Community raises money for former City Council member
Friends of former La Mesa City Council member Guy McWhirter have started a GoFundMe page to help pay medical bills stemming from a recent diagnosis of stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The GoFundMe page shows that just over $12,300 from 147 donors has been raised toward a $30,000 goal. The page was put up at the end of February of this year. An update to the page on June 6 reads:
“Unfortunately our friend Guy has had a rough couple weeks. He has been in and out of the hospital with various complications and is really struggling. With this, he is completely unable to work and expenses are mounting. If we can gather a little more together and help relieve this added stress, it would be greatly appreciated more than you can imagine. Guy and family have been so grateful for the donations they have already received and it has meant so much to them to help cover expenses and alleviate some of the strain from not being able to work. There are not enough thank you’s for all who have, and continue to support Guy.”
To donate, visit bit.ly/2IkUC7Y.
La Mesa receives urban forest management plan grant
The city of La Mesa has been awarded a $385,000 grant from Cal Fire. The grant will support the continued growth of La Mesa’s urban tree canopy and implementation of the city’s Climate Action Plan (CAP). Through the grant, La Mesa will:
Develop a comprehensive Urban Forest Management Plan through a public process to manage the health and growth of the city’s tree canopy for the next 40-50 years.
Conduct education and outreach to the public around urban forestry best practices to promote proper care and stewardship of urban trees.
Plant 200 trees along the right-of-way and in public parks to expand the urban canopy within the city.
La Mesa will partner with multiple organizations to implement the grant project, including Urban Corps of San Diego County, La Mesa Beautiful, Tree San Diego, and West Coast Arborists. The project is expected to begin this summer and will extend through the first quarter of 2022.
La Mesa has been designated a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the past 39 years. In March 2018, the City Council adopted the CAP, which charts a course to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035 from the 2010 baseline year. The CAP also establishes a target to plant 500 new trees by 2020 and expand the urban tree canopy from 18% to 33% by 2035 in an effort to sequester carbon and reduce heat island impacts. Funding from Cal Fire will directly support implementation of these goals.
For more information about La Mesa’s CAP and urban forestry efforts, visit bit.ly/2FgA7HO.
Taste of San Diego – East a success
On June 3, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce held the inaugural Taste of San Diego – East event at the Town and Country San Diego in Mission Valley. The event is a rebranding of the Taste of La Mesa event that was held in the city of La Mesa for 10 years.
The new location and name was a risk for the chamber, but was deemed a necessity because the event had outgrown its previous location at the La Mesa Community Center.
Patrons did not seem to mind as the large ballroom at the Town and Country was mostly filled all evening long. Guests began arriving around 4:30 p.m. and were treated with sample bites of grilled steak, pulled pork, platters of cheeses and carved meats, mini cakes, shrimp cocktail, pizzas and much more. There was also a silent auction for guests to bid on.
Local students win Cox scholarship money
On June 6, Cox Charities hosted its annual Cox Scholars celebration at Coasterra Restaurant. This year, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, Cox Charities awarded a total of $100,000 in scholarships to 20 students — $5,000 each — the largest amount ever awarded in scholarships by the foundation.
Helix Charter High School student Elias Gracia was one of three Grossmont Union High School District students to be awarded the scholarship. Gracia will attend Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania in the fall to study behavioral economics and be the first in his family to earn a degree from a four-year university. He is passionate about the importance education has on breaking the cycle of poverty and shedding stereotypes. Gracia volunteers on a bus route through the community to help bring people to church free of charge. He currently lives in Lemon Grove.
Another GUHSD winner is Spring Valley resident and Monte Vista High School student Jeanette Chen, who became a student ambassador through the Better Business Bureau after a family member fell victim to a scam. She plans to pursue a career in finance.
Steele Canyon Charter High School student Ian Hurd was recognized for volunteering at a local food pantry that serves war refugees, despite having Asperger’s syndrome, which makes it difficult for him to deal with social situations. He plans on studying physics.
Cox Charities is the philanthropic arm of Cox Communications and is funded by employee donations, matched by Cox, and overseen by an advisory board consisting of employees who volunteer their time.
When Cox Charities was established in San Diego in 1999, a scholarship program was created to help local youth in their quest for a higher education, particularly those who stayed focused on their education despite facing adversity in their young lives. Through Cox Charities and the company match, Cox employees in San Diego have awarded $1.6 million in scholarships to more than 650 students.
For more information on the Cox Scholars program, visit coxcharitiesca.org.
Orchids & Onions nominations begins
The San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF) has announced the return of the 43rd annual Orchids & Onions program with the opening of public nominations for the best and “not so best” projects in San Diego County. The SDAF’s mission is to educate and promote outstanding architecture, landscape, interior, and urban design to improve the quality of life for all San Diegans. The community can submit their nominations now until July 6. Projects that garner the most online interest during the nomination period become eligible to be nominated for a People’s Choice Award in August.
“Orchids & Onions provides the community an opportunity to be a part of a larger discussion about the quality of San Diego’s built environment and how it impacts their day-to-day life,” said Laura Warner, Orchids & Onions program co-chair and principal architect for CityWorks. “It provides San Diegans the opportunity to share their thoughts about what makes for a good or bad place that ultimately results in better planning, growth and future development of San Diego.”
Participants can nominate projects for the following categories: architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, interior design, historic preservation, and miscellaneous. The miscellaneous category encompasses other environmental design features such as public art, lighting programs, and wayfinding systems.
Following the nominations period, which began June 1 and runs through July 6, a group of design professionals determine the official Orchids & Onions based upon the submissions. Between Aug. 1 to Aug. 31, the public can vote online for the People’s Choice Award. The community-based program culminates with the Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony at the historic U.S. Grant Hotel on Oct. 3. The public can nominate a project at orchidsandonions.org/nominate.
Play it Again Sports opens in La Mesa
Recycled sports equipment retailer Play It Again Sports held a grand opening at its new La Mesa location on June 13. The new shop is located in the La Mesa Springs shopping center at 8011 University Ave., Suite C-4.
Play it Again Sports buys and sells gently-used sports and fitness equipment — including football equipment, baseball gloves and bats, hockey gear, golf clubs, soccer, lacrosse equipment, motorized treadmills, elliptical and bikes, benches and weights, and more.
The store is owned by Dan Buxton and is open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sundays.