La Mesa Stories

La Mesa drug dog retires at age 49

With his partner, 2700 grams of narcotics detected in six years

The La Mesa City Council unanimously authorized the retirement of police narcotic-detection dog Maximus "Max" on April 14. His partner, officer Derek Cox, was allowed to adopt the seven-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever. During their six-year ...

Casa de Pico brings Old Town to La Mesa

Old Town Mexican-theme dining in East County

I don’t eat in Old Town. At least not within the confines of the historic park, where tourists and locals can spend an afternoon learning about the pueblo’s origins and milestones. There are a number ...

Easter on the beach

And select events for the rest of the week

Thursday | 2 Cafe 21’s Chef Leyla and the team from Suzie’s Farm have created a menu using only Suzie’s organic, local produce. Add a cocktail pairing for an additional $20. Friday | 3 Photographer ...

Booze-fishing in La Mesa

Police employ teen decoys to help nab liquor-store patrons

Roughly one in four La Mesa locals are falling for a police sting operation in which officers employ an under-aged decoy to approach liquor-store customers and ask them to supply the minors with alcohol, according ...

Older than Hell

100 years later — the plan for La Mesa's Collier Park

By 9:30 a.m. on February 25, Collier Park tennis-court nets were lowered for the pickleball games that are played Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings in La Mesa's oldest park. As players with paddles concentrated on ...

La Mesa's ugly corner

Litter, graffiti, weeds, and rodents contribute to eyesore

La Mesa resident Linda Johnson walks frequently through her hometown and is on the board of La Mesa Beautiful. The nonprofit organization "works collectively to preserve and increase the beauty" of the city, according to ...

Something feral this way comes

With springtime's approach, the kitties are homeless again

La Mesa resident Tiffany heard the distinctive sounds of cat courtship in January and knew she would again face the issue of feral cats near her home. "We've been struggling [with it] since we moved ...

Begging becomes a bloody business

La Mesa panhandler struck after stepping off median

On February 11 at about 2:45 p.m., a car hit a panhandler at the Jackson Avenue and Fletcher Parkway intersection in La Mesa. The La Mesa Police Department responded with three motorcycle cops, a police ...

Bolt Brewery to strike in Little Italy

New La Mesa sudsmiths find a more central locale they can't pass up

It’s the fastest expansion in the history of the San Diego County craft beer scene. Just two months after opening La Mesa’s first brewery, the ownership of Bolt Brewery has taken possession of a property ...

Grossmont Center History 101

And a little about its future, according to Stephen Cushman

With the January 10 expiration of Grossmont Center's 50-year lease, Cushman family members are "no longer passive owners" of the property, Stephen Cushman said at the January 27 La Mesa City Council meeting. Cushman said ...

What's new with the ole swimmin hole?

La Mesa pool to reopen soon

December rain delayed the reopening of the La Mesa municipal pool and spa until February 2. The weather caused a delay in work to replace a portion of the pool deck, according to a January ...

Art was crucified

Amicable end to the La Mesa mayor’s era

While 38th District state senator Joel Anderson showed up at the December 9 La Mesa City Council meeting to honor outgoing lawmakers Art Madrid and Ernie Ewin, former San Diego mayor Dick Murphy (a retired ...

Return to pork chop island

La Mesa traffic project did nothing to slow cars, say residents

A year after the City of La Mesa installed two traffic circles, six low medians, and a "pork-chop island" on Harbinson Avenue to try to slow speeding traffic, most residents — and a small traffic ...

Chips truck and the chief to retire

La Mesa top cop Ed Aceves and converted Doritos police van to hit the road

The new year will bring the retirement of La Mesa police chief Ed Aceves as well as the 1995 Frito-Lay delivery truck purchased in 2002 and converted into a mobile command vehicle. Twelve years ago, ...

Charlie Arbelaez, explosive bebop alto saxist

The liveliest of jazz jams happens on Friday nights in La Mesa. A chance move brought it here: “I lived just up the hill, off University Avenue,” says Charlie Arbelaez, 27. Recently out of the ...

The hoppiest comeback ever

Original Bolt Brewery mastermind set to debut redux in La Mesa

They say it’s what's inside that counts and that’s true of any business, including Bolt Brewery (8179 Center Street, La Mesa). After all, it’s inside that soon-to-open operation’s Quonset hut brewhouse where the beer is ...

This is not another weed ad in the Reader

La Mesa prepares to close illegal dispensaries after Prop J's failure

Since La Mesa voters on November 4 rejected a proposition to authorize and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, the City of La Mesa will notify three dispensaries that they have ten days to "stop their business ...

