El Cajon

PRO-ISRAEL RALLY HELD IN EL CAJON; PALESTINIANS MARCH IN PROTEST

Arabs, Jews, Black community, Latinos, and Whites divided between both groups

View a special ECM video report: https://youtu.be/YT4tOLvpGYA

Story, video and photos by Briana Gomez

Photos, left: Latinos for Israel, photo by Briana Gomez, pro-Palestinian marchers, photo by Gary Fields

July 27, 2021 (El Cajon) – Pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups held large rallies Sunday afternoon in El Cajon that remained peaceful, though outside groups provoked skirmishes nearby. 

Shield of David hosted a “Stand with Israel” rally at 3 p.m. at Prescott Promenade in downtown El Cajon featuring Mayor Bill Wells and keynote speaker Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State under the Trump Administration.The event hosted a variety of other speakers as well as entertainment and Israeli food.  It attracted about 1,000 Jews and supportive community members who wanted to stand united against rising anti-Semitic violence, celebrate Israel, and listen to the speakers.

A counter rally took place at 2 p.m. at El Cajon City Park led by Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) in collaboration with other activist groups like Jewish Voice for Peace. Leaders of these groups leveled criticism at organizers of the pro-Israel rally, which they viewed as divisive at a time of intense conflicts between Israel and Palestine, including recent bombings.

PALESTINIAN GROUPS PLAN PROTEST AGAINST PRO-ISRAEL RALLY IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2021 (El Cajon) – A rally and march in El Cajon is being planned today at 2 p.m. by pro-Palestinian groups, in reaction to a “We are Israel” rally slated for 3 p.m. at a separate location that Palestinian leaders locally describe as "Zionist" and "anti-Palestinian."

Organizers of the “We are Israel” rally at 3 p.m. on Prescott Promenade at 201 East Main St. have stated that their event is in response to the record number of violent attacks on Jewish people and synagogues in the U.S. and in San Diego County, not policies in the Mideaast.

Organized by Shield of David, that rally is slated to include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as keynote speaker and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells as one of several other speakers, as ECM reported.  Pompeo, as Secretary of State under President Donald Trump, broke with decades of U..S. foreign policy tradition by declaring that Israeli settlements in the West Bank did not violate international law. But Pompeo also helped broker a peace deal between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.

CAR GAZE: A PHOTO SHOW

East County News Service

July 23, 2021 (El Cajon)  - Spectators at the upcoming Cajon Classic Cruise events in downtown El Cajon will have two opportunities to view iconic autos: on the streets and at Car Gaze being held in The Gallery Without a Name, 134 E. Main St., where acclaimed photographers will offer their images of vehicles in a limited showing.

“A parked car can be, well, not much to think about,” said Jake Rose, an award-winning San Diego-area photographer. “But the right car, in the right place, conjures memories, mystery and curiosity. “Some photographers can’t resist what a car says about its place, an old car in front of an old building, a view back in time.”

SADDLES IN SERVICE GOLF TOURNAMENT JULY 30 TO SUPPORT VETERANS, MILITARY AND FIRST RESPONDERS

By Miriam Raftery

June 19, 2021 (El Cajon) – Sponsors are needed for a golf tournament on Friday, July 30 at Cottonwood Golf Course in El Cajon for the “Saddles in Service” golf tournament.  The event will support local veterans, active duty military, and first responders receive mental health wellness and healing through equine assisted activities at Saddles in Service in Alpine, CA.

STABBING VICTIM DIES IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

July 21, 2021 (El Cajon) – A man found stabbed on July 18 at 2:20 p.m. has died at a local hospital. El Cajon Police responded to a medical aid call with Heartland Fire in the 1600 block of North Mollison Ave where “they located an unresponsive subject who had been stabbed at least one time,” according to Lieutenant Keith MacArthur.

EL CAJON HOLDS FIRST REDISTRICTING MEETING, RAISES CONCERNS IN ARAB, MIDDLE EASTERN AND NORTH AFRICAN COMMUNITIES

By Briana Gomez

July 19, 2021 (El Cajon) - The first of four redistricting meetings in El Cajon took place last Wednesday.

Local governments redistrict every 10 years to reflect a change in local population. The redistricting plan will affect how residents elect their council members.

SAY THEIR NAMES MEMORIAL EXHIBIT OPENS AT CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, INCLUDES EAST COUNTY MAN KILLED BY POLICE

Story and Photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

 

July 18, 2021 (San Diego) - The late Alfred Olango, who was an El Cajon resident at the time of his death, was included in the exhibit “Say Their Names” Memorial Exhibit located next to The New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego. The exhibit runs through July 25 and commemorates people of color killed by police or due to racism. 

