March 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – What do you do after winning your second Daytona 500 race? The Harlem Shake, of course! View video of East County native and five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and his teammates shaking things up as they celebrate their latest victory: http://www.jimmiejohnson.com/cantina
Next up, Johnson will race in Saturday’s Nationwide Race at the Phonenix International Raceway. Also this week, Johnson announced that Lowe’s has renewed its sponsorship.
“We've been together for this crazy ride, and I'm so happy we're continuing it together,” Johnson said, USA Today reported.
March 7, 2013 (El Cajon )--A Heartland Fire & Rescue engine company in El Cajon was returning from a call at 5:30 this evening and came across a possible garage fire in the 100 block of West Douglas Avenue. The fire company, noticing heavy black smoke from the garage of the three-story town home, quickly called for a first alarm assignment to combat the fire.
HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS SEEKS COMMUNITY HELP BUILDING HOMES FOR TWO DOUBLE AMPUTEE VETERANS IN EL CAJON
"We're here for two of our American heroes." -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob
By Miriam Raftery
March 4, 2013 (El Cajon ) – Army Sergeant Odin Ayala and Marine Corporal Travis Greene each lost both legs serving in combat. But they were all smiles on February 23 at the groundbreakings of their new , specially adapted homes in El Cajon-- thanks to the efforts of the nonprofit Homes for Our Troops.
“Our motto is rebuilding homes, rebuilding lives,” said Tim McHale with Homes for our Troops. The group seeks donations as well as volunteers to help build these homes and more. Local community groups and businesses can also adopt a room, partnering in efforts to help these wounded veterans and others.
HOME OF GUIDING HANDS AWARDED GRANTS FROM EL CAJON AND SAN DIEGO COUNTY EMPLOYEES' CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION
March 3, 2013 (El Cajon) – The city of El Cajon and CECO (San Diego County Employees’ Charitable Organization) awarded separate grants to Home of Guiding Hands. The former approved a $35,270 grant for the residential program’s capital improvements on Tuesday, February 26 at the El Cajon City Council meeting. Funds will be used on four of their 31 community based homes for individuals with developmental disabilities. Projects include a new kitchen, energy efficient replacement windows, flooring replacement and new bathroom vanities.
March 3, 2013 (El Cajon) – Congresswoman Susan Davis called representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration to her Washington office to share constituent concerns with Gillespie Field flight paths. Neighbors of Gillespie Field in El Cajon have complained of increased flight traffic, noise, and low-altitude flights.
“As discussion of Gillespie Field development continues, Congresswoman Davis is looking to balance economic expansion in El Cajon and East County with quality of life near the airport,” said Aaron Hunter, spokesperson for the Congresswoman.
The meeting was informational, though no course of action has yet transpired, he advised.
By Miriam Raftery
February 23, 2013 (El Cajon)—Shamoon Jeejo, an immigrant from war-torn Iraq, is pleased to be among the local residents who now have a raised garden plot at Circle Community Garden. The new garden had its grand opening ceremony today, serving up cake as local residents staked out spaces--and more are available.
“In Iraq, I had a garden, it was like ten of this space,” Jeejo (photo, left) told East County Magazine. “I live near here, by the library. If there is work, I want to volunteer. “ For Jeejo, who came here two and a half years ago to escape the oppressive government in Iraq, there is another benefit of working with others. “I want to speak English; if I am with community, I can learn to speak English very well,” he says.
February 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)—El Cajon Police today announced the arrest of Forrest Gunner Fermil and Kailee Ray, both 18, in connection with three armed robberies within an hour on February 18 committed by a masked man.
The suspects were arrested in the 10000 block of Vista Parque in Lakeside at 3 p.m. today. After developing a promising lead, El Cajon Police workined in junction with investigators from the Santee Sheriff’s Station and located the first suspect.
February 20, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Paul Kruze, a freelance photojournalist whose works have appeared in ECM, was at the scene of last night's fatality hit-and-run accident in El Cajon. He offers new details which suggest that the victim was jaywalking and died on impact.
"I was just getting gas at the ARCO on Avocado," he told ECM. According to Kruze, the pedestrian was crossing Avocado considerably north of Chase -- not at the intersection. The victim "clearly had been jaywalking, and it was really dark and raining," he said, adding that the victim wore a light-colored hoodie but visibility was poor.
