El Cajon

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RAISES FINES FOR ILLEGAL TOBACCO SALES; REJECTS BAN ON VAPES AND FLAVORED TOBACCO

“My responsibility is to keep these extremely dangerous devices out of the hands of our children…This is a disaster in the making.” – Councilman Gary Kendrick

“I’m very afraid of a trend I see in our country of slowly giving away our freedoms for safety,” – Mayor Bill Wells

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: Vaping devices disguised as products teens use; creative common image via S.A.

Watch complete coverage with public participation

Watch council members discussion before voting

December 13, 2019 (El Cajon) – The El Cajon City Council took up Councilman Gary Kendrick’s proposal last month to increase fines for illegal tobacco sales to minors and to ban flavored tobacco and vapes disguised as USB memory sticks, lipstick tubes, pens and other objects. The hike in fines passed, along with added teeth to the ordinance, including suspension of a retailer’s business license for numerous violations.

But despite many El Cajon residents and others voicing concerns over health impacts of vaping, Kendrick fell short of the votes needed to enact a ban on flavored vapes and vaping devices attractive to minors. Councilmen Steve Goble, Phil Ortiz, Mayor Bill Wells prevailed with “no” votes, over Councilmen Gary Kendrick and Bob McLellan who voted “yes.”

FOOTHILLS CHURCH IN EL CAJON FEATURES NIGHTLY CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAY; 100,000 LIGHTS SYNCHRONIZED TO MUSIC

East County News Service

December 11, 2019 (El Cajon) – Foothills Christian Church, 365 West Bradley Ave., El Cajon, is presenting its third annual “Christmas Nights at Foothills,” a free, nightly, synched-music Christmas light show featuring more than 100,000 lights, from 5 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31. Motorists are invited to drive along West Bradley Drive, tune their car radio to 104.1-FM and enjoy the holiday light display that is synchronized to music.

POLICE SEEK HELP TO SOLVE STREET ROBBERIES IN EAST EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police Department is warning the public about a rise in street robberies, some targeting elderly men. The robberies have occurred in the vicinity of the 1000 block of East Main Street and the 800 block of Buena Terrace in recent weeks.

ALS ASSOCIATION IN SAN DIEGO PRESENTS ALS GOLF CLASSIC, FRIDAY, DEC. 6, AT SYCUAN’S SINGING HILLS RESORT IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

November 29, 2019 (El Cajon) – 
The ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter will present the 11th annual ALS Golf Classic, a fundraising golf tournament, on Friday, Dec. 6 at the Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan, 3007 Dehesa Road, El Cajon. The tournament is open to the public.

PEDESTRIAN KILLED IN EL CAJON ON THANKSGIVING NIGHT

East County News Service

November 29, 2019 (El Cajon ) – A woman, 60, died after being struck by a 2001 Tacoma last night shortly after 8 p.m. at the intersection of East Chase and Avocado Avenue.

El Cajon Police officers and paramedics responded to a call reporting the accident. A police officer performed CPR on the unresponsive victim until medics arrived.  She was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Her identity is known, but is being withheld until family is notified.

CAJON VALLEY TRUSTEE JILL BARTO FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST DISTRICT, SUPERINTENDENT, AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

November 28, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Longtime Cajon Valley Union School District Board member Jill Barto on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the district, Superintendent David Miyashiro and four trustees over what her attorney, Mike Aguirre, alleges are violations of her civil and First Amendment rights.

The suit alleges that since she was re-elected to her seat on the Board of Trustees in November 2018, she experienced retaliation and had her civil rights violated by Miyashiro and others after she questioned Miyashiro’s use of district funds and his travel at district expense.

“The School District Board Superintendent and four other board members have retaliated against Plaintiff and conspired against her in violation of her First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution,” the suit alleges. “Defendant’s retaliatory conduct has repeatedly tried to prevent Plaintiff from fully representing the constituents that elected her to the Board,” it continues. The suit lists does 1-50, leaving open the possibility of adding other defendants.

EAST COUNTY FOSTER CARE TOWN HALL AND TURKEY GIVEAWAY WED. IN EL CAJON

 

 

East County News Service

November 21, 2019 (El Cajon) – The People’s Alliance for Justice and its president, national civil rights activist Rev. Shane Harris, will host a town hall forum on foster care disparity Wednesda,Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. (check in at 5 p.m.) at the Choice Harvest CHurch, 760 Palm Ave. in El Cajon.

