El Cajon

BOYS LACROSSE: THREE HILLERS NET HAT TRICKS AS GROSSMONT TERRORIZES NORSEMEN 16-0

 

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Story and photos by Liz Alper

March 17, 2017 (El Cajon) - In the midst of Helix basketball’s playoff run, spring sports have begun in East County’s high schools and on St. Patrick's Day, Valhalla High boys lacrosse traveled to Grossmont for an early season conference matchup which marked the beginning of conference play.  Both teams are struggling in the young season; the Norsemen are 0-4 and the Foothillers are 0-3.

KALASHO SAYS EL CAJON MAYOR’S PROPOSAL TO BAN COUNCIL MEMBERS' USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES IS ILLEGAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells has proposed banning City Council members from using iPads, cell phones or other electronic devices during Council hearings.

They Mayor says his goal in introducing item 6.3 on the agenda during the March 14th public hearing was to assure that members are giving public hearings their full attention and not engaging in outside communications, assuring transparency.  But Councilman Kalasho claims the move is unconstitutional and targets him.  Members of the public who spoke sided with Kalasho in a testy exchange that can be viewed on video (starting at approximately 52 minutes, 44 seconds):  https://elcajonca.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&MeetingID=1049&Format=Agenda

DUI ENFORCEMENT TONIGHT IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

Photo:  Rollover crash caused by a drunk driver

March 17, 2017 (El Cajon) - Before you head out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, be aware that El Cajon Police will have a DUI checkpoint tonight from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. in areas with high rates of DUI collisions or arrests in the past.  The checkpoint aims to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers as part of a traffic safety campaign.

CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS DRAWS OVER 1,000 CONCERNED CONSTITUTENTS AT TOWN HALL

 

By Miriam Raftery; Jonathan Goetz also contributed to this report

View full video of town hall:  https://www.facebook.com/RepSusanDavis/videos/1499056013470282/

March 12, 2017 (San Diego) -- Concerns over healthcare reforms, deportations, attacks on public education, troops in Syria, climate change, and Trump’s Russian ties were among the issues raised by constituents of Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) at a town hall forum yesterday.  More than 1,000 people filled Montezuma Hall at San Diego State University to capacity.

CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER ASKS CA ATTORNEY GENERAL TO NAME SPECIAL PROSECUTOR FOR OLANGO CASE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Rev. Shane Harris during a January interview with East County Magazine on KNSJ

March 13, 2017 (El Cajon) — Rev. Shane Harris at the National Action Network in San Diego announced that he has asked Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra to appoint a special prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation into the death of Alfred Olango. Olango, an African-American man, was fatally shot in Sept. 2016 by an El Cajon Police officer.

STATE ROUTE 67 CLOSURES

 

Source: Caltrans

March 13, 2017 (El Cajon/Lakeside) -- Caltrans construction crews will close one lane on northbound State Route 67 between Interstate 8 in El Cajon and Mapleview Street in Lakeside on Monday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The closure is needed to apply a fog seal – a protective pavement coating. The same closure will take place Tuesday if needed to complete the work.

DESPITE NEW BOARD MEMBERS, HELIX WATER RATES ARE STILL GOING UP

 

 

Board tables proposal to reduce rates due to skimpy reserves

By Jonathan Goetz

March 9, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Two Helix Water Board incumbents who voted for multi-year double digit water rate increases were ousted in November. But that didn’t prevent water rates in this district serving 270,000 people from increasing 10.1% earlier this year, as the prior board had approved. 

KALASHO HOSTS SECOND TOWN HALL TONIGHT, ACCUSES MAYOR OF SEEKING TO MUZZLE HIS VOICE

 

 

 

Councilman speaks out against Mayor Wells' proposal to prevent any councilmember from placing items on the agenda without support of another member

By Miriam Raftery

March 9, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho will hold his second town hall meeting tonight from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the El Cajon Police community room, 200 Civic Center Way in El Cajon. 

In a video posted on his Facebook page,  Kalasho asks public support to block a measure introduced by Mayor Bill Wells that would prevent any individual councilmember from adding an item to the agenda without support of another member.  The only Democrat on the Council, Kalasho contends that the proposal is targeting him. That measure is expected to be on the agenda for the March 14th Council hearing at 3 p.m..

MAN KILLED TRYING TO STOP ROLLING TRUCK IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

March 9, 2017 (El Cajon) – A man was killed March 6th while trying to stop a truck from rolling down a hill at 13220 Aurora Drive in El Cajon. He has been identified as Roy Sterner, 39, of Chula Vista.

Sterner was visiting a friend’s residence to work on the truck, but while he was pushing it to the front of the driveway, the truck began rolling downhill.  Sterner ran after the vehicle and tried to get in through the open window on the driver’s side, with his upper body in the vehicle and his lower body outside.

EL CAJON HIRES NEW ASSISTANT MANAGER

 

Source:  City of El Cajon

March 7, 2017 (El Cajon) - The City of El Cajon is very pleased to announce that Mr. Graham Mitchell, current City Manager for the City of Escondido and longtime City Manager for the City of Lemon Grove, has accepted an offer to become the City of El Cajon’s next Assistant City Manager.  He will replace Majed Al-Ghafry, who was recently appointed Assistant City Manager for the City of Dallas, Texas.

