North County

Memories of Pikake Gardens

Its gates are forever locked. The koi have died. A lonesome breeze blows through faded gardens overgrown with weeds. The waterfalls have ceased falling and even the roses have faded into wilted dreams. Welcome to Pikake Botanical Gardens at 15515 Villa Sierra Road, once one of the wonders of the horticultural world, now reduced to ashes and memories. A private botanical garden on nine acres,…


VC horse rescue wracked by fraud, abuse

Attorney General’s Office halts HiCaliber’s fundraising, spending for failing to file tax docs HiCaliber Horse Rescue, a Valley Center nonprofit embroiled in allegations of fraud and animal abuse, can no longer raise or spend money until it submits proper financial disclosures to the state. The California Attorney General’s Office sent HiCaliber a letter Friday stating the nonprofit is considered “delinquent” for failing to submit federal…


Coastal North County least diverse in area

Brian Pollard with the Urban Collaborative Project, a San Diego nonprofit, walks around a southeastern San Diego community where he says new residents have made once primarily African-American areas more diverse. (Megan Wood, inewsource) By the numbers: San Diego County’s most diverse neighborhoods When two residents in the southeastern San Diego neighborhood of Encanto meet, there’s a 71 percent chance they’re of different racial and…


Hang on to your fruit – invasive Mexfly back

This is one unwanted visitor from Mexico that even Donald Trump’s fabled wall could never stop. And it’s a dire threat to local, state and national fruit growers and consumers. A portion of San Diego County has been placed under quarantine for the Mexican fruit fly following the detection of seven Mexflies within the City of Encinitas. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the…


Del Mar racetrack back to normal after Lilac Fire horse rescues head home to Bonsall

Thoroughbreds jogged on the main racetrack at Del Mar this week as life after the horrific training track fire in nearby Bonsall began to settle for horses and horsemen involved with the events at San Luis Rey Downs last Thursday. Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and 22nd District Agricultural Association officials reported that there were currently 260 Thoroughbreds and approximately 500 other-breed horses stabled on the…


Through Pulitzer photog Don Bartletti’s lens

California State University Bakersfield’s Walter Stiern Library Presents Program is exploring issues in immigration with a series of events through December. The series includes a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, a documentary screening, and a poetry reading. The prize-winning photographer, Don Bartlett of the Los Angeles Times, spent a lot of time visiting migrant camps around North County San Diego, including Oceanside, Carlsbad, Fallbrook, Valley Center and Escondido….


Remembering the 2007 Witch Creek Fire

Ten years ago next month the Witch Creek Fire devastated Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe and North County San Diego. This is part of my first-hand coverage done as editor of the Rancho Santa Fe Record. I won the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s first place prize for local news coverage for this, and the other 26 stories, numerous photos, and overall coverage I produced during, and…


Wasted days and wasted nights on SR 78

And maybe someday we will find, that it wasn’t really Wasted time Mm,hm Oh hoo, ooh, ohh, Ohh, ooh, mm. — Eagles “Wasted Time” With great fanfare, SANDAG in 2012 broke ground for a $41 million road widening project on State Route 78 near Interstate 15 as well as around Nordahl Road “to ease traffic congestions during morning and afternoon commuting hours.” Guess what? It…


Pala’s ultimate underground radio station

Pala’s ultimate underground radio station — A long strange journey for ‘Mark’s Groovy Trip’ Move over WKRP in Cincinnati. Palomar Country has Pala Rez radio, 91.3 on your dial, that is if you can get it. And Pala Rez, an iHeartRadio partner, has got “Mark’s Groovy Trip” courtesy of the charismatic, and informative, 1970s music aficionado, radio programmer and San Diego Padres TV cameraman Mark…


Pala Store at the end of the road

Pala Store may be a hundred yards away from Pala Casino Spa & Resort, but it feels like it’s a creature from another planet. It is, too, for this store lives in a parallel universe, both in space and time. At 3000 Pala Mission Road, the store that has served as focal point for nearly eight decades was, and remains, the only store from Pala…