Articles by dweisman

Alice in Wonderland scenario continues for former Escondido Police Chief Jim Maher

Former Escondido Police Chief’s Jim Maher’s contentious employment end game finished in a swirl of controversy in 2012 that just got curiouser and curiouser on Monday. Maher had filed a breach-of-contract suit last year contending he was owed $75,000 of a negotiated $150,000 job buyout. On Monday, his attorney told a reporter that the suit had been dropped. Rick Pinckard, Maher’s current attorney — Robert…


An Appreciation: Jim Eubank’s Woodpile at San Marcos Creek

“So out walking in the frozen swamp one gray day/I paused and said,/I will turn back from here./No, I will go on farther/and we shall see.” — Robert Frost, “The Wood Pile” That’s how I feel this day walking past the bowling alley in the 2002 way back machine. Seeing what I can see on a hot day by a certain San Marcos landmark. The…


There’s a new city manager in town (Breaking News)

As expected, Escondido assistant city manager Graham Mitchell was elevated in rank Wednesday,  following last week’s resignation of long-time city manager Clay Phillips. Phillips, 58, suddenly announced his retirement last week, effective Dec. 18. His $200,000-plus city pension begins at age 60. Mitchell, 46, was hired this summer as assistant city manager following the retirement of another longtime official, assistant city manager Charles Grimm. Mitchell…


Lilac Hills Ranch pulls out its big PR gun: Driverless technology run by an app

And now this for proposed Lilac Hills Ranch, scheduled to begin its final approval process before San Diego County Supervisors on Wednesday, Oct. 28: Autonomous, or driverless, vehicles that would provide services to establish a more pedestrian-oriented community and more interconnected neighborhoods, according to Accretive president Jon Rilling. With all the controversy over leap-frog development approvals by San Diego County planning staff and possible circumvention of…


New Spring Major League Football (MLFB) tryouts come to Escondido (Video)

The heck with the San Diego (or Los Angeles) Chargers and the NFL. There’s a new professional football league and it’s coming to Escondido on Sunday, Nov. 1. This is the newly formed Major League Football (MLFB) scheduled to kick off in Spring 2016 as a Spring/Summer league with eight teams who will play 10 games each. Top four teams make the playoffs. The league…


Without warning, Escondido city manager resigns (Breaking News)

Just ahead of a pension vestment that pays him over $200,000 annually, Escondido City Manager Clay Phillips, 58, suddenly resigned on Wednesday. Coincidentally, Phillips’ 3-year city manager contract that made him the highest paid city manager in San Diego County was set to expire next year. Dec, 18 would be his last day on the job, Phillips said. It was unclear if the pension and…


Escondido schools get smART with collaborative approach to arts programs

With school arts funding slashed to the bare bone, Escondido artists and the Escondido Union School District have teamed together to bring innovative solutions to the arts education dilemma. Not only is the concept smart, but its called smART as in smART Fridays leading up to next spring’s grand smART Festival at the California Center for the Arts. “The smART collaborative, developed in the fall…


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

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,…


Escondido’s Grand Avenue Festival attracted thousands for fun and frolic

Escondido’s Grand Avenue Festival, aka Escondido Street Faire, held Sunday, Oct. 18 might be the second-largest single-day festival in California, but as they used to say in the old Avis rent-a-car commercials, they try harder. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people flocked to Grand Avenue and block after block of 500 vendors, food and music from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Escondido’s first street…


Bates Nut Farm pumpkin patch locked down by CHP due to missing girl report

Bates Nut Farm pumpkin patch was put in virtual lockdown from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday as reports of a missing 11-year-old girl caused state troopers to search all vehicles leaving the scene.   California Highway Patrol officers also went from car to car in the crowded parking areas looking for the girl. Social media accounts said drivers waited up to 30 minutes to…