La Mesa Stories

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Cop, not car-theft suspect, causes fright

Police canvass neighborhood, nab thief

Shortly before noon on Monday, August 12, a sheriff’s helicopter began circling over my neighborhood — just north of the Bancroft Drive and Campo Road intersection in La Mesa — announcing over their loudspeaker that ...

Late-night breakfast at Swami's Cafe

Two things catch my attention: First, the song coming out of this eatery — “You Don’t Own Me.” Leslie Gore. I know it ’cause Carla sings it every time she thinks I’m pushing my weight ...

Tattooed guys busted with a stolen BMW

Suspicious deputy spotted them at gas station

Shortly after 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, I was driving home and noticed many law-enforcement vehicles at the corner of Bancroft Drive and Kenwood Drive. I later learned from sheriff’s department spokesman Sgt. Matt ...

La Mesa SANDAG meeting considers the future

Jobs and the future of Gillespie Field discussed

According to the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the region's population will increase by 1.25 million people by the year 2050. Between now and then, close to 500,000 new jobs will be created. A ...

Big sendoff(s) for Monsignor Michael Gallagher at Our Lady of Grace

Hundreds show for services June 22 and 23

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church parishioners spent two days saying goodbye to Monsignor Michael Gallagher, the priest retiring after serving for 27 years as pastor. Receptions followed weekend services, and 600 people attended the ...

Lemon Grove recycler works on gift for EDCO

Piñata made from receipts

During the public-comment portion of La Mesa City Council meetings, people may speak for three minutes on any non-agenda item. At the June 11 meeting, a woman wearing a button with the message, "I [heart] ...

La Mesa City Council members hold Saturday meeting

Voted against by Mayor Madrid and Councilwoman Sterling

The June 8 "Community Dialogue on La Mesa's Fiscal Future,” hosted by La Mesa City Council members Ernest Ewin and Kristine Alessio, attracted eight people and consisted of conversation that extended 30 minutes beyond the ...

Helix Water District’s new tank project completed

Nearly triple the capacity of the old one

Helix Water District recently replaced its 64-year-old “Homelands” tank to increase the facility’s water-storage capacity to 800,000 gallons, enhance system reliability, and satisfy current seismic requirements. Located in an unincorporated area of San Diego County, ...

La Mesans gather to discuss village plan

Divided on public restroom issue

During the interactive portion of the May 30 community workshop on La Mesa's Downtown Village Specific Plan Update, about 100 people spent an hour visiting five stations devoted to issues related to the update. The ...

La Mesa City Council meeting minutes: awards and crime report

Violence down, thefts up

At the May 28 La Mesa City Council meeting, police chief Ed Aceves joined vice mayor Mark Arapostathis in distributing school safety-patrol awards to fifth- and sixth-graders in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. The ...

Large apartment complex approved by La Mesa City Council

More traffic, but more property tax revenue also

After a nearly two-and-a-half-hour hearing, the La Mesa City Council on May 28 voted 4-1 on actions to allow the construction of a 198-unit apartment complex on an 8.64-acre site located at 7834 Parkway Drive. ...

Ombres and Mermaid Hair

Every summer, my daughter's hair turns green. No matter how much I spend on chlorine-fighting shampoo or how religiously I rinse her white-blonde tresses after swimming, it inevitably develops an aqua tint. I worry that ...

They Do It the Hard Way: San Diegans who refuse to modernize

Deep-blue collar

The Printer “My buddy in San Francisco got his finger smashed in an old printing press. It actually turned the bone to powder. He had no phone in his warehouse to call for help, so ...

Booming bivalves at the Brig

Depending on who you believe, the origins of the Baja-style fish taco will take you two places. Fans of entrepreneurial success stories will favor the narrative popularized by San Diego restaurant mogul Ralph Rubio, who ...

Layers in La Mesa

Sarah York wore one of this springs biggest trends, an animal inspired t-shirts. The 20-year old marketing major lists her military jacket among her favorite wardrobe items. She wore Steve Madden Troopa boots in cognac ...

Apartments unwelcome

La Mesa’s plot for vacant lots

"People in apartments aren’t stable; they don’t become part of the community,” grouses G.W., who lives in La Mesa near Mt. Helix. She fears that her tony neighborhood will take a turn for the worse ...

How hard is it to get rid of a rabbit?

Author Dave Good writes about the rabbit he found (and now owns) and the San Diego bunny scene.

And so it goes.

This book is not a homophobic diatribe!

A writer for Out blog is amazed that readers misinterpreted the literary device she used in her book

Hoffer's Cigar Bar

Hoffer’s Cigar Bar in La Mesa is easy to miss, but that’s what locals like about it.

Street Style: Mini Hipsters

Stylish kids in La Mesa

When I was a kid, kids dressed like kids. We wore pastels, itchy sweaters, and Sesame Street themed overalls. In recent years toddlers have begun dressing like tiny adults. It’s not unusual to see 3-year-olds ...

Horn-free high school

B Side Players trombonist/Helix High associate music director Michael Benge tries to land Poncho Sanchez to do show with his students, but parents don’t want to enter into contract.

