Escondido Public Library Hosts Magical Harry Potter Party!


CONTACT: Monica Barrette, 760-839-4836

Escondido, CA Escondido Public Library invites muggles, witches, and wizards of all-ages to a Magical Harry Potter Party on Thursday, August 11, 2016 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. This event welcomes children and families to celebrate the world of Harry Potter and the release of the new book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

The public is encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Harry Potter character to be wowed during a magic show performed by The Amazing Dana. After the show, attendees may participate in crafts including making snitches and edible wands. There will also be thematic games, such as “Pin the Sock on Dobby,” and a very special photo booth where wizards and witches can create their own picture-perfect posters.

Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street in Escondido. All Library programs are free and open to the public and this program is sponsored by Friends of the Escondido Public Library. Registration is not required, but early arrival is encouraged as space and supplies may be limited. For more information about the Magical Harry Potter Party contact Adult Services Librarian, Monica Barrette, at 760-839-4836 or at Additional information about the Library’s programs can be found at


Escondido Public Library Presents an Evening with Author Neal Griffin


CONTACT: Oscar Lujan, 760-839-4214

Escondido, CA – As part of its Summer Reading Challenge, Escondido Public Library presents An Evening with Author Neal Griffin on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 from 6:00 to 7:30 PM in the Library’s Turrentine Room.  Police Lieutenant turned crime thriller author, Escondido’s own Neal Griffin has been celebrated by critics and readers for his realistic and action packed novels Benefit of the Doubt and A Voice from the Field.

Hear Neal Griffin speak about what inspired him to join the police force as a young man, his literary influences, and his recent success as an author. Griffin’s speaking engagement will be followed by a book signing. Benefit of the Doubt will be available for purchase for $9.99 in paperback and $25.99 in hardcover.  A Voice from the Field will be available for purchase for $25.99 in hardcover.

Library programs are generously sponsored by Friends of the Escondido Public Library and are free to the public.  To learn more about the Summer Reading Challenge and our summer events, please visit or contact Adult Services Librarian Oscar Lujan at 760-839-4214.  Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street in downtown Escondido.


There’s Still Time to Join the Escondido Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge


CONTACT: Shawn Townsend, 760-839-4827

Escondido, CA – Escondido Public Library’s 2016 Summer Reading Challenge offers reading fun for all ages and special programs meant to Exercise Your Mind for babies, children, teens, and adults. The Challenge runs through July 31, 2016, and the last day to register at the Library or online at is July 23, 2016. Prizes must be claimed by August 6, 2016. Free Summer Reading Challenge events for the weeks of July 18, 2016 and July 25, 2016 include:

  • Children’s Events:
    • Crafts every Tuesday @ 2:00 p.m.
      • July 19: Hand Puppet – Craft a puppet to play in our Puppet Stage!
      • July 26: Sandpaper Art – Create art using sandpaper as the canvas – then cut it into your very own puzzle!
    • Baby Storytime (Infants & Toddlers) every Wednesday @ 10:30 a.m.
    • Children’s Performers every Thursday @ 2:00 p.m.
      • July 21: Marcus Miller – Fascinating history of drums with hands-on fun!
      • July 28: John Abram’s Animal Magic – Music, Magic, and Animals


  • Adult Events:
    • July 19 @ 6:00 p.m.: Building Artificial Intelligence – How does the human brain influence the creation of Artificial Intelligence? Professor Garrison Cottrell from UCSD’s Computer Science & Engineering Department shares the latest developments in AI research.
    • July 26 @ 6:00 p.m.: An Evening with Neal Griffin – Police Lieutenant turned crime thriller author, Escondido’s own Neal Griffin has been celebrated by critics and readers for his realistic and action packed novels Benefit of the Doubt and A Voice from the Field.
    • July 30 @ 3:30 p.m.: Rincón Literario: Bilingual Book Club – Left behind on planet Mars, astronaut Mark Watney faces the challenge of a lifetime in El Marciano/The Martian by Andy Weir.


  • Teen Events:
    • July 20 @ 3:30 p.m.: Create It @ Your Library – Deconstruct old relics of technology & use the parts to create something new. Supplies & tools provided.
    • July 13 @ 3:30 p.m.: Escondido’s Got Talent – Do you sing? Dance? Perform tricks with a yo-yo? Compete & you could go home a winner! Pre-registration is required by July 13 at

The 2016 Summer Reading Challenge is generously sponsored by Friends of the Escondido public Library. Library programs, events, and services are free and open to the public. Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street in Escondido, California. For more information about the 2016 Summer Reading Challenge and scheduled performers, visit or call 760-839-4839.



Queen Califia's Magical Circle Open This Saturday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          

CONTACT: Kristina Owens, 760-839-4519                                                       




Weather permitting, Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Kit Carson Park (3333 Bear Valley Parkway) will be open to the public this Saturday July 9, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Queen Califia docents will be on site to answer questions. 

Queen Califia's Magical Circle is the only American sculpture garden and the last major international project created by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002). Inspired by California's mythic, historic, and cultural roots, the garden consists of nine large-scale sculptures, a circular "snake wall" and maze entryway, sculpturally integrated bench seating and native shrubs and trees planted within the interior plaza and along the outer perimeter. The garden bears the brilliant, unique mosaic ornamentation that is an unmistakable part of de Saint Phalle's later work. Complete restoration of the exhibit is underway and will continue for the next several months.

