Inland Edition, June 23, 2023

Page 1

Song to ‘Cher’

Mom jailed in 78 crash that killed 2 kids

From staff and wire reports VISTA — A woman was jailed on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter in connection with a Vista freeway collision that killed her two children over the weekend.

The events that led to the double fatality on the eastbound side of state Route 78 began shortly after 6 p.m. June 18, when Sandra Ortiz, 33, pulled over onto the shoulder near Mar Vista Drive, according to the California Highway Patrol.

After the vehicle came to a stop, Ortiz’s children, ages 10 and 16, got out and were hit by an oncoming car, the CHP reported.

The victims, whose names were not immediately available, died at the scene.

Feds launch plan to find home for nuclear waste

— The prospect of removing spent nuclear fuel stored at the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station came one step closer to being realized after the U.S. Department of Energy launched a new plan to find temporary repositories while a permanent site is completed.

On June 9, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Congressman Mike Levin (D-CA) visited the

former nuclear power plant, situated along the coast of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton between San Diego and Orange counties, to announce the federal government would be dedicating $26 million to find communities willing to accept a temporary federal site to store nuclear-spent fuel. Currently, the United States does not have a designated permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel.


Vista City Council OKs Bobier Drive roundabout


VISTA — A lengthy discussion last week about a controversial roundabout on Bobier Drive ended with a split City Council giving it the greenlight.

Happy Birthday!

The Vista Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 100th anniversary. 3

During its June 13 meeting, the council approved the roundabout at the intersection with Calle Jules as part of the city’s Fiscal Year 2022-23 and 2023-24 Capital Project Mid-Cycle update.

The vote was 3-2. Mayor John Franklin and

Councilman Joe Green voted no after an emotional and long discussion about how best to calm traffic and improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and students at Foothill Oak Elementary School.

The road splits the districts of Green and Councilwoman Corinna Contreras, and they went back and forth over the roundabout. Green said he was in favor of a traffic light and asked


It remained unclear Monday why Ortiz stopped on the side of the freeway, though it may have been because a piece of luggage she had tied to the roof of her vehicle had come loose, according to news accounts.

“(The children) were retrieving something from the vehicle,” CHP Officer Ryan Harrison told The Coast News.

The woman driving the car that fatally struck the children remained at the scene after the incident and fully cooperated with officers, Harrison said.

He said law enforcement did not suspect her of driving under the influence.

Ortiz was being held at Las Colinas women’s jail in Santee on $500,000 bail pending arraignment, which was scheduled for June 22.

JUNE 23,, 2023 INLAND EDITION .com T he CoasT News
Debbra Sweet of Vista overcame a traumatic brain injury to launch a career as a Cher tribute performer, author and business consultant. Story on Page 10 Photo by Marce Bowe San Marcos reels in seafood chain Diners lined up June 19 for the grand opening of The Boiling Crab, a Cajuninspired seafood spot. 11
The 2023 Best of North County CONTEST WINNERS will be announced online July 12th at ...and featured in the upcoming Best Of NOrth COuNty MagaziNe Winners will also be printed in the July 14th issue of the COast News Please support local news by supporting our advertisers!


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2 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N JUNE 23, 2023

Vista Chamber turns 100, looks to future

San Marcos fundraises for July 4 fireworks


— Business owners, elected leaders, residents and more were among the hundreds who packed The Vistonian on June 14 to celebrate the Vista Chamber of Commerce’s 100th anniversary.

The chamber has been a focal point for the city, its residents and region even before Vista was incorporated. The chamber’s focus is on business but also how other components tie into the city such as support for education, infrastructure, recreation and housing, to name a few.

Rachel Beld, chief executive officer of the chamber, said the event was inspiring as the organization has been a pillar of the community for a century. Beld came on board in 2019 after spending her career with the cities of Vista and Del Mar, mostly in economic development.

“It was an amazing celebration of all of the people, the projects, the work and a celebration of our community,” Beld said. “It’s about our community and the larger group of people who’ve worked over that past century.”

The Vista chamber began on June 6, 1923, with 18 founding members; they held the first board meeting on June 13, 1923. Months later, E.A. Marsh won $20 for his winning community slogan, “Viva Vista,” which is the theme for this year’s Christmas parade.

Perhaps one of the chamber’s biggest achievements came in 1924 when it rallied residents to pass a bond to create the Vista Ir-

rigation District to bolster the dominant industry of the time — agriculture, according to Dave Baldwin, the chamber’s board president.

The flow of water helped strengthen the agriculture industry and became the foundation for a more robust infrastructure system as the number of residents grew.

On Jan. 28, 1963, the city incorporated thanks in part by a push from the chamber, Beld said.

“Bringing water to the region really was the lifeblood that caused Vista to develop,” Mayor John Franklin said. “That made Vista a thriving agricultural center for strawberries and avocados.”

The chamber’s robust history includes hosting the annual Strawberry Festival, being the driving force behind the 672-acre South Vista Industrial Park, partnering with the Vista Education Foundation for their Heroes of Vista gala and teaming with the city to grant more than $2 million in business grants for COVID-19 pandemic relief, according to Beld.

Also, the chamber launched a student internship program last year, where the chamber pays a high school junior $16 per hour to work for a business in Vista, she said.

Beld said 42 students were matched with employ

Escondido ending Tiny Tots in 2024

The city’s Tiny Tots early education and preschool program will end in a year’s time.

The City Council agreed to keep the program running for one more year before shutting it down due to declining enrollment mixed with structural budget issues (see story on Page 5) during the June 14 council meeting.

Tiny Tots has operated in various capacities for over 35 years, providing children 18 months to 5 years preschool introduction, exploratory activities, social interaction, basic academic concepts, kindergarten preparation and summer camp.

First provided through a contracted entity, the program grew in popularity and eventually became a city-run program.

Though popular early on, enrollment has decreased over the last several years. Staff believe the decline in enrollment has to do with the city’s shrinking age group combined with multiple competing programs throughout the city, including preschool and transitional kindergarten classes available for free through the Escondido Union School District.

The population of children 5 years old and younger

in Escondido dropped 17% between 2017 and 2022.

At the council meeting, Deputy Director of Community Services Robert Rhoades suggested that Tiny Tots funding and staff would be better suited to fill roles in other city programs that provide senior transportation, recreation classes, afterschool programs and summer camps.

“Confronted with flat budgets and rising costs, the Community Services staff had to make some difficult choices as to where to spend those resources,” Rhoades said. “I believe that they would be better utilized in other programs that serve a greater portion of the community.”

Several parents and former participants of Tiny Tots asked the city to reconsider ending the program.

Resident Melanie Johnson described how her 3-year-old son is currently thriving in the program and fears similar programs like transitional kindergarten may not suit him.

“I don’t think he is ready to jump into a 6-hour program, five days a week,” Johnson said. “This program provides an amazing transition opportunity that teaches children how to succeed in school.”

Despite the pleas to keep the program open, the

City Council agreed that the funds would be better spent elsewhere, especially as the city struggles to balance an ongoing structural budget deficit.

“Last week we were having conversations about closing libraries, fire sta tions and police cuts,” said Councilmember Consuelo Martinez. “Cuts are inevita ble due to the current bud get deficit.”

Although Martinez agreed that the closure of Tiny Tots is necessary, she felt there wasn’t enough notice given to the commu nity and asked to give the program one more year as a transition period for fam ilies.

The City Council voted 3-2 to give the program one more year before closing, with Councilmembers Mike Morasco and Christian Gar cia opposed.

Morasco, who has served on the City Council for over a decade, noted that the city has been discussing the program’s potential clo sure for some time and felt it was time to make a decision.

“This is something that staff has studied for an ex tensive amount of time,” Morasco said. “It’s time to make that choice and move forward with a very well thought of and emotionally steady recommendation by staff.”

ers and 12 were offered jobs upon completion of the 100hour internship, a goal she said wasn’t planned but was excited to build into the future of the program.

The program is designed to connect students with businesses in a field of interest, Beld said. She said the exploratory nature allows students to get a feel for their area of interest or perhaps find another path.

Baldwin, meanwhile, said the chamber is getting back to normal after the pandemic and the future is bright.

He said the 500-plus member organization’s future will focus on partnerships, workforce development and other ways to strengthen the city’s residents and business community.

“I think the chamber has always been a key part of the community,” he said. “I think the direction of the chamber is looking at more ways to partner with the city, to getting engaged in workforce development, to help people get the right education … and hopefully keep them here in Vista.”

Local residents are being asked to help fundraise for the annual Fourth of July fireworks show organized by the city of San Marcos at Bradley Park.

The Red, White and Boom! Fourth of July Celebration begins at 5 p.m. with free entertainment including live music, games, jumpers and food, followed by the fireworks show at 9 p.m.

City officials hope to fundraise $30,000 for the event, currently in its 37th year. As of June 19, the GoFundMe created by Friends of San Marcos Parks and Recreation had raised around $1,900.

“The community fundraising has been in practice for 25 years. The community's ongoing fiscal support for this event allows us to continue the tradition of the Red, White and Boom! Fourth of July Celebration,” city spokesperson Tess Sangster said.

If the fundraiser falls short of the goal, the city will use its special event budget to cover the remainder of the cost, Sangster said.

Residents are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets for fireworks viewing.

Bradley Park is at 1587 Linda Vista Drive.

JUNE 23, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 3
VISTA CHAMBER of Commerce CEO Rachel Beld speaks during the organization’s 100th anniversary celebration on June 14 at The Vistonian. Mayor John Franklin is at right. Photo by Steve Puterski

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Aging into Medicare

More than 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day. That’s more than 3.6 million new people learning to navigate Medicare each year.

If you were born in 1958, you are joining the 6.69 million individuals in California eligible for the government’s health insurance program this year.

Here are the key things I recommend you understand before enrolling in Medicare to get the health insurance coverage that best fits your lifestyle.

