Articles by Special to The Grapevine

From the Escondido X-Files…

“he-it tried but i fought, with all my might. i was able to break what he-it was doing, because when i came to his shadow disappeared. ( i saw exactly what you looked like.) tall 8ft-skinny-define in nature.-muscular tone-black eyes.- the hands, three long fingers thumb index,middle. short pinky and other. big hands. beak like mouth.- giant alien head that we know about – no smell.-…


Tough row to hoe for COVID-19 farm relief

Farmers who grow San Diego County’s most valuable crops may miss out on federal cash for coronavirus-related losses because some of their agriculture products — primarily flowers, nursery plants and exotic fruits — are not included in the relief program. The growers are pushing to get their specialty crops added to the government’s eligible list, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture appears willing to hear…


Consider the underappreciated sea otter

Like Rodney Dangerfield, sea otters get no respect. Since their reintroduction to the Pacific coast in the 1970s, the sea otters’ rapid recovery and voracious appetite for tasty shellfish such as sea urchins, clams and crabs has brought them into conflict with coastal communities and fishers, who rely on the same valuable fisheries for food and income. But the long-term benefits of sea otter recovery—such…


COVID-19: SD County Farm Bureau acts

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shelter-in-place protocols and safety concerns disrupted rural communities and markets for agricultural products, according to California Farm Bureau’s AgAlert. . Around California, county Farm Bureaus responded with innovative solutions intended to help their members ensure safety of themselves, their families and their employees, and to promote and sell crops and commodities in new and rapidly changing conditions. Here are three…


Fairy shrimp are real and were at Escondido

Escondido Creek Conservancy biological surveyors recently discovered Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta lindahli) at the Mountain Meadow Preserve near Hidden Meadows. This elusive species is fairly uncommon in San Diego County due to the loss of preferred habitat — vernal pools. And while they won’t grant you three wishes — most vernal pools in San Diego have been destroyed by urban development — making their discovery is…


California’s National Guard role in protests

IN SUMMARY The National Guard — now deployed to some California cities where property damage and a few incidents of violence occurred — are being welcomed by some but not all. As Californians continue to protest the death of George Floyd and what it signifies about broader racism, thus far two counties and the mayors of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Sacramento have requested —…


Small farms struggle amidst justice protests

Following peaceful protests over the weekend that sometimes turned violent, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department instated a curfew on Monday, June 1, 2020 and protests have still continued. According to Martha Montoya, who sits on the State Board of Food and Agriculture, the protests have been disrupting access to markets for small farmers, who are already struggling to adapt during the pandemic. “It’s a tough situation,” said Montoya…


Welk Resorts to pay $3.5 million for fraud

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan has announced  announced a settlement against Welk Resorts Inc. (Welk) for its alleged misconduct in connection with the offering and sale of timeshare interests. Welk is a California corporation that develops and operates vacation timeshare resorts in both the United States and Mexico. Today’s settlement resolves allegations that Welk’s sales practices violated…


COVID-19: Smoke-free outdoor dining

As the death, disease, and financial devastation wrought by COVID-19 begins to recede in some communities, restaurants are eager to re-open in ways that will protect customer and employee health while re-establishing profitability. And diners are salivating at the thought of savoring their favorite meals and supporting the restaurant community. “Smoke-free outdoor dining promotes healthy air and capitalizes on the intensive sanitizing efforts already implemented…


COVID-19: Mental health got you down?

Let’s face it: we’re stressed. The current COVID-19 pandemic has plunged us into a period of unparalleled change in the way we live, work, and learn. Worries about the public health crisis are coupled with deepening concerns about unprecedented job and financial losses. Thus, it is more important now than ever to be mindful of our emotional health and prioritize self-care. With May recognized as…