Holiday Food for Fines Program at the Library

The Escondido Public Library’s Holiday Food for Fines Program will begin on Monday, November 19and run through Saturday, December 22. The Library’s reinvigorated program will permit patrons to clear up to $15.00 in fines from their records. Proceeds will benefit Interfaith Community Services in Escondido. Interfaith distributes the food to needy families throughout the North County area.

Expensive items such as canned hams and powdered infant formula will count for up to $5.00 worth of fines per item. Nonperishable items such as canned vegetables, tuna fish, and dried pasta will count for up to $1.00 worth of fines per item.

Non-nutritious items such as candy and chips; damaged cans/containers; and foods which have passed their expiration date will not be accepted in lieu of fines. Food may only be used to clear fines—not for lost or damaged books or for City Attorney Fees.

Many patrons bring in food just to help those in need and the Library is happy to accept any donations whether or not they are fine-related.

For more information, contact Escondido Public Library at (760) 839-4684 or visit the Library's Web site

Neighborhood Leadership Program

Last week, I had the honor of attending the graduation ceremony for the City of Escondido’s Neighborhood Leadership Program. 20 graduates received certificates and can now count themselves among the 150 alumni of this important program.

The eight-week Neighborhood Leadership Program is offered free of charge by the City’s Neighborhood Services Division, in partnership with Community Housing Works. Participants range in age from teens to grandparents, all with the common goal of wanting to gain leadership skills and make their neighborhoods better places to live.

We are all very busy, and it’s not easy to commit to volunteering our time. However, the investment of time into this program has achieved overwhelmingly positive results in our neighborhoods, and graduates set positive examples for their younger siblings, children and grandchildren.

The program teaches participants how to  identify their existing talents and resources to create positive change in their community, how to strengthen interpersonal communication skills and how to effectively use technology as a practical and innovative tool to communicate and connect with people. In addition, they develop lasting friendships with their fellow participants.

The Neighborhood Leadership Program is held annually each September. If you are interested in the program, contact the City of Escondido’s Neighborhood Services Division (760) 839-4057.

Should Food Trucks Be Allowed in Escondido?

The City has received inquiries from special event organizers, food truck owners and the general public as to whether or not food trucks can operate within the City of Escondido. Currently, food vending vehicles that serve hot foods prepared in the vehicle are not permitted in the City of Escondido on either public or private property.

Food trucks are not a new concept, but they are gaining popularity and changing the way they have traditionally operated, from selling unique gourmet dishes to advertising through social media.  In the past, food trucks would drive into an area, sell food within 10 minutes and move on to another location.  Trends today include food trucks selling from one location during lunch and dinner hours, as well as participating in special events.

City staff will hold a meeting to gather input from the public about this topic on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6 p.m. in the Mitchell Room at City Hall, 201 N. Broadway.  Public hearings on this topic will be held by the Planning Commission in early 2013. For more information go to


Escondido Backyard Citrus Threatened by Devastating Disease

In March 2012, Huanglongbing (HLB), a plant disease considered a death sentence for California citrus, was discovered in Los Angeles, putting homeowners on high alert. While not harmful to humans or pets, once a citrus tree is infected with HLB, there is no cure and it will die. The disease can be spread by a pest called the Asian citrus psyllid, and the pest has been found near the city of Escondido. The best way to protect citrus trees from the disease is to control the psyllid population. Help protect your backyard citrus trees by:

  •  Inspecting citrus trees for signs of the pest and disease each month or whenever watering, spraying, pruning or tending trees.
  • Calling the California Department of Food & Agriculture hotline at 1-800-491-1899 if any suspicious pests or symptoms of HLB are found. 
  • Not bringing any plant material into California from other states or countries and not moving citrus plants out of quarantined areas, because they might be carrying psyllids or be infected with HLB.
  • Only buying citrus trees from reputable, licensed California nurseries.
  • Drying or double bagging plant clippings before placing in green waste recycle bins to avoid moving psyllids and HLB-infected plant material.
  • Cooperating with agriculture officials on detection and suppression efforts of the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB.

For more information and to find out what to look for, visit