Inland Edition, February 5, 2021

Page 1



VOL. 6, N0. 3

FEB. 5, 2021

Vaccination Super Station opens on CSUSM campus By City News Service


Celeste de la Victoria, a homeowner in the Smilax/Mimosa neighborhood in Vista, holds a sign protesting KB Homes’ proposed 62-unit townhome development on a 4.9-acre parcel of empty land. The development would require rezoning approval by the Board of Supervisors. STORY ON PAGE 5. Photo by Jordan P. Ingram

REGION — North County residents are now able to get COVID-19 vaccines closer to home, as San Diego County opened its third Vaccination Super Station on Sunday, Jan. 31, at Cal State San Marcos’ Sports Center. “The vaccine offers our pathway out of this, the road to recovery, to restoring, to renewing,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher said before the first patients with appointments started getting a dose of the vaccine at 9:30 a.m. Fletcher said the initial goal set in early January was to give 200,000 vaccinations by the end of the month. “We’re now well over 300,000,” he said. “This is driven by a couple of things,” he continued. “Number one, the demand for the vaccine is exceedingly high. We have far greater demand to get the vaccine that we have vaccines. We are grateful to so many San Diegans who are so committed to getting

the vaccine because, again, this is our pathway out of what we face. “Number two, we have incredible county staff and we have tremendous partners in the health system.” Supervisor Jim Desmond joined Fletcher, calling the San Marcos site “a very positive game-changer for all of us in North County.” “It's truly a remarkable collaborative effort,” Desmond said. “I'm glad to be part of it.” The site will be open to the public weekly from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. Initially the site is expected to vaccinate 250 to 1,000 people per day, depending on the number of vaccines available, eventually building up to 5,000 or more vaccines daily. The site is being hosted at CSUSM, with partnership from Palomar Health, UC San Diego Health and Tri-City Medical Center. The county has received 586,325 doses of vacTURN TO COVID-19 ON 5

Post 149 commander faces High school counselor wins county honor ‘trial’ over Proud Boys ties By Tigist Layne

By Tigist Layne

ESCONDIDO — Escondido American Legion Post Commander Michael Sobczak will soon face a trial to decide his future at the post after social media posts surfaced showing his affiliations to the Proud Boys. Earlier this month, the Union-Tribune reported that J.B. Clark Post 149 Commander Michael Sobczak was removed from two national leadership roles by the American Legion. Photos shared on two social media accounts showed Sobczak wearing a Proud Boys jacket and marching with other Proud Boys at a Dec. 12 proTrump rally in Washing-


ton, D.C. which eventually turned violent. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Proud Boys as a hate group, and the Anti-Defamation League describes TURN TO LEGION ON 11

SAN MARCOS — A school counselor at Mission Hills High School was chosen the San Diego County Counselor of the Year award for her work with high school students. Cherryl Baker, a San Marcos local, has been a school counselor for 22 years in the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD). She has been at Mission Hills since the school opened in 2004. On Jan. 22, the San Diego County Office of Education, along with Baker’s family and colleagues, surprised Baker with the award at Mission Hills. “My administration and my fellow counselors told me that we were going CHERRYL BAKER, a school counselor at Mission Hills High to be doing a presentation School, was recently named the San Diego County High or an interview regarding School Counselor of the Year for her work with students. school counseling because Photo courtesy of Cherryl Baker


National School Counseling Week is coming up,” Baker said. “But when I arrived, they surprised me, and my husband and my son were there, too. It was a huge surprise, and I was really honored that so many people took the time to be a part of it.” Three counselors were chosen out of 47 submissions. One for the elementary school level, one for middle school and one for high school. “We’re thrilled to recognize these three school counselors,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. "They are shining examples of why school counselors are so integral to student success especially now during distance learning and inTURN TO COUNSELOR ON 14



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T he C oast News - I nland E dition

FEB. 5, 2021

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You can’t beat the value at Tip Top Meats with their very popular Prime Rib Dinner to go for take-out with extremely large portions of beef, a baked potato and salad all for only $14.98, available Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Also, by popular request, enjoy their sirloin steak dinner, complete with broccoli or sauerkraut, soup or salad and a baked potato for $12.98 or a Filet or New York steak dinner for $14.98. Their Big John Burger continues to be a blockbuster where you get a ½ pound of beef, fries and a soda for only $7.98! John says, “We offer the highest quality products at the most affordable prices in town, we are known for our large portions, and you will never leave Tip Top Meats hungry!” In addition to their trademark specials, Tip Top Meats’ entire menu is available for dinein or take-out, from 7 AM to 7 PM, 7 days a week. Tip Top features delicious soups, all original recipes from home-made stock. There is a wide variety including: Lentil, Potato, Cream

of Broccoli, Vegetable, Oxtail, all gluten free, & to a steak dinner for two complete with a botChicken Noodle. Also available is their famous tle of house wine. Choose from the large selection of kabob’s, chicken and beef, made fresh daily. Don’t forget their legendary Burgandy Pepper Tri-Tip, commonly known as the “wedgie,” one of their top sellers, a great price at $8.98/ lb. Their mild-cured corned beef is served up as a well-trimmed brisket. There are several This Valentines’ treat that speical someone to different mild and well-seasoned cuts availTIP TOP MEATS VALENTINE’S able at $4.69/lb. Now, let’s get on to their home-made sauSTEAK DINNER FOR TWO! sages. Over 50 different varieties are available Receive two tender Tip Top filet (8-10 oz.) steak fresh, smoked or cooked. dinners, with potatoes, vegetables, salad and roll plus a bottle of our house wine. Many original flavors, low sodium and natural flavors with NO Additives, ever! You’ll find Swedish Potato Sausages, English Bangers plus tax and so many other German specialties, they have the largest variety of meats than anyBeef Stroganoff, Beef Stew and the largest where else. Big John says, “We buy the best and sell portions of homemade Meat Loaf in the counthe best at the lowest prices. No one else in ty! On Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetheart the county can compete with us.”





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FEB. 5, 2021


T he C oast News - I nland E dition

Escondido looks to add futsal courts By Tigist Layne

ESCONDIDO — The City of Escondido’s Community Services Department is attempting to secure grant funding to install two futsal courts, or Mini-Pitch Systems, in Washington Park. If successful, the project would convert two existing tennis courts into hard surface soccer arenas. The city is working with the U.S. Soccer Foundation in an effort to secure a grant through one of their funders. If the funding is secured, the city would convert two of the underutilized tennis courts into futsal courts and leave the other two tennis courts as is. The hours of play for the futsal courts would be similar to that of the tennis courts. “We have a great partnership with the U.S. Soccer foundation and we have the support of the neighborhood, we’re just really in the beginning phases of exploring how to make this happen,” said Danielle Lopez, assistant director of community services. The department recently put out a survey for Escondido residents in the surrounding area to make sure that the community would, in fact, support the effort. As of Monday, the survey had 190 responses, with 94% of participants being in support of the project. “Soccer is huge in Es-

3-mile section of Inland Rail Trail opens in Vista By City News Service

FUTSAL IS SIMILAR to soccer, but played on a hard surface, with a smaller playing area and fewer players. Stock photo

condido,” Lopez said. “We have Ryan Park, but a lot of organized leagues utilize that space, so there isn’t a lot of space for people to just play pickup soccer in the community. We’ll still maintain the two tennis courts for those who like to play tennis there, but with the popularity of soccer, it would be nice to give kids a different opportunity there and to have another amenity in the park.” The Community Services Department will also have to get the approval of the City Council to move

forward with the project. Lopez said she is hoping they will get a date in front of the council sometime in late February or early March. Councilwoman Consuelo Martinez, who brought the idea to Lopez, is a strong advocate for the project. Washington Park is located in District 1, the district Martinez represents. “Recreation opportunities for youth have decreased since I’ve grown up in Escondido,” Martinez said. “The need for more recreation and opportuni-

ties is a frequent request that I hear from my constituents. Futsal courts are a creative way to use underutilized land, in this case, tennis courts. Soccer is a popular sport in our community, and I look forward to finding more recreational opportunities for youth and families in our city.” Once the funding is secured, it would cover the surfacing, goals, lighting and anything else needed to convert the courts. To fill out the survey, visit

VISTA — San Diego Association of Governments leaders virtually cut the ribbon on a 3-mile segment of the Inland Rail Trail in North County on Jan. 29, part of a planned 21-mile bike and pedestrian route between Escondido and Oceanside. The section of the Inland Rail Trail is a dedicated multi-use path that runs along the Sprinter rail line in the North County Transit District right-of-way. With this section of the Inland Rail Trail complete, people can now bike, walk or roll along more than 10 continuous miles of pathway, between the Escondido Transit Center and Mar Vista Drive in Vista. SANDAG Chair and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear joined Vista Mayor Judy Ritter, SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata and San Diego County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Andy Hanshaw during the virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony on SANDAG’s Facebook page. “Adding miles to bikeways is so important as people bike and walk more than ever during the pandemic,” Blakespear said. “We can make great strides as a community to reduce our impact on the environment and play a part in our region’s effort

to meet our greenhouse gas emission reduction goals by offering residents healthy, safe, and viable transportation choices.” The latest completed phase includes a 2.5-mile section between Cherimoya Drive in the unincorporated county and Mar Vista Drive in Vista, and a half-mile section between North Drive and North Melrose Drive in Vista. These sections of the trail are intended to improve transportation connections to local destinations such as schools, parks and the Buena Creek Sprinter station. “The Inland Rail Trail connects the cities of Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and Escondido and provides access to the entire Regional Bike Network, playing an exciting role in connecting the entire San Diego region,” Ritter said. “The trail gives residents more options to plan a trip, commute to work or just enjoy a day out on the town.” The Inland Rail Trail is part of the SANDAG Regional Bike Plan Early Action Program, an initiative approved by the Board of Directors in 2013 to construct a regional network of pedestrian-friendly streets and bikeways intended to make them TURN TO TRAIL ON 11

inest North County’s F

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Treat your Valentine right with delicious delicacies from Top Choice. Enjoy fresh Dungeness Crab & Live Lobsters (prepared and poached or grilled on site for no charge) Choose from fresh Oysters, Shrimp and King Crab Legs, all certain to make Valentine’s Day so much more special. Also, at the eatery, get fish and chips, fish tacos, and a variety of grilled, fried or poached fish entries. Everything is very

competitively priced and has the finest quality. You can also place special large orders for live lobsters and large orders of fish products too. The availability varies sometimes of certain items, but they do their best to have the freshest fish available daily. Big John says, “When it comes to value in both the eateries Tip Top and Top Choice, the size of the portions and the quality can’t be beat and outpaces everyone else.

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T he C oast News - I nland E dition

FEB. 5, 2021

Opinion & Editorial

Views expressed in Opinion & Editorial do not reflect the views of The Coast News

State vows to end vaccine discrimination, but can it?

