El Cajon

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S HISTORIC PLACES: A NATIVE PLANT GARDEN AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

November 9, 2019 (El Cajon) If it appears during fall that it has been snowing in the California Native Plants Garden at Grossmont College, don’t bother checking the thermometer or calling the Guiness Book of Records. The white precipitate isn’t snow at all, but in fact is a great volume of seeds produced by the prodigious female plant of the Chapparal Broom, also known as the Desert Broom.

READER’S EDITORIAL: MY GRANDMOTHER’S STORY – PLEASE BAN VAPING

An open letter to El Cajon City Councilmembers to consider vaping ban Nov. 12

By Amanda McGimpsey, El Cajon

November 6, 2019 (El Cajon) -- My grandmother had a beautiful singing voice.  But I never heard it.

In the 50’s, my grandmother was a social smoker. She was told that smoking was healthy. That it helped her skin. Helped her loose weight. Even that it was good for calming your nerves during pregnancy. That’s what the packaging said and the scientific research on the long-term health effects of smoking wouldn’t be completed for nearly two decades.

OLD GLOBE BRINGS “THE WINTER’S TALE” ON TOUR TO 20 LOCAL VENUES, INCLUDING A FREE PERFORMANCE IN EL CAJON ON NOV. 8

East County News Service

 

November 7, 2019 (San Diego) -- The Old Globe celebrates six years of making theatre matter to more people.  Its talented Globe for All company of professional actors will bring a stirring production of William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale to a variety of economically, geographically, and culturally diverse communities throughout San Diego County. The free-admission Globe for All Tour kicked off in late October and has already held several performances around the County.  The Tour comes to the El Cajon branch of the County Library with the Chaldean Middle Easter Social Services on Friday November 8 at 5:34 (799 East Washington).

RAY LUTZ OPTS NOT TO RUN FOR CONGRESS IN 53RD DISTRICT; WILL LEAD DEVELOPMENT OF BALLOT IMAGE AUDITING PLATFORM, AUDITENGINE.ORG

By Miriam Raftery

November 4, 2019 (El Cajon) – Ray Lutz announced today that he will not run for the 53rd Congressional district seat being vacated by the retirement of Susan Davis, after earlier forming an exploratory committee for the race. Lutz, an engineer and founder of the Citizens Oversight watchdog group based in El Cajon, previously challenged Duncan Hunter in the 52nd Congressional district before redistricting shifted his residence into the 53rd.

Lutz has long been an activist on election integrity issues, including training the public to provide oversight of election audits. Now Lutz says he intends to focus on developing an auditing service to be available by the 2020 elections. It will allow election officials, candidates, and oversight groups to conduct a thorough and independent review of any election that uses paper ballots and equipment that creates ballot images.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH IN LA MESA KILLS EL CAJON WOMAN

Update: The victim has been identified a Theresa Chenelle Clouthier, according to the Medical Examiner.

East County News Service

November 1, 2019 (La Mesa) – A motorcycle crashed on the Severin Drive onramp to I-8 westbound at 11:19 p.m. last night, ejecting three people and killing an El Cajon woman, 38.  She was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESENTS `CELEBRATE EAST COUNTY’ ON NOV. 9

East County News Service

October 31 2019 (El Cajon) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce will present “Celebrate East County,” a community celebration event, from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Holy Trinity Church Social Hall, 405 Ballard St., El Cajon.

COUNTY PLANNERS TO HEAR SKYLINE CHURCH PROPOSAL FOR SENIOR RETIREMENT CENTER NOV. 8

East County News Service

October 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A controversial proposal by Skyline church to build a senior retirement center is slated for  hearing by the County Planning Commission on November 8 at 9 a.m.at the County’s Campus Center Chambers at 5520 Overland Rd., San Diego.

SHERIFF ROUNDS UP STOLEN HORSE STATUE AND ALLEGED THIEVES

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo:  The stolen statue was similar to the horse sculpture pictured.
 
October 28, 2019 (El Cajon) – A metal horse sculpture stolen from in front of the Double S Tack and Feed Store in unincorporated El Cajon has been recovered in Arizona.  Two men have been arrested and charged with the theft.

