Escondido, CA

The talk around town


It is just impossible not to be talking about COVID-19 with it being the most talked about issue in all news outlets and between family and friends. There are too many outcomes to ignore. Like so many businesses, including major chain retailers, closing and adding to the ever increasing unemployment nationwide. I thought a buffet type restaurant could survive and then Souplantation announces closing all locations. Not just temporarily but permanently. Time for an automat comeback? All food was served via vending machines. No sneeze guard needed.

In addition, the airline industry is on the skids laying off thousands of employees. They are in such a decline that a savvy, respected investor Warren Buffet dumped his airline stock. Sears, JC Penney, Macy’s, Nieman Marcus, Bloomingdales and many other national chains are taking protection under the bankruptcy laws. I believe most will survive but I fear at least two Westfield North County major tenants will not be back. Sayonara Sears and Penney’s. Now you have to ask yourself what will become of the nation’s regional malls. And Escondido has one of the largest.

Then, the other day the Governor of California announced an executive order that all registered voters in the state will receive a mail in ballot for the November election. Apparently this virus is predicted not to be ending anytime soon since the Governor stated his reasoning for the order was it will be too difficult for people to get to the polls. Really? We all know years in advance that the General Election is always the first Tuesday in November. Ample opportunity to set aside some time between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. during the 13 hours that the polls are open or ask your employer for time off to vote which is required by law.

The last election I went to my polling place at 8:30 a.m. and was surprised to learn I was the first person to come into vote. I had the honor of sealing the ballot box. No problem with spacing and I might add there can be a few adjustments at every polling location to assure ample “social distancing.” My question then is, “Why MUST everyone receive a mail in ballot?’” Is exercising your obligation as a citizen to vote that much of a burden?

On Mother’s Day I happened to be in the neighborhood of Oakhill Cemetery and saw that the gates were closed and a few people were reading the notice that they would not be able to pay their respects to their departed mothers. Seriously? The cemetery is so large what is the health risk? Beats me.

Driving around town I noticed that government contract road construction was in full force. Major traffic slowing at El Norte and Ash, Valley Pkwy and Midway and Valley Pkwy at Rose. At Valley/Midway there are two gas stations on opposite corners. Arco was priced at $2.29/gallon. The other corner is an unbranded station with a price of $3.39/gallon. I almost turned my car around to talk to the guy buying gas at $3.39 and ask him why he is willing to pay $1.10/ gallon more. The best price however is at 5th and Centre City Pkwy with unbranded gas at $1.89/gallon. You have to ask yourself why there is a $1.50/gallon difference in the same town?

The other day I watched the last 30 minutes of an interview of Lou Holtz by Joe Buck. Holtz is one of the greatest college football coaches in history—most notably at Notre Dame. I have had a quote from Holtz hanging in my council office, now at home, that I want to share. “Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.” You can see why he was so successful at what he did.

Someone asked me about the personalized license plates that I feature. Nothing more than keeping me amused while driving. I guess my amusement baseline is rather low. This week is UWECRN. Best as I can discern is University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Registered Nurse.   

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

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