El Cajon

EAST COUNTY ATHLETES COMPETE FOR NATIONAL TITLES AT THE 2018 NATIONAL FENCING CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ST. LOUIS

 

By Alan Ridley

Try fencing.  Other sports are pointless.”

August 8, 2018 (St. Louis) - Ten athletes from East County’s LionHeart Fencing Academy took part in the United States National Fencing Championship held in St. Louis, Mo. from June 28 – July 7.

More than 4,000 competitors from throughout the nation participated in the largest fencing event in the world where the best fencers in the United States vied for gold.   National Champions were crowned in age groups from ages 8 to 80 with 60 titles in all three fencing disciplines (epee, foil and saber) for both men and women.

WITNESS SAVES EL CAJON POLICE OFFICER ATTACKED BY HAMMER-WIELDING SUSPECT

 

East County News Service

August 8, 2018 (El Cajon) — A witness helped save an El Cajon Police officer today after a man attacked the officer with a hammer.

Police had been called to a Jack-in-the-Box regarding Robert Dille, 30, who was reportedly smashing windows and threatening people with a hammer. Officers found Dille a few blocks away at West Main Street and Van Houten around 11:20 a.m.

JUDGE DEEMS ADMITTED: KALASHOS COMINGLED ASSETS OF CHAMBER, PAGEANT AND PERSONAL FUNDS, ALSO DEFAMED ATTORNEY LINA CHARRY

 

By Miriam Raftery and Paul Kruze

August 6, 2018 (El Cajon) – The legal spiderweb entangling El Cajon Councilman Bessmon "Ben" Kalasho and his wife, Jessica, has become even stickier. Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor has issued an order granting a motion by plaintiff Lina Charry, deeming admitted the contents of requests for admissions to which the Kalashos repeatedly failed to respond. Those admissions include allegedly illegal financial dealings,fraudulent and defamatory actions.

U.S. PRESS FREEDOM TRACKER REPORTS ON KALASHO DOG ATTACK THREAT AGAINST ECM REPORTER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine Editor

August 5, 2018 (El Cajon) - Councilman Ben Kalasho’s attacks on First Amendment freedom of the press has drawn national attention.  

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which tracks attacks on journalists’ First Amendment rights in the United States, has published an article on our reporter Paul Kruze’s police complaint against El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho accusing Kalasho of threatening Kruze with atrained attack dog. 

UNIDENTIFIED CYCLIST KILLED ON AVOCADO IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 4, 2018 (Rancho San Diego) – An unidentified man riding a Masi Gran Corsa road bike on Avocado Blvd. southbound near Nabal Drive was struck by a Toyota Camry at 8:08 a.m. today, suffering fatal injuries.

According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, the cyclist was in the southbound bike lane and turned left into the path of the car, driven by a 63-yar old woman.  The male cyclist was struck and ejected onto the roadway.

SYRIAN REFUGEES FIND HOME IN EL CAJON, BUT FAMILY REMAINS TORN APART

 

By Briana Gomez

August 1, 2018 (El Cajon) – Houda Al Sidnawi arrived in the United States in 2016 with both of her parents and her two younger sisters, now 16 and 10. The family left Syria in 2012 at the brink of the civil war and immigrated to Egypt where they obtained appropriate documentation to enter the United States on refugee visas.  

WHO’S RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL AND MAYORAL SEATS IN EAST COUNTY?

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – The filing deadline to run for local offices is August 10th.   We checked with El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee to find out which seats are on the ballot, and who has taken out papers declaring an intent to run for city council or mayor so far.  Below is the list of prospective candidates to date, though more candidates may file, and prospective candidates are not confirmed until they turn in signatures and meet verification requirements to qualify for the November ballot. 

If you are interested in running, you have until August 10 to pull papers and turn in the required signatures from registered voters in support of your candidacy. Since some city offices are closed on Friday the 10th, be sure to check with your local jurisdiction.

City Council and Mayoral races are officially nonpartisan; however, some officials tout their endorsements or affiliations with political parties. For those candidates, we have listed their affiliations.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST LIKE NEVER BEFORE - FROM GROSSMONT COLLEGE CONSERVATORY, NOW THROUGH AUG. 4

 

By Kathy Carpenter

July 29, 2018 (El Cajon) - A new pop musical version of the classic Fairy Tale, Beauty and the Beast, is now onstage at Grossmont College. First off, go in without the expectation this is the Disney version you know and love. This version is adapted by the talented Jennette Thomas. It’s more of a mash up between Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, with pop songs you know and love. Another time, another place.

