La Mesa Joins El Cajon and Lemon Grove to Provide Cooperative Fire by linzhengnd


									          A Newsletter for the Citizens of La Mesa • November 2009
    (CTN) – CHANNEL 24                              La Mesa Joins El Cajon and
      La Mesa
    Programming                                      Lemon Grove to Provide
      Schedule                                       Cooperative Fire Services
COUNCIL MEETING                                     In an historic endeavor, the cities of
2nd Tuesday                                         La Mesa, El Cajon and Lemon Grove
of each month . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4:00 pm
                                                    will provide cooperative fire services
4th Tuesday                                         through a Joint Exercise of Powers
of each month . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6:00 pm
                                                    Agreement (JPA) which was ap-
RESIDENTIAL CRIME                                   proved by all three city councils and
                                                    signed on October 15, 2009. The JPA
Monday . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7:00 – 7:15 pm     will provide for the oversight of fire
Wednesday . . . . . . . . . . 7:00 – 7:15 pm        operations in all three agencies under
Sunday . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3:00 – 3:15 pm     one shared management structure.
MERCHANTS CRIME                                     This will result in more efficient
PREVENTION VIDEO                                    use of resources, better delivery of             (l to r) Fire Chiefs Dave Burk of La Mesa, Mike
Monday . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7:15 – 7:30 pm     service to the public, and cost savings          Scott of El Cajon, and Tim Laff of Lemon Grove
Wednesday . . . . . . . . . . 7:15 – 7:30 pm        of over $500,000 annually.
                                                                            Continued on page 19
Sunday . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3:15 – 3:30 pm

                                                     CITY RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS
Monday . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7:00 – 7:30 am
                                   7:30 – 8:00 pm
1st & 3rd Tuesday
of each month . . . . . . . . 7:00 – 8:00 pm            HELEN PUTNAM AWARD
Wednesday . . . . . . . . . . 7:00 – 7:30 am                                                       On September 17 at the annual League of
                                   7:30 – 8:00 pm
                                                                                                   California Cities Conference in San Jose;
Thursday . . . . . . . 11:30 am – 12:00 pm
                                   8:00 – 8:30 pm                                                  the City of La Mesa was presented the 2009
Friday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7:00 – 7:30 am                                                  Helen Putnam Award for Excellence in the
                                   7:30 – 8:00 pm                                                  category of Health and Wellness Programs
Saturday . . . . . . . . . . . 12:00 – 1:00 pm                                                     for “ready, set…..Live Well” a community
Sunday . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3:30 – 4:00 pm                                                    wellness initiative.
                                                                                                   Established in 1982, this program recognizes
                                                                                                   10 outstanding cities that deliver the high-
                                                                                                   est quality and level of service in the most
                                                                                                   effective manner possible. Helen Putnam was
                                                                                                   a dedicated parent, teacher, principal, mayor,
                                                                                                   and county supervisor who viewed meet-
                                                                                                   ing one’s potential as the greatest measure
                                                                                                   of success. To her, excellence was defined
                                                                                                   as people doing their best. The League of
                                                                                                   California Cities recognized that Ms. Putnam
                                                                                                   epitomized the best definition of excellence
                                                             La Mesa earned a prestigious          in her years of public service and named this
                                                       2009 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence      Award of Excellence in her honor.
                                                        in the category of Health and Wellness
                                                             Programs for its “ready, set...                                 Continued on page 15
                                                       Live Well” community wellness initiative.
NOVEMBER 2009                                                PAGE 2                                              LA MESA FOCUS

      Holiday                               WINTER  La Mesa Municipal Pool

   Open House                              CALENDAR ANNUAL
    Come join the La Mesa
                                           City Hall is closed alternate Fridays
   Adult Enrichment Center                       and holidays as follows:
   “FAMILY OF FRIENDS”                      Wed, Nov 11 ................... Veteran’s day       The pool and spa will be closed for
   Tuesday, December 15             th
                                            Fri, Nov 13                                                winter maintenance
                                                                                                  Monday, November 23, 2009
       10:00 am – Noon                      Thu, Nov 26 and                                                  through
   La Mesa Community Center                 Fri, Nov 27 ......................Thanksgiving           Sunday, January 3, 2010
          4975 Memorial Drive
                                            Fri, Dec 11                                          Join us when the pool reopens
         RSVP 619.464.0505                                                                         Monday, January 4, 2010!
                                            Thu, Dec 24 at noon...... Christmas Eve
        This is a free event!
                                            Fri, Dec 25 .................... Christmas Day
                                            Fri, Jan 1 .....................New Year’s Day
     Holiday Sing-a-long with the
       Thursday Night Singers               Fri, Jan 8
             Refreshments                   Mon, Jan 18 ................... Martin Luther
                                                                             King Jr. Day
Many thanks to our event sponsor:
  Community Convalescent Hospital           Fri, Jan 22
             of La Mesa

                                                                                   TRAINING &
  New Year’s                                                                     WATER SAFETY
   Eve Party                                                                      INSTRUCTOR
           Thursday,                                                                 COURSES
        December 31, 2009                                                              Life guarding and WSI courses are being
      8:00 pm until Midnight                                                    planned for the new year. Call 619.667.1494 to
           Live Dance Band                                                      be placed on an interest list. Individuals on the
  Catered sandwiches, salads, snacks,                                             interest list will be contacted with enrollment
  non-alcoholic beverages, and dessert                                                  details when the courses are scheduled.
     Party favors and noisemakers

                                               GOOD OUTDOOR LA MESA FUN
           FUN! FUN! FUN!
   La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center
        8450 La Mesa Blvd.
                                                     Free Youth Golf Clinic La Mesa Residents Only
             $22 per ticket
                                                             Saturday, March 20 – 3:00 pm
   Call 619.464.0505 for ticket info                                 Complete this coupon and return to:
  Tickets on sale late October. Space is                 Sun Valley Golf Club • 5080 Memorial Dr., La Mesa CA 91941
    limited. First come—first served.
      Pay at the Adult                     Name: _______________________________________________________________
    Enrichment Center
   office or at the Friday                 Address: _____________________________________________________________
        Night Dance.
                                           Phone: _______________________________________________________________
                                                            SPACE IS LIMITED. REGISTER NOW!
 NOVEMBER 2009                                                     PAGE 3                                               LA MESA FOCUS



New sidewalks have been constructed along the
southeast corner of Helix Charter High School.
Thanks to a state funded Safe Routes to School
grant, construction of curb, gutter, sidewalk, new
paving, storm drain improvements, landscaping,
irrigation, and street lights have been added to
improve walkability in this area.
This project provides an improved pedestrian             AFTER
linkage from the west boundary of the school on
Orien Avenue to the intersection of Lowell Street
and Normal Avenue. Filling this sidewalk gap
enhances the safety aspect for children walking
to La Mesa Dale Elementary School, La Mesa Middle School,                funding for this project was awarded based on results of a study
Highwood Park, and the Teen Center by physically separating and          known as CX3 – Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical
increasing the distance between pedestrians and vehicular traffic.       Activity and Obesity Prevention that began in 2007. You can read
                                                                         more about CX3 in the May 2008 issue of the La Mesa FOCUS.
The improvements on Orien Avenue compliment other work                   Six different agencies collaborated on and contributed resources
recently completed in the area. The other work includes: under-          to this project: Helix Charter High School, Grossmont Union High
grounding of overhead utilities, replacing a storm drain on Lowell       School District, San Diego Gas & Electric, AT&T, Cox Comunica-
Street, and improving the high school’s student parking lot. Grant       tions, and the City of La Mesa.

                Springing into fitness is as easy as enrolling in classes offered through La Mesa Community Services.
                                       Enrollment for spring classes begins December 1.
   Browse our weekly youth class selections          Or drop off completed enrollment forms      It’s not too late to enroll for Fall classes
        or our class offerings for adults.                  with payment at either the               starting in November. Details are
   Convenient enrollment is available online          La Mesa Community Center, La Mesa               available on the City’s website.
    or you can access a printable version of              Adult Enrichment Center, or
        our enrollment form to mail in.                     La Mesa Municipal Pool.
                                                      Classes fill quickly. DON’T DELAY!

