El Cajon

WELCOME, EL CAJON RESIDENTS!

Our El Cajon Living section covers the city of El Cajon and unincorporated El Cajon areas including Fletcher Hlils and Rancho San Diego.

Click here for fascinating facts about El Cajon.  For community and city links, click here.


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MUSICAL STARS TO SHINE THIS WEEK AT THE MAGNOLIA

By Miriam Raftery

December 2, 2021 (El Cajon) – Stellar musicians will rock the night onstage at The Magnolia in downtown El Cajon this week, including Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac fame on Friday, December 3 at 8 p.m.  Then on Monday, December 6 at 8 p.m., renown artists Shawn Colvin, Marc Cohn and Sara Watkins will perform together in concert.


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CHABAD OF EAST COUNTY ADAPTS TO CARRY OUT FIRST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH CELEBRATION

Story and photos by Elijah McKee

Photo, left: Mayor Bill Wells lights menorah in El Cajon

December 1, 2021 (El Cajon) — Even the most thought-out plans can be derailed by a last-minute change, especially when a leader falls ill. This wasn’t true for the Chabad of East County on Sunday, though, as they pulled off their first night of Hanukkah event at the El Cajon Civic Center without a hitch, despite the absence of Rabbi Rafi Andrusier and his wife Chaya, who tested positive for COVID-19 the day before. 

They are both vaccinated, have mild cases, and will be back to normal soon — but instead of floundering in the unexpected changeup, a team of ten Chabad volunteers filled the void right away to execute the plans with the Rabbi’s virtual support. The event drew a large crowd two years ago but was skipped last year due to the pandemic — so it was all the more important for everyone to hold the tradition this year.


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CREST CHRISTMAS MARKET AND FESTIVAL DEC. 3-4

East County News Service

November 25, 2021 (Crest) – Santa will arrive by firetruck to cap off a two-day Christmas Market and Festival in Crest.  The event will be held at the Crest Clubhouse (113 North Park, El Cajon) on Friday, December 3 from 3-8 p.m. and Saturday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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DONATIONS SOUGHT TO SEND EL CAJON BOY WITH LEUKEMIA TO DISNEY WORLD

East County News Service

 

November 24, 2021 (El Cajon) - The nonprofit Campaign One At A Time is (OAAT) hosting a fundraiser for a 5-year-old cancer patient, Maximiliano Jacobs from El Cajon, to help fulfill his dream of going on a dream trip to Disney World with his family. 


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EL CAJON BRINGS AWARENESS TO NATIONAL HOMELESS YOUTH MONTH

Story and photos by Henri Migala

November 23, 2021 (El Cajon) -- November is National Homeless Youth Month. Nearly 100 people participated in a rally and march in downtown El Cajon on November 17 to bring attention and awareness to this national crisis, including El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Councilmember Steve Goble, and representatives from various non-profit organizations and agencies dedicated to serving homeless youth.

According to the National Child Trauma Stress Network, “as many as 2.5 million youth per year experience homelessness. Along with losing their home, community, friends, and routines as well as their sense of stability and safety, many homeless youths are also victims of trauma. While trying to survive on the streets, youth are exposed to countless dangers, with an increased likelihood of substance abuse, early parenthood, impulsivity, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and a vulnerability to being trafficked.”

It is estimated that there are at least 1,500 homeless youth in San Diego, although some believe that the number is much higher since homeless youth are difficult to find and count.


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EL CAJON POLICE CHARGE TWO SUSPECTS WITH MURDER OF JAYLIN MOORE

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2021 (El Cajon) — On February 26, 24-year-old Jaylin Moore was sleeping in his apartment when he was fatally shot through a bedroom window. Shortly after 4 a.m. Following an eight-month investigation, Lt. Keith MacArthur announced today that El Cajon Police Homicide Detectives have arrested two suspects for murder.


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HOME START TO HOST EAST REGION RUNAWAY AND HOMELESS YOUTH WALK AND RALLY NOV. 17 IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

Photo: CC via Bing

November 14, 2021 (El Cajon) – A walk, rally and resource fair aimed at raising awareness of runaways and ending youth homelessness will take place Wednesday, November 17 in downtown El Cajon. According to Home Start, the nonprofit organizing the event in honor of National Runaway Month:


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CONGRESSWOMAN JACOBS VISITS EL CAJON BUSINESSES, TALKS ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS AND BUSINESS GRANTS

By Miriam Raftery

November 13, 2021 (El Cajon) – Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (D-53) stopped by downtown El Cajon on Wednesday to speak about how passage of the infrastructure bill could impact our region. In a tour coordinated with the East County Chamber of Commerce, Jacobs also met with local business owners to hear about their needs as the economy emerges from pandemic.

