El Cajon

MAYOR WELLS HEADLINES CONCERT AUG. 28 IN EL CAJON TO HELP THE HOMELESS

By Miriam Raftery

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.

PRO-ISRAEL RALLY HELD IN EL CAJON; PALESTINIANS MARCH IN PROTEST

Arabs, Jews, Black community, Latinos, and Whites divided between both groups

View a special ECM video report: https://youtu.be/YT4tOLvpGYA

Story, video and photos by Briana Gomez

Photos, left: Latinos for Israel, photo by Briana Gomez, pro-Palestinian marchers, photo by Gary Fields

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.

PALESTINIAN GROUPS PLAN PROTEST AGAINST PRO-ISRAEL RALLY IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

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.

CAR GAZE: A PHOTO SHOW JULY 30-31

East County News Service

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.”

SADDLES IN SERVICE GOLF TOURNAMENT JULY 30 TO SUPPORT VETERANS, MILITARY AND FIRST RESPONDERS

By Miriam Raftery

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.

EL CAJON HOLDS FIRST REDISTRICTING MEETING, RAISES CONCERNS IN ARAB, MIDDLE EASTERN AND NORTH AFRICAN COMMUNITIES

By Briana Gomez

July 19, 2021 (El Cajon) - The first of four redistricting meetings in El Cajon took place last Wednesday.

Local governments redistrict every 10 years to reflect a change in local population. The redistricting plan will affect how residents elect their council members.

SAY THEIR NAMES MEMORIAL EXHIBIT OPENS AT CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, INCLUDES EAST COUNTY MAN KILLED BY POLICE

Story and Photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

 

July 18, 2021 (San Diego) - The late Alfred Olango, who was an El Cajon resident at the time of his death, was included in the exhibit “Say Their Names” Memorial Exhibit located next to The New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego. The exhibit runs through July 25 and commemorates people of color killed by police or due to racism. 

RALLY AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM IN EL CAJON JULY 25 TO FEATURE FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE POMPEO, MULTI-FAITH LEADERS AND MAYOR WELLS

By Miriam Raftery

July 17, 2021 (El Cajon) – In response to an all-time high number of violent attacks on Jewish people and synagogues in the U.S., a rally titled “We Are Israel” will be held on Sunday, July 25 at 3 p.m. in Prescott Prominade Park at 201 East Main Street in downtown El Cajon.

EL CAJON POLICE SEIZE LARGE CACHE OF WEAPONS INCLUDING OVER 100 FIREARMS, GHOST GUNS, AND ARMOR-PIERCING AMMO

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via El Cajon Police

July 3, 2021 (El Cajon) – A paroled felon prohibited from possessing firearms was arrested on June 28 by El Cajon Police after officers found a massive arsenal of weapons at his home in unincorporated El Cajon.

“Many of the firearms found in Fencl’s home are illegal to possess in the state of California and other parts of the United States,” says Lt. Randy Soulard with El Cajon Police.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES

By Miriam Raftery

Fireworks are back—along with many traditional Fourth of July festivities in San Diego’s inland region, from parades to picnics to patriotic music, rides, games, and more. Find Indepedence Day events and/or fireworks in El Cajon, Julian,Poway, Ramona, Santee and Valley Center.

EL CAJON COUNCIL MOVES FORWARD ON RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR CANDIDATES, POLICE DEESCALATION AND COVID-19 REOPENING PROTOCOLS

By Briana Gomez

 

View City Council meeting: https://elcajonca.new.swagit.com/videos/122576

 

Photo:  Vice Mayor Gary Kendrick, screenshot from Council video

 

June 11, 2021 (El Cajon) – At its June 8 meeting held in person at 50 percent capacity, El Cajon’s City Council addressed several major agenda items including encouraging transparency in elections by assuring that mayoral and council candidates live in the districts where they run.  In addition, Council members present voiced unanimous support for using $100,000 from the city’s reserves to fund de-escalation training for police and a half million dollars of federal funds to launch a pilot program to outsource responses to non-violent emergencies to social workers. 

EAST COUNTY WATER PURIFICATION PROGRAM GETS $388M FEDERAL LOAN

By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  members of AWP board with Radhika Fox of the EPA
 
June 5, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County’s largest infrastructure project, the Advanced Water Purification Program (AWP), got a big boost towards its completion this month when it was awarded a $388 million low-rate federal loan.

I-8/SR-67 FULL WEEKEND CLOSURES PLANNED FOR JUNE 11 AND JUNE 18

Weekend detours may cause traffic delays for El Cajon drivers

Source: Caltrans

June 1, 2021 (El Cajon) --  Crews have started bridge repairs at Interstate 8 and State Route 67, requiring two full weekend closures from Friday at 9 p.m. through Monday at 5 a.m., on June 11 and June 18, according to Caltrans.  Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area if possible and to prepare for delays by allowing additional travel time to reach their destinations.

