Escondido Stories

Escondido: Tighten Your Rules

Early next year, the California Supreme Court will decide whether the state can abolish or weaken redevelopment agencies. If the City of Escondido is lucky, the high court’s decision will thwart the City’s dubious plan ...

Escondido’s Sidewalk Sign Policy Under Review

Business owner Bill Durney appeared before the Escondido City Council on November 2 and asked the city to consider adding a future agenda item regarding easing restrictions and regulations for sidewalk signs used by businesses. ...

I Didn't Steal the Dog. I Rescued It.

Case of the Missing Canine

“She basically got caught up in an emotional dog rescue. That’s what this was,” said the defense attorney. “Miss Vukov, yes, took the dog.” Although Trina Vukov took the dog without permission, she had no ...

Salvadoran Man Charged with Violent Spree in Escondido

There was emotional testimony from three young Latinas in the Vista courthouse on October 11 as they described a night of rape, attempted robbery, and burglary in separate incidents that occurred in Escondido last May. ...

Alleged Murderer on Trial 22 Years After Shooting

Vicente Benites, originally from the Mexican state of Guerrero, shot and killed another man from Guerrero at an Escondido house party in 1989, according to prosecutor Natalie Villaflor. The cold-case murder trial started last week, ...

Gloria Dei Lutheran

Membership: 125 Pastor: Matthew Richardt Age: 42 Born: Holt, Michigan Formation: Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Mich., Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.; U.S. Navy Chaplaincy (2002–2005). Years Ordained: 16 San Diego Reader: How long do ...

Nuclear Steam Generator Transporter Heads East

A nuclear steam generator is slowly making its way across North County on a top-secret route from San Onofre to Utah, where it will be disposed of. Officials say that the radiation levels are small ...

Grace Lutheran Church

Membership: 1450 Pastor: Jim Young Age: 65 Born: Los Angeles Formation: Concordia University, Seward, Neb.; University of Lincoln, Neb.; Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. Years Ordained: 35 San Diego Reader: How long do you ...

Escondido City Council Hears Gripe About Their Ban on Feather Flags

Kevin Niems, a 15-year Escondido resident and owner of three area Subway sandwich shops, appeared before the city council on June 8. He was there to voice his opposition to the city’s enforcement of the ...

Jewelry Store Robbed in Escondido

The Royal Maui jewelry store at the Westfield Mall on Via Rancho Parkway was robbed at about 2:30 p.m. on June 9. According to a witness at a nearby kiosk, three Causcasian men entered the ...

Beer for Brontos

I am a Car3 — a Card Carrying Carnivore! I love the supple, greasy squish of tender, gastronomically compromised muscle tissue yielding beneath my molars. I enjoy the tart, grassy zing of goats’-milk chèvre, and ...

St. Mary Catholic Church

Membership: 15,000 Pastor: Richard Perozich Age: 60 Born: Clairton, Pennsylvania Formation: St. John Seminary, Camarillo, California Years ordained: 19 years San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon? Father Richard Perozich: I ...

Escondido City Council Grills Finance Dept.

At the Escondido City Council meeting on May 11, councilman Ed Gallo was incredulous when staff members from the finance department asked for $264,314 to replace 12 trucks. “[T]here’s only three vehicles with over a ...

JT's Limelight Comin' Down the Mountain

“The City of Escondido had their concerns, but I got verbal blessing from the city council and we’ll start with live music as soon as we finish work on the building,” says promoter Joe Troutman, ...

Escondido Residents Try to Save Recreational Services

Approximately 50 people — many of them angry — gathered in front of Escondido City Hall on May 4 to protest budget cuts the city council may make to recreational services. Under the proposal, popular ...

Gateway Community Church

Membership: 400 Pastor: Craig Harrison Age: 61 Born: Beloit, Wis. Formation: Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Ill., Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. Ordained: 31 years San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon? ...

Protest Outside California Pets in Escondido

For two hours on Saturday, April 16, members of the San Diego Animal Defense Team protested outside the California Pets store, located in the North County Fair mall. Jan Hatch, speaking for the San Diego ...

Escondido City Council Votes to Finish Park Project

“Is that possible?” asked Ed Gallo at the Escondido City Council meeting on April 13. The councilman was referring to the $371,449 cost of expanding the office at the Escondido Sports Center in Kit Carson ...