HOT STYLES, COOL BARGAINS: LATEST FASHIONS FOR SUMMER, BACK TO SCHOOL AT RANCHO SAN DIEGO'S RUNWAY SHOES & ACCESORIES

 

By Reema Makani Boccia, APR

 

July 29, 2018 (Rancho San Diego) - As the weather heats up in East San Diego County, residents are looking for ways to look hot but stay cool. One easy way to beat the heat is at Rancho San Diego’s fashion boutique Runway Shoes & Accessories, a store locally owned and operated by an East County family featuring head-to-toe merchandise for any fashionista on a budget. 

POLICE SEEK HELP TO IDENTIFY SECOND POSSIBLE SUSPECT IN FATAL EL CAJON STABBING

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 29, 2018 (El Cajon) – A man stabbed in front of a 7-11 store in the 700 block of Jamacha yesterday afternoon died after being transported to a local hospital, says Lt. Walt Miller with the El Cajon Police Department. 

Soon after the stabbing, reported at 2:05 p.m. Saturday, officers responded to a burglary at an apartment in the 1200 block of north Mollison.  They took a burglary suspect to a hospital  for medical issues unrelated to his arrest, according to Lt. Miller.

“Investigators are exploring the possibility that this suspect may be related to the stabbing based on a physical description provided by witnesses,” said Miller. That suspect’s identity has not been released. However a second suspect may still be at large.

CITIZENS HELP POLICE NAB SUSPECT AFTER STABBING OF 75-YEAR-OLD MAN IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 26, 2018 (El Cajon)—A 75-year-old man suffered multiple non-life threatening stab wounds tonight in an attack at Second Street and East Madison Avenue in El Cajon. Witnesses called police at 7:55 p.m. to report the victim was on the ground near the intersection.

The suspect fled west on Madison, says Lieutenant Jason Taub, adding, “Witnesses were able to keep the suspect under observation and advise the police department of his current location.”

LAW ENFORCEMENT CONDUCTS OUTREACH ON HATE CRIMES GEARED TOWARD EL CAJON’S MIDDLE EASTERN AND MUSLIM COMMUNITY

 

By Briana Ghaffery

July 18, 2018 (El Cajon)— Sheriff’s Captain Marco Garmo became the victim of a hate crime at a young age, along with his father, who was savagely beaten over a mistaken ethnic identity during a robbery at the Garmo family’s convenience store in El Cajon.

At a hate crimes forum in El Cajon on July 17th, sponsored by the San Diego Regional Hate Crimes Coalition and El Cajon Police Department, Captain Garmo told East County Magazine that he hopes to encourage the public to report hate crimes.

“The reason why we’re having this out here in the city of El Cajon is that it has the largest influx of refugees and immigrants from the Middle East, and we feel like they need to be educated as to hate crimes,” he said, adding that law enforcement believes hate crimes are under-reported by those who are victimized.

EAST COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL NONPROFIT LAUNCHES FROM EL CAJON DOWNTOWN LIBRARY

 

By Jonathan Goetz

July 23, 2018 (El Cajon) – George Gastil, a former Lemon Grove Councilman and history professor at Grossmont College and San Diego State Univesrity, opened the inaugural meeting of the East County Leadership Council (ECLC).  The newly formed 501c(3) nonprofit organization has a mission statement to promote “quality discussion of politics and public policy in the East County region of San Diego County.”

SHOULD EL CAJON CENSURE COUNCILMAN KALASHO?

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2018 (El Cajon) – As the scandals involving Councilman Ben Kalasho mount, with 11 citizens calling for his resignation at the last City Council meeting, some community members are now asking why the City Council has not censured Kalasho, who has announced his intent to run for Mayor. 

TWITTER DROPS FAKE FOLLOWERS; KALASHO’S FOLLOWERS SHRINK BY OVER HALF

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2018 (El Cajon) – Yesterday, El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho posted on Twitter, “Just blocked over 3,000 `reporters and so-called journalists’ from my twitter. Only accepting real people. No snooping snakes. Honest reporters welcome.”

Fact check:  Kalasho’s announcement comes the same day that Twitter dropped tens of millions of fake followers in an effort to halt fraud on social media, the Atlantic Journal Constitution reports:  https://www.ajc.com/news/national/twitter-removes-fake-accounts-users-may-see-drop-followers/Qk4eCHLsFaiiMJBfwocZCN/.