                                                                         Free shuttle buses will operate from the Tour Center at the
                                                                         corner of Palm and Lemon Avenues in the downtown Village of
                                                                         La Mesa. Shuttle parking is available adjacent to the Tour Center
 The La Mesa Historical Society and the Historic Preservation            and in City lots.
 Commission of the City of La Mesa will present the fourth annual
                                                                         Tickets purchased the day of the event will be $15 for La Mesa
 Historic Home Tour on Saturday, November 7 from 10:00 am to
                                                                         Historical Society members and $18 for non-members. Pre-sale
 3:00 pm. The tour features five homes and one church that helped
                                                                         tickets at $12 for La Mesa Historical Society members and $15
 make La Mesa what it was and is today. Three of the tour prop-
                                                                         for non-members are available by telephoning 619.465.1883 until
 erties are designated landmarks and all are carried in the City’s
                                                                         November 2. Pre-sale tickets may be picked up at the event.
 Inventory of Historic Resources.
NOVEMBER 2009                     PAGE 4                                              LA MESA FOCUS

                             Quatro de Mayo Golf Classic
                Steele Canyon Golf Course, 3199 Stonefield Drive, Jamul
                        7:30 am breakfast and registration
                              9:00 am shotgun start
                              Tuesday - May 4, 2010
                              Funds raised during this tournament will benefit
                                         “It’s Child’s Play”
                 La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation’s drive to raise $1 million to provide accessible,
                               age-appropriate, and fun playgrounds in La Mesa parks

                Sign up by December 31, 2009 and receive an “early bird” discount!
                • GOLF FOURSOME - $1,000 DONATION: $800 if you sign up by December 31,
                  2009. Includes: Breakfast ~ Lunch ~ Tournament Shirt ~ Sleeve of Golf Balls~ Goody
                  Bag ~ Cocktail Reception & Award Ceremony ~ Play with a Pro!
                • HOLE SPONSOR- $1,500 DONATION: $1250 if you sign up by December 31, 2009.
                  Includes: 1 Foursome~ Sponsor representative at hole ~ Sponsor logo on hole sign ~
                  Corporate material or sample included in goody bags ~ Play with a Pro!

                            Information 619.667.1300 or

                                                                   SUN VALLEY
                                                                  GOLF COURSE
                                                                   5080 Memorial Dr., La Mesa, CA 91941
                                                                          7:00 am to Sunset
                                                                            7 Days a Week
                                                                  Adults $10 for 9 holes, $14 for 18 holes
                                                                 Students* $7 for 9 holes, $10 for 18 holes
                                                                   (*includes college with valid student ID)
                                                                           Clinics, lessons, and
                                                                     special programs are available.
                                                                             For details go to
                                                                             or call 466.6102
NOVEMBER 2009                                                       PAGE 5                                               LA MESA FOCUS

                       “ARJIS” CRIME MAPPING
The Automated Regional Justice Information System, or “ARJIS”            of steps to define the area you want to check, how you want to
is a great crime information resource for all San Diego County res-      search (such as by address, Zip code, etc.), what type of crime
idents. One of the features you may want to check out is the crime       or crimes you want to see displayed, and the time frame that you
mapping program, which you can access from the ARJIS website             would like to check. Once the map is displayed you can use
home page at It can also be reached through a link        other features of the program to get more detailed information on
on the City of La Mesa’s website.                                        particular incidents.
The crime mapping feature can provide you with a picture of the          The ARJIS crime mapping program is an easy way to check crime
crime activity in your neighborhood, the area where you work,            activity in the areas you are interested in and can be a valuable
where your children go to school, etc., and includes data for all of     tool for you, your family, your Neighborhood Watch Group, or co-
San Diego County. Once you have selected the crime mapping               workers. We encourage you to try it out.
feature from the ARJIS home page you will go through a series

                                                                                                           Holiday DUI checkpoints are made
                                                                                                            possible through a grant from the
                                                                                                           California Office of Traffic Safety.

During the upcoming holiday season the La Mesa Police Depart-            costs associated with being arrested and convicted for driving
ment will again focus enforcement efforts to detect and arrest           under the influence of alcohol. In addition to attorney fees, fines
suspected intoxicated drivers. Each year 30% to 40% of all               average from $1,400 to $1,800, and driver’s license suspension
traffic fatalities are alcohol related, totaling about 1,500 deaths in   for at least six months; there is a mandatory two-day jail sen-
California each year.                                                    tence, and car insurance rates will likely double or triple for up to
As part of the enforcement efforts officers will conduct driv-           five years.
ing under the influence or DUI checkpoints at various locations          The Police Department was recently awarded a grant from the
throughout the City. The checkpoints are not only an enforcement         California Office of Traffic Safety for $115,000 to specifically
tool but also serve as an educational opportunity for the commu-         target suspected intoxicated drivers. A similar grant awarded last
nity to inform drivers of the dangers of driving while under the         year provided funds for the Police Department to purchase a DUI
influence of alcohol or drugs.                                           trailer. This trailer allows for the storage of equipment, provides
One important aspect of the checkpoints is to inform the public          workspace for officers at the checkpoints, and provides a secure
that a person does not have to be “drunk” to be guilty of driv-          location to arrest, question, and process prisoners, thereby elimi-
ing under the influence of alcohol. A relatively small amount            nating the need to relocate to the police station for processing
of alcohol will impair a person’s driving abilities, even though         prior to transporting them to jail.
they may feel unaffected. A person is legally in violation of the        In addition to the checkpoints, officers will be assigned to work
law with a blood/alcohol concentration level of .08%, potentially        special details where they specifically target suspected intoxi-
only two or three drinks an hour depending on body weight and            cated drivers. All of the Police Department’s DUI enforcement
other factors.                                                           efforts this holiday season and throughout the coming year will
The La Mesa Police Department arrests more than 200 people               work to educate the public and help make the streets safer in our
each year for driving under the influence. There are significant         community by apprehending impaired drivers before they can
                                                                         injure or kill someone.
 NOVEMBER 2009                                                      PAGE 6                                              LA MESA FOCUS

While most people are spending their time        Should you find that your credit card has        ing distracted can make you a prime target
during the holidays enjoying friends and         been lost or stolen, cancel the credit card      for an opportunist.
family, thieves are on the prowl for unsus-      immediately.                                     If children accompany you on your shopping
pecting victims. The holidays are the prime      Be on the lookout for identity theft. With the   trips, make sure they know your cell phone
season for robberies, home burglaries, and       excitement and stress of the holidays, it is     number by heart. Also, make sure your chil-
vehicle burglaries. Be careful not to get        easy to overlook fraudulent charges on your      dren know to go to a security guard or store
complacent with your daily activities during     accounts. Check your accounts regularly.         employee if they get separated from you.
the holidays. By following a few simple          If there are charges you don’t recognize
rules, you will be armed to reduce your                                                           Check that all doors and windows are
                                                 follow up with your bank immediately. By         locked when you leave your home. Set the
chances of becoming a victim.                    keeping accurate records of all your holiday     alarm if you have one and leave lights on if
When you are out shopping, be aware of           purchases and returns, it will be obvious        you plan to be out past dark. Make sure gifts
those around you. Con artists often take         if there is a new charge. Check your credit      and cash are not visible from any window.
advantage of people’s generosity in order        report after the holidays to ensure no new       If you will be gone for an extended period
to scam them out of their hard-earned cash.      accounts have been opened in your name.          of time, have your neighbors watch your
Keep an eye on anyone hovering around            If you must shop alone, try to go during         home for you. If they bring in your mail
you or following too closely. Be extra care-     daylight hours. Never leave packages in          and newspapers everyday, it will not appear
ful not to get distracted. Any distraction can   your car. If you must carry packages with        as if the house is empty. Put timers on both
give a thief an open opportunity to steal        you, lock them in your trunk, where they         indoor and outdoor lights to make the house
your belongings.                                 are out of sight. Park in a well-lit parking     appear occupied.
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and         lot and ask a security guard to accompany        For more information about preventing
don’t wear expensive jewelry. Take one           you to your car if it is dark outside or the     crime during the holidays, call the La Mesa
credit card with you and leave the rest at       lot is deserted. Don’t talk on your cell         Police Department Crime Prevention Unit
home. If possible don’t carry a purse or         phone or listen to your i-Pod® while walk-       at 619.667.1445. For additional valuable
backpack. Put your credit card, cell phone,      ing to and from your car. Once you are in        information; including a video that explains
and identification in your front pocket to       your car, leave the parking lot immediately.     home security, vehicle security, and per-
reduce the likelihood that someone will          Try not to sit in your car and balance your      sonal safety, visit
pickpocket you in the large holiday crowds.      checkbook or shuffle through receipts. Be-       CrimePreventionVideo.

