El Cajon

RAY LUTZ, CITIZENS OVERSIGHT FOUNDER, IS LATEST TO WEIGH RUN FOR CONGRESS IN 53RD DISTRICT SEAT AFTER SUSAN DAVIS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2019 (El Cajon) – Ray Lutz, founder of the nonprofit watchdog group Citizens Oversight in El Cajon, announced today that he has formed an exploratory committee for a possible run for the 53rd Congressional district seat.  Congresswoman Susan Davis announced last week that she will not be seeking reelection.

Lutz, a Democrat, lives in the 53rd district since redistricting in 2010, though he previously ran against Rep. Duncan Hunter back in 2008.

Lutz and the organization he founded have been instrumental in attaining several landmark actions in our region ranging from a lawsuit that won $775 million for local ratepayers to a succesful fight that helped save East County's peforming arts center,as well as leading efforts to improve safety of  nuclear waste storage and battling to keep Blackwater out of the backcountry.

EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB INVITES YOU TO OUR MIDEAST FEAST SEPT. 26 (RSVP BY SEPT. 17)

 

This event has been cancelled due to not enough RSVPs to meet the restaurant's minimum.  Refunds will be issued to those who purchased tickets. 

September 9, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Our next East County Dining Club event is a Mideast feast at Happy Times Mediterranean Restaurant (2441 Jamacha Rd., El Cajon in the Rancho San Diego area) on Thursday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Come savor the flavors of Iraq with authentic foods and a special musical performance by Fouad Sawa and the Peace Band performing on authentic Middle Eastern instruments. Meet the media and make new friends, plus we'll have opportunities win win prizes.

This restaurant requires us to RSVP no later than Sept. 17 - no exceptions  Early reservations are strongly recommended!

CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE FEATURES TOP MUSICIANS, INCLUDING JASON VIEAUX AND BACH COLLEGIUM SAN DIEGO

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

September 6, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) - The ECHO Chamber Music Series, now in its third year, is taking its 2019-2020 season at Cuyamaca College’s Samuel M. Ciccati Performing Arts Theatre to new heights with 14 concerts featuring performers such as Jason Vieaux, Bach Collegium, the Dalí Quartet, and members of the San Diego Symphony and other internationally acclaimed musicians who have performed across the globe.

GRAND OPENING AT THE MAGNOLIA SEPT. 10: CURTAIN RISES ANEW ON PERFORMING ARTS CENTER IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 5, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The Magnolia Center, formerly known as the East County Performing Arts Center, will host its much anticipated grand reopening on September 10th from 5 to 8 p.m. The City of El Cajon and Live Nation invite the public to the event which includes food, fun, activities, prizes, tours, presentations.

EAST COUNTY BRINGS MANUFACTURING TO MAIN STREET WITH EXPO OCT. 1 IN EL CAJON

San Diego’s largest manufacturing expo is a unique opportunity to inspire students 

 

August 28, 2019 (El Cajon) – The East County Economic Development Council’s (EDC) Manufacturing Expo is right around the corner, and more manufacturers are registering by the day to exhibit their companies and products. On October 1, the fourth annual event will bring manufacturing to Main Street. The Expo will be held in downtown El Cajon at Prescott Promenade from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. and expects to bring in over 500 attendees. 

NEWS HELICOPTER HAS FIERY LANDING IN EL CAJON, INJURING PASSENGER

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine
 
Photo by Jill Barto
 
August 27, 2019 (El Cajon) – A news helicopter rolled over during a landing at Gillespie Field in El Cajon and caught fire this afternoon,  Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman Ian McGregor told ECM news partner 10 News.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER HOSTS “TASTE OF PARKWAY PLAZA” MIXER AUG. 22

East County News Service

 

August 21, 2019 (El Cajon) - San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and Alpine Chamber of Commerce are joining together for an end to summer Business After Hours for a "Taste of Parkway Plaza" on Thursday, August 22 at 5:30 p.m.

