Escondido Stories

Later, gangster

Thug guilty of killing a dad while young son tried pulling him away

Rene Sanchez, now 23 years old, was found guilty of shooting a man to death at a Halloween party in Escondido seven years ago; the verdict was announced late yesterday, November 19. Sanchez was 16 ...

Newt Gingrich honoree snared in Dumanis probe

Money-laundering donor to GOP district attorney pays $20,000 penalty

Of all the cities in the county of San Diego, one can boast the spottiest history for tow-truck operators. That informal honor has long gone to Escondido, and a recent action by the City of ...

Old Hollywood Style in San Diego

Top events and things to do in San Diego October 30-November 5

In 1986, Chinese archaeologists working at Sanxingdui in Sichuan province excavated two large pits that contained monumental bronze figures of humans and imaginary creatures, throwing the narrative of Chinese history into confusion. This lecture explores ...

Craft beer haunts

Sampler Flight of beer events from October 28-November 3

October 29 | Trick or Cheese: It’s cheesy…in a good way. Local Habit is teaming with the fromage mavens at Venissimo Cheese to procure cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk offerings that pair exceptionally with the ...

No Central American teens in their backyard

"It doesn't fit with our schools, our gated communities, our upscale properties."

Mayor Sam Abed, feeling the pressure of the American Civil Liberties Union speaking in favor of an immigrant youth shelter in Escondido, accused the ACLU of discriminating against his city's residents. "They are here to ...

Abundant evidence of the Kumeyaay

Hike Kumeyaay Trail through oak woodlands and chaparral strewn with boulders and beautiful views of Lake Wohlford.

Fests of all flavors

Sampler Flight of beer events from October 14-20

October 17 | Oktoberfest Celebration: For one über-fantastic Saturday, the gang at Helm’s Brewing Company will do everything it can to convert their nautical-themed industrial suite into a center for Germanic celebration. Deutsch costumes, music, ...

Hold on to that Fallbrook Hospital toe tag

Struggling facility to rely on Tri-City and Palomar Health for ER

With the Fallbrook Hospital facing a loss of $6 million that is growing at a clip of $500,000 a month, the directors of Fallbrook Healthcare District voted on Wednesday, October 8, to pull the plug ...

Who did it then, Frank?

Escondido man denies hammer and knife attack on wife last month

Frank Brauns, 43, denies hammering and stabbing his wife after an argument two weeks ago in Escondido. On October 7, he was listening to testimony against him at a preliminary hearing in San Diego Superior ...

It's still Verdi

The scale doesn't matter in Rigoletto.

Pacific Lyric Association Opera’s performance of Rigoletto on Saturday night was well worth seeing. Why? For one thing, this is an excellent example of how good opera can be when it is scaled down and ...

Not the best of times yet

Last year, San Diego's poverty rate rose to 15.8 %; El Cajon, 19.7%

Poverty statistics are going the opposite way in the city of San Diego and the United States. Today (September 18) San Diego's Center on Policy Initiatives reported that the San Diego poverty rate rose to ...

Tragic and comic, listen and sing

Verdi's Rigoletto opens Saturday and Gilbert and Sullivan opens Sunday.

Pacific Lyric Association is running three performances of Verdi’s masterpiece Rigoletto starting on Saturday, September 20th at 7 p.m. The venue is the Escondido Center for the Performing Arts. The remaining performances are on Friday ...

Drought on display

Bernardo Mountain, for views and illustrations of drought

Bernardo Mountain, with an elevation of 1150 feet, rises steeply from the north shore of Lake Hodges, southwest of Escondido. It offers a relatively short, vigorous hike to the peak for dramatic views of this ...

California Center for the Arts becomes a veritable Disneyland

A talk with documentarian Ted Thomas and Disneyana collector David Yaruss

Ted Thomas describes his latest work, the 30-minute documentary Growing Up with 9 Old Men, as “a road trip to catch up with my cohorts, the other children of the 9 Old Men.” The nonet ...

Happy 9 Old Men doc won’t leave you sleepy

To those familiar with the term, “9 Old Men” hearkens back to the Golden Age of studio animation. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Rescuers, this elite corps of Disney animations — ...

Session beer from Esco's OTHER brewery

Offbeat Brewing Company’s session IPA a nice diversion from core beers

The word Caticorn is thrown about quite a bit at my workplace. It’s a noun meaning “liquid stress reliever,” referring to the India pale ale served at nearby Offbeat Brewing Company, a favorite post-work hang ...

The most unique Stone IPA ever?