Free turkeys will be provided to attendees. Call 619-354-8051 to RSVP for the turkey giveway.

You’re invited to the free event to learn about injustices in the foster care system, hear from foster youths and professional to discuss changes they believe are needed

This event will be moderated by East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery.  Call (619)354-8051 to RSVP and register for a free turkey, or email paj@peoplesallianceforjustice.net.

VIDEO OF THE MONTH: MAYOR WELLS ON SAX AT BENEFIT TO HELP HOMELESS

 

Video by Paul Kruze

November 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells played saxophone and sang at the East County Transitional Living Center's fundraising dinner on November 14, 2019 at the Shadow Hills Community Church Center, accompanied by Jonni Glaser on saxophone.

HOLIDAY GIFT SHOPPE SALE AT THE GARDEN DEC. 7

East County News Service

 

November 26, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) - Looking for a little something special for that special someone? Drop by the Water Conservation Garden’s annual Holiday Gift Shoppe Sale on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to find wonderful whimsical gifts for your special gardener or garden aficionado.

 

EL CAJON HOLIDAY LIGHTS ON MAIN NOV. 30 FEATURES ICE SKATING, SANTA’S VILLAGE AND MORE

East County News Center

November 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Downtown El Cajon invites you to “Holiday Lights on Main” this Saturday, November 25th from 12 noon to 7 p.m.  This festive event includes ice skating, Santa’s Village, carnival rides, live music, and at 6 p.m. the annual tree lighting at Main and Magnolia.

Shops will light up to brighten your holidays and invite you to support small businesses in the community as part of Small Business Saturday.

ECM CONTRIBUTING EDITOR PAUL KRUZE TO BE ONE OF THE ANNOUNCERS AT MOTHER GOOSE PARADE

East County News Service

November 22, 2019 (El Cajon) -- East County Magazine’s award-winning Contributing Editor, Paul Kruze, will be one of several celebrity announcers at this year’s iconic “Mother Goose Parade” set to hit the streets of downtown El Cajon on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. on Main Street.

“I’m truly honored to be a part of this classic start to the holiday season,” said Kruze, who has been a part of East County Magazine for nearly a decade. “The best part of my work is when I get to meet so many people who are involved in our community."

BONJOUR! FRIENDS OF EAST COUNTY ARTS HOSTS “PARIS HOLIDAY” TEA DEC. 14

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Friends of East County Arts, Inc. cordially invites you to “PARIS HOLIDAY,” the theme of this year’s annual holiday tea on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Parish Hall (405 Ballard St. in  El Cajon).  

Don your fancy hat to enjoy champagne, tea, scones and desserts on fine holiday tableware. There will also be door prizes and opportunity drawings plus entertainment including a performance by the Valhalla High School Dance Program, one of the recipients of this year’s grants.  

Through the years, the 501c3 nonprofit Friends of East County Arts, Inc. has raised over $875,000 in funds for growth and development of the live performing arts and to support fine arts and artists in San Diego’s East County.

CULTURAL ART EXPO DRAWS TOP-NOTCH ARTISTS; MARRIOTT AIMS TO EXPAND EXPO AND CREATE AN ANNUAL EVENT

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Art aficionados found plenty to appreciate at the Cultural Art Expo held Nov. 9 at the Marriott in El Cajon.  Proceeds benefited the East County Arts Association, which had members in a broad range of visual arts at the event, which also featured internationally acclaimed sculptor Enrique Avilez, local authors, live music, wine and beer tasting, art workshops and a fitness workout.

“It was the perfect storm,” Avilez (photo, left), a former fisherman, says of the life-altering event that inspired him to take up artwork as a career. Aboard a fishing vessel off his native Mexico battered by stormy seas, Avilez made a promise to pursue his passions if he survived the ordeal. His works reflect the materials of Baja beaches  and communities where he grew up – utilizing native clays, seashells, coral, wood and more.

POLICE SEEK VEHICLE THAT KILLED PEDESTRIAN, THEN FLED SCENE IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Surveillance video of suspect vehicle

November 6, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police Department is seeking a small silver four-door sedan that may have damage to the bumper, hood and windshield. The vehicle struck a man at the intersection of East Chase and Lincoln Avenue on November 6 around 6:24 p.m.

A passerby started CPR on the victim, who was unresponsive. Medics transported him to Sharp Memorial Hospital via ambulance, where he was pronounced dead.