 The National Association of State Boards        pline, now how do you make it fun?                children by sharing a walk with each,
 of Education has reported a significant         • Challenge your child to map out a new           one at a time. Limit the conversation to
 relationship between physical activity and        walking route each week.                        positive statements, compliment your
 educational success.                                                                              child on a good grade, caring gesture, or
                                                 • Set a time and day for the walk, and            accomplished task.
 Increasing your child’s motivation, aca-          promise a prized activity treat for com-
 demic focus, and spirit can be a rewarding        pleting the walk.                              Help your child achieve a habit that will
 experience for the entire family. With                                                           give him or her a jump start on healthy
 cooler weather approaching, fall is the         • Make it an adventure! Discover a new           adulthood. Who knows, this may become
 perfect time to set new goals. You already        neighborhood, and involve the whole            a new family tradition.
 know the benefits of exercise for the adult       family.
 body—it’s not magic, but requires disci-        • Create exclusive time with each of your
NOVEMBER 2009                                                   PAGE 7                                                 LA MESA FOCUS

                    FUNDS FOR FIELD REPAIRS
                   A recent third-party inspection of the artificial turf         exposure, lack of rain, and decomposed granite tracked
                   football field at the Junior Seau Sports Complex has re-       onto the field from surrounding walkways, has caused
                   vealed that the turf will need to be replaced in two years     the field to degrade faster than the 10-year lifespan that
                   or less. Due to the high cost of field replacement and the     was originally anticipated when the turf was installed.
                   current financial environment, we expect fundraising           Led by the La Mesa Athletic Council, whose member-
                   could take two years. To avoid closure of the field at the     ship includes the leagues that utilize the field, several
                   end of this season, $100,000 is needed to repair the field     groups are working together to raise funds by the end
                   to a condition that will provide the additional two years      of this year. If successful, repairs can be accomplished
                   of play while replacement funding is raised.                   in early 2010 to make the field ready for spring sports.
                    The current turf is an early version of artificial field      Repairs will provide two years additional playing time
                   surfacing that has reached the end of its anticipated          while the significant capital necessary for replacement is
                   lifespan. Other than two high school football fields with      raised. The newer generation of artificial field surfac-
                   little availability for public use outside of high school      ing has improved protections against sun exposure and
                   sports, this is the only field designed specifically for       weathering, thus creating a longer field life.
                   youth football in our community and demand for field           Your support of these community based efforts will help
                   time is high. The field is an important component to the       keep this tremendous asset available to our community.
                   City’s Community Services programs as well as to the           Planned fundraising activities include a youth baseball/
                   physical education programs at Parkway Middle School.          softball clinic November 23 - 25, and a soccer tourna-
                   In addition to reducing the cost of maintenance and irri-      ment for youth and adults to be scheduled in January.
                   gation, artificial turf extends the available playing hours    Individual leagues will also be hosting their own events
                   on the field. Since installation in 2003, the field has        to help the cause.
                   been scheduled seven days a week throughout the year
                   by eight youth and adult sports leagues and five days a        Tax deductible donations can be made payable to
                   week during the school year by roughly 1,100 students          JSSC Field c/o La Mesa Park and Recreation Founda-
                   at Parkway Middle School – over 20,600 hours of play.          tion, 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa, 91942, Tax ID
                   Constant use, coupled with the devastating effect of sun       #33-0856480.

                                                     SPRING 2010 ADULT
                                                     SOFTBALL SEASON        (18 years and older)
New Team                                                                 *Season:      12 weeks beginning the week of
Registration: La Mesa Fire Station #12, 8844 Dallas St.                                     February 15, 2010 (weather permitting)
                 January 26, 2010 —5:30 to 6:30 pm                       Location:          Junior Seau Sports Complex, Field #1,
                                                                                            9009 Park Plaza Drive, entrance to
Adult Softball Voicemail 667-1172, #6                                                        La Mesita Park.
    Team rosters and game rules will be issued
    at time of registration.                                             **Leagues:         Tuesday – Coed
                                                                                            Thursday – Coed
Fee:             $525 for the season.
                                                                                            Friday – Men
                 Umpire fees [not included in fee]
                 $15/game each team.                                     Game Times: Tuesday & Thursday                6:00 – 9:00 pm
                 The entire fee must be paid at time of                                      Friday                    6:00 – 10:00 pm
                 registration. No partial payments.                      * Subject to change based on the number of teams
Payment options: a) one check                                            **Minimum 4 teams required per night or league night subject to
                        b) all cash                                        change or cancellation.
                        c) one check and the remainder cash
                        d) credit card
    A $25 service charge and postage will be required on all
    returned checks. Payees will have one day to correct the
    problem to guarantee a position.
                                                                                    PLAY BALL!
    A waiting list will be taken after reaching the maximum
    number of teams.
NOVEMBER 2009                                                      PAGE 8                                               LA MESA FOCUS

  City of La Mesa Hosts a Casting Call for
        Become a part of La Mesa’s award-winning community production~“Rides4Neighbors”

                                   Rides4Neighbors is a volunteer-based transpor-         volunteer drivers we have, the better able we
                                   tation assistance program for older adults and         are to meet the growing need in our community.
                                   adults with disabilities. Funding for the pro-         There is no minimum time commitment or
                                   gram comes from federal, state, and Grossmont          number of rides required to be a volunteer. As
                                   Healthcare District grants. Rides are provided         a volunteer, you decide your availability and
                                   by volunteers, who use their own vehicles to           choose the rides you wish to provide. Ride
                                   help eligible riders in La Mesa and neighboring        requests are posted on the program’s schedul-
                                   communities in need of a lift. Volunteers help         ing website; drivers simply log on and select
                                   riders get to their doctor, do their grocery shop-     the rides that work with their schedule. Rides
                                   ping, meet other essential needs and, overall,         are scheduled Monday through Friday during
                                   live independently in the community!                   regular business hours. Volunteer drivers are
                                   “You’re an answer to our prayers” was the com-         reimbursed for mileage at the current federal
                                   ment received from a senior couple, both aged 84,      rate and are covered under a secondary liability
                                   who can no longer drive themselves to their medi-      and accident insurance.
                                   cal appointments. Another 85 year-old La Mesa          As a volunteer, you can be a vital part of a
                                   resident stated, “I can’t brag about this service      rewarding and meaningful civic program.
                                   enough! Thank you so much for all your help.”          Community surveys consistently find that
                                   Since the program began in December 2007,              what residents like best about La Mesa is the
                                   there have been 342 eligible riders enrolled           neighborly, small town feel. Rides4Neighbors
                                   in the program. Rides4Neighbors made 2,008             helps build that spirit of community and old-
                                   trips in its first year of operation. In the first     fashioned neighborliness. So please join us by
                                   six months of 2009 there have been 1,510 rides         opening your heart and car door to a rider in
                                   given by volunteer drivers, an average of 250          need of a lift!
                                   per month and a 50% increase from the previ-           For more information, call the Adult Enrich-
                                   ous year.                                              ment Center at 619.464.0109, or visit www.
                                   There are presently 20 screened, trained volun- to download a volunteer ap-
                                   teer drivers who are capable of serving only 45-       plication form.
                                   55 unduplicated riders each month. The more

          La Mesa Kids Walk & Roll to School
               PROGRESS REPORT
In conjunction with WALKSanDiego, the            incorporated into the project beginning in      Jenna Kirschenman & Thomas Herman,
City of La Mesa has received a four-year         the 2010-2011 school year.                      Live Well; Carol Lockwood, La Mesa
federal grant administered through Caltrans      After meeting with La Mesa-Spring Valley        resident; Craig Wood, La Mesa-Spring
intended to increase the number of children      School Board and Principals from the eight      Valley School District; Greg Humora &
who walk or bicycle to school and remove         targeted schools, the Steering Committee        Kathy Feilen, Public Works Department;
the barriers that currently prevent them         decided Wave 1 schools will be: Lemon           Heather Lindquist & Ken Hinton, City of
from doing so. Those barriers include lack       Avenue, Rolando, and Maryland Elemen-           La Mesa Police Department; Jo Gilman,
of infrastructure, unsafe infrastructure, and    tary Schools, and La Mesa Middle School.        Lemon Avenue parent; Juan Antonio
a lack of programs that promote walking          Parent and student surveys will be adminis-     Ramirez, Ken Grimes, & Kristin Mueller,
and bicycling through education/encour-          tered in these four schools after fall break.   WalkSanDiego; Kathy Keehan, San Diego
agement programs aimed at children,                                                              County Bicycle Coalition; Katie Judd, San
parents, and the community. Eight schools        The Steering Committee for the Project          Diego County Health & Human Services
in the La-Mesa Spring Valley School              is comprised of parents, teachers, school       Agency; Mark Arapostathis, Vice-Mayor/
District will participate in the program in      administrators, city council members,           Rolando Elementary School; Yvonne
two waves with four schools beginning this       City of La Mesa employees, and WALK-            Garrett & Kim Shannon, City of La Mesa
fall. The remaining four schools will be         SanDiego representatives. They are:             Community Services Department.
NOVEMBER 2009                                                      PAGE 9                                              LA MESA FOCUS

 As the fall season approaches, and daylight hours decrease,                If you enjoy the company of others and are energized
 our motivation to exercise may diminish. It often seems more               by the sights and sounds of your community, the City of
 appealing and relaxing to end the work day with the remote                 La Mesa offers:
 control and to ignore your determination to maintain fitness or            • “Walk and Talk,” offered every Tuesday from 9:00-
 meet that goal of losing extra pounds. Don’t waste another day.              10:30. The first Tuesday of each month, walkers meet at
 Try walking to improve your mood, and alter the negative spiral              Porter Hall (corner of Memorial Drive & University Ave.)
 that can result from inactivity.                                             Each week’s walking sites are given at that time. You
      • Challenge yourself. Enjoy the personal satisfaction of                may call 619.667.1300 for further information.
        setting goals and motivating yourself to achieve.                   • La Mesa’s Urban Walking Trails are free walks de-
      • Mark your calendar. Take note of every workout ses-                   signed for all ages and fitness levels. The trails showcase
        sion. Seeing it on the calendar helps with motivation.                various parks and regions of La Mesa. Access the route
      • Listen to music. Great beats make it easier to keep your              map at or call La Mesa Commu-
        body moving. Take your music along or crank up the                    nity Services 619.667.1300 for more information.
        volume at home and dance around the house.                          • The La Mesa Walking Art Trail features utility boxes
      • Reward yourself. Place a dollar in a jar every time                   painted by local artists along an easy walking route in
        you work out. It’s also a great way to save money for                 the La Mesa Village. A brochure can be found at
        a special treat!                                                      many businesses in the La Mesa Village or visit
      • Make it a group thing. Take a class, go to the gym, or
        join a walking club. Having someone else around pro-                • Pick up a “Walk La Mesa” brochure at any City office
        vides great motivation and support.                                   and you will find there are community walking groups
                                                                              that meet every day of the week. The brochure is also
                                                                              available for download at

            Join others to revive your spirit and commitment to your goals, stay healthy and safe,
                                 and experience all that La Mesa has to offer.

