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June 2013 May 2013

On On the the Internet Internet at at

Volume Volume 33 –– Number Number 65

Taste of La Mesa Promises Pickleball Play in INSIDE Clearing the Way La Mesa Named THIS ISSUE THIS to Sate Your Appetite Collier Park forTree Fire City Prevention USA for 33rd Year Band of La Mesans Ed Ghost Tucker has the Surprise chops to go Santee all the way. East County destination provides Page 3 an ideal getaway for lake lovers. Page 6

An Operatic Past Historical View highlights the old La Mesa Opera House.  Page 5 Mind for Music Local music teacher Evans Kontopols inspires and challenges students to reach their potential. Chill Art Page 7 Crave Frozen Yogurt showcases local artists’ talent.  Page 9

Jewel of a Lady Take Your View Pick Historical introduces the It’s time to vote author who coined for your favorites La Mesa’s motto. around town! 12  Page 15 NEWS NEWS TIPS TIPS (619) (619) 697-2500 697-2500 x121 x124

ADVERTISE ADVERTISE WITH WITH US US (619) 697-2500 x140 (619) 697-2500 x140

By Genevieve A. Suzuki By Gina McGalliard Last year the Taste of La Mesa served up more than just Everyone’s heard of tennis, ings in Collier Park. a taste – attendees easily filled their bellies with the various By Jeremy Ogul La Mesa residents Justine paddleball, ping-pong and squash vendors’ samples and mini-dishes. This year the event promOne of the biggest fires in San Diego history began with a – but have you heard of pickleball? and Tim Frazee even serve as San ises to be all that and more, with at least as many vendors as spark near Camino Del Rio South, just east of Interstate 805, Pickleball, which has been Diego’s East County ambassawell as an opportunity to win an iPaddors minifor or the a VIZIO the last day of June 1985. It was already the hottest day of USA32-inch PickleballonAssosteadily gaining in popularity the year, and it only got hotter as winds blew the flames up a LCD HDTV at a free raffle. for several decades, is a game ciation. The couple learned about canyon wall covered with thick, dry brush. The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s 5th Annual Taste played indoors or outdoors on one- pickleball from Tim’s mother, a The of La Mesa willofbeaheld Junecourt 10 from 5 to professional 8 p.m. at thetennis La player. Normal Heights Fire burned 300 acres, destroying 76 former third the size tennis homes and damaging 56 Mesa theCommunity game was popular with perforated balls and light- Knowing others Center seniors, at 4975 Memo- and however, wary before it was put weight paddles. Invented in 1965 among out later in the day. The rialwas Dr. simply General aadmitwatered-down in Washington by Congressman it fire caused an estimated tees will of be other allowedracquet in at sports, Joel Pritchard and his friend Bill version $9 million in property 6 took p.m. them while almost VIP guests a year before Bell, the game was named after it damage. There were no tried an it out themselves. But will have extra hour Pritchard’s cocker spaniel, Pickles, they deaths, but the destrucchanged a trip to Tucson, to peruse theondifferent who had a habit of chasing stray that tion encouraged the city stations. balls. The first pickleball tourna- Ariz. “We werethe theremany for five days, Among ment was held in 1976, and in vendors are La Mesa mainstay Anthony’s Fish Grotto, which offered free chowder coupons to take new steps to last year with its shrimp prevent something like appetizer; contemporary venue Terra American Bistro; the Normal Heights Fire always creative Continental Catering; Sycuan Casino; the from happening ever Vine Cottage; Himalayan Cuisine with its delicious spices and again. tender chicken selections; and the always vibrant Casa De Pico One of the results of Mexican Restaurant. that fire was the weed and brush abatement Tickets are available at the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce program through the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. officePlayers at 8080 La Mesa Blvd. Ste. 212, San Winery interested in joining La Mesa's EastPasqual County group canat meet at By Genevieve A. Suzuki With fire season already underway in this year Southern 8364 La Mesa Blvd. orAvenue at Tickets may Collier Park on Palm Wednesday and Friday mornings until 11 a.m. California, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department reminding also be available at the door, but there will be a price increase For the 33rd year in a row, La Mesais earned the property owners of their obligations under local and state distinction of being a Tree City USA, an honor bestowed of $10 per ticket. 1984 the USA Pickleball Associa- and played four out of the five days upon the city by the Arbor See DayFire Foundation Prevention, for Pageits 4 General admission is $35 and VIP tickets are $50 each. tion was formed. By the '90s, pick- we were there. We were hooked commitment to effective urban forest management. leball was being played all around right away,” said Justine. “Because La Mesa achieved Tree City USA recognition by it’s a lot easier [when] you’re the country. meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board playing on one-third the size of a The game has earned a department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual commutennis court, and it’s a much more devoted following in La Mesa, nity forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, an Arbor easier game to play than tennis.” where players meet to battle it out The Mesa is 5 SeeLa Tree City Library USA, Page See Pickleball, Page 2 on Genevieve Wednesday and Friday mornBy A. Suzuki offering a Summer Reading technologically Libraries have a lot to overcome these more Club for patrons of all ages. gifted citizenry. days. In addition to facing a dwindling popuLa Mesa Journal Kids and adults only have to And the year’s only lation of old-fashioned book readers, the onceread or listen to four books popular institutions have had to contend with half over. to be eligible to win prizes, On June 15, from other more stimulating summer media, such such as gift cards, books and Darth Vader greets a.m. to 1 p.m., the as 3-D films and interactive e-readers. By Genevieve A.10Suzuki other prizes. Sign up online young Jedi at Star Nevertheless, libraries around the library is holding its for the club 1 at www. to believe, however, thisJune organized HOA Lillianof Palmer like the Warshard Day May 4. annualseems Authors & sweet country are fighting back, offering a variety president is a crooning, sensual diva in her neighbor next door as she walks her dog, programs for their local citizens and evolving Artists festival, where The Summer Reading other incarnation. Sparky, a scruffy adopted pound pooch she with the times by offering e-book versions of hopeful authors and artists can learn firstClubtakes starts Juneminutes 15 andin Andtoyet a few affectionately Palmer, a it takes hand“Sparkalicious.” from professionals what getit only bestsellers and classics. Forget libraries of calls runs through Aug. Palmer’s presence to realize what a force31. the svelte redhead, waves happily to her published. Attendees canfellow also purchase books, old, where strict librarians shushed patrons; Prizes become available lady is. A true entertainer, Palmer can vamp in her Baltimore Drive townhome meet artists and enjoy free refreshments. libraries are instead fast becomingresidents gathering 1 and canthebeWind picked like Vivian LeighJuly in Gone with one complex, politely inquiring about events in Heather La Mesa Library manager Pisaniplaces for community members to meet. up through Aug. 10, after minute, perform a scene from Hitchcock’s lives onlyKristl a friend would hopes theknow. Authors & Artists program is Fortunately for La Mesa, its their community are only avail-a Rebecca the next,which beforeprizes suddenly dropping Because she serves as as the the Star president as popular Wars event in which library has moved happily into the 21st century, able as supplies last. from an old Cheech & Chong film. ofWars her Day homeowners association, notandfunny customers made “Yodait’s ears” light line sabers even striking out with a recent Star Other La Mesa Library Palmer said it all started at the family surprising that she would be on a first-name (from pool noodles), ate themed refreshments, May 4, which attracted approximately 200 Lillian Palmer See Book It, Page 10 fans, and scheduling programs targeting basis with aat least half the neighborhood. It’sSee Library, Page 9 See Journal, Page 9

