El Cajon

PASSAGES: GROCERY INDUSTRY LEADER SHON BONEY DIES OF CANCER

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Shon Boney, a leader in the natural grocery store industry with long roots in East County, died March 8, 2021 at age 52 of brain cancer. 

Grandson of Henry Boney, the founder of Boney’s Marketplace, later known as Henry’s Marketplace, Shon worked in all aspects of the San Diego based business until it was sold to Wild Oats. He then moved to Arizona, where he co-founded and served as CEO of Sprouts Farmers Market, which grew into one of the nation’s preeminent healthy grocery store chains.

PADRE DAM BOARD VOTES TO RETURN MONEY TO CUSTOMERS

Refund Received from San Diego County Water Authority will help offset future rate

East County News Service

Image: CC by SA-NC

 

March 18, 2021 (Santee) – Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved using the recently received $1,157,552 rebate from the San Diego County Water Authority (CWA) to offset the District’s next pass-through rate increase from the CWA. This action will result in a direct benefit to customers by the reduction or potential elimination of a water pass through rate hike in 2022. 

CWA’s Board of Directors announced a plan on February 25, 2021 to distribute a $44.4 million rebate received from Metropolitan Water District (MWD), to its 24 member agencies. Padre Dam’s portion of the rebate is $1,157,552. 

EAST COUNTY WOMAN FINDS LOST DIAMOND FOR NEIGHBOR

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Photo -left – courtesy of Michelle Marks)

March 16, 2021 (El Cajon) --- It takes a village to find a lost diamond. Such is the case with an El Cajon woman, Michelle Marks, who lost a round, one-carat diamond stone valued at $3,000 while walking her dogs in the Fletcher Hills area.

After Marks posted about the loss on a Nextdoor neighborhood forum,  70 people posted comments, some offering help--and one neighbor found the stone. That gifted hunter was Tiffany Johnson.

Johnson doggedly pursued finding the lost diamond that had become dislodged from Marks’ engagement ring--a ring that Marks’ husband, Eddie, had proposed with 27 years ago.

MORNING GLORY BRUNCH FROG RACE GOES VIRTUAL TO BENEFIT ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE’S CENTER ON APRIL 17

East County News Service

March 15, 2021 (El Cajon) -- St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC) will host its signature Morning Glory Brunch Frog Race virtually this year.  The Virtual Morning Glory Brunch Frog Race will take place on Saturday, April 17, 2021 and will be celebrating the event’s 20th anniversary. All proceeds benefit St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, which educates and empowers individuals with developmental disabilities to realize their full potential. 

The community is encouraged to participate in the frog race by purchasing rubber frogs to be entered in the race. Volunteer “Frogettes” will splash from the end of the pool deck, without touching the frogs, to assist the frogs in reaching the finish line. Winners of the Frog Race will be announced during a live streaming event, and all proceeds from purchased frogs will benefit SMSC’s Garden and Aquatic Programs.   

YOUNG MAN STRUCK BY VEHICLE AND KILLED IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via ECPD on Twitter

March 13, 2021 (El Cajon) – A Middle Eastern man in his 20s was struck and killed by a gray Infinity shortly before 10 p.m. last night while crossing South Anza Street to enter his parked car. According to Lt Jason Taub with the El Cajon Police Dept., the victim was thrown approximately 180 feet from the collision site and died at the scene.  

The vehicle, a 2020 4-door gray Infinity, was traveling at a high rate of speed, according to witnesses. After hitting the pedestrian, the Infinity collided with a parked car in the 800 block of Anza.

Officers responding to a call reporting the collision with the parked car found the deceased man nearby, lying in an adjacent yard. 

SUPERVISORS TO VOTE MARCH 17 ON AMAZON DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN EL CAJON

Update: This was unanimously approved by Supervisors.

By Miriam Raftery

March 4, 2021 (El Cajon) – San Diego County Supervisors will hold a hearing March 17 on construction of a proposed distribution warehouse that the developer plans to lease to Amazon.com.

The site, which is zoned industrial, is located at the northwest corner of Cuyamaca Street and Weld Blvd. near Gillespie Field. Although the County owns the land, the city of El Cajon has land use authority, but has not yet approved the project.