LINEUP ANNOUNCED AT THE MAGNOLIA: REVITALIZED EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

 

Curtain to rise September 13  at inland San Diego region's premier concert venue

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

July 19, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The re-imagined East County Performing Arts Center, now known as “The Magnolia,” formally announced its initial season show lineup Tuesday.

Opening September 13 after a decade-long closure and extensive remodel, the 1,210-seat theatre in downtown El Cajon formally joins Live Nation’s global portfolio of 1700 concert venues. In addition to a spectacular outdoor Plaza Bazaar featuring unique pre and post-show dining, the theater will offer new state-of-the-art sound, lighting and projections systems.

Live Nation, which will operate, market and book The Magnolia, anticipates attracting a wide variety of acts appealing to a diverse group of audiences from throughout the region.

The Magnolia’s initial lineup of shows includes a variety of popular rock and jazz artists, and comedians geared to adults and families, a cooking show and more:

FORESTER CREEK RECREATION ACCESS: PLAN TO BE UNVEILED AT RELEASE PARTY AUG. 27

East County News Service
 
August 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – More than 1,200 community members have been working on a Forester Creek Recreation Access Plan, including volunteers who formed the Forester Creek Community Committee. You’re invited to a party to celebrate release of the new Forest Creek Recreation Access Plan on Tuesday, August 27 from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. at the Renette Park Community Center meeting room west at 9353 Emerald Ave., El Cajon.

CAJON VALLEY BOARD TO CONSIDER CIVILITY STANDARDS FOR BOARD MEMBERS, ADMINISTRATORS AND EMPLOYEES—WITH STIFF PENALTIES

 

Update: The board adopted both sets of civility standards 3-0, with members Jill Barto and Jo Alegria absent.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons by NC-ND

August 13, 2019 (El Cajon) – At tonight’s Cajon Valley Union School District board meeting, the agenda includes proposed governance standards of civility for board members that would allow the district to ask a Grand Jury to remove a board member from office under Government Code section 3060 for engaging in repeated abusive conduct toward other board members, administrators, employees, students or members of the public.

Section 3060 allows a grand jury to take action to remove an elected official for “willful or corrupt misconduct in office” though the statute is vague on what constitutes such actions.

The agenda also includes proposed civility standards for employees and administrators; repeated acts of abusive conduct may result in discipline or ultimately, termination of employment.

Both items were placed on the agenda by Board Chair Tamara Otero, who has publicly clashed with board member Jill Barto on multiple occasions after Barto raised questions on board expenditures including the awarding of a construction contract to a company owned by Otero’s son.

The proposals seek to waive the customary second reading, in order to push through approval on a single vote, while board member Barto is absent due to a family emergency.

SAN DIEGO BLOOD BANK HOLDS THREE BLOOD DRIVES IN EAST COUNTY

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons by SA-NC via Bing

August 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego Blood Bank is hosting blood drives in Rancho San Diego on August 24,  Santee on August 25, and El Cajon on August 27.   Scroll down for details.

FIVE DISPLACED AFTER FIRE BURNS TRAILERS IN EL CAJON

East County News Service
 
Photos by Robert Gehr
 
August 2, 2019 (El Cajon) – Four adults and a child are being assisted by the Red Cross after a fire this afternoon destroyed two travel trailers in El Cajon.
 
Heartland Fire & Rescue crews from El Cajon and La Mesa responded to the blaze reported at 3:45 p.m. at 213 El Cajon Blvd.  Firefighters arrived within five minutes to find two trailers in the Eastern Trailer Park.

JURY RULES OFFICER SHOOTING OF ALFRED OLANGO IN EL CAJON WAS JUSTIFIED

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2019 (El Cajon) – A jury in a civil trial has ruled that an El Cajon Police officer was justified in shooting and killing Alfred Olango on Sept. 27, 2016.  Olango’s sister ,Lucy,  had called 911 to ask for help for her brother, who was reportedly suffering a mental health crisis and walking into traffic.

While another officer pointed a taser at Olango, Officer Richard Gonsalves asked Olango to remove his hands from his pocket,. Olango pulled out a silver and black vape smoking device that resembled a gun and pointed it at the officer, assuming a shooter’s stance at point blank range.

