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La Mesa News & Stories

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 ...

La Mesa HOLLER

Holler about this neighborhood in the comment section below. Share anything and everything about La Mesa: compliments, critiques, lost-n-found items, recommendations, neighborhood crime watch, you name it!

Comments

Liz Swain March 12, 2013 @ 8:24 p.m.

Birthday Dinners: Celebrating birthdays with a restaurant dinner is a tradition in my family. We frequently dined in La Mesa and have done it for so long that my now-adult nephew Dustin remembers stepping on the scale at Claim Jumper because the restaurant charged a per-pound price for children's meals. "Some of the meals weighed as much as you did," said his dad, Chip, a reference to the generous Claim Jumper servings. My brother Rich remembered a fruit bowl. "There were apples for all," he said. Dustin recalled, "You’d get rootbeer barrels [candy] when you left." Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour also stood out for Dustin for "it's atmosphere. It was kid-friendly, lively. Their meals were kid-friendly, too," he said. His brother Jeremy found the Farrell's experience "traumatic" because of noise that included siren sounds. Chip pointed out that they ate at the Farrell's in Mira Mesa. He remembered the now-closed Farrell's on Jackson Dive. So did Adam, a friend of the nephews who is in his early 30s. He was "under 10" when he went to Farrell's. "There were lots of big parties with big buckets of ice cream," he said. That led me to remember that the menu included the Mount Helix, a huge tower of ice cream. This was a shared dessert, not a single serving. My nephew Kyle wasn't sure what he'd recall. "I jumped in our car, and [then] we're at a restaurant," he said. I remember much about one birthday dinner. Kyle turned 6 on October 3, 1995, a date you may recognize. He wore a crown when we went to Sally's, a family-style restaurant on El Cajon Boulevard. We sat in a back room that I called the "private dining room" because we had it all to ourselves. Dustin thought Kyle's crown came from Burger King. "You got a crown with the kids meals," he said.Kyle and Barbara confirmed what I remembered. Kyle was crowned at school, which was how his teacher honored birthday students. I told Kyle the significance of his 1995 birthday. Inside the private dining room and in many other rooms, people discussed something announced that morning: The O.J. Simpson verdict ( http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/index/nns053.htm). "I was alive for that?" Kyle asked.Although he was too young to remember the "Trial of the Century," Kyle recalled the special treatment received during birthday dinners. "I remember people doing cool stuff. They'd bring a huge sundae, and they call me the 'birthday boy' [throughout the meal.] If anything, they went the extra mile," he said. Where in La Mesa do you celebrate your birthday? What are your memories of dining out in La Mesa?

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LBJO March 15, 2013 @ 5:34 p.m.

Perhaps the easiest way to be able to celebrate your birthday to the fullest is to sign up for any and all email clubs that restaurants offer. If you wish, set up a special email account for this and all commercial offers. This keeps them neatly organized and at your fingertips, yet away from private emails that may need more urgent attention.

Another hint: many establishments offer a welcome gift and other offers, so if more than one in your group or family dine together, don't all sign up at once, stagger it, so that you can spread out the good stuff.

When your birthday rolls around, search "birthday" in your mail and then print out the coupons. Some places even take a bar code on your phone, but be sure to verify this. Take the coupons and place in order of expiration dates, then invite your friends to share in the fun and have them do the same. After a meal, desserts are usually big enough to share, anyway!

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Liz Swain March 15, 2013 @ 6:44 p.m.

LBJO: Thanks for the awesome tips! I only know about the free pie at Coco's, but I didn't know about welcome gifts. It will be fun signing up at area restaurants and seeing what arrives in my e-mail. Much of my family lives in San Diego county and there's a birthday almost every month, so that's a great idea to spread out the sign-ups. I also like your idea of a separate e-mail address for commercial offers. Then they don't get lost in the other e-mails.

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Liz Swain March 13, 2013 @ 12:20 p.m.

