January 20, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has released a new report on poverty. Included in the report are five-year estimates of poverty in our region, based on the American Community Survey in 2011.
El Cajon has by far the highest poverty rate in San Diego County, with 32% of individuals living below the poverty level and 49% living within 200% of the federal poverty level. National City has the next highest level, a full ten points lower at 22% living in poverty.
By Julian Rudd-Falls
January 15, 2014 (El Cajon) -- Yesterday, two Chaldean men made an appeal to the El Cajon City Council. Shamon Korkis, owner of the URE Restaurant in El Cajon, has applied for a card room license and been denied. He was an accompanied by a friend, Sam Abbod, who served as translator.
This restaurant has a troubled past. There have been over 20 complaints and Police Chief Jim Redman testified that the police have found illegal gambling and unlawful selling of alcoholic beverages there in the past. However, Mr.Korkis is the new owner of this establishment, and the vast majority of these complaints were made against the previous owner.
By Miriam Raftery
January 14, 2014 (El Cajon ) – After hearing testimony raising concerns over use of e-ciagrettes by children in public schools, El Cajon’s City Council unanimously asked staff to prepare a report on the hazards of inhaling or “vaping” nicotine, along with options for regulation both e-cigarettes and hookah smoking.
Councilman Gary Kendrick introduced the issue, stating that a friend told him her middle school son said that “use of electronic cigarettes was rampant at his junior high.”
A representative from Communities Against Substance Abuse (CASA) asked Council, “Can we really afford another generation of nicotine addiction?” The CASA representative said that “nicotine is more addictive than heroin.” He presented evidence that manufacturers of e-cigarettes with nicotine are targeting minors with flavors such as bubblegum and designs ranging from e-cigarettes with cartoon characters to models that masquerade as asthma inhalers, felt pens, or other common devices.
January 14, 2014 (El Cajon) –El Cajon City Manager Douglas Williford and Assistant City Manager/Director of Public Works Majed Al-Ghafry will be the guest speakers at the East County Democratic Club meeting on Thursday, January 16. The event will be held at Coco’s Restaurant, 1025 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon at 7 p.m., with social hour/dinner at 6 p.m.
El Cajon’s City Council’s agenda this Tuesday includes a proposal by Councilman Kendrick to regulate electronic cigarettes and hookahs. Both products contain nicotine and the CDC reports that the number of teens using e-cigarettes doubled from 2011 to 2012.
A Spring Valley teen passed out and was hospitalized last week with carbon monoxide poisoning from a hookah.
A 2005 report by the World Health Organization documented potential health hazards from hookahs, noting that in a typical 20-80 minute hookah session produces about as much smoke as the amount received from smoking 100 cigarettes.”
By Miriam Raftery
Victim identified as Robert Fisher, 54
January 10, 2014 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon Police today announced that investigators have recovered a work truck owned by SDG&E/Sempra Energy that police believe fled the scene after striking a pedestrian on January 6th shortly after 10 p.nm. at Main Street and Jamacha Road.
The pedestrian, Robert Fisher, 54, was later struck by a second vehicle and died at the scene.
“The vehicle seized is a white 2008 Ford 550 work truck owned by SDGE/Sempra Energy. Current evidence indicates the vehicle was not operating in an official, on-duty capacity at the time of the collision,” said Lt. R. Soulard with El Cajon Police. “SDG&E/Sempra Energy has been fully cooperative in this investigation,” Lt. Soulard added.
By David Dickens
January 9, 2014 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon Valley High School boys basketball coach Marty Ellis has still plenty of work to do, however there is a a very good chance to win the Grossmont Valley League title.
“Due to lack of practice time, we can’t fix what needs to be fixed,” stated a frustrated Ellis. Which is quite true at all levels due to the delays because of tournament schedules.
The EL Cajon Valley Braves are small in size but extremely quick and one of the best squads at trap defense. The Braves started off with a bang out of the gate with an 8-0 run, which has since declined to 10-5, winning only two of their last eight games. It definitely can be exhausting as well, going from tournament to tournament.
January 9, 2014 (Crest) --Local author & Chef Mimi Kirk, will show you how to make several easy, delicious and healthy raw food recipes at a special event at the Crest Library, 104 Juanita Lane in El Cajon, on Tuesday January 14 from 6-7 p.m..
Kirk has been voted sexiest vegetarian over 50 in a national contest. She's now 75 and attributes a raw foods diet to her high energy level and health. Samples will be offered and books will be available for purchase and signing.
January 7, 2014 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police ask public help to locate a white Ford truck that struck a pedestrian near Main Street and Jamacha at 10:09 p.m. last night. After the driver fled the scene, the pedestrian was hit by another vehicle and died at the scene.
It is believed that the initial vehicle involved in the collision that left the scene was a 2008-2010 Ford F-350 to F-550 utility work truck. This truck is white in color, with a decal/logo on the front door, and is equipped with a personnel bucket lift/crane and a utility bed. The truck should have damage to the right headlight area as a result of the collision.
