Unwanted firearms, bogus fire inspections, CSU faculty strike, hops

results of guns for Walmart cards effort in North County San Diego.

Unwanted firearms for Wal-mart gift cards, anyone?

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Office is planning to use up to $28,500 in confiscated funds to offer Walmart gift cards to North County residents willing to turn over unwanted firearms.

The latest installment of the department’s “Guns for Gift Cards” program is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 at the San Marcos station, 182 Santar Place.

Deputies are offering $50 for rifles and shotguns, $100 for handguns, and $150 for assault weapons, with a maximum trade of $200 per vehicle.

More than 1,200 guns have been collected at San Marcos guns for gift cards events since 2010.

Residents wishing to participate in the trade-in are asked to bring their weapons unloaded and secured in the trunks of their vehicles to the station. Uniformed deputies or officers will give instructions at the location about how to proceed. All collected weapons will be destroyed.

Oceanside, Carlsbad, Cal State San Marcos, CHP, Escondido, Palomar College Police units also be on hand along with deputies and representatives of the District Attorney’s Office.

Cash to purchase the gift cards comes primarily from the sheriff’s asset forfeiture fund, with the Oceanside and Carlsbad police departments kicking in $2,500 and $1,000, respectively.

Escondido Fire Marshal says beware of bogus fire inspections

The City of Escondido wants to make business owners aware of a recent scam regarding unsolicited fire inspections from individuals claiming to work for the fire department.

Businesses in other cities as well as Escondido have been victimized by individuals claiming to work for the fire department to conduct inspections, according to Escondido Fire Marshal Marlene Donner. These individuals are dressed as fire department employees usually in a navy blue “FIRE” T-shirt, Donner said.

“The Escondido Fire Department does not use private companies to inspect businesses,” Donner said, “and fire department personnel always leave a copy of the annual inspection form, which will have Escondido Fire Department at the top of the form.”

Legitimate fire inspections are conducted by either Fire Suppression personnel from the fire stations or fire prevention personnel from Fire Administration.  Escondido Fire Department personnel are always in an official fire department uniform with Escondido Fire Department badges, and carry a photo identification card.

If you have any reason to doubt that the inspector conducting the fire inspection is an official fire department employee please contact the Escondido Fire Prevention Bureau at (760) 839-5400.

CSUSM faculty votes whether to strike over salaries

Faculty at San Diego State University, Cal State San Marcos and 21 other California State University (CSU) campuses began voting Monday on whether to authorize a strike over a continuing labor dispute focused on salaries.

Voting will continue for 10 days, with balloting scheduled to end at 5 p.m. Oct. 28.

If the 25,000 members of the California Faculty Association authorize a strike, it does not automatically mean they will walk off the job. The vote merely authorizes the union to call a strike, depending on the status of labor talks.

“After years of stagnant faculty wages, the faculty on our public university campuses are angry and we are ready for this strike vote,” association President Jennifer Eagan said. “We all know that the chancellor’s 2 percent (pay raise offer) is simply not enough to make teaching in the CSU sustainable.”

The union is calling for a 5 percent salary hike, along with additional increases based on years of service. “This is my first semester teaching classes at Cal State, and I had to pick up additional work as a courtesy clerk at a local area grocery store in order to pay rent,” said James Anderson, a lecturer in the Department of Communication at CSUSM, where instructors rallied Tuesday.

According to the CSU, there is a roughly $68.9 million funding gap between the union and university salary proposals. University officials said compensation issues are a top priority for the system.

“That’s why faculty were the only group of employees to receive salary increases and tenure-track salary promotions during the recession years,” according to the CSU. “Over the last two years alone, CSU has invested $129.6 million in compensation, with $65.5 million of that going to faculty.”

The university acknowledged that strike-authorization votes are common during collective bargaining. It said a strike “is not in the best interest of CSU students.”

At this point, you probably want some beer, so…

Fallbrook Garden Club logo

Fallbrook Garden Club logo

The Fallbrook Garden Club will host a program on ‘Growing Hops & Organic Produce’ at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Attendees are welcome to attend and learn more about the county’s newest agricultural focus, hops, well-suited to the dry climate.

Presentation will be by Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, one of the largest and fastest-growing breweries in the craft beer industry. Their business strategy includes a very exciting restaurant venue in Escondido featuring their own farm-grown organic produce.

Hops to it

Hops to it

With the growth of San Diego’s craft beer venues comes a demand for high-quality hops to serve local needs.

The meeting will be held at the Fallbrook Community Center, 341 Heald Lane. A social time and refreshments begins at 12:30 p.m., followed by a business meeting and the program.

New members are always welcome.

To learn more, visit www.fallbrookgardenclub.org.