Entertaining Pets: I read that windows are to cats what TV is to people: a form of entertainment. One of my cat Portia's favorite window programs is "Edco Truck." Cats have a much better sense of hearing than people do, so Portia knows that the garbage truck is coming before it turns onto our street. She runs to the sliding glass door and stares transfixed as the truck stops at one house and then another. She watches in fascination as barrels are picked up and dumped. When the driver turns right into an apartment parking lot, she waits patiently. She knows the show doesn't end until the truck returns to the street and enters our lot. What entertains your pet? My sister Barbara's family had a white cockatiel named Pancho who sang and danced to music on the radio. He moved up and down, whistled, and really rocked to KGB. Is there part of a walk at Lake Murray that delights your dog, or does Fido just enjoy sitting with you in the patio of a restaurant like the Lake Murray Café?

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LBJO March 14, 2013 @ 8:24 p.m.

Actually, my cat does love her window. She watches birds, bugs, (especially dragonflies), wild rabbits, and fox squirrels. She has her special kitty condo for viewing at exactly the appropriate height. She does love her TV though, but seems to prefer game shows, and one in particular. Can you name it from the picture?

http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/mar/14/41942/

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Liz Swain March 15, 2013 @ 8:39 a.m.

LBJO: That picture is adorable! What's your cat's name? Her posture is exactly like Portia's when the Edco Truck in the neighborhood. Portia also watches birds. The crows are the most noticeable ones because they're so noisy. Last week, about five of them put on a very entertaining air show. I hope to get a picture of it. As for your question, I don't recognize the game show, but there's a very colorful background. Does anyone reading this post know what game show this is?

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Liz Swain March 23, 2013 @ 9:12 a.m.

Missing Socks Located: One purpose of the Holler page is to post information about lost and found items. Here's a photo of some items that people found at Lake Murray and left at the bulletin board near the ½-mile marker. Look between the notices and you'll see finds that include pink socks and a pink pacifier.

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Liz Swain March 23, 2013 @ 6:59 p.m.

Kuhlken Field and Mysteries? When I saw that adult softball is played at Kuhlken Baseball Field, I wondered whether the park has a connection to Ken Kuhlken, the La Mesa mystery author whose books provide a look at San Diego County of years ago. One of my favorites is The Venus Deal, which is set during World War II. I e-mailed Ken to ask him the solution to the mystery of how Kuhlken Field got its name. Stay tuned for the answer.

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Liz Swain March 24, 2013 @ 2:31 p.m.

City Council TV: Want to see government in action, but your day was so busy that you just want to collapse on the couch? Turn on the TV for coverage of the La Mesa City Council meetings held at La Mesa City Hall, 8130 Allison Ave. You can watch the council meetings on Cox Cable channel 24 within La Mesa city limits and on AT&T U-verse channel 99 within the San Diego region. The council meets at 4 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month and 6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday. There are hearings at 7 p.m. both days. Here's the link for the March 26 council agenda: http://www.cityoflamesa.com/archives/30/CCAgnMarch26_2013.pdf.

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Liz Swain March 24, 2013 @ 2:33 p.m.

Nixle Notification: Do you know about Nixle? It's one of the methods used by the City of La Mesa to inform people about criminal activity, general emergencies, and activities like road closures. You sign up at https://local.nixle.com/city-of-la-mesa and receive e-mail and/or mobile messages. Here's a message issued at 10:17 p.m. on November 21, 2012. That was the extremely cold night before Thanksgiving, and I received this message concerning a north La Mesa pursuit about the same time I heard the helicopter: "La Mesa Police and the Sheriffs Helicopter are in the area of Melody and Kiowa looking for a burglary suspect. Suspect is a White Male, 5'11, Spiky brown hair, tattoos on arms and chest, shirtless, and wearing just 1 shoe. He is armed with a knife. Please stay clear of the area."

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Liz Swain March 25, 2013 @ 7:57 p.m.

Walking Art Trail: Combine exercise and culture by traveling on La Mesa's Walking Art Trail. The approximately two-mile route through the downtown village takes pedestrians past utility boxes transformed by local artists into works of art. The trail brochure (http://www.cityoflamesa.com/DocumentView.aspx?DID=638) also highlights additional public art and local attractions.

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa March 26, 2013 @ 4 p.m.

Nursery Gets Whacked!

