2021

SD County farming values rebound to around $1.8 billion

Agriculture values topped $1.8 billion for the first time since 2014 and just the third time in 30 years in San Diego County’s annual crop report released earlier this year. The report covers the 2020 growing season, and reflects the mixed effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The total value of all agriculture crops and commodities rose just 0.8%, but that was enough to push total…


Tell mamaw, papaw; 8 indicted for grandparent fraud

Eight people were charged in a federal grand jury indictment unsealed recently, accused of participating in a criminal enterprise that has stolen millions of dollars from elderly victims in San Diego County and around the nation. The defendants swindled more than $2 million from 70-plus elderly victims across the nation, with at least 10 in San Diego County, by feeding them phony stories that their…


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…


It’s National Fluffernutter Day. Hooray?

Every dog has its day, they say, and apparently so does every cause, effect and plain old thing. Welcome to Friday Oct. 8, 2021. It’s National Fluffernutter Day. Correct, National Fluffernutter Day is observed annually on Oct. 8, according to the National Day Calendar. This is a day set aside each year to make, and enjoy, the savory sandwich consisting of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. Fluffernutter dates…


Holy Cow! Harry Caray’s Pantry ghost

Choices for “Take out” in downtown Rancho Santa Fe. The Bistro…Owner / Chef Mozy Jahanguiri, who has run restaurants in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Dallas, has opened The Rancho Santa Fe Bistro in the space formerly occupied by The Pantry on Paseo Delicias. Mozy has prepared a menu that offers a wide variety of healthy smoothies and juices, along with bistro favorites including grass fed sirloin burgers,…


Bruce Kauffman’s ‘Tale of the Toppled Hurler’

(Editor’s Note: Author Bruce Kauffman died in December 2018 at his home in National City. A longtime journalist with the North County Times at Escondido and San Marcos, and before that CNN, Bruce was born in Massachusetts and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison while taking a BA at Case Western Reserve University and MA at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.  Locally, he specialized…


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…


Sending in the llamas and clowns on 9/11

Sept. 10, 2001 was pretty much like any other day. That is to say honored only in its passing, don’t remember what happened. Sept. 11, 2001, as we all know, was a day seared in our personal and national memories like few others. Don’t know when the carnage began, but at my Del Dios home phones started ringing way too early in the morning and…


LION spotlight: Escondido Grapevine

Q&A with LION member Dan Weisman, publisher of the Escondido Grapevine in California. For more visit LION Publishers. By Matt DeRienzo | Jun. 2, 2017 1. When did your site launch, what geography does it cover and why was it founded? We launched the site in October 2015, covering the communities of Escondido, San Marcos, Valley Center, and surrounding areas in San Diego County. The site also…


Charles Manson and the ‘American Dream’

When Charles Manson died in November 2017, his name carried weight even among those who weren’t alive when he committed his crimes. For decades, Manson was the symbol of evil, a real-life boogeyman who loomed as the American conception of wickedness incarnate. His death ended 48 years of imprisonment for a series of murders in August 1969, some of which he committed, most of which…