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Stories by Eric Bartl

Unexpected views from some San Diego African Americans

“You painted a black person” Last year, while exiting an MTS bus at the El Cajon Transit Station, I heard a man yell, “Imagine a world without black people!” A black girl walked away from ...

July 8, 2020
Dark night for La Mesa

More than a thousand protesters marched outside the La Mesa Police Department Saturday, May 30. Stretching down University Avenue and Baltimore Drive they held signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe,” words ...

June 2, 2020
San Diego pandemic protests bring out everyone with an opinion

The Covid-related business shutdown and stay-at-home orders issued by Governor Newsom and San Diego County public health officer Wilma Wooten have led to civil disobedience and lawsuits. A local protest movement began April 18 at ...

May 6, 2020
El Cajon – from rednecks to immigrants

The slow end of the Kalasho regime At a city council meeting in September Elia spoke publicly to Kalasho: “Ben, you need help. It hurts me to see fellow Chaldeans spiral like this. It might ...

Best Reader stories from 2019

Hillcrest: gayborhood or ghetto? “I was only in West Hollywood for four years and I came from the East Coast by way of Las Vegas,” he says. “To me, Hillcrest is just normal. At least ...

April 4, 2020
Poway – city in the country

I Crawled Inside Brenda van Dam's Head and Tried to Guess What Went on in There Dad’s is probably the most famous barroom in America, at least this week, and what goes on here is ...

Is California sex-ed anti-immigrant?

On September 21, Arabic-speaking immigrants gathered at the Ninevah Club in El Cajon (at Main Street and Mollison Avenue) for a conference hosted by Protect our Kids, a group spreading awareness of California’s required instruction ...

October 30, 2019
Nick Cannon-Jason Crawford sex trafficking probe closed

The Reader’s August 28 story “Shark Bait” told of Sara, Monet, Julia, and other girls from Lincoln High School who say Nick Cannon, host of comedy show Wild 'N Out, served as the bait for ...

Abortion and carpetbagging dominate 50th Congressional seat debate

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 ...

San Diego students required to take ethnic studies

On September 24 the San Diego Unified school board passed a resolution in support of a state bill (AB 331) that would add one semester of ethnic studies to California public high school graduation requirements ...

October 16, 2019
Who are the drag queens at Chula Vista library?

On September 10, Francisco Soto and Xaime Aceves Equihua (stage names “Barbie-Q” and “Raquelita”) presented Drag Queen Story Time to a reported 300 adults and children at the Civic Center Chula Vista Public Library on ...

September 18, 2019
Rancho Bernardo man with 84 cockatiels fights San Diego Humane Society

Fourteen years ago Rancho Bernardo resident Robert D. Fausner had four pet cockatiels. He kept them in his one-bedroom apartment cage-free and by January of this year they had reproduced into 83 free-flying birds, plus ...

September 11, 2019
More drama at San Diego Junior Theatre

The three-year saga at Balboa Park’s San Diego Junior Theatre, a city-funded operation, continued May 7 when former theatre parent Matt Valenti and his family went to City Hall to confront city attorney Mara Elliott. ...

September 4, 2019
Lincoln High teacher sued for sex talk

Girl v. world, mother, teacher On October 15, 2018, Lincoln High School psychologist Freddy Moreno summoned Sara to his office. A teacher wanted him to find out what was traumatizing her “shy, sweet, and respectful” ...

August 28, 2019
Kaiser to face largest strike anywhere in 20 years

The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions warned in an August 12 press release they are planning the “nation’s largest walkout since 1997.” Coalition spokesman Sean Wherley says over 80,000 Kaiser Permanente employees in six states ...

August 26, 2019
San Diego Unified paid $400k for claim against Lincoln High coach

After being accused of sexual assault a former Lincoln High School soccer coach, Said Cajica, continued coaching youth soccer teams and on February 21 changed his name to Xavier Cajica-Bautista. Said’s path to becoming Xavier ...

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

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 ...

June 26, 2019
Kidnapping halted in El Cajon

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 ...

June 17, 2019
UCSD researchers use organs from aborted babies

Researchers from the UCSD School of Medicine are in the market for human organs that are "fresh" and "fetal," according to emails published by the Center for Medical Progress, a citizen journalist/medical ethics watchdog group ...

June 5, 2019
San Diego Unified dumps anti-Islamophobia initiative

On March 7 a group of parents represented by San Diego attorney Charles S. LiMandri, chief counsel of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, settled a lawsuit — Citizens for Quality Education v. Richard Barrera ...

May 22, 2019
Why did Kevin Beiser accusers keep quiet so long?

Last week four men publicly accused third term San Diego Unified school board trustee Kevin Beiser of sexual harassment. Now others are saying they too were preyed upon. On March 18 a John Doe plaintiff ...

March 25, 2019
San Diego School District unites Democrats and Republicans

On December 11 the San Diego Unified School District board of trustees got rid of a thorn in its side — the non-agenda public comment segment at the beginning of their meetings. Trustees Richard Barrera, ...

March 6, 2019
Women's March and Walk for Life – a mile or a world apart?

Two events drew out civic exhibitionists in San Diego on Saturday, January 19, each expressing a different view about what it means to be pro-woman. An estimated 20,000 participants in the Women’s March gathered at ...