It's finally happened. The old nursery, tucked on a L-Shaped 10-acres or so between Garfield and Highway 125, is being leveled.

All the trees you see on the screen shot below have been cut down and cleared. There's nothing there now but three-foot stumps. It looks like World War I Europe. It's a shame. Among those whacked trees were near-100-foot eucalyptuses and lovely ornamentals. Couldn't some of them have been saved, developers?

The area has long served as a fort-building, hide-and-seek playing, and airsoft-shooting ground for the neighborhood youth. Those days are over. Shame.

I guess the long rumored 32-house development is coming at last.

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EdwardH March 26, 2013 @ 4:28 p.m.

Were the local youth building forts, um, trespassing?

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa March 26, 2013 @ 4:50 p.m.

Yes, trespassing in the grand American tradition of playing in the local vacant lot. Harmless stuff, homey stuff really.

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Liz Swain March 26, 2013 @ 5:49 p.m.

Joaquin, thanks for posting this news. That's sad on so many levels including the loss of the trees, the ornaments, and an open space where kids played outdoors.

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jamieduey April 28, 2013 @ 5:11 p.m.

It is a SHAME that the nursery is gone. Unfortunately more housing is going in. It's not like La Mesa isn't crowed enough. I have lived here my entire life and La Mesa no longer has that quaint, safe and comfortable feeling. The fact that they removed all of the vegetation from that area is so unnecessary. I can remember driving down that L - shaped street and buying fresh eggs from a little house on the honor system. Those days are long gone.

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Matthew Lickona March 26, 2013 @ 10:34 p.m.

There is a house on my street ( Mariposa) which has been vacant for several years. It is tucked away and a bit over grown. I noticed while walking the other day that the front door is now missing. I got my courage up and peeked in the front door. There was trash and broken glass everywhere. It looked like a small fire had been set on the floor.

It weird because this is a nice neighborhood. The house across the street just went up for sale $479,000. Maybe there are vagrants using it? Does anyone have advice on what could be done about this?

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa March 26, 2013 @ 9:35 p.m.

Bizarre that this would be the case in a neighborhood with that kind of property value. Have you contacted La Mesa PD?

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Liz Swain March 26, 2013 @ 10:11 p.m.

Hi Matthew, Thanks for posting. I really enjoy your Reader movie reviews. My first thought is to call the police non-emergency number (619-667-1400) because the door is missing and there is damage inside the house. If the issue was only the exterior of the house and yard, and the house still had a door, I’d recommend contacting Code Compliance. When I attended a city council meeting earlier this year, I listened to a report about code enforcement in relation to deteriorating houses. Here's the link for Code Compliance:http://www.cityoflamesa.com/index.aspx?nid=468 Here's some of what it says there: "To report a zoning code violation in your neighborhood, please submit the Zoning Complaint Form to the address below or file a Zoning Compliance Request online at Report a Problem. For tips on Residential Code Compliance, please refer to the checklist."

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa March 27, 2013 @ 11:59 a.m.

Call the police, or the fire department. That's a hazard. Or an attractive nuisance.

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Liz Swain March 26, 2013 @ 10:38 p.m.

Taste of La Mesa: Tickets are now on sale for the Taste of La Mesa that's scheduled for Monday, June 10, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive. General admission is from 6 to 8 p.m., and tickets are $35 in advance. VIPs get in at 5 p.m., and advance tickets are $60. Participating restaurants include Brigantine Restaurant of La Mesa, Casa De Pico, Edible Arrangements, Gingham, and Himalayan Cuisine. For more info, call the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce: 619-465-7700.

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa March 27, 2013 @ 11:57 a.m.

$35 seems high for a taste of La Mesa. we're not exactly a culinary wonderland.

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Liz Swain March 27, 2013 @ 10:40 p.m.

That's funny! Your comment has me wondering what restaurants or types of food do people think that La Mesa needs to become a culinary wonderland? Are there any places that you think get us close to wonderland status?

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa March 27, 2013 @ noon

contradiction here? "General admission is from 6 to 8 p.m., and tickets are $35 in advance. VIPs get in at 5 p.m., and advance tickets are $60."

