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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Riding the Rails Trolley will soon connect La Mesa with La Jolla. Page 3
Volume 4 – Number 2
Whistle-blower files lawsuit By Ken Stone
surveys meeting with residents, etc. – was the reason for the height reduction,” Hewitt said. “We heard that people were very excited about the project and the new dining and shopping opportunities, but that some of the people felt the height of the tower seemed out of place for La Mesa; therefore it has been reduced from 18 stories to nine stories.” The tallest buildings in La Mesa today are the seven-story Sharp Grossmont Hospital and a senior citizen housing structure near La Mesa Springs Shopping Center. The Park Station specific plan and a draft environmental report will be followed by a 45-day public comment period, say city officials and Urban Housing Partners. After responses are filed to comments, public hearings will be held by the city Planning Commission and then the council. If Park Station wins approval, Hewitt said, “We are hoping to break ground in two years. Build out could be anywhere from five to seven years.”
A whistle-blowing maintenance worker is suing the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District after repeatedly being passed over for promotion because of what he calls retaliation and age discrimination. John Pinachio, 61, filed suit in July 2012, targeting the district and two top supervisors. He says he applied for “Skilled Maintenance Worker 2” eight times, including four times since 2007. He’d been a “Skilled Maintenance Worker 1” for 26 years. “He has watched worker after worker, all but one younger than he, with less time on the job, and much less skills, be promoted over him,” the suit says. District lawyers deny Pinachio’s claims, saying that “legitimate and nondiscriminatory personnel purposes” were behind his not getting a job that today pays $66,401 a year (against his current $60,208). They also say the suit shouldn’t go forward because Pinachio never fully pursued his complaints through an administrative process spelled out in a contract. Pinachio’s attorney, La Mesabased Patrick O’Connor, said his client has suffered an “increasing sense of humiliation” as the case heads toward a scheduled July 18 trial date. Pinachio’s 12-page suit calls for damages of at least $25,000, but O’Conner said he is seeking more than that. Court-ordered mediation will continue until mid-April, according to records. Pinachio claims he’s the subject
See Park Station, Page 7
See Whistle-blower, Page 13
Michael Stonehouse / Carrier Johnson
Artist’s rendering of Park Station as viewed east from Baltimore Drive. The project would generate millions in sales and property tax revenues for the city, and possibly transient occupancy tax if a hotel is built (with a possible convention center).
Controversial La Mesa development scaled back By Ken Stone
Memory Lane David and Stacy Marshall ooze La Mesa history. Page 5
Fair Warning App alerts residents to local emergencies. Page 7
The tallest building in La Mesa history would anchor a leafy residential and retail/ office complex in the city’s quaint downtown, under plans percolating since 2008. But the latest drawings now call for the high-rise to reach nine stories instead of the initially envisioned 18. Park Station at the Crossroads of La Mesa, as it’s formally known, would transform 4-1/2 acres now home to used-car lots. The property north of police headquarters is mostly owned by the Kitzman family. On Jan. 9, project managers filed detailed maps, technical studies and a 77-page wish list known as the Park Station Specific Plan. The signature element – a controversial 190-foot tower – has been downsized to a 110-foot building. Lenette Hewitt, a spokeswoman for Urban Housing Partners, the project overseer, explained why. “All of the public outreach over the last five years – including presentation dinners,
Q & A with Kristine Alessio
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Kristine Alessio is a rarity on the La Mesa City Council: she’s a newcomer. Elected to her first term in November of 2012 and inaugurated a month later, Alessio recently wrapped up her first year on the city’s policy-setting body, a year in which she has led a movement aiming to limit councilmembers to no more than three, four-year terms. A former longtime planning commissioner, Alessio agreed to take part in a Q&A with the La Mesa Courier. Q) Any surprises, or was your first year pretty much what you expected?
A) Pretty much what I expected. Having been involved in local government for the past 24 years either as an elected official, appointed official or citizen activist, I was familiar with the processes and `politics’ involved. I knew we had fabulous staff members and it has been my pleasure to continue to work with them. I believe my appreciation for the Dave Witt, Yvonne Garrett, Glenn Sabine, Rick Sitta and Ed Aceves has grown over the past year. They do a great job. Q) You’ve been an advocate of term limits on the City Council. Why do you See Alessio, Page 11
LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
La Mesans in the News
Rotary Club of La Mesa member Terry Caster and his wife, Barbara, gifted almost $2 million toward the Rotary Foundation and its programs. The Casters gave $1,100,000 to Rotary’s polio eradication program, which may be the largest single gift provided by a Rotarian since the eradication efforts commenced. As the Casters’ gift is spent, the Gates Foundation will provide a two-forone match, creating a $3,300,000 total contribution to eradicate polio. The Casters also contributed $750,000 to the Endowment Fund for the Rotary Peace Centers program. That gift fully endows a Peace Scholar every other year studying at the Master’s level. Terry, who was originally a member of the Mission Valley Rotary Club, was inducted into the La Mesa Rotary upon the merger of the two clubs. Stephen R. Brown, Trustee of The Rotary Foundation
Other Rotary news The La Mesa Rotary Club recently donated a $1,000 scholarship to Jacqueline Espinelli. Espinelli was the past president of the Interact Club at Grossmont High School. She is currently studying at Houston Baptist University.
La Mesa Courier publisher named to state commission La Mesa Courier publisher Jim Madaffer was appointed to the California Transportation Commission on
Monday by Gov. Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown. The 11-member commission allocates money for highway construction and rail and transit improvement projects throughout California. It also works with the State Transportation Agency and the state Legislature in formulating and evaluating policies and plans for California’s transportation programs. “I am honored by this appointment and look forward to working with my fellow commissioners and state officials to advance sound transportation policies,” said Madaffer, 53. “As a former San Diego City Councilmember, SANDAG Board member and past president of the League of California Cities, I understand the importance of planning and funding highway, rail and transit projects which will ensure the best resources for job growth, sustainability and progress for future generations of Californians.” Madaffer has been president of Madaffer Enterprises – a public policy consulting firm specializing in government and corporate relations – since 2009 and publisher of Mission Publishing Group LLC – which owns the Mission Valley News, Mission Times Courier, La Mesa Courier and Seaside Courier – since 1995. He is a member of Lambda Alpha International San Diego Chapter and the San Diego Press Club. He currently serves on the San Diego County Water Authority’s board of directors, the San Diego-Imperial Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the board of directors for CleanTech San Diego.
Events Calendar Relay for Life Kick-Off Party – Feb. 13
American Cancer Society is hosting its La Mesa Relay for Life Kick-Off Party Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. to celebrate cancer survivors and caregivers and to encourage everyone to fight back. Relay is a 24-hour event, where your team walks all night long because “Cancer Never Sleeps.” It’s a fun family event and there will be activities for kids of all ages. Join the party Thursday Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at the La Mesa Police Department for a fun event to kick off relay season and help Finish the Fight Against Cancer. RSVP at (619) 226-9366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to www.relayforlife.org/lamesaca for more info or to sign up.
Engineering Day at the Mall – Feb. 22
Celebrate National Engineers Week at Grossmont Shopping Center Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event, which takes place next to the Macy’s courtyard fountain, offers kids and their families free, fun and educational activities to spark their interests in the wonderful world of engineering. Local, private and public sector representatives, UCSD and SDSU volunteers will be present to answer questions about the various branches of engineering. For more information, please contact Sharon Liu at email@example.com.