RALLY AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM IN EL CAJON JULY 25 TO FEATURE FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE POMPEO, MULTI-FAITH LEADERS AND MAYOR WELLS

By Miriam Raftery

July 17, 2021 (El Cajon) – In response to an all-time high number of violent attacks on Jewish people and synagogues in the U.S., a rally titled “We Are Israel” will be held on Sunday, July 25 at 3 p.m. in Prescott Prominade Park at 201 East Main Street in downtown El Cajon.

WITH CHALLENGE COMES CHANGE: FIRST PRIZE IN EAST COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL'S COVID-19 ESSAY CONTEST

This essay won first prize ($1,000) in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Anonymous Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) student in East County Leadership Council’s (ECLC) COVID-19 Essay Contest (First Prize)

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” —Robert Tew.

July 15, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Throughout our lifetime, we pass through so many different situations, some that make us smile and others that make us cry. We get rewarded by some, and we get challenged by others. What is interesting though is that we get to pick the way we react. We get to choose our life and shape it the way we want, despite our struggles, and if we do that right, we develop our strengths. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the United States, it was a struggle for everyone, and only the people who overcame their struggles came out of it stronger than ever. Personally, I had to overcome challenges academically since online school was extremely difficult, physically since my health was deteriorating as my weight increased, and mentally, since my mental health was worsening as well. However, although there were many challenges and struggles that came with COVID-19, there were also gains.  

FAMILY LIFE DURING COVID'S YEAR-AND-A-HALF: SECOND PRIZE IN EAST COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL'S ESSAY CONTEST

This essay won second prize in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Anonymous Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) student in East County Leadership Council’s (ECLC) COVID-19 Essay Contest (Second Prize)

July 14, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Every single one of us has been affected by the current COVID-19 virus whether it was in a positive or negative way. However, the pandemic has affected people differently depending on our social status and our income. While some are adapting to school online and staying home for quarantine others are adapting to losing their jobs. COVID-19 has caused many businesses to go out of business, resulting in an overall of 25% of U.S. adults being laid off or losing their job. This doesn’t only have an effect on the adults but even on the children. From personal experience, I constantly think and stress about bills being paid because the idea of being homeless again is terrifying. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused low-income families to struggle to put food on the table and struggle with paying household bills as well as medical bills. It has been proven that the pandemic has hit low-income families the hardest, specifically African American and Hispanic households. 

TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL - A CANDID ACCOUNT OF COVID-19

This essay shared third prize in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Maryam Hashimi

El Cajon Valley High School student

July 13, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- I was glad that schools were closing when Covid hit, but I was unaware of the difficult portion that lay ahead.

One of the most difficult aspects of COVID-19 was being at home the entire time. Throughout the academic year, I was heavily involved in school events. I would leave for school at 7 a.m. and return at 7 p.m.

Moving from a full schedule to an empty one was a significant adjustment. I simply didn’t know what to do with myself at home. My track and field, volleyball, and fashion show were all canceled, which made me very sad. Those were the only things that could keep me motivated and joyful on a daily basis. I grew depressed and had sporadic moments that I simply cried because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goals.

MAN ALLEGEDLY SHOOTS AT SHERIFF DEPUTIES IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

After getting shot at, Sheriffs obtain a search warrant and allegedly find guns, drugs and flammables

Source: San Diego County Sheriff's Department Bureau of Media Relations

July 12, 2021 (Unincorporated San Diego County) -- A man is facing numerous drug and weapons charges after firing a shotgun in the direction of Sheriff's Deputies in the East County. 
 
It happened on Sunday, July 11 just before 6:30 a.m. near Valle De Paz Road in an unincorporated area of El Cajon.  Deputies from the Alpine Sheriff's Substation were responding to calls of a man acting erratically and holding a rifle.  After setting up a perimeter around an area where the man was last seen, a shotgun blast was fired in the deputies' direction.  The shotgun slug hit a nearby home.  No deputies or citizens were hurt.
 

NEW NORMAL

This essay shared third prize in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Merna Poulis

El Cajon Valley High School student

July 12, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has affected numerous aspects of our society today. Hand sanitizing stations have been installed in every corner. Physical touch has been frowned upon for the past year, and distance is the new normal. Masks have become a substantial part of our everyday look. Going to school, or receiving an education has easily been one of the biggest challenges that everyone has had to face. Overall, COVID-19 has strongly impacted each and every one of us, but the classrooms have changed the way students view school physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

COUNTY RESIDENTS ASKED TO TAKE PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFF SURVEY

By Miriam Raftery

July 3, 2021 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services is asking all County residents to fill out a survey about the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program.  The SDG&E program to shut off power during high fire-risk conditions has sparked controversy across the backcountry among residents left without electricity to power their homes, businesses, wells pumps, and other vital needs. The deadline to complete the survey is July 13.

The survey asks residents whether they received adequate notification of such outages and whether they experienced financial losses, among other details – the first step toward documenting impacts of the program and potentially leading to changes.

