AROUND LAKESIDE: Coffee, Paradise and Downtown Lakeside

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Dianne Jacob Coffee: On Friday, May 25, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob held her latest “Coffee with Constituents” meeting in Lakeside. Only about 30 folks showed up, a bit disappointing for the opportunity to meet directly with your elected official, though the three-day holiday weekend may have impacted attendance. As usual, Jacob shared a lot of good local information.

The supervisor introduced the latest commanding officer for the Sheriff’s Lakeside Substation: Lieutenant Fran Passalacqua. She is a 27-year veteran deputy and a Lakeside resident.

Dianne Jacob Coffee: On Friday, May 25, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob held her latest “Coffee with Constituents” meeting in Lakeside. Only about 30 folks showed up, a bit disappointing for the opportunity to meet directly with your elected official, though the three-day holiday weekend may have impacted attendance. As usual, Jacob shared a lot of good local information.

The supervisor introduced the latest commanding officer for the Sheriff’s Lakeside Substation: Lieutenant Fran Passalacqua. She is a 27-year veteran deputy and a Lakeside resident.

Other supervisor shares:

The “design/build” process for the Lakeside Library is due to go before the Board this summer. Community input on the design will be coming up soon. The current target for groundbreaking is Summer 2019.

The Lakeside Equestrian Center plans are moving along and hopes are high the multi-purpose facility will be open by Winter 2019.

The last leg of the Flume Trail in El Monte Valley is nearing acquisition. The County is working with the Potts family to purchase the final private section of the trail.

Also at the meeting: Todd Owens, the man behind Lakeside’s “One Street at a Time” cleanup, shared some statistics. It was at this same meeting a year ago when Todd asked the supervisor what she was going to do about all the trash in town.

Jacob turned the question around and pointed it at Todd – and the One Street program was born. Since then, the group has hosted nine cleanup days and collected 748 bags of trash (as well as over 300 recycled tires this past April!).

The program is purely volunteer, with support and donations from community residents and businesses. The next cleanup is Saturday, June 16, from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. Meet in the parking lot at 12421 Woodside Avenue.

A Little Bit of Paradise: Lakeside Gardens has been hiding in plain sight for over 40 years. Never heard of it? You are not alone.

The Housing & Urban Development (HUD) project is nearly in the center of town, behind the businesses on the north side of Woodside Avenue and next to the Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church on Channel Road. It is a non-profit, independent living community for seniors with limited income. Its 84-units are a mix of one-bedroom apartments and a few studios. Every unit is completely renovated before a new tenant moves in. A board of directors oversees the Gardens, which includes an onsite manager and gardener. The grounds are covered with thick grass and dotted with full, mature trees. It is truly a beautiful location.

The little village is not part of the Presbyterian Church, though the late Pastor Ted Roberts initiated the program and served on its board for many years. Reverend Bob Mentze is a current board member and felt Lakeside might be interested in this neighborhood.

“We (the board) have been talking about ways to get the community acquainted with Lakeside Gardens, as it is rather hidden,” Bob said.

In this day of affordable housing needs, such information is important. But the possibility of living in the Gardens requires planning – there is a two year waiting list. However, if an individual is in the process of looking ahead, Lakeside Gardens might be worth consideration. You can call(888) 848-5698 for more information.

Maine Avenue Improvement: The north end of Maine Avenue is the site of some much needed improvement of the business variety.

Property owner Ramon Ibarra has taken back the old gas station location (next to Burger King) and cleaned it up, removing the unsightly inoperable cars that have littered the site for some time now. Ibarra will soon open a complete auto repair shop that he hopes Lakesiders will embrace. He has already received some positive feedback.

“A lot of people driving by honk and wave at me and my workers,” Ibarra said. “I want to open a place people will be proud of.”

The business will include full repair and service, a smog station, alignment tech, tune-ups, and related vehicle needs. Ibarra has 35 years experience in the business.

Aware of the bad taste the former businessman left behind, Ibarra is committed to rectifying that image. He also wants to highlight the historical significance of the site with murals and photographs.

The old filling station dates back to 1930 and may be the oldest original service station left in the San Diego region. The Shell Company of California bought the land and built it. In 1954, it became Lakeside’s first fire station when Ed Harrison formed the volunteer department and housed an old fire truck there.

Ibarra is targeting an early June 2018 opening.

La Mesa’s loss is Lakeside’s gain: As stated in last month’s column, Angler’s Arsenal fish and tackle shop is moving into town, filling the void left when Lakeside Bait and Tackle closed shop last year. A staple in La Mesa for nearly 20 years, Angler’s Arsenal was unceremoniously kicked out of its longtime spot. They considered closing, but discovered a lucky coincidence as the longtime Lakeside shop had become available.

The business itself began as a mail order operation in 1983 and opened a store in Del Mar five years later. They moved to the La Mesa site in 1999.

Angler’s Arsenal plans a soft opening in the second week of June. The store is located at 12255 Woodside Avenue. They can be reached at (619) 466-8355 or online at www.anglersarsenal.com.

Sign Rich: Some months ago, the official sign of the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce was stolen right off the front of their building. The Maine Avenue Revitalization Association (MARA) stepped in and commissioned local artist David Ybarra to create another sign, which was recently erected.

Then an interesting thing occurred: the old sign was located, recovered and returned. So what to do with so many signs? The old one will be reinstalled over the entrance to the Chamber and the new one will remain. Patrons should have no trouble finding the place with all its signage.

Town Bits & Pieces: Lindo Lake Park is seeing some upgrades to its public restrooms and paths, in part to conform to ADA requirements. The park will remain open during the construction, which will be limited to certain areas.

The Reverend Dr. Robert “Bob” Mentze, pastor of the Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church since 1984, is retiring. The church is planning a party for their longtime leader in July.

On the Town Limits: Double S Feed and Tack on Olde Highway 80 has reportedly purchased the old Renegade dance hall just down the street and reopened it for business. It is advertised as a “no-frills joint” and claims to be “San Diego’s only real honky tonk.”

The old Flynn Springs Inn is changing hands and the news is exciting. A small but well received North Park restaurant will be making its way east. The Grand Ole BBQ y Asado, self described as a “Texas-inspired and Argentine-influenced eatery,” wants to open the new location by this summer.

Plans call for a family friendly place with appropriate entertainment such as music (both live and jukebox), horseshoes, and other games. 

For your calendar: Monday, June 25 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. – Fundraiser at Eastbound Bar and Grill to benefit the Lakeside Equestrian Park.

Saturday, June 23, starting at 8:00 a.m. – Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy 11th Annual River Run 5K. Run or walk – take your family or your dog – or both! (Your dogs must be on a leash, but it is optional for your family.)

Call the River Park for more information at (619) 443-4770. You can register anytime before the event or even on the day of!

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