Soroptimist Awards Luncheon – Feb. 22
Soroptimist International of La Mesa will host its Annual Awards Luncheon Feb. 22 at Terra American Bistro, located at 7091 El Cajon Blvd. The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. Soroptimist is an international nonprofit service organization of women in various businesses and professions who work together to “improve the lives of women and girls in their local communities and throughout the world.” Each year, the organization presents three signature awards: The Women’s Opportunity Award (WOA), the Violet Richardson Award (VRA), and the Ruby Award. Admission is $30 per person. See Events, Page 4
LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
Trolley options expanding for La Mesans
How to Sell Your La Mesa Home Without an Agent
A newly approved trolley may soon connect La Mesa and other East County cities with UC San Diego and the VA Medical Center in La Jolla. The San Diego Association of Governments, better known as SANDAG, recently finalized its planned route for the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension Project (the formal name for the plan is the Locally Preferred Alternative). The new Blue Line route will have stops at Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive, Balboa Avenue, Nobel Drive, the VA Medical Center, the UCSD campus east of Interstate 5, the UCSD campus west of Interstate 5, Executive Drive and the Westfield UTC shopping mall. A final report looking at the impacts on the environment should be released by midyear. SANDAG expects construction to begin in 2015. If all goes according to plan, service on the new route will begin in 2018. Mayor Art Madrid, who served on the SANDAG board during its deliberations on trolley expansion, said the
impact on La Mesa will probably be “minimal” at first. Because the Blue Line does not pass through La Mesa, riders who begin their trip here would have to transfer downtown or in Old Town. When you consider the time it takes to transfer along with the time it takes to make all the stops along the way, it may be faster to just drive, Madrid said. But City Councilmember Ernie Ewin, who serves on the board of the Metropolitan Transit System, which operates the trolley, said the route expansion could be particularly useful for disabled La Mesa residents who need to get to appointments at the VA Medical Center. Similarly, La Jolla residents who need to get to appointments at Alvarado Medical Center or Sharp Grossmont Hospital will be able to take the trolley to those places. “It’s a lot easier than taking the bus, and often it’s easier than driving,” Ewin said.
The extension of the blue line could also encourage people who work in University City to consider living in La Mesa, he said. “It really opens up opportunities for those people who need to get to employment options,” he said. SANDAG’s vision for the Mid-Coast trolley line is less about La Mesa and more about the lack of regional transit options in the University City area, which has emerged in the past couple decades as San Diego’s “second downtown.” Congestion and density should continue to rise along that area over the next 15 to 20 years, and SANDAG estimates the population increasing by 19 percent and jobs increasing by 12 percent by 2030. Transportation planners hope that the mid-coast trolley extension will encourage a greater number of people to leave their cars in the garage and take the trolley to work, taking pressure off the already crowded Interstates 5 and 805.
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La Mesa - If you’ve tried to sell your home yourself, you know that the minute you put the “For Sale by Owner” sign up, the phone will start to ring off the hook. Unfortunately, most calls aren’t from prospective buyers, but rather from every real estate agent in town who will start to hound you for your listing. Like other “For Sale by Owners”, you’ll be subjected to a hundred sales pitches from agents who will tell you how great they are and how you can’t possibly sell your home by yourself. After all, without the proper information, selling a home isn’t easy. Perhaps you’ve had your home on the market for several months with no offers from qualified buyers. This can be a very frustrating time, and many homeowners have given up their dreams of selling their homes themselves. But don’t give up until you’ve read a new report entitled “Sell Your Own Home” which has been prepared especially for homesellers like you. You’ll find that selling your home by yourself is entirely possible once you understand the process. Inside this report, you’ll find 10 inside tips to selling your home by yourself which will help you sell for the best price in the shortest amount of time. You’ll find out what real estate agents don’t want you to know. To hear a brief recorded message about how to order your FREE copy of this report call toll-free 1- 800-270-1494 and enter 1017. You can call any time, 24 hours a day,7 days a week. Get your free special report NOW to learn how you really can sell your home yourself.
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LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
Gen-X in La Mesa
Vehicle thefts rising
By Genevieve A. Suzuki
La Mesa police took reports of 235 vehicle thefts in 2013, an increase of 17 percent over 2012, when police took reports of 201 vehicle thefts. Eighty percent of vehicles reported stolen in 2013 were recovered. The most stolen vehicle in La Mesa in 2013 was the Honda Civic. Hondas made up 43 percent of all vehicle theft reports, according to police. Police encourage anyone with information on crimes to call the La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-1400 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous toll-free tip line at (888) 580-TIPS.
After serving as your editor for more than a year, it’s time for me to step aside and return to my first love: writing a column. Of course, I am also lucky enough to be among those relegated to Dante’s Inferno: a lawyer. And while being an attorney is challenging work, nothing is as challenging as parenting a young child in 2014. My daughter, Quinn, who is turning 5, seems to rule our household with a tiny iron fist. One of the biggest challenges at the present moment is what to do for our daughter’s birthday, which occurs in February, early enough to guarantee she will almost always have a substandard birthday, when compared with her friends, whose birthdays fall in the months that follow. We just can’t get it right. For her third birthday, we had a picnic at Lake Murray. It was a very good time for all in attendance – hey, how can you not have fun with aggressive geese and a flurry of squirrels – but a couple of months later, her friends had parties with big bouncy houses, lunches at animal conservations and piñatas that bled money.
Woman robbed of purse at gunpoint A woman was robbed of a purse at gunpoint by two men on Normal Avenue near Helix High School approximately 7 p.m. on Jan. 15, police said. The victim was not injured. A detailed description of the robbers was not available. Police said they were wearing ski masks and hooded sweatshirts.
Vehicle pursuit ends in crash A La Mesa police officer witnessed the driver of a white Dodge Charger run the stop sign at Waite Drive and Harris Street at approximately 9:35 p.m. on Jan. 1, according to a police department press release, prompting a pursuit that ended in a crash. The driver of the Charger, identified as 29-year-old Matthew Bailey of Lemon Grove, led police on a pursuit through residential streets in La Mesa and onto state Route 94, where he exited on College Avenue and turned east onto Central Avenue in Lemon Grove, according to police. The driver turned off the vehicle’s headlamps and blew through stop signs and red lights in an attempt to evade police, reaching speeds of 80 miles per hour on the freeway and 50 mph on city streets, according to police. The pursuit ended when the car crashed into a utility box and a tree on Central Avenue just east of Lemon Grove Avenue. No one was injured, according to police. Bailey was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and evading police.
Gas station robbed at gunpoint A man pointed a handgun at an employee of the Arco gas station at Massachusetts Avenue and Waite Drive and demanded money on Dec. 23 about 6:30 p.m., according to police. The employee gave an undisclosed amount of money to the robber, who then fled east on Waite Drive, police said. The man was wearing a purple, hooded sweatshirt and pulled up a white t-shirt to cover his face, according to police.
“I wish we had a piñata, Mommy!” she said. I smiled at her and assured her next year would be even better. The next year, when she turned 4, I made sure we celebrated on a large scale by booking Ariel’s Grotto, the only family restaurant with Disney princesses and a prixfixe menu. After spending Quinn’s freshman college textbook allotment, I thought I had done a pretty good job. Who doesn’t like Disneyland? It’s the happiest place on Earth! As we rode the Disney tram back to the parking structure, I hugged Quinn close, asking her how she liked her birthday. “I didn’t like the fireworks,” she said, dramatically shaking her head and covering her ears with hands in memory. “OK, but other than the fireworks, how’d you like it,” I asked, sure she was going to answer with a “I loved it! You are the best mom ever!” “Eh, I like SeaWorld better,” she said. Ugh, she got me again! This year I’ve vowed to stop keeping up with the Joneses. I simply can’t afford it and the Joneses
are constantly stumping me from one party to the next. One minute it’s cool to have a cash piñata, the next minute SeaWorld trumps Disneyland. Additionally, this year we’re putting a different spin on birthday gifts. We’ve decided to stay really local by throwing the party at Grossmont Center’s Ceramic Café. We won’t be handing out gift bags because the kids will get to paint something they can bring home to their proud parents. My plan is practically fool proof. If Quinn doesn’t like it this year, I’ll quietly point to whatever concoction she painted and say, “Well, you made it yourself.” Genevieve A. Suzuki lives and practices family law in La Mesa. Suzuki’s professional website is www.sdlaw yersuzuki.com.
