El Cajon

A SMOKIN’ HOT CELEBRATION AT BUCKBOARD’S BARBECUE & BREW





By Miriam Raftery

March 31, 2019 (El Cajon) – Slow-cooked, wood-smoked meats barbecuing on an old wagon base, or buckboard, filled the air with mouth-watering aromas at a ribbon-cutting held March 20th at Buckboard’s Barbecue & Brew in El Cajon by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce.

The restaurant specializes in California smokehouse barbecue, which owner Fadi Shihadeh describes as “Santa Mara-style with a twist” that includes smoke flavor in all meats. They also do catering, if you've got a hankering for barbecue at your next outdoor gathering.

Now located at 975 Greenfield Drive, Buckboard’s moved to El Cajon from San Diego, where it was originally owned by Padres pitcher Randy Jones. The Shihadeh family bought it and ran it for many years, before moving recently to El Cajon at 975 Greenfield Drive.

“This really is a homecoming for us. It feels great to be back,” Shihadeh told ECM during the Chamber event.

HOME OF GUIDING HANDS CLIENTS LOVING ON THERAPY DOGS; PAW SHAKES, KISSES, LOTS OF AFFECTION

 

 

East County News Service

April 1, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Home of Guiding Hands (HGH), a non-profit organization that provides services, training and advocacy to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families, recently hosted its second annual “Pizza and Pets” event at its Verbeck Center headquarters in El Cajon.

HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER WHO STRUCK BOY ON BICYCLE PLEADS GUILTY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 30, 2019 (El Cajon) - Courtney Webber has pled guilty and will be sentenced next month for hitting a 9-year-old bicyclist in El Cajon on October 5, 2018, then fleeing the scene, Times of San Diego reports.
 
ECM photographer Robert Gehr witnessed the accident near West Main and Sunshine.  He raced to comfort the young victim, also providing a description of the vehicle to police.

SUSPECT KILLED IN EL CAJON HAD ATTACKED A SECURITY GUARD, VIDEO AND WITNESS STATEMENTS REVEAL

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 29, 2019 (El Cajon) – Surveillance video, a cell phone video and witness interviews are providing new details on a man shot dead yesterday in the 1300 block of East Main St. in El Cajon.
 
The evidence indicates the man was likely trying to burglarize and then carjack a vehicle, says Lt. Royal Bates.  When an off-duty security guard reported the vehicle break-in, the suspect tried to “violently attack” the guard.  The guard told police he then pepper-sprayed the suspect, but it had no effect.

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD AMENDS POLICY ON ACCESS TO RECORDINGS OF PUBLIC MEETINGS—AFTER LEGAL DEMAND ON ECM’S BEHALF

CalAware warns district after CVUSD destroys requested school board meeting recordings

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Updated with CVUSD letter to CalAware)

March 28, 2019  (El Cajon) -- The Cajon Valley Union School District Board of Trustees voted 3-2 on Tuesday to change its policy on board meeting audio recordings. The action came after the district received a legal warning letter from Californians Aware (CalAware) regarding the district’s destruction of recordings from the Dec. and Nov. public meetings requested in a California Public Records Act request by East County Magazine in December.

Instead of destroying audio of board meetings after 30 days, the district will now keep them for one year and will make them available to the public on request on compact disc (CD). The measure, spearheaded by board trustee Jill Barto, was affirmed by Barto along with trustees Karen Clark-Meija and Jim Miller. Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) trustees President Tamara Otero and Jo Alegria voted “no” on the new policy.

The letter addressed to Otero accused the CVUSD of violating multiple sections of the California Government Code relating to its refusal to permit inspection and copying of audiotape recordings made by the District of open and public meetings. The government act violated is more commonly known as the “Ralph M. Brown Act” which legally obligates government agencies and bodies to abide by specific rules regarding open meetings and access to public documents.

Audio: 

GROSSMONT COLLEGE TAKING THE LEAD TO CUT HIGH TEXTBOOK COSTS

 

 

Students saving nearly $1.3 million during 2018-2019

Source:  Grossmont College

March 28, 2019 (El Cajon) - Grossmont College Counselor and Professor Dave Dillon will pick up a national textbook excellence award in Philadelphia in June, but it is his passion for providing free textbooks to all students that gives him the greatest satisfaction.

