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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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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FATAL TWO-VEHICLE COLLISION IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON

East County News Service
 
May 2, 2021 (El Cajon) — El Cajon Police Department seeks witnesses to a fatal crash that occurred yesterday morning around 7:29 a.m. at the intersection of East Main Street and Avocado Blvd.

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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.”

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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.


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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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THE WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN REOPENS FOR PUBLIC ACTIVITIES

Story and photos by Alexa Oslowski

Click to view a video tour by Angela Kurysh including full interview with Pam  Meisner, or view the embedded video below this story.

April 24, 2021 (El Cajon) - The Water Conservation Garden, a beautiful and serene East County treasure located on Cuyamaca College’s campus, is open to the public for educational and recreational enjoyment.

The Garden hosts events for people of all ages. Adults can enjoy outdoor yoga classes, educational workshops and online seminars. Children can spend time with Ms. Smarty-Plants, a character created by the Director of Operations Pam Meisner.


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VALHALLA GIRLS' LACROSSE GOING STRONG

East County News Service

Photo:  sophomore Riley Shaw scores against Ramona. 

April 22, 2021 (El Cajon) - The Valhalla girls' lacrosse team is off to an impressive start to the 2021 season. The East County team has won five of their first six games, with their lone defeat coming in an overtime thriller at Mission Bay. 


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZES TO PREVENT PLACEMENT OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS IN HORIZON HILLS NEAR MT. HELIX

 April 9 is deadline for comments to block Badger's release just outside El Cajon city limits

By Henri Migala

April 6, 2021 (Horizon Hills/Mt. Helix) -- The Grossmont Mount Helix Improvement Association (GMIA) hosted a community meeting on Tuesday, April 6, at 5:30, to protest the proposed placement of two sexually violent predators (SVP), Merle Wade Wakefield and Douglass Badger, at 10957 Horizon Hills Drive in their community.

Well over 200 local community members of all ages attended the neighborhood meeting.


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GROSSMONT COLLEGE STREAMS THE MAD ONES APRIL 8-17

By Kathy Carpenter

April  2, 2021 (El Cajon) - One of the things that has suffered greatly during the past year is live theatre at all levels. Over the past several months, many theatres have turned to streaming as an alternative to provide you with a form of entertainment, give a few people in the business a little work and serve as fundraisers to keep theatres afloat until they can get back to live performances.  Grossmont College’s Stagehouse Theatre needs your support. The theatre will be streaming "The Mad Ones," a musical coming to your home/device April 8-17, 2021.


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THE CONRAD PREBYS FOUNDATION AWARDS $25,000 TO ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE'S CENTER

Source: St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center

 

Photo:  Artist Kristin McKenney shares her woven bookmark with other artists at one of the evening Art Social hour classes.  Kristen used a cardboard loom kit from the Galley to make her brother-in-law this bookmark.

 

April 1, 2021 (El Cajon) -- St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC), a nonprofit organization that serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has been awarded a grant from The Conrad Prebys Foundation for $25,000. The grant is designated towards Sophie’s Gallery Virtual Art Program. SMSC was among 121 local arts, education, health, and science projects to receive a combined $78 million in grant funding from The Conrad Prebys Foundation’s inaugural grant cycle. 


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MORNING GLORY BRUNCH FROG RACE GOES VIRTUAL TO BENEFIT ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE’S CENTER ON APRIL 17

East County News Service

March 15, 2021 (El Cajon) -- St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC) will host its signature Morning Glory Brunch Frog Race virtually this year.  The Virtual Morning Glory Brunch Frog Race will take place on Saturday, April 17, 2021 and will be celebrating the event’s 20th anniversary. All proceeds benefit St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, which educates and empowers individuals with developmental disabilities to realize their full potential. 

