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Local News June 19th, 2008

Pledge to Try Transit in North County Today, June 19, National Dump the Pump Day

NCTD Transit Services Help Passengers Save Money and Reduce Emissions

With high gas prices on everyone’s mind, North County Transit District (NCTD) announced today that it will join with other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the third annual national Dump the Pump Day on June 19. The 2008 National Dump the Pump Day is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation to save money, conserve gasoline, and help reduce greenhouse gases.

NCTD welcomes new riders on national Dump the Pump Day and encourages North County drivers to pledge to try transit. NCTD representatives will be available to answer questions, pass out schedules and help plan trips for those who are ready to leave the car at home. Visit one of their tables on national Dump the Pump Day, Thursday June 19, at the following locations to receive a free Day Pass (while supplies last):

Carlsbad Village – Starbucks at 2924 Carlsbad Blvd., 6 - 9 a.m.
Downtown Oceanside – Farmer’s Market on Pier View Way, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Sunset Market at Tremont and Pier View Way, 5 - 9 p.m.
Vista Village – Starbucks at 30 W. Main St., 6 - 9 a.m.
Downtown Escondido – Starbucks at 320 W. Valley Parkway, 6 - 9 a.m.

Just $2 buys a single trip on the new SPRINTER trains or BREEZE buses, while a one-way COASTER train ticket costs about as much as a gallon of gas. “Using public transportation is the quickest way to beat high gas prices,” said NCTD Board Chairman Ed Gallo. “If gas prices are too high for you, then ‘dump the pump’ and take a BREEZE bus, SPRINTER or COASTER train on June 19.”

Households with two workers and one car that use public transportation save $6,200 every year, compared to a household with no access to public transportation. So leave your car at home, catch public transit, then watch the savings add up – instead of your gas bill.

Redevelopment Plan for Escondido’s Gateway Grinds to a Halt

The down economy is being blamed for the prospective developer, Opus West, pulling out of plans to build a four-story, retail-and-office building on the site of Escondido’s present police station. The 2.6 acre police station at 700 W. Grand Avenue was to have been demolished after the deparment moves next summer into the new $61 million public safety headquarters on North Centre City Parkway.

Escondido officials had high hopes that the new structure would offer a Gateway into the city from the I-15 freeway, thus becoming more of a regional destination. This development was a crucial component of the plan. City officials had hoped to sell the police station site for $6 million to $8 million to a developer that would build a signature structure that would complement the redevelopment of the 18-acre Escondido Transit Center on the other side of West Valley Parkway.

The North County Transit District, which owns the transit center, plans to build apartments, lofts, and office and retail space there. Together, the two projects would form the two legs of the gateway. Escondido officials were reported to be disappointed but hopeful for a new project developing.

Local Youth Accept $50,000 on Clinic's Behalf
Vista Community Clinic to implement Gang Prevention Intervention

Four Vista and Oceanside youth accepted a $50,000 check from the San Diego Women's Foundation on behalf of Vista Community Clinic. This generous donation will be used to implement a comprehensive gang prevention program in coordination with the clinic's Project REACH, an afterschool program serving youth ages 12 to 14 in Oceanside and Vista. The intervention will reduce youths' gang involvement through three primary components: Prevention Education, Parent Involvement and Service Learning. The check was presented on June 3rd, 2008, at the San Diego Women's Foundation Annual Celebration at the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center in Market Creek Plaza. For more information please call (760) 631-5000.

San Diego Man Sentenced to Jail
Ordered to Pay More Than $25,000 in Restitution for Workers Comp Scam

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has announced the sentencing of a San Diego man for insurance fraud. On May 21 Ramon Romo was sentenced to 180 days in San Diego Superior Court and ordered to pay more than $25,000 in restitution in addition to $680 in fines.
“Scamming your insurance company doesn’t pay,” said Commissioner Poizner. “My Department of Insurance investigators work closely with district attorneys throughout the state to make sure that insurance fraud does not go unpunished.”

On June 6, 2005, Romo fractured his thumb while on the job, and filed a workers’ compensation claim with his employer, NASSCO. Several months later, he added claims for back, neck and right shoulder injuries, claiming the injuries occurred at the same time as his thumb injury. In December 2005, Romo testified under oath that his additional injuries were not preexisting. He repeated this claim during a qualified medical exam.

On two separate occasions in June 2006, Romo was videotaped lifting and carrying heavy materials including sheetrock and insulation. He was also seen carrying a young child. In October 2006, Romo told his medical examiner that he was unable to lift his two year-old child, and any objects exceeding 20 pounds.

California Department of Insurance (CDI) Fraud Division investigators additionally discovered that Romo had filed a workers’ compensation claim for neck and back injuries in 1998 with his previous employer, Airline Interiors. Because of his injuries at that time, he reached a settlement in March 2003 and received $26,000 for his injuries.

As a result of this investigation by CDI, NASSCO, and the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, Romo pled guilty to one count of insurance fraud, and ordered to pay $25,830.67 in restitution to NASSCO, his employer.

Brecht BMW to Host Padre Stars June 21st

San Diego Padres infielders Kevin Kouzmanoff and Tony Clark will visit Brecht BMW June 21 to sign autographs and pose for photographs.

Kouzmanoff will be at the BMW store from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by Clark from noon to 1 p.m. Brecht BMW is located at 1557 Auto Park Way, at its intersection with Howard Avenue, in the Escondido Auto Park.

California Center for the Arts, Escondido 2008-2009 Season Tickets On Sale Now

Tickets to the 2008-2009 performance season at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido are now on sale. Tickets to all shows can now be purchased by the general public. Group discounts and multi-performance discounts also available.

The season begins September 14, 2008 with Celtic Spring. Performance standouts continue through June 2009 with Vince Gill, Movin' Out, Paul Taylor Dance, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee musical, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Smothers Brothers, Doc Severinsen, Alvin Ailey Dance, Ahn Trio, and more. The full season line-up is listed online at www.artcenter.org/0809performances.htm

Tickets on Sale Now (800) 988-4253 or www.artcenter.org

It’s Unanimous. $5.6 Million Slashed from San Marcos Unified School District Budget

Trustees approved a $135.9 million budget Monday evening but in so doing they had to end busing, increase the size of some middle school and high school classes and delay the start of the school year until September.

Calculated into the budget were more than $5.6 million in school program and position cuts, including the elimination of 40 teaching positions, several dozen support staff positions and home-to-school busing for all regular education students in grades kindergarten through eighth.

Trustees did, however, reinstate some positions that had been cut earlier. They included 11 part-time elementary physical education teachers, 11 elementary physical education aides and the two assistant principals ---- all of whom were believed to have the "greatest impact for students."

District officials said that the cuts were necessary because of about $6.1 million in increases to ongoing expenses and approximate $2 million in lost revenue from the state.

 

 

 

 


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