Columns/Blogs

Climate Action Plans: A Tale of Two Cities

A funeral was held last month at the site of Iceland’s Okjökull glacier. A century ago it covered nearly six square miles, measuring 164 ft. deep. Today, it’s less than one square mile, 49 feet thick. The shrinking sheet of ice can no longer be called a glacier. A tombstone plaque was placed at the site. A Letter to the Future  This monument is to…


Out & About—She sneered at me…. TWICE!

She informed me that the Academy was private property and that I couldn’t take pictures. I apologized and told her I would leave. Then I asked her what the Academy was. She said, “It’s an Academy.” — Russel Ray When I was up in North San Diego County a couple of weeks ago visiting the San Pasqual Battlefield State Park for my San Diego Historical…


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…


Napili Bay, Maui July 18, 2019

(Margaret McCown Liles started blogging about the Escondido City Council following the demise of the North County Times as a public resource. This is a more personal look at some of her private moments and challenges. Please visit her blog at http://ablueviewescondido.com.) This is the view from the tiny balcony of our tiny studio apartment. That’s Lanai in the background. It’s a great view, but…


San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station remains public scandal despite shutdown

Two recent scandals confirm that public safety is not top priority of either the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or SoCal Edison as they lurch forward with a faulty engineering design for removing spent nuclear waste from cooling pools and loading into dry storage at the now shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. In August 2018, a conscience-driven whistle blower exposed how, because of a system…


Getting good mental health care for your kid

The long and winding road to mental health care for your kid For several months last spring and summer, my teen daughter, Caroline, experienced near-daily bouts of depression and debilitating panic attacks. During those episodes, she became extremely agitated, sobbing uncontrollably and aggressively rebuffing my attempts to comfort or reason with her. My daughter was in a dark place, and I was worried. But I…


Kids are the grownups in climate crisis room

The next U.S. presidential election is being transformed because children everywhere, watching in disbelief as grownups fail to address the climate crisis, are launching their own climate movements. In contrast to the 2016 election – where exactly zero questions about global warming were posed during the general election debates – the lineup of presidential candidates are already being pressured to do something about the climate…


Finally, a bill in Congress to fix climate crisis

But it needs your support. It’s hope-inspiring that a bipartisan bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in January which could save our children and grandchildren from what scientists tell us is an ongoing and growing climate disaster. The evidence is incontrovertible that the climate is in crisis and that burning fossil fuels is the primary cause. A recognized global authority on climate change has warned…


Communities lose when local news dies

It is a story of corruption that will stay secret, politicians who will need fewer votes to win, even dangerous communicable diseases that will spread faster as our best scientists struggle to fight them. The story is the slow and painful demise of local newspapers, a story whose ending is not yet written but which — without bold intervention and strong reader support — could…