El Cajon

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.

EL CAJON NOW ACCEPTING YOUTH OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS

 

 

Photo: Creative commons image via S.A.

March 2, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon Teen Coalition is now accepting applications for the “Youth of the Year” Award, recognizing outstanding youth who go above and beyond serving their community!  This annual award is given to one middle school and one high school student, honoring them for their leadership abilities and/or their quality or level of community service. Final awards will be based on dedication and commitment beyond what may be required by the school and its effect on the community.

GROSSMONT HIGH CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING OF PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

 

 

State-of-the-art facility will bring together performing arts programs in a central location; provides modern new venue for school, district, and community events

East County News Service

March 1, 2019 (El Cajon) – Grossmont High School broke ground last Tuesday on a state-of-the-art facility that will bring together performing arts programs including dance, choral, digital music, and drama. The $26 million project is funded by Proposition U and Ballot Measure BB.

EL CAJON CONSIDERS SIGN ORDINANCE CHANGES, ZONING CODE EXEMPTIONS FOR MUNICIPAL PROJECTS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 1, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon is considering an amendment to sign standards regulating the height and size of freestanding signs downtown. In addition, the city is considering exempting municipal projects and uses from the zoning code and entitlement process.

The Planning Commission will hold public hearings  on each of these proposals on Tuesday March 19 at 7 p.m.  The City Council will also hold public hearings on Tuesday, March 26 at 3 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 200 Civic Center Way, El Cajon.

ST. PATRICK’S 5K AND HALF MARATHON MARCH 3 IN EL CAJON

 

Photo by Robert Gehr

March 1, 2019 (El Cajon) -- A St. Patrick’s Day 5K run and half marathon will be held a wee bit early, on March 3rd in downtown El Cajon starting at the El Cajon arch.

Funds raised will benefit East County charities. There’s also a beer garden and more at the annual event hosted by the Run East County Foundation.

SAN DIEGO RIVER PARK FOUNDATION OPEN HOUSE ON FORESTER CREEK PARK PROPOSALS DRAWS ENTHUSIASTIC CROWD IN EL CAJON

 

You can provide your input on the Foundation’s survey on El Cajon Recreational Access Plan at www.sandiegoriver.org/survey.html (available in English, Spanish and Arabic)

By Jonathan Goetz

February 27, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The San Diego River Park Foundation held an open house yesterday on proposed parks along Forester Creek and other locations in EL Cajon. The event at the Ronald Reagan Community Center drew nearly 200 people, with multiple stations staffed by the Foundation's volunteers, staff and California Polytechnic State University graduate consultants.

EAST COUNTY CHURCH HOSTS `BLESSED WITH A DRESS,’ FREE FORMAL DRESSES FOR YOUNG LADIES

 

 

East County News Service 

February 25, 2019 (El Cajon) – Foothills Christian Church at 365 West Bradley Ave. in El Cajon will host “Blessed with a Dress,” a free event for young women needing high-quality, fashionable formal wear for school dances and other special occasions. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, girls can visit the church campus and select a free dress, pair of shoes and jewelry for upcoming formal events.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER PRESENTS `EAST COUNTY HONORS’ AWARDS

 

 

East County News Service

February 25, 2019 (El Cajon) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce swore in its 30-member board of directors and presented awards at its recent 107th Annual Dinner, held Feb. 23 at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in El Cajon. More than 200 people attended the “East County Honors” event.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: HUMANITARIANS AL SANATI AND RAMIRO SANDOVAL SPEAK OUT ON EFFORTS TO HELP REFUGEES AND REBUILD IRAQ

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Al Sanati and Ramiro Sandoval

Cllick this audio link to hear our interview, or scroll down to read highlights.

February 23, 2019 (El Cajon) — Al Sanati, director of the War Refugees Group, and Ramiro Sandoval with Hermanos Unidos Sin Fronteras (Brothers United Without Borders) were our guests on our East Count Magazine Radio Show on KNSJ recently.

These humanitarian leaders are fighting for justice and filing suit to win financial reparations from the Iraqi government for1.2 million Iraqi refugees around the world, including over 80,000 in East County. They have also met with top dignitaries in Iraq in an effort to help the nation’s new government rebuild Iraq.

Audio: 

Interview with Al Sanati and Ramiro Sandoval

FOUR NEW STORES TO OPEN INSIDE FORMER EL CAJON SEARS SPACE AT PARKWAY PLAZA

 
 
By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor
 
February 23, 2019 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon’s iconic Parkway Plaza mall has dodged a bullet with the announcement that the recently vacated Sears store at the west end of the mall will be home to four new stores by Memorial Day Weekend. 

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