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Liz Swain March 28, 2013 @ 5:55 p.m.

Another La Mesa Discovery: I learned that Ken Kramer is a La Mesa resident, according to an interview in the La Mesa Courier. His program now called "Ken Kramer's About San Diego" is on KPBS and available for mobile viewing with a free PBS app. http://kenkramertv.com/ . It's an entertaining way to learn about the many stories about San Diego County.

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srsuave March 29, 2013 @ 5:35 p.m.

Great show. I'm so glad to read that it is available to watch online. I used to watch the show when I went over to my parents' house for Sunday Dinner. I also got to meet Ken at the San Diego County Fair.

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Liz Swain March 29, 2013 @ 8:51 p.m.

Thanks for posting, srsuave. How cool that you got to meet Ken. Check out his website and be sure to click on http://mybestpost.com, which he claims that has been 'continuously published on the world wide web since 1913.' Funny!

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Liz Swain March 28, 2013 @ 6:01 p.m.

Secret Stairs: I found out about the city's public stairs from Ken Kramer's "About San Diego" TV program,. I learned more about the three sets of secret stairs on the City website: http://www.cityoflamesa.com/index.aspx?NID=298 The 245 steps at the intersection of Windsor Drive and Canterbury Drive lead to the top of Summit Drive. When you reach the 245th step at Summit Drive, "you're on one of La Mesa's highest knolls, elevation 830 feet," according to the website. That route includes two cross streets. Go about 100 yards to the descending stairway; 184 steps on the down stairway takes you to Beverly Drive. The third stairway is on Fairview Drive near Alta Lane. As you see in the picture, it's nicely shaded as you climb 44 steps. You then cross Pasadena Avenue and climb up 16 steps and take a paved path to Vista Drive. "It’s only 60 steps total, but with the steep pathway it’s a good workout nonetheless!," according to the website. Be sure to look for the green "Caution Stairs" sign. Otherwise, you might be climbing up to someone's house.

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Liz Swain March 28, 2013 @ 6:10 p.m.

Name That Park: Can you identify the La Mesa park with the car-themed playground? The Mustang is a hint about the donors. If no one gets the answer, I'll give another clue on Saturday.

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Liz Swain April 1, 2013 @ 3:40 p.m.

Green Tip of the Day: Where do you go to recycle batteries? I discovered two Edco containers for old batteries near the water fountains at the La Mesa Library. Another reason to visit the branch library located at 8074 Allison Avenue.

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Liz Swain April 3, 2013 @ 9:49 a.m.

Get Involved in Government: The City of La Mesa is accepting applications for volunteers to serve on the following panels: Aging and Veterans Commission, Community Services Commission, Design Review Board, Environmental Sustainability Commission, Human Relations Advisory Commission, La Mesa Community Parking Commission, Loan Committee for Real Estate Rehabilitation, Planning Commission, Traffic Commission, and Youth Advisory Commission. Applicants must live in La Mesa. For applications and info about requirements and meeting times, go to http://www.cityoflamesa.com or call the city clerk' office: 667-1120.

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa April 4, 2013 @ 12:30 p.m.

They want to build apartments on those two lots at Bancroft and Lemon, next to the 125 freeway. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

Between that and the nursery project a few blocks away, the already busy lemon ave corridor is going to be nuts.

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Lissa P April 4, 2013 @ 12:39 p.m.

Where is the nursery going to be? Nursery for plants or children?

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa April 4, 2013 @ 1:18 p.m.

No, it's an old plant nursery on Highfield Ave between the 125 FWY and Garfield Avenue. It's been plowed under to build a Temecula-style, pack-em-in housing tract. I heard it was going to be as many as 32 houses. The neighborhood is not happy about it.

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa April 4, 2013 @ 1:22 p.m.

A screen shot of the two plots of land. I thought they were state-owned, left over from the freeway project. Apparently not. (see story in the link above). The hardly seem big enough for stores and apartments.

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Liz Swain April 4, 2013 @ 2:13 p.m.