1. Know your Initial Enrollment Period: If you’re already getting Social Security, you’ll likely automatically get Original Medicare starting the first day of the month you turn 65.

If not, you have a seven-month window in which to enroll in Original Medicare, starting three months before your birthday month and ending three months after.

For example, if your birthday is in July, your Initial Enrollment Period is April through October. It’s a good idea to enroll before the month you’ll turn 65, since, in most cases, you’ll gain coverage the first day of your birthday month.

Otherwise, your coverage may be delayed. Missing this enrollment period could result in future penalties if you later decide to enroll in Original Medicare.

2. Know what to do if you still have insurance through an employer: If you or your spouse have group health insurance from a current employer, you may be able to delay enrolling in Medicare until the employment or coverage ends.

3. Understand the different types of coverage: Since everyone has unique health needs, the good

news is you have options when it comes to Medicare.

However, evaluating all those options can feel overwhelming. The first choice you have to make is between Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan to cover your medical appointments and visits to the hospital.

Original Medicare is managed by the federal government and includes Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insur -

out-of-pocket costs more predictable.

Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) are all-inone plans offered by private insurers, like Humana, that cover everything included with Original Medicare and may include additional benefits, like dental, hearing and vision care, prescription drugs, transportation to medical appointments, fitness programs and flexible spending allowances, depending on the plans available in

ance). It covers about 80% of medical costs and allows you to use any health provider who accepts Medicare. However, it does not cover most prescription drugs, hearing, vision or dental care.

If you choose Original Medicare, you can choose to add a Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) through a private insurer.

If you are concerned about the cost of personally covering 20% of your medical expenses through Original Medicare, you can purchase Medicare Supplemental Insurance, or Medigap, to make your

your area. Many Medicare Advantage plans also have $0 premiums; however, these plans do have provider networks, so check if your doctors are included in plans you’re considering.

As with any major decision, proper research goes a long way toward making the best plan choice for your personal health care needs.

More information is available at and

Dan Tufto is president of Humana California Medicare.

Remember Fry’s Electronics, the warehouse-style stores that shut down completely in 2021?

Big boxes will join conversion parade california focus

Those stores joined 41 California Bed, Bath & Beyond locations, 17 Disney stores in the state and more than a dozen Best Buys that shuttered just in the last year.

They joined hundreds of locations once occupied by stores like Borders Books & Music, Kmart, KB Toys, Linens ’N Things, Mervyn’s, Circuit City, Radio Shack, Sport Chalet and Blockbuster Video.

No one has tracked just how many of those store locations have been reoccupied by other retailers, but anyone driving around California cities can readily see that many have not.

Big box stores and their parking lots often sit empty. So do scores of mini-malls.

But probably not for long. Tens of millions of square feet of office space vacated during the depth of the coronavirus pandemic remain empty today, as law firms, insurance companies, stockbrokers and many other types of white-collar businesses reduced their rental footprints and allowed millions of workers to keep working from home, wherever they make it.

Fears of contagion were also part of the reason for the many store closings around the state during the last three years, as shoppers avoided crowded spaces and ordered merchandise of almost all kinds online from home instead.

Many jilted properties are about to be reassessed at far lower tax rates than today’s, as rent reductions reduce the market value of both office towers and other types of commercial property.

It was plain from the beginning of the pandemic that the eventual answer would have to be conversions, as all those vacancies coincided with a declared housing shortage, one variously estimated by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development at anywhere from 1.2 million to 3.5 million dwelling units.

The vast differences in official state estimates of need are likely due to the sort of incompetence noted in a state auditor’s report on that department in 2021.

It took years for legislators to realize they must remove obstacles to building conversions, making residential properties out of structures originally designed as commercial.

But they finally acted last year, passing two measures that greatly ease conversions, which are already taking off in significant numbers, with more than 10,000 such permits issued

by the end of last year.

Latest example: an eight-story tower in Emeryville soon to be redeveloped near the eastern foot of the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

Expect the 10,000 figure to grow exponentially by the end of this year, especially if the first redesigned units sell easily and quickly.

One new law that took effect Jan. 1 makes new zoning unnecessary for remaking commercial properties. That was one big previous obstacle to conversions, as some cities took purist attitudes toward separation of residential and commercial property. Cities and counties will still have authority to inspect newly redesigned structures during reconstruction, just as they do with any building. But unless they find flaws that can’t be fixed, projects will proceed and new housing will result, in big numbers.

New units can be of all price levels, from lower-floor apartments and condominiums exposed to street noise to penthouse units 30-plus floors above the racket.

Emptied big box stores and their parking lots will also morph into housing, with parking lots a place where homes are built from scratch. Even excess property owned but little used by religious institutions will be available for new residences.

Some estimates from legislative aides predict as many as 1.2 million new units to appear where formerly there were offices and stores.

Two positives here are that under the new laws, not only will most projects be immune from lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), but conversions will leave existing neighborhoods largely undisturbed, while avoiding most changes in the footprints of large buildings.

In some ways, this promises to be the best of all housing worlds, letting building owners recoup their investments via rents and sales proceeds and giving neighbors little reason to be annoyed, let alone angry.

The bottom line: The solution to some of California’s housing woes is at hand, about to become a very visible reality.

4 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N JUNE 23, 2023
Opinion & Editorial Views expressed in Opinion & Editorial do not reflect the views of The Coast News
Email Thomas Elias
tom elias

Threat of severe cuts loom over Escondido

an ongoing structural budget deficit, the city expects to make deep service cuts in the next few years unless additional revenue streams are found.

At current levels, the city expects to see a budget deficit average of $10 million annually over the next five years.

The city first identified its structural deficit issue in 2017. Over the last several years, staff has managed to balance the general fund budget deficit using onetime funds. This includes the upcoming 2023-2024 fiscal year, with a projected $11.3 million deficit.

According to Financial Services Director Christina Holmes, the city’s $59.6 million in total reserve funds will be depleted by 2030 if nothing changes.

Staff presented three scenarios for the City Council to consider at its June 7 meeting. The council did not vote to move forward on any of the scenarios, but City Manager Sean McGlynn cautioned that they need to keep these possibilities in mind to decide on a path forward that addresses the issue sooner rather than later.

The first scenario would implement proportional budget cuts across the board, including public safety.

The Escondido Police and Fire departments together make up 68% of the general fund budget, with police receiving 42% and fire 26%. In this scenario, the police would see a $4.1 million funding reduction and fire a $2.6 million reduction.

Police Chief Ed Varso and Fire Chief Rick Vogt both described what would happen to their respective departments if these hypothetical cuts were made.

For police, 10 officers, three dispatchers, two customer service representatives and five parking enforcement positions would be eliminated. Funding for special event coverage, critical software, animal control, youth support and prevention services would either face severe cuts or elimination altogether.

“To put it mildly, I’m grateful that right now this is nothing more than a scenario to better understand the impact a large cut would have on public safety,” Varso said.

Varso also noted that the Police Department is already underfunded and understaffed since the 2008 recession.

In a similar vein, Vogt shared how a significant reduction to the Fire Department would impact response times and revenue streams for the city.

The city would go from having seven fire stations to six, putting more responsibilities on the already inundated stations. The city would also lose an ambulance, dropping from

five to four.

Five ambulances are already too few for Escondido’s size. By comparison, San Marcos, which is smaller by a third of Escondido’s size, has five ambulances and even provided aid to Escondido 724 times in 2022.

Call volumes have increased by about 3.5% each year and are expected to continue increasing.

The loss of an ambulance would mean a loss in revenue from those ambulance services for the city and would require more help from neighboring cities. That would cause patients to wait longer and impact those neighboring cities’ own response times for their communities.

“I can’t overestimate how devastating and demoralizing these cuts would be,” Vogt said.

Cuts to the Police and Fire departments seem unlikely for Escondido as the City Council and residents alike have listed public safety as a top priority. That would mean cuts to other services for residents.

In the second scenario, the Police and Fire departments would be left alone but the Public Works and Development Services departments would be eliminated and reorganized; 12 Development Services employees and 33 from Public Works would be eliminated and maintenance of city parks and facilities reduced. The Planning Commission would also be eliminated.

The city currently cleans its park restrooms once per day, seven days a week, but cuts would reduce cleanings to every other day with no cleanings on weekends. Trash would go from being picked up once a day, seven days a week, to once every two weeks.

The homelessness response debris crew, which runs seven days per week, would be reduced to two days a week, and pothole and road repairs would be reduced from daily to every other day. Response times for graffiti and other code compliance issues would also increase.

Reducing these services could also mean a loss of revenue for Escondido. The city is required to spend a minimum of $5 million on street expenditures annually to receive the full gas tax fund allocation that goes into rehabilitating its streets.

The third scenario discusses cutting community services and communications, including cuts involving recreation and special events, the library, older adult and senior nutrition services, communications and digital media services.

Recreation makes up the largest expense for this category. If eliminated, 17 staff positions would be cut, and several facilities would be closed, including

Vista OKs food truck rule changes


— The City Council amended its ordinance regarding food trucks during its June 13 meeting to level the playing field and strengthen the city’s burgeoning food scene.

The changes include extending maximum operating time in the right of way to three hours; extending operating hours to 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; eliminating the distance requirements; allowing trucks to operate in designated spaces on public property; and allowing trucks to operate for up to eight hours at breweries.

Larry Vaupel, Vista’s economic development director, said the city used a peer-reviewed study in 2022 from the Institute of Justice citing a correlation between food truck and restaurant growth as a basis to amend the ordinance.

“They are micro-enterprises that support entrepreneurship,” Vaupel said. “Food truck businesses



For years, Yucca Mountain was considered as a potential site but faced pushback from Nevada residents unwilling to host the nuclear waste repository, thus creating a national stalemate.

SONGS, which began its decommissioning process about a decade ago, currently stores 123 canisters of spent nuclear fuel on-site.

As part of the plan, 13 groups will each receive $2 million to host discussions and explore possibilities for the best consent-based temporary storage site.