             “A Salute to Old Glory”
You can help create a wonderful, patriotic family event by         Your donation supports transportation costs for school march-
supporting the La Mesa Flag Day Parade 2010 –“A Salute to          ing bands, public address equipment for pre-parade school
Old Glory.” Thousands of spectators will wave flags as the         concerts and announcing parade participants, set up and tear
entries perform along the parade route through the La Mesa         down, safety, public restrooms, and printing. A sponsor
Village beginning at 10:00 am on Saturday, June 5. You may         form outlining the benefits of your participation is avail-
see youth groups, horse units, dance troupes, clown bri-           able for download on the City website. We are looking
gades, active and retired military, floats, bands, local heroes,   for corporate and business pledges, donations from
and elected officials - this is Americana at its very best. The    La Mesa’s many civic and service organizations,
Flag Day Parade is organized by volunteers and supported           and contributions from individuals.
financially by community individuals, organizations, and           Other municipalities have had to scale back or
businesses.                                                        cancel their parades, but with your support
Hosting the 2010 parade will cost $15,000. Thanks to the           we can continue this La Mesa tradition. This
generosity of donor support for the 2009 parade, and prudent       parade is one of the things that make our
parade management, we have $2,100 as a balance forward,            City a special place. Please help us by joining our family of
leaving a target amount of $12,900 to raise for 2010. We           sponsoring partners and donors.
need to have $12,000 in the bank by January 2010 to justify        Questions? Contact the parade hotline at 619.667.1172 op-
beginning parade planning and production.                          tion 4 or download a donor form from the City website.
 NOVEMBER 2009                                                    PAGE 10                                                    LA MESA FOCUS

       City of La Mesa’s                           ABANDONED SHOPPING CARTS
        FOG Program
The City of La Mesa has recently be-
                                                     AN UNSIGHTLY NUISANCE
gun implementation of a Fats, Oils, and            Shopping carts come in handy for shoppers at local grocery stores and at the mall. We
Grease (otherwise known as FOG) Control            all use shopping carts, thus we all share responsibility in keeping shopping carts in their
Program. The goal of this program is to            proper place. However, one glaring negative to the convenient shopping cart is they are
decrease the amount of FOG accumulation            frequently rolled off the property to which they belong. You may see abandoned shop-
within the City’s sewer system and is a posi-      ping carts at a bus stop, an apartment complex parking lot, or at the end of a cul-de-sac.
tive step regarding the prevention of FOG          Customers should not remove carts from the business premises. In fact, in the city of
related sewer issues.                              La Mesa, it is illegal to remove a cart from the premises of a business.
Why is reducing FOG Important?                     Businesses should keep track of and retrieve abandoned carts. If you see a cart that has
FOG accumulation in the sewer system can           been abandoned please note the cart owner and the location. (Example: a Vons cart at
lead to blockages and backups which have           the intersection of Maple and University Avenue). You should then call the store man-
potential to negatively impact the environ-        ager and notify them of the cart location. Following are the phone numbers of some
ment. In addition, FOG reduction results           local stores that provide shopping carts to customers:
in decreased sewer maintenance costs and
increased capacity both within private sewer                Vons (Baltimore Drive & Lake Murray Blvd.) . . . . . . 619.464.1099
laterals and City sewer mains.                              Vons (University Avenue & La Mesa Blvd.) . . . . . . . . . .619.464.1011
How are the City’s new FOG require-                         Walmart (Grossmont Shopping Center) . . . . . . . . . . . 619.337.3655
ments being implemented?
Restaurants and businesses that prepare                     Target (Grossmont Shopping Ceanter) . . . . . . . . . . . . 619.461.1960
food are currently being enrolled and will                  Costco (8125 Fletcher Parkway) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 619.697.9933
receive a FOG discharge permit issued by
the City. Businesses will then be annually                  Albertson’s (8920 Fletcher Parkway) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 619.667.4343
inspected by the City and will also receive                 Ralphs (Jackson Drive & Grossmont Blvd.) . . . . . . . . 619.469.2161
FOG Program education and enforcement.
                                                            99 Cents Only (Baltimore Dr. & El Cajon Blvd.) . . . . 619.697.7599
Do your part to prevent FOG discharges
                                                            Henry’s (Palm Avenue & Finley Avenue) . . . . . . . . . . . 619.460.7722
• Never pour grease, cooking oil or fat down
  the sink. Instead pour into an empty jar                  CVS-Pharmacy (Grossmont Shopping Center) . . . . . . .619.465.1011
  or coffee can with a secure lid and allow                 Petco (8501 Fletcher Parkway) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 619.337.0701
  liquid to solidify before throwing away.
                                                            Burlington Coat Factory (7938 El Cajon Blvd.) . . . . . 619.460.7624
• Wipe out greasy pots and pans with a
  paper towel before doing the dishes.             If shopping carts are not picked up in a reasonable period of time you can also call the
• Scrape grease and food scraps from cook-         California Shopping Cart Retrieval Corporation (CSCRC) at 800.252.4613. The City
  ing surfaces, plates, pots and pans and          of La Mesa contracts with CSCRC to retrieve abandoned shopping carts. The CSCRC
  utensils into a can or the trash for disposal.   will typically pick up the cart(s) within 2-3 days. If you have any questions please call
                                                   the City of La Mesa at 619.667.1177.
FOG enters the sewer system from homes,
as well as from poorly maintained grease
traps and interceptors in restaurants and
other businesses. Help protect the environ-
ment by doing your part to keep FOG out of
the sewer system.
Who should I call if I have questions or
would like more information about the
Please contact the City of La Mesa at
619.667.1340 for more information about
FOG discharge permits and inspection re-
quirements and for general questions about                                                                                            Abandoned
the City’s FOG program.                                                                                                              carts can be
                                                                                                                                     an unsightly
                                                                                                                                      eyesore and
                                                                                                                                 hazardous along
                                                                                                                                   sidewalks and
NOVEMBER 2009                                          PAGE 11                           LA MESA FOCUS

                                            City of La Mesa
                              was held on Saturday, October 24th
                     Our thanks to all the volunteers who helped out at La Mesa parks
                            BEAUTIFUL JOB EVERYONE — Thank You!!
October 24 was the 2009 La Mesa Park Apprecia-
tion Day. If you participated at your favorite park,
City staff would like to take this opportunity to
thank you for all the hard work and to share what
you accomplished. In addition to painting tables,
trimming, and raking, 291 volunteers removed 95
yards of green material and 16 yards of trash from
12 City parks. City park sites are cleaner, spruced
up, and ready for the change of season.
If you missed this year’s event, you missed a
wonderful opportunity to take a hands-on ap-
proach to improve your park facilities. This is a
great event for groups and special projects can
be assigned depending on the size of your group.
Park Appreciation Day is an annual event, so plan
ahead for next year on October 23, 2010.
Individuals or groups who are interested in help-
ing to keep City parks green and in tip top condi-
tion can join our Adopt-a-Park program. Adopt-
a-Park assigns one person or a group to a specific
park and that person or group spruces up the
park each weekend by picking up litter, empty-

ing trash cans into the dumpster, and stocking the
                                                                                   E-D         010
                                                                                      r 23,ia2ion Day
restrooms. Park adopters get their name on a sign
posted at the park. For more information about
                                                                     turday esa Park App
the Adopt-a-Park program, or if you are interested
                                                                                         rec t
in adopting a park, contact the City’s Volunteer
                                                                  Sa     aM
                                                                      ext L
Coordinator Judy Stern at 619.667.1490 or the
Department of Public Works at 619.667.1450.                      The N
NOVEMBER 2009                                                    PAGE 12                                                 LA MESA FOCUS

The Environmental Awareness Festival Says
            Displays and presentations located throughout Harry Griffen Park demonstrated various ways to sustain our environment.

The 2nd Annual La Mesa Environmental            Thirty-four organizations were present of-       was generated by solar power. The event
Awareness Festival topped last year’s suc-      fering everything from giveaway items such       catered to all ages and included information
cessful event with hundreds of people in at-    as recycling stickers and reusable shopping      and discussion on topics including water
tendance from around the county. The event      bags to face painting and workshops on           conservation, energy efficiency, recycling,
was presented by La Mesa’s Environmental        solar cooking and native trees. A drive-thru     composting, solar power, storm water pollu-
Sustainability Commission at Harry Griffen      recycling zone was provided for e-waste, all     tion prevention, gardening and more.
Park on Saturday, September 12.                 plastics, glass, metal, cardboard and paper.     Watch for announcements regarding the
                                                A portion of the electricity for the event       2010 festival next summer.