NEW CAPTAINS IN CHARGE AT RANCHO SAN DIEGO AND ALPINE STATIONS

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo by Ron Logan: Sheriff Bill Gore
 
March 28, 2019 (San Diego) – Sheriff Bill Gore today announced promotion of three lieutenants to captains. 
 
Captain Richard Williams will be in charge of the Rancho San Diego station, replacing Captain Charles Cinnamo. Cinnamo had been temporarily assigned since Captain Marco Garmo was placed on administrative leave amid to a federal criminal arms sales investigation.

SUSPECT SHOT, KILLED BY MOTORIST IN EL CAJON

 
 
East County News Service
 
March 28, 2019 (El Cajon) – An off-duty security guard interrupted a possible vehicle burglary or carjacking this morning in the 1300 block of East Main Street. The vehicle’s owner became involved and during the altercation, “the vehicle owner fired a handgun, striking and killing the suspect,” says Lt. Royal Bates with the El Cajon Police Department.

DISGRACED COUNCILMAN KALASHO RESIGNS, SETTLES SUIT WITH BEAUTY QUEENS—BUT ANOTHER DEFAMATION CASE REMAINS PENDING

Update March 27, 2019:  A press release from the city today states: "City staff will be presenting options of how to fill the vacancy to the City Council at an upcoming public meeting."  Public information officer  Monica Zech told ECM  that according to City Manager Graham Mitchell, "unless the City Council requests a Special Meeting sooner, we plan to present the Council with options to fill the vacancy during the April 9th City Council Meeting."

By Miriam Raftery and Paul Kruze

March 26, 2019 (El Cajon) – Citizens who filled the El Cajon City Council chambers last year calling on Councilman Ben Kalasho to resign finally got their wish. Kalasho has submitted a resignation letter effective immediately to the City Manager. 

His resignation creates a vacancy that Mayor Bill Wells said will most likely be filled by appointment to save taxpayers the cost of a special election.

A RAINBOW OF LOCAL RESIDENTS FACE OFF AGAINST SCHOOL PICKETERS FROM INFAMOUS WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH

Messages of love and inclusivity overwhelm hate group picketing two East County high schools



By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Robert Gehr and Miriam Raftery contributed to this report

Photos by Paul Kruze and Robert Gehr

 

March 26, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) — Some 300 spirited protesters held a “Rainbow Dance Party” Monday, vastly outnumbering three members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) which briefly picketed El Cajon Valley High School in El Cajon and Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley.

 

WARBIRD EXPO & WW II COLLECTORS SWAP MEET APRIL 13 AT GILLESPIE FIELD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2019 (El Cajon) – You’re invited to a Warbird Expo and World War II collectors’ swap meet at Gillespie Field in El Cajon on Saturday, April 13 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Tickets for a ride in real WWII aircraft (a historic WWII SNJ-5 Trainer) can also be purchased online or at the event.

This is the largest fundraiser of the year for Air Group One to help keep these historic World War II aircraft flying and fund youth education programs.

BICYCLIST HIT BY SUV, SERIOUSLY INJURED IN EL CAJON

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 23, 2019 (El Cajon) – A bicyclist in her 40s who was struck by a sport utility vehicle at Fletcher Parkway and Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon is in a trauma center tonight with serious injuries.
 
Officers from the El Cajon Police department and Heartland Fire Department paramedics responded to calls reporting the collision at 6:25 p.m. They found the victim unresponsive in the street with major injuries. She was transported to a trauma center.
 

ECPD OFFICER HONORED FOR AUTO THEFT RECOVERIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, L to R – Lt. Steve Paz, Captain Michael Mouton, Police Chief Jeff Davis, Officer Allen Boyer, Julie Boyer his wife and Captain Rob Ransweiler. 

March 21, 2019 (El Cajon) — El Cajon Police Officer Allen Boyer was presented with the Top Officer of the Year award yesterday in the 29th annual Auto Theft Advisory Committee (ATAC) awards program held at The Prado in Balboa Park.

EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL: COUGARS MAUL BRAVES 18-0

 

 

Story and photos by Liz Alper

 

March 20, 2019 (El Cajon) - El Cajon Valley and Steele Canyon baseball are both off to rocky starts as they begin conference play against each other this year.  The Braves are 2-3 while the Cougars teeter at .500 at 5-5. They started Grossmont League play today with a home-at-home series, starting in El Cajon. ECM Sports was there for our first baseball coverage of the season.  Senior Robert Verdugo took the mound for the Braves against senior Jack Schlotman for Steele.

