Inland Edition, March 17, 2023

Page 1

Razdan receives 26 years to life

Man fatally stabbed former classmate

through

Monday at North County Mall in Escondido.

VUSD weighs consolidation as enrollment falls

San Marcos Unified adding bus routes in fall

With state’s help, district to start expansion with 5 elementary schools. 8

VISTA — Citing a decade of declining enrollment, the Vista Unified School District asked community members last week to serve on a new committee tasked with recommending the future of several district schools — including the possibility of consolidation.

Those interested in serving on the District Asset Management Advisory Committee may apply online at https://bit.ly/3Tha-

SINCE 2012, the Vista Unified School District’s student population has decreased by more than 6,700, according to district records. Courtesy photo

9Zl, or by stopping by the Operational Service Center at 1222 Arcadia Ave.

The application window closes at 5 p.m. on March 24.

“We encourage members of the community who are interested in serving on this committee to submit their application,” said Matthew Doyle, superinten-

dent of Vista Unified School District.

“We want to ensure that the decision-making process is inclusive, transparent and collaborative, and that we have a wide range of perspectives represented.”

Since 2012, the district’s student population has decreased by more than 6,700, according to VUSD records.

Up for consideration

VISTA — Twenty-oneyear-old Kellon Razdan was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison for the murder of 20-year-old Aris Keshishian, whose loved ones recounted the pain of his loss during an emotional hearing on Friday at the Vista Courthouse.

Judge Kelly C. Mok handed down the sentence just weeks after Razdan was convicted of the first-degree murder of Keshishian after his February trial.

Keshishian died in August 2021 after being stabbed 44 times by Razdan while on a walk with his dog in his San Marcos neighborhood, in what evidence indicated to be a premeditated attack.

According to Keshishian’s family, the two young men had been acquaintances since elementary school but had not spoken for years as of the attack.

Keshishian’s family members referred to Razdan as a “monster” and said their life has been painful and joyless since his death. He was described as endlessly kind, devoted to his family, funny, talented, hardworking, and caring.

“When that monster murdered Aris, it murdered my entire family. We barely speak with each other. There is nothing to say anymore,” said Henrik, Keshishian’s father, speaking through tears. “He was tru-

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Silvergate San Marcos wins “2023 Best of Senior Living” Award

Silvergate San Marcos – the area’s premier senior living community for nearly 30 years –once again has been honored with a “Best of Senior Living” award from SeniorAdvisor.com, the country’s largest online ratings and reviews site for senior care and services. The agency found Silvergate San Marcos to be among the top 1-2% of senior living communities in the nation, making it one of a select few senior living communities in the region to win the coveted award.

“Quite simply, we are in the business of making every day matter in retirement,” said David Nelson, Marketing Director for the community. “The exceptional ratings we garnered this year demonstrate how dedicated we are to each of our residents. In fact, it’s simply woven into every aspect of the Silvergate retirement lifestyle. From our robust calendar of activities and events, to our amazingly delicious chef-prepared meals, residents find life easier and better here. Families in turn worry less about loved ones and find the peace of mind they need.”

For more than a decade, SeniorAdvisor.com has hosted an annual award contest showcasing retirement communities in the industry who are delivering outstanding care and meeting the highest standards of service in independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Based on online reviews written in the last twelve months by seniors and their families who have direct experience with the

community, these exclusive designations honor the top tier of senior living communities. Silvergate San Marcos is one of only a small handful of winners in all of San Diego County and regularly receives exceptionally positive reviews like this one:

“There’s no place my mom would rather be! Fine dining, family time on the patio, social hour with friends. The staff at Silvergate lives by their motto ‘Where Every Day Matters’. — Michael, Loved One of Silvergate Resident

“We’re proud to be among the top one percent of family-rated communities and care providers in the nation,” said Joan Rink-Carroll, Executive Director for Silvergate San Marcos. “Seniors have set an incredibly high bar of standards for themselves when considering a transition to senior living. They want and expect the best in retirement. I’m proud to say our amazing team rose to the occasion once again.”

This latest announcement completes a trifecta

of award wins for Silvergate San Marcos having also been named a 2023 Caring Star recipient for service excellence by Caring.com, the nation’s second largest online referral service for senior living, and a “Favorite” for both the Assisted Living and Retirement Community categories in the Union Tribune’s 2022 “Best Of” Reader’s Poll.

About Silvergate San Marcos

Located in a serene setting within the city of San Marcos, Silvergate is a full-service retirement community offering independent living, assisted living or memory care. As a senior living community with a broad spectrum of care, and decades of experience in the industry, Silvergate is proud to have been recognized for its superior service levels and for making a difference in the lives of seniors right here in San Diego County.

Find out why San Diegans are singing Silvergate’s praises and learn more about securing a new apartment home at Silvergate San Marcos by taking a virtual or private, in-person tour of the community. For information, David Nelson to arrange a private tour of the property at 760-744-4484. Currently, the community has two-bedroom, one-bedroom and studio models available for private viewing in addition to Memory Care Suites located in a separate building on campus. Silvergate San Marcos is located at 1550 Security Place, San Marcos, CA 92078. www.SilvergateRR.com/SM.

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Tri-City interim CEO puts focus on community

Emergency physician and chief medical officer Dr. Gene Ma has been named interim CEO of Tri-City Healthcare District.

The Tri-City Board approached Ma about taking over the temporary interim CEO while the search for a permanent candidate continues.

“Dr. Ma is a proven leader with more than two decades of service to the medical center,” said Board Chair Rocky Chavez.

As interim CEO, Ma plans to take a data-driven approach with future initiatives to improve operations while also keeping an ear open to what the community needs and wants from its local hospital.

“Our ability to listen and incorporate what the community needs from Tri-City as a hospital is going to be essential in how we move forward with directives we set forth for ourselves,” Ma said.

The Tri-City board has hired HealthSearch Partners, a Dallas-based executive search firm, to help in a nationwide search for a permanent president and CEO. The search for a new CEO could take several months, and Ma could still be chosen for the title.

Ma has been an emergency department physician at Tri-City for over 20 years and is a 10-time honoree as one of San Diego’s Top Doctors in Emergency Medicine.

He has also served in several administrative roles, including chief of staff from 2015 to 2017 and as a chief medical officer since 2019.

Aside from his work as an emergency room doctor, Ma’s background includes work in healthcare affiliations, mergers and acquisitions, and executive leadership in private equity and healthcare IT startups.

Ma attended medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, after which he completed an internship at Stanford University and a residency in emergency medicine at UC San Diego

Conley takes over as Vista city manager

VISTA

— A longtime leader in the city’s planning department has been selected to serve in the city’s top job.

John Conley was selected as an internal hire for Vista’s city manager position and unanimously approved by the Vista City Council as the city’s chosen applicant on March 7.

Conley has served in the city’s planning department for the past 25 years, holding roles as a city planner, principal environmental planner, principal planner, and environmental planner before becoming Community Development Director in 2007.

He has been a familiar face at Planning Commission and City Council meetings for several years, overseeing projects including the development of the Paseo Santa Fe corridor, redevelopment of Vista Village, construction of two skateparks, and all Proposition L projects, including the Civic Center, the Moonlight Amphitheatre and new fire stations, according to the city.

“I want to express my sincere appreciation to the

staff, the City Council, and the community for the support I’ve received throughout this process,” Conley said. “I am looking forward to this incredible opportunity of serving Vista as City Manager and embracing the challenges that lie ahead.”

City officials said they conducted an extensive search and determined that Conley was the best candidate out of multiple applicants.

“We’re very excited to be welcoming John Conley as our new city manager

today. All of you, of course, know him well, and many, many, many members of our community know him very well. He enjoys a great reputation, and so we’re very proud that he’s going to be our new chief executive officer,” said Mayor John Franklin.

However, some council members shared grievances about how the search process was handled. Councilmember Corinna Contreras said she wished the city had invested more funds to hire an actual recruitment firm. In addition, she

Carlsbad firm gets $13 million for lithium battery production

— The race for lithium, which helps power everything from cell phones and laptops to digital cameras and electric vehicles, is the modern era’s gold rush.

And Carlsbad-based American Lithium Energy, or ALE, hit paydirt this week after receiving two grants totaling $13.2 million from the California Energy Commission.

The high-performance lithium battery producer will receive $10.2 million from Zero-Emissions Transportation Manufacturing for electric vehicle batteries to help meet state emissions goals and $3 million from the California Realizing Accelerated Manufacturing Production program in April 2023.

The company also received independent matching funds from private equity partners, according to William Hadala, business director for American Lithium Energy.

Jiang Fan, who founded ALE and holds a doctorate in solid state chemistry from Arizona State University, said the discovery of lithium

deposits near the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley (now called “Lithium Valley”) had prompted a rush to mine the valuable mineral.

Increased domestic access to more lithium will give Fan’s company and other U.S. manufacturers a competitive advantage when assembling cells to consolidate into battery packs for electric vehicles or EVs.

“By the end of this project, not only will we provide product to the market like the military space, but we will also work with EV battery companies,” Fan said.

The lithium deposits also help the Department of Defense, which has relied heavily on lithium-ion batteries in numerous applications, from drones and vehicles to wearables for warfighters.

“Northrop Grumman has collaborated with ALE on the development of advanced Li-ion battery cells for use on prototype aircraft, which have high-specific power and energy requirements,” said Jeff Knowles, an electrical engineer at Northrop Grumman, in a recent release. “ALE’s

claimed the council only had an hour and 20 minutes to interview candidates.

“I think it could have been a much more professional level than it was,” Contreras said. “Moving forward, I look forward to creating a much more transparent and better process in the case that we need to review the position for city manager, whatever council that will be.”

Melendez echoed these sentiments, stating that while she has confidence in Conley, she would have liked to see the process be handled differently.

Conley’s selection marks the most recent change in leadership in

Vista in recent months after the October resignation of Patrick Johnson, Vista’s former city manager of 11 years. Shortly after, the city also saw the retirement of former Vista Fire Chief Ned Vander Pol.

Amanda Lee, who has served as acting city manager since Johnson’s departure, will now return to her role of assistant city manager. Council members thanked her for her tireless work during the city’s leadership transition.

“You have been amazing during this interim period. I think you really took on this role and took care of our city staff in an incredible way,” Melendez said.

-------- job opportunity -------REPORTER WANTED --- North County San Diego ---

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industry-leading battery cell technology affords both expanded voltage range and useable capacity, as well as pulsed power capability that are enabling features for advanced aircraft.”

From a national security perspective, Fan said “Lithium Valley” plays a vital role in securing a U.S.based supply chain, protecting the U.S. market if “bad actor” states in Asia cut off supply chains due to a political conflict or military confrontation.

The Carlsbad company started with contracts through the defense and energy departments, with the former focused on highgrade technology for warfighters. However, over the years, ALE has evolved into other sectors along with mastering its technology and chemistry.

With the current grant from the state, the company can scale production to approximately 1.5 million battery cells per year.

And as the push for more electric vehicles grows, Hadala said the company has a long-term production goal of 50 million to 100 million cells annually.

Average county gas prices dropping slightly

City News Service REGION — The aver-

age price of a gallon of selfserve regular gasoline in San Diego County dropped for the fifth time in six days Wednesday, decreasing fourtenths of a cent to $4.938.

The average price has dropped 2.1 cents over the past six days. It is 2.1 cents

less than one week ago, 22 cents more than one month ago, and 83.4 cents less than one year ago. It has dropped $1.497 since rising to a record $6.435 on Oct. 5, 2022.

The national average price remained unchanged at $3.466. It is 2 cents more than one week ago and 4.8 cents more than one month

ago, but 85 cents less than one year ago.

“The best news for gasoline prices is how significant a drop we’ve seen from yearago levels, with more disinflation to come in the weeks ahead, even as gas prices are likely to inch up,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

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Western grid plan poses Enron-like crisis

Almost everyone who lived through California’s 2000-2001 energy crisis remembers rolling brownouts and blackouts, plus thefts in the billions of dollars from California consumers by Texas companies like Enron and Reliant Energy, which purposely shut down power plants to create an electricity shortage and raise prices and profits.

This was classic market manipulation, enabled by California’s 1998 electricity deregulation law, which encouraged regional movements of electricity across state lines.

Time for San Diego’s comeback

The San Diego I grew up in was known for its sunny beaches and as a place you could afford to buy a home and raise a family in a safe, clean neighborhood.

But now the San Diego region no longer lives up to the image of “America’s finest city.”

It’s time for San Diego to make a comeback.

As the mayor of Coronado, I know what good government looks like and the difference it can make for an entire community.

Over the next few months, I’m releasing a series of nonpartisan, detailed plans that identify specific actions our region can take to solve the main quality of life issues affecting San Diego County.

I wanted to start with homelessness. The answer to solving homelessness is more simple than most politicians will admit.

According to the most recent Point in Time count, of the 17,000 shelter beds available in San Diego county, just 75% are occupied.

So the good news is that shelter is available for people who want help right now.

However, politicians are enabling people to live a personally destructive lifestyle by refusing to enforce basic code violations such as blocking the public

right of way, urinating or defecating in public, public drug use and intoxication.

This lifestyle negatively affects the surrounding community and reduces the likelihood of that person ever getting help.

We must establish a policy that makes saying yes to getting help and off

San Diego has seen an even more drastic increase in the homeless population. In downtown alone, the number of homeless people has almost quadrupled to a new record of nearly 2,000 just last month.