“We here in San Diego are well placed to receive a lot of funding from this bill,” Jacobs said in a press conference outside of Rob’s Brewpoint, a new coffee shop opened during the pandemic.

Through formula funding, California is expected to receive $44 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which President Joe Biden plans to sign into law on Monday. San Diego will likely get 8 percent of that for roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects, Jacobs said. “There’s also a competitive grant program,” she added, noting that the Secretary of Transportation will have discretion on how those grants will be disseminated.


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GOFUNDME PAGE STARTED TO HELP VICTIM SERIOUSLY INJURED IN ATTACK BY STRANGER NEAR TROLLEY STOP IN EL CAJON

The victim, Jose Serra, was interviewed today by 10 News. Still in the hospital, he said the assailant had asked him on the trolley for directions to Spring Street. Soon after they got off in El Cajon, Serra says, "He just pulled out the knife and started slashing. It was a complete surprise."  A bystander came to his aid after he fell to the sidewalk. He adds, “It feel good, feels good to be alive."

Investigators are looking into whether the assault on Serra, who is Filipino, may have been a hate crime.

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2021 (El Cajon) – The victim of a brutal stabbing attack in El Cajon was on a ventilator in a hospital intensive care unit, after suffering stab wound injuries to multiple major organs, his intestines, head and hand.

The vicious assault by a stranger also cut an artery and nearly severed an ear, according to Todd Jones, who has set up a GoFundMe account to help his 71-year-old friend and colleague.


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EL CAJON POLICE SEEK ISRAEL VALDIVA, WANTED FOR VICIOUS “RANDOM” KNIFE ATTACK ON ELDERLY MAN NEAR TROLLEY STATION

Suspect has long history of violent crimes and had been released early after his most recent conviction

East County News Service

November 11, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police seek public help to locate Israel Ezekiel Valdiva, who is wanted for savagely stabbing a man in his 70s near the trolley stop at Marshall and Petree. The unprovoked random attack on November 3 shortly after 5 a.m. was recorded on surveillance video at the trolley station.

“The victim had numerous life-threatening stab wounds and had been severely slashed across his face. The victim’s ear was nearly severed off and he had lost a significant amount of blood. The victim was transported to a local trauma center in critical condition,” says Lieutenant Randy Soulard.


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EL CAJON MAYOR, AT PARENTS ANTI-MANDATE RALLY, DECRIES 'PLOT TO TAKE OVER AMERICA'

By Ken Stone and Chris Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells warned against the “evil” of government mandates.  Photo by Chris Stone

November 11, 2021 (El Cajon) - Raging against “a plot to take over America and the rest of the world,” El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells spoke Wednesday at a rally of parents calling for freedom from vaccination mandates.


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VOLUNTEERS AND AGENCIES WELCOME AFGHAN REFUGEES IN EL CAJON, BUT MORE HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED

By Elijah McKee

Photo, left: Jill Galante and Peggy Han, volunteers with El Cajon Helping Refugees

November 10, 2021 (El Cajon) — “We regularly, four or five times a day, get messages saying ‘Please, my family is so hungry. Please can you visit,’” said Jill Galante as she scanned the newly assembled single bedroom, now ready for four people.

After just one hour of flurried food stocking, donated furniture assembling and bathroom scrubbing, Galante and a group of volunteers from Helping El Cajon Refugees effectively transformed the bare El Cajon apartment into a welcoming place for Sara, her husband who worked with the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, and their daughters: four-month-old Sana and three-year-old Asra. “We try to make it look like a home,” said Galante.


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PARKWAY PLAZA HOSTS JOB FAIR: LOCAL STORES NOW HIRING

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2021 (El Cajon) – Parkway Plaza shopping mall in El Cajon will host a job fair on Saturday, November 13 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

“There are a range of positions available from seasonal to full-time/management positions,” says Petra Rich, marketing and business development manager for Parkway Plaza. “These opportunities provide great flexibility and extra holiday cash. We will have opportunities with Pandora, Tilly’s, Cabrera and Associates, Sunglasses Hut and more.”


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FALL GARDEN FESTIVAL NOV. 13 AT THE WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN

East County News Service

November 10, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Beauty abounds at The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, where the Fall Garden Festival will be held on November 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The event includes fall plant sales, educational talks, and tours to help you get planting for the season.