The community is encouraged to participate in the frog race by purchasing rubber frogs to be entered in the race. Volunteer “Frogettes” will splash from the end of the pool deck, without touching the frogs, to assist the frogs in reaching the finish line. Winners of the Frog Race will be announced during a live streaming event, and all proceeds from purchased frogs will benefit SMSC’s Garden and Aquatic Programs.   


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ISSA CALLS ON GOVERNOR TO RESUME COSMETOLOGY EXAMS AND ALLOW APPRENTICESHIPS TO HELP BEAUTY SCHOOL GRADUATES GET JOBS

Story and photos by Briana Gomez

Photo: Congressman Darrell Issa meets with Bellus Academy student Jessica Yerkey

March 6, 2021 (El Cajon) – Congressman Darrell Issa (R-San Diego)  visited Bellus Academy in El Cajon yesterday after receiving pleas from students and staff at the beauty and wellness school for help to obtain licenses needed for jobs.

California's State Board of Cosmetology halted licensing exams in March 2020 due to the pandemic. According to Issa and the staff at Bellus, the State Board of Cosmetology is operating at half-capacity due to COVID-19 closures and furloughs, causing some students who graduated during the pandemic to be delayed up to a year in taking their state board exams – a delay that is preventing students from obtaining jobs.  That’s created a backlog of 7,000 graduates waiting for exams now being offered at half-capacity at a limited number of locations.

Issa has sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom calling on the state to come up with a solution to “offer a final licensing exam,” such as waiving requirements for part of the exam to be in-person, or allowing graduates to work under supervision in licensed spas, salons, or barber shops. “Now that the students have fulfilled their obligations, it is time for the State of California to do the same,” Issa’s letter states. 


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SUPERVISORS TO VOTE MARCH 17 ON AMAZON DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN EL CAJON

Update: This was unanimously approved by Supervisors.

By Miriam Raftery

March 4, 2021 (El Cajon) – San Diego County Supervisors will hold a hearing March 17 on construction of a proposed distribution warehouse that the developer plans to lease to Amazon.com.

The site, which is zoned industrial, is located at the northwest corner of Cuyamaca Street and Weld Blvd. near Gillespie Field. Although the County owns the land, the city of El Cajon has land use authority, but has not yet approved the project.

At a Supervisors’ meeting this week, the county delayed action until environmental studies can be reviewed. The County is relying on an environmental review done by the city of El Cajon in 2009 for a separate project, but public speakers contended that an updated environmental impact study is needed along with review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).


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AMAZON AIMS TO BUILD DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

 

February 18, 2021 (El Cajon) - Amazon.com, the world’s largest internet company, has announced plans to build a distribution center in El Cajon.

 

The company is in the permit approval stage to build a new 140,000 square foot distribution center near Gillespie Field, on the west side of Cuyamaca Street and Weld Blvd.


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SPLASHDOWN: EL CAJON SEEKS FUNDS TO ADD WATER PLAY FEATURE TO PARK

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Kids frolic in a spray park at Santee Lakes
 
February 16, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Children in El Cajon may soon have a water feature to play in and enjoy. The City has approved asking staff to come back with proposals and possible funding sources to add a water feature, such as a splashpad or other cost-effective water feature, to Wells Park. 

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VICTIM IDENTIFIED, SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR MURDER IN SINGING HILLS SHOOTING

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo via Pixabay
 
February 13, 2021 (El Cajon) – The Sheriff’s department has provided an update on the fatal shooting which occurred Feb. 10 at the Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan. The victim has been identified as Dylan Brooks, 28, of Lakeside.  

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EL CAJON ARTIST WINS FIRST PLACE IN WATERCOLOR COMPETITION

Source: San Diego Watercolor Society

 

Photo: “Well at Home,” by Michael Garberick

 

February 11, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Michael Garberick, an artist and resident of El Cajon, won the first-place award in the extraordinarily competitive “New Beginnings” competition for members  held virtually in February 2021, on The San Diego Watercolor Society website, www.sdws.org.