Joaquin, thanks for the update. Last week, I went to an Allied Gardens meeting http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20... and a speaker pointed out that there was talk during the 1980s about developing Cowles Mountain (then called S Mountain). Now when I drive by, I'm so happy that it got preserved as part of Mission Trails Regional Park.

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa April 10, 2013 @ 11:18 a.m.

Dear Person Riding Your Incredibly Loud Motorcycle up and Down Johnson Ave,

Please stop.

Your neighbor,

Joaquin

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa April 11, 2013 @ 1:04 p.m.

"The City of La Mesa is hereby notifying affected property owners of a proposed two-year sewer rate adjust which will be IMPOSED upon all parcels..." Hooray! Higher bills! Thanks, La Mesa.

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Siobhan Braun April 12, 2013 @ 10:08 a.m.

Local Auto Mechanic Can anyone recommend a good mechanic in La Mesa?

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Liz Swain April 12, 2013 @ 5:03 p.m.

Siobhan: I am very happy to recommend La Mesa Motor Clinic, 5120 Guild St. (463-7773). Owner Jim Arnett has worked on the Swain family's cars for years, and I've been a customer since the early '90s. He's honest, and his prices are reasonable. After going to mechanics who tried to scare me into spending a lot of money for things I wasn't even sure were part of my car, it's so refreshing to go to Jim. He'll tell me that in the future I'll need to have something worked on, explain what that work involves and give a time estimate like "in a couple months, you'll need…" Jim is so well-regarded that when he's referred me to other La Mesa car-related businesses, I received an FOJ (Friend of Jim) discount. Good luck with your vehicle!

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Liz Swain April 16, 2013 @ 8:47 p.m.

Coins for Parks: Sometimes it's nice to stop and read the signs. I've walked past the Grossmont Center fountains numerous times, but I only recently discovered that all coins tossed into the fountains in the Macy's courtyard are donated to the La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation. For more info about the foundation, go to: http://www.cityoflamesa.com/index.aspx?nid=411.

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Liz Swain April 24, 2013 @ 3:09 p.m.

Police ticket "at least" 86 speeders: The La Mesa Police Department ticketed "at least" 86 speeding drivers during the fifth “Traffic Safety Enforcement Program” held on April 19. Those ticketed last Friday included a driver "caught and cited for speeding twice in the same day on the same stretch of road," according to a police department news release. In addition, a motorcyclist was arrested for reckless driving and charged with doing 63 mph in a 25-mph school zone. Funding for the program came from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And "efforts will continue throughout the year and as long as it takes to get the message out to not speed in the City of La Mesa."

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa April 30, 2013 @ 11:56 a.m.

Early bird has to wait

Showed some initiative and got the family car in to Valvoline (Baltimore and El Cajon) for an overdue oil change this morning at 7:30.

Found out they don't open till 8:00. Ugh.

By the way, anybody have a favorite oil change joint in La Mesa? I'm tired of the upsell routine at Valvoline, and at the Lake Murray Jiffy Lube

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Liz Swain April 30, 2013 @ 3:13 p.m.

Joaquin: I get oil changes at I La Mesa Motor Clinic (5120 Guild St.) for reasons described in my April 12 response to Siobhan. In a related topic, I hope people post about fundraising car washes. My car gets dirty (lots of trees and birds near where I live) so it would be nice to have car-cleaning money go for a good cause.

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Liz Swain May 18, 2013 @ 8:42 a.m.

City Council Raises Sewer-Service Rates: Here's a link to my Reader story about the May 14 hearing: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

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Liz Swain May 25, 2013 @ 8:27 p.m.

Disoriented Duck: I guess this bird thought that Lake Murray was too crowded. She settled into a nearby pool and swam quietly until she saw a cat watching her. Then the duck started quacking so loudly that she was probably heard as far away as Lake Hodges. This photo shows her quacking.

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Liz Swain May 27, 2013 @ 10:28 a.m.

May 30 Community Forum Focuses on Downtown Village Plan: What do you want to see downtown? What don't you want in the village? The City is seeking public input on updates to the Downtown Village Specific Plan, a document that guides future growth and development. Share your views at the community workshop scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive.

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Liz Swain June 19, 2013 @ 1:32 p.m.

