April 2010 La Mesa Blog Posts (20)

Helix Wins Charter, Loses Director

HELIX HIGH SCHOOL -- Helix High School and the Grossmont Union High School District have settled the charter dispute that had threatened to end Helix High's independent status.

In a lengthy 12 point settlement, Helix Executive Director Doug Smith agreed to retire and both sides agreed to a five year extension of the charter and a number of steps to improve the district's access to information about Helix High's operation. The district will have a representative on the committee appointed… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 30, 2010 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

What I Would Have Said

I attended Tuesday's City Council meeting with the intention of commenting about an agenda item submitted by the Mayor and Councilman Ewin. The item had to do with establishing a new pension plan for new hires. The motion was tabled - so I didn't have the opportunity to comment - but here is what I would have said.

I'm here to heartily support a recommendation made by mayor Madrid and Councilman Ewin for maintaining financial stability in La Mesa -- consideration of a two step… Continue

Added by Russell Buckley on April 29, 2010 at 3:14pm — 4 Comments

Burglars hit Jackson Drive Chevron

JACKSON DRIVE – Police are looking for four men who broke into a Chevron Car Wash early Tuesday morning in the 5300 Block of Jackson Drive and attempted to rob an ATM.

Surveillance file showed the four men pried open the door and then went directly to the ATM. Police are investigating to see if this was part of a series of ATM burglaries that have happened in recent weeks in La Mesa and vicinity.

If you have any information on this case, please call the La Mesa… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 28, 2010 at 5:25pm — No Comments

Couple Awakened By Burglar

CASA DE ORO – Just after 2 a.m. Sunday, a La Mesa couple were awakened by an intruder who turned the light on in their bedroom.

The couple, who live in the 4300 block of Merritt Boulevard, called 911 and police arrived as the intruder was exiting the home.

Police arrested 21-year-old Antonio Renojjurez of Los Angeles and charged him with residential burglary.

Police say Ronojjurez had belongings of the startled couple in his possession when he was arrested.

The… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 25, 2010 at 3:24pm — No Comments

Saving The Earth From Atop Mt. Helix

MT. HELIX – Environmental groups and businesses from La Mesa and throughout San Diego County gathered atop Mt. Helix Sunday for the first annual East County Earth Day. Solar providers were most numerous, mixed with organizations working to save wolves, hummingbirds, rivers and desert lands among the endangered. All this mixed with food, music and the Mt. Helix views made for a lovely…

Added by La Mesa Today on April 25, 2010 at 3:08pm — 1 Comment

A 24-Hour Ceremony of Remembrance, Hope

LA MESA MIDDLE SCHOOL – When students return to school on Monday, they’ll notice something odd if physical education class takes them outside. The athletic field will have a large, circular path outlined in the grass.

For 24 hours from Saturday into Sunday, the field was transformed into a ceremonial space of sorts – tent camps, luminaries dedicated to cancer victims and large teams of friends and family of the departed walking and… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 25, 2010 at 11:04am — No Comments

La Mesa at a Crossroads


LA MESA – In the lobby of the Helix Water District offices on University Avenue, you can see impromptu history on display – some of the earliest photos of La Mesa, taken when the area was virtually open ranch lands.

One photo shows what is now the downtown Village of La Mesa at a time when a store at the corner of La Mesa Boulevard and Spring Street was virtually the only structure of size. What is…


Added by Chris Lavin on April 21, 2010 at 6:30pm — 6 Comments

SIX QUESTIONS WITH . . . .Councilman Ernest Ewin

Editor's Note: Six Questions is a new feature in which local residents answer specific questions about life in La Mesa.

1. With the city facing serious financial problems, can you outline the kinds of cuts or efficiencies you think could help address the problems?

Answer: Good Question. First, These are extraordinary times given the Federal and State fiscal crisis and they are trying to solve their messes with more taxes and fees on our citizens and the… Continue

Added by Chris Lavin on April 20, 2010 at 7:26am — 3 Comments

Score One For Candid Camera

GUAVA AVENUE – La Mesa police arrested a man who was caught on a home’s surveillance camera exposing himself and attempting to burglarize the home.

Police said the man – 27-year-old Matthew Henigan of San Diego – knocked on the door of a home in the 2100 block of Guava Avenue on April 12th. He allegedly tried to sell candy and left the area when the occupant refused.

Two days later, the home’s owner found strange clothing in the back yard and then checked his home’s surveillance… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 19, 2010 at 5:51pm — No Comments

La Mesa Clinic Called Fraud on 60 Minutes Report

LA MESA -- The Downtown Village of La Mesa was on the national news last night, but not in the way local boosters will brag about.

The "60 Minutes'' report about Stowe Bio Therapy on La Mesa Boulevard accused its proprietor, Lawrence Stowe of being a "con man'' who preyed on the desperately ill by giving them false hopes of a cure and charging large sums for unproven stem-cell treatments. The journalists used hidden camera video to capture Stowe's pitch to patients.

