Escondido, CA

A bit of history, a bit of commentary

A little bit of history, a little bit of commentary and a few other thoughts are on the agenda this week. Again, SANDAG offers fodder for my keyboard. Just to get you more informed about our Regional Planning Organization, the RPO was first assembled in 1966 as the twelve incorporated cities in the county along with the Board of Supervisors met for the purpose of long range planning for the region. The name was officially changed to the current in 1980. All in all, SANDAG has done a commendable job for our county regarding transportation, criminal justice, the environment, housing and much more.

However, as I have previously stated, the coastal rail corridor should be the main concern now not bike lanes for primarily recreation or the mid-coast trolley. A few days ago there was another bluff collapse in Del Mar causing the trains to reduce speed in that area since the bluff now is precariously close to the rail. Whenever this occurs, bus bridges are employed until a safety assessment can be done resulting in longer commute and freight delivery times. 

Amtrak, Surfliner and the Coaster commuter trains and BNSF freight all use the coastal rail line. You might say it is “no skin off my nose” since we live 20 miles inland it doesn’t affect us. But it does affect us since the coastal rail lines have much to do with a healthy economy for all of Southern California. If SANDAG proceeds with a tax increase, the funds raised should go toward correcting the problem caused by the erosion of the bluffs. It is a massive undertaking but an issue that cannot be ignored. Less talk and quick action is required.

The other day I received a report on all the non-profit organizations in San Diego County. An astounding 385 organizations were listed. Whatever your ailment, need or want there is an organization established to offer help. Include environmental concerns, arts and education, housing and more. I did not however see the Salvation Army, Solutions for Change or Warrior Foundation Freedom Station listed and no doubt there are others which may have been overlooked. What this tells me is that I find it hard to believe when I hear people say: “There is nowhere for me to go.” Really?

Some years ago, Casey Quinn, former SD City Attorney, came up with what I thought was a great idea. That was to establish an umbrella organization for all the services being offered in the county and cull some of the costly overhead in these organizations thus cutting salaries to provide more service and make it easier for people to access services they may need. The idea died for lack of support. A few years ago there was an offer by a non-profit to combine with a similar organization into one which would have made a larger more efficient operation and at the same time creating one director this cutting costs. That died as well. Shame.

It never fails that since I began reporting on businesses who are gone and those that have been serving Escondido for over forty years someone says to me “what about…?” I did forget the most recognizable bakery in town Wedekings—which unfortunately closed two years ago after offering delicious treats for over 50 years. It was reminiscent of two European owned bakeries in the town where I grew up. Forget Me Not had awesome cakes like Wedekings and Johansens had THE best jelly donuts. Some Sunday mornings I had the pleasure of riding my bike to the bakery to get a dozen donuts. I wonder why we don’t have a Dunkin Donuts in town or Krispy Kreme. Both very good.

When I first moved here I found Continental Deli on South Escondido Blvd. It was the only store where I could buy imported boiled ham, black forest ham and awesome salami. Oh, and delicious Jewish Rye. If you remember, they eventually moved to S. Kalmia then sold the business years ago and which closed this year. Then I was reminded about the 5 Points Bar on South Escondido Blvd which has been in the same location for at least 46 years that I can attest to and have never been inside. And how about George Krogh Welding another long time fixture off El Norte Parkway? I think it is still operating. Adios for now. Thanks for reading.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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