El Cajon Stories

The slow end of the Kalasho regime

85 percent voted for Gary Kendrick. 15 percent voted for Kalasho.

Tuesday’s votes have been tallied and the race with the largest margin of defeat in San Diego County was for El Cajon’s first district city council representative. Previously elected to citywide council positions, Ben Kalasho ...

Whew

I-8 serves as landing strip

“Whohoo, this is f* gnarly,” exclaimed Zach Decker, 25 while driving his vehicle on I-8 West Friday (October 19) before noon and watching live how an airplane from the Gillespie Field Airport landed in front ...

Good Samaritans chase hit-and-run driver

Special needs teen smacked at Mollison and Main

I found Austin trembling next to his bicycle on Douglas Street in front of the El Cajon library Sunday afternoon, September 16. He was bruised and cut up. A few minutes earlier he was hit ...

Dem, GOP? It's the farmers market, stupid.

El Cajon, La Mesa blur party lines

Two East County cities are showing it’s possible to cross party lines to work on common goals. At the El Cajon City Council meeting August 14 Democratic activist Mark Lane apologized to the city of ...

Headlock on man with hammer

He welcomed death at Jack in the Box

On Wednesday, August 8, 30-year-old Robert Daniel Dille went to Jack in the Box on West Main Street and Van Houten Avenue in El Cajon. Witnesses say he and his female companion approached the counter ...

Good morning, Ma'am. I'm your Uber driver today.

A San Diego guide to how it works

At no time previously did I ever have aspirations to have an Uber career. On the last Friday in March, Good Friday, I arrived at my corporate office shortly before 6 am. Friday is always ...

Reporter accuses Ben Kalasho of assaulting him with dog

El Cajon residents call for councilman’s resignation

“Keep making me famous,” responded El Cajon city councilman Ben Kalasho to 10 of the 14 public speakers at the July 10 city council meeting. Calls for Kalasho's resignation made up most of the meeting ...

El Cajon is my city

A happy immigration story

Black and white at The Grand Three large black men sat squished together in the back seat of my rental car as we headed east on I-8. The ping of my Uber app brought us ...

Last sandwich standing

Quiznos and the El Cajon alternatives

The Quiznos sandwich shop in El Cajon at Main Street and Magnolia Avenue closed down Saturday. The last San Diego area Quiznos standing is in Ramona at Main Street and Ramona Street. Quiznos shops have ...

El Cajon shrink gives up practice

Misconduct charges

On May 15, El Cajon psychiatrist Leon Fajerman surrendered his license to practice medicine in California. A month earlier, on April 11, the state medical board had accused him of sexual misconduct with seven patients ...

This Beard's on fire

Good beertenders make great brews better

It’s nearing 5 o’clock on a Friday afternoon in El Cajon, and the energy is building at Burning Beard Brewing. The two-year-old beer company sits in an industrial zone due south of the small airstrip ...

Who can save San Diego's airport from drowning?

State bill pits port cities against rest of county

There is a “very real threat of sea level rise that could leave our airport literally under water,” stated Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (CA-80) in a March 30 Union Tribune commentary. Gonzalez Fletcher wants to ...

Springtime incivility

Is it something in the air?

On March 21 a man pounded on the door outside the military recruiting office next to the Santee trolley station. He yelled through the door as he pounded: “Open the f’n door! I want to ...

The wild west is back in San Diego

Limebike hogs show, but it is Ofo bikes that are stolen

Sunday afternoon in El Cajon I unsuccessfully tried to find an ofo dockless rental bike to help me get around town. I traveled to five locations where the ofo app listed an available bike, but ...

We at Kaleo see ourselves as being called out of darkness

Pastor Tim Cain: "If the sermon is not going well, I have to get up earlier."

Kaleo Church Membership: 100 Pastor: Tim Cain Age: 40 Born: Wheaton, IL Formation: Moody Bible Institute, Chicago; Westminster Seminary West, Escondido Years Ordained: 14 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon? ...

Homestyle Somali food

Faridas makes it easy for a first-timer to eat well

To my knowledge, I had never eaten Somali food prior to walking into Faridas Somalian Cuisine a couple weeks ago. Had anyone bothered to ask, I would not even have been able to identify a ...

Dog on death row since December

Moose's owner feels set up, betrayed by La Mesa police

John Correia wants his dog back. He hasn’t seen the dog, a Labrador-pitbull mix named Moose, since the day the La Mesa police officer shot at the dog and missed. “I raised him from a ...

Councilman Kalasho's complaint

"It’s hard to understand why an elected official would commit perjury."

El Cajon City Council member Ben Kalasho is accusing the city's mayor and another colleague of discrimination and of refusing to let him put items on the agenda or talk during public events. The Reader ...