E Vista, San Marcos should expand smoke-free policies


By Paulene L. DeMesa

mid the COVID-19 pandemic, California continued to be a leader fighting the tobacco industry and protecting the youth from tobacco products in 2020. However, some cities in the San Diego region performed better than others regarding smoke-free outdoor air. The findings of the American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control 2021 report shows that Vista and San Marcos have the lowest grades among North Inland cities compared to Escondido, who moved closer to the top of the class from a D grade to a B. The drastic improvement came from the City of Escondido’s approval to prohibit smoking and vaping in outdoor dining areas and public places including sidewalks and events. That decision made history by making Escondido the first North Inland city in San Diego County to approve this type of comprehensive smoke-free policy. The American Lung Association’s high grade also makes Escondido the most

improved San Diego County city in smoke-free outdoor air. “E-cigarettes and tobacco products and secondhand exposure pose a severe threat to children, adolescents, and families,” said Mike Strong, Director of Community Development Department of the City of Escondido. “It had been spiraling out of control in Escondido and putting kids in danger of addiction and serious health problems. “The Escondido City Council recognized this problem and wanted to do something about it. Because of their leadership, new smoke-free policies, tobacco retail licensing requirements, and display and sale restrictions establish a pathway to help end the youth smoking epidemic. I hope that Escondido can serve as an example to other cities to score similar health victories.” Now is the ideal time for other cities, like San Marcos and Vista, to adopt the same policy as Escondido. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of lung

health and breathing clean, fresh air,” says Jennifer Gill, Program Manager at Vista Community Clinic and resident of San Marcos. “Escondido has made great strides in restricting smoking and vaping in outdoor areas. “While San Marcos and Vista have some smoke-free outdoor air policies, there are additional areas, such as outdoor dining areas, where people are still left vulnerable to the health impacts of secondhand smoke. Implementing smoke-free outdoor dining policies will close these gaps.” In 2019, Vista Community Clinic conducted a survey among residents and frequent visitors of San Marcos and found that 91% prefer an area where smoking is not allowed when eating outside. There are 120 cities in California that restrict smoking in outdoor dining areas, 13 of which are in San Diego County, including the communities of Escondido and the unincorporated areas of San Diego County. Paulene DeMesa is a communications specialist at Vista Community Clinic.

Progress despite slow vaccine rollout


By Jim Desmond

y office has received hundreds of questions and I want to provide an update on how you can sign up to receive the vaccine. To sign up for the vaccine visit,, where you’ll see the list of available appointments. Another option is by calling 2-1-1. Last week, the County of San Diego set up a vaccine distribution center in Oceanside. The Oceanside vaccine center can only administer about 500 vaccines a day, which is why appointments fill up so quickly. Also, I’m excited to announce that a Vaccine Super Station has been set up at Cal State San Marcos. This will be a tremendous asset

to North County as they will be able to administer thousands of vaccines a day. Also, I encourage you to call your medical provider. Kaiser, Scripps, etc. all have their allotments for vaccines and may be able to help sooner. Another option is retail pharmacies. Some Albertson’s, Vons and CVS in San Diego County have an allotment of vaccines. I’ve been disappointed to see the slow rollout of the vaccine from the State of California. As of last week, California was ranked last in the United States in percentage of vaccines administered. The State has known that doses were coming, so it’s disappointing to hear we are the worst state at getting the vaccine to the people that need them the

most. I’m proud of the hard work of the County staff to set up the vaccine stations. It’s been a huge undertaking and they continue to work non-stop to bring more vaccines to North County and our region. I also want to add a special thank you to all of the healthcare workers treating corona virus patients and administering vaccines. This includes our great partners CALFIRE who will soon bring vaccine events to our rural communities. The vaccine is the way we defeat this virus, and we are making progress in San Diego County! Jim Desmond represents the 5th District on the County Board of Supervisors.

verything went smoothly the other day at a mass vaccination center in the parking lot outside The Forum, the Inglewood arena kitty-corner from modernist SoFi Stadium, new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers football teams. Lines of cars were long but manageable as they moved slowly and steadily. Nurses checked on the newly vaccinated recipients of first doses of Pfizer BioNTech inoculations against the dread COVID-19 virus, found to be at least partly effective on every mutation yet discovered. Folks were free to go after a 15-minute waiting period to assure they were having no immediate serious side effects. Staffers and nurses were competent, kind and friendly, some having come as temporary workers from points as distant as Louisiana and Ohio. The mix of cars inching forward ran from shiny new Range Rovers to ancient, oxidized Honda Civics. But some things were dreadfully wrong behind this pleasant, well-managed scene where health care workers and folks over 65 got their shots in the arm. The same flaws applied to other public and private vaccination sites in most California counties. For one thing, there was dreadful inconsistency in the vaccine rollout. Some hospitals served everyone on their patient roster over 65. Others vaccinated only seniors who were also among their most immune compromised patients. Shots were available at county sites to anyone over 65 who could book one, which proved no simple matter for many. The inconsistency ap-

california focus

thomas d. elias

plied in almost all California counties as vague state guidelines left institutions to interpret local rules according to how much vaccine they had in their freezers. Confusion piled atop even bigger problems. A principal inequity was that almost no walkup vaccination sites accepted people lacking previously arranged appointments. It took computer savvy and equipment to make those appointments. Nothing in the state’s series of vaccination plans aimed to fix that problem. This left the entire enterprise looking like an exercise in economic discrimination and classism. There appeared to be only two ways to get appointments: go online and fight through ever-jammed websites where getting any response could seem miraculous, or go in person to a site and prevail on agreeable staffers to use their smartphones to get you an appointment. Big advantages went to those with fast computers and strong wifi. Anyone lacking either commodity would need lots of help getting the vaccine unless they were on the patient roster of a system like Kaiser Permanente’s, where phone calls went to all patients over 75 as soon as Kaiser got permission to vaccinate them. If you were a patient of other medical groups and did not check email or your personalized app from those systems, you would not learn appoint-

ments were available unless someone else told you. Then there was the matter of getting there. For the immobile, stranded at home with caregivers who might not have cars, there was no one bringing vaccine regardless of how many COVID risk factors they might have. The fact is that the poorer folks are the less likely they are to have reliable, strong wifi even when they have computers. They were not doing well in this system. As for getting to one of the large, mass distribution sites generally located in the large parking lots of places like Disneyland, Dodger Stadium and CalExpo, getting there took a car. Yes, processing and injection generally took only 45 minutes after arrival at The Forum, but some folks squirmed as long as five hours in their restroom-free vehicles at other big sites. It added up to discrimination against the poor and uncybernetic, especially folks lacking both computers and smartphones. “We know about the problems,” said Darrel Ng, senior advisor to the state’s COVID task force. “There will be more outreach. But we will need larger supplies of vaccine to make really big improvements.” For now, this means poor planning has created discrimination by economic class, since the poor are far more likely than others to lack needed skills and equipment. The bottom line: It should have been simple to get vaccinated, especially in California, whose governor has spent years preaching equal opportunity. Email Thomas Elias at

Inland EdItIon

P.O. Box 232550, Encinitas, CA 92023-2550 • 760-436-9737 • Fax: 760-274-2353


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FEB. 5, 2021


T he C oast News - I nland E dition

Supervisors to decide fate of controversial Smilax development By Steve Puterski

REGION — Residents are pushing back against a proposed high-density development sandwiched between the borders of Vista and San Marcos in a sliver of unincorporated county land. KB Home received approval from the San Diego County Planning Commission in November 2020 for its 62 townhomes and a rezone application to increase the density on the five-acre lot off Smilax Road and Mimosa and Poinsettia avenues. About 20 to 30 residents protested Jan. 28 near the site as they fear a greenlight from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Feb. 10 will have severe impacts on the neighborhood, according to resident Maureen Hudson. “This is a huge, highly dense development for this neighborhood,” she said. “It’s just way too dense. If they could put something in with the existing zoning, that would be great. We’re not opposed to development, we’re just opposed to this high density because we just don’t have the infrastructure here.” Of the issues, the residents say there are no plans by KB Homes to improve on

OPPONENTS OF the proposed development are concerned that “it’s just way too dense.” Photo by Jordan P. Ingram

Smilax Road, which is two lanes and already failing, no sidewalks, adding 500 vehicle trips per day and a potential conflict with the City of Vista possibly annexing the land. In an email from John Conley, Vista’s director of community development, to the county he said, “the property is within our Sphere of Influence (sic) and our General Plan designates this area as Low Density.” The density rezone also has residents angered as the current designation is for

two units per acre, while the project calls for 15 per acre. Also, residents are concerned about the lack of parking, as Hudson said residents in two apartment complexes across State Route 78 use the Smilax Road area for parking and must walk to their homes. “Only 30 residences were notified by the county in accordance with regulations requiring notice to only those residences within 300 feet of the project,” resident Ken Knight said in a press release. “This project

has been in the works for a year and a half, and the only sign notifying residents about the development was posted on the property about two weeks ago.” The project, though, would contain 15 buildings, two common open spaces and a turf dog park, according to an analysis conducted by Rincon Consultants, Inc. The analysis said the project would not result in substantial conflicts, incompatible development, would offer needed housing and would be consistent with the land use. The units, meanwhile, would range from 1,679-square feet to 1,918 and include two-car garages. The current single-family residence on the property would be demolished and a private 24-foot-wide road connecting Smilax Road. Twenty-three open parking spaces would be on site in addition to the 124 garage spaces, according to the analysis. “I will evaluate all the merits and issues on the project, including public comment and testimony, prior to making any decision,” said Supervisor Jim FOR 45 YEARS, Ken Knight, a Vista resident, has lived with Desmond, who represents his wife, Belle Hazlehurst, in their home, which is near a prothe area and much of North posed multifamily townhome development on Smilax Road. Photo by Jordan P. Ingram County.

