El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Cynthia Robertson

Finding a better method in early detection of aggressive prostate cancers was the goal of classmates Ali Tradonsky and Tammy Rubin for their high school science project in 2009.

Three years later, the research achieved, with the guidance of Tradonsky’s mother, who is a surgical pathologist at La Mesa’s Sharp Grossmont Hospital , has made its way into the June 2012 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, a national research review publication for medical professionals.

Miss Greater San Diego USA 2013, Sierra Billock of Santee, believes that the sisterhood inherent in pageantry is what marks her success. Most people assume that the girls competing are catty and superficial. But the best women Billock knows are the ones she has met—and even competed against—in pageants.

Pageantry is certainly not for the weak-hearted woman, however. Billock believes that it takes a certain type of confidence and determination for a woman to put herself in such a vulnerable situation in which she is judged on who she is.

Sunbelt Publications in El Cajon, known as one of East County’s best-loved places among local book-lovers recently threw a party at its ‘28th Annual Open House’ for published authors and friends. Owners Diana and Lowell Lindsay hosted the bountiful holiday event in their warehouse.

The holidays are no time to throw away the resolve to eat healthy. On the other hand, it’s no time to be a Scrooge about food, either.

Chef Bernard Guillas, the executive chef of La Jolla’s Marine Room, held a recent seminar on healthy cooking to an attentive crowd in the auditorium at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.

First up on the menu was a Rainforest Acai Smoothie made with pureed blueberries, acai nectar, mango, and almond milk. The concoction had everyone murmuring approval.

Tall and regal for her 18 years, Lesya Zhukovska turns heads as she walks from her apartment in Santee to do some Christmas shopping. The Ukrainian-born beauty with brains is used to getting stares. She warmly returns the smiles to people she passes on the streets just like the pageant winner she is.

The teen has competed in a total of 16 pageants since she got her first taste of pageants just a few years ago. In 2011, she captured the title of Miss Teen Central San Diego as well as Miss Photogenic.

At the La Mesa Library this week, a guest speaker talked about a dark period in the annals of American history. Linda Canada, President of the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego, introduced Mitsuko Kawamoto whose family had experienced first-hand the uncertainty and fear shortly after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.

From the Grove Grinder on Thanksgiving Day, the aroma of a turkey dinner replete with pumpkin pie will fill the air. For the 8th year in a row, the Lemon Grove sandwich shop will offer a free Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings to some very special people. Active-duty service members unable to be home for the holiday and local on-duty first responders will get a sense of family they’ll need on that day.

“People who need a place for Thanksgiving can come in here, sit down and eat and talk with others, and even watch football,” said owner Sharon Jones.

Mid-afternoon on the Promenade at El Cajon’s Centennial celebration, people stopped everything they were doing to watch an unusual group begin dancing. The D.J. started up the song, “Stand by Me,” and suddenly 40 walkers and rollers of the Wheelchair Dance Organization wowed the crowd with a well-choreographed bachata dance.

In honor of the El Cajon Centennial, which took place on Monday, Nov. 12th throughout downtown El Cajon, Lynn Caruso, a teacher at Chase Avenue Elementary School gave a presentation at the local library addressing the El Cajon Historical Society called “The Child’s Eye View of Old El Cajon”

Patients brighten up when Eileen Cowles, a Registered Dietician, comes into their hospital rooms. But even Cowles admits that they cheer up even more when she brings her friend Elliott with her. In fact, when Cowles pushes the stroller in which Elliot rides like a chariot, the patients nearly break out laughing.

Elliott is a long-haired Himalayan Flame Point. He loves the attention he can get, and the patients love giving it to him. The unusual partnership began nearly four and a half years ago when Cowles came home with the cat from a breeder.