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La Mesans in the News attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to study engineering in fall.

GHS Student Video Wins Top Award

Grossmont High School freshman Kelley Sheahan is a grand prize winner for an original video she produced for the “World of 7 Billion” student video Kelley Sheahan contest, sponsored by Population Connection, the largest grassroots population organization in the United States. Population Connection advocates for universal access to voluntary family planning programs to help expand women’s rights, ensure social justice and protect natural resources. Sheahan’s video, Origami Wildlife, which uses origami to show how human population growth crowds out wildlife habitat and contributes to the loss of biodiversity, was chosen from among 567 submissions created by high school students in 37 states, 18 countries and American Samoa. She won $1,000 and has her video featured on the “World of 7 Billion” website. Sheahan won the grand prize in the “Wildlife Habitat” category. Two other categories included “Global Status of Women and Girls” and “Food Security.”   She said she chose to focus on wildlife habitat because “people sometimes don’t realize their actions impact” animals and the land they depend upon.

2013 Healthcare Heroes

Two volunteer physicians, a volunteer firefighter, financial planner, community supporter and high school senior were among this year’s recipients of a 2013 Healthcare Hero award from the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD). Now in its seventh year, the awards program recognizes and rewards front-line volunteers for significant contributions to healthcare in San Diego’s East County region. The 2013 Healthcare Hero awards were presented on a luncheon held on May 15 at Sycuan Resort. Recipients are: Frank Ault, a Sempra Energy retiree and volunteer firefighter, has led the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation as chairman for the past 18 years. The non-profit Foundation funds the purchase of fire rescue and safety equipment and medical equipment, including medical supplies, used by 30 rural fire departments manned primarily by volunteer firefighters. Ault has single-handedly operated the Foundation in nearly every aspect, from fundraising to operations to visionary planning. Phil Bresnick has served as a volunteer and member of the board of trustees for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s San Diego-based Pacific South Coast Chapter since 1991, the year after he was diagnosed with MS, a chronic, unpredictable and often disabling neurological disease of the central nervous system with no known cause, cure or prevention. Helix Senior Receives JACL Scholarship Bresnick, a financial planner at the La Mesa The San Diego Japanese American Citizens office of Morgan Stanley, is credited with generLeague awarded Helix Charter High School ating at least a half-million dollars in donations senior Keana Nakata a $1,000 scholarship. for the chapter. Honor roll student Nakata has a 3.81 grade Connie Conard is a longtime East County point average and is a U-T scholar athlete. She volunteer and supporter for a number of local plays field hockey organizations, including Grossmont Hospital and varsity soft- Foundation, Friends of Vista Hill Foundation, ball. Additionally, East County Family YMCA, Salvation Army, she participates Rady Children’s Hospital and USS Midway in the Polyne- Museum. She is currently serving as chair of the sian Club and Grossmont Hospital Foundation and leading a performs commu- $10 million capital campaign to acquire medical nity service as a technology and equipment for the hospital’s coach for Bonita new Heart and Vascular Center now under Keana Nakata Valley softball. construction. Nakata will be Dr. Susan Kaweski is a practicing plastic surgeon with a private practice Contact us Now for a FREE quote in La Mesa. Since 2010, she has donated her time and expertise as Ph: 619-461-8375 now authorized to offer a volunteer physician for the San Fax: 619-461-8395 Diego County Medical Society Foundation’s Project Access San Diego (PASD), a program that Home & Auto Insurance license # 0b58294 helps uninsured patients receive through The Hartford specialty medical care. She is one Also Representing: Progressive, Safeco, Metlife, CSE, First American Specialty, and more...

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Events Calendar La Mesa Flag Day Parade – June 1

Enjoy “A Salute to Old Glory” starting with preparade concerts at 9 a.m. and the parade at 10 a.m. Pearl Harbor survivors are this year’s grand marshals. Musical entertainment will be provided by La Mesa Middle School Band at Palm Avenue and La Mesa Boulevard, and East County Youth Symphony at Nebo and La Mesa Boulevard. After the parade, partake of free ice cream for the first 500 guests at the Adult Enrichment Center, 8450 La Mesa Blvd., provided by the La Mesa Human Relations Commission. Also, view and touch a 720-pound piece of box column steel from the World Trade Center, presented by the World Memorial Organization.

5th Annual Taste of La Mesa – June 10

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s 5th Annual Taste of La Mesa will be held June 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center at 4975 Memorial Dr. Enjoy eats from around town while meeting fellow residents. For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, go to

Authors & Artists Festival – June 15

The La Mesa Community Library invites the public to learn more about publishing their literary and artistic works. Attendees can also purchase books, meet artists and enjoy free refreshments.