You may have heard that more shelter space is necessary; however, as mentioned earlier, of the

Now a new report commissioned by California’s Legislature — ever a sucker for multi-state regional schemes — amazingly claims a return to something similar would actually prevent blackouts in California as this state transitions to more and more use of renewable energy drawn from wind, solar and hydroelectric sources.

As with almost every electricity plan pushed since the Enron scandal, this one uses the “blackout blackmail” tactic, promising “regional cooperation, lower prices and more efficient use of transmission lines.”

goal of becoming 100% reliant on renewables by 2045. For states like Arizona, Utah and Nevada are replete with coal- and oil-fired power plants that no longer exist in California, but whose output could be mixed with renewable energy from in-state sources.

Meanwhile, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission under ex-President Donald Trump adopted a requirement for RTOs to counteract state-level renewable energy policies. How does that square with California’s longtime aims?

the streets the ONLY option available.

Before exploring what this policy looks like in practice, let’s look at homelessness by the numbers.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are fewer homeless people nationwide than in 2012.

The homeless count fell across the country from 622K in 2012 to 582K in 2022.

So if the homeless population is decreasing in most parts of the nation, what is happening in California?

From 2007 through 2022, the homeless count in California increased by 24% to 172,000. Today, nearly 1 in 3 homeless people live in California.

Letters to the Editor

17,000 shelter beds in San Diego County, only 75% were occupied as of the last Point in Time count.

According to California’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, the state spent over $10 billion in tax dollars on “solving”the homeless issue in the past three years.

As we can see with our own eyes, the problem was not solved.

On March 14, I shared the state’s approach and explained why it is having the unintended effect of increasing our homeless population.

For more information, visit: sandiegocomeback. com.

Richard Bailey is the mayor of Coronado.

Bravo to Vista for bolstering retail tobacco policy

I would like to applaud the City of Vista for unanimously voting in support of strengthening the existing Tobacco Retail License policy by increasing the fines retailers have to pay if they are found to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.

As a parent of two and a community member who is committed to promoting a healthy environment for all, it is encouraging to know that Vista cares

about the future of children who live in this great city.

With a youth vaping epidemic currently taking place in our country, it is critical there be a policy in place to prevent youth from getting these products at stores in our own city.

A strong tobacco retail license policy will protect my kids and other Vista youth from accessing tobacco products, therefore

reducing the number of youth who become addicted to nicotine.

Tobacco stores should be selling their products responsibly and should be held accountable when they don’t.

Thank you to City Council for supporting the health and well-being of my children and all youth living in Vista.

The big problem is that all this can only work if there’s no market manipulation. But the energy crunch early in this century demonstrated that where manipulation is possible, profit-driven companies will manipulate.

That’s why Oklahoma’s Williams Companies got involved 23 years ago. It’s why Enron saw multiple executives convicted in Houston and jailed after major trials. It’s why executives of those firms openly laughed about “robbing grandmas in California.”

“What the Legislature is discussing today is pretty identical to a plan that was rejected in 2018, when (then-Gov.) Jerry Brown pushed it,” recalled Jamie Court, head of the state’s premier consumer advocacy group, Consumer Watchdog.

These schemes, which seem to arise every few years, are partly driven by utility companies’ longtime desire to build more multi-billion-dollar long distance transmission lines, which produce guaranteed profits of about 14% for 20 years on every cent spent to erect them.

Ideas bearing the word “regional” are often popular because of the notion that bigger is better. But regional electricity transmission organizations (RTOs) manage multi-state movements of power mostly to benefit the companies that own the power lines.

Even though the new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says the opposite, joining a Western RTO could thwart California’s

Of course, this state officially recognizes the transition to all-renewables may create problems for a while. That’s why it is letting PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant operate at least five years beyond its previously scheduled closing and keeping open outdated natural gas-fired generating stations for “peaker” use when power consumption is highest.

No one knows exactly how today’s power companies around the Southwest would manipulate the very different situation a Western regional grid would create, but the motive would be exactly the same as during the energy crunch — big profits.

Plus, states involved include the same ones currently trying to create a new system for maintaining their own use of Colorado River water while forcing California to make cuts. One big problem they have with this is that it runs afoul of current law and contracts.

So the possibility is strong that companies based in those states would act against California much as they did during the energy crunch and just as the states themselves are trying to do now. What’s more, if California joins a regional grid, it will cede much of its energy planning authority to a board of directors where this state would be a minority, despite having far more population and power users than the other states combined.

This makes no sense, but the Legislature got exactly the report it asked for, when it plainly assigned the NREL to help it justify joining a regional grid.

So far, California has avoided adopting such a self-destructive plan. But with current lawmakers plainly inclined in that direction, this state is in danger of being manipulated into another serious energy crunch.

4 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N MARCH 17, 2023
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We must establish an approach that makes saying yes to getting help and off the streets the ONLY option available.

Community park opens at San Marcos Highlands

SAN MARCOS — Families and San Marcos officials gathered on Woodhaven Road on Monday, March 6, to celebrate the opening of Las Abejas Park, the city’s newest park built to serve the new San Marcos Highlands community.

Las Abejas, whose name meaning “the bees” was selected through a community naming process, features a new play structure, covered picnic area, barbecues and a large grass area with a view of the hills along a cul-de-sac at the north end of Woodhaven Road.

More specifically, the park is in the future Ridgeview neighborhood, one of two planned communities in the 187-home, single-family Highlands project in Santa Fe Hills. Ridgeview will contain 80 units, while the adjacent Foothills community will have 107 units.

Steve Ruffner, division president of project developer KB Homes, assisted with the ribbon cutting for the park on Monday alongside Mayor Rebecca Jones while several children waited eagerly to tackle the new playground.

Ruffner said this project had been 23 years in the making.

“The park was part of the original entitlement. We’re excited about it — we’re just pleased it’s here,” Ruffner said.

According to KB Homes

spokesperson Bob Kronenfeld, model homes for the Foothills project opened in 2021, and 40 homes have closed escrow, while the first homes in the Ridgeview project opened this past summer, and nine have since closed escrow.

The project faced a great deal of pushback from the community when it was approved in 2016, with residents concerned about increased density and the loss of natural open space.

As a result, the project was scaled back to preserve two hundred acres of open

space, a wildlife corridor and a flight corridor.

Upon the project’s completion, the public will have access to several nature trails throughout the open space and over 3 miles of city-improved trails along Las Posas Road leading to park space from Ardilla Way.

Councilmember Ed Musgrove said seeing a new park appear in the city was exciting.

“We don’t do a lot of new parks, usually it’s building a new one,” he said.

CEA is Bringing Clean Energy to the Cities of San Marcos and Escondido

Beginning in April 1, 2023, customers will be automatically enrolled in Clean Impact Plus, Clean Energy Alliance’s (CEA) 50% renewable and 75% carbon-free energy plan, with the option to opt up to Green Impact, a 100% renewable energy plan, or opt down to Clean Impact, CEA’s 50% renewable energy base plan. Customers may also choose to opt out and remain with SDG&E.

Vista plans fire station replacement

VISTA — A major project in the Vista Fire Department is moving forward as personnel in the city’s oldest fire station prepare to move out in the coming months to allow for the structure’s demolition and eventual redevelopment.

Fire department leadership said they have outgrown Station 3 on Old Taylor Street, the oldest of the city’s six stations that was built in 1962 and remodeled in 1997. A major part of the planned redevelopment is reorienting the station so fire trucks can exit onto Vista Way rather than Old Taylor Street, to allow for faster response times.

The $10.5 million project became a reality in 2021 when the city received approximately $5 million in funding from the California Office of Emergency Services. Another $4.5 million came from the Vista Fire Protection District, with the city covering the remaining cost.

“We’re excited. We’ve been trying to find a way to update that station for years, so we are looking forward to having a new, up-to-date TURN TO FIRE STATION ON 15

MARCH 17, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 5 For more information on how to opt up, please visit TheCleanEnergyAlliance.org or call (833) 232-3110
LAS ABEJAS PARK on Woodhaven Road, the newest park in San Marcos, features a play structure, covered picnic area, barbecues and a large grass area with a view of the hills. The park opened March 6. Photos by Laura Place SAN MARCOS Mayor Rebecca Jones talks to local children at the grand opening of Las Abejas Park last week.

Vista cracks down on tobacco sales to underage customers

Council explores harsher penalties for sales to minors

retailers selling products to underage customers in Vista could see harsher penalties on the horizon, including increased fines and the likelihood of license suspension and revocation

At a Feb. 28 City Council meeting, several community members shared concerns about how easy it is for those under 21 to obtain vapes and other tobacco products in Vista due to retailers not checking IDs and urged the city to increase penalties.

With unanimous support from the council, city staff was directed to begin crafting an ordinance amending the city’s code to be approved in the future.

“I have a lot of friends who are minors, and it kind of breaks my heart to see them smoke tobacco and get vapes. I ask them, ‘Where do you get this? You are literally a child,’ and they’re like, ‘I know this place that doesn't card; I know this place that will just give it to me,’” said Yeseña Hernandez, 23. “I’m just concerned for my family, my friends, everyone younger than me.”

In the past three years, 10 different tobacco retailers in the city have earned violations for selling to minors, resulting in citations for clerks and required staff training, according to city spokesman Fred Tracey. In addition, one of these retailers earned a second violation and saw their license suspended for 30 days.

Currently, penalties for retailers increase for all repeated violations in three years to a 90-day suspension for a third offense, a one-year suspension for a fourth offense, and license revocation for a fifth offense. The clerk making the sale faces a $200 fine for the first violation, $500 for a second violation, and

$1,000 for a third.

Officials are tipped off to these practices by conducting decoy operations, where minors are sent into tobacco or alcohol establishments to test whether retailers will sell them prohibited products.

Councilmember Katie Melendez said the current system creates little accountability for the business owner since financial penalties are shouldered solely by the clerks. In the future, she advocated for code enforcement officers returning to stores to issue citations directly to retailers.

“When a young person is sold cigarettes or vapes, it can change the course of their life,” Melendez said.

“It can destroy their health and their future, and I believe we need to have more accountability for our retailers and stronger language in our municipal code.”

Council members said they would support increasing the first-offense penalty to $750 and enforc-

It’s almost here.

ing an immediate license suspension, with increased penalties for additional offenses. However, when crafting the ordinance,

city staff must ensure the proposed measures don’t exceed the $1,000 penalty limit permitted under state law.

“I really think it’s the aggressive increase in fining, the suspension of licenses that will really make a change, hopefully,

on these retailers,” said Councilmember Joe Green.

Local adults and students from local high schools made their voices heard regarding the dangers of tobacco, saying they support the adoption of more substantial penalties to de-incentivize retailers from selling to minors.

“Many times, it’s super easy to obtain these types of items, and I see many youth that easily get it,” said Daniel Ventura, president of the STAY Club at Vista High School. “I have a little sister at Vista Magnet, and it would be sad to see her get addicted to these things.”

Ventura added that students at Vista High have grown accustomed to the fire alarm being frequently set off due to vaping products, which poses a danger if an actual fire happens, but students don't take the alarm seriously.

Representatives from organizations like CleanEarth4Kids and the North Coastal Prevention Coalition noted that to prevent retailers from selling to minors, the city needs to “make it hurt.”

“They are selling an addictive, toxic substance. Addiction is part of their business model,” said John Bottorf, chief information officer at CleanEarth4Kids. “The profits these places make outweigh the penalty, and they will never change as long as the penalty is not as harsh as the money they make.”

City staff said they would also analyze potential regulations limiting the number of smoke shops in the city as an additional measure to limit tobacco use.

Vista currently has 70 licensed retailers, equal to around one per every 1,400 city residents.

Such measures have been adopted in other cities like San Francisco, which in 2015 set a cap of 45 retailers per district, and Philadelphia, which limited tobacco retail density to one store per 1,000 residents per planning district in 2017.

State, feds team up to save monarch butterfly

By Staff REGION — State and federal agencies in California are joining forces to address the decline of monarch butterflies and other pollinator species in the state.

The Multi-Agency Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative aims to facilitate long-term conservation of the western population of the migratory monarch butterfly and its habitats, as well as other pollinator species in the state.

“Monarchs and other pollinators are critical to maintaining ecosystem resilience and preserving California’s biodiversity,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham.

“It will take a collec-

tive effort between agencies to make significant headway toward the state’s conservation goals and recover pollinator populations.”

Recent surveys reveal a positive turn for the monarchs. The 2023 count of overwintering monarchs along the California coast showed a robust population of more than 330,000 butterflies. This represents more than a thousandfold increase over the all-time low count of less than 2,000 individuals in 2020.

“We are encouraged by the promising recent reports of overwintering western monarchs in California and remain committed to working with others to implement conservation actions that benefit all pol-

linators,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Southwest Regional Director Paul Souza.

Despite the recent increase, scientists estimate that western monarchs have declined by approximately 80% since the 1980s due to loss of breeding habitat and coastal overwintering habitat, climate change and the effects of pesticides.

Western monarchs still have a long way to go to recover and the collaborative hopes to make a difference.

The group will identify, adopt, promote and implement ecosystem-based management approaches that can be applied within each partner’s jurisdiction to support the western migratory population of the monarch butterfly and oth-

er pollinators in California.