At a Supervisors’ meeting this week, the county delayed action until environmental studies can be reviewed. The County is relying on an environmental review done by the city of El Cajon in 2009 for a separate project, but public speakers contended that an updated environmental impact study is needed along with review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

ROCK CHURCH GIVING AWAY FREE FOOD TO FAMLIES IN NEED N EL CAJON, CITY HEIGHTS AND SAN MARCOS

Partnering With Local Businesses To Connect Resources With Those In Need

East County News Service; photo CC via Bing

March 3, 2021 (San Diego) – Rock Church is hosting three community distributions of free food, diapers and supplies to help those in need during the COVID-19 crisis. The dates and locations are:

Thursday, March 4 at 12 p.m., the Rock Church San Marcos (1370 West San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos)

Thursday, March 11 at 12 p.m., the Rock Church City Heights (4001 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego)

Tuesday, March 16 at 12 p.m., the Rock Church East County campus (808 Jackman Campus, EL Cajon)

EL CAJON POLICE SEEK INFO TO SOLVE FATAL SHOOTING

East County News Service

February 27, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police detectives are investigating an apparent homicide which is believed to have occurred yesterday. At approximately 4:11 am, ECPD received a call from a citizen reporting gun shots in the 800 block of S. Magnolia. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate a crime scene at that time. 

Around 11: 34 a.m., the victim’s girlfriend returned home and found the victim deceased inside their apartment. 

“The victim appears to have been shot at least one time. The suspect is unknown at this time,” says Lt. Keith MacArthur.

The victim’s information is being withheld pending notification of family.

AMAZON AIMS TO BUILD DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

 

February 18, 2021 (El Cajon) - Amazon.com, the world’s largest internet company, has announced plans to build a distribution center in El Cajon.

 

The company is in the permit approval stage to build a new 140,000 square foot distribution center near Gillespie Field, on the west side of Cuyamaca Street and Weld Blvd.

SPLASHDOWN: EL CAJON SEEKS FUNDS TO ADD WATER PLAY FEATURE TO PARK

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Kids frolic in a spray park at Santee Lakes
 
February 16, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Children in El Cajon may soon have a water feature to play in and enjoy. The City has approved asking staff to come back with proposals and possible funding sources to add a water feature, such as a splashpad or other cost-effective water feature, to Wells Park. 

VICTIM IDENTIFIED, SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR MURDER IN SINGING HILLS SHOOTING

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo via Pixabay
 
February 13, 2021 (El Cajon) – The Sheriff’s department has provided an update on the fatal shooting which occurred Feb. 10 at the Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan. The victim has been identified as Dylan Brooks, 28, of Lakeside.  

LA MESA CYCLIST KILLED IN EL CAJON COLLISION

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2021 (El Cajon ) – A La Mesa man, 32, died at the scene of an accident last night in unincorporated El Cajon.

The cyclist was riding an Electra Townie bicycle in the bike lane eastbound on Willow Glen Drive west of Dehesa Road around 7:20 p.m. when a silver Infiniti QX60 driven by an El Cajon man drifted to the right and struck the cyclist, who was ejected onto the roadway’s shoulder.

“Fire personnel were dispatched to the scene and pronounced the bicyclist deceased.  The driver of the Infinity was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash.  The bicyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision,” said Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol.

EL CAJON ARTIST WINS FIRST PLACE IN WATERCOLOR COMPETITION

Source: San Diego Watercolor Society

 

Photo: “Well at Home,” by Michael Garberick

 

February 11, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Michael Garberick, an artist and resident of El Cajon, won the first-place award in the extraordinarily competitive “New Beginnings” competition for members  held virtually in February 2021, on The San Diego Watercolor Society website, www.sdws.org.

SHOOTING AT SINGING HILLS GOLF RESORT AT SYCUAN

East County News Service

February 11, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Yesterday around 6:00 p.m., Sheriff's deputies and officers with the Sycuan Police Department responded to a report of a shooting and found a man who had been shot in a hotel room at the Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan in unincorporated El Cajon. They provided lifesaving measures until relieved by Sycuan Fire Department personnel. The man was transported to a local area hospital, but  was pronounced deceased shortly after arriving.

The Sheriff's Homicide Unit responded and has assumed responsibility of the investigation. The identity of the victim is known to investigators; however, his name is being withheld pending family notification, says Lt. Thomas Siever with the Sheriff’s homicide unit.

MACY’S CLOSING AT PARKWAY PLAZA IN EL CAJON

Story and photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Feb. 7, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Marcy's, long-time anchor store at Parkway Plaza regional mall in El Cajon, is closing down. Sales ranging from 10% up to 50% discounts or more are currently offered. 

“After careful consideration, Macy’s has decided to close our El Cajon Parkway location. This closure is part of the company’s strategy announced in early 2020,” said Julianne Olivo with Macy's corporate office public relations.

  “Macy’s previously shared this information with our valued colleagues. Regular, non-seasonal colleagues who we are unable to place at nearby Macy’s store will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources,” she added.

EL CAJON SEEKS YOUTH OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS

Source: City of El Cajon

February 3, 2021 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon Teen Coalition is accepting nominations for the 2020 “Youth of the Year” award. The award recognizes outstanding students who went above and beyond to serve the El Cajon community over the past year.

