Escondido

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…


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…


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…


Ukulele Ray Christmas Ranch Sing-A-Long

Escondido’s Ukulele Ray was a man of many faces, many names and many talents, always entertaining and many time surprising. Scroll down the right sidebar and you’ll see one of his “Only in Esco” cartoons he drew for The Escondido Grapevine. Ray also drew the winter cartoon atop this story, which he captioned: “Harry didn’t always dress like ‘The Grimace!’ We moved to Escondido, so…


Appreciating Escondido City Hall public art

As I walked around Escondido on Saturday, I happened upon some beautiful public art near City Hall. My first photos show an installation called Circle of Music. The four sculptures, fitted with speakers that play soft music, are part of the larger Monuments to Time in the Corridor of Life, Art and Culture, a series of interactive pieces created in 1998 that extend from the…


New state regulation dogs puppy mills

Escondido always has been a hot bed in the California puppy mill world, for whatever reason. A new state law that went into effect this year has rsulted in several puppy mill busts, but some puppy mill proprietors already have found loopholes to exploit. Assembly Bill 485, which went into effect at the beginning of this year, requires pet stores to get their animals from…


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…


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…


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…


YOUR state senator Brian Jones opposes gun control and state assault weapons ban

Leave it to the poor suffering residents of the Duncan Hunter-Joel Anderson reign of Trumpist political terror, and corrupt behavior, to be saddled with their obvious successor at outrageous and dangerous political malpractice. Enter the gates of gun violence hell with state Sen. Brian Jones, (R-NRA), elected in California’s 38th Senate District, as the successor to ALEC’s favorite son, Anderson, who got term-limited out of…