El Cajon

CHARGERS MOURN PASSING OF MINORITY OWNER GEORGE PERNICANO

For more sports stories, visit ECM's sports section

Source: Chargers news release

October 6, 2016 (El Cajon) - San Diego Chargers minority owner George Pernicano passed away peacefully, surrounded by family at his home in El Cajon, California early Thursday.  He was 98. 

Pernicano was one of the five original San Diego Chargers minority owners who purchased interest in the team in 1963.  He helped Jack Murphy and other prominent San Diegans convince Barron Hilton, the owner of the Los Angeles Chargers, to bring the team to San Diego in 1961.

7 EL CAJON COUNCIL CANDIDATES WILL BE AT TONIGHT'S JOURNALISM FORUM AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2016  (El Cajon) –El Cajon residents are invited to attend a Journalism  Forum featuring candidates running for the  El Cajon City Council.  The forum, co-moderated by journalists from four major media outlets, will be held on Wednesday, October 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Grossmont College at Griffin Gate in Griffin Center. (See map.)

Bring your questions, meet the candidates and hear their ideas and goals for El Cajon.

The moderators will be: Miriam Raftery,  editor of East County Magazine, Karen Pearlman, reporter for the San Diego-Union Tribune, Albert  Fulcher,  editor of the East County Californian, and Marya Fani, broadcast journalist at Mega Network. 

READY, PETS, GO! JINGLE PAWS DEC. 3

 

East County News Service

October 5, 2016 (Rancho San Diego) -- The Aces Foundation invites you and your dog to participate in the 6th annual Jingle Paws Walk for Pets on December 3rd.  Festivities begin at 9:00am with a warm-up from Leash Your Fitness and a Blessing of the Animals; the walk begins immediately after in the amphitheater at the Garden at Cuyamaca College, traveling throughout the campus.

LINCOLN CLUB ENDORSES IN EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RACE 2016

 

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this article

Photo: Council members Star Bales and Bob McClellan, Sept. 27, 2016

October 4, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The Lincoln Club, a conservative San Diego pro-business lobbying group that favors small government and low taxes, according to its website, has endorsed three candidates in the El Cajon City Council race. They are six-term Councilmember Bob McClellan, a retired car dealer, Councilmember Star Bales, who formerly served on the city’s Planning Commission and the El Cajon Arts and Culture Commission, and former Planning Commissioner Paul Circo.

DISGRACED EX-JUDICIAL CANDIDATE RUNNING FOR CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 4, 2016 (El Cajon) – Five candidates are running for two open seats on the Cajon Valley Union School District board, according to the Registrar of Voters site. One of them, Jim P. Miller, ran for Superior Court Judge in 2016 and had his Lincoln Club endorsement revoked after it was exposed that he failed to disclose that he had been removed as a Judge Pro Tem by the Superior Court.

PROTESTERS ARRESTED IN EL CAJON OVER THE WEEKEND

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 3, 2016 (El Cajon) – Saturday night, El Cajon Police declared an unlawful assembly and arrested 14 people at a makeshift memorial site at 800 Broadway, where Alfred Olango was fatally shot last Tuesday by a police officer.

According to Lieutenant Rob Ransweiler, on Saturday night a vehicle was stopped for a traffic infraction leaving the protest area. The driver, who was under 21, was arrested for driving under the influence. Two passengers were also arrested for being drunk in public.  After the arrest, a small group of protesters gathered near800 Broadway.

PUBLIC FORUM THURSDAY ON SHOOTING OF ALFRED OLANGO

 

East County News Service

October 3, 2016 (El Cajon) - The San Diego chapter of Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) will host a community forum this Thursday to discuss the tragic death of Alfred Olango. The forum, open to all community members, will be 6:30-8:30 pm October 6, at the College-Rolando branch library, 6600 Montezuma Rd, San Diego. 

