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Local News October 7, 2004

Hospital, Public Safety Bond Issues Facing Opposition

Hospital, Public Safety Bond Issues Facing Opposition


Candidates for City Council in Escondido are divided 3-2 over support for two bond issues, both of which require a 2/3rds plurality in November’s election.


Incumbent candidate Ed Gallo supports both issues while incumbent candidate Tom D’Agosta opposes both.  New candidate Sam Abed also supports both issues while former councilmember Wil Mason and first time candidate Tania Bowman also oppose both bills.


The public safety bond issue, known as Proposition P, seeks $84 million and the hospital bond measure, known as Proposition BB, seeks $496 million.  Opponents to the public safety bond issue said they agreed the facilities were needed but the money should have been raised by increasing development fees, not placed on the taxpayer’s back.  Most candidates expressed great concern as to whether the hospital would remain in downtown Escondido, pointing out there were no guarantees in the bond issue, as written, that the hospital would remain in Escondido.


Though not expressly provided for in the bond issue, CEO Michael Covert has said the district is committed to building the new Palomar Medical Center “somewhere in Escondido.”  While that might be the intent, critics point out, nowhere in the bond language is that a mandate.


If both bond issues pass, Escondido taxpayers would see an increase of $51.92 per $100,000 assessed valuation, or, on property with a $200,000 assessed valuation, the tax increase would be $103.84 for the next 30 years.


Both bond issues have been seeking, and receiving, endorsements from civic and service clubs and associations.  While the three candidates for Escondido’s city council race have expressed oposition, there is no known organized opposition against either bond issue thus far.


Escondido Insurance Executive Writes Kid's Book To Tell 'Em

"It's Just An Itty-Bitty Part of Life"


When not pursuing his regular day job as an insurance executive for Driver Alliant Insurance Services-or serving the community through his associations with Escondido Rotary, Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego, and Escondido Humane Society, long-time Escondido resident Tom Knight pursues his avocation as a musician.


His three-man group, Too Much Fun, consisting of himself and Escondido educator Steve on guitar and veterinarian Dave Zanders on banjo, have performed at several North County venues, singing and playing songs in a highly listenable bluegrass style, including songs that Tom has written over the years.

















One such number, a catchy ditty called: It's An Itty-Bitty Part of Life," has just made its way into a children's book, the first of three efforts, according to Knight.


"The book actually just welled up from a song I had written a couple of years ago." He recalls Jane, his wife of 32 years, and he were expecting the birth of their first grandchild. "I wanted to come up with something special that, as he or she grows older, would help in understanding life a little bit." Little Mason Thomas is now a year and a half, and "It's An Itty-Bitty Part of Life" is now a children's book.


Illustrated by local Escondido artist, Kristina Sklar, the book essentially advises youngsters not to sweat the small stuff.


San Marcos Chamber Endorses Proposition U


The San Marcos Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Proposition U, known as the San Marcos Ratepayer Protection Act, which will appear on November’s general election ballot.


“Attracting the best and brightest companies to San Marcos requires the public and private sectors to work cooperatively to create a healthy business climate,” said Cynthia Cosper, Chairwoman of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce.  “Prop U ensures San Marcos will continue to be a regional leader on energy issues and creates millions of dollars worth of new programs to help our members reduce energy costs and improve their bottom line.  The Chamber is proud to support Proposition U.


Proposition U is the final piece of a multi-million dollar agreement between San Diego Gas & Electric and the City of San Marcos that has ended a four year dispute over the future of energy distribution in San Marcos and helps to forge a long-term partnership to develop clean, renewable energy and innovative energy efficiency programs designed to lower power bills for San Marcos businesses.


Prop U also guarantees San Marcos residents will have the right to vote on any plan for the City to get into the power distribution business.  Prop U also calls for an independent audit to certify that no general fund monies would be used and to guarantee that rates would be equal to or lower than SDG&E’s.

The Board also voted to oppose Proposition X, a competing energy measure that will also appear on the November ballot.


Escondido City Council Tours Del Mar Marriott


In a special meeting, open to the public, the Escondido City Council journed from their Council Chambers to Del Mar where they inspected the Del Mar Marriott Hotel.  The purposes was to solidify their thinking as to the layout and design of a similar hotel planned for Escondido.  This was merely part of the ongoing research the Council and its staff has pursued during ongoing discussions of the project.


A 200 room, seven-story Marriott is in the planning stages for Escondido, to be located in a present parking lot between the California Center for the Arts, Escondido and City Hall.  It’s pretty much an open secret that negotiations have been going on with a developer for such a hotel, but, to date, negotiations have been of the closed door variety. 


The developer is C. W Clark of La Jolla, and his partner, Phelps Program Management of Greely, Colorado. 


Speculation has centered on whether the hotel would operate, or partner with the city, in supervising the conference center at the Callifornia Center for the Arts, Escondido.


A Midsummer Night's Dream


The City of San Marcos, will be presenting the Poor Players in excerpts from Shakespear's, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," on October 8, 9, & 10 (Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 7:00 PM). Tickets are $10 for adults/youth/seniors.  The production will take place at the San Marcos Community Center, Hearth Theater, 3 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos.


Coast Guard Auxiliary Offers Introduction to Coastal Navigation Course


A six week course is being offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary beginning November 4th, from 7pm to 9pm, on Thursdays.  Classes will be held at the Palomar College, Escondido location, 1951 East Valley Parkway at Midway, Room 401. 


Topics include weather and boating, use and understanding nautical charts, radio/navigation and introduction to GPS/navigation.


A $35 fee for the text book and nautical chart will be assessed.  Students will need to purchase some additional navigation tools.  Those tools can be used in the Advanced Navigation Course beginning in January of 2005.


Registered students may also have additional family members attend with them without an additional course fee. 


Jewish Big Pals Program Celebrating 7th Year!


During the past seven years, more than 50 children from single parent homes have been matched with caring adults, who serve as positive role models.  The Big Pals and Little Pals get together every other weekend for several hours to have fun and participate in esteem-building activities. Currently the program is seeking volunteers - especially males - who would like to participate in making a difference in a young boy's life.


Jewish Big Pals is a program of Jewish Family Service.  For additional information on becoming a Big Pal Volunteer or getting a mentor for your child, contact Sherri Wexler at (619) 291-0473.


"Chip In" for Charity


The College Avenue Senior Center, a program of Jewish Family Service, is selling tickets for the Buick Invitational Golf Tournament.  The Tournament will take place on January 17-23, 2005, with Defending Champion, John Daly, expected to attend, along with Tiger Woods and many others.  Tickets are available now for only $14 and Jewish Family Service will receive 100% of the revenue! Contact Brenda Bothel at (619) 583-3300 to purchase tickets.