Photo courtesy of Kurt Lightfoot


Update on Fire At Talone's


CONTACT: Rick Vogt, 760-839-5402

The Escondido Fire Department reports that the fire at the former Talone’s Meat Market at 559 N. Hale Avenue has been controlled.  City Building officials have “red tagged” the building, declaring it to be unstable and extremely dangerous for anyone to enter. The primary concern for the scene now is safety and the property has been secured by the owner. An emergency demolition permit has been issued to the property owner and the work is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, July 5.


The cause of the fire is still under investigation. There is no estimate as to when the investigation will be completed.


Update on Fire at Abandoned Building


CONTACT: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Escondido Fire officials are continuing to mop up after this morning’s fire at the abandoned Talone’s Meat Market at 559 N. Hale Avenue in Escondido.  Power has been restored to the affected area.  The Sprinter will be reopening shortly.  A short section of Hale Avenue will remain closed between the railroad tracks and Tulip Street as the mop up continues.

The Police Department is optimistic that several trespassers who were feared to have been trapped in the building managed to escape, based on reported sightings of them.  Fire officials will conduct a search on Friday to confirm no other persons were in the building. Until the structural integrity of the building is assured and the remaining hot spots are extinguished, no one will be permitted to enter the building.

Escondido Fire was supported by neighboring fire agencies from Carlsbad, Deer Springs, Oceanside, San Diego, San Marcos, Valley Center, and Vista. At the peak of the fire, over 96 firefighters were on scene.


Fire at Abandoned Building


Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Fire broke out this morning at the abandoned Talone’s Meat Market at 559 N. Hale Avenue in Escondido.  The Escondido Fire Department was dispatched at 8:52 a.m. and found the fire had already broken through the roof.  The four-alarm fire is still active and officials expect to remain on scene for at least another five hours.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area due to numerous road closures in the vicinity. The Sprinter Light Rail has been shut down between the Escondido Transit Center and the Nordahl Station.  North County Transit District is providing bus services for customers between those two stations.  San Diego Gas and Electric has also shut down power in the area which is affecting businesses located on Hale Avenue between Metcalf Avenue and Auto Park Way and from Hale Avenue south to Valley Parkway.

It is too early to determine the cause of the fire, but an investigation will get underway once it is safe for fire fighters to enter the building.


MLB to Dedicate New Baseball Diamond in Escondido


CONTACT: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Major League Baseball and the San Diego Padres Foundation will hold a dedication ceremony for a new baseball diamond at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego - Conrad Prebys Branch (115 Woodward Avenue) on July 9, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.

This site was chosen by MLB as a 2016 All-Star Community Legacy project. An existing parking lot and green space has been transformed into a multi-purpose baseball diamond complete with manual scoreboard, moveable fences and a large shade structure.

Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, who will participate in the dedication ceremony, expressed appreciation for the legacy project, noting, “Thanks to the generosity of MLB and the Padres, countless children in our community will have the chance to realize their dreams both on and off the field.”

“This project would not be possible without the long-term partnership between the City of Escondido and the Boys & Girls Club. We are grateful for the support of a caring community,” said BGCGSD President/CEO Danny Sherlock.

The 2016 All-Star Legacy initiative includes community improvement projects designed to leave a lasting impact throughout Greater San Diego. The charitable program is done in tandem with the upcoming 87th MLB All-Star Game presented by MasterCard on Tuesday, July 12th. The initiative is made possible by the donation of nearly $5 million toward these local projects that support youth or veterans, as well as to national charitable organizations.


City Pools Closed on July 4th


CONTACT: Micaela Doucette, 760-839-4530

Washington Park Pool and James A. Stone Pool will be closed on Monday, July 4, 2016 in observance of Independence Day. Open Swim times will resume on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at Washington Park Pool.

Open Swim Hours for the 2016 Season are as follows:

James Stone Pool - 131 West Woodward Ave

Begins June 11 through August 21

Saturdays 2-6 pm and Sundays 12-4 pm


Washington Park Pool - 501 North Rose Street

Begins June 11 through August 21

Mondays - Thursdays 1-3 pm

Fridays 1-4 pm

Saturdays 2-6 pm

Sundays 12-4 pm


For more information please call 760-839-4691 or visit


Temporary Road Closure


CONTACT: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621


Due to the installation of new utilities and surface improvements, the City of Escondido advises motorists of the following road closure:


  • The north bound lane of Ash Street from Vista Ave. to Lehner Ave. will be closed now  through Thursday, July 15, 2016.  However, the south bound lane in this section will remain open at all times.


Detour signs will be posted and all work will be performed between 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. These improvements are being done by contractors for nearby housing construction projects that are currently underway. The work is being done during the summer months to lessen the impact on neighboring resident and schools which are on summer recess.


Persons with questions or comments about the work on northbound Ash may contact City of Escondido Field Engineering Inspector Ricardo Cervantes  at 760-807-1109.