El Cajon Stories

The fight for freedom of street sleep

Vote this week to determine lawfulness of bans to shut-eye in vehicles

After dark, parking a home is a problem. That was clear in 2010, when advocates for the houseless opened the first overnight safe parking lot. And the need goes on. “The program was a direct ...

Damned North Park

The Damned's drummer Pinch finds solace in Spring Valley

“I know what the weather’s like back home. My wife keeps bloody complaining about it.” This, followed by a case of the giggles. It’s Pinch, the Damned’s drummer of the past 16 years, on the ...

El Cajon dentist's Chicago misfortune

Husam Aldairi's $25 million home sold for $3.1 million

On July 27, El Cajon dentist Husam Aldairi filed a suit in federal court against Gus Dahleh. According to the suit, Dahleh "has contacted [Aldairi's] wife and falsely informed her that [Aldairi] had engaged in ...

Nicolosi’s torpedos the competition

I can’t remember if the Aztecs won, but I’ll never forget that sandwich

It was almost 40 years ago that my boyfriend Ralph introduced me to a Nicolosi’s Torpedo Special Sandwich. I ate it while standing in the parking lot at San Diego Stadium before an Aztec football ...

Willie, Johnny, and Patsy Were Here

Rough and rocky travelin’ led them to Bostonia Ballroom

“Jerry Lee Lewis just beat the hell out of the piano. He used his feet on it. He broke three keys.”

That clown crank is something

Home invasion in El Cajon tied to meth bust

An attempted home-invasion robbery on Monday (June 29) resulted in the shooting of a man in El Cajon. Sheriff's deputies said that a preliminary investigation suggests the robbery was the culmination of a dispute over ...

Gloved perv popped

El Cajon police arrest suspected indecent intruder

Police in El Cajon reported the arrest of a 31-year-old transient for residential burglary and indecent exposure on Thursday afternoon (June 25). Last Sunday (June 21), officers responded to a call originating on the 500 ...

You were the longest relationship of my life

Post Title: Quote Post Date: August 25, 2012 I read a review of The Boxer and the Goal Keeper, an upcoming book on the friendship between Sartre and Camus. Apparently they were both “smitten” by ...

Low, low, low

Trio used obituaries to obtain burglary targets

Three suspects have been arrested following a five-month string of burglaries across the county where thieves targeted individuals who were attending a family member's funeral. According to a report from El Cajon police lieutenant Frank ...

So, you want to be a baseball star?

El Cajon pitcher says he was sold outrageous life insurance policy

A former Padres pitcher and San Diego native has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles, claiming that Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance fraudulently duped him into signing up for a life-insurance policy that had a $600,000 ...

Ticket to Write taps into rock journalism’s main vein

“The big struggle to emerge in the film is print journalism versus the Video Age.”

Grain thief caught

Cops witness felon backing up truck at Twisted Manzanita

An El Cajon man is under arrest after being caught stealing grain from the Santee headquarters of Twisted Manzanita Ales, a noted East County microbrewery/distillery. Twisted Manzanita had previously reported four separate thefts of spent ...

This is a new burger day!

Sticky stuff force field at Main Tap Tavern

“The End is Beer,” reads a little sign. “Uh, you do food?” I ask the gal at the bar.

Worries near Gillespie Field

With planned redevelopment, El Cajon residents seek "enforceable rules"

It’s been 11 years since the drone and snarl of race cars was heard around East County’s Cajon Speedway. Now that noise has been replaced by the drone of small aircraft from adjacent Gillespie Field. ...

Earth, the purgatorial planet

Membership: 80 Pastor: Brian Grandon Age: 53 Born: Tacoma, WA Formation: Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA; Unity Institute and Seminary, Kansas City, MO Years Ordained: 1 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite topic on ...

Passport for global beer travel

El Cajon's Main Tap, indeed

An international craft oasis in El Cajon's American macrobrew desert.

Why, Burnbook? Why do you have to exist?

Law enforcement resources get tied up tracking down juvenile males

A new social media app served as the platform for two confirmed threats of violence in San Diego area schools this week. Burnbook, a platform to "anonymously share thoughts and memories," was used to post ...

Feeling the burn, San Diego?

More people likely to pay state fire-prevention fees in backcountry

The controversial California Fire Prevention Fee may soon affect more property owners in San Diego. If proposed changes to the fire-zone map are approved, some rural county residents will have to start paying the annual ...

Part-time professors full-time screwed

Protests against pitiful pay for adjunct faculty

Events on college campuses across the San Diego region, as well as the rest of the nation, sought on Wednesday (February 25) to call attention to the plight of adjunct professors, part-time teachers who often ...