Escondido Public Library Help sought in Vista fireworks, arson cases allowing in-person visits By City News Service

By Staff

ESCONDIDO — The Escondido Public Library is now open for limited in-person visits from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Beginning this week. patrons will be able to browse the stacks and check out books, audio books, and DVDs, but for a limited amount of time (two hours maximum per day) to adhere to the limited 20% capacity guidelines. All in-person programs are suspended, but many regular programs such as book clubs and storytimes are being held online. Additionally, curbside pickup service for holds will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Wednesdays from 2 to 3 p.m. For information on how curbside pickup works, visit curbside. At this time, the Friends Book Shop, Literacy Learning Center and Pioneer Room remain closed.



cine and has administered 357,507 doses. Around 2% of the population over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated, but Fletcher said numbers of doses administered are likely “significantly delayed.” Appointments for this site can be made online at Those who arrive for appointments can park at 103 Campus View

Donations are not being accepted at this time. The library’s limited services will include access to computers, printers and copiers, WiFi, wireless printing and payment for printing via credit card. Public access computers and Chromebooks will be limited to one hour of use per day. Furniture has been removed to allow for physical distancing. To promote safety and health of patrons and staff, all persons inside the library are required to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth, and maintain six feet of physical distance. All checked out materials can be returned 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the outdoor book drops, located in the library parking lot. No overdue fees will be charged at this time. All returned materials are quarantined for at least five business days. For assistance, call (760) 839-4683 or text the library at (442) 777-3799. Drive. There will be free parking on floors two and three of the parking structure. On Wednesday, San Diego County public health officials reported 968 new COVID-19 infections and 54 deaths as hospitalizations continue to decline, while the number of vaccines continues to be insufficient for demand. The county has the capacity to administer more than 20,000 vaccines daily and expects to raise that to

VISTA — Deputies asked for help Feb. 3 identifying a man accused of setting off fireworks inside a Target store in Vista. Authorities were called about 9 p.m. Tuesday to the store in the 3100 block of Business Park Drive, where multiple 911 callers reported a possible active shooter inside the store after hearing what sounded liked gunshots, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said. Numerous other nearby law enforcement agencies responded to the scene and the store was evacuated. “After a thorough search, no injured victims or suspects were found,” the Sheriff’s Department said. “Deputies did find a small trash can laying on its side in a store aisle. Inside of the trash can and scattered all over the floor were several burned and exploded firecrackers.” Store surveillance footage shows a person walking down the aisle where the trash can was found before a “large flash of light is seen and the suspect runs,” 30,000 next week, Fletcher said, but only has the supplies to administer around 10,000 vaccines a day. He asked for patience as the county was working to get more doses. Wednesday marked the second consecutive day with fewer than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases. Tuesday was the first day since Nov. 30 to fail to cross that number. Wednesday’s data raised the county’s cumulative caseload to 241,018 and

the department said. The suspect was described as a man wearing a black cap with a white and blue logo, black sweater with a white undershirt, black pants and black shoes with white soles. He was also wearing a black neck gaiter, deputies said. Authorities are investigating whether a similar incident that took place at the Ross Dress for Less store in the 32000 block of Temecula Parkway in Temecula on Sunday was related to Tuesday's explosion. “The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and all law enforcement agencies take incidents like this very seriously,” the department said. “While thankfully no one was hurt, setting off fireworks inside any business can lead to injury or even death.” Anyone with information on the incident can call the Sheriff’s Department at 858-565-5200.

on Feb. 3 for help in identifying a man who sparked a blaze that caused an estimated $2 million worth of damage in a commercial district in Vista. The arson fire erupted in an alley behind a market in the 400 block of North Santa Fe Avenue shortly after 2 a.m. on Jan. 17 and quickly spread to nearby businesses, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The blaze forced evacuations of several apartments above the grocery store but caused no reported injuries. The man who set the fire was described as a heavyset Latino in his 20s to mid-30s with short, dark hair. Anyone who might be able to help detectives track down the perpetrator was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or contact the agency online at Tipsters may remain ARSON FIRE TIPS NEEDED anonymous and could be elVISTA — Authorities igible for a reward of up to reached out to the public $1,000. the death toll to 2,683 amid signs that the post-holiday surge is waning. The HHSA reported 1,265 people hospitalized with the virus on Wednesday — down 32 from Tuesday. Of those hospitalized, 369 are in intensive care units, down 15 from Tuesday. The county’s peak for COVID-19 hospitalizations — 1,804 -- was set Jan. 12 and has declined since. The record for ICU hospitalizations of coronavirus patients

— 438 — was set on Jan. 20, and has also declined slowly since with the exception of a 12-patient bump on Monday. There are 40 available staffed ICU beds in the county, but Fletcher said that number isn’t likely to increase anytime soon. Due to filling hospital beds over the last several months, many non-emergency surgeries and procedures were postponed. Hospitals are rushing to make those up now while COVID-19 beds become available.

Vista Irrigation District offers scholarships By Staff

VISTA — Vista Irrigation District invites local high school seniors to compete for scholarships from the district. Up to six scholarships may be awarded; the minimum scholarship award amount is $1,000 and the maximum scholarship award amount is $3,000. The purpose of the scholarship program is to encourage students to learn more about water related issues impacting their community. Students who compete for a scholarship must complete an essay and provide a personal statement related to their background and/or goals. Selection criteria also include community involvement or volunteer service and letters of recommendation from high school faculty. Students may download an application package from, or contact Alisa Nichols at (760) 597-3173 to have the materials mailed to them. Applications are also available through high school counseling offices. Applications must be received at the district’s office by 5 p.m. April 5, 2021. Eligible students must live or go to school within the Vista Irrigation District’s service area. The district provides water service to more than 135,000 people in the city of Vista, and portions of San Marcos, Escondido, Oceanside, and unincorporated areas of the county of San Diego.


T he C oast News - I nland E dition

FEB. 5, 2021

City OKs mixed-use project at former hospital site By Tigist Layne

ESCONDIDO — The Escondido City Council voted on Wednesday, Jan. 27 to move forward with the Palomar Heights project, which will build 510 residential units and up to 10,000 square feet of commercial/office space on the site of the former Palomar Hospital downtown campus. The project was approved on a 3-2 vote, with councilmembers Mike Morasco, Tina Inscoe and Joe Garcia in favor, and Mayor Paul McNamara and Councilwoman Consuelo Martinez voting against. The site consists of approximately 13.84 acres of land at the eastern end of the Downtown area, on both sides of Valley Boulevard, and generally bounded by E. Valley Parkway to the north and E. Grand Avenue to the south, according to the staff report. The development will include 258 for-rent apartments, 90 senior apartments earmarked for residents 55 and up, as well as 162 forsale row homes and villas. The project’s commercial space will include a breakfast café, a retail farmer’s market, a collaborative workspace, a sky lounge bar and restaurant, a dog park and recreation amenities. Palomar Hospital, which has been at the site since 1953, will be demolished to accommodate the

Blowing my cover

H THE PALOMAR HEIGHTS project features 510 residential units and 10,000 square feet of commercial/office space on the site of the former Palomar Hospital downtown campus. Photo courtesy Palomar Heights

project. The council received around 50 public comments from different groups and residents regarding the project, with many questioning why the new development does not include any affordable housing or low-income units. The Sierra Club North County Group has also been clear about their disapproval of the project, stating in a letter that “the

nounced Feb. 19. Participation is $10 with all proceeds supporting the pets and Know something that’s going programs. To participate, on? Send it to calendar@ or for more information, go to doggie-gras-virtual, or call Helen Woodward Animal LIBRARY LECTURE SERIES Center: (858) 756-4117, ext. The Oceanside Pub- 362. lic Library and MiraCosta Learning is For Everyone host a free series of online lectures in North County KOOK RUN IS VIRTUAL San Diego, on Fridays at 1 The Kook Run is back p.m. Learn about our chang- and its virtual in 2021. Join ing community from a news in the morning of Feb. 7, as journalist, get an update local Encinitas businesses on the decommissioning of set up a check-in area and an San Onofre Nuclear Gener- unofficial start/finish arch, ating Station, learn about with photo ops. The staging meanings of flowers from area will serve as an area for an art historian and more, runners to start their virtual on Zoom. Registration is run. Run the Kook Run virrequired at https://forms. tually on your own time, at gle/UMnrvJrnnNfHEcNVA your own pace, in a location or e-mail life.miracosta@ that works for you. Mail-out packets available. Prizes to the top costumes. Learn SHOP FOR VALENTINE’S GIFT more about the 2021 Kook Plaza Paseo Real, 6941- Run at 6985 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, is offering a contest to win a Valentine’s Day gift package ($100 value). The LEARN ABOUT FIRE SAFETY contest, open to those 18 and The National Fire Proolder, ends Feb. 10. One win- tection Association and the ner will be randomly select- Phoenix Society for Burn ed and notified via e-mail Survivors have introduced Feb. 11. Entering is free at the latest video interview of its six-part campaign series, ”Faces of Fire/Electrical,” which features personal stories of people impacted by DOGGY-GRAS AT HWAC electrical incidents. Videos Helen Woodward An- at Free imal Center will host a resources are now availvirtual Doggie Gras event able to download and share, and photo contest open to and additional information animals of all kinds. Reg- about the Faces of Fire/ istration closes Feb. 16 at Electrical campaign can be 11:59 p.m., with winners an- found on NFPA’s website.


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proposed Palomar Heights 510-unit townhome project is deficient for what the city needs. Sierra Club is opposed to this project because it is not dense enough and, given the perfect location for transit-oriented development, a larger project should be demanded– at least of 900-1,000 units with a significant percentage of affordable housing.” The Partnership for Downtown Escondido has

also stated that the project “discourages pedestrian activity, isolates neighborhoods, and stifles economic activity relied on by local businesses.” Councilmembers Morasco, Garcia and Inscoe agreed that a development like this could attract families to downtown and revitalize the area. Both Mayor McNamara and Councilmember Martinez criticized the plan for

lacking affordable housing. “This is not as good as it could be, it needs to be better. I don’t want my name associated with this,” said McNamara. The council also voted 3-2 to exempt the project from a requirement to join the city’s Community Facilities District, which was established last year to recover the costs of providing city services to new developments.

FEB. 9

ed its Next Generation Science Standards-aligned Discovery Lab programs into new 30- and 45-minute virtual lessons for students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Register at https://aquarium.ucsd. edu/teachers/online-learning/virtual-after-school-series or e-mail or call (858) 534-7336.

Cancer and Immunotherapy.” Featured speaker is Dr. Rebecca Shatsky, a breast cancer oncologist at UCSD working to change the baseline for treatment of breast cancer patients. For more information and to register, visit


Be part of the virtual “California Youth in the Lead” Orange Day Q&A at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 9 to show solidarity during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Register at meeting/register/tJYvcOmvrTorGtwMKSevN9ZCnsGW041U-j9g. This February, wear the color orange. TEEN DEPRESSION & COVID

Kids4Community presents “Supporting Parents and Kids During COVID-19” virtual speaker series. The first session is “Signs and Symptoms of Depression-An Open Conversation” at 3:30 p.m.. Feb. 9 with Family Therapist Pilar Placone. Register at GENEALOGY WEBINAR


Have you ever wonder what’s inside your gaming console? Ian Kerman of the Fleet Science Center will guide you through the main components of one as he breaks down a Wii Console. Watch at watch?v=bwaIm6ixukM&

FEB. 13


North San Diego County Genealogical Society will host a webinar class 10 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 9. Former genealogy librarian Mary Van Orsdol will present, “The Compleat Genealogist, or Analytical Tools for Your Genealogical Research.” Free, but registration required at

The American Red Cross is urging the community to give blood. As a thank-you for helping ensure a stable blood supply, those who give this February will receive a $5 gift card via e-mail, courtesy of Amazon. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood. org/Together.

