El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

“Be safe, be happy, and have a wonderful holiday season,” said Santee Mayor John Minto at the City of Santee’s Holiday Lighting Celebration, held at Santee Trolley Square, on Nov. 17.  The celebration, with the Michaels family performing the honor of flipping the switch to light the Christmas tree, included music and dancing, vendors, holiday blow-up figures like Olaf, pictures with Santa and much more.

Representing the El Cajon Main Street Flag Program, Humbert Cabrera, president of Cabrera and Associates, celebrated patriotic Day Nov. 9 at El Cajon’s Magnolia Elementary School with a presentation. Cabrera educated 5th graders and a 4/5th grade combo class about the history of the American flag.

“They are on TV all the time” said El Cajon resident Josue Ponce.  That is, Tijuana’s soccer team, XOLOS, who made an appearance, several players, at Santee’s Cox Solutions Store on Nov. 6.  Its games are televised on Cox Cable. “I have friends that have their jerseys,” added Ponce.

On Oct. 27 Grossmont College held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of several Prop V construction projects.  The first phase will be a 38,680 ft., 390-seat Performing and Visual Arts Center that will include a teaching and performance theater as well as home to the college’s Hyde Art Gallery. The ceremony was held in Lot 1, adjacent to the Stagehouse Theatre.

“Keep your opponents out in the sun,” quipped Mike Clinkenbeard, of strategies to win at the second Santee OTL event held on a hot day, Oct. 22, at Town Center Community Park East.  Clinkenbeard, who owns a Farmers Insurance office, was overseeing operations from a Santee Chamber of Commerce inspired idea that was first held last year. East County-Santee Young Professionals (SYP) were organizers as well.

“He’s slimy,” said 10-year-old Lakeside resident, Olivia Quecke, of the frog she was holding that was on display at the Santee Historical Society on Oct. 21 courtesy of Zovargo. 

Staci Jones, parent-volunteer concession coordinator, has this to say about asking Kona Ice to participate at the Highlander Cup 2017, “Because they give back to the community.” The field hockey tournament, held on Oct. 7 at La Mesa’s Helix Charter High School, did indeed include a Kona Ice truck.  Spring Valley resident Ron Witek, owner of the Kona Ice vehicle that serves tropical-shaved-ice treats, was a part of the concession offerings during the 6-team tournament.

A banner in front of La Mesa’s Reina’s Residential Care proclaimed, “Happy Birthday Margaret – 102” and H. Margaret Robinson did indeed have a birthday and birthday party with her son, John, granddaughter, Heather, fellow residents, and friends on the exact day she turned 102 on Oct. 4.

Erik Gomez said, “We were dancing and serving at the same time.” Such was the mood at Manny Cepeda’s event Salsa under the Stars held as a scholarship fundraiser for students at Grossmont College, on their quad, on Sept. 25. Gomez was working the event for the San Diego Taco Company. 

La Mesa’s Oktoberfest, which ran from Sept. 29-Oct. 1, offered a wide range of all things German and not German. From the chance to buy a cookbook, Oma’s Oktoberfest Specialties by Margit Gantt, chicken hats, Bavarian music, German foods, and a German Karnival for kids, plus vendors that offered all kinds of products.