Politics should stay out of our pulpits

We’re going to face God one of these days

Membership: 300 Pastor: David Hazel Age: 47 Born: Los Angeles Formation: Point Loma Nazarene University, Point Loma; Nazarene Theological Seminary, Kansas City Years Ordained: 22 San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to ...

El Cajon's homeless feeding ban reconsidered

Councilman suggests discussion as hep A epidemic wanes

A city councilmember in El Cajon has proposed rescinding the controversial ordinance that prohibits people from giving food to the homeless in city parks. In a January 18 memo, councilmember Ben Kalasho said that as ...

Violinistic rock

Alex DePue spilled out of the airplane with a suitcase and a fiddle

“I moved to San Diego from Philadelphia, and nothing really changed for me besides the weather,” says classically trained violinist Alex DePue. “I spilled out of the airplane with a suitcase and a fiddle and ...

El Cajon pro-pot interests sue city

"Proposition 64 did not contain an opt-out provision."

A group of El Cajon residents and business owners is accusing city officials of criminalizing commercial marijuana activity. El Cajon Residents for Responsible Governance filed a lawsuit in Superior Court over a newly adopted land-use ...

Local protest of child marriage in Iraq

Gathering in El Cajon condemns proposed change in Middle-Eastern law

A local imam, a city councilman, Iraqi-Americans, and their American friends protested child marriage Friday evening (November 17) in El Cajon. They gathered to speak out against a proposal in the Iraqi Parliament that would ...

Protesters defy food-sharing ban in El Cajon

"If hep A was as big a concern as they're saying it is, they'd have bathrooms."

An act of civil disobedience ended peacefully on Sunday afternoon (November 19th), as dozens from across the county gathered at Wells Park in El Cajon to offer food to the homeless in defiance of a ...

Hitler bothers him

"We’re going to be a rock in their shoe."

Membership: 100 families Pastor: David Madsen Age: 65 Born: La Junta, CO Formation: Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, MI; General Theological Seminary, New York City; New York Theological Seminary, New York City Years ordained: 9 San ...

El Cajon councilman allegedly framed by dirty tricks

Fake nudes, phony best-Mexican-food poll tied to Ben Kalasho

New evidence links El Cajon city councilmember Ben Kalasho to false Facebook profiles used to slander his political opponents. The evidence was included in court filings in a case against Kalasho, reported by the Reader. ...

Did the Glen Street killing start at El Cajon Oktoberfest?

Death next door

I moved from Normal Heights to La Mesa in 1999, mostly because I wanted a yard for my kids. But also because an old woman was attacked across the street from my house on East ...

Panhandlers pushed back in El Cajon

"I've been lucky here. I don't talk to cops that much."

The City of El Cajon has begun installing street signs discouraging local motorists from giving money to panhandlers. Announced Monday (October 9), the "Real change, not spare change" campaign "encourages the public to contribute in ...

The pet-friendly housing problem

"No friends, no music, no smoking — but you can have your dogs here."

A pet-friendly bill hit the governor's desk on September 21. The bill (AB 1137) would mandate that new multi-family housing developments allow tenants to have pets if those developments receive financing through state programs. Former ...

I lucked into samoon, the Iraqi bread

Must come back for whole fish and slow chicken

Cruising Main Street in El Cajon, I spotted a sign with both English and Arabic script reading Nahrain Fish And Chicken Grill. It's a small, sparsely decorated restaurant, and the first thing you're bound to ...

Plastic-bag ban led to hep A health crisis?

“The outbreak was completely predictable — it's why I left San Diego.”

“The plastic bag ban is the main reason for the hepatitis outbreak,” says the homeless man who writes the Homeless Survival Guide. “The hepatitis outbreak was completely predictable — it's why I left San Diego.” ...

Contraceptive device nightmare

Bleeding, cramping, and then another surgery to remove Essure coils, suit claims

An El Cajon woman is one of 73 plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court against the Bayer Corporation. The major pharmaceutical company is being sued over their permanent contraceptive device, Essure. ...

County unemployment: Bostonia and Imperial Beach highest

Del Mar has lowest — below 1 percent

San Diego County's unemployment rate rose to 4.3 percent in June, up from a revised 3.6 percent in May. However, total non-farm jobs rose by 6400 during the month, and that is a more important ...

Somalian, Nigerian immigrants fleeced

Tax preparers sentenced to prison

Two local tax preparers and the recruiter who brought them victims were sentenced to 30 months in prison yesterday (June 19). Rahim Ali Cummings and Rashad Abdul-Rahim were sentenced for conspiring to commit mail fraud, ...

