October 2019

Looking back at Del’s Barber Shop

Like father like son like grandson, Del’s Barber Shop is old school and proud of it. “It’s pretty much the same old barber shop,” said Jason Engelbrecht, now large and in charge of the 4-barber shop on S. Escondido Boulevard next to Lourdes Restaurant and its famous chicken soup. “We try not to change anything.” One would be hard-pressed to find another blast from the…


Used books still in style at Cassidy’s

Tom McDevitt’ sat behind the large front counter at Cassidy’s Books, in the shadow of Fry’s Electronics at a back-of-the-curve, out-of-the-way strip mall considering North County literary options. “The Book Mart on Grand Avenue in Escondido has been there 40 years,” McDevitt said with the  deliberate, studied manner one might expect from a bookseller. “Escondido used to have three or four book stores. Now, it’s…


Fire up: Windy, getting windier through Friday

Look around and feel the wind. It’s a blowing, and along with it, raising local fire risk to what are called “extreme” levels — a first — by state fire officials. Strong Santa Ana winds are expected again in San Diego County beginning late Tuesday night, raising the threat of wildfires through Thursday evening. The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning that will be…


Many people can’t afford wildfire insurance

California’s relatively quiet 2019 fire season ended in October, with serious wildfires in both Northern and Southern California. There are many things Californians can do to prepare for these blazes, but one option – taking out wildfire insurance – is out of reach for many of them. For example, after massive fires in 2018, an estimated 350,000 Californians could no longer get property and casualty…


Learning from Native American wildfire management strategies

For several months in 2019, it seemed wildfires wouldn’t rage across the West as they had in recent years. But then came the dry autumn and California’s Santa Ana and Diablo winds, which can drive the spread of wildfires. Utilities are shutting off power across the state to reduce the risk of damaged equipment or downed trees on wires causing fires. There’s no lack of…


Don’t be a Trump, be a Nancy; and a social media tale: Grading San Marcos trailer parks

Baseball season has ended, my baseball season anyway since all I live for is watching multiple Major League Baseball games on numerous devices and screens. They call it the post-season for a reason. OK. While watching baseball games, I also dedicate a screen to scream at cable news while reading computer stuff about dotard and his disgusting criminal traitor regime. Not to get too far…


Treating wildfires as a public health issue

Deadly fires across California over the past several years have shown how wildfire has become a serious public health and safety issue. Health effects from fires close to or in populated areas range from smoke exposure to drinking water contaminated by chemicals like benzene to limited options for the medically vulnerable. These kinds of threats are becoming major, statewide concerns. Many people still think of…


New state laws address health care issues

Gov. Gavin Newsom wrapped up his bill-signing marathon Sunday, Oct.13, 2019, capping the end of a legislative session that will have a big impact on Californians’ health care and coverage. Some of the most high-profile — and contentious — measures of the year were health care-related: Who hasn’t heard of the bill that spawned raucous protests at the Capitol by anti-vaccine activists? After some hesitation,…


Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Monster: Fact or fiction?

Go down to Hernandez Hideaway at rural Lake Drive in Del Dios and people will swear up and down the long wooden bar that Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges monster, really truly — well, almost definitely exists. “The Lake Hodges Hodgee monster is kind of like the Loch Ness monster,” said Stan Smith, a long-time Del Dios resident. Smith, a cowboy poet and man about…


It’s National Fluffernutter Day. Hooray?

Every dog has its day, they say, and apparently so does every cause, effect and plain old thing. Welcome to Tuesday Oct. 8, 2019. It’s National Fluffernutter Day. (Also, the start of Yom Kippur, 5780, but that’s a tale for another day.) Correct, National Fluffernutter Day is observed annually on Oct. 8, according to the National Day Calendar. This is a day set aside each year to make,…