                                                                                                   Fire Prevention Week Open House
                                                                                                             Draws Crowd

Twenty-one outstanding entries of the first-ever “Our Planet Our Home” Environmental
Literacy and Art Contest were recognized by the La Mesa City Council and Betty Wa-
znis, San Diego County Library Assistant Director, at La Mesa’s 2nd Annual Environ-                 The new platform ladder truck replaces a 22
                                                                                                                                 year-old truck
mental Awareness Festival on September 12th. The festival took place at Harry Griffen
Park in La Mesa and the recognized work was displayed on the stage where the winners              On Saturday, October 10 the La Mesa Fire
were presented with certificates. The contest received 278 entries and was organized by           Department hosted a Fire Prevention Week
the City’s Environmental Sustainability Commission.                                               open house at Fire Station 11 from 10:00
                                                                                                  am to 2:00 pm.
                                                                 The contest was open
                                                                 to all youth from kin-           Approximately 400 people came to visit
                                                                                                  and department staff handed out approxi-
                                                                 dergarten to 12th grade
                                                                                                  mately 100 plastic fire helmets. Kids also
                                                                 residing within the              received pencils, sticker badges, coloring
                                                                 boundaries of the                books, and fire safety materials.
                                                                 La Mesa-Spring Valley
                                                                                                  Visitors were able to see the La Mesa Fire
                                                                 and Grossmont High
                                                                                                  Department’s newest addition – a Pierce
                                                                 School Union School              100 platform ladder truck. This truck
                                                                 Districts. Recognition           replaces the 22 year-old truck and provides
                                                                 was given for art and            critical access to La Mesa’s tallest buildings.
                                                                 poetry in four different
                                                                                                  Additional highlights of the open house
                                                                 grade categories. Award
                                                                                                  included: San Miguel fire safety trailer,
                                                                 winning entries were             rescue demonstrations, station tours,
                                                                 displayed for a month in         getting in and on apparatus.
                                                                 the La Mesa Community
                                                                                                  Participating agencies included:
                                                                                                  Burn Institute and SDG&E
NOVEMBER 2009                                               PAGE 13                                                LA MESA FOCUS

                   CALIFORNIA COASTAL
                  CLEANUP DAY IN LA MESA
 The California Coastal Cleanup Day was held on Saturday,           Channel and (2) University Channel. The 27 volunteers who
 September 19. The state-wide cleanup event included over 800       participated in the cleanup event at these sites removed over
 cleanup sites with more than 70,000 volunteers throughout the      550 pounds of trash and debris from our local waterways. This
 state removing over 1,000,000 pounds of debris from the shore-     was another successful community event helping to protect our
 lines, coast and inland areas. This year marks the fourth year     environment and preserve our quality of life.
 the City of La Mesa has hosted two cleanup sites (1) Alvarado

                                                                                                   Volunteers cleaned debris from local
                                                                                                    waterways before it could reach the
                                                                                                      ocean during the 2009 California
                                                                                                                  Coastal Cleanup Day.

                                                          LA MESA LIBRARY
                                                     a great community resource!
                                                    Check out the new books, movies, video games, and books on tape free with a
                                                    library card! Access Internet computers with a library card or bring your own
                                                    notebook computer for Wi Fi. There are story times for children as well as pro-
                                                    grams for teens and adults.
                                                    Thanks to our many Friends of the La Mesa Library, the Library Bookstore has
                                                    been a great success during its first year in the new building. Is it our new loca-
                                                    tion just off the lobby entrance? Or our new hours from 1:00 – 4:00 pm daily?
                                                    Or could it be our supply of quality used books that keeps our customers coming
                                                    back for more? Bookstore sales are reinvested into activities and collections at the
                                                    La Mesa Branch Library and have helped to expand the Readers, Viewers, Listen-
                                                    ers, and Gamers Express programs for La Mesa Library users. You can volunteer
                                                    to become a Friend of the La Mesa Library. Volunteers with a background in
                                                    literature, sales, marketing, accounting, or public relations are especially needed.
                                                    Stop by the bookstore or call Joe Glidden at 619.460.6668 for information.
                                                    You can check for upcoming events, and browse library holdings, at the San Di-
                                                    ego County Library website, The La Mesa Branch Library is open
                                                    seven days a week. Hope to see you soon in the new library, next to City Hall, at
                                                    8074 Allison Avenue. For additional information call the library at 619.469.2151.
NOVEMBER 2009                   PAGE 14                                                 LA MESA FOCUS

                 STOP THE SPREAD OF
                   WEST NILE VIRUS:
                Prevent, Protect and Report
                There has been a lot of buzz about West Nile Virus (WNV) in the last few years. The
                County of San Diego Vector Control Program reports the virus has been present in the
                County since 2003. Last year, there were 35 reported human cases and 563 positive dead
                birds; thankfully, there were no human fatalities.
                So far this year Vector Control has detected 32 dead birds that tested positive for the virus.
                There have also been two human cases; however, they were not locally acquired. Although
                there are fewer cases this year, Vector Control encourages the public to protect themselves
                from the virus.
                Anyone can get WNV. Infected female mosquitoes transmit the virus when they bite.
                Severe West Nile disease, such as meningitis or encephalitis, affects less than 1% of people
                who become infected. West Nile fever (fever, headache, body aches, occasional skin rash,
                and swollen lymph glands) develops in about 20% of cases. WNV is NOT transmitted
                from person to person.
                Backyard mosquito breeding is a major source of the mosquito problem. To help reduce the
                mosquito population, remove standing water from your property every week. The Vector
                Control Program asks you to “Prevent, Protect, and Report” to help fight WNV.
                Prevent: Mosquitoes thrive in warm weather. Females lay their eggs in as little as a ½
                        inch of water. Eggs hatch into flying, biting adults in about one week. Even the
                        smallest items can hold water. Remove, drain, clean, or drill holes into any-
                        thing that can hold water for more than three days, such as buckets, clogged rain
                        gutters, old tires, plant saucers, pots, coffee cans, pet bowls, and children’s toys.
                        Make sure that window and door screens are in good repair to keep mosquitoes

                         Mosquito-eating fish can be used to control mosquitoes in ornamental ponds or
                         neglected swimming pools. These fish eat mosquito larvae before they turn into
                         biting adults. They are available free of charge from the San Diego County Vec-
                         tor Control Program. Call or visit the County website at http://www.sdcounty.
                for information on how to request
                         the fish.
                Protect: Avoid going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. When
                         you do go outdoors, wear long pants and long-sleeved, light-colored shirts. The
                         light color will help you see mosquitoes when they land on you, and the clothing
                         makes it harder for them to bite you.
                         It is also very important to use insect repellent when going outdoors. Make sure
                         that the repellent contains one of the following EPA registered, CDC recommend-
                         ed ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR 3535. Read
                         the product label before applying and follow instructions carefully. Unapproved
                         repellents may not be effective.
                         Report: Over watering, leaky irrigation systems, clogged storm drains, and
                         neglected swimming pools all provide mosquitoes a place to breed. If you find
                         mosquito breeding sources or neglected swimming pools in your community
                         please report them to the Vector Control Program.

                More information about West Nile virus or other vector-borne diseases is available by
                calling 888.551.INFO (4636), or visit Standing water can
                be reported at 858.694.2888 or 888.551.4636
NOVEMBER 2009                                               PAGE 15                                                   LA MESA FOCUS

 Save Money by                                 HELEN PUTNAM AWARD                                                    continued from page 1