Quarterly Property Crime Report: Last month, I wrote about Police Chief Ed Aceves' report to the City Council about crimes committed during the first quarter of this year. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20... My story included the chief's comparison between the first three months of this year and the first quarter of last year. It did not include specifics about property crimes. Thanks to Erin Jones, LMPD crime prevention specialist, for providing this information: Property crimes included 39 auto thefts committed during the first quarter of 2013 and 49 during the first three months of last year. There were 54 residential burglaries during the first quarter of this year, and 61 in 2012. The number of commercial burglaries rose from 26 in 2012 to 29 this year. Thefts rose from 255 crimes in 2012 to 347 incidents this year, a 36% increase related to factors like people leaving valuables in their cars or leaving vehicles unlocked. Aceves said at the council meeting that the police department has a new motto: "Hide it, Lock it, Lock it, or Lose It. " The police chief added, "Ideally, get your stuff; take it in the house."

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Liz Swain June 28, 2013 @ 9:23 a.m.

Cool Zones: Since the temperature continues to rise, you may be interested in knowing about the Cool Zones in and around La Mesa. Places to keep cool include the La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center, the Christian Science Reading Room on La Mesa Boulevard, libraries, and Parkway Plaza in El Cajon. Here's some info about locations and hours that I found on the City's website site: http://ca-lamesa2.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/996

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lmcc July 3, 2013 @ 10:55 a.m.

BUSINESSES SCAM ALERT: There is a person posing as a man named "Michael" calling local service-related businesses (like restaurants, coffee shops, etc.) and telling them his wife got her clothes dirty in their establishment and would they pay the bill to have the clothes cleaned? If the business says "yes", he goes to the business with a dry cleaning bill of $45. Please be aware of this scam and report any conversation with this man to the La Mesa Police Department at 619-667-1400.

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Liz Swain July 8, 2013 @ 7:25 p.m.

La Mesa Police Department Activity: Officers made several arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, according to the LMPD bulletin for the week of July 1-7. During the week, police responded to 1,299 calls for service. The total included 606 calls to 911. Officers made 30 arrests and issued 72 citations.

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Liz Swain July 16, 2013 @ 8:21 p.m.

Catalytic Converter Thefts: During the past month, the La Mesa Police Department received several reports of catalytic converter thefts occurring within the city. Here's the info from the LMPD weekly bulletin: "A catalytic converter is part of a vehicle's exhaust system and contains small amounts of precious metal. Thieves remove the part by crawling under high-profile vehicles and cutting off or removing the bolts. The catalytic converter is later recycled for cash. "In La Mesa, thieves are predominantly targeting 1990s Toyota pick-ups, Tacomas, and 4Runners. Thefts are occurring overnight when the vehicles are parked in driveways and on the street. To prevent catalytic converter thefts, park in a secured garage whenever possible. If you must park outside, ensure lighting is sufficient to illuminate your vehicle. Have your license plate number engraved on the part to aid in identification. A mechanic can also weld additional metal to the converter, attaching it to the vehicle, and making it more difficult for thieves to remove it. If you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood such as someone crawling or peering under parked cars, call the La Mesa Police immediately at 667-1400. For crimes in progress, call 911."

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Liz Swain July 22, 2013 @ 6:55 p.m.

Thieves Took Phones From Two Pedestrians: Thieves stole cell phone from two pedestrians who were talking as they walked at 5500 Grossmont Center Drive on July 19. According to the La Mesa Police Department weekly bulletin, officers responded to a report of the thefts at 5:27 p.m. Officers searched the area, arrested two juvenile suspects, and booked them into juvenile hall. LMPD advised people to be aware when making cell phone calls in public. "Remain aware of your surroundings. Keep calls short. When not in use, keep your phone secured in a pocket or purse. Refrain from loaning your cell phone to strangers. If you are a victim of a crime, report it to the La Mesa Police immediately," the bulletin advised.

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jnojr July 25, 2013 @ 1:01 p.m.