EL CAJON COUNCIL SOUGHT HELP FROM COUNTY FOR POLICE ON MENTAL HEALTH CALLS IN JUNE, APPROVED BODY CAMERAS IN AUGUST

 

By Jonathan Goetz

October 2, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The shooting of a black man reportedly suffering a mental health crisis in El Cajon by police has led to protests, and police crack-downs. After an officer advanced toward Alfred Olango, gun drawn at close range, Olango allegedly pointed a vape pen, or smoking device, at the officer, who mistook it for a gun and fired the deadly shots.

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, a clinician and former Director of Psychiatric Intake Services and Director of Outpatient Services, voiced support and empathy for both Olango’s family and for police in the City’s carefully crafted official response.

But many may not be aware that El Cajon’s City Council has been trying to address problems with the homeless and the mentally ill for quite some time. At its June 14th 2016 meeting, the El Cajon City Council voted to join San Diego County Mental Health and the Sheriffs in the East County Homeless Outreach Team, which embeds social workers with police and travels weekly to homeless hot-spots.

DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUE IN EL CAJON; LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERTS OFFER OPINIONS ON SHOOTING

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 1, 2016 (El Cajon)—No arrests were made overnight as protests continued for a fourth night and into today, following the shooting of Alfred Olango by El Cajon Police on Tuesday.

Tensions remain despite video released yesterday and a photo showing Olango in a shooting stance, aiming a vaping device at Officer Richard Gonsalves, who has said he believed it to be a gun. 

$2 MILLION RAISED FOR COMMUNITY CENTER IN EL CAJON

 

By Jonathan Goetz

September 30, 2016 (El Cajon) - The Salvation Army is embarking on a massive new building for their 4.6 acre El Cajon Campus. A year and a half ago the Salvation Army started raising money for the $5.4 million expansion to double their 2.3 acre site on South Anza Street in El Cajon from Main Street to Decker Street.

VIDEO OF EL CAJON POLICE SHOOTING RELEASED

Unrest continues for fourth night, prompting business closures

By Miriam Raftery

Warning:  Graphic content in video

September 30, 2016 (El Cajon)—At a press conference in El Cajon this afternoon, authorities released two videos  in the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango, 38, by police.  The first is surveillance video from a taco shop; the second is cell phone video taken by a witness.

A MESSAGE FROM EL CAJON MAYOR BILL WELLS

 

September 30, 2016 (El Cajon) --  El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells issued the following statement to clarify his remarks made in a  Sept. 28 press conference regarding the shooting of Alfred Olongo by an El Cajon Police officer. 

I have been asked by several people since yesterday’s press conference if I intended to suggest by one of my responses that it is my opinion, after having watched the video, that the officer’s use of his firearm was not justified.  This was absolutely not my intent.

PRAYER SERVICE FOR CITY OF EL CAJON: 10 AM FRIDAY

September 30,2016 (El Cajon)--A group of pastors from East County churches will meet at 10 a.m. at the Police Department Headquarters to pray for peace and unity over the City of El Cajon.  -- Pastors from 30-40 churches are expected to attend.

A diverse group of pastors are expected, including African-American pastors, Middle Eastern pastors, as well as churches representing many denominations.

DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUE OVERNIGHT IN EL CAJON: TEAR GAS DEPLOYED AS PROTEST TURNS VIOLENT

 

2 men wanted for stealing photojournalist’s $15,000 camera Wednesday night

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2016 (El Cajon)--Demonstrations continued overnight in El Cajon over the killing of Alfred Olango Tuesday by police.

  After receiving several 911 calls of 50-70 protesters blocking cars and breaking car windows, police declared an unlawful assembly. 10 News reports that tear gas and pepper balls were deployed by police. The station posted video of the incident and reported that protesters also knocked a motorcyclist off a motorcycle. Glass bottles were also thrown at officers. Two arrests were made, according to police.

 “A large group of demonstrators marched through the streets throughout the evening and into the early morning hours,”said Lieutenant Rob Ransweiler.

Police are also investigating theft of a $15,000 camera taken forcibly from a photojournalist.   A video viewed by 250,000 people on social media has led to identification one suspect, San Diego News Video reports.  Public help is requested to identify a second subject shown at the end of a video here: https://www.facebook.com/SDNVtv/videos/918156954956981/

OFFICER INVOLVED IN EL CAJON SHOOTING HAD BEEN DEMOTED FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

Women officers have fewer use of force incidents, but only 9% of ECPD officers are women. Could more females on the force have prevented death of Alfred Olango?