EL CAJON SEEKS VETERAN OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS

East County News Service 

July 14, 2018 (El Cajon) - The City of El Cajon Veterans Commission presents a “Veteran of the Year” Award, recognizing those who go above and beyond in serving their community through their leadership abilities and/or community service in El Cajon, making a big impact on those they serve.  Final selections will be based on dedication, commitment, and demonstrated the impact of those served.  If you see, hear, or know of a veteran who has gone the extra mile to improve the quality of life in the community, please take this opportunity to acknowledge and reward that effort. 

SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS SPEAKS OUT ON THREATS AGAINST ECM REPORTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Councilman Ben Kalasho during testimony by Paul Kruze regarding Kalasho’s alleged threat to maul the reporter with a trained attack dog

 

July 13, 2018 (El Cajon) – After our reporter Paul Kruze filed a police report alleging that El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho threatened him with an attack dog, the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists issued the following statement:

COMMUNITY MEMBERS URGE KALASHO TO RESIGN OVER SEXUAL HARASSMENT FINDINGS AND ALLEGED THREATS

 

 

A group of people in a roomDescription generated with very high confidence

 

 

 

By Briana Ghaffery

View video of Council meeting: https://elcajonca.swagit.com/play/07112018-1233

 

July 11, 2018 (El Cajon) – Eleven speakers called on Councilman Ben Kalasho to resign during public comments at Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting, where the audience included protesters who held signs reading “hands off our daughters” and “sex predator Kalasho belongs in jail” complete with a photoshopped picture of Kalasho as an inmate.

Kalasho has also announced his intention to run for Mayor, challenging incumbent Bill Wells.

MEDITERRANEAN FEAST! JULY 15 WITH EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB AT EAT-A-PITA IN EL CAJON

 

UPDATE: WALK-INS ARE WELCOME! BUT PLEASE RSVP.

July 4, 2018 (El Cajon) -- You're invited to our next East County Dining Club event, which benefits our nonprofit East County Magazine and our East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts.  

Please join us in a Mediterranean Feast on Sunday, July 15 at 1 p.m. at Eat a Pita! (1255 Avocado Road in the Vons shopping center at Chase and Avocado in  El Cajon).

$28 INCLUDES: Mediterranean feast!  Beef kebab, chicken kebab/souvlaki, falafel, dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), rice, Greek salad, pita bread and hummus, tax, tip, beer or wine, soft drink & refill, & 1 opportunity drawing ticket. Prizes include restaurant gift certifictes, a night's stay at Triple H Ranch Bed and Breakfast in Lakeside, jewelry, cookbooks, novels, Kamp's Propane gift certificate, ladybug planter, Prete-a-Porter Salon haircut, Club Pilates class and more!

RSVP BY JULY 10 for earlybird prize drawing: editor@eastcountymagazine.org   or 619-698-7617.

14 ARRESTED IN EAST COUNTY OPERATION

 

 

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Video courtesy of San Diego County Meth Strike Force

July 11, 2018 (San Diego's East County) - Fourteen people were arrested Tuesday evening by law enforcement agencies from East County during saturation patrols and probation compliance checks in known hot spots for drug-related crime.

GREGORY PAGE TRIO CONCERT JULY 28

 

Saturday, July 28, 6-8:30 p.m.

East County News Service

July 10, 2018 (El Cajon) - The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College welcomes back the Gregory Page Trio for a summer concert on Saturday, July 28 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Gregory will capture your heart with his engaging lyrics and soothing melodies reminiscent of the 1920’s sweet jazz era.

Click HERE for more information and to purchase tickets.

PROTEST TUESDAY IN EL CAJON OVER CHILD IMMIGRANT DETENTION CENTER

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Child migrant detention facility in El Cajon

July 8, 2018 (El Cajon) – Activists are organizing a protest rally Tuesday, July 10th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in front of El Cajon’s City Hall (200 Civic Center Way) to call for a public hearing on a federal internment facility holding immigrant boys, including some who were separated from their parents at the border and others who arrived as unaccompanied minors.

The activity is part of the national #familiesbelongtogether movement following disclosure that thousands of children have been separated from their undocumented immigrant parents at the border.  Following exposure in media, children as young as one year of age have been ordered by the government to represent themselves at immigration hearings and some parents deported without their children.

“Our mission will be to apply extreme and persistent pressure upon the El Cajon City Council to hold one or more Public Hearings providing full discloser as to population welfare, and operational practices, of El Cajon's Migrant Youth Internment Facility," organizers state on a Meetup page for the event.

