El Cajon

LINEUP ANNOUNCED AT THE MAGNOLIA: REVITALIZED EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

 

Curtain to rise September 13  at inland San Diego region's premier concert venue

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

July 19, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The re-imagined East County Performing Arts Center, now known as “The Magnolia,” formally announced its initial season show lineup Tuesday.

Opening September 13 after a decade-long closure and extensive remodel, the 1,210-seat theatre in downtown El Cajon formally joins Live Nation’s global portfolio of 1700 concert venues. In addition to a spectacular outdoor Plaza Bazaar featuring unique pre and post-show dining, the theater will offer new state-of-the-art sound, lighting and projections systems.

Live Nation, which will operate, market and book The Magnolia, anticipates attracting a wide variety of acts appealing to a diverse group of audiences from throughout the region.

The Magnolia’s initial lineup of shows includes a variety of popular rock and jazz artists, and comedians geared to adults and families, a cooking show and more:

BEN AND JESSICA KALASHO ARRAIGNED ON CONTEMPT OF COURT CHARGES

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

July 18, 2019 (San Diego) – Over two years after a sexual harassment and fraud lawsuit was filed against Ben and Jessica Kalasho, the couple was arraigned last Friday in San Diego Superior Court on multiple counts of contempt of court. The former El Cajon Councilman and his wife are charged with failing to provide subpoenaed documents and actively interfering in the judicial process.

According to legal experts, the punishment for contempt of court can vary greatly. If it is a matter of urgency or if the contempt was done in front of a judge, the punishment can be immediate. Punishment can range from imprisonment of up to five years, to jail time merely until the defendant complies with the order or fine.

STARGAZING, WAGS AND WINE, RAINWATER HARVESTING AND MORE AT THE GARDEN THIS SUMMER

East County News Service

 

July 5, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Water Conservation Garden has a variety of fun and educational events coming up in July and August, including:

 

  • Garden yoga July 8
  • Wags & Wine July 10
  • Stargazing July 10
  • Landscapes, irrigation and soils July 16
  • Rainwater harvesting July 20
  • Gregory Page Trio concert July 27
  • Creepy crawly critters August 23

Learn more and register for these events at www.thegarden.org.

SHOTS FIRED OUTSIDE MOVIE THEATRE IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery
 
July 3, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – Last night around midnight, three boys ran into the Regal Edwards Cinema in Rancho San Diego to report a shooter outside, NBC 7 reports.
 
Several people in the theater called 911 and Sheriff’s deputies responded.  The boys told Sheriff’s officials that a man had pulled out a handgun and fired shots in the air after an argument with the boys.  The shooter was reportedly a passenger in a four-door, silver or gray car. 

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL UNVEILS REFURBISHED THEATER: MAGNOLIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER TO OPEN THIS FALL

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

Photos by Paul Kruze and Miriam Raftery

 

July 2, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Eighteen months after approving a management deal with worldwide concert producer LiveNation, the El Cajon City Council unveiled the newly refurbished “Magnolia Performing Arts Center” (formerly called the “East County Performing Arts Center”) to Council members and the public in a tour held during a recess at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

EL CAJON MOTELS AND HOTELS TO GET CLOSER CITY SCRUTINY

Council passes ordinance regulating lodging establishments’ security and maintenance

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

June 29, 2019 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon’s 20 motels and hotels will be subject to more scrutiny, after passage of a new ordinance that sets minimum standards for cleanliness and security.

In a unanimous vote, the El Cajon City Council on June 11 approved a “Deemed Approved Lodging Establishment” ordinance which gives the city broad powers to regulate the 1,120 motel and hotel rooms in El Cajon. The city gains another 96 rooms when the Hampton Inn by Hilton opens next year. 