SDG&E WARNS OF NEW OUTAGES AS SANTA ANA WINDS ARE SET TO RETURN

By Miriam Raftery

October 28 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – With the strongest Santa Ana winds of the season forecast Tuesday through Thursday,  San Diego Gas & Electric is warning over 32,000 customers that the utility may proactively shut off power to many communities to prevent lines from sparking fires, including some areas not previously impacted by outages.  The outages could begin late Tuesday or early Wednesday and last as late as Friday evening, according to SDG&E.

The communities that may lose power are:

  • Alpine
  • Boulevard
  • Campo
  • Descanso
  • Dulzura
  • El Cajon (portions of)
  • Encinitas (portions of)
  • Escondido (portions of)
  • Jacumba
  • Jamul (portions of)
  • Julian
  • Lakeside (portions of)
  • Mount Laguna
  • Pala
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Pauma Valley
  • Pine Valley
  • Potrero
  • Poway
  • Ramona
  • Ranchita
  • Rancho Santa Fe (portions of)
  • San Clemente (portions of)
  • San Juan Capistrano (portions of)
  • Santa Ysabel
  • Valley Center (portions of)
  • Warner Springs

Steps to prepare for an outage

EAST COUNTY’S SHOTGUN TOM KELLY WILL BE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT TRAIN MUSEUM FUNDRAISING DINNER, FRIDAY, NOV. 1ST

East County News Service

October 24, 2019 (San Diego) - The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association (PSRM), a San Diego-area historical and educational nonprofit, will mark the 100-year anniversary of the completion of the San Diego & Arizona Railway (SD&A) by hosting its SD&A Centennial Gala Dinner starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1 at the John D. Spreckels Center, 1019 7th St., Coronado.

HAUNT FEST ON MAIN: FREE FAMILY FUN IN EL CAJON FRIDAY NIGHT

October 23, 2019 (El Cajon) -- "Dare to Scare" is the theme for the 8th annual Haunt Fest in downtown El Cajon, which is expected to draw around 40,000 visitors this Friday, October 25th from 5 to 10 p.m.



This year, the freeHaunt Fest includes live music on two stages, costume contests on the Main Street stage, expanded carnival rides and games, candy challenge activities, a Kidz Zone, face painting, performances by TNT dancers and the Arts in Motion Crew and Junior Crew.
 
There’s also the St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center Pumpkin Patch, craft and game booths, an LED rock wall, inflatable jumps for kids, showings of the first two Harry Potter movies and more.

CVUSD ADMITS IT HAS NO DOCUMENTATION OF ANY FINANCIAL BENEFITS TO DISTRICT FROM HALF-MILLION DOLLARS SPENT ON PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 23, 2019 (El Cajon) -- As part of East County Magazine's investigation of the Cajon Valley Union School District, ECM asked Superintendent David Miyashiro, EdD and school board President Tamara Otero to back up their often repeated claim that the district has reaped great benefits with its more than half-million dollars in expenditures on  videos over the five years. Both ignored multiple requests for verifiable benefits and for interviews.

On Friday, at 1:45 p.m., however, ECM received a response to our California Public Records Act request from Naomi Rodrigues, the district’s Executive Coordinator. Our request asked for any verifiable financial and enrollment benefits from the district’s paid marketing and promotional videos published on YouTube from July 2014 through Sept. 24, 2019.

“NO SUCH DOCUMENTS EXIST” wrote Rodrigues (photo, left) in her e-mail to ECM.  It is unclear if she was aware of our article published shortly before her response was received.

Although the district could not document any financial benefits or increased enrollment tied to its videos, less tangible benefits may include increasing student morale and boosting the district’s image elsewhere. Consistent with the latter point, Rodrigues listed four videos which she indicated have been featured and showcased by the San Diego County Board of Education.  (View full e-mail response from Rodrigues.)

Audio: 

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT SPENDS OVER A HALF MILLION DOLLARS ON PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS

Superintendent and school board president refuse to answer questions on videos; recent flash mob video cost over $21,500

Update:  Shortly after publication of this report, the CVUSD responded  to our California Public Records Act requst for documentation of any financial or enrollment benefits received by the district due to its promotional videos on YouTube.  Naomie Rodrigues advised us that that "NO SUCH DOCUMENTS EXIST" but noted that some videos were published on the County Department of Education's website.  View our article on her response and the district's lagging responses to numerous other records requests. 

Photo: Superintendent David Miyashiro in CVUSD flash mob video

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, also contributed to this report.