Kruze stated that the victim sustained a severe head injury and that due to the obvious damage, the individual died immediately.
February 16, 2013 (Rancho San Diego) – At 1:33 a.m., deputies from the Lemon Grove Sheriff's Station responded to an armed robbery at the 7-11 store at 1498 Jamacha Road in unincorporated El Cajon.
“The suspect in the robbery was a male, wearing a black jacket and jeans. The race of the suspect is unknown because he was wearing a mask,” said Sergeant V.J. Rivera.
February 16, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--El Cajon resident and wildlife painter Gloria Chadwick has been selected as the featured artist for the 40th annual California Open Wildlife Art Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16 and 17, at Liberty Station in San Diego’s Point Loma area. The festival, open to the public, will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both weekend days at Liberty Station’s Corky McMillin Event Center, NTC Promenade, 2875 Dewey Road, San Diego. Admission is $5 per person, and children under 12 years of age are free. For more information, visit www.PSWA.net.
By Janis Mork
February 11, 2013 (El Cajon)- Tomorrow’s El Cajon Council will consider an agenda introduced by Pro Tem Mayor Bill Wells regarding the city’s red light camera program, which has been in effect since 1996 (see http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20051216/news_1m16red1.html).
The agenda item, if approved, would direct the city manager to bring back information on the program, including information on possibly ending it. It’s also been recommended that the city council set an advisory meeting for 2 p.m. on March 12 and an information session at 7 p.m. the same day to hear public opinions.
More local control of alcohol-licensing process possible, experts say
Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego presents model business policy as a case study
February 7, 2013 (El Cajon)-- Local community leaders, police and health officials will meet on February 8 with officials from Ventura County to discuss a model program that has successfully reduced alcohol-related problems by improving retail practices at bars, clubs, restaurants and liquor stores. The event, held by the Alcohol Policy Panel for San Diego County, will be held at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 East Douglas Avenue in El Cajon, from 9-11 a.m. Friday.
February 6, 2013 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon Police are asking for the public's help to identify a suspect in the shooting of a dog in the 600 block of Millar Avenue last night. A witness reported hearing a shot at 7:55 p.m. and saw a medium-sized, mixed breed dog run about 25 yards before collapsing. A vehicle was leaving the area, but the witness saw only headlights.
It is unknown who owned the dog, which did not have a collar but appeared to be clean and well kept, said Lt. Mark Coit.
The El Cajon Police Department is investigating this cruelty to animals crime. There is no suspect or vehicle description at this time. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the El Cajon Police Department at 619-579-3311.
By Janis Mork
February 1, 2013 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon’s City Council voted 5-0 on January 22 to ask staff to draft options for an ordinance with tougher licensing regulations for off-site sales of liquor at markets and liquor stores.
“El Cajon has changed a lot since I was a kid in the 1960’s,” said Councilman Gary Kendrick, who introduced the proposal. “Unfortunately, as we grew, we acquired problems big cities had. One is alcohol abuse. We’ve struggled with it for 30 years now,” he said, adding that his proposal is modeled after ‘deemed approved’ ordinances that have, “...become very popular in cities that have it.”
By Janis Mork
January 31, 2013 (El Cajon)—A dozen trees in El Cajon have been found infested by an insect carrying a disease that is deadly to citrus disease and which has prompted a countywide quarantine, agriculture experts informed El Cajon Council members at yesterday’s meeting.
Mark Olson, a representative for the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program, wanted to give the community an update on the Asian Citrus Psyllid and the disease it carries- Huanglongbing (HLB). “It was recently found in El Cajon for the first time,” he said. “The good news is that the pest has been found and the disease has not shown up. We’re preparing for it though; it will probably show up in El Cajon.”
January 31, 2013 (El Cajon) -- A shooting in El Cajon may be gang related, Lt. Frank LaHaye with the El Cajon Police Department said. A 21-year-old victim from San Diego and two companions were involved in a verbal altercation with an unknown suspect at 2:40 p.m. on Saturday, January 26 when the shooting occurred in the 400 block of N. Magnolia. The suspect is described as a black male, age 16 to 21, about 5 feet 9 inches tall with a medium build.
The victim has been hospitalized for treatment of his injury.
