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By Billy Ortiz

April 23, 2011 (Lakeside) – It’s a beautiful April day as I head down East Main Street in El Cajon towards my home near Tunnel Hill. I can't help but notice Old Glory high above the El Cajon skyline and beyond, my favorite place towering in the background: El Cajon Mountain, also known as El Capitan.


I have often wondered why it is called El Cajon Mountain, but after seeing this view I think I understand. I am a historian; the first thing I think of when I see a sight like this is what East County must have looked like say 100 years ago. The view today remains much as it did a century ago--but now this scenic and historic view is at risk.


The road I am on may have been just a narrow dirt road cutting through the middle of citrus farms and ranches, a few houses here and there, windmills drawing up water from under the rich and fertile soil.


That was then and this is now.  Yet El Cajon today still has no tall power-lines obstructing the scenery on Old Highway 80, the historic route.


The irony is that the beautiful mountain in the background, the most scenic view corridor in East County and certainly among the most scenic in all of San Diego, may soon be defaced by Sunrise Powerlink--built by the same utility company that sought fit to preserve the view here on East Main by putting utility lines underground.  Isn't the grandeur of El Cajon Mountain at least as worthy of preserving as a view of El Cajon's streetscape?


To me, this view not only symbolizes the freedom that we have, but also the responsibility that falls on each and every one of us—yes, even utility companies like Sempra and SDG&E--to preserve our environment. This is our home and we should cherish it.


Billy Ortiz is a historcal writer and videographer based in El Cajon. The views expressed in this editorial reflect the views of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. If you wish to submit an editorial for consideration, contact

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Really? Your a historian?
I wonder where you were trained. What education you received. Simply doing research on a small town such as Lakeside is a far cry from being a historian. Although "historian" can be used to describe amateur and professional historians alike, it is reserved more recently for those who have acquired graduate degrees in the discipline. Perhaps you would be better suited to address yourself as an a Lakeside Historical Enthusiast - or something more along those lines. Let's not mix your passion for Lakeside with actual professional training a true Historian would receive.

historian defined defines "historian" as follows:  "a person who writes or studies history, esp one who is an authority on it."  Webster's Ninth lists several definitions including "a student or writer of history."  So while many who use the term do have academic credentials, there  is no consensus that would require a degree to use the term historian.  However, I have changed the description above to state "historical writer" for clarification.


Welcome to our world.

Welcome to the world of the back County where added to our existing 500 KVA line will be the new and improved Sunrise Power Link through our front yard any yours!