“I had a chance to witness monarch migration this winter on the Monterey Peninsula, and it moved me deeply,” said California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot.

“Butterflies, bees and other pollinators are not only beautiful, but also essential to our environment and food production. They are resilient, but they need our help more than ever before. This partnership represents so much promise to provide the support that pollinators need to thrive.”

Ultimately, the goal of the Collaborative is to help catalyze monarch and pollinator conservation in California by building on the recent increase of monarch butterflies.

6 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N MARCH 17, 2023
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In
The
TOBACCO RETAILERS in Vista, such as Sam’s Cigar and Smoke Shop, pictured last week, could face harsher penalties for selling tobacco to minors, including increased fines and license suspension. Photo by Laura Place STUDENT MEMBERS of Vista High School’s STAY Club, focusing on tobacco prevention and youth advocacy, have been involved in pushing the city of Vista to enforce stricter penalties for tobacco sales to minors. Courtesy photo/VHS

YMCA opens new gymnastics facility

It is a new day for the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA’s gymnastics program.

The YMCA christened its new, state-of-the-art 27,400-square foot facility during a ribbon cutting on March 1. The new facility at 2261 Cosmos Court in Carlsbad replaces its longtime facility on Avenida Encinas in Carlsbad that the program called home for 25 years, according to YMCA Regional Director Lauren Hall.

“Gymnastics is one of those sports where kids build confidence, gain experiences, they reach goals,” she said. “And because of how children progress through it … we find it fits within the mission of the Y so well.”

Over the past 13 months, Hall led the charge to find the gymnastics program’s new home. Construction started in June 2022 on a $1.3 million renovation to transform the building into

a single-tenant space.

Gymnastics has long been a staple of the YMCA and is part of the Y’s mission to deliver a healthy and positive environment for its kids and even adults, said Todd Tibbits, CEO of the San Diego County YMCA.

He added that the opening is a further indication that the YMCA is regaining its former position after the organization struggled during the pandemic to hold on to its core members.

Tibbits said the Ecke team led the project with the expectation that the new location will allow for growth and be an opportunity to reach more people. The mission, he said, is to use gymnastics as a catalyst for positive youth development.

“It’s about how we are developing the social and emotional well-being in children,” he said. “And they will receive the best gymnastics instruction in the county.”

The new facility offers gymnastics for all ages, with some participants as young as 6 months, Hall said.

The new facility has two levels, with the upstairs reserved for ages 5 and younger and the downstairs for older and more skilled gymnasts, she said.

As for programming, Hall said, the new building offers tracks for recreational and competitive gymnastics. The recreational component is for fun, helping kids to stay healthy. The competitive route is more intensive.

Hall said the YMCA has a long history of developing top gymnasts in the region, with some reaching the pinnacle in the competitive circuits.

The YMCA is planning to add an aerial arts program in mid-April. Aerial arts has its roots in the circus, where performers would use hoops, hammocks and other equipment.

VOTING OPENS MARCH 22nd

MARCH 17, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 7
ON MARCH 1, the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA gymnastics program opened its new 27,400-square-foot facility at 2261 Cosmos Court in Carlsbad. Photo by Steve Puterski

SMUSD expanding bus service with new state funds

SAN MARCOS

— The San Marcos Unified School District is using new state funding to expand school bus services to more students, beginning this fall with those at their highest-need elementary schools.

For the first time in years, the state has provided a boost in transportation funding in this year’s budget, with San Marcos Unified receiving an extra $2.8 million to pad their existing $5 million set aside for transportation, district officials announced at a March 9 board meeting.

While districts are not required to use these additional funds to increase their transportation services, San Marcos Unified has crafted an expansion plan that will add 10 new bus routes servicing students at five elementary schools starting this fall.

“Transportation has been severely underfunded for a very long time,” said Erin Garcia, assistant superintendent of business services. “Some districts have already been struggling tremendously to provide the transportation they have to do, but we’re not in that place, partly because of the size of our district and because of the spirit of the staff.”

While San Marcos Unified used to offer districtwide transportation for

general education students, it was discontinued in the early 2000s due to a lack of funding. Since then, the district has offered just two general education routes for Twin Oaks Continuation school, along with several routes for students in special education programs.

Starting this fall, the district will implement the new routes serving students at La Mirada Academy, San Marcos Elementary, Joli Ann Leichtag Elementary, Paloma Elementary and Twin Oaks Elementary.

Executive Director of Transportation Michael Sawyer said he’s excited to expand services to the wider student population again. He has been an enthusiastic leader of this effort at San Marcos Unified, being an alumnus of district schools and working as a district bus driver before his current role.

“We’re super excited that we’re able to offer these 10 additional bus routes, but since we haven’t done it in so long, we don’t know how many people are

going to participate. Ten routes is our best estimate, but we have the ability to flex that up and down,” Sawyer said.

District officials chose the five schools that would receive new routes by assessing various criteria, including which sites had the highest rates of low-income students and families living more than a mile from their school.

In the future, district officials hope to expand additional routes to the district’s middle and high schools.

“We want to phase in the program and we’re hoping to grow it over time,” Sawyer said.

Another important part of this plan is purchas-

ing new buses to keep the district’s fleet up to date and meet the growing demand.

According to Sawyer, San Marcos Unified was recently awarded funds to purchase 13 new electric buses and also gained approval to purchase 10 new diesel buses. Some of these new purchases will replace older vehicles in the district’s 74-bus fleet — some of which Sawyer said he rode as a student.

Garcia said diesel buses are good to keep around for longer distances, while the shorter mileage capability of electric buses can more easily service daily transport.

“Part of the reason that we are going to contin-

ue buying those diesel buses is that the technology on those electric buses is new to us, and we’ve still got to do some longer, out-oftown field trips,” she said, adding that the fleet also includes alternative-fuel buses.

The district is also working hard to recruit more drivers to support the new routes, with training sessions taking place throughout the year. However, like in most districts across the country, a bus driver shortage is posing a challenge.

Because of this, San Marcos Unified officials have implemented several incentives, including 6.5 guaranteed hours and starting hourly pay at $22, with opportunities to make up to $28.

Bus passes will be free for students with individualized learning plans, foster and homeless students, and low-income students. This includes youth who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program, officials said.

For all other students, passes are available at different costs depending on how frequently they plan to ride, with discounts for families with multiple kids using the bus. A pass for round-trip transportation for the whole school year will be $725 for one student, while a pack of 40 single-use passes will be $80.

Those interested in becoming a bus driver for the district can contact Transportation Coordinator Andrea Mancino at andrea. mancino@smusd.org or by calling 760-290-2654.

Woman charged with calling in bomb threat to school

By City News Service

SAN MARCOS — A 32-year-old woman was charged with phoning in a false bomb threat that led students and staff to evacuate San Marcos Elementary School last month.

Marie Kim is accused of placing a phone call just after 1 p.m. Feb. 8 that prompted school administrators to move all students and staff off campus. A search of the campus conducted by police officers and bomb sniffing dogs turned up nothing, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

On Tuesday, sheriff's

officials said Kim had already been identified as the suspect in the alleged telephoned threat when she was contacted by deputies a few weeks later.

On Feb. 23, deputies responded to a call regarding an argument on Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos and recognized Kim as the bomb threat suspect, according to sheriff's Lt. Michael Arens.

Kim was arrested that day on suspicion of falsely reporting a bomb threat. She was also arrested on suspicion of battery, vandalism and obstructing a peace officer, which Arens

said stemmed from the argument call.

It was unclear whether Kim had any connection with the elementary school, nor what may have prompted the alleged threat. The sheriff's department also did not disclose how Kim had been identified as the alleged caller.

The San Diego County District Attorney's Office charged Kim last month with a felony count of making a false bomb threat, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in local custody. Kim has pleaded not guilty and is currently out of custody.

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SAN MARCOS UNIFIED School District is implementing a long-term plan to expand student transportation services, beginning with 10 new routes at five schools in the upcoming school year. Courtesy photo
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Vista sees surpluses in coming budget cycles

— An in-depth review and preview of the city’s next two budget cycles show a positive trend for the city.

City staff reported during a March 7 workshop that the city is looking forward to two more years of a budget surplus of nearly $2 million for fiscal years 2023-24 and 2024-25. One of the biggest gains for the city is in property taxes, estimated to jump by nearly $5 million and $6 million over the next two years compared to FY 2022-23.

The joy of gardening

jano’s garden

jano nightingale

What is “awe”?

What is “joy”?

Recently, I had the pleasure of hearing two speakers on National Public Radio talk about the simple pleasure and necessity of experiencing these emotions, both individually and collectively.

As a guest on the NPR show, “Hidden Brain,” UC Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner described “awe” as a feeling of amazement you might get watching a sunset or rainbow or standing under a grove of trees.

Show host Shankar Vedantam said, “You don’t see cats perched on a sand dune at the beach to watch the sunset, but locals and tourists alike line up for the perfect spot on a beach every evening. So, is this a true human emotion?”

Keltner answered, “Awe is the ultimate collective emotion, for it motivates people to do things that enhance the greater good.”

JOY WITH OTHERS

As a Master Gardener instructor, I have worked with over 50 participants in the Carlsbad Senior Center Garden Class, and we have planted raised bed vegetable crops for three years.

Each year the participants work together to learn new skills and share their knowledge. At the end of each class, we all agreed that we had experienced both joy and awe.

JOY AS A DAILY PRACTICE

One of the best-selling books of 2022, Ross Gay’s “Inciting Joy,” suggests that joy is expansive and worth sharing.

“I think of joy in the garden in August, when growing tomatoes and zucchini become a laboratory of mutual aid.” When we feed the plants, the plants feed us!

SIMPLE JOYS IN GARDEN

After being luminously inspired, I set about making a list of the (almost-free) activities we can create with

our families, friends and fellow gardeners.

• SEEDS — This is a wonderful time of year to take stock of seeds harvested last year and stored over the winter in those ever-present shoe boxes! Last year we had a bumper crop of giant sunflowers that we harvested and are preparing to plant this spring.

• RAID YOUR REFRIGERATOR — So many of my students at the Carlsbad Senior Garden have surprised me every week with seeds harvested from their salad bins and pantry. In previous articles, I have talked about the process of seed-saving, or you can find extensive information at seedsavers.org. We have had great success drying and replanting seeds or tubers from a multitude of peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.

• FAMILY GARDENS — Begin a small garden project with your children or grandchildren. A large 5-gallon pot filled with tomatoes and lettuce is all you need to get started!

• BIRDS — If you have a small garden, or just a front porch, setting up a bird feeder can be a pleasurable activity for all family members, especially children and grandchildren.

• BUTTERFLIES — Scour your seed catalogues for collections that will attract butterflies. Many fully grown varieties of Asclepias (milkweed) are available at local nurseries. I also recommend visiting kitchengardenseeds. com for a complete list of their Habitat Gardens, including those designed for hummingbirds, butterflies and songbirds, boasting over 5,000 seeds in packet for under $20. If you have the room in your backyard, these are worth a try and come with complete instructions to start your Habitat Garden.

• VISIT YOUR LOCAL GARDENS — The San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas hosts garden classes and offers daily tours of its extensive collection. Contact sdbg.org for ticket information and class registration.

Jano Nightingale is a Master Gardener and Horticulturist who teaches at the Carlsbad Senior Center. Contact her at janosgarden@ gmail.com

al Fund revenues. The reserve covers 120 days of operations and is a minimum of what the city should have in its reserve account.

stay unrealized until the market turns around.

Cannabis is also estimated to see a big jump in revenue as the city projects increases of nearly $600,000 and $900,000 in the next two years compared to FY 2021-22. The city collected $6.8 million in total revenue from its 11 dispensaries in FY 2021-22.

“I’m happy with the new parks, lighting and sidewalks,” Mayor John Franklin said of the budget and city goals.

However, some on the City Council discussed spending from the city’s General Fund reserve account. According to Franklin, other discussions reveal $7 million in expenditures from the reserve account, which totals $40 million, or 35% of Gener-

Franklin said the city’s surplus, though, is likely to increase more than projected once the city reconciles its finances, which is usually reported in September or October each year. He said those funds are what should be allocated by the council, not funds dedicated to keep the city operational during a time of financial uncertainty.

Mike Sylvia, Vista’s treasurer, said about $18.9 million of the reserve account is from a pension trust and subject to big returns or losses. He said while the trust is included as part of the reserve, it is sometimes looked at individually because of its purpose.

“It’s my responsibility to the residents of Vista that their money is safe and liquid when we need it,” Sylvia said.

He noted the city’s portfolio has millions in unrealized losses, but it his job to ensure those losses

Councilwoman Corrina Contreras discussed the city holding too high of a reserve and how it may negatively impact the city. She spoke about the current inflation rate versus the city’s rate of return on its reserve investment portfolio, which is at 4.35%, according to Sylvia.

Contreras also questioned whether the structural deficit reserve account, which totals nearly $9 million, should be included in the General Fund reserve. Sylvia said the council consolidate or account for all reserve funds and readdress the reserve policy.

Contreras also questioned the amount of spending in public safety. She said trend lines show it will near 60% of the city’s operating budget in the coming years. She said regional consolidation has been a help with law enforcement, although the city is looking to hire six firefighters and add an ambulance.

“What I would hate is to have a significant loss of buying power when we have real community issues we can resolve with one-time expense,” she said. “I’m not suggesting

we spend all our reserve, but what I am suggesting is that we may be losing in investing in our community and showing that return of investment by holding too high of a reserve.”

