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Local News August 10, 2006


Another Pay Raise for Escondido City Officials

Deciding that Escondido’s City Manager and City Attorney could not make ends meet on an annual salary of $205,881.48 the Escondido City Council has decided to give them a 5.5% raise so their pay packet will now come to $217,864, an increase of $11,358 per year. In addition to this they receive an annual car allowance of $9000 which brings their combined pay to $226,864 annually. Each.

A great many complaints were raised last year when both officials received huge raises . . . of 28% . . . which amounted to $45,504. City councilmembers ignored the complaints and held firm on the increases, even though many petitioners pointed out that there are many residents in this city that don’t earn $45,504 per year, let alone receive a raise in that amount.

With last year’s raises, and this year’s raises, Clay Phillips becomes the third highest compensated city manager in the county; Jeff Epp, the city attorney is the highest paid city attorney in the county, higher than San Diego’s city attorney, who has a staff substantially larger than Epp’s.

Meanwhile, Escondido’s seven city unions only received raises of between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent this year.

Marie Waldron First Candidate to file papers for Escondido Election

Marie Waldron, owner of a small retail apparel shop in Downtown Escondido, officially filed her papers for re-election last week.

Waldron, an incumbent seeking her third term on the council, has established herself as a strong conservative voice on the Escondido City Council.

She has taken strong positions on offered resolutions and potential legislation that would restrict illegal immigration. Waldron has been a strong advocate of fighting illegal immigration, including stopping the issuance of matricular cards at a public school and has recently proposed an ordinance to prevent landlords from renting to illegal aliens. This is in an effort to reduce overcrowding in single family homes and apartments.

Other candidates who have filed papers include 37 year old Carmen Miranda, a 22 year Escondido resident. This is her first run at an elected public office.

Erik Richard, the 29 year old CEO for Lake San Marcos Resort, is also a political newcomer as well as a recent resident of Escondido, having lived here only for a year.

Olga Diaz, age 30, owns Blue Mug Coffee & Tea in downtown Escondido and has been active within the Escondido Downtown Business Association.

Sister Claire Back in Charge

Sister Clair Frawley, who founded St. Clare’s Home, has returned as its executive director following months of contentious legal wrangling and verbal jousting.

Frawley was ‘fired’ by a self appointed board comprised of Julie Knowles, Brenda Fromlath and Linda-Westler-Dentino. Following a court hearing, Frawley was certified by the court as being the legitimate head of her organization and the head of the board of directors that had fired Knowles, Frolath and Westler-Dentino the day before they staged what amounted to a coup d’etat.

Sister Claire said she would get busy immediately to put things back in order.

Healthy Food is the “In” Thing Today at Escondido Schools

Escondido schools have bowed to both the pressure of the student’s parents and the new laws concerning school nutrition and are now offering healthier food options and banning the junk food and sodas that used to frequent school campuses.

District administrators and other school officials at one time argued that the vending machines and their products were so popular that the school made money on them which then supported extra-curricular activities. Too bad, said California legislators and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The kids are going to be fed healthy foods and the state laws, SB12 and SB965, are the reason. They will give California the toughest nutritional standard in the nation when they take effect.

SB12 tells the schools they must watch the amount of sugar and calories kids consume and SB965 extends a ban on soda and other unhealthy drinks already in effect at elementary and middle schools.

Today, you are likely to see students eating baked potato chips, crackers, popcorn, cereal, trail mix, nuts and other healthy foods; drinks will be water, juices or sports drinks. No more Cokes or Pepsis.

Watchdog Journalism Topic of Program

Representatives from the Pulitzer-prize winning San Diego Union Tribune will be speaking on the topic of "Watchdog Journalism" at the August 23 Escondido Chamber of Commerce-sponsored "Good Morning, Escondido" program, to be held in the Chamber Board Room at 720 North Broadway. The event begins with a continental breakfast at 7:30 am.

The speakers will be Lorie Hearn, editor of the Union-Tribune's Metro staff, which includes more than 100 editors, reporters, and news assistants, and Brooke Williams, an investigative reporter for the U-T.

For reservations, call the Chamber, at 745-2125. Cost for Chamber members is $10, which includes the continental breakfast.

New Family Physician in Escondido

     The Graybill Medical Group announces the arrival of a new physician, Marianna Siksay, M.D.
She will begin her practice in late August. Dr. Siksay completed her residency from the University of Wisconsin Family Practice Residency Program. She is qualified in Family Medicine, Women's Health, and is well trained in in-office procedures. Foreign languages spoken are Hungarian, Ukrainian, Russian and she is currently learning Spanish. Her hobbies include reading, Ashtanga Yoga, traveling, skiing, and cooking.

Graybill Medical Group is the largest locally owned medical group in Escondido and has been treating many generations of families for over 75 years. For appointments please call 760 291-6701.

Grape Day Park Expansion Eyed

The Escondido City Council is studying the possible expansion of Escondido’s downtown Grape Day Park, centerpiece for the city since its pioneer days.