CHP OFFICER STRUCK BY DUI DRIVER ON I-8 SUSTAINS MAJOR INJURY

East County News Service 

June 28, 2019 (El Cajon) – A CHP officer who had stopped to aid a disabled motorist in the center divide of Interstate 8 last night at 9:24 p.m. in El Cajon was struck by a Chevrolet Camero driven at a high rate of speed by Richard Chambers, 25.  The accident occurred on I-8 west, just east of West Main Street.

TWO EL CAJON STRONG-ARM ROBBERY SUSPECTS STILL AT LARGE, ONE ARRESTED IN ROLANDO

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2019 (El Cajon) – Two suspects masked with black bandanas demanded merchandise from customers at a T-Mobile store at 354 N. Second Street in El Cajon at 11:05 a.m. yesterday. A customer was assaulted, suffering minor injuries before the two robbers fled in a dark Chrysler four-door sedan along with a third suspect.

Two of the suspects were described as black male adult wearing jeans.  One wore a black hooded sweatshirt and is around 6 ft. tall, weighing 200 pounds. The other is approximately 5 ft. 7 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds.  A third suspect is of unknown description.

CVUSD ASST. SUPERINDTENDENT PAINTS POSITIVE FINANCIAL FORECAST FOR DISTRICT AND OTHER LOCAL SCHOOLS, BASED ON GOVERNOR’S REVISED BUDGET

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

June 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Cajon Valley Union School District Assistant Superintendent Scott Buxbaum (photo, left) painted a positive financial forecast for the district at its Board of Trustees meeting on Jun 11, after attending a meeting in Sacramento with Governor Gavin Newsom.

The latest financial forecast based on the Governor’s May budget revision is good news not only for the CVUSD, but for all local public school districts. Newsom, a father of young children, has pledged to make public education funding a priority.  

According to Buxbaum, the May Revision builds off of Newsom’s “California for All” vision from January. Due to strong April tax revenues, Newsom was able to retain most of his proposals from January, and invest additional funds into programs he has envisioned as prioirities.

DRIVER ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE AFTER INJURY CRASH IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – A 22-year-old man has been arrested by El Cajon Police following a collision that occurred shortly after midnight at Jamacha Road and Vista del Valley Blvd. The crash injured two people, one seriously.

RON BURNER, SANTEE RESIDENT, REALTOR, YOUTH SPORTS COACH, JOINS KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

June 14, 2019 (El Cajon) – Keller Williams Realty San Diego East Foothills in El Cajon, the largest residential real estate brokerages in San Diego’s East County region with more than 320 agents, has announced that Santee resident Ron Burner has joined the firm as a real estate sales agent.

MAN PUSHING SHOPPING CAR ON HIGHWAY 67 STRUCK, KILLED BY PICKUP

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 14, 2019 (El Cajon) – A transient pushing a shopping cart in traffic lanes on southbound State Route 67 at 3:37 a.m. on June 9th near the I-8 interchange stepped “directly into the path” of a Ford F-150 pickup. The driver, a 27-year-old El Cajon man, was unable to avoid striking the pedestrian and shopping cart, says Officer Jeff Christy with the California Highway Patrol.

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT MEETING BLOWS UP

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor; Editor Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

Photo: Board President Tamara Otero

June 11, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The high drama and hijinks which have been commonplace lately at Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) board meetings continued at the May 28th session. At one point the meeting was adjourned during a fracas among individuals outside the board room, overshadowing reports on district accomplishments. The action of adjourning, then reconvening the meeting for subsequent discussion and voting on agenda items raises new legal concerns.

Audio: 

Listen to audio: CVUSD meeting 5-28-19 adjourns in mid-session before reconvening
Excerpts of public comments at 5-28-CVUSD meeting including ECM editor MIriam Raftery and others
Reagles threatens Barto with recall on 5-3-19

JUST DUCKY: FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE SIX DUCKLINGS FROM STORM DRAIN

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 8, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Six ducklings trapped in a storm drain in El Cajon are lucky ducks -- rescued by Heartland firefighters with help from animal rescue personnel.
 