The consortia member include the American Nuclear Society, Arizona State University, Boise State University, Clemson University, Energy Communities Alliance, Good Energy Collective, Keystone Policy Center, Missouri University of Science and Technologies, North Carolina State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Southwest Research Institute, Vander -

can start up for less than $100,000. A restaurant is at least $300,000 to start up. Also, it’s a natural progression for food vendors.”

Under the current code, food trucks have just a 30-minute time limit at one location, except in business parks, which has a threehour limit.

Vaupel also cited national market trends since 2021, with food truck revenue growing 5% annually to $1.456 billion nationwide. From 2021 to 2022, the industry saw an increase of $324 million in sales, the largest ever gain for the industry.

the number of food trucks nationally has increased from 9,705 in 2012 to 35,512 in 2022.

However, several restaurant owners spoke in opposition to the amendment citing an unfair advantage in terms of operating costs between the two industries.

Those in opposition said they must pay hundreds of

bilt University and Holtec International, the same company that provided one of the dry storage facilities at SONGS holding 73 canisters of spent fuel.

Southern California Edison, the utility that owns SONGS and is responsible for its decommissioning process, plans to demolish the plant’s abovegrade structures, including the Unit 2 and Unit 3 reactors — the two huge domes visible from Interstate 5 — by the end of the decade.

Following the plant’s demolition, only two dry storage installations containing canisters of spent nuclear fuel will remain at the site until at least 2035 or whenever the federal government finds a permanent repository.

“Our decommissioning of SONGS is well under way, but we can’t get it completed and the site restored fully until we can send the spent fuel to a federally licensed, offsite facility,” said Steven Powell, SCE president and CEO, during a June 9 press conference at the plant.

thousands in startup costs, plus other fixed costs such as water, wastewater, property taxes and others that trucks do not incur.

Mayor John Franklin asked the council to wait several weeks before a decision, saying the city’s outreach attempts fell short. The city conducted a workshop on April 3 with one week’s notice and another April 27 with one brewery in attendance.

Franklin said restaurant owners should be contacted by the city and given a chance to voice their opinion.

Councilwoman Corinna Contreras said if the city pushed the item several weeks it would look like council members were stalling.

Councilmen Dan O’Donnell and Joe Green said they would like to build events or have a food truck court designation in the city.

“I don’t agree that it hurts business,” O’Donnell

Last year, Granholm accompanied Levin to announce the formation of an exploratory advisory committee in charge of developing a plan to move spent fuel from temporary storage sites to a permanent repository.

This year, Granholm said the Biden Administration is still committed to keeping nuclear power as part of its carbon-free energy options but recognizes that it must find a solution to safely storing the waste left behind.

“We believe strongly that consent-based siting is the way forward,” Granholm said.

Over the next 18 to 24 months, these members will meet regularly with communities nationwide. The next stage will then identify host sites, and the third stage will involve negotiating benefits for those selected communities.

“I’ve been in congress for five years, and for the first time, we finally have a plan when it comes to spent nuclear fuel across the United States,” Levin

said. “I would love to see a Vista Food Truck Day and a specific area for food trucks. It allows other businesses to promote themselves.”

As for the amendment, changes include trucks must: be on streets with a maximum 35 mph speed limit; be in parallel parking spaces; serve customers on a sidewalk; stay three hours maximum in one location; be at least 100 feet from intersections; provide a trash receptacle; and not use pennants, flags, music, horns and sirens, which are prohibited due to public safety concerns.

On private property, trucks cannot be on vacant land without a principal use established; can only operate if principal use is operating; must have written permission from the owner; observe three-hour maximum at one location (eight at a brewery); must be on a paved surface; and cannot use pennants, flags and horns, to name a few.

said. “It won’t happen overnight, it’s going to take time and multiple phases, but we now have a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to spent nuclear fuel that isn’t an oncoming train.”

Since taking office in 2018, Levin has been pushing Congress to find a solution to remove the spent fuel from his district’s coastline.

Early in his first term, Levin launched a task force of local stakeholders and experts to address the safety challenges at SONGS and find policy recommendations. He also formed the bipartisan Congressional Spent Nuclear Fuel Solutions Caucus to address stranded nuclear waste nationwide.

Additionally, Levin and Rep. Darrell Issa (RCA) recently reintroduced their Spent Fuel Prioritization Act, which would prioritize the removal of spent nuclear fuel from decommissioned sites in areas near large populations with high seismic hazards like SONGS.

JUNE 23, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 5
THE CITY COUNCIL approved several changes to regulations regarding food trucks, their operating hours and other measures, during its June 13 meeting. Photo by Steve Puterski

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The following students graduated from their respective colleges: Cora Wailana Johnson-Woessner of Encinitas from Central Methodist University in Missouri; Mikaela Dougherty of Carlsbad from the College of Charleston in South Carolina; Elijah Armendariz of Rancho Santa Fe; Ashley Byars, Grace Hollingsworth and Kelsey McMullen of Del Mar; Victoria Dondanville, Sidney Hart, Glareh Heydarzadeh, Kennedy Rawding and Ella Stichle of Carlsbad; and Alexis Edwards of Solana Beach from the University of Alabama; Anna Brooker of Carlsbad from the University of Iowa; Patrick Breen of Encinitas and Vincent LiMandri of Rancho Santa Fe from the University of Dallas; Sarah Alfaro of Oceanside from Miami University in Ohio; and Ashley Allen of Oceanside from the University of Findlay in Ohio.


The following students made the dean’s list at their

respective colleges: Angel Torres of Oceanside at Midway University in Kentucky; Balee Pennington of Oceanside at the University of Arkansas; Cora Wailana Johnson-Woessner of Encinitas at Central Methodist University in Missouri; Carver Glomb of Encinitas at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania; Nicholas Saroff of Solana Beach and Rylan Wade of Encinitas at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York; Madie Hamblin of Oceanside at Abilene Christian University in Texas; Hope Wolthuis of Oceanside at Albion College in Michigan; Charlotte Sears of Carlsbad and Erik Woolsey of Encinitas at the University of Iowa; and William Schewe of Encinitas at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.


Lauren Suchodolski of Carlsbad, a student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Gabrielle Hillier of San Marcos, a student Boise State University, were recently initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.


Three young bat-eared foxes who were recently born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are now ventur-

ing out of the den and into their habitat. Their current daily activities include chasing each other’s tails and catching crickets.


More than 20 students graduated from the Grauer School in Encinitas and will enroll at colleges and universities across the United States and Europe this fall. These graduates include Makela Reid, Devon Owen, Adrien Cousin, Sean

Fallmer, Samantha Lindsey Hauptman, Alexa Kroger, Laurel McCrary, Mélissa Rector, Skye Selner, Tate Sims, Livia Spasic, Gabriel Chan, Max Bregman, Ethan Diep, Juna Messmann, Arthur Pegulu, Noah Pellette, Jake Spiegel, Sage Stern, Jack Tibbitts and Andi Williams.


Rancho Santa Fe’s Jacob Brumm won his first ITF men’s singles crown

along the USTA Pro Circuit on June 11.


Aviation Maintenance

Administration First Class

Veronica Lennox of Escondido delivered a speech during a ceremony commemorating the Battle of Midway on the mess decks aboard USS Boxer. Fought on the high seas of the Pacific more than half a century ago between June 3 and 7, 1942, the Battle of Midway

altered the course of World War II in the Pacific and thereby shaped the outcome of world events.


San Diego Botanic Garden has received $10,000 in funding from Cox Charities. The funding will support the garden’s scholarships for Title I Schools initiative aimed at offering schools and students in need with access to educational programs focused on science, conservation and sustainability. More than 600 students will be served.


The San Diego Humane Society is waiving license fees and offering free microchipping through July 2. Fee-waived licensing can only be done in-person at one of the organization’s campuses in El Cajon, Escondido, Oceanside or San Diego during business hours. Dogs must have a California-approved rabies vaccination.


The Sunrise Vista Kiwanis Club recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. With 45 members today, the club continues its long history of helping children in Vista though reading literacy outreach efforts, elementary school achievement recognitions and college scholarships.

The Medicare shuffle

Regular readers know I’ve been doing the Medicare shuffle lately. Since January I’ve heard from seemingly everyone and their brother, all offering mountains of information, advice, and free services to help me sign up for Medicare.

Such generosity! Dozens of businesses, all volunteering to give so much of themselves, all to make sure I’m taken care of in the years to come.

Only altruism has nothing to do with it. These “kind souls” are being compensated by various government agencies. The payment must be significant — enough to generate so many folks vying for my attention.

Postcards. Mailers. Happy faces on envelopes. Some are humorous, others serious. Yet regardless of the approach, they all carry the same message: Let us be your agent of record and we’ll handle everything.

As I write this, I’m looking at a 6-inch high, 5-pound pile of newsletters, holiday greetings, brochures, comic books, fliers, instruction manuals and invitations to free lunches.

It’s more than a little overwhelming!

Everyone has invested considerable resources to reach me. Since their services are all free, I must determine who best fits my needs.

So we ran the numbers and determined I’m better off staying on my wife’s health plan until she retires in a few years. When it’s finally time to pull the trigger, we’ll work with someone we already have a relationship

with, for two reasons:

• The crush of solicitations will be behind us

• We already know, like and trust this person

Medicare providers are much like real estate agents, popping up like mushrooms after a rainstorm. These days it’s impossible to swing a dead cat without hitting 10 of them. And like with real estate agents, most would-be clients look at previous relationships to decide whom to work with.

The suggestion is that anyone in either business is well-advised to aggressively network and cast a wide net of contacts and friends, many of whom may not be ready to do business for years.

You’ll want to have newsletters, collateral, website, social media and the rest for staying top-of-mind in the interim, but personal connections may be the most effective arrow in your quiver.

And understand that by continuously planting those personal seeds, many will bear fruit in the days to come. After all, long-term business growth is ultimately what it’s all about.