By Miriam Raftery

September 29,2016 (El Cajon)—Mayor Bill Wells has confirmed that the officer who fired the fatal shots in Tuesday’s controversial shooting of Alfred Olango was  Richard Gonsalves—the same officer embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal last year. 

Could a culture that encouraged women officers to join the force have perhaps prevented Tuesday’s tragedy, before Olango pulled out a vaping device mistaken for a gun?

Multiple studies over 40 years have shown  that women police officers  are better at defusing tense situations and have significantly lower use-of-force rates than male officers,  the Washington Post recently reported.

For example, A 2002 study by the National Center for Women & Policing of excessive force incidents in seven major city police departments found that “the average male officer is over eight and a half times more likely than his female counterpart to have an allegation of excessive force sustained against him … [and] two to three times more likely than the average female officer to have a citizen name him in a complaint of excessive force.”

But the El Cajon Police Department has long drawn criticism for tolerating sexual harassment  and other sexual misconduct by male officers toward women on the force--hardly a history conducive to attracting women seeking careers in law enforcement.

EL CAJON’S WILD WEEK: OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING, NUDITY BAN, PROTESTS AND PARKWAY PLAZA CLOSURE

 

Did lack of mental healthcare “PERT” team response contribute to Olango’s death? 

Suicide Help Resources included below

By Jonathan Goetz

September 29, 2016 (El Cajon) – East San Diego County’s El Cajon was rocked Tuesday with an officer involved shooting of an unarmed black man, Alfred Okwera Olango. The city has remained in the spotlight all week.  Lost amid the blitz of media coverage has been other news, including a nudity ban targeting homeless people.

In chronological order, here are the highlights and lowlights:

BUILDING RE-DEDICATION AND OPEN HOUSE AT VALHALLA HIGH SCHOOL OCT. 11

 

Source: Grossmont Union High School District

September 29, 2016 (El Cajon) - The public is invited to attend a Building Re-dedication and Open House for Valhalla High School's Modernized Main Building and Theater on Tuesday, October 11. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by tours of the facility from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

UNREST GROWS IN EL CAJON: MAN KILLED POINTED VAPING DEVICE AT OFFICERS,HAD CRIMINAL RECORD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, by Rebecca Williamson, during vigil at shooting sight this evening

September 28,2016 (El Cajon) –Amid mounting tensions and protests this evening,  El Cajon Police released updates in yesterday’s fatal shooting of Alfred Okwera Olango.  

The updated information reveals the Olango, an El Cajon resident, drew a vape smoking device from his pocket and pointed it at officers. The release also indicates a Psychiatric Emergency Response Team was unavailable due to being dispatched to another call.

A 10 News investigation found  Olango had a criminal record including  a 2005 arrest in Colorado as a felon in possession of a firearm—a semi-automatic pistol in the vehicle he was driving. He also pled guilty to receiving stolen property and driving under the influence in 1999, as well as selling cocain in 2001.

In this confrontation, however, Olango was unarmed.  The Ugandan refugee who came to America  after death threats to his famliy was shot and killed after his sister called officers for help due to her brother's erratic actions.

Tonight, crowds clashed with police.  While organizers of a march and vigil sought to keep the peace, some protesters reportedly threw bottles at police and chased a counter-protester wearing a Trump hat after he shouted racial slurs.

MAN AT EL CAJON PROTESTS ATTACKED FOR TAUNTING PROTESTERS, WEARING TRUMP HAT

 

East County News Service

Photo via CW6 San Diego Twitter

September 28, 2016 (El Cajon) - The El Cajon protests after Alfred Olango was gunned down by police continue peacefully, but things escalated a bit tonight after a man was attacked for wearing a Donald Trump hat and taunting protesters with racial slurs, ECM has learned.


