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Stories by Michael Mullenniex

City of Escondido contemplates equine-centric park

El Caballo Park is taking shape based on community involvement

Ensconced in the eastern edge of Escondido between the Humane Society and Dog Park, the Charros Arena and its surroundings serve as a staging ground for hikers, bikers, and horse riders. The south end of ...

Land owner Stuck in the Rough puts up fencing in Escondido

Hires “no-holds-barred” attorney, threatens action on WWII vet and others

Since the Escondido City Council passed the citizen-generated initiative on August 14, 2013, preventing development of the former Escondido Country Club property, the land-use battle moved into the court system for final resolution. But in ...

Did Amgen bike tour take City of Escondido for a ride?

City paid more for 2013 race than anticipated, takes pass on 2014

Escondido first hosted the finish of the Amgen Tour of California in 2009. The world’s best cyclists competed over local terrain, finishing with a sharp left turn from Escondido Boulevard onto Grand Avenue and ending ...

Red light camera enforcement arrested

City discontinues red light enforcement program

After a presentation by Escondido city staff last Wednesday, city council voted to let the city’s contract with Redflex expire in December 2013 and terminate police enforcement of photo-recorded red light violations. In 2003, the ...

Escondido Country Club petition passes unanimously

Property owned by L.A. owner designated open space

On the evening of August 14, the Escondido City Council unanimously voted to approve a petition submitted by the grassroots organization ECCHO, the Escondido Country Club & Community Homeowners Organization. The 110-acre defunct Escondido Country ...

SDG&E informs Escondido of rate hike effective September

Top-tier users foot the bill, city council miffed (except for Mayor Abed)

At the Escondido City Council meeting on July 24, Juanita Hayes, one of SDG&E’s public affairs managers, gave a presentation describing her company’s latest rate hike scheduled to be effective September 1. “If you have ...

Escondido Country Club homeowners deliver petition to city hall

Nearly twice the number of signatures gathered to fight development plan

Following an enthusiastic kick-off on May 11, a petition drive by the Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization (ECCHO) gathered 9360 signatures for its Citizens’ Property Rights Initiative and delivered the petition to Escondido City Hall ...

Raises ok'ed for Escondido's city attorney and city manager

One dissenting vote

In the Escondido City Council meeting of June 26, deputy mayor Olga Diaz pulled the employment contract renewal of city manager Clay Phillips and city attorney Jeffrey Epp from the consent calendar. What started out ...

Escondido homeowners stand up to Stuck in the Rough

L.A. property owner sues residents and city

The bankrupt Escondido Country Club property's new owners, Stuck in the Rough (a West Hollywood-based company), filed a lawsuit against the Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization (ECCHO) and the City of Escondido on June 27. ...

Escondido residents learns more about Stuck in the Rough plans

Company to build 450 houses on languishing golf course

On Tuesday evening, June 18, the board of directors of ECCHO, a neighborhood group formed to stop housing development on Escondido Country Club property, reported to over 400 interested residents at Life Community Church. Also ...

Two Charros groups stand up in Escondido

Decisions to be made on 1.5-acre site

For the past 40 years, an equestrian group named the Asociación de Charros de Escondido has occupied a 1.5-acre area in northeastern Escondido just below Dixon Lake. Ensconced in a secluded, mostly wooded area also ...

Charter school to expand into Escondido’s East Valley Community Center

Mayor Sam Abed says lease revenues to be funneled to citizenry

The Escondido City Council on May 22 voted 4-1 to lease a portion of the city’s East Valley Community Center to Heritage Digital Academy, a charter school. The ten-year lease includes 20,000 square feet of ...

Escondido residents mobilize to try and save golf course

Petition drive aims to gather 6000 signatures

Saturday mornings were usually quiet affairs at the Escondido home of Gary Johnson, board member of Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization. However, Saturday morning, May 11, was different. At 9:00 a.m., about 200 Escondido Country ...

Skeletons in the armoire: Paris catacombs

Under the city's streets is a vast, ancient network of tunnels.

The air was cool and exuded a musty, almost earthy odor. The passageway with squat ceilings no more than six feet high was lit by small dim lights, each bright enough to see only a ...

Escondido Country Club to close down

Zoning in question, residents leery

The bombshell arrived at Escondido Country Club area residents’ mailboxes on Saturday, February 23, in the form of a blue postcard announcing the demise of Escondido Country Club. It was well known locally that the ...

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 ...

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 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 ...

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 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 ...

Carlsbad E-Car Company Plans 4th Q Production

Carlsbad-based Aptera Motors recently failed to win the Automotive X Prize, a competition, according to the website, “To inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles that help break our addiction to oil and stem ...

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, San Antonio, Texas

With their unpredictable temperament, the ostriches took the meal event to another level. One approached our car, acting like a machine in War of The Worlds with its stilt-like legs, tank-like feathered body and garden-hose ...

Wolf down that pie in Julian

A trip to the California Wolf Center.

If you think the only way to see a wolf is to watch Dances with Wolves, think again. Two top-tier North American predators, the Alaskan and Mexican wolves, have dens at the California Wolf Center. ...

River Hiking in Dominica

One by one, our group of eight slipped into the cool rushing water of Dominica’s Dublanc River. Cool and invigorating, the water rushed by us like soft jets from a Jacuzzi. After a 45-minute trek ...

Gems of Pala, California

Walking up the dirt-and-gravel path from the parking area, you’re greeted by a Buddha and two rusted truck corpses. Wooden bins of large rocks stand next to the stairs leading up to the store’s entrance. ...

Biking Tahoe (and Other Activities)

For some, a visit to Lake Tahoe means time away from the frenetic scenes of everyday life. Libation in hand, it’s a time to listen to the wind waft through swaying pine trees, to enjoy ...

Time-traveling in Caribbean Guatemala

Caribbean Guatemala with Mayan ruins? You bet. Situated between Belize and Honduras, the short Caribbean coast of Guatemala displays a panoply of history and beauty. Starting from our cruise ship stop at Santo Tomas de ...

World’s Largest Auto Museum of Convertibles and Americana

When a full plate of entertainment at the Wild Animal Park, San Diego Zoo or Sea World isn’t feasible, but you want to get out and do something, the “World’s Largest Auto Museum of Convertibles ...

Hawaii Down Under

They’re dark. They’re a bit creepy. They’re lava tubes. Lurking beneath the lush tropical foliage that decorates the island of Hawaii, what appear to be mine shafts drilled through solid lava are actually nature-made. During ...

Tour the California Redwoods

Touted as California’s toughest “century” (a 100-mile bicycle ride), the Tour of the Unknown Coast lives up to its appellation. Held annually in early May, the TUC attracts both sightseeing tourists and serious cyclists who ...

Now Drink This

The California Coastal Commission has issued the Poseidon Resources Corporation a construction permit for the Carlsbad desalination project, according to a November 3 press release. “With this permit in hand, the project’s preconstruction phase formally ...

Exploring Unspoiled Dominica, West Indies

Enjoying the lush scenery and fair but humid weather, we rounded a tight mountainous curve on the way to Carib Territory. A small blue Toyota popped into sight coming from the opposite direction, fast. We ...