With that, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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6 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N JUNE 23, 2023 Enjoy food, drinks, and festive entertainment! The dress code for the evening is flapper dresses and jazz suits, because the theme this year is...a drum roll, please... GREATER 112th Installation & Awards Dinner Friday, June 30th from 5pm - 9pm Join the celebration as the Greater Escondido Chamber of Commerce officially swears in the new Board of Directors, and introduces the community to the new Chair of the Chamber of Commerce. This annual event also recognizes local businesses, community leaders, and others who make a lasting and positive impact here in the Inland North County region, and continue to make our community strong. 760.745.2125 The Greater Gatsby Gala!
3 BAT-EARED foxes recently born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido are venturing out of the den and into their habitat. Their current daily activities include chasing each other’s tails and catching crickets. Courtesy photo
ask mr. marketing rob weinberg

Stop-as-yield bill for bikes back for 3rd try

The state Legislature will once again consider a proposed law that would allow bicyclists to yield at stop signs.


Tasha Boerner first introduced AB 73, a bill dubbed by supporters as the bicycle safety stop, a few years ago. The bill would allow bicyclists to legally slow down and roll through an intersection with a stop sign if they have the right of way and there is no traffic.

Escondido annexes property for subdivision

ESCONDIDO — The city is annexing a property in North Escondido where a 20-unit residential subdivision will take over a vacant lot along North Ash Street between Stanley and Lehner avenues.

The Escondido City Council approved the 20lot subdivision located at 0 Ash Street, which will be annexed into the city along with an existing property located at 508 Stanley Avenue. The homes will include 19 market rate and one affordable home for a very low-income household constructed with similar quality materials as the market rate homes by Habitat for Humanity.

The project applicant, Escondido North, LLC, also applied for the nearby Conway subdivision project earlier this year, which will also

include affordable housing constructed by Habitat for Humanity.

Through the state’s density bonus law, the project is entitled to up to 21 units, which is four more than the 17 base units allowed under local ordinances, plus waivers and concessions to make the project more affordable for the developer. The applicant is proposing to build 20 units with several waivers reducing lot size, setbacks and yard space, plus the elimination of an underground utility requirement.

Prior to the council's approval, the Planning Commission approved the subdivision in late May with a few conditions, including requiring the developer to pay $12,500 per lot in fair share costs to the neighborhood’s North Broadway Deficiency Area, created in 1994 to facilitate devel-

opment in an area lacking necessary infrastructure for development and address its drainage and street issues.

Ivan Flores, associate planner with the city, noted the collected deficiency area fees paid for the sidewalks and streetlights at the intersection of Vista Avenue and Ash Street.

Dave Ferguson, an attorney representing the developer, questioned the validity of the deficiency area fee and requested that condition be removed. However, the condition remained in the council’s final, unanimous vote of approval.

City Attorney Michael McGuinness explained that the city is annexing the property into the city, not into the deficient area.

“You’re being asked to annex the project into the city, and part of that is ask-

ing them to pay their fair share contribution,” McGuinness said.

The city attorney also noted that staff believes the $12,500 value per lot is undervalued in regard to the costs associated with the existing deficiencies associated with the project.

Resident Maria Escobedo, whose property backs up against the west side of the project area, wants to see the density reduced back to its 17 base units and have Lehner Avenue opened up for through traffic.

“It would help with traffic calming,” Escobedo said.

The project proposes to place its entrance on Lehner Avenue and end in a cul-de-sac.

It will take approximately four or five years before the final buildout of the project is complete.

Doula program removes barriers for mothers

SAN MARCOS — TrueCare, a community-based health center serving San Diego and Riverside counties, has been awarded a $2 million federal grant for its new doula program.

The United States has the worst maternal mortality outcomes among industrialized nations. Women of color are two to three times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes.

“Not only have women of color endured generations of inequities in the health care system, but today they are dying at alarming rates during childbirth,” said TrueCare President and CEO Michelle D. Gonzalez.

“This national crisis disproportionately impacts our communities.”

Research demonstrates that doula — trained professionals who support mothers through childbirth — in-

crease maternal engagement during prenatal care, offer better preparation for labor and birth, reduce cesarean deliveries and increase breastfeeding success.

Doulas are traditionally accessible only to women who can afford the additional out-of-pocket cost. TrueCare’s new doula program will help to remove that financial barrier for the region’s mothers.

The health center re-

ceived the $2 million grant to fund the doula program from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Additional information on TrueCare’s doula program will be released this summer. For more information about TrueCare, visit To schedule an appointment, call or text 760-736-6767.

Boerner first introduced the bill because she believes the bicycle safety stop is a “common-sense policy” that makes cyclist behavior more predictable for drivers. She also has firsthand experience as a cyclist on the road, having previously used a bike to commute from Encinitas to Solana Beach.

“I personally understand the time and energy it takes to make a full stop at a stop sign as a cyclist,” Boerner said.

Also referred to as the Idaho stop after the state became the first to legalize the stop-as-yield law for cyclists in 1982, proponents argue that the bill would make the roadways safer for everyone.

Supporting the bill, the California Bicycle Coalition, also known as CalBike, cites data from Delaware that show collisions involving bicycles at intersections went down by 23% after the state adopted the bicycle safety stop.

“Allowing adult cyclists to yield at — not blow through — a stop sign, if safe to do so, follows the example of 10 other states that have already implemented this policy,” Boerner said. “While counterintuitive to some, the data actually shows that this reduces bike-car collisions by about 23%, which is why I reintroduced AB 73 this year.”

The bill would apply to both regular bikes and e-bikes, which are not separately classified in the state’s traffic code.

“All riders would still need to come to slow enough speeds to yield and make a full stop if other bikes, pedestrians, skateboarders or cars are near the intersection,” Boerner said.

Although the bill was passed by the California Assembly and Senate in 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed it. It was reintroduced and passed by the state Legislature in 2022, but Boerner pulled the bill ahead of the governor’s promised second veto.

CalBike believes the bill has a better chance this time around due to a surge in bike-friendly policy in Sacramento since last year. The coalition also notes that the bill doesn’t cost the state money and has growing support from residents.

Although many cyclists throughout the state support the bill, there are those who are still concerned about its potential repercussions.

Howard LaGrange — who serves as the active transportation and micromobility coordinator for BikeWalk Oceanside, the city’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee — personally believes that cyclists should treat riding their bikes as they would driving a car.

“You need to think as a driver of a vehicle," he said.

LaGrange is worried that relaxing the law to allow cyclists to roll through stop signs will encourage unsafe behavior.

“I teach that if you want to be safe on the road, you need to obey the law, be visible and in the right position,” he said.

Despite his concerns, LaGrange noted he is grateful for Boerner’s support of the local cyclist community and is generally supportive of her efforts.

“Tasha has done a lot of good work for active transportation,” LaGrange said.

The bill is being considered once again by the state Senate Transportation Committee.

the council to hold off on a decision so more residents could respond or speak to the council on the matter.

Contreras, though, said she was willing to “get into an argument” with the Fire Department and others because she believes the roundabout is the best and safest option. She said the road has become a “racetrack.”

“I’m willing to take backlash because I want to implement public safety,” Contreras said. “I’m OK with people 100% hating this because it will make it safer for them. Folks don’t stop at a stoplight. I can’t accept that having a traffic light is better than having a traffic circle. I’m willing to spend $200,000 more.”

Contreras and Councilwoman Katie Melendez said Bobier Drive and other arterials are intersecting neighborhoods, and they must be managed better. Contreras, who came to tears in defense of the roundabout and safety, said connecting neighborhoods with streets with lower speed limits is critical to safety and providing better, more efficient options for motorists.

Franklin, though, said a roundabout requires space, and since Bobier Drive will be reduced to one lane each way, the potential for congestion remains, especially at the Vista Way intersection east of the school.

Franklin sought to table the discussion for 60 days, but in the end was outvoted. He said areas where roundabouts succeed have been planned instead of as

a retrofit, where the potential for adding traffic and congestion may worsen the situation.

Green had similar thoughts, saying the residents he’s spoken with are against the issue. He also asked for a 60-day hiatus to gather more input and then make a decision.

“I’ve seen the plan with roundabouts on Bobier,” Green said. “It’s the only project I’m not 1,000% behind. Nobody in my district wants it.”

The meeting, though, became a bit tense when Green questioned Brown Act requirements between Contreras and Councilwoman Katie Melendez. The two have dated for the past two years, so Green asked whether he could approach either one without violating the Brown Act.

The Brown Act says members of a public board, such as a City Council, can’t have a conversation with a majority of a governing body. Each council member

has a “Brown Act buddy” who they typically approach to discuss a specific item, but they cannot engage a third member of the council.

Green said he figured

the two women share conversations and wasn’t sure whether he could approach either. He said he didn’t want to jeopardize the integrity of the vote or council, but also asked whether he was being too cautious, to which Contreras and Melendez said he was.

The two said they don’t speak to each other about every item, although the two are aligned on most votes.

City Attorney Walter Chung said it’s his responsibility to protect the integrity of the vote and, “In the public it’s going to be a perception, not necessarily what’s true.”

“A lot of time I don’t talk to anybody because I’m really busy,” Contreras said. “I’m just really good at what I do and am confident in what I do. It’s a ‘you’ thing more than anything else.”

JUNE 23, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 7
ROUNDABOUT CONTINUED FROM FRONT A ROUNDABOUT at the intersection of Bobier Drive and Calles Jules in Vista got the go-ahead at last week’s City Council meeting. Photo by Steve Puterski THE NORTH ASH Street property in Escondido where a 20-lot residential subdivision will be constructed over the next several years. Photo by Samantha Nelson
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Old and New Mexico meet in historic town of Mesilla

We are standing in the grassy plaza in historic Mesilla, population 1,780, just four miles from downtown Las Cruces. The intense, lateApril New Mexico sun has sent us seeking shade on this delightful little piece of real estate as we wait for our guide.

