History

Before Babe Ruth, there was Gavvy Cravath

(Editor’s Note: Gavvy Cravath was an Escondido native, perhaps the first Major League Baseball star from San Diego County. Patrolling right field at the historic Baker Bowl for the Dead Ball Era Philadelphia Phillies, he led the National League in home runs six times in the years just prior to Babe Ruth’s arrival on the scene. Later, a Laguna Beach municipal judge, the crusty Cravath,…


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…


Simply San Marcos: Clown, for world peace

(Editor’s Note: Originally published Sept. 22, 2001 in the North County Times…) Clown came to town. He was talking peace by the freeway as others spoke of war. “I’m mainly out here for world peace,” said the thin, wispy-bearded 22-year-old who blew in from a Sonoma organic farm to visit his “girl,” and child in Ramona. In case you missed Clown — his nom d’pax…


UCSD study links climate change to wildfires

A new study by researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and colleagues combs through the many factors that can promote wildfire, and concludes that in many, though not all, cases, warming climate is the decisive driver. The study, led by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, finds in particular that the huge summer forest fires that have raked Northern…


UCSD Report: El Nino costs state big bucks

Considering it’s been long known that El Niño conditions often bring about flooding precipitation to California, a ripe field for study would be a thorough study of the damage wreaked. And who knows catastrophic damages better than insurers? Their specialized knowledge prompted a pair of San Diego researchers to compare 40 years of insurance data against climate and water data to quantify the effect of…


Earthquake risk is underappreciated danger

On July 4 and 5, two major earthquakes, followed by several thousand smaller ones, struck Southern California. Their size and the damage they caused captured attention around the country. What tends to get much less notice from the public is what can be done to prevent catastrophic damage from big quakes. Had the epicenter of these latest large California earthquakes been closer to downtown Los…


CSUSM lecturer tracks ‘Lone Woman’ legend

Like millions of parents over the last half-century, Tom Holm read “Island of the Blue Dolphins” to his daughter when she was in elementary school. The classic 1960 children’s novel by Scott O’Dell chronicles the tale of a 12-year-old girl named Karana who’s stranded alone for years on an island off the coast of Southern California.   Holm’s daughter, Jacqueline, enjoyed the book so much that…


Firefighters learn from Battle of San Pasqual

The Battle of San Pasqual: Decision Making Lessons Learned from the “Bloodiest Battle in California’s History” By Fire Apparatus Engineer Heather Thurston, CAL FIRE – Monte Vista Unit During the Mexican-American War President James Polk sent the U.S. 1st Dragoons, under the command of General Stephan Watts Kearny, 2000 miles from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to California. On December 6, 1846 these troops engaged a group…


Death and dying with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

The archive of the influential psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who developed the theory of the five stages of grief, has been given to Stanford Libraries, Stanford University officials said this week. What does that have to do with Escondido? Plenty. Of special note in the archive are complete runs of newsletters from the Shanti Nilaya Healing Center, which Kübler-Ross founded in Escondido, as well as manuscript…