October 16, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The internet has revolutionized video marketing. From small businesses to government agencies, organizations can now harness resources at YouTube and other online portals to directly market messages to a target audience.

The Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) has utilized its Youtube channel and other social media portals to disseminate professionally produced video marketing and promotional messages for its school projects and World of Work career path program.

Utilizing taxpayer money, the district has produced and promoted impressive videos such as “A Day in the Life of a Cajon Valley Bus Driver,” “Education and business leaders from Vista and Colorado tour Cajon Valley,” an invitation to a Grandparents Day event, Fall Festivals, Madison Avenue Elementary Lemonade Fundraiser, and numerous WoW (World of Work) videos. The District also produces a monthly “broadcast” with news and events directed to school personnel and staff.

Hefty costs

But critics say the CVUSD is making too much of a good thing, since these videos produced by the district have come with a high price tag.

According to information provided to East County Magazine by the CVUSD in response to a public records request, from July 2014 (when David Miyashiro became Superintendent) through June 30, 2019, the district has spent over half a million dollars -- $576,289.60 to be exact -- on marketing and promotional videos.

DANCING WITH THE STARS LIVE TOUR COMING TO SYCUAN ON MARCH 26

Tickets are now on sale

 

Source Sycuan

 

October 21, 2019 (El Cajon) -- America’s favorite dance show is going back on tour this winter with “Dancing with the Stars – Live Tour 2020.” The longest tour to date will be dancing through Sycuan Casino Resort on March 26 at 8 p.m. The all-new production will feature fan-favorite professional dancers wowing audiences with every type of dance style as seen on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars.

REVIEW: THE CIRCLE PLAYERS – DINNER THEATRE FUN IN EL CAJON

By Kathy Carpenter

October 20, 2019 - (El Cajon) - Events done by The Circle Players are total entertainment. I've been to their murder mysteries in the past, always at dinner. This time I was at lunch. The food and price are the same, $20.00. Where else can you even get a meal and entertainment for that price?

 

DESERTED AMUSEMENT PARK IS HOME TO SCARE TRAIL FOR HALLOWEEN

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 17, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The Scare Trail at The Haunted Amusement Park, located in the long-deserted Marshal Scotty’s Playland Park in El Cajon, is the perfect setting for chilling thrills during this Halloween season. You have until Oct. 31 to scare yourself silly before they close.

THE SALVATION ARMY'S EL CAJON RED SHIELD CENTER OPENS TO SERVE EAST COUNTY

East County News Service

(October 17, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The Salvation Army of San Diego announces the opening of the newly completed Red Shield Center at 1025 E. Main Street in El Cajon.

Located on the property adjacent to the current El Cajon Corps, the 29,540-square foot facility will offer more opportunity to positively impact the lives of those in need in the East County. The facility will open Saturday November 2nd. There will be a ribbon cutting with dignitaries at 10am. The public is invited to enjoy the space starting at 11:00am with free tours, games and food.

MARRIOTT HOSTS CULTURAL ART EXPO NOVEMBER 9 IN EL CAJON

Advance tickets now on sale:  earlybird rates through Oct. 31

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2019 (El Cajon) –You’re invited to discover local and international artists at the 2019 Cultural Art Expo on Saturday, November 9 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Marriott (141 N. Magnolia Ave.) in El Cajon. Proceeds will benefit the East County Arts Association.

Enjoy live music by the Jazilla Band, a local Latin jazz legend, savor food samples from 12-2 p.m., visit a wine and beer garden, and enjoy artworks including adobe sculptures by Enrique Avilez form Mexico City, fish carving sculptures by award winner Bob Berry, local artist Grace Schleisher, workshops by local artist Barbara Young and more.

Stop by East County Magazine’s booth at the Cultural Art Expo to meet local authors and our editor!

SUPERVISOR JACOB ASKS BOARD TO APPROVE EMERGENCY EVACUATION ROUTE FOR CREST

Update: This item was approved by Supervisors on the consent calendar.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
File photo: Crest Fire Safe Council, 2011
 
October 14, 2019 (Crest) – During the 2003 Cedar Fire that destroyed many homes in Crest, community residents found themselves trapped in gridlock on La Cresta Road, the primary evacuation route. On Tuesday, October 15, Supervisor Dianne Jacob will ask the County Board of Supervisors to approve acquiring easements from landowners over Suncrest Truck Trial as an emergency evacuation route.