“RAINBOW DANCE PARTY” PLANNED TO COUNTER WESTBORO, HATE GROUP PICKETING HIGH SCHOOLS MARCH 25

 

 

East County News Service

March 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Activists have announced plans for a “Rainbow Dance Party” to counter picketing by the hate group Westboro Baptist Church on Monday, March 25th. The counter-protesters will begin their event at 6:45 a.m. at El Cajon Valley High School, shortly before Westboro’s picketing starts at 7 a.m.  Then the rainbow dancers and marchers will proceed to Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley, arriving before Westboro’s picketing at 8:30 and remaining until 9:30 a.m.

EL CAJON GUN VIOENCE ACTIVIST AMONG HONOREES AT PEACEMAKER DINNER APRIL 6

 

 

East County News Service

March 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon resident Bishop Cornelius Bowser will be honored as a Community Hero for his leadership efforts to reduce gun violence. Bowser is among the winners to be recognized by the  National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) atthe 31st Annual Peacemaker Awards Dinner on Saturday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The theme of this year’s event is “Celebrating Human Dignity” honoring individuals and organizations dedicated to peacemaking in their own neighborhoods and around the world. The inspiring event shines a bright light on the importance of civility, peacemaking and social justice in a world filled with conflict. 

INFAMOUS HATE GROUP, WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH TO PICKET EL CAJON VALLEY AND MONTE VISTA HIGH SCHOOLS MARCH 25

 
 
Westboro has protested funerals of soldiers and slain Sandy Hook elementary students.  Its inflammatory hate speech targets gays and lesbians, Jews, Muslims, Catholics and others.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Westboro Baptist Church has been designated a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The notorious cult-like group has announced on its website plans on March 25 to picket El Cajon Valley High School in El Cajon at 7 a.m. and Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley at 8:50 a.m.

EAST COUNTY ARTISTS WIN AWARDS

 

 

By Judy Edelblute, Coordinator of St. Mark's Art Shows

Photo:  “The Ballerina” oil painting by Carlos Meneses

March 14, 2019 (San Diego) - Three East County artists have won awards in the 56th annual Lenten Art Show at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, San Diego.  Carlos Meneses, Paradise Hills, won first place, Jenny K. Ferrone, El Cajon, won second place and Sandra Seckington, Lakeside, received an Honorable Mention Award. There are a total of 56 art works by 30 artists in the show.

LARGE CROWD SHARES CONCERNS AT RANCHO SAN DIEGO SHERIFF’S COFFEE WITH COMMUNITY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Area residents packed into Butler’s Coffee Shop in Spring Valley this morning to share concerns over alleged drug houses, homeless camps, traffic concerns and more.  Interim Sheriff’s Station Captain Charles Cinnamo was on hand to answer questions, along with California Highway Patrol Commander Jason Penner and District Attorney community partnership prosecutor Monique Myers, who handles the East County region.

EL CAJON MAN GUNNED DOWN IN LEMON GROVE

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 12, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Henry Weaver Jr., 29, of El Cajon died at a hospital after being shot in Lemon Grove on March 9th. The medical examiner has ruled his death a homicide caused by the gunshot.
 
Sheriff’s deputies were flagged down by a person reporting that the shooting had just occurred near Olive and Main streets in Lemon Grove. Deputies also received 9-1-1 calls reporting a shooting in the vicinity.  They found Weaver on the ground with severe injuries and began life-saving measures. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital but died at 8:43 p.m.  

CAJON VALLEY UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT PARENTS GET TASTE OF FUTURE PLANS FOR SCHOOL SAFETY AND SECURITY

 

 

District releases audit of coordinated school safety plan

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Meeting recording provided by ECM: ECMCVUSDStudentSafety

March 11, 2019 (El Cajon)--Following a safety and security audit recently conducted by AECOM and DMB Consultants, two security engineering firms specializing in building security audits, the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) has been conducting a series of town meetings at local schools over the past month. The meetings are being held throughout the district to advise parents on what the district is doing to improve student safety and building security.

Meetings have so far taken place at Hillsdale Middle School, Grossmont Middle School, and Montgomery Middle School. Future meetings are set to take place at Cajon Valley Middle School on March 14,  Emerald Middle School on March 21, and Los Coches Creek Middle School on March 27, all at 6 p.m.