The town square, the enormous church looming over it and the adobe buildings surrounding it are reminiscent of so many villages elsewhere in the state and south of the border, but something is askew.

Mural artist, historian and tour guide Preciliana Sandoval provides an answer to our unasked question.

“The Basilica San Albino is a French Gothic-style cathedral because the priest who was the pastor at the time this church was built

(in 1906) was French,” explains the lifelong Mesilla resident, who regularly enthralls visitors with stories about the town, its early and current inhabitants, and the occasional ghost.

The church also was named after a French saint, Albinus of Angers (Albino in Spanish).

The original San Albino Church was erected in 1852 on this same site when Mesilla was part of Mexico, according to Alexandra McKinney, an educator and historian with New Mexico Historic Sites.

Back then, the Cath-

olic Church regularly assigned French priests to its parishes. This remained so for decades, even after the Gadsden Purchase in 1854, a watershed moment for Mesilla.

Also called the Treaty of Mesilla, the Gadsden Purchase dictated that the United States pay Mexico $10 million (about $250 million in 2023 dollars) for land that is now southern Arizona and the southwest corner of New Mexico.

Suddenly Mesilla was no longer a part of Mexico, and even though the town’s Mexican roots are deep, sometimes it takes a little doing to bring forth the ob-


For instance, 15 years ago, Sandoval says, she and several women wanted to stage a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration at the basilica, but “the (parish priest) wouldn’t let us have a celebration, so we rented the plaza and turned it into a cemetery.

“That first year, there were five women and a little red wagon with skeletons in it and a few other people. Now, about 5,000 show up every year for a two-day festival.”

Some are working hard to preserve Mesilla’s history and uniqueness, including residents who are fighting

to prevent the installation of a 60-foot cellphone tower in their historic district.

“We have a lot of newcomers,” Sandoval says. “They care about the environment.”

Mesilla will soon have a new venue to showcase its history — the Taylor-Mesilla Historic Site, “one of the oldest (buildings) on the Old Mesilla Plaza, with the earliest portions dating to the 1850s,” says McKinney, who is tasked with converting the home into a museum.

In 2003, the Taylors donated their home, two of the attached stores and their collection of Spanish Colonial, Mexican, Native and New Mexican artwork, furniture, textiles and pottery to the State of New Mexico.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home provides “a remarkable opportunity to highlight the importance of Southern New Mexico in the state’s history,” McKinney says.

The opening date is to be announced, but you can follow updates at facebook. com/groups/taylormesillahistoricpropertyfacebookcommunity.

For more photos and discussion, visit newmexico. org/places-to-visit/regions/ southwest/old-mesilla and

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PRECILIANA SANDOVAL, left, is a lifelong Mesilla, New Mexico, resident, mural artist and historian who leads walking tours around the town’s plaza twice a week. Behind her is the Basilica of San Albino, built in 1906 in the French Gothic architectural style because the parish priest was French. Center, one of the West’s most famous outlaws, Billy the Kid, 21, was tried for murder and sentenced to hang in this brick-and-mortar building, once the Mesilla courthouse. He escaped from this jail and was later killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Right, adobe construction like this is a dominant architectural style in Mesilla, population 1,780. The town stood on Mexican soil until 1854 when the United States bought what is now southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Mesilla was on the Butterfield Overland Mail route that ran from St. Louis to San Francisco. Photos by Jerry Ondash (left) and E’Louise Ondash

Vista performer’s survival proves she’s ‘Strong Enough’

VISTA — Debbra Sweet has never taken “no” for an answer. Instead, she has relied on her lifelong passion for music, business and inspiring resilience in others to lead her in the right direction.

Seeing the 56-year-old Vista resident transform into her alter ego, a confident, graceful tribute performer to multi-decade musical icon Cher, it would be hard to believe the challenges that she faced along the way.

From her late teens until just a few years ago, Sweet was living with an untreated severe traumatic brain injury that went misdiagnosed by doctors for years. The injury affected every element of her life, at times leaving her with seizures and limited mobility.

Recent treatment, however, allowed her to fully explore her passion for performing. She formed her act Cher’d — combining the singer’s name with her first initial — in 2019 and now performs several shows throughout the year.

“I never thought I would be Cher ever, but in 2019 I knew I could do music again. I sought out, ‘what do I want to do?’ I thought for myself, ‘well, I'm healed, I’m not broken,” Sweet recalled. “When I allow myself to perform as Cher, it’s really fun, and I learn through it.”

As a young child grow-

ing up in the midwest, some of the few TV programs Sweet was permitted to watch included Sonny and Cher and shows featuring dancers like Juliet Prowse. She was struck by the powerhouse performances and elaborate costumes, and developed a dream of becoming a ballroom dancer.

Along with her love of music, her parents also inspired a spirit of philanthropy that she practiced from an early age. The week before her high school graduation, Sweet had just completed a 52-mile bike ride fundraiser for her school and was riding back to her

car when her life was altered forever.

While riding her bike through a narrow alley, Sweet moved to avoid a vehicle and her head slammed into a concrete wall. Upon arriving at the hospital later, doctors failed to detect her apparent concussion and sent her home.

“I remember putting my hand on the side of my head and I felt a lump the size of a pear,” Sweet said. “That began this journey of doctors, of ‘What’s wrong with me?’ I functioned in spite of that, but everything became very different.”

Sweet went to college to

study music, working to enhance her abilities as a musician, singer and composer. However, difficulties resulting from her injury left her with dropping grades and a feeling of failure.

Sweet left school but continued to play in musical groups and write music over the years, a passion which drew her to the San Diego area in the 1990s, and pursued careers in entrepreneurship and marketing.

In 2013, Sweet founded Thrive Right Consulting, focusing on helping entrepreneurs through business development and leadership programs. She also shares

her expertise on leadership, business, marketing, health and her lessons in motivation and resilience through her inspiring life story as a keynote speaker.

Sweet has also written a series of books called “The Power of Leadership” with her husband Daniel Sweet.

“I come from a very hardy, midwest entrepreneurial family. Business has been part of my life since I was young. I love helping businesses thrive,” Sweet said.

After 30 years of living with a brain injury, the past decade finally brought more holistic treatment that fit what she needed.

Sweet spent five years going through “extensive” treatment including vision therapy and sensory immersion, helping her brain, eyes and motor functions to realign, and saw her life improve.

Becoming Cher

Sweet’s journey to Cher started somewhat unintentionally, when she recorded herself performing Cher covers with a band to send in for auditions to other groups.

One day, a misunderstanding led to an unexpected text about request-




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DEBBRA SWEET, 56, founded Thrive Right Consulting in 2013 to help entrepreneurs through business development and leadership programs. In 2019, she formed Cher’d, her tribute to the musical icon, a move helped by treatment for a long-misdiagnosed brain injury. Photos by Marce Bowe TURN TO PERFORMER ON

Bean Journal

Skybound in Vista

Where: Skybound Coffee + Dessert Lounge, 1661-A

S Melrose Dr, Vista, CA 92081

Open: 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

What: Black Drip Coffee Find them at:

Skybound Coffee + Dessert Lounge occupies the corner space in a retail center in Vista. They’ve got a prime corner location with an entire wall of windows overlooking South Melrose Drive.

The Boiling Crab opens in San Marcos

ing new locations along the East Coast, leaders at The Boiling Crab hope the North County location will be a long-term success.

“Our growth into San Marcos is a natural move to meet the demands in the San Diego area,” Boiling Crab spokesperson Winnie Vu said. “Many of our guests travel from different parts of San Diego County, including San Marcos.”

The opening of the new restaurant drew families, couples and even Boiling Crab enthusiasts from outside the county.


Things get messy when you’re eating crab legs with your hands, she said, but it’s worth it.

“This is the way you have to have it. You get down, get dirty and really get yourself into it,” Bautista said.

The Boiling Crab is open 3 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. on weekends.

The size of the cafe strikes me as I walk inside. There are several sitting, eating, and working spaces, including a lounge area to the right of the entry, extended communal seating down the middle of the room, and a row of stools at a bar mounted against the windows looking out at the street.

They’ve leaned into the idea of a cafe as a place people want to hang out and work. In addition to the comfortable seating, they’ve added numerous outlets for laptop users, excellent lighting over the tables, and even a printer for

customers to use. Today, a single person sits watching their phone charge.

The menu is shockingly huge, with numerous coffee drinks, desserts, a gelato bar, and a fancy toast and sandwich menu. Skybound serves coffee roasted by Cafe Virtuoso (recently acquired by TK Coffee), a wholesale roasting company based in San Diego.

I ordered a batchbrewed black coffee. I don’t have much to say about it. I can’t remember much about it other than it was scorching, and when it cooled enough to sip, I could taste every bit of the roast. Whatever unique flavors that bean may have had were lost to the darkness of the brew.

I 100% don’t put that on the barista, who was quite pleasant and provided an enjoyable service experience.

As far as I could tell, they were the only employee working at the moment. They were the only ones brewing coffee, making food, serving customers, and keeping the cafe moving forward.

Even during a lull, running a restaurant, which is more of a restaurant than a coffee shop, takes a team.

house Grill.


— A line of over 100 hungry people formed outside

The Boiling Crab in San Marcos on June 19, eager to chow down during the opening of the newest location of the popular Cajun-inspired seafood chain.

Once inside, bib-clad residents feasted on crab legs, lobster, shrimp and crawfish by the pound in the form of a family-style crab boil.

The new restaurant on Knoll Road is The Boiling Crab’s second location in San Diego County, with the other located on Mira Mesa Boulevard in San Diego.

San Marcos resident Adalberto Astudillo said he was the first person in line Monday, arriving over three hours early to the 3 p.m. grand opening. While he has been to the Mira Mesa location, Astudillo said he is thrilled to have one closer to home.

“I was so excited. It’s one of my favorite restaurants,” he said.

