El Cajon Stories

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, ...

Tough to be a drunk in El Cajon

Police and liquor-store owners say do-not-sell-alcohol list works

El Cajon's efforts to combat public drunkenness include a "Do Not Sell Alcohol List.” The lists — with names and photos of what authorities refer to as "serial inebriates" or "habitual drunkards" — have been ...

14% alcohol in a can? That's Loko

Meeting scheduled in Imperial Beach to address perils of booze product

An Imperial Beach church is holding a "community conversation" on December 10 to discuss a ban on the Four Loko alcoholic beverage, which has been linked to deaths and binge-drinking problems. The action comes a ...

San Diego's toxic air "hot spots" revealed

Six facilities singled out

The County of San Diego has released its annual Air Toxics "Hot Spots" report, highlighting pollution problems around the county. "Motor vehicles, area sources, and natural sources are key contributors to the toxic air contaminants ...

City slickness for East County

Construction on four-star Marriott expected to begin in January

Last week, the City of El Cajon closed on the sale of land at the northeast corner of Magnolia and Rea avenues that will one day be occupied by a hotel. The Marriott will be ...

Leading with the carotid, not the stick

Coworker labeled detective Paul Ward a "loose cannon"

Twenty-five-year-old Robert Branch has filed a lawsuit against sheriff's detective Paul Ward for putting him in a "carotid-restraint" and illegally detaining him in May 2015, after their cars nearly collided while merging onto Interstate 8 ...

The house that Sanford built headed for El Cajon

Jerome to pay the mover (furniture not included)

Jerome Navarra, co-founder and owner of Jerome's Furniture, kept his 2014 promise to move — rather than demolish — the formerly historic Sanford B. Myers Spec House on 16th and J Street on Wednesday, October ...

Motorcycle mission for wounded warrior

Bikers escort Marine to new residence provided by Homes for Our Troops

The day promised to be warm as the bikers arrived at the designated staging area. Mainly older and grayer, the earlier arrivals found places in the shade on this Saturday morning. Parking their bikes (the ...

Local lawsuit vs. Volkswagen

Amber Handal displeased with her dirty diesel Jetta, files class action

Volkswagen and Audi owners in cities throughout the U.S. are rushing to file class-action lawsuits days after the Environmental Protection Agency discovered the Volkswagen Auto Group installed "defeat devices" in more than 480,000 diesel-powered vehicles ...

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 ...

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