Surprising and Strange

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…


Tracking the wild parrots of San Diego County

Seen a wild pandemonium of parrots lately? Report it immediately. That’s the question and request posed by University of San Diego Biology Instructor Dr. Janel Ortiz and her San Diego Parrot Project, along  with “parrot sighting submission form” and a hardy SDPP thank you. Ortiz took the academic show on the road Wednesday. That’s when she and her flock of students took flight with a…


‘Museum of What: Love Tour’ charms

It’s a bit pricy at $24 admission, but definitely different. They’re talking a pop-up 16,000-square-foot exhibition that opened Valentine’s Day at a former patio furniture store in the T.J. Maxx shopping center in Encinitas. Called “Museum of What: Love Tour,” this is a non-traditional pop up museum featuring an array of blissful exhibits that will inspire you to live, laugh, and love, according to founders Ann Delaney and Kyle…



Blast from the past at Cal State San Marcos

One eyewitness said the blast “looked like an asteroid attack out of Star Wars.” The witness was referring to rocks from a regular quarry blast above Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) raining down on campus about 3:15 p.m. Monday, July 30, 2001, damaging cars and buildings, but causing no injuries. For Robert Stakes, who had just begun his tenure as dean of extended studies, the rocks…


Lake San Marcos: World’s oldest dead ringer

That gruff yet recognizable voice. The trademark cigar. Those corny jokes that may, or may not, be funny but with that rat-a-tat-tat Vaudevillian delivery that never seems to fail. It might be. It could be. It was…. Al Mager? Or was it George Burns? For those who thought George Burns was a permanent fixture in the Las Vegas of the sky, think again. Al Mager…


Another Florida recount, calling Valley Center

(Editor’s Note: Even as Broward County and Palm Beach County election officials grapple with a razor thin-tight election recount, shades of 2000 reflect on the registrar of voters walls. The road to Florida election recount chaos runs straight through Valley Center where the originally defective voting machines traced to the well-turned home of Dick and Loralee Stephens at 29751 Valley Center Rd. The Stephens were…


Dust up at The Emporium

My days at the department store weren’t the most memorable, but a friend I knew briefly stands out, and the job had its moments. Who knows who makes these personnel decisions. Some genius at store management had the brilliant idea of assigning me, at first, to women’s shoes. It didn’t take long to realize that women, at least the ones who shopped at our store,…


Grape Day Park mule rustling ends smartly

Little Girl, the mule, spent a weekend, and day, like no other in her 28 years, stolen from a Grape Day Park tree, searched for in an epic police and helicopter mule hunt, finally — spoiler alert — found and reunited with her owner. A 28-year-old Escondido man was arrested on suspicion of mule rustling. As crazy as that may sound, Little Girl kicked off…


Leaving Gadsden, Alabama, and Roy Moore

Bless his cotton-picking, pedophile, hypocritical 10 Commandments blackheart, good ole child-molesting Republican boy Roy Moore of Gadsden, Alabama is in the news and on the run. I, too, spent time at Gadsden, and have escaped to tell thee. It was another time and another place. Between jobs as a correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta reporter/columnist for the Sacramento Bee, I…