Free Paper Shredding Event – June 22

Shred your household documents by bringing them to La Mesa’s EDCO Station, 8184 Commercial St., June 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Back to the '50s Car Show – Thursdays

The La Mesa Village Merchants Association-sponsored car show takes place on Thursdays in June, July and August along La Mesa Boulevard between Acadia and Fourth streets. Participants arrive no earlier than 3:30 p.m. Fill out the participation form and display on vehicle. By 7:30 p.m. winners will have a certificate placed on their vehicle. Winners proceed with vehicle to the DJ to return the certificate at receive a trophy. Photos are taken for the Merchants Association’s website.

La Mesa City Council – Second and fourth Tuesdays of every month

The La Mesa City Council meets at Council Chambers in City Hall, 8130 Allison Ave., at 4 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month and 6 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month.

La Mesa Village Farmers’ Market – Fridays

The La Mesa Village Farmers’ Market is located at La Mesa Civic Center, off Allison Avenue at the foot of Date Avenue, across from the new Police Headquarters, just a stone’s throw away from the previous site. Every Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. — June 2013

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Ed Ghost Tucker Keeps It Close to Home

Many Rutger kids grow Rosenup with the borg, Ryan lofty goal of Miller, and being a rock Michaela star, but very few Wilson to discuss meet their future where they’ve been By Jen Van Tieghem bandmates in second and what lies ahead. grade. Most of the members La Mesa Courier: How of Ed Ghost Tucker have known did your band get started and how each other since grade school and have been long have you been playing together? playing together in and out of bands since Michaela Wilson: We have been playing attending Lemon Avenue Elementary. in this formation for the last nine months. The band is led by brother-and-sister duo As individuals, we have played in and out of percussionist Michaela Wilson and bassist bands together since elementary school, but Cameron Wilson, who share vocal and song- it wasn’t until we all came back from school writing duties with guitarist Rutger Rosen- and living abroad that we decided to put this borg. Ed Ghost Tucker’s indie-folk style gets project together. In other words, we couldn’t do its driving tempo from drummer Ryan Miller very much else with our liberal arts degrees. and multi-instrumentalist Brian Disney LMC: Any formal training in music? infuses each song with a unique variety of Rutger Rosenborg: Most of us have sounds, including keyboard, flugelhorn and had some sort of formal training, whether it saxophone. has been just lessons here and there, particiMichaela Wilson’s sweet voice is balanced See Ed Ghost Tucker, Page 4 by the deep, strong tones of Cameron Wilson and Rosenberg. From striking soft ballads, such as “Anyone,” to upbeat toetappers like “On Your Own,” the band combines classic elements of jazz, folk and rock with contemporary nuances to create a full, rich sound. In less than a year the band has amassed a loyal following, played wide-ranging venues, and most recently embarked on a brief tour of California. Demonstrating the dedication and heart needed to sustain the exhaustive hours required of an up-and-coming band, these Saturday, June 22, 7am-1pm young musicians are ready to St Andrew’s Lutheran Church 8350 Lake Murray Blvd, San Diego keep their momentum going. La Mesa Courier caught up To Benefit T.A.C.O. Serving San Diego’s Homeless with Ed Ghost Tucker members

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Ed Ghost Tucker, from page 3

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pating in choirs and school bands, or taking college courses in music. Regardless of our differing levels of formal training, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons both personally and scholastically. LMC: Where did you get the name? MW: The name came about out of desperation. Ed, Ghost, and Tucker are apparently the strange names of the three pets of the Rosenberger family. ‘Rosenberger’ is similar to the last name of our guitarist, Rutger Rosenborg. It was a complete mistake that Rutger received the Rosenberger’s veterinarian receipt instead of his own. ‘Ed,’ ‘Ghost,’ and ‘Tucker’ were the names of the pets on the receipt, and the rest is history. LMC: What’s it like for Michaela and Cameron to play as siblings? What do your families think about you pursuing music? RR: Michaela has always wanted to make music with Cameron. They grew up playing music around each other, but this is the first time they have ever collaborated. They fight a lot, but we all do from time to time. Most of us have grown up in musical homes, and we are all very lucky to have our families be so supportive of our pursuits. LMC: What are your favorite non-music spots in La Mesa? Restaurants? Hidden gems? MW: Johnny B’s, Sun Tacos, Mario’s, Hoffer’s Cigar Bar, Shizuoka, and The Brigantine are a few of the places we frequent for meals. Sun Tacos, which we still call Chili Bandido, fuels us late at night. LMC: What have been some of the highlights of your musical pursuits so far? Ryan Miller: We have gotten a great response at our Soda Bar shows. ... We sold out the Tin Can before we left town in early May, and the California tour that we recently returned from was a really [informative] experience for all of us. We’ve had a blast playing local street fairs and SoundDiego’s LIVE event at Bar Pink in April. The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library show was a highlight as well. As far as future goals and aspirations are concerned, we would like to continue to build our fan base, record our first full-length album, and challenge ourselves as much as possible. LMC: What’s next for the band? RM: On Saturday, June 15, we’ll be playing a big show with The Burning of Rome, The Howls, and Water Liars at Soda Bar, for which we are already preparing. Recordings are definitely on the list as well. We are looking to get professional support for engineering, production and distribution. Management, licensing, and a reliable tour van are also priorities. Aside from all of that, though, we want to play for people who appreciate our music while we do our best to remain accessible, interesting, and surprising. Keep up with upcoming shows and news from the lovely local La Mesan band Ed Ghost Tucker on Facebook: Jen Van Tieghem can be contacted at jen@scoop​

