El Cajon, CA
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Articles by BJ Coleman

Marlene D. Best is a longtime East County resident, currently living in Jamul, who has been traveling for business for quite awhile. Not so much, and not so far, anymore.

April 6 is notable in the history of the Olympics, as that day 120 years ago marked the opening of the first modern Olympic games in Athens. The sporting contests had not been held for over 1,600 years, but are now staged every four years. This year is one, with the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during August 5-21, and the companion Paralympics for challenged athletes over the days September 7-18.

La Mesa resident Megan Stockham could tell you about the benefits and challenges of being a military veteran. Formerly an electronics technician with the U.S. Navy, Stockham became a full-time student at Grossmont College, working as a nanny to earn money supporting her studies, while her husband continues serving in the Navy. On a recent college class field trip to the Salton Sea, Stockham was seriously injured. She was swallowed up to her waist in a collapsing thermally heated mud pit, which caused severe burns to her legs.

Human creativity knows only the boundaries of imagination. And the performing arts can be a source of self-expression that transcends physical limitations.

Richard Songer has served as a volunteer delivery driver for East County Meals-on-Wheels for eight years, after a legal career as a trial lawyer and judge. Songer and his wife bring meals to seniors on a delivery route around Santee and Lakeside.

The afternoon was sunny, and the solar power advocates were vocal on Wednesday, March 16, at the sidewalk protest rally outside San Diego Gas & Electric’s corporate headquarters in Clairemont. The protesters gathered to demonstrate opposition to SDG&E executives’ plans to lobby the California Public Utilities Commission for overturn of the CPUC’s decision that extends equal pricing treatment of customer-generated power from installation of rooftop solar panels with utility company-provided power.

“All politics is local,” stated oft-quoted Tip O’Neill, legendary former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The San Diego County Board of Education’s San Diego County Committee on School District Organization lived out that maxim on March 17, vacating their usual Linda Vista meeting spaces to hold a local public meeting for East County citizens in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board Room in La Mesa.

Ryan Abell works in a significant helping profession as a firefighter-paramedic with Heartland Fire & Rescue. He further serves the community by volunteering as a board member with the El Cajon Professional Firefighters Foundation, supporting charitable endeavors. 

Staffers with San Diego County’s Department of Parks and Recreation have in mind to develop an open parcel of land for the benefit of Lakeside residents. The project, currently in early stages of planning, is to build a new facility, especially for equestrian events and activities, adjacent to the intersection of Willow Road and Moreno Avenue.

East County knows good, healthy, delicious food. And there is no better time to learn skilled ways around the kitchen than when maturing toward young adulthood. The culinary arts program students at Santana High School in Santee are doing just that, and they are earning well-deserved recognition for how effectively they can apply their cooking lessons in high-pressure simulations of real-life working kitchens.