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Local News December 6th, 2007

Continued Mountain Lion Sighting at Kit Carson Park South Escondido Area

Residents of the Canyon Crest area of Escondido have notified the Escondido Police Department of several recent sightings of a mountain lion in the area. The mountain lion has reportedly been seen on four separate occasions by area residents in the southern area of Escondido between Canyon Road and Mary Lane from Sunday November 25th through November 27th. This is in addition to the reported sighting of a Mountain Lion on November 4th, 2007, in the northern area of Kit Carson Park area. Park Rangers have been notified as well as the California Department of Fish and Game.

Residents and others in the area should heed the following suggestions in order to reduce the chance of any encounter: mountain lions are solitary, territorial hunters who may be active during the day.
• Avoid hiking alone, especially between dusk and dawn. Make plenty of noise while you hike so as to reduce a chance encounter.
• Always keep children in sight while hiking and within arm's reach in areas that can conceal a lion.
• Hike with a good walking stick that can be used to ward off a lion.

If you do encounter a lion, reduce your chances of an attack by the following:
• Do not approach a lion, especially if it is feeding or with its young. Most lions will avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
• Stay calm and face the lion. Do not run because this may trigger the lion's instinct to attack Try to appear larger be raising your hands.
• Pick up small children so they don't panic and run. This will also make you appear larger. Avoid bending over or crouching.
• If the lion acts aggressively, throw rocks, branches, or whatever you can obtain without turning your back or bending over.
• Fight back if attacked. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal. People have successfully fought back with rocks, sticks, or bare hands.

If there are any future sightings, please contact the Escondido Police Department at 760-829-4722 or call 911.

Escondido Passport Services Now Only By Appointment

Effective Monday, December 3, 2007, persons wishing to process a passport application at Escondido City Hall will need to make an appointment to do so by calling 760-839-6206. Appointments will be offered from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and on alternate Fridays.

Walk-in service has been discontinued due to City's inability to accommodate daily crowds of people wishing to obtain a passport prior to new rules going into effect next year.

Passport applications are accepted only at the Passport Desk on the 2nd floor adjacent to the Human Resources Department located in Escondido City Hall, 201 North Broadway.

Update on Fatal Hit and Run Traffic Collision

On 11/24/07 at about 5:00 PM, the Escondido Police Department investigated a fatal vehicle vs. pedestrian traffic collision at Grand Avenue and Fairdale Avenue. The victim, Marlene Resendiz, age 17, died as a result of this hit and run collision.

The suspect vehicle is described as a 1995 to 1999 black Nissan Maxima four-door sedan. The suspect vehicle was reported to have been driven by a Hispanic male in his mid 20's with a white female passenger with blond hair. The Maxima should have front end damage to the headlight, turn signal, grill, hood and windshield.

A witness reported seeing a similar vehicle with front end damage driving towards Valley Center at a high rate of speed, shortly after the fatal collision. This vehicle was described as driving erratically, changing lanes as it passed other cars on the grade. The driver was described as a white female with blond hair. It is unknown if this vehicle was involved in the fatal collision.

The Escondido Police Department is looking for a witness who is described as a light skinned African American female in her mid 40's. She was described as wearing "nice" clothing as if she were driving to or from church. Her car is described as a copper or off white sedan with damage to the back of the car (not related to this collision). This witness stopped to render aid to the victim and remained while paramedics treated the victim. This person is believed to have witnessed the fatal collision.

The Escondido Police Departments' Traffic Division is continuing to follow up on leads as they come in. Anyone who may have any information about this crime is asked to call the Escondido Police Department day or night.

The primary cause of the collision has not been determined at this time, as the investigation is ongoing. If anyone has information about this collision or was a witness to it, please contact Officer Zacchilli at 760-839-4930.

Photos of similar car, 1995-1999 Nissan Maxima

Car similar to the one driven by a witness who assisted at the scene

Parents to Boycott Schools Over SB 777?

An organized effort to unite parents in a boycott of the California school system is well under way. The goal is to get a referendum issue before the voters to overturn SB 777 which Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law in October of this year.

Proponents of the school boycott claim that SB 777 will require schools to teach children alternative lifestyles of homosexuality, bi-sexuality and transgenderism. Nonsense, say the supporters of the bill. It simply removes discrimination from students who may be gay or lesbian and/or who are transgender.

Regardless of the political position one takes, SB777 appears to have struck a nerve and it appears that there will be more, not less, news about this issue in the coming months due to the organized nature of the opposition.

$90,000 Awarded by Escondido Charitable Foundation

Some 115 foundation members that make up the new Escondido Charitable Foundation raised $665,000 since January of this year. Of that amount, $90,000 was awarded last Thursday to four Escondido programs who focuses on helping young people pursue education along the lines of science and education.

The Escondido Library received a $25,000 grant for a new laptop computer homework program; another $20,000 went to a mentoring program for at-risk youth at Hidden Valley Middle School; two other grant awards went to after-school homework labs at the Cobblestone Village, with $25,000 and Orange Place low-income apartment complexes, who received $20,000.

There were originally 37 applicants according to Jack Campbell, chairman of the grants committee. Campbell and all foundation members present at the awards ceremony, held at Orfila Vineyards, were ecstatic at the success of the program. “We’ve exceeded our expectations,” said Campbell.

"Our donation targets seemed ambitious when we first set them up, but we made it," said Campbell, explaining that the foundation will put at least half of its yearly donations into an endowment fund. "I think this has staying power and growing power."

The brainchild of local businessman and investor John “Jack” Raymond, the group is comprised of successful businessmen and women from a broad spectrum of experience, all of whom are anxious to encourage Escondido area agencies and youth to grow with the community.

More than 100 organizations have agreed to donate at least $1,000 per year for the first five years, and larger lump-sum donations of $25,000 each from the city and county and $10,000 from the Escondido Rotary Club.

Chairman Ken Lounsbery said the foundation has extremely low overhead costs because it is an affiliate of the San Diego Foundation, which handles virtually all of the administrative work.

"Every penny goes to charity," he said.

For information on the Escondido Charitable Foundation, as well as other North County foundation opportunities, contact Heather H. Dugdale, Regional Manager, North County Inland for The e San Diego Foundation by phone at 858.385-1595.





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