Fire Prevention, from page 1 law: clearing a 100-foot defensible space between the home and dense vegetation nearby. The requirement applies to those with canyon rim properties or any other property adjacent to native or naturalized open space. Defensible space gives fire agencies the time and space to respond to brush fires before the flames reach structures, said deputy fire marshal Eddie Villavicencio. The Fire-Rescue Department only has the resources to give notice of this requirement to about 12,000 properties a year, but all affected property owners must maintain the defensible space every year, Villavicencio said. The defensible space includes irrigated and non-irrigated zones, and vegetation must be thinned and pruned to certain heights depending on their proximity to the home. Native plants must not be removed, according to city code. “It’s a delicate balance between fire requirements, environmental protection and erosion protection,” Villavicencio said. Detailed information on maintaining a defensible space is available at www. “We do find that most homeowners – the vast majority – want to do the right thing,” Villavicencio said. “They just don’t know where to get the information or how to do it right.” Homeowners who do not want to do it themselves can hire a contractor or landscape maintenance company to do the work the right way. Another option is the Alpha Project, a nonprofit organization that helps the homeless and at-risk populations take control of their lives with jobs and social services. Alpha Project’s fire prevention service crew ranges from 20 to 25 men at a time, all of whom are paid, said Karen Pucci, director of special projects. The crews are made up of formerly homeless individuals, many of whom have backgrounds in related work, she said. “A lot of them have been to the fire camps,” Pucci said. “We train on the job. They’re all certified in the equipment that we use.” Many of the crew members have been around for years. With long-standing contracts with various city departments as well as Mount Hope Cemetery, there is usually plenty of work to do. “My guys are very efficient; they get it done fast,” Pucci said. “We know what we’re doing.” The price of Alpha Project’s fire See Fire Prevention, Page 6 — June 2013

The Sun Shines Sooner…  One sunny afternoon recently, I pulled into the driveway of a neat and tidy Spanish-style home in an older Mt. Helix neighborhood. Making my way to the front door, I noted healthy avocado and pecan trees shading the front yard, and carefully-tended flower beds. A friend who lives in this neighborhood suggested I interview the gentleman who owns this home, describing him as a “real force.” She described work she watched him do on his property these last few months, such as digging long trenches in rockhard dirt and chopping firewood from a large pecan tree he had taken down. Much of the heavy work, she observed, took place on some of the warmest days this spring, one registering 102 degrees. The most inspiring thing about it: Her neighbor is 93 years old! A tall, handsome man with clear blue eyes opened the door. Until he introduced himself as David Burns, I wasn’t really sure he was the man I had come to interview, but indeed he was. His girlfriend, Patty, joined us in his living room as he told me about his long and happy life, the majority of it spent here in La Mesa, in this house. I began by asking him the secret to his good health at such an advanced age. His answer, “The Good Lord has been good to this man…and I always have fun!” “So what do you do for fun,” I asked, expecting to hear they like to play cards or go dancing once in awhile. We like to travel!” he quickly responded. They’ve been on a Hawaii

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By Pam Crooks cruise, are taking one to Alaska very soon, and will be heading to Catalina next weekend. He smiles at Patty as they hold hands on the couch, and it’s clear they’re smitten and enjoy these adventures together. Could this man really have been born in 1920? I began asking about his earliest memories growing up in San Diego. From living on a dirt street at First and Pennsylvania in what is today Bankers Hill/Hillcrest, to riding in an electric car with a steering bar when he was in kindergarten, to taking the streetcar downtown to the California Theater to see silent movies and vaudeville acts with his granddad, David’s memories are clear. His father died when he was only 10, at the beginning of the Great Depression, so times were hard. His mother received a military pension of $30 per month because of his dad’s service during World War I, and that’s what they lived on. He and his siblings moved with their mom to a smaller house on Marlborough Street, where he walked to Central Elementary, Woodrow Wilson Jr. High and later Hoover High School. His first car was an old Model T Ford that he bought himself and kept for many years. If he and his friends wanted money to spend, they had to go out and earn it, which David did by delivering advertising leaflets, selling ice cream from a handcart, hunting, fishing and trapping animals to sell the furs. Was this in the “back country,” I asked. See Pam Crooks, Page 8


La Mesa’s Long-Lost Opera House By James D. Newland There was a time in which La Mesans could simply walk downtown and go to their very own Opera House. “An Opera House in La Mesa,” one might ask? But, in fact, for 19 years a La Mesa Opera House did exist. The Opera House’s origins date to the early development of La Mesa Springs as the community’s commercial center, starting with the ParkGrable Company’s initial suburban development.

The photograph featured this month is the interior of the Baldridge Opera House c.1908. The decorative painting of the gallery (balcony) seats and the elaborate stage and sets are evident. Image courtesy La Mesa Historical Society. The Company’s promotional campaign selling La Mesa Springs was what attracted 49-year-old carpenter/ contractor, and Opera House builder, William C. Baldridge here the following year. Baldridge, a Tennessee native, brought his family to San Diego from Texas in the mid-1890s. In the spring of 1908 Baldridge began construction of his “opera house” on the northeast corner of Palm Avenue and Lookout (now La Mesa Boulevard). See Historical View, Page 13

Page 6 — June 2013

Fire Prevention, from page 4

SPOTLIGHT ON SERVICE La Mesa Rotary Club has put its money where its mouth is by contributing charitable funds to various organizations around town. Recipients of the Rotary Club’s donations are the La Mesa Police Department; San Diego Military Outreach; Christ Lutheran School; East County YMCA; Meals on Wheels; Patrick Henry High School’s music program; The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Center; and the La Mesa Historical Society. Christ Lutheran principal Xavria Schwartz (above) attended the club’s May 8 meeting to personally receive the club’s donation of $500 to the school from Rotary member Scott Elam. Schwartz said the school, which is in its 54th year, relies on private funding to continually offer quality education to students. “It’s because of great donors like [the Rotary Club] who make it happen,” she said.

prevention services range widely based on the terrain and the amount of vegetation that needs to be cleared, but quoted rates tend to be lower than contractors or landscapers, Pucci said. A particularly dry winter has made clearing that defensible space more critical this year. Fire season in Southern California was well underway by April 15, and by early May Cal Fire announced it had responded to 1,100 wildfires around the state, 500 more than the average for that time of year. Nearly 23,000 acres had burned between Jan. 1 and May 2, according to Cal Fire. Across the state, snowpack water content is only 17 percent of normal, according to snow surveyors with the California Department of Water Resources. That number is a sign of just how little rain fell across the state over the winter. While storms in November and December brought higher than average rainfall, a particularly dry February and March brought the snowpack levels well below average, according to the DWR. See Fire Prevention, Page 7