As for cannabis, Amanda Lee, the former interim city manager, said the city’s cannabis industry has stabilized, even with the addition of other competitors such as Encinitas and Oceanside, and staff does not anticipate any drop in revenues going forward.

Councilman Joe Green said the city should be the “tip of the spear,” regarding cannabis lounges, much like it was in adopting Measure Z and expanding cannabis operations as a result of the vote. He said it would be a way to maintain and increase cannabis revenue.

He also said if reducing the reserve account meant the city could fill positions, he would consider the action. Green said the city is struggling with employee retention, although there must be a component where the city isn’t putting itself into a more compromising position.

“We’re doing an amazing job of training employees and other cities are poaching them,” he said.

Meet Twin Oaks Golf Course GM Bryon Penfield

Twin Oaks Golf Course is celebrating its 30-year anniversary this year. General Manager Bryon Penfield shares his insights and updates everything that is happening at Twin Oaks CG.

What does your business do? Operate a public golf course, providing banquet venues indoor and outdoor for all events including weddings, parties and tournaments, also including food & beverage services.

What services and/or specialty products do you provide? Golf products, public golf course, golf merchandise, banquet facility, golf instruction, wedding & food beverage services.

What question are you asked most frequently by clients / prospective buyers? Are we flexible in meeting all customer needs – Our answer yes, we are always willing to adapt to whatever is the best interest of the client and also

the best interest of Twin Oaks.

What is your favorite business success story? Looking back at the COVID-19 shutdown and how our business was able to come back with full steam once we re-opened. There were obviously a lot of questions on how things would play out – Across the

entire industry, golf has become bigger than ever as we have grown the game with new golfers across all demographics and also retained our existing core golfers. While it was challenging dodging constant changes to our public health standards, our company was always quick to adapt to new policies in order to provide the best experience possible to all of our guests. In addition, we have been able to rethink how we do business while maximizing all opportunities given. This not only includes golf or other related activities, but banquet events in general I think are better than they ever have been. We are taking the time to ensure the successes of each event well in advance and also requiring proper standards moving forward. We are seeing both golf and all events still striving ahead with a lot of success. Thinking back to when the pandemic happened and where we are

now, I think is a great story to tell.

What motivated you to join The San Marcos Chamber? As someone doing business. To give back to the community, promote Twin Oaks Golf Course and support our fellow partners in San Marcos.

What’s your best piece of business advice? Take your time, as necessary, when dealing with any challenge or situation. Don’t be too reactionary, but rather be more proactive in planning and strategizing to prepare yourself when a challenge occurs. Deliberate with your team to ensure we make proper decisions that are in the best interest of all employees, guests and the business itself.

Business website: www.jcgolf.com

Business Instagram handle: @twinoaksgc

Business Facebook page: @TwinOaksGolfCourseSanDiego

MARCH 17, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 9 CHATTER San Marcos Chamber Visit us in person, or online or on social media: 251 North City Drive, Suite 128G, San Marcos sanmarcoschamber.com 760-744-1270 2023 San Marcos Spring Fling & Street Festival Sunday, April 2, 2023, 9am-5pm, All Along Via Vera Cruz Over 200+ Artisans & Crafters, Retailers & Nationwide Vendors, Rhythm, Brews & Wine Garden, Live Entertainment on 2 Stages, Food Galore, Kids Fun Zone Join Us
BRYON PENFIELD GM for Twin Oaks Golf Course. Courtesy photo WHEN WE FEED the plants, the plants feed us! Stock image FRANKLIN

EVENTS CALENDAR

MARCH 17

‘INSPIRATION IN MOTION’

Showcasing the innovative and stunning ballets by City Ballet’s Resident Choreographers Elizabeth Wistrich and Geoffrey Gonzalez. $38-$74, 8 p.m. at Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Ave, La Jolla.

SHAMROCK FESTIVAL

Tradition returns as an authentic Irish celebration takes over the streets of San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter district. Heading back to its roots, the 27th Annual ShamROCK provides a full lineup of the nation’s top Irish and Celtic rock bands, iconic tribute performances and Irish dancers galore. $49. Runs from 4 to 11 p.m. Mar. 17 at Gaslamp Quarter, Island Ave & 5th Ave, San Diego.

NERD COMEDY NIGHT

Clever comedy and a smart audience make this Carlsbad tradition one-of-akind. $15, 7 p.m. at Harding Community Center, 3096 Harding St, Carlsbad.

LIFE AT MIRACOSTA

The Oceanside LIFE (Learning Is For Everyone) group. 1 p.m. at MiraCosta College, 1 Barnard Dr, Oceanside.

THE XIXTH

Mexico City, 1968. Two Black American sprinters raise their fists in protest. 8 p.m. at Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego.

BEYOND KING TUT

An immersive exhibition through nine multi-sensory galleries. $38, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday through March 26 at Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2236 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar.

ESCONDIDO ARTS

The Escondido Arts Partnership presents a national art exhibit, “Real or Not So Much.” 5 p.m. at Es-

condido Arts Partnership, 100 E Grand Ave, Escondido.

HOPE GOLF TOURNAMENT

Operation Hope North County is swinging into hope with its first golf tournament and fundraiser celebrating 20 years of service to the community providing safe shelter to families experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. All proceeds will benefit families with children and single women in shelter at Operation Hope North County. $125-$475. 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mar. 17 at St. Mark Golf Course, 1750 San Pablo Dr, San Marcos.

‘GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT’ Musical comedy. $27, 7:30 p.m. at Vista Broadway Theater, 340 E Broadway, Vista.

MARCH 18

TIP TOP RUN & FESTIVAL

Family Friendly Fun Run 5K or 10K run around the lagoon ending with our World Water Day Festival.

$35-$99, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mar. 18 at 1580 Cannon Rd, 1580 Cannon Rd, Carlsbad.

LOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES

A blend of disco, acid jazz and funk mixed with Latin rhythms. 8 p.m. at Belly Up, 160 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.

RETHINKING ESSENTIAL

Artist-in-Residence

Narsiso Martínez, Rethinking Essential. 4 to 8 p.m. Mar. 18 at Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego North, 1550 S El Camino Real, Encinitas.

MUSIC OF THE SPHERES

La Jolla Symphony and Chorus presents guest conductor Michael Gerdes. 12 a.m. at La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, Mandeville Ln, La Jolla.

‘PANCAKE BREAKFAST

Amigos de Vista Lions Club presents a pancake

breakfast. $8 for pancakes, sausage, eggs, coffee, and juice. Proceeds support youth basketball and baseball. 7 to 11 a.m. Mar. 18 at Gloria McClellan Vista Senior Center, 1400 Vale Terrace Dr, Vista.

‘CHICAGO’ DANCE CLASS

Masterclass dance for “Chicago.” 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mar. 18 at New Village Arts Theatre, 2787 State St, Carlsbad.

PLAY VILLAINS ONSTAGE

Learn the art of playing a villain, for 13 years and up. 2 to 4 p.m. Mar. 18 at New Village Arts Theatre, 2787 State St, Carlsbad.

‘UNSTOPPABLE WOMEN’

“Unstoppable Women” event with entertainment, shopping, awards and fashion show. $125, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mar. 18 at Sheraton San Diego, 1380 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego.

JASON MRAZ, SUPERBAND

Jason Mraz and Special Guest Gregory Page. Tickets starting at $199 and up. 8 p.m. at The Sound, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar.

MARCH 19

DAMIEN JURADO

Indie rock guitarist. $25, 8 p.m. at Belly Up, 143 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.

VILLAGE CLEAN-UP

Join Richness of Giving and the Carlsbad Village Association, downtown Carlsbad businesses and volunteers for a Village-wide cleanup. 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mar. 19 at Carlsbad Village, 300 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad.

SAMARA JOY JAZZ ARTIST

The Discovery Series showcases rising stars from the next generation of jazz. Free8 p.m. at Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Ave, La Jolla.

MOONLIGHT 13.1 MILER

Start at Moonlight Beach and run south to South Cardiff State and back. Walk or run along the Pacific Coast in Encinitas along the beautiful Pacific Ocean. $99, 7 to 11:30 a.m. Mar. 19 at Moonlight Beach, 398 B St, Encinitas.

‘LUCKY STIFF’

A musical comedy by Ahrens and Flaherty. 5 p.m. at Oceanside Theatre Company, 217 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside.

AMERICAN MUSIC

A program of lighthearted American music. 4 p.m. at Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Rd, Poway.

FOREST/NATURE BATHING

Learn about phytoncides, terpenes, and the natural “medicine” in Nature’s atmosphere. $45, 9 to 11 a.m. Mar. 19 at San Diego Botanic Garden, 300 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas.

PRESSED FLOWER ART

Explore the craft of pressing and preserving flowers. $54, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mar. 19 at San Diego Botanic Garden, 300 Quail

Gardens Dr, Encinitas.

JAZZ EVENSONG

A blend of jazz rooted in the context of Anglican meditation and prayer. 4 p.m. at St. Michael’s-by-theSea Episcopal Church, 2775 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad.

LATINO FILM FESTIVAL

Films, Festival Village and Arte Latino Gallery & “Mercado.” 2 to 10 p.m.

MARCH 20

CIRCUS VARGAS

The all-new production of Circus Vargas channels the City of Lights in its latest production, “Bonjour Paris.” 7 p.m. through March 20 at North County Mall, 272 E Via Rancho Pkwy, Escondido.

FOLK HERBAL MEDICINE

Join herbalist Corinne Feinberg. $48, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Mar. 20 at San Diego Botanic Garden, 300 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas.

MARCH 21

WHISKEY RIDGE

Whiskey Ridge is a high-energy country/southern rock band mixing popular country hits with Texas and Red Dirt country. $12, 8 p.m. at Belly Up, 143 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.

CLIMATE CHANGE TALK

Learn about Climate Change and how it is impacting our water supplies and how we adapt. 6 p.m. at Solana Beach Library, 157 Stevens Ave, Solana Beach.

IMPROV AT THE BROOKS

Get silly with improv classes. $10, 7 p.m. at The Brooks Theatre, 217 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside.

MARCH 22

CANCER FITNESS

Meet at the Cardiff Kook and Walk the Rail Trail. 10:30 a.m. at Chesterfield Dr & S Coast Hwy 101, Cardiff by the Sea.

CANCER FITNESS

ZUMBA with Alessandra Colfi. 3 p.m. at EOS Fitness, 780 Garden View Ct, Encinitas.

HAPPY HOUR & CHESS

Play chess, cards and backgammon (bring your boards & sets - some chess boards available). 5:30 to 8 p.m. Mar. 22 at Sammy’s Del Mar, 12925 El Camino Real, San Diego.

SMARTPHONE PHOTOS

Learn how to use your smartphone to create striking garden images. $48, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mar. 22 at San Diego Botanic Garden, 300 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas.

MARCH 23

TURTLE TOPIARY

Create your own turtle

topiary table decoration with a variety of succulent cuttings from the Garden. $56, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mar. 23 at San Diego Botanic Garden, 300 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas.

MARCH 24

COWBOY JACK

Family fun, food, games, pony rides and petting zoo. $12, 4 to 7 p.m. Mar. 24 at Bonsall West Elementary School, 5050 El Mirlo Dr, Oceanside.

NERD COMEDY NIGHT

Clever comedy and a smart audience make this Carlsbad tradition one-of-akind. $15, 7 p.m. at Harding Community Center, 3096 Harding St, Carlsbad.

OAKWOOD BRASS

A modern brass quintet aiming to revitalize chamber music. $20, 7:30 p.m. at Encinitas Library, 540 Cornish Dr, Encinitas.

VANESSA COLLIER

A master musician and multi-instrumentalist, Vanessa Collier, weaves funk, soul, rock, and blues. $30, 8 p.m. at Oceanside Theatre Company , 217 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside.

SCIENCE SEMINAR SERIES

A highlight of San Diego Botanic Garden’s commitment to and support of current plant-based research. $18, 2 to 3 p.m. Mar. 24 at San Diego Botanic Garden, 300 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas.

MARCH 25

PIRATE PLUNGE

Pirate-themed pool activities and games. $10, 5 p.m. at Alga Norte Aquatic Center, 6565 Alicante Rd, Carlsbad.

THE MOTHER HIPS

Debuting new album “Glowing Lantern.” $23, 9 p.m. at Belly Up, 160 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.

PAINT & SIP

Step-by-step instructions with a selection of alcoholic sips for those 21 and up or non-alcoholic sips for all ages. $60, 1 p.m. at Downtown Oceanside, Pier View Way, Oceanside.

PANACHE ART AUCTION

Celebrate with the artists and collectors, at this intimate fundraiser benefitting the Escondido Arts Partnership. $40 general admission, $25 for EAP Members. 5:30 p.m. at Escondido Arts Partnership, 100 E Grand Ave, Escondido.

