El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Mary York

Last week, we published a question on our website, Facebook page and in our newspaper – “Does East County need more affordable housing?”

I was not surprised by the answer – which was a resounding ‘no’ – as much as I was the manner in which the answer was given and the justifications that community members gave to back it.

Affordable housing is an issue, not just in East County, but in all of San Diego.

However, given East County’s especially large homeless population and the makeup of its neighborhoods, which are either very old or very isolated, affordable housing becomes a pressing question for this region on a number of levels.

Last week, La Mesa Conversations hosted a public meeting about the housing situation to involve the concerns, questions and opinions of the community.

After a long and exciting preseason, baseball conference games have finally come into full swing. 

Grossmont (12-7-1) is 3-1 in the Grossmont Hills league with Granite Hills (10-7-0) trailing behind, 2-1. Helix (13-6-1) comes third in the rankings, 1-1-1. 

Grossmont Valley teams are in a much tighter race, with Steele Canyon, Monte Vista and Valhalla all boasting a 5-1 record. 

I was in ninth grade when I first saw the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. On a drizzly day in early April, I stood in sacred silence and gazed upon a resting place that symbolized with hope a peace that we wish upon our fallen.

The Tomb is fascinating, as are the rituals that surround it. It has been guarded 24 hours a day since 1937. The sentinels chosen to guard the tomb follow a strict regimen both on and off duty, from behavior to uniform preparation, to ensure the tomb is not disrespected. 

Alpine Union School District students went on spring break on Friday, March 23. On Saturday, March 24, the district sent out a notice that the bus system would be turned over to the Grossmont Union High School District for operation and upkeep, effective April 9 upon the closure of break.

The weeks that have followed the implementation of this change have created numerous safety concerns regarding the well-being of children, as well as practical concerns for the community involved.

Granite Hills players would say that there were some poor calls by the refs -- and their fans will use stronger language to the same effect. Their Helix opponents would say it was about the energy levels from the start. Neither team would be entirely wrong.

In one of the most contentious boys volleyball games of the season, the Helix Highlanders (6-0) hosted the Granite Hills Eagles (15-3) on Friday, April 13. Both teams were undefeated in league when they gathered on the court. The Eagles left with a ‘one’ in the loss column.

I waited by the phone most of the weekend. My brother was in Indiana with my dad for the national level of the American Legion’s oratorical scholarship contest. Excuse me for being an obsessively proud older sister, but as witness to the many long nights when my brother would slip away into our cold garage to practice his speeches for hours, I can truly say that he has earned this.

Pushing out his chin ever so slightly and furrowing his brows in thought, he asked me, “What was the question, again?”

He is not the first person I have asked, nor will he be the last. I find myself posing this question to more and more people lately, in my attempt to better know and understand the community I am now covering.

“What is the most pressing issue in your community?” I asked him again.

East County may not be the track and field powerhouse of San Diego, but it has its share of standout athletes.

Seniors David Leber and Dylan Coleman of Granite Hills hold the top spots in San Diego rankings for discus and high jump. Leber’s PR for the discus is 163’5, a mark he acquired at the Eagle’s meet against Mount Miguel on Mar. 29. 

At first, Gloria Chadwick’s Oil collection, “The End in Sight,” looks like a proud parade of majestic birds and beasts. A closer look reveals a sadder truth.