Three-Dot Lounge Coronavirus Edition

Most bank robbers break into banks because that's where the money is. Early on Wednesday, May 27, a homeless San Diego man allegedly broke into a Wells Fargo branch because that was where a microwave oven that could heat his Hot Pocket snacks was./Fox News screenshot

We are going to consider a few outstanding three-dot items stripped from below, well below, today’s coronavirus headlines. But first, a reminder and salute about he who pioneered the three-dot way

Herb Caen at his office, Dec. 31, 1993/Nancy Wong

It’s been over 20 years since famed San Francisco journalist Herb Caen (1916-1997) died. For journalists and San Franciscans, Caen was a superstar. Known as “Mr. San Francisco,” his columns were a vital piece in the mosaic of one of the world’s great cities.

Caen wrote a column six days a week from July 5, 1938 until 1991 when he cut back to five days a week, then three, before dying in 1997 at age 80. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for lifetime achievement. A special Herb Caen day in The City in 1996 drew 75,000 enthusiastic fans to honor him at City Hall.

Mr. San Francisco was a master of what came to be called “Three-Dot Journalism.” He threw everything from one-liners, gossip, anecdotes and information into this format that became a journalistic staple in the 1930s and 1940s.

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 news. For more about the concept, visit our story here. For more local three-dot news, keep on trucking below…

…No Hot Pockets for you, police say…

Unidentified San Diego homeless person escorted out of a Chollas View Wells Fargo branch May 27, 2020, arrested on suspicion of breaking and entering to microwave Hot Pockets/Fox 26 Medford, Oregon screenshot

Think nobody is going more stir-crazy in the coronavirus quarantining planet than you, think again. Our first item is the twilight zone place where bizarre crime meets more sensible apprehension.

Legendary bank robber Willie Sutton had a tag line about why he robbed banks. “I rob banks because that’s where the money is,” he said.

Of course, that’s before somebody invented Hot Pockets. And microwave ovens. And an unidentified man early Wednesday, May 27 who was apprehended by authorities after allegedly breaking into a a Wells Fargo bank in Chollas View, city of San Diego. The incident began just after 3:15 a.m. when a security alarm was set off at the Wells Fargo bank in the Market Creek Plaza on Euclid Avenue.

The story went viral nationally picked up by dozens of television outlets and tabloids.

Just after his arrest, a freelance photographer captured video of the man telling police about the Hot Pockets and how he had eaten two of the sandwiches while inside the bank.

“You did all that for a Hot Pocket,” the photographer said.

“Yes, only for a Hot Pocket,” the man said.

“You broke into a bank for a Hot Pocket,” the photographer repeated, incredulous.

“A Hot Pocket,” the man said with great emotion in his voice, “hell yeah, a Hot Pocket.”

The photographer then asked the man if the ordeal was “worth it.”

“Was it worth it? Hell yeah, it was worth it,” the man – as he was being handcuffed – replied without hesitation. “A Hot Pocket? “Hell #$@&%*!, yeah.”

The man said he was hungry and homeless. And if one needs any reminder that crime doesn’t pay, the man reportedly said the Hot Pockets “left him parched,” as his head was ducked into the police cruiser.

About a half-dozen SDPD officers went to the scene. They found a shattered window at the drive-thru ATM area and surrounded the bank. A security company was able to monitor the cameras inside the bank and confirm that the suspect who had broken in was still inside, police said.

Officers, some with guns drawn, stood at the entrance and told the man to come out. A freelance photographer with SDNV captured the tense moments on camera.

“San Diego police! You’re under arrest,” an officer yelled. “We need you to come out with your hands up.”


Officers warned the suspect that a K-9 would be sent in if he did not surrender.

Soon, police forced down the door and sent the K-9 in. Moments later, officers were seen walking the man out of the bank, holding his hands behind his back.

The man, whose name was not released by police, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of breaking into the bank.

Officers swept the rest of the bank to make sure no one else was inside.

No one was hurt.

Hot Pockets sales, incidentally, have surged during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Food & Wine. The site attributed the boom to convenience and a need for “comfort food.”

Nestle, the maker of Hot Pockets, reported its fastest quarterly sales growth in five years in April, though not just for the microwavable treats, Bloomberg reported.

…One-horned rhino calves gone wild…

Two greater one-horned rhino calves, along with their mothers, bravely entered the expansive Asian Savanna habitat at the San Diego Safari Park Zoo in San Pasqual Valley just outside Escondido for the first time, on May 20.

Mother rhinos Asha and Tanaya gave birth to their calves a little over two weeks apart — on March 25 and April 11, respectively. Both mom-and-calf pairs have enjoyed plenty of private time bonding before interacting with other wildlife on the savanna

anaya and her female calf, which has not yet been named, were the first to emerge from their private time together. The little calf boldly followed her protective mom over to one of her favorite spots—a mud wallow—where they both took a cool dip. The calf, which never ventured more than a few feet from her mom, appeared to enjoy the water before heading out to explore more of the savanna. There, she met a herd of blackbuck antelope, as well as other animals that share the 40-acre expanse with the greater one-horned rhinos.

Asha and her male calf, named Arjun (a Hindi name with several meanings, including confidence and power), were next to venture out onto the savanna. The doting mom cautiously led her calf, exploring the hills and grassy areas. The little calf, who appeared to get bolder by the minute, ventured several feet away from his mom—but when he came face-to-face with a Javan bantang, Arjun promptly ”hoofed” it back to his mother’s side. After exploring, the mom-and-calf pair also cooled off in a mud wallow.