PERSIAN NEW YEAR

The Persian Culture Center partners with the Library to celebrate Persian New Year. 3 to 4 p.m. Mar. 25 at Escondido Public

10 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N MARCH 17, 2023 Know something that’s going on? To post an event, visit us online at calendar.thecoastnews.com
LOCAL EXPERIENCED • INTUITIVE solarprorealtor@gmail.com • (760) 208-3382 Staying in your home? Talk to Me about going solar to increase your home value and SAVE $$ SUSAN “SULLY” SULLIVAN Soul on Fire columnist Green Realtor Powur Solarpreneur DRE#01434989 WHAT’S REALLY HAPPENING IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET? Ask a Seasoned Pro in North County since 1976 TURN TO EVENTS ON 17
MOONLIGHT BEACH Half Marathon is March 19 in Encinitas. The event also includes 5K and 10K races. Stock photo

Circus Vargas brings City of Lights to Escondido mall

The magic of Circus Vargas has returned to take guests momentarily far away from their North County lives to experience the wonders of Paris.

With this year’s “Bonjour Paris” theme, the show tells the story of a circus beginning its world tour with its first stop in the City of Lights (and City of Love).

The 2-hour show offers a variety of music, dancing, acrobats and other thrills throughout the Parisian themed set under the big top in an intimate, one-ring setting.

“People will really see the quality of entertainment we have,” said Community Outreach Director Rolanda Kaiser. “Our performers are all top-notch.”

This year’s show stars Johnathan Lee Iverson as the Ringmaster, who acts as the voice and face of the circus as he leads the show.

Iverson is a professionally trained singer who began his career at a young age as a member of The Boys Choir of Harlem.

After graduating from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, at 22 years old Iverson became the youngest, the first New Yorker and the first Black American ringmaster in the nearly 150-year-

old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.

Iverson, who joined Circus Vargas in January as both the ringmaster and performance director, said the circus offers audience members, cast members and stage crew alike a chance to share in a common sense of humanity.

“When you think

— Record-

ings of Margaret Thatcher, the death of hunger striker Bobby Sands, goose, whiskey and the IRA and set the tone for the Dea Hurston New Village Arts Center’s first play since returning indoors following significant renovations and a pandemic hiatus.

And NVA’s return did not go unnoticed: In its first off-Broadway run, “The Ferryman” sold out the newly revamped theater from Jan. 27 to March 5.

“We sold out every single show in a six-week run,” said NVA founder and executive artistic director Kristianne Kurner during an added afternoon slot on March 3. “We have never done that before.”

Set in a farmhouse in rural County Armagh, Northern Ireland, “The Ferryman” is a commentary on life in the middle of the Troubles.

From the late ‘60s to 1998, the country was caught in political turmoil that pitted many residents as Irish “republicans” or “loyalists” in the campaign to separate from the United Kingdom.

“All kinds of universal truths to this story,” said Kurner, who stayed in an Armagh farmhouse doing background. “At its core, it’s

about a family.”

Jez Butterworth’s critically-acclaimed play takes a cast of 21, a goose, and some rabbits and invites playgoers to the dinner table of a republican family in the middle of the Northern Ireland conflict.

“Both sides thought were right,” said Kyle Ryan, who plays Frank Magennis, who was able to pull from a little family history for his role.

Jez Butterworth’s national tour of his Tony-winner was postponed in 2020 after its 2017 debut in London’s West End. Between then, though, “The Ferryman” had a successful run on Broadway, where some in the crew were first unknowingly introduced to their characters.

“As soon as I saw it, it became one of my top two favorite plays of all time,” Ryan said, “I was just moved, and when I saw the casting, I knew I had to do it.”

For some actors, like Ryan, “The Ferryman” was a professional debut. Baltzer, who played Declan Corcoran, said they struggled to find the right accent and act drunk — something they (jokingly) regretted not method acting.

“[Instead] backstage, I do a little dance to get a little

about how polarized the country is right now, especially around the topic of immigration, the show is timely by introducing the idea of venturing outside of the borders of the United States in a fanciful way,” Iverson said. “Within our imaginations, going abroad and experiencing and enjoying another culture and

people with people from various nations – even within our circus organization –is a wonderful seed to plant in the mind of the audience and gives them a sense of common humanity.”

Circus Vargas was first founded in 1969 by Clifford E. Vargas who wanted to bring back the big top tent circus idea from his child-

hood. Kaiser said the circus has been visiting Escondido since before Vargas’s death in 1989.

The circus stopped using animals in its acts in 2010 and remains animal-free.

“Everyone who watches the show leaves feeling happy,” Kaiser said. “I think we could all use

something more inspiring, more entertaining like this show.”

Circus Vargas is located at the North County Mall in Escondido until March 20 before heading to Temecula for shows March 24-April 10.

For tickets and showtimes, visit circusvargas. com.

MUSIC LINEUP HIGHLIGHTS SAN MARCOS SPRING FLING

Now in its 31st year, the San Marcos Chamber’s Spring Fling is Sunday, April 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Via Vera Cruz (between Grand and San Marcos Blvd.) This popular spring festival will feature artisans and crafters among 200-plus vendor booths; children’s attractions/carnival rides; varied and delicious food options in the central food court; local craft beers and wine; and live entertainment on two stages, including the Rhythm and Brews Garden Stage sponsored by My Yard Live Beer Company — featuring Jungle Poppins, 11-11:45 a.m.; Surf Kings, 12:15-1:30 p.m.; Jukebox Junkies, shown above, 2-3:15 p.m.; and Bill Magee, 3:45-5 p.m. Courtesy photo/Jukebox Junkies on Facebook

dizzy,” Baltzer said of one of their scenes, warning that if any patrons saw movement behind the curtain, “that’s me having a blast.”

“The Ferryman” re-

quired practice from all 21 multigenerational actors.

Luckily, while researching in rural Northern Ireland, Kurner found herself chatting with Amanda Doherty

of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland: And so Carlsbad’s “The Ferryman” had a cultural consultant and voice coach for a show that is “nearly im-

possible to produce,” Kurner said.

“Everybody on stage is so talented and brings so much to their role; it makes me better,” Ryan said.

MARCH 17, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 11 A rts & E nt E rtA inm E nt
CIRCUS VARGAS is an animal-free big top featuring jugglers, stunts, acrobats, clowns and more. Performances at North County Mall through Monday. Photos by Wednesday Aja
‘Ferryman’ ends record run at NVA in Carlsbad

Botanic Garden’s World of Orchids a treat for the senses

René van Rems should be a lot less relaxed than he sounds.

The San Diego Botanic Garden’s creative director and floral artist is actually enjoying a lunch break just hours before the Encinitas garden’s annual World of Orchids show opens.

He and a team of dozens of volunteers have been working nonstop for the last five days to create this year’s exhibit. The job includes turning 120 species of orchids — 260 plants — into a grand, artistic display pleasing to the senses, even for those who aren’t plant and flower lovers.

“I’ve seen guys that have no sensitivity to plants at all walk in (to the show)

and they go, ‘Oh, wow!’” van Rems said. “It’s the biggest gift to me to see their response. When you walk in here, your eyeballs are

in overdrive. That’s why we have an ambassador at the entrance to ask people to keep moving.”

And the work is not

done when the show opens.

“Each Tuesday, we replace at least 50 more plants, depending on the cosmetics,” van Rems said. “Some are so delicate that they open up and fold up and go to seed in four or five days and that’s it. Usually, orchid shows are only a weekend. We are one of the longest running exhibits for orchids.”

Van Rems is not new to this exercise or creating this magic. This is the garden’s third orchid show, but each year brings new challenges and designs.

“It’s more open than last year,” he said. “When you walk into the Conservatory, you’ll see these huge slabs of eucalyptus that are vertical — like room dividers on steroids.”

These slabs act as palates for exhibiting a dense collection of orchids and greenery.

“We wanted to make

it grandiose. All the plants come in plastic pots but I can’t put them out that way, so we created organic pots. We went through 15 cases of moss from Washington and a lot of ferns. When the misters are on it’s like being in the jungle.”

Or as van Rems calls it, “Avatar-ish.”

While the exhibit is strong on visual appeal, it also caters heavily to the sense of smell. The scent of orchids is the heaviest in the morning, “but light and temperature also make orchids give off scent,” van Rems said.

And there could be no better exhibit space than the garden’s 8,000-square-foot, glass-enclosed Dickinson Family Education Conservatory, because it provides ample light, and temperature and moisture can be controlled.

This assures all those

in the San Diego County Orchid Society and the Palomar Orchid Society who have loaned their orchids to the exhibit that the plants are in good hands.

“People live and breathe for these plants,” van Rems said. “Many of these orchids are difficult to find and some you can’t even buy. These are not your supermarket orchids.”

Van Rems also credits the garden’s many volunteers who contribute heavily to making the annual exhibit possible.

“We sometimes forget how much can be done because of the passion of these volunteers,” he said. “They all participate and believe in giving to the community.”

World of Orchids runs through April 9. Reservations required.

For more photos and discussion, visit www.facebook. com/elouise.ondash.

12 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N MARCH 17, 2023 Convenient Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-9pm Sat., Sun. 9am-7pm www.SanMarcos.Care 295 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road San Marcos, CA 92078 760-471-1111 Why Spend Hours In The ER For URGENT Matters? • Providers on-site to assist you, 7-DAYS A WEEK. • NO INSURANCE? Excellent Rates for Self-Paying Patients. • No Appointment Necessary. Walk-ins Welcome or Book Online. Average Wait Time of 30 mins. or Less Both Locations Offer On-site: X-Ray & Surgery Bay Orthopaedics Physicals Laboratory Services Covid Testing We accept TRICARE, Medicare, PPO & Most Insurances. Please call to confirm. 41715 Winchester Road Ste. 101 Temecula, CA 92590 951-308-4451 Open 24 Hours a Day 7 Days a Week! Temecula Open & Fully Staffed 24/7 www.Temecula24HourUrgentCare.com
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e’louise ondash phone number is for texting "LOST" only. To speak with San Diego Humane Society, call ARTISTIC DIRECTOR René van Rems, second from right above, and his garden crew at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas have created the World of Orchids exhibit, which runs through April 9. They have created scenes with 120 orchid species (260 plants) from local growers and hobbyists. About 25% of the plants are replaced weekly. Photos courtesy San Diego Botanic Garden and René Van Rems

&

cheers! north county

ryan

t. Patrick’s Day is an odd holiday. In America, we’ve co-opted the event — as we often do — to sell products and drink excessively.

Of course, we’re not the only ones, but you don’t see many other countries dyeing their rivers green even though St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated worldwide. Am I right, Chicago?

Ask anyone why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and you’ll invariably get some combination of Irish pride, green beer, Shamrock Shakes, four-leaf clovers or St. Patrick leading the snakes out of Ireland.

Few will convey that the Feast of Saint Patrick was originally a religious holiday celebrating the arrival of Christianity to Ireland.

St. Patrick was an actual person, a 5th-century bishop and a bit of a storyteller. He established his own story in several known parts. Legend has it that after being kidnapped and forced to work as an island shepherd for more than half a decade, he received a message from God that he should flee for the coast where a ship was waiting.

After returning to Ireland, he became a priest evangelizing across the countryside. His legend grew in the centuries that have followed in the same way a truth and a lie can evolve on an elementary school playground.

I can’t say I ever cared about the backstory when I adorned myself in shamrock boxer shorts and downing 32-ounce green lagers before the St. Patrick’s Day parade during my younger years. Nor did I think to toast to the religious leaders who thought it wise to temporarily lift Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking for the day in the Irish-Catholic church.

I’m not trying to be a Negative Nellie or Bummer Bob. (Sorry, Nellies and Bobs.) I’m all for celebrations and parades and toasting to history if for no other reason, than we need to grab onto all the opportunities for joy we get in this lifetime. If I’ve learned anything over the past few years, it is that.

I’m using my platform to suggest we take some time this holiday weekend to celebrate Irish culture respectfully and responsibly with a pint of Irish-style stout or snifter of Irish whiskey.

Perhaps offer a toast to one of the many things that Ireland has shown the world, including the pota-

to chip, color photography, a veritable dictionary of expressive curse words, excellent folk music, and the greens of the Emerald Isle.

Raise your glass to the writings of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett.

Cheers to Lady Mary Heath, “the first person ever to fly solo from South Africa to London on an epic 10,000-mile journey.” Tap your glass with a whisper of thanks for the art of the Celtic knot. Thank the Irish for modern chemistry, croquet and the ejection seat.

I’ll be right there with you washing my Irish Soda Bread down with a stout and a nod watching one of my favorite movies of 2022, “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

I’ve got nothing against Ireland’s most famous beer export, but I’ll seek out a local craft brewery’s Irishstyle stout.

Oceanside Ale Works is dropping six new beers on St. Paddy’s Day. And, on March 17, Eppig gives stout drinkers a pint of Sinister Path Export to take home at all three local tasting rooms.

NEWS & NOTES

• Pucks & Pints returns on April 8. The charity hockey game features local brewers, industry professionals, and a mini-beer fest at Phil’s BBQ.

The event is capped off at the San Diego Gulls versus Calgary Wranglers hockey game. All the proceeds from the event are donated to ResQue Ranch, Emilio Nares Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego and the San Diego Brewers Guild.

Last year the event raised more than $20,000, and this year they hope to bring in even more. Tickets are $60 and are available at com.

• Belching Beaver Brewery continues to be newsworthy. They were named the Official Craft Beer of

last week’s The Mint 400, a 400-mile off-road race for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and utility task vehicles (UTVs) held in Las Ve gas since 1968.

brewery re-released its Mexi can-style la ger Buenos Tiempos and called it The Mint 400 Bue nos Tiempos Cerveza. The Mint 400 is of ten called “The Great American Off-Road Race” and features 500 racing teams worldwide. Buenos Tiempos translates

to “good times” in English.

