dan weisman

Ebenezer Scrooge just needs better PR

Ebenezer Scrooge could have used a better PR agent; the poor, dear misunderstood gentleman. Scrooge’s problem was bad publicity, the cynical media. However, I admire the poor sap, and not just because he is so darn cute. You’ve heard all the stories. Scrooge was the guy who (allegedly) messed with good old Bob Cratchit’s Christmas. And don’t even start on Tiny Tim. Bah, humbug. People…


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…


Sending in the llamas and clowns on 9/11

Sept. 10, 2001 was pretty much like any other day. That is to say honored only in its passing, don’t remember what happened. Sept. 11, 2001, as we all know, was a day seared in our personal and national memories like few others. Don’t know when the carnage began, but at my Del Dios home phones started ringing way too early in the morning and…



Idiosyncratic dinosaur ‘museum’ went extinct

Always a bit of an oddity, and itself a colorful exhibition of an Escondido antique dealer’s lifelong hobby, the Roynon Museum celebrating all things dinosaur, went the way of the creatures celebrated within, that is to say, extinct, on June 30, 2019. Applying the lofty title of Roynon Museum of Earth Sciences and Paleontology to its decidedly idiosyncratic exhibit and purpose, museum officials this week…


In search of…Big Tepee

Big Tepee? Do you know the way, Jose’? Go around Escondido. Ask anyone about the Big Tepee. Since we can’t bet dollars against donuts anymore — some donuts cost much more than a dollar — let’s wager dollars against Chargers super bowl appearances that people asked that question will believe you should go to a big tepee of the medical kind. There’s an answer to…


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…