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Stories by Liz Swain

San Carlos – nice two-story homes

The misbegotten children of San Carlos San Carlos in 1960 was a series of tract homes out in the boonies. There were plenty of hills, trails, and wilderness for a young boy to run wild. ...

Del Cerro – in the shadow of Adobe Falls

Adobe Falls lovers pin hopes on Sally Roush Frost spoke of a “battle against the internet,” which continues to draw people to the area. “As of this morning, there were 7132 Instagram pictures of Adobe ...

Allied Gardens – a fight for serenity

Superior Ready Mix dusts Allied Gardens “We sweep the streets three times a day, at 4:00 am, mid-day and then mid-afternoon. We paved the interior street that is the extension of Princess View several months ...

La Mesa: forget the antiques

On the afternoon of April 7, patrons lined up for the grand opening of Fourpenny House, a Scottish pub and restaurant. Over at Park Estate Company, antique shoppers browsed at the going-out-of-business sale. Restaurateur Peter ...

April 16, 2018
Madra Dog makes the Christmas scene

Last week on Madra Avenue, Madra Dog was decked out in a green and red cap, oversized sunglasses with red frames, and a large red bow. The 30-inch-tall rottweiler statue belongs to Janet Mika. Since ...

December 12, 2017
Life is Good in Ferret-Friendly La Mesa

Although the La Mesa City Council on September 26 rejected the appellation “Ferret-Friendly City” for their town, councilmembers agreed to write letters to support changing state law to allow ownership of domestic ferrets as pets. ...

September 29, 2017
Little Flower's nuns stymied by La Mesa city council

A La Mesa City Council 2-2 vote on August 8 stalled Silvergate Development’s plan to convert the now-closed Little Flower Haven Catholic retirement home at 8585 La Mesa Boulevard into the 130-unit Little Flower apartment ...

August 14, 2017
Adobe Falls lovers pin hopes on Sally Roush

Grease, bees, and dog walks are among the methods that Del Cerro residents have used to deter trespassers from going to Adobe Falls, according to the discussion during Eric Frost’s talk at the July 27 ...

Developers of Little Flower apartments tussle with La Mesa neighbors

The La Mesa Planning Commission on June 7 was scheduled to consider approving a special permit for Silvergate Development’s conversion of Little Flower Haven, a Catholic retirement home that closed in 2015, into a 130-unit ...

June 9, 2017
Whither La Mesa's old police station, the farmers market?

The La Mesa police station at 8085 University Avenue opened in 2012, and it’s been five years since the old station located at 8181 Allison Avenue was demolished. The sight of fencing and equipment on ...

May 18, 2017
Weird crimes so far this year in La Mesa

According to La Mesa police chief Walt Vasquez’s quarterly operations report for the first three months of 2017, the city’s one homicide was related to a 1996 incident where a man attacked his mother with ...

May 12, 2017
Move over burger place, coffee place coming in

When construction started in September 2016 in the Village Shopping Center parking lot east of the Jack in the Box, people were curious about what was coming to the center located at the northwest corner ...

March 18, 2017
Historic elderly home to become apartments

Little Flower Haven, the Catholic nonprofit home for the elderly located at 8585 La Mesa Boulevard, closed on June 30, 2015. The proposed plan for the 4.09-acre site is Little Flower Apartments, a 130-unit complex ...

March 6, 2017
La Mesa opens for pot business

Today (February 6), the City of La Mesa accepted applications — and a nonrefundable $1200 initial fee — from people seeking a conditional use permit to open a medical marijuana dispensary, cultivation business, or to ...

February 6, 2017
Tried taking Highway 94 east off the 125 south lately?

High-priority project at the 125/94 interchange never gets done.

January 18, 2017
New chapter on San Carlos Library expansion

While the architect and building size remain the same, the updated plan for the new 25,000-square-foot San Carlos branch library is now one story instead of two. The 8200-square-foot branch at 7265 Jackson Drive opened ...

December 20, 2016
Electrified fence for Adobe Falls — not happening

Adobe Falls is a class project for the 64 San Diego State University graduate students in professor Eric Frost’s Homeland Security 602 class. Students are working on solutions to issues that include trespassing on land ...

