online community journalism

Drought-tolerant plants bloom at Waterwise Botanicals mega-nursery

There’s a drought on don’t you know, and Tom Jesch, founder and general manager of Waterwise Botanicals on Old Highway 395 knows it all too well. Waterwise, as the name implies, specializes in drought-tolerant plants and succulents. And when you say specialize, it means one of the most amazing displays of such landscaping materials here, there or anywhere. “Being water wise doesn’t mean it has…


A good egg is a little harder to find due to new state chicken cage law

Egg-laying chickens at Armstrong Egg Farms off N. Lake Wohlford Road “have less friends in their cage,” said a wry Ryan Armstrong this week, and egg prices have doubled since California’s Proposition 2 went into effect on January 1. That proposition approved by state voters in 2008 calls for 25 percent more room in chicken cages, effectively cutting the number of hens per cage in…


A Gaggle Of Goats

I live next door to a gaggle of goats, 4 to be exact. Now, I know they come in herds but I like alliteration so gaggle it is. Anyway, my next door neighbor, LizzyGal, has these 4 goats that live in a penned area out back, just before the land slopes down to the creek below. In the ample pen, there are 3 little outbuildings,…


Ag Day brings students to the land of spuds, nuts and bees

They came. They saw. They trekked like soldiers going off to war, according to recently retired San Diego County entomologist David Kellum. And they learned. Welcome to Ag Day 2015 hosted at the Martin Gang Agricultural Learning Center on Cole Grade Road. Some 1,700 local kids from the entire Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District elementary school community, and fellow travelers, swarmed like bees across the…


Comic-Con ‘ZombieWalk’ no laughing matter as car strikes passerby (Updated 11/4/15)

(UPDATED 11/4/15, FOLLOWED BY AS-IT-HAPPENED INCIDENT REPORT) A deaf motorist who drove through a group of spectators watching the “Zombie Walk” parade in San Diego, seriously injuring one woman, was convicted Wednesday of felony reckless driving.  Matthew Pocci  faces three years in prison when he is sentenced Dec.11.  Jurors deliberated a little more than a day before finding the defendant guilty.  Pocci testified that he…


Where have all the payphones gone?

“A payphone (alternative spelling: pay phone) is typically a coin-operated public telephone, often located in a telephone booth or a privacy hood, with pre-payment by inserting money (usually coins) or by billing a credit or debit card, or a telephone card. Around the Big Apple, Google Sidewalk Labs is replacing them with free city-wide Wi-Fi. In Ireland, units now are used less than once every…


Doves of Love soar above San Diego

Larry Zetterquist and Kathy Duffany are Doves of Love San Diego. So are their white racing and homing pigeons. The Valley Center couple were prominently featured during Western Days events along with their progeny, in this case a flock of white racing pigeons that pass for doves. They transport the birds in small, airy cages draped with red-white-and-blue bunting suitable for release and return to…


People behaving badly

I covered the Delta. That’s the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for our purposes although I occasionally covered the Mississippi Delta for newspapers in Louisiana and Arkansas, which is a whole ‘nother story. This was the California Delta where I covered Elk Grove south and west through Hood, Locke, Walnut Grove, Isleton along with places like Lodi, Galt and heaven’s know where for the Sacramento Bee. They…