EL CAJON LIBRARY CLOSED FOR EMERGENCY REPAIRS

By Miriam Raftery

July 31, 2019 (El Cajon) – The El Cajon branch of the County Library has closed unexpectedly due to major maintenance and repair issues.

“Based on the best information I have, they anticipate re-opening the library on Friday,” Assistant City Manager Vince DiMaggio advised the Mayor and City Council in an e-mail.

The Library’s website confirms that reopening is expected Friday at 9:30 a.m.

BEN AND JESSICA KALASHO ARRAIGNED ON CONTEMPT OF COURT CHARGES

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

July 18, 2019 (San Diego) – Over two years after a sexual harassment and fraud lawsuit was filed against Ben and Jessica Kalasho, the couple was arraigned last Friday in San Diego Superior Court on multiple counts of contempt of court. The former El Cajon Councilman and his wife are charged with failing to provide subpoenaed documents and actively interfering in the judicial process.

According to legal experts, the punishment for contempt of court can vary greatly. If it is a matter of urgency or if the contempt was done in front of a judge, the punishment can be immediate. Punishment can range from imprisonment of up to five years, to jail time merely until the defendant complies with the order or fine.

STARGAZING, WAGS AND WINE, RAINWATER HARVESTING AND MORE AT THE GARDEN THIS SUMMER

East County News Service

 

July 5, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Water Conservation Garden has a variety of fun and educational events coming up in July and August, including:

 

  • Garden yoga July 8
  • Wags & Wine July 10
  • Stargazing July 10
  • Landscapes, irrigation and soils July 16
  • Rainwater harvesting July 20
  • Gregory Page Trio concert July 27
  • Creepy crawly critters August 23

Learn more and register for these events at www.thegarden.org.

SHOTS FIRED OUTSIDE MOVIE THEATRE IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery
 
July 3, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – Last night around midnight, three boys ran into the Regal Edwards Cinema in Rancho San Diego to report a shooter outside, NBC 7 reports.
 
Several people in the theater called 911 and Sheriff’s deputies responded.  The boys told Sheriff’s officials that a man had pulled out a handgun and fired shots in the air after an argument with the boys.  The shooter was reportedly a passenger in a four-door, silver or gray car. 

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL UNVEILS REFURBISHED THEATER: MAGNOLIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER TO OPEN THIS FALL

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

Photos by Paul Kruze and Miriam Raftery

 

July 2, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Eighteen months after approving a management deal with worldwide concert producer LiveNation, the El Cajon City Council unveiled the newly refurbished “Magnolia Performing Arts Center” (formerly called the “East County Performing Arts Center”) to Council members and the public in a tour held during a recess at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

EL CAJON MOTELS AND HOTELS TO GET CLOSER CITY SCRUTINY

Council passes ordinance regulating lodging establishments’ security and maintenance

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

June 29, 2019 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon’s 20 motels and hotels will be subject to more scrutiny, after passage of a new ordinance that sets minimum standards for cleanliness and security.

In a unanimous vote, the El Cajon City Council on June 11 approved a “Deemed Approved Lodging Establishment” ordinance which gives the city broad powers to regulate the 1,120 motel and hotel rooms in El Cajon. The city gains another 96 rooms when the Hampton Inn by Hilton opens next year. 

CHP OFFICER STRUCK BY DUI DRIVER ON I-8 SUSTAINS MAJOR INJURY

East County News Service 

June 28, 2019 (El Cajon) – A CHP officer who had stopped to aid a disabled motorist in the center divide of Interstate 8 last night at 9:24 p.m. in El Cajon was struck by a Chevrolet Camero driven at a high rate of speed by Richard Chambers, 25.  The accident occurred on I-8 west, just east of West Main Street.

TWO EL CAJON STRONG-ARM ROBBERY SUSPECTS STILL AT LARGE, ONE ARRESTED IN ROLANDO

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2019 (El Cajon) – Two suspects masked with black bandanas demanded merchandise from customers at a T-Mobile store at 354 N. Second Street in El Cajon at 11:05 a.m. yesterday. A customer was assaulted, suffering minor injuries before the two robbers fled in a dark Chrysler four-door sedan along with a third suspect.

