El Cajon

TRIUMPH OUT OF TUMULT: IRAQI HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST NITAL MESHKOOR

 

Her journey as a refugee led her to Syria, Kuwait, Jordan and Russia. Now an El Cajon resident, she has worked as a scientist, realtor, poet, and humanitarian.

By Briana Gomez

Photo, left: Nital Meshkoor in Iraq, approximatey 20 years ago

January 5, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Nital Meshkoor settled in El Cajon in 1998 following her escape from the first Iraq war, a journey that cost her many years of hardship, but her actions in the community have set her apart as a human rights activist and role model for refugees to come.

BOYS BASKETBALL: EAGLES DEFEAT SPARTANS BY BIGGEST WIN MARGIN OF THE SEASON

 

Story and photos by Liz Alper

January 2, 2019 (El Cajon) - Back in action just in time for the new year, ECM Sports headed to Granite Hills, where Eagles boys basketball took on the Central Spartans from El Centro.  The Eagles are struggling greatly to open the season, sitting at 2-9. 

EL CAJON POLICE PLAN DUI ENFORCEMENT OVER NEW YEAR’S WEEKEND

 

Source: El Cajon Police

December 29, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are ways to spend time with family and friends ringing in another year, but also a time when people can make poor choices that put themselves and others at risk on the road.

BEN AND JESSICA KALASHO FRAUD AND HARRASMENT CASE TURNS TO POSSIBLE SETTLEMENT THROUGH MEDIATION

 

Insiders say Kalashos may still be subject to criminal prosecution over alleged fraudulent mortgage filings

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

December 25, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The fraud and harassment case against El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho and his wife, Jessica, tacked in a different direction on Friday, December 14th when litigants faced San Diego Superior Court Kenneth J. Medel and announced that they reached an agreement to attempt to resolve the case through mediation.

3 EL CAJON BUSINESSES WILL GIVE EAST COUNTY CHILDREN NEW BIKES ON CHRISTMAS EVE



50 New Bikes and Helmets for Military & First Responders’ Children donated by Cartright Pest Control, ASAP Towing and iWash Car Wash

East County News Service

December 23, 2018( El Cajon) –Three El Cajon businesses are joining to give away 50 new bikes and helmets on Christmas Eve to deserving East County children.

The public is invited to the open-house style event which will feature a brisket and pulled pork BBQ cookout provided by Golden Corral of El Cajon, also from 10am-1pm, at Cartwright Pest Control, 1376 Broadway in El Cajon.

MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF CO-RESIDENT AT EL CAJON INDEPENDENT LIVING FACILITY



By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (El Cajon) – Brad Payton, 24, of El Cajon has been arrested and charged with the murder of a fellow resident at an independent living center located in the 1200 block of Naranca Avenue.

”Based upon the investigation at this time, it is believed the suspect and victim knew each other and lived in separate rooms within the facility,” says Lieutenant Walt Miller. “Witnesses told investigators the two were arguing for unknown reasons just prior to the suspect attacking the victim with a blunt object.”

EL CAJON RECEIVES $4.8 MILLION TO IMPROVE STREET SAFETY

 

Source: City of El Cajon

December 19, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon has been awarded $4.8 million in grant funding from Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration. The grants will fund a number of improvements along two busy El Cajon roads—Jamacha Road (which turns into North Second Street) and Madison Avenue. The grant awards aim to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety at these two locations in El Cajon, which has had a high rate of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in recent years.

RE-ELECTED MAYOR WELLS REPORTS “OUTSTANDING” STATE OF THE CITY

 

 

Cites accomplishments, addresses city's homeless problem and criticizes Sacramento for governing mandates

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

Watch video 

 

See Powerpoint presentation

 

December 16, 2018 (El Cajon) --I am proud to report that the State of our City is outstanding,” said El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells on Tuesday to a nearly full council chamber. He added, I believe that the City is moving in a positive directionWe have relied on innovation and creative thinking to tackle difficult issues and we have maintained the City’s strong fiscal health, at a time when other cities have struggled.” 

EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER OPENING DELAYED

By Paul Kruz, Contributing Editor

December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Residents of El Cajon and the County of San Diego will have to wait awhile longer before the community's theater, shuttered for over a decade, will reopen for performances.

