El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Cynthia Robertson

It is nearly impossible to sit still or not smile when watching a practice or performance by students and instructors of the Origin Hip Hop Performing Arts Academy in El Cajon. Their energy is a bright and fun and just plain contagious.

A family owned business, Origin keeps people hopping, thanks to the dance experience of owner Cheryl Frye. 

The fall semester at Grossmont College is always an invigorating time. New ideas and subjects are explored, a the 2018 Art Faculty and Staff Exhibit at the college’s Hyde Gallery features paintings, photographs, sculpture and other works which encourage this concept.

Victor Ochoa, who teaches art at the college—and has painted many of the murals at Chicano Park--dropped in to enjoy the works by his artist colleagues.

The work of Blake Shaw, a local photographer, is now on exhibit at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center. Viewers will want to take their time studying the portraits of the birds Shaw has photographed in their natural environment. 

         As an ophthalmologist, Shaw said he has always had a vested interest in being able to see clearly. It was natural, then, to gravitate toward photography. Until about ten years ago, most of his photography was about travel or sports.

One of the International Lions Club’s favorite programs is hosting and sending of foreign exchange students. For a few weeks each summer, students from around the world come to the cities of various Lions Clubs to spend time with host families. This year, students from Brazil, Germany, France and Belgium have been welcomed into host families of the local Lions Clubs of La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley.

The program, which began in 1961, gives youth a unique cultural experience.

Summertime is not a good time for kids to be spending indoors. It is the best time to be outdoors.

Darcy Fagerwold, owner of Expressions Dance and Movement in Santee, took this to heart, bringing a choreography dance camp outside to Santee Lakes.

On July 20, about fifty people put their lawn chairs down in front of the amphitheater at Lake Five.

Fagerwold walked up to the microphone at the amphitheater and welcomed everyone.

Last Saturday, June 2, the sun shone brightly–a welcome reprieve from the May Gray hanging around for a month. It was a good day to celebrate the Grand Opening of the brand-new El Cajon Animal Shelter, a state-of-the-art $10 million building of 15,000 square feet.

The shelter had been approved by a vote of the people for Proposition O in 2004. The old facility was 61 years old.

“It was literally crumbling,” said Jill Jones, manager of the shelter. “The people of El Cajon really deserved this new facility.”

On International Women’s Day, March 8, the Hyde Gallery at Grossmont College had an opening reception for its double exhibit of “Don’t Hold Still,” an exhibit of tintypes and late 19th century photographs of women; and “Greater Than,” an exhibition of work by sculpture artist Sara Parent-Ramos.

On International Women’s Day, March 8, the Hyde Gallery at Grossmont College had an opening reception for its double exhibit of “Don’t Hold Still,” an exhibit of tintypes and late 19th century photographs of women; and “Greater Than,” an exhibition of work by sculpture artist Sara Parent-Ramos.

 

Marcia Van Loy, a volunteer with the master Gardener Association for 17 years, came to La Mesa’s Beautiful annual meeting to talk about how people can grow plants for all types of pollinators. La Mesa Beautiful recognizes and gives awards to residences and businesses for landscaping beauty, most of which are drought-tolerant. 

The Lakeside Library has always been the heartbeat of the community, especially in these last several years with free classes, workshops and events of all kinds, thanks to the Friends of the Library. All eyes are on the future when a larger library will be built on a lot next to the Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant, with construction completed by 2021.