The City Council will present two awards - one to a middle school student and one to a high school student.

The award criteria includes leadership, community service, commitment, and the value and impact of the community service completed during the 2020 calendar year. To be eligible, nominees must live in El Cajon and/or attend an El Cajon school.

RELIGIOUS CONCERT IN EL CAJON WITH UNMASKED CROWD, MAYOR WELLS AS SPEAKER, DRAWS REBUKES FROM HEALTH OFFICIALS AND RESIDENTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Erik Herrara

Updated 9:30 p.m. with clarification from El Cajon Police that a counterprotester who alleged assault did later file a police report.

January 29, 2021 (El Cajon) – The County’s public health officer and many local residents are speaking out critically of El Cajon’s leadership after Mayor Bill Wells gave the opening prayer at a religious gathering January 17th that drew hundreds of outdoor worshippers at Prescott Promenade, nearly all without masks.

The “Let Us Worship” Christian service and concert was organized by evangelical musician Sean Feucht, who exhorted the crowd to yell as loudly as they could despite medical evidence that singing and shouting at worship services has led to super-spreader events and deaths elsewhere. He also invited people to come onstage for a “born again” ritual in which they were prayed over and hugged by faith leaders.

The event was in direct violation of the state and county COVID-19 regulations, held at a time when regional ICU capacity is zero and a stay-home order was in place due to surging COVID cases, including new, rapidly spreading variants.

EL CAJON COUNCIL VOTES TO OUST PLANNING COMMISSIONER HUMBERT CABRERA

By Briana Gomez

January 28, 2021 (El Cajon) – On Tuesday, the El Cajon City Council voted 4-1 to remove Humbert Cabrera from his position as a Planning Commissioner.

The meeting also included other items impacting the community, including an update on COVID-19, a proposal to outlaw protests at individual homes, and a proposal to limit the city’s investment in alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.

Removal of Planning Commissioner Cabrera

The proposal to oust Cabrera was made by Mayor Bill Wells and Vice Mayor Gary Kendrick. A staff report cited conflicts of interest by Cabrera  in violation of the city’s ethics policy, since his company has numerous clients seeking city permits. Other reasons included his allegedly demeaning treatment of applicants before the planning commission and questions over his integrity based on conflicting residency statements that he made during a candidate forum hosted by East County Magazine. (See our prior coverage.)

EL CAJON POLICE ARREST MAN WITH ILLEGAL WEAPONS CACHE

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police officers conducting a traffic stop in the 1200 block of Main Street led to the arrest of Neil Alequin, 37, of El Cajon on numerous charges of possessing illegal weapons and drugs.

A probation search of his vehicle and residence found numerous weapons including six illegally possessed handguns (several loaded), illegal high-capacity magazines, various calibers of ammunition, parts and machining equipment used to assemble illegal firearms, several stun guns, brass knuckles, and a pistol suppressor. The search also found narcotics.

HOW THE PANDEMIC LED TO HORSES AND SECOND ACTS

By Mimi Pollack
 
January 22, 2021 (El Cajon) -- 2020 was a strange, difficult, and even transformative year for so many. In my case, the pandemic made me feel very mortal and I decided to start checking things off my “bucket list.” First up was going back to horseback riding after 20 years of not riding or being in the horse world.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER; WOMAN ASSAULTED WITH WRENCH IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2021 (El Cajon) – A man who allegedly assaulted a woman walking in El Cajon by striking her in the head with a wrench has been arrested and charged with attempted murder.

On January 20 at 10:37 a.m., El Cajon Police officers and paramedics responded to a report of assault with a deadly weapon in the 800 block of Fletcher Parkway. The suspect,  Christian Fernando Graciano, fled on foot and was arrested nearby.

HUMBERT CABRERA FACES POSSIBLE OUSTER OFF EL CAJON PLANNING COMMISSION

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2021 (El Cajon) – The January 26 agenda for the El Cajon City Council includes a proposal to remove Planning Commissioner Humbert Cabrera over alleged conflicts of interest and ethical concerns.

According to a report by Mayor Bill Wells and Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick, the City Council has received complaints about Cabrera in emails and public comments.  The report raises three main areas of concern.

BRUSH FIRE THREATENS HOMES IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO

Update 3:40 p.m.:  Forward spread of the fire has been stopped at 15 acres, per Cal Fire.