Miranda Escoto tried to report abuse of students

Schools in San Diego County have a problem. Many teachers, administrators, and staff are not reporting suspected child abuse to the proper authorities, despite a legal requirement to do so. And some who do report ...

January 23, 2019
Torrey Pines Road – "so damn dangerous"

Visitors to La Jolla Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Torrey Pines Road a couple blocks northeast of La Jolla Parkway put their lives in danger when they park across the street, say a nursing home ...

December 14, 2018
Lincoln High School was designed to fail

A father of two former Lincoln High School students says San Diego Unified School District filed false criminal charges against him after he started speaking out against the district for their failures to protect children ...

December 12, 2018
Rogue attorneys

On November 9 Clayton Marlow Anderson, Jr., a former attorney from La Mesa, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for “defrauding clients and investors,” according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release. ...

November 29, 2018
What makes the border fence work

“Assault a U.S. law enforcement officer – expect to be held accountable,” said chief border patrol agent Rodney Scott in a press release November 3. On October 31 a federal jury in San Diego found ...

November 14, 2018
The slow end of the Kalasho regime

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 ...

November 9, 2018
Little-known San Diego election facts

Proposition 6 may not get the response at the ballot box its supporters were hoping for. Asking voters to reduce what they have to pay for gas was a sure bet, but state Attorney General ...

November 1, 2018
Jury awards contractor $200K in Central Avenue Mini Park fight

On September 10, 2018 APR Construction Inc., a small business from La Mesa, won a $202,000 jury verdict against the City of San Diego, which fired them from the Central Avenue Mini Park and Skate ...

October 17, 2018
Susan Davis debates GOP challenger almost 1/3 her age

At 26 years old Morgan Murtaugh is one year above the constitutional minimum age requirement for U.S. Representatives. The Times of San Diego and Huffington Post reported she is the youngest Congressional candidate this election ...

October 12, 2018
Good Samaritans chase hit-and-run driver

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 ...

September 20, 2018
Dem, GOP? It's the farmers market, stupid.

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 ...

September 7, 2018
Spit at in Del Taco

On Friday (August 24) I had lunch at Del Taco on C and 11th downtown. I used the restroom and came out to see a tall middle-aged homeless man yelling at the restaurant’s security guard. ...

San Diego veterans of World War II, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan

Chief Stuart Hedley United States Navy World War II and Korean War Public speaker Clairemont It was Sunday morning at 5 o’clock. Hedley jumped out of bed below deck on the battleship USS West Virginia ...

August 29, 2018
Does sexual orientation change go only one way?

On Thursday, August 16, the California Senate passed Assembly Bill 2943 with a 25-11 vote. The bill would make “sexual orientation change efforts,” also known as “conversion therapy,” an unlawful business practice under the state’s ...

August 23, 2018
Headlock on man with hammer

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 ...

August 17, 2018
Fire and ice

We’ve all heard the joke that someday a natural disaster will plunge California into the sea and turn Arizona into beachfront property. But if recent trends continue what would be more likely — the landslide ...

Malibu attorney forces Poway into district elections

As the candidate filing period opened July 16 for elected offices across the county, including seats for two new Poway council districts, a lawsuit filed to stop the new districts went back to court. The ...

July 27, 2018
Santee townsfolk want Dirty Chris dealt with

Some homeowners on Carefree Drive, Peaceful Court and Restful Court in Santee aren’t getting the tranquility they bargained for. The Carefree condominium complex off Magnolia Avenue and across the street from Santana High School, say ...

July 24, 2018
Reporter accuses Ben Kalasho of assaulting him with dog

“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 ...

July 17, 2018
Build the Wall sign attracts Waterfront Park scuffle

When 75-year-old Dan Russell isn’t cleaning up trash from the side of highways he participates in civil demonstrations, mostly holding his “Build the Wall, Enforce the Law” sign. On June 30 brought his sign to ...

GOP gov. candidate Cox was major donor of gas tax repeal

California’s gas tax repeal constitutional amendment initiative will be on the November 6 general election ballot as Proposition 6. “The initiative needed 643,948 projected valid signatures to qualify by random sampling, and it exceeded that ...

July 13, 2018
Advocates for Youth gets the boot

Oceanside Unified School District suspended sexual health instruction for grades K-6 Monday (June 18) after getting feedback from parents and community members through an online and written survey. Acting Superintendent Reggie Thompkins announced, “The district ...

Never mind

The San Diego City Council rules committee had a special meeting at city hall Wednesday (June 13) to conduct an initial review of proposals to place measures on the November 6 general election ballot. Eight ...

June 19, 2018
El Cajon is my city

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 ...

June 13, 2018
Would Amaze videos get you arrested elsewhere?

San Diego Unified School District and Oceanside Unified School District have come under fire because of the sexual education curriculum they adopted from Advocates for Youth. Advocates for Youth is based in Washington D.C. where ...

June 13, 2018
Last sandwich standing

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 ...

Local Dems and GOP beat back the edges

Clairemont resident Danny Smiechowski says he's being bullied by local Democrats and shunned by the media. He is an official candidate for San Diego city council in district 2. He’s running as a Democrat, but ...

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