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Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is offering 600 free virtual programs to local schools in need this year. The aquarium’s education team adapt-


The Immunotherapy Foundation will be hosting another episode of its “Coffee & Conversation,” webinar series via Zoom, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 15, on the topic of “Breast

FEB. 17


The Salk Institute of Biological Studies in La Jolla and March Of Dimes will transition their annual weekend high school science day to a “virtual high school science week” this year from Feb. 22-26. This event will feature interactive webinars, and the guiding theme will be, “Where Cures Begin,” to highlight the importance of basic research in scientific discoveries. Webinars will give students a glimpse of a day in the life of scientists and provide students with an opportunity to interact with Salk researchers by letting their questions dictate the discussion. The event will emphasize the process of science and the people behind it. For more information and to register, visit about/education-outreach/ salk-march-of-dimes-highschool-science-week/ by Feb. 17. TIPS ON FINANCE

Dave Baldwin, author of “The Balancing Act,” will show you how to create financial freedom in the balance between what you need and what you have. See

aving vaccines come available is absolutely glorious. It’s what I’ve been praying for since last summer. It fills me with such hope after this long, isolating time. Still, I have a problem. It means that before very much longer, we won’t be required to wear masks anymore. I know, I know. That is cause for rejoicing to most of you. But as I slapped on my mask this morning for a quick trip to the market, I was suddenly horrified. Today I was able to leave home after simply throwing my hair into a bun and skipping any fuss with my face, knowing that my mask would eliminate the need from eyes to Adam’s apple. For me that’s a minefield I have come to love disarming so simply these past months. I do, at least, manage eye makeup most days, but on weekends I slack off mightily. I wear my spectacles rather than contacts, and in concert with the mask, my glasses camouflage a host of other imperfections. Never mind that I look like a geek. I look mostly like everyone else for now and that will do. I can get out the door so much faster when I can just cover my face with paraphernalia. I have even become accustomed to wearing a KN95 mask. It’s not the kind you would find in a hospital room, but it is considerably heavier than the cloth ones I first wore. It makes me feel more secure, but more importantly, no one but I can smell my breath. It has been such a vacation, to be able to drink coffee and eat onions and garlic and not spend the day worrying if I am socially acceptable. I still have mints and sprays at the ready, but, dang, that mask has made “close” conversation easier. I know we aren’t all that close, but one still worries. I will have to think long and hard about surrendering my mask for all the reasons tricksters have loved masks down the centuries. Masks keep secrets better than any BFF — and what woman doesn’t have secrets? Jean Gillette is a freelance writer thinking face tattoos are beginning to sound reasonable. Contact her at

FEB. 5, 2021


T he C oast News - I nland E dition

SMUSD aiming to hire superintendent by April

A NEW LAW passed in December requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to form a task force to investigate the benefits of outdoor recreation therapy. Photo courtesy of One More Wave

Nonprofit offers surf therapy to help vets By Dustin Jones

REGION — A recent Veterans Affairs’ study reported an average of 17 veterans died by suicide every day in 2018 — more than 6,000 a year. One More Wave, a veteran-based non-profit out of San Diego, uses surf therapy to try and impact those figures. The team of veterans and volunteers provide disabled veterans with the surf equipment necessary to paddle out as well as a community. “Once you have your stuff, equipment and access to other folks, you can do it indefinitely,” One More Wave’s chief of operations Rob Garnett said. “You don’t have to have appointments or procedures; you can do what you need to do outside.” The National Institute


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on Drug Abuse estimates 37 to 50% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from one mental disorder or another. Many of the men and women who participate in surf therapy with One More Wave previously struggled with treatment options. Often times self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. Approximately one-inten veterans in the United States have a substance abuse problem. “We’ve had quite a few vets come forward and say they tried a bunch of meds from the VA––some for mental issues, other physical––but since they started surfing, they have been able to come off some or all of those meds,” Garnett said. “Lots of guys and girls talk about how they missed the community that came with their military org/housing-assistance. TEXT 911 NOW AVAILABLE

Text 911 is now available in San Diego County. achievements for North San Call if you can, text if you Diego County. Send information can't. Calling is still the via email to community@ fastest way to reach 911, but if you are in a situation where it is not safe to call, HAWK WINS ‘FORTUNE’ such as a domestic violence On the new series “Ce- situation, text may be the lebrity Wheel of Fortune,” safest option. champion skateboarder and Carlsbad native, Tony NCAA HONOR FOR CSUSM Hawk, selected Feeding Cal State San Marcos San Diego as his charity to men's soccer student-athplay for, and won $173,800 for the organization. This lete Corbin Thaete has been donation will help Feeding appointed as the CCAA’s San Diego. Hawk, a long- national representative on time supporter of Feeding the NCAA Division II StuSan Diego, was one of the dent-Athlete Advisory Comfirst guests on the show, mittee, serving through alongside comedian Leslie January 2024. Jones and actress Chandra Wilson. He raised funds HEAR THE ROAR In the sixth episode of for the nonprofit by solving a variety of word puzzles. The Roar, the topic will be In fact, it was the phrase “Inside CSUSM Athletics,” “Fried Calamari” that with Associate Director of earned him $100,000, to- Athletics Todd Snedden, Faculty Athletics repreward the end of the game. sentative Bennett Cherry and Assistant Director of RENTAL ASSISTANCE If you are struggling to Athletics for Academics, pay your rent due to a loss Compliance, Eligibility and of income or COVID-19, Student Services David NaCRC may be able to help. thanson. Listen to The Roar https://csusmcougars. Rental assistance is avail- at able to residents of Encin- com/. itas, Carlsbad, Oceanside and Solana Beach. Learn OUTSTANDING STUDENTS • Cal State San Marcos more and apply at: crcncc.

service.” Garnett and the One More Wave team have treated about 470 veterans and aim to help another 120 riders in 2021. But their funding has taken a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their budget is about $200,000 below their operating costs for the year. All of their funds come from private donations and small fundraising events. If the VA task force reports positive results, veterans could be prescribed surf therapy and the VA would help pay for programs like One More Wave. More funding means more equipment for additional veterans, ideally making a dent in the veteran suicide dilemma. “It would be incredible if we got grants per rider for their equipment,” Garnett said. “They have Athletics put a department record 38 student-athletes on the 2020 CCAA Fall Academic Honor Roll. From men’s cross-country, Trevor Boaz, David Bonds, Austin Edwards, Cameron Reyes and Garrett Vasta. From men’s soccer, Jacob Johnston, Kevin Reyes, Juan Camilo Salazar and Corbin Thaete. From women’s cross-country, Lauren Allison Aipa, Aylin Beltran-Picos, Daria Bonds, Clarissa Garcia, Grace Handler, Makayla Jones, Marina McDonough, Ana Mercado, Luz Mercado, Sierra Roberson and Alyse Sibley. From women’s soccer, Kamaile Aluli, Sarah Aragon, Hannah Arcala, Yesenia Betancourt, Katie Connor, Emilee Garrett, Elin Hedstroem, Adria Jamieson, Devyn Kelley, Sierra Moore, Ashley Roskelly and Alyssa Sanchez and from volleyball, Kayla de los Reyes, Nicole Diggs, Micah Hébert, Kiora Ridgeway and Madison Turner. • From the University of Alabama, Adam Cooper of Carlsbad received a Bachelor of Arts degree and Lauren Kostuke, of Carlsbad, received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication & Information Sciences. • Samuel Adjei of San Diego earned a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia Uni-

grants for adaptive sports, but [they have] very specific parameters. But with this new bill, hopefully it will open those doors up.” Last year’s Veterans COMPACT Act, signed into law last December, requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to assemble a task force to investigate the benefits of outdoor recreational therapy for veterans as a recognized form of treatment. The bipartisan bill, H.R. 8247, calls on the VA to implement a series of programs to aid veterans in transition assistance, suicide care and mental health needs. This includes forming a task force to report on and make recommendations regarding the use of public lands and outdoor spaces for medical and therapeutic treatment for veterans. versity, Nebraska. • At Miami University, Lindsey Maheu of Carlsbad, Karin Kupka of Oceanside, Emily Steward of Encinitas and Kera Young of San Marcos all graduated with Master of Arts degrees in biology. • Springfield College in Massachusetts has named Breannah McCann from San Diego to the dean’s list for academic excellence for the 2020 fall semester. • Mikaela Dougherty of Carlsbad was named to the College of Charleston Fall 2020 Dean’s List. • Neve Brown of Del Mar has been named to the University of Delaware Dean’s List for the Fall 2020 semester. • On the Dean’s List at Hamilton College for the 2020 fall semester are Emily Midgley of Del Mar, a senior majoring in creative writing and theater, and Stephanie Milam of Carlsbad, a senior majoring in creative writing. • Sydney Washburn, of San Marcos, has been named to the American International College Dean’s List for the fall 2020 semester. • Isabella Pettus of Del Mar has been named to the Dean’s List at State University of New York at New Paltz for the fall 2020 semester.

By Tigist Layne

our entire SMUSD educational community.” Applications for the position are due Feb. 26; until then the board will continue to gather input from various stakeholders. “In January, we spent time with a variety of focus groups, so different stakeholder groups like principals, parents, community members, members of the city council, city managers and district office staff, and we just gathered information about the district’s strengths, some of the needs and issues that an incoming superintendent might need to be aware of and important qualities of a new superintendent,” Lovely said. These findings will be presented to the board on Feb. 16. Lovely also told The Coast News that the new superintendent does not have to be from San Marcos or from San Diego County. “The parameters that the board has given us is that they want the best candidate that will lead SMUSD into the future,” Lovely said. “The board is really looking for a candidate that is able to take a great district — a district that is known for being exceptional — and move it forward.” After all applications are submitted, Lovely and Hempstead will do a full vetting and screening of each candidate, which is expected to take a few weeks. Once they narrow down the applicants, they will present them to the board, who will then decide which applicants to interview extensively.


These ethical behaviors often go unnoticed, but the Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest believes they should be recognized with the Ethical Torch Essay Scholarship. To submit an application or to learn more, visit Submissions are accepted through Aug. 15; winners will be announced at BBB’s Torch Awards for Ethics celebration in the fall.