The property at 110 Knoll Road has been home to several restaurants in the past decade or so — most recently burger restaurant Slater’s 50/50. Before that it was Cool Hand Luke’s Wild West Grill and Original Road-

After spending the past few years establish-

Yolanda Bautista took the day off work to travel from Garden Grove in Orange County, carrying a red crab-shaped purse and sporting a flowery hair piece with the restaurant

JUNE 23, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 11 Eat&Drink
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SAN MARCOS resident Adalberto Astudillo celebrates being the first customer at the June 19 grand opening of The Boiling Crab on Knoll Road in San Marcos. Photo by Laura Place YOLANDA BAUTISTA of Garden Grove traveled to Monday’s grand opening sporting a Boiling Crab flower in her hair and carrying a crab-shaped purse. Photo by Laura Place
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Oceanside Brewing edges Vista’s CoLab in patio battle

beers to be poured, they manage to share their fairly elaborate life philosophy, which boils down to live and let live.

Accommodation: 17

Atmosphere: 18

Offerings: 13

Service: 17


THE COMPETITORS: CoLab Public House is the new name and concept on the block. Oceanside Brewing Co. goes hard with events, live music and a devoted fanbase.

THE SCORES: Breweries are scored on a 100-point scale with a max of 20 points per category.


I’m early, so I roll around the neighborhood for a minute. Oceanside Brewing is off the beaten path, and the area is a little intimidating. I almost decide to leave, but instead, I lean my bike against the vibrant stripes painted outside the brewery. I’m waiting when the owner arrives to open up for the day.

Can I bring my bike inside? I ask.

He replies with something to the effect of; I’d rather you did. There is only the briefest stranglehold on sanity outside these walls.

Beyond the entryway, it is a different world. The patio is out back. It is warm and welcoming, with picnic tables of various sizes. Umbrellas provide shade, and bamboo fencing offers privacy to the industrial businesses on the other side of the walls.

The 70s-style paint job continues around the building. A cooler has the word “BEER” painted on it. In one corner, there is a stage for live music. Potted succulents dot the space, and cornhole boards are leaned against a red shed.

Before I can even park my bike, the music is turned on. Music is a vital component of the atmosphere. In hand-painted letters over the pallet wood sound booth is a quote from Bob Marley, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.

My wife meets me for a beer after work, and while we enjoy a bright sunshiny day, we watch as a man named Jacob sets up instruments on the stage for the Thursday night Open Mic night. A few notes from a Tina Turner jam occasionally blast through the speakers while he tests connections.

There is a “locals only” vibe back here. I bet there have been more than a few ragers back here that have walked the line between control and ‘What happened last night?’ Our service from the bartender (who turns out to be the owner, Tomas) is pleasant, personable, and helpful.

There are regulars at the bar who are ready to spring into action should a door need to be unlocked or a keg moved. In the moments while we’re waiting for some

Wildcard: 17

Total: 82

Takeaway: There is a natural good-time vibe on the patio at Oceanside Brewing Co. It’s a music-infused experience, but there aren’t many food options in the neighborhood. There are occasional outside vendors, which I learned about on the @oceansidebrewingcompany Instagram.

The front is mostly shaded at noon on a Saturday. There are patio tables tucked away under overhangs and along the fence separating the space from the parking (of which there is a lot). Flower boxes along the exterior and string lights add to the vibe.

I go inside to order a beer from Laguna Beer Company. They are one of several brands that share this space — including Propaganda Wine Co., Baby’s Badass Burgers, Breakwater Brewing, and Barrel & Stave Brewing. The ceilings are high, the murals vibrant, and all tables facing a large television are hung high over the bar. An arcade is tucked

in a loft over the burger shop. On the north side of the building, a bright neon light says “patio.” Wait…what? Another patio!

I’ve never been to CoLab Public House in Vista. When researching this competition, I saw photos of the front of the space and the patio near the entrance. I thought that was all there would be. What a pleasant surprise to find out there are two patios!

The back is an ample open space, mostly in the bright sun. A few tables have umbrellas, and jasmine is growing out of pots up trellis fencing. There are a few yard games spread out over the faux grass carpet. The fake grass serves to tamp down the extra heat from the sun.

An oversized air conditioning unit hums along, providing an underlying white noise.

Signage on the doors promotes Deja Vu Bingo After Dark (18+), Fry Day (free fries with burgers), and $5 Happy Hour Monday thru Thursday from 4:00 – 6:00 PM. The sign says Select Pints. I wonder if that applies to wine…

Accommodation: 15

Atmosphere: 15

Offerings: 19

Service: 16

Wildcard: 16

Total: 81

Takeaway: The patio is solid but set apart by the combined size, shaded and

sunny sections, and definitely by the number of food and drink options. Groups — even as small as a couple — rarely agree on everything to eat and drink. At CoLab, you have options.

ROUND 1 WINNER: Oceanside Brewing Co. This was one of the tightest competitions. Both patios offer a different experience. You can’t go wrong, but your desires for food, music, variety or a local experience will guide you.

Did I miss an excellent brewery patio? Message @CheersNorthCounty on Facebook or Instagram, or e-mail me at

JUNE 23, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 13 Eat&Drink
cheers! north county ryan
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June 23


Wild Child is a Los Angeles-based act with 20 solid years of faithfully recreating live The Doors performances across the competitive L.A. music scene. $22, 9 p.m. at Belly Up, 143 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.


Atomic Groove has been San Diego’s premier Variety Dance Band for all occasions since 1995, serving the special event industry for private parties, weddings, galas, company functions and more. $10, 5:30 p.m. at Belly Up, 143 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.


This facilitated networking gives Encinitas Chamber members and prospective members a chance to discuss a hot topic with other professionals while enjoying a cup of coffee and custom donut. 8:30 a.m. at Broad Street Dough Co., 967 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas.

June 24


Join authors Nolan Knight, Jim Ruland and Craig Clevenger for a dis-

cussion and reading for their new novels. All books are available for signed pre-order at 3 p.m. at Artifact Books, 603 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas.


Wayward Sons is a nostalgia-fueled, power chordpacked rock show featuring

the greatest songs of the ‘80s including hits from Journey, Queen, Bon Jovi, Styx, Def Leppard and Guns N Roses. $20, 9 p.m. at Belly Up, 143 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.


Experience a wide array of zero waste activities including informative panel speakers, booths from

sustainable companies and hands-on, low-waste DIYs. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 24 at EUSD Farm Lab, 441 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas.

FARMERS MARKET Join us for the new Cardiff Farmers Market!

The certified Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on the

MiraCosta College San Elijo Campus. Rain or shine. June 24 at MiraCosta San Elijo Campus, 3333 Manchester Ave, Encinitas.


Come out to Nerd Comedy Night every Saturday at 8pm in Carlsbad. $15-$20, 8 to 9:15 p.m. June 24 at New Village Arts Theatre, 2787 State St, Carlsbad.


Immerse yourself in the enchantment of cinema under the stars at One Paseo’s Moonlight Cinema Series every Saturday nights in June. Free. 6 to 9 p.m. Jun. 24 at One Paseo, 3725 Paseo Pl, San Diego.


Highly acclaimed singer, songwriter and producer Stephen “Ragga” Marley starts his Babylon by Bus Summer Tour at the San Diego County Fair. 7 p.m., 2236 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar.


The Sharp Women’s Health Conference, an inspiring day designed exclusively for women. $85-$950, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 24 at Sheraton San Diego, 1380 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego.


Bring along a new toy, blanket or an unopened bag of pet food to donate. Animal care and training specialists will be available to answer questions. 1 to 3 p.m. June 24 at Westmont of Encinitas , 1920 S El Camino Real, Encinitas.

June 25


Watch music artists Pedro the Lion and Erik Walters perform at Belly Up. $28, 8 p.m. at Belly Up, 160 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.


The Carlsbad Village Association brings in 115 local and regional fine artists for a unique one-day, openair art show. All artwork is juried and patrons can meet the artists in their booths. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 25 at Carlsbad Village, 2825 State St, Carlsbad.


All classes are encouraged to set up their canopies, tables, banners and other memorabilia the day before the event. Class of ‘73 is celebrating their 50th class reunion and is providing live music. $2, 9 a.m. to

14 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N JUNE 23, 2023
something that’s going on? To post an event, visit us online at
LYLE LOVETT, a four-time Grammy Award-winning country singer, brings his Large Band to perform on July 4 at the Belly Up in Solana Beach. Courtesy photo

the East Valley Community Center, Escondido Sports Center at Kit Carson Park, Don Anderson building, Mathes Community Center, Oak Hill Activity Center and the Washington Park recreation building.

Holmes noted that these could continue to operate if managed by another entity.

This option would also eliminate the Public Art Commission, senior nutrition services and close the library.

Escondido is one of seven cities in the county that operates its library independently. Neighboring San Marcos, Poway and other North County cities like Vista, Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar all operate as San Diego County Library branches.

This option would also consider closing the California Center for the Arts. The city currently owns the building and pays the center’s foundation, which operates the center, a management fee. The city also pays for all gas and electric costs plus building maintenance.

Both Holmes and McGlynn noted that staff is reviewing potential additional revenue options including a general sales tax, utility users’ tax, increased transient occupancy tax rates, a parks district and a cannabis program. Staff will bring its findings to the council in September.

Last year, voters rejected a ¾-cent sales tax increase measure.

Councilmember Consuelo Martinez wants to get the word out about the structural deficit issue and the potential cuts the city is facing.

“I don’t think people understand how serious this is and the diminishing quality of life that will happen with these cuts,” Martinez said.

Council members are expected to discuss the scenarios more during their retreat in July. They were expected to approve the 2023-2024 fiscal year operating budget on June 21.

Homelessness jumps at least 14% in county

— Homelessness in the region increased by at least 14% this year, according to the results from the 2023 WeAllCount Point-in-Time Count released June 8.