Land-Use Rezone to Come for the Escondido Swap Meet?

On April 6, the Escondido City Council approved a general plan amendment to change the land-use designation of the Escondido Swap Meet and the Reidy Creek flood-control channel. According to officials, the purpose of the ...

North County Times Paper Carriers Lose Jobs

Last week, all 15 newspaper carriers for the North County Times' circulation in Solana Beach, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and Encinitas received 30-day termination notices. The Escondido-based daily paper gave no reason for the layoffs. The carriers where ...

The Neighborhood Church

Membership: 100 Denomination: Assembly of God Pastor: Yancey Valdez Age: 43 Born: Santa Ana Formation: Berklee College of Music, Boston, Mass.; Global University, Springfield, Mo. Years Practicing Ministry: 17 San Diego Reader: How long do ...

Complaint of Increased Graffiti in Escondido

“Graffiti is now on the street corner — 100 feet from where I live,” said longtime Escondido resident Dennis Tomlinson as he spoke before the city council on Wednesday, March 2. Tomlinson claims the amount ...

A Safari Experience in North County

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park (in case you didn’t know, it’s the former Wild Animal Park) in Escondido sprawls over an 1800-acre expanse chosen for its resemblance to Africa’s most productive wildlife areas. Make ...

Florencio Hernandez Fights Escondido Cops

Two Escondido police officers said they ended up rolling in wet iceplant by the side of the road with a combative man who managed to get ahold of one officer’s taser and engage it. Officer ...

Escondido Council Considers Deep Cuts

"The library budget has been cut significantly. We've lost a lot of staff, and [the department] has taken an unfair portion of the cuts," said Gary Knight, president of Escondido's library board of trustees during ...

Merrick James Boyer Faces Felony Pot Charges

When 18-year-old Merrick James Boyer got pulled over on the 15 freeway last month, Escondido officers found a black duffle bag stuffed with jars and bags of marijuana on the backseat. Officers also confiscated a ...

Escondido Police Nab Assault Suspects

Escondido police officers brought three suspects to headquarters for alleged violations of probation and gang injunctions after midnight in the early morning hours of November 1, 2010, Halloween night. One officer, Raymond Solorio, then noticed ...

Former Border Patrol Agent Gamalier Rivera Found Guilty

On Wednesday, February 2, for his hatchet attack on two sleeping persons more than a year ago, former Border Patrol agent Gamalier Rivera was found guilty of assault, causing great bodily injury, and aggravated mayhem. ...

Escondido Citizen Speaks Out Against Asociación de Charros

An animal-welfare advocate spoke at the Escondido City Council meeting on January 26 to lobby for the ban of Mexican rodeos, or charreadas. Melinda Santa Cruz, a longtime Escondido resident, told councilmembers she was encouraged ...

Escondido Police Cleared of Culpability in Jennifer Favreau’s Shooting Death?

A confidential source says San Diego County district attorney Bonnie Dumanis has determined that the Escondido police officer involved in the shooting death of an alleged informant will not face criminal charges. The City of ...

Stanley Peak in Daley Ranch

The recent purchase of a parcel of land on the east border of the Daley Ranch preserve in Escondido ensures that hikers can now visit boulder-dotted Stanley Peak, a summit that formerly lay just out ...

Asociación de Charros de Escondido Evicted for Ballpark?

On Wednesday, January 12, over a dozen San Diego residents spoke in protest of the recent news that the mainly Hispanic equestrian group Asociación de Charros de Escondido is being evicted from a one-and-a-half-acre location ...

Escondido City Council Told Homeless Center Inadequate

At the Escondido City Council meeting of January 12, Thomas Armstrong complained that conditions at the Salvation Army's new homeless shelter on Metcalf Street were "deplorable." "The Salvation Army is not totally to blame," he ...

Slashed Girl Delivered to Palomar Hospital

Patients at Palomar Hospital were stunned on January 7 at 1:00 a.m.: a dark-haired girl about 16 years old — pale and on the verge of collapse — staggered into the emergency room with a ...

Escondido’s Water Rates to Rise

A forum to explain water-rate hikes in the City of Escondido was held on January 6. Raftelis Financial Consultants conducted a rate study of the five-year plan: a typical family bill should decrease slightly in ...

