Want fresh vegetables? Now you can pick up garden-fresh produce in El Cajon or City Heights—or have it delivered directly to your home, all while helping local refugees from war-torn nations.
To get started, just join the International Rescue Committee’s community supported agriculture (CSA) program for this summer season. Participants will receive a colorful share of farm-fresh and local vegetables grown by refugee farmers participating in IRC’s sustainable agriculture program.
May 16, 2013 (El Cajon) – Children, seniors and families had fun exploring better ways to live at the free Farragut Circle Health & Safety Fair on May 11 in El Cajon.
The community outreach effort of the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program of the First Presbyterian Church of El Cajon drew a steady stream of people to the 500 block of Farragut Circle. Mother Goose and local princesses helped welcome the early crowds.
“Everybody’s smiling,” said Jackie Jackson, library assistant at the Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library of the Grossmont Healthcare District in La Mesa. “This has to be the friendliest fair ever.”
May 16, 2013 (El Cajon) – Grossmont College is an official pit stop for “Bike to Work Day 2013,” a nationally recognized event celebrated on the third Friday of May.
Some 50 to 60 riders are expected from 6 to 9 a.m. May 17, in parking lot No. 1 at the intersection of Highwood Drive and Grossmont College Drive on the Grossmont College campus.
Refreshments and support will be available, along with free T-shirts for the first 30 riders. Cyclists needing a break can ride free on any transit system operated by the Metropolitan Transit System or the North County Transit District if space is available. For more information, go to icommutesd.com
Review by the East County Eater
Dolci Café Italiano, 2650 Jamacha Road, Rancho San Diego (El Cajon) www.DolciCafeItaliano.com
May 13, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--Another culinary prize has turned up in East County. Dolci Café Italiano is located next to Ralph’s in the Rancho San Diego Town and Country Shopping Center. At once, the place felt entirely familiar and also seemed rooted in family and history. It has the ambience of the Gaslamp District in Downtown San Diego—and for good reason. George Georges, the owner - also owns three restaurants in The Gaslamp. Chianti, La Fiesta and the Urban Bar & Grill. [I need to recheck names of restaurants.]
George has been a restaurateur for 18 years. He describes Dolci Café Italiano as “Italian-Mediterranean food served bistro café-style...Everything is cooked-to-order, everything is custom, everything is fresh, everything is gourmet…Even the lasagna.”
On Thursday, May 9, at 12:29 p.m. Heartland Fire & Rescue responded to reports of a drowning in the 400 block of Nila Lane in El Cajon.
"An 18 month boy, in the care of his grandmother, was found by his grandmother in the Jacuzzi area of an unfenced pool in the backyard. Heartland fire crews arrived within five minutes of the call," said Monica Zech, spokeperson for the city of El Cajon. "They immediately started CPR and regained a pulse. The child was transported to Grossmont Hospital and then transferred to Rady's Children's Hospital."
The child was listed in critical condition according to Carlos Delgado, spokesperson for Rady's.
The weather is warming up and children gravitate toward water, so take precautions. Remember--a baby can drown in as little as one inch of water.
See below for water safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control.
Play runs May 9-10 and 16-17
May 7, 2013 (El Cajon) – A woman of a certain age contemplates suicide when the phone rings in her San Diego apartment. The caller, believing she is contacting an analyst she read about in a health magazine, launches into her own tale of woe.
So begins “An Ordinary Day,” a one-act play by Dario Fo and Franca Rame, and directed by Martin Katz, a Grossmont College theater arts instructor. The lead character, Julia, finds herself trying to help the woman on the phone, in between encounters with her neighbors, the police and two flower-delivery men. As the tragic-comedy unfolds, it illuminates the themes of zealous commercialism, relationship stress, the notion of betrayal and the exhilaration of contributing to someone else’s life.
May 2, 2013 (El Cajon) -- Jerry Lee Hickethier, 32, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer following a dramatic police pursuit in which he intentionally struck two police cars.
The chase began at Naranca Avenue and Oro Street at 5:46 p.m., when a veteran sergeant with El Cajon Police department saw Hickethier run a red light. When the officer tried to stop the vehicle, the driver failed to yield to the lights and siren. According to police, ie stopped suddenly, thrust the vehicle into reverse and intentionally rammed the police vehicle, causing moderate damage.
By Janis Mork
April 28, 2013 (El Cajon)- This past Tuesday, Michael Griffiths from the El Cajon Public Works Department gave a PowerPoint presentation to El Cajon City Council about the pavement maintenance program underway since 2006 and set for completion in 2014. City Manager Doug Williford stated that this program affects businesses and residents.
