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Local News October 12, 2006


Escondido Chamber To Present Two Candidate Forums This Month

As Election Day nears, The Escondido Chamber of Commerce will once again sponsor its traditional Candidate Forums, one for Mayor and one for City Council. The forums' sponsors are San Diego Gas & Electric and Shuster Oil.

The forums' purpose is to give Chamber members the opportunity to hear the views of the candidates running for political office in Escondido. The City Council Forum was held this morning, with the Mayoral Forum set for next Thursday, September 28. Each forum is part of the Chamber's "Good Morning, Escondido" series which traditionally deals with topics of interest to the Escondido business community-at-large. The next event, as was todays, will be held at the Escondido Country Club beginning at 7:30 am.

The two candidates for the office of Escondido Mayor are incumbent Mayor Lori Holt-Pfeiler and challenger Tom D'Agosta.

Seating is limited, and advance reservations are required which includes a continental breakfast. The cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Call the Chamber's events coordinator, Vanessa Morrow, at 745-2125.

Downtown Escondido To Offer Free Wi-Fi

In a growing effort to attract even more shoppers to downtown Escondido the city of Escondido is offering free wi-fi access.

Those who are into computers know that with a Wi-Fi device you can take your laptop computer and tap into the Internet for free. Shoppers can have coffee, dine, or just sit and rest at Grape Day Park and check their email, surf the web, or play games.

Six access points are being placed now atop light poles. The access points, manufactured by Rancho Bernardo-based Sensoria, will be linked to a DSL connection at City Hall.
Reception will likely be best in the heart of downtown Escondido. The signals will reach beyond that small area but degrade as a user moves away from downtown.

There already is a Wi-Fi system at the downtown public library and has proved very popular.

Debra Rosen, chief executive of the Downtown Business Association, said she thinks having free wireless access will make the city more competitive.

Escondido appears to be the first city in North County to offer the service free.

San Marcos Couple Arrested for Vandalism

Jesus Maldonado, 25, and Krystal Maldonado, 23, have been arrested on suspicion of throwing rocks, eggs, and shooting paintballs at homes and cars in their own San Marcos neighborhood.

It is believed the vandalism arose as a result of what Mr. Maldonado took to be an inappropriate remark addressed to his wife.

The neighborhood is located in the 1100 block of Via Camelia. Mr. Maldonado is being held on $201,000 bail, Ms. Moldonado is being held on $200,000 bail. The charges are stalking and conspiracy.

New San Marcos City Manager Salary Set

Paul Malone, present Assistant City Manager for the city of San Marcos will become City Manager on December 22nd of this year, following the retirement of the present City Manager, Rick Gittings.

The San Marcos City Council unanimously agreed to pay Malone $205,000 a year plus benefits, including a $700 monthly car allowance.

Malone, who has worked for the city since 1981, was tapped by the council Aug. 22 to replace Rick Gittings, who announced in June he would step down at the end of the year.

Malone currently makes $174,000 a year. Gittings, one of the state's longest-serving city managers after more than 24 years, earned $208,000 last year. He and City Attorney Helen Holmes Peak negotiated the contract with Malone.

Gittings hired Malone 14 years ago from the city planning department. A native of Vista, Malone graduated in 1980 from Humboldt State with a bachelor's degree in natural science and resource planning. He joined the city Planning Department in April 1981.

In other actions, the council voted 3-2 to approve an 18,400-square-foot shopping center proposed in an industrial-zoned area at the intersection of Melrose Drive and Sparrow Lane in southwest San Marcos.

Assemblyman Mark Wyland to Co-Host “Senior Scam Stopper” Seminar Next Tuesday

Assemblyman Mark Wyland (R-74) will co-host a seminar next Tuesday, September 26, aimed at helping seniors avoid scams and fraud. The “Senior Scam Stopper” seminar will convene leading experts on fraud from various state agencies. Panelists will help those in attendance learn about a number of scams that target senior citizens.

The seminar will feature representatives from the California Contractors State License Board, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, and the California Department of Insurance, among others.

The seminar will be held at the Joslyn Senior Center, 210 Park Ave., Escondido, from 9 to 11am.

Cruisin’ Grand Nears the End of the Season

The highly popular Cruisin’ Grand parade of classic cars has only eight more days till the end of this highly successful season (200,000 attendance for 2006!) and will take a vacation until the first week of April, 2007.

Steve Waldron, the brainchild of this major marketing event that has drawn worldwide attention is quite pleased with the way the event has grown.

It all started with his vision of having classic cars cruising up and down Grand Avenue on Friday nights. He discussed the idea with Wendy Barker, present CEO of the Escondido History Center. She loved the idea. Together, they approached the Escondido Downtown Business Association and the then CEO, Suzanne Strassburger, gave a strong thumbs up. Coordination with merchants, the city of Escondido, followed and before long . . . Cruisin’ Grand was a reality. That was seven years ago.

Waldron and Barker both can be forgiven if they have great big smiles of pride come Friday evenings when the classic cars roll by. They had a dream and made it happen . . . and it has benefited the downtown business community and classic cars fans from all over.

Farmers Market Hours Change October 3

Beginning Tuesday October 3, the Farmers Market of downtown Escondido will begin fall hours. The market will be open from 2:30 until dark.

Above, Escondido Farmers Market

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