Something feral this way comes

With springtime's approach, the kitties are homeless again

La Mesa resident Tiffany heard the distinctive sounds of cat courtship in January and knew she would again face the issue of feral cats near her home. "We've been struggling [with it] since we moved ...

Go east, young beer aficionado!

El Cajon brewing rallies local talent for East County beer fest

When URBN St. Brewing Company installed its brewpub in the former home of El Cajon Brewing Company, one of partner Alex Carballo’s major goals was to help move the craft beer needle in East County ...

You need wheels, right?

Fake checks used to purchase seven cars from local dealers

A 23-year-old El Cajon woman who managed to fraudulently purchase nearly $200,000 worth of vehicles has been arrested and faces multiple charges related to the spending spree. According to a report from Lt. Frank La ...

Maybe would-be cop-killer unsuccessful

Ball bearings and a slingshot don't deter police dog

Sheriff's deputies arrested an El Cajon man on Monday, January 5, who reportedly called the station in order to issue death threats, promising to kill any law-enforcement officials who responded to his call. Shortly after ...

El Cajon immigrant shelter draws Iowan's ire

Tilapia and ponies for unaccompanied alien children questioned

How is life for so-called unaccompanied alien children at a federally sponsored youth shelter in El Cajon? Perhaps too sweet, in the opinion of Iowa Republican senator Charles Grassley, as expressed by him in an ...

Juices get running at Al Azayem

“That is lamb-shank tshreeb, like stew. It is very Iraqi. Comfort food.”

Sunday night. East Main. El Cajon. Warm, balmy, a relief from another El Cajon day. Families, older men (Chaldean, mostly) sit around in clumps on the boulevard’s benches and in Prescott Promenade Park, talking, playing ...

A boy and a bureaucracy

Agencies fight over who should pay costs for child who killed Ryan Carter

The question over which government agency should pay for the now 13-year-old boy who stabbed and killed 12-year-old El Cajon resident Ryan Carter in 2010 remains unanswered. Ever since a judge found the boy incompetent ...

Sorry, Hells Angels

Motorcycle club's clubhouse owner loses lawsuit

The federal government and Drug Enforcement Administration officers will not face charges they needlessly "blew up" an El Cajon clubhouse of the Hells Angels in 2011, U.S. district judge Gonzalo Curiel has ruled. Property owner ...

In venue dispute, Rock Church insists that attendees at services aren't "going to church."

Local megachurch asks, "What's in a name?"

DANCING ON THE HEAD OF A PIN, EL CAJON — "Jesus didn't die on the cross to establish a Sunday service," says Miles McPherson, lead pastor of The Rock megachurch. "He established a Body that ...

Not the best of times yet

Last year, San Diego's poverty rate rose to 15.8 %; El Cajon, 19.7%

Poverty statistics are going the opposite way in the city of San Diego and the United States. Today (September 18) San Diego's Center on Policy Initiatives reported that the San Diego poverty rate rose to ...

Ob-gyn doctor could lose license

Medical board issues accusation

The Medical Board of California's Department of Consumer Affairs has brought an accusation against Niloufer Dennis, M.D., who practices obstetrics and gynecology and has offices in Kearny Mesa and El Cajon, according to an online ...

Beer Touring: URBN St. Brewing Co.

New ownership and reconcepting of El Cajon brewpub makes for big improvements

I’ve been able to oversee the development of several local breweries from conception to brick-and-mortar status. Among them are Societe Brewing Company, Nickel Beer Co., and URBN St. Brewing Co. The latter officially opened last ...

Violence a world away protested in El Cajon

"If they are killing us in the name of Jesus, we need to unite."

About 150 people and a light rain showed up at Prescott Promenade on August 2 for an evening rally to protest violence against Christians in Iraq and Syria. The rally, organized by the San Diego ...

Weightlifter as security guard no bueno

Chaparral High School student bloodied by campus cop

Three Chaparral High School employees have been granted immunity from a lawsuit relating to a 2013 incident that left a 15-year-old female student injured after she was allegedly thrown to the ground face-first while handcuffed ...

This land is my land...this land is not your land

Property owner sues county for notice of entry to clear trash and weeds.

In an unincorporated part of El Cajon, property owner Tommy Matthews is fighting a court order obtained by the county to access the property in order to remove weeds, trash, and other debris. On July ...

NASCAR king Jimmie Johnson thanks El Cajon hometown at ceremony

"I'm putting this whole town in my rear view."

From this day forward, June 17 in El Cajon will be known as Jimmie Johnson Day, in honor of the six-time NASCAR Spring Cup Series champion who spent his childhood there. Mayor Bill Wells made ...