I'd rather see CCW issuance reform in California. Stop the "big county" Sheriffs from reserving the ability for self-defense to themselves, their family and friends, and their campaign contributors. Let average, law-abiding people defend themselves like ALMOST EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE NATION! For crying out loud, Illinois (including Chicago) is soon to be shall-issue! Why are the lives of San Diegans any less valuable than any other American?

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Liz Swain July 31, 2013 @ 10:06 p.m.

Weekly Police Report: La Mesa police responded to 1,245 calls for service during the week of July 22-29. According to the La Mesa Police Department weekly bulletin, these include 592 calls to 911 and 383 officer-initiated calls. Police made 42 arrests and issued 113 citations during the week.

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Liz Swain Aug. 5, 2013 @ 8:07 p.m.

Weekly Police Report: The La Mesa PD bulletin for the week of July 29 through Aug. 4 includes a case highlight and some cautionary advice. The case: an attempted residential burglary that occurred between 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 3 and 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 4. The resident reported that an unknown suspect attempted to gain entry into the home by removing a window screen. However, the window was locked and "there is no suspect description at this time," according to the bulletin. The notice continued, "Preventing residential burglaries can be as simple as remembering to close and lock windows and doors before leaving the house and before bed. Report suspicious persons and behavior by calling the police department’s 24-hour, non-emergency line: 667-1400. For incidents in progress that threaten life or property, dial 911. Suspicious activities include persons peering over fences or into windows, persons with seemingly no purpose walking through the neighborhood, or a person going door-to-door either asking strange questions or claiming to sell a product but [has] no solicitor’s license." During the week, police responded to 1,196 calls for service. There were 599 calls to 911 and 298 officer-initiated calls. Police made 43 arrested and issued 79 citations.

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23skidoo Aug. 8, 2013 @ 7:43 p.m.

Down from my home in (dare I say) Los Angeles, I visited my childhood neighborhood this morning off the 8 and up the Severin-Fuerte offramp. This little enclave on top and on the side of a large hill between Severin and Murray Drives was an enchanting place to move into back in '69 a few weeks before that family had its way on Cielo and Waverly Drives up north. It always seemed so quiet and somewhat rustic. Having a sleep disorder as a kid, I recall packs of coyotes and an occasional fox in the wee hours running down the street in front of the family's large ranch style home on Hilmer Drive. And it was both funny and special that we had our own Anthony's Fish Grotto right around the corner from us. There were unique places to visit nearby like Mt. Helix and the like. And Grossmont Center was always a wonder to shop at in the days before corporations like Target and Walmart put their stamps on things. Grossmont High was a quarter-of-a-mile-long walk from my front door, and that's seemingly all I can remember about that phase of my schooling: walking to and from it. This was all, of course, before the trolley came in and kind of took away from the isolated charm of the "Jewel of the Hills." Well, if you want to see another kind of jewel, visit my beloved neighborhood of yore. If you hit Amaya, you've gone too far.

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Liz Swain Aug. 13, 2013 @ 9:41 p.m.

Thanks for the beautiful word picture of your old neighborhood. I'll have to go see it. I remember family drives when I was younger and looking for the white swan swimming at Anthony's. I was also fascinated by the Grossmont High School building visible from I-8. I pictured Nancy Drew and her friends exploring it to solve a mystery. I still think it's a cool-looking building.

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Liz Swain Aug. 19, 2013 @ 11:53 a.m.

Stolen Car Stats: During January through June of this year, 98 vehicles were reported stolen to the La Mesa Police, according to the weekly LMPD bulletin. This figure is down 1% compared to the first six months of 2012 when 99 vehicle thefts were reported. During the first six months of 2013, 73% of stolen vehicles were recovered by the end of June. Half of the thefts (50%) of thefts occurred in a parking lot (including residential lots), 29% occurred on the street, and 15 percent occurred in a driveway. The top three stolen vehicles by make were: Honda (29%), Toyota (10%), and Ford (8%).

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Liz Swain Aug. 22, 2013 @ 12:42 p.m.

Sewer Root-Foaming Project: Work is scheduled to start today on the City of La Mesa project to minimize root intrusion in the underground sewer system. Roots can enter the sewer through joints in older sewer pipes. The City hired a contractor, Pacific Sewer Maintenance Corporation, to do the root-foaming work. The work is expected to last 30 to 45 days, and a City news release said there should be no disruptions to sewer services. For info, call 667-1450.