Presently, the park is fronted by Broadway on the east, City Hall on its southern perimeter, Woodward on the north perimeter and the Cultural Center for the Arts, Escondido, as its western border. The proposed expansion would be north to Washington Avenue.

Rather than utilize eminent domain it is the tentative plan of the city to buy the businesses when they are ready to sell. This, then, is a long term plan.

Chief supporter of the plan is Wendy Barker, executive director of the Escondido Historical Society who would like to expand its facilities to fill in the newly acquired space. Under the plan the Society would plan on buying several of the buildings in order to expand its service to the community.

Downtown Business Association Announces Nitro Night 2006 August 18, 2006

More than 20,000 cruisers and visitors will line the sidewalks of Escondido's Cruisin’ Grand on Friday August 18th. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to see and hear 12 Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters from across the county running on nitromethane.

These legends of racing spew 2' to 4' flames from their "Zoomies" as they line up, 2 by 2, to recreate the racing glory days of the 60's and 70's.

Palomar College Foundation establishes Scholarship Fund in Memory of International Student

The Palomar College community has sadly endured the untimely death of a highly regarded international student. Mizuho Kamura was a 22-year-old native of Akita, Japan. She had studied at Palomar College for two years and was planning to transfer to Cal Poly Pomona in hopes of one day becoming a veterinarian.

In Kamura’s honor, the Palomar College Foundation has established the Mizuho Kamura International Student Scholarship Fund. Those wishing to contribute to the fund are asked to make checks payable to “Palomar College Foundation: Mizuho’s Fund.” All contributions are tax deductible and will go directly to student scholarships in Mizuho’s name.

For more information, please contact Pam Grasso at the Palomar College Foundation, 760-744-1150, ext. 2732.

New Program at Palomar College Connects Students to High Wage Insurance Careers

Palomar College has a new, comprehensive insurance program geared toward enabling students to immediately obtain employment in the insurance field or transfer to the California State University system.

The program is designed to prepare students for entry into the insurance industry and to provide further training for individuals who have recently entered the insurance industry. The program parallels the one developed by the Business Education Statewide Advisory Committee for California Community Colleges in 2004 and 2005.

“The insurance industry provides outstanding career opportunities for today’s community college students because of the abundance and diversity of jobs available,” said Paul White, Chief Executive Officer of Vantage Insurance Services and originator of the program. “Insurance is prevalent in our society whether you drive a car, own or rent a home, have a small business, or manage a Fortune 500 company. The skills learned through this program will benefit both the individual and the insurance industry as a whole,” said White.

Over the next two years, 36,200 entry-level positions in the insurance industry in California will go unfilled if a pool of highly skilled workers is not made available, according to research conducted as part of the program. Actively involved partners include 17 community colleges, nine Workforce Investment Boards, 30 businesses (including several of California’s largest insurance companies), and employer associations representing more than 4,500 businesses statewide with extensive linkages to national networks.

“This unique program prepares our students to tap into the resources and opportunities provided by California’s $1.06-billion insurance industry,” said Pat Schwerdtfeger, dean of Arts, Media, Business and Computing Systems at Palomar. “This model of working collaboratively with the business sector to better understand the training and education needs of future workers reinforces the vital importance of our community college system.”

The California Insurance Careers Program has been designed in response to industry demand for qualified entry-level workers. Industry experts, including the Insurance Educational Association, have helped shape the insurance specialization curriculum under which students will be required to take six courses that complement a Business Associate of Arts degree. Basic requirements such as industry knowledge and computer and communication skills are the foundation of the initiative.

For information about the “Commercial and Personal Insurance Services” degree and certificate program at Palomar College, those interested may call the Business Education Department at 760-744-1150, ext. 2489, or go to www.palomar.edu/business. Enrollment is currently under way at Palomar. Fall semester classes begin Aug. 21.

Celebrating San Diego’s History and Featuring the Talent of Native American Artist Robert Freeman

On Saturday, September 16, from 12PM to 6PM the San Diego Archealogical Center celebrates Art and Artifacts, featuring renowned artist Robert Freeman. The Center is located at 16666 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido CA 92027, near the Wild Animal Park. In addition to seeing Mr. Freeman’s art, visitors may learn about the cultural resources of San Diego County and how to help support the mission of the Center.

Robert Freeman has been an artist for over 40 years. He was chosen from over 70 artists to design the California Indian seal, a six foot diameter bronze seal now placed at the Capitol in Sacramento. Mr. Freeman will present nearly 100 of his works in a one man show and sale. His works will range from $75 to $4,000 and more.

As one reviewer noted, “Robert Freeman defies most categories, perhaps because he was a child of both California and South Dakota in the 1940’s and 50’s. We can say that Freeman is an artist, who works in a dizzying array of media and styles. He is a Sioux (Hunkpapa) and Luiseno Indian who embraces these heritages.”

Mr. Freeman was born on the Rincon Reservation of the Luiseno Indians, raised in San Marcos, California, and spent his childhood summers with his
grandmother and cousins on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota. He works with pencil and pen, acrylic, mixed media, oils and creates wood and bronze sculptures, which he casts himself.





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