While performing an evaluation of the HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) system at the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC), experts have determined that the system will require complete replacement rather than an overall. Further investigation has found more age-related problems with the roof of the 1,140 seat theater.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL DIRECTS STAFF TO DRAFT LETTER OF CONCERN OVER SOUTHWEST KEY MIGRANT CHILDREN FACILITY

Action comes after Union-Tribune reports seven children missing from Southwest Key facility

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: Ana Babudar, Southwest Key Programs Inc., addresses City Council

Watch video testimony here

December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve a proposal asking staff to prepare letters to the California Department of Social Services and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services asking for a review of Southwest Key Programs, Inc, The Texas-based company provides extended care for undocumented immigrant children. Its El Cajon facility, known locally as “Casa San Diego,” contracts with the federal government to provide care to children who show up at the U.S.-Mexico border without any parents, as well as some children who were separated from their legal guardians by U.S. immigration officials.

Co-sponsored by Council members Steve Goble and Gary Kendrick, the proposal stems from a November 18, 2018 San Diego Union-Tribune article that revealed discrepancies with Southwest Key reports to the El Cajon Police Department and California Department of Social Services.

SCHOOL CHILDREN AND ALLSTATE HELP BRING NEW PLAYGROUND TO SHELTER IN EL CAJON

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Students from Meridian Elementary arriving at East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon are surprised and delighted to see a playground that they envisioned has come to life at the center, funded by Allstate through the company’s Good Starts Young program.

December 14, 2018 (El Cajon)  --  Fourth grade students in Mrs. Lee’s class at Meridian Elementary were asked how they would like to improve their community. The children dreamed up the idea of a playground for families at the East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon, which helps homeless people transition off the streets, then created the design.  But they had no idea that Allstate Insurance had provided funding through its Good Starts Young program to make the playground become a reality.  

JESSICA KALASHO BRINGS OWN ATTORNEY TO HEARING IN FRAUD AND HARASSMENT CASE; BEN KALASHO ARRIVES SEPARATELY WITHOUT LEGAL COUNSEL

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, left to right: Linda Charry, Jimmie Parker, Donald Wolf, Jessica Kalasho, and Ben Kalasho  

OLAF WIEGHORST MUSEUM PRESENTS QUILT EXHIBIT THROUGH DECEMBER

 

 

East County News Service

December 13, 2018 (El Cajon) – The Olaf Wieghorst Museum at the Wieghorst Western Heritage Center, 131 Rea Ave., El Cajon, is presenting an exhibit of 25 quilts created by East County residents, including Cheryl Minshew, Daniela Stout and Sylvia Thomas. “Visitors to the Wieghorst will be impressed by the variety and creativity of patterns designed by East County residents,” said Minshew, the show’s curator. The exhibit runs through Saturday, Dec. 29.  Admission to the museum is free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. For more information, phone (619) 590-3431, or visit www.wieghorstmuseum.org.

COLLEGE DISTRICT TRIO PRESENTED CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE EXCELLENCE AWARDS

 

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

December 12, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Cohesion and excellence are concepts often expressed in threes. The Three Musketeers. The Three Tenors. The Three Wise Men. The Triple Crown. The three Olympic medals. The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has a winning trio of its own – the winners of the 2018 Chancellor/Classified Senate Award -- who were lauded Tuesday night by the Governing Board in recognition of their exemplary work. The jobs of the winners – Rochelle Weiser from Grossmont College; Gwen Nix from Cuyamaca College and Gabriella Avila-Garcia from District Services, are varied, representing the broad expanse of tasks performed by non-instructional staff.

MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL IN EL CAJON FEATURED FESTIVITIES AND EDUCATION ON HEALTH AND CRIME CONCERNS

 

 

By Briana Gomez

December 6, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The annual El Cajon Multicultural Festival and non-profit fair at Eje Elementary School in El Cajon last month hosted an array of organizations dedicated to welcoming new immigrants into the community. 

