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Local News October 14, 2004

San Marcos Vice Mayor Mike Preston holds Press briefing on

San Marcos Vice Mayor Mike Preston holds Press briefing on

“Climate of Hate” in San Marcos politics.



Yesterday, Vice Mayor Mike Preston held a press briefing at which he issued a statement about the “Climate of Hate” in San Marcos politics and campaign signs. He supplied visual evidence of the deteriorating climate that is leading to new lows in campaigning in San Marcos. (See adjacent photo) He offered his assessment of who is responsible and what we need to do to reverse this ugly trend.


“San Marcos politics has unfortunately sunk to a new low with the anti-Thibadeau signs. It is my opinion that these signs have spawned recent sign vandalism including a Lee is a child molester message attached to a sign in front of the union hall at San Marcos Blvd and Twin Oaks Valley road. A climate of hate is building in San Marcos politics that is resulting in sign vandalism and I fear it will get worse.


The group has historically fostered the ugly side of politics including doctored pictures of the Mayor wearing nothing but a Wal-Mart bag. Since they have entered the political scene, residents, the Mayor, and I have received death threats and other vicious personal attacks.


Their latest foray into politics has yielded signs that distort a candidate's family name and misuse a patriotic icon for something that has no patriotic value. Their childish signs send the wrong message to children about the value of a good campaign on the issues. Their sign's design and message project a poor image of San Marcos to visitors to our city.


They certainly have a right to erect signs with their message, but they do a disservice to the community and themselves when they obscure their message with juvenile name games designed to hurt rather than to illuminate. It is a sad irony that they perpetuate lower campaign standards that conflict with the message their name implies.


Three of the candidates in this election, Hal Martin, Chris Orlando, and Jim Desmond have direct links to the leadership of this group. They need to step up and repudiate this groups derogatory signs to demonstrate their interest in responsible campaigning. Maybe then we can bring civility back to San Marcos campaigns, reduce voter apathy, and restore a climate that will encourage good candidates to seek office.”


Joining Preston were Councilman Lee Thibadeau, Planning Commissioner Cynthia Skovgard, and Traffic Commissioner Neil Kovrig.


The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is investigating but officials there say it does not qualify as a hate crime and is a simple misdemeanor.


An example of the graffiti used on political signs in the area. Sheriff’s officials say in spite of the repugnant nature of the graffiti it is still only a misdemeanor


How will Proposition BB affect Downtown Escondido?  A forum sponsored by the Escondido DBA


The Escondido Chamber is sponsoring a forum at which the Proposition BB (Palomar-Pomerado Health) issue will be discussed.  It was scheduled for this morning, Thursday, October 14, 2004, 8 - 9:30 AM at the Fireside Restaurant.  (Yes, the Fireside is now open.)


Michael Covert, CEO; Mike Shanahan, Director of Facility Planning & Development; and Bob Hemker, CFO, will be present to discuss the impact of Proposition BB on the Downtown.  Jim VanderSpek will be speaking on the negative implications of this Proposition, and Jim Lund will moderate.


Vendors Sought for ‘Santa’s Magical Village’


The City of San Marcos Community Services is seeking art and craft vendors for “Santa's Magical Village.”  This 10th Annual event featuring the Annual Tree Lighting and the Holiday Parade will be held on Saturday, December 4th from 4 - 9 PM and Sunday, December 5th from 9 AM - 3 PM at the San Marcos Community Center. 


For vendor fees, applications or more information, please call 760-744-9000.


Ridgeline Issue in San Marcos: A Political Football?


Candidates for elective office in San Marcos have grabbed on to the issue of grading on a hillside and sought to focus attention on it for political gain.  That’s the opinion of several city officials and other local observers.


At issue is the question of grading that has been done on the ridgeline near Double Peak, which overlooks San Marcos.


Critics claim the ridgeline has been defaced, that the proposed buildings will be visible from below the hill, and the San Elijo Hills developer ought to take steps to remedy the problem.


The developer, represented by its General Manager, Curt Noland, has been very cooperative in trying to remedy any visual problems, say city officials.


"As far as the grading at San Elijo goes, I think that is much ado about nothing." He said a previous council approved the grading in 1997, and that it is needed to install a large water tank and for a road to the top of Double Peak, which is proposed as a regional park. The tank and much of the scarring that is visible from most of San Marcos will eventually be covered with landscaping, Martin said.


