Marijuana, Alcohol and Pretty Flowers?

An Open Letter to the Voters of La Mesa:

It's hard to believe that La Mesa is in another election cycle. Time flies when the city is run efficiently and in order. But Laura Lothian, a candidate for the office of Mayor of La Mesa would have you believe differently.

For several months, Lothian has been telling you the voter that the city is filled with trash, graffiti and dead flowers in city flower pots. This is very serious indeed. So let's take a closer look at Lothian, those issues and what she really stands for!

The trash that Lothian has been speaking about is apparently everywhere in La Mesa. In fact, Lothian provided a photograph of the trash along the south side of the SR125/SR94 transition. The photo showed clearly a lot of trash and debris on the side of the highway right of way, which is maintained by the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS). Further, the photo was taken of an area that is not within the city limits of La Mesa. Is it this a very large problem for La Mesa? Only if CALTRANS fails to police their right of way and some of that nasty debris blows across the freeway into La Mesa.

Graffiti is another plague that Lothian has named as blight on La Mesa. One needs only to drive around La Mesa and see for themselves all of the various kinds of spray paint vandalism that exists. I did just that, and after nearly four hours, I found only two small instances of this urban art. On the other hand, a field trip through National City would reveal what graffiti really looks like and the extensive problem it really is in the South Bay and not in La Mesa. I might add that while Lothian cites this graffiti problem, she fails to cite examples or addresses where the graffiti exists.

And let us not forget the dead flowers in the city flower pots. Earlier this year Lothian touched off a firestorm within the La Mesa Business Community over the flowers. Lothian went around to the planters, photographed their condition, and then published an 11x17 color glossy poster showing the photographs and listing the name of the business where the planter was located. If that was not bad enough, Lothian indicated that the poster was authorized by the La Mesa Community Parking Commission. The Parking Commission then was approached by concerned business owners (Craig Maxwell et al.) about the condition of the planters. During that process, it was brought out that the planters were purchased by the city (more than twenty years ago) through an agreement with the La Mesa Village Merchants Association, that the merchants would be responsible for the maintenance and care of the planters. Lothian than announced that the Merchants were insolvent and could not afford to maintain the planters any longer. A charge that the Merchant's later said was false. Next, Lothian appeared before the city council to appeal to the city that they maintain the planters by using parking meter revenues to pay for their upkeep and maintenance. This, even after she brought the same motion to the Parking Commission earlier and was voted down. Lothian told the council that La Mesa would be much more beautiful with "Little Italy style flower pots".

I have spoken about the issues that Lothian is campaigning on, I wonder if Lothian will address these issues:
Lothian claims she is a Republican - a true conservative. But is she? The public records of the San Diego County Registrar of Voters suggest otherwise. Since November 3, 1998 there have been seventeen elections. Lothian's record shows she only voted in six of those elections. That's only 35%. And of those seventeen elections, she only voted once as a registered republican (11/02/2004). In fact, Lothian voted in the Gubernatorial Primary held on June 8 of this year as "No Party". Lothian also reveals that she is supported by the Democratic Party and that a fund raiser has been held for her by friends who live on Mount Helix under the title of "Liberals for Laura". How charming.

Where does Lothian stand on Alcohol and Drug use?

Two of Lothian's supporters (Maxwell and Council Member Ruth Stirling) have been quite vociferous in their constant cry of alarm over Alcohol use by the incumbent Mayor Art Madrid. But Lothian comes to the forum with dirty hands and needs to address why her home was used earlier this year for an underage drinking party which resulted in the arrest and conviction of her daughter for a violation of the La Mesa Social Host Ordinance and provided alcohol for more than one hundred underage drinkers. And does Lothian want to reveal the photographs of the crime in which hundreds of cups, more that twenty bottles of alcohol and several windows in her home were broken out? Where is Maxwell and Stirling's outrage over this incident? Maxwell wrote to the editor of the East County Magazine and accused the publication of using the power of the press to administer a political hit against Lothian about this very article. Last time I checked, Mayor Madrid apologized numerous times for his misstep, but Lothian has not even acknowledged nor apologized for the crime committed at her residence and continues to claim that this incident was just "a sophisticated little party".

And drug use? Where does Lothian really stand on that issue?

In a recent interview with La Mesa Patch.Com, Lothian was asked about her position on California Ballot Proposition 19, the legalization of Marijuana. Lothian said in her response:

"I believe our current marijuana laws mistakenly and expensively fill our prisons with nonviolent criminals. Because marijuana is illegal, it creates a profitable enterprise for drug dealers and cartels. If we decriminalized marijuana and regulated it, violence might decrease in Mexico and America, our prisons might not be so full, and we could collect some serious revenue".

Doesn't Lothian know that in order to go to state prison you need to commit a serious felony? There isn't ONE offender in prison for possession of marijuana which is either an infraction or misdemeanor. More likely, offenders are in prison because of marijuana use, which is a gateway drug to more potent drugs which then wreak havoc in the community.

On November 2, 2010, we have a choice. Will it be alcohol, marijuana and some really nice flowers? Or will it be the men who have served La Mesa honorably for the last four years?

My choice will most certainly be Art Madrid for Mayor, Ernie Ewin and Mark Arapostathes for City Council.

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Tags: Government

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Comment by Kristin Kjaero on October 27, 2010 at 9:49pm
Craig, FYI an East County Magazine fact check is now on-line, "Police Records Request Shoots Hole in Candidate's Story about Teen Drinking Party," http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/4605 .
Comment by Craig S. Maxwell on October 22, 2010 at 8:12am
Beware, Ian. If you focus on the sort of “real issues” that preoccupy Jim Wieboldt, you might wind-up telling the same kind of blatant lies he tells. Take, for instance, the tall tale he recently told about Laura Lothian's daughter supposedly being arrested. Turns out it never happened!--his story's a complete fabrication (and a libelous one to boot!)
But if, on the other hand, you want to focus on the sort of real issues that involve Art Madrid's ongoing abuse of La Mesa's citizens, then I suggest you visit the employees at Don Keating Used Cars. A few nights ago, when questioned by them about his drunken record, Madrid threatened to have them both arrested. That's right: threatened them with arrest.
Shortly afterward he drove home...drunk, of course.
Comment by Jim Wieboldt on October 20, 2010 at 1:48pm
Ian: As a fifty (50) year resident of this fine city, I'm pretty sure I'm familiar with its boundaries. What I'm not sure about is where you stand on any of the issues that have been raised throughout this campaign. Might I suggest you identify some real issues that affect and/or effect our residents and work towards making positive changes which will give you some kind of platform for your next run. Knowing what your doing as well as why your doing it tends to erase doubt and increases confidence. Thats why I have no doubt that Councilman Ernie Ewin and Dr. Mark Arapostathis will win this election and the confidence in both men to continue to do the good work of the city that I love.
Comment by Ian I Shiff on October 20, 2010 at 1:20pm
Jim - I am amazed that you drove for 4 hours in La Mesa and could only find two spots of "urban art"
. Jump in my car, let's take a ride through MY neighborhood. Did you drive around the southwest part of the city? I doubt it.

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