Articles by dweisman

Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at Ground Zero following Sept. 11

Sept. 11, 2001: Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at “Ground Zero” following the terrorist attack. His major complaint in the years following concerned his inability to get correct, and affordable, treatment due to the costs involved, costs that Congress finally agreed to add funding to the 9/11 First Responders fund almost 18 years later. “Ironworkers worked every day,” Pursley said. “We went on 12-hour shifts…


Sending in the llamas and clowns on 9/11

Sept. 10, 2001 was pretty much like any other day. That is to say honored only in its passing, don’t remember what happened. Sept. 11, 2001, as we all know, was a day seared in our personal and national memories like few others. Don’t know when the carnage began, but at my Del Dios home phones started ringing way too early in the morning and…


Simply San Marcos: Clown, for world peace

(Editor’s Note: Originally published Sept. 22, 2001 in the North County Times…) Clown came to town. He was talking peace by the freeway as others spoke of war. “I’m mainly out here for world peace,” said the thin, wispy-bearded 22-year-old who blew in from a Sonoma organic farm to visit his “girl,” and child in Ramona. In case you missed Clown — his nom d’pax…


Seniors community foundation packs a punch

A new, well-funded and ultra-connected non-profit called San Diego Seniors Community Foundation entered the local arena with a splashy new “senior center assessment,” finding “San Diego’s senior population is rising, but the community is not ready for change.” The 11-page report got a lot of play in the media following its Aug. 20 release, and why not. Bob Kelly, former president and CEO of The San…


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…


Found the car at Stockton, but not the canine

Stockton can be a mean town. Just ask Poway resident Cynthia Niswonger. Niswonger’s family vacation return trip from Oregon took a detour of the worst sort about 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11 outside the McDonalds at 611 West Charter Way, Stockton. That is when a thief broke the lock on her green 2000 Ford Focus hatchback and stole the car. Complicating the theft was the…


From Janis Joplin to Vista biz for Lee Bittner

Times they have a-changed since the countercultural 1960s. So has drummer-turned-Vista-restaurant supply company owner Lee Bittner — to a degree. A former drummer with Janis Joplin’s Big Brother & the Holding Company, Bittner, 54, has toned down his personal act somewhat these days. But he maintains a lot of the core values of that youthful age which he combines with modern-day business acumen and a…


Herbs and spices thrive at Pearson’s Gardens

A few others grow herbs and spices in Southern California, but none grow as many as Cindy and Mark Pearson, whose Pearson’s Gardens & Herb Farm features close to 700 varieties. “They have the largest, and most diverse, selection of herbs in San Diego County,” said Nina Fox, president of the San Diego County Herb Society. “Cindy Pearson is extremely knowledgeable about the herbs botanically,…


Community news for the rest of us

People, but mainly PR agents, send stuff all the time to our e-mail account. Sometimes we publish, many times we don’t because, you know, that’s how we roll. When PR agents, known in old-time journo lingo as “flacks,” send us material, we send them back our ad rates, which are $100 a month for sidebar ads, $200 a month for banner ads below the top…


Food Network: Say it ain’t so, Rosie’s Cafe

After three years off the air, Restaurant Impossible returned to the Food Network Saturday, April 20 with a somewhat problematic visit to Rosie’s Cafe on Grand Avenue at Escondido. Food Network Gossip also covered restaurant makeover guru Robert Irvine’s highly eventful visit, but when the smoke from the kitchen cleared, with all due respect to owner Kaitlyn Rose, 32, and her enthusiastic foray into the…