Escondido, CA

Finally, real weather

How about this weather, huh? Yes, we finally have real weather other than the usual mostly sunny with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s, in January. We had hail, high winds and lots of much needed rain and snow in elevations above 3,000 feet. I get weekly reports from Mammoth Mountain, which reported receiving 6 feet, yes feet not inches, of fresh snow this week and over 12 feet of snow for the season so far. Bodes well for resorts who will benefit from additional revenue and hiring more people.

While watching the Torrey Pines Open aka this year as the Farmers Insurance Open, I thought about all the folks in the Midwest and East Coast watching golfers in short sleeve shirts while looking out their windows at all the snow and freezing temperatures. Okay, Thursday and Friday weather was not as good as the weekend but still better than being stuck at home because of the snow.

And speaking of snow in San Diego County, as in every winter, people load the family in their vehicles and drive to Mt. Laguna or Palomar Mountain to see and play in the few inches of snow we get and I must admit that the views from the flatland seeing the snowcapped mountains is awesome. Think about it. You’re in Southern California, the sunbelt, and you are looking at the white capped mountains. Nice.

One reason I came to Escondido was because I was not fond of all the rain and snow during the year back East. My first five years here was great since it didn’t rain much at all. Then I realized we were enduring what turned out to be a seven year drought—which by the way is not unusual. Then in January 1978 we received 17 plus inches of rain and a bit over 33 inches for the season. Our yearly average rainfall is a little over 16 inches per year. During our heavy rain years I thank Escondido City Manager Lefty Mitchell for his leadership in constructing the flood control channel which as I have reported before saved Escondido from the severe flooding that used to occur during heavy rains.

The recent rains prompted me to check out the work on a portion of the various channels by Mission Pools which had Lake Dunn behind their business. Finally, after decades of planning and obtaining the required federal and state permits the lake is gone. One issue still to be resolved is the area between W. Valley and 2nd Ave, where I noted the weeds are still growing which caused the blockage creating the lake. Hopefully there is a management plan in place to continually clear that portion of the channel.

Recent good news was reading where Catrans will finally do the long overdue restoration of Hwy 78 as it travels through Escondido from 78/Broadway to Washington to Ash Street and south on the way to Ramona. How many of you are aware that these streets are the responsibility of Caltrans and not the City of Escondido? 

About five or six years ago I met with Laurie Berman, then director of SD Caltrans region about the work needed in Escondido. As I have said before, the wheels of government move agonizingly slow. Now if Caltrans can improve the unsightly Hwy 78 entrance to Escondido, another topic I discussed with Berman, that would make me a happy camper. Hey, it could happen.

Alas, a long time iconic Escondido resort is losing its identity. The Welk Resort name will be gone from Escondido. Lawrence Welk put Escondido on the national stage when he developed this outstanding community 57 years ago. He even did a few of his TV shows from the Escondido location. Bittersweet as it is we will, however, now have the Hyatt name promoting our city. I along with many of you have attended events and played golf at Welks. We don’t vacation there because—after all—we live in Escondido. We’re already on vacation. Not a bad trade but many of us will miss the Welk name.

Have you heard where PETA is urging us not to refer to humans with animal names like pig, dog, rat or chicken. It seems they believe use of these names is demeaning to animals. Oh my.

I can’t figure these out, 007 NO6 or ZOMBJAG. SO RARE, on a late model Chevy?

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

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