La Mesa organizers plan early for Oktoberfest

Merchants, teens, and stink bombs discussed

La Mesa's 2013 Oktoberfest will remain a one-weekend event, but organizers want to eliminate carnival rides and stink bombs, according to statements made at last week’s La Mesa City Council meeting. The Oktoberfest, sponsored by ...

La Mesa police chief Ed Aceves delivers crime report

Increase in property crimes; 249 burglaries in 2012

Two homicides were among the 226 violent crimes committed in La Mesa during 2012, according to the quarterly crime report that police chief Ed Aceves gave at the February 12 La Mesa City Council meeting. ...

Skyline Church

God is the God of nations as well

Interview with pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in La Mesa.

Preservationists speak up at La Mesa town hall meeting

Spring House and old façades discussed

At a La Mesa town hall meeting last week (January 17), two residents urged the council to preserve the Spring House in Collier Park. The park on Palm Avenue was named for David Charles Collier, ...

La Mesa residents seek to stifle 7-Eleven

Booze rules and limited hours discussed

At a January 17 town-hall meeting in La Mesa, Ted Crisostomo, Neighborhood Watch captain for the Dalhart Avenue and Dallas Street area, objected to the possible opening of a 24-hour 7-Eleven near the Big Lots! ...

Lake Murray Kiowa

A walk at an important lake where waterfowl are plentiful.

Tenant alerted to La Mesa house fire

Dog doesn’t make it

December 26 started out in a horrible and terrifying way. I was awake for less than ten minutes when someone started pounding on my door and screaming for me. It was a neighbor, telling me ...

Charcoal House

Charcoal House Restaurant in La Mesa offers the Wrinkle Room, full of cougars and saber-toothed tigers.

Billboard image of Bonnie Dumanis defaced

On December 3, drivers on Interstate 8 west saw an addition to the picture of district attorney Bonnie Dumanis on the 14-foot tall, 48-foot wide billboard near the El Cajon Boulevard exit. On the billboard ...

Median magician marvels motorists in La Mesa

Wearing a gray fedora and dressed in a white T-shirt, vest, shorts, and black shoes with bright white laces, Joe Spelton performed magic tricks at on Thursday, November 29, for a temporarily captive audience. The ...

Cow chip bingo?

Helix High School band directors get creative in the absence of funding, including mattress sales and cow-chip bingo.

La Mesa to Vote on Pot Shops; Council Reviews Crime Stats

A ballot item approved in a 4-1 vote at the November 13 La Mesa City Council meeting means voters will decide in November 2014 whether medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed in the city. Mayor ...

San Diego's Best Fried Chicken

The background photo on my brother’s iPod shows a plate of fried chicken and waffles from Roscoe’s up in Los Angeles. Before dining there, he had never enjoyed the two foods together, and he was ...

Ecleticism

Few years back, I was in a posh San Diego rehab battling wretched alcoholism. Every night, my fellow rehabbers and I would pack in the shiny white van, and head off to yet another AA ...

Man Threatens to Jump onto I-8

On the afternoon of September 19, at about 4:15, a man who appeared to be in his 20s climbed onto a Caltrans signage platform above the I-8 on Lake Murray Boulevard. Police performed a traffic ...

The Go Lounge

Leopard-print pool table and a temporarily dismembered mannequin at the Go Lounge in La Mesa, a part of the dive-bar scene.

The Dragon Room at Wong's Golden Palace

The Wong Cup at the right price.

You’ve probably seen Wong’s neon towers glowing along the University Avenue corridor through La Mesa. You probably mistook the place for a drug front or maybe the entrance to a theme park. The truth is ...

Happy Birthday, La Mesa...What’s Wrong?

A century after 249 East County residents voted on February 7, 1912, in favor of incorporating as the City of La Mesa, more than 150 people turned out two days ago for a town-hall meeting ...

San Diego Christian Reformed Church

Membership: 65 Affiliation: Christian Reformed Church Interim Pastor: Adam Stout Age: 32 Born: Davenport, Iowa Formation: One year of Yucatán, Mexico, mission work; Calvin College and Calvin Theology Seminary, Grand Rapids, Mich. (2010). San Diego ...

The Christmas Tool

I was up early today watching for Santa Claus/The U.S. Postal Service. I have never been threatened by, or treated poorly by, a member of the United States Postal Service. I have however been accused ...

The Chico Club’s Buccaneer

According to the bartenders at the Chico, no one knows who developed the Buccaneer. Perhaps it was previous owners or the original owners, who opened the bar in 1940 and named it after the oldest ...

Vista La Mesa Christian Church

Membership: 135 Pastor (interim): Marianna Kirwan Age: 70 Born: Chicago, Illinois Formation: Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley; Claremont School of Theology, Claremont Years Ordained: 32 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your ...

Journey Community Church

Attendance: 2400 Pastor: Ed Noble Age: 52 Born: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Formation: California State University, Long Beach; Biola College (University), La Mirada; Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada Years Ordained: 24 San Diego Reader: How ...