January 20, 2021 (Rancho San Diego) -- The #CampoFire in Rancho San Diego poses an immediate structure threat along Avenida Roberta x Calle Los Arboles in the Rancho San Diego neighborhood in unincorporated El Cajon, Cal Fire reports. Campo Fire was reported just before 12:45 p.m. in an area near Jamacha Road and Campo Road

Evacuate if in the area or if you feel threatened. A temporary evacuation point for the #CampoFire is at the Edwards Cinema parking lot at 2951 Jamacha Rd.

The fire has charred about five acres as of 1:15 p.m.

Viewl life feed courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News: https://www.pscp.tv/10News/1lDxLpQynmyxm

MARKETINK: EL CAJON COUNCILMAN RETIRES FROM MARKETING CAREER TO PURSUE FORENSIC GENEALOGY

By Rick Griffin

Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

January 18, 2021 (El Cajon) - As a young man in his 20s, Steve Goble set a goal to retire from work on his 60th birthday and devote the rest of his life to public service.

EL CAJON SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR CITY’S PERSONNEL COMMISSION AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY FINANCING

Source: City of El Cajon

January 14, 2021 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon is currently accepting applications for one position on the Personnel Commission and three on the Public Safety Facility Financing Oversight Committee. The filing period is open though Monday, February 1, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

City Council interviews via Zoom will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, at 7:00 p.m.

Applications are available in the City Clerk's Office and on the City's website. For additional information, please call the City Clerk's Office at (619) 441-1763.

Personnel Commission

Vacancy: One (1) Commissioner

Duration: Four-year term to expire on January 31, 2025

NEW RANCHO HELIX DE ORO FIRE SAFE COUNCIL OFFERS FIRE-SAFE TIPS

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) --Under the authority of the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County, the Rancho Helix De Oro is a newly formed fire safe council dedicated to educating and preparing our community in order to avoid devastating fires. The group has created an educational fire-safe flyer  (click link to view flyer) with information including tips for fire safety, an evacuation map, who to call during an emergency, and how to get emergency notification for the communities of Rancho San Diego, Mt. Helix and Casa de Oro.

The new group was formed with support from then-County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association, Valle de Oro Planning Group, Casa De Oro Alliance, and community members in collaboration with San Miguel Fire and Rescue, Cal Fire, San Diego County Sheriff, San Diego Gas & Electric, and the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County.

PRO-TRUMP DEMONSTRATORS CLASH WITH ANTI-FASCIST COUNTERPROTESTERS IN SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery

Photo,left: Counterprotester sprays a pro-Trump demonstrator; screenshot via ECM news partner 10 News

January 12, 2021 (San Diego) --  A clash between self-described pro-Trump “patriots” and counter-protesters who claimed to be part of the antifascist “Antifa” movement on Saturday in Pacific Beach turned violent, 10 News, the Los Angeles Times and Fox 5 report.

The demonstration occurred days after pro-Trump demonstrators seeking to block election certification stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent rampage that left a police officer and four insurrectionists dead, the Capitol ransacked and legislators terrorized.

But this time, multiple media outlets on scene report that the violence was instigated by anti-fascist counter-protesters. On social media, some counter-protesters have claimed the protesters included white supremacists and fascists.

DRIVER WHO DRAGGED AND INJURED EL CAJON POLICEMAN IS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 11, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police today announced the arrest of the driver who allegedly dragged and seriously injured Officer Nick Cirello on December 14th. The suspect, David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan, was found and apprehended by the Los Angeles Rampart Narcotics Detail. He is charged with attempted homicide.

DOG SAVES FAMILY FROM A FIRE IN EL CAJON, BUT MANY PET SNAKES PERISH

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson 

(Left photo of Samson courtesy of the San Diego Humane Society.)

(El Cajon) Jan. 9, 2021 Dog—man’s best friend.  The best friend this time was a 16-month-old mastiff named Samson.  

According to Cindy Peterson, who owns the affected home with her husband, Richard, Samson saved them from the fire. Samson heard a boom and started barking. The fire initially started in the garage where numerous snakes, rats, and other pets were kept.  The home, located in El Cajon, has been their home for eight years. 

El Cajon Councilmember Gary Kendrick sympathized with the loss of some of the family’s pets and wished the best for the surviving animals. “Good reason to have a dog,” he said of the hero mastiff. 

According to a statement released from Heartland Fire & Rescue, a crew from El Cajon, assisted by crews from Lakeside Fire and San Miguel Fire, were dispatched at 5:46 a.m. on Jan. 8 to the 1600 block of Pepper Hill Drive.  

(Photo at right taken by Rebeca Jefferis Williamson)

“Fire crews arrived within six minutes to discover a one-story-single family dwelling with the garage on fire,” states Heartland Fire & Rescue’s public information officer Sonny Saghera.  “Crews were able to control the fire within 20 minutes. The fire was confined to the garage and back wall with smoke and heat damage to the house and attic.”

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