La Mesa hires new assistant city manager
After an extensive, national recruitment process, Carlo Tomaino has been chosen for the assistant city manager position for the city of La Mesa.
Tomaino comes to La Mesa after 13 years at the city of Lake Forest, California where he was the economic development/housing manager for the past three years. Tomaino was responsible for Lake Forest’s economic development programs, including business attraction and retention strategies, marketing outreach, and communication. He coordinated the economic development function with city departments and outside agencies.
Tomaino was also responsible for managing the city’s affordable housing fund, entitling affordable housing projects and managing the city’s real property. In addition, he oversaw Lake Forest’s response to homelessness and has worked on private property development negotiations.
Tomaino holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration. He began employment with the city of La Mesa on June 15.
Grossmont Healthcare District expands scholarship program
As the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates statewide healthcare workforce shortages, the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) recently announced $227,000 in scholarships to promising local students pursuing health careers in fields of growing demand.
A recent report by the California Future Workforce Commission stated that California faces an overall shortage of about 4,100 primary care providers by 2030 as many prepare to retire, including a 34 percent decline in the number of practicing psychiatrists. While COVID is today’s healthcare crisis, these shortages will reach epidemic proportions tomorrow, particularly concerning for residents in underserved and rural areas already struggling to access care.
In 2020, two new programs were created as a response to looming shortages of professionals who can prescribe medication, with emphasis on building an adequate supply of advanced degree professionals in behavioral health, nursing, and primary care.
Six $10,000 scholarship awards were announced to local behavioral health professionals and five $7,000 scholarships were announced to local registered nurses pursuing advanced degrees as nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
The GHD has also been an active supporter of healthcare education and training for the benefit of future generations through scholarship programs since 1999. Each year, a portion of the overall grants and sponsorships budget has been allocated for annual scholarship programs offered to local high school and college students living or attending school within GHD boundaries, with emphasis on building health technicians and new Registered Nurses.
This year, six students pursuing careers as health technicians in cardiovascular and respiratory health received a total of $18,000 in scholarship funds. In 2020, one $5,000 Richard J. Bea, RN nursing scholarship recipient was announced, a San Diego State University student studying to become a registered nurse.
GHD also recognized 44 local high school students interested in a healthcare career with scholarship grants totaling $108,900. These recipients were selected by school administrators representing 22 local high schools.
“Now more than ever before, Grossmont Healthcare District recognizes the financial obstacles facing today’s students as a potential barrier for would-be future healthcare providers,” said Randy Lenac, board president. “We see our role as removing that barrier for district residents by investing in access to education and training programs.”
More information about this year’s scholarship recipients is available at grossmonthealthcare.org/scholarships.
Frazier Farms to host job fair
Natural grocery store Frazier Farms will host a job fair on Tuesday, June 30 and Wednesday, July 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5335 Jackson Drive.
The grocer will be hiring for positions at its future La Mesa location at 8401 Fletcher Parkway. The new store is slated to open later this summer.
Frazier Farms is hiring for both full-time and part-time positions. According to a flyer about the job fair, applicants can expect an interview process that is “fast paced” and “intense.” Applicants must bring a resume printed out and/or a printed and completed application form and should arrive early due to expected lines. Frazier also suggests applicants bring their “best attitude” and research the company culture on its Instagram and Facebook pages.
For more information, visit frazierfarmsmarket.com
Virtual senior center featured in national campaign
At the onset of the shelter-in-place orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March 2020, the leaders at the nonprofit San Diego Oasis had to make very quick decisions on how to continue to deliver their classes and workshops virtually. Until then, all of their classes were delivered in-person at more than 40 locations throughout the San Diego County region.
Although San Diego Oasis’ mission is to change the way people experience aging, adjusting to a 100% fully online environment was a big change and risk. The team trained and coached their professors and experts in history, humanities, language, technology, art, finance, fitness, and more to bring their presentations online. It has paid off for the nonprofit, in ways they could never imagine, and created a virtual senior center, replacing their physical community presence temporarily.
“Today’s older adults are more vibrant and busier than seniors of yesteryear,” says Simona Valanciute, president and CEO, San Diego Oasis. “Some of our students jumped in to take on the challenge of taking classes online, others were hesitant, but with coaching from volunteers from Qualcomm and the community at large, we have been able to be there every step of the way to transition how students take classes and how instructors present them. We are also attracting new students who haven’t had an opportunity to come into our physical location at Grossmont Center, but through the new ‘virtual senior center’ model, they can. The classes we offer allow students to continue with their studies and participate in new ones, while not physically being together.”
A new social media campaign from Cox Communications features the virtual senior center created by San Diego Oasis, as part of the technology company’s Connection Project initiative, a non-branded campaign which began the COVID-19 period by reaching people with messages of connection. A short film (youtu.be/yRm_oViv-ek ) captures the importance of connection and the real power of technology to bring us closer to one another at a time when it is needed. The production team also created a second short film (youtu.be/BMvMkjGz1Yg), which focuses on one student’s story. Vickie Daleo from Escondido was a caregiver for her husband, and after his death, she sought new connections through San Diego Oasis.
Community, local celebrities rally to support Feeding San Diego
Feeding San Diego has tapped three high profile and influential San Diego County residents for its latest public service announcement (bit.ly/FSDPSA20). The video aims to raise awareness and funds to help vulnerable San Diegans facing hunger during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The PSA calls upon the community to support Feeding San Diego and ensure it can continue to meet the rising demand for critical food assistance.
Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, retired professional basketball player Bill Walton, and Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman appear in the video to inspire the community to get involved. Donors, big and small, ensure that every San Diegan in need has access to the nutrition they need to grow and thrive.
“We are humbled that these beloved and notable San Diegans stand with us in our mission to end hunger. Feeding San Diego relies on the generosity of the community to fund our critical work across San Diego County. An estimated 50 percent increase in hunger is unprecedented — it’s even more important now to come together and unite our community during this difficult time,” said Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego.
“Amidst the insurmountable challenges of this difficult time, it’s beautiful to be a part of a community that comes together to meet real needs and to bring hope,” says Jon Foreman, of the Grammy award-winning band Switchfoot.
In addition to appearing in the PSA, Foreman and his Switchfoot band members have been incredibly supportive of the Feeding San Diego mission. When the band canceled this year’s Bro-Am events because of COVID-19, they made a gift to Feeding San Diego and launched a #HomeFoodChallenge to help raise money and awareness for the organization.
In response to soaring unemployment levels and school closures, Feeding San Diego continues to meet the needs of people facing hunger across San Diego County. Since the pandemic began in mid-March, the hunger-relief organization has distributed over five million meals through emergency regional food distributions, rural mobile pantries, drive through distributions, and youth meal sites.
The community is encouraged to share the PSA on social media to garner support for Feeding San Diego. Donations can be made at feedingsandiego.org.
La Mesa Post Office annex relocates
Out of an abundance of caution, USPS has suspended retail services and PO Box service until further notice at the La Mesa Station located at 8064 Allison Avenue, La Mesa, 91942.
Customers with P.O. Boxes located at the Allison Avenue facility can pick up mail at the Grossmont Post Office located at 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa, 91942. Hours of operation are: Saturday (temporary hours) 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; Monday through Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Nearest retail services are available at these locations:
- Grossmont Post Office 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa, 91942.
Hours: Monday– Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday (temporary hours) 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- La Mesa Annex located at 6055 Lake Murray Blvd.
Hours: Monday–Friday 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Senior Tuesday: Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m.–10 a.m. (seniors 60+ only).