 Over Irrigation
Could you be that neighbor that is
over-watering their yard? With our clay
soils, it doesn’t take much moisture on
the ground before water starts running
off your property. Over irrigation can
mobilize pollutants such as pesticides,
fertilizers, and pet waste prior to reaching
the storm drain system and eventually
the creeks and channels within our City.
Preventing these pollutants from mak-
ing their way into the storm drain system
ultimately improves our quality of life.
Following are tips to help you eliminate
pollutants from entering our creeks:
• Design your irrigation to meet site-
  specific conditions and prevent over-
• Application rate should not exceed the
  soil’s ability to absorb water.
                                                         Students at La Mesa Dale Elementary learn how to prepare healthy snacks.
• Irrigation system should be designed
  with control devices, sensors, or shut-off    The award winning “ready, set…..Live Well” initiative is a partnership endeavor
  switches to address malfunctions.             that has evolved from the La Mesa Community Wellness Program. This model
• Place or group plants with similar water      program, adopted by the La Mesa City Council in July 2006, is now a growing
  needs within the same area.                   network of community partners whose shared vision is to create opportunities
                                                that promote physical activity and good nutrition, and provide encouragement and
• Do not irrigate non-planted areas.            incentive for community members to embrace habits that lead to lifelong health
• Regularly inspect your irrigation system      and wellness.
  for potential problems.
                                                The work accomplished by the City’s partnership efforts with the La Mesa-Spring
• Consider drip irrigation to save water        Valley School District (LMSVSD) positioned the City to receive a grant from The
  and prevent over-irrigation and runoff.       California Endowment to pursue establishment of joint policies and programs to
• Adjust irrigation rates according to          promote health and wellness in the community and “ready, set…..Live Well” was
  seasons and weather conditions.               born. The Live Well policy team met during the first quarter of 2009 to establish
• Irrigate in the early morning because it      policy guidelines for future programs and projects. Following the work of the
  is the most efficient time to water plants    policy team, tactical teams were established to draft a strategic plan to encompass a
  with minimal evaporation.                     variety of subject areas devoted to community health and wellness. The City Coun-
                                                cil approved the draft strategic plan on September 22. The plan now heads to the
• Refrain from irrigation during hot windy      LMSVSD board for its endorsement. Specific elements within the plan that have
  periods of the day.
                                                begun are funded through grants already received. Additional grant and private
You may not be aware that Helix Water           funding sources are being sought for other programs outlined in the strategic plan.
District has several programs to help           La Mesa is one of only two cities in San Diego County to receive a 2009 Helen
single-family homeowners conserve               Putnam Award for Excellence. The City of Chula Vista also received the award in
water outdoors. Residents are eligible          the category of Internal Administration. The City of La Mesa is honored to be the
to apply for a high efficiency clothes          recipient of this prestigious award for the second time. In 2006 La Mesa received
washer rebate worth up to $100 or a smart       the award under the category of City-Business Relationships for The PARKS
controller rebate worth up to $200. For         Project, a partnership endeavor between the City, local businesses, non-profits, and
more information, call 619.466.0585 or          the LMSVSD that resulted in construction of the Junior Seau Sports Complex at
visit or e-mail             Parkway Middle School and renovation of Briercrest Park adjacent to the Gross-                        mont Healthcare District building.
Please share the above information with
your family, friends, and neighbors. For
more information you may contact the
City’s Storm Water Hotline 619.667.1134.
 NOVEMBER 2009                                         PAGE 16                                                LA MESA FOCUS

        Just for the fun of it!
 Did you know there are organized walks
 nearby every day of the week? For a list
 of options visit Walk La Mesa under
 Quick Links – Live Well. You may also
                                                HELP WANTED
                                                Help Wanted: Very nice 95-year old lady who can
 pick up a flyer at La Mesa City Hall or
                                                no longer use her car needs a driver for trips to the
 the La Mesa Community Center. Call
 619.667.1300 for more information.             grocery store, medical appointments, the bank, and
                                                the beauty salon. I may need a ride once or twice a
  La’s made for walking.
                                                week, and my appointments might take an hour or
                                                so. If you can help me, please call!

City of La Mesa Answers
 Your Most Frequently
    Asked Questions
Lists of frequently asked questions can
be found on individual Department pages
throughout the City website. Below you
will find some of the most common inqui-
ries received in the Community Develop-
ment Department.

Do I need a building permit?
Permits are required for, but not neces-
sarily limited to, residential and business
additions, alterations, patio covers, decks,
garden and retaining walls, swimming
pools, spas, air conditioners, all electrical
and plumbing installations including sprin-

                                                       Attention Drivers!
klers, water heaters and gas lines. If you
are considering an alteration to an existing
building, or a new construction project,
please contact the Building Division at          The City of La Mesa Rides4Neighbors Program needs your help for rid-
619.667.1176. For additional information         ers like the lady who “placed” the ad above. We have many other riders
please see the Building Division page.           who need drivers!

How do I file a zoning code complaint?           • We are seeking adult volunteer drivers with excellent driving records
                                                  who are willing to use their personal vehicles to provide a ride to a
To report a zoning code violation in your
                                                  neighbor in need.
neighborhood please submit the Zoning
Complaint Form [PDF] to the address              • Volunteers complete an application, provide a copy of a valid Drivers’
below or complete the online form at Re-          License and insurance certificate, authorize the City to make a DMV
quest Tracker. Zoning Complaints may be           records check, complete a Livescan background check, and complete
submitted in person to:                           orientation and training.
   Code Compliance Officer                       • Volunteer drivers are reimbursed for mileage and receive secondary
   Planning Department                            liability insurance.
   8130 Allison Avenue
   La Mesa, CA 91941                             • As a volunteer, you decide your availability and choose the rides you
                                                  wish to provide. There is no minimum time commitment or number of
Does the city have any affordable                 rides required to be a volunteer.
housing projects or programs?
Please see the City of La Mesa Housing           Please call 619-464-0109 for information on becoming a Rides4Neigh-
Programs page for more information.              bors volunteer!

Also see the County of San Diego website
here and here for more information.
                                                                         We need you!
NOVEMBER 2009                                                  PAGE 17                                                  LA MESA FOCUS

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer with the City of La          pansion of services to City residents. You will not only provide
Mesa? Check out our volunteer opportunities below or down-              a valuable service for the community, but also enjoy flexible
load a Volunteer Application from                 scheduling for most assignments, develop new skills, and meet
Volunteers play an important role in the enhancement and ex-            new friends.

  Rides4Neighbors We need Volunteer              your neighborhood, whether alone, with         visiting patients in La Mesa convales-
  Drivers for Rides4Neighbors, a trans-          a pet, or with a neighbor, you can join        cent homes? Pick up an application
  portation program for La Mesa’s older          this dedicated team of volunteers. The         at the Adult Enrichment Center or call
  residents and residents with disabilities.     City provides a program vest, bags, and        619.464.0505. If you have more ques-
  Rides are provided by trained volun-           a pick-up tool. All you need to do is          tions about the program we can put you
  teers, who use their own vehicles. We          commit to spending at least five hours         in touch with a current Pet Therapy
  reimburse for mileage and provide              a month for one year. You make your            volunteer.
  supplemental liability insurance through       own hours! Sign up TODAY by calling            Adopt the Moffatt Garden at the
  this grant-funded program. Volunteers          619.464.0505.                                  La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center!
  decide availability and choose the             Friday Night Dance at La Mesa Adult            We are seeking a dedicated garden lover,
  rides you wish to provide. There is no         Enrichment Center We need volun-               or group of garden lovers, to help us
  minimum time commitment or number              teers to help with front door cashiering       with tender loving care and upkeep for
  of rides required to be a volunteer. As a      and cash out. Minimum time commit-             our beautiful memorial garden. A weekly
  volunteer, you will be part of a reward-       ment: once a month for a 3½ hour shift.        weeding, helping meet the needs of
  ing and meaningful civic program. For          Please pick up a Volunteer Application         thirsty plants, and sprucing up would be
  information call the Adult Enrichment          at the Adult Enrichment Center or call         just the right stuff needed to keep this
  Center at 619.464.0109.                        619.464.0505 to have one mailed to you.        special place a treasure for all to enjoy.
  Adopt-A-Block! You can help preserve           La Mesa Pet Therapy Needs You &                Please stop in the Adult Enrichment Cen-
  and enhance the beauty and cleanliness         Your Dog! Would you and your dog be            ter office to pick up a Volunteer Applica-
  of La Mesa by volunteering for Adopt-          willing to spend two hours each month          tion or call 619.464.0505.
  A-Block. If you are a regular walker in

                           DO THE RIGHT THING
Did you know that household hazardous waste (HHW) disposal is           of their destructive effect on the environment. If you reside within
available free for La Mesa residents? The following items are consid-   the City limits of La Mesa, you are eligible to participate in the City’s
ered hazardous and are not allowed to be placed in the trash because    free HHW drop-off program to dispose of these items:

                                                          Batteries                     Any items labeled               MP3 players
                                                     Fluorescent lights             flammable, hazardous,                  VCRs
                                                 Latex & oil based paints              toxic, or corrosive.                Radios
                                                    Solvents & cleaners                    Electronics              Automotive batteries
                                                        Pesticides &                           TVs                    Used oil & filters
                                                      garden products                Computer monitors &                 Antifreeze
                                                       Pool products                        hardware
                                                                                   Cell phones & telephones           Medical Sharps
                                               Collection events are available by appointment only. Call EDCO at 619.287.5696x4270 or email
                                        to schedule an appointment. The next event will be November 21.

      January 30                               May 1                             July 24                             October 9
       March 13                                June 5                           August 28                           November 20
  Medical sharps (needles) can also be disposed of through this           Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. A small fee
  program. They must be properly secured in a sharps container. Call      may apply to some items.
  619.667.1338 or visit our website at           To request additional information about the program, please contact
  for more info.                                                          the Department of Public Works Environmental Services Division
  E-waste can be recycled at the EDCO Station buy back center             at 619.667.1338 or by email at For
  during business hours without an appointment. The center is open        general HHW information or other disposal and recycling options,
NOVEMBER 2009                                                  PAGE 18                                                LA MESA FOCUS

             Not sure who to call or where to go for different environmental or
                   disposal/recycling questions? We’ve got you covered!
   The following is a list of the resources available to help you reduce your environmental impact and sustain La Mesa.

