dan weisman

Rancho Santa Fe Covenant won’t change racist coding

Rancho Santa Fe’s Covenant Association, basically a quasi-governmental homeowners association dating to the community’s founding in the 1920s, refuses to change the covenant designation that harkens back to racist restrictions in its original 1928 documentation despite the 1948 outlawing of the practice by the United States Supreme Court, sources say. “What’s unique about Rancho Santa Fe’s covenant is that it went beyond just restricting the…


Meet new Escondido police boss, same as the old boss

The more things change the more they stay they same eerily reflects the appointment of a new Escondido police chief. That would be Ed Varso, announced Tuesday as new police chief come Dec. 27. Varso was Escondido police chief from January 2020 before leaving in June of this year to become Menifee’s second police chief. Varso served in the Escondido Police Department from 2002 until…


Bowling over a San Marcos story

Was it me? Or was it the dart store? Whatever it was, every time I thought of going to the dart store, it was closed. My grand plan was to get a dart, throw it at a map of the greater San Marcos sphere of influence and produce a column based on the people at the place where the dart landed. This was an homage,…


California inflation relief payments headed to taxpayers

Get that up to $1,050 California direct tax refund today? Fret not, direct payments or money cards for about 23 million Californians are going in the direct deposit account or mailbox through next year, state officials said. Part of the $308 billion state budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on June 30, one-time payments known as the Middle Class Tax Refund (MCTR) will be sent…


California green-lights first-in-nation social media transparency law

California now features a first-in-the-nation law requiring social media companies to publicly post their policies regarding hate speech, disinformation, harassment and extremism on their platforms, and report data on their enforcement of the policies. Social media companies through their Internet Coalition and other trade associations vigorously opposed the law authorized through AB 587. Court challenges are being considered, trade groups said. Gov, Gavin Newsom signed…


Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Monster: Fact or fiction?

Go down to Hernandez Hideaway at rural Lake Drive in Del Dios and people will swear up and down the long wooden bar that Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges monster, really truly — well, almost definitely exists. “The Lake Hodges Hodgee monster is kind of like the Loch Ness monster,” said Stan Smith, a long-time Del Dios resident. Smith, a cowboy poet and man about…


Is Jennifer Lopez moving to Escondido?

Is Jennifer Lopez moving to Escondido? Only The Shadow knows. However, local radio stations and the Internet were buzzing about the possibility that Jenny on the block was moving to this block. While it might be true — who knows, Donald Trump might have been president; the Cubs might have won the World Series — the rumor blasting across several local radio stations and celebrity…


Remembering the 2007 Witch Creek Fire

Fifteen years ago this week the Witch Creek Fire devastated Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe and North County San Diego. This is part of my first-hand coverage done as editor of the Rancho Santa Fe Record. I won the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s first place prize for local news coverage for this, and the other 26 stories, numerous photos, and overall coverage I produced during, and…



Pala Store at the end of the road

Pala Store may be a hundred yards away from Pala Casino Spa & Resort, but it feels like a creature from another planet. It is, too, for this store lives in a parallel universe, both in space and time. At 3000 Pala Mission Road, the store that has served as focal point for nearly eight decades was, and remains, the only store from Pala at…