EL CAJON POLICE ASKS PUBLIC’S HELP TO SOLVE ARMED CARJACKINGS AND ROBBERIES; TWO VICTIMS INJURED

By Miriam Raftery

November 13, 2019 (El Cajon) –A band of four or five young men in their teens or 20s, wearing masks and armed with handguns and long guns, carjacked multiple passenger vehicles this morning. They also robbing a bystander on a sidewalk of his backpack.

 In one incident, a couple confronted a suspect in their parked car and a struggle ensued. The man was struck with a gun and the woman, who clung to her vehicle, was dragged a short distance when the suspect drove off and fled the scene. Both suffered minor injuries and the woman was taken to a hospital, says Lieutenant Randy Soulard.

All of the crimes occurred between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. this morning.

OLD GLOBE BRINGS “THE WINTER’S TALE” ON TOUR TO 20 LOCAL VENUES, INCLUDING A FREE PERFORMANCE IN EL CAJON ON NOV. 8

East County News Service

 

November 7, 2019 (San Diego) -- The Old Globe celebrates six years of making theatre matter to more people.  Its talented Globe for All company of professional actors will bring a stirring production of William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale to a variety of economically, geographically, and culturally diverse communities throughout San Diego County. The free-admission Globe for All Tour kicked off in late October and has already held several performances around the County.  The Tour comes to the El Cajon branch of the County Library with the Chaldean Middle Easter Social Services on Friday November 8 at 5:34 (799 East Washington).

MOTORCYCLE CRASH IN LA MESA KILLS EL CAJON WOMAN

Update: The victim has been identified a Theresa Chenelle Clouthier, according to the Medical Examiner.

East County News Service

November 1, 2019 (La Mesa) – A motorcycle crashed on the Severin Drive onramp to I-8 westbound at 11:19 p.m. last night, ejecting three people and killing an El Cajon woman, 38.  She was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESENTS `CELEBRATE EAST COUNTY’ ON NOV. 9

East County News Service

October 31 2019 (El Cajon) – The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce will present “Celebrate East County,” a community celebration event, from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Holy Trinity Church Social Hall, 405 Ballard St., El Cajon.

COUNTY PLANNERS TO HEAR SKYLINE CHURCH PROPOSAL FOR SENIOR RETIREMENT CENTER NOV. 8

East County News Service

October 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A controversial proposal by Skyline church to build a senior retirement center is slated for  hearing by the County Planning Commission on November 8 at 9 a.m.at the County’s Campus Center Chambers at 5520 Overland Rd., San Diego.

SHERIFF ROUNDS UP STOLEN HORSE STATUE AND ALLEGED THIEVES

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo:  The stolen statue was similar to the horse sculpture pictured.
 
October 28, 2019 (El Cajon) – A metal horse sculpture stolen from in front of the Double S Tack and Feed Store in unincorporated El Cajon has been recovered in Arizona.  Two men have been arrested and charged with the theft.

HAUNT FEST ON MAIN: FREE FAMILY FUN IN EL CAJON FRIDAY NIGHT

October 23, 2019 (El Cajon) -- "Dare to Scare" is the theme for the 8th annual Haunt Fest in downtown El Cajon, which is expected to draw around 40,000 visitors this Friday, October 25th from 5 to 10 p.m.



This year, the freeHaunt Fest includes live music on two stages, costume contests on the Main Street stage, expanded carnival rides and games, candy challenge activities, a Kidz Zone, face painting, performances by TNT dancers and the Arts in Motion Crew and Junior Crew.
 
There’s also the St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center Pumpkin Patch, craft and game booths, an LED rock wall, inflatable jumps for kids, showings of the first two Harry Potter movies and more.

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT SPENDS OVER A HALF MILLION DOLLARS ON PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS

Superintendent and school board president refuse to answer questions on videos; recent flash mob video cost over $21,500

Update:  Shortly after publication of this report, the CVUSD responded  to our California Public Records Act requst for documentation of any financial or enrollment benefits received by the district due to its promotional videos on YouTube.  Naomie Rodrigues advised us that that "NO SUCH DOCUMENTS EXIST" but noted that some videos were published on the County Department of Education's website.  View our article on her response and the district's lagging responses to numerous other records requests. 

Photo: Superintendent David Miyashiro in CVUSD flash mob video

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, also contributed to this report.

October 16, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The internet has revolutionized video marketing. From small businesses to government agencies, organizations can now harness resources at YouTube and other online portals to directly market messages to a target audience.

The Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) has utilized its Youtube channel and other social media portals to disseminate professionally produced video marketing and promotional messages for its school projects and World of Work career path program.

Utilizing taxpayer money, the district has produced and promoted impressive videos such as “A Day in the Life of a Cajon Valley Bus Driver,” “Education and business leaders from Vista and Colorado tour Cajon Valley,” an invitation to a Grandparents Day event, Fall Festivals, Madison Avenue Elementary Lemonade Fundraiser, and numerous WoW (World of Work) videos. The District also produces a monthly “broadcast” with news and events directed to school personnel and staff.

Hefty costs

But critics say the CVUSD is making too much of a good thing, since these videos produced by the district have come with a high price tag.

According to information provided to East County Magazine by the CVUSD in response to a public records request, from July 2014 (when David Miyashiro became Superintendent) through June 30, 2019, the district has spent over half a million dollars -- $576,289.60 to be exact -- on marketing and promotional videos.

DANCING WITH THE STARS LIVE TOUR COMING TO SYCUAN ON MARCH 26

Tickets are now on sale

 

Source Sycuan

 

October 21, 2019 (El Cajon) -- America’s favorite dance show is going back on tour this winter with “Dancing with the Stars – Live Tour 2020.” The longest tour to date will be dancing through Sycuan Casino Resort on March 26 at 8 p.m. The all-new production will feature fan-favorite professional dancers wowing audiences with every type of dance style as seen on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars.

DESERTED AMUSEMENT PARK IS HOME TO SCARE TRAIL FOR HALLOWEEN

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 17, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The Scare Trail at The Haunted Amusement Park, located in the long-deserted Marshal Scotty’s Playland Park in El Cajon, is the perfect setting for chilling thrills during this Halloween season. You have until Oct. 31 to scare yourself silly before they close.

THE SALVATION ARMY'S EL CAJON RED SHIELD CENTER OPENS TO SERVE EAST COUNTY

East County News Service

(October 17, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The Salvation Army of San Diego announces the opening of the newly completed Red Shield Center at 1025 E. Main Street in El Cajon.

Located on the property adjacent to the current El Cajon Corps, the 29,540-square foot facility will offer more opportunity to positively impact the lives of those in need in the East County. The facility will open Saturday November 2nd. There will be a ribbon cutting with dignitaries at 10am. The public is invited to enjoy the space starting at 11:00am with free tours, games and food.

MARRIOTT HOSTS CULTURAL ART EXPO NOVEMBER 9 IN EL CAJON

Advance tickets now on sale:  earlybird rates through Oct. 31

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2019 (El Cajon) –You’re invited to discover local and international artists at the 2019 Cultural Art Expo on Saturday, November 9 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Marriott (141 N. Magnolia Ave.) in El Cajon. Proceeds will benefit the East County Arts Association.

Enjoy live music by the Jazilla Band, a local Latin jazz legend, savor food samples from 12-2 p.m., visit a wine and beer garden, and enjoy artworks including adobe sculptures by Enrique Avilez form Mexico City, fish carving sculptures by award winner Bob Berry, local artist Grace Schleisher, workshops by local artist Barbara Young and more.

Stop by East County Magazine’s booth at the Cultural Art Expo to meet local authors and our editor!

EAST COUNTY MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL NOVEMBER 2 AIMS TO DOUBLE ITS NUMBERS IN THIRD YEAR

East County News Service

October 12, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Welcome Newcomer Network will host its third Multicultural Festival on November 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at EJE Academies, 851 Johnson Ave. in El Cajon.

The event will include multicultural food, cultural dance, a show of traditional costumes, story-telling, games and raffle drawings. Organizers say that they anticipate close to 1,500 attendees this year. 

ACCUSED MURDERER OF POPULAR EAST COUNTY DENTIST REMAINS IN CUSTODY

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 11, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- A 65-year-old man accused of murdering his husband, Dr. Blake Synowski, will be facing an El Cajon Superior Court judge on Friday to determine whether he will be granted bail.

EL CAJON ARTIST SKI TORZESKI WINS AWARD

Source: San Diego Watercolor Society

 

Photo: Ski Torzeski with his painting “Above the Timber Line”

 

October 10, 2019 (El Cajon) --  “Above the Timber Line” by nationally recognized artist Ski Torzeski of El Cajon is one of 95 paintings selected by juror Jeannie McGuire for the 2019 San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition. The work also received The Jess and Ann Walker Family Award. 

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