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The Paper - Escondido San Marcos North County
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Serious Injury Traffic Accident - Escondido

On January 15th at about 8:26 PM, the Escondido Police Department was notified of an injury collision involving one vehicle on Felicita Road near Montview Drive. A vehicle was traveling west on Felicita, and left the roadway for unknown reasons. The vehicle traveled across a yard and came to rest against a tree.

The driver, a 39 year old Escondido resident, was transported to a local hospital. His injuries are considered serious. It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were involved.

Officer Scott Walters is the lead Traffic Investigator in this case. Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact him at 760.839.4939.

Carlsbad Home Invasion Robbery - Suspect Arrested

On January 6th, at approximately 6:37PM, Carlsbad Police received a 911 call reporting that a home-invasion robbery was in progress at a residence located in the 2000 block of Avenue of the Trees. The suspects were reportedly armed with handguns. Patrol officers arrived within minutes and saw one suspect (Michael Dickson) running from the residence. Patrol officers searched the area and found Michael Dickson hiding in the laundry room of a nearby residence. Dickson was taken into custody without incident.

The victims were not injured. Michael Dickson was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for Robbery first degree, Kidnapping with intent to commit robbery, Residential burglary, and Conspiracy.

The Carlsbad Police Department is continuing this investigation in an attempt to identify and arrest any outstanding suspect(s).

Historic Mailbox Missing from Escondido

An 86-year-old cast-iron USPS mailbox along with the cement pillar it was mounted on at the corner of 5th and Juniper has disappeared. Now the Old Escondido Historic District wants it back. “That mailbox was an icon of our unique neighborhood,” commented Carol Rea, president of the historic district. “It’s the only one of its kind left in town and we were pleased that the Post Office allowed its continued use here.

Adding to the disappointment, the purloined mailbox was recently refurbished and was looking better than it had in quite some time. Local mail carrier, Aaron Anderson had, on his own time and at his own expense, removed four layers of old paint and, after some research, painted the box bright blue; its original color. While working on the box, Anderson noticed that the old box carried on it a date of 1924.

The Historic District isn’t the only group disappointed by the historic item’s disappearance. Wendy Barker of the Escondido History Center stated that “Every historic item helps us connect with the past and build a stronger connection to our community,” adding that it would be missed by many.

The crime has been reported to the Escondido Police Department, which is investigating the theft. Rea suspects that “Whoever took that beloved relic could be guilty of stealing government property as well as any mail that could have been inside at the time and I believe such acts won’t be taken lightly.” In the meantime, Old Escondido neighbors are doing what they can to try to locate the mailbox. Messages have been posted on Facebook, flyers are in the works, and Craigslist and e-bay are being monitored. Additionally, the Old Escondido Board of Directors held an emergency vote to approve a reward. “We just want our old mailbox back,” reaffirmed Rea. The Old Escondido Historical District is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the safe recovery of the mailbox. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Historic District at 760-291-7206 or call the Escondido Police Department at 760-743-TIPS.

For a photograph of the missing mail box, visit

New Owners at North County Wine Company

Jim and Bill Tobin, two brothers from a family that has been running businesses in San Diego County since the stagecoach days, have purchased North County Wine Company at 1099 W. San Marcos Boulevard. They vow to turn the business, which houses both a bottle shop and wine bar, into the premier wine destination in North County.

North County really needs a place where wine lovers can find great wines at great prices, both at retail and by the glass,” Jim said. “Obviously there are many places where you can pick up a bottle of wine. But our customers tell us they’ve been thirsting for knowledgeable service that is offered in a friendly and non-pretentious way.

That’s exactly what we’re all about,” Bill added. “Whether you’re new to wine, or a connoisseur with a home cellar, we’re thrilled to see you and will treat you like a friend.

The brothers held their Grand Opening in December and now welcome 2011 as what they see as a banner year.

North County Wine Company has been operating since 2006 but, like so many small businesses, struggled through the economic downturn. Jim and Bill, having reviewed the business carefully before taking over in August, knew this going in. “We knew we had an uphill battle in front of us,” Jim said. “But we believe people will respond to our combination of high quality and terrific value. We’re also convinced the economy will turn around, and it’s small businesses like ours that will lead the way.”

The Tobin Brothers have a combined 58 years of retail wine experience. Their family business tradition, however, goes back much further. Their father managed Ups-n-Downs Roller Rink in Escondido for many years. Their grandfather was the San Diego city traffic engineer in the forties and fifties, and also ran the Whaley House Museum in Old Town. And their great-grandfather ran the Poway stagecoach stop around the turn of the 19th century.

Graffitti Suspects Nailed by Escondido Police

Five suspected tag crew members were nailed by Escondido police officers following a foot chase near Felicita Elementary School this Monday evening.

One of the suspects was 18 years of age but his name has not yet been released. The other suspects were under 18 and, typically, the Escondido Police Department does not release names of arrested juveniles.

Police received a call that taggers were busy spray painting graffiti at the school on West 13th.. The call came in at 6:08 pm and by 6:14 Escondido police were in positions to surveil the scene while waiting for a San Diego Police Department helicopter, which arrived about 10 minutes later. Escondido police on the ground worked with officers in the helicopter to spot the suspected tagging crew members hiding on the campus.

Police found cans of spray paint on some of the suspects. They then found painted words, gang names, nicknames, which covered a 250 sq. ft. area.

School officials were notified and came to the scene to assess damages. Meanwhile, the case has been turned over to Escondido's graffiti detective.

July Means Upgrade Time for Nordahl Interchange

July, one of the hotter months in North Couny, is likely to seem even hotter once rebuilding of the Nordahl freeway interchange gets underway.

