El Cajon

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

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor; Miriam Raftery, Editor, also contributed to this report.

Photo: Superintendent David Miyashiro in CVUSD flash mob video

Update:  Shortly after publication of this report, the CVUSD belatedly responded  to ECM's 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 sent an e-mail advising 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 reply and the district's lagging responses to other records requests. 

 

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.

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. 

PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE: THE ART OF CONVERSATION

Play continues through Oct. 12 at Grossmont College’s Stagehouse Theatre 

Review by Kathy Carpenter

October 7, 2019 (El Cajon) - Grossmont College presents Picasso at the Lapin Agile at the Stagehouse Theatre, the opening show for the 2019 - 2020 season. Picasso and the Lapin Agile takes place at a bar in Paris in 1904. The play is the exploration of the creative process, centered around a discussion between two geniuses when they meet at a bar--Pablo Picasso, man of art and Albert Einstein, man of science.

450 RALLY AT DOWNTOWN EL CAJON PARK IN SOLIDARITY WITH PROTESTERS IN IRAQ

Dozens dead, estimates of injured range from 600 to nearly 1,200

Photo: Maryam Deuge and Mina Abdelahad want Iraq to have water, food, electricity, internet and jobs, and an end to widespread corruption

By Jonathan Goetz

October 4, 2019 (El Cajon) - “Over the last 24 hours all these people in Iraq are dying,” Mina Abdelahad told East County Magazine at an impromptu rally yesterday in downtown El Cajon following reports of brutal crackdowns on protesters in Baghdad.

Around 450 protesters gathered in El Cajon, home to tens of thousands of Iraqi immigrants and refugees. The local protesters stand in solidarity with demonstrators in Iraq and decried the violent crackdowns on protesters in Iraq that have injured between 600 and 1,200 people, killing 20 to 30 or more.

Abdelahad shows us graphic pictures on her phone: people carrying dead bodies, a child with a gunshot wound, and protesters weeping over a dead one-year-old girl. As of Thursday, Al-Jazeera put the death toll at 20, the Associated Press 33, CNN 22, Fox 31 and Reuters 27. 

FOUR RIVALS DROP OUT AND ENDORSE ISSA IN RACE TO REPLACE HUNTER; DEMAIO DISRUPTS WITH COMPETING RALLY

 

CA Senator Brian Jones, also running, chides non-resident candidates for holding press conference in “wrong district”  

Video excerpt: Darrell Issa

Video excerpt: Carl DeMaio

by Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

September 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The weather in El Cajon Thursday morning was cloudy and drizzly in front of City Hall. But the political rhetoric was sweltering. In the race for San Diego’s 50th Congressional District, four Republican candidates for the seat bowed out and swung their support to former 49th District Congressman Darrell Issa.

Another candidate, former San Diego City Councilman and conservative radio host Carl DeMaio, held a rival press conference some 100 feet away to attack Issa. State Senator Brian Jones, who is also running, chose to remain above the fray by staying away.

MOTORCYCLIST, 20, FROM EL CAJON SUSTAINS LIFE-THREATENING INJURY ON OLDE HIGHWAY 80

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 24, 2019 (El Cajon) – A 20-year-old motorcyclist from El Cajon has been rushed by ambulance to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego after sustaining life-threatening injuries in a collision today at 2 p.m.

EL CAJON SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR TEEN COALITION

Source: City of El Cajon

September 24, 2019 (El Cajon) --“Engage, educate, and empower!” These are the goals of the City’s Teen Coalition. The City is seeking members to serve on the 2019-20 Teen Coalition. With monthly meetings at Renette Recreation Center, members will develop their leadership skills, get involved through community service, and explore strategies to address youth issues. The coalition sponsors the annual “Youth of the Year” award which recognizes individuals who go above and beyond in serving their community. 

EL CAJON COUNCIL MOVES TO END COMMISSIONS ON ARTS AND CULTURE, HUMAN RELATIONS AND VETERANS

 

Update Sept. 27, 2019 -- Estela de Los Rios,  a community leader who plans to run for El Cajon City Council, sent these comments objecting to the demise of the commissions.  "I believe it our right as citizens of El Cajon to have these board commissions and have them open until we seek people to serve on them. There has to be a better way to recruit. This is a prime example of the city council's actions that need to change for the best interest of our city. It makes no sense to have a Magnolia Performing Center but no Arts Commission?"

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 23, 2019 (El Cajon) – The agenda for tomorrow’s El Cajon City Council meeting includes second reading and adoption of a code amendment to eliminate three city entities  The Veterans’ Commission, the Commission on Arts and Culture, and the Human Relations Commission, which advises the council on diversity issues.

HAUNTFEST BRINGS SPOOKY FAMILY FUN TO EL CAJON OCT. 25

By Miriam Raftery

September 23, 2019 (El Cajon) – The 8th annual HauntFest in downtown El Cajon is expected to draw around 40,000 visitors in Friday, October 25th from 5 to 10 p.m. 

This year, HauntFest 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.

MS. SMARTY-PLANTS GOES BATTY OCT. 12

East County News Service

September 23, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- Are you ready to have fun and learn about creatures whooo go BOOOO in the night?  The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College invites you to don your Halloween costume for “Ms. Smarty-Plants Goes Batty” on October 12 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

EL CAJON OKTOBERFEST SEPT. 27-OCT. 6 INCLUDES DRAWING FOR TRIP TO GERMANY

East County News Service

September 20, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The German-American Club of San Diego hosts its annual Oktoberfest at its headquarters in El Cajon on the last weekend of September and the first weekend of October.  A trip for two to Germany will be the grand prize for a lucky winner in prize drawings during the event.

SUSPECT IN SECURITY SHIRT WANTED FOR GUNNING DOWN MAN AT POT SHOP IN EL CAJON

Suspect, a Hispanic man wearing a black security shirt, fled on a blue motorcycle and is considered armed and dangerous.
 
By Miriam Raftery

September 20, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police are searching for a suspect who gunned down a man inside an illegal marijuana dispensary at 350 West Douglas in El Cajon Thursday night around 11:45 p.m.

BOARD VOTES TO PRESERVE 300 ACRES OF AGRICULTURAL LAND

By Gig ConaughtonCounty of San Diego Communications Office

September 16, 2019 (San Diego) - San Diego County Supervisors voted Wednesday to pay property owners to keep roughly 300 acres of their land in agricultural production instead of possibly selling it into development, as part of a program to preserve agriculture and still support farmers and ranchers.

EL CAJON POLICE CHIEF HONORED UPON RETIREMENT

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos of Chief Davis’ walk-out ceremony by Catherine Martin.
 
September 15, 2019 (El Cajon) – After 33 years of service with the El Cajon Police Department, Chief Davis retired on Friday. He received salutes and hugs as he walked out of the station in civilian clothes, turning over the helm to his replacement, Mike Moulton.

CHALDEAN-AMERICAN FESTIVAL SEPT. 28-29 OFFERS CULTURAL CELEBRATION FOR THE COMMUNITY

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 15, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The Chaldean community invites you, your family and friends to the 8th annual Chaldean-American festival September 28-29 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Hillsdale Middle School, located at 1309 Brabham St, El Cajon.

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