PADRE DAM SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT JUNE 3 ON FUTURE PLANS

By Miriam Raftery

May 28, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- Padre Dam Municipal Water District is currently working on its upcoming Strategic Plan and 5-Year Business Plan. The agency seeks community input during a virtual community workshop on Thursday, June 3rd.

EL CAJON DINNER AND A CONCERT RETURNS: FRIDAY NIGHTS STARTING JULY 2

By Miriam Raftery
 
May 26, 2021 (El Cajon) – Get ready for some rockin’ hot summer music concerts – with dancing.  El Cajon’s Dinner and a Concert Summer Series returns starting Friday, July 2. Concerts will run each Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. from July through October.

SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT USES GENETIC TECHNOLOGY TO SOLVE COLD CASE MURDER BASED ON BODY PARTS FOUND IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO DUMPSTER

By Alexa Oslowski

 

View press conference video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0OPcNHNh70

 

Photo, left: Laurie Diane Potter, murder victim 

May 25, 2021 (San Diego) - The Sheriff’s Office has solved a cold-case murder from 17 years ago, where two human legs were found in a dumpster on Hilton Head Way in Ranch San Diego. Authorities used investigative genetic genealogy to identify the victim and track down her killer. 

WESTBOUND HIGHWAY 94 CLOSED SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHTS FROM AVOCADO BLVD. TO KENWOOD DRIVE

Source: Caltrans

May 14, 2021 (Spring Valley) -- Crews will close all lanes of westbound State Route 94 (SR-94) from Avocado Boulevard/Calavo Drive to Kenwood Drive Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., according to Caltrans. The westbound SR-94 nightime closures include the on-ramp from Avocado Boulevard/Calavo Drive, the off- and on-ramps at Sweetwater Springs Road/Campo Drive, and the Kenwood Drive off-ramp.

GROUND BROKEN FOR SECOND PHASE OF GROSSMONT COLLEGE SCIENCE, MATH AND CAREER COMPLEX

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

May 13, 2021 (El Cajon) - With the turning of shovels at a groundbreaking ceremony this morning, construction has officially begun at Grossmont College on the second phase of a science, math and career technology complex, which will also house a new Veterans Resource Center.

SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR WAKEFIELD PLACEMENT DENIED BY JUDGE HARUTUNIAN

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Merle Wakefield, via San Diego Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force

May 10, 2021 (Mt. Helix) -- A San Diego Superior Court judge ruled today that a home in unincorporated El Cajon near Mt. Helix house is not an appropriate location to place a sexually violent predator (SVP).

Superior Court Judge Albert T. Harutunian III said that the house at 10957 Horizon Hills Drive is not appropriate to place sexually violent predator Merle Wade Wakefield. The judge indicated he will deny the placement because the neighborhood is too dense, and the house is too close to other homes with children, according to a press release issued by the Grossmont-Mount Helix Improvement Association (GMIA).

“It is not a safe placement for the community,” Harutunian said.

EAST COUNTY PEOPLE’S FORUM CITES DISPARITIES IN VACCINE ACCESS, CONCERNS OVER REDISTRICTING

By Briana Gomez

May 9, 2021 (El Cajon) - The East County People’s Forum launched by the East County Justice Coalition took place over Zoom on May 4, 2020. The Coalition launched a call for transparent & inclusive city planning in El Cajon.

BUTTERFLY RELEASES RETURN TO WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN IN MAY AND JUNE

East County News Service

May 5, 2021 (El Cajon) – Butterfly season is back.  The Water Conservation Garden invites you to release your very own butterfly each Saturday in May and June from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at its Dorcas E. Utter Butterfly Pavilion and Native Habitat Garden.

SUPERVISOR ANDERSON CALLS FOR REFORMS IN PLACEMENT OF PREDATORS AND COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: map shows disproportionate number of sex offenders placed in East County
 
May 1, 2021 (El Cajon) – Community members held another rally April 28 at Wells Park to oppose the proposed placement of Merle Wakefield and Joseph Badger, both sexually violent predators (SVPs), at 10957 Horizon Hills in unincorporated El Cajon.  Now Supervisor Joel Anderson has announced he will introduce a directive at next week’s County Board of supervisors meeting instruction County Council and the Chief Administrative Officer to fully investigate what he calls “inexcusable and irresponsible weaknesses in the County’s current policies for the notification and placement processes for sex offenders and Sexually Violent Offenders.”

EL CAJON OPENS NEW BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAM MAY 3

East County News Service

 

Photo: Creative Commons image via Bing

 

April 30, 2021 (El Cajon) -- On April 27th, the El Cajon City Council voted to allocate a portion of the American Recovery Act funds to support local businesses. $5 million has been designated to the El Cajon Business Grant Program where business owners may select from one of two options and receive up to $15,000 in grant funding.

NEW DOG PARK IN EL CAJON AWARDED PROJECT OF THE YEAR

Source:  City of El Cajon

April 28, 2021 (El Cajon) - The American Public Works Association has named the City of El Cajon’s North Marshall Dog Park as its Project of the Year. The dog park, located adjacent to the El Cajon animal shelter, creates a new space for gatherings and activities.

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