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Grossmont High School

Helix Highlights By Jennifer Osborn

It’s the end of another school year! Helix Charter High School will honor the class of 2013 at their graduation on Wednesday, June 5, at 6 p.m. This year tickets will be required for admission to graduation. Each of our soon-to-be-graduates was able to request as many tickets as they needed for family and friends at no charge. We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of these students and wishing them all the best in their bright futures! In May, students from Helix’s Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) attended the annual banquet for San Diego ACE programs. ACE is a nationwide program that allows students an opportunity to be mentored by construction companies, architects, and engineers. The students research and plan a construction project and work with professionals to create plans, models, etc. This year’s project was a performing arts center, which they presented at the banquet. Four Helix ACE students applied for ACE scholarships by writing two essays and resourcing two letters of recommendation. All four were awarded scholarships at the banquet. Abdiaziz Weheliye (11th grade) received a $1000 scholarship; Jesus Abad (11th grade) – received a $1000 scholarship and sponsorship to attend the ACE Mentor Summer Program in San Jose, CA; Ismail Ibrahim (12th grade) received a $5000 scholarship; and Amanda Celiceo (12th grade) received a $25,000 scholarship. Also in May, the Helix Percussion Ensemble won the title of State Champion for 2013 in their division. The Colorguard team placed second in the state in their division. These students work extremely hard to perfect their programs and it is great to see these efforts pay off. The Helix Speech and Debate team qualified 19 students to compete at the California High School Speech Association State Championships. Six speakers advanced to the semi-finals, and See Helix Highlights, Page 11

Fire Prevention, from page 6 CAL FIRE has put out warnings to property owners who want to clear brush themselves. Lawnmowers, for example, should not be used to cut dry grass or brush in wild areas, because the metal blade can create a spark if it hits a rock or another metal object. In addition to clearing a defensible space near the property, fire officials recommend that residents create an evacuation plan in case of fire. The plan should include multiple escape routes from the home and from the neighborhood. It should include evacuation plans for pets and large animals such as horses and livestock. It should also include a communication plan and a designated emergency meeting location in case family members are separated. More details and other suggestions about how to prepare for fire is available at The website includes detailed instructions in case evacuation is necessary.

Foothiller Footsteps By Connie and Lynn Baer

One of the wonderful Grossmont High School traditions is our yearbook, which was first published in 1921 and documented the amazing first year of the school. A small, 10-by-7-inch paperback book, the yearbook was entitled El Recuerdo. In editor-in-chief Margaret Baker’s introduction, she stated, “We hope EL RECUERDO (‘El-Re-cwer-do’) will be what its name suggests, a reminder or souvenir of our school, which, in the years to come, will call back pleasant memories of dear old Grossmont.” And for 93 years, it certainly has! Over the years, the yearbook evolved with the changing culture of the school and the nation. In 1921, the editorial staff consisted of nine students, whose editorial titles ranged from Joke and Art, to Cartoon, to Snap Shot. Today, there are 37 students on the staff, with

five editors, including two chief editors, two copy editors and a photo editor. The 1920 yearbooks included senior photos with a quote about the student, the senior class history and will, a calendar of school events, but the early yearbooks were also a literary magazine with student stories, poetry, and jokes. During the 1930s, a decade of financial hardship for the nation, the yearbooks were mostly hardcover, with the exception of 1931 and 1935, when publishing the yearbook was a financial struggle. Reflecting a last minute project of the senior class, the 1935 edition is entitled 35-er, the only year the title was not El Recuerdo. By the 1940s the book was larger in size with no literary work, but with cartooning quite popular. The 1953 yearbook cover is green due to a

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publisher mix-up of the covers between the newly opened Helix High School and Grossmont High School yearbooks. In the 1960s color photographs begin to appear while in the 1980s paid advertising helped to offset the costs of an expanding number of pages. The 1990s saw the emergence of yearbook themes with 1993’s theme being “Split Personality” and 2012’s being “It’s Not Easy”. The theme of the 2013 yearbook is “Crossing Paths,” chosen because of all of the current construction on campus, which causes students to take new routes to their classes, thus encountering students they may have never met before. The editors expect to sell 1,200 yearbooks, which cost between $60 and $90, depending on the purchase date, compared to the 1940s when the yearbook cost averaged $3.50, with the students allowed to make payments. This summer please visit the GHS Museum this summer, where we have copies of every yearbook, marvelous testaments to the wonders that students experience during their years at Grossmont. Please contact Connie and Lynn Baer, GHS museum directors, with any questions or comments at ghsmuseum@ or phone the museum at (619) 668-6140. We are open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month (including summer) or by appointment. We will also be open on Saturday, July 20, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Page 8 — June 2013

Pet Corner

Pam Crooks, from page 5 trees, including three large avocados and many other fruit trees, two pecan trees, and three separate vegetable gardens, which they were just now planting. Patty said David works in the yard everyday – sometimes until 7 o’clock in the evening. Again, I wondered how he had managed to stay so fit. He has a good breakfast and lunch and eats only vegetables for supper. He takes a nap every day, and of course he works out – in his yard! He and Patty have known each other for many years through their church, Atonement Lutheran in Spring Valley. They each lost their spouses a few years ago, and are now making a new life together. I loved the way they laugh at David’s stories together. Staying active and fit, eating fresh fruits and vegetables and having a deep and abiding spiritual life, are all known to contribute to a long and healthy life. And of course, good genes. But hey, all that good La Mesa sunshine can’t hurt…

“No,” he smiled. “We used to do our trapping in Mission Valley.” From these experiences, David developed a life-long love of hunting, fishing and diving, which he would enjoy for several months each year, traveling to Northern California and Baja. The key to this amount of freedom was running his own successful business – cabinetmaking – out of his Mt. Helix home. He also built several houses, before finally retiring at age 80. He and his wife moved to the Mt. Helix/La Mesa area in the late 1950s because of the sunny weather. It was a great place to raise a family – he has three children, all now in their 60s – and to grow things. When they bought the four-acre property, there were 100 avocado trees on it. (That whole area of Mt. Helix produced largest crop of avocadoes in the country at one time, according to David.) He eventually subdivided and sold off three parcels, but still retains one-half acre. David and Patty gave me a tour of his property before I left. There are many fruit

