El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Gary E. Mitrovich

In her latest “Coffee with the Community” on May 24, Supervisor Dianne Jacob shared some solid information on the new Lakeside Library. As many have heard, the land acquisition is currently underway. The site has officially been identified as the northeast corner of Woodside Avenue and Channel Road, obviously between the gas station and Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant. The 17,000 square foot facility will occupy two acres in the current vacant lot and cost about $14 million.

The Lakeside VFW held its 71st annual Memorial Day ceremony on May 29. 

More than 200 people attended to show their support and respect for the fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom and liberty since the inception of this country.

Among the honored guests was Pearl Harbor survivor Adam Romero.

The Lakeside Junior Olympics was held on the football field at El Capitan High School this past Saturday, May 6. Official announcer (and Tierra del Sol Middle School principal) Scott Goergens opened the ceremonies (as he has for the past five years) with a wry observation:

“On the day of this event, it’s either 100 degrees or it rains. There is no in-between.”

The Lakeside Sheriff’s Substation hosted a community appreciation event on April 19. Citizens of all ages had a chance to talk with deputies, recruiters (always looking for a few good women and men), Search and Rescue reserves, and crime prevention officers. Also on hand were members of the Santee Kiwanis Club and employees from the Lakeside Community Center. Free lunch and snow cones rounded out the community safety affair. 

It’s a pretty common experience. Nearly all of us have found a lost or injured wild animal. And since spring has sprung upon us, these instances will rise exponentially as nature kicks its baby season into high gear. So what do you do when you happen upon such a situation? Call (619) 225-WILD – Project Wildlife.

The Easter Bunny was pretty busy around Lakeside this past weekend. Gearing up for his big day, the big bunny started early at Lake Jennings, one of the jewels of our community. The lake and its staff hosted a number of kid-friendly events on Saturday, April 8. The Kid’s Pond was fully stocked and the youngsters were pulling out fish right and left, the excitement of each catch clear on their faces. Down the road, children searched for about 2000 Easter eggs that had been secreted near Hermit’s Cove.

When your phone rings at four in the morning, it’s rarely good news. When Ben Clevenger’s phone rang on March 26, 2016, he decided not to answer it. Ben is one of the owners of the Eastbound Bar and Grill in historic Downtown Lakeside. Noting the call was from the business’ security company, he felt he didn’t need to answer. But when the wife of one of his partners called shortly thereafter, Ben picked up. He heard the words no business owner ever wants to hear: his place was on fire.

What is STEM? It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. STEM is an idea of teaching students these four basic areas as an integrated curriculum, rather than four separate subjects. The United States has always been a leader in these fields, but it seems fewer students have been focusing on these subjects in recent years. So, in an effort to motivate and inspire students to excel in these subjects, the STEM initiative was established in 2009.

If you were fortunate enough to have visited Lakeside’s VFW a few weekends ago, you would have seen some remarkable art displayed. The Woman’s Club of Lakeside presented its 24th Annual Children’s Art Show on February 10 and 11. Students from all over Lakeside – from Kindergarten to 12th grade – entered the event designed to showcase the incredible talent in our local schools. Exactly 1,111 pieces of art were submitted – the largest number yet.

On Feb. 2, 14 men and women proudly graduated from the East County Drug Court. The completion of the 18-month program was celebrated with friends and family in a well attended ceremony at the Lakeside Community Center. The occasion was one of joy and hope as each graduate embarked on a positive course for a better future.