El Cajon

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.

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.

HEAD-ON COLLISION CAUSED BY CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT DRIVER INJURES THREE

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 4, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- A Cajon Valley School District Ford pickup towing a trailer veered into the path of an oncoming Ford Fusion sedan this morning on Avocado Boulevard near Mount Helix, the California Highway Patrol reports. The head-on collision sent the vehicles careening into the front yard of a home, injuring both drivers and an infant in a child safety seat.  

450 RALLY AT DOWNTOWN EL CAJON PARK IN SOLIDARITY WITH PROTESTERS IN IRAQ

Dozens dead, estimates of injured range from 600 to nearly 1,200

Photo: Maryam Deuge and Mina Abdelahad want Iraq to have water, food, electricity, internet and jobs, and an end to widespread corruption

By Jonathan Goetz

October 4, 2019 (El Cajon) - “Over the last 24 hours all these people in Iraq are dying,” Mina Abdelahad told East County Magazine at an impromptu rally yesterday in downtown El Cajon following reports of brutal crackdowns on protesters in Baghdad.

Around 450 protesters gathered in El Cajon, home to tens of thousands of Iraqi immigrants and refugees. The local protesters stand in solidarity with demonstrators in Iraq and decried the violent crackdowns on protesters in Iraq that have injured between 600 and 1,200 people, killing 20 to 30 or more.

Abdelahad shows us graphic pictures on her phone: people carrying dead bodies, a child with a gunshot wound, and protesters weeping over a dead one-year-old girl. As of Thursday, Al-Jazeera put the death toll at 20, the Associated Press 33, CNN 22, Fox 31 and Reuters 27. 

FOUR RIVALS DROP OUT AND ENDORSE ISSA IN RACE TO REPLACE HUNTER; DEMAIO DISRUPTS WITH COMPETING RALLY

 

CA Senator Brian Jones, also running, chides non-resident candidates for holding press conference in “wrong district”  

Video excerpt: Darrell Issa

Video excerpt: Carl DeMaio

by Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

September 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The weather in El Cajon Thursday morning was cloudy and drizzly in front of City Hall. But the political rhetoric was sweltering. In the race for San Diego’s 50th Congressional District, four Republican candidates for the seat bowed out and swung their support to former 49th District Congressman Darrell Issa.

Another candidate, former San Diego City Councilman and conservative radio host Carl DeMaio, held a rival press conference some 100 feet away to attack Issa. State Senator Brian Jones, who is also running, chose to remain above the fray by staying away.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: HOLY HALLOWEEN, BATMAN! GIANT PUMPKIN GROWN IN EAST COUNTY

East County News Service

September 27, 2019 (El Cajon) – Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson snapped this image of a Batman-themed giant pumpkin grown in a rural area of unincorporated El Cajon.

J. Jansson-Berndes says he supplied the special seeds and Vince George grew it under his tutelage. It weighs 1,036 lbs.-- more than half a ton. 

Jansson-Berndes drove up with the pumpkin to participate in the Irvine Park Railroads'  2019 Great Pumpkin Weigh - Off. But it wasn't the biggest entry!

EVACUATIONS LIFTED IN DEHESA; FIRE NOW 21% CONTAINED

 

Sign up for free East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts:  https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/wild-fire-alerts

September 25, 2019 8 a.m. -- The Dehesa Fire is now 21% contained, Cal Fire reports. 

9 p.m. -- All evacuation orders, warnings and road closures have been lifted, County Emergency Sevices reoprts.
 
5:30 p.m.  --The  Sheriff’s Department has issued an evacuation order in the area of Dehesa Road and Sloane Canyon Road, County Emergency Services reports.  A temporary evacuation point has been designated at Los Coches Middle School located at 9669 Dunbar Lane in El Cajon. If you need emergency assistance with evacuation, call 9-1-1.  The fire has burned over 150 acres, according to Cal Fire.
 
4:25 p.m. -- CHP is preparing to shut down Sloan Canyon at Dehesa and eastbound Dehesa from  Casino Road to Japatul
 
3:50 p.m. -- The #DehesaFire is now 25 acres and burning at a rapid rate of  speed, Cal Fire reports.

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alert Service

Photo, right by Doug Stocker, taken from the gun club on Sycuan Truck Trail

September 24, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- A brush fire reported by Cal Fire is burning east of Dehesa Road near Sloan Canyon, east of the Sycuan Casino, Cal Fire reports.  Ground crews are battling the #DehesaFire and multiple air tankers have been requested. Scanner traffic indicates additional engine crews have been requested for structure protection.

Firefighers from multiple agencies meanwhile have suppressed a small brush fire near West Main and Travelodge in El Cajon  that scorched 1.5 and burned within 50 feet of homes in Fletcher Hills.  The cause remains under investigation.

FIRE IN FLETCHER HILLS HALTED AT 1.5 ACRES

East County News Service

Photo: Heartland Fire & Rescue

September 24, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Crews from multilpe agencies held a brush fire that began in a canyon around 1:10 p.m. today in Fletcher Hills to 1.5 acres, with no property damage or injuries reported.

According to Sonny Saghera,  public information officer at Heartland Fire & Rescue, Heartland crews from El Cajon and La Mesa, assisted by crews from San Diego Fire & Rescue, Barona, Viejas, San Miguel, Cal Fire, Santee and Lakeside, assisted by El Cajon Public Work and Police were dispatched to multiple reports of a hillside on fire near the intersection of W. Main St. and S.Travelodge Dr.

MOTORCYCLIST, 20, FROM EL CAJON SUSTAINS LIFE-THREATENING INJURY ON OLDE HIGHWAY 80

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 24, 2019 (El Cajon) – A 20-year-old motorcyclist from El Cajon has been rushed by ambulance to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego after sustaining life-threatening injuries in a collision today at 2 p.m.

EL CAJON SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR TEEN COALITION

Source: City of El Cajon

September 24, 2019 (El Cajon) --“Engage, educate, and empower!” These are the goals of the City’s Teen Coalition. The City is seeking members to serve on the 2019-20 Teen Coalition. With monthly meetings at Renette Recreation Center, members will develop their leadership skills, get involved through community service, and explore strategies to address youth issues. The coalition sponsors the annual “Youth of the Year” award which recognizes individuals who go above and beyond in serving their community. 

EL CAJON COUNCIL MOVES TO END COMMISSIONS ON ARTS AND CULTURE, HUMAN RELATIONS AND VETERANS

 

Update Sept. 27, 2019 -- Estela de Los Rios,  a community leader who plans to run for El Cajon City Council, sent these comments objecting to the demise of the commissions.  "I believe it our right as citizens of El Cajon to have these board commissions and have them open until we seek people to serve on them. There has to be a better way to recruit. This is a prime example of the city council's actions that need to change for the best interest of our city. It makes no sense to have a Magnolia Performing Center but no Arts Commission?"

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 23, 2019 (El Cajon) – The agenda for tomorrow’s El Cajon City Council meeting includes second reading and adoption of a code amendment to eliminate three city entities  The Veterans’ Commission, the Commission on Arts and Culture, and the Human Relations Commission, which advises the council on diversity issues.

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