El Tejate: How People Ate Before the Conquistadors

This little guy was singing a few days ago. Now, crunch. One ex-grasshopper. We’re talking chapulines. Fried and dropped on a big white plate. A delicacy from Oaxaca, southern Mexico. The taste? Salty, with a ...

SDG&E’s Escondido Transformer Fire Nontoxic?

A massive cloud of black smoke that loomed above the Escondido Auto Park on December 22 was due to a transformer fire at SDG&E’s substation on Enterprise Street. The fire started at approximately 12:15 p.m. ...

Escondido Bomb Scare

A half hour before the Escondido City Council meeting of December 15 was set to begin, two police officer stormed the council chambers looking for a bomb. According to a witness, the officers pulled right ...

Will Escondido City Council Swing for the Fences

On Wednesday, December 15, Escondido city councilmembers will debate spending $50 million for a new minor-league baseball stadium just north of downtown Escondido. Before the council engages on the discussion of whether to build the ...

City of Escondido to Close Senior Center Craft Shop?

Escondido resident Ann McDonald appeared before the city council on November 17 in order to urge reconsideration of the decision to close down the gift/craft shop at the Joslyn Senior Center, which has been open ...

Escondido City Council Votes to Lease Former Police Headquarters

On November 17, the Escondido City Council unanimously agreed to lease its old police department building on Grand Avenue to the San Diego North Economic Development Council. The rent? One dollar per year for up ...

Escondido City Council Makes Way for New Ballpark

At the Escondido City Council meeting on November 17, the council voted unanimously to purchase property located at 2120 Harmony Grove Road for use as a public-works yard. The cost will be $6,050,000 plus escrow ...

Burglaries at Mountain Shadows Mobile Home Park in Escondido

In the second week of November, two units at Mountain Shadows Mobile Home Park were burglarized while residents were gone during the day. According to the manager for the park, only one street was targeted. ...

Padres to Share Risk in Escondido Ballpark Investment?

On October 27, the Escondido City Council held a workshop regarding the minor-league ballpark proposal put before the City by a Padres ownership group led by Jeff Moorad. The business-model presentation was made by Padres ...

Escondido City Employees Association Addresses Pay Cut with Council

At an Escondido City Council meeting on October 27, an attorney for the Escondido City Employees Association declared an impasse and urged councilmembers to send their negotiators "back to the table." Regarding recent budget cuts, ...

Escondido Sobriety Checkpoint Draws Protesters, Nets Five DUIs

On East El Norte Parkway east of North Ash Street, the Escondido Police Department staged a sobriety checkpoint On October 23 between 6 p.m. and midnight. According to a news release, 1450 cars were checked ...

Coalition of Escondido Mobile/Manufactured Home Voters Activates

At the Escondido Downtown Street Faire on October 17, the Coalition of Escondido Mobile/Manufactured Home Voters was giving away free T-shirts to anyone who was willing to wear them for an hour or two. "Had ...

Escondido City Councilmembers Excoriated as Ballpark Idea Entertained

During the Escondido City Council’s “oral communications” portion of their October 13 meeting, resident Bruce Sims expressed his views concerning the upcoming council vote regarding the construction of a ballpark in the city. Padres majority ...

Escondido’s California Center for the Arts to Employ Roman de Salvo for “Grape Maze”

On October 13, the Escondido City Council authorized a payment from the City’s public art fund to allow an art project to be constructed in the California Center for the Arts Escondido Museum courtyard. According ...

Escondido Hears About Lake Elsinore’s Ballpark Experience

The Escondido Democratic Club held a meeting at their headquarters in downtown Escondido on October 9. Open to the public, the meeting’s purpose was to hear presentations by San Diego Padres representatives along with pro ...

Escondido City Council Takes Criticism for Neglecting Improvements

Concerned about an increase in business fees and lack of improvements in the downtown neighborhood surrounding his business, Barry Baker appeared before the Escondido City Council on Wednesday, September 22, to voice his displeasure. Baker ...

Escondido: Do Your Homework on the Portland Beavers

‘The economic impact of a minor-league team is not sufficient to justify the relatively large public expenditure required for a minor-league stadium.” That was the conclusion of Arthur T. Johnson, author of the 1995 book ...

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