El Cajon, CA
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Articles by BJ Coleman

The concept is simple and deeply compassionate: provide sufficient support to frail, low-income seniors so that they can live independently at home as they choose, rather than being relegated to skilled nursing facilities. This has been the mission guiding St. Paul’s PACE since the local program’s inception one decade ago.

The American Legion Riders are military veterans and family members who ride motorcycles. They are widely acknowledged as movers and shakers within The American Legion’s programs and organizations. At the early July installation of San Diego County’s District 22 elected officers, District 22 Commander Chris Yates asked Riders attending the ceremony to stand for recognition.

“The Riders are among the most effective programs, if not being the most effective program, in The American Legion,” said Yates.

Where will the next generation of California’s community leaders come from? The American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans service organization, has a partial answer in the Boys State program, which taps young men of talent and promise after their junior year of high school, for a weeklong exercise in participatory democracy.

Staged every year since the chamber started a decade ago, decked with sweet and savory appeal, the Annual Taste of La Mesa has again displayed how high the bar is set for food excellence in East County.

The Taste of La Mesa showcases local restaurants, with samples of featured cuisine amid a lively business mixer setting. This year’s taste-filled gathering was held at the La Mesa Community Center on Monday, June 11.

May is Military Appreciation Month, and members of the Santee American Legion Riders Chapter 364 worked to express tangible gratitude to their fellow military veterans on Saturday, May 19, staging the recently chartered group’s first fundraising event, the First Annual Poker Run. The objective was to boost both camaraderie among veterans who ride motorcycles and money available to support worthy causes benefiting military veterans.

The run began at Indian Motorcycle of El Cajon in the morning and concluded at Santee American Legion Post 364 at midday.

The Kiwanis Club of Santee has a special regard for those who protect and serve local residents in law enforcement positions. On Saturday, May 12, the club hosted the organization’s 21st Annual Law Enforcement Recognition at Lantern Crest Senior Living in Santee. The program included dinner and announcement of awards for standout members of law enforcement in East County, honoring officers who have served with particular distinction over the prior year.

A fling can refer to one of several things, each with a connotation of something light and ephemeral. However, the fourth annual Spring Fling business expo, staged by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, was intended to build lasting relationships among chamber businesses and local community members.

What makes for a happy, successful life? The organizers and participants at the TEDxKids@ElCajon event agreed that the key to living well is to express one’s self in a good balance of work and social experiences. The gathering, which was open to the public, was hosted at Greenfield Middle School in El Cajon, taking up most of Saturday, April 21, for a widely ranging series of speakers on topics centered around the theme of “Beyond Infinity.”

East County has a new motorcycle club for military veteran riders, with a caveat. The recently chartered American Legion Riders Chapter 364 in Santee arose from members who started the El Cajon ALR Chapter 303 about three years ago.

The El Cajon Chapter was affiliated with El Cajon American Legion Post 303, which has no permanent building as home, and instead gathers its general membership monthly in meeting spaces in the El Cajon Valley School District offices. Not having a club house began posing significant difficulties for the Riders Chapter.

Should it be legal to own pets?

That was the question posed at the 25th annual Ferret Round Up on Saturday, Mar. 31, as leaders of ferret legalization efforts gathered with a few of their furry friends to show off how cute, cuddly and curious these little creatures are.