Pet Allergies: How to Recognize Them and Treat Them By Sari Reis Just as we humans suffer with seasonal allergies as well as allergies to chemicals, foods and other substances, so do our canine and feline companions. Sometimes they will present with the same symptoms as us, such as watery eyes and sneezing, but the most common symptom in our pets is itchiness, usually resulting in excessive scratching. In fact, the scratching can be so severe it can lead to redness, open sores and even hair loss. The most common allergies that affect pets

are called atopy and are caused by airborne particles. They can include pollen, dust mites and molds. Fortunately this type of allergy is usually seasonal. Symptoms of atopy include chewing the paws, licking the flank and groin, rubbing the face, recurrent hot spots and possibly inflamed ears or recurring ear infections. Another type of allergy pets suffer with results from flea-bites and is called flea allergy See Pet Corner, Page 11


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Just Business

The website simply reads in blue font against a plain background: “Gingham Bids La Mesa a Fond Farewell.” That’s right, folks. After less than two years, “Top Chef” finalist Brian Malarkey and co-owner James Brennan closed Gingham, an attempt at a down-home barbecue joint amid quaint La Mesa Village. After the heading, the homepage offers a Malarkey quote: “I would like to personally thank the La Mesa community for their warm welcome and ongoing support of Gingham over the last 17 months. It certainly has been a feast in the east and we couldn’t have done it without you. I look forward to seeing you at our other Fabric of Social Dining restaurants.” For its part, La Mesa embraced the new venue, even when it seemed as though La Mesa was getting the shaft in comparison with Malarkey’s other more exalted fabricthemed spots, Searsucker, Burlap, Gabardine and Herringbone. Then, on Dec. 9, 2012, Heartland Fire & Rescue crews were dispatched to Gingham after propane tanks exploded outside the restaurants, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. Fire investigators determined the cause of the fire to be oily rags bunched together that were stored in a bin near the propane tanks. The organic materials from the oil in the rags build up heat over time and spontaneously ignite. Days later Brennan told U-T San Diego that their lawyers were in talks with the Cohn Restaurant Group for Gingham’s possible sale. The sale fell through, but clearly Gingham’s days were numbered. Now that the restaurant has closed, it’s anyone’s guess what will become of the venue. As we said in our January issue, however, 2013 determined Gingham’s fate, leaving it to become the restaurant formerly known as Gingham.

Craving Yogurt and Art

Ken Gardipee, the owner of Crave Frozen Yogurt between Lake Murray and Navajo, is using his shop to help artists sell their creations and get their names out. “I love art, but unfortu-

Page 9

nately don’t have an artistic bone in my body,” said Gardipee, who has owned Crave for more than two years. “So I decided I would support art, especially local art in my shop.” Gardipee allows each artist or photographer to show their work in his shop for three months. Although an artist would usually have to fork over a high commission to galleries for similar exposure, Gardipee charges nothing for this opportunity. He also promotes artists on the shop’s Facebook page and announces each sale. Crave is currently featuring Robert Bradshaw, Carlos Mendez, and its first husband-wife team, Adam Maruhn and Hilary Stone. “We have developed a reputation for having good artists and our customers look forward to our new artists,” said Gardipee. “It is so nice to see our customers eating their yogurt while looking at the art on Crave’s wall. We do feel this is a good place for art and we are working on having an art show/walk in our parking lot.” For more information, go to Crave Frozen Yogurt’s Facebook page. Want us to mind your business? Share your business news with the La Mesa Courier at

Library, from page 1 and enjoyed costumed re-enactors. While the Star Wars program was a special event, the library offers several regularly recurring programs, such as soap-making classes, henna tattoos and “Mad Science” experiments for teens. Pisani-Kristi said the library’s programs have helped fill the gap in schools left by underfunded arts curricula. “In communities where arts education has been cut, it gives them a chance to have this experience,” she said. Authors & Artists festival chairperson Glenna Bloemen, who is Lt. Governor for Division 31 of the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of Kiwanis International, said last year the event, which was only geared toward authors, attracted more people than expected. Because more people are interested in

online and self-publishing, Bloemen hopes this year’s event pulls in an even larger crowd. Bloemen and the library are also getting a little help from their friends – the La Mesa Friends of the Library, to be exact. The La Mesa Friends of the Library is the branch’s go-to group when it needs extra support. La Mesa Friends of the Library’s John Schmitz remembers when the Friends organization started in a shed in the back of the library. From there the Friends moved to managing the bookstore, which sold just under $1,000 a month during its beginnings. After a while, however, the Friends began making more than $2,000 a month. “It allowed the Friends to be more supportive of the library, especially See Library, Page 14

Page 10 — June 2013

Book It, from page 1 summer programs include:

Kids (All events are 10:30 a.m.)

July 10 at 10:30 a.m. – Sparkles the Clown July 17 at 10:30 a.m. – Mad Science experiments July 24 at 10:30 a.m. – Wolf’s Chicken Stew Aug. 7 at 10:30 a.m. – The Wildlife Company presents live animals

Selected teen events for teens entering grades 6-12 (All events are 4 p.m.)

June 27 at 4 p.m. – Food Senses: Identify foods without seeing what they look like. July 11 at 4 p.m. – Guerrilla Gardening: Learn how to garden in vacant lots without trespassing.

July 24 at 4 p.m. – Henna Tattoos Aug. 1 at 4 p.m. – Chocolate Day: Taste test, trivia, and chocolate bar identification. Aug. 8 at 4 p.m. – Mad Science and grand prize raffle. Participate in experiments!

