December 2018

No election for open SM council seat?

San Marcos has an open city council seat. However, leaders won’t schedule an election. Instead, council members want to fill the seat themselves and appoint the new council member. Wait, what? On Tuesday, Dec. 11, council members voted unanimously to fill the seat left open by Rebecca Jones when she was elected mayor last month, by voting among themselves for a new member. Does that sound…


Microplastics everywhere; in our bodies, too

What do beer, oysters, table salt, air & tap water have in common? They’re all ways humans are ingesting microplastics, tiny bits of plastic waste ubiquitous in oceans, lakes and rivers and even soil and air. Wildlife as diverse as whales, seabirds, fish and zooplankton are polluted by ingesting plastic debris. It’s naïve to assume that humans, sharing the same global environment and eating at…


Let us now praise Bruce Kauffman

Mensch (Yiddish: מענטש‎ mentsh, cognate with the German word Mensch meaning a “human being”) means “a person of integrity and honor”.[1] Highly savvy in the ways of journalism, and a brilliant analyst of the ways of the world, Bruce Kauffman was the very epitome of a mensch. He always was ready to lend an ear to a friend’s tale of joy or woe and help…


Bruce Kauffman’s ‘Tale of the Toppled Hurler’

(Editor’s Note: Author Bruce Kauffman died last week at his home in National City. A longtime journalist with the North County Times at Escondido and San Marcos, and before that CNN, Bruce was born in Massachusetts and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison while taking a BA at Case Western Reserve University and MA at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.  Locally, he specialized in…


Making a holiday difference at San Marcos

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 8 as 160 kids from 38 families along with 110 kids without family members were adopted in the form of gifts and goodies provided by host families at the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos at 1 Positive Place. “We look for families we know will need support for the holidays,” Boys…


Lake San Marcos: World’s oldest dead ringer

That gruff yet recognizable voice. The trademark cigar. Those corny jokes that may, or may not, be funny but with that rat-a-tat-tat Vaudevillian delivery that never seems to fail. It might be. It could be. It was…. Al Mager? Or was it George Burns? For those who thought George Burns was a permanent fixture in the Las Vegas of the sky, think again. Al Mager…


HiCaliber Horse Rescue bites the dust

HiCaliber Horse Rescue, which has faced animal cruelty and fraud allegations for months, is being evicted from its Valley Center ranch and sued for more than $4 million. Brenda Markstein filed the lawsuit in Vista Superior Court on Nov. 26, alleging damage to the property, breach of contract and negligence. The suit names HiCaliber and its founders, Michelle Knuttila and Romney Snyder. The Brenda Markstein…


Taking down the Hunter political crime family

Last week, a woman approached me at lunch. “You inspired me to vote for the first time,” she said, pulling out her phone for a selfie. “So what happened, did you win?” I replied, “Not this time.” The final count — 48.3 percent versus 51.7 percent. After running for two long years in a district President Donald Trump won by 15 points, my first election…


Missing Esco mom found dead in Del Dios

Escondido mom Christie Donehue left her westside home the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 29 for a North County doctor’s appointment. Donehue never got there. Nobody knew why the normally reliable 43-year-old woman missed the appointment or where she was although Escondido police initially said no signs of foul play were discovered.  Donehue’s family was puzzled, however, by the fact she left behind her purse, wallet and…


Cal v. Trump over vehicle emission standards

The Trump administration this summer formally announced a proposal to freeze fuel economy standards and tailpipe emission standards for new cars. In addition, it is proposing to revoke California’s authority to set more stringent rules. This move by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while expected for months, is the most significant action yet in rolling back efforts by the…