El Cajon, CA
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Articles by BJ Coleman

September arrives with early fall remembrances of military veterans and others who have served, sacrificed and suffered in defending their fellow citizens in this country. On Sept. 11 during these 16 years since 2001, Patriot Day has been commemorated as the National Day of Service and Remembrance to honor and remember those who perished from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and those who answered the call to rescue and recover victims of those assaults.

East County may have gotten high thermometer readings recently, but Santee combined totally hot licks, cool music and mellow times on Sept. 9 at Santee’s eighth annual Bluegrass Festival at Town Center Community Park East, a four-hour fundraiser conducted by the City of Santee on behalf of its advisory board the Santee Park and Recreation Committee.

Students and faculty members of Cuyamaca College came together with Chaldean community leaders for a pleasant respite from the day’s afternoon heat on Aug. 28. The hour-long event, a special “Celebration of Chaldean Culture and Traditions,” was one in a rotating series to honor and explore the multiple cultures of East County residents. Roughly a hundred attendees wandered into the college’s Grand Lawn area, where tables under canopies shielded event-goers from the sweltering temperatures.

Members of El Cajon volunteer organizations came together on the morning of Friday, August 25, to host and support food assistance to San Diego area active-duty and military veteran families. The hour-long event, held in the parking lot of El Cajon Elks Lodge #1812, was staged on behalf of Food 4 Warriors, a program offered by nonprofit charity Us 4 Warriors.

What can bring a crowd out on a warm, lazy midsummer evening? The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce Summer Bash Business Expo can.

“The weather may be hot outside, but it’s cool in the La Mesa Chamber,” exclaimed Mary England, president and CEO of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, in surveying the full exhibit hall as the evening event commenced. The fourth annual expo in this series was held in the La Mesa Community Center on Aug. 17.

Military troops are known for a can-do attitude that remains undaunted by overcoming obstacles. Legionnaires with Santee American Legion Post 364 have persisted in their volunteer service efforts for fellow active-duty military and veterans’ families, despite being in the midst of construction of a new home for the organization’s meetings and other activities.

Middle East Chamber of Commerce recognized local businesses its 2017 Award for Excellence for impact within the community. The friendly business mixer and awards ceremony was held at the Hollywood Casino in Jamul on Aug. 10 in the upstairs Loft 94 sports bar. The bar abuts an open-air patio with a panoramic view of the surrounding hills, and offers a variety of beers and whiskeys, small-plate menu options and choice cigars.

The view from atop Mt. Helix was as spectacular as ever, romantically hazy in the cool evening air of Aug. 12. And the celebration of local artworks, music, food and beverages, all in the midst of a festive crowd, made the night magical.

No such thing as a free lunch?

The enterprising leaders from Cooking 4 Life, Inc. are ready to bring a meal at no charge to employees of local businesses, prepared on site, with an accompanying informative and entertaining presentation that describes cooking techniques that make for healthier eating and healthier lives. 

Cross-border criminal activities are notorious, acknowledged as especially difficult to prosecute. The most commonly publicized such crimes, involving transfers across international borders and similar jurisdictional boundaries, are about drugs transported over borderlines, or illegal weapons trading, or human trafficking in girls and boys for sexual slavery purposes or for illegal immigrants as cheap, easily exploitable laborers.