Before Griffiths began, he acknowledged junior engineer Katie Odiorne, who put the PowerPoint slides together. First, he presented a scale of old to new street pavings from 1-100.
CRITICAL TEEN ISSUES FORUM OFFERS INSIGHTS INTO BULLYING, SUICIDE, ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND SAFETY FOR EAST COUNTY YOUTH
By Janis Mork
“Facebook doesn’t create relationships. When I was younger, I remember posting something on Facebook, a bad word. My uncle called me and told me it was dumb. If you have a million followers or a lot of friends, those are not your friends honestly.”- a 22-year-old girl
April 28, 2013 (El Cajon)- April 16 was the 18th annual youth-led event by STAAND (Students Together Against Alcohol And Drugs), a critical teen issues forum addressing common problems prevalent in East County teens. Among those are bullying, suicide, alcohol, drugs, and safety (cyber bullying, cyber dating).
STAAND is a part of Communities Against Substance Abuse. The group has this forum because adjusting to high school can be challenging for all students, but East County has experienced a huge influx of immigrant families and up to 50 languages are spoken among families in local school districts. More of these families live in poverty than ever before. This affects teens greatly.
By Miriam Raftery; photo by Paul Kruze
April 28, 2013 (El Cajon ) – A brown Ford car has crashed into a power pole on Jamacha Road at Kendrick in the Granite Hills area. Power lines are down. An outage is affecting 1217 homes in the Granite Hills, Bostonia, Singing Hills and East El Cajon areas, according to the SDG&E website.
“The driver was not injured,” said Paul Kruze, an ECM photojournalist at the scene. “Heartland Fire is on scene due to the risk of fire.”
April 25, 2013 (El Cajon) – In celebration of El Cajon’s Centennial, the El Cajon Historical Society will sponsor a tour of the Historic JPR Hall Ranch House in El Cajon on Saturday, May 4, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Lemonade and iced tea will be available in the garden. Admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Reserve space by mailing checks to ECHS, P.O. Box 1973, El Cajon, CA 92022.
This home is rarely open to the public. Proceeds benefit the El Cajon Historical Society.
Below is an excerpt from Bus and Auto Tour of Historical El Cajon by the El Cajon Historical Society. The excerpt describes the Historic JPR Hall Ranch House, which was the focal point of a 60-acre ranch with wheat, hay, an orchard and a vineyard planted by the parents and siblings of W.D. Hall.
April 25, 2013 (Crest) – The County library in Crest will hold El Dia de los Niños/El Dia de los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) on Tuesday, April 30 at 4:30 p.m. The celebration includes bilingual story times in Spanish, French and Arabic. In addition, you can enjoy music and refreshments, plus learn how to make paper flowers.
The library is located at 105 Juanita Lane in the Crest community of El Cajon. For more information on county library events, visit www.sdcl.org.
El Cajon City Council is accepting applications for five vacancies on the City’s newly created Veterans Commission.
The filing period opened April 24 and closes May 20 at 5:30 p.m. Interviews will be conducted May 28 at 7 pm. in Council Chambers, 200 Civic Center Way in El Cajon.
EDITORIAL: TIME FOR LEADING PLAYERS TO TAKE ACTION TOWARD REOPENING EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine
April 23, 2013 (El Cajon) – This afternoon, the spotlight will shine on the El Cajon City Council as it considers whether to enter into discussions with the Grossmont Union High School District on a potential partnership to reopen the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC). The plan potentially could also including building a state-of-the-art, multi-use facility adjacent to ECPAC, filling a community need for meeting space as well as an additional entertainment venue to create a broader cultural hub for the community.
It’s time for city leaders to take center stage and provide leadership to reopen ECPAC, the jewel of East County’s cultural community. Shuttered in disrepair for several years, the darkened theater has negatively impacted businesses downtown as well as arts lovers across our region.
A partnership with the school district could be a win-win situation, though there are challenges that must be explored and overcome.
April 18, 2013 (El Cajon) – The Cajon Classic Cruise series starts early this year, with opening night April 24. The cruise nights will continue each Wednesday through September 25, featuring more than 200 specialty, classic and unique cars gathering at Main and Magnolia in Downtown El Cajon.
The Cajon Classic Cruise will be held from 5-8 p.m. and will feature a weekly theme. Visitors can view the best theme cars, enjoy dinner and drink specials from local restaurants, play in bounce houses for the kids, and enjoy street vendors peddling delights including kettle corn and hot dogs.
