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Mosquito problem finally gets dealt with

ED GALLO SPEAKS

After last week’s comments regarding the so-called mosquito problem in San Diego County I realized we actually had a potential mosquito issue in Escondido. In the late 1960’s, thanks to City Manager Lefty Mitchell, a flood control system was built to collect our seasonal rainfalls and protect areas of the city from the flooding that developed during the cyclical heavy rainy seasons.

One of the areas was located in Southwest Escondido near Spruce Street and 3rd Avenue and a section of the flood control system was built connecting to the Escondido Creek section which is the most visible flowing through central Escondido. A problem arose due to the lack of a maintenance program attached to the overall project which resulted in weeds sprouting through the concrete ditches which were never removed and just continued to grow.

The weeds in the section behind the old police station grew so thick so as to block the water flow thus creating a “lake” behind Mission Pools. This unplanned lake eventually became a breeding grounds for mosquitos leading to County Vector Control to make yearly visits to treat the water build up killing the larvae and preventing any mosquito action. They did this for decades instead of having the weeds removed and to allow the water to flow and make its way to the ocean. Really.

It was probably ten years ago when I talked to the city Director of Utilities to have the weeds removed in the flood control channel. After a month or so and seeing no action I asked again. His answer was dumbfounding. He said that the area is now considered an environmental habitat and the city would have to get a permit after getting blessings from a number of state and federal agencies. I about fainted when he told me it would take at least five years to be granted a permit for removal. Are you kidding?

Well folks, I am happy to report that the cleanup by Mission Pools is almost complete and when next year’s rains come the runoff will have the easy flow to the Pacific as originally planned over 50 years ago. The wheels of government move slow but in this case at least they moved. The only downside is that Mission Pools no longer sits on lake front property.

COVID-19 still makes front page news and I have something to add. Have you been to Grand Avenue lately? Because of the new dining and parking configuration the K-rails, those concrete barriers, are being painted by the businesses in colorful, somewhat whimsical, designs adding a new dimension to the downtown experience. I like it check it out. Reminds me of 1975/76 when fire hydrants were painted in patriotic themes celebrating the Bi-Centennial.

Are you wearing your mask as so many of us are? Apparently this is not necessary or mandatory in baseball or golf which I have observed over the weekend. Ah, but when watching the Cornhole Championships the players had to wear masks. What? Perhaps the cornhole rules state that the lanes of throwing cannot be more than 3 feet apart—I don’t know. For those of you who don’t know, cornhole is what we used to call bean bag toss. Google cornhole and be surprised how the new name came about.

Last week, former Councilman Tom D’Agosta passed away. Tom and I were elected to the Council together in 2000 with Tom being the top vote getter out of 11, yes 11, candidates for two seats. For those of you who have lived in Escondido for over 30 years you might remember Chez Orleans and The Time Machine which Tom opened, then he opened Vincent’s downtown both with a partner. He also built homes, office buildings and at least one hotel in Escondido. Everything he built was first class. He certainly left his mark in his hometown. RIP Tom.

Almost forgot. LV STYLN. Hairdresser or fashionista? How about FLYSARY. I have no idea.

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

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