Miss La Mesa pageant seeks participants
The Miss La Mesa organization is seeking young women ages 10-26 to participate in this year’s program!
Miss La Mesa has been a tradition in the city since the early 1950’s. The program has evolved over the years into a mentoring and leadership opportunity. As the city’s ambassador the young ladies who participate volunteer countless hours in the La Mesa community each year.
The application process consists of a speech, essay and interview and the participants also receive points for academic achievement. The program aims to give young women public speaking and interview skills that will guide them into their future years of education and the workforce.
On Sunday, June 20, Mayor Arapostathis will announce the 2021 Miss La Mesa, Miss Teen La Mesa and Junior Miss La Mesa at the Sundays at 6 Concert at Harry Griffen Park! Interested participants should email MissandTeenLaMesa@gmail.com for more details or checkout the Miss La Mesa Facebook and Instagram pages.
Junior Miss La Mesa 2019/2020 – Mary Aumack
Mary is an accomplished dancer and student at Helix Charter High School.
Miss Teen La Mesa 2019/2020 – Samantha Clary
Samantha is a student at Helix High School where she is involved in ASB and plays volleyball and lacrosse.
Miss La Mesa 2019/2020 – Ruth Almaraz
Ruth graduated from San Diego State University with a Business Finance Degree and works for a property management company. She is also a cancer survivor.
Humane Society discourages glue traps
San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife team is urging the public to refrain from using glue traps due to the devastating consequences they have for wildlife, and sometimes pets. The medical team at the Pilar & Chuck Bahde Wildlife Center works tirelessly for wild animals who are found stuck in glue traps. Without rescue, these animals experience prolonged suffering and death, often from starvation.
On April 29, a barn owl arrived at the Bahde Wildlife Center with most of her feathers saturated in glue. It is unknown how long the bird had been stuck in the trap, but she was extremely fatigued when she arrived. The owl received two medicated baths to remove the contaminant, as well as pain medication and fluid therapy as part of her treatment plan. Despite the medical team’s best efforts to save her life, the owl was not able to recover and passed away in care.
On April 24, an orphaned joey opossum arrived at the Bahde Wildlife Center, also stuck in a glue trap. The animal’s body was fully attached to the tray, which would have meant a very slow death had she not been found and brought to San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife team for care. Luckily, she responded well to treatment and after two weeks in care, was released back into the wild!
“Glue traps are incredibly inhumane, since the traps themselves don’t kill the animal,” said director of Wildlife Medicine Dr. Jon Enyart. “The animal gets stuck and is left unable to move until they starve to death. It is devastating.”
Many of the animals who get stuck in glue traps are not invasive to humans — on the contrary. Owls control the pest population as their prey includes rodents and insects. Opossums are an excellent animal to have around your property because they eat rats, mice, snails, slugs and insects, as well as rotten fruit and vegetables — they will even eat rattlesnakes and ticks! Opossums and owls are also nocturnal, which means they’re much more active at night. They are relatively disease-free, as it is extremely rare for them to carry rabies, parvovirus or distemper.
San Diego Humane Society offers a number of humane resources to deter and coexist with wildlife. To learn more, visit www.sdhumane.org/coexist.
City to host virtual Flag Day
The La Mesa Flag Day Parade will not be held again this year but the annual tradition will be brought to life through a new online event. For this year’s salute to “Old Glory”, a two-week long virtual event will run from Monday, May 31 through June 14, 2021. The first 100 households to sign up to participate will receive a take-home kit with activities, themed accessories and a guide to participating in tasks to complete their Flag Day Virtual Parade bingo card. Completed cards can be submitted for an opportunity to win great summer prizes.
Sponsorship opportunities for La Mesa businesses are available and will be recognized in both printed and digital materials. Businesses are also encouraged to include a themed special or deal for the two-week event to encourage community members to get out and support local merchants. All donations go into an endowment fund to help with costs for future parades.