Stone’s 18th anniversary beer unlike any that have preceded it

Some things in life are given — death, taxes, and Stone Brewing Co. putting out an India pale ale (IPA) to celebrate its anniversary. To date, 11 of Stone’s 18 anniversary brews have been IPAs. ...

The birds around our home are losing their minds

Lessons of birds and seeds.

Post Title: A Box of Beaks Post Date: July 8, 2014 The birds around our home are losing their minds. I understand that the birds and the bees go bananas in the springtime, but this ...

Beer Touring: Plan 9 Alehouse

Downtown Escondido yields a beer of the week and Sriracha duck wings

At my Escondido-based day job, it’s not irregular to go looking for members of management only to learn they’ve headed out for an off-site powwow. Such meetings of the minds often involve craft beer — ...

A look down on Escondido from Dixon Lake

Dixon Loop Trail offers great views of the lake and city below.

Dixon Lake is a multipurpose recreation area adjacent to the Daley Ranch Open Space Preserve. Both are managed by the City of Escondido, but separately. Dixon Lake provides drinking water for Escondido, so swimming isn’t ...

Esco dijo "no" to kids' immigrant facility

Tuesday-night meeting had overflow crowd composed mainly of Latinos

On June 22, it took a panel of Escondido planning commissioners less than two minutes to decide against the Southwest Key project that would have turned a vacant nursing home into a federally funded residential ...

Hot dogs and holiness

Ed learns about the spirit of giving and makes an offering of a half-dog.

"Misery loves company, but holiness loves company more!” I can hear him across Petco Park’s parking lot. He’s standing, speechifying, holding forth. Something about “I was high on crystal meth. I got beat up by ...

One triggerman, two murderers

McCreary and Withers each claimed the other shot the woman

After a trial that lasted one month, a jury declared both Jeffrey McCreary and Destin Lee Withers guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Mayorama Denise Rodriguez, 20, more than two years ago. ...

San Diego Zoo Safari Park issues clarifying statement on Tiger Power

Following the alleged horrific stabbing of a Wisconsin girl by two 12-year-old classmates who were seeking to prove their dedication to the fictional character of Slender Man, and following the horrific Isla Vista shooting spree ...

“He shot her.” “No, he shot her.”

Codefendants blame each other for killing Mayorama Rodriguez

“After he killed her, I drove away with the body,” said Jeffrey McCreary while in the witness box this week. “That made me an accessory, afterward.” But McCreary said it was his codefendant who pulled ...

Summer target for Fall Brewing

Well-traveled brewer opening North Park brewery with backing of Premier Stainless

Regular readers of my column are familiar with Premier Stainless Systems. The Escondido-based business has been wildly successful over the past several years, establishing itself as, well, the “premier” manufacturer of brewing systems locally and ...

Did Leaky and Rascal attempt murder?

Stabbing in Valley Center reportedly connected to Escondido gang

Two men stabbed a third man, either in a fit of jealous rage or to show some gang muscle or both, a prosecutor alleged in court on May 28. At the end of the hearing, ...

Tigers now closer than ever

5.2-acre Tiger Trail exhibit at Safari Park opens May 24 weekend

I got a sneak peek of the new Tiger Trail at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and it is indeed epic. Its official name is Tull Family Tiger Trail, after Thomas and Alba Tull, ...

Suicide at Gopher Canyon

Man told witnesses what he was going to do

At around 3:30 p.m. on May 21, a gray-haired man in a white T-shirt stopped his pickup truck on the northbound on ramp of I-15 at Gopher Canyon Road. The man said to witnesses he ...

Done watching San Marcos burn

Escape to Escondido, safe and sound with a/c

5/14/14, 8 p.m. We decamped to our parents' house in Escondido partly because we were done watching San Marcos burn and partly to be with our parents in case things get scary here. So now ...

Bullets instead of drugs

Co-defendant seems to confirm he shot Morayma Denise Rodriguez

A jury began hearing evidence in the trial of two men accused of killing a woman to end her loud “drama,” in San Diego’s North County courthouse today, May 12. The 20-year-old woman who was ...

Nazi Low Riders on trial

Doesn't matter who pulled the trigger — both defendants could be culpable

Two men who are accused of killing a young woman to end her loud “drama” two years ago, will go on trial this week in San Diego’s North County Superior courthouse. Jury selection is scheduled ...

Pocketful of coke and a spontaneous statement

Alleged dealer busted outside donut shop at midnight

Escondido police say they arrested a man in the parking lot of the donut shop down the street from headquarters, his pocket allegedly bulging with drugs. José Luis Fonseca, 23, pleaded not guilty to possession ...