Annual event has become one of the largest community events in East County
April 11, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--With farmer’s markets, community gardens and urban farming growing ever popular among the health- and conservation-minded in East County, it’s no wonder the Spring Garden Festival at Cuyamaca College has become such a major draw.
This year’s festival on Saturday, April 27, marks the 20th anniversary of the event, which began in 1993 as the Urban Forest Field Day, an outreach activity for arboriculture students to demonstrate what they’ve learned. The free festival has grown to become a showcase event for the college’s entire ornamental horticulture program, as well as the Heritage of the Americas Museum and the co-sponsoring Water Conservation Garden, both located on the Rancho San Diego campus. With the addition of local artisans, vendors, kid-friendly activities, and a variety of plant and garden societies, the festival now attracts about 7,000 visitors annually.
GERMAN-AMERICAN SOCIETIES’- AN EVENING OF ENTERTAINMENT AND INTERNATIONAL CUISINE ON SATURDAY EVENING, APRIL 20, IN EL CAJON
By Caprice Harrison
April 19, 2013 (El Cajon) – The German American Societies of San Diego, in friendship with the countries of: Poland, Japan, Italy, Greece, Holland and Germany are collaborating to bring the community a special evening of international food and entertainment.
This Saturday, April 20, beginning at 6:00 p.m., the public can experience a night of folk dance performances, dance to the music of the Red Baron Band and enjoy a delicious international dinner buffet. Guests can also delight in watching the “Kindertanzgruppe,” children’s dance group at 7:30 p.m.
By Miriam Raftery
April 19, 2013 (El Cajon) – On Tuesday, April 23, the El Cajon City Council will weigh creating an ad hoc committee to explore discussions with the Grossmont Union High School District Board on a potential partnership to revive the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC). The proposal could also include opening a new multi-use facility adjacent to the theater, in addition to restoring and reopening the theater itself.
"It's potentially beneficial (for the district), a great use for the East County region," City Manager Doug Williford (photo, left) said, the Union-Tribune reported. "However even without (the district as a partner), we're going to re-open it. There are only three or four venues like it - Golden Hall in downtown San Diego, Escondido and Poway. These are rare facilities. Arts and events centers are important components to a community. And this goes well beyond the city's boundaries."
April 18, 2013 (El Cajon) – Have you paid $150 for the state fire fee? Have questions? You’re invited to join Assemblyman Brian Jones and Cal Fire at a town hall meeting on Thursday, April 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The event will be at the P2K range at 2082 Willow Glen Drive in EL Cajon.
To reserve a seat, call (619)441-2322.
April 16, 2013 (El Cajon ) -- Organized by youths for young people and adults, tonight's "Critical Teen Issues" forum in El Cajon will cover bullying, alcohol, drugs, suicide and safety issues. Hear what East County youths say about how their lives are impacted and join a candid conversation about how to solve these problems. Use instant technology to learn what forum participants think about these issues.
The forum will also include a resources fair, drawings and refreshments. This event was organized by Students Together Against Alcohol and Drugs. For more information visit www.drugsfreesandiego.com.
April 12, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- The cause of today's spot fires along Interstate 8 was accidental, says Heartland Fire spoksman Sonny Saghera. Heartland responded to reports of several small fires along westbound I-8 from West Main Street in El Cajon to Severin Drive in La Meas around 1 p.m. today.
Heartland Fire & Rescue units from La Mesa and El Cajon, assisted by engines from Cal Fire and Santee, were dispatched to contain the four individual fires approximately 100 yards apart from each other. A structure on Murray Drive in La Mesa was briefly threatened, but fire crews aggressively attacked the flames to keep them along the freeway’s shoulder.
April 11,2013 (El Cajon) – A man found dead along the I-8 off ramp at Mollison in El Cajon was a transient, according to El Cajon spokesperson Monica Zech.
"They like to live in the bushes, and many don't want to leave the streets,” she said.The man is not believed to have been struck by a vehicle and cause of death is not yet known pending an autopsy.
April 11, 2013 (El Cajon) – Triumphant Quartet, an award-winning gospel group that has performed at Carnegie Hall and been nominated for a Grammy Award, will perform on Sunday, April 21 at 5 p.m. at El Cajon Wesleyan Church.
