Envision highlights deli as ‘Hidden Gem’
Envision La Mesa hosted its second Hidden Gems event on Saturday, Oct. 13, at BMH Italian Deli located at 7670 El Cajon Blvd. in La Mesa. More than 20 participants met Sammy Carini, the owner of the deli, while enjoying handcrafted deli sandwiches, soups and cannolis.
Carini has more than 35 years of experience in the restaurant business. Together with Maria Sardina — “Mama” to regulars — they run BMH, which is known for the “love sauce” balsamic dressing found on each table, and the fresh baked bread which makes each of their sandwiches memorable.
Participants at the Hidden Gems event included La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis, La Mesa City Councilmembers Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter, David Myers (who is a candidate for La Mesa City Council this year), and La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board candidate Chardá Fontenot.
Other notable guests included representatives of San Diego’s Food Fanatics, a local culinary group, which promotes and blogs about the area’s restaurant scene.
Hidden Gems, developed by Envision La Mesa, is a social event that rediscovers local restaurants, allowing new residents to find these “hidden gems” and long-term residents an opportunity to revisit a tried and true foodie experience.
Envision La Mesa is a community group dedicated to revitalizing La Mesa neighborhoods by supporting local businesses and resident involvement. For more information, visit envisionlamesa.org.
Holiday drive for homebound seniors
The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is beginning to gather items for 24 homebound seniors for its annual program to help seniors in need during the holidays.
The goal of the chamber is to collect, purchase and assemble items, placing them in large gift baskets and gift bags. All the gifts are delivered along with a hot turkey dinner — with all of the trimmings — to the selected seniors by the La Mesa Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol. Due to delivery schedule, the deadline to receive the gifts for these seniors is Friday, Nov. 30. This allows time to wrap all of the items, prepare all of the gift baskets and purchase the items needed.
The chamber asks that donated items from pantries be double-checked to ensure the goods have not expired. Suggested items to purchase and donate to this year’s gift baskets include: canned soups, canned vegetables, canned fruits, packets of crackers, packets of pasta or macaroni and cheese, bars of soap, tubes of toothpaste, packs of tissues, bottles of hand soaps, bottles of hand sanitizer, pens, and pads of paper. Gift cards in any denomination from the following locations are also recommended: Walmart, Target, or any grocery store.
“If you have another item you believe will put a smile on their faces, by all means drop them off,” stated the chamber in a press release. “We want to make this a memorable holiday for our homebound seniors again this year.
Donated items may be delivered to the La Mesa Chamber office: 8080 La Mesa Blvd., Suite 212 or next door to Fran Smith in Suite 214, La Mesa between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. La Mesa Chamber of Commerce President Mary England is also available seven days a week to meet donors and pick up those items directly from their homes. Reach her at 619-251-7730.
DEA Drug Takeback Day
San Diego County health officials are encouraging residents to take advantage of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in October by properly disposing of unwanted prescription medications and other drugs.
The program, which is held in April and October every year, was launched by the DEA in 2010 to address the public safety and health issues surrounding unused medication. According to the DEA, adolescents illegally obtain prescription drugs for abuse by stealing them from a home, often from a medicine cabinet, or by getting them from someone selling the pills. Clearing out unwanted medicine is one way to prevent abuse.
“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a day for every American, in every community across the country, to come together and do his or her part to fight the opioid crisis — simply by disposing of unwanted prescription medications from their medicine cabinets,” DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson said. “This event brings us together with local, state and federal partners to fight the abuse of prescription drugs that is fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic.”
More than 474 tons of drugs were turned in during the 15th National Take Back Day in April 2018 at more than 5,840 sites throughout the United States. Law enforcement personnel from more than 4,600 agencies participated.
“Given the opiate crisis in the United States, we want to do our part in keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of children as well as keeping them out of our water supply,” Capt. Marco Garmo of the Sheriff’s Rancho San Diego Station said.
Law enforcement personnel will be at several East County locations to collect unwanted prescription drugs. Residents may drop off both prescription and over-the-counter medication, no questions asked. Labels and other identifying information should be removed from medication containers prior to drop-off.
The La Mesa location and times for the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 27 is the La Mesa Police Department, 8085 University Ave. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For year-round drop-off sites, visit the DEA’s website at TakeBackDay.dea.gov.