Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 9
"The more things change--the less attractive they become." --Belinda Davis, my last girlfriend before I met my wife.
Well, here's an update about what is going on here in my section of Vista.
1) My apartment complex no longer sits on "Escondido Avenue." With the opening of the new Vista Civic Center earlier this month, the street name is now "Civic Center Drive." I can see getting away from "Escondido Avenue" (often confused with "Escondido Blvd" that runs through Escondido), and with the street name change, NCTD can close the book on the Escondido Avenue Sprinter Station (the project that almost sank the Sprinter), renaming it for the street it sits on.
Even sending that pig of an idea to the best beautician in Beverly Hills will not change the fact that it's still a pig one iota. Now they plan on demolishing the old Vista Civic Center, combining the two staffs (the "second city" staff makes it's home in the old Lincoln Middle School across the street) into the new Civic Center, and "take it from there!"
They may have changed the physical plant--now how about changing out the City Council? Then we can really talk about "change." Until then--it's going to take a lot of convincing to make me see any real "change" in the way the Vista City Council conducts business by merely opening a new building.
2) We lost a lot of businesses in the Vons Center area. Goodwill was the biggest business to move out, but we also lost the neighborhood 99 Cents store; Submarina; ACE Check Cashing; Don's Doughnuts (across the street); Guaranteed Savings; and Grand Master Chun's Tae-Kwon-Do studio.
We gained some new business as well--Rent-A-Wheels (rent-to-own tires and rims); Skate Shop (a store featuring skateboards, skater apparel, and other goodies); Dress-4-Less (discount women's wear); Centennial Savings; and Submarina will be re-opening their store in July or August. The building that was the home of Don's Doughnuts is still unfilled.
Possible "next on the move" stores may include Blockbuster Videos (picked to fail by Forbes Magazine), Avon, and either CVS or Walgreen's (Walgreen's will be getting a "beer & wine resale license" as part of their corporate restructuring, which will put them in heavy "Head-To-Head" competiton with the across-the-street CVS. One wins--one closes--everybody loses).
3) True to their word, NCTD shut down the weekend 334/335 routes to help pay for the Sprinter. This means that much of the area east of the Vista Public Library has no bus service on the weekends, as well as in the Melrose Drive; Los Angeles Avenue; and Vista Community Clinic areas.
4) As for the apartment complex I call home: We have had two owner-management group changes. First was Prime Assets Management. Very nit-picky--even going so far as to banning personal barbecue grills, and informing us that it was "our responsibility" to tell our "public assistance" funders (such as Social Security--their words, not mine!) that Prime wanted their rent on the 1st--no exceptions!
In Feburary of this year, we bid "Good Riddance" to Prime, and said "hello" to Southwest Equity Partners of Encinitas. The new managing partner is Will Creagan--not a bad sort, at least he's trying to make things better. We are now allowed to have personal grills again, the parking lot just got re-striped (and parking stickers issued to those with cars), and the rear-gate next to Walgreen's re-opened (but locked after sunset).
As for the "population"? We have lost quite a few folks--but most were not long-time renters. More often than not, it was "rent issues" that got them sent on their way. Two were booted for "sub-letting" their apartments, and three found out that a studio apartment is not a proper choice for more than two folks to live in.
I still hear the sirens from the fire department's vehicles, usually after dark...but the area I live in is still a quiet, peaceful place that I call home. I can still sleep at night without worrying about some moron breaking into my abode (a lock on the door, plus a scabbarded machete within reach (for when all else fails), add to that sense of security), enjoy the early-mornings (be they "June Gloom" or sunny), and keep on looking for employment (both on the net, and in the U-T and Reader) from a safe place.
Over two years here at Vista Ranch--and life is still good!