San Marcos

Mismanagement plagues Palomar College

After a campus visit, a state-funded agency, the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistant Team (FCMAT) issued its November 8, 2019 report, describing Palomar College’s financial position and management practices. The news wasn’t good. The report gave the school’s Fiscal Health Risk Analysis a 44.5% rating, indicating its probability of insolvency in the near future. According to FCMAT, in two years the school will have drained all…


Palomar College president quits but will get $600,000 in salary and severance pay

Palomar College President Joi Lin Blake, who’s been on paid leave since December for unknown reasons, has agreed to quit and will walk away with more than $600,000 in pay and severance. The resignation agreement, finalized Wednesday when Blake’s attorney signed it, allows her to continue on paid leave until she officially steps down on June 30. The college district’s governing board voted 3-1 to…


CSUSM: Students dancing for the community

Karen Schaffman has been drawn by the allure of dance since she was a young child growing up in Bloomfield, Connecticut. When Schaffman was a toddler, her mother enrolled her in a summer creative dance class at the playground down the street from their home. “That was the beginning of knowing that I loved dancing in a community setting,” said Schaffman, who has been teaching…


CSUSM Democracy in Action touts public art

When San Marcos city officials were looking for guidance on how to proceed with their plan to install public art in the emerging North City neighborhood, they knew just where to turn.  They went to their trusted community partner in Cal State San Marcos and tapped into the collective brainpower of 25 Art, Media and Design majors. Last month, members of the upper-division class Art and…


Campus Coffee kiosk perks up CSUSM spirits

When Maya Kummer was a struggling student at Cal State San Marcos, Campus Coffee was a piece of her therapy. Even on days when depression hit her hardest, she would leave Academic Hall with tears in her eyes, put on sunglasses and walk over to the coffee cart for a pick-me-up – in the form of both a caffeinated drink and pleasant conversation with welcoming faces, owners…


Used books still in style at Cassidy’s

Tom McDevitt’ sat behind the large front counter at Cassidy’s Books, in the shadow of Fry’s Electronics at a back-of-the-curve, out-of-the-way strip mall considering North County literary options. “The Book Mart on Grand Avenue in Escondido has been there 40 years,” McDevitt said with the  deliberate, studied manner one might expect from a bookseller. “Escondido used to have three or four book stores. Now, it’s…


Don’t be a Trump, be a Nancy; and a social media tale: Grading San Marcos trailer parks

Baseball season has ended, my baseball season anyway since all I live for is watching multiple Major League Baseball games on numerous devices and screens. They call it the post-season for a reason. OK. While watching baseball games, I also dedicate a screen to scream at cable news while reading computer stuff about dotard and his disgusting criminal traitor regime. Not to get too far…


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…


Owning San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones

According to her 2018 campaign disclosure statement, mayoral candidate Rebecca Jones received $50,965 in donations from 180 individuals. Only 53 have San Marcos addresses. Seven of ten of her cash supporters were, like me, not eligible to vote in the election. Jones’s opponent, Chris Orlando, raised $29,000 in donations from 139 individuals, 94 of whom have San Marcos addresses. I was disappointed to learn that…


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…