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Like many other municipalities in San Diego County, revenues in the City of Escondido’s financial coffers are drying up. The city is projecting, for the current fiscal year, a $6 million budget deficit.

The deficit -- again like so many other cities throughout the county-- is blamed on a shortfall in property, sales and now, business tax revenues. In recent months, car dealerships and large retail department stores in Escondido have boarded their windows, locked the doors, and left town. In response, city council members are feverishly trying to recruit businesses and also looking at ways to cut back on city expenditures.

They’ve talked about cutting 19 positions in the police department, closing the East Valley Library, asking city employees to volunteer for a decrease in pay, raising fees for city services, and are considering killing off the grass at some city parks.

And yet, despite the bleak financial forecast and potential cuts in public services, the city council has pledged La Jolla developer, C.W. Clark, $18.9 million in taxpayer contributions to build a seven-story, 196-room, luxury hotel smack dab in the heart of downtown, next to city hall. The project’s total cost is estimated at over $67 million.

In addition to the help with construction costs, On October 22nd, the city council extended the deadline until January 1st of 2009 for the developer to acquire the funds necessary for the project and have promised another few million dollars in renovations to the site.

Some Escondido residents are outraged at the city’s dedication to the project. Lisa Prazeau, president of the Escondido Chamber of Citizens, is one of them. “While fire stations are understaffed and the economic outlook for our entire nation is pretty weak, the fact that the Escondido City Council is willing to "contribute" $18.9 million dollars for a hotel that no one can afford to stay in because everyone is broke is outrageous!”

While many residents are scratching their heads as to why councilmembers are supporting the project in such financially dire times, Prazeau feels much is due to the political contributions made by the developer to the re-election campaign of council member Sam Abed, one of the main proponents of the project.

Yet, on December 3rd, when new city councilmember, Olga Diaz, is sworn in to replace Abed council ally, Ed Gallo, new opposition to the project will be present. Diaz has repeatedly expressed her concerns over the timing of the project and the city’s pledged contributions.

For more on the luxury hotel or the dying grass at the city’s parks, go to ci.escondido.ca.us.

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Sharon Dec. 1, 2008 @ 3 p.m.

Right On, Dorian Hargrove. It's good to know that the San Diego Reader has an eye on Escondido. You Hit the Nail on the Head! Who needs Grass? Apparantly, not the Escondido City Council or any of those "rich" enough to stay in the "luxury hotel".

I use to like playing Monopoly when I was a child - unfortunately, I was naive and didn't realize that that's the game politicians play in Life.

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januaryM Dec. 1, 2008 @ 3:50 p.m.

All this so Gallo & Abed can call themselves Developers. Well, look around at what they have "developed" in Escondido, a ghetto. They need to own what they have done here.We have no need for a swanky hotel.The local hotels hold some of the poorest residents. Escondido, destination: North County Ghetto.Over night stays include the adventure of a Police ride along program, where you can experience the thrill of drive by shootings,gang wars ,drug dealers,criminals in action & hookers workin it.Within blocks of the City Hall & Arts Center. Brought to you by Escondido City Council members aka developers: Mayor Pfeiler on the Council 16 years Marie Waldron on Council 12 years Ed Gallo on Council 8 years Sam Abed on Council 4 years Dick Daniels on Council 2 years It took YEARS to grow our ghetto!

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Sharon Dec. 6, 2008 @ 11:10 p.m.

Fumber is right. The Escondido City Council is Ghetto - they are like FRED WILLIAMS the largemouth BASS. The Escondido City council talks about improving the city, while they are preparing to close down the library, cut police officers, understaff firestations and cut recreation programs. The City Council is ghetto especially when they prepare to leave new fire station #6 without a fire engine (hard to fight fires without a fire engine). The Council is ghetto when they take from the people they are sworn to serve, so they can give $19.8 million dollars to an out-of-town developer to build a hotel (that will cater to out-of-town guests) - so much for serving the residents! Now, THAT'S GHETTO!!!

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Fred Williams Dec. 7, 2008 @ 12:26 p.m.

Sharon,

So go ahead and call me "ghetto", but the Escondido City Council, from your description, is the opposite of ghetto.

In the ghetto, you don't mess with your neighbors or go around looking down on people. You don't pick pointless fights, but you stand your ground to protect your family and friends. You take care of the weaker members of your community.

Most of all, you never let glad handing outsiders come in and ransack your turf.

I'd say that the City of Escondido seems to be doing the opposite of what I'd call ghetto.

Don't you agree?

Fred

(P.s. When and how did the noun "ghetto" become an adjective?)