Cross-genre jam session births massive IPA

Brewers helping non-brewers make their hoppy dreams come true

I’ll admit it. When I first heard Stone Brewing Co. was conducting a collaboration brew with a member of jam band The String Cheese Incident and a journeyman guitarist who’d shredded with the likes of ...

Manure stench plagues anti-Fletcher donor

Escondido developer with San Diego lobbyist opens front against neighbors

Could a political contribution by any other name smell sweeter to San Diego Republicans? That seems to be one of two persistent questions for Los Angeles developer Michael Schlesinger, who has been battling nearby residents ...

Escondido truck vandal faces charges

David Gordon Huntley claims he was temporarily insane

A man on probation is accused of causing $5000 damage to a truck sitting on an Escondido car lot two months ago. At a court hearing on April 7, defendant David Gordon Huntley heard evidence ...

Developer Stuck in the Rough gets warning letter

No fine levied against silent backer of Lincoln Club’s Fletcher hit pieces

The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission has handed a warning letter — but no fine — to a five-figure financial backer of the GOP Lincoln Club’s war of hit pieces against Nathan Fletcher last year. ...

Escondido man denies stalking charge

Ex-convict accuses mother of his children of infidelity

Marco Antonio Carapia, 34, pleaded not guilty today, March 17, to felony stalking of the mother of his two children. “In his mind, I was screwing everybody,” a woman identified as Ashley told a judge. ...

Thief admits taking Reuben H. Fleet memorabilia

Plea deal made with felon

Edward Charles Peek admitted grand theft and was immediately sentenced to 16 months’ custody on Wednesday, March 12. He could have received as much as three years in prison for stealing what investigators described as ...

Escondido police heat up cold murder case

Rene Sanchez, then 16, denies shooting at Halloween party

On February 19, Rene Sanchez was brought into a San Diego courtroom, where he denied killing a man during a Halloween party at an Escondido home in 2007. Sanchez pleaded not guilty to one count ...

Coast to Crest Trail — Old Coach Staging Area to Raptor Ridge

Hike to Raptor Ridge and see many species of raptors from this viewpoint.

Kumeyaays’ “valley of the eagles” still worthy of the name.

A change of life at Stone Farms

Life on the farm must include beer.

Post Title: Crops and Hops: Inside Stone Brewing’s Organic (and Public!) Farm Post Date: November 4, 2013 “When I moved onto the farm, it was me and my wife Jessica trying to find a change ...

Big doin’s for Belching Beaver

The history of Belching Beaver Brewery (980 Park Center Drive, Vista) is short, but with a number of projects near completion, its future’s looking bright. A recent conversation with owner Tom Vogel turned up plans ...

Escondido teen accused of robberies at knife-point

Ruben Trejo Cardenas denies gang allegations

A criminal defense attorney on February 10 suggested that the tattoo “ESCO VIEJO” on his client merely expresses fondness for his hometown and is not connected to a violent street gang. “Esco viejo” translates as ...

Man in stolen car claimed to be Marine

CHP officer said he was given false ID

California Highway Patrol officer Adam DeGraffenreid said the license plate on the red Honda Accord came back registered to a Toyota on the afternoon of October 19, 2013. The driver said his name was Christian ...

Beer of the Week: Matt’s Burning Rosids

It’s not about the beer…it’s about the person that beer pays tribute to

Last August, news of a fatal accident at Stone Brewing Co. made its way across the Internet, radio, and airwaves. Many reports listed the victim as merely a “worker,” “employee,” or “brewer.” Eventually, the media ...

Escondido man suspected of being burglar extraordinaire

Repeat felon denies break-ins committed all over North County

Investigators claim they were able to connect a repeat felon to a string of burglaries in San Diego County through fingerprints and DNA he left behind. Thirty-one-year-old Roberto Lazaro Dimas pleads not guilty to eight ...

Escondido police called for domestic drama

Ballistic shield and police canine deployed to remove boyfriend

Officer Robert Craig said at a court hearing on January 21 that he was called to speak with a distraught woman on the evening of November 3 of last year. Twenty-seven-year-old Catalina Botello said she ...

Anything Goes at Welk Resort Theater

Somebody should write a musical: The Last of the Tap Dancers. There’s only one left and the uniquely American art may vanish. When the Tap Dancer learns he/she’s the end of the line, he/she goes ...

Palomar Health gets low debt rating and warning

Heavy debt load cited by Fitch

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the BB+ rating on Palomar Health's outstanding debt and revised the rating outlook to negative from stable. Only two years ago the healthcare operator, formerly known as Palomar Pomerado Health System, ...

Produce is a vehicle for our souls

Pesticides kill bugs — how can they not be killing people? San Diego — indeed, California — is a leader in the production of organic vegetables and fruit.

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