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Local News January 4th, 2007

Bob Newhart Takes Center Stage

King of Comedy Stands Up for Laughs

He's known as the King of Comedy. His many roles include the Inn Keeper, the Psychologist and more recently Morty, the on-again, off-again boyfriend of Terry Hatcher's TV mother on Desperate Housewives. Now, Bob Newhart takes the stage twice at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido (CCAE), after gleaning from his over 40-year career as a comedian a wealth of laughter-invoking anecdotes and skits. He performs on Saturday, January 13 at 2 and 8 p.m. Accompanying the performance is a sold-out Winemaker's Dinner hosted by the Center's executive chef, Jeff D. Massey with wine provided by Belle Marie Winery.

"Bob Newhart's comedy is in a league of its own," said Christian Wolf, Director of Communications for CCAE. "His performance will give guests a night of comedy they won't soon forget."
Known for his deadpan humor and slight stammer, Newhart shined earlier this year in a comedy routine at the 2006 Emmy Awards. His new book “I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This “is a retrospective of his life as a stage and screen comedian. For his January 13 performance, Newhart will be joined by musical guest Susan Egan, star of Broadway's original Belle in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

Tickets cost $40 to $55. For more information about the performance, call the Ticket Office at 800.988.4253, visit www.artcenter.org, or visit the Ticket Office, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. Half price for military and students on day of performance.

San Marcos - Appoint or Hold a Special Election?

Three San Marcos Councilmembers and the Mayor will make a decision on January 9th as to how best to fill an open council seat after deadlocking earlier this month between appointing someone or calling a special election.

The council has learned that a special election would cost at least $250,000 – more than three times the $75,000 estimate that was discussed when the council met Dec. 12. The seat opened after Jim Desmond was elected mayor last month with two years left in his term as councilman.

At that meeting Desmond and Councilman Hal Martin voted to fill the seat by appointment. Councilmen Chris Orlando and Mike Preston voted for a special election. This week, Desmond, Martin and Preston said they are sticking by their votes, but Orlando said he is undecided now that the estimated cost has grown.

People interested in the seat had until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to submit applications to the City Clerk's Office. Applicants should attend the Jan. 9 council meeting in case the appointment option is selected, although the council can nominate people who didn't apply, City Clerk Susie Vasquez said.

After the Dec. 12 meeting, the county Registrar of Voters informed the city that a stand-alone special election would cost $250,000 to $275,000, Vasquez said. That amount includes paying for poll workers, translation services, equipment and regular and absentee ballots.

Further, the council seat would be vacant until June if the council decides on a special election because the deadline for a March election has already passed. Many political observers are of the belief that the community would be better served by the council appointing someone to serve the unexpired term of Mayor Desmond.
The council could appoint someone to serve at least until June when a special election could be called, but many observers blanche at the estimated cost of $250,000.

There are those who argue that it is important to get someone with experience in the issues as some major projects need to be dealt with quickly, one of which is the mixed-used development that would be built near the city's colleges. One, called Palomar Station, would put stores, offices and condos in an industrial area across from Palomar College. A second mixed use project would build a business park and condos near California State University San Marcos. There is also $1 billion private-development project along San Marcos Creek that also needs City Council approval.

Dean Nelson, who has served on the Planning Commission is familiar with these projects. Those same political observers suggest he would be the most logical choice. As of press time, however, there were five applicants for the vacant seat, according to Suze Vasquez, San Marcos City Clerk.

Originally, Orland supported a special election. Since learning of the cost, however, he is rethinking his position and may opt to support an appointment. Preston said he supports an election because he was concerned that someone who didn't run Nov. 7 could get the position through an appointment. “You run the risk of having a friend or supporter appointed that has no planning experience and making bad decisions because of that lack of knowledge that could cost more than $250,000,” he said.

Desmond and Martin both said the money for a special election would be better spent on projects such as senior transportation services.

Kevin Hanks Pleads Guillty To Being a Thief

Former San Marcos Girls Softball League coach, Kevin Hanks, acknowledged at a recent hearing that he stole youth league funds for which he was charged with a felony of grand theft.

Sheriff’s Department investigators charged him with taking more than $40,000 from the league.

In addition to coaching, Hanks had been the league’s former president and treasurer. He is to be sentenced in San Diego County Superior Court on January 29th. He is likely to receive 90 to 180 days in jail, three years of felony probation and an order to pay back $40,000.
Hanks was arrested Sept. 14 after a league official noticed financial irregularities in the league's books dating to August 2004. He has been free on a $25,000 bond.

Rancho Bernardo Not Much of A Ranch

Time was, when many of us moved into North San Diego County, that we would drive by Rancho Bernardo and see cattle munching on the grass.

Plans were already underway, however, to build a planned urban neighborhood.

It has come to pass.

Today, there are 45,000 souls living in what used to be pasture land . . . and it has both an upscale neighborhood of beautiful homes as well as a bustling business and retail community.

Going back to an original Mexican land grant for Rancho Bernardo in 1842, when it became a large cattle and sheep ranching operation, the property went through a series of owners. Originally, the land grant totalled 17,763 acres. Today’s Rancho Bernardo is comprised of 6,000 acres.

When the highway (Interstate 15) ran right through the property it no longer was practical to fram or ranch . . . so along came houses, condominiums, schools, shopping centers and office parks.

As of today, The Paper begins distribution in Rancho Bernardo.

Yet Another Top San Marcos Official Retires

Long time Community Services Director for San Marcos, Bill Schramm, has retired after 25 years of service.

The architect of San Marcos' park and recreational system, Schramm had joined the city in 1982. City Manager Paul Malone, who replaced former City Manager Rick Gittings, following his retirement, said "He was here during this city's formative period and had a hand ---- not virtually, but literally ---- in every park improvement you see in San Marcos today."

Schramm, a midwesterner, graduated from Cal State Hayward and received a master's degree in education from Springfield College in Massachusetts. He worked for several YMCA associations in California for 13 years before being hired away from the Escondido YMCA in 1982.

 

 

 

 


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