SAN MARCOS — The San Marcos Unified School District’s search for a new superintendent is underway, with the governing board expected to make a selection by April 20. The district initiated the search soon after the new governing board was seated Dec. 15. In the meantime, SMUSD has been led by former superintendent Kevin Holt, followed by current Interim Superintendent Tiffany Campbell, as of Jan. 19. The position became vacant after Carmen García abruptly resigned in September following months of conflict with parents and district teachers. The district has secured the help of advisers Suzette Lovely and Beverly Hempstead from Education Support Services (ESS), a consulting firm that helps school districts with superintendent searches, governance training, human resources and more. “The Governing Board's decision to retain Dr. Lovely and Ms. Hempstead to advise and engage in the search for our district's next superintendent shows a commitment to finding the right candidate for the position through an open and transparent process,” Campbell said. “While I am not involved in the recruitment effort, I know that stakeholder engagement has already begun with our families and staff. I am confident that the board will take all feedback and input seriously and will make a decision that will be best for

Edward Pohlert and Krista Warren Yagubyan were both awarded the Leon Baradat Service Award honoring outstanding MiraCosta faculty, one full time and one associate, annually. The 2020 awards were given virtually. The annual service award goes to faculty who have a demonstrated passion for teaching, counseling or library work and a dedication to students. They must also have demonstrated excellence beyond the classroom or primary work site.


Find the latest on which restaurants and busiLAS PATRONAS BLOOD DRIVE nesses are now open in EnPhilanthropic organi- cinitas at zation Las Patronas hosted a community blood drive SANDAG BACKS BROADBAND and presented a check for The SANDAG Board $73,000 to the San Diego of Directors adopted a resBlood Bank to provide clos- olution Jan. 22, to support ing funding for the pur- increased broadband acchase of a new bloodmobile. cess throughout the region Las Patronas has supported to help bridge the digital the San Diego Blood Bank divide – the gap that exists for 27 years, donating more between those with and than $274,000. They have without access to informafunded other bloodmobiles, tion and communications equipment, and contribut- technology such as broaded towards SDBB’s disaster band, computers, and smart readiness fund in the past. phones. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the ETHICS SCHOLARSHIP issues caused by the digital Students have navigat- divide, limiting people’s ed immense change during ability to work from home the past year, having to or participate in virtual shift and cooperate to make classroom settings. More online learning successful. information at


T he C oast News - I nland E dition

SAN MARCOS - February 5, 2021 — After much anticipation, Silvergate San Marcos, a premier San Diego County retirement community, announced today that the long-awaited first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine were administered to residents, caregivers and staff on Sunday, January 17, 2021. Licensed Vocational Nurses at Silvergate assisted incoming vaccine teams from Omnicare, the parent company to well-known retail pharmacy chain, CVS Pharmacy, in vaccinating the community’s residents, who were designated as a priority for the shots in Phase I of the Centers For Disease Control’s national vaccine rollout guidelines. “We are all ready to get back to normal and enjoy life beyond the pandemic, and these vaccines are the key to doing that,” said Joan Rink-Carroll, the Executive Director at Silvergate who has been closely working with state authorities to ensure that Silvergate was one of the first senior living communities in San Marcos to be able to vaccinate its seniors. “There’s finally a light at the end of this tunnel. We’re already planning new activities for our residents to enjoy in the coming weeks once everyone is safely vaccinated a second time.”

“Here’s Your Shot To Change The World” was the resounding sentiment of Silvergate San Marcos residents who received their first vaccine shots this week. Lena Toliver shares in the excitement after being vaccinated.

FEB. 5, 2021

off here than we would have been in our home with all that’s going on. Hopefully, we can just return to normal with the vaccine.” “Being able to get back to gatherings, events and real activities was one of the main reasons I wanted to be vaccinated,” said Christine Okun, who misses cocktail hour with her friends and leading the community’s regular social hour. “Our Activities Director here puts on such fun events for us and finds all kinds of interesting things for us to do. Any of our events where we were gathering together indoors had to pretty much be put on hold. Now, we’re all just waiting with bated breath for the pandemic to be behind us so that Silvergate can go back to doing one of the things it does best…which is having great events and enjoyable activities.” “I’m so thankful to be here at Silvergate and to be among the first to be getting this vaccine,” said Leonor Renter, a Silvergate resident who says she misses the community’s day trips, going to restaurants, being a part of the Walking Club and her beach walks. “We’re all tired of dealing with masks and social distancing. We want to go back to our everyday lives and be able to have family and friends visiting again. I’m so grateful right now to the Silvergate staff because it’s clear that they’ve done everything they could to get us all vaccinated as quickly as they could.”

this happen,” said Joan Gomez, Director of Resident Care for the community. “They have been incredibly dedicated to the health and wellness of our resident population…all while working through this national health crisis we’re all experiencing together. They are true front-line Second Round Vaccines Coming to Silvergate healthcare heroes!” Silvergate has already received confirmaSilvergate San Marcos has had enthusiastic tion from CVS Pharmacy for its second-round cooperation from its resident population in the vaccine clinic dates, which are set to take place community’s first-round vaccination efforts. in early February. Teams from CVS Pharmacy About Silvergate San Marcos will return to Silvergate to help run follow-up Silvergate San Marcos is now scheduling Seniors at Silvergate thrilled to receive vaccine virtual and private in-person tours of the comvaccination clinics, as the Pfizer vaccine reWe knew that we would be in the first wave munity. For information, call David Nelson at quires a second dose three weeks after the of vaccinations, and I’m just really thankful to (760) 744-4484. For general information about initial shot in order to reach the 95% effectivebe here,” said Marlene Champlin, a Silvergate ness rate. the independent living, assisted living and San Marcos resident who has enjoyed her forev- memory care accommodations at Silvergate, vis“Despite the delays in the distribution of er home since 2013. “The Silvergate staff has the vaccine, all of our nurses and caregivers it Silvergate is located went above and beyond the call of duty to make taken wonderful care of us. We’re a lot better at 1550 Security Place, San Marcos, CA 92078

FEB. 5, 2021


T he C oast News - I nland E dition

Gray whales, snowboarding and catamarans scooping up giant mouthfuls of krill and other tiny sea life from the ocean floor. The baleen acts as a filter, leaving only the krill. • Have a double blowhole (dolphins have one), and spouts are about 15 feet high. Oceanside Adventure cruises also may encounter minke, humpback and fin whales, and one or more of the four types of dolphins that live off North County’s coast. According to COVID guidelines, the 49-passenger catamaran sails with only 24 passengers and follows a protocol that includes mandatory masks for passengers and crew.

hit the road e’louise ondash


hales ‘n’ snow. That’s what February in California is all

about. Regarding the former: It’s that time of year when thousands of itinerant gray whales pass through our coastal neighborhood heading south to the warm waters of coastal Mexico. You can meet some of these leviathans up-closeand-personal by hopping aboard Oceanside Adventures’ 50-foot catamaran, homeported in Oceanside Harbor across from the lighthouse. “We are at the peak of the gray whale migration,” says Carla Mitroff, manager and spokesperson for Oceanside Adventures. “We’ve been seeing them consistently, and we always see lots of dolphins, too.” The southern migration begins in December and lasts until the end of April, but the trip north to their feeding grounds off the coast of Alaska can begin as early as February. “In fact, at some point in February, we’ll be seeing the whales going in

Heading in the opposite direction … Our recent

GRAY WHALES are plentiful off the coast of Oceanside at this time of year. Most are heading south to the warm waters of Mexico, but some have already begun the return trip north. If you’re lucky during a whale-watching cruise, you’ll see the giant mammals swimming both ways. Photo courtesy of

both directions,” Mitroff says. For the uninitiated, you should know that gray whales: • Load up on food

while spending summers off Alaska’s coast. Once migration starts southward, they swim continuously and never eat. • Breed and give birth

off the coast of Mexico. • Grow to 50 feet long and weigh up to 36,000 pounds. • Have baleen, not teeth. Whales feed by

rains have translated to tons of snow in California’s mountains, and they are doing the happy dance at the state’s 35 ski resorts. Nearby Bear Mountain and Snow Summit at Big Bear Lake, and Mountain High at Wrightwood are open, as are the dozen ski resorts in the North Lake Tahoe area, which “boasts the highest concentration of ski resorts in North America,” according to The COVID-19 pandemic presents challenges when it comes to opening ski resorts this season, but officials at North Tahoe say

they are ready. “… Our business community, residents and visitors have quickly adapted to new protocols in support of our tourism-based economy,” said Andy Chapman, president and CEO of the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau. “The businesses in our region are incredibly resilient and have put tremendous thought and effort into ensuring they can operate safely this winter.” Area resorts and merchants feature new hand-sanitizing stations, more outdoor seating and takeout food, electrostatic sanitizing sprayers, RFID lift gates to provide touchless scanning, and “care teams” responsible for resort sanitation and cleanliness. Reservations and face-coverings are required everywhere, including for activities like ice skating, sledding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Guests also must practice social distancing throughout the resorts, businesses, on trails, public lands and other recreational areas. Have an adventure you want to share? Email eondash@coastnewsgroup. com. For more travel photos and discussion, visit www. /elouise.ondash.

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T he C oast News - I nland E dition

FEB. 5, 2021

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FEB. 5, 2021


T he C oast News - I nland E dition

Virtual prayer event focuses on health workers By Tigist Layne

THE SOUTHERN Poverty Law Center classifies the Proud Boys as a hate group. File photo



the organization as a gang. In a separate video shared on a Facebook account under the name “Mick Florio,” Sobczak brags about a physical altercation with an anti-Trump activist during a protest in Yorba Linda in Orange County. Sobczak has also been linked to a Parler account under the name “Mickey Knuckles.” Parler is a social networking platform similar to Twitter that has a significant user base of political conservatives and right-wing extremists. John Smartt, the post’s 1st vice commander, directly under Sobczak in the chain of command, told The Coast News that another post member presented charges against Sobczak and that he will soon face a trial to determine if he will, in fact, be removed from his post. “We are addressing it, we’re not ignoring. It’s something that we feel is very important,” Smartt said. “-These are accusations, and they’re pretty serious accusations, so we want to make sure that we afford him his due process, just like any of us would like to be afforded. So no one is going to try to railroad him out of there, we’re going to follow the process, and if it’s deemed that he should be removed, then he’ll be removed.” Sobczak has been removed from his position as dean of the American Legion College as well as a seat on the national board



safer and more comfortable for every person who uses them, regardless of age, race or physical ability. SANDAG previously completed a 1-mile section of the trail in San Marcos in early 2017 and will be completing three more miles of the trail as part of two future projects. Construction of a 1-mile segment of the trail between Mar Vista Drive and Civic Center Drive in Vista is expected to begin in 2022. A planned 2-mile

of the American Legion Riders, however, it is up to the local Escondido post to decide Sobczak’s fate as a post commander. Smartt said that the trial is a lengthy process that will probably go into April or maybe even May. Sobczak will be up for re-election in May. In the meantime, he is not under suspension. “He’s still actively engaged in post activities and the business of the post,” Smartt said. “We don’t have a provision in the bylaws to suspend him unless he has done something that has brought physical harm to another member of the post, and while we’ve received a lot of negative attention, we haven’t received anything that warrants an immediate suspension based on the bylaws. If we were to suspend him without due cause, he could appeal it.” Though Sobczak has been asked to resign by members of the post, he refuses to do so. The post’s board, which consists of three officers – Smartt, a judge advocate and a disinterested party – will be the ones conducting the trial. However, once the trial is finished, Sobczak has a right to appeal the verdict. “One person’s actions do not define the entire post. We’re a post full of good people… we want to keep doing good in the community and we hope the community will continue to support us,” Smartt said. “This is a really hard time for us we’ve never had this kind of negative publicity because we haven’t had this segment of the bikeway that runs between Civic Center Drive and North Drive in Vista will be part of a future project when a funding source is identified for construction. The approximately $16.2 million newly constructed three-mile segment of the Inland Rail Trail was funded through a combination of federal, state and local sources, including TransNet, the regional, voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvement projects administered by SANDAG.

kind of behavior.” Smartt added that no other members have been accused or charged with anything related to this incident. Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara, a member of the American Legion Escondido post, sent this statement to The Coast News: “I am, along with almost 900 other veterans, a proud member of Escondido American Legion Post #149. In fact, I am a life member of the Legion and support its values. The actions of our Post commander supporting the Proud Boys are contrary to the values of this country, the Legion and the Escondido community. Actions have been taken to initiate his removal. We were all very disappointed in his course of action and reject it as an acceptable form of civil discourse and disagreement.” At this time, it is unclear if Sobczak attended or was affiliated with the Jan. 6 insurrection of the Capitol.