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EL CAJON COUNCIL VOTES TO OUST PLANNING COMMISSIONER HUMBERT CABRERA

By Briana Gomez

January 28, 2021 (El Cajon) – On Tuesday, the El Cajon City Council voted 4-1 to remove Humbert Cabrera from his position as a Planning Commissioner. 

The  meeting also included other items impacting the community, including an update on COVID-19, a proposal to outlaw protests at individual homes,  and a proposal to limit the city’s investment in alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.


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HOW THE PANDEMIC LED TO HORSES AND SECOND ACTS

By Mimi Pollack
 
January 22, 2021 (El Cajon) -- 2020 was a strange, difficult, and even transformative year for so many. In my case, the pandemic made me feel very mortal and I decided to start checking things off my “bucket list.” First up was going back to horseback riding after 20 years of not riding or being in the horse world.

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HUMBERT CABRERA FACES POSSIBLE OUSTER OFF EL CAJON PLANNING COMMISSION

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2021 (El Cajon) – The January 26 agenda for the El Cajon City Council includes a proposal to remove Planning Commissioner Humbert Cabrera over alleged conflicts of interest and ethical concerns.

According to a report by Mayor Bill Wells and Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick, the City Council has received complaints about Cabrera in emails and public comments.  The report raises three main areas of concern.


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MARKETINK: EL CAJON COUNCILMAN RETIRES FROM MARKETING CAREER TO PURSUE FORENSIC GENEALOGY

By Rick Griffin

Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

January 18, 2021 (El Cajon) - As a young man in his 20s, Steve Goble set a goal to retire from work on his 60th birthday and devote the rest of his life to public service.


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DRIVER WHO DRAGGED AND INJURED EL CAJON POLICEMAN IS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 11, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police today announced the arrest of the driver who allegedly dragged and seriously injured Officer Nick Cirello on December 14th. The suspect, David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan, was found and apprehended by the Los Angeles Rampart Narcotics Detail. He is charged with attempted homicide.

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FREEDOM RALLY DRAWS DIVERSE CROWD

By Briana Gomez
 
Photo:  Minister Vereta Wilson (@compton_conservative) addresses the crowd
 
December 29, 2020 (El Cajon) – A myriad of diverse, yet mostly unmasked attendees crowded around vendors and made their way toward a makeshift stage decorated with Christmas décor and a podium in front of the El Cajon City Council chambers, where a “Freedom Rally” was held on Dec. 27 in response to Governor Newsom’s recent shutdown of businesses.

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EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL KILLS IDEA FOR AIR FILTRATION SYSTEMS IN APARTMENTS TO COMBAT COVID-19

City still has $200,000 in rental, mortgage and utility assistance funds for residents in need
 
By Kendra Sitton
 
December 23, 2020 (El Cajon) — A proposal to give air filtration systems to low-income households put forward by El Cajon City Councilman Steve Goble failed to move forward in a special City Council meeting, where no one seconded the motion. 

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CHILD FOUND SAFE AFTER AUTO THEFT AND KIDNAPPING IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 21, 2020 (El Cajon) – A woman who left the motor running on her vehicle parked in an alley while she unloaded groceries into her apartment at 300 W. Madison Street saw a man steal the vehicle with her 3-year-old child inside.

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EL CAJON POLICE OFFICER DRAGGED, STRUCK BY VEHICLE AND SERIOUSLY INJURED: SUSPECTS REMAIN AT LARGE

Update Jan. 11: El Cajon police announced the arrest of suspect David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan by the Los Angeles Rampart Narcotics Detail.
 
Update Dec. 18:  The officer has been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
 
Update Dec. 14, 2020 10 p.m.:  The investigation by El Cajon Police has identified a suspect who is being sought for questioning:  David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan, from Guam is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. 

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
December 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – An El Cajon Police officer is hospitalized in a trauma center in critical but stable condition due to serious injuries sustained at 8:30 a.m. during a traffic stop of a rented black Volkswagen SUV, CA license plate 8LC117.

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