Plans are for the rebuilding effort to be finished at about the same time as the new public hospital opens nearby.

It’ll take around $37 million to rebuild the Nordahl Road/Highway 78 interchange. Everything is in place and construction set to begin in early July; plans are to complete the job by early 2013.

Even with the improvements, however, traffic is likely to remain somewhat congested, given the fact that the Sprinter trains are scheduled to run through the area a scant 100 yards away. Even emergency vehicles could have difficulty negotiating traffic in this area. This is critical because Palomar Medical Center West will be receiving patients by then, including the Emergency Room.

Another planned access to the hospital will be the completion of Ciracado Parkway in 2012 or 2013. Right now, there remains a missing segment of that roadway.

By July or August of 2012 the new hospital is slated to be open and fully running; this, however, is before the interchange construction is scheduled to be completed so the question of traffic is even more problematic.

The Nordahl ramps often get congested during commute hours with traffic frequently backing up onto Highway 78, snarling the drive for those merging onto 78 from Interstate 15.

Because Escondido and San Marcos are contiguous to one another, they share costs on this project.

Substantial traffic impediment is expected due to narrowing of available lanes during constructions, officials warn. At times there will only be one lane in each direction.

While cities are often reluctant to use eminent domain, the Escondido City Council plans to use its eminent domain powers to acquire several nearby properties needed for the project.

The new hospital should be ready in April 2012, about nine months before the Nordahl project is complete.

Cruisin’ Grand Just Around the Corner

It’s still a couple months away but you wouldn’t know it by watching the heavy duty activities of Escondido’s Steve Waldron, generally acknowledged as ‘The Father of Cruisin Grand.’ Since the Escondido Downtown Business Association has relinquished its sponsorship of the event, Waldron has stepped back in as the major domo and is overseeing the activities.

Promising a return to the past, Waldron, the husband of Escondido City Councilwoman Marie Waldron, is in the process of completing a Limited Liability Corporation, to act as the legal entity responsible for ‘CruisinGrand.’

Ostensibly, Waldron’s full time occupation is that of running a screen printing business, Top End Tees on Grand Avenue, in downtown Escondido. But, most everyone in the downtown area and within classic car circles knows full well that it always has been Waldron who served as the guiding light for ‘CruisinGrand.’

Waldron reports good activity on sponsorship support. He has scheduled a Cruisin’ Grand fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 27 on Grand Avenue. Classic car owners will be invited to participate with an entry fee, and live music and a drawing are planned.

Come the first Friday in April, ‘CruisinGrand’ steps out in style once again, and will continue through September.

Costs for police presence, road closures and other services — were about $76,000 for last season. Weekly attendance ranges from 5,000 to 20,000.

Mayor Sam Abed expressed delight that Waldron is heading up ‘CruisinGrand.’

California Taxable Sales Declined 5.9% in 4Q09

10th Consecutive Quarter Decline for Taxable Sales in California

Michelle Steel, Third District Member of the State Board of Equalization (BOE), has announced that taxable sales in California declined 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, when compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

Taxable sales in California declined for the 10th consecutive quarter; however, the decline is less steep than during the depths of the recent recession. Fourth quarter 2009 taxable sales totaled $120.4 billion, $7.5 billion less than the fourth quarter of 2008 (a decline of 5.9 percent). However, the decline was not as steep as the previous quarter, when taxable sales dropped 15 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Overall, 51 counties in California showed a decline in year-to-year taxable sales, while seven counties had increases. In general, both the Southern California counties and those in the San Francisco Bay Area fared slightly better than the statewide total, as each region declined by 5.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. Conversely, the decline in Central Valley counties exceeded the statewide total, for instance, taxable sales in San Joaquin Valley counties declined by 8.2 percent and the Sacramento area declined by 6.1 percent.

The Southern California region’s taxable sales declined by 5.6 percent over the fourth quarter last year, slightly better than the state as a whole (at 5.9 percent). The City of San Diego, the state’s second largest city (by population) posted a decrease in taxable sales of 3.4 percent. The City of Riverside’s taxable sales also decreased over last year by 4.0 percent. Taxable sales for the City of Long Beach (the State’s sixth largest city by population) increased by 3.4 percent.

Taxable sales in most of the counties in the Third Equalization District declined in the fourth quarter of 2009 on a year-over-year basis, including the following counties: Imperial County (-15.6%), Los Angeles County (-6.9%), Riverside County (-5.0%), San Bernardino County (-4.2%), and San Diego County (-3.9%).

In constant dollar terms, taxable sales decreased by 7.5 percent over the same quarter a year ago. The California Taxable Sales Deflator increased by 1.7 percent for the fourth quarter of 2009. In comparison, the California Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined 1.2 percent.

Taxable Sales in California is a quarterly report on retail sales activity in California, as measured by transactions subject to sales and use tax. It includes data about statewide taxable sales by type of business, as well as data about taxable sales in all California cities and counties from the first quarter of 2000 through the fourth quarter of 2009 and can be viewed on the BOE website at:

View all Taxable Sales in California for the fourth Quarter of 2009 here:


Too funny not to share! Sometimes it does take a rocket scientist.

Scientists at NASA built a gun specifically to launch standard 4 pound dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets and the space shuttle, all traveling at maximum velocity. The idea is to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.

British engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains. Arrangements were made, and a gun was sent to the British engineers.

When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer's back-rest in two, and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin, like an arrow shot from a bow.

The horrified Brits sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the U.S. scientists for suggestions.

NASA responded with a one-line memo --

"Defrost the chicken." (True Story)


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