Events, from page 2 For more information, visit www.silamesa.org.
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.
LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
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David Marshall leaves his home in La Mesa and heads to work every day to preserve iconic historic structures in San Diego. David is president of Heritage Architecture and Planning, an award-winning firm that that handles challenging projects such as the current seismic retrofit of the Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park, the Western Metal Supply building at Petco Park and restoration of the Balboa Theatre downtown. He is most proud of the work he did on the historic House of Hospitality in Balboa Park (home of the Prado Restaurant and the Visitor Center), his first big project in Balboa Park, and one that would earn a coveted award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation – the only building in San Diego to receive such an honor for its historic reconstruction in the late 1990s. One high achiever in a relationship would probably be enough, but David’s wife, Stacy, also contributes mightily the region when she goes out to work each day as development and grants manager for the Monarch School – a K-12 campus south of Petco Park serving 300 homeless children. The nonprofit she works for partners with the San Diego County Office of Education to provide not only academics but also food, clothing, medical and dental care – whatever each child needs to succeed in school, despite the overwhelming challenges they face on a daily basis. She has worked there since 2006, and loves what she does. “It’s a great thing to get up every morning and feel like I’m making a difference,” she said. “We’re really helping to break the cycle of homeless-
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Stacy and David Marshall in front of their La Mesa home. ness for these children.” For such an impressive couple, David and Stacy live unpretentiously in a quiet 1960s-era housing development near Lake Murray – but one with a personal history. In 1967, when David was only 3, his family moved into a newly constructed home in the Lake Park area. His parents later divorced and he went to live with his dad in Pacific Beach at age 11, but his mom and sister stayed in the La Mesa house. Dave and Stacy (who’s from Bremerton, Wash.) met at Cal Poly Pomona, fell in love and, after graduating, moved to San Diego, married and bought the house from his mom in 1991. Their son, Ryan, now a student at Grossmont College, attended Maryland Avenue Elementary School (where David also went), La Mesa Middle and Helix High School. David loves that continuity. “Some of the same neighbors are still here; I find that very reassuring,” he says. The Marshalls’ home conveys a feeling of warmth and openness, enhanced by two friendly cats and David’s extensive collection of historic Balboa Park memorabilia displayed in lighted cabinets in the living and dining room. What’s on display is only a fraction of his collection, including
The same house in 1967, with (l. to r.) parents and sister Paul, Carole, Diane and David, age 3. more than 2,000 historic postcards of Balboa Park (among 4000-plus he owns of San Diego County). In 2007, using 220 of his Balboa Park postcards, David authored a popular book entitled, “San Diego’s Balboa Park,” published by Arcadia Books. Growing up here, David always knew the buildings in Balboa Park were special, but became fascinated by the park’s history as he worked on the House of Hospitality reconstruction. He and Stacy also have a history there: they were married in the Casa del Rey Moro gardens in 1991. Other Balboa Park projects his firm has been responsible for include restoration of the lighting of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, restoration of the façade, dome and roof of the California Building (Museum of Man), and the addition of a covering for the courtyard of the Ford Building See David Marshall, Page 11
LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
Emergencies? There’s an app for that By Jeremy Ogul County officials hope a major upgrade to the official mobile app for emergency preparedness in the region will encourage more people to download it and take a few minutes to plan for an emergency. The county’s new version of the SD Emergency app makes it easier to share emergency preparedness plans with family members and neighbors and to back up those plans to the cloud. The county has also added push notifications and improved the app’s reliability on numerous Android mobile device models. To encourage people to download the app and prepare for an emergency, the county will hand out free, two-person camping tents to the first 3,000 people who download the app and register their mobile devices with the county’s emergency alert system. Target Corp. donated the tents. The SD Emergency app is free to download from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android. “It is so easy even an adult can use it,” quipped Supervisor Ron Roberts, who initiated the effort to develop the app two years ago. With major wildfires and blackouts in the last decade, along with the potential for earthquakes, “I think all San Diegans know we have good reason to be prepared for emergencies,” Roberts said. Unlike East Coast residents, who can see a hurricane coming several days in advance, people in San Diego County have a greater need to be able to respond nearly instantaneously to regional emergencies, said Holly Crawford, director of the county Office of Emergency Services. “With the types of disasters that we might face here in San Diego, you might have a matter of minutes to gather what you need and to get out of your house to safety,” she said. Approximately 32,200 people have downloaded the app since it was first released in October 2012, Crawford said. The county has spent about $500,000 to develop the app, including about $134,000 for the latest upgrade, Crawford said. Most of the funding for the app’s development came from federal grants, she said. Maintaining the app will only cost about $400 a month. The new version of the SD Emergency app makes it easy to export emergency plans from the app to friends and neighbors. “This is important because a plan that’s only in one place with one person being able to access it is not as good as being able to share it with the whole family,” Roberts said. The app allows users to back up their emergency plan and emergency kit information so they won’t have to start from scratch if they lose the data on their device. One section of the app provides a checklist of things that residents should keep on hand in an emergency kit, such as water, flashlight, cash, matches, a dust mask, trash bags, extra pet food, a pet
carrier, etc. “You can see there’s a whole list of things that many of us would think about afterwards,” Roberts said. The app will notify users when an item in the emergency kit, such as medicine or food, has hit its expiration date. No regional disasters have struck since the app was first launched, but Crawford said a disaster is a matter of “when, not if,” considering the extremely dry conditions created by a lack of rain. Another new feature of the app is a map that will show a real-time fire perimeter, evacuation perimeters, evacuation shelters and assistance centers so residents do not have to call a hotline for this information. “The emergency map you will notice now incorporates universally recognized response and recovery icons that really help to overcome language and cultural barriers,” Crawford said. The app also adds a recovery section to guide residents to the resources and information they may need to get back to normal after an emergency. “Let’s hope we don’t have to use it, but let’s be prepared if we do have to,” Roberts said. People who do not want to use mobile device can still go to readysandiego.org and download a paper version of the emergency plan. For the full details on how to qualify for one of the free camping tents, visit www.readysandiego.org/resolve-to-be-ready-campaign/
LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
Park Station, from page 1 But the 60-year-old American Legion building, which sits on a corner of the Park Station Specific Plan, remains a hurdle for developers. American Legion Post 282’s house manager is Lenny Guccione. “We have no intention of moving,” he said. “They’re more than (welcome) to build around us. We’d appreciate it, too. If they can improve the property, that would be great.” Guccione lauded plans for trees and shrubs along the trolley tracks and the one-way frontage road called Nebo Drive. Nebo, once seen as a Park Station urban park, was dropped from the plans, however. “The underlying ownership became too complicated and held up the project for a long period of time,” Hewitt said. “With part city ownership and part private land owners, there was no way to ultimately take control of this land to include it in the project, so it will remain a street but will be enhanced.” A longtime holdup for Park Station was the traffic study element of the draft EIR (now being prepared for the city by Encinitas-based
Dudek). After at least five revisions, sought by city planners, that element is now satisfactory, say city officials. City Hall’s work on the project included a December, 2009, “public scoping meeting” of 55 residents. The project is bounded by University Avenue on the south, Baltimore Drive on the west and El Cajon Boulevard on the north and would feature as many as 416 housing units along with 146,000 square feet of commercial office space and 61,000 square feet for shops. A parking garage would be undergrounded. South Baltimore LLC, the entity behind the project, has paid the city $50,000 to defray staff expenses on the project. But Bill Chopyk, the city’s community development director, declined to speculate whether Park Station would be an issue in the November 2014 mayoral and council races. Chopyk pledged “an objective, professional recommendation” on whether to approve, reject or seek changes in the project. “The staff doesn’t have a dog in this fight,” he said.
