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After a long legal struggle and political infighting, it now appears all but certain that Warner Springs Ranch -- featuring hot springs, horse stables and golf course -- will be purchased by the Pala Band of Mission Indians, who occupied the area for generations and were booted out by the U.S. government more than 100 years ago.

"The last major impediment to the close of escrow on the sale" has been removed, says Greg Maizlish, San Diego attorney who is vice president and a board member of the Warner Springs Ranchowners Association. One litigation matter has been settled, and a second, a lien placed against the property, was removed at a recent court hearing, says David Gee, president of the association.

Essentially, the long-running internal feud was between members who lived far away, and seldom used the ranch, and those who lived in the nearby Los Tules area, who used it frequently. "We are targeting a 12/31/11 date that escrow will close and the ranch will close," says Gee. Then Pala can proceed with "sorely-needed upgrades." Pala will pay $20.5 million, which will go to the 1000 owners of the ranch. There will be a celebration December 30 and 31 at the ranch, featuring the band Night Shift, according to Maizlish.

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Comments

Cabernetcounsel Oct. 25, 2011 @ 2:25 p.m.

Thank you, Mr. Bauder, for your well written & pithy post.

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Roche Oct. 25, 2011 @ 2:36 p.m.

Mr. Bauder,

Countless owners and citizens of San Diego County appreciate your insightful articles each week in the San Diego Reader.

I, for one, thank you for taking the time over the last several years to acquaint yourself with the issues surrounding WS Ranch.

Your ability to distill so much information into well written news articles is a true art...

Let's pray that all stays on track with the scheduled close of escrow, and that the Pala Tribe's second era of stewardship for the property begins in early 2012.

Best regards,

Patrick Roche

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Don Bauder Oct. 25, 2011 @ 3:43 p.m.

Selling the ranch to Pala certainly seems like the best solution. This property needs much upgrading. Pala has the means and the desire to do that. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 26, 2011 @ 1:18 p.m.

TRIBE SAYS YEAREND CLOSING NOT SURE THING. Note: A spokesman for the Pala Band of Mission Indians says that the band "remains steadfastly committed to the acquisition of Warner Springs Ranch, [but] there are several substantive issues which are the sole responsibility of the Warner Springs Ranchowners Association to fully resolve prior to any closing. This makes the closing date by the end of this year challenging."

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Don Bauder Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:38 p.m.

This is how such battles proceed. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:44 p.m.

Don, let me second the remarks of others recently--you are, and long have been, a gol-durned JEWEL. I am aware of no other single person, including some "pretty big" names, who can hold a candle to your shining star! Persevere, persevere, PERSEVERE!

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Don Bauder Oct. 27, 2011 @ 7:50 a.m.

Your kind comments jarred me into remembering an incident from the mid-1960s. I was talking to a PR guy for a large company, and said that many securities analysts were useless, but those that were balanced and thoughtful were "gol-durned jewels." His head snapped back, his astonishment was obvious, and he said, "Why?" I realized he thought I had said "Jews," and he was Jewish. I had to explain that I had said "jewels." But actually, it was a fact that some of the best securities analysts were Jewish in those days. That's still true. Best, Don Bauder

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elmurphy Nov. 16, 2011 @ 8:43 p.m.

Don Bauder you ARE truly a "gem". I've been following you since your retirement from the U-T. You have provided the people of San Diego in-depth pieces about financial machinations in our fair city/county. This is a rare feat to accomplish in San Diego's insider environment (not only conservative - John Moores was a Democrat during the Peregrine rip-off). San Diego seems to be a pitiful carcass for all the vultures to feast upon. Don't get me started... As for Warner Springs, we used to be designated users and always loved the rustic, laid-back atmosphere. Luckily, we've still been able to rent rooms and enjoy it, however sad the transition has been. Many staff members we've befriended have lost their jobs or moved on. I hope the Pala restore Warner to what it could always have been - a beautiful, rustic retreat far from the madness of the city.

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