This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding this shooting is encouraged to contact the El Cajon Police Department at (619) 579-3311.
January 27, 2013 (El Cajon) – Steele Canyon Youth Football & Cheer is now registering players for its Spring 8-Man Football League. Registration will take place at Round Table Pizza, 2650 Jamacha Road, El Cajon on January 30 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Practice will start and February. There are no try-outs and everyone plays. Open to grades 5 through 8. Competition lasts through May.
January 18, 2013 (El Cajon ) – Raymond Lee Goodlow, 53, of El Cajon is hospitalized after being shot multiple times by an El Cajon Police officer at 9:29 a.m.. According to police, Goodlaw was illegally riding his bicycle on the sidewalk and refused to pull over when an officer attempted to stop him in the 1300 block of East Main.
Police and witnesses say the officer ordered the man to halt and get down on the ground, but that instead, Goodlaw reached into the waistband of his pants. Fearing that he had a gun, the officer fired several times, witnesses report.
Goodlow did not have a gun. He did, however, have two knives that were discovered by paramedics while treating his injuries, Lt. Tim Henton said.
January 18, 2013 (El Cajon) - Curious about compost? Heard about worms that can eat garbage? Then join the Solana Center for a free workshop on composting. The workshop will be held on February 9 at the Crestridge Ecological Reserve, 1171 Horsemill Road, El Cajon from 10 a.m. - noon. The basics of backyard composting and vermicomposting (composting with worms) will be covered. Attendees will get the chance to go home with a free compost bin. Click here for more information, and to register for the event.
January 17, 2013 (El Cajon) – Councilman Gary Kendrick will introduce a measure on Tuesday, January 22 that would implement a “deemed approved” system to regulate liquor licenses n El Cajon.
“It enables a city to put a whole host of new conditions on existing liquor establishments,” Kendrick told ECM. “It even covers those grandfathered in that don’t have a conditional use permit, so we could stop a liquor store from creating a nuisance in the city.” The measure would cover all off-site liquor stores, type 20 and 21 licenses, he added.
The proposal would also allow the city to charge a fee to liquor stores to funds sting operations against alcohol sellers as asll as pay for a full-time alcohol enforcement officer.
January 12, 2012 (El Cajon ) – El Cajon Police responded to a 911 call reporting shots fired at noon today at 1010 Leslie in El Cajon. Police located three victims, all with non-life threatening gunshot injuries. Possible suspects are described as three black men and a Hispanic man, all in the 20s, who may have arrived in a newer black four-door vehicle.
“A number of witnesses at the scene were uncooperative and many reported they did not see anything,” Lt. Mike Moulton said. The suspects’ identities are unknown.
By Janis Mork
January 8, 2013 (El Cajon)--By a unanimous vote, El Cajon’s City Council voted to condemn former Councilwoman Jillian Hanson-Cox’s embezzlement of funds from her former employer, Century Design. Council also added language to strip Hanson-Cox of any recognitions received from the City.
“Stealing is wrong, no matter what,” said Councilman Gary Kendrick, introducing the resolution. “I want to give an opportunity for the council to collectively and individually condemn her actions…I want to personally say I’m sorry to the Basso family and to what’s happened to them.”
By Miriam Raftery
January 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A reader asked ECM to look into why graffiti along trolley lines in El Cajon have not yet been cleaned up despite complaints spanning a year. “Several citizens have been more than frustrated,” wrote Maryann Ostermeyer, who said that to date, neither the city nor Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) has taken responsibility for cleanup.
“It has taken a long time, but it is due solely to MTS regs about who and how people work within their ROW (right-of-way),” City Manager Douglas Wililford wrote in an e-mail to Councilman Gary Kendrick in response to ECM’s inquiry. “We have been diligent about this and will continue to be," he wrote, then cited progress in efforts to work with MTS.
January 9, 2013 (La Mesa) – Benjamin Nicholas Davidson, 28, of El Cajon is under arrest after fleeing from police, crashing head-on into another vehicle and breaking into a nearby home.
The incident began last night at 9:52 p.m., when a La Mesa Police officer tried to stop a Saab sedan traveling at a high speed on Fuerte Drive. The driver turned quickly onto Grossmont Boulevard, colliding head-on with a Ford F-150.