Michael Stonehouse / Carrier Johnson
Artist’s rendering of Park Station as seen from Baltimore Drive and El Cajon Boulevard. A 200-page report details an increase in traffic. But the site plan limits the expansion to 8,090 average daily trips.
Sixth Grade camp students help compile data for study Students from throughout the county are getting a chance to participate in handson science lessons at 6th Grade Camp while providing
A researcher looks on as a student identifies goldspotted oak borer beetle damage at Camp Cuyamaca.
important information to researchers at UC Riverside. The work is part of a study about the goldspotted oak borer, a destructive beetle that has been killing trees at the camp Cuyamaca site, which is run by San Diego County Office of Education’s Outdoor Education unit. Students are helping to identify and tag trees that have been damaged by the beetle. Principal Greg Schuett started the collaboration with Cara Washington, a gradSee Beetles, Page 12
LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
LATEST MOVE HAS Mayor on the outside looking in By Jeremy Ogul For more than 25 years Mayor Art Madrid has represented La Mesa on the Art Madrid SANDAG Board of Directors, the powerful group of elected officials from all over San Diego County who make decisions on regional land-use and planning issues. Madrid’s tenure ended Jan. 14 when a divided City Council voted to take away Madrid’s SANDAG appointment and replace him with Kristine Alessio, who has been a City Councilmember for just over a year. Madrid and City Councilmember Ruth Sterling opposed the motion; Alessio, Mark Arapostathis and Ernie Ewin supported it. To some, the decision to yank Madrid from SANDAG seemed calculated to undermine his credentials ahead of this year’s mayoral election. No candidate has yet emerged to challenge the incumbent, but political opponents have been turning up the pressure on Madrid over the last year with questions about expense reimbursements and criticism of his communication with the council. Madrid said the city would suffer as a result of the council’s decision because his appointments to key SANDAG committees, including the executive committee and the transportation committee, won’t transfer to Alessio. Madrid took issue with Alessio’s statement at the meeting that “we are all equals here.” “We’re not all equal,” Madrid said. “The mayor has special responsibilities.” Madrid’s belief that he has something to offer above and beyond the rest of the council is typical, said City Councilmember Ernie Ewin. “I would expect nothing less of Art,” Ewin
said. “He’s a council of one and we’re a council of five.” Ewin dismissed the idea that appointing Alessio to the SANDAG board was a cynical ploy. “I felt personally when I heard the motion that it was good to maybe get a little different perspective,” Ewin said. “It’s time for a change and to spread things around.” Alessio’s experience as a land-use attorney may be useful since many of the issues SANDAG deals with have a land-use component, Ewin said. This is not the first time the City Council has removed Madrid from the SANDAG board. In 2003, the council voted 4-1, with Madrid opposed, to replace him with then-Councilmember Barry Jant. The story then was quite similar to the story today. “I think it’s important on occasion that we rotate to give us all knowledge of those issues,” Jantz said in a San Diego Union-Tribune article in February 2004. Madrid told the Union-Tribune that he was targeted for political reasons. “They didn’t like the exposure and positive recognition I was getting,” Madrid said, according to the Union-Tribune. In January 2005, Jantz stepped down from his post at SANDAG due to the pressures of his new job as chief executive of the Grossmont Healthcare District, according to the Union-Tribune. Madrid, Jantz and then-Councilmember Dave Allan voted to send Madrid back to the SANDAG board; Ewin and Sterling opposed that motion.
Grossmont High School
Foothiller Footsteps By Connie and Lynn Baer Grossmont High School’s track and field team has a long, illustrious history, one the Foothillers are hoping to build upon this spring. The first Grossmont High School boys track team first took the field in 1921. The girls fielded their first team in 1977 as the impacts of Title IX began to be felt on campus. During their more than nine decades, boys teams have won a total of 24 league championships. From 1924 through 1955, Jack Mashin coached the Foothillers to a 145-37 record and won nine league titles. From 1957 through 1968, head coach Marlin Baer squads had a won-loss record of 250-43, capturing five varsity (A) championships, nine Class B crowns, and 11 straight C titles, with a string of 66 straight C league wins. Javelin thrower Bud Held, Class of 1944, would go on to earn NCAA titles in 1948, 1949 and 1950 and compete in the 1952 Olympics. A year later, he became the first American to hold the world javelin record. Jim Wade, Class of 1958, would become the national intercollegiate discus throw record holder while at USC. Ironically, in high school, Jim competed in only the shot put, becoming the second Grossmont High School athlete to throw over 60 feet. One of our outstanding female athletes is Darcy Arreola, 1984 CIF 880 champion, 1986 CIF 1600-meter champion, and 1986 CIF Track Player of the Year. While a student at Cal State Northridge, Darcy was the Women’s 1988 NCAA 1500-meter champion and the 3000-meter champion in 1988 and 1989. Today’s coaches are committed to improving both the competitive spirit of the athletes as well as the facilities. Said second-year girls coach Tara Egipto: “I am honored to be the Girls Track & Field Head Coach at Grossmont High School. I love the enthusiasm and variety of personalities that I get to work with.” Said Kevin Baer, sixth-year coach of the shot and discus: “Our team is young and has a lot of talent and is eager to learn and possibly win a championship this year” Coaches also are dedicated to improving the track and field facilities. As a result of last year’s fundraising efforts, Phase 1 of the discus field is nearly complete, which means a new throwing pad, ring, and protective fence. Phase 2 funding efforts have begun to raise money for a new throwing field surface, replacing an outdated surface that dates to 1960. Also desperately needed are funds to replace the two high jump mats and to replace the non-regulation sand with regulation sand in the long jump and triple jump pits. All of these items are essential to the safety of the competitive surfaces. We welcome donations of any amount. All donations are tax deductible. Checks should be made payable to GHS Educational Foundation (designate the item funded) and mail to GHS Museum, P.O. Box 1043, La Mesa, 91944. or pay via PayPal at http://www.foothillermuseum.com. Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about our storied program, visit the Foothiller Museum is available for public visits on Feb. 5, March 5 and April 2 from noon to 4 p.m., or 619-6686140 or email ghsmuseum@ guhsd.net for an appointment or more information.
