El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Mary York

Chances are, even if you did not know who Serena Williams was before this weekend, you do now.

The phenomenal athlete made headlines and social media trending topics, not for her achievements at the U.S. Open, but rather, for her “big mood” as some have called it.

A preliminary hearing has been set for Sept. 14 at San Diego Central Courthouse in the lawsuit against the backcountry housing projects in line for approval by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to hear initial complaints regarding environmental and other concerns surrounding the project.

Taiga Takahashi, an attorney with Latham & Watkins, said their lawsuit, and one by the Sierra Club to be heard the same day, is meant to check the pace of the Newland Sierra project to make sure all environmental concerns are being met.

I was rolling a number two pencil between the rivets in our tiled kitchen counter when the World Trade Centers went down. I was nine years old.

Still in pajamas, I barely understood what was going on, but I registered the anxiety in my dad’s voice when he burst through the kitchen door, having only just left for work minutes earlier, telling mom to turn the radio on. It was already blaring the devastating news.

Not to sound bitter, but I am too old to be a college student.

At 26, I am still a student at SDSU, chugging along, trying to finish that bachelor’s degree. I am what they call the eternal senior – I will probably never graduate, just continue taking classes part time until the school issues me some kind of participation trophy or a diploma covered in “good effort” stickers.

Fifteen minutes out from Downtown El Cajon, along dusty Olde Highway 80, in what used to be the Flinn Springs Inn, a new establishment is joining the neighborhood – namely, traditional Texas-style barbecue.

“I’ve spent every summer of my life, practically, in Texas – I’m constantly eating that kind of BBQ and I really feel it is superior,” said Andy Harris, La Mesa resident and owner of Grand Ole BBQ y Asado in North Park. “I’m the only one doing it and North Park has sold out almost every day for three years.”

I do not know how your Facebook has been looking lately, but mine has had a tough week.

Maybe you, like me, find that Facebook is the easiest way to keep in touch with people who are no longer geographically close, or who no longer run in the same circles as you do. It is an incredible network that allows us to stay connected to each other when time and distance work so hard to keep us all apart.

Nolan Smith and Nolan Johnson could not be more different. Smith, tall and thin, is musically inclined and good with kids. Johnson, a thickly built gentle giant and Pop Warner football player, is just a kid himself.

But they have both found a home at Momentum Tutoring.

Johnson has been at Momentum for several years now. The soon-to-be ninth grader who takes special education classes at school approached his mom after struggling with his grades and asked for tutoring.

I think I fell in love with pencil shopping first.

Back-to-school was always my favorite time of year growing up. I loved school. I loved the regime, the Lisa Frank rulers, the to-do lists.

I loved how brisk and cool September mornings were (as an adult, I am now aware that those precious three weeks in September are always followed by a month and a half of 90-degree Santa Anas because San Diego refuses to have normal autumnal weather like the rest of the country).

Tucked in a corner of downtown El Cajon is an art gallery and workshop. The colorful displays and lively activity that can be glimpsed through the large glass windows at the front of the store only tell part of the magnificent story that is the St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center.

The center provides programs and activities for nearly 400 adults with developmental disabilities from all around San Diego – everything from swim teams to art classes, like print making, mosaics and silk screening.

If societies are built upon ideals, those of the United States lay in confusing conflict with one another.

Take, for example, the Purple Heart, a medal that symbolizes sacrifice.

Unlike other medals, it is not given out for bravery or valor, rather, it is simply given in recognition of those whose lives will be forever changed by their wounds – or the lives of their families which are changed by their deaths.