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.
By Miriam Raftery
November 22, 2013 (El Cajon) – Anne Louise Terhune, reported missing by her family yesterday, may have been involved in a non-injury traffic collision in the Tijuana area, El Cajon Police have learned.
“She was alone at the time of the collision but stated she was lost and provided her personal information. She then indicated she would be home the following day and did not appear to be under any duress,” said Lt. Frank La Haye. But he added, “Terhune has not returned home and her whereabouts are unknown.”
November 15, 2013 (El Cajon) – The 67th annual Mother Goose Parade will roll out at 10 a.m. on Sunday, November 24 complete with floats, marching bands, and radio personality Shotgun Tom Kelly as grand marshal. Mother Goose Village will also be set up at the Prescott Promenade, 201 East Main Street, with fun actiivites from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The parade, a cherished East County tradition that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators, begins at the corner of Main and Magnolia in downtown El Cajon, continuing eastbound to Second Street and East Main.
By Janis Mork
November 17, 2013 (El Cajon)- On November 14, the Salvation Army of El Cajon Corps held its 38th annual Kettle Kick Off party at Hooleys Irish Pub and Grill in the Grossmont Center mall. The day after, people started ringing bells at different businesses for people to put money in the red kettles to raise money for East County children and families in need during the holiday season. This year will be a challenge because of when Thanksgiving falls, and the season will be shorter than last year. The organization hopes to provide 500 families with Thanksgiving baskets.
ECM interviewed Captain Terry Masango (photo, left), administrator of all of Salvation Army’s services and pastor of the Salvation Army El Cajon Corps Community Center. “We have senior homes, serve meals to the seniors, have after school youth programs, and serve groceries to 1100 families a month,” he said, adding that Salvation Army believes in offering help to those in need as part of its mission. ”We’re also in the process of registering 1400 families for Christmas.”
Take the city’s survey (available in English, Spanish and Arabic)
November 18, 2013 (El Cajon) – The City of El Cajon receives approximately $1 million in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds and $420,000 in HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Funds each year for housing and community development projects. The City invites the public to have input in how the City programs this money over the next five years.
November 16, 2013 (Crest) -- In response to a community request, the San Miguel Fire District’s Board of Directors will hold a special meeting on Novemer 20, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. in the Crest Community Clubhouse, 113 North Park Drive in El Cajon.
NEED HELP FOR YOUR FAMILY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON? EAST COUNTY TOY AND FOOD DRIVE WILL ACCEPT APPLICATIONS NOV. 23 AND DEC. 7
To help brighten the holidays for families in need, the Salvation Army in El Cajon will be holding the 38th Annual East County Toy & Food Drive.
To apply for help, applications will be taken on Saturday, November 23rd and on Saturday, December 7th, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Salvation Army offices, located at 1011 E. Main Street in El Cajon. Toys are for children ages 12 and under.
November 16, 2013 (El Cajon ) -- Saturday, November 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. will be a day of food, crafts and entertainment for the whole family in El Cajon, where a craft fair will be held to support Rady Children’s Hospital. Activities include bounce houses, face painting, carnival games, a Kid Zone, an on-site DJ and live band.
The location is the 900 & 1000 block of Arnele Avenue, at Lexus El Cajon, Subaru El Cajon and Mazda El Cajon.
November 16, 2013 (El Cajon ) --The final car show for the season in El Cajon is the “Parade of Lights” on Wednesday, December 4.
Get in the spirit of the holidays and enjoy a parade of vehicles decorated for the season on downtown El Cajon’s Main Street from 5-8 p.m. You can also have a photo with Santa, enjoy holiday music and carolers.
By Miriam Raftery
November 13, 2013 (El Cajon )--El Cajon’s City Council voted unanimously yesetrday to appoint Councilman Bill Wells to fill the vacancy left by Mayor Mark Lewis’s resignation. Council also voted to have an application and list of qualifications drawn up within a week for residents interested in seeking appointment to fill the vacancy on the City Council left by Wells’ ascension to mayor.