LaMesaCourier.com â€” February 2014
NEWS IN BRIEF Local colleges get better lighting
The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has secured more than $600,000 in state funding to add more energy-efficient lighting at its two East County campuses. The district was one of 14 in the state to receive funding from Proposition 39, a measure passed in November 2012 that raised taxes on out-of-state
corporations to pay for clean energy projects at schools and campuses in California. Of the more than $8 million that was handed out in the stateâ€™s third round of appropriations, the college district, which serves La Mesa and Mount Helix, received $614,585. The district is also receiving a $84,799 rebate from San Diego Gas & Electric Co. for the lighting improvements. While several San Diego
County schools have received energy funding from Proposition 39, Grossmont-Cuyamaca is the only community college district in San Diego County to have received funding. The state is expecting to allocate an estimated $2.5 billion over five years to eligible projects that will increase energy efficiency and broaden clean energy. The district will be using the money to partially fund a $2.1-million project to replace
existing lights to LED (lightemitting diode) fixtures for pedestrian walks, parking lot lighting and some street lighting. More than 8,000 fluorescent lamps in classrooms at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will also be replaced with the more energy-efficient
lighting. LED lighting is more energy-efficient, durable, versatile and longer-lasting than traditional incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting. See News Briefs, Page 13
LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
Pop Tuesdays - Suzanne Shea at Bistro Sixty. Free. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. www.SanDiegoDesserts.net
By Jen Van Tieghem
Jazz Wednesdays - Gilbert Castellanos Jazz Jam at Seven Grand. Free. 9 p.m. SevenGrandBars.com. Fridays - Sam Johnson Jazz Group at Cosmos Coffee Cafe. Free. 3 to 5p.m. CosmosCoffeeCafe.com. Saturdays - Jazz with George and Alan at Bistro Sixty. Free. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. www.SanDiegoDesserts.net. Saturdays – Douglas Kvandal with the LiveJazz! Quartet at the Amigo Spot at the Kings Inn. Free. 7 p.m. www.kingsinnsandiego.com. Feb. 1 – Jazz Trio at San Pasqual Winery Tasting Room. Free. 7 p.m. www.SanPasqualWinery.com
Classical Feb. 3 – Camera Lucida #5 at Conrad Prebys Concert Hall at UCSD. $25. 7:30 p.m. www.SanDiegoSymphony.org Feb. 7 – 9 – Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise at Copley Symphony Hall. $20 - $96. Fri & Sat 8 p.m. Sun 2 p.m. www.SanDiegoSymphony.org Feb. 16 - Yale Strom and Lou Fanucchi “Klezmer Music” at Mission Trails Regional Park Visitors Center. Donations welcome. 3 p.m. www.mtrp.org Feb. 23 – The Chieftains at Copley Sympohony Hall. $20 - $85. 7:30 p.m. www.SanDiegoSymphony.org Feb. 28 – March 2 – Wagner’s The Ring Without Words at Copley Symphony Hall. $20 - $96 Fri & Sat 8 p.m. Sun 2 p.m. www.SanDiegoSymphony.org
Alternative Feb. 7 – Mudgrass at Riviera Supper Club. Free. 9 p.m. www.RivieraSupperClub.com Feb. 8 - Schitzophonics, Neighbors to the North, Amerikan Bear, and Gloomsday at Casbah. $8. 9 p.m. www.CasbahMusic.com Feb. 21 – River City, Manuok, and John Meeks at Soda Bar. $5. www.sodabarmusic.com Feb. 22 – Nightshift at Chico Club. Free. 8 p.m. www.chicoclub1940.com Feb. 23 – John Butler Trio and Little Hurricane at House Of Blues. $30-$45. 8 p.m. www.houseofblues.com
Wednesdays – Westside Inflection at Riviera Supper Club. Free. 8 p.m. www.RivieraSupperClub.com. Thursdays – Greg Shibley at The Westgate Hotel. Free. 6:30pm – 9:30pm. www.westgatehotel.com Fridays – Nathan Welden at Bistro Sixty. Free. 6:30 p.m. www.SanDiegoDesserts.net Feb. 15 – West of 5 at Pal Joey’s Free. 9 p.m. www.paljoeysonline.com Feb. 22 - People of Earth at San Pasqual Winery Tasting Room. Free. 7 p.m. www.SanPasqualWinery.com For special Valentine’s Day music events, see “For the Love of Music.” Bands, venues, and musiclovers: please submit listings for this calendar by emailing Jen@ScoopSanDiego.com
For the love of music There are a lot of ways to celebrate the upcoming holiday of romance, but we suggest making music a part of your festivities on Feb. 14. Lucky for you toe-tappers, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year so many venues will be rockin’. We’ve done the legwork rounding up events in La Mesa and San Diego, but you can take credit when you surprise your sweetie.
The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble 9 p.m. at Riviera Supper Club (7777 University Ave. La Mesa) Free. This large group of talented musicians barely fits on the stage in the Turquoise Room at Riviera Supper Club, but their sound is incredible. Led by eclectic keyboardist Tim Felten, this band combines funk, soul, and jazz for a fusion that is as fun as it is interesting. The dynamic music celebrates traditional
styles and the group also adds a vintage charm by putting music out on vinyl 45s. If you want to celebrate with good music, good food and good people, this is the place to do it. Riviera is known for its cookyour-own-steak menu, but it’s also added an extensive list of prepared foods and the desserts will more than satisfy your sweet tooth. You can reserve a table in the dining area or grab a spot in the bar to be closer to the band. Plus you’ll be partying with at least one other pair of sweethearts – Felten’s wife, Sheryll plays the
shekere in the band.
Nathan Welden – 6:30 p.m. at Bistro Sixty (5987 El Cajon Blvd. San Diego) Free. The delightful and cozy atmosphere of Bistro Sixty is a perfect pairing with the mellow stylings of Nathan Welden. Channeling the great songwriters of the past, he strums sweet melodies with vocals reminiscent of James Taylor and John Denver. As a special Valentine’s Day treat, Welden tells us he’ll be playing sets of love songs. We hope this See Valentine’s Day Music, Page 15
LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
Visit the NEW
John C. Scott: the forgotten (?) ‘mayor’ of La Mesa
Dorcas E. Utter
La Mesa Historical Society.
By James D. Newland Researching and writing local history sometimes can provide confirmation, discovery, or elaboration on existing and assumed common knowledge and community memory. For example, during research for La Mesa’s centennial I had run across a document in the La Mesa “incorporation” files. The document was from 1919, seven years after the great incorporation effort. It had no specific relevance to the City’s incorporation story of 1911-12, so I filed it away. But what had caught my attention was the signatory – “La Mesa Board of Trustees President John C. Scott.” (From 1912 to 1927 the city had a Board of Trustees, today’s City Council, and its internally-elected president was the de facto “mayor”). At first glance the name did not seem familiar to me as one of the city’s civic leaders. A check of the “mayors” chapter of the Historical Society’s 2001 La Mesa Through the Years book made no mention of a John Scott as board president; Dr. John H. Mallery was listed
as the president from 1918 to 1920. So I consulted other sources. City directories and numerous newspaper articles in the La Mesa Scout and the San Diego Union confirmed that, in fact, John C. Scott was elected and served as board president from July 1918 through April 1920 when Edwards Porter was elected board president. When I recently checked with City Clerk Mary Kennedy, she found in her records a list of La Mesa mayors that showed Mallery as the See John C. Scott, Page 14
Mesa. They love the small-town feel. Stacy enjoys hiking in nearby Mission Trails Regional Park, and both enjoy the weather and easy commute to their downtown jobs. But there’s also a lot of history here. In fact, David Marshall has been volunteering on a La Mesa committee dedicated to saving one of the most historic structures in La Mesa – the Spring House in Collier Park, where the bottling and sale of natural spring water by a land developer named D.C. Collier helped spur the growth of our little community in the early 1900s. David was quick to point out that Collier was also the first director-general of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park….