According to police, the Saab driver ran from the collision scene and tried to elude police by breaking into a home in the 9300 block of Wister Drive. The suspect was confronted by the home owners, who pushed him out the front door.
EL CAJON COUNCIL AGENDA TUESDAY INCLUDES RESOLUTION TO CONDEMN ACTIONS OF JILLIAN HANSON-COX & PROPOSAL TO BUY SURPLUS PROPERTY FROM CAL-TRANS
By Miriam Raftery
January 4, 2013 (El Cajon) – At its meeting on Tuesday, January 8 at 3 p.m., El Cajon’s City Council will consider a resolution to condemn the actions of Jillian Hanson-Cox in embezzling at least $3.5 million from her former employer, Century Design.
In addition, Council will consider a proposal to buy surplus property from Cal-Trans for $299,500 and weigh a recommendation to pay $662,000 in a promissory note to act as the successor agency to the former El Cajon Redevelopment Agency.
Council’s agenda will also include an ordinance to provide more flexibility for signage downtown and an ordinance to revise the zoning code. In addition, Council will hear an appeal of a planning commission decision to deny a permit for alcohol sales to the Magnolia Family Market at 112 East Madison Avenue.
Update: A memorial service is scheduled for January 5 in El Cajon. Details below.
December 27, 2012 (El Cajon) -- East County Democratic Club co-president John Martes passed after a year-long battle with lung cancer last night at his home in El Cajon. His wife of 40 years, Gloria Martes, and two daughters, Natalie and Leslie, were at his side.
An accountant/controller at John A. Martes and Associates educated at the University of San Diego, Martes twice ran for the Cajon Valley School District Board and was also a candidate for the El Cajon City Council.
December 26, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:
- East County redevelopment funding announced (U-T San Diego)
- San Diego’s Biggest Park Gets Even Bigger (KPBS)
- San Diego Kaiser Hospital Fined For Removing Wrong Kidney (KPBS)
- El Cajon PIO stayed at hotel with Hanson-Cox (U-T San Diego)
- San Diego Boy Scout Council Wins Lease Discrimination Lawsuit, Leases to Continue at Balboa Park and Fiesta Island (Mission Times Courier)
- City wins tentative ruling in pension case (U-T San Diego)
- A roadmap to SANDAG’s transportation plans (Voice of San Diego)
- Feds reject Calif. request for education waiver (Sacramento Bee)
- Second audit of State Parks finds more mystery money (Sacramento Bee)
- 2,600 Medi-Cal cards sent to wrong families (Sacramento Bee)
- Lawmakers target key environmental law for overhaul (U-T San Diego)
- Pot farm boom slams Northern Calif. environment (Sacramento Bee)
- California farmers, residents to get more water (Sacramento Bee)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
December 23, 2012 (Rancho San Diego) – From 8 p.m. last night until 2 a.m. this morning, deputies and officers from the San Diego County Avoid 15 Task Force conducted a DUI sobriety and driver license checkpoint near the 2800 block of Jamacha Road in the uninincorporated area of El Cajon. A total of 34 vehicles were sent into secondary screening and 10 field sobriety tests were conducted on drivers. Two DUI arrests were made along with three felony arrest for possession of a controlled substance, and eight citations. In addition, four vehicles were impounded at the checkpoint--one because the driver's license was suspended or revoked and three because the drivers were arrested.
December 21, 2012 (El Cajon) – A fire last night at 1281 North Second Street in El Cajon has displaced two residents, also resulting in smoke and water damage to a vacant commercial business downstairs.
Heartland Fire and Rescue crews responded to the blaze at 10:30 p.m. Upon finding three apartment units in flames, the fire was upgraded to a second alarm. Heartland Fire & Rescue from El Cajon and La Mesa received assistance from the Santee and Lakeside Fire Departments, and the San Miguel Fire Protection District. Firefighters contained the fire in about 35 minutes.
December 20, 2012 (El Cajon) – An extended holiday closure is planned for City offices from December 21, 2012, through January 1, 2013. This includes City Hall, the Recreation Centers, the Public Works Yard and Fire Administration offices. Regular office hours will resume on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.
The El Cajon Police Station will be closed December 24, December 25, December 31 and January 1. They will be open December 26, 27, and 28.