REGION — Almost 2,000 people tuned in to the third We Pray San Diego gathering on Saturday, Jan. 30, to collectively pray for health care workers and those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 23 churches across San Diego County came together to host an hour-long virtual prayer to specifically address San Diego hospitals, health care staff, first responders, those struggling with COVID and their families. “We have seen the sacrifices made by our frontline health care worker, so we wanted to lift them up and to remind them that we see them, we see what they do day in and day out and we want to be there for them,” said pastor Mario Compean of Rock church San Marcos. Organizers of the event connected with 17 hospitals and dozens of health care workers to ask them about their experiences and what they needed prayer for.

Pastor John Ettore from The Gathering Place church told The Coast News that these health care workers expressed that they’ve never seen death like this before and that they’ve never experienced this kind of exhaustion. “They are feeling enormous emotional, spiritual, psychological pressure, so this means the world to them,” Ettore said. “They are deeply appreciative, they are overwhelmed and so thankful. They feel loved and seen, and they’re very grateful for the prayers.” The event drew in 1,871 people from all over the county and even around the world. Last year, the first event drew 15,000 people from across San Diego County and other states, followed by the second gathering, which drew nearly 3,300 people. “We want to remind people that we are in this fight together, they are not alone in this and they don’t have to go far to find com-

munity,” Compean said. “We believe in the power of prayer, so we’re praying for everyone that is struggling through this pandemic. … We want to be a beacon of light and hope in the midst of a dark season.” Participants in the event were given an hourlong guided prayer that was available in English and Spanish in the hopes that everyone would be unified throughout the entire prayer. “Over the last year, we’re divided politically, we’re divided regarding the health mandates. We have people that are leaving churches, mad at their pastors for wearing masks, for not wearing masks, for believing in COVID, for not believing in COVID, the racial divide — it is a mess,” Ettore said. “The church is fractured and fragmented ... so we called believers from all over the county to pray together. That brings healing and clarity to what’s important and helps us remember who we are.”

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FEB. 5, 2021

Food &Wine

Coffee shop opens despite COVID hardships

WESTON AND SAMANTHA Nawrocki opened a new Manzanita Roasting location in Escondido in November, in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy Manzanita Roasting By Tigist Layne

ESCONDIDO — Amid a widespread economic downturn and the realities of social distancing, one local couple decided to open up a coffee shop, Manzanita Roasting, a place for the community. Weston and Samantha Nawrocki started as wholesale roasters in 2015 before opening their first Manzanita location in Rancho Bernardo in 2017. This past November,

the couple decided to open another location at 301 E. Grand Ave., just a few minutes’ walk from their house. At the corner of Grand Avenue and Juniper, the shop is part of the newly renovated Grand theater complex. “People drink coffee. Everyone wants to go out and get coffee,” Samantha said. “It’s one of those comfort things right now, where people are like, ‘Hey, let’s get dressed up and go down

to the coffee shop’ — and it’s good coffee, so people flock there.” The couple, who live in Historic Escondido, love that they have been able to open a coffee shop in their hometown, and the community has rallied around them. “The community is really excited. People want to get out and see other people’s smiling faces — you know behind the mask,” Samantha said. “Being

on Grand Avenue has got this whole little hometown vibe. People either walk to our shop or they drive, and they don’t have to go too far.” Samantha added that, though the changing restrictions and lockdown orders have been difficult, they are grateful to have customers and a community that has made it all worth it. They also want their customers to know that they’re here to stay. Manzanita Roasting was one of the 696 new Escondido-based businesses that applied for a business license from March 1 through Nov. 23, 2020, during the pandemic, said Amber Tarrac, Escondido’s Deputy Director of Economic Development. “This is a tribute to the resilience and perseverance of the Escondido community to forge ahead and build a business they can be proud of right here in our City,” Tarrac said. Manzanita Roasting is open for outdoor service under the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. “It’s really good coffee and a really friendly staff, and we’re all safe and wearing masks. Come see us and get out of your bubble for a little bit,” Samantha said. Weston, who is a chef and accomplished sommelier, is among the top roasters in America, roasting beans from organic, independently owned small farms in Africa, South America and Central America. Members of Samantha’s family are the third-generation owners of Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo.

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KASSIDY ELIZONDO with her creation, a chocolate coffee whiskey cake. Photo courtesy First Light Whiskey

Coffee and whiskey and chocolate, oh my!


was perusing the First Light Coffee Whiskey website searching for a cocktail recipe that might inspire me to do more than just pour a few fingers of the good stuff onto an ice cube when I saw it. “Chocolate Whiskey Cake: A full cup o' joe and a hearty pour of Coffee Whiskey take this cake to the next level.” Um, yes please. Pre-pandemic I might have sent the recipe to my mom (an excellent baker) and suggest maybe we try to make it the next time she came to visit, knowing that she would do most of the making and I would do most of the eating. However, we are in a pandem-ic, and our visits are done primarily via video chat. If I was going to get some chocolate whis-key cake into my mouth, I was going to have to take matters into my own hands. I checked the ingredients list and conveniently had all the ingredients on hand. We keep the pantry shelf full of the staples — in particular, the ingredients often found in cookies. However, this would be my first attempt at making a cake that didn’t come pre-mixed in a package. I’ll be honest that I was a little nervous about the entire endeavor for two reasons.

Cheers! North County

Ryan Woldt First, I’m vegan-ish. So I would have to substitute some ingredients. I make an excep-tion for cheese, because, well, it is cheese. It is delicious and I’m from Wisconsin. I’ve tried to cut it out many times, but never succeeded. Second, there was some vocabulary terms in the recipe I wasn’t familiar with like “fold in the flour” and “saucepan.” I’m pretty comfortable in the kitchen, but my training isn’t what you might consider well-rounded. I poured a few fingers of coffee whiskey into a glass off to the side for hydration pur-poses, and then got to work. I wrote the recipe down on some scrap paper to prevent my lap-top from being splattered with chocolate and collected all the ingredients on the counter. I started melting vegan butter on low heat. I made a cup of Marea Baja coffee in a French press. I added chocolate and cof TURN TO CHEERS! ON 13

FEB. 5, 2021

T he C oast News - I nland E dition


Food &Wine Wineries and restaurants open again for outdoor tasting, dining ing it a playground of fun and learning. Pick from horseback riding, cooking classes, E-bike rentals, archery and a “field to fork” class. Of course, this is a VIP winery with the emphasis on Rhone style French wines, led by a 2015 Backbone Syrah, which hits double gold annually. See more and reserve your Geneseo Inn suite at

taste of wine frank mangio


ith Valentine’s Day just a brief week-plus away, our needy friends in the hospitality and wine business would love to see you for a hearty glass of wine and a dinner away from home. If time permits, visit Cass Vineyard and Winery in Paso Robles, and hook up with owner Steve Cass and partner Ted Plemons. They’ve officially kicked off 2021 as the year of “New Beginnings and New Hopes.” Last year with the lockdowns and restrictions, not many of their upgrades and plans got to see the light of day. But it’s a new dawn and a new day and hopes are high that serving wine and food will be approved inside as well. Cass Vineyard and Winery began operations back in 1999 when Steve Cass retired from the Charles Schwab brokerage business at 48 years old. Paso Robles was a favorite place to visit. That, and his love of wine, moved him to find a 145-acre pasture, perfect for a vineyard and winery. In 2002, Cass found Ted Plemons, a real estate builder, who constructed a tasting room, production barn and residence. A mutual love of Syrah reds led to other big ideas and soon Paso Robles



fee and whiskey together. I whisked. I let things cool. I start-ed folding in flour or doing something that I think was folding. I added a cup of this. I sprinkled in a teaspoon of that. I buttered the cake pan. I preheated the oven. I also sipped my coffee whiskey between steps, made an incredibly impressive mess in our tiny galley kitchen and turned the music up loud. Baking is fun. Finally, I added the chocolate chips to the mix, poured it into the pan and put the whole mix in the oven. When the bell dinged nearly an hour later, I opened the oven door and, I kid you not, there was a cake in there. I sprinkled powdered sugar over the thick dark brown cake, cut off a wedge, took a final sip of coffee whiskey and performed my official taste test. I’ll save the suspense. It was a cake with coffee, whiskey and chocolate, and it was freaking delicious.

