Surprising and Strange


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…


Disbarred RSF Casey Anthony attorney Macaluso gets jail for $13M cocaine scheme

Summary: The former attorney of accused-murderer Casey Anthony, who has since been disbarred, was convicted of drug smuggling. (Editor’s note: It is with great pleasure we present this tale of justice served in the case of Todd Macaluso, former Casey Anthony attorney and Rancho Santa Fe reprobate. As editor of various Rancho Santa Fe newspapers and websites, I had the “honor” of being threatened with…


Heaven’s Gate survivor 20 years later

A former Heaven’s Gate member is looking back on the time he spent with the cult 20 years after dozens of its members committed suicide together at Rancho Santa Fe. The man, who goes by the name Sawyer, told Inside Edition that he spent 18 years with the cult, reaching the rank of “overseer” before leaving in 1994. He recalled his conversations with the leader of the cult,…


Fake or real? Esco HS party turns viral

Video of an Escondido Charter High School teacher violently reacting to a group of students intruding on his class has drawn widespread criticism from Australia to Cape Verde – but more than one viewer insists not all was as it seemed. Footage showing Escondido Charter students entering the classroom of a teacher was uploaded to streaming website Streamable earlier today. Wearing party hats, stick-on moustaches, sombreros and…