All four Belching Beaver tasting rooms in San Diego County have Buenos Tiempos on draft and in six-packs while The cans feature the artwork of 2022 Unlimited Truck winner Nick Isenhouer’s Ford #205 truck jumping through the flames at the finish

• The data is in. Dry January is growing … at

least in terms of non-alcoholic drink sales. According to a chart put together by shankennewsdaily, NA beer sales have nearly tripled, NA wine has skyrocketed and NA spirits growth is otherworldly.

People want the experience, and I’m guessing the socializing, but not how alcohol makes them feel.

This is pure speculation, but I’d imagine a good chunk of on-site NA sales are due to people wanting to avoid drinking and driving.

So if I’m out in the world, have a drink, but am not ready to head home, I’ll order a NA beer from Athletic Brewing Company or Two Roots Brewing Co. I still get to cheers my buddy’s can, but without the

risk on the ride home.

• I love plants. I often enjoy my afternoon cocktail surrounded by the succulents and sage on my patio, but I struggle to grow flowers. So I have to go out into the world to get my fix of spring’s splash of floral colors.

In honor of The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, the hotel bar at Hilton’s Cassara Kitchen & Bar is offering a limited-time cocktail inspired by colorful ranunculus blooms.

The Flower Power Sour cocktail is made with Cali Fino Blanco Tequila, grapefruit, aquafaba, lemon, agave nectar, and bitter-hibiscus syrup.

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch will be open to the public through May 14 (Mother’s Day). The Cassara Kitchen & Bar is just around the corner and opens for a post-Flower Field romp Sunday through Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 3 to 11 pm.

MARCH 17, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 13
S• Plan Nine Alehouse in Escondido is ending its kitchen service. Per an announcement on Instagram, “Public Service Announcement: In an effort to focus all of our attention & energy on brewing brew worldclass beer, we will be ceasing kitchen operations as of (this) week. We will also continue to offer the best root beer, soft drinks, cold brew coffee, snacks, hot sauces & vinyl records that we possibly can. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your understanding. Stay tuned for new & improved hours. Cheers!” woldt
ST. PATRICK’S DAY was originally celebrated in Ireland with religious services and feasts in honor of St. Patrick, left, one of the country’s patron saints. Take time this weekend to celebrate Irish culture respectfully and responsibly with a pint of Irish-style stout or a snifter of Irish whiskey. Stock photos
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More to St. Patrick’s Day than just green beer
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Illumina warns shareholders of Icahn hostile takeover bid

REGION — Leaders of San Diego-based medical technology company Illumina on Monday warned shareholders of an attempted proxy takeover of the company's board of directors by Icahn Enterprises.

According to an Illumina statement, Carl Icahn — owner of the Florida-based conglomerate with stakes in energy, mining, auto retail and pharmaceuticals — plans to nominate two current employees and one former employee to the board during Illumina’s 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, despite objections from current leadership.

Illumina works on DNA sequencing and array-based technologies in medical genetics.

“We know from talking with many of you that there is extreme displeasure among the owners of Illumina,” Icahn wrote in a letter to fellow shareholders in

the company. “$50 billion of value has been wiped from the company’s market capitalization since August 2021. This value destruction is a direct result of a series of ill-advised (and frankly inexplicable) actions taken by the board of directors of our company in connection with the acquisition of GRAIL, Inc.”

Illumina's independent chairman of the board, John Thompson, and CEO Francis deSouza, engaged in multiple conversations with Icahn and its nominating/corporate governance committee also met with the three nominees.

“The board has determined Icahn's nominees lack relevant skills and experience, and that it is not in the best interests of shareholders to appoint Mr. Icahn's three nominees to the Board of Illumina,” the statement reads. “The Board recommends that shareholders not support Mr. Icahn's nominees.”

PRISON

CONTINUED FROM FRONT

ly the brightest light and the glue in our family.”

Keshishian’s 28-yearold older sister, Adrineh, told the judge she had changed her last name to Aris to honor her brother. Being his sister was the thing she was most proud of, she said.

FIRE STATION 3 on Old Taylor Street in Vista, first built in 1962, will be demolished in the coming months and redeveloped to allow for faster response times. Courtesy photo

FIRE STATION

CONTINUED FROM 5

facility to serve our community,” said Vista Deputy Chief Craig Usher.

The old station is planned to be demolished in May or June, with construction to follow over the coming two years and completion planned for fall 2024, according to the city.

Personnel housed at the station are currently preparing to move to a three-bedroom home on surplus land along Arcadia Avenue owned by the Vista Unified School District, which will serve as the temporary station until the renovation is complete, Usher said.

The home is currently used by the district for office and instructional space but will undergo an interior remodeling to accommodate five bedrooms to house the station’s fire personnel, as well as a living area and a kitchen.

One fire truck and one paramedic ambulance will be parked on the property, which is surrounded mainly by the school district’s maintenance yard and a residential neighborhood to the east.

“This property shares a fence with one resident, and he’s actually excited about it,” said Usher.

Once completed, the new station will be able to house up to seven firefight-

ers rather than the current five, and is planned to feature solar power, electric vehicle charging stations, and “a lot of health and safety measures to keep our firefighters safe,” Usher said.

The fire station renovation has been identified as one of the top-priority projects for the city, along with another public safety project that recently received state funding.

In August 2022, the city obtained $1.6 million in state funds with the help of Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas) to relocate the Vista Sheriff’s substation at Luz Duran Park along Townsite Drive.

The project will relocate the current substation at the park to a vacant cityowned building on Vista Village Drive just a few minutes away, and the old substation will be remodeled into a community center.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said the building on the new site will be remodeled “in the near future,” but no specific timeline was given.

“With the new space department personnel will be occupying, there will be more office space for personnel, and the building site would be in a centralized area within city of Vista boundaries,” the department said in a statement.

“I can imagine that Kellon was jealous of Aris,” she said. “The outrage lies in the fact that Aris couldn’t have been anything but kind to him. I think Kellon sought my brother’s suffering because of his own suffering that he faced.”

While Razdan expressed little remorse during the trial, claiming that he had acted in self-defense and that Keshishian

had harassed him on social media, he said at the sentencing hearing that he deeply regretted his actions.

“To the Keshishian family and friends, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize from the bottom of my heart for everything my actions have caused,” Razdan said. “Every day, I am filled with sorrow and anguish that I am the cause of the pain you carry around with you.”

Defense attorney Jay Monico told the court that Razdan had a traumatic childhood before being adopted at age four and that a psychological examination indicated he had schizophrenia at the time of the murder, a diagnosis that was not mentioned at trial. His mother, Sonia, not-

ed that Razdan had experienced depression since middle school, which he briefly treated with therapy and medication before discontinuing both in his late teens. Sonia also said the people in her son’s life had always known him to be kind and nonviolent, spending some of his free time as a volunteer.

Despite these statements, prosecutor Helen Kim urged the judge to hand down the maximum sentence of at least 26 years in prison.

“The defendant is dangerous and has never expressed shame or sorrow, and he is an unmitigated danger to the public,” Kim said. “This community lost a son, a brother, a nephew, a friend and a neighbor. Aris was not even 21 years old at the time.”

Mok delivered a sentence of 25 years to life for the charge of first-degree murder and one additional year for the use of a deadly weapon charge. Mok said she recognized that this was not a case of self-defense but also that Razdan was just 20 at the time of the offense.

The approximately 500 days he has served in custody will count toward his sentence.

After the hearing, Kim said that she hoped the sentence could bring peace to the community, although she recognizes it will never be enough.

“I know that it’s not what the family wanted, and I know nothing can be done to bring Aris back, but it’s a road to getting the healing process started,” she said.

MARCH 17, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 15 Rates: Text: $15 per inch Approx. 21 words per column inch Photo: $25 Art: $15 (Dove, Heart, Flag, Rose)
February 27, 2023
February 21, 2023 Share the story of your loved ones life... because every life has a story. or email us at: obits@coastnewsgroup.com 760.436.9737 For more information call Submission Process Please email obits @ coastnewsgroup.com or call (760) 436-9737 x100. All photo attachments should be sent in jpeg format, no larger than 3MB. the photo will print 1.625” wide by 1.5” tall inh black and white. Timeline Obituaries should be received by Monday at 12 p.m. for publicatio in Friday’s newspaper. One proof will be e-mailed to the customer for approval by Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Mbanandi
Miranda Chibambo, 22 Escondido Dolores Ann Wozniak, 86 Oceanside KELLON RAZDAN, 21, was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison on Friday, March 10, for the 2021 first-degree murder of former elementary school classmate Aris Keshishian, 20, in San Marcos. Photo by Laura Place

The little rascals

Enjoy Jean’s first Small Talk column from 1992.

The inspiration for this column was a loud ringing in my ears, prompted by an afternoon with my 3-year-old son and his best 3-year-old buddy.

Ah… (sigh) …little boys. This phrase is always said with rolled eyes, a large sigh, a half-smile and a small shake of the head. It means you love them desperately, but please Lord, help me find a way to see that he reaches his next birthday:

• Without maiming or being maimed

• With just one T-shirt front that stays unstained past 9 a.m. of the first day he wears it

• Without leaping to his possible death from the highest piece of furniture within a 100-yard radius

• With at least one pair of shoes not left behind at the park

• With at least one clock in the house he has not disassembled

• Without his figuring out where I have most recently hidden his sister’s best Barbie doll

• And without his somehow managing to trim off one of his sister’s braids with those dull, won’t-cutanything-but-paper scissors

We know behavior can be somewhat modified. He is potty trained after all… mostly.

Parents of (sigh) little boys lose faith when despite all lectures and demonstrations, he still picks up the fork before each meal and sort of turns if over and over as if this was truly the first time he had ever laid eyes on it.

Sit down in his chair to eat? Where’s the fun in that?

The same despair creeps in when he calmly pulls the no-spill lid off of his grape juice (what on earth possessed you to buy grape juice?) and tips the cup to see if the juice will still only dribble out. (Refer back to the remarks about unstained T-shirts).

It surfaces again when he insists on dressing himself, refusing to wear shoes at all and asking for the same “favorite” shirt, fresh from the dirty-clothes basket.

TRI-CITY

CONTINUED FROM 3

before joining Tri-City.

“I’ve always been organization-first,” Ma said. “If they find a candidate that is best suited to lead this organization, I’ll be 100% behind it.”

With all of his previous administrative experi-

You would think I would have expected this, as he is my second child. Silly you — my first was a typical girl. A cautious and fastidious little creature who never in her finest fits reached the decibel level of her brother. Who has ever dented furniture — or tried to. And who never, upon spotting something longer that it was wide, immediately assumed it is a weapon.

I am a ’90s kind of mom. My son would be refined. My son would have no need of guns. I would make him understand that guns and knives only hurt people. Having just passed his third birthday, he rarely sees any television except “Sesame Street” and “Winnie the Pooh.”

After watching for about 15 minutes, he generally leaves his spellbound sister and wanders off to find something to do that involves throwing, jumping or banging things together.

That no-gun plan succeeded pretty well until he went out to play with someone besides his sister. Each time his best pal (the proud owner of a 7-year-old brother and every weapon of destruction known to toydom) arrived at our house, the toy screwdriver, sand shovels, even the attachments to my vacuum cleaner became a weapon. I stopped them mid-mayhem and announced firmly, “No — no guns allowed in my house. You can be firefighters, lumberjacks, race car drivers, doctors, dentists, tree trimmers, pipe fitters, lifeguards, mountain climbers, space explorers, ballet dancers, mailmen, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers (well, not butchers maybe), but NO GUNS! Use your imaginations!

So they did — for about five minutes. And then the firefighters, lumberjacks, race car drivers, doctors, space explorers or whatever were suddenly attacked by evil, hairy, giant, horrible bad-guy monsters, and it was on their shoulders to drive said same from the premises — with guns.

I’m pretty much convinced now that the indelible primal urge to go out and kill something for supper is just too deeply imbedded in the male DNA.

So, OK, OK, I’ll buy him a toy sword. Maybe even some cowboy pistols. But he is still going to learn to put the seat down.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer enjoying reminiscing. Contact her at jean@coastnewsgroup.com.

ence and responsibilities, Ma has been maintaining a presence with patients and staff in the emergency room. However, those visits will likely have to pause when he officially takes on his new responsibilities as interim CEO.

“I feel that I get the best understanding of the impacts on patients and

Who’s NEWS?

Business news and special achievements for North County. Send information via email to community@ coastnewsgroup.com.

STAR OF STAGE

Alexa Poplawsky of Carmel Valley participated in the Emerson Stage Production “Mary, Sweet Mary” March 2-5 at the Greene Theater at Emerson College in Boston.

TOP STUDENTS

• Bryant University named Madison Scherner of Carlsbad to the fall 2022 dean’s list.

• The University of Mississippi announced Sarah Crane of Oceanside, Henry Vercoe of Carlsbad and Nathan Lesher, Sofia King, Gavin Ryder and Naomi Ryder, all of Solana Beach, were named to the fall 2022 honor roll.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OCEANSIDE?

