La Mesa News Briefs – Aug. 25, 2017

Local chef partners with Tajín

La Mesa resident Claudia Sandoval, who won “MasterChef” in 2015, has just announced a partnership with Tajín seasoning company.

As a result, Sandoval will serve as the official chef and recipe creator for Tajín.

Claudia Sandoval is now the official recipe creator for Tajín. (Courtesy Tajín)

“Tajín is thrilled to partner with chef, author and ‘MasterChef’ winner, Claudia Sandoval, to help create new recipes that families will love,” said Aldo Fernandez, CEO of Tajín International Corp. in a press release. “Her electrifying personality makes her the perfect addition to our team who is dedicated to demonstrating how Tajín Clásico can add life to both new recipes and family favorites.”

Sandoval is known for a “new style” of cooking which uses authentic Mexican ingredients with other cultural cooking styles and during her time on ‘MasterChef,’ she actually used Tajín as an ingredient.

“I have been preparing recipes with Tajín for years,” said Sandoval in a press release. “Its blend of mild chili peppers, sea salt and lime creates a nice balance of flavors that make for a very versatile ingredient in many of my favorite dishes. I feel fortunate to join forces with a brand I love and to share recipes that will add excitement to family meals in many households across the nation.”

For more information about Tajín or to check out Sandoval’s original recipes, visit


New mattress store opens in La Mesa

On Saturday, July 29 a grand opening event for a new mattress store in La Mesa was held.

Mattress Makers, located at 8366 La Mesa Blvd., was opened by Gabriel Hernandez and his two brothers Pablo and Sam.

“Our family has been in the mattress manufacturing business since 1968,” Gabriel said. “All our beds are handcrafted by us and we focus on using only quality materials in our mattresses for longer lasting comfort and durability.”

As a part of their grand opening event, the Hernandez brothers gave away three sets of luxury sheets, two sets of luxury mattress protectors, two sets of custom made pillows, one mattress of any size in their store and one adjustable base of any size.

For more information about Mattress Makers, visit

A baby takes a nap during Mattress Makers’ grand opening in La Mesa on July 29. (Photo by Heather Fine)


La Mesa Historical Society 2017 award winners and new board

On Friday, June 16, the La Mesa Historical Society held its annual meeting and awards ceremony at the Nan Couts Cottage.

At the meeting, Melody Andrews was named the 2017 La Mesa Historical Society Volunteer of the Year; the La Mesa Lumber Company was named the 2017 La Mesa Historical Society Sponsor/Business Partner of the Year; Jim and Charlene Craig were named the 2017 La Mesa Historic Preservationists of the Year; and Aaron Dean was named the 2017 La Mesa “History Maker.”

In addition to giving their 2017 awards, the La Mesa Historical Society also announced that they will be replacing its 35-year-old roof on the McKinney House where they are located. They announced that they will be offering a matching gift if the society and community could match funding, and are currently fundraising with a goal of $9,000.

To wrap up the meeting, the La Mesa Historical society ratified their new board officers.

Ken D’Angelo was named president; Tracey Stotz was named vice president; Mickey Moreau was named membership vice president; Linda Keene was named secretary; Jeremy Martinson was named treasurer; Jim Newland was named past president; Sheryl Castro, Kari Dodson and Kristin Dooley were elected to serve on the board of directors (through 2019); and Natasha Bliss accompanied by Susan Barndollar Stowe was elected for the board of directors (through 2018).

To learn more about the La Mesa Historical Society or to make a donation for the new McKinney House roof, visit the Society’s website at


Grossmont Healthcare District supports summer interns

The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) held a graduation ceremony for summer interns at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.

At the ceremony, students who interned as part of the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) Healthcare Exploration Summer Institute (HESI) 2017 program spoke about their experiences at the hospital. As part of the internship, the HESI students were rotated through 14 different hospital departments for eight hours every week day of the summer.

“The staff at Sharp Grossmont Hospital generously donates their time each year to help the next generation of medical professionals explore the many facets of health care,” said Heather Peterson, the coordinator of Grossmont Healthcare District Health Career Pathways, in a press release.

The program is for juniors and seniors planning to pursue a career in health care. To be considered, a teacher recommendation is required along with an interview and background check.

To learn more about Grossmont Healthcare District Health Career Pathways, visit


Free cardiac arrest screening

On Sunday, Sept. 17, the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation is hosting free cardiac screenings for youth ages 12-25 at El Captain High School, located at 10410 Ashwood St. in Lakeside.

The Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation was founded after the death of Eric Paredes by sudden cardiac arrest. So far, the foundation has screened 23,000 hearts and counting and has discovered nearly one in 100 at risk from an undetected heart abnormality.

To register for a screening, visit


La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club hosts tea for honorary community members

On Saturday, Sept. 9, from 1–4 p.m., the La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club will be hosting a tea to honor outstanding community members.

Honorees include Dr. Asa Morton, who brings teams of eye care specialists to Guatemala to donate eye care to the underprivileged; Jane and Ron Tomczak, who founded the nonprofit Challenge Ranch for people with disabilities; Jeffrey Sitcov, the founder of Doors of Change, a nonprofit that assists homeless San Diego youth with finding safe housing and jobs; and Dr. Elizabeth Jones, founder of the Foundation for the Children of the Californias, in collaboration with Canada, the United States, and Mexico which was created to improve the health and nutrition of San Diego and Baja California children through the Hospital Infantil de las Californias.

The event will be held at Noah Homes, 12526 Campo Road in Spring Valley and tickets are priced at $50.

There will also be a silent auction, opportunity drawings and a photo booth. Tea attire is suggested.


Toy drive success

The Care ‘n Share Toy Drive 2017, a project of Torrey Pines Rotary Club (TPRC) distributed over 14,700 new and gently used stuffed animals as a result of its collection drive during the San Diego County Fair.

The Fletcher Hills Library, the Rancho San Diego Library, and the Santee Library hosted collection boxes, and La Mesa area residents helped fill them.

“We could not have done this without the wonderful support of the community.” said Nancy Stoke, chairperson for the toy drive. “The smiles on the faces of the children who receive the donations make it so worthwhile.”

The stuffed animal donations have been distributed to Promises2Kids, Foundation for the Children of the Californias, Dignity Delivery, SDPD SE Division Juvenile Services Team, Rady Children’s Hospital Audiology Department and many other organizations serving health and welfare needs of children in the region.

Founded by Stoke in 2008, the Care ‘n Share Toy Drive has distributed over 55,000 toys to children in need. For more information or to donate, go to

Stuffed animals collected for the Care ‘n Share Toy Drive (Courtesy Nancy Stoke)


Healthcare district donates equipment to Grossmont College

The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) has awarded a $89,440 grant to Grossmont College’s Allied Health Division. The grant will be applied towards the purchase of three pieces of equipment that will assist in the training of cardiovascular, respiratory and orthopedic technology students.

According to Domenica Oliveri, interim dean, Allied Health Division, Grossmont College, the grant will help purchase a SurgiStat electrosurgical generator made by Dublin, Ireland-based Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) that will help cardiovascular students learn about electrocautery procedures used during a variety of interventional cardiac diagnostic procedures. She said the college currently does not have this equipment.

In addition, Oliveri said GHD funds will help orthopedic students practice casting and splinting using a new cast cutter and cast dust vacuum manufactured by Stryker Corp. (NYSE:SYK) of Kalamazoo, Mich. She said the college’s current cast cutter and dust vacuum is outdated and frequently broken.

Also, respiratory therapy students will experience how to care for patients with acute and chronic respiratory diseases with a new Carescape ventilator and oxygenation system from General Electric (GE) Healthcare, Oliveri said. The college’s current ventilations are rented or borrowed and do not give students the necessary skills needed to care for patients, she said.

“We are grateful for the Grossmont Healthcare District because this new equipment will help refine rigorous and interactive laboratory experiences for our students,” said Oliveri. “Students using this equipment will be introduced to simulated workplace experiences enabling them to refine their critical thinking and analytical skills.”

“We are proud to contribute to the education of these healthcare students so they can apply their knowledge in their careers as they provide safe and competent bedside care,” said Michael Emerson, 2017 board president, Grossmont Healthcare District. “Students who practice in a laboratory setting with up-to-date equipment in a simulated environment will be better prepared to keep pace with the future’s dynamic healthcare system.”

Grossmont College offers accredited programs in cardiovascular technology, orthopedic technology and respiratory therapy.

The Grossmont Healthcare District is a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in the East Region. Formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital, GHD now leases operations to Sharp HealthCare via a public-private partnership, and continues to own the hospital on behalf of local taxpayers. The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each elected to four-year terms, who represent more than 500,000 people residing within the District’s 750 square miles in San Diego’s East County. For more information about GHD, visit

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