August 1, 2021 (El Cajon) – The Magnolia Center in El Cajon will host a concert on August 28 from 8-10 p.m. to benefit the East County Transitional Living Center that helps homeless individuals and families. “An Evening With Mayor Wells” will feature El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, a talented musician, and his friends will provide live musical entertainment. A silent auction and painting demonstration will also be held.
Update: All lanes open reports Caltrans San Diego, and Fire Scanner reports “[r]esources will be on scene mopping up the fire for the next couple of hours.”
By Jonathan Goetz
August 1, 2021 (Santee) – A vegetation fire nick-named the #MissionFire has closed the two westbound State Route 52 lanes at Fanita Drive, reports Caltrans San Diego.
@SDCountyFires broke the story on twitter and reports that crews have upgraded to a “high wildland response,” firefighter lingo for a serious response and a sign that this fire is being taken very seriously and may pose a great danger to the surrounding community.
The fire burned at least one acre and "multiple explosions" were heard in the area, behind Sprouts at 9361 Mission Gorge Road, they report.
This is a breaking story and updates may be posted above or in a new article.
August 1, 2021 (San Diego's East County) - Three San Diego County parks will be closed for the month of August starting Sunday, a measure taken each year because of the month’s typically high temperatures.
July 31, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – The Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau is leading efforts to oppose the state’s plan to place a sexually violent predator in the community. A townhall meeting August 4 at 3 p.m. is planned at Anza Country Club, along with other actions.
July 30, 2021 (La Mesa) – A 41-year-old man believed to be inside his workplace died at the scene after an SUV struck the building on Jul 28 at 5:30 p.m. According to La Mesa Police, drugs or alcohol are suspected of being a factor in the fatal crash.
The SUV was traveling eastbound on University Avenue when it left the roadway for unknown reasons and struck the building at 7373 University Avenue. The Medical Examiner’s Report indicates the victim worked in unit 101.
Photo: taking part were (left to right) Talon Dobesh, Aviana Dobesh, Union Bank president Greg Seibly, Union Bank head of community banking Lisa Roberts, CEO of MUFG Americas Kevin Cronin, branch manager Carlton Hill and Omar Salah, head of small business banking at Union Bank. Photo by Chris Stone
July 30, 2021 (La Mesa) - The night of May 30, 2020, two banks burned to the ground amid La Mesa rioting. The next day, officials of one, Union Bank, were making plans to rebuild at the same location.
July 29, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – The California Department of State Hospitals is proposing to place Merle Wakefield, a sexually violent predator, under conditional release at 1575 Yaqui Road in Borrego Springs.
Wakefield was convicted of felony rape in 1990 and of a lewd and lascivious act with a child under 14 in 1981. He served time in state prison and was found in1998 to be a sexually violent predator. He has repeatedly been confined to a state hospital for treatment as a sex offender but in Dec. 2020, a judge granted his petition for conditional release.
Memorial service and fund to help family of Anthony Cano announced
July 29, 2021 (Lakeside) – Anthony Cano, 27, dreamed of being a firefighter from an early age. For the past five years, he was living his dream as a firefighter and paramedic with the Lakeside Fire Protection District, while enjoying family time with his two children, ages 7 and 2. But on July 8, he passed away unexpectedly at his home in Temecula of undisclosed causes.
July 28, 2021 (Spring Valley)—Isak Espino, 25, was arrested yesterday and charged with the murder last month of Dante Lopez. Espino is the second suspect charged with murder in the case; George Gomez III, 21, was arrested on July 14. Both suspects are from San Diego.
July 27, 2021 (Lakeside) – The community of Lakeside is excited to welcome back its Annual Western Days Parade in historic downtown Lakeside on Saturday, August 28 at 9:35 a.m. The theme this year is, “Thank You, Healthcare Workers.” Lakeside resident Dr. Benjamin “Ben” Aaron, the surgeon who removed the bullet from President Reagan, will be honored as the 2021 Grand Marshal.
The Lakeside Chamber of Commerce is excited to return to a spirit of community by supporting the Rodeo, local businesses and uniting the community. “We’re so happy to see our community get back together,” stated Lakeside Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kathy Kassel. “I look forward to this treat every year, especially this year.”
July 27, 2021 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police Department has announced a series of four town halls for residents to meet newly appointed Police Chief Ray Sweeney and police staff. Each two-hour discussion is described as a community conversation and listening session.
The sessions, all on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., are:
July 27, 2021 (El Cajon) – Pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups held large rallies Sunday afternoon in El Cajon that remained peaceful, though outside groups provoked skirmishes nearby.
Shield of David hosted a “Stand with Israel” rally at 3 p.m. at Prescott Promenade in downtown El Cajon featuring Mayor Bill Wells and keynote speaker Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State under the Trump Administration.The event hosted a variety of other speakers as well as entertainment and Israeli food. It attracted about 1,000 Jews and supportive community members who wanted to stand united against rising anti-Semitic violence, celebrate Israel, and listen to the speakers.
A counter rally took place at 2 p.m. at El Cajon City Park led by Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) in collaboration with other activist groups like Jewish Voice for Peace. Leaders of these groups leveled criticism at organizers of the pro-Israel rally, which they viewed as divisive at a time of intense conflicts between Israel and Palestine, including recent bombings.
