El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Mary York

Fifteen minutes out from Downtown El Cajon, along dusty Olde Highway 80, in what used to be the Flinn Springs Inn, a new establishment is joining the neighborhood – namely, traditional Texas-style barbecue.

“I’ve spent every summer of my life, practically, in Texas – I’m constantly eating that kind of BBQ and I really feel it is superior,” said Andy Harris, La Mesa resident and owner of Grand Ole BBQ y Asado in North Park. “I’m the only one doing it and North Park has sold out almost every day for three years.”

I do not know how your Facebook has been looking lately, but mine has had a tough week.

Maybe you, like me, find that Facebook is the easiest way to keep in touch with people who are no longer geographically close, or who no longer run in the same circles as you do. It is an incredible network that allows us to stay connected to each other when time and distance work so hard to keep us all apart.

Nolan Smith and Nolan Johnson could not be more different. Smith, tall and thin, is musically inclined and good with kids. Johnson, a thickly built gentle giant and Pop Warner football player, is just a kid himself.

But they have both found a home at Momentum Tutoring.

Johnson has been at Momentum for several years now. The soon-to-be ninth grader who takes special education classes at school approached his mom after struggling with his grades and asked for tutoring.

I think I fell in love with pencil shopping first.

Back-to-school was always my favorite time of year growing up. I loved school. I loved the regime, the Lisa Frank rulers, the to-do lists.

I loved how brisk and cool September mornings were (as an adult, I am now aware that those precious three weeks in September are always followed by a month and a half of 90-degree Santa Anas because San Diego refuses to have normal autumnal weather like the rest of the country).

Tucked in a corner of downtown El Cajon is an art gallery and workshop. The colorful displays and lively activity that can be glimpsed through the large glass windows at the front of the store only tell part of the magnificent story that is the St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center.

The center provides programs and activities for nearly 400 adults with developmental disabilities from all around San Diego – everything from swim teams to art classes, like print making, mosaics and silk screening.

If societies are built upon ideals, those of the United States lay in confusing conflict with one another.

Take, for example, the Purple Heart, a medal that symbolizes sacrifice.

Unlike other medals, it is not given out for bravery or valor, rather, it is simply given in recognition of those whose lives will be forever changed by their wounds – or the lives of their families which are changed by their deaths.

During the interviewing process for the editor’s position for this newspaper, I was asked if I had any hobbies outside of journalistic writing.

I made the mistake of answering truthfully.

Thankfully, I got the job, despite admitting that, for the past nine months, I have been working on an interactive zombie blog.

Now, before the general populous condemns me for what may seem like ridiculous fictional pursuits, consider that most of us, at least once, has wondered, “What would I do in a zombie apocalypse?”

Lions Clubs International has done a lot of good in the world.

With a presence in 211 countries and more than 1.5 million members, it is not surprising that the Lions Club is one of the largest non-profit organizations in the world.

But the Lions of San Diego will tell you that they are only just awakening into their golden era. Change is running with the wind at its back, and the Lions are ready for it.

East County plays host to a number of delicious ice cream spots and, given the recent heat wave and the promise of a relentless summer, it might not be a bad idea to become familiar with the best places to go when the sidewalk reaches egg-frying degrees. 

For most dedicated student athletes, off-season play is a must. Anyone who wants to get ahead in the game -- or even just keep up with the top dogs in the league -- is probably slugging it out in their respective sport throughout the summer months.

But as August approaches and the new school year looms closer on the horizon, it may be time to let up on practices and skirmishes for a week or two.

There is also definitely a stigma around slacking-off on summer workouts. Taking a break for a week or several weeks, might appear to some like a lack of dedication.