El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

A village can raise a forest.

“It started out as three Cub Scouts and a shovel “said Jim Henderson, with tongue-in-check panache. Henderson is with the Box Canyon Band, who performed at the 9th Annual Santree Fest on Saturday, part Arbor Day tied in with Earth Day.

St. Albans Episcopal and First Presbyterian of El Cajon, how does your garden grow? Becky Hurt, assistant to Pastor Dr. Steve Locke, First Presbyterian Church.

A joint venture of the two churches, the garden is located on Highland Avenue, south of the center of El Cajon, and Hurt said out that the growing began in February.

An unused lot next to St. Albans, the garden is a venture to provide a sense of neighborhood, a pulling together of city farmers with a practical ending of providing vegetables to the member farmers and to El Cajon’s refugee population.

A Christian bookstore on the outside, but inside Serenity House in El Cajon offers more than a wide range of Christian books and CDs, it provides Iraqi immigrants the tools to transition to Americans.

“We offer classes in English to our Iraqi Chaldean customers” says Jalal Sadi, manager of the store for two years located on East Main Street, “We also offer computer and naturalization classes.”
Employee, Hana Istafan, not only assists Sadi but takes the classes as well.

Working in Santee for nearly 10 years, Amy Huynh, a Vietnamese refugee came to the U.S. in 1991. She opened her family-owned business a little over a year ago, works seven days a week and has grown to four part-time employees.

Anaan Moshi, 32, El Cajon, is 15 weeks pregnant with four babies – three babies in one uterus and one baby in her second uterus. Moshi's unique condition, uterine subseptate is a uterine malformation resulting in a double uterus.

Moshi has one older child, 10, but she and her husband wanted more children. Treated with ovulation induction medications, Moshi’s due date is hard to predict and her pregnancy is considered high risk, but the family decided to keep all four babies despite the complications.

“We threw meatballs off of the roof back in the day,” stated Ron Burner, owner of the new Nicolosi’s Italian Restaurant in El Cajon. The “back in the day” was at the former location of Nicolosi’s at 40th and El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego when Burner was much younger.

Drivers going east on Interstate 8 can see the words “You can’t handle the pool” on a Viejas billboard. This of course applies to the newly-opened Viejas Casino Resort, which had its grand-opening on March 21.
Party attendees and future hotel guests attending the kick-off of the three-day celebration included Alpine resident Lester D. Johnston who said, “I remember when there was nothing built up here to see when one drives around the reservation.”

Dirk Wallace, aka Dirk the Leprechaun, made a festive appearance complete with Leprechaun ears and decked out in traditional green St. Patrick’s Day attire when he appeared at El Cajon’s Blarney Stone Pub on March 17.
“A lot of people at the bar are anticipating the small man’s appearance today,” said bartender Paige Macmara, who added, “He’s known as the costume artist.”

Christel Pfeifer’s red cabbage is so good, it’s enough to make a man forget his Fraulein adorned in a traditional hoisted-up German Dirndl dress. Pfeifer’s Sausage & More European Delicatessen in Lakeside serves up that and more.

German born, but currently residing in Rancho Penasquitos, customer Daniela Ito, drove all the way to Lakeside to shop and eat at Pfeifer’s deli.

“You just can’t help but be in awe when you look at it,” said Carolyn Bass when describing the San Diego County National Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial Quilt, which was on display at the Women’s Club of Lakeside’s 28th annual Quilt Show that was held March 8 and 9 at the VFW Hall in Lakeside.