Calls to Stowe… Continue

Added by Chris Lavin on April 19, 2010 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Now Is The Time

Negotiations with the City Labor Unions are starting up again. We need to make sure that this year, unlike last, the outcome includes revised pension plans for new hires. There are three problems with the current pension plans: (1) They are far too generous. (2) They cost taxpayers far too much. (3) They create an unacceptable level of financial risk for the taxpayers. Let me briefly describe these problems as I see them:

(1) Too Generous: Our recently retired Fire Chief is drawing… Continue

Added by Russell Buckley on April 15, 2010 at 1:38pm — 2 Comments

More Talk of ‘Consolidations’ As City’s Financial Woes Grow

LA MESA – Storm clouds continue to gather over the City of La Mesa finances as sales tax revenues and state budget woes threaten city services here and throughout California. At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, no specific cuts were made, but a close reading of a few key agenda items and a bit of interpretation gives a clear sense of where local leaders are going to be looking to remedy financial woes.

Mayor Art Madrid asked city staff to begin studying a number of cost… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 13, 2010 at 9:00pm — 4 Comments

More Time for Helix High

HELIX HIGH SCHOOL -- Today's meeting to decide on the fate of the Helix High charter has been delayed.

Efforts by Helix High administrators to seek a negotiated settlement with the Grossmont Union High School District led to an agreement by the district's board to delay a final decision on the charter dispute.

If an agreement can't be reached, the board is expected to act by April 22. The Grossmont district’s board has questioned whether a series of scandals at Helix High… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 8, 2010 at 8:30am — No Comments

Downtown Bar to Expand Quietly

LA MESA VILLAGE – Investors plan to spend $250,000 to expand a downtown La Mesa bar, adding another outdoor patio and scheduling regular Karaoke and live music performances at the La Mesa Boulevard location. Operators of the bar, The Regal, which is located just east of the city’s Walk of the Stars, appeared before the city’s Planning Commission seeking a special use permit that would allow them to expand the bar, add an outdoor patio with tables and have enough room for an inside… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 7, 2010 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Helix High Charter Issue Comes to a Head at Special Thursday Meeting

HELIX HIGH SCHOOL – The conflict between Helix High School and the Grossmont Union High School District governing board is coming to a head.

The board announced it will hold a hearing Thursday, April 8, at the East County Regional Education Center in El Cajon.

The special meeting announcement was simple and direct. The board will hear from the public before retiring to executive session. It will return to public session and conduct a public hearing on the plan to revoke the… Continue

Added by Chris Lavin on April 7, 2010 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Gardening in La Mesa: What to Plant in April

The weather's warming up, which opens up a host of exciting possibilities in the garden. Here's what you can plant now, along with a few tips for planting.

Year-Round crops:



Most herbs (basil and dill are exceptions)

Carrot varieties that grow to maturity in 60 or so days

Seasonal crops:


Winter squash

Summer squash








Beans (except for… Continue

Added by Jill Richardson on April 7, 2010 at 2:22pm — No Comments

Thieves Use Truck To Smash Business in Attempt To Steal ATM

LA MESA – A bold but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to steal an ATM machine left a downtown La Mesa business in shambles over night.

Police said at about 4:40 a.m. Wednesday, two suspects used a vehicle to break into the La Mesa Mailboxes businesses located in the 8200 block of La Mesa Boulevard. The burglars backed into the business several times, causing major damage, but failing to steal the ATM. A witness described the suspect vehicle as a white Dodge Ram truck with a gray tailgate… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 7, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

Police Warn of Con-Woman Working La Mesa

LA MESA – City Police are warning that a female thief has been using a special trick to win her way into the home of unsuspecting residents.

Police said the woman knocked on the door of a home in the 4500 block of Harbinson Avenue in La Mesa and told the resident that she was a friend of the resident’s daughter, using the correct name for the daughter. The thief asked for a drink of water and once allowed into the house, stole the resident’s purse. The credit cards were later used before… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 7, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

Panel Wants Consideration of Downtown Parking Garage

LA MESA – The La Mesa Community Parking Commission voted 5-0 Thursday night to speed up development of a plan to determine whether construction of a downtown parking structure is economically feasible.

The commission discussed a general plan that would add parking spaces to the downtown Village area of the city by constructing a multi-level garage, perhaps on top of retail space that could be constructed on an existing city… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 1, 2010 at 8:00pm — 7 Comments

Man Robs Pool Supply Store

PARKWAY DRIVE – A robber spent Wednesday morning choosing between a hair salon and a pool supply store for his next target.

At about 12:23 p.m., police say, the robber, a lone male, chose the pool store.

The suspect waited until other customers had exited Leslie Pool Supply at 8274 Parkway Drive and then attacked the female clerk, putting her in a head lock, choking her and then forcing open the cash drawers.

Police say the suspect then fled on foot with $500 in cash.… Continue

Added by La Mesa Today on April 1, 2010 at 10:43am — 1 Comment

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