     Appliances                EDCO                                              619.287.7555*
     Batteries                 EDCO/La Mesa Library                               800.237.BLUE
     Bulky item pickup         EDCO                                              619.287.7555
     Chemicals                 La Mesa HHW Program**                         619.287.5696x4270
     Composting                La Mesa Enviro Svcs*                   800.237.BLUE
     Construction & demo       SANCO Recourse Rec.*                              619.287.7555*
     Electronics               EDCO*                                             619.287.7555*
     Energy Conservation       SDG&E                                                     800.411.7343
     Fluorescent bulbs         La Mesa HHW Program* **                       619.287.5696x4270
     Food recovery             I Love A Clean San Diego                           800.237.BLUE
     Medical sharps            La Mesa HHW Program**                         619.287.5696x4270
     Motor Oil                 Various Collection Centers                    800.237.BLUE
     Paint                     La Mesa HHW Program**                         619.287.5696x4270
     Pharmaceuticals           La Mesa HHW Program**                         619.287.5696x4270
     Plastic bags              Retail/grocery stores                 800.237.BLUE
     Recycling                 EDCO*                                             619.287.7555*
     Stormwater pollution      La Mesa pollution prevention                        619.667.1134
     Street cleanup            La Mesa Public Works                              619.667.1450
     Tires                     Various Collection Centers                    800.237.BLUE
     Trash disposal            EDCO                                              619.287.7555
     Water Conservation        Helix Water District                                       619.466.0585

      * Other resources are available. Find them now at or 800.237.BLUE.
     ** For La Mesa residents only. Businesses may contact Clean Harbors Environmental Resources at or
        800.444.4244. Other resources are available at or 800.237.BLUE.

 Didn’t find what you were looking for? Try our regional                 La Mesa’s Environmental Services Division can be reached at
 database at or by calling 800.237.BLUE.    or 619.667.1338.

                   EVENTS, AND SERVICES.
                                                                 Through the City’s Notify Me website service you can subscribe to one
                                                                 or more categories of information and have email alerts sent to you
                                                                 whenever special announcements are made in your categories. Use the
                                                                 button at the left to sign up for this service. Enter your email address,
                                                                 select the type of email you would like to receive (html or text) and
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                                                                 category you select.
 NOVEMBER 2009                                                      PAGE 19                                                   LA MESA FOCUS
Provide Cooperative Fire Services                                                                                              continued from page 1

HOW DID WE GET TO THIS HISTORIC ACTION                                      As the work groups addressed these questions, they were asked to
On December 9, 2008 City Council designated a representative                focus on four guiding principles throughout the analysis process:
from that body to work with the City Manager and East County                     1) Maximize resources
cities to explore creation of a joint powers agency for fire services.           2) Contain costs
City managers and fire chiefs from El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon                      3) Ensure a high level of fire and emergency medical services
Grove, and Santee met over the next several months to discuss the                   delivery
idea. Santee dropped out of the process in early 2009. The cities                4) Maintain local control
of La Mesa, El Cajon, and Lemon Grove continued discussing a
cooperative effort to provide fire and emergency medical services.          The deliverables from each work group would constitute the
                                                                            Cooperative Fire Services Study. The major sections of the study
Staff presented preliminary findings regarding the research con-            included the following:
ducted to the City Council at its March 17, 2009 meeting. At this
meeting, the City Council authorized staff to work with the other                1) Governance
cities to prepare a Cooperative Fire Services Study. The stated                  2) Administration
objective in preparing the study was to “provide a comprehensive
                                                                                 3) Labor
analysis of cooperative fire services opportunities,” expanding on
the current level of cooperation between the three cities.                       4) Fire Operations
To complete the comprehensive analysis in a short period of time,                5) EMS Operations
work groups were established, relying on staff experts from all                  6) Fire Prevention
three cities. The work groups focused on nine functional areas and
were given deadlines to answer four general questions:                           7) Emergency Preparedness

    1) How are we operating today?                                               8) Fleet/Facilities/Equipment
    2) What are the options/opportunities available through a                    9) Finance
       cooperative effort?                                                  The Governance work group tackled the assignments of recom-
    3) What are the challenges and obstacles of a cooperative               mending the type of relationship that would best serve the three
                                                                                                                               Continued on page 20
    4) What are the options for implementation?

  Officials from the Cities of La Mesa, Lemon Grove, and El Cajon sign a joint powers agreement for cooperative fire and emergency medical services
 NOVEMBER 2009                                                      PAGE 20                                              LA MESA FOCUS

Provide Cooperative Fire Services                                                                                        continued from page 19

cities, developing a cooperative agreement, and developing an             Surprising to the work group, the city managers, and the fire chiefs
implementation schedule.                                                  was how close each city’s compensation package compared to the
A JPA, which provides the best opportunity for the three cities to        others.
pool resources, was recommended for several reasons. First, the           The task for the Fire Operations work group was critical to the fea-
agreement is simple and quick to implement. Second, the agree-            sibility of cooperative efforts between the three cities. If the level
ment provides a high degree of local control. Third, the agreement        of service offered to residents and businesses in the cities declines
allows the cities to share senior management positions, resulting         because of the joint powers agreement, the rationale for a coopera-
in efficiencies and allowances for specialization of senior staff.        tive arrangement no longer exists. The Fire Operations work group
Fourth, the joint powers agreement establishes a foundation for           focused on the opportunities and challenges that a shared manage-
the cities to evolve the cooperative relationship into that of a joint    ment of fire services would present.
agency at some point.                                                     At the street level, the combined agency would have a daily staff-
JOINT POWERS AGREEMENT                                                    ing level of 41 personnel and would operate nine engine companies,
The committee developed a draft JPA that was presented at the             two truck companies, one rescue, and three advanced life support
October 13 City Council meeting. The agreement creates a joint            ambulances, supervised by a 24-hour shift battalion chief. Even with
executive city manager committee (each with one equal vote),              automatic aid agreements, this potential level of service surpasses
establishes the cost allocation formula for shared positions, speci-      what is currently offered.
fies that shared staff will remain as employees of their respective       Each city currently provides paramedic engine companies. El Ca-
cities, creates a personnel exchange and resources pool, defines the      jon also manages its own transport paramedic ambulance system.
distribution of assets, includes provisions for adding new members        Patient paramedic transport services are provided to La Mesa and
(although the agreement includes a two year moratorium on adding          Lemon Grove by a private ambulance company, American Medi-
members), and includes a process to withdraw from the agreement.          cal Response, under contract with the Grossmont Hospital District.
The joint powers agreement also ensures that budget authority rests       Training and continuing education are provided to La Mesa and
with each respective City Council and does not impose changes to          Lemon Grove through the Regional Cooperative Care Program. El
existing labor agreements. At the October 13 City Council meet-           Cajon provides this function in-house.
ing, additional analysis regarding the joint powers agreement was
provided.                                                                 The Fire Prevention work group had one of the more complicated
                                                                          assignments. Each city operates with unique service Fire Preven-
The committee explored several formulas that could be used to             tion delivery systems. For example; the El Cajon system includes
calculate how the three agencies would share expenses. The com-           the Fire Marshal position assigned to the building division, while
mittee decided to keep the formula simple. A city’s costs are deter-      La Mesa and Lemon Grove have the Fire Marshal assigned as part
mined by two factors—its population and the number of incidents           of the Fire Department. El Cajon, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove all
that occur in the jurisdiction. Each factor makes up 50 percent           participate in the most advanced emergency preparedness programs
of the total contribution rate. El Cajon’s share is 55%, La Mesa’s        that meet Federal, State, and County mandates. Each city manages
share is 31%, and Lemon Grove’s share is 14%.                             their respective programs with either a combination of chief officers
The Administration work group began detailing the actual op-              or with a sole chief officer.
eration of the three separate fire departments under one shared           The Fleet, Facilities, and Equipment work group identified several
management team. In addition to the opportunities and challenges          areas that will result in more efficient shops and better maintained
identified by the work group, this section includes a proposed orga-      vehicle fleets. The work group also predicted significant savings by
nizational chart and an implementation plan.                              purchasing standardized apparatus/equipment and through placing
Under the proposed organization, the three fire departments would         larger orders.
share a management team led by a single Fire Chief. Each city             The last work group, the Finance group, played a vital role in the
would appoint a Deputy Fire Chief. The three Deputies would act           study, ensuring that compensation calculations were accurate, pro-
as the liaisons for their respective cities. As the liaison, the Deputy   viding feedback regarding the Cost Allocation Plan, and helping
would attend staff meetings, City Council meetings, provide direct        the Governance and Administration work groups with recommen-
management for their respective departments, and be assigned a            dations on the implementation of cost sharing and methodologies
shared management duty such as the Deputy Chief over Opera-               for payments between the cities.
tions, Training, or Administration.
                                                                          A copy of the entire Cooperative Fire Services Study is available
The shared management structure would also include duty coverage          on the City’s website at
personnel through Battalion Chiefs and Division Chiefs. A shared
duty chief agreement was approved by City Council on June 23 and          This is a momentous endeavor and is being watched closely by our
went into effect July 15. At this time, it is proposed that each city     communities and other surrounding agencies. La Mesa residents
will retain its own fire prevention program; however, there will be       should be proud of their Council and staff on leading the way with
opportunities for coordination and development of expertise.              its partners on the regionalization of fire and EMS services.
The Labor work group, in addition to identifying opportunities,
challenges, and a proposed implementation schedule, compared the
compensation packages offered by each city.
NOVEMBER 2009                                                     PAGE 21                                                 LA MESA FOCUS