EL CAJON AND SANTEE WALMART SUPERCENTERS COMPLETE REMODELS

 

The two projects are part of the retailer’s investment in serving today’s customers

East County News Service

July 7, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- San Diego County residents today got their first look at two newly remodeled Walmart Supercenters. The El Cajon Supercenter at 605 Fletcher Pkwy, and Santee Walmart Supercenter at 170 Town Center Parkway both underwent extensive changes to better serve their customers.

JUDGE FINDS FACTS TRUE AND ADMISSIBLE IN CASE AGAINST KALASHOS: FAKED NUDE PHOTOS, SEXUAL HARASSMENT, DEFAMATION, AND OFFER TO TRADE SEX FOR PAGEANT CROWN

 

 

Judicial finding that Kalashos engaged in cyber-harassment, defamation and other intimidating actions comes within days of ECM reporter Paul Kruze filing a police complaint alleging that Councilman Kalasho threatened him with an attack dog and defamed him on social media.

Update: The judge's tentative ruling is now final and the link has been updated.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Ben and Jessica Kalasho at  a Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce event, before the U.S. Patent and Trademark office forced them to change the name of the organization due to trademark infringement.

July 6, 2018 (El Cajon) – Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor has issued a judgment granting a motion  filed by beauty pageant contestants and a taco shop owner against El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho and his wife, Jessica. The ruling allows documents and a supporting declaration  submitted by plaintiffs’ lawyers to be admitted as facts at trial and  most damning, orders evidence of the following admissions to be submitted  at trial as true facts--meaning the Kalashos cannot dispute the accuracy of these findings in court:

  • Kalasho, his wife their entities created fake nude photos of Miss Middle East pageant Queen Zhala Tawfiq and published them online “intending to cause and causing Ms. Tawfiq severe emotional distress.”
  • Kalasho propositioned pageant contestant Paris Kargar, offering sex in exchange to ensure she won the 2016 Miss Middle East pageant. He made statements indicating her declining this proposition cost her a fair shot at the title.
  • Kalasho whispered in Kargar’s ear, “You are so f*cking hot, I cannot take my eyes off you.” He also made comments about her breasts jiggling as she walked down the runway.
  • Kalasho conducted one-on-one recorded interviews with 2016 contestants including Tawfiq and Karger, but destroyed these videos after the lawsuit in which Kargar contends she was harassed during her interview.
  • Kalasho,his wife and his entities created multiple alias Facebook profiles used to make defamatory posts against Tres Taqueria, including fabricated poll results and false claims of food poisoning after the restaurant owner refused to post Kalasho campaign signs.

LA MAESTRA FAMILY CLINIC GRANTED FM RADIO STATION LICENSE IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2018 (El Cajon) – La Maestra Family Clinic, a nonprofit which operates community health centers including a facility in El Cajon, has been granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to operate a low-power FM radio station in El Cajon.

EL CAJON SALVATION ARMY RUNS OUT OF FOOD

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Food donations are urgently needed at the Salvation Army in El Cajon, where supplies are at a “critical low point” after an annual holiday food drive fell far short.

Donations of canned, boxed or other nonperishable food items can be dropped off at the Salvation Army facility at 1011 East Main Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, the organization states on Facebook. For details, call (619) 440-4683. Financial donations are also welcome.

If the supplies are not promptly replenished within 30 days, the nonprofit will be forced to use funds to buy food items to feed the hungry, reducing money available for other important needs, an agency spokesperson has stated, NBC 7 reported.

"FAMILIES BELONG TOGETHER” MOVEMENT COMES TO EL CAJON

 

By Eric Bartl

ECM Editor Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

July 3, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Over a hundred people marched down Main Street through downtown El Cajon Saturday, June 30, joining the chorus of “Families Belong Together” protesters from cities across the nation.

Their chants, “families belong together” and “let the children go," received affirmations from passersby. Drivers honked their horns. Workers from restaurants and barber shops stuck their heads through their front doors greeting the march with waves and thumbs up.

PEARL HARBOR SURVIVORS JOIN THOUSANDS TO HONOR VETERANS IN EL CAJON

 

By Jesse B. Kendrick

Photo: El Cajon Councilmember Bob McClellan and granddaughter Jessica (left) join Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick (center) to honor Pearl Harbor survivor Stu Hedley, 96 (right).

July 3, 2018 (El Cajon) – Nearly 10,000 community members gathered this weekend for Celebrate America, the annual Independence Day event hosted by Shadow Mountain Community Church. The event featured indoor fireworks and a surprise appearance from military personnel who rappelled down ropes from the ceiling.

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