Alessio, from page 1 think there is so much resistance? A) I think that most of those who hold elected office enjoy having the perks of the same, whether they be in the form of financial benefits or plain old ego gratification. It is no surprise at all that long term politicians in any office are resistant to the idea of having their terms in office limited. Q) Proudest accomplishments as a council member? A) Presenting the Term Limits measure, trimming unnecessary travel costs from the city budget, commitment to government transparency. The thing I am the most proud of though is being told `thank you’ while jogging the streets of La Mesa for being a voice to the people whom I represent. Q) Biggest disappointments as a council member? A) The lack of movement
at The Water Conservation Garden
Opens March 22
John C. Scott, fourth “mayor” of La Mesa is at far left in this January 4, 1926 photograph commemorating the La Mesa, Spring Valley, and Lemon Grove Irrigation District’s purchase of the Cuyamaca Water Company from Ed Fletcher. Scott was the Irrigation District’s Secretary and Tax Assessor from 1923 through 1930.
David Marshall, from page 5 (Air & Space Museum). He is currently volunteering on a committee planning the restoration of the Botanical Building. At the Monarch School, Stacy helped raise the $15 million needed for larger building in Barrio Logan that recently became the school’s new home. She is continually seeking funds to meet the basic needs of the homeless students, like bus and trolley passes to get them to Monarch every day, but also for programs like an annual college trip for juniors and afterschool enrichment programs for the younger students. She works with a “fantastic” board and donors from all over San Diego County, including many from La Mesa. It’s not just David’s old neighborhood and family home that drew the Marshalls to La
on the issue of pension liabilities. I am hoping we will be addressing this, even if it means hard choices, politically difficult choices, in the coming months. I also am disappointed in what I believe are some decisions that are made with an eye to re-election instead of application of fact to law, or fact to reality. I am not a politician, have very little political savior faire, and this part of the job will continue to mystify me and probably continue to provide me with disappointments. Q) What are your top priorities for La Mesa this year and beyond? A) Pension reform. Marketing of the city. Continuing support of public safety issues. Term limits. Careful budgeting for the city. Ensure that La Mesa continues to retain its status as the Jewel of the Hills. Q) What do you believe is the most important issue
to the average La Mesa resident that the City Hall does not give proper attention to? A) Using the potential of the downtown village to its fullest potential, gentrification of the El Cajon Boulevard and University Avenue areas in west La Mesa. A streamlined approach to permitting issues for businesses and a presence in social media. I believe that we do an excellent job of addressing concerns regarding traffic, safety, and fire protection. I think our school districts are the best and they do a great job in addressing the needs of our kids and parents. I receive a lot of complaints and comments from everyday folk wondering about downtown, about El Cajon Boulevard and University Avenue and why we are not doing anything to improve them. The downtown streetscape is a step in the right direction, but we need to do more and should do more.
Native butterflies and the plants they love. Feeding station and interpretive displays. Ideas for creating your own butterfly garden.
Butterfly Festival April 5, 2014 9am to 3pm 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West El Cajon, CA • 92019 • 619-660-0614 www.TheGarden.org • 9am to 4pm Daily
More Beauty. Less Water.
LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
La Mesa Reads By Jake Sexton, Librarian
By Genevieve Suzuki
more information on tables and sponsorship opportunities, contact Mary England at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dress for Less in La Mesa
With Apple dominating the smart phone and tablet market, it’s inevitable for tech addicts everywhere to suffer major setbacks when their phones slip out of their pockets into the toilet or they forget their iPads on the roofs of their cars. Editor’s Note: That really happened to us. It’s as painful as it sounds. Fortunately for those of us who are committed to being online all the time, iWholesale Parts and Repair opened just last year at 5360 Jackson Dr., Suite 112, ready to heal our broken screens and hearts in just a few short days. Owner Saqib Qureshi and his wife, Natasha, are more than kind to their clutzy clientele – they don’t mock you like Jimmy Fallon’s IT guy character – and offer discounts to educators and members of the military. The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is hosting its 6th Annual Salute to Local Heroes & Installation Dinner Feb. 19 at Town & Country Resort Hotel. The event,“Lights, Camera, Action!”, celebrates seven local heroes from the La Mesa Police, Fire Department, paramedics, and our Retired Volunteers of the La Mesa Police Department. Evening attire is described as “business, cocktail or Hollywood glam.” Tickets are $50 per person, two for $80, or eight for $300. To celebrate with the Chamber, email email@example.com, call (619) 465-7700 or register online at lamesachamber.com. For
Ross Dress for Less is suiting up in the old Ralphs location on Grossmont Boulevard. The walls may be up around the store’s new home, but the Ross Dress for Less signs are up around the complex, alerting local bargain shoppers of what may become their favorite new haunt. Ross Dress for Less, a discount retailer for off-price apparel and home fashions, will join Walmart Neighborhood Market and Toys ‘R’ Us to create a family – and pocketbook – friendly shopper’s paradise.
Meet the Chief
La Mesa Police Chief Ed Aceves and his team invite you to enjoy breakfast at Marie Callender’s March 11 while they educate the public on crime issues and safety information. The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is hosting the meal, which includes eggs benedict, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, fresh fruit and juice. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. and the program runs from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Chamber members pay $15, guests cost $20 and at-door attendees are $25 each. RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (619) 465-7700 ext. 2.
Overheard in the Garden
BO-Beau Kitchen + Garden operating partner Michelle Kveen is pretty happy about the warmer winter. She said the restaurant has been able to continue its success since its run, thanks to the lack of rain, which detrimentally affects the spot’s attractive garden terrace dining.
With 2013 firmly behind us, we can look back at the books that were most popular with La Mesa readers. Our library’s most checkedout book of 2013 was Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, an unpredictable dark thriller about a missing wife, a suspicious husband, and a host of secrets and lies. Number 2 was John Grisham’s latest legal thriller, The Racketeer, about a jailed attorney who is trying to buy his freedom by exposing a plot to murder judges. Number 3 was the second book in Suzanne Collins’ blockbuster Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire (the other two books in the series came in at 6 and 7, respectively). Number 4 was the first nonHarry Potter novel by J.K. Rowling, The Casual Vacancy. While Rowling’s new work didn’t win many fans, it was discovered that she had written a second book the same year under pen name Robert Galbraith: The Cuckoo’s Calling, a murder mystery which received much acclaim. The last book in our top five was the surprisingly successful erotic romance Fifty Shades of Grey. And the rest of our Top 10 was rounded out by perpetual favorites Michael Connelly (The Black Box), Janet Evanovich (Notorious Nineteen) and Lee Child (Wanted Man). Now we can anticipate the hot releases of 2014. Library staffers are looking forward to titles such as Ransom Riggs’ The Hollow City (sequel to the popular eccentric fantasy Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), the return of talented novelist Greg Iles with his murder mystery Natchez Burning, and a new adventure of Jim Butcher’s wizard detective Harry Dresden, with Skin Game. Personally, I’m looking forward to A Highly Unlikely Scenario, or a Neetsa Pizza Employee’s Guide to Saving the World. That’s a mouthful of a title, and it’s author Robin Cantor’s first book, but she’s already being compared to legendary sci-fi humorists Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Pratchett and
News from Our Friends
The Friends of the Library, the La Mesa Arts Alliance and the La Mesa Kiwanis Club are well into the planning for the Authors & Artists fundraising event on May 10. If you are a local author or artist who would be interested in this opportunity to display and sell your works, please contact Friends of the Library president John Schmitz at 619-460-1744, or leave your name and contact information with library manager Heather Pisani-Kristl at 619-469-2151. Businesses are welcome to advertise in the printed program for the Authors & Artists festival, which reaches several hundred readers. Advertising opportunities range from $20 to $250; more information is available at the numbers above.