Audio: 

RANCHO SAN DIEGO SHERIFF STATION HOSTS COFFEE WITH COMMUNITY MARCH 13

 

 

East County News Service

March 12, 2019 (Rancho San DIego) -- The Rancho San Diego Sheriff's Station will host coffee with the community on Wednesday, March 13 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Butler's Coffee House, 9631 Campo Rd. in Spring Valley.

The community is invited to meet deputies who patrol your neighborhoods, ask questions and learn about crime prevention.  Representatives from the San Diego District Attorney and the California Highway Patrol will also be on hand.

This will be the first community coffee for the Rancho San Diego station since the annocement that Captain Marco Garmo has been placed on administrative leave amid a federal criminal probe involving firearms sales that also resulted in raids earlier this month at the Jamul home and businesses of jeweler Leo Hamel.

Captain Charles Cinnamo, who previously headed up the Vista station, is currently in charge of the Rancho San Diego station.

LIBRARY COLLECTING BALL GOWNS FOR WANNABE CINDERELLAS

 

 

El Cajon Library to give away gowns on April 27

By Tracy DeForeCounty of San Diego Communications Office

March 11, 2019 (San Diego) - For many teenage girls, the prom, the quinceanera, the big night out – it’s all about the dress. But special occasion dresses are pricy. That’s why the County Library is playing fairy godmother.

EAST CORNER CLUBHOUSE HELPS PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES SET GOALS AND FULFILL DREAMS



By Gail Sparhawk

Photo:  members and guests enjoying lunch together 

March 8, 2019 (El Cajon) -- “This place brings me peace and comfort,” says Nicholas, speaking about the East Corner Clubhouse operated by Community Research Foundation (CRF) at 1060 Estes Street in El Cajon.

HOW HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS CAN START COLLEGE EARLY

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison 

Originally published in San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Panelist Shor Masori tells of experiences at Grossmont Middle College High School

March 5, 2019 (El Cajon) - There’s a secret that I feel it’s my duty to divulge to other grandparents and parents of high school students.  High school sophomores can get a jump on their college educations—maybe even save their parents a bundle of money —by applying to Grossmont Middle College High School for the upcoming fall semester.

ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE'S CENTER TO HOLD 18TH MORNING GLORY BRUNCH APRIL 27

 

 

Source:  St. Madeleine Sophie's Center

March 5, 2019 (El Cajon) - St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC), a nonprofit organization that serves individuals with developmental disabilities, will hold its 18th Morning Glory Brunch on Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The brunch will be hosted at SMSC’s Garden and Aquatics Center, located at 2119 E. Madison Ave, El Cajon, CA 92019.

CROWD TURNS OUT FOR ST. PATRICK’S RUN THROUGH EL CAJON

 
 
By Robert Gehr
 
March 3, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The early morn started out overcast and chilly, with wet streets, the threat of rain and folks everywhere wearing green - a symbol for the Irish. Yet the runners and walkers were undeterred as the first race - Green Mile Fun Run--began just after 7 a.m. with a crowd of enthusiastic kids and adults alike, while bystanders cheered everyone on, helping to get their adrenaline going.

CELEBRATION OF MUSIC MARCH 16 IN EL CAJON TO FEATURE RENAISSANCE, BAROQUE, CLASSICAL AND ROMANTIC

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 3, 2019 (El Cajon) — A celebration of music spring concert on March 16 at 4 p.m. will feature the combined forces of San Diego State University choirs, San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts choirs, plus a battalion of brass, organ and percussion. The performance will be at the the First Presbyterian Church of El Cajon, 500 Farragut Circle, El Cajon.
 
The musical groups will perform Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic music.
 
Advance tickets are $8; tickets at the door $10.  For further information, call 619-442-2583.

EL CAJON POLICE CITIZEN'S ACADEMY BEGINS MARCH 13

 

 

East County News Service

March 2, 2019 (El Cajon) - The El Cajon Police Department is now accepting applications for the 2019 Citizen’s Police Academy. The ten-week academy provides an overview of the Police Department functions. Students attend weekly classes and learn about topics including the history of law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and crime scene investigation from the various divisions within the Police Department. Students participate in hands-on exercises, such as conducting traffic stops, dusting for fingerprints, and a firearms simulation.

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