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Liz Swain Sept. 4, 2013 @ 10:41 p.m.

Weekly LMPD Bulletin: On the evening of Friday, Aug. 30, the La Mesa Police Department’s Traffic Unit placed extra officers on the streets to educate pedestrians and drivers about the dangers of not adhering to the rules of the road. Officers focused on violations considered to be hazardous, and were committed by both pedestrians and drivers. Fifty-two citations were issued to pedestrians and drivers. Officers gave citations for hazardous, accident-causing violations. Two bicyclists were cited, and one driver was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Liz Swain Sept. 6, 2013 @ 9:09 p.m.

Comment Early at the La Mesa City Council Meeting: Last month, the council voted to move the public comment portion of the meeting to an earlier position on the agenda. That change starts with the meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Public comments will be heard after the council discusses additions or deletions to the agenda. During the public comment, people can talk about any topic not on the agenda. However, the council won't be able to discuss or take action on those items. The council meeting starts at 4 p.m. Here's the link for the agenda: http://www.cityoflamesa.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/5996.

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Liz Swain Sept. 12, 2013 @ 3:36 p.m.

Weekly La Mesa Police Department Bulletin: During the week of Sept. 2-8, police responded to 1203 calls for service. Calls to 911 accounted for 702 of the total, and officers initiated 258 calls. Police made 45 arrests and issued 44 citations. The case highlighted in the bulletin involved the Sept. 6 theft of a cellphone at Starbucks, 5020 Baltimore Dr. At 2:45 p.m., the suspect ran up to the victim’s table located on the outside patio and stole the victim’s cell phone. The suspect then ran back to a car that was waiting on Baltimore and fled the area. For more info, go to http://www.cityoflamesa.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/5954

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Liz Swain Sept. 21, 2013 @ 11:31 a.m.

Win a prize by answering a question about La Mesa: OK, the prize is a Holler t-shirt, and you get one just for posting on Holler. However, the shirts are awesome, and even if you're wrong, you get a shirt.

1.Do you know the meaning of the images on La Mesa's city seal? Identity one or more, and then sign up for your t-shirt.

  1. Do you know where this image of the seal is displayed?

  2. Do you know anything about this piece, such as the artist?

None

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Liz Swain Sept. 24, 2013 @ 9:36 p.m.

Weekly La Mesa Police Bulletin: From Sept. 16 through Sept. 22, police responded to 1352 calls, according to the weekly LMPD bulletin. There were 658 calls to 911, and 368 calls were officer-initiated. Officers made 32 arrests and issued 79 citations. The bulletin also contained a caution about driving while texting or talking on the phone: "One study found that sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, creating a crash risk 23 times worse than not being distracted. It's the equivalent of driving blind at 55 mph for 100 yards." To read more, go to http://www.cityoflamesa.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/5956.

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Liz Swain Sept. 30, 2013 @ 8:25 p.m.

Weekly La Mesa Police Department Bulletin: From Sept. 23 through Sept. 29, police responded to 1302 calls for service. According to the bulletin, there were 606 calls to 911 and 381 calls were officer-initiated. The response time for Priority 1 calls was 5 minutes, 45 seconds. For non-urgent calls, response time was 18-41 minutes. Calls included a strong-arm robbery case highlighted in the bulletin. At 4:56 p.m. on Sept. 25, police responded to a call at the intersection of Campina and Severin drives. Two women suspects reportedly punched two women in their heads and then stole their cell phones. For more details, go to http://www.cityoflamesa.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/5957.

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Liz Swain Oct. 2, 2013 @ 1:15 p.m.

Downtown Parking: Last week, I paid 35 cents to park for 20 minutes and take photos of parking meters for a Reader story about how the City of La Mesa spends parking revenue: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20... In case you're wondering, a parking ticket in La Mesa costs $42.50, according to Chris Gonzales, community development program coordinator. However, the city receives less than half of that amount. The remainder goes to entities including state agencies.

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