El Cajon Stories

“Aerotropolis” plan for Gillespie Field?

Or how about a Chargers stadium?

The East County Economic Development Council’s “strategic aerotropolis roadmap” for land surrounding Gillespie Field airport could include proposals for hotels and a facility for veterans to certify for civilian employment, development council president Jo Marie ...

URBN and co. taking over El Cajon Brewing Co.

East County brewpub reopening under coal-fired pizza giant and Stone chef.

Earlier this year, after roughly a year of mismanagement and passable but lackluster-by-San-Diego-standards beer, El Cajon Brewing Company closed its doors, leaving behind a rather appealing skeleton. With a good-sized dining room, serviceable kitchen, and ...

Big sendoff(s) for Monsignor Michael Gallagher at Our Lady of Grace

Hundreds show for services June 22 and 23

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church parishioners spent two days saying goodbye to Monsignor Michael Gallagher, the priest retiring after serving for 27 years as pastor. Receptions followed weekend services, and 600 people attended the ...

Hidden gem: Gillespie Field Duck Pond

Once an eyesore, now look at it

The Gillespie Field Duck Pond? What is it? Where is it? Why? These are all good questions. Rumor has it, the pond was part of a golf course long, long ago, but for decades it ...

Odd robber meets success and failure in El Cajon

Asks employees to call the police

A man entered the Chase Bank on Avocado Boulevard in El Cajon shortly after 5:00 p.m. and demanded money from the tellers. The man left the bank carrying bundles of cash and went down the ...

Fletcher Hills’ mystery radio station

Heymatt: I grew up in Fletcher Hills. Ever since I was a kid, I have wondered what was going on at the corner of Hacienda Drive and Hacienda Circle. There is a fenced-off area with ...

From sheep to sweater in 12 hours

The idiot-proof alpaca

Interviews with alpaca owners, spinners, and weavers who live in San Diego’s East County mountain region.

The El Cajon Brewing Company closed its doors as of April 1

In spite of subsidies and loans

Despite the best efforts of many in the city of El Cajon and others to help the struggling business stay afloat, the brewing company folded. The Craft Brewing Business website noted "to get off the ...

Coyote explores Gillespie Field

Flights delayed 20 minutes

At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 12, the normal traffic pattern at Gillespie Field was interrupted when a coyote decided to take a tour of the field. Six aircraft were ordered by the control tower ...

Marine aircraft conduct training exercise at Gillespie Field

Two V-22 Ospreys delay our guy in the sky

I was sitting in the engine warm-up area at the end of Gillespie Field's runway 27R at 10 a.m. on February 26, getting ready for takeoff on a flight to Camarillo. Four other planes were ...

El Cajon pit bull attack goes unpunished, unpaid for

Little T-Bone saved but separated from owner

At 7:00 in the morning on November 6, on a quiet block of houses in Lemon Grove, three pit bulls escaped from their yard. They attacked a seven-year-old, tan "cha-weenie" mix named T-Bone, who was ...

Blood money

Thom Beebe, owner of Guitar and Bass Land/Skin City Drums in El Cajon won’t deal in used musical equipment anymore due to an increase in secondhand/pawnshop permit fees.

Rats…Everywhere!

Just the other evening, my husband and I were walking through the business area of El Cajon, on our way to a steakhouse, when a rat ran right in front of us. Doesn't that just ...

More Than the Dish or the Deal

Restaurants you can take to heart.

There are some places that you kinda take to heart. They’re more than the dish or the deal. Something clicks about the people and the place, and you want to come back and be a part of it. These are just some.

Observation Hour

I thought it would take more than the promise of seeing a few dogs to incentivize making a trip to El Cajon in the middle of a heat wave. The temperature climbs one degree for ...

History and Myth

Valley Music shuts down after 60 years of business in El Cajon.

Mezzah — Arabic Tapas in El Cajon

“Iraqis love big entrées. It’s the Lebanese who like to snack on different small tapas.”

My Missed Fortune

Author: Jake Peterson Neighborhood: El Cajon Age: 26 Occupation: Student I awoke from my daily nap a little later than usual that fateless Wednesday evening. It was pushing 6:00 p.m., and my tummy was howling ...

Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Church

Membership: 310 Pastor: Kevin Womack Born: Melbourne, Florida Age: 40 Formation: Bethel Seminary, San Diego; Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada Ordained: 11 years San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to ...

El Cajon Wesleyan Church

Membership: 300 (and 130 Chaldean) Pastor: Steve Forsythe Age: 51 Born: Cape May, NJ Formation: New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, NJ; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena Years Ordained: 26 San Diego Reader: How long do ...

One Night, El Cajon Felt Like Baghdad

Chaldean Social Club Raid Is a Touchy Subject

"Look. Look! They took our money! Ten thousand dollars, from some. They came in with their shotguns raised. ‘Down on the ground!’ They cuffed me, hands behind my back, threw me on my face on ...

Turkish Treats

The missus had decided on the destination for our yearly vacation: it was to be Greece. From a little kernel of an idea in my wife’s head comes a locale, in this case Athens, along ...

The Gathering

Membership: 140 Pastor: Deron Higgins Age: 51 Born: San Diego Formation: Point Loma Nazarene University (Point Loma College), Point Loma; Bethel Seminary, Bethel University, San Diego Years Ordained: 25 years San Diego Reader: How long ...

East Valley Christian Fellowship

Denomination: nondenominational Bible-teaching Membership: 500 Pastor: Jack Forness Age: 64 Born: Olean, NY Formation: St. Bonaventure College, St. Bonaventure, NY; National University, San Diego Years Ordained: 15 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend ...

