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Local News August 13th, 2009

The Downtown Business Association of Escondido Hires Jenessa Schaniel as New Events Manager

Starting in late July as the new Events Manager, Jenessa Schaniel is the latest addition to the DBA staff. She is replacing Danielle Aeling, who has been promoted to Director of Marketing and Development. Schaniel returns to the DBA after doing an internship there from May through December of 2008.
Jenessa will be responsible for expanding and enhancing the Downtown Business Association's current events as well as creating and executing new ones. She will also be working to raise funds through sponsorships in order to put on the most successful events possible. Schaniel hopes to bring about a thriving downtown through the success of these events.

Jenessa recently graduated from Cal State San Marcos with a degree in Communication and is also working on earning a Certificate in Meeting and Event Planning from San Diego State University. Schaniel played an active role in her school as an officer for Lambda Pi Eta, which is the Communication Honors Society, and also took on multiple events internships throughout her college career.

Jenessa Schaniel, Events Manager
Danielle Aeling, Director of Marketing and Development

It’s Summertime . . . and for coastal Areas, That Means ‘Skeeters!’

Folks who live in the Carlsbad and Oceanside area have sad tales to tell and the welts to prove their tales are true.

Seems the ‘skeeters’ are out in force this summer, and not just at nighttime. Area residents complain the mosquitos are nipping during the daylight hours as well. Inland areas of Rancho Bernardo, Escondido, San Marcos and Lake San Marcos, have much less to contend with, having to deal with only an occasional mosquito.

It’s thought that the salt-marshes so common in the coastal areas are providing the operational headquarters for the ‘skeeters as they plan their attack for unsuspecting humans who have all that delicious blood mosquitos love so much.

While most mosquitos prefer to dine at night, massive swarms of salt-marsh mosquitos invading Oceanside and Carlsbad are not at all bashful about approaching local residents.

San Diego County vector control report ass many as 100 complaints a day from residents in north Oceanside and portions of Carlsbad.

Though the majority of calls were from residents along the San Luis Rey River, officials determined that the insects were coming from Camp Pendleton, where they began hatching at the mouth of the Santa Margarita River after a high tide July 21.

Salt-marsh mosquitos can fly more than 10 miles in search of a meal, vector control officials said. They typically lay their eggs in dry, marshy areas. When the ground is flooded, the eggs hatch about 10 days later.

County officials routinely use helicopters to apply larvicide to mosquito-prone areas, especially those where mosquitos carrying West Nile virus are found. In April, the county began applying larvicide to portions of the San Luis Rey River on a three-week cycle.

Though they have a hearty appetite, salt-marsh mosquitos do not carry diseases such as West Nile virus. They are aggressive and a nuisance, but they’re not a public threat, according to officials.

Camp Pendleton is a prime area for these mosquitos. Base officials are aware of this and taking steps to keep the mosquito population down. The treatment of choice is application of larvicide, by air and by hand.

Since the life cycle of mosquitos is only a couple of weeks, officials believe the problem will go away within another week or two. Still, residents are urged to apply repellents and wear long sleeved shirts and long pants. Residents should also continue working to reduce breeding opportunities for the pests. Standing water in your yards could become a haven for mosquitos, according to officials. It only takes about a fourth of a cup of water for mosquitos to breed and hatch. It's important that people take control of their own neighborhoods and their own yards.

Kern Forces Rally Against Recall

A group of supporters of Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern says it will rally to defeat the proposed recall. Citizens Against the Recall Effort, a political action committee separate from Kern's campaign, carries many of the same themes the councilman does and describes the special election as a wasteful, union-driven coup d'etat.

David Shore, a lawyer who, like Kern, is a former president of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, is a member of that committee. He argues that it is an attempt by members of the public safety/union camps to wrest power away from the city council. The present three-member council majority, including Kern, is known to be friendly to business and development.

Shore argues the unions don’t like that. The police and fire unions spent $46,000 to collect the 11,389 signatures needed to force a recall election. The firefighters union criticized recent budget cuts supported by Kern, Councilmen Jack Feller and Rocky Chavez, saying they threaten the public and front-line firefighters.

“With contracts coming up, they're trying to control both sides of the bargaining table,” said Shore, repeating almost verbatim one of Kern's arguments.

The argument is somewhat reminescent of the recent political battle in Escondido where the firefighter’s union was successful in getting Olga Diaz elected to the Escondido City Council. They trashed sitting Councilman Ed Gallo and got out the vote for Diaz.

They seek to do the same in Oceanside, knowledgeable political observers say. There will be a recommendation by Oceanside’s City Clerk, Barbara Riegel Wayne, to hold the election on December 8th of this year. The special election, she points out, is likely to cost $483,000 – an issue Kern's defenders use to attack the recall drive.

“I was pretty unhappy with the idea that the city is forced to spend a half-million dollars (on a special election) when Councilman Kern is up for re-election next year”
in November, Shore said.

