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La Mesa California

OWD elects new board president

At its January meeting, the Otay Water District board of directors elected new officers to lead the District’s board for 2024. The board elected director Jose Lopez, who represents division four, as president. The board also elected board member Ryan Keyes, serving division two, as vice president, and Mark Robak,…

Countywide meal provider Mama’s Kitchen has new CEO

Mama’s Kitchen CEO Alberto Cortés is retiring after 21 years on Jan. 26, and under his leadership has grown Mama’s Kitchen from a $1.7 million to a $5.5 million nonprofit, expanding the organizations HIV-focused mission to serve San Diegans with other critical illnesses. Now, Mama’s Kitchen works with more than…

Firefighters put boots on the ground

On March 7 local firefighters will take their boots to the streets for the 25th Burn Institute Annual Firefighter Boot Drive. Hundreds of uniformed firefighters will be stationed at intersections across the county to collect donations for the Burn Institute’s fire and burn prevention education and burn survivor support services.…

Police release film about unsheltered

To shed light on the multifaceted issue of homelessness and the implications of recent state legislation, the City of El Cajon Police Department released a 35-minute documentary film. “Documentary on the Frontlines of Homelessness and Enforcement” takes an in-depth look at the day-to-day operations of the Special Enforcement Unit as…

Pilot Program for seniors approved by County Supervisors

By Cassie N. Saunders County of San Diego Communications Office The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved today a pilot program to create housemate matches between lower-income older adults and locals with a spare bedroom. The two-year pilot program was created to address growing homelessness among older adults. The…

Non-profits take county to court over proposed park’s risk to wildlife

The nonprofit conservation groups Cleveland National Forest Foundation and the California Native Plant Society filed suit in San Diego County Superior Court against the County of San Diego for the Alpine County Park proposal; concerns over imperiled wildlife populations, and increased wildfire risk on Friday, Jan. 5. According to the…

SANDAG board examining ways to improve toll customers’ drive

At a December San Diego Association of Government Board of Directors meeting, SANDAG Chairwoman Nora Vargas, Vice Chair Sean Elo-Rivera, and Second Vice Chair Lesa Heebner announced the next steps to ensure all SR-125 toll road customers are protected. “Ensuring the public’s trust is paramount. The Board and I are…

El Cajon husband sentenced in homicide

In December San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced that a 46-year-old Abdulhannan Alrawi, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for shooting and killing his wife, Fathem Alrawi, 37, in their El Cajon home last year. Alrawi pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter on Sept. 14, 2023, and admitted…

County awards $42 million in funds for housing

By Cassie N. Saunders COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE The County of San Diego has awarded $42 million to nine affordable housing developments that will provide about 872 new homes. Those selected developments came from a pool of 24 proposal requests totaling more than $89 million for affordable housing…

The people and events of 2023

In January readers learned of an East County judge who donated a kidney to the wife of a friend after a chance conversation. “One night I was talking to a friend, Simon Gounder, and we were just talking. We have done a lot of work together. We worked in groups…

Lakeside presence at Miss Rodeo USA

2023-24 Miss Lakeside Equine Events Sophia Gillenberg is heading to the 2024 International Finals Rodeo in Guthrie, Oklahoma, competing for Miss Rodeo USA who will be crowned on Jan. 14 during the rodeo competitions. Gillenberg represents Equine Event Services that currently manages events at the Dianne Jacob Lakeside Equestrian Park,…

University Women welcome student of disease progression

The La Mesa-El Cajon Branch of American Association of University Women will celebrate the contributions and donations given this year to the branch FUND, the heart of the AAUW on Jan. 13, 2024. The Fund committee, under the leadership of Vicki Spilkin has selected fellowship recipient Paula Kirya as this…

Helicopter hauls in Christian monument

At over 35 feet high, and 20,000 pounds the tallest steel cross in San Diego recently was placed atop a Rancho San Diego-Jamul hill by a Chinook helicopter. With its pedestal, reaching nearly 38-feet, the large Chaldean cross rises 900 feet above sea level and will serve as symbolic memorial…

Padre Dam sues Grossmont-Cuyamaca

In a Dec. 12 press release, the Padre Dam Municipal Water District announced it filed a lawsuit against the Grossmont-Cuyamaca College District in California Superior Court San Diego to resolve a dispute over necessary water system upgrades on the Grossmont College campus and transferring ownership of the water system to…

La Mesa native serves at Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center

By Alvin Plexico Navy Office of Comm unity Outreach PANAMA CITY, Fla.- Seaman Dylan Norris, a native of La Mesa, California, serves the U.S. Navy assigned to Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, the largest diving facility in the world. Norris graduated from Valhalla High School in 2016. The skills…

La Mesa estate funds upkeep on Volcan Mountain

The Volcan Mountain Foundation received a gift of the 684-acre Peckham Keenan Wildlife Sanctuary from the estate of Ann Peckham Kennan. The late Keenan, of La Mesa, purchased the property with her late husband, Tom Keenan, in the 1990s. In 2018 Keenan acted to place a permanent conservation easement to…

SANDAG names temporary CEO

The San Diego Association of Governments Board of Directors unanimously approved the appointment of SANDAG’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Coleen Clementson, to lead the regional agency as the interim CEO on Dec. 8. Clementson will begin serving as interim CEO in January 2024. The current CEO, Hasan Ikhrata, has led…

Lakeside native serves at Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal

By Megan Brown Navy Office of Comm unity Outreach EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.- Seaman James Sullivan, a native of Lakeside, California, serves the U.S. Navy assigned to Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Sullivan graduated from West Hills High School in 2011. The skills and values needed to succeed in…

Sheltered lag behind homeless

New data from the Regional Task Force on Homelessness shows that the number of people falling into homelessness continues to increase, outpacing the number of people exiting into housing across the San Diego region. Over the last 12 months, 10 people found housing for every 16 who experienced homelessness for…

‘Enchanted’ holiday approaches

Noah Homes is holding its 6th annual Enchanted Village, taking place over eight acres this December in Spring Valley. Each night includes live musical performances, carolers, hundreds of candy canes and Christmas trees, holiday displays and more to benefit the nonprofit that provides housing and care to people with intellectual…

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