The Regional Task Force on Homelessness conducted the federally required count in January throughout the county with the help of more than 1,600 volunteers. The count is a one-night snapshot of the minimum number of San Diegans experiencing homelessness.

Overall, the count found no less than 10,264 individuals experiencing homelessness across our region. This number includes 5,171 unsheltered San Diegans, with 5,093 individuals in shelters and transitional housing.

“These results show what's been clear from our monthly reporting and from what we see on the streets — the region's homeless system and providers simply cannot keep pace with the ever-increasing flow of people across the county falling into homelessness for a variety of reasons,'' RTFH CEO

Tamera Kohler said. “While there are some bright spots, more clearly needs to be done if we want to see different results.”

A statement from the task force reminds readers of the report that the challenge of finding every unsheltered person in a car, encampment or under a bridge is impossible.

However, under an agreement with the Cal-

ifornia Department of Transportation, volunteers reached people experiencing homelessness in encampments on Caltrans property for the first time. The ability to conduct a robust count on these sites for the first time led to an additional 661 people being counted this year.

With these new areas added to the Point-in-Time Count, the region saw a total increase of 22% in the num-

ber of people experiencing homelessness this year compared to 2022.

Without those additional CalTrans sites added to the count, the region saw a 14% increase compared to the same areas covered last year. Of those surveyed, 80% said they began experiencing homelessness in San Diego County.

“What you're seeing is a system that is stressed and overloaded,” RTFH Board Chair Ray Ellis said. “Our monthly data reporting shows that from March 2022 through February 2023, more than 11,000 people experiencing homelessness exited the system and moved into a home or apartment, an amazing achievement.

“However, we're still seeing a worrying jump in people experiencing homelessness over that same time period. This should be a clarion call to invest in what we know works. We need a lot more housing, a lot more shelter beds, and additional funding for outreach and services.''

RTFH’s monthly reports found that for every 10

San Diegans housed, 13 San Diegans experience homelessness for the first time.

Those reports also show the region has not seen a month since March 2022 where more San Diegans have been housed compared to those experiencing homelessness the first time.

The region's homeless response system interacted with more than 41,000 people in San Diego County from October 2021 to September 2022, compared to 38,000 the previous year.

Among the sobering data, RTFH leadership found some glimmers of hope. Families experiencing unsheltered homelessness decreased by 25% in the past year.

Additionally, there was a larger increase in the sheltered population of transitional-aged youth than the unsheltered population.

Additional data points include that 29% of people living on the streets are women, and people 55 or older now make up 29% of the region’s unsheltered population, with 46% experiencing homelessness for the first time.

San Diego Humane Society to waive fees through July 2

REGION — As Independence Day approaches, the San Diego Humane Society will waive fees to help dog owners license and microchip their animals to ensure they can be recovered if they run away during booming fireworks celebrations, the organization announced this week. The program will last from through July 2. Late fees will also be waived.

A one-year license is available to residents who live within San Diego Humane Society’s jurisdiction. The animal welfare organization is “calling on pet parents to take proactive measures to prevent their beloved animals from ending up in shelters during and after the July Fourth holiday,” officials said.

In-person licensing is available at SDHS campuses in Oceanside, Escondido, El Cajon and San Di-


The Senior Volunteer Patrol of the Vista Sheriff’s Station performs home vacation security checks, assists with traffic control, enforces disabled parking regulations, patrols neighborhoods, schools, parks and shopping centers and visits homebound seniors who live alone for the community of Vista & portions of the county’s unincorporated areas. Volunteers must be at least age 50, be in good health, pass a background check, have auto insurance, a valid California driver’s license, and be a US citizen. Training includes a mandatory two-week academy plus training patrols. The minimum commitment is 6 hours per week & attendance at a monthly meeting. erested parties should contact Administrator Jim Baynes to arrange an information meeting.

(760) 940-4434

ego during business hours. Dogs must have a California-approved rabies vaccination.

According to SDHS, Independence Day typically leads “to a sharp increase in the number of stray animals entering shelter care,” because fireworks can upset pets that may escape by jumping fences out of fear and confusion.

Owners should take steps to protect their pets from becoming lost, as shel-

ters are already full, SDHS officials said.

Statistics show one out of every three pets will become lost during their lifetime, SDHS said, with only one in 10 found. According to 2022 data, SDHS took in 275 stray dogs, cats and other small animals lost between July 4 and 7.

Just 16% of those animals were reclaimed by owners, according to the agency.

All San Diego Humane

Society shelters will be closed on July 3 and 4.

Residents who find a stray pet over the holiday should look for identification on the animal’s collar and contact the owner if possible, SDHS said.

Along with licensing and microchipping, the SDHS recommends that pet owners also make sure their animals have collars with tags (with a phone number), ask their veterinarian about stress-reducing medication,

hire a pet sitter if they have holiday plans, create a secure home sanctuary and keep their dog leashed at all times while it is outside. Locations for dog-licensing are available at html, while free microchipping appointments can be scheduled at sdhumane. org/services/vaccinations. Information on lost pets is at services/lost-and-found.

June 13, 2023

Higinio Filo Hernandez Vasquez 65 Carlsbad

June 7, 2023

John Rincon Oceanside

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JUNE 23, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 15
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THE REGIONAL Task Force on Homelessness conducted a federally required count in January, finding at least 10,264 people experiencing homelessness in the county. File photo

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EDITORS: These horoscopes are for use the week of JUNE 26, 2023

1. MOVIES: Which movie features the line, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”?

2. HISTORY: Which serious disease was declared eradicated in 1980?

3. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What color is the “black box” that is used to record data on airplanes?

4. GAMES: How much does getting out of jail cost in the board game Monopoly?

5. LITERATURE: What kind of animal is the novel “Black Beauty” about?

6. U.S. PRESIDENTS: Who was the youngest president?

7. TELEVISION: Who played the Penguin in the original “Batman” TV series?

8. GEOGRAPHY: What is the northernmost point of the United States?

9. ASTRONOMY: Which is the only planet in our solar system that spins clockwise?

10. FOOD & DRINK: Which fast-food restaurant chain claims that “We have the meats”?

ARIES (March 21 to April 19) You might have to turn your Arian charm up a few degrees if you hope to persuade that persistent pessimist to see the possibilities in your project. Whatever you do, don’t give up.

TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) A “tip” about a co-worker’s “betrayal” might well raise the Bovine’s rage levels. But before charging into a confrontation, let an unbiased colleague do some fact-checking.

GEMINI (May 21 to June 20) Although a relationship still seems to be moving too slowly to suit your expectations, it’s best not to push it. Let it develop at its own pace. You’ll soon get news about a workplace change.

CANCER (June 21 to July 22) A continually changing personal situation makes you feel as if you’re riding an emotional roller coaster. But hold on tight; stability starts to set in early next week.

LEO (July 23 to August 22) Believe it or not, someone might dare to say “No!” to the Regal One’s suggestion. But instead of being miffed, use this rebuff to recheck the proposition and, perhaps, make some changes.

VIRGO (August 23 to September 22) You might find it difficult to make a decision about a family matter. But a delay can only lead to more problems. Seek out trusted counsel and then make that important decision.


LIBRA (September 23 to October 22) Concentrate your focus on what needs to be done and avoid frittering away your energies on less important pursuits. There’ll be time later for fun and games.

SCORPIO (October 23 to November 21) Although the conflicts seem to be letting up, you still need to be wary of being drawn into workplace intrigues. Plan a special weekend event for family and/or friends.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to December 21) Your quick wit helps you work through an already difficult situation without creating more problems. Creative aspects begin to dominate by the week’s end.

CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19) Be patient. You’ll soon receive news about a project that means a great deal to you. Meanwhile, you might want to reconsider a suggestion that you previously turned down.

AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18) There are still some aspects about a new job offer that you need to resolve. In the meantime, another possibility seems promising. Be sure to check it out as well.

PISCES (February 19 to March 20) Opening up your emotional floodgates could leave you vulnerable to being hurt later on. Watch what you say in order to avoid having your words come back to haunt you.

BORN THIS WEEK: You’re usually the life of the party, which gets you on everyone’s invitation list. You also have a flair for politics.

© 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.

JUNE 23, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 17
1. “Back to the Future.” 2. Smallpox. 3. Orange. 4. $50. 5. A horse. 6. Theodore Roosevelt (42). 7. Burgess Meredith. 8. Point Barrow, Alaska. 9. Venus. 10. Arby’s.

Our Top 3 benefits of Summer Music Camps

Summer is just starting, and for most of us, we may look back on our endless, carefree summer days of childhood with fondness and joy.

However, now that you are a parent, you may have mixed feelings about this season. How will we manage childcare?

The best answers to these questions can be summed up in three words: SUMMER MUSIC CAMPS!

Not only is summer camp fun, but did you know that there are a wide range of benefits of summer music camps for children?



4 p.m. June 25 at Heritage Village Park, 219 Peyri Dr, Oceanside.


Cool Jazz. 6 to 9 p.m. June 25 at Jazzy Wishbone, 234 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside.


Popular one-day art shows expand to Liberty Station after success in Little Italy; Events offer intimate setting with 30 artists, live music & all things creative. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jun. 25 at Piazza della Famiglia, 550 W Date St, San Diego.


Jazz in the heart of the Village, free and open to the public. 4 to 5:30 p.m. June 25 at St. Michael’s-by-theSea Episcopal Church, 2775 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad.

June 26


Join local author Pete Peterson in a four-class series where participants will learn practical tips on how to create memorable short stories to appeal to editors and readers alike. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 26 at Escondido Public Library, 239 S Kalmia St, Escondido.


Adult beginning and intermediate dancers are invited to enjoy a week of daily class, conditioning and variations with the Performing Arts Group faculty. 12 a.m. at Performing Arts Workshop, 1465 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas.


Spreckels Organ Society announces this year’s San Diego International Summer Organ Festival. 12 a.m. at Spreckels Organ Pavilion, 2125 Pan American Rd E, San Diego.