July 27, 2021 (Poway) - Poway OnStage announces its “Delayed 30th Anniversary Season" featuring a series of one-night-only performances in the 800-seat Poway Center for the Performing Arts. The 2021-2022 Season presents a sensational selection of nationally and internationally recognized artists, and runs from September 2021 through May 2022.
July 26, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) - The National Weather Service forecasts isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms in San Diego County’s mountains and deserts this evening, with flash flooding possible in some areas. There is a chance of more thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon.
July 26, 2021 (La Mesa) – Brian Jeffrey Raymond, 45, of La Mesa has pleaded guilty to "sexual abuse and admitted to the abusive sexual contact of numerous women, as well as photographing and recording dozens of nude and partially nude women without their consent during his career as a U.S. government employee" while working at the U.S. embassy in Mexico, according to a U.S. Justice Department press release. The release indicated that some of the women who have accused Raymond lost consciousness.
Agenda also includes proposal to create a task force to promote arts and culture in La Mesa
By Miriam Raftery
July 25, 2021 (La Mesa) – A proposal to form a task force to look at options for an expanded library will be on the agenda for the La Mesa City Council on Tuesday, July 27. You can submit comments up to 300 words to be read aloud at the Council meeting by the City Clerk; comments must be received by 4 p.m. Tuesdy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Live public comments can also be made via Zoom.
The current La Mesa Library was originally intended as an interim step, after the old library was torn down to make way for a new police station. But the cash-strapped city never raised the anticipated funds for a larger, contempoary library and county matching funding evaporated. But many residents are advocating for the city to live up to its promises to residents.
The issue has sparked lively discussion on the La Mesa Happenings forum on Facebook.
July 25, 2021 (La Mesa) – Candidates have until August 6 at noon to file papers to run for La Mesa’s City Council in a November special election. The field is growing crowded, with eight candidates who have pulled papers to run so far, though one told ECM he has decided to drop out.
The candidates are vying to fill a vacancy left by Dr. Akilah Weber's election to the state Assembly. The election follows a turbulent year that included civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In alphabetical order, the eight candidates who have thus far filed papers to run are:
July 25, 2021 (Lakeside) – If you see a large spotted lizard lumbering along in the Lakeside area, its owner asks you to call him.
Joe Bishop posted on Facebook that he owns the monitor lizard, which is a pet that accidentally escaped. Sightings have been reported on Marilla, Creekford and West Hill, according to Bishop, who lives on Riverview.
July 25, 2021 (El Cajon) – A rally and march in El Cajon is being planned today at 2 p.m. by pro-Palestinian groups, in reaction to a “We are Israel” rally slated for 3 p.m. at a separate location that Palestinian leaders locally describe as "Zionist" and "anti-Palestinian."
Organizers of the “We are Israel” rally at 3 p.m. on Prescott Promenade at 201 East Main St. have stated that their event is in response to the record number of violent attacks on Jewish people and synagogues in the U.S. and in San Diego County, not policies in the Mideaast.
Organized by Shield of David, that rally is slated to include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as keynote speaker and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells as one of several other speakers, as ECM reported.Pompeo, as Secretary of State under President Donald Trump, broke with decades of U..S. foreign policy tradition by declaring that Israeli settlements in the West Bank did not violate international law. But Pompeo also helped broker a peace deal between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.
July 24, 2021 (Spring Valley) -- A group of people led by Victoria Abrenica, founder and president of the Spring Valley cleanup crew, met Friday at the Tijuana River Valley for a large-scale cleanup of the land.
July 23, 2021 (El Cajon) - Spectators at the upcoming Cajon Classic Cruise events in downtown El Cajon will have two opportunities to view iconic autos: on the streets and at Car Gaze being held in The Gallery Without a Name, 134 E. Main St., where acclaimed photographers will offer their images of vehicles in a limited showing.
“A parked car can be, well, not much to think about,” said Jake Rose, an award-winning San Diego-area photographer. “But the right car, in the right place, conjures memories, mystery and curiosity. “Some photographers can’t resist what a car says about its place, an old car in front of an old building, a view back in time.”
July 24, 2021 (La Mesa) – Live theatre returns at Lamplighters Theatre after a 15-month closure due to COVID-19. Lamplighters presents “The Last Five Years,” Tony-Award winner Jason Robert Brown’s poignant and smart contemporary musical of five years in the relationship of an ambitious young writer, Jamie, and his struggling actress wife, Cathy. The show runs July 23 through Aug. 15.
June 19, 2021 (El Cajon) – Sponsors are needed for a golf tournament on Friday, July 30 at Cottonwood Golf Course in El Cajon for the “Saddles in Service” golf tournament. The event will support local veterans, active duty military, and first responders receive mental health wellness and healing through equine assisted activities at Saddles in Service in Alpine, CA.
July 21, 2021 (El Cajon) – A man found stabbed on July 18 at 2:20 p.m. has died at a local hospital. El Cajon Police responded to a medical aid call with Heartland Fire in the 1600 block of North Mollison Ave where “they located an unresponsive subject who had been stabbed at least one time,” according to Lieutenant Keith MacArthur.