Beetles, from page 7 uate student at UC Riverside and Kevin Turner, a retired member of the U.S. Forest Service. “I was looking for opportunities for our students to be involved in real-world science projects,” Schuett said. Teachers at the outdoor school located in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park put together lesson plans for the work that are tied in with Next Generation Science Standards. UC Riverside sent everything the students needed for the work, including samples of
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Douglas Adams. If you got a new iPad, Kindle, Android phone or other electronic reading device over the holidays, you can use it to read free e-books from the library. We offer free oneon-one tutoring sessions every Wednesday and Friday, to teach you the process. Call us at 619-469-2151 to make your appointment. In February, we’re starting a program for book lovers on the move, our Online Book Club. You can post your comments and thoughts about the book at any time during to the book club’s Facebook page, and then we’ll have a live online chat session about the book later in the month. Get all your info at Facebook.com/ LaMesaBookClub. You can keep up to date on all upcoming library programs, classes and events at Facebook.com/LaMesaLibrary or at SDCL.org.
the beetles and bark, information and tags for the trees. The information they collect will go into larger maps of trees throughout the region that are infested by the beetle. The researchers putting together the maps didn’t have any data about Cuyamaca Rancho State Park before the students started the work, Schuett said. “They’re not just involved in it because it involves the kids, but they’re really excited to get the data,” he said. To identify the damaged trees, students are looking for signs of infestation, including a thinning crown, peeling bark and small D-shaped holes in the bark. The goldspotted oak borers came to the area from Arizona when somebody brought infested firewood. The work started in October with three teachers
and is expected to include all of the students who attend 6th Grade Camp beginning in February. “They’re going to feel so good about themselves for participating in an important science project,” Schuett said. With 25,000 acres around the camp, Schuett said he doesn’t expect the students will ever run out of trees to study and tag. The outdoor school at Camp Cuyamaca serves about 12,000 students each year during four- or five-day excursions. The camp in the mountains east of San Diego features hands-on lessons that incorporate life science, earth science, outdoor skills, Native American lore and art and many social growth opportunities.
LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
Whistle-blower, from page 1 of retaliation for filing a May 2011 Cal-OSHA complaint about being forced to work in and around asbestos and lead paint without proper training at two elementary schools. Allegations further state that one school had “exposed, peeling paint [and] had been closed and rented to not-forprofit organizations without clearing up the exposed lead paint and without advising the tenants of the problem.” The schools aren’t named in the suit, but the federal OSHA database shows the district was fined $375 in October 2011 for failing to give annual two-hour asbestos and lead-paint training sessions at Kempton Street Elementary School in Spring Valley. “We missed one year,” says Chris Benker, the district’s maintenance director. “We take our safety very seriously.” School board minutes and agendas note asbestos and lead abatement work at many schools. At Fletcher Hills Elementary School, for example, the district had plans in 2011 to remove carpet and asbestos-containing tiles/ mastic at the multipurpose room at a projected cost of
$28,283. Benker says abatement work is ongoing, as all but one of the 21 schools in the district were built before asbestos and lead were banned in the 1970s. District lawyers say the defendants, including personnel director T.R. Linn, are “immune from liability pursuant to provisions of the Tort Claims Act” and Pinachio “[failed] to exhaust his administrative remedies.” Pinachio contends he filed grievances with his labor union, the California School Employees Association. Benker was president of Pinachio’s bargaining unit, CSEA Chapter 419, for 14 years – ending in 2010. Benker said the union found no basis for Pinachio’s complaints and closed the grievance. Michael Gibbs, an attorney for the K-8 district, declined to comment. Superintendent Brian Marshall also wouldn’t address the case, except to confirm that Pinachio still works for the district. If the case goes to trial, it will be heard in San Diego Superior Court.
News Briefs, from page 9 Town hall meetings set
La Mesa residents will have the chance to speak their minds at two town hall meetings in February. The first meeting will be held Feb. 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Rolando Elementary School, 6925 Tower St. The second meeting will be held Feb. 18 at Northmont Elementary School, 9405 Gregory St. City Councilmembers and city staff will attend both meetings to provide information about city services, including crime prevention, emergency preparedness and city recreation classes, according to a news release. City leaders will also answer resident questions and hear opinions from residents on city-related issues. Councilmembers may ask staff to research issues raised at the town hall meetings for discussion at future City Council meetings. Anyone interested in additional information about the meetings can call the City Manager›s office at (619) 667-1105.
Gallery has a new name
One of La Mesa’s fine art galleries has changed its name but has not closed its doors. Curator Midge Hyde announced this month that as
of Jan. 1, Biz Center Art is now On The Edge Art Gallery. “We wanted our new name to reflect our image as well as our location,” Hyde said in a written statement. The name “on the edge” reflects the gallery’s physical location near the border of La Mesa and San Diego. Despite the name change, the same people are still running the art gallery in the same space. The name change comes as a result of change of ownership in the building. The La Mesa Biz Center managed the building until the end of last year; the new landlord is the Business Center of La Mesa. The gallery’s 1,350 square feet of wall space allows artists to showcase and sell their work while also making daily life more enjoyable for the people who work in the business center. Hyde organizes regular juried gallery exhibits and hosts events at the gallery. The next exhibit is called Valentines Revisited. Visitors can find On the Edge Art Gallery at 7317 El Cajon Blvd. in La Mesa. For more information, call (619) 466-3711 or visit the website at www.ontheedgeartgallery.com.
Get ready for more crime After
seeing declining crime rates, folks in La Mesa should be prepared to see a spike thefts, burglaries and other offenses, county Supervisor Dianne Jacob told the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce during the group’s monthly breakfast. Thanks to a state law known as AB109 that was passed in October of 2011 and reassigned thousands of former prisoners from state parole to county supervision and some felons from state institutions to county jails, local law enforcement authorities are seeing a spike in crimSee News Briefs, Page 15
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LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
John C. Scott, from page 11 city’s chief executive from 1918 to 1920 – but no mention of Scott. Kennedy quickly checked the official minutes of the July 12, 1918, board meeting noted in newspaper articles which confirmed Mallery’s resignation from office three months into his term to join the Army Medical Corps during World War I – and the election of Scott as president. This was also corroborated in a February 26, 1937, La Mesa Scout article celebrating the city’s 25th Silver Jubilee anniversary that noted Scott’s service along with all the other early trustees/council members and president/mayors. Yet, interestingly three years later in 1940, after John Scott passed away on Sept. 2, his short La Mesa Scout obituary only noted that he had lived in La Mesa for 31 years
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and had “at one time served the community as tax assessor and collector.” Was this the beginning of the civic memory loss about John C. Scott’s term as “mayor”? Did his tenure as a “tax collector” mask his other civic work? Or was this simply a case of inadvertent civic memory loss?
Who was John C. Scott?
A closer examination of John C. Scott’s life in La Mesa shows it was somewhat typical of other prominent city pioneers and civil servants who are better known today. Scott and his wife Flora, both Ohio natives, arrived in La Mesa in 1909. Scott had been a grocer back home. In 1911, he was listed in the city directory as a La Mesa Hardware Store clerk – a position he held until 1917. In between he When counting words – a word is a word, regardless of the number of letters. A telephone number is a word. An address such as “10000 San Diego Mission Road” is 5 words. We do not mail “proofs of publication” for classifieds. No personals are accepted. Paid classifieds may be submitted by mail or hand-delivered to Postal Annex at: 6549 Mission Gorge Rd #199 San Diego, CA 92120. For your convenience, paid classified ads may be placed using our self-serve system online at ScoopSanDiego.com/ Classifieds.