June 27


Hawaiian singer-song-

writer John Cruz engages audiences with rich storytelling through songs ranging from Hawaiian to blues, folk, R&B and more. $25, 8 p.m. at Belly Up Tavern, 160 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.


New classes are available at OTC Studio 219. $15, 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. June 27 at OTC Studio 219, 219 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside.

June 28


Watch San Diego bands Imaginary Machine and Poems in a locals only show at Belly Up. $9, 8 p.m. at Belly Up, 160 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.

June 29


Join Chef Claudette Zepeda and her talented culinary team June 29 for Vaga’s “Nature of Earth” fivecourse menu dinner at Alila Marea Beach Resort. $125, 5 to 9 p.m. June 29 at Vaga Restaurant & Bar, 2100 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas.


Paul Thorn has been pleasing crowds with his muscular brand of roots bluesy, rocking and thoroughly Southern American,

yet also speaking universal truths. $35, 8 p.m. at Belly Up, 160 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.


The Boys & Girls Club of Vista is hosting its annual career day. 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. June 29 at Boys & Girls Club of Vista, 410 W California Ave, Vista.


What better way to express your love than painting your pet’s portrait? $60, 5 to 8 p.m. June 29 at Local Roots in The Boochyard, 1430 Vantage Ct, Vista.


Get your body moving and grooving! Classes are $15 per session and are available every Thursday from 9:20 am - 10 am. $15, 9:15 to 10 a.m. June 29 at OTC Studio 219, 219 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside.


Poets Underground presents Hello Hip Hop, an open mic for rappers, beatboxers, poets and producers. $15, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 29 at OTC Studio 219, 219 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside.

June 30


Cracker has been described as a lot of things over

Here are our Top 3 Benefits:

1. Personal Growth, Learning, and Development

Music camps are a great way to keep your child learning music and retaining what they learned throughout the year.

2. Positive Role Models

Camps give an opportunity to interact with positive adult role models who are musicians. Forming these role model relationships can help kids develop the confidence, self-esteem, and skills they need

authentic ‘80s live music experience. $20, 8 p.m. at Belly Up, 160 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.


Cool Jazz. 6 to 9 p.m. July 2 at Jazzy Wishbone, 234 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside.


Conducted by internationally renowned author and spiritual teacher Dimitri Moraitis. 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. July 2 at Spiritual Arts Institute, 527 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas.


the alt-rock, Americana, insurgent-country, and have even had the terms punk and classic-rock thrown at them. $27.50, 9 p.m. at Belly Up, 160 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.


Join San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum onsite for Fun Animal Friday. 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 30 at San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, 320 N Broadway, Escondido.

July 1


Sony recording artists

Led Zepagain have become highly regarded as the most accurate and authentic replication of Led Zeppelin in the world today. $26, 9 p.m. at Belly Up, 160 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.


The Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame Orchestra is a nonprofit, 17-piece orchestra that plays original arrangements from old-time greats. 3 to 6 p.m. Jul. 1 at Vista Historical Society museum, 2317 Foothill Dr, Vista.

July 2


BETAMAXX captivates audiences with their

to succeed in school and life.

3. Socializing and Friendship Building

A summer camp program provides a safe environment for children to develop social skills, decision-making skills, and even experience the many different ways to learn music!

Music Camps offers an exciting, inspiring week within a safe, welcoming environment that will help them grow as musicians and individuals.



ing to book Sweet and her “Cher band.” While the idea of performing as Cher was initially intimidating, she decided to take her own advice and “say yes.”

Over the past three years, the act has grown into a full-time gig. Sweet spends hours practicing songs, exercising to stay in shape, and hand-making elaborate costumes reminiscent of some of Cher’s most iconic moments.

Jazz in the heart of the Village, free and open to the public. 4 to 5:30 p.m. July 2 at St. Michael’s-by-theSea Episcopal Church, 2775 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad.

July 4


Four-time Grammy-winning singer, composer and actor Lyle Lovett confirms new nationwide summer tour dates with his renowned Large Band. $155, 8 p.m. at Belly Up, 160 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.


Celebrate 4th of July at San Diego’s hidden gem, Lakehouse Resort at its Stars, Stripes, and Spurs, 4th of July Festival. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 4 at Lakehouse Hotel & Resort, 1105 La Bonita Dr, San Marcos.

July 5


Today as a solo artist, Henry is a Grammy-nominated and award-winning singer and songwriter. $25, 8 p.m. at Belly Up, 160 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.


The City of Vista’s Public Arts Commission is making a call for artists for VistaPOP! Civic Gallery Exhibition to celebrate Pop and Comic Art with 2D or 3D work. Deadline is 2 p.m. on July 5 at Vista Civic Center, 200 Civic Center Dr, Vista.

“The preparation for performance, I take it as a daily commitment. When I'm in the gym, I'm running the shows, working on the lyrics,” Sweet said.

Cher’d now performs eight signature shows yearly, featuring Sweet and bandmembers Barry Brown on keys and guitar, Roger Friend on drums, Chris Yates on bass, and Barry Allen on keys.

“We came together and realized it was going to work,” said Friend. “It’s a walk through history. This is our third year as a band ... and we have about 40 songs.”

Cher’d’s next performance is the June 30 Rock and Roll Show at the Grand Ritz Theatre in Escondido, highlighting Cher’s rock-and-roll hits. Other annual performances include the Las Vegas-style show featuring an impressive 15 costume changes, a holiday show, and the “glitter and glam” show.

For Sweet, the goal of performing is to connect with the audience, bring a smile to their faces and make them feel part of an immersive experience. Along with regularly scheduled shows, Cher’d has performed at other events like parties and celebrations of life.

“This isn’t just about ‘let’s see the band.’ It’s about, ‘let’s make some memories — how can I inspire courage, how can I inspire hope?’” Sweet said.

Reporting contributed by Steve Puterski

18 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N JUNE 23, 2023
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JAZZ EVENSONG is a free outdoor jazz concert, 4 to 5:30 p.m. July 2 at St. Michael’s-by-theSea Episcopal Church in the heart of Carlsbad Village. Stock image

Church spends $200K renovating Vista homeless shelter

Church recently spent five weeks and over $200,000 earlier this spring renovating Operation HOPE’s North County homeless shelter for families and single women.

North Coast Church, a large church with campuses throughout North County, including Vista, selected Operation HOPE as the featured nonprofit for its annual Serve Your City project.

While the Serve Your City project usually only involves a weekend where in-person church services are canceled to instead provide hands-on services within the community, the church decided to spend several weeks making long-lasting improvements to the shelter.

First founded in 2003, Operation HOPE-North County has been located at its current location in Vista for the last 10 years, offering a 12-bedroom, 45-bed, high-barrier shelter, complete with case management and supportive services that help clients to build life skills and learn self-sufficiency. Originally a seasonal shelter during the winter, Operation HOPE transitioned to a year-round facility in 2016 for families with children and single women experiencing homelessness.

“A lot of these families are families that people don’t see — they’re living out of their cars, they’re going

to work, their kids are enrolled in our local schools — they’re from North County,” said Jimmy Figueroa, executive director of Operation HOPE. “We get the opportunity to provide them shelter and get them back on their feet, but also we get to see them… we restore hope.”

Operation HOPE also offers a food pantry and a boutique for local families in need.

Over 150 volunteers and staff from the church remodeled and furnished the shelter’s kitchen, community room, youth room, bedrooms, case manage-

ment offices, shelter office and hallway, along with extensive landscaping projects around the shelter’s campus. While renovations were underway, the church paid to host its residents at the Hyatt Place Hotel in the meantime.

Operation HOPE celebrated North Coast Church and its shelter’s finished renovations with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 16.

“We feel blessed that we can work here for God but also be part of this community,” said Connor McFadden, community services pastor of North Coast

Church, at the event. “We love to see how Vista works together and we’re fortunate to be part of this.”

Figueroa attributed the shelter’s success to its community partners, including North Coast Church, and the shelter’s staff and volunteers.

Clients, on average, spend about four months at the shelter before graduating to permanent housing. Jeannette Bello, who has spent nearly three months at the shelter, looks forward to the future as she raises her infant son with the newfound confidence that she

gained from her time there.

“This has been one of the biggest blessings for me,” she said.

Bello has struggled with substance abuse and homelessness for years. Her infant son is her seventh child and will be the first she gets to raise after receiving help from Operation HOPE, which has also provided parenting classes to Bello and other clients in similar situations.

“I’m learning to become a mom, to be self-sufficient and learning how to love myself,” she said. “That’s all thanks to the classes we

have here.”

Bello and fellow shelter resident Alani Chavez shared their stories at the June 16 event and together cut the ribbon signifying the shelter’s completed renovations.

Chavez, also a mother to a young son, looks forward to getting her high school diploma and eventually hopes to obtain a master’s degree in the medical field.

“I’ve been able to become self-sufficient and gain my confidence back,” she said. “I’d like to thank Operation HOPE for this opportunity.”

JUNE 23, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 19 Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD) PACE is a health care plan designed for adults ages 55 years and older. @fhcsdpace A Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly To find out if you’re eligible for PACE, please call (760) 829-PACE (7223) or visit Get the Care You Need to Remain Safe at Home PACE provides customized care so you can continue to live safely in your home.
OPERATION HOPE-North County residents Jeannette Bello and Alani Chavez cut the ribbon signifying completion of renovations at the Vista homeless shelter. At right, Operation HOPE-North County Executive Director Jimmy Figueroa tells a crowd of community partners about the more than $200,000 worth of renovations North Coast Church provided to the homeless shelter over five weeks this spring. Photos by Samantha Nelson
20 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N JUNE 23, 2023 Call (760) 566-1891 today to schedule an appointment. COVID-19 Testing & Treatment Available Care when you need it. TrueCare’s QuickCare locations offer convenient same-day appointments for important non-emergency health issues with heart. 3 Locations in Oceanside & San Marcos Schedule online! Walk-ins Welcome!

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