El Cajon Stories

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 ...

The Real Middle East Deal

“Russ?” “Yup.” “It’s me. I’m in El Cajon.” I’m calling on my first-ever cell phone. Hate the end of freedom. But now I need this thing. “That Dubai restaurant you were crazy about? It’s closed! ...

Yay for American Cars

Give me good old American metal.

As I write this, Transformers 2 has just finished taking in over $200 million in five days. One of the main characters in that film is a robot who disguises himself as a 2009 Chevy ...

I Blow Smoke on Your Law

Sitting on a park bench at Prescott Promenade on a hot July afternoon, John stares at a brawny tattooed man in his 50s smoking a cigarette under a “No Smoking” sign. “Who knows what this ...

Jack and Duke and Tiffany

About a month ago, I drove to El Cajon for an annual horseshoe tournament in memory of Jack and Duke, two deceased friends of the organizers. When Chris called to tell me about it, he ...

A Scream in the Dark

At approximately 3:15 a.m. on Wednesday, June 3, residents of Bella Vista apartments in El Cajon awoke to the incoherent screams of a man in the parking lot. Before residents went to check on the ...

El Cajon Scam

Matthew “Beau” La Madrid, no longer a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), nonetheless convinced 300 people that he had a surefire way of beating the stock market. He said he ...

Bang Bang

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, and monkeys do too (if they have a gun). — Eddie Izzard I exited the freeway 20 or so miles east of San Diego. Noting the prevalence of ...

A Green Threat to Our Groves

Should it appear in California, there might be no stopping it: citrus greening, or huanglongbing. The fearsome citrus-killing bacterium, first seen in China in the early 1900s, has spread steadily across the continents. It recently ...

Cold Clues, Hot Shaves

About a month ago, I went to the opening of a music store in El Cajon called Guitar and Bass Land. A guy was talking about how he plays bass in a Dio tribute band. ...

The Most Evil Drug

“Oh how I would love for the world to know who you really were.” So begins a mother’s letter to a son fatally shot by police three weeks ago. The letter is at the center ...

Raw, Dirty Records

Since the late ’90s, Mike Kamoo’s Earthling Studios has been a vital cog in the San Diego music scene. The studio, headquartered in a corporate park in El Cajon, has a well-worn path to it ...

El Cajon: We're no more redneck than Chula Vista, Oceanside, or Escondido

Another look at East County's Box

The Hell’s Angel takes me aside. It’s 10:00, Saturday night. A bunch of them stand around outside their headquarters by a row of angle-parked Harleys, here where Palm meets El Cajon Boulevard. ”Look, we’ve had ...

Night Prowler

In the early hours of Monday, March 2, two houses on Alderson and Andover streets in El Cajon were broken into and purses and small amounts of money were taken. These robberies were the two ...

Foothills Falls Flat

The Foothills Adult Education Center on Melody Lane in El Cajon will not be offering summer classes this year. Fall classes may not be available either. An education facility under the control of the Grossmont ...

Crash Utilities Vehicle

Shortly before 7 a.m. on Friday, February 13, a green sedan traveling on South Second Street veered off the asphalt, hopped the curb, and crashed into a number of utilities’ service facilities. A witness reported ...

Nine Sinking Cities

This month and in early February, city managers and finance directors in cities across San Diego County are appearing before their respective city councils to report significant budget deficits. Of the county’s 18 municipalities, 14 ...

To tell you something beautiful like Asphalt

Author: Joshua Rhome Neighborhood: El Cajon Age: 30 Occupation: Student I sit here in the little room I rent in a house off Magnolia Avenue and think about El Cajon and my past and how ...

Sync Those Lips

“Those who look like the artists they are portraying will probably go far,” says producer Randy Wood. “A Michael Jackson impersonator — with all the dancers and everything — went to Mexico last year and ...

Total Kick

Inside Alliance Gym, near downtown Chula Vista, Eric Delfierro bustles from one end of the gym to the other, sweating almost as much as the 15 mixed-martial-arts fighters he is training. Of those 15 fighters, ...

El Cajon Seeks Half-Cent Tax

The City of El Cajon is broke, and according to a July press release, the community is losing nearly $6 million a year. “The City of El Cajon has a fiscal crisis, which is not ...

Kelsea's Law

At a weekly Reader meet-up, at North Park’s Claire de Lune coffeehouse, I was prepared to hear typical neighborhood concerns from residents; too much graffiti, not enough police, errantly positioned stop signs, the usual type ...

New Life Church

“I wish I’d known you were coming,” said Pastor Dan Slagle when I spoke with him after the service. If he had known, he could have warned me that part of the regular band was ...

Highwayman Running on Empty

Before Thomas Weller leaves his El Cajon house and “goes out to play,” he looks like a character from the movie Mystery Men: he puts on black shin-guards (like the kind worn by baseball catchers), ...

They Loved Him in Basra

Najem Al Ekabi sits beneath the forest of red, white, and black Iraqi flags. He’s intent on a video on his laptop. “Look, see?” he says. “The one on the left. That’s me. Winning the ...

On the Line

"They've been fighting fires all day. What da heck have we done?"

Jesus of Carmel Mountain Ranch

The view from my neighborhood.

A note is taped to our front door. It says something about a community-standards violation and cites section 2B from the HOA policies handbook: All residents are responsible for the upkeep and general maintenance of ...

The Sarcastic Killer

San Diego’s mean streets

A boy 3-1/2 months old was the youngest homicide victim in San Diego County during the first half of 2007. The oldest was a 75-year-old woman. Both were killed by family members, allegedly, the infant ...

Classic San Diego

In corners and beneath our noses.

Most-Filmed Wild West Main Street Don't look yet. Turn off Woodside onto Maine and behold a li'l old Wild West street that'll knock your spurs off. It huddles beneath a perfect movie-set backdrop of towering ...

Shadow Mountain Community Church, El Cajon

"Signs of Life," read the banners affixed to the light poles in the parking lot. In the church vestibule, piles of take-home magnets bore images and Scripture verses explaining the signs. Week three was Worn-Out ...

St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Cathedral

At the Mass's opening, Father Felix Shabi's voice sounded from behind the red curtain concealing the Sanctuary. "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." The curtain hung ...

Keep Your Skin On

Kayla Morales called to tell me about a party raising funds for her motorcycle-racing pursuits. She knew a lot about the sport and was informative. She talked about wanting to go to Nashville to race. ...

Field of Screens

Drive-in theaters arose from swamps.

The first drive-in theater I snuck into in San Diego was also the first one built here, the Midway, on the northwest corner of Mission Bay Drive and Sports Arena Boulevard. It was December 1979, ...

The Pizza Pioneer of El Cajon

“Even the ground meat’s kosher, for Jewish and Muslim customers.”

Foothills Christian Church, El Cajon

"This is what I like worship to be like," said one teenaged boy to another before the service began. "A guitar solo in every song." He was right. The opening 25 minutes might have been ...

East Valley Christian Fellowship

"I am so excited," said Pastor Jack Forness as he opened the Maundy Thursday service at East Valley Christian Fellowship. "We get to start to minister on this Easter weekend and be excited about what ...

Matinee

I went to a party on 21st and B Street one afternoon. I asked a few guys if this area was considered downtown, and the guys living there weren't sure. It was a good location ...

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