December 2019

Lake Hodges gets highly oxygenated for 2020

The City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department last week took a major step toward completing an innovative project to improve water quality in Lake Hodges. A newly installed oxygenation system, designed by city engineers, will introduce highly oxygenated water to the bottom of the reservoir to reduce the accumulation of excess nutrients and harmful algae growth. The increase of nutrients and algae in the…


Meet California’s new Consumer Privacy Act

California’s landmark digital privacy regulations will become the de facto law of the land when they take effect in January, allowing consumers more control over the personal data companies collect about them. Beginning January 1, consumers will be able to ask for direct access to the information about them that companies keep, and request that the data be deleted. Consumers will also be able to…


Keeping those New Year’s resolutions

Many of us have already decided that things will be different in 2019. We’ll eat better, get more exercise, save more money or finally get around to decluttering those closets. But by the time February rolls around, most of us – perhaps as many as 80 percent of the Americans who make New Year’s resolutions – will have already given up. Why does our self-control…


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…


In age of Drumpf, Tony Clifton claims foul

Editor’s Note: Michael Patrick Welch, renowned New Oreans writer, musician, teacher and friend of The Escondido Grapevine, conducted an interview with the provocateur known to Andy Kauffman and Bob Zmuda fans as Tony Clifton. While others have shunned this outstanding piece of informational journalism, we embrace it and re-print this as a public service. “After a year of chasing Tony Clifton to get his thoughts…


Poltergeists? Ghosts are just people, too

Having a ghost in your house doesn’t necessarily mean pictures fly off the wall at you and the dog cowers and growls at the top of the basement stairs.  Spirits are everywhere, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and intentions Hollywood has led people to believe that ghosts are not only real but vicious things that rip flesh and possess children to…


Holiday shopping (fraud) tips, resources

(Taxpayer-funded San Diego County News Center provides the following tips and resources concerning keeping the holidays jolly by avoiding fraud and other miscreant behavior.) Santa’s checking receipts, he’s checking them twice — you should, too By Gig Conaughton Cash registers ring, are you listening? Black Friday’s back, sales are glistening! Make sure your shopping is sweet, double check your receipts. So you’re not accidentally overcharged…



Putting off the Ritz: Theater renovation stalls

A much ballyhooed church project to renovate and re-purpose the abandoned, and historic, Ritz Theater in downtown Escondido will be delayed. Considering the historic failures of numerous groups seeking to re-purpose this long-abandoned historic theater over the years, the question is will it even happen. Promoted prominently by Escondido’s then-mayor Sam Abed and his allies, New Vintage Church (NVC) received unanimous approval from Escondido council…


Yes, Mayor Pete, Pala has a wine cave, too

Dateline Los Angles Democratic Party Presidential Debate: A fund-raiser for Pete Buttigieg held in a wine cellar in Napa Valley elicited the most strident clash between the Democratic candidates at a debate Thursday night after a mostly staid discussion of policy platforms and impeachment, leading to a round of criticism of the mayor that continued into a later exchange about his previous criticisms of Washington…