THE 2017 DAOU Magnum Soul of a Lion is now in a Valentine’s Day Gift Set at the winery. Courtesy photo

had another progressive winery, capped recently by the newest modern winery retreat, Geneseo Inn at Cass. Geneseo Inn is a luxury boutique hotel nestled in the rolling hills of Cass Winery’s 145 acres of vineyard, allowing guests to “breathe in the vineyard views.” At Geneseo, you’ll enjoy ultra-modern appliances and décor, panoramic elevated vineyard views from a private bedroom deck, and an included daily Estate Breakfast, prepared by the executive chef. Chef gardens are grown around the perimeter of Geneseo, making it the quintessential food, wine and lodging experience. Guests can ramp up their adventure with an optional “Cass Camp” experience in the vineyard, mak-

DAOU’s perfect Valentine’s Day gift No matter lockdowns, pandemic and outside only, nothing can diminish true love, Valentine’s Day and DAOU’s lovely Soul of a Lion Magnum Gift Set. This gift honors inspiring love stories of family members. Toast your love with a “Soulmates” Gift Set that includes: a regal 2017 Magnum Soul of a Lion along with a lion head pourer-aerator in a luxury gift box. This Bordeaux Blend wine displays richness, elegance and balance, the hallmarks of a superb growing season that allowed for extended ripening. A deep, complex bouquet reveals notes of cassis, black currant, licorice, incense, ripe plum and vanilla. The wine has received very high marks, from 95 to 97 points, from leading wine commentators. Cost for the gift set is $350 plus $10 flat shipping. To order yours, go to Reach him at frank@

Kassidy Elizondo and www. pan until it dissolves and and allow to cool slightly. modified by Ryan Woldt 3. Pre-heat oven to 325. Ingredients 4. Butter a 9" cake • 1 cup butter/butter al- pan. ternative 5. Whisk in eggs & • ½ cup cocoa powder (I vanilla into the batter in prefer dark chocolate from the saucepan (I moved it Guittard)* into a bowl for easier mix• 1 cup coffee ing) • 1/3 cup First Light 6. Fold in flour, bakCoffee Whiskey* ing soda, salt and chocolate • 2/3 cup brown sugar chips. • 2/3 cup white sugar 7. Bake 45-55 min• 2 eggs (or egg substi- utes (Our oven is terrible, tute, i.e. bananas or flax- so I did 65 minutes, but if seed) you have a good oven start • 1½ teaspoons vanilla on the low end). • 1 1/3 cup flour 8. Dust with pow• 1 teaspoon baking dered sugar. soda 9. Pour yourself a • ½ teaspoon salt coffee whiskey. Add an ice • 2/3 cup chocolate cube if you prefer. chips 10. Eat. *Whatever chocolate you choose I encourage you to find one that is ethically sourced like Guittard to help prevent forced labor common in the chocolate industry.

1. Melt butter and mix in coffee, coffee whiskey and chocolate powder together in a sauce pan over CHOCOLATE COFFEE low heat. WHISKEY CAKE RECIPE 2. Whisk brown and Courtesy of creator white sugar into the sauce-

Do you listen to podcasts? Are you interested in interesting things being done by in-teresting people in North County San Diego. Be sure to check out the most recent episode of the Cheers! North County podcast with the co-founders of First Light Whiskey. Stream it on The Coast News online or search for it on your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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T he C oast News - I nland E dition

FEB. 5, 2021



Know something that’s going on? Send it to calendar@

FEB. 5


The San Diego Children’s Choir begins its spring season Feb. 14. Sign up at All sessions will be virtual through mid-March. If you missed what’s going on in Carlsbad Village, catch up with the video at carlsbad-village. com /post/missed-virtualvillage-voices-no-problemcatch-up-with-the-video.

FEB. 6


Barrio Glassworks and CVA are bringing an adventurous treasure hunt for custom glass hearts to Carlsbad Village. Barrio Glassworks will create 50 collectible glass hearts that will be hidden throughout Carlsbad Village starting Feb. 6. CVA will host a Treasure Hunt where community members will be given clues to find the hearts during the two-week period. Each heart will be engraved with the year and number and the finder will be asked to register their heart on the CVA-hosted website. Each heart will have a label affixed to it that will tell the finder where to register their found heart. Visit on line at for event information. Also, follow on Instagram @carlsbadvillage and Facebook CIVIL WAR DRAMA EXTENDED

North Coast Repertory Theatre has extended “Necessary Sacrifices” through

Edward Lee Mendez, 54 Carlsbad January 25, 2021

SD CHILDREN’S CHOIR spring season begins Feb. 14. If you’re a kid who loves to sing, sign up at Courtesy photo

March 7. “Necessary Sacrifices” is based on the two documented meetings between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass at the height of the Civil War. Tickets at

FEB. 7


mental diversity in Oceanside. Grab your art supplies and a computer or personal device, and take a virtual trip to several favorite spots selected by members of OMA’s Artist Alliance on this month’s interactive map at

FEB. 9

Join the Painting Challenges And Plein Air Paint LET’S TALK THEATER Share with Oceanside MuseNorth Coast Repertory um of Art. Paint all month, Theatre welcomes Marty Share noon to 2 p.m. Feb.7. Burnett and new celebrities each week to its “Theatre Conversations,” an ongoing selection of interviews PAINT INSIDE OR OUT with various actors and othIn association with ers from the theater world. Oceanside Museum of Art’s Subscribe to the NCRT Youupcoming Plein Air Festi- Tube channel at https://bit. val in April, OMA invites ly/3cNJNIB or e-mail NCRT seasoned or beginner paint- at conversations@northers to venture solo into the great outdoors and paint iconic Oceanside locations LUMINOSITY over the next four months. The Oceanside Museum Each month we will offer a of Art offers a two-day worksuggested painting location shop, “Painters of Luminosto celebrate the environ- ity” online from 1 to 3 p.m.

FEB. 8

Doris Kathleen Sadil, 92 Carlsbad January 26, 2021

Feb. 9 and Feb. 11. Register at Cost is $60. Participants must provide their own materials and a recommended supply list will be shared prior to the first workshop session. The link to connect online for both days will be sent in the confirmation e-mail.

FEB. 10


La Jolla Symphony and Chorus offers a re-imagined, all virtual 2020-2021 Season. “Stay Home With Us” will be a six-part monthly series, with musical encounters, interviews, solo performances and selected pre-recorded works from the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus archives, preceded by a series of newly produced and recorded pre-concert lectures, interviews, and readings, hosted and curated by Steven Schick, music director. Productions will

Submission Process

February is American Heart Health Month and while we celebrate Valentine’s Day this month, let’s celebrate our heart health all year long. Heart health is vital, whether for the youngest baby or the oldest senior citizen. Cardiovascular disease does not discriminate based on age, gender, or race. Thankfully, modern medicine has made great strides in saving lives and continues to improve. Each of us can make a difference too! Learn to recognize the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke (they are different for women than men), learn CPR and encourage your relatives and neighbors to take a course as well. Talk with your doctor about healthy eating and lifestyle changes to increase your heart health.



Share the story of your loved ones life... because every life has a story. For more information call


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Please email obits @ or call (760) 436-9737 x100. All photo attachments should be sent in jpeg format, no larger than 3MB. the photo will print 1.625” wide by 1.5” tall inh black and white. Obituaries should be received by Monday at 12 p.m. for publicatio in Friday’s newspaper. One proof will be e-mailed to the customer for approval by Tuesday at 10 a.m.

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be aired Feb. 19, March 19, April 16, May 14 and June 18. Series subscriptions or individual event tickets can be purchased by visiting, phoning the box office at (858) 534-4637 or by writing to boxoffice@lajollasymphony. com. It offers a “pay what you can” and the $500 Amadeus Club subscription options. For more information, visit

FEB. 11


Sign up now for the Soroptimist International of Vista Zoom Watercolor Painting Class fundraiser from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11. Cost is $40 and includes all art supplies delivered to your door. RSVP by Feb. 5. Carlsbad artist Ronni Rosenberg will lead step by step to create a watercolor painting. Due to a registration processing glitch, anyone who registered before Jan. 18 is requested to contact Eden Weinberger at edweinberger2@gmail. com to reserve your spot and get supplies delivered. Register at soroptimistvista. CROP org/painting-class-fundrais.93 er/. Funds raised will go directly.93 to Soroptimist Dream 4.17 to benefit women programs 4.28 and girls.

FEB. 12


Lux Art Institute’s newest artist residency is entitled [Glyph]. This exhibition, at 1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas, features the work of Salvadoran artist, Beatriz Cortez who has invited artists rafa esparza, Kang Seung Lee, Candice Lin, Pavithra Prasad, and Christian Tedeschi to collaborate and explore the continuous motion of the landscape. Work will be presented through installations, performances, and sculptures across Lux’s outdoor campus. Due to COVID-19, artists will work onsite outside of regular visitor hours to maintain distance from visitors. The project of Christian Tedeschi will be exhibited through Feb. 13 and Beatriz Cortez from Feb. 16 to Feb. 27. Tickets free at

creased hardships due to the pandemic. They’ve provided the invaluable work of connecting with students who have been out of touch or disengaged, and have highlighted the critical need for strong relationships with students and their families.” Throughout her years as a school counselor, Baker has founded numerous clubs and organizations to connect students including the Peer Leaders Uniting Students Program, Cardinal Scholars, the ADL No Place for Hate program, and most recently, the Students Without Limits Program, which supports undocumented/immigrant youth, and more. “I grew up in a military family and we moved every few years,” Baker said. “One of the things that was consistent was me being in school. I loved school, it was my safe place. So the idea of being part of making school a safe place for students is very special to me because schools had done that for me.” Baker’s parents are originally from the Philippines, which has inspired her to make sure that students from all walks of life feel embraced and empowered to not only succeed in school but in whatever they choose to do later in life, as well. “I find school counseling to be unique in that we can help empower students and families, and help them achieve equity and access. As counselors, we can help students gain access to all of the resources and opportunities that are available to them, which then removes these perceived barriers that may be standing in the way of their goals,” Baker said. At the ceremony, Baker was presented with a $500 check, which she says she hopes to put toward a scholarship fund for seniors at Mission Hills. “I love Mission Hills so it’s a chance for me to represent this school that I love so much and the community that I love so much,” Baker said. “Hopefully, I can bring some awareness to the role of school counselors in schools. I hope people will see how much counselors are an integral part of our school systems.” All three counselors were to be highlighted and recognized during the 6th annual San Diego School Counselor Con on Feb. 4, the second day of the virtual conference.

THINK GREEN If every person takes one small step toward being more conscientious of the environment, the collective effort will change the planet.


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LIBRA (September 23 to October 22) Accept the fact that you are worthy of being loved, and you’ll find proof in what is revealed to you over the course of the week. Also accept a compliment offered with great sincerity.

1. SCIENCE: What kind of charge does a neutron carry? 2. THEATER: Which 20th-century play features a character named Blanche DuBois? 3. HISTORY: Which ancient Greek author is considered “the Father of Comedy”? 4. LITERATURE: What were the first names of the Bronte authors and sisters? 5. FOOD & DRINK: What kind of nut also is known as a filbert or cobnut? 6. AD SLOGANS: Which brand of men’s aftershave used the advertising slogan, “Be careful how you use it”? 7. MOVIES: What was the title of the movie in which Kirk Douglas played the artist Van Gogh? 8. GAMES: Which video game character was the first to be featured as a giant balloon in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade? 9. MUSIC: Which Billy Joel song featured a couple named Brenda and Eddie, the king and queen of the prom? 10. GEOGRAPHY: What was the former name of the African country of Zimbabwe?

