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From the cover

A (sort of) new holiday tradition

Posted: November 25th, 2016 | Features, From the cover, Top Stories | 1 Comment

By Jeff Clemetson | Editor

The holidays are a time for traditions, and one of La Mesa’s holiday traditions is returning this year — albeit with a new name and a new organization behind it.

Holiday in the Village — formerly known as Christmas in the Village — will be held on Dec. 10 from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. on La Mesa Boulevard between Spring and Fourth streets.

Sing us a song, piano man

Local singer gets a shot on ‘The Voice’

By Joyell Nevins

Michael Sanchez has gone from being a hometown piano player to a nationwide name — thanks to a load of talent, a dose of gumption, and Alicia Keyes.

The La Mesa resident is part of Team Alicia on season 11 of NBC’s “The Voice,” the singing competition. Tune in this Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. to watch him in the Knockout round. This is the final phase before the show goes live.

City takes reins of Oktoberfest

By Margie M. Palmer

Oktoberfest is arguably La Mesa’s largest civic event and for the first time in more than 40 years, the city is facilitating it.

In years past, the event had often been produced by the La Mesa Merchant’s Association and the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce. The Merchants Association and the Chamber parted ways after 2014; last year, the association failed to pay more than $47,000 in fees to the city to cover the cost of safety services, such as police, fire personnel and traffic control.

A vision for the Village

Posted: July 22nd, 2016 | Business, Features, From the cover, News, Top Stories | 2 Comments

Boulevard business owners new and old look ahead

By Jeff Clemetson | Editor

A lot has been written in local publications, this one included, about the declining number of businesses in the downtown Village along La Mesa Boulevard. But many business owners, both long-time operators and new investors in La Mesa, believe downtown’s future is about to be the brightest it has ever been thanks to improvements like the streetscape project, shifting demographics and a commitment by the city to refocus on popular events.

“There’s this kind of natural energy, or shift if you want to call it that, but [downtown La Mesa] is changing and I think it’s changing rapidly,” said Aaron Dean, a business owner invested in several ventures in the Village. “I think over the next three to five years it’s going to be a completely different area. Some will say not for the better, most I think will say for the better.”

Patterns for PTSD

Posted: February 26th, 2016 | Features, From the cover, Top Stories | No Comments

Former Marine’s Honda gets lots of ink

By Alex Owens

Jeremy Saylor is one Sharpie dude, and his Honda CRV is the beneficiary.

For the past two years, Saylor has been slowly decorating the car with various patterns using only a Sharpie pen.

“I’ve always been artistic and I love creating things with my hands, and I have a passion for cars,” is how the 36-year-old La Mesa resident explains his desire to slowly ink up his car.

The real Antique Row

Posted: January 22nd, 2016 | Features, From the cover, Top Stories | 1 Comment

La Mesa remains a magnet for antique shops

By Jeff Clemetson | Editor

Signs along Adams Avenue in San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood mark an area known as Antique Row. However, due to gentrification, the street has gone from hosting over 25 antique stores in its heyday to just one today.

In the age of Etsy and eBay, antique stores will likely populate shopping districts less than in the past, but there is still one place old-school antique buyers can go and browse through aisles of vintage treasures –– La Mesa. As of now, there are eight antique stores in La Mesa, most of them on La Mesa Boulevard and located near the Village.

Little Free Libraries build community

Posted: July 24th, 2015 | Features, From the cover, Top Stories | No Comments

By Jeremy Ogul | Editor

La Mesa Library has long been an anchor of the community, but several new libraries have emerged over the past couple years.

Unless you live down the street from one, you may not have noticed them — that’s because most of them take up no more than two or three square feet. Known as Little Free Libraries, they resemble birdhouses or oversized mailboxes with windows. They are usually placed in front yards and maintained by the homeowner.

Handmade with love at Grossmont Center

Posted: July 24th, 2015 | Features, From the cover, Top Stories | No Comments

By Genevieve A. Suzuki

La Mesa shop owner Katharine Bowen’s heart may be softer than the stuffed animals she crafts by hand.

Bowen, 27, owns Handmade Market, the newest store in Grossmont Center. She is dedicating 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of her stuffed animals toward opening a no-kill animal rescue. It’s not entirely surprising that animals are Bowen’s passion — each of her unique creations is a thoughtful tribute to the spirit of the animal it represents.