PARKWAY PLAZA EVACUATED, CAR SHOW SHUTDOWN AMID UNREST AFTER POLICE SHOOTING

 

 

By Rebecca Williamson and Miriam Raftery

Photo, left,by Rebecca Williamson: Marchers at Mollison near Broadway

September 28,2016 (El Cajon) – Parkway Plaza regional shopping center is shut down for tonight after protests spilled into the mall over yesterday’s fatal police shooting of Alfred  Olango, 38, an unarmed African-American man with mental health issues.  Marketing director Ken Gray told  ECM the mall shut down for the night on advice of police.

“ Where I work, a lot of people were crying and screaming,” Gage Miller told  East County Magazine shortly after police evacuated the Walmart store where he works and escorted everyone outside. He said around 3 p.m., “lots of people were marching in the mall and going into the movie theatre…Walmart had to put its gates down. Protesters were spraying water from water bottles all around.”

PROTESTS ERUPT IN EL CAJON; BLACK MAN SHOT BY POLICE DIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: El Cajon Police

Photos (rest) by Robert Gehr (c)

September 28, 2016 (El Cajon)—A shooting of a mentally ill African-American man by El Cajon Police yesterday  has sparked anger among some community members, though police have released a photo suggesting the man assumed a “shooter’s stance” before he was shot and killed.

Following a press conference this morning by police, civil rights leaders spoke at a press conference calling for a federal investigation.  Marches were held downtown and a candlelight vigil is planned tonight at 6 p.m. the El Cajon Police Station forAlfred Olango, 38.

FUGITIVE ARRESTED IN EAST COUNTY MURDER CASE

 

 

Update:  The victim has been identified as Brandon Deguzman, 21.  Cause of death has been determined to be homicide by shooting,outside the victim's home. 

By Miriam Raftery

September 25, 2016 (Santee) – A fugitive wanted in connection with a deadly shooting in unincorporated El Cajon yesterday morning is now under arrest.

BLOODMOBILE DRIVE SEPT. 25: SHORTAGE OF BLOOD DUE TO ZIKA

 

In partnership with the San Diego Blood Bank

East County News Service

September 19, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The San Diego Blood Bank will accept blood donations at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church (2766 Navajo Road) in El Cajon on Sunday, September 25, 2016 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.  in the parking lot. All blood types are needed. Current inventory for the universal blood type, O negative, is at critically low levels.

SCOTTY’S SCARE TRAIL: HAUNTING ATTRACTION SEPT. 29-OCT. 30

 

East County News Service

September 18, 2016 (El Cajon) — Scotty’s Scare Trail, one of East County’s most haunting attractions, will be open at the abandoned Marshal Scotty’s amusement park in El Cajon for a full month every Thursday through Sunday from Sept.29 to Oct. 30 between 7 to 11 p.m.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: JOHN LINDEN, HELIX WATER BOARD DIRECTOR

 

You can listen now  to a podcast of our interview by clicking the orange button above, or click "read more" and scroll down for highlights.

By Miriam Raftery

Mark your calendars for our candidate forum with Helix Water Board candidates and Lemon Grove Mayoral candidates on Wednesday, September 21 at the Lemon Grove Library.Meet candidates at 5 p.m. with the forum starting at 5:30.

September 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – John Linden has served on the Helix Water District Board since 2000.  He’s proud of his service and of the Helix district’s long history since its establishment back in the 1880s.  He’s running for reelection in district 1, against three challengers. We sat down for an interview with Linden that originally aired on KNSJ radio.

Audio: 

PLANTSTRAVAGANZA AT WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN

 

East County News Service

September 15, 2016 (El Cajon) - The Water Conservation Garden celebrates the fall planting season with the 2016 Fall Plantstravaganza! on Saturday, November 5 from 10am to 2pm, with a special members-only preview sale from 9am to 10am.   Garden memberships may be purchased at the gate.

EL CAJON’S DINNER & A CONCERT SEASON FINISHES OCT. 7 WITH COUNTRY MUSIC LEGEND MARTY STUART

 

By Robert Gehr

September 12, 2016 (El Cajon) -- John “Marty” Stuart, a member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville Tennessee and a multiple Grammy awards winner, began his early childhood years with a guitar in hand, and started seriously playing music at just 12 years old.

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