HELIX WATER BOARD STAFF ADVISES AGAINST LOWERING RATES: MEETING MARCH 8

 

By Miriam Raftery

Jonathan Goetz contributed to this report

March 6, 2017 (La Mesa) – Helix Water District’s board will hold a special meeting on March 8 at 6 p.m. to consider a proposal by newly elected board member Dan McMillan to lower water rates. 

But a staff report (see agenda) advises against a rate reduction at this time, citing insufficient reserves. Instead, staff recommends that the district continue to look at opportunities to reduce rates as fiscal year 2016-17 concludes, after results of winter and spring rainfall are measured and the fiscal year 2017-18 budget is developed.

CREMATORIUM OWNER APPEALS TO EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Emissions from a crematorium shut down in 2011 in unincorporated El Cajon for what a county inspector called “horrific” violations

March 2, 2017 (El Cajon) – On March 14 at 7 p.m., the El Cajon City Council will hear an appeal filed by Robert Zakar of East County Mortuary, whose proposed crematorium and funeral parlor at 1150-1168 North Marshall Street was rejected by the city’s planning commission. The hearing will be held in City Council Chambers at 200 Civic Center Way in El Cajon.

EL CAJON COUNCIL HEARS PROPOSAL FOR ELVES, REPORT ON HOMELESSNESS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo:  El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho faces resistance on new group to bring holiday cheer to seniors

March 1, 2017 (El Cajon) - Freshman El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho was impressed by the Santee Santas, and wants to bring the idea to El Cajon. Kalasho envisions an organization, El Cajon Elves that would bring carols, socks and slippers to elders around the holidays.

But groups that already serve seniors, including the AARP and the Salvation Army, turned up to oppose the City of El Cajon from releasing $5,000 in seed money to the El Cajon Elves, and requested that the funds instead be given to one of the existing organizations already serving senior citizens. No one testifed in support of the city providing seed money to start a new nonprofit.

AFTER PROTESTS, REP. HUNTER ANNOUNCES TOWN HALL MEETING MARCH 11

 

East County News Service

February 25, 2017 (Ramona) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) will hold a town hall meeting on March 11, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the Ramona Main Stage (626 Main St., Ramona),  NBC 7 reports, citing a Hunter staffer as their source.

The move comes after several hundred protesters gathered  on all four corners outside Hunter’s El Cajon office and on an overpass above State Route 67 to protest his inaccessibility to constituents.

REP. HUNTER BANS “INDIVISIBLE” MEMBERS FROM HIS OFFICE, HUNDREDS JOIN PROTEST OUTSIDE

 

Story and photos by Paul Kruze

February 23, 2017 (El Cajon) --Some 300 demonstrators staged a boisterous rally late Thursday afternoon near the El Cajon district office of 50th District U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) on Magnolia and Bradley Avenue. Hunter’s office issued a release earlier stating that his staff would no longer meet with constituents from the group, then shut down the office today in response to the protest rally.

The protestors held up placards representing a mixed array of concerns over his stances on key issues, drawing attention during rush hour traffic, including demonstrators on an overpass visible to motorists on State Route 67.  Their concerns include repeal of the Affordable Care Act, President Trump’s immigration policies, defunding Planned Parenthood, Trump’s election, and an ongoing investigation of Hunter’s alleged improper use of campaign funds.

TREE TIME! ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION IN EL CAJON MARCH 25

 

East County News Service

February 17, 2017 (El Cajon) - Join El Cajon as the city celebrates its 28th Annual Arbor Day ceremony and 20th year of receiving the Tree City USA award on Saturday, March 25, 8:00 a.m. at Kennedy Park (1675 East Madison Ave., El Cajon.)

VOICES OF THE CITY CHOIR TO PERFORM AT EL CAJON LIBRARY MARCH 4

 

East County News Service

February 17, 2017 (El Cajon) -- The Voices of the City Choir will appear in concert at the El Cajon Library, located at 201 E. Douglas Avenue, Saturday, March 4, at 2:00 p.m.  The 30-voice ensemble, composed of homeless singers, will present a wide-ranging program of ballads, jazz, and gospel infused pop songs, backed up by a professional, 3-piece rhythm section.

APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR MISS EL CAJON PAGEANT

 

East County News Service

February 17, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Pageant officials announce that the 2017 Miss El Cajon pageant will be held on Saturday, April 15th at Greenfield Middle School.  You’re invited to join the rich tradition of the Miss El Cajon Pageant, open to young women from age 9 to 22, residing or attending school in El Cajon, including Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges.  

REVITALIZING ECPAC: WILL THE FAT FINALLY LADY GET TO SING?

 

 

El Cajon City Council approves negotiations with major concert promoter Live Nation to manage shuttered East County Performing Arts Center.

