La Mesa Briefs – February 27 – March 26, 2015

Register for art camp by March 27

Art in the Park is back at the Mt. Helix Park amphitheater for spring break, March 30 through April 3. Campers will take advantage of the scenic panoramas of Mt. Helix to practice their creative skills using oil pastels and watercolors.

The camp is led by Penelope Quirk, founder of Art Smarts, the after-school arts program that brings lessons to students in 21 schools throughout the San Diego region.

The half-day camp option runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day and costs $150 per child. The full-day camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and costs $275. The Mt. Helix Park Foundation is offering scholarships to students who need them.

Register by March 27 by calling Art Smarts at 619-944-3323 or 619-995-1186, or visit to download the registration form.

Discounts offered on city classes

Registration is now open for recreation, youth and aquatics classes through the La Mesa Community Services Department. The city is offering classes in Pilates, Tabata, boot camp, tennis, fencing, dance, gymnastics, music, art, dog obedience, babysitting safety, swimming and more.

The city is offering a registration discount of $10 per class for anyone who registers online by March 8 for aquatics classes or by March 22 for other recreational classes.

Visit for a full guide with dates, prices and class descriptions.

New art at La Mesa health library

A new art exhibit is on display through mid-March at the Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library in La Mesa.

“Ambient Visions” is a collection of 15 abstract oil paintings and nine felt art pieces by Corinne Latorre and other artists from Sophie’s Art Gallery.

Sophie’s Art Gallery is a program of St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, an El Cajon-based nonprofit, non-denominational organization for adults with developmental disabilities such as autism, epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

The Herrick Community Health Care Library is a free consumer resource that is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays; and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. The library is at 9001 Wakarusa St.

La Mesa Courier welcomes new advertising representative

Ilka Weston (Courtesy SDCNN)

Ilka Weston (Courtesy SDCNN)

Ilka Weston joined San Diego Community News Network in February as the new advertising consultant for La Mesa Courier.

Weston’s roots in La Mesa run deep. She grew up here — attending Northmont Elementary, Parkway Middle and Grossmont High School — and much of her family still lives here.

“I believe that what I bring is a community understanding. I think that’s very important,” Weston said. “I think La Mesa’s really special because it just keeps being handed down from generation to generation. It is very community driven. You see a lot of the small businesses wanting to work together. The faces stay the same, and it really is about building relationships and building partnerships.”

Having been a small business owner herself, Weston said she understands the myriad challenges small business owners face in order to survive. Her passion is helping them find the best ways to grow and prosper through effective marketing.

It’s especially important for small businesses to differentiate themselves from each other and communicate to customers what makes them special, she said. But it’s up to the business to provide that vision.

“They’re the visionary,” she said. “I’m just the guide opening up the door for them, and based on the questions I ask them, we’re going to create their vision. Their ad is about them.”

To reach Weston, call 619-840-8849 or send an email to

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