I did my very best for this city

La Mesa's outgoing mayor Art Madrid speaks

La Mesa voters picked change Tuesday — at least the 10,200 who voted did — electing a new mayor to replace six-term incumbent Art Madrid. By a vote of 6017 to 4200, on November 4, ...

He succumbed to the study of theology

Membership: 125 Pastor: Mark Menacher Age: 53 Born: Detroit Formation: Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI; Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH; University of Goettingen, (West) Germany; Theological Seminary, Leipzig, (East) Germany; (PhD) University of Manchester, ...

Marching-band metronome no bueno

Practice at Helix High said to be a nuisance to neighbors

Frank Corbin says he supports the Helix Charter High School — including its marching band. But the school's electronic metronome is driving him crazy. "It sounds like somebody is banging on a big metal fencepost ...

Shrinkage of La Mesa parcel development

Some residents demand "no more than 4" stories; revised plan proposes 10

The La Mesa Planning Commission on October 1 voted 6-1 to recommend that the city council deny a specific plan for Crossroads of La Mesa at Park Station, a mixed-use project that would raise the ...

Here comes the neighborhood

La Mesa mobile-home park for seniors closes; nine homes planned for site

The La Mesa City Council last week unanimously approved a relocation impact report for Jennings Senior Park, a now-closed mobile-home park located on the 7300 block of Mohawk Street. A sign formerly displayed at the ...

Deploy the teenager

One out of four La Mesans bought booze for minors

One in four La Mesa residents approached recently by minor decoys seeking access to alcohol have been arrested after willingly providing booze to teenagers, La Mesa police are reporting. Funded by a $21,668 state grant, ...

Talking the talk in La Mesa

Council and mayoral candidates say what's on their minds at forum

At a September 18 candidates’ forum sponsored by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, two mayoral hopefuls and five candidates for two city-council seats spoke to an audience of about 100 people. Topics included their ...

Free parking in La Mesa

Report says city may lose about $490,000 during streetscape project

The La Mesa City Council on September 9 voted 3-2 to temporarily suspend enforcement of parking meters downtown, a move to compensate for disruptions caused by the $5 million Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project. Starting ...

Wasabi burritos get my attention

La Mesa is not known for its food, but it’s a great place to raise a family and there are plenty of good places for tasty, reasonably priced food for my perfect food day. For ...

A book is a treat in prison

Larry collects books to give away at La Mesa gas station

Emerald Oil, a gas station on the corner of Lake Murray Boulevard and Baltimore Avenue, not only boasts about having the lowest gas prices in La Mesa, but it also has a wide variety of ...

Entertainment on the way for La Mesa

Hookah bar and sports bar get good news from city planners

The La Mesa Planning Commission on August 20 approved conditional-use permits for "performance entertainment" at two businesses: the Venetian Lounge (a hookah bar in a shopping center on the corner of Baltimore and Parkway drives) ...

Bolt back in the brewing biz

Revived historic company brewing en route to La Mesa debut

The answer: Two months with any luck. The question (which has been burning in the minds of many a craft beer fan and La Mesa resident): When will Bolt Brewery (8179 Center Street, La Mesa) ...

La Mesa fed up with ad circulars dumped on driveways

Councilmembers agree that they give burglars "a clear message."

The La Mesa City Council on August 12 voted unanimously in favor of vice mayor Ruth Sterling's request for city attorney Glenn Sabine to investigate and report back on legal options to regulate the unsolicited ...

Firefighters call police

La Mesa fire station reports bathing man and robbery

A Bonita man was arrested on Monday night, July 28, after a couple of foiled burglary attempts, beginning at La Mesa Fire Station 12 on the 8800 block of Dallas Street. Firefighters from Station 12 ...

Hard to swallow

“The letter came registered mail — signature requested on July 3.” It was an eviction notice. Katie Halvin says it gave her until November 1 to vacate her Parkway Bar. She and her husband Doug ...

Gunpoint fiction

Theft victim attempts late-night parking lot meeting with suspects

Around 1:40 a.m. on Saturday, July 26, three people were arrested in La Mesa after robbing a man who'd attempted to buy back a camera that had been stolen from him and listed for sale ...

La Mesa councilwoman stands up for vaping

"Are we going to ban chewing nicotine gum in the parks?"

After the La Mesa City Council on July 8 heard assistant city manager Yvonne Garrett's report recommending a ban on electronic smoking devices in locations where tobacco smoking is prohibited, vice mayor Kristine Alessio produced ...

La Mesa council preps for November

Boardmembers haggle over and hammer out ballot issues

The La Mesa City Council voted unanimously on June 24 to let people other than councilmembers write ballot arguments for the following measures set for November: to allow medical marijuana dispensaries, to set term limits ...