ARIES (March 21 to April 19) St. Valentine’s Day magic rules the entire week for romantic Rams and Ewes. Music, which is the food of love, is also strong. The weekend offers news both unexpected and anticipated. TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) Your aspects favor the arts — which the Divine Bovine loves, loves, loves. Also, for those looking for romantic love, Cupid is available for requests. After all, his mother, Venus, rules your sign. GEMINI (May 21 to June 20) Loving commitments continue to grow stronger. Ditto budding relationships. A recent move to help start-up a new career-linked direction soon could begin to show signs of progress. CANCER (June 21 to July 22) Single Moon Children might be eager to take that proverbial chance on love. But your more serious side will feel better if you take things slowly and give your moonstruck self more time. LEO (July 23 to August 22) It’s a love fest for Leos and Leonas this week. Paired Cats might expect to be purr-fectly in sync. And with matchmaking friends, single Simbas searching for romance shouldn’t have too far to look. VIRGO (August 23 to September 22) More understanding on both sides can work miracles in restoring ailing relationships to health. Make the first move, and you’ll be closer to your much-wanted reunion.

SCORPIO (October 23 to November 21) Planning to take a new direction in life is exciting. And so is a new awareness of someone’s special affection. Expect a slow and mostly steady development of the situation. SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to December 21) Although you might still feel you weren’t treated quite right in a recent matter, all that will work out in time. Meanwhile, enjoy the week’s special qualities and potentials. CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19) Deciding not to give up on a troubling romantic situation helps start the healing process. Expect to find some valuable insight into yourself as things move along. AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18) The week is filled with positive potentials, but it’s up to you to make the right choices. The advice of someone who truly cares for you and your well-being can be priceless. PISCES (February 19 to March 20) It’s a good time to make yourself available to possibilities of the romantic kind. Already paired? Good. In that case, be sure to reassure that special person of your feelings. BORN THIS WEEK: Your generosity gladdens the hearts of others, and you bask in their joy. © 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.


1. A neutron has no charge. 2. “A Streetcar Named Desire” 3. Aristophanes 4. Emily, Charlotte and Anne 5. Hazelnut 6. Hai Karate 7. “Lust for Life” 8. Sonic the Hedgehog 9. “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” 10. Rhodesia

FEB. 5, 2021


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VOL. 3, N0.



Inside: 2016 Sprin g Home & Gard en Section


Citracado Par extension pro kway ject draws on MARCH 25,

By Steve Putersk

It’s a jung

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Emi Gannod , 11, observe exhibit is s a Banded open now through April 10. Purple Wing butterfl Full story y at the on page A2. Photo San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s by Tony Cagala Butterfly


Commun Vista teacity rallies behind her placed on leave

Jungle exhibit. The

By Hoa Quach


Republic ans endors Abed ove r Gaspar e EXTENSION

ON A3 VISTA — Curren former t ents are students and and pardemanding social studies a teacher Vista lowed to be alkeep his the admin job. Vincen By Aaron Romero istration to keep has workedt Romero, Burgin at Ranch Vista High o for the who REGIO Unified School. Buena Vista ty Repub N — The Coun- Krvaric A protest since 1990,School Distric lican Party Sam Abed’ssaid. “Clear thrown at the school was also held paid admin was placed t ly has its suppor long-ti . Escondido on t behind steadfast commi me and istrative “This from his Republican leave Mayor tment Abed in gry,” wrotemakes me so na Vistajob at Rancho BueSam anprinciples to ty Dist. the race for Coun- values earned of Fallbro Jeffrey Bright and March 7. High School 3 Superv ok, him port of who said on graduated isor. The committeethe suphe Now, of San Republican Party bers and we more than from the school memwith morean online petitio 20 years last weekDiego announced endorse him.” are proud to already ago. tures is than 1,900 signa-n that it endorse ucation fear that our “I Gaspar’s istration asking the admin A social Abed overvoted to reache edcampaign Republican apart. I system is falling d this fellow back to to bring Romer - placed on studies teacher week and Encini pressed disapp the classro at Rancho adminis tas Mayor not goingworry my kids o dents Buena are om. On and parentstrative leave in ointment exwho is also Kristin Gaspar - not receivi education to get a valuab early March. Vista High School to launch ro told his last day, Rome- Romero. Photo in ng the le , nomina at public The an online was anymo supervisor running for by Hoa Quach party’s schools leaving students he re.” petition move prompted seat currenthe several tion, but touted in support stuwas sorry held by David Whidd key endors nization because “the orgaof Vincent tly she I can’t be is seekinDave Roberts, who Marcos ements has receive with the rest change.” decided to make g re-elec called on of San out the campa d throug of the year. you for do “shameful.” a my choice tion. the move Abed, h— we’re It’s not “(They a polariz who has been “While ign. “This confidence ) no longer have it goes.” , but it’s the way until there’s going to fight I’m disaphis two ing figure during pointed not genuinely is a teacher fight with. nothing left know what in me that that terms In the to cares,” get ty endors to wrote. as mayor I plan to Escondido, I ute speech roughly I’m doing,” Whidd for your Romero, ement, the par“Both be back in proud senior year.” secured said I’m very coveted Mr. Romer of my sons on whose to studen4-minto have were record the of Romer remark emotional ts, an the suppor ment by party endors joyed his o and greatly had Mayor students o also urged on Facebo ed and posteds to fight the Romero vowed t Faulco ene- the class.” his to be kind than two receiving more administratio four Repub ner and new A former like what ok. “They don’t “I’m not Counc lican City n. but social studies to their mine studen committee’s thirds of I do. They ing,” like the the tors ilmembers, don’t not said Romer disappear- pal to give “hell” teacher RomerVelare of Vista,t, Jasvotes, threshold Senais what way I do it. So, to Princio Charles the and Bates and Anders said going away.o, 55. “I’m happens. this someth candidate required for teacher.” was “an amazin Schindler. Assemblyman on, Follow ing I’m really This is a Chavez g to receive ing endorsement Rocky nounce ,” “I that’s what I can fight, the the an- get himwas lucky enough party membe over a fellow “I’ve been Gaspar said. we’re goingand ture, a ment of his deparmyself,” to petition tive Repub a very effecto on Petitio “He truly she was “Endo r. lican mayor cares for wrote. a Democ, created publican rsing one what he ratic in Re- ing urging quires a over another on balanccity by focusTURN TO ed budget TEACHER — and 2/3 vote thresh re- economic ON A15 s, rarely happenold and GOP quality development, Chairman s,” continu of life Tony Board e to do so and will on the of Superv isors.”


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i ESCON enviro amendment DIDO — An port nmental impact to the lution of from April rereso- ternati 2012. AlCitracado necessity for ves the sion projectParkway exten- with residenwere discussed ts in four munity Wednesday was approv ed of publicmeetings and comby the Council. gatherings. a trio City “The project Debra rently Lundy, property real cated designed as curcity, said manager for and plannewas lothe it was due to a needed manner that will d in a compatible omissionsclerical error, be most the est with attached of deeds to public good the greatbe private and least adjustm to the land. The injury, ent said. ” Lundy parcel beingis the only acquired fee the city, which is by city She also reporte ty, she added. a necess and proper d the i- have ty owners had The project, eminent domain meetings inmore than 35 the past in the which has been years to develo four works for years, will However, p the plan. several erty complete the missing the mit owners did not proproadway section of a counte subthe ny Grove, between Harmo city’s statutoroffer to the ry offer and AndreVillage Parkw - April 14, 2015. on ason Drive. ay to Lundy, Accord The the owners ing not feel a review city conduc did the ted offer matche which was of the project what the land , outlined is worth, d in the al-

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T he C oast News - I nland E dition

FEB. 5, 2021

Rivers brought touch of the South to North County


hilip Rivers was noted for his Sunday drives, the ones that led the Chargers, and briefly the Indianapolis Colts, to numerous victories. But it was Rivers’ weekday drives, the ones from North County to Costa Mesa, that enhanced his local popularity. Rivers, a longtime Santaluz resident, didn’t move to Los Angeles after the Chargers fled San Diego following the 2016 season. Instead Rivers was content to plop his backside into a customized van to make the 90-minute commute to the team’s facility in Orange

the New York Giants and then peddled to the Chargers in a blockbuster trade orchestrated by then-San Diego general manager A. J. Smith, a Del Mar resident. Rivers checked in with a funny throwing motion and an aw-shucks demeanor. The Alabama native was as country as a dirt road and

RECENTLY RETIRED NFL quarterback Philip Rivers was a North County fixture for many years. Photo via Twitter

County. While in transit Rivers would study tape instead of tailgates, pursing his passion for football but not at the expense of uprooting his family that included nine kids. Rivers, 39, retired recently, ending a 17-year career in which he spent all but his last season with the Chargers. With the Bolts, Rivers was a North County fixture, spotted at youth sports games, church or by just being present and polite. I was a Chargers beat writer for the North County Times when Rivers arrived in 2004, a hotshot quarterback from North Carolina State. First he was drafted by

Rivers wore that persona as comfortably as the T-shirts he sported. When one read “Piggly Wiggly” reporters scratched their heads of its meaning while I reached for my phone. My cousin, Toebuck King, worked at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Iuka, Miss., for four decades. My connection with Rivers was a Southern one: my Mom is from Mississippi and that background helped me translate Rivers to others. When Rivers said, “dadgumit,” that was the equivalent of him cussing. When Rivers said, “fixin’ to” that meant he was about to do something. A “purt-near ready” meant something was close to happening. Once there was a Jim’s

Southern BBQ in Encinitas that intrigued Rivers, especially when he learned it carried his beverage of choice. “They got any Peach Nehi there?” asked Rivers, then a backup to Drew Brees. “I love Peach Nehi.” I would slip him Peach Nehi on occasion and it never failed to produce a smile. But my relationship with Rivers wasn’t an aberration. He was exceedingly gracious with all media, a rare occurrence from an NFL quarterback of Rivers’ pedigree. Rivers was homespun and his remarks seldom came with a period. If asked a question Rivers would unleash a tsunami of quotes that would string together numerous thoughts and reflections. What Rivers never did was criticize a teammate or coach. What he always did, as they say down South, was to “spread the sugar around” in giving praise to others. Rivers is a Hall of Fame Southern gentleman and he could be bound for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. When Rivers tapped out, he was No. 5 all-time in the NFL in completions (5,277), passing yards (63,440) and touchdown passes (421). Instead of numbers, we celebrate what Rivers meant to the Chargers, North County and countless others. Years ago Rivers was the keynote speaker at religious program in Phoenix. But a blanket of morning fog canceled Rivers’ flight. Instead of sending regrets and an autographed football, Rivers hopped in his car. He made the five-hour trek, gave a 90-minute talk, and then pointed his vehicle back toward North County. It was yet another drive that underscored Rivers’ commitment to others. There’s a Southern compliment for that and it fits, as Rivers was never “too big for his britches.” Contact Jay Paris at Follow him @jparis_sports.

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FEB. 5, 2021


T he C oast News - I nland E dition

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T he C oast News - I nland E dition

FEB. 5, 2021

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