September 2015

A Gaggle Of Goats

I live next door to a gaggle of goats, 4 to be exact. Now, I know they come in herds but I like alliteration so gaggle it is. Anyway, my next door neighbor, LizzyGal, has these 4 goats that live in a penned area out back, just before the land slopes down to the creek below. In the ample pen, there are 3 little outbuildings,…


Empowering yourself in the Buddhist tradition

(Sally Busby is an empowerment coach who also gives workshops and is a Toastmaster trained motivational speaker as well as a spiritual counselor. What follows are her takes on overcoming feelings of being overwhelmed and practice, which makes perfect.)   “Do the thing you fear to do and the death of fear is certain” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Put your oxygen mask on first Many…


Valley Center Symphony performs for fun and cultural profit

Somewhere between surprising and unique, the small-town, all-volunteer Valley Center symphony orchestra seems to strike the right note. A culturally uplifting — shhh… — community secret, the local concoction of musicians ranging from first-time practitioners to seasoned professionals seems as dedicated as it is diverse. “Few communities can say that they have their own orchestra,” said Ed Labrado, a master of understatement as well as…


Ag Day brings students to the land of spuds, nuts and bees

They came. They saw. They trekked like soldiers going off to war, according to recently retired San Diego County entomologist David Kellum. And they learned. Welcome to Ag Day 2015 hosted at the Martin Gang Agricultural Learning Center on Cole Grade Road. Some 1,700 local kids from the entire Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District elementary school community, and fellow travelers, swarmed like bees across the…


Ray’s breakfast club percolates with the rising sun before landscaping local estates

On the surface, (the morning meeting) is about communication, but embedded within it are norms and values that are critical for organizations that must deal with difficult issues and adapt nimbly to new situations.” — Marty Linsky, professor, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government With the sun a mere memory from yesterday’s news, Ray Casarrubias, and his crew, meet at 6 a.m. sharp…


Comic-Con ‘ZombieWalk’ no laughing matter as car strikes passerby (Updated 11/4/15)

(UPDATED 11/4/15, FOLLOWED BY AS-IT-HAPPENED INCIDENT REPORT) A deaf motorist who drove through a group of spectators watching the “Zombie Walk” parade in San Diego, seriously injuring one woman, was convicted Wednesday of felony reckless driving.  Matthew Pocci  faces three years in prison when he is sentenced Dec.11.  Jurors deliberated a little more than a day before finding the defendant guilty.  Pocci testified that he…


Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services under state investigation

The Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services has been under fire in recent years with official commissions investigating high-profile deaths of children who had come in contact with the foster care system. It’s being investigated again by state regulators for possible baby-selling charges. Allegations are being investigated that Los Angeles DCFS personnel were involved with taking babies from the child welfare system and…


Taking agricultural education to a whole ‘nother level

  SAN PASQUAL VALLEY — Organic farming pioneer and consultant, resource conservation leader, and now agricultural educator, Scott Murray hoped his back-to-the-future efforts will keep farming viable in California and the nation.  Murray was doing it, in part, at a groundbreaking venue, the San Pasqual Academy. Located in the San Diego Agricultural Preserve about 35 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, it’s a first-in-the-nation residential education…


Out and About with Russel Ray — “The Big Eye”

The Russel Ray, Property Consultant home inspection this past Thursday was out on Palomar Mountain. It caught me off guard when I scheduled it because I had no clue that there were homes up on Palomar Mountain. Once I finished the inspection, I headed over to the “Big Eye,” more properly known as Mount Palomar Observatory: The Big Eye is only 62 miles from where…


The View from Here: Music Fest

The view from here is rhythmic. This Saturday my family and I enjoyed the Music Fest at Bates Nut Farm, which was co-produced by the Valley Center/Pauma Music Boosters and Cattle Call, LLC. Last year was the first time we attended and it was so fantastic that we were excited to see the announcement pop up on social media a couple of months ago. Music…