given them their own acronym -- MDTOs.
What the report didn't tell you was the unique role small cities like La Mesa play in San Diego gang culture. Based on police intelligence gleaned from arrests and investigations, officials believe the Jewel of the Hills is a bedroom community for San Diego Gang Land.
La Mesa Police Chief Ed Aceves revealed that there are 133 documented gang members who live in La Mesa and are known to police and monitored closely by his officers and members of the East County Regional Gang Task Force. One of Aceves' officers serves on that task force. But Aceves said police intelligence shows that these gang members seldom engage in their gang activity within La Mesa.
"The good thing is none of the gangs they are related to claim turf within the City of La Mesa,'' Aceves said. "We watch them and sometimes when crimes occur here, our officers will make contact to check on them, but for the most part their gang activities are…Continue
Library Showcases Wildlife Art Exhibit
LA MESA -- The Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, a consumer health library in La Mesa, is now hosting its Fall Art Exhibit featuring 24 art pieces by artist Ron Dotson of Jamul. The exhibit includes watercolor paintings of wildlife and animal portraits. The show runs through the end of December.
Dotson is a self-taught artist and professional biologist who focused on his love of art after a career as a marine biologist. His work is considered highly detailed for the watercolor medium. He travels extensively pursuing animals with a camera and then returns to Jamul to create his artwork with a desire to capture the essence of the animals’ personality. He is a member of the San Diego Watercolor Society and Artists for Conservation, an international organization.
The paintings on display at the Herrick Library include a rocky mountain elk, coyote, gray wolf, sulphur crested cockatoo, acorn woodpecker, grizzly bear, black bear, American bison and red-tailed hawk.
Admission to the Herrick Community Health Care Library is free. The Fall Art Exhibit is open to the public during regular library hours, which are from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. For more information, phone (619) 825-5010 or visit www.herricklibrary.org. …Continue
LA MESA -- On Thursday, November 28, 2013 between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. a residence in the 5900 block of Bertro Drive was burglarized. Entry was made through the kitchen window. Loss included three video games and three computers. There is no suspect description at this time. Click on map right for crime location. Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to call the La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-1400. The Crime Prevention Unit offers free home security inspections. Call 667-7545 to schedule an inspection for more information on home security.
Statistically, speeding remains the number 1 injury traffic accident causing contributor in La Mesa. Officers determine and gauge whether someone is “speeding” or not by evaluating if they are driving too fast for the present conditions or not. On city streets, unlike on the freeway, your safe speed is ruled by California Vehicle Code section 22350, which states: No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.
Notice that this section never mentions a particular speed. Your “safe speed for the present conditions” is dictat ed by the regulatory speed limit signs in the area and the traffic, weather and road conditions. Please adhere to the a bove Vehicle Code…
Winter Wonder Jam Takes On Special Groove
CUYAMACA COLLEGE -- If home-grown music is your thing, then the place to be this Friday night is the Cuyamaca College Performing Arts Theater, the venue for the always eclectic and entertaining Winter Wonder Jam, produced by students in the college’s Music Industry program.
Headlining this year’s show is the genre-defying group, Lyrical Groove, a 2013 San Diego Music Award winner for best hip-hop artists. Sharing the Cuyamaca stage will be the heavy metal sounds of It All Starts Here; the electronica band, D.L.O.D. (Digital Lizards of Doom) and rock/jazz instrumentalist Jay Williams.
Admission to the annual event is three cans of food to be donated to the San Diego Food Bank or $5.
The entirely student-produced event is designed to teach students what it takes to put on a large-scale production. Every aspect of the concert is handled by the class: auditioning bands, developing a marketing plan, creating posters and fliers, promoting the concert via social media, setting up the event, managing the stage transitions from one band to the next, and running the live sound – all under the tutelage of co-instructors Annie Zuckerman and Taylor Smith.
Music Industry Studies is a transfer degree program that focuses on all aspects of developing a career in the music industry, providing training and instruction in music, technology, and business. Students enrolled in the program’s Music Industry Seminar have been putting on the Winter Wonder Jam for the last four years, and also produce the Coyote…Continue