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HOLIDAY LIGHTS ON MAIN NOVEMBER 27 IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2021 (El Cajon) – Downtown El Cajon will host its annual Holiday Lights on Main on Saturday, November 27 from 12 noon to 8 p.m.  The event features a tree lighting at 6 p.m. and free musical entertainment by the Original Starfires Band from 2-4 p.m., followed by the Siers Brothers Band.

There will also be a Santa Village with ice skating, carnival rides, live holiday music and Santa Claus!



The merchants group also invites the public to help support local business on this “Shop Small” occasion to keep revenues in the community.


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BREAKING BOUNDARIES, GROSSMONT COLLEGE DANCE CONCERT, SET FOR NEW PERFORMING AND VISUAL ARTS CENTER NOV. 18-20

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

November 5, 2021 (El Cajon) - The Grossmont College Dance Department will stage its annual student-choreographed dance concert in the new Performing and Visual Arts Center (PVAC) on November 18, 19 and 20.


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CIRQUE MUSICA HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR COMES TO THE MAGNOLIA IN EL CAJON NOVEMBER 17

By Miriam Raftery

November 2, 2021 (El Cajon) - The Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular Tour is coming to El Cajon’s The Magnolia on Wednesday, November 17 at 8 p.m. This all-new production will feature favorite holiday songs of all time performed with the world-renowned cast of Cirque Musica.


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VIEW OUR INTERVIEW: RICK HALL, PRESIDENT OF EL CAJON HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 1, 2021 (El Cajon) --East County Magazine interviewed Rick Hall, President of the El Cajon Historical Society, via Zoom last week regarding the Society's efforts to preserve local history, funding challenges due to COVID-19, and encouraged residents including newcomers from around the world to share their stories as part of the city's ever-changing history.  The interview also aired on our radio show on KNSJ 89.1 FM.

Hall also talked about his own heritage as a descendant of one of El Cajon’s pioneering families and shared anecdotes from the city’s colorful past. 

Donations are needed to help sustain the Society’s efforts to keep history alive in our region, due to a loss of funds during the pandemic lockdowns.


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PARKWAY PLAZA HOSTS FALL FEST OCT. 30

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of Parkway Plaza

October 28, 2021 (El Cajon) – Parkway Plaza regional shopping mall in El Cajon invites you to bring the family to a free Fall Fest on Saturday, October 30 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  The event features “adventure throughout the plaza to say hi to your favorite live characters such as Wonder Woman and Captain America, and partake in a variety of activities throughout the mall,” according to Parkway Plaza.  Guests can also enjoy carnival games such as ring toss and skee ball, visit a face painting table, or stop at the arts and crafts station to make skeletons, bats and more.

Parkway Plaza is located at 415 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon. 


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HEARTLAND FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE WOMAN FROM STORM CHANNEL IN EL CAJON USING NEWLY DONATED SWIFT WATER RESCUE GEAR

East County News Service

View video: https://www.facebook.com/CityOfElCajon/videos/3043747972534333 \

October 27, 2021 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon and Heartland Fire & Rescue shared a video on its Facebook and Instagram accounts recounting a recent rescue by firefighters using swift water rescue equipment recently received through a grant from the Firehouse Sub Public Safety Foundation. The equipment was received just two weeks prior to the rescue


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SAVOR AUTHENTIC AFGHAN FLAVORS AT KABUL KABOB HOUSE IN EL CAJON

 

By Henri Migala, East County Eater

October 26, 2021 (El Cajon) -- East County is quickly becoming the new mecca in San Diego for sumptuous culinary adventures with an array of international cuisine, thanks to our region’s many immigrants and refugees. Adding to East County’s already rich diversity of restaurants is Kabul Kabob House in El Cajon, specializing in delicious and authentic food from Afghanistan.

Owned and operated by Ajrudin Nabizada, an Afghan immigrant, Kabul Kabob House offers probably the tastiest and most genuine Afghan food in San Diego County. The portions are generous and the prices affordable.

Nabizada came to the U.S. with his wife and two children in December 2014 on a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) after serving as a translator for US Special Forces in Afghanistan. He came to San Diego because his wife’s cousin was living here. Since arriving, his family has enjoyed the birth of their third child.


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75TH ANNUAL MOTHER GOOSE PARADE WILL BE VIRTUAL NOV. 21

East County News Service

October 23, 2021 (El Cajon) – The 75th annual Mother Goose Parade will be held virtually on November 21, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, at 1 p.m.  You can view it at www.MotherGooseParade.org.  The parade theme is “Celebrating 75 Years of East County Fun.”


