El Cajon

PASSAGES: CLIFF DIAMOND, FORMER EL CAJON POLICE CHIEF, CHAMBER CHAIRMAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 29, 2016 (El Cajon) — Cliff Diamond, former El Cajon Police Chief and past interim Chairman of the East County Chamber of Commerce, died October 25 in Sierra Vista, Arizona.  Diamond collapsed while on an RV vacation with his wife, Leslie and despite efforts by paramedics to revive him, was pronounced dead at a nearby medical facility.

FLIGHT PATHS FROM 2 MAJOR AIRPORTS MAY BE REROUTED OVER EAST COUNTY: FAA TO HOLD MEETING NOV. 1 IN SPRING VALLEY

 

East County News Service

October 28, 2016 (Spring Valley) — The Federal Aviation Administration is hosting a meeting in Spring Valley Tuesday on a proposal to change flight paths to both Lindbergh Field and Brown Field airports, which could sharply increase airliner traffic over East County.  The meeting will be at La Presa Middle School, 1001 Leland Street, on November 1 from 6 to 9 p.m.

NEW ANIMAL CARE FACILIT Y ON AGENDA NOV. 1 FOR EL CAJON PLANNING COMMISSION

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 28, 2016 (El Cajon) — The City of El Cajon is moving forward with plans for a new animal shelter.  A public hearing on a proposed conditional use permit for the new facility will be held by the city’s planning commission on Tuesday, November 1 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers (200 Civic Center Way, El Cajon).

EL CAJON COMMUNITY NEEDS FORUM NOV. 15

 

East County News Service

October 28, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The County of San Diego’s Community Action Partnership (CAP) in collaboration with Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP) and El Cajon Collaborative want to hear from you about the most important issues in your community. An El Cajon Community Needs forum will be held November 15 from 5-7 p.m. at the El Cajon Salvation Army, 1011 East Main Street.

GROSSMONT HIGH FOOTBALL PLAYER HURT BY LIGHTNING: WHY WASN’T PRACTICE CANCELLED DURING THUNDERSTORM?

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

October 25, 2016 (El Cajon)—A 14-year-old football player at Grossmont High School was injured  by lightning that struck nearby while walking toward the locker room after football practice yesterday around 6:15 p.m. 

In 2010,  we reported on a coach at El Capitan High School who kept players on a field during a lightning storm in violation of district policy. “The policy of the GUHSD in thunder/lightning storm conditions would be to immediately seek safe shelter at the first sound of thunder and to remain in said shelter until at least ½ hour after the last sound of thunder,” Larry Pear, director of extended and co-curricular activities at the Grossmont Union High School District,  told us at the time.

Numerous witnesses report seeing lighting strikes throughout the afternoon in the community, right up until the time the student was struck. So why wasn’t yesterday’s football practice at Grossmont High, in the same school district, cancelled?

HEARING WED. ON RESTRAINING ORDER SOUGHT BY NAACP AGAINST EL CAJON POLICE AND SHERIFF

 

East County News Service

October 25, 2016 (El Cajon) – A hearing is set for tomorrow at 3 p.m. in U.S. District Court in downtown San Diego on a restraining order sought by the NAACP and several individuals who claim they were falsely arrested for holding peaceful protests and vigils in the wake of the Alfred Olango shooting by an El Cajon Police officer.

BRUSH FIRE IN ELCAJON

 

Photo credit:  Dave Nunes

October 24, 2016 (El Cajon) -- A SIG Alert has been issued for I-8 east due to a two-acre brush fire burning alongside the freeway just east of Greenfield in unincorporated El Cajon. The fire is burning uphill toward the Wal-Mart store, according to the CHP incident page.

ECM has a reporter en route to the scene; check back for details.

EL CAJON’S HAUNTFEST 2016 SAFE AND SUCCESSFUL

 

(L-R) Lady Molly (Christine Robbins), Councilman (Gary Kendrick), Boo (Crystal Clark), Assassins Creed (Gary Wachtler)

By Jonathan Goetz

October 22, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Hauntfest was a big success again this year with carnival rides, costume contests, games, live music and dancing along Main Street in El Cajon on Friday. Police concerned about marauding bands of Vikings were out in force.

NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY IS THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22

 

East County News Service

October 19, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Time to clear out those medicine cabinets!  On Saturday, October 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the El Cajon Police Department, working in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration, will be hosting a prescription drug drop off site in the parking lot of their police station, located at 100 Civic Center Way. Bring your outdated, unused or unwanted prescription pills, ointments, or liquids; no questions asked.