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attained his first civic position when appointed to replace R. S. Halls as City “Superintendent of Streets.” From 1918 to 1920 he listed his profession as “President, Board of Trustees.” During his “mayoral” term he notably led La Mesa along with several of its neighboring cities in a lawsuit against the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co.’s proposed rate increases. He apparently served a term as city treasurer before accepting a position as secretary and tax assessor/collector with the La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley Irrigation District (today’s Helix Water). Scott served as an
important participant in the District’s financing and acquisition of the Cuyamaca Water Company in 1925-26. He held that prominent position until his retirement in February 1930. Other articles noted John and Flora’s involvement in local social and civic activities. Both were active members of the La Mesa Methodist Church. Flora was also a member of the La Mesa Women’s Club. Newspaper columns noted their socializing with many prominent La Mesans at dinner parties, civic events and local Republican Party proceedings.
Re-Honoring “Mayor” Scott
With such a record of civic and community service, and the political and social circles to which John and Flora engaged, it seems odd that John’s service was misplaced – but apparently it had been. For whatever reason, John Scott’s time as mayor has slipped from our civic memory. There is but one resolution – the recognition due his documented public service. And perhaps, maybe – this is initially best accomplished with another photograph on the City Council Chamber wall for our seemingly forgotten fourth city “mayor” – the Honorable John C. Scott.
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LaMesaCourier.com — February 2014
La Mesa Courier
News Briefs, from
inal activity throughout the region. “It was the biggest change in California history in our criminal justice system, and it is huge,” AIR CONDITIONING Jacob said at the Jan. 21 event. “It is causing us a lot Ideal Plumbing, of problems.” Heating In 2012, the first full Air & Electrical year when the impact of Serving our community since the law was felt, the crime 1960! Residential/commerrate in La Mesa rose 11 cial. Service, repair, installation, thermostats, registers, percent from the year before, filters, indoor air quality, and according to the San Diego more. BBB accredited busiAssociation of Governments. ness.(06-13) www.idealsvc.com The property crime rate was (619) 583-7963 up 12 percent. Statistics for Lic #348810 2013 are not available. According to Jacob, the prison realignment meant that more than 3,000 former state prisoners and paroles were transferred to county custody. Three out of four of them were deemed “high risk” to reoffend. The supervisor noted that residents can keep up with what police are doing through Nixle.com, which alerts subscribers to everything from reports of missing children to police pursuits. Jacob touched on a number of topics during her talk, saying the county remains on solid financial footing, is making progress in eliminating the red tape that property owners in the backcountry must contend with to use their land for their economic benefit, and encouraging residents to look at solar power to help them contend with an imminent rise in electric bills.
8030 La Mesa Blvd. #145 La Mesa, CA 91942 Phone: (619) 697-2500 Fax: (619) 697-2505
Ideal Plumbing, Heating Air & Electrical
Editor David Ogul Editor@LaMesaCourier.com
Water heaters, Garbage disposals, drain cleaning. Video pipe inspections, water softeners & filtration. Visit our Showroom! (06-12)
Contributors Jeremy Ogul Genevieve Suzuki Ken Stone
Serving our community since 1960! (619) 583-7963 Lic #348810
Graphic Artist Aleta El Sheikh Aleta@LaMesaCourier.com
Ideal Plumbing, Heating Air & Electrical
Serving our community since 1960! Panel upgrades, sub panels, outlets, ceiling fans, whole house fans, solar systems, recessed lighting, and more. BBB accredited business.(06-13)
www.idealsvc.com (619) 583-7963 Lic #348810
Valentine’s Day Music, from page 10 will include “Kite In The Wind” – a romantic number Welden wrote for his wife. If you wish you could serenade your Valentine, but have a voice like a tomcat, this is truly the place to give him or her the next best thing. Plus Bistro Sixty has a tasty dinner menu and extensive wine list to peruse. Reservations recommended.
Cool Rush Dance Band. 6 p.m. at Downtown Café (182 E. Main St. El Cajon) Free. Cool Rush plays a variety of classic rock spanning from the 50s to the 80s and the band gives some tunes an added country flair. Its extensive song list includes old favorites by Etta James and Bill Withers all the way through contemporary hits by Lady Antebellum and Carrie Underwood. With the fun spirit of this, one may want you to take a date out on the dance floor, so you’re in luck at Downtown Café there’s room to show off your moves.
Jazz Valentine show with the duets of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald at Dizzy’s (4275 Mission Bay Dr. Pacific Beach) 8 p.m. $15. This fantastic collection of classic music will be performed vocalist Leonard Patton and trumpeter/vocalist Teagan Taylor, along with pianist Ed Kornhauser, bassist Justin Grinnell, and drummer Duncan Moore. This annual event is a great way to start a tradition with your special someone. And if you can’t make this show, the same group will perform a tribute on Feb. 13 at 98 Bottles (2400 Kettner Blvd. #110, San Diego); also $15 for advanced tickets.
Dead Man’s Party and The Burning of Rome at Belly Up (143 S Cedros Ave. Solana Beach) 9 p.m. $16 in advance; $18 day at the door. And for something completely different, how about some psychedelic rock for your valentine? Dead Man’s Party pays tribute to the wacky tunes of Oingo Boingo with wild and rockin’ live shows. Local rockers The Burning of Rome will open this one with its magnetic energy. Once you see this band you’ll see it’s no surprise they took home the award for Album of the Year at last year’s San Diego Music Awards. Their songs combine pop with goth rock full of haunting melodies. Doesn’t that sound romantic? If you don’t mind the drive, this venue is one of the best in North County.
Ideal Plumbing, Heating Air & Electrical
Serving our community since 1960! Kitchens, bathrooms, closets, grab bars, wak-in tubs, and more!. BBB accredited business.(06-13)
www.idealsvc.com (619) 583-7963 Lic #348810
What’s Cooking with Julie
by Julie White
CRIMSON COCONUT DESSERT Whether you have a sweetheart or not for Valentine s Day, this recipe is delicious, sweet and beautiful. It is from a dear friend to many of us from La Mesa, Marian Keesey. Sadly she passed away a few years back. She was an amazing cook and person who taught those who knew her so much about cooking and life. Happy Valentines Day! CRIMSON COCONUT DESSERT Ingredients: 1 cup Sugar 1 envelope unfavored gelatin 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/4 cup milk 1 tsp vanilla 1 1/2 cup Angel Flake Coconut 2 cups whipping cream, whipped Topping: 1 10 oz. bag frozen raspberries 1/2 cup currant or seedless raspberry jam 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch Mix first 3 ingredients and add the milk. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and the milk is hot. DO NOT LET BOIL. Pour the hot mixture into a large mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator. Chill a short time until partially set. Check frequently. Do not let it set firm. Fold in the vanilla, coconut and cream that has been whipped firm. Put into a mold or bowl and chill for at least four hours. Serve with the raspberry sauce.
Advertising Manager Becky Suffridge, Ext. 140 Becky@MissionPublishingGroup.com Publisher Mission Publishing Group, LLC Jim Madaffer Jim@MissionPublishingGroup.com Circulation: 24,000. Published 12 times in 2014, mailed to all addresses in 91941, delivered to all single family homes in 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: 6549 Mission Gorge Rd #199 San Diego, CA 92120. 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. © 2014, all rights reserved. MEMBER
California Newspaper Publishers Association
Raspberry Sauce: Thaw and crush the 10 oz. frozen Raspberry package. Dilute 1 1//2 tsp cornstarch in a little water. Add to the raspberries and Jelly. Cook over low heat until boiling and thickened. Strain seeds if you wish and cool. Pour over chilled Coconut mixture.
The March issue of the La Mesa Courier will be published Friday, Feb. 28. The advertising deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 11.
LaMesaCourier.com â€” February 2014