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Russ Lewis Dec. 7, 2008 @ 1:21 p.m.

Just you wait, Fred. It'll be a verb pretty soon.

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Barbarella Fokos Dec. 7, 2008 @ 1:59 p.m.

"Ghetto" has always been an adjective to me. But then again, any word is vulnerable to being snatched for alternative usage. Language is ever-changing, Fred, that's what makes it so much fun! They even added "meh" to the dictionary. ;) And Russ, watch out, man, or I'll ghetto your ass.

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Russ Lewis Dec. 7, 2008 @ 2:05 p.m.

I don't send a noun to do a verb's job.

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Barbarella Fokos Dec. 7, 2008 @ 2:14 p.m.

Unless that noun serves better than any verb for the meaning you hope to convey. mm? Oh no, writer's geek talk. I'll stop there. ;)

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JohnnyVegas Dec. 7, 2008 @ 2:41 p.m.

And Russ, watch out, man, or I'll ghetto your ass.

Awwww damn, you stole my line, I was going to go "Ghetto" on Fumblers skinny ass!

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Fred Williams Dec. 7, 2008 @ 3:22 p.m.

Barbarella was ghettoing me, showing that this is a transitive verb.

And how dare language change? Language isn't meant to be fun. It's work, you word smithing minions!

That's totally 4u[k3d up. Like emoticons...and ellipsis abuse.

:-P

Actually, Barb, when I was teaching ESL I made it a point to teach students how language "is" rather than how grammarians wish it were. At the end of a course, I would have a special lesson on all the English swear words.

In return, I've learned how to swear in a half dozen languages with deep conviction and sincerity. So when I tell Fumber he's a "sip sa ki", all his Korean friends LOL.

The flexibility of language reflects the flexibility of the human mind. For all you "writer geeks", check out Steven Pinker:

www.ted.com/index.php/talks/steven_pinker_on_language_and_thought.html

(And, hey...get away from your computers...it's a nice Sunday afternoon!)

Best,

Ghetto Fred

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MsGrant Dec. 7, 2008 @ 5:22 p.m.

JohnnyVegas, you have it right! It is "go ghetto on your ass", unless the intent was to build the projects in the anal region of Russ.

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Russ Lewis Dec. 7, 2008 @ 7:21 p.m.

How'd you know, Fumbler? You spying on us or what? Hey, it's still not too late to enroll in remedial English. Then again, maybe you get along fine as a functional illiterate.

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JohnnyVegas Dec. 7, 2008 @ 9:09 p.m.

How'd you know, Fumbler? You spying on us or what? Hey, it's still not too late to enroll in remedial English. Then again, maybe you get along fine as a functional illiterate.

Did you mean "functional idiot" (because that is what Fumbler is)?

Funny thing is Fumbler is not really functional.

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Russ Lewis Dec. 7, 2008 @ 9:24 p.m.

You're right, I meant "dysfunctional illiterate." And Fumbler, that paragon of empathy and kindness, castigates others for their lack of humanity. Ain't that a laugh.

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MsGrant Dec. 8, 2008 @ 11:04 a.m.

Excuse me while I remove my $500.00 stilettos, toss back my $300.00 blow-out, buff my freshly waxed gams to a high sheen, remove my underarm shields woven in a third-world country for free by three year-olds and made from the finest silk from an endangered species, and finally, replace the roll of $100.00 bills I use to wipe my ass.

Now, Fumbler, I'm sorry, you were saying?

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Russ Lewis Dec. 8, 2008 @ 12:13 p.m.

Whew...for a moment there I thought I'd gotten left out of Fumbler's daily Tourette's jag.

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Fred Williams Dec. 9, 2008 @ 6:21 a.m.

MsGrant, you didn't feed our baby to the rich, did you?

Oh well, I guess we'll just have to make another one...I'll be over around 9 o'clock with a bottle of two buck chuck and a doobie.

Wear your heels...

Best,

FRED WILLIAMS aka THE HUMONGOUS BARF BAG

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MsGrant Dec. 9, 2008 @ 7:22 a.m.

What was I to do? We were out of cheese and they were hungry! And I hate to be selfish. Hopefully this next one will grow up to be just like his parents, since I seem to have misplaced the last two...or was it three? Whew, that's some really good weed....

MRS GRANT BORDELLO QUEEN

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bartleby88 March 15, 2009 @ 12:22 a.m.

Are you kidding me? No wonder this place is such a dump if all you can do is argue about how to use the word "ghetto". What a nation of retards America has become. The dumber you are the better it is.

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