El Cajon

ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING OF BABY AT PARKWAY PLAZA

By Miriam Raftery

February 24, 2020 (El Cajon) – A suspect is in custody after an attempted kidnapping of a one-year-old girl yesterday afternoon outside of the Parkway Plaza regional shopping mall in El Cajon.

According to witnesses, the man tried to grab the baby from her mother at 3:18 p.m.. Witnesses gave officers a description of the man, who had fled the scene.

El Cajon Police officers located a man closely matching the description nearby. Witnesses identified the detained man as the suspect.

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

Tickets are now on sale

 

Source Sycuan

 

February 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.

JUDGE ORDERS KALASHOS TO PAY $300,000 SETTLEMENT IN FRAUD AND HARASSMENT CASE FILED BY BEAUTY QUEENS AND TACO SHOP OWNER

One plaintiff, attorney Lina Charry, has refused to settle

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Ben Kalasho and Zhala Tawfiq, dethroned pageant queen who accused Kalasho of posting faked nude photos of her online in retaliation for a business dispute

February 1, 2020 (El Cajon) – Former El Cajon Councilman Bessmon “Ben” Kalasho and his wife, Jessica Kalasho aka Jessica Deddeh, have been ordered by  San Diego Superior Court Judge Kenneth Medel to pay  $300,000 in a civil fraud, defamation and sexual harassment lawsuit.

The suit was filed by former Miss Middle East Beauty Pageant contestants Zhala Tawfiq and Paris Kargar as well as by Three Brothers Taco Shop against the Kalashos, the pageant, and the former San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce that the Kalashos founded.  The settlement money is to be divided equally among the three plaintiffs, according to the judgment

LIBERTY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL PROPOSAL DRAWS OPPOSITION FROM RANCHO SAN DIEGO RESIDENTS; TRAFFIC IS MAIN CONCERN

Debbie Beyer, Literacy First Director, faults planning group for not allowing rebuttal testimony. “They got it so wrong,” she says.

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

January 31, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Initial plans to build a charter high school on an empty lot near Chase Avenue and Jamacha Road hit a major stumbling block when the Valle de Oro Planning Group unanimously voted to reject a mitigated negative declaration for the project proposed by Literacy First Charter Schools

With the January vote, the next step for Literacy First will be a vote by the Valle De Oro Planning Group on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Otay Water District Headquarters meeting room. After this vote, the proposal goes on to the San Diego County Planning Commission on a future determined date, and then on to the San Diego Board of Supervisors.

PICKUP TRUCK PLUNGES DOWN EMBANKMENT, KILLING DRIVER FROM SANTEE

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2020 (El Cajon) – A Santee man is dead after the 2016 Dodge Ram pickup he was driving crashed down an embankment and struck a boulder last night around 8:46 p.m.

According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, the driver, 46, was traveling east on La Cresta Road in unincorporated El Cajon east of Forester Creek “at a high rate of speed” when he lost control and plunged off the side of the roadway.  The vehicle became airborne before overturning down an embankment and striking the boulder.

EL CAJON CITY MANAGER CHALLENGES OTHER EAST COUNTY CITIES AND COUNTY TO SERVE HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS

Graham Mitchell Provides Year End Status Report of city’s efforts  

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Complete Video: https://youtu.be/LybwvTl7E8Y

Powerpoint presentation: Homeless Program Update (Jan 14, 2020).pdf

January 27, 2020 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Manager Graham Mitchell has challenged other East County cities and the County of San Diego to address the current crisis level of homeless individuals, as El Cajon has during the past year.

In an overview of its efforts at the first council session for the year, Mitchell told councilmembers that the city has spent $640,000 on programs directed to people who have made El Cajon streets their home. While the city will be spending that much again this year, Mitchell challenged the smaller cities around El Cajon (Santee, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove) to make similar efforts.

“We are doing far more than what our neighbors have been doing,” Mitchell said.

GREAT CHANUKAH GELT DROP: TODAY AT 4 P.M. IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

December 22, 2019 (El Cajon) – Today at 4 p.m. Chabad of East County will present the Great Chanukah Gelt Drop in El Cajon’s Centennial Plaza (200 Civic Center Way) behind the Marriott. 

The occasion will include lighting a menorah, the world’s largest dreidel, catching chocolate coins dropped by Heartland firefighters from atop a fire ladder, music and dancing, a kids fun zone, raffle, Chanukah refreshments, honoring local heroes in uniform and dignitaries.

EL CAJON POLICE SHUT DOWN ILLEGAL POT DISPENSARY NEAR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL; FOUR ARRESTED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jill Barto

December 20, 2019 (El Cajon) – The El Cajon Police Department today shut down an illegal marijuana dispensary at 1358 Broadway, within 300 feet of Bostonia Language Academy. During the search of the illegal marijuana dispensary, approximately 322 pounds of marijuana and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) infused products, and approximately $7300 in cash was seized.

Lieutenant Walt Miller told ECM, “This is the last marijuana dispensary that we know about in El Cajon.”  But he acknowledged, “They’re like weeds. They keep popping up.”  He added that California law often hampers enforcement efforts in a process that can take months to get illegal dispensaries shut down.

Cajon Valley Union School District trustee Jill Barto is among those who filed a complaint with El Cajon Police about the latest illegal dispensary near the Bostonia school. “I called the El Cajon Police, El Cajon City, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) and the District Attorney,” Barto told ECM. “I said this can’t be a two month deal—this needs to be shut down now.”

EL CAJON DESIGNATES HALL FAMILY RANCH HOUSE AS LOCAL HISTORIC RESOURCE

Source: City of El Cajon

December 19, 2019 (El Cajon) -- On Tuesday, December 10th, the El Cajon City Council approved designation of the Hall Family Ranch House, built in 1886, as a local historic resource. The property includes a single-family residence with a detached garage located on Provo Street in El Cajon. The 133-year-old home features a Folk Victorian architectural style. 

IMPEACHMENT EVE PROTEST HELD IN EL CAJON

 

Story and photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Dec. 17, 2019 (El Cajon) “I’m not a never-Trumper," said Trish F., of La Mesa, “I’m a never-narcissist. This has nothing to do with party lines." 

Trish, who wished to not disclose her full name, was one of many who showed up at an impeachment eve, impeach now protest held in El Cajon on Dec. 17.

She is a psychiatrist and says she is treating many for a variety of issues relating to Trump.

“I’ve been treating a rise in PTSD, anxiety and depression in the last three years,” she said. “There is no hope for some.” Trish, according to her patients, attributes it to the Trump presidency and campaign.

The El Cajon protest, held at the northwest street crossing of Johnson and Fletcher Parkway, was just one of many held across the country.

The line of protestors ran along the street corner, all the way to the north driveway entrances, northwest of Crunch, on the sidewalks of Westfield’s Parkway Plaza Shopping Center.

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 from City of El Cajon presentation

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.

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