Oceanside Library Meets Reader Enthusiasm With New Service

Observing the surge in demand for best selling novels in recent months, the Oceanside Public Library is initiating a new “Ready Reads” service on August 15 designed to allow readers to bypass long reserve lists at the Civic Center and Mission Branch libraries. Patrons will find highly anticipated and requested books for immediate checkout. Reading is on the rise and local librarians are meeting the demand, “We are happy to provide this extra service to the community and offer another incentive to visit the library,” says Monica Chapa Domercq, Principal Librarian of Adult Services.

The Ready Reads collection will be in a designated section of the libraries with an easily identifiable logo on the cover and will be on “first come, first serve” basis. Ready Reads will be available for a quick seven day checkout period and cannot be reserved or renewed. There is a limit of three Ready Reads items per person.

Oceanside’s Sunshine Brooks Theatre Presents Eric Marchese in Ragtime Piano Concert

Oceanside’s Sunshine Brooks Theatre (a non-profit community theater) presents Eric Marchese in Ragtime Piano Concert at 8:00 PM, August 29, 2009, 217 North Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA. Tickets $15.00, available on-line at www.sunshinebrookstheatre.org or call our box office at 760-529-9140 760-529-9140.

Marchese’s performance will feature many of the outstanding ragtime pieces from the year 1909, including all six of Scott Joplin’s outstanding compositions from that year as well as the rags of many other popular composers of that era. The special-event performance is a benefit for the Sunshine Brooks Theatre.

Marchese promises to use the evening to provide audiences with a historical survey of ragtime music covering many regions and styles of this beloved American musical form, which boomed between the 1890s and the late 1910s.

Vista OK’s First Tattoo Shop, Another Waits in the Wings

Jason and Melissa Betz, owners of Frontline Tattoo studios in Oceanside and Cardiff, have gotten the green light from the Vista Planning Commission’s unanimous approval to open a tattoo shop at 1916 Hacienda Drive, near Vista's border with Oceanside.

The commission did not decide on a proposal to open a parlor at 902 S. Santa Fe Ave. City officials are considering a zoning change that would ban tattoo businesses in that area. Until now, Vista had kept out tattoo parlors. The City Council recently changed its position after receiving legal advice that an outright ban might be unconstitutional. The council's approval of the first parlor at its meeting Tuesday came with restrictions.

One tattoo parlor will be permitted for every 40,000 residents; Vista has a population of roughly 96,000. The shops are restricted to certain areas of the city and must be at least 500 feet from schools, parks or playgrounds.

Escondido Mayoral Campaign Heating Up, Though Months Away

Even though the election for Escondido’s Mayoral position is months away, battle lines are beginning to form. Thus far, current councilmember Sam Abed leads the financial tally with $52,000 having been raised; Dick Daniels, the other city councilmember who is running for the seat, has raised $16,000.

Daniels claims he’s not particularly concerned yet as there is so much time to campaign and raise funds before the actual campaign begins. True, say some political observers, but perception is often important in politics. If the voters perceive that one candidate is a runaway victor, that could damage the second candidate’s chances.

Abed, 57, who was elected in 2004, and re-elected last year, has made no secret of his desire to win the seat. He’s been aggressive in buttonholing potential voters, financial contributors, and endorsements. Too aggressive, some say.

Daniels, meanwhile, who was elected in 2006, and who has the endorsement of present Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler, is more low key and is generally less aggressive. Daniels, 67, points out that of Abed’s $52,000, $10,000 was a personal loan, $18,500 was a transfer from Abed’s previous council race.

Daniels and Abed are the only announced candidates for mayor so far, although Councilwoman Marie Waldron said this week that she may throw her hat into the ring. Besides the mayor's seat opening up, Daniels' and Councilmember Marie Waldron's terms as council members also are up next year. Waldron has dropped hints she, too, may opt to run for council.

In January, Pfeiler endorsed Daniels, as her successor, calling him the best person to unite a city that has been divided over illegal-immigration issues. The divide she was referring to was engineered by Abed, Waldron and then-Councilman Ed Gallo when they formed a majority in 2006 that clearly was against illegal immigrants coming into Escondido.

This week, Abed said he has given up tackling illegal immigration, which he now says is a federal problem. Instead, he said, he will focus on improving the city's quality of life for everyone. How much support this will cost Abed is anyone’s guess, but for quite some time Abed was seen as a strong opponent of illegal immigration. If it is perceived that he has weakened his resolve in this area, that could hurt him, or, so say the political pundits.

Daniels, in contrast, has never appeared to be strongly anti illegal immigration so whatever damage Abed has done by backing away from his aggressive anti-illegal immigration stance may not hurt him too much.

In recent times, during contentious budget debates, Abed has insisted on more spending cuts and accusing the council's budget subcommittee of spending money carelessly. The budget subcommittee, which consisted of Daniels and Pfeiler, had recommended layoffs and employee compensation cuts, the use of reserves and reductions in services to close a $6.7 million shortfall on a $75.4 million general-fund budget.

Abed, however, insisted on more cuts, and in an emergency budget adoption session in June, Abed, Waldron and Councilwoman Olga Diaz joined in cutting an additional $780,000.

The final budget, adopted unanimously, uses $4.6 million in reserve funds, down from the subcommittee's proposal to use up to $9.2 million over three years.

• • • • •

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