Today’s Big News

Gasoline prices see-saw by the Socal sea shore

See-sawing Southern California gasoline prices dropped for 98 days in a row following a sharp increase earlier this year and now are headed back up, according to the latest data cited by analysts on Friday. After declining for 98 consecutive days, the national average reversed course yesterday as fluctuating oil prices and tight supply due to planned and unplanned maintenance work at refineries on the…

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Escondido’s Grape Day Festival stomped through history

Despite the intense heat in Southern California the last few weeks, and the sudden hurricane and rain just one day before, The Grape Day Festival held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 was a complete success. We had perfect weather, comparatively, as the community of Escondido, California came together with our San Diego friends and Southern California visitors. Dating back to the…

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Memories of Pikake Gardens

Its gates are forever locked. The koi have died. A lonesome breeze blows through faded gardens overgrown with weeds. The waterfalls have ceased falling and even the roses have faded into wilted dreams. Welcome to Pikake Botanical Gardens at 15515 Villa Sierra Road, once one of the wonders of the horticultural world, now reduced to ashes and memories. A private botanical garden on nine acres,…

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Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at Ground Zero following Sept. 11

Sept. 11, 2001: Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at “Ground Zero” following the terrorist attack. His major complaint in the years following concerned his inability to get correct, and affordable, treatment due to the costs involved, costs that Congress finally agreed to add funding to the 9/11 First Responders fund almost 18 years later. “Ironworkers worked every day,” Pursley said. “We went on 12-hour shifts…

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Sandbagging San Diego County for hurricane season, seriously?

Weather forecasters say a hurricane off the coast of Mexico could indirectly bring high winds with potentially heavy rain to the county this weekend, and County of San Diego and CAL FIRE are offering free sandbags to residents who live in the unincorporated areas. Weather forecasters say Hurricane Kay, which is forming off the coast Mexico, will not directly hit San Diego County, but could…

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Popular Posts

Ray Bong, S. Creamcheese, ‘Competitive Non-Drinking’

About a dozen years ago, my friend Suzy Creamcheese and I discovered the most brutal sporting concept known to the human race, we call it “Competitive Non-Drinking”.  At that time, I smugly informed him that I had made a great achievement– I had gone for two weeks, 14 whole days, without taking a drink of alcohol.  He nonchalantly replied that it had been 20 days…


Pastor hikes road to glory with heavy cross

Pastor Wes Mauch took a road less traveled through Valley Center, carrying a 38-pound wooden cross, a well-worn Bible and message all the way to Rancho Santa Fe. Mauch, 66, walked along the side of Cole Grade Road, wooden cross on his shoulder and all, “doing what Jesus asked me to do,” he said while vehicular traffic whizzed by as if he were invisible. When…


Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Monster: Fact or fiction?

Go down to Hernandez Hideaway at rural Lake Drive in Del Dios and people will swear up and down the long wooden bar that Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges monster, really truly — well, almost definitely exists. “The Lake Hodges Hodgee monster is kind of like the Loch Ness monster,” said Stan Smith, a long-time Del Dios resident. Smith, a cowboy poet and man about…


Why won’t scientific evidence change the minds of Loch Ness monster true believers?

You may have noticed a curious recent announcement: An international research team plans to use state-of-the-art DNA testing to establish once and for all whether the Loch Ness monster exists. And for those locally, check out The Grapevine’s consideration of our local monster wannabe, Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Moster, posted  here… Regardless of the results, it’s unlikely the test will change the mind of…


Editor’s Picks

Lake Hodges gets highly oxygenated for 2020

The City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department last week took a major step toward completing an innovative project to improve water quality in Lake Hodges. A newly installed oxygenation system, designed by city engineers, will introduce highly oxygenated water to the bottom of the reservoir to reduce the accumulation of excess nutrients and harmful algae growth. The increase of nutrients and algae in the…


Hunter wants this war criminal pardoned

Which war criminal will Donald Trump pardon next? Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Vapeville) thinks it should be this pig, Eddie Gallagher. Trump issued a full pardon earlier this week to Michael Behenna. A military court convicted the former Army lieutenant in 2009 for killing an Iraqi prisoner. Behenna claimed he shot Ali Mansur Mohamed, who was naked at the time, in self-defense. Who’s up next for…


Three-Dot Lounge goes loco, er, local

There was a method to the madness of presenting San Francisco legend Herb Caen’s three-dot lounge history along with its various re-interpretations. That was to set up Escondido Grapevine’s own three-dot lounge approach to local and state news. For more about the concept, visit our story here. For more local three-dot news, keep on trucking below… Time to get smART at the Seventh Annual Escondido Youth…


Doug Porter may be down, but he’s not out

As of December 10th, I’ll be taking a break from my daily musings. To make a long story short, I’m going to have surgery at UCSD La Jolla on December 11th. All the preoperative appointments are crowding my schedule making it difficult to write a daily column, so I’ve missed a day or two recently. This has been on the horizon for a while. A…