EL CAJON POLICE SEIZE LARGE CACHE OF WEAPONS INCLUDING OVER 100 FIREARMS, GHOST GUNS, AND ARMOR-PIERCING AMMO

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via El Cajon Police

July 3, 2021 (El Cajon) – A paroled felon prohibited from possessing firearms was arrested on June 28 by El Cajon Police after officers found a massive arsenal of weapons at his home in unincorporated El Cajon.

“Many of the firearms found in Fencl’s home are illegal to possess in the state of California and other parts of the United States,” says Lt. Randy Soulard with El Cajon Police.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES

By Miriam Raftery

Fireworks are back—along with many traditional Fourth of July festivities in San Diego’s inland region, from parades to picnics to patriotic music, rides, games, and more. Find Indepedence Day events and/or fireworks in El Cajon, Julian,Poway, Ramona, Santee and Valley Center.

EL CAJON ANNOUNCES FOUR REDISTRICTING HEARINGS

Source: City of El Cajon 

June 30, 2021 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon City Council will host a series of public hearings to gather input as part of its redistricting process. Cities with district-based elections must evaluate and adjust City Council voting districts every ten-years following the US Census to ensure that each district has roughly the same number of residents. 

SUSPECT ARRESTED IN BUS STOP STABBING DEATH IN EL CAJON; VICTIM IDENTIFIED

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 22, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have arrested Shawn Jones, 29, of El Cajon for the killing of Kris Robinson, 66. Jones is accused of fatally stabbing Robinson, who is believed to be homeless, at a bus stop near E. Madison Ave. and Walter Way in El Cajon on June 16th at 6:40 p.m.
 
“Police are investigating possible motives, but it is believed the suspect and the victim were strangers and the attack was random,” says Lt. Keith MacArthur with ECPD’s investigations division.  
 
MacArthur says police worked “tirelessly through the weekend to identify the suspect” and were able to locate a license plate for the suspect’s vehicle through surveillance video.

WOMAN FATALLY STABBED IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

June 21, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police detectives are investigating the stabbing death of a woman who appeared to be homeless found sitting in a pool of blood at a bus stop at East Madison Ave. and Walter Way Wednesday night at 6:40 p.m. 

“Officers arrived and began CPR. The victim appeared to have been stabbed at least one time,” says Lieutenant Keith MacArthur.

GROSSMONT COLLEGE GRAD TURNS 60 ON SAME DAY AS COLLEGE’S 60TH COMMENCEMENT

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

June 19, 2021 (El Cajon) -- For Caesar Mazahreh, June 9, 2021 was a milestone: celebrating his 60th birthday and ceremonial tassel turn on the same day as Grossmont College’s 60th commencement.

“I informed my daughter of the coincidence and she said, ‘Dad, you are as old as Grossmont College,’” said Mazahreh, who earned associate degrees in Business Administration, Economics and a certificate of achievement in University Studies with a 3.6 grade point average.

EL CAJON COUNCIL MOVES FORWARD ON RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR CANDIDATES, POLICE DEESCALATION AND COVID-19 REOPENING PROTOCOLS

By Briana Gomez

 

View City Council meeting: https://elcajonca.new.swagit.com/videos/122576

 

Photo:  Vice Mayor Gary Kendrick, screenshot from Council video

 

June 11, 2021 (El Cajon) – At its June 8 meeting held in person at 50 percent capacity, El Cajon’s City Council addressed several major agenda items including encouraging transparency in elections by assuring that mayoral and council candidates live in the districts where they run.  In addition, Council members present voiced unanimous support for using $100,000 from the city’s reserves to fund de-escalation training for police and a half million dollars of federal funds to launch a pilot program to outsource responses to non-violent emergencies to social workers. 

EAST COUNTY WATER PURIFICATION PROGRAM GETS $388M FEDERAL LOAN

By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  members of AWP board with Radhika Fox of the EPA
 
June 5, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County’s largest infrastructure project, the Advanced Water Purification Program (AWP), got a big boost towards its completion this month when it was awarded a $388 million low-rate federal loan.

I-8/SR-67 FULL WEEKEND CLOSURES PLANNED FOR JUNE 11 AND JUNE 18

Weekend detours may cause traffic delays for El Cajon drivers

Source: Caltrans

June 1, 2021 (El Cajon) --  Crews have started bridge repairs at Interstate 8 and State Route 67, requiring two full weekend closures from Friday at 9 p.m. through Monday at 5 a.m., on June 11 and June 18, according to Caltrans.  Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area if possible and to prepare for delays by allowing additional travel time to reach their destinations.

DRIVER MAY FACE CHARGES IN DEATH OF MOTORCYCLIST, 23, IN EL CAJON

The El Cajon Police Department reminds drivers to be on the lookout for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, and to share the road.

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2021 (El Cajon) –  A 23-year-old man has died after being struck by a white Chevrolet truck at 8:00 Friday morning in El Cajon. El Cajon Police officers and paramedics from Heartland Fire Department treated the victim at the crash site in the 200 block of North Johnson Avenue but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

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