Formed in 2002 as the Integrity Quartet, the group changed its name in 2004 after a nationwide contest to Triumphant Quarter. After receiving the Christian Music Presenters Artist Endorsement and certification as American Gospel Music artists, they were invited to perform in a celebration of American Gospel Music at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Angels of Hope, serving Chaldean and Arabic communities in El Cajon, is among recent loan recipients fulfilling a dream
April 8, 2013 (El Cajon)—An El Cajon woman’s goal of providing trauma counseling to refugees in East County has been fulfilled, thanks to Wells Fargo & Company. Wells Fargo, a leading lender to women- and diverse-owned businesses, recently announced a commitment to lend $55 billion to woman-owned businesses in the U.S. by 2020.
As part of that commitment, the company has provided a commercial real estate loan for licensed clinical social worker Bernadette Talia to purchase office space in El Cajon to house her new Angels of Hope Counseling practice.
Talia, who is trilingual and specializes in trauma counseling, is fulfilling a vast need in the East County community, as many residents are refugees from the Middle East and have suffered traumatic life experiences. Now she will be able to provide affordable counseling and services to individuals and families. Talia’s goal isn’t to just reach the approximate 30,000 Chaldean’s living in El Cajon, but to the whole Arabic speaking community, treating their specific mental health needs.
Festivities, friendship and food are the order of the day as the Downtown El Cajon Library at 201 E. Douglas Avenue hosts its fourth annual Multi-cultural Family Fiesta. The event is Saturday, April 13, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Bring the family and enjoy musical entertainment, food, community information and free admission.
Frog race offers $10,000 first prize, all to benefit St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center
By Caprice Harrison
April 3, 2013 (El Cajon) – St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center in El Cajon will host its 15th annual, “Morning Glory Brunch- With a Country Flair” on Saturday, April 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This special event is being held in the Center’s Organic Garden, located at 2119 East Madison Avenue, El Cajon. The event includes:
- Over 20 food and beverage stations from local restaurants
- Boutique shopping
- Live music and entertainment on multiple stages
- “Arts Alive!” floral creations by Jasmine Creek Florist
- The eighth-annual, “Frog Race” with $10,000 in cash prizes!
NEW features this year include: Children’s activities, arts and crafts, face-painting and a “Froggie Pond” with kid-friendly prizes! Each “froggie” is only $5 or, three (3) for $10. Each “frog” is $100 or $150 for two (2).
City seeks new brewery/restaurant to takeover loan
April 2, 2013 (El Cajon)--After previous good faith attempts to continue operation, the El Cajon Brewing Company, which opened in October 2011 with hefty loans of public finds, has closed its doors as of April 1.
GROSSMONT COLLEGE OFFERS FREE SCREENING OF AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY, "THE ANATOMY OF HATE; DIALOGUE OF HOPE"
April 2, 2013 (El Cajon) – “The Anatomy of Hate; A Dialogue to Hope,” an award-winning documentary film directed by Michael Ramsdell and focusing on individual and collective ideologies of hate will be shown during a free screening and Q&A with the director at 3:30 p.m. April 3, in Building 26, Room 220 at Grossmont College.
The 90-minute film follows the director’s six-year journey with groups like the white supremacists and Palestinian militants, as well as U.S. embedded troops in the Middle East. It is juxtaposed with interviews from leading experts in sociology, psychology and neurology to reveal both the emotional and biological factors that make everyone susceptible to acts and ideologies of hate. At the same time, this film posits, these are the very same traits that enable people to rise above the negativity.
March 31, 2013 (El Cajon) – On March 28, 2013 at about 4:50 p.m. two men went to the El Cajon Animal Shelter located at 1275 N. Marshall and engaged one of the shelter attendants in a conversation. While there, the two men were looking at two dogs in separate kennels. The men had additional questions about the dogs and the attendant referred them to the shelter's office. The attendant then went to another portion of the shelter where she could no longer see the men. A short time later it was discovered the dogs the men were looking at had been taken from their kennels and were missing. The men could not be located.
East County Eater's Restaurant Review
Nahrain Fish & Chicken Grill (Facebook: NahrainFish&ChickenGrill)
1183 E. Main Street, #A, El Cajon, CA 92021 (619)334-3222
March 29, 2013 (El Cajon )—Masgoof—fish smoked whole in a clay oven with wood fire, Iraqi-style--at Nahrain Fish & Chicken Grill in El Cajon is the freshest you’ll find in East County. Choose from fish caught daily displayed in a glass case, or at times, take the opportunity to catch your own with a fishing net in a tiled pool inside this eatery, which is popular with both Middle Eastern and Western customers.
My dining companion and I savor a whole red snapper that is tender and juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside with a paper thin skin and a delightful smoked wood flavor. It is served with a mango sauce (amba) that is balanced, sweet and spicy, along with onions, tomatoes, lemon parsley and freshly baked tanoor bread.