What’s in the hopper, part two

The best of the rest of San Diego’s upcoming breweries

Yesterday, I shared the top five most intriguing brewery projects on deck throughout San Diego County. Today, I’m disclosing the seven that round out my top 12 and why. 6 - Prodigy Brewing Company: When ...

DUI sting for the stung?

"It's just one bad decision after another,” says bicyclist who won’t drive.

El Cajon police set up a checkpoint in the parking lot of the El Cajon Superior Court on Thursday afternoon, April 17, checking drivers entering the lot for licenses, registration, and insurance. The checkpoint coincided ...

Kassim Alhimidi deemed a murderer

“This is bull***t!” yells son, sparking uproar in courtroom

The courtroom erupted into shouting after Kassim Alhimidi, 49, was declared guilty of first-degree murder in the beating death of his wife two years ago. This afternoon, April 17, judge William McGrath was confirming the ...

Who beat Shaima Alawadi to death?

Turmoil in household suggests all suspects not yet considered

According to testimony of a computer forensics expert, Shaima Alawadi was logging on to Yahoo Messenger at 10:41 a.m. on March 21, 2012, when she was attacked. The 32-year-old mother of five probably knew the ...

El Cajon murder case now with jury

Racist-charged note left at scene considered false evidence

Prosecutor Kurt Mechals failed to prove that Kassim Alhimidi beat his 32-year-old wife to death in their home in 2012, his defense attorney told jurors today, April 15. A note reading “This is my county ...

Campus Style: Cuyamaca College edition

It's difficult to find people on college campuses that aren’t wearing yoga or sweat pants with their hair swept up in unkempt, sloppy buns. Like most schools, comfort reins supreme on the campus of Cuyamaca ...

First Drafts: URBN St. Brewery

Former Stone brewer homebrewing eventual brewpub offerings

Just four guys sitting around the brewery drinking beer…and, yes, we all have beards. This was the Facebook post describing the first media tasting session for the beers of URBN St. Brewery (110 North Magnolia ...

El Cajon license scam attracted out-of-towners

FBI reveals more details of license bribery

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released more details of the El Cajon Department of Motor Vehicles driver's license scam. Thirty defendants have been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, and the investgation is ...

Guy in the sky: Drought no joke

Local reservoirs indicate water shortages

Flying over San Diego County's various reservoirs on the morning of February 14 at about 1500' above each, it's easy to see that the water levels are not where they should be at this time ...

El Cajon DMV employee pleads guilty to fraud

The last of 30 East County employees to accept felony charges

Jeffrey Bednarek, a former employee at the El Cajon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, pleaded guilty on January 28 to document fraud, bribery, and witness tampering. The case began in May of 2012, when ...

Hatchet attack on El Cajon jewelry shop owner

Credit card declined, perp gets mad, uses ax handle as weapon

Police in El Cajon are searching for a man accused of beating a jewelry store owner with the blunt end of a hatchet and stealing a gun on Wednesday afternoon (January 22). Around 3:30 p.m., ...

Pot political action committee forms

Will access to politicians thwart federal crackdowns?

In this age of political action committees, it's hard to fathom that there wasn't already a committee dedicated to fight for medical marijuana initiatives and boost pro-pot politicians. Well, now there is. On January 6, ...

Suspect sought in El Cajon fast-food holdups

Considered armed and dangerous

Police in El Cajon are asking for assistance in identifying a man they believe to be tied to at least two fast-food robberies in recent days. On Monday, December 30, a suspect described in a ...

Sidewalk Sicilian

Ed roots out the hidden meat at Nicolosi’s

Perfect night for sitting out. If you have a heater. And that makes it a perfect night to be in El Cajon. Because, by my reckoning, the City of the Valley has the best sidewalk ...

Boots, Boots, and More Boots

What San Diegans wear to keep their feet warm

My favorite part of the cold-weather season, if you call 65 degrees "cold," is not hot cocoa or crackling fires, it’s digging my boots out of storage. I’m kind of obsessed with shoes. My husband ...

All Things BBQ: the Wrangler Family Barbecue

In the wilds of East County, true pit barbecue awaits, ready to teach us all a thing or two about honest-to-goodness 'cue

After all that talk about barbecue without a legitimate smoking pit, meritorious as it may be, this is where shit gets real. Walk into the [Wrangler Family Barbecue]1, where a taxidermied bison overlooks the dining ...

Liquor-store owners sue the City of El Cajon

New alcohol-sales regulations are claimed to favor big-box retailers

The City of El Cajon will have to defend in federal court a newly adopted ordinance that places tougher regulations on liquor stores. Two liquor-store owners who own and operate three stores in El Cajon ...

Win a Pair of VIP Tickets to
Reader Feast!

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!

Close