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ST. MADELEINE’S SWING WITH SANTA GOLF TOURNAMENT TEES OFF NOV. 5

East County News Service

October 21, 2021 (El Cajon) -- St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to realize their full potential, will host its 8th Annual “Swing with Santa” Golf Tournament in memory of Don Parent on Friday, November 5. Guests are invited to join SMSC at the Singing Hills Golf Resort Pine Glen 3-Par Executive Course at Sycuan (3007 Dehesa Road, El Cajon, CA 92019) for a 10:30 a.m. check-in and a shotgun start at 12:00 p.m. Participants can expect a day full of fun, opportunity drawings, games, a golf ball drop, food and drinks, and a visit from Santa. 


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VIDEO OF THE MONTH: FOODIE FEST DRAWS HUNGRY CROWD IN EL CAJON

October 21, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Visitors to El Cajon's first-ever Foodie Fest on October 9 had an opportunity to savor flavors from an array of restaurants and caterers, featuring cuisines from around the world.

East County Magazine intern Cristina Lombardo visited Foodie Fest and created a video to document the experience. She spoke with local restarurant owners and an event organizer of the successful event.

Among the offerings were Iraqi, Afghan, Mexican, Italian, Hawaiian foods and more.  Offerings ranged from spicy entrees to healthy smoothies to rich desserts.


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STUDIO C AND SILVER CREEK GALLERIES TO MERGE

East County News Service

October 16, 2021 (El Cajon) – Studio C Gallery is merging with Silver Creek Fine Art and Custom Framing.  Carlos Castrejon, owner of Studio C, announced that he will close his Kearny Mesa location October 31 and move services to the new location in downtown El Cajon, which is already open at 128 East Main Street in downtown El Cajon.


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EL CAJON MAY OPPOSE COUNTY’S PROPOSED MICROENTERPRISE HOME KITCHEN OPERATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

October 10, 2021 (El Cajon) – On Tuesday, October 12, the El Cajon City Council will consider a city staff proposal to ask County Supervisors to opt out of the state’s Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKO) program. The proposal before the City Council, item 12 on the agenda, comes after Supervisors Joel Anderson and Nora Vargas introduced a MEHKO measure in September that was approved in concept by Supervisors, as ECM reported

The county measure asked staff to draft an ordinance by January 12 to legalize home kitchen operations to prepare, sell and serve up to 30 meals per day, or 60 meals per week and earn a maximum annual revenue of $50,000. Meals would be limited to foods that are consumed the same day that they are prepared.


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SUPERVISORS ADOPT PLANS TO HELP AFGHAN REFUGEES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of the Pentagon: U.S. troops help evacuate Afghan refugees

October 8, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego Supervisors voted unanimously this week to adopt a proposal by East County Supervisor Joel Anderson to have the County Office of immigrant and Refugee Affairs work with refugee resettlement agencies to assist with a wave of Afghan refugees arriving in our region. The board also approved Anderson’s plan to ask the federal government to spend part of $9.5 billion in frozen Taliban assets to pay for refugee resettlements.

In addition, Supervisors approved a proposal by Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer to create an Afghan Resettlement Task Force.

With the Taliban takeover of the country, those who helped American troops as translators or in other capacities faced risk of death if they remained, as did women’s rights and human rights advocates. Many fled Afghanistan with few personal possessions.

Anderson stated, “I am thankful that my colleagues recognize the importance of this measure that will ensure San Diego County is ready to welcome these refugees into our communities.” He added that his East County district has a large population of Afghans and others with Middle Eastern heritage.”


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CHARGES FILED AGAINST TWO FORMER CHRISTIAN YOUTH THEATER WORKERS FOR ALLEGED SEXUAL ABUSE OF STUDENTS IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

File Photo: CYT production of Les Mis in the Mount Helix amphitheatre.

October 4, 2021 (El Cajon) – Two men have been charged with felony sexual assault against students at Christian Youth Theater in El Cajon.

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan today announced that David Hott, 34, has been charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a 13-year-old child in 2007.  Brad Christian Davis, 40, is charged with  a felony count of sexual penetration by a foreign object involving at 16-year-old in 2010.

San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit thanked victims for their “courage in coming forward,” adding, “We must hold these individuals responsible for their actions, so they don’t have the opportunity to harm more children in the future.”


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PASSENGER, 83, DIES AFTER COLLISION IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

October 3, 2021 (El Cajon) – A white pickup truck struck a dark sedan this evening at the intersection of Broadway and Graves Avenue in El Cajon, injuring two senior citizens. The sedan’s driver, an 86-year-old woman, was hospitalized with minor injuries and her passenger, an 83-year-old man, died at the hospital of his injuries.


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