Reggie Bush ProCamp and American Academy of Pediatrics team up
By Claudia Erickson
Campers attending the Reggie Bush Football ProCamp at Helix Charter High School not only had two great days of football instruction, they learned how the simple act of reading can help them achieve their goals and dreams.
Bush was in town July 14 and 15 to put on his annual football camp as the first part of The Reggie Bush Charity Weekend string of events. Several other NFL players and coaches were on hand as well to assist with the 240 campers. Camp director Rod Huber shared the message to campers and their parents, about the importance of reading and doing well in school for life long success. Through Reach Out and Read San Diego (RORSD), a program of the local chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP-CA, Chapter 3), families receive free books from their pediatrician at well-child check-ups, and a prescription to “read aloud to your children.” Read More
Dave Witt retires from city after 31 years of service
By Amanda Rogers
Long-time city of La Mesa employee, City Manager Dave Witt has announced his retirement to be effective Aug. 5.
Witt has served in several positions with La Mesa, starting as the Assistant Planning Director in 1985. Many of his years with La Mesa were involved with planning and redevelopment activities. Prior to his last position as City Manager, Mr. Witt served several years as the Assistant City Manager and Community Development Director. Read More
By Linda Armacost and Jeff Benesch
At the 3rd Annual Party in the Park on July 6, the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club (LMFDC) filled the patio to overflowing at Mission Trails Visitors Center, as nearly 150 passionate progressives (including 20 new members) reveled in the glory of a nearly perfect summer evening. With the sun-tinged hills and cliffs as the backdrop, we dined on Cheers subs and home-baked pies; heard park naturalist Linda Hassakis enthrall with details of the 5 Peak Challenge, snake skins, and bobcat sightings; and listened to luminaries like Supervisor Dave Roberts, Party Chief Francine Busby, City Attorney candidate Mara Elliott, and D-9 finalists Ricardo Flores and Georgette Gomez. Lastly, we were thrilled to have our own board member Colin Parent announce his candidacy for La Mesa City Council in a well-received and very motivating speech. Read More
Less perfect for diabetes-avoiding adults
By Genevieve A. Suzuki
Who knew fat could unite a community?
Ever since my last column in which I revealed that I was losing weight to avoid developing Type 2 diabetes, friends and family have reached out to me to let me know I’m not alone. People have shared tips and their own challenges in an effort to encourage me along my journey. And for this warm show of aloha, I am immensely grateful. Read More
By Jake Sexton
As a fan and advocate of graphics novels and comics, I always use the arrival of Comic-Con as an excuse to write about some of the more interesting titles of recent times. Here are some of the biggest hits and most acclaimed comics since last year. Read More
By Connie and Lynn Baer
In 2008, a dynamic group of parents, staff, alumni, and community members committed themselves to improving Grossmont High School through the GHS Educational Foundation, a nonprofit 501c3 entity.
The purpose of the foundation is to enhance the overall educational experience of the students by raising funds to support the needs of the school. The GHS Educational Foundation encourages parents, students, and alumni to “Take your memories…Leave your footprints.” Appropriately, footprints are the foundation’s logo. Read More
by David Dixon
San Diegans, who want to travel to different continents without leaving the county, will now be able to at Grossmont College’s Stagehouse Theatre. Members of the 3rd Annual Summer Conservatory Program are presenting an adaptation of “Around the World in 80 Days” called “80 Days! A New Musical.” Read More
By Judy McCarty
Navajo Canyon Republican Women Federated (NCRWF) members are planning an action-packed, fun-filled early evening event open to everyone including spouses, friends and family at the El Cajon Elks Lodge Tuesday, Aug. 9. This special evening begins at 5 p.m. with bidding on many donated items of value at the Road Show Silent Auction. The auction will continue throughout the evening with a no-host bar for adult beverages and a full-course dinner at 6 p.m., followed by the program. Read More
By Cate Kortzeborn
My mom, 88 stubborn years old, still lives on her own in a big house with a cat that loves to get underfoot. Because I work in healthcare, I have an all-too-vivid recognition of the perils that can befall someone in her situation. So, posted on her kitchen bulletin board is a bright pink sheet of paper called a POLST. Read More
By Dianne Jacob
Prepare and protect: The recent Border Fire was a tragic reminder of the risks we face each year across East County.