PADRE DAM WATER DISTRICT RATES INCREASE IN TWO SEPARATE HIKES

By Mike Allen

October 13, 2019 (Santee) -- Customers of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, which encompasses about 72 square miles, will see their rates for both water and sewage increase starting Nov. 1--and then go up again, starting on Jan. 1.

WHOA! THIEVES STEAL IRON HORSE STATUE FROM FEED AND TACK STORE IN RURAL EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: The stolen statue was similar to the one pictured.

 

October 12, 2019 (El Cajon) – Be on the lookout for a stolen horse – no, not the galloping variety.  A 12-foot-high, 400+ pound iron horse statue was taken by thieves using a long, flatbed truck from the Double S Tack and Feed Store at 14335 Olde Highway 80 in unincorporated El Cajon.

EAST COUNTY MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL NOVEMBER 2 AIMS TO DOUBLE ITS NUMBERS IN THIRD YEAR

East County News Service

October 12, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Welcome Newcomer Network will host its third Multicultural Festival on November 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at EJE Academies, 851 Johnson Ave. in El Cajon.

The event will include multicultural food, cultural dance, a show of traditional costumes, story-telling, games and raffle drawings. Organizers say that they anticipate close to 1,500 attendees this year. 

CORTNEY BAYUK CHOOSES AN ADVENTUROUS LIFE

BBrian E. Clark

 

Cover photo:  Cortney guiding a raft through the Warm Springs Rapid on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument on the Colorado/Utah border.  By Mike McCoy

 

October 12, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- Cortney Bayuk says she’s “living the dream.”

 

The 24-year-old Rancho San Diego native works as a whitewater river guide - mostly on the Colorado/Utah border - during summers and as ski instructor during the winters in Idaho. 

ACCUSED MURDERER OF POPULAR EAST COUNTY DENTIST REMAINS IN CUSTODY

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 11, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- A 65-year-old man accused of murdering his husband, Dr. Blake Synowski, will be facing an El Cajon Superior Court judge on Friday to determine whether he will be granted bail.

EL CAJON SEWER TESTS USING HARMLESS ARTIFICIAL SMOKE

Source: City of El Cajon

 

October 11, 2019 (El Cajon) – If you see smoking sewer lines in El Cajon over the next month, don’t worry!  The City of El Cajon plans to test portions of the sewer system using a non-toxic, non-staining artificial smoke substance. The test will help locate possible leaks, defects, improper connections and the source of storm water infiltration into the sewer system.

EAST COUNTY PHOTOGRAPHER IS A WINNER

By Judy Edelblute, Coordinator of St. Mark's Art Shows
 
October 10, 2019 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon photographer Jim Lemen won second place in the 16th annual Digital Art and Photography Show at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, San Diego with a photograph entitled "Mud Run Friends." The other winners were Beverly Brock, first place, Clairemont; third place, T. Antoinette Fassel, University City and Honorable Mention Awards for Nelda Harris, Clairemont and Bill Rehm, Coronado. The show, which has the theme "Surprised by Joy," has 27 works by 13 artists. It will run October 6 - November 3. The show is open for FREE public viewing Saturdays October 12, 19, 26, and November 2, 12-4pm. To see the show outside these hours, call the church office at 858-273-1480 and make an appointment.

EL CAJON ARTIST SKI TORZESKI WINS AWARD

Source: San Diego Watercolor Society

 

Photo: Ski Torzeski with his painting “Above the Timber Line”

 

October 10, 2019 (El Cajon) --  “Above the Timber Line” by nationally recognized artist Ski Torzeski of El Cajon is one of 95 paintings selected by juror Jeannie McGuire for the 2019 San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition. The work also received The Jess and Ann Walker Family Award. 

PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE: THE ART OF CONVERSATION

Play continues through Oct. 12 at Grossmont College’s Stagehouse Theatre 

Review by Kathy Carpenter

October 7, 2019 (El Cajon) - Grossmont College presents Picasso at the Lapin Agile at the Stagehouse Theatre, the opening show for the 2019 - 2020 season. Picasso and the Lapin Agile takes place at a bar in Paris in 1904. The play is the exploration of the creative process, centered around a discussion between two geniuses when they meet at a bar--Pablo Picasso, man of art and Albert Einstein, man of science.

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