online community journalism

Seaside Courier (of Encinitas) bites the dust

Another attempt to bring local independent news in the form of a print newspaper failed at Encinitas as the 2-year-old Seaside Courier announced that’s all folks, quietly fading into the dust bin of history last month. Thomas K. Arnold, who also has contributed stories to The Escondido Grapevine reported the news to another Grapevine friend Roman Koenig, who worked with us at North County Times…


Poverty in San Diego County higher than during Great Recession

When Jim Floros started his job as president and CEO of the San Diego Food Bank at the beginning of 2013, he says the nonprofit served about 330,000 people a month. The divergence between poverty and employment points to deeper problems in the San Diego region’s economy. That number has since grown to 370,000. That might seem odd given that San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell…


73-year-old Escondido man suspect in Fontana triple homicide

A long-simmering family feud over money boiled over early Wednesday when a 73-year-old Escondido man killed three relatives and critically wounded a fourth, according to police. Ali Zafar, of Escondido, was arrested on suspicion of homicide shortly after the shootings inside an apartment in Fontana, police Sergeant Kevin Goltara said. The 73-year-old shooting suspect surrendered to authorities at the property, police said, adding that the…


Tale of the Toppled Hurler: A Peter Hartwell Story (Part 8)

Tale of the Toppled Hurler: A Peter Hartwell Story by Bruce A. Kauffman c 2017  All rights reserved. For full story to date, visit: http://escondidograpevine.com/a-the-tale-of-the-toppled-hurler-a-peter-hartwell-story/. Last we looked, intrepid journalist Peter Hartwell had been abducted at the Back Bay railroad station in Boston and brought to the Charles River, where he’s thrown into the back seat of a sleek late-model two-door Infiniti. A corpulent fellow jiggles…



Madeleine Pickens, you are what you eat

Or what’s eating Madeleine Pickens? Rancho Santa Fe resident and ardent Donald Trump supporter Madeleine Pickens wanted the African-American chef she recruited from the Del Mar Country Club she owns in Southern California to cook “black people food” — not “white people food” — at her rural Nevada dude ranch and wild horse sanctuary, according to a federal lawsuit accusing her of racial discrimination. Armand…


inewsource: ‘Our favorite stories of the year’

As 2016 draws to a close, the reporters and editors of inewsource are highlighting our favorite stories of the year. They ranged from a look at the student homelessness crisis in San Ysidro to investigations into the complex machinations of the powerful California Public Utilities Commission. These stories are also a template for the kind of fearless and data-driven investigative journalism we plan to do even more…


VC dispute: Michael O’Connor v. David Ross

(Editor’s Note: Michael O’Connor is a retired 32-year Escondido firefighter who is a Valley Center Community Planning Group member. The dispute concerns reporting about the defeated Measure B in the November 2016 election that would have allowed the Lilac Hills Ranch housing project to be built in rural Bonsall and Valley Center. ) I responded to a story written by editor David Ross of the Valley Center Roadrunner. Seems…


Heaven’s Gate and other ‘cult’ architecture

Religions have inspired some of the great architecture of human history. Reims Cathedral. The Blue Mosque. Angkor Wat. But what about those faiths that aren’t exactly major? Or are controversial? Or aren’t religions at all? Since many fringe religious groups tend not to mesh well with society, they often take to the country. In the process, they sometimes employ innovative planning strategies, as is the…


Rain, rain comes this way through weekend

Weather forecasters are describing a one-two punch of winter storms arriving in San Diego County for the end of this week. Overnight and early morning sprinkles in San Diego County are expected to continue throughout most of Wednesday as the first and weaker of two upcoming winter storms moves toward the region. “It’s a really nice, organized cold front coming through Friday night and Saturday…