November 15, 2016
La Mesa council votes for...cooperation?

The La Mesa City Council on October 11 voted 3-1 to rescind the 2002 policy allowing one councilmember to place an item on the agenda. Instead, the signatures of two councilmembers will be needed to ...

October 18, 2016
Escondido, La Mesa, Coronado, National City demur on police oversight boards

The 2015–2016 San Diego County Grand Jury Report on Citizen Oversight Boards of Police Behavior issued on May 25 recommended that seven cities establish citizen review boards or consider establishing regional boards. Jurors suggested that ...

October 12, 2016
Phone use and beverages now allowed in library

Phone use and covered beverages are now allowed in the Central Library and the 35 branches in the City of San Diego system, according to the revised version of the San Diego Public Library “Rules ...

La Mesa's last skirmishes with illegal pot dispensaries?

La Mesa voters on November 8 will decide whether to approve a citizen-sponsored initiative to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, a proposal voters rejected in November 2014. Since then, the La Mesa City ...

August 15, 2016
Police review-board rundown

The Citizens Review Board measure on the November 8 ballot changes the name of San Diego’s Citizens’ Review Board on Police Practices to the Community Review Board on Police Practices. The measure requiring review of ...

August 12, 2016
Adobe Falls trespassers keep trespassing

Residents at the July 28 Del Cerro Action Council meeting voiced concern about people trespassing in their yards to go to Adobe Falls, which is in a canyon south of homes and north of westbound ...

La Mesa's Oktoberfest becomes different animal

The La Mesa City Council on June 28 voted unanimously to stage Oktoberfest, a rebranded three-day event that will start September 30 and be managed by EventWerks, LLC. EventWerks’ website shows Oktoberfests in Orange County, ...

July 4, 2016
La Mesa car show series gets the green light

The La Mesa City Council on May 24 gave the green light to sponsoring the City of La Mesa Classic Car Show on La Mesa Boulevard on eight Thursdays, starting July 7; the shows will ...

May 29, 2016
La Mesa's Legacy Park nearly done

People passing by the intersection of La Mesa Boulevard and Allison Avenue have seen a former traffic island transformed into a triangle now named Legacy Park. Eight mosaic-covered columns and a 450-pound bronze snail are ...

May 24, 2016
La Mesa dog-and-cat-friendlier than ever

When the fiscal year starts on July 1, La Mesa residents will see a decrease in some animal-related fees, a permit will be required for commercial haunted houses, and nonprofit groups and service clubs will ...

May 10, 2016
Everyone will be moving to La Mesa

A reader's request for a follow-up on my February 2015 story about vacant land on El Cajon Boulevard that La Mesa resident Linda Johnson labeled an "eyesore" produced information about that location and details about ...

April 22, 2016
Hand-dredged history

One sign of the dredging of Old Mission Dam in Mission Trails Regional Park is an approximately 435-cubic-yard mound of sediment in a Santee parking lot. Dredging started February 17, and the City of San ...

La Mesa mobilizes on trail plan

The La Mesa City Council on February 23 unanimously adopted a resolution approving the Urban Trails Mobility Action Plan, "a road map for expansion and improvements for urban trails." The plan created a 22.1-mile network ...

February 26, 2016
La Mesa council bans mobile dispensaries

The La Mesa City Council on December 8 unanimously approved the first reading of two ordinances banning medical marijuana cultivation, deliveries, and mobile dispensaries. One ordinance includes a misdemeanor penalty for dispensing and delivery. In ...

December 10, 2015
Developer's traffic study challenged

At a December 2 Del Cerro Action Council meeting, a representative of a real estate developer said traffic wouldn’t increase much after the construction of 26 homes on a 5.6-acre site off College Avenue. ColRich ...

December 4, 2015
Homelessness problems for those with homes

Homelessness was the subject of the November 24 Allied Gardens–Grantville Community Council town hall hosted by the council and the San Diego Police Department. Residents' questions were answered by three members of the SDPD’s Eastern ...

