Blogs

Falling down Duncan Hunter’s rabbit hole

CONGRESSMAN DEFENDS BUNNY TRAVEL There is nothing better than a ridiculous scandal involving a public person to excite journalists. Congressman Duncan Hunter has provided journalists a perfect whipping boy for the past several months over improper charges to Hunter’s campaign funds. The ongoing revelations have triggered months of investigate reporting aided by the findings of the Federal Election Commission. Last week the most absurd disclosure of…


SD County farmers: Let them grow pot

For local jurisdictions, cannabis farming can generate significant new tax revenues, create jobs and help reverse course for the region’s declining agricultural sector. In the weeks and months ahead, county and local officials will be taking steps to implement medical and recreational marijuana regulations, including cannabis farming. The local farmers I’ve talked to think the time is ripe. In the last 16 months, the state…


Special snowflake Hunter can’t take HS art

Congressman Duncan Hunter was too — too delicate to walk by a painting made by a high school kid and go about his day. He had to take it down. He unscrewed the bolts and removed it. Hunter would say that he did this because of a moral imperative, because he feels that it’s wrong to dehumanize and demean law enforcement officers. Ironically, many progressive-…




Tale of the Toppled Hurler: A Peter Hartwell Story (Part 2)

(This is Part 2 of a 13-part serialization of the Peter Hartwell saga. Follow new chapters of the story each weekend at The Grapevine…) “They killed my father, and now they’re coming after me.” – Marty Nolan, on the pain of being a Red Sox fan, in David Halberstam’s “The Teammates.” I walked into the drab green waiting area of the emergency room at Columbia-Presbyterian…


Two failings of our government

On the far northern fringes of coastal North County, within a mile or two of each other along Interstate 5, are two shameful symbols of the failings of our government. One is the border checkpoint, some 60 miles north of the border. Immigration reform is badly needed, but nothing seems to ever get done. Meanwhile, our border is so porous that the federal government feels…



Perfect media storm: What if a fire broke out at an abandoned Escondido meat market and social media, TV news went wild?

Nothing like fire to spark interest in the “mainstream media” — it’s the easiest and most colorful spectacle to trot across local TV — and social media. Throw in spectacular smoke, large numbers of responders and close proximity to freeways and morning rush hour traffic and voila’, the perfect 2016 media storm. (Updated at 4:30 p.m.) It’s an easy story and no doubt interesting although…


Where are the twin oaks of Twin Oaks?

Organic growing guru Scott Murray, a Vista resident, had a searing question — the kind of question that cuts to the core of a certain sense of community. Driving around Twin Oaks, he said, “Where are the twin oaks of Twin Oaks?” I’ve driven around Twin Oaks a lot. But it never occurred to me that the area at the northeast corner of San Marcos…