El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Gary E. Mitrovich

After a decade of dormancy, the Kiwanis Club is returning to Lakeside.

Kiwanis is a worldwide organization active in more than 80 nations with some 600,000 members. The group is dedicated to improving the lives of children, “one community at a time,” except in Lakeside, where Kiwanis faded away back in 2005.

A longtime Lakeside organization closes: After nearly 50 years of operation on Willow Road, the Calvary Ranch Drug and Alcohol Recovery Facility will be closing down. The surprising announcement came through a letter sent out from Paulette McAloon, co-founder of the ranch. Ms. McAloon thanked her faith partners for their support over the past 47 years.

“Calvary Ranch has been like a home to many people, whether they were struggling with addiction, attending our church or just visiting for the day,” said McAloon in the letter.

Another land use controversy has arisen in Lakeside, this time in the Moreno Valley.

The scenario has a familiar feel: the BioGas Corporation wants to build a food-scraps-to-energy plant on Highway 67 as part of a mandate to increase renewable energy sources the county. The community is against the idea and has lined up to oppose the plan.

It is a case of good news and bad news for the Van Ommering Dairy in the El Monte Valley.

Bad news first: the last dairy in Lakeside is no longer milking cows for commercial purposes. The good news? The local business icon is not going anywhere.

Longtime Pastor Bob Mentze of the Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church is stepping away from the pulpit after 34 years of service.

A native of San Diego, Mentze graduated from Crawford High School and then San Diego State University. He went to seminary at San Francisco Theological. His first call was in Escondido, at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, serving as an associate pastor for more than six years. 

It may not be too much of a stretch to say that if you live in Lakeside, you have heard of Edna Kouns.

Edna is an icon of the community and its most senior citizen – and she recently celebrated her 104th year.

This past weekend, a close group of friends and family gathered to honor Edna at her Lakeside home of 82 years where she still resides. The party could have been ten times larger, but the family takes care not to wear out the longtime resident.

Dianne Jacob Coffee: On Friday, May 25, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob held her latest “Coffee with Constituents” meeting in Lakeside. Only about 30 folks showed up, a bit disappointing for the opportunity to meet directly with your elected official, though the three-day holiday weekend may have impacted attendance. As usual, Jacob shared a lot of good local information.

The supervisor introduced the latest commanding officer for the Sheriff’s Lakeside Substation: Lieutenant Fran Passalacqua. She is a 27-year veteran deputy and a Lakeside resident.

There are always a lot of things going on in Lakeside.

First and foremost, the recent Western Days Parade and Rodeo weekend is one of the community’s premiere annual events.

There are a whole lot of things going on lately at Lakeside’s VFW, from lunches and dinners to fixing up the old building and community events. But their next big thing is an old favorite: the annual rummage sale.

Paula Jansen, Post Commander of the Lakeside Veterans of Foreign Wars, was honored by State Senator Joel Anderson as a 2018 Woman of the Year.