El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Mary York

I knew weeks ago that I would be here, at 2 a.m., sitting in my office at The Californian, trying to figure out what to say about voting.

I knew I was going to write my column about voting because I knew this was our election issue.

What I did not know, was that writing about voting would be more difficult than penning my opinions about immigration and housing and Father’s Day.

The race for the 50th Congressional District has narrowed down significantly for Democratic candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar and Republican incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter.

Although Hunter has maintained his lead, a survey conducted by SurveyUSA for The San Diego Union-Tribune and 10News, surveying 800 adults from Oct. 25 to 29, revealed that Campa-Najjar has gained six percentage points in the last eight weeks.

Forty-eight percent of voters surveyed said they would cast a vote for Hunter, while 45 percent favored Campa-Najjar.

I watched Disney’s “Coco” for the first time this summer at 1 a.m. on a Thursday night, accompanied by a bottle of Reisling and every emotion I never knew I could feel for a movie about dancing, singing skeletons.

It must have been a grey, cloudy day when the door to my office creaked open and one of my bright-eyed colleagues peered in with a smile that told me something special was afoot. It must have been a grey day because every day in Prague is grey in October.

In October, in Prague and in classrooms around the globe, we celebrate World Teachers’ Day, and on that cozy afternoon when I was teaching in an elementary school in Braník, a suburb of the city, my colleague had come to tell me I had won an award as the most likable teacher.

There is a new consumer math teacher in town, and she is shaking things up.

Sarah Ritter, 25, has been teaching consumer math at Valhalla High School for three years and this year she decided it was time to take things to the next level.

Ritter said the program at Valhalla uses the Dave Ramsey curriculum and, while it is a good program, it was a little outdated.

“The materials were awesome but they were older, like ten years old,” said Ritter. “They were using examples from 2006.”

If you were staring at the skies on Sunday night, there is a good chance you saw the SpaceX rocket launch that blazed across the coast of California.

The rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 150 miles north of Los Angeles around 7:30 p.m.

It was a short flight, touching back down on earth in fewer than ten minutes after having delivered the SAOCOM-1A Earth-observation radar satellite into orbit. This was the first time SpaceX landed a rocket on the West Coast, as most of the launches take place in Florida.

There is a star rising out of East County and she is redefining the hustle.

A regular at House of Blues, Pizza de la Familia in Little Italy and Belmont Park’s family nights, 16-year-old Mt. Helix resident Marissa Grace McRoberts is part of the county’s budding local music scene.

Known by her stage name, Marissa Grace, the singer-songwriter is a sophomore at Academy of Our Lady of Peace where Grace rocks a 4.17 GPA. She plays soccer as well, but her biggest score this year has been dropping her first EP on iTunes and Spotify.

After 33 years in prison, Joe Tapia said what he really wanted was to get back to work.

Finding work can be difficult with a criminal background, especially when you have the tattoos to prove it, but even harder is finding work three decades after receiving any relevant work experience.

A book by a Los Angeles-based Rev. Gregory Boyle and a Santee-based start-up were about to make a huge difference in Tapia’s chances.

In an unsurprising turn of events, the nation was split down the middle last week as U.S. circuit judge Brett Kavanaugh was questioned during a Senate hearing following accusations of sexual assault.

“I love breakfasts,” my grandma said wistfully as we sat at the River’s Edge Cafe & Bar on the Admiral Baker Golf Course this week.

I usually sleep through breakfast, to be honest. That could be because I pull pretty late hours in my line of work and given the choice to eat or sleep, I would rather sleep. Or it could simply be because my stomach does not wake up till after 11 a.m., but we found ourselves, nonetheless, drinking coffee and looking out over the foggy golf course at eight o’clock in the morning.