Bill Effinger, a candidate for the Vallecitos Water District board, has been a highly vocal critic of the Double Peak grading being done by the developers of the San Elijo Hills development.


Effinger has joined with a group called Friends of Cerro de las Posas, the range of hills next to Double Peak, and says he has specific plans to solve the problem.


In a related matter, Cynthia Skovgard, a local chiroprator who is also a city Planning Commissioner and a candidate for the council, announced last week that she plans an initiative that would require the city to adopt hillside and ridge line protections.


Councilmember Martin and other council members, who are often recipients of verbal attacks by Effinger, said they believe he is using the grading issue for publicity for his water board campaign.


Effinger has made several proposals to, as he sees it, remedy the situation but Curt Noland, the San Elijo Hills general manager said none of them were feasible.  Noland, Councilmem-bers and city staff all agreed that once the roads are built and landscaping is  done, the visual impact on the area would be negligible.


First Night Announces Rockola to Return


Organizers of the 10th annual New Year’s Eve celebration of First Night in Escondido scored a recent coup when they signed the popular oldies rock-n-roll group, Rockola, as its headline act for this year’s festivities.  Rockola has headlined the 2002 First Night event and festival visitors had raved about their music.


The cost for the event remains at $10 for this non-alcoholic and family friendly event that has become one of the city’s more popular entertainment events.


Coming to a Street Faire Near You


The San Diego Wild Animal Park will be one of over 600 exhibitors at the October Street Faire, this Sunday, October 17 along Escondido's Grand Avenue. On display at the San Diego Wild Animal Park will be a cousin of Nyoka, shown here, a 17-year-old ball python, a 4-½ ft long snake.  The all-day event, co-sponsored by the Escondido Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Business Association, begins at 9 am and ends at 5 pm.


For further information, call Escondido Chamber of Commerce Development Coor-dinator Lisa Manthe at 745-2125.


Dog Path Project Puts Scount On the Road to Eagle Staturs


Boy Scout Michael Collard and Shilo take the inaugural walk on the new quarter-mile dog path constructed at the Escondido Humane Society under Michael's leadership.

Before the new path, the EHS had a dog walking problem.  The grounds around the center have brush full of burrs, snakes, spiders and scorpions. The solution came from Michael who was looking for an Eagle Scout project.  He accepted the challenge and agreed to coordinate raising money to rent a skip loader, finding a skip loader operator, and doing the finish work on the path once the base was in place.


A  generous Escondido Public Works Department donated 16 loads of grinding base, which is used on roadbeds, and dumped it around the perimeter of the planned path.  Meanwhile, Michael had found Scott Greer, a skip loader operator who donated six hours of his time to distribute, spread and flatten the grinding base so the path could receive the final finishing work.        Michael also had raised $350 for a day's rental of a skip loader.  A second day was needed, and Hawthorne Rentals donated it.  Then 27 boy scouts and leaders from Michael's Troop 644 in Rancho Penasquitos spent two days doing the finishing work.



 Scout Michael Collard stands by his project with Shilo, a sweet and gentle eight-year-old shepard/chow mix is available for adoption.




San Marcos Council Candidates Debate


The two incumbent candidates, Hal Martin and Lee Thabadeau, joined four other candidates in a debate in San Marcos last week, hosted by the San Marcos Mobilehome Residents Association.


The candidates who seek to replace either Martin or Thibadeau are Jim Desmond, an airline pilot, Cynthia Skovgard, a chiropractor, Chris Orlando, a businessman, and Neill Kovrig, a student. 


Martin and Thibadeau both emphasized their experience and accomplishments while in office, Martin pointing out he had helped to bring $21 million to San Marcos in grants to ease the road and traffic situation, Thibadeau outlined how he had helped to bring Cal State San Marcos to the city.  Skovgard emphasized her interest in planning an environmental issues, Desmond said he wants to slow the growth of development and to have commissions report directly to the Council; Orlando said he wanted to help the Conuncil to change its focus; Kovrig said he sought more communication between civic and service groups.


Wife of Bill Jones Speaks to Lake San Marcos Republican Women’s Club


Maureen (Mrs. Bill) Jones, wife of the Republican candidate opposing Senator Barbara Boxer, was the main speaker at the Lake San Marcos Republican Women’s Club on October 4th.


Other speakers included Ashley Stuart, President of the CSU-San Marcos College Republicans, and David Horacek, Republican candidate for the San Marcos Union School District


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