Russ Was Right

Russell, Russell. This was your idea. Now I’m here, but you’re not. Russ died last month, you may have read. Pretty young. He was the Reader’s chief proofreader, which means he was a cross between ...

Propane Starts House Fire in El Cajon

At approximately 11:10 p.m. on March 7, a fire tore through and destroyed a residence in the 100 block of North Westwind Drive. The El Cajon Fire Department responded with two full crews, which knocked ...

New York Bakery: Your Typical 1950s, Back-East, Back-Then Bakery

The cookie monster’s calling. You know me and my sweet tooth. Having apple-strudel dreams again. ’Specially now, as night comes on, and you feel like a little reward for having gotten through the day. Trouble ...

El Cajon Battles Billboards

De La Fuente Cadillac car dealership, located on Main Street in El Cajon, proposes to erect two 35-foot-tall, 12- by 24-foot billboards between Blackthorne Avenue and Hillside Way along Interstate 8. El Cajon, however, has ...

Breakfast in Baghdad at Sagmani's Restaurant

"Yoo-hoo! Hello?” I’m back behind the gas station here, next to the tire shop…in Mr. Sagmani’s place. Yes, his eatery takes a bit of finding. But, for me, it came just in time. Was getting ...

San Diego's Highwayman

Two years ago, Thomas Weller, San Diego's "Highwayman," decided not to get behind the wheel at night because he was worried he'd pose a danger on the road. Weller, who has spent the past 40 ...

Garage Fire

Shortly after 7:00 a.m. on July 12, flames erupted in the attached garage of a three-bedroom home in the 1000 block of South Mollison Avenue. Heartland Fire & Rescue (an association of El Cajon, La ...

Census

In the spirit of this census year, we offer this unofficial, informal, and unscientific census of daily life in San Diego. (No census workers were lynched or faked their own lynchings while gathering the following ...

St. Gregory of Nyssa Greek Orthodox Church

Membership: 80 Families Pastor: Father Simeon Corona Age: 45 Born: Los Angeles Formation: Lutheran Bible Institute, Seattle, WA; Concordia College, St. Paul, MN; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA; Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, ...

More Security, Please

A petition requesting increased security for El Cajon’s Westfield Parkway Shopping Center is circulating online. The petition had a slow start, with only a handful of signatures in its first few weeks, but the number ...

Gillespie, I Have to Return

I had just finished the engine run-up and instrument check in a Cessna 172 and pulled up to the hold line for Gillespie Field's runway 27R at about 10:30 this morning, June 2. I switched ...

Bad Owner

On May 24, a pitbull attacked a six-month-old puppy at the off-leash dog area at Wells Park. The puppy was badly injured; however, the owner of the pitbull refused to exchange information and declined to ...

Craigslist Tips Them Off

A suspected burglar was arrested after a random tandem bike ride in El Cajon on April 22. The 35-year-old parolee allegedly marketed the stolen bicycle on Craigslist after the owners reported it stolen from a ...

Phony Phone User

On March 26, an elderly woman living on Brockton Street in El Cajon allowed a stranger into her home and became the victim of a robbery. According to a Neighborhood Watch block captain, the perpetrator ...

Waiting in the Wings

The lights were dim and the stage was set. Fifty El Cajon residents sat inside council chambers waiting to address councilmembers and comment on what the city should do with the El Cajon Performing Arts ...

Who’s Minding the Store?

An El Cajon supermarket is irritating its customer base by allegedly scheduling staff below an acceptable standard. On March 20, shortly before 8 p.m., approximately 30 customers were lined up at the two checkstands open ...

She's a Lady

On Saturday and Sunday, February 27 and 28, up in the skies of East County, residents could see a WWII-era B-17 bomber soaring overhead. The nonprofit Liberty Foundation out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, brought its Liberty ...

Cable Underground

A pair of occupied vans parked on the corner of North Marshall Avenue and Fesler Street in El Cajon has caused some employees from nearby businesses to become uneasy. According to local workers, the vans ...

Elderly Scare

Mary Louise Wilson was sentenced to nearly 20 years in state prison on February 8. The 54-year-old admitted to setting fires at the two nursing homes she stayed at briefly during 2009. According to state ...

Wells Park to Fare Well

New improvements and enhancements may be in the works for Wells Park in El Cajon. The City of El Cajon recently announced that it is applying for a $5 million state grant to revitalize the ...

St. Ephrem Maronite Church

The circular interior of St. Ephrem’s church might serve as an eclectic museum of Catholic devotional art. So many styles, drawn from so many traditions: a golden mosaic rendering of the icon of Our Lady ...

Why jogging on El Cajon Boulevard keeps me centered

I wake up at 5.30, and I’m usually out the door by 6.15. I can fit in three or four jogs around my neighborhood a week; the other days I walk the dog for a ...

Citifyin'

The downtown area of El Cajon will continue its transformation with the approval of the Prescott Promenade project plans by the El Cajon City Council during their January 12 meeting. The promenade is a small ...

Teens 'n' Guns

On Tuesday, January 4, at about 11:00 p.m., El Cajon police took three young men into custody for felony vandalism. An officer reportedly became suspicious of the teens’ passenger-side window being rolled down on such ...

El Cajon Wesleyan Church

Sunday was assistant pastor Dave Holmquist’s last at El Cajon Wesleyan. After the opening worship — a singer/guitarist and a bongo player alone on the vast, spotlit, blue-green stage — he took his place down ...

The Clerk Smirked

The Department of Motor Vehicles has been forced to close every second Friday of the month in order to help ease the state budget. This month, the DMV is closed for three Fridays and a ...

Kitchen Knifed

At about 10:15 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, according to police radio traffic, two people were stabbed on the corner of Graves Avenue and East Madison Avenue in El Cajon. El Cajon PD stated that ...

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