Columns/Blogs


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…



Bad hair day at En Salon

This bit of Escondido-mania has blown up on social media since Wednesday. Desiree Bates of iHeartMedia sent me the “scoop” saying, “Thought I’d send this to you since it’s relevant to Escondido.” No sale. I wrote her back, saying, “Whoa, what is this thing? Don’t think our viewers are into it though.” Wow, was I wrong. This sucker has blown up all over the Internet….


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…


Living with dogs; Why I like monasteries

LIVING WITH DOGS Yes, yes, I’ve moved again. The last place didn’t work out even though it was incredibly beautiful. The tribe that lived there was, well, not my cup of tea (to the say the least.) Well-meaning, maybe but from another universe I think. Anyway, I’ve relocated and am living with two, and sometimes more, of the cutest dogs, both personality-wise and physically, the…


Shadows across the Hidden Valley

Gregory Paul Welch and Ivan Rios couldn’t be more different. You may not know them, but you’ve seen them. As this holiday season winds down Grand Avenue to its inevitable conclusion, the poignant reflections of these two ghosts casts a spell along the city’s shadows. Walking the streets of Escondido today, delivering newspapers to stores incarnate, these men’s stories struck an odd note surrounded and…


Casey Anthony legal team member, and RSF resident, Todd Macaluso sentenced

Casey Anthony attorney, and Rancho Santa Fe resident, Todd Edward Macaluso, Sr., is going to prison, sentenced in federal court to five months for fraud. Guess who’s not going to sue me over this story. I’m not surprised Macaluso was sentenced for his role in defrauding clients by forging their signatures to obtain millions of dollars from investors. I’m just surprised it took this long…


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…