TRANSCRIPT OF EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES FORUM: POLICE ISSUES, ECONOMY, MARIJUANA AND MORE SPARK HEATED CONVERSATIONS

 

Transcription by Jonathan Goetz

October 18, 2016 (El Cajon) - Seven candidates vying for three seats on the El Cajon City Council participated in a lively forum at Grossmont College on October 5th:  Stephanie Harper, Ben Kalasho, Hubert Cabrera, Steve Goble, George Glover, Joseph Fountain and Vikie Butcher.  Incumbents Bob McClellan and Star Bales, along with challenger Paul Circo, declined to participate citing travel and scheduling conflicts.

Topics included the police shooting, building a new animal shelter, reopening the performing arts center, sales tax in El Cajon, marijuana regulation, strengthening our community and improving police relations with minorities, poverty and unemployment.

Each candidate had one minute to respond to questions  from  moderators Miriam Raftery of the East County Magazine,  Karen Pearlman from the San Diego Union-Tribune, Albert Fulcher from the East County Californian, and  Marya Fani from  Mega Network, followed by audience questions.

8 ARRESTED AMID CIVIL UNREST IN EL CAJON; PROTESTERS FILE SUIT AGAINST CITY AND COUNTY

 

Update 2 p.m.: Police this afternoon are blocking access to the site that has been the focus of protests where  Alfred Olango was shot on Sept. 27.

East County News Service

October 18, 2016 (El Cajon) — El Cajon Police declared an unlawful assembly and arrested eight protesters last night at 800 Broadway near Mollison, the site where Alfred Olango was shot by police over two weeks ago.

According to a press release, the trouble started last night around 5 p.m. when two people arrived and became angry that a makeshift memorial had been removed. Police say the strip mall’s owner hired a security company to help return to business as usual. Earlier in the day, the release states, ”participants in the memorial, who had been asked to leave the property returned and asked to collect their items. They removed the tents, grills and other memorial and personal items. Neither the property owners nor the police department removed memorial items.

A SURJ OF AWARENESS

 

Story and photos by Byron Croft

Shooting sparks broader conversation on police-citizen relations in East County and San Diego,  facilitated by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)

October 14, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The recent shooting of Alfred Olango in El Cajon has sparked a surge of conversation on the topic of how police handle people in some sort of mental distress, and how that handling may sometimes be different when the people police encounter happens to be with someone with skin darker than “white.” What for many, until recently, was viewed as a concern for those in larger cities, such as Chicago and New York, has now become a topic of discussion in East County, and surrounding San Diego.

EL CAJON COUNCIL HEARS FROM PUBLIC ON POLICE SHOOTING

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Miriam Raftery contributed to this story.

October 13, 2016 (El Cajon) — During public comment at Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council hearing, residents voiced a range of opinions on the recent police shooting of Alfred Olango, an African refugee reportedly suffering a mental health crisis when an officer advanced on him, gun drawn, then fired after Olango drew a vaping device resembling a gun out of his pocket and pointed it at the officer.

Here are highlights of public comments on the shooting:

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS FROM EL CAJON CANDIDATE DEBATE

 

October 13, 2016 (El Cajon )-- Mega Network has created a video montage with highlights from the recent El Cajon candidate forum at Grossmont College.  Seven candidates fielded questions from moderators and the audience on a wide range of issues, from the recent police shooting to reopeningthe East County Performing Arts Center to ideas for strengthening the community

Candidates participating were Stephanie Harper, Ben Kalasho,  Humbert Cabrera,  Steve Goble, George Glover,Joseph Fountain and Vickie Knight Butcher, all challengers. (Photos below) Incumbents Bob McClellan and Star Bales did not attend,nor did challenge Paul Circo.

UNIDENTIFIED PEDESTRIAN STRUCK, KILLED ON I-8 IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

October 12, 2016 (El Cajon) — A man walking along Interstate 8 between the first two lanes Sunday night was struck and killed by a motorist.  The victim is unidentified, said Officer Kevin Pearlstein with the California Highway Patrol.

The deadly accident occurred shortly before midnight near the Greenfield onramp.

DETAILS ON PAST SHOOTINGS BY EL CAJON POLICE EMERGE

 

ECM records document 9 of the 12 ECPD shootings in the past decade

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2016 (El Cajon)—Yesterday,  the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that El Cajon Police Department had 12 officer-involved shootings in the past 10 years, including five fatal shootings.  According to the U-T,  El Cajon had the highest rate of shooting per 100,000 people of any law enforcement agency in the county.

The U-T story mentioned only two shootings specifically: the recent fatal shooting of Alfred Olango, an African refugee reportedly having a mental health crisis who pointed a vaping device resembling a gun at an officer, and Kelsey Hauser, a white female passenger fatally shot in January 2016 following a high-speed chase of a stolen vehicle that had rammed a police car.

East County Magazine searched our records, which date back to late 2008 when we began publishing,  and found details on a total of nine of the 12 shootings.  At least four of those were fatal, including the two listed above.

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.

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