January 5, 2013 (El Cajon) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual dinner on Saturday, January 25 at the Allen Airways Flying Museum at Gillespie Field, 2020 North Johnson in El Cajon. The museum is a private facility open by invitation only, housing an impressive collection of vintage airplanes and memorabilia including an aviation poster collection displayed at the Smithsonian.
Cost is $125 per ticket. For more information or reservations, visit www.eastcountychamber.org.
January 5, 2014 (El Cajon ) -- El Cajon Police requested the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect who was involved in two armed robberies that occurred on Monday December 30, 2013, Thursday January 2, 2014 and an attempted robbery on Wednesday January 1, 2014.
"Based on information received from tipsters and witnesses the suspect was located at an address in El Cajon," said Lt. Frank La Haye. "The suspect was contacted as he was leaving an address on S. Magnolia. After a brief foot chase he was apprehended without further incident in the 600 block of Van Houten Avenue."
An electrical fire on New Year’s Eve morning destroyed a medical clinic in El Cajon.
Heartland Fire and Rescue along with Cal Fire responded to the blaze at 1321 East Main Street, at the corner of East Main and Melody Lane, at 8 a.m. Crews found heavy smoke coming from the clinic. The building was occupied, but fortunately those inside were able to escape and call 911. No injuries were reported.
December 28, 2013 (San Diego) – Each holiday season, the County of San Diego and I Love a Clean San Diego work together to remind everyone that holiday recycling goes beyond just wrapping paper and gift boxes, your tree can be recycled too!
Christmas trees can be recycled into mulch and compost which are then used to improve soil health at residences, public parks, and local farms.
Most trash companies offer curbside-pickup of Christmas trees. For instance, EDCO will pick up trees in front of single family homes from December 26 until January 10. Trees taller than four feet should be cut in half, and be sure to remove all decorations, lights, tree stands and nails. EDCO accepts flocked trees covered in artificial snow, but some trash companies do not, so be sure to check with yours.
Our November shows are now online—including special reports on East County issues, interviews with top newsmakers, local musicians, authors, colorful characters and people making a positive difference in our community. Click here for a list of our November shows and guests with links to listen online.
You can also hear our show live when it airs on KNSJ 89.1 FM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5 p.m. and reruns Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 9 a.m. Or listen live online during those hours at www.KNSJ.org.
December 28, 2013 (El Cajon)-- The El Cajon Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint on December 28, 2013, at 500 Broadway between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes. Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely.
December 24, 2013 (El Cajon) --The Halo Community Foundation has been established, just in time for a holiday gift to help people in need in our community, Visiting Angels has announced. The mission of the Halo Community Foundation is to provide quality in-home care to low-income individuals suffering from illnesses, disabilities, and/or physical impairments.
The Visiting Angels’ East County Office can assist low income individuals receive critical in-home care for a better quality of life. The foundation provides care to qualified individuals based upon needs and income level free of charge.
December 23, 2013 (El Cajon) -- The Neighborhood Market Association has partnered up with Chaldean-Middle Eastern Social Services and the Chaldean American Association to help sponsor this year’s Chaldean Community Toy Giveaway, which provided over 7,000 toys to children in need this holiday season.
“Nothing brings a community together like being able to work towards bringing a smile to the face of a child, ” says NMA President and CEO Mark P. Arabo, “every disadvantaged kid deserves to feel special during this season.”
December 23, 2013 (La Mesa) – A parolee being pursued by law enforcement officers struck two vehicles, injuring an occupant of one of the vehicles struck as well as one of the suspects.
The incident began at 8:03 a.m. on December 22, when a La Mesa Police officer attempted to make a traffic stop on a vehicle at El Cajon Blvd. and Baltimore Drive for a traffic violation. The officer recognized the driver as a known subject on parole. When the suspect spotted the officer’s vehicle behind him, he fled the location and failed to yield to officers. A vehicle pursuit ensued.
Instar "Star" Bales takes oath of office, alongside her husband, Gerald
By Janis Mork
December 19, 2013 (El Cajon)- At Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting, Council appointed InStar Bales, an Iraqi Chaldean woman who has served on the planning commission, to fill the Council vacancy after interviewing 27 candidates.
After the meeting, Bales told ECM that she is “very honored” to be chosen. “When Councilman Bob McClellan said my name, I cried a little bit,” admitted Bales, whose integrity and willigness to stand up against special interests as a planning commission member were key factors in Council's decision to select her.
By Janis Mork
December 15, 2013 (El Cajon) – El Cajon resident and high school junior Alana Bianco has been attending Capistrano Connections Academy, an online public charter school, instead of a traditional high school. She is interested in learning more about programming and has also enjoyed acting on the side. ECM recently interviewed Bianco to find out more.