Firefighters responded to a call at 1:20 p.m. Saturday reporting the situation.  The firefighters found the ducklings under a storm grate in the 200 block of Fletcher Parkway, with no mother duck around. 

GAS LEAK NEAR PARKWAY PLAZA FORCED EVACUATIONS, TROLLEY CLOSURE IN EL CAJON

Leak is now controlled; trolley service has resumed and streets have reopened

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

 

June 7, 2019 (El Cajon) – A 2-inch diameter gas line ruptured by construction crews at North Marshal Ave. and Petree Street shortly after noon today prompted evacuations of the Rock Church and multiple businesses including The Lexus car dealership and Black Bear Diner. 10 News reports diners were given just five minutes to flee.

EL CAJON EXPANDS NUMBER OF PETS ALLOWED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  CC by SA

May 30, 2019 (El Cajon) – You might say that El Cajon is going to the dogs – and cats. The City Council has voted unanimously to allow pet owners to have up to four dogs, or four cats.  Owners can also have a combination of cats and dogs, up to a maximum of four.

Formerly, the city allowed no more than two dogs or cats per household, though exceptions were made for puppies and kittens not yet old enough for adoption.

29% OF CAJON VALLEY SCHOOLS ARE FLAGGED BY STATE AS NEEDING SUPPORT; SUPERINTENDANT SAYS STATE’S DASHBOARD MEASURES “WRONG METRICS”

For second year in a row, CVUSD schools are flagged by state for troublesome school performance issues.   

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

May 24, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Listening to Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) Superintendent  David Miyashiro’s “State of the Schools” address on Jan. 15, one might think that all of the district’s education programs are successful and that its student body is thriving. However, a report released in early December by the California Department of Education’s California Classroom Dashboard indicates that despite innovative career path programs, students at 8 of 27 district schools are not measuring up when it comes to college readiness.

FORMER TEACHER AT CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL IN EL CAJON ARRESTED FOR RAPES

 
 
East County News Service
 
May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Sheriff’s Department arrested Dustin Sniff, a.k.a. Dustin Stevens, a former teacher at Christian High School in El Cajon, on May 15. He is charged with rape and sexual assault of a minor. Six victims ranged from 16 to 22 years of age, including two of his students.

ATTORNEY CORY BRIGGS REPRESENTS EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE IN ACTION AGAINST CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD

“Based on your agency’s history of deleting audio recordings of board meetings, it has become necessary for reporters to record the meetings because your agency cannot be trusted to carry out this basic governance function.Now that all board members are on notice of the fact that the public must perform this function, any member’s participation in a meeting at which the public has been thwarted in its efforts to make a recording will subject the member to criminal prosecution.” – Attorney Cory Briggs, in a letter to the CVUSD.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  ECM's recording device, a cell-phone sized recorder on a small tripod next to the front left seat, is clearly not obstructive or disruptive at the May 7 board workshop.

May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – “Despite lawfully occupying open seats in the front  row, reporters have been threatened with arrest, removal, or both if they did not move to the back of the room,” states a letter sent by Attorney Cory Briggs of Briggs Law Corporation to Cajon Valley Union School District yesterday on behalf of ECM. His letter makes clear that such conduct is “flatly illegal.”

On May 7, Ryan Love, safety and security officer for the district, ordered ECM contributing editor Paul Kruze and editor Miriam Raftery to move to the back, where we explained that audio recordings would not turn out due to noise from an air conditioner and the audience. We refused to comply with this illegal request. 

On May 14, Love again demanded that Kruze move from the front row to the back, and Kruze again refused. Kruze says he was told that an El Cajon Police officer would be called to arrest him.