If you live, work, eat, shop or play here, Mainstreet Oceanside wants to hear from you. Mainstreet Oceanside would like to know what you think of the city now and how to continue to support the areas that make up Downtown. Visit mainstreetoceanside.com/ouroceanside to take the survey. Mainstreet Oceanside needs your input for branding the Downtown district and subdistricts and for planning future events, murals and more in a way that remains true to Oceanside’s historical and cultural roots while reflecting all that Downtown now has to offer. Photo courtesy of Visit Oceanside

Getting 20% off nothing

Bed Bath & Beyond is probably going bankrupt soon. Founded in 1971, the company became a staple for affordable home decor, kitchenware and college dorm room furniture. It’s known for ubiquitous blue coupons ranging from $5 off one item to 20% off everything you bought.

The cavernous stores have merchandise stacked to the ceilings. The company already announced the closing of 140-plus stores. Those whose job it is to follow such things predicted this ending long ago. Still, many consumers are stunned to learn BB&B is in trouble.

We suspected it months ago, because of the coupons. Bed Bath & Beyond was always discounting and accepted expired coupons. The purchase-by dates meant nothing. And last fall we noticed fewer promotional mailings arriving. The postcards and

our staff when I’m doing that work with them sideby-side,” Ma said.

For Ma, the hospital must continue to honor and appreciate its staff and employees to maintain its “unique sense of family.” He praised the staff for its overall sense of leadership.

“There are many true

catalogs were on less expensive paper.

Car dealers know customers expect promotions as the norm. Customers missing one holiday sale will wait for the next one before making their purchase. Full retail prices mean nothing in such a situation, as BB&B has learned.

Financial analysts refer to it as a drug addiction.

As Bed Bath & Beyond now tries to figure out its next move, consumers have changed the way they shop. In an effort to save time and gasoline, buying commodity items like sheets and towels makes much more sense at Target or Walmart while shopping for groceries, cos-

leaders in this organization without titles, and knowing that they’re supported and that we value them is going to be a big piece in how we move forward,” Ma said.

Ma will officially take over as interim CEO on March 22, a day after current CEO Steve Dietlin retires.

metics and greeting cards.

Or they can just shop at Amazon, have it delivered, and be done with it. Visit the store? I don’t think so!

So, just as Fry’s Electronics, Modell’s Sporting Goods and Payless Shoes closed or moved online, BB&B is apparently on the same path.

Relying strictly on its never changing promotional strategy without shifting rapidly enough to internet sales mortally wounded this company. And any organization concerned about its future must regularly examine its marketing strategies to best understand what customers are doing … and why.

Bed Bath & Beyond could still pull it out, of course. Testing different kinds of promotions might keep customers’ interest. Organizing high-profile events at stores should drive traffic, as would cause-related efforts and some strategic alliances.

Remember Albert Einstein’s words: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Let’s face it: We’ve all gotten so many of those coupons, we don’t even see them anymore.

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

Get ahead of the curve at www.askmrmarketing. com.

• Named to the dean’s list at Biola University were Kameron Cole, Danielle Gmyr, Abigail Larson and Hannah Larson of San Marcos; Benjamin Fandey, Lydia Tkach, Hannah Richards, Katherine Fandey and Justin Moran of Carlsbad; Christopher Hall, Damien Torbit Jr, Caeli Willard and Helaina Hannan of Oceanside; Brandon Noah Ruiz, Matthew Lewis, Joshua Bundren, Madison Chang and David Johnson of San Diego; and Eliana Mihlik of Vista.

• Sydney Bourassa of San Diego made Emmanuel College’s dean’s list for the fall 2022 semester.

• Maria Clark of San Marcos, Ilona Eaton and Hannah Loly of Del Mar, Serena Herold of Encinitas and Lucas Polidori and Connor Kinney of Rancho Santa Fe were named to the Tufts University dean’s list for the Fall 2022 semester.

NEW MURAL

Seaside Center for Spiritual Living will debut a new mural by artist Kathleen King-Page at Moonlight Mixer at 5:30 p.m. March 21 Seaside Center for Spiritual Living, 1613 Lake Drive, Encinitas.

HELP WITH TAXES

Did you make less than $60,000 in 2022? You may be eligible to have one of MAAC's IRS-certified volunteers prepare your income tax returns at no cost to you. Their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) team is available on Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm at MAAC’s North Campus, 956 Vale Terrace Drive. Call 211 to make an appointment or visit sco. ca.gov/eo_vita.html.

KUDOS FOR GOLF COURSE

Encinitas Ranch Golf Course received the 2023 Regional Course of the Year award by the National Golf Course Owners Association for the country’s West Region. “It is a great honor,” said John McNair, chief operating officer.

16 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N MARCH 17, 2023
small talk
ask mr. marketing rob weinberg

3 classical music pieces to get you in the mood for spring!

“The first blooms of Spring always Make my heart sing.”

— S. Brown

Spring will be here on March 20th We welcome this season of longer days, and the excitement of the sun, and the bursting of spring flowers!!

Music has always been known for capturing and celebrating how we feel. What better way to celebrate it with classical music designed to "nod" toward the seasons?

EVENTS

CONTINUED FROM 10

Library, 239 S Kalmia St, Escondido.

ANCIENT CAVES

An immersive science adventure set in the world’s most stunning caves. 2 p.m. at Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, San Diego.

PLAYWRIGHTING CLASS

Take your idea and find out how to turn it into an original play. Free2 to 4 p.m. Mar. 25 at New Village Arts Theatre, 2787 State St,

• Antonio Vivaldi, The Four Seasons La Primavera (‘Spring’) .

You will feel the excitement and vibrancy of this song within the first 10 seconds - it is such a joy! It moves in so many ways and pleases the ear. Featured in the Netflix series "Wednesday," and also "Pretty Woman," "The Simpsons," and "Runaway Train.”

• Johann Strauss II, Voices of Spring Waltz

The orchestral or piano versions of this waltz are what you'll hear more often these days, but first,

Carlsbad.

CLOWN YOGA

Laughter, play, stretching, and physical tricks in an all-levels yoga class. $40, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mar. 25 at New Village Arts Theatre, 2787 State St, Carlsbad.

DONNA DRIVE & FRIENDS

Local bands concert. $10, 6:30 p.m. at SOMA, 3350 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego.

LIONS CLUB GIFT OF SIGHT Free vision screenings,

there was "the music of the breeze that comes humming through the trees."

• Robert Schumann, Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major, ‘Spring.’

Robert Schumann's Spring is grand and moves beautifully. The composition's celebratory spirit is felt from start to finish. Schumann conceived this symphony with the season of rejuvenation in mind. We hope they inspire you to the joy and beauty music brings!

For more info visit www. leadingnotestudios.com

free glasses, all ages. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mar. 25 at North Coast Church, 1451 Montiel Rd, Escondido.

ART OPEN HOUSE Spring Studio Open House. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mar. 25 at Wade Koniakowsky studio, 1889 High Ridge Ave, Carlsbad.

MAR. 26

A BURLESQUE PARODY

Enjoy a hilarious and alluring Star Wars burlesque parody show. $62, 7 p.m. at Alderaan Memorial

Theatre, 1944 Commercial St, San Diego.

RESTAURANT WEEK

San Diego restaurants offer two-course lunches and three-course dinners starting at $20. Free5 p.m. at Gaslamp Quarter, Island Ave & 5th Ave, San Diego.

JAZZ EVENSONG

A blend of jazz rooted in the context of Anglican meditation and prayer. 4 p.m. at St. Michael’s-bythe-Sea Episcopal Church, 2775 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad.

CONTINUED FROM FRONT

for possible consolidation are Monte Vista and Beaumont elementary schools, Vista Innovation and Design Academy and Rancho Minerva Middle School.

District officials said these schools were not on the chopping block per se, and that the Board of Education would consider “any and all recommendations before making a decision related to the future use of each site.”

The committee will

include seven to 11 people and will meet four to six times between April and June of this year.

The committee will also hold multiple community forums to provide updates and gather feedback from the public.

The district plans to schedule an informational meeting for teachers, staff and families from the identified schools in the coming weeks intended to provide an overview of the district's planning process and the role of the committee.

MARCH 17, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 17 DOES YOUR EMPLOYER HAVE WORKERS’ COMP? IT’S THE LAW! For information call (800)315-7672 SanDiegoDA.com E ducational opportuniti E s Educational Opportunities is a paid advertorial. If you would like an article on this page, please call (760) 436-9737
VUSD

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Biden visits San Diego for sub deal

Joe Biden visited San Diego on Monday with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to lay out a phased plan for Australia to acquire conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

The need for local journalism has never been more important than it is today. Misinformation, biased reporting and fake news impact your ability to make informed decisions. The Coast News needs your help to continue honest communitybased reporting you can trust. Just like many of you, our team at Coast News Group has also been impacted by the coronavirus. In order to continue our mission to provide quality local journalism, we are now accepting reader donations. We appreciate all your support during this time of need.

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The meeting outlined how Australia will acquire up to five nuclear-powered submarines from the United States as part of the agreement, according to the White House, marking the first time in 65 years that the United States has shared its nuclear propulsion technology with another nation, and only the second time in history since a 1958 defense agreement with the United Kingdom.

“One of the most important parts of this partnership is increasing each of our countries' submarine capabilities,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a statement.

“Under the first phase

of the Optimal Pathway, the United States and the United Kingdom will immediately increase port visits of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines in Australia and then, as early as 2027, will begin rotating through Australia under Submarine Rotational Force-West.”

Following that first phase, the U.S. intends to sell three Virginia-class submarines to Australia in the 2030s, with the potential to sell up to two more if needed.

Then, both Australia and the U.K. “will develop and deploy SSN-AUKUS, a new conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine that incorporates critical U.S. technologies.”

The trilateral Australia-United Kingdom-United States partnership — known as AUKUS — announced in 2021 aims to boost Australia’s submarine program. Albanese called the plan “the biggest single investment in Australia’s defense capability

in all of our history” and said the partnership would help create 20,000 Australian jobs.

While speaking Monday at Naval Base Point Loma, Biden said that along with an increase in port visits to Australia, there will be a rotation of U.S. and U.K. nuclear-powered subs in Australia starting later this decade.

Biden called AUKUS a “testament to the strength of the longstanding ties that unite us and to our shared commitment of ensuring the Indo-Pacific remains free and open, prosperous and secure, defined by opportunity for all — a shared commitment to create a future rooted in our common values.”

In forging the alliance, Sunak cited “new kinds of challenges” that have arisen, including “Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, China’s growing assertiveness, the destabilizing behavior of Iran and North Korea all threaten to create a world defined by dan-

ger, disorder, and division.”

On Monday night, Biden spoke for 39 minutes to about 40 people, including Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, at a fundraiser in Rancho Santa Fe, recounting his decision to make a third run for president in 2020 and touting his legislative record.

The event raised $1 million for the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, according to a Democratic National Committee official.

Biden flew into Naval Air Station North Island, arriving shortly after noon. He was greeted upon arrival by Vice Admiral Roy Kitchener, commander of Naval Surface Forces, and Capt. Charles McKissick, commanding officer of Naval Base Coronado. The visit was Biden’s first to the San Diego area since a 19-hour visit Oct. 3-4, when he spoke at MiraCosta College in Oceanside and a technology company in Carlsbad.

8 migrants drown off Torrey Pines

By City News Service

REGION — Eight people drowned late Saturday when two alleged migrant smuggling boats capsized off Black’s Beach in the Torrey Pines area.

The local Mexican consulate general’s office has since announced it believes that seven of the eight people who drowned off the San Diego County coast this weekend were Mexican nationals, based on the identification some carried.

At a Sunday morning news conference, San Diego Lifeguard Chief James Gartland said an unknown person who spoke Spanish called San Diego dispatch and told them about the two vessels, holding a total of 15 people, overturning.

Gartland said that so far, no survivors had been

found and added, “We lost eight souls.’’ Coast Guard spokesman Adam Stanton said Monday that search efforts were suspended at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, the consul general of Mexico in San Diego, on Monday thanked the U.S Coast Guard for its searchand-rescue efforts. He also asked migrants to avoid putting their lives at risk.

“People planning to cross the border into the United States, either by land or sea, should know that human smugglers will take advantage of their need in order to obtain illicit money, distorting reality, creating false expectations and exposing them to highrisk conditions where they may lose their lives,” Gutierrez said.

18 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N MARCH 17, 2023
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760-897-4483
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN greets Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, left, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in San Diego on Monday. Photo by Chad J. McNeeley/Office of the Secretary of Defense

Odd Files

WAIT, WHAT?

The Exmoor Squirrel Project, a conservation endeavor in the United Kingdom aimed at saving the native red squirrel, has proposed that people set live traps for the non-native grey squirrel and that restaurants serve its meat, the BBC reported on Feb. 28. "Our woodlands, landscape and the biodiversity isn't set up to deal with the behaviors of the grey," said the group's manager, Kerry Hosegood. "We're going to introduce them to restaurants in the Exmoor area because they actually make for good eating," she added. "This isn't something that we like to do ... just target greys ... It's a very serious project." She said the grey squirrels have caused about 40 million pounds' worth of damage to trees annually.