Adult events:

June 22 at 10:30 a.m. – Home Cheesemaking for Beginners July 11 at 6:30 p.m. – Norwegian singer-songwriter Marjit Vinjerui July 16 at 6:30 p.m. – Back to Basics: Canning Fruits and Vegetables July 27 at 10 a.m. – Getting Started With Backyard Chickens Aug. 9 at 10:30 a.m. – Backyard Beekeeping 101

Noteworthy, from page 2 of PASD’s most active volunteers, performing an average of one or two surgeries nearly every month at her surgery center in La Mesa. Dr. Ernest W. Shaw, age 91 and an original member of the Grossmont Hospital medical staff when the hospital opened in 1955, has served as a volunteer faculty member teaching medical students at the UCSD Medical Hospital. He has been on the board of the Grossmont Hospital Foundation since 1994 and a member of the La Mesa Lions Club since 1955. Chase Whittaker was the 2013 Healthcare Hero student honoree. The senior at West Hills High School in Santee has logged more than 1,300 volunteer hours as a junior volunteer at Grossmont Hospital, having served in the medical intensive care unit, pharmacy and main lobby concierge desk.


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What’s Cooking with Julie 

by Julie White

Creamy Mexican Rice This cheesy, yummy rice dish is great as a side dish or alone with a salad for dinner. You can omit the cheese to save a few calories but it won’t be quite the same. Creamy Mexican Rice 3 Tbs. vegetable or olive oil 1/2 red onion minced 1 cup long-grained white rice 1 tsp each salt and pepper Kernels cut from 3 ears of fresh corn or 1 bag frozen corn can be used 2 green onions sliced 1 4-oz. can fire roasted diced green chilies 1/2 cup plain yogurt (sour cream may be used) 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese In a heavy skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and corn and saute for 5 - 10 minutes. Onions should be transparent. Add the rice and 2 cups of water. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chilies, green onions, yogurt, salt and pepper and half the cheese. Combine well and transfer to a glass baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place in a preheated 425-degree oven. Heat for 10 minutes or until browned a bit and bubbly and cheese is melted.

Pet Corner, from page 8 dermatitis. This is usually more common in dogs. The symptoms are similar to the ones described above but can be more severe including hives, facial swelling and even anaphylaxis. Although rare, anaphylaxis can be life-threatening. Symptoms usually occur with 20 minutes of exposure to the flea bite, bee sting or chemical and include: sudden explosive diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, shock, immobility and muscle-twitching. Seek immediate emergency care if this occurs. If your pet has a history of this, the veterinarian can supply you with an epi-pen; a syringe with a dose of epinephrine that will help with stabilization until emergency care has begun. Contact dermatitis is an allergy pets can develop from contact with carpets, cleaners, plastics, grass and other such substances. Symptoms include red bumps on the areas of the skin exposed to the allergen, as well as intense scratching and hair loss. Food allergies are another

common problem in both dogs and cats. In fact, they account for 10 – 15% of all of their allergies. Itching on the face, feet, trunk and limbs is the most common symptom but they may also have increased bowel movements and soft stools. Managing a food allergy usually means taking the diet down to bare basics and starting from there. Diagnosing the source of an allergy is vital to managing it, so a trip to the veterinarian is essential. Allergy tests are sometimes recommended. The allergy test is an intradermal skin test involving injecting various allergens just under the skin and watching for reactions. Once an allergen is determined to be the culprit, treatment can begin. Treatment can include everything from Benadryl (dosage recommended by veterinarian), antibiotics (such as Atopica), steroid injections, (which have side effects), topical

applications such as hydrocortisone, oatmeal- based shampoos, etc. Other things you can do to manage the allergy are to monitor the pollen count, wipe your pet’s paws with a wet towel after a walk, remove shoes at the door, use a monthly flea treatment, vacuum carpets frequently and wash the animal’s bedding often. Most importantly, monitor your pet’s symptoms and get professional help as needed. Sari Reis is a Certified Humane Education Specialist and the owner of Mission Valley Pet Sitting Services. She can be reached at (760) 644-0289 or email sari@missionvalleypetsit​ Her website is www.

Helix Highlights, from page 7 three went on to the final round. The results were as follows: Robert Bradvica and Delaney McCowen – 3rd place in Duo Interpretation; Nic Gonzalez – 18th place in Original Prose Poetry (OPP), Alex Salazar – 16th place in OPP: Rebeca McClellan – 14th place in OPP; Jeremiah Osborn – 10th place in Original Oratory. Helix took 16th place overall, out of approximately 250 teams in the state. We are looking forward to the opening of our new Performing Arts Center, scheduled to open for the 2013-14 school year. Keep an eye out for announcements regarding various performances by our talented Performing Arts Department!

Page 12 — June 2013

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Free classified ads are available to non-profit organizations that do not charge for their services and private party items for sale. Only one ad per or organization will be accepted per issue as a free classified - additional ads must be paid for with submission of the ads. Free classifieds are limited to 25 words or less. Ads of more than 25 words cost 50¢ per additional word; payment must accompany the ad. All free classifieds will run for only one issue even if you indicate on the ad that you want it to run more than one time.

PAID CLASSIFIEDS - $10/25 words or less Ads cost $10 for 25 words or less plus 50¢ per word over 25, payable in advance of publication only. Editor reserves the right to reject or re-classify any ads. Paid ads may run for any consecutive number of issues, provided that proper payment for the ads is received in advance. NO PHONE CALLS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR RENEWAL OF ADS. THE LAST DATE PRE-PAID ADS WILL RUN IS

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SPECIAL NOTICE The Mission Times Courier reserves the right to edit or refuse classified ads due to inappropriate content, space considerations, etc. The Mission Times Courier assumes no financial responsibility for errors nor for omission of copy for classified ads. By submission of ad, advertisers agree to indemnify and hold the Mission Times Courier harmless from any claims and expenses arising from the publication of any ad. No refunds given or cancellations accepted unless such notice is received by mail 10 days prior to the publication date. MAKE SURE YOU REMIT THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR THE AD – WE ARE UNABLE TO CONTACT YOU - NOR RUN THE AD - IF THE INCORRECT AMOUNT OF MONEY IS SENT WITH THE AD. Your cancelled check is your receipt.