Beauty pageant run by El Cajon councilmember under attack

Miss Middle East says it's a sham — but Ben Kalasho has contract and checks issued

The $2,000 oversized check Zhala Tawfiq received upon being crowned Miss Middle East was not a real check. The accompanying cosmetic procedures, sponsorships, wardrobe, and television auditions, that accompanied the check, were just as fake, ...

7-Eleven pushes for more liquor licenses — City Heights, Ocean Beach, Linda Vista

Already owns more than 20 percent of beer and wines permits in San Diego County

In the past year, the 7-Eleven corporation — which now holds more than 20 percent of the beer and wine sales licenses in the county — has launched a push into at least five San ...

I was popular in school and played sports, but I felt so isolated

The Pentecostal Church is experiential much more than analytical

Denomination: Pentecostal Membership: 400 Pastor: Marc Stevenson Age: 45 Born: Anaheim Formation: Christian Life College, Stockton; Urshan Seminary, St. Louis, MO. Years Ordained: 15 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon? ...

City Heights feral cat rescuer and birth control agent

50 people showed interest in Anne Joseph's May 17 session of cat-trapping.

“Being that it’s springtime in San Diego, it didn’t take long to figure out that it’s [cat] mating season,” said Anne Joseph, “thus the howling and the roaming behaviors.” Joseph, a yoga personal trainer, recently ...

Grossmont Union High School distances itself from sexual abuse lawsuits by former drama teacher

One case has since been dismissed while the other in mediation

The Grossmont Union High School District is looking to put to rest two sexual abuse lawsuits filed by former students against a drama teacher at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon. On March 17 ...

To L.A. for Olango justice

Activists call for special prosecutor in El Cajon police shooting

Community leaders in San Diego are continuing their quest to have a special prosecutor review the fatal September 2016 police shooting of 38-year-old El Cajon resident Alfred Olango. On March 24 activist Shane Harris, president ...

5-Hour Energy counterfeiters popped

Civil case leads to federal conviction

Joseph and Adriana Shayota, a married couple from El Cajon, were convicted late Monday (November 28) of criminal copyright infringement and trafficking in misbranded food by a federal court in San Jose. They were considered ...

"Cowboy" cop blamed for Olango killing

Police department sued for unconstitutional policies and practices

The family of Alfred Olango, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by El Cajon police in September, have filed a second claim against the police department, accusing the officers involved of excessive ...

Maybe call it a California Cheesesteak?

El Cajon has one of the most revered dining scenes in the county

They say location is everything, and seeing as El Cajon doesn’t get a lot of my business, I guess they may be right. Of all the communities in San Diego, the east county burg is ...

Police killing of Alfred Olango protested

"If the object was a gun, they would've called it a gun."

Protests continued Wednesday morning (September 28) outside the El Cajon Police Department, after officers shot and killed an unarmed black man they say was "not only endangering himself, but motorists." On Tuesday afternoon, Alfred Olango's ...

Gas prices jump but maybe not too high

World oil prices decline following Brexit vote

San Diego area gas prices jumped 10 to 15 cents per gallon last week, with many stations pushing their cash price for regular gas over the $3.00 threshold. Surprisingly, the oil companies are not offering ...

Too much deliciosity

“You should come back any night during this Ramadan season. We have a special feast.”

I arrived too early. For Ramadan, that is. This was before last Sunday, when Ramadan began. I came because I was curious about what you eat if you are Muslim and fasting for the month. ...

Medical marijuana exempt from “no smoking” law?

New bill would apply same rules for weed and ciggies in apartments

There are several places in San Diego where local laws ban smoking, such as beaches and parks. But for the 46 percent of residents who are renters, unless they live in public housing, landlords make ...

You want to live in heaven? Or hell?

At a young age I knew I would be a pastor, even as a child....

Membership: “less than 100” Pastor: Kurt Bergquam Age: 54 Born: Grand Forks, ND Formation: Berean Bible College, San Diego; Christian Bible College and Seminary, Blue Springs, MO Years Ordained: 25 San Diego Reader: What’s your ...

Closed in this box of El Cajon

East County Middle Easterns

Speaking English is eighth on their priority list.

Not if — when weed is legal

"It's really difficult to determine exactly where and how the product is grown."

Earlier this month the Public Policy Institute of California released a report outlining recommendations for the state if any of several competing measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana passes this November. The main ...

Burning Beard keeps El Cajon on tap

Can't you smell that smell?

El Cajon's brewing scene came back to life on February 29, the soft-opening date for Burning Beard Brewing Company. Founded by a pair of homebrewing friends, Burning Beard debuted — as many new breweries do ...

Tough times for beer in El Cajon

URBN St. closure leaves city beerless till the spring

For a moment there, the El Cajon was on the verge of having three breweries. But last week, incoming Knox Corners Brewing announced via Facebook it had ended its efforts to open in El Cajon, ...

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