CONTACT: Joyce Masterson (City) 760-839-4621 or Nikki Symington (Rincon) 619-922-2172


Escondido city officials announced today that the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians of Valley Center has agreed to contribute $800,000 to fund the shortfall in the East Valley Parkway/Valley Center Road construction project.  This exceeds Rincon’s Fair Share obligation of $579,000 to mitigate traffic impacts on city roads from the Harrah’s Resort Expansion project.  A signing ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the February 10, 2016 City Council meeting.


The project widens a 3,000-foot segment of East Valley Parkway/Valley Center Road to provide three lanes in each direction between Beven Road and Lake Wohlford Road.  The bridge over Escondido Creek will be widened to accommodate two through lanes in each direction north of Lake Wohlford Road.  Construction will include curbs and gutters, streetlights, landscaped medians, new pavement and traffic signal modifications.  The estimated total cost of the project is $9.7 million. Construction is expected to begin late summer or early fall.


Escondido Mayor Sam Abed expressed appreciation, stating, “Thanks to the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, we now can complete this final stretch of road improvements which will greatly improve traffic flow and safety for Escondido and Valley Center residents, as well as visitors to the area.”


According to Bo Mazzetti, chairman of the Rincon Band, there is usually a long gap between calculating and collecting fair share funds to actually mitigating a traffic problem.  “We funded the extra amount needed to make the improvements because we wanted to solve the problem sooner rather than later.

“Our government has a vested interest in traffic safety because we live on these roads. People we care about drive on Valley Center Road–our neighbors, our guests and our families use this road, and our emergency first responders depend on it.”

The Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians governs a 5,000-acre reservation in Valley Center. Established in 1875, the Rincon tribe is a sovereign government, recognized by the Constitution of the United States, federal law, and policy and court precedent.  As such, the tribal government has many responsibilities and powers equal to city, county, state governments, and even the federal government, with which tribes have a government-to-government relationship.

Owners of Harrah’s Resort Southern California, the tribe uses profits from this, and other commercial enterprises to provide legislative, regulatory, judicial,and administrative governmental services to the residents of the Rincon reservation. Federal law restricts the expenditure of gaming profits to tribal government programs and services, but allows for charitable contributions to other governments and non-profits.


Rincon’s democratically elected tribal council members are Chairman Bo Mazzetti, Vice Chairwoman Stephanie Spencer and Council Members Steve Stallings, Laurie E. Gonzalez, and Alfonso Kolb, Sr.,



Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Open this Saturday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    

CONTACT: Kristina Owens

PHONE: 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, February 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 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 www.dejavuphotoservices.com


Large Tree Damages Historic Cottage During Last Week's Storm



CONTACT: Carol Rea, Historic Preservation Commission, 760-735-8072


Huge Torrey Pine Smashes Escondido Cottage


A tree once declared to be the second tallest Torrey pine in the state crashed to the ground during last Sunday’s storm, flattening a small historic cottage in the 500 block of E. 4th Ave. in Escondido.While the giant tree with an 8-foot diameter trunk could have landed on the historic 1880s two-story Pritchett House where the Cojulun family of four were at home for the afternoon, it fell, instead upon the unoccupied little house located just twenty feet away. Although saddened by the loss of the tree that may have been two hundred years old, the Cojulun’s are very relieved that no one was hurt.Homeowner Axel Cojulun said that he was eating an orange at the kitchen sink, when he thought he heard a branch fall and watched through the window as the tree suddenly crashed to the earth.Almost immediately, first responders from the Fire and Police Departments arrived with lights and sirens activated; neighbors had called 9-1-1, fearful that someone had been hurt when the tree fell.


The small board and batten one-bedroom cottage had been moved to its current location from a lot on 7th Avenue, east of Centre City Parkway seven years ago and the Cojulun’s had planned to restore it but had not yet started.It was possibly good fortune that they had not done so or odds were good that anyone living there would surely have been killed.The bungalow had been one of ten workers’ cottages that had housed sheep ranch workers almost a century ago.It was rescued from demolition and moved to this lot; only one other of the original ten is believed to stand now.


Mr. Cojulun regrets the loss of the house he moved to his lot, saying “El Nino didn’t ask for a demolition permit,” but he’s undaunted.He’s now looking for another historic bungalow in Escondido to rescue and move to his lot.This time, it can be a little larger he says, since it won’t have to share the space with the Torrey Pine.


Tree trimmers have been working on removing the fallen tree for two days and are expected to remove the last half of the massive trunk tomorrow.

Escondido Public Library’s R.E.A.D. Middle Grade Book Club Discusses One Crazy Summer


CONTACT: Kristine Macalalad, 760-839-5458


Escondido, CA – Escondido Public Library’s Read, Eat, and Discuss (R.E.A.D.) Middle Grade Book Club for children, ages 9-12, meets on Friday, March 4, 2016, in the Turrentine Room from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Author Rita Williams-Garcia’s book, One Crazy Summer, will be discussed, followed by a craft activity related to the story. A limited number of copies of One Crazy Summer will be available for checkout at the Children’s Desk.

Eleven-year-old Delphine has always looked out for her two little sisters since their mother, Cecile, left seven years ago. When their father sends the girls on a plane to Oakland, California to meet their mother, they have no idea what to expect and find themselves in a kind of urban summer camp in the middle of the 1968 Civil Rights movement. Delphine makes it her mission not only to care for her siblings, no matter how crazy they make her, but also to negotiate the tricky relationship with their mother who has started a new life.

One Crazy Summer captures the excitement and changes of the 1960s for African Americans and all cultures. This thought-provoking book explores the resilience of children in a less-than-perfect world crafted by adults. Delphine shares her coming-of-age story as she deals with the realities of life, love of family, and cultural experiences. One