Healthcare District awards scholarships
As the demand for frontline workers surges, the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) continues to invest in the future of East County health care students through its annual scholarships.
The health care and social assistance sector is estimated to have the most accelerated growth through 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, with a 3.1 percent growth per year. Several areas are experiencing hiring surges, including nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, dentistry, and physician assistance.
Since 1999, the district has awarded scholarship grants to East County high school and college students, worth more than $1 million in higher education tuition. This year, a total of $205,400 was awarded to 59 students working or living in East County: 44 high school students and 15 pursuing higher education.
High school recipients interested in a healthcare career are selected by school administrators representing 22 local high schools. The 15 higher education students are selected by the GHD board, based on future goals in their health care career.
One of the Health Tech Scholarship winners, Joseph Vahle, is enrolled in the Cardiovascular Technology program at Grossmont College. Joseph emphasized his excitement to give back to the local community that helped him. “Over the next five years I will gain more experience and expertise, while continuing to learn about new advancements in my field,” Joseph shared. “Further down the road, I would also like to teach others and mentor them through the same steps I am taking.”
A total of five scholarships in the amount of $3,500 each were awarded to students pursuing health tech careers; five $10,000 scholarships to behavioral health students; three $7,000 scholarships for advanced registered nurses; two awards for nursing, one in the amount of $5,000 and the second $3,000. The remaining $113,850 was awarded to high school students.
“Investing in these local students pursuing health care also supports the future of the health care industry,” said District Board President Virginia Hall. “The next wave of healthcare innovation will come from this generation.”
The application period for 2021-2022 will open on December 1, 2021. More information is available at Grossmont Healthcare District’s Scholarships page.
EPA awards water purification plan
On June 4, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will announce a multimillion-dollar Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan for the East County Water Purification Program during a press conference at the Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Facility in Santee.
This will be the first WIFIA loan awarded to the program and marks the EPA’s second largest loan awarded to projects in San Diego County and the first to be announced in 2021.
Scheduled to be complete in 2025, the Program will generate up to 11.5 million gallons per day of new drinking water—approximately 30% of current drinking water demands for East San Diego County residents.
The East County Advanced Water Purification Program will create a new, local, sustainable and drought-proof drinking water supply using state of the art technology to purify East San Diego County’s recycled water.
The program will use four advanced water purification steps to produce water that is near-distilled in quality. After the advanced water purification process, the purified water will be blended with water in Lake Jennings and treated again at the R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant before being distributed as drinking water.
In addition to providing a new local water supply, the program will eliminate the need to send most of East County’s wastewater to the City of San Diego’s Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, where it is currently treated and then discharged into the ocean.
For more information about the East County Advanced Water Purification Program, visit eastcountyawp.com.
Public grants workshop
Grossmont Healthcare District has announced a free public grants workshop from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 8, ahead of its upcoming grant cycle opening on July 1, 2021.
Health-related nonprofits serving residents in East San Diego County are invited to participate for a review of policy and application materials to prepare for the upcoming fiscal year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop will be digital.
A total of $2.52 million is available to be awarded to East County organizations, with priority consideration given to applications addressing top community health needs for the San Diego East Region population, including: aging concerns, behavioral health (including mental health and substance abuse), cancer, and chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Priority funding areas have emerged as the district’s response to Health Needs Assessments for the San Diego East Region population, including those conducted by the County of San Diego, the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, and Sharp HealthCare.
“The Community Grants Program is one of the District’s key strategies to assist in maintaining and improving the health of our East Region residents,” said District Board President Virginia Hall. “Our efforts to partner with local organizations to create long lasting change in our community is more important than ever.”
According to a report released from University of San Diego’s Nonprofit Institute, COVID-19 has impacted most nonprofits in San Diego, with 73 percent of Human Services organizations experiencing loss of revenue. Simultaneously, 69 percent of the sector has also experienced an increase in demand due to families hit hard by the pandemic.