She is originally from Florida and had moved to Newport Beach, CA as she was going to start her freshman year of high school. She and her mother found out about Capistrano Connections by looking online. Capistrano Connections “got good reviews,” Bianco added. She tried out public high school in her sophomore year in Burbank, but she didn’t like it as much as she liked online school. So, she then went back to Capistrano. She’s also been homeschooled while living in East County.
By Miriam Raftery and Janis Mork
December 13, 2013 (El Cajon) –El Cajon’s City Council voted on Tuesday to adopt “Valley of Opportunity" as the new city motto. In addition, Council voted unanimously to name Councilmember Gary Kendrick as Mayor Pro Tem, second in command after newly appointed Mayor Bill Wells.
As for the new motto and logo reflecting that motto, Deputy City Manager/Finance Nancy Palm explained the idea began before the centennial. “We had a lot of community involvement. It has proven to be the valley of opportunity for many years.”
Photo: Ben Kalasho, Instar Bales, Humbert Cabrera, and Vickie Butcher are among 27 candidates vying for appointment to the El Cajon City Council.
By Miriam Raftery
December 12, 2013 (El Cajon) – Twenty-seven El Cajon residents have applied to fill an open seat on the El Cajon City Council. This past Tuesday night, Council members interviewed half of the applicants during the Council meeting. The rest will be interviewed next Tuesday at 6 p.m.
The candidates came from all walks of life – reflecting diverse races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, political parties and economic status.
East County Rep also calls Middle Easterners liars, draws fire for remarks
By Miriam Raftery
December 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) Updated 8:40 p.m. – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has long been known as a hawk on military matters. But in an interview on CSPAN’s Washington Journal this week, the former Marine went further, voicing support for use of "tactical nuclear devices" if the U.S. launches an air strike against Iran. He backed use of tactical, or non-strategic nuclear weapons to set Iran's reported effort at developing a nuclear weapon "back a decade, or two or three."
Hunter, whose San Diego region district includes over 80,000 Middle Eastern immigrants, also ignited controversy when he stated,”In the Middle Eastern culture, it is looked upon with very high regard to get the best deal possible, no matter what it takes. That includes lying.” (View video of full interview.)
December 5, 2013 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council received 27 applications for the currently vacant councilmember position. The application period closed yesterday
The City Council is scheduled to interview applicants in Council chambers at the 7:00 p.m. Council meeting on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.
A list of applicants is below.
December 4, 2013 (El Cajon) – If home-grown music is your thing, then the place to be this Friday night is the Cuyamaca College Performing Arts Theater, the venue for the always eclectic and entertaining Winter Wonder Jam, produced by students in the college’s Music Industry program.
Set for 7-10 p.m. Dec. 7, concert-goers will be treated to music ranging from rock, pop, jazz, acoustic and hip- hop.
December 4, 2013 (El Cajon)--The U.S. Postal Service is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to arrest and conviction of two suspects who robbed a mail carrier in El Cajon on Wedneday, November 27 at 5:05 p.m. The theft occurred in the 2400 block of Fletcher Parkway.
Both suspects were described as 25 to 30 years old, white with medium build, about 5 feet 11 inches tall. One suspect had a tear drop tattoo under his left eye and wore al ong-sleeved dark shirt, dark shorts, black knee-high socks and black shoes. The other suspect had full sleeve-like tattoos on both arms; he wore a white So-Cal Tshirt, shorts and black shoes.
December 2, 2013 (El Cajon)--The City of El Cajon is accepting applications to fill a vacancy on the El Cajon City Council. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 4 at 5:30 p.m. and applications are available at the city’s website.
To be eligible, you must be a resident and a registered voter when you apply and throughout your term of office. The seat is open to fill the vacancy left when Councilman Bill Wells was appointed Mayor, after former Mayor Mark Lewis resigned.
November 28, 2013 (El Cajon) – Just in time for Thanksgiving, El Cajon resident Jacque Bradfute and her 6-year-old stepdaughter, Haley, have new holiday decorations to replace a stolen display. The heartwarming donations came from a secret Santa with help from El Cajon residents Deena While and Shirley Johnson.
On Monday, just after putting up holiday décor including an inflatable Santa, Bradfute heard a commotion and came out to find everything missing, like a scene straight out of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News
November 28, 2013 (El Cajon)--A police pursuit in El Cajon ended in the death of Carl Lee Denmark, 22, a resident of Santa Ysabel.
Denmark was driving a stolen motorcycle at a high rate of speed with El Cajon Police officers in pursuit on November 9 when he lost control and was ejected, then run over by a vehicle. The accident occurred on Graves Avenue near the 67 interchange at Broadway.
November 27, 2013 (El Cajon) – The 7th annual Jingle Paws Walk for Pets will be held on December 7 at Wells Park in El Cajon.
This popular holiday event also features Santa’s Playground complete with games for dogs and their owners, an agility course for your pet. New this year -- a lure course for dogs that love to run is available for an additional fee.
Santa’s Village features vendors with pet products, photos with Santa, refreshments and a silent auction. Plus guests can meet adoptable pets from local rescue organizations.