Oh, my!

Posted: March 24th, 2017 | Features, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Jeff Clemetson | Editor

In 1990, Bobbi Brink was searching through a her local Texas newspaper for used restaurant equipment when another classified listing caught her eye and changed the course of her life.

“I kept seeing ads for lions, tigers, leopards for sale and so being the animal lover that I am, I wanted to go see what it was about,” Brink said. “I went to a lady’s house and she lived in a mobile home on 5 acres. She had 30 big cats and babies crawling all over the floor. You could take a lion or a cougar home with no permits, nothing. You could just buy a tiger and take it home.”

A helping hand

Posted: March 24th, 2017 | Features, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Jeff Clemetson | Editor

In the summer of 2014, La Mesa resident Meghana Reddy was on a family trip to India when she stumbled across a problem that needed solving.

“I was teaching at an orphanage where I witnessed two kids missing limbs so I wanted to do something to help them,” said Reddy, now a 17-year-old senior at Francis Parker School. “But I noticed that prosthetics in the area were very expensive — a couple thousand dollars. So when I came back to the U.S. I did more research and I found that 3D printing limbs artificially could significantly reduce the cost of the prosthetics to around 40 to 50 dollars.”

Chalk art collaboration at La Mesa Arts Academy

Posted: March 24th, 2017 | Features, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Jeff Clemetson | Editor

A collaboration with Mt. Miguel High School turned the La Mesa Arts Academy (LMAA) open house on March 2 into an opportunity to promote and celebrate the visual arts with a project that created chalk art in the school’s courtyard.

“I was pleased by this project because the visual arts don’t always get their applause,” LMAA teacher Alison Lindsay said. “They’re not up on stage, they don’t have the evening events where the parents are sitting in the audience.”

Peter Pan revives ‘My Fair Lady’

By David Moye

The 90 children currently rehearsing for the Peter Pan Junior Theater’s upcoming production of “My Fair Lady” not only have to learn their lines and choreography, but, in some cases, how to dress themselves.

“Many of today’s fashions don’t use buttons or snaps like they did when the play is set. They need to learn how to use buttons and snaps,” is how the show’s director, Dr. Mark Arapostathis, a teacher at La Mesa Arts Academy (LMAAC) and the mayor of La Mesa, explained it with good-natured exasperation. “We’re teaching them how to tie their own shoes.”

Local ‘Angel’ offers lifelines to homeless youth

Posted: February 24th, 2017 | Features, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Ken Williams | Contributing Editor

Urban Street Angels operate an emergency overnight shelter on Tuesdays in space rented from Missiongathering Christian Church, located on Polk Street in North Park. One of its founding members is longtime La Mesa resident Jerry Troyer, who was recently promoted to assistant director.

Troyer said the shelter takes in “transitional age youth,” typically between the ages of 17 and 25, who they find on the streets of San Diego or who desperately call them for help. The shelter can accommodate up to 24 youth at a time.

From farm to village

Posted: February 24th, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, News, Top Stories | 1 Comment

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

The structure that housed Sanfilippo’s Pizza for 40 years, and then stood forsaken after the iconic restaurant closed in 2016, has sprung back to life as Farmer’s Table. The $2 million venture, which opened Feb. 16, is headed by Sicilian-born restaurateurs Alberto Morreale and his cousin, Vincenzo LoVerso.

Located at 8141 La Mesa Blvd., the whimsical farmhouse-theme establishment is a larger offshoot of Farmer’s Bottega Restaurant, which Morreale launched a couple years ago in San Diego’s Mission Hills neighborhood. With similar menus, the spotlight is on contemporary American-Mediterranean cuisine constructed largely with locally-sourced ingredients.

The Follies want you

Posted: February 24th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Music, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Jeff Clemetson | Editor

Three years ago, San Carlos resident Bonnie Deming was at a hair salon appointment when two women, Louise Smith and Tobie Scheibel, told her she had to be in the San Diego Follies.

The then 80-year-old was skeptical at first but after a bit of soul searching and looking back on her life as a dancer — in high school she performed in Balboa Park, as a teacher she taught her students folk dances, and in Mrs. San Diego and Mrs. California contests performing Hawaiian dances — Demming decided to audition.

Challenge accepted: 90 meals in 30 days

Posted: February 24th, 2017 | Features, Top Stories | No Comments

By Joyell Nevins

We live in a frenetic world. We talk fast, work fast, play fast, and go right on to the next thing. Often eating a meal gets shoved somewhere in between there. According to the nonprofit DoSomething.Org, 20 percent of all American meals are eaten in the car.

The Pew Research Institute noted that in 2016 there were 160,000 fast food restaurants that served 50 million Americans a day. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s studies found in 2015 that about 34 percent of all children aged 2 to 19 consume fast food on any given day – that’s almost one in every three kids!