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Historical View, from page 5 The Opera House would be the first commercial building constructed east of Palm Avenue. The first published reference to Baldridge’s Opera House was during the 1908 July 4th Community Celebration – interestingly prior to its actual completion. In the San Diego Union coverage of the event it was noted the framed, but not yet enclosed, building hosted keynote speaker William B. Smythe. The Union reported approximately 800 saw noted author Smythe’s patriotic presentation. Some of the audience viewed the presentation from outside the uncompleted building. One month later the Union reported that Baldridge had enclosed the building and was completing its elaborate interior finishes. The report also noted the building was being wired for electric lighting (SDG&E would not get power to La Mesa Springs until September 1910). The cost of the new Opera House was listed at $3,500 – a tidy sum for the time. Some three months later the headline “La Mesa Opens New Opera House: Successful Premier of Pretty Theater Made a Society Event in Suburb” signaled its formal opening. Held on Thanksgiving Eve 1908, the initial event attracted

some 400 locals and visitors from surrounding communities. All who came to enjoy the new entertainment venue, and express their appreciation to Baldridge. When the originally booked theatrical company canceled shortly before the scheduled event, Baldridge had to scramble to find a mix of local vaudeville performers to provide a show. After their performance, the chairs were pulled back and the hall used for a dance, led by Baldridge’s 20 year-old son Sidney and his seven-piece orchestra. Still, the success of the venue was duly noted. In the 1909 Jan. 1 issue of the Union, the new, “commodious, ground floor opera house seating 700, and fully equipped with a modern stage and shifting scenery” was one of the highlights of the burgeoning town. During the next few years the town’s Opera House was used as proof of its social and civic maturity. It was regularly promoted as the community’s home for both entertainment and community meetings. Such was the case in the winter of 1911-12 when it hosted important meetings such as those on La Mesa Springs’ incorporation into the City of La Mesa. Although William Baldridge was a carpenter by



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trade, he and his son’s interest in the entertainment business was fully engaged when Allan Dwan’s “Flying A” film crew of the American Film Manufac-

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turing Company made La Mesa its home in August 1911. Sidney Baldridge, who listed his profession as a painter, soon got work with Dwan and

the Flying A. His value was such that when the Flying A moved to Santa Barbara in June 1912, the Baldridges moved with See Historical View, Page 14

Page 14 — June 2013

Historical View, from page 13

Library, from page 9 during the recession,” said Schmitz, who now places the monthly figure around $1,600 to $1,700 monthly. Schmitz said there’s a lot of room for new Friends of the Library members, particularly if the prospective new Friends want to branch out. “If you want to do something besides just sit in our bookstore for a shift, we could use people with a range of interests,” said Schmitz. The Friends of the Library also helps equip the library with e-books, story time volunteers and refreshments for social

events. Although Pisani-Kristi appreciates all the assistance they receive, one thing she pointed out was the La Mesa branch is actually very busy, lending between 58,000 to 72,000 a month. Still, it seems the general attitude is being proactive is better than reactive when it comes to library programs. “There is so much more that we can do,” said Pisani-Kristi. Genevieve A. Suzuki can be reached at You can follow her on Twitter @GASuzuki.

them. Thus the La Mesa Opera House was sold to a new proprietor, San Diegan Wilhelm P. Bauer. Bauer and family were German immigrants who came to San Diego in 1907. His credentials for operating a theatrical venue seem tenuous. His professions listed in the 1910 and 1920 censuses being civil engineer and hay and feed merchant. Bauer ran the Opera House until 1922. In 1923 the operations were transferred to local real estate man Horatio Houghton. However with the opening of the La Mesa Movie Theatre that same year (now home to the Gypsy Treasures Costume Shop), the once “modern” Opera House had become dated. The property was then sold to the Bank of Southern California in 1926. The Bank demolished the Opera House in early 1927 and erected the Spanish Revival style bank building that exists on the site today (currently Por Favor Restaurant). — June 2013

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The July issue of the La Mesa Courier will be published Friday, June 28. The advertising deadline is Tuesday, June 11.

La Mesa Courier 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #145 • La Mesa, CA 91942 Phone: (619) 697-2500 • Fax: (619) 697-2505 email: Visit our website at:

Executive Editor: Genevieve A. Suzuki, ext. 121

Graphic Artist: Aleta El Sheikh

Contributors Jeremy Ogul Jen Van Tieghem

Advertising Manager: Becky Suffridge, ext. 140 Publisher: Jim Madaffer, Mission Publishing Group, LLC

Circulation: 23,000. Published 12 times in 2013 and delivered to all single family homes in 91941 and 91942 and at over 150 bulk locations throughout our circulation area of La Mesa, California by Mission Publishing Group, LLC. Classified ads and articles must be submitted by mail, e-mail or dropped off at our business address: 8030 University Ave. #145, La Mesa, CA 91942. Publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertisements or material submitted which are deemed to be objectionable. Publisher’s liability for errors: La Mesa Courier assumes no financial liability for errors nor for omission of copy and upon request will furnish a letter of correction to the advertiser. The Publisher, Mission Publishing Group, LLC., shall not be liable for any error in published advertising unless an advertiser proof is requested in writing 12 days prior to publication date and clearly marked for corrections. If the error is not corrected by the Publisher, the liability, if any, shall not exceed the space occupied for the error. Further, the Publisher shall not be liable for any omission of an advertisement ordered to be published. On written request, Publisher shall reschedule and run the omitted advertisement at the advertiser’s cost. All claims for adjustment must be made in writing

within 30 days of the date of publication. In no case shall the Publisher be liable for any general, special or consequential damages. Equal Housing Opportunity: Real estate advertising in La Mesa Courier is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Law which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.” La Mesa Courier will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate that is in violation of the law. This is to notify La Mesa Courier readers that all dwellings advertised in La Mesa Courier are available on an equal opportunity basis. To complain of discrimination call HUD at 1-800-669-9777 or TTY at 1-800-927-9275. News and information printed in La Mesa Courier is obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but accuracy on information sent to the paper cannot be guaranteed. Articles and opinions of writers or letters to the editor that are submitted for publication to the La Mesa Courier are the views of the writers and should not be considered the views of the publisher. Content of paid advertisements is solely the responsibility of the advertiser. © 2013, all rights reserved.

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La Mesa Courier - June 2013  

The June 2013 edition of the La Mesa Courier.

La Mesa Courier - June 2013  

The June 2013 edition of the La Mesa Courier.