Armed robbers hold up La Mesa donut shop

MEDITATIVELY MUNCHING ON A TIGER TAIL, LA MESA — "The donut business is a tough business," says La Mesa Yum Yum Donuts manager Tim Tomake, whose shop was held up on June 18. "Profit margins ...

Ten-story building for La Mesa?

“It's too big not to hurt an already congested area.”

The La Mesa Planning Commission on June 18 tabled a decision on the Park Station specific plan after a co-applicant spoke against the mixed-use proposal. The proposal includes raising the height limit to 110 feet ...

An eye on teens, and no pythons allowed

La Mesa nails down plans for Oktoberfest

The La Mesa City Council on June 10 unanimously approved a special-event permit that allows the La Mesa Village Merchants Association to stage a modified version of the annual Oktoberfest. Changes to the event (scheduled ...

What’s in the hopper, part one

Upcoming San Diego brewery projects with the most promise

I can remember when there were fewer than 45 operating brewhouses in San Diego County. Now, that’s the number of planned and in-the-works brewing facilities I am keeping track of. With new businesses coming online ...

Butter boots and complimentary CPR

La Mesa Fire Department dishes pancakes for a small fee

Before me at the Allison Avenue La Mesa Fire Department on June 8 were two giant blocks of butter sculpted into a fire helmet and and a fireman’s boot. Fitting, since I was at a ...

Repeat offenders and the Kevin Bacon effect

La Mesa PD and sheriff's dept. find criminals where their friends live

According to La Mesa police chief Ed Aceves, a joint project between the La Mesa Police Department and San Diego County Sheriff's Department that targeted "prolific offenders" resulted in a 45 percent reduction in residential ...

Baby osprey takes flight before falling

Manmade nest at Lake Murray was built to keep birds safe from fire

At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, May 18, one of the two baby ospreys in a nest at Lake Murray took a fall. Last year, two baby ospreys fell out of the same manmade nest ...

La Mesans to lose right to vote?

Appointment of city clerk discussed at meeting

The La Mesa City Council on May 13 voted 4-1 to place a measure on the November 4 ballot that asks voters to change the city clerk from an elected position to an appointed one. ...

Where dog-fur yarn comes from

Spinners gather at Lake Murray

On Wednesdays during seasonal school breaks, a patch of grass near the baseball fields at Lake Murray hosts a gathering of spinners. Up to a dozen women meet at around 9 a.m. and set up ...

The Chapel at Grossmont in La Mesa

Pastor Hilton wasn’t meant for work in a lab the size of a closet.

To be absent from the body is to be present to the Lord.

La Mesa council rejects cell-phone ban

"Mini computer" use to continue while members sit on dais

La Mesa mayor Art Madrid's city-council colleagues rejected his April 8 request to prohibit cell-phone use by councilmembers during forums, including meetings, town halls, and closed sessions. Madrid's proposal for city attorney Glenn Sabine to ...

Fish and chips with dogs and ducks

Anthony's La Mesa Grotto proves a pleasant lunch spot.

The nicest pond-side seafood dining in La Mesa is this sister restaurant to the better-known harbor location. A comparable menu and pricing avails its customers of fresh seafood at fresh seafood prices. While it doesn't break the bank, you do pay more for atmosphere than quality of preparation. That said, "pleasant" doesn't begin to describe its patio dining.

La Mesa resident exposed to e-cigarette smoke at restaurant

Madrid retreats from total ban but still loses,

The La Mesa City Council on March 25 rejected Mayor Art Madrid's request to modify the city's smoking ordinance to ban electronic cigarettes in parks and other locations where smoking is prohibited. Madrid joined in ...

One chicken per 1000 square feet okayed in La Mesa

Art Madrid and the rooster on Maryland Avenue notwithstanding

The La Mesa City Council voted 4-1 on March 25 to amend the municipal code and allow people to keep domestic fowl such as chickens in single-family residential zones. Roosters are prohibited, and councilmembers called ...

Inn of the Sixth Happiness

Hidden hotspot for Thai hot pot

So I was just leaving this kinda cute patio where I'd been having a late brekky with my friend Ernesto (La Mesa Bistro, more on this in upcoming Tin Fork), and, well, we talked a ...

Fit to be Thai'd in La Mesa

Bamboo is Thai comfort food done right

It was my birthday a few weeks ago and my family gave me the choice where to eat. There wasn’t much thought. I picked Bamboo Thai Cuisine on University Avenue, near La Mesa Blvd. It’s ...

La Mesa Planning Commission favors 18-unit complex

Adjacent residents fret about privacy

On February 4, the disapproval of a proposed City of La Mesa condominium development was demonstrated by a local family’s door-to-door collection of signatures on a petition against the project. The family, residents of Wheaton ...

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