November 27, 2015
Giant, ugly storage facility okayed

The La Mesa City Council on October 27 voted 3-1 to reject resident Christina Martin's appeal of the planning commission's September 16 approval of a conditional-use permit for StorQuest La Mesa, a three-story self-storage facility. ...

November 2, 2015
Time to forget about Streetscape debacle

The La Mesa City Council on October 27 voted 3-0 to accept the donation of a two-faced, 220-pound, 12-foot-tall street clock. The timepiece, valued at about $8400, is a gift from the nonprofit La Mesa ...

October 30, 2015
La Mesans' gripes with group homes

La Mesa vice mayor Bill Baber on October 2 will vote in favor of a League of California Cities resolution "to preserve therapeutic environments for group homes and avoid impacts of concentration of alcohol and ...

September 29, 2015
English is the business at Conversation Café

Between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. on Thursdays, the San Carlos Library community room becomes the English Conversation Café, a program that gives nonnative speakers the opportunity to practice English. The program led ...

September 24, 2015
It's a parking lot and (one day) San Carlos library

The 22,000-square-foot lot at the intersection of Jackson and Golfcrest drives is not a park-and-ride, a parking lot for apartments on Golfcrest, or a place for Cowles Mountain hikers to park on weekends. The lot ...

September 14, 2015
Pot dispensary moves closer to approval

Navajo Community Planners, Inc., on September 9 voted 9-7 to recommend that the City of San Diego approve a conditional use permit for applicants Ron Miller and Nick Hosig to operate Grantville Greens, a 623-square-foot ...

September 11, 2015
End of the line for Carl's Jewelers

Health issues led the late Carl Goldberg to move his family from New York to San Carlos, where he opened Carl's Jewelers in 1978. His daughter Adele (Goldberg) Garland's health issues prompted a "Going Out ...

August 24, 2015
New La Mesa library? Eh.

Although the La Mesa branch library wasn't included in the study unanimously authorized by the La Mesa City Council on August 11, La Mesa Friends of the Library president John Schmitz implored the council to ...

August 14, 2015
Two Oktoberfest weekends possible for La Mesa

People who enjoy October celebrations featuring a beer garden and entertainment could have two weekends for celebrating in La Mesa. The La Mesa City Council on July 28 voted 4-1 to approve the La Mesa ...

More '60s homes in Del Cerro

Traffic was the primary concern of residents attending a July 23 presentation about a proposal to build 26 single-family homes on a 5.6-acre vacant site located south of the Del Cerro Boulevard/College Avenue intersection and ...

Park Station plans on hold

The decisions of South Baltimore, LLC, to put on hold its plan for Park Station at the Crossroads of La Mesa means there will be no hearing at the July 28 La Mesa City Council ...

July 25, 2015
SANDAG to consider design modifications to Alvarado Creek

Today the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) board will consider whether to approve the City of San Diego's application for a $400,000 Smart-Growth grant to be used for design modifications to Alvarado Creek north ...

July 24, 2015
In pursuit of calm in La Mesa

Three months after the La Mesa City Council voted to remove two traffic circles on Harbinson Avenue, lawmakers on July 14 unanimously approved a plan to slow traffic through an estimated $41,000 worth of traffic-calming ...

July 20, 2015
Theft a testament to soccer's popularity?

Between the evening of June 23 and the morning of June 24, a Crusaders banner and 70 signs for the youth-soccer organization were stolen, primarily from locations on Navajo Road in San Carlos and Waring ...

Telecoiled around the Lord

A new message greeted parishioners entering St. Dunstan Episcopal Church for the 8 a.m. service on June 28. A sign advised people to "Get in the Hearing Loop" by turning hearing aids and cochlear implants ...

Raise the deck, remove the heads

During the past year, the City of La Mesa's water-conservation efforts included removing 351 irrigation heads on Lake Murray Boulevard and Baltimore Drive medians and redirecting spray heads to trees on the medians, according to ...

June 25, 2015
Meanwhile, over at Canine Corners...

About four hours before the La Mesa City Council's May 26 discussion of a proposal to raise the number of dogs allowed in a home from two to four, people in Canine Corners dog park ...

May 29, 2015

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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