El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

The tour de playground commenced offering all ages of kids a chance to maneuver a mock intersection and a cone obstacle course plus at the Sixth Annual Bike Rodeo held at Lakeside’s Lakeview Elementary School on March 11.

The chip winner in El Cajon’s St. Patrick’s Day Half Marathon female 5K division was Leana Mason, chip timed at 20:42.5. Top male 5K chipped time winner was Kyle Gabrielson at 18:07.7 on a slightly over-cast Sunday for the 5th annual El Cajon USATF certified race.

Chip winner? Registered race participants had a race bib with a timing chip in it that tracked times when they ran over start and finish chip reading mats. Devon Yard with Gemini Next, along with others, manned the computers overseeing tracking of runners.

“This is the annual Karamu Festival in celebration of Black History Month,” said Charlotte King-Mills, Branch Manager County of San Diego’s Spring Valley Library Branch.  The Karamu Festival was held on Feb. 25. 

The Karamu Festival’s schedule included the La Presa Jazz Band, the Martin Luther King Jr. Choir, henna by Natasha, crafts by Sabrina and Laura Mendez, face painting by Gigi and staff, Black Storytellers Association of San Diego, and ended with a raffle drawing.

“It’s special. I feel proud, grateful that he won,” said Shawn Williams, 15, of his grandfather, Richard “Dick” Nasif, for winning the 2016 El Cajon Citizen of the Year award. The awards luncheon was held Feb. 7 at the El Cajon Elks Lodge #1812. 

Both an Elks and a Lions Club member, Christian Wille explained that “the winner, there were five nominees, is selected based on service to the community.”

An animal free circus? Well, an occasional appearance by a family pet in costume admitted Cheryl Lindley of any animals appearing in her circus infused shows. Lindley runs the Sophia Isadora Academy of Circus Arts with her husband Rogelio Lopez, and Linley Lopez Productions, located just on the outskirts of Lemon Grove.

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson


One of the keys to self-defense is “awareness” said County of San Diego Sheriff’s self-defense instructor Joseph Jarjura. “Pay attention to your gut” he continued noting know where you are in terms of danger level and who you are around. 

Jarjura’s tips:

“I still do the grind,” voiced billionaire Mark Cuban, one of the ultimate entrepreneurs, who spoke at the Clever Talks Fest held January 14. Sage advice to not rest on your laurels.

Play ball! Play music!  Singer-songwriter Joe Rathburn, who performed at El Cajon’s Rancho San Diego Library on Jan. 3, played roughly 81 times at the Tin Fish Gaslamp off of Tony Gwynn Drive near Petco Park during the Padres’ baseball season.

“It’s my duty as a truck owner to deliver. I’m taking time off from hell week to volunteer,” said Santee businessman and owner of The UPS Store Greg Gagnon. Volunteers like Gagnon and many others showed up at Santee Santa’s borrowed Santee warehouse on Railroad Avenue to load, deliver, and sort food boxes, and a myriad of other tasks on Dec. 22.

It’s been said, “The light in a child’s eyes is all it takes to make Christmas a magical time of the year.” Such was the case for the 73 kids attending the Christmas Party for the Homeless on Dec. 17 at the East County Living Transitional Center in El Cajon.