EL CAJON’S FREE MOVIES IN THE PARK LINEUP ANNOUNCED FOR SUMMER

 

 

East County News Service

May 8, 2019 (El Cajon) — El Cajon’s popular movies in the park are coming back due to popular demand.  You can enjoy nine summer movies from June through August (free!) at parks across the city. Below is the schedule of movie showings:

SUPERINTENDENT MIYASHIRO BLASTS STORY ON OTERO CONTRACTING CONTROVERSY, DECLINES TO TAKE ANY ACTION TO ADDRESS DISCLOSURE OR CONFLICT OF INTEREST ISSUES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

 

May 6, 2019 (El Cajon) – Cajon Valley Union School District Superintendent David Miyashiro, Ed.D., sent a blistering editorial in an e-mail to East County Magazine, board members and others blasting our article on board President Tamara Otero’s failure to disclose that her son owned a company that received a $665,000 contract.   He did not list any actions planned to address Otero’s lack of disclosure and transparency.

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING INJURES VICTIM IN EAST COUNTY; AUTHORITIES SEEK WHITE SUV

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 6, 2019 (El Cajon) – The driver of a white Ford Explorer or Expedition SUV fired a shotgun into a vehicle on Los Coches Road in unincorporated El Cajon near the I-8 freeway shortly before midnight last night.  Shotgun pellets struck a rear passenger in the face and head.

HOTEL FIRE IN EL CAJON INJURES MAN

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 6, 2019 (El Cajon) - Firefighters rescued a man in a burning hotel in El Cajon early this morning.
 
Heartland Fire & Rescue crews from El Cajon, with assistance from Santee Fire and San Miguel Fire, were dispatched to the fire at the Relax Inn in the 1200 block of W. Main Street at 5 a.m.  Fire crews arrived within five minutes to discover smoke and fire coming from a downstairs bedroom. 

22 APPLICANTS SEEK TO FILL EL CAJON COUNCIL VACANCY: INTERVIEWS SET FOR MAY 14

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2019 (El Cajon) – The vacancy left on the El Cajon City Council by the resignation of Ben Kalasho has generated strong community interest.  Applications have been received from 22 residents, all seeking to fill the seat. They range from prominent individuals including a former mayor to community activists, members of the planning commission, and a retired police officer who received a Medal of Valor. They bring a diverse range of views and visions for  El Cajon as well.

The City Council will interview applicants at the May 14 meeting at 7 p.m.  Earlier, at the 3 p.m. meeting, Council members will discuss procedures for choosing the next Councilmember, who will fill the at-large seat held by Kalasho until the 2020 election.

The applicants are, in alphabetical order, are listed below along with highlights from their applications:

HOMELESS COUNT SHOWS 6% DROP COUNTYWIDE: HOMELESS RISES IN RAMONA AND EL CAJON BUT DROPS IN SPRING VALLEY

 

Updated with corrected figures for El Cajon, where homelessness rose and a higher percentage are without shelter than last year.

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – For the second year in a row, the annual Point-in-Time homeless count for 2019 found a 6% drop in the number of homeless people living on the streets and in shelters across San Diego County.  The count found a 1% increase in those who are sheltered and a 10% decrease in those left unsheltered.

DRIVER SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS FOR INJURING BOY ON BIKE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery 

April 29, 2019 (El Cajon) - Courtney Webber has been sentenced to three years in prison for hitting a 9-year-old bicyclist in El Cajon on October 5, 2018, then fleeing the scene, Times of San Diego reports.  Webber pled guilty to the crime.

ECPAC TO BE RENAMED MAGNOLIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2019 (El Cajon) – When the East County Performing Arts Center reopens later this year under management of Live Nation, it will have a new name:  Magnolia Performing Arts Center. Magnolia is the city of El Cajon’ official flower and its image appears in the city’s logo. The center, located on Main Street, is accessed off the Magnolia Avenue exit from Interstate 8.

EL CAJON HONORED FOR PROJECTS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon has received projects awards from  the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the American Public Works Association (APWA).   The new animal shelter was honored by all three organizations.  Other projects honored including Stony’s Neighborhood Park improvements, sewer and traffic light projects. City Manager Graham Mitchell advised the City Council and Mayor that the city has received the following awards:

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