El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Cynthia Robertson

With every stroke of the color pastels she uses, Monique Straub paints flowers, trees, even buildings in luxuriant light. Her style, sometimes resembling Van Gogh’s work in her giddy swirls of sun and clouds and flower petals, evokes nothing less than joy. 

Right on schedule, a historic school bell rings in a new era for the Lemon Grove Library. Serving some 25,000 residents of the area, the brand-new Mission revival style library, at 3001 School Lane, will officially open with a celebration on June 1.

Built by Legacy, Inc., the library, in association with Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects, is a project of the Lemon Grove School District (LGSD) Proposition W. 

Like so many other San Diegans, Ernie Sanchez found himself without a job after being laid off about a year ago due to the economy. But he quickly found other work as a helper to a gardener. His sharp eye and attention to detail eventually landed him his own landscaping business.

New Day Women’s Center is the brainchild of Phyllis Long, securing the La Mesa location a few years ago. Until she enrolled in Rebecca Garcia’s business and life coaching sessions, running the center was nearly the impossible dream for Long.

Armed with masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and Theology from Bethel Seminary, Long said she always felt the call to help women. In 1997, while serving in various group ministries in her church, she envisioned opening the women’s center.

An estimated 1,000 people visited El Cajon on March 21, the opening day of the new Downtown El Cajon Farmers’ Market, a project of the International Resource Committee (IRC). An idea planted by the IRC with the support of the city of El Cajon, the market took about six months to plan and organize.

The gymnastics academy Champion Gymnastics and Cheer (CGC) in Santee has a lot to cheer about these days. For example, it is the training ground of four new champions at the state level, two girls and two boys.
This high level of competition is one way that the academy sets itself apart from others like it.

Two jazz greats graced the campus of El Cajon’s Grossmont College recently. Jeannie Cheatham, the “Queen of Kansas City Blues,” and internationally acclaimed saxophonist John Handy spoke about their decades of experience.

Travelers by the dozens came to the recent travel show held at the La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center. Daytripper Tours, an El Cajon-based business and the largest tour operator of its kind in San Diego County, presented the show.

Attendees were treated to a sneak preview of the company’s tours. In addition, founder Myron Stam, a La Mesa resident, offered a little history of how he helped make Daytripper Tours a household name among travelers living in San Diego County.

For 20 years, Adrienne Hart has brought her knowledge of dancing to a group of seniors at the La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center. Hart, who is the founder of a dance troupe called Rhinestone Grannies, has a regular class of between 35 and 45 students each week.

Ladies from the Red Hat Society are difficult to overlook when they descend on a restaurant or a cultural event. Their red and purple outfits seem synonymous with women 50 and over with a lot of time on their hands. They do have a lot of fun, but for women who want to belong to something with a deeper commitment, there’s an alternative.