December 2018

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…


Henry Avocado on the road again, not that far

Henry Avocado Corp. has moved its headquarters, packing and distribution center in Escondido, CA, to a new building in a nearby industrial center. The 50,000-square-foot two-story facility in Escondido is 20 percent larger than the previous site and features the latest processing, refrigeration and forced-air ripening elements in the industry. The new Henry operation consolidates under one roof the administrative and processing machinery and personnel…


Abed Alert: Mayor ditches post-election meet

(Margaret McCown Liles started blogging about the Escondido City Council following the demise of the North County Times as a public resource. Please visit her blog, from which this is taken, at http://ablueviewescondido.com.) Mayor Sam Abed was conspicuous by his absence at last Wednesday’s council meeting (Nov. 28). The change in the atmosphere was palpable. I was trying to remember if I had ever attended a…