Go time for Election 2016

San Diego County is one of only 127 in the nation, according to the Washington Post, that has voted for the winner in the last four presidential elections. Headed out to vote Tuesday? Well if so, you may end up at one of these spots. Here are some of the most unusual polling stations in San Diego County: Ranch House at Del Sur in Black…


Wait, what? Hunter plea shows two pet bunnies flown on campaign fraud dollars

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, December 3, 2019 Congressman Duncan D. Hunter Pleads Guilty to Stealing Campaign Funds Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily W. Allen (619) 546-9738, W. Mark Conover (619) 546-6763 and Phillip L.B. Halpern (619) 546-6964 NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – December 3, 2019 SAN DIEGO – U.S. Representative Duncan D. Hunter pleaded guilty in federal court today to the major count in his indictment, admitting…


Breaking News

Sandbagging San Diego County for hurricane season, seriously?

Weather forecasters say a hurricane off the coast of Mexico could indirectly bring high winds with potentially heavy rain to the county this weekend, and County of San Diego and CAL FIRE are offering free sandbags to residents who live in the unincorporated areas. Weather forecasters say Hurricane Kay, which is forming off the coast Mexico, will not directly hit San Diego County, but could…

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Politics

Illegitimate carpetbagger Issa couldn’t have won the 50th Cong. District. We must re-vote.

(Editor’s Note: After getting blowback from people who didn’t get it, let me explain this is complete satire aimed at showing Issa and other sedition party creeps that it’s oh so easy to turn their disingenuous lies and false arguments against them in the same way. Live by the lie and die by the lie.) We believe we did not have a fair and legitimate…

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Battered, California GOP struggles to survive

Consider the California Republican Party. Or, what’s left of it. Not long ago, California Republicans slugged it out with Democrats in competitive statewide campaigns and threw considerable weight into legislative policy debates. But today, after a quarter-century slide into irrelevancy and dogma, it’s reasonable to consider if the state party still has a pulse and if its future includes a revival. The California party faces…

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Marie Waldron is days late and dollars short

I was outraged when I read a Thanksgiving column by my 2020 election opponent for California’s 75th Assembly District, Marie Waldron, titled “Does California Owe You Money.” It was another reminder for me why I decided to run to bring change to our district.   The article begins: ”The holiday season is fast approaching and many are suffering from severe economic distress resulting from the COVID 19…

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In with the 3 new SD County Supervisors

Three new members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors were sworn induring a virtual event on Monday Jan. 4. Supervisor Nora Vargas succeeded long-time District 1 Supervisor Greg Cox, who had served on the board since 1995. The district covers Coronado, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City, some communities within the City of San Diego, and unincorporated areas including Bonita, Lincoln Acres and…

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Escondido

Gasoline prices see-saw by the Socal sea shore

See-sawing Southern California gasoline prices dropped for 98 days in a row following a sharp increase earlier this year and now are headed back up, according to the latest data cited by analysts on Friday. After declining for 98 consecutive days, the national average reversed course yesterday as fluctuating oil prices and tight supply due to planned and unplanned maintenance work at refineries on the…

Click Here or title to read more





Surprising and Strange

25 years ago, Heaven’s Gate couldn’t wait

Dateline Rancho Santa Fe. March 26, 1997. A 911 call came into the San Diego Sheriff’s Communications Center. It was treated as a prank call at first. From what turned out to be a nearby payphone, the caller said something so preposterous that dispatchers took their time in relaying the information to central command. “This is regarding a mass suicide. I can give you the address,” the…

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Move over D.B. Cooper for Geezer Bandit

People have been debating D.B. Cooper ever since his Thanksgiving 1971 leap into history and out of a commercial flight from Portland to Seattle with a whole bunch of money. The same, on a smaller scale, appears to be happening with North County’s own Geezer Bandit, so-called. He hit Vista — twice — Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla — twice — Poway and 10 other…

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Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Monster: Fact or fiction?

Go down to Hernandez Hideaway at rural Lake Drive in Del Dios and people will swear up and down the long wooden bar that Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges monster, really truly — well, almost definitely exists. “The Lake Hodges Hodgee monster is kind of like the Loch Ness monster,” said Stan Smith, a long-time Del Dios resident. Smith, a cowboy poet and man about…

Click Here or title to read more

Why won’t scientific evidence change the minds of Loch Ness monster true believers?