By Paul Kruze

 

February 17, 2017 (El Cajon)—As the old saying goes, “It isn’t over ‘til the fat lady sings.”  Just a few years ago, the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) faced possible demise.  It’s remained closed since December 2009.  But the curtain may soon rise again, bringing back stellar entertainment to our region.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL APPROVES CRITERIA FOR DISTRICT ELECTION MAPPING: 5 PUBLIC WORKSHOPS PLANNED

 

Source: City of El Cajon

February 16, 2017 (El Cajon) – The City of El Cajon has announced five public workshops on redistricting set for February 22, 23 and 28, as well as March 1 and April 18.  All are from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.   See location details at the bottom of the article. 

WEAR YOUR GREEN AND RUN EAST COUNTY: ST. PATRICK’S DAY HALF MARATHON MARCH 5

 

East County News Service

February 16, 2017 (El Cajon) - You’re invited to start your St. Patrick’s Day celebration early and register now for the St. Patrick’s Day Half Marathon, 5K Run/Walk, Green Mile, and Tribes & Clans competition on Sunday, March 5, 2017.  The St. Patrick’s Day Half Marathon is dedicated to involve the entire family in fun and fitness.  This event is hosted by the Run East County Foundation.  Funds raised will benefit several East County charities. 

STUDENT FLIGHT OUT OF GILLESPIE CRASHES NEAR RAMONA, KILLING WOMAN

 

 

Crash raises concerns from flight school neighbors

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 14, 2017 (Ramona) – A Cessna registered to the American Aviation Academy and flying out of Gillespie Field as an instructor/student flight on Sunday crashed onto a mountainside in Ramona, killing Shaira Noor, 21, of Bangladesh. She had been training at the academy for nine months. Noor was in the backseat of the Cessna and was impaled by a tree on impact, which killed her instantly.

Two other occupants survived, climbing to an elevated area and using cell phones to call for help, the Sheriff’s department reports.

GRANITE HILLS HIGH SCHOOL TO HOST BLOODMOBILE DRIVE FEB. 15

 

East County News Service

February 11, 2017 (El Cajon) - The San Diego Blood Bank will accept blood donations at Granite Hills High School on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 from  8 am ‑  1:30 pm.  The drive will be held at 1719 E Madison Ave., El Cajon in the Wrestling Room.

About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood. One pint of blood, which is the amount volunteers give when they donate blood, can save up to three lives. Approximately, 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10% do annually. Since blood is always needed, volunteers are asked to give blood for patients, such as those going through cancer or trauma.

RATE RELIEF, DROUGHT UPDATE, AND LEAD TESTING WATER IN SCHOOLS ARE ON AGENDA FOR HELIX WATER FEB. 15

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (La Mesa) — On Wednesday, Helix Water District’s Board will be asked to provide staff with direction regarding Director Dan McMillan’s request for an analysis on reducing water rates—and setting a date for a board meeting to discuss those options. 

EL CAJON RESIDENTS SOUND OFF TO KALASHO: BIGGEST ISSUES ARE HOMELESSNESS AND GILLESPIE FIELD

 

By Mike Allen

February 10, 2017 (El Cajon) -- The homeless issue in El Cajon is apparently reaching the boiling point, judging from a Feb. 9 town hall meeting hosted by newly-elected City Councilman Ben Kalasho.

LIVE NATION SEEKS TO MANAGE A RESTORED EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dancers performed in front of ECPAC in its heydey.

February 9, 2017 (El Cajon) – The long-shuttered East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) may finally be reopened under management of Live Nation, which claims to be the global leader in live entertainment. According to the company’s website,  Live Nation operates in 7 nations, has produce shows in nearly 40 countries, and has a concert somewhere in the world every 20 minutes.

The El Cajon City Council will vote Tuesday, February 14th at its 3 p.m. meeting on authorizing the City manager to negotiate a draft management agreement with Live Nation .  View agenda and attachments. 

EL CAJON PLANNING COMMISSION REJECTS CREMATORIUM; OWNER WILL APPEAL TO CITY COUNCIL

 

 

By Mike Allen

Photo: Wadie Deddeh

February 8, 2017 (El Cajon) -- The owner of East County Mortuary says he will appeal the Planning Commission’s denial of his application to open a crematorium in an El Cajon industrial park.

On Feb. 7, the Commission voted 3-1 to deny the crematorium and approve findings by the city’s planning staff that the crematorium wasn’t compatible with the manufacturing uses in the zone.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: EAGLES FIGHT TO THE FINISH TO FLY TO 33-28 VICTORY OVER COUGARS

 

Does your son or daughter play a sport at a level other than varsity?  Drop a line on this story or tweet @ECMagSports to request coverage!

Like our sports coverage?  Donate to help support ECM’s sports section!

Follow @ECMagSports on Twitter for live sports coverage and stories!

Story and photos by Liz Alper

February 7, 2017 (El Cajon) - The Granite Hills Eagles girls’ basketball team are 1-4 in conference play and 8-11 overall.  Luckily for them, the Steele Canyon Lady Cougars have not won a single game in conference play; they are 0-7 against Grossmont League teams and 9-12 on the season.  The two squads faced off tonight.

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