A crowd filled the Council Chambers, with many community members came to voice their views on how the city should fill its leadership positions.
Display spotlighting works of the organization’s san diego chapter members will also feature educational programs for art enthusiasts
Photo: Grace Schlesier at her show at the Wieghorst Museum in 2012.
November 13, 2013 (El Cajon) – Members of the California Art Club’s San Diego Chapter and the Olaf Wieghorst Museum unveiled the “Landscapes of the West” exhibition with a gala opening at the Museum on October 5. The display will be on view through January 11, 2014.
Art enthusiasts at the opening enjoyed hors d’ oeuvres and wine, while viewing over 35 juried works by some of San Diego’s finest painters. The event was also coveted by collectors, who appreciated the opportunity to have a first look at the paintings, all available for acquisition. A portion of proceeds from sale of artwork will benefit both the Club and the Museum.
Educational programming during the exhibition will include a November 14 presentation by CAC Artist Member Mark Fehlman on California Art Club’s history. Reservations are suggested for the lecture and the reception that will precede Fehlman’s talk, as space is limited.
November 12, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – El Cajon, La Mesa and Santee City Councils meet this week to discuss matters ranging from the future of Oktoberfest to choosing a new mayor. Below are highlights from the agendas for each community.
November 9, 2013 (El Cajon) – Hookbill Hobbyists of Southern California will offer a free nail and wing trim clinic in El Cajon on Sunday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mite Bingo Hall, 1365 North Johnson Avenue in El Cajon.
Suspect remains at large
November 9, 2013 (El Cajon) – An argument between several men in an El Cajon parking lot ended in gunfire last night, with a bullet striking a woman in her 20s. One of three children in the vehicle was also injured by broken glass.
Deputies from the Santee Sheriff’s station responded at 5:09 p.m. to a report of shots fired at 340 East Bradley Avenue in unincorporated El Cajon. The woman, seated in an SUV at Graves and Bradley, had a bullet wound in her shoulder and a child was struck in the arm by shattered glass. Paramedics from Lakeside Fire took the woman to a hospital, where she was treated for a non-life threatening wound.
November 7, 2013 (El Cajon) – The City of El Cajon’s Special Events Committee, a group of city employees volunteering their time for city and community projects, is seeking item and monetary donations to mail care packages to military members serving overseas through the second annual “They Serve Us, Let’s Serve Them” campaign from “9-11 to 11-11.”
“We’ve had an outpouring of care package item donations and will probably be able to assemble 30 care packages to help our military this year,” according to Ron Luis Valles, a coordinator and member of the special events committee.
November 6, 2013 (El Cajon) – The City of El Cajon invites the public to join in the Centennial Farewell festivities on Tuesday, November 12 at the Centennial Plaza, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Centennial Plaza is located at 200 Civic Center Way. This Farewell Celebration will also include a special tribute to veterans, as well as honoring those who have volunteered more than 100 hours in the El Cajon Community, through the 100 Hours, Honoring 100 Years Centennial Volunteer program.
By Miriam Raftery
November 6, 2013 (El Cajon)-- El Cajon City Councilmembers Bob McClellan and Tony Ambrose have released an official response to the resignation of former Mayor Mark Lewis on October 24, 2013. Both voiced pride in the community’s diversity , acknowledged that the Mayor’s remarks on minorities were “inappropriate and wrong,” then called for unity in El Cajon. For the full text of their letter, click here.
In addition, Councilmember Gary Kendrick issued his own letter praising Mayor Lewis on his accomplishments including balanced budgets, economic stability and economic development. While he joined with Ambrose and McClellan in making clear that he did not agree with or support Lewis’ controversial comments, he stated, “Mark will always be my friend...” To read Kendrick’s letter, click here.
Kendrick told ECM,” The Mayor Lewis that I knew would never have made those statements before his stroke.”