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Local News February 16, 2006


The Passing of Jim Felix

The Passing of Jim Felix


Editor’s Comment:  Those of us at The Paper were both saddened and shocked to hear of the passing of Jim Felix.  He was a dear friend of ours for the past 30+ years.  Jim was “Mr. Kiwanis,” having sponsored over 850 members of both the Escondido and the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Clubs. 


Jim was “Mr. Kiwanis,” “Mr. Chamber of Commerce,” “Mr. Escondido.”  He was a champion volunteer and did a lot for this community.  There are very few people who pass through our lives who accomplish as much as Jim Felix was able to in his all-too-short of a life.  He will be greatly missed by his family, his fellow Kiwanians, his fellow Chamber Members, and the community at large.



Jim Felix passed away on Saturday morning.  He had been a member of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce for 45 years.  He was also a lifetime Chamber Ambassador credited for obtaining over 500 new members, and a member of Kiwanis since at least 1970 . . . at least 26 years.


Jim was a resourceful, caring and diligent person whose smiling face will be missed to all those who knew him.  Jim started and operated a highly successful insurance agency in Escondido.


He was a World War Two veteran and Silver Star recipient who spent several years in the European war theater.  He fought his illness until the very end like the brave soldier that he was. 


He was a devoted family man who was active in his church.  His wife Polly and his three children were at his bedside in his last moments.


A viewing will be held at Alheiser Mortuary on Friday from 11am-2pm.  A service will be held at the First Methodist Church on 4th and Kalmia in Escondido on Saturday afternoon at 1pm. Graveside services will be for family only.




Patriotic Sign Wavers Drawing City Fines


Drive through a number of North County communities and you’re likely to see “Uncle Sam,” and “Lady Liberty,” replete colorful and patriotic color schemes.  They’ll be waving to passersby, motorists and pedestrians alike.


It’s all a rather clever marketing gimmic used by Liberty Tax Service.  So far, no problems reported in either Escondido or Vista, but Poway city officials have come after Liberty Tax Service with hammer and tong.


They’ve slapped Alan Geraci, owner of the Poway (and San Marcos and Vista) franchise with $2800 in fines, claiming he has violated the signage requirement under Poway’s codes.


Geraci argues that he has a right to have his employees outside his business offices - that it is well established law that both the freedom of speech and right to assembly under the 1st Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that right.  Similarly, the California state Constitution makes the same guarantee.

Mr. Liberty waves at
passing cars in San Marcos


Not so, say Poway officials.  They argue if Geraci’s ‘patriots’ are on city rights of way or city sidewalks then they are violating the code.


Geraci plans on protecting his rights, even if it means filing suit.  Since Geraci is also an attorney, that action appears likely.


In Escondido, Susan Oliver, the code enforcement officer, says they have no problem with the ‘wavers’ so long as they do not create an unsafe condition.  They have not written citations.  The two Liberty Tax Service offices in Escondido, owned by  Doug Goodwin, agree they have had no problem with the city of Esconido.  Nor has Geraci had problems in either San Marcos or Vista, his two other locations.


Poway’s contract city attorney, Tamara Smith, claims there is no violation of the 1st Amendment but simply that Poway’s Sign Ordinance is more strict that those of other North County cities.  She will take no further action till Geraci completes his appeal process.


City, PPH Agree


After sometimes rancorous discussion and debate the Escondido City Council and the Palomar Pomerado Hospital District finally agreed the hospital would be allowed to build in the much coveted  Escondido Research and Technology Center.


The new 453 bed hospital now has apparent clear sailing after having overcome this zoning obstacle which had been a major stumbling block. 


A council majority of council members Ed Gallo, Sam Abed and Marie Waldron had held out for concession from the hospital district to provide for infrastructure necessary to alleviate anticipated traffic, parking and safety issues.  In the end, both sides compromised and the deal was struck.  The vote by the council eventually proved to be unanimous.


As part of the compromise, PPH committed to spending $19 million in extending Citricado Parkway from the business park south to E. Valley Parkway.  The city would pay its share after that commitment was met.


In addition, PPH agreed to a memorandum of understanding whereby the district would install several medical programs at Palomar Medical Center at 555 E. Valley Parkway, and building a 50,000-square-foot facility to house the district's corporate offices. This would require acquisition of properties on Valley Parkway, Grand Avenue and Valley Boulevard to make way for the office building, by eminent domain, if necessary.  The district had fought this but, in the end, agreed in order to come to an agreement with the Council that would ensure their location at the .Escondido Research Center.





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