[BBC, 2/28/2023]

SUSPICIONS CONFIRMED

Madison County (Illinois) coroner Steve Nonn solved a nearly year-old mystery on March 2 when he released the results of an autopsy on Richard Maedge of Troy, Illinois. Maedge's wife, Jennifer, had reported him missing in late April last year after he failed to come home from work, KTVI-TV reported. His car, wallet and keys were at the house, but she couldn't find him. Police searched the house, which they described as a "hoarder home," but did

not locate him. In fact, they searched twice, as Jennifer was also looking for the source of a "sewerlike" odor in the dwelling. Finally, on Dec. 11, as Jennifer pulled out Christmas decorations from a concealed storage space, she discovered Richard's mummified body. The coroner ruled that Maedge hanged himself and that there was no foul play in his death. [KTVI, 3/6/2023]

NEWS YOU CAN USE

Mushrooms have been in the news a lot lately, but you probably didn't know that Texas has a state mushroom: the Devil's Cigar or Texas Star. KXAN-TV reported that the Lone Star State's designated fungi is ultra-rare, growing only on decomposing cedar elm or oak tree stumps and roots in the U.S. and Japan. It comes out of the earth in a cylindrical shape, then "will open up into a threeto eight-pointed star," said Angel Schatz of the Central Texas Mycological Society. That's when it releases its spores and sometimes hisses. "It is a very cool mushroom to have as our state mushroom," Schatz said. [KXAN, 3/7/2023]

AWESOME!

Kansans take their tornado sirens seriously, so it was no surprise that on March 4 in the Wichita suburb of Park City, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place to mark the reinstallation of the city's oldest Thunderbolt siren, KSNWTV reported. The sirens are remnants of the Cold

War, and four of them are still in service in Sedgwick County. "About a year ago, we took them down, had them refurbished, and put them back up in our system," explained Jonathan Marr, deputy director for Sedgwick County Emergency Management. The feted siren had been in use for 70 years. [KSNW, 3/6/2023]

IT'S COME TO THIS

Tattoo artist Dean Gunther of Manchester, United Kingdom, has made one man's body goals come true: He's inked a ripped six-pack on the man's torso, freeing the man from eating right and exercising more, the Daily Mail reported on March 6. "He decided that by getting a six-pack tattoo, he will always look summer-ready while still being able to enjoy beer and good food," Gunther said of his customer. The artistic tat took two days to complete. [Daily Mail, 3/6/2023]

COMPELLING EXPLANATION

At a preliminary hearing in San Francisco Superior Court on March 6, police officers offered testimony about a Feb. 1 incident in which Dmitri Mishin fired a replica gun inside a synagogue, The San Francisco Standard reported. As officers interrogated Mishin, he explained that the shooting was an act of prayer he was giving for his neighbor's bird. Mishin, who pleaded not guilty, told officers he lives on a submarine and talks with North Korean and Japanese leaders, and that weapons found

in his home were movie props. After the shooting at the synagogue, he waved goodbye and left. Unsurprisingly, this isn't Mishin's first run-in with the law; his mother testified that he suffers from mental illness. The hearing was ongoing.

[SF Standard, 3/6/2023]

PICK ON SOMEBODY YOUR OWN SIZE

David Jimenez, 65, of Maui, Hawaii, was arrested on March 6 for "pursuing a humpback whale," CBS News reported. Jimenez, who calls himself Dolphin Dave, was allegedly harassing the whale and dolphins in Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park, where he was snorkeling. Jimenez was unrepentant, though: He told officers "he's not going to stop swimming with whales and dolphins 'because it's magical and others do much worse things.'" Humpback whales are protected under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. [CBS News, 3/7/2023]

BRIGHT IDEA

In China, women modeling lingerie for online retailers violates the country's rules about spreading obscene material, Insider reported on March 1. Instead, underwear companies are hiring men to model the clothing -- and it's working out better than you might think. "The guy wears it better than the girl," one online commenter posted. Others argue that the restrictions are "depriving women of job opportunities." "We don't

really have a choice," said one business owner, Mr. Xu. "The designs can't be modeled by our female colleagues, so we will use our male colleagues to model it." [Insider, 3/1/2023]

IT'S GOOD TO HAVE A HOBBY

You missed it again. Key West, Florida's annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest took place on March 4, with Carol Whiteley of Ontario, Canada, winning the women's division and Brian Cardis of Macon, Georgia, taking the men's top prize. Entrants of all ages were judged on quality, novelty, duration and loudness, the Associated Press reported. Michael and Georgann Wachter from Avon Lake, Ohio, impressed the audience with a shell and vocal duet of Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog." Whiteley said she toots her shell to celebrate sunsets at her riverside home. Time to start practicing for next year! [AP, 3/4/2023]

IRONY

Your Mates Brewing Co. has recalled cans of its Watermelon Sour Beer because of "excess alcohol," United Press International reported. The Australian brand said the beer could pose a risk of illness; it was unintentionally fermented twice, causing it to have a higher alcohol content and carbonation. The brand is sold in Queensland and online Down Under. [UPI, 3/7/2023]

POLICE REPORTS

-- Belinda H. Miller,

50, was in jail four days after a Feb. 18 incident at a Popeye's restaurant in Richmond County, Georgia, WJBF-TV reported. Miller became angry when her order was missing biscuits, the store's manager told police, and the mistake was corrected -- but that didn't appease her. Instead, she allegedly drove her SUV into the store's front window, narrowly missing a worker standing inside. She continued driving until debris inside the building stopped her car. Miller was charged with aggravated assault and criminal damage to property. [WJBF, 2/23/2023]

-- Hayato Baba, 21, of Narashino, Japan, was taken into custody in March because he allegedly assaulted another man and stole his wallet outside a convenience store, Japan Today reported -- all because the guy was taking too long in the restroom. Baba admitted to punching the victim twice in the face and taking the wallet. [Japan Today, 2/19/2023]

MARCH 17, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 19

Reconnect with your resolutions

It’s March, and if the data is to be believed, many of us have already begun neglecting our New Year’s Resolutions, something that all too often leaves us frustrated and defeated. But what if the path to get back on track sits in the palm of our hands … or on our laps … or our wrists?

With the right devices – laptops, tablets, smartphones and smartwatches – and Cox Internet – your connected goals won’t be stalled by your wifi service. Whether your goals include fitness, finances, mindfulness or doing good, a reliable device and strong connection mean you’ll have one less excuse to stop short.

CONNECTED HEALTH

Starting a fitness routine is easy. Sticking to it, not so much. You need discipline, structure, and most importantly, motivation. And today, all of these are powered from your connected devices, meaning you can:

• Make a plan

• Work out with a coach

• Track progress

• Adjust on the fly

• Celebrate milestones

• Find inspiration from like-minded communities

Subscription-based apps, like those from Nike, Noom, Peloton, Weight Watchers and others, aim

to put control in your hands both in and out of your home. Whether you want to get stronger, lose weight, eat better or all of the above, the tools you need now rely on your wifi connection.

OWN YOUR FINANCES

Many of us already conduct some financial activities online – banking, paying bills, managing investments – and most creditors, banks and retailers offer user-friendly apps and websites. But really getting the most out of them requires a strong understanding of responsible budget management. Ask yourself:

• Do I know my balances?

• Do I know when bill payments are due?

• Do I know when there has been new activity on my

accounts?

• Am I prioritizing my spending appropriately?

Plenty of tools are available to help you set and stay within your budget. With connected technology, you can confidently manage your money like a pro – at home or on the go.

BE WELL

Beyond physical fitness, some of us seek deeper, more holistic, wellness. There are countless apps that can help you achieve a more balanced mindset. More and more people are turning to their devices to achieve physical and mental peace with offerings like:

• Instructor-led meditation

• Daily affirmations

• Breathing exercises

• Virtual reality travel

Poway Unified student repeats as county spelling bee champ

• Counseling CONSERVE

Leaving a better world for the next generation is a lofty aspiration. It can also seem daunting to a single person. Cutting back on waste, protecting natural resources and reducing emissions don’t have to be monumental tasks. We can use technology to:

• Shop online instead of driving to the store

• Change newspaper and magazine subscriptions from print to digital

• Sign up to receive bills via email instead of postal mail

• Use smart devices –lights, thermostats, etc.

– to optimize home energy efficiency

There are also many apps available that can help you calculate your personal carbon footprint and show you ways to shrink it. Check out My Earth, Klima, Earth Hero and Joro to learn how you can make a meaningful difference.

The bottom line: Today is just as good a starting point as January 1 to make and keep your 2023 resolutions. And with help from connected tech and a strong internet connection from a trusted provider like Cox, the journey to a happier, healthier and more fulfilled you can be a whole lot smoother.

Konkapaka today won the San Diego Union-Tribune Countywide Spelling Bee for the second consecutive year, qualifying for a repeat trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The final word in the bee at Town & Country Resort in Mission Valley was a noun, exsufflation, a word meaning “forcible breathing or blowing out (as in clearing the respiratory tract).”

“I'm excited because the words were really intense and there was no way I could prepare for that,” said the seventh-grader from Mesa Verde Middle School in the Poway Unified School District.

When accepting the trophy, Mihir thanked his school librarian and teacher for helping him in his preparation for the bee.

Jedd Li, an eighth-grader at Francis Parker School, finished second for the second consecutive year. Jedd will represent San Diego County in the national bee if Mihir is unable to compete.

The Countywide Spelling Bee was held in person for the first time since 2019. The field of 76 spellers from sixth through eighth grades from public and independent schools throughout San Diego County was reduced to 30 by the second round and 10

by the third.

Mihir won in the eighth round.

Mihir reached the third round of the 2022 national bee. Two San Diego County spellers have won the national bee — Anurag Kashyap in 2005 and Snigdha Nandipati in 2012.

“The Spelling Bee is a time-honored academic competition that any student can participate in to connect with school and develop skills that will help them in the future,” said Paul Gothold, San Diego County superintendent of schools.

“Students learn to set goals, dedicate time to studying and gain experience in public speaking, all of which are useful in college, career and life.”

RAIN, WIND, AND FIRE...

“The three menaces to any chimney, fireplace, or stove.”

Every year there are over twenty thousand chimney / fireplace related house fires in the US alone. Losses to homes as a result of chimney fires, leaks, and wind damage exceeds one hundred million dollars annually in the US.

CHIMNEY SWEEPS, INC., one of San Diego’s leading chimney repair and maintenance companies, is here to protect you and your home from losses due to structural damage and chimney fires.

Family owned and operated and having been in business for over 30 years, Chimney Sweeps Inc. is a fully licensed and insured chimney contracting company (License # 976438) and they are certified with the National Fireplace Institute and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

CHIMNEY

For a limited time, readers of this paper will receive a special discount on our full chimney cleaning and safety inspection package with special attention to chimney water intrusion points in preparation for the rainy season.

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SALOME’S STARS #12345_20230313 FOR RELEASE MARCH 13, 2023

EDITORS: These horoscopes are for use the week of March 20, 2023.

1. MOVIES: What is the name of Scarlett and Rhett’s daughter in “Gone with the Wind”?

2. GEOGRAPHY: What body of water lies between Australia and New Zealand?

3. TELEVISION: Eric Camden is a minister on which TV dramedy?

4. CHEMISTRY: Which element has the Latin name stannum (Sn)?

5. LITERATURE: Which book is first written in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series?

6. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What is the name of the bird logo on Twitter?

7. ANIMAL KINGDOM: How long does it take a sloth to digest food?

8. PSYCHOLOGY: What is the irrational fear represented by coulrophobia?

9. MYTHOLOGY: Which Greek god stared at his own reflection until he died?

10. INVENTIONS: What did Alessandro Volta invent?

ARIES (March 21 to April 19)

Some unsettling facts about a past situation could come to light. And ,while you’d love to deal with it immediately, it’s best to get more information to support your case.

TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) A straightforward approach to a baffling situation is best. Don’t allow yourself to be drawn into an already messy mass of tangles and lies. Deal with it and move on.

GEMINI (May 21 to June 20) Don’t be discouraged or deterred by a colleague’s negative opinion about your ideas. It could actually prove to be helpful when you finally get around to finalizing your plan.

CANCER (June 21 to July 22)

Ignore that sudden attack of “modesty” and step up to claim the credit you so rightly earned. Remember: A lot of people are proud of you and want to share in your achievements.

LEO (July 23 to August 22) A financial “deal” that seems to be just right for you Leos and Leonas could be grounded more in gossamer than substance. Get an expert’s advice to help you check it out.

VIRGO (August 23 to September 22) Don’t ignore that suddenly cool or even rude attitude from someone who is close to you. Asking them for an explanation could reveal a misunderstanding that you were completely unaware of.

TRIVIA

LIBRA (September 23 to October 22) Unless you have sound knowledge, and not just an opinion, it’s best not to step into a family dispute involving a legal matter, regardless of whom you support. Leave that to the lawyers.

SCORPIO (October 23 to November 21) An awkward situation presents the usually socially savvy Scorpian with a problem. But a courteous and considerate approach soon helps clear the air and ease communication.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to December 21) A calmer, less tense atmosphere prevails through much of the week, allowing you to restore your energy levels before tackling a new challenge coming up by week’s end.

CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19) Your approach to helping with a friend or family member’s problem could boomerang unless you take time to explain your method — and how and why it (usually!) works.

AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18) Someone who gave you a lot of grief might ask for a chance for the two of you to make a fresh start. You need to weigh the sincerity of the request carefully before giving them your answer.

PISCES (February 19 to March 20) Too much fantasizing about an upcoming decision could affect your judgment. Better to make your choices based on what you know now rather than what you might learn later.

BORN THIS WEEK: You have a way of seeing the best in people and helping them live up to their potential.

© 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.

MARCH 17, 2023 T he C oas T N ews - I N la N d e d ITI o N 21
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