You may have noticed a curious recent announcement: An international research team plans to use state-of-the-art DNA testing to establish once and for all whether the Loch Ness monster exists. And for those locally, check out The Grapevine’s consideration of our local monster wannabe, Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Moster, posted  here… Regardless of the results, it’s unlikely the test will change the mind of…

Click Here or title to read more

Featured Content

Sushi on the Rock now rocking custom style

Now featuring a unique grab-and-go concept, Sushi on the Rock beat the Pandemic like a succulent slice of salmon sashimi, turning adversity into a new, delicious affordable upscale home dining experience. Celeste and Bob Johnson, exclusive sushi caterers to Major League Baseball (MLB) players and clubhouses, along with daughter Amber now taking a significant hands-on role, were known for decades for their La Jolla and 4S Ranch-based…

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Looking back at Del’s Barber Shop

Like father like son like grandson, Del’s Barber Shop is old school and proud of it. “It’s pretty much the same old barber shop,” said Jason Engelbrecht, now large and in charge of the 4-barber shop on S. Escondido Boulevard next to Lourdes Restaurant and its famous chicken soup. “We try not to change anything.” One would be hard-pressed to find another blast from the…

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‘2051 Cucina Italiana’ staying at Cielo Village

Che bello! Following a successful 2-month pop-up run at Tuscany-themed Cielo Village, the boys from Bologna are staying through spring at 18021 Calle Ambiente #506, just around the corner from Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protetion District offices. Omar Possenti and Simone Guidotti took their Carlsbad authentic Etruscan dining experience to The Ranch just before Thanksgiving as their space near Palomar Airport was being renovated. Originally…

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HQ Wigs TOO provides comfort, and hair, to chemotherapy patients

Cathy Ketchum is flying down Grand Avenue on a wig and a dream. “I just love the work I do with chemo patients,” Ketchum said. “I want to go over and above making them feel good about themselves.” Ketchum has a lot of experience helping cancer patients although she isn’t a medical professional or health care worker. In some ways, though, her work sometimes can…

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Re-booting the past: Escondido shoe repair shop one of the few left around North County

Not a lot of us are left, Doart Shoe Repair owner Lucia Capuano says before jumping out of her lunch to wait on yet another customer. Capuano’s talking cobblers, not customers. A steady stream of the latter enter the 35-year-old fixture at 103 S Broadway, just south of the 100 block of W Grand Avenue, constantly interrupting her attempt to lunch. Not to worry, time…

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Grid and Bear It

Last but not Least

Ray Bong, S. Creamcheese, ‘Competitive Non-Drinking’

About a dozen years ago, my friend Suzy Creamcheese and I discovered the most brutal sporting concept known to the human race, we call it “Competitive Non-Drinking”.  At that time, I smugly informed him that I had made a great achievement– I had gone for two weeks, 14 whole days, without taking a drink of alcohol.  He nonchalantly replied that it had been 20 days…

Click Here or title to read more

Pastor hikes road to glory with heavy cross

Pastor Wes Mauch took a road less traveled through Valley Center, carrying a 38-pound wooden cross, a well-worn Bible and message all the way to Rancho Santa Fe. Mauch, 66, walked along the side of Cole Grade Road, wooden cross on his shoulder and all, “doing what Jesus asked me to do,” he said while vehicular traffic whizzed by as if he were invisible. When…

Click Here or title to read more

Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Monster: Fact or fiction?

Go down to Hernandez Hideaway at rural Lake Drive in Del Dios and people will swear up and down the long wooden bar that Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges monster, really truly — well, almost definitely exists. “The Lake Hodges Hodgee monster is kind of like the Loch Ness monster,” said Stan Smith, a long-time Del Dios resident. Smith, a cowboy poet and man about…

Click Here or title to read more

Why won’t scientific evidence change the minds of Loch Ness monster true believers?

You may have noticed a curious recent announcement: An international research team plans to use state-of-the-art DNA testing to establish once and for all whether the Loch Ness monster exists. And for those locally, check out The Grapevine’s consideration of our local monster wannabe, Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Moster, posted  here… Regardless of the results, it’s unlikely the test will change the mind of…

Click Here or title to read more

Is Jennifer Lopez moving to Escondido?

Is Jennifer Lopez moving to Escondido? Only The Shadow knows. However, local radio stations and the Internet were buzzing about the possibility that Jenny on the block was moving to this block. While it might be true — who knows, Donald Trump might have been president; the Cubs might have won the World Series — the rumor blasting across several local radio stations and celebrity…

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‘Lord of All Indoors’ soccer legend Steve Zungul lives quietly in Escondido retirement

Reclusive and sitting in a luxury home high above the San Pasqual Valley, the charismatic  “Lord of All Indoors” Steve Zungul continues to mystify and impress, albeit out of the public eye. He hasn’t spoken to anybody in the media for over a decade. His legendary indoor soccer career continues to do all the talking. Fans of the Croatian indoor soccer scoring machine, perhaps the…

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More nuclear power is no solution to climate crisis

If you live in Orange or San Diego County, hopefully you’re aware that San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) has been turned into a nuclear waste dump for the foreseeable future. If you live on planet earth, you’re wise to be tracking domestic and foreign moves to increase reliance on nuclear energy. The United States ushered in the atomic age in 1945 by dropping a…

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First survey of California’s bees in 50 years will look for effects of habitat destruction

When you think of California in the 1970s, maybe you think of hippies, Fleetwood Mac or skateboards. But if you’re an entomologist, you might think of all the natural spaces that have since been devoured by urbanization and wonder what happened to the native bees that lived in them. The question isn’t one of mere nostalgia or curiosity. Insect populations around the world are plunging…

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