                                                COUNCIL ACTIONS
July 14, 2009                                    Adopted an ordinance implementing state        Laboratory for evidence examination and
Ratified the Design Review Board’s approv-       law (SB 731) regarding the regulation of       analysis services.
al of DRB-09-07 (Rogers) – for a detached        massage technicians.                           Adopted a resolution authorizing the accep-
workshop at 8407 Lemon Avenue.                   Adopted an ordinance amending La Mesa          tance of a grant from the California Office
Ratified the Design Review Board’s approv-       Municipal Code Chapter 10.50 pertaining to     of Traffic Safety to conduct a local DUI
al of DRB-09-08 (Peterson) – for proposed        the regulation of outdoor assemblages.         Enforcement and Awareness Program by ap-
exterior alterations to the Baltimore Plaza                                                     proving the addition of the grant funds to the
                                                 Adopted an ordinance amending La Mesa
retail center located at 5575 Baltimore Drive                                                   fiscal year 2009-2010 budget.
                                                 Municipal Code Chapter 7.20 to prohibit
and 5611 Lake Murray Boulevard.                  scavenging of garbage and refuse containers.   September 22, 2009
Adopted a resolution of Intention to execute                                                    Adopted a resolution taking legislative
the Third Amendment to the Agreement for         August 11, 2009
                                                                                                action to resolve the labor contract impasse
management and implementation of a Home          Adopted a resolution authorizing execution
                                                                                                with the Police Officers’ Association for fis-
Investment Partnerships Program Project          of an amendment to the Lease Agreement
                                                                                                cal year 2009-2010.
with the County of San Diego to fund the La      between the City of La Mesa and the United
Mesa Down Payment and Closing Cost As-           States Postal Service for the buildings lo-    Adopted a resolution adopting by refer-
sistance (DCCA) Loan Program and accept          cated at 4800 Nebo Drive and 4860 Allison      ence the San Diego Area Regional Standard
the Home allocation of $1,768,882.95.            Avenue.                                        Drawings, 2009 Edition, for the City of La
Adopted a resolution approving the 2009-         Adopted a resolution amending Section
2010 Home administration contract for            12.64.010 of the La Mesa Municipal Code        Adopted a resolution adding Section
management and implementation of a Home          to reflect approved speed limits on six City   12.40.040 (38.5) to the La Mesa Municipal
Investment Partnerships Project.                 streets.                                       Code establishing a no parking zone on the
                                                                                                southeasterly side of Fletcher Parkway.
Adopted resolutions pertaining to pension        Adopted a resolution awarding Bid No.
cost sharing changes for unrepresented           09-02 for the Orien Avenue Storm Drain         Adopted a resolution authorizing the Chief
employees.                                       Replacement Project to Rentex Construction     of Police to enter into a Memorandum of
                                                 Incorporated.                                  Understanding with the San Diego Regional
Appointed members to fill vacancies on                                                          Command and Control Communication
various City boards, commissions and com-        Adopted a resolution accepting the Bid of
                                                                                                (3C’s) Program.
mittees.                                         SC Valley Engineering, Inc. and awarding
                                                 the contract for Bid No. 09-04 for the John-
July 28, 2009                                    son Drive Storm Drain and Sewer Improve-
Adopted a resolution approving the Sewer         ments to SC Valley Engineering, Inc.
System Management Plan.                          Adopted a resolution adopting the Biennial
Adopted a resolution authorizing the execu-      Budget for fiscal year 2009-2010 and fiscal
tion of Program Supplement Agreement             year 2010-2011.
No. 011-N for project SRTSL-5207(030)
for design and construction of sidewalk          September 8, 2009
improvements on Glen Street; and a resolu-       Ratified the Design Review Board’s ap-
tion approving delegation of authority for       proval of DRB-09-11 (Chase Bank) – for
executing documents with the State of            proposed signage at 4791 Spring Street.
California Department of Transportation          Adopted a resolution amending the Down
(CALTRANS).                                      Payment and Closing Cost Assistance
Adopted a resolution approving a Paramedic       (DCCA) Program to reduce the maximum
Resource Pool Memorandum of Understand-          level of assistance to $70,000 and the loan
ing.                                             interest rate to 3.0 percent.
Adopted a resolution approving the 2009-         Adopted a resolution approving the 2009-
2010 Memorandum of Understanding                 2010 Memorandum of Understanding be-
between the City of La Mesa and the La           tween the City of La Mesa and the La Mesa
Mesa Firemen’s Association; a resolution         General Employees Unit affiliated with the
rescinding Resolution 2009-104 implement-        Service Employees International Union
ing Government Code Section 20636(c)             Local 221; and a resolution rescinding reso-
(4) for employer paid member contribu-           lution 2009-105 implementing Government
tions to the Public Employees’ Retirement        Code Section 20636 (c) (4) for employer
System (PERS); and a resolution authorizing      paid member contributions to the Public
implementation of Government Code Sec-           Employees’ Retirement System (PERS).
tion 20636(c)(4) for employer paid member        Adopted a resolution authorizing the Chief
contributions to the Public Employees’           of Police to enter into an Agreement with
Retirement System (PERS).                        the San Diego Regional Computer Forensics
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                 CITY OF LA MESA
            City Hall Administrative Offices                
         8130 Allison Ave., La Mesa, CA 91942                         or call 619.667.1105.                                 AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 1
                  Phone: 619.463.6611

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      by the City of La Mesa as a public service to
           La Mesa residents and businesses.

Mayor .............................................. Art Madrid
                                                                      the next
                                                                      issue of FOCUS
Vice Mayor........................... Mark Arapostathis
Councilmember ............................ Ruth Sterling
Councilmember ............................... Ernie Ewin
Councilmember ............................... Dave Allan
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City of La Mesa Monthy Meeting Schedule                                                                                         Meetings are held at City Hall
                                                                                                                               8130 Allison Avenue - La Mesa
                                                                                                                                  (unless indicated otherwise)
                    City CounCil                                        loan Committee for real                             Community serviCes
            Second Tuesday - 4:00 PM                                      estate reHaBilitation                                Commission
            Fourth Tuesday - 6:00 PM                                        Third Wednesday - 8:30 AM                      Second Wednesday - 6:00 PM
                                                                                   (as needed)
         Planning Commission                                                                                                   youtH aDvisory
   First and Third Wednesday - 7:00 PM                                    reDeveloPment agenCy                                   Commission
                                                                              Fourth Tuesday - 6:00 PM                   Second & Fourth Monday - 4:15 PM
                 DeveloPment                                                                                               The above meetings are held at the
                aDvisory BoarD                                         Human relations aDvisory                           Community Center Conference Room
        Every other Monday - 10:00 AM                                        Commission                                     4975 Memorial Drive - La Mesa
                                                                             Second Monday - 5:30 PM
          Design review BoarD                                                                                              Commission on aging
        Every other Monday - 12:30 PM                                 la mesa Community Parking                              Fourth Tuesday - 1:30 PM
                                                                                                                         (except July, Aug., Nov., & Dec.)
                                                                             Commission                                     The above meeting is held at the
environmental sustainaBility                                                  First Thursday - 5:30 PM                         Adult Enrichment Center
        Commission                                                                                                         8450 La Mesa Boulevard - La Mesa
              Third Monday - 6:00 PM                                        traffiC Commission
                                                                             First Wednesday - 9:00 AM
        HistoriC Preservation
              First Tuesday - 5:00 PM

                                                                  imPortant PHone numBers              (Area code 619)
Adult Enrichment Center ... 464.0505                                 Engineering .................. 667.1166         Recycling/Trash ............. 287.7555
Animal Control ............... 667.1436                              Fire (Business) ............... 667.1355        Rides4Neighbors ........... 464.0109
Building Inspection ......... 667.1176                               Human Resources ........... 667.1175            Senior Taxi Scrip ............ 667.1321
Business Licenses .......... 667.1118                                Library ........................ 469.2151       Sewer Charges .............. 667.1126
Cable TV ...................... 262.1122                             Mayor ......................... 667.1100        Sidewalk Maint. ............. 667.1450
City Attorney ................. 667.1128                             Municipal Pool ............... 466.4177         Storm Water Hotline......... 667.1134
City Clerk ..................... 667.1120                            Park Permits ................. 667.1300         Streetlight Maint. ........... 667.1450
City Council .................. 667.1106                             Parking Citations ............ 667.1117         Traffic Eng. Hotline .......... 667.1144
City Hall ...................... 463.6611                            Planning ...................... 667.1177        Traffic Signal Maint. ........ 667.1166
City Manager ................. 667.1105                              Police (Business) ........... 667.1400          Zoning ........................ 667.1177
Crime Prevention ............ 667.1445                               Public Works ................. 667.1450
Dog Licenses ................ 667.1117                               Recreation .................... 667.1300

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