We may be heading into one of our worst fire seasons yet, and there is an awful lot of brush out there — dry brush — that hasn’t burned in over 50 years. Read More
By Andy Cohen | Congressional Watch
June 22 turned out to be quite a historic day. It was the day that House Democrats decided to stop talking about gun violence and do something about gun violence. “Thoughts and prayers are not enough,” they’ve repeatedly insisted after each massacre. “Thoughts and prayers” won’t do anything to prevent the next massacre from happening. And yet “thoughts and prayers” are all that have been offered up by this Congress — both the House and the Senate — after Aurora, Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino, and now Orlando. Read More
heART of Mt. Helix
Saturday, Aug. 13
The annual arts event at Mt. Helix Park features local restaurants; craft beers and wine; live music and art demonstrations; and a fundraising auction for the Mt. Helix Foundation. Read More
By Mark Ercolano
Any time the Boy Scouts of America decides to promote a scout to their highest rank of Eagle Scout, it is a significant event — not only for the recipient, but also for the community. Read More
Other leadership positions also filled
By Jennifer Osborn
The Helix Charter High School governing board members have announced a replacement for executive director Michael Lewis, Ed.D., who retired in June. Kevin Osborn, co-author of Helix’s original charter application, has been named as the school’s next leader.
Osborn has worked in the education field since 1988, and has been at Helix since 1992. He started as a teacher, and has served as ASB advisor, dean of students, and, most recently, a grade level principal since 2003. In his time at Helix, he has been involved with every aspect of the school’s leadership, from program and policy development to community relations, facilities planning, fiscal management, and human resources. Read More
By Julie White
A summer restaurant favorite, you can have this recipe done in a short amount of time. It is actually pretty hearty and satisfying by itself, or it can be served with a main dish of meat or fish. This salad serves six people. Read More
Trustee areas won’t change district governance
Re: “Voting by trustee areas will shake up board elections” [Volume 6, Issue 4, bit.ly/29ZfoIy]
The San Diego County Board of Education and the State Board of Education recently approved the Grossmont Union High School District’s proposal to elect its members by area rather than “at large” as had been the custom. The District is now in compliance with the California Voting Rights Act, thereby improving opportunities for residents of minority neighborhoods to achieve board representation. Most districts throughout California have implemented “area” elections or will soon do so. Read More
By Cassandra Penalver
Starting July 7, the city of La Mesa will be welcoming back the long-running Classic Car & Bike Show. The showcase meetup will run for a total of eight weeks, every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m., concluding on Aug. 25.
La Mesa has been home to this classic car show for 23 years and many are looking forward to its return to the city after its yearlong hiatus in 2015. Read More
By Morgan M. Hurley | Contributing Editor
Back in the early 2000s, young San Diego resident and journeyman electrician Daniel Sullivan said he’d grown frustrated and even angry with California’s energy crisis and the country’s “unwarranted drum beat” towards a second war in Iraq. The recent birth of his son had also made him realize that he could no longer stand by and be complacent; he wanted to actively make the world a better place, and set himself on a path to do so.
Today he is the founder, president and CEO of Sullivan Solar Power, one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing private companies in America, and has installed over 5,000 solar energy systems throughout San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties. Read More
Online contest introduces new site and Facebook page
By Jeff Clemetson | Editor
The city of La Mesa recently upgraded its online presence with a new website and a city Facebook page.
“The site is our latest step in introducing new pathways for people to engage in all that our city has to offer,” Mayor Mark Arapostathis said in a press release that corresponded with the new site’s official launch on June 1. “It’s a milestone in our commitment to providing outstanding community service.”
The new site, which cost $34,000, was directed by the City Council in April of last year in an effort to drive more residents to online resources. Read More
By Connie and Lynn Baer
For 95 years, Grossmont High School’s students and staff have taken great pride in the traditions surrounding graduation. Each year at graduation, the most outstanding seniors are recognized for their achievements. Thursday, June 16, 468 seniors became one of the nearly 36,000 Foothillers graduates.
Academically, several students were recognized for having the highest grade point average: two Salutatorians, Antonina Contreras (4.786 GPA) and Mattelyn Wadley (4.780 GPA), and Valedictorian Bradley Justice (4.833 GPA). Read More
Online retailer empowers women through fair trade business
By Kai Oliver-Kurtin
As a French native, La Mesa resident Antoine Didienne was familiar with fair trade business models and practices—more popular in Europe than the U.S.—before breaking into the business in 2012. As president of Vavavida, a fair trade online jewelry retailer that donates 10 percent of its revenue to nonprofits, Didienne helps empower underprivileged women around the world. Read More
By Heather Pisani-Kristl | La Mesa Reads
In her June release, “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War,” nonfiction writer and unlikely Reader’s Digest contributor Mary Roach sends dispatches from the front lines of military research. The human body took center stage in her previous bestsellers “Bonk” (sex), “Gulp” (digestion), and “Stiff” (cadavers). In “Grunt,” the star is the human research subject: fed caffeinated meat, armed with WWII-era shark repellent, and outfitted with a thermometer in an uncomfortable location, all in the pursuit of a safer and more effective soldier. Read More