“It’s great to see Asha and Tanaya introducing their calves to other wildlife for the first time,” said Jillian King, senior wildlife care specialist, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “Everything is new to the calves right now, so it will be interesting to watch them explore. We will keep a watchful eye on them, and look forward to them meeting more of the wildlife on the savanna soon.”

The greater one-horned rhinoceros was once widespread in Southeast Asia, but it is now found only in India and Nepal. It differs from other rhino species, as it has an armor-plated appearance—but that “armor” is actually a layer of skin that has many folds. While the two calves explored, a layer of young, pink skin could be spied underneath the folds of their thickening, dark gray top layer of skin.

The greater one-horned rhino is listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, primarily due to habitat loss, poaching threats and illegal traffic in rhino horn. There are an estimated 3,500 greater one-horned rhinos remaining in the wild, with over 70 percent of the population living in one reserve: Kaziranga National Park in India.

…High School valedictorians sound off…

High school valedictorians Jorge Nuñez, Carlos Sanchez, Emiliano Corona and Arushi Dogra in undated photos./Courtesy

When he started his senior year at Hoover High in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood, Jorge Nuñez expected he would be named valedictorian. But he never thought he’d have to read his speech over Zoom, according to KPBS Evening Edition.

“The speech I’m giving you today wasn’t what I had planned, but I still feel very honored to speak to you,” Nuñez says in his speech. “At times like these it’s hard to see the positives in our lives and celebrate our accomplishments.”

Nuñez, who will graduate with a 4.59 GPA, is one of the more than a hundred top students in San Diego County who won’t be able to deliver their valedictory speech in front of a throng of people in an auditorium or stadium. But he and others KPBS spoke to are by and large adopting a what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger approach.

“We have cultivated a culture of unity and strength,” Nuñez’s speech continues. “That will not only help us overcome this pandemic but one that will help us achieve our future goals.”

His hard work earned him a spot at UC Berkeley, where he’ll study electrical engineering and computer science as a first-generation college student.

Carlos Sanchez

Carlos Sanchez was honored when he found out he was valedictorian of Sweetwater High in National City. But he says getting the news during an online learning session was awkward.

“When you go into a meeting with your teacher in class, the teacher would congratulate you while everyone else is on mute,” said Sanchez, who will be studying biochemistry at Harvey Mudd College in the fall. “You’re just like, thank you to the teacher.”

Emiliano Corona

In North County at Fallbrook High School, Valedictorian Emiliano Corona is graduating with a 4.4 GPA.

“Friends, family and class of 2020, my name is Emiliano Corona, and I know what you’re thinking. Yes, that is my last name, and no, the virus was not named after me,” his speech reads. “However, I do understand if there was some confusion regarding the headline ‘Corona takes top spot.’”

Corona is headed to Stanford to study political science and economics. He says it’s unfortunate he won’t have a full graduation ceremony but considers it a small sacrifice in the context of the pandemic.

“I know that in reality, we have to keep everyone safe and putting a lot of people in a crowded space isn’t gonna work at this time,” he said.

The grandson of immigrants from Mexico, Corona said the support for minority students on the Stanford campus is what sealed his decision.

“It’s just the idea of seeing someone that represents you in a place that you could never see yourself,” he said. “That’s really empowering to my family and how I view the world.”

Arushi Dogra

Arushi Dogra is the valedictorian at Del Norte High School in the Poway Unified School District. She and her friends were sad so many end-of-the-year events were canceled. But Dogra says the journey was well worth it.

“In high school, I learned to take a lot of initiative by myself,” she said. “Whether it be clubs that I started or which class to take, those decisions were completely mine, and it helped me with decision making.”

She’s graduating with a 4.59 GPA and will be attending Yale where she hopes to study microbiology. Looking ahead, she’s anxious about being surrounded by equally accomplished students. But there’s a lot to be excited about.

“I’m excited to meet people that have the same interests as me and have the same experiences as me,” Dogra said. “It’s definitely intimidating. But it’s also exciting, in a way.”

…Blue gratitude hearts made of glass for nurses…

James Stone got ready to turn one talented kid’s concept into world class, ocean-saving glass art in 2018/Grapevine

In honor of Nurses Week during the first week of May, James Stone, an art glass and mixed media artist who owns Escondido-based Stone & Glass, was offering gratitude hearts for local nurses for $45. The glass hearts are blue with a sentiment of gratitude. They will be delivered to area hospitals in early June, according to Stone & Glass.

Stone is best known for his use of color and his process of casting glass hot out of the furnace, directly into sculpted metal. His technique forges metal and hot cast glass with painted accents.

Stone and Glass re-pens with new coronavirus rues on Wednesday,June 3. “In keeping with Public Health Guidelines, we ask that you use a face covering and maintain social distancing when you visit the studio and galley,” Stone said.

With social distancing and cleaning protocols required to prevent the spread of COVID19 we are restructuring our classes.   Content will be the same, the same great experience of joining the team on the bench to create in hot glass.  Classes will be smaller, private classes, private groups or individuals of the same family or group in a single reservation.

Stone and Glass is located at 629 W. Grand Ave. in Escondido. Learn more about Stone and his work at

Be the first to comment on "Three-Dot Lounge Coronavirus Edition"

Leave a comment