El Cajon Stories

Abortion and carpetbagging dominate 50th Congressional seat debate

Issa, DeMaio look east, Hunter, Jones defend turf

On October 14 former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio, former congressman Darrell Issa and state enator Brian Jones joined congressman Duncan Hunter at Mission Valley’s Town and Country Hotel for the San Diego Republican ...

Angelo's Towing contract to be tested by El Cajon

Michigan history looms in San Diego

Tow companies covet a spot on a city's police tow rotation list. The customers are always there. When a car is in an accident, a driver arrested, or registration has lapsed, it's often the police ...

How Saudi Arabia affects San Diego gas prices

High-priced stations don't move much

It seems President Trump was correct in his assumption that the Saudi Arabia oil field bombing would not send the world’s gas prices into a tizzy. The U.S. is now the world’s largest exporter of ...

Cascaraa makes sparkling tea from leftover coffee fruit

Antioxidants and organic botanicals in a lightly caffeinated beverage

The life cycle of coffee has been well documented. The coffee cherry grows on a shrub until it's red and plump, then gets harvested for its seed, which is extracted, dried, and ultimately roasted into ...

San Diego rat tales

In spite of DeMaio report, it doesn't seem to be our homeless

A few weeks ago, I was startled to find an unwelcome visitor climbing up a wall inside our North Park garage—a rat. My wife and I had dealt with mice at our last house (also ...

Real men at Wilson Middle School, SDSU, El Cajon City Council

Forget toxic masculinity

It’s early Friday morning in City Heights. Nearly 30 boys flock to Wilson Middle School an hour before school starts to spend time with their mentor Roosevelt Johnson. They enter his classroom and greet one ...

The unsolved case of La Mesa's Jamie Peters

Maybe those bones are my son

Nearly 31 years ago, Jamie Peters walked into his mother’s home in La Mesa and dropped off his house keys. It was a brief nighttime visit. He paused long enough to look around the familiar ...

Kidnapping halted in El Cajon

Kids, bystander, finally police intervene

Friday, June 14, 4:40 pm. I got off the bus in El Cajon at Washington and Magnolia. From a distance I see what I think is a grandmother, mother and children crossing the street. We ...

Burning Beard vests its star tasting room manager with ownership

Shannon Lynette gets a piece of the brand she’s helped build

When she first walked in to Burning Beard Brewing Co., Shannon Lynette says she wasn’t there looking for work. But she was between beer industry jobs, mulling a few offers, and contemplating a move back ...

Le Caramel, straight from le source

Thriving East County candy maker serves waffles on Wednesday

In case you woke up this morning wondering where is the best place in the county to get exquisite French caramel, I’m here to tell you: it’s El Cajon. Don’t look surprised. Only a few ...

Mary's Donuts in Santee got a little too generous

Joel Scalzitti uses her name in Lakeside and El Cajon

Touted as a third location of the regionally popular Mary’s Donuts, a new storefront opened on El Cajon’s Main Street on April 13, near city and county offices. Owner Joel Scalzitti proclaimed in the East ...

Could be wood frame house in Alabama, but it's El Cajon Blvd. storefront

Why would anyone sing in church these days?

“If you want, I’ll give you a hug,” a tall man with silver hair says to a seated congregant. “I give man hugs,” the silver-haired man says after the two have bro-hugged. It’s noon on ...

Creative creatures brew in El Cajon

Behind the pizza spot, across from the Ross

Downtown El Cajon may not be the next, Next North Park, but if you look across the parking lot from the Ross Dress For Less, you will spot the city’s newest brewery. Creative Creature Brewing ...

San Diego gas prices edging up – want to drive to Pauma Valley?

Gasbuddy.com shows February as the pivot month

The chance for San Diegans to pay $2 a gallon for gas in 2019 appears to be over. Concern over trade tensions with China is the reason being given for the current rise in San ...

Shot hole beetle invades San Diego River

Volunteers find them with sticky baited traps

Native to Southeast Asia, the shot hole borer beetle is making its way along the southern Californian coast including the San Diego River Valley. Though it makes what appears to be only a minuscule hole, ...

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? ...

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close