Two of the suspects were described as black male adult wearing jeans.  One wore a black hooded sweatshirt and is around 6 ft. tall, weighing 200 pounds. The other is approximately 5 ft. 7 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds.  A third suspect is of unknown description.

CVUSD ASST. SUPERINDTENDENT PAINTS POSITIVE FINANCIAL FORECAST FOR DISTRICT AND OTHER LOCAL SCHOOLS, BASED ON GOVERNOR’S REVISED BUDGET

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

June 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Cajon Valley Union School District Assistant Superintendent Scott Buxbaum (photo, left) painted a positive financial forecast for the district at its Board of Trustees meeting on Jun 11, after attending a meeting in Sacramento with Governor Gavin Newsom.

The latest financial forecast based on the Governor’s May budget revision is good news not only for the CVUSD, but for all local public school districts. Newsom, a father of young children, has pledged to make public education funding a priority.  

According to Buxbaum, the May Revision builds off of Newsom’s “California for All” vision from January. Due to strong April tax revenues, Newsom was able to retain most of his proposals from January, and invest additional funds into programs he has envisioned as prioirities.

DRIVER ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE AFTER INJURY CRASH IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – A 22-year-old man has been arrested by El Cajon Police following a collision that occurred shortly after midnight at Jamacha Road and Vista del Valley Blvd. The crash injured two people, one seriously.

RON BURNER, SANTEE RESIDENT, REALTOR, YOUTH SPORTS COACH, JOINS KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

June 14, 2019 (El Cajon) – Keller Williams Realty San Diego East Foothills in El Cajon, the largest residential real estate brokerages in San Diego’s East County region with more than 320 agents, has announced that Santee resident Ron Burner has joined the firm as a real estate sales agent.

MAN PUSHING SHOPPING CAR ON HIGHWAY 67 STRUCK, KILLED BY PICKUP

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 14, 2019 (El Cajon) – A transient pushing a shopping cart in traffic lanes on southbound State Route 67 at 3:37 a.m. on June 9th near the I-8 interchange stepped “directly into the path” of a Ford F-150 pickup. The driver, a 27-year-old El Cajon man, was unable to avoid striking the pedestrian and shopping cart, says Officer Jeff Christy with the California Highway Patrol.

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT MEETING BLOWS UP

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

Photo: Board President Tamara Otero

June 11, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The high drama and hijinks which have been commonplace lately at Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) board meetings continued at the May 28th session. At one point the meeting was adjourned during a fracas among individuals outside the board room, overshadowing reports on district accomplishments. The action of adjourning, then reconvening the meeting for subsequent discussion and voting on agenda items raises new legal concerns.

Audio: 

Listen to audio: CVUSD meeting 5-28-19 adjourns in mid-session before reconvening
Excerpts of public comments at 5-28-CVUSD meeting including ECM editor MIriam Raftery and others
Reagles threatens Barto with recall on 5-3-19

JUST DUCKY: FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE SIX DUCKLINGS FROM STORM DRAIN

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 8, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Six ducklings trapped in a storm drain in El Cajon are lucky ducks -- rescued by Heartland firefighters with help from animal rescue personnel.
 
Firefighters responded to a call at 1:20 p.m. Saturday reporting the situation.  The firefighters found the ducklings under a storm grate in the 200 block of Fletcher Parkway, with no mother duck around. 

GAS LEAK NEAR PARKWAY PLAZA FORCED EVACUATIONS, TROLLEY CLOSURE IN EL CAJON

Leak is now controlled; trolley service has resumed and streets have reopened

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

 

June 7, 2019 (El Cajon) – A 2-inch diameter gas line ruptured by construction crews at North Marshal Ave. and Petree Street shortly after noon today prompted evacuations of the Rock Church and multiple businesses including The Lexus car dealership and Black Bear Diner. 10 News reports diners were given just five minutes to flee.

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