AS EL CAJON DRAFTS CLIMATE ACTION PLAN, SEE HOW OTHERS ARE ALREADY IMPROVING THE CITY’S QUALITY OF LIFE

 

 

Source: City of El Cajon

Photo:  Community Garden at Little House

December 6, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon is currently underway with the development of a Climate Action Plan, a policy document intended to establish the City’s sustainable strategies. Identifying sustainable strategies for the City is a way to establish standards that can help improve El Cajon’s quality of life. 

OPPONENTS OF SAND MINE PROPOSED AT COTTONWOOD GOLF IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO PACK COMMUNITY MEETING

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, also contributed to this report

Initial public comments deadline is Dec. 19

Hear audio of meeting

December 5, 2018 (Rancho San Diego) -- If a large contingent of residents in Rancho San Diego and Jamul have their say, a proposed sand mine in their community won’t get built. Over 200 residents opposed to a sand mining project that would replace Cottonwood Golf Course on Willow Glen Road engulfed the meeting room at the Rancho San Diego Library last week, overflowing into the lobby and onto a patio. 

Public comments and a petition

Initial public comments are being accepted until December 19th by the County’s Land Use Environmental Planner, Bronwyn Brown, at Bronwyn.Brown@sdcounty.ca.gov as part of the official scoping process.

Barry Jantz, spokesperson for the opposition, told the crowd that a petition to gather signatures against the project is available for printing and circulating at the website www.StopCottonwoodSandMine.com. The group circulated a flyer and asked that petitions be submitted to the Stop Cottonwood Group by December 15th.

REVIEW: “SHE KILLS MONSTERS” SLAYS AUDIENCE AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE’S STAGEHOUSE THEATRE; PLAY CONTINUES THROUGH DEC. 8

 

 

By Kathy Carpenter

December 4, 2018 (La Mesa) - Dungeons and Dragons, geek world, are popular today but not so much in Athens, Ohio back in 1995. Today we live in a world where monsters are cool and everyone identifies with being a hero. Back then, geeks, people who did not fit in, would escape into a world of their own, a game called Dungeons and Dragons, to become strong and brave, heroes, masters of their own fate.

DEC. 11 EL CAJON COUNCIL AGENDA WILL INCLUDE CONCERNS OVER CHILDREN IN MIGRANT SHELTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2018 (El Cajon) – Following news reports that a shelter for immigrant children in El Cajon failed to report several runaway youths to state authorities, the El Cajon City Council will add a discussion of the problems to the Council’s agenda at its December 11th meeting.

The facility run by Southwest Key houses primarily unaccompanied minors but also some children separated from parents at the international border.

SUSPECTED HORSE RAPIST IN BLOSSOM VALLEY: STABLED HORSE FOUND TIED UP

 

 

By Ana Nita

December 4, 2018 (Blossom Valley) -- “When I came down to feed in the morning, I heard this horse, Gretchen, banging on the door and she never does that,” said Marilyn Gramse of El Cajon. She found Gretchen, one of three horses she is boarding at her ranch, tied up inside her stall. “I walked over there and went, oh, my God, she had this rope tied around her right rear leg pulling up and the rope coming around her neck and coming back around by her foot and her tail was up, tied, and attached to one of the bars.” 

VALHALLA HIGH STUDENT AMONG SDSU WATER POLO NLI SIGNEES

 

 

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

December 4, 2018 (San Diego) - San Diego State water polo head coach Carin Crawford has announced the signing of three players to National Letters Intent. Joining the Aztecs for the 2020 season will be center Jordan Duggan (Santa Barbara, Calif.), utility Katie Ratcliff (El Cajon, Calif) and goalkeeper Hannah McCarley (Riverside, Calif.).

CAJON VALLEY RECEIVES GRANT FROM KAISER PERMANENTE FOR MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES



 

 

East County News Service

December 3, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Kaiser Permanente Southern California announced a $6 million, five-year Community Mental Health and Wellness Initiative with an immediate Local Partnership Grant (LPG) grant allocation of $1.28 million to combat and improve access to mental health services. The initial grant allocation is funding a group of two-year grants to support 16 nonprofit community partners working to improve mental health and wellness in under-resourced Southern California communities. 

BEN AND JESSICA KALASHO SLATED TO APPEAR DEC. 7 AT JUDGMENT DEBTOR’S EXAM IN FRAUD AND SEXUAL HARRASMENT CASE

Judge orders bench warrant with $5000 bail to compel Jessica Kalasho to appear after no-show; Kalashos reportedly take post-election vacation, loaned failed campaign $10,000, vow to drop social media

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, left: Councilman Ben Kalasho and his attorney, James Finigan

November 30, 2018 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho and his wife, Jessica, are slated to return to Judge Kenneth Medel’s San Diego Superior Court room next week for yet another judgment debtor examination, a proceeding used by judgment creditors to find ways to collect a judgment from a defendant. What will be different this time is that Jessica Kalasho may be arrested by the Sheriff’s Department (with bail set at $5000) should she not follow Medel’s order to appear.

The hearing, coincidentally, is set to take place on the U.S.’s “Day of Infamy,” Dec. 7th, the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by Imperial Japan upon the United States which caused the United States to enter World War II. Ominously, Kalasho received a warning from Medel not to rile the judge's "dark side" at the close of the proceeding.

RUNAWAYS, SEXUAL ABUSE AND MEDICAL NEGLECT OF IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AT U.S.-RUN FACILITIES RAISE CONCERNS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: federal shelter for migrant children in El Cajon, where five runaways remain unaccounted for

November 28, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Concerns over the safety and well-being of migrant children are rising amid disturbing reports of sexual abuse and medical neglect at federal detention centers in Arizona and Texas, as well as runaways from an El Cajon shelter who remain unaccounted for.

SWING WITH SANTA GOLF TOURNAMENT RAISED OVER $16,000 FOR ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE’S CENTER

 

Annual event raised funds for SMSC’s 2018 student holiday celebration

Source: St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center

Photos by Jennie Edwards, Guided By Imagination Photography

November 16, 2018 (El Cajon) --St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC) held its 5th annual Swing with Santa Golf Tournament on Friday, November 2, 2018. The sold-out event raised more than $16,000 to fund SMSC’s 2018 Student Holiday Celebration. The annual golf tournament featured a fun-filled day of games, a silent auction, food and more.

Golfers received a round of golf, lunch, a happy hour reception and a gift bag. Guests also met Santa and Elvis, who arrived to the golf course by helicopter, and SMSC student, Sam Dupree, sang the national anthem to help kick off the golf tournament. The Presenting Sponsor for this year’s Golf Tournament was Sycuan Casino, Tournament Sponsor was Keller Williams Realty San Diego East Foothills, and the On the Green Sponsors included A. Vidovich Construction Co., Cartwright Termite & Pest Control, Inc., EDCO Disposal, Lundy Insurance Services, Inc. and SDG&E.

EL CAJON POLICE TO CONDUCT PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE SAFETY DETAIL NOV. 16

 

 

Source: El Cajon Police Dept.

November 15, 2018 (El Cajon) — El Cajon Police Department will step up Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations on November 16th, 2018 with focused enforcement on collision causing factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

CHP SEEKS WITNESSES TO FATAL MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT NOV. 7 ON I-8 NEAR LA MESA

 

 

East County News Service

November 14, 2018 (La Mesa) -- On November 7, 2018 at approximately 5:09 a.m., a 65-year-old man from Ramona was riding a 2017 Yamaha motorcycle on Interstate 8 westbound, east of Severin Drive, preparing to transition to State Route-125.  “At that time, it is suspected the motorcycle rider collided with another vehicle, causing the rider to be ejected from the motorcycle and come to rest within the traffic lanes.  The rider was subsequently hit by a white BMW sedan, as he lay in the roadway.  As a result of the collisions, the rider sustained fatal injuries,” says Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol.

NOMINATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR EL CAJON’S 2018 “CITIZEN OF THE YEAR”

 

 

Source: City of El Cajon

November 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Each year El Cajon’s civic, service, and fraternal organizations select the El Cajon “Citizen of the Year” from the many people in El Cajon who contribute to El Cajon through years of volunteer civic and community service. Active community groups, or individuals, can nominate a candidate for the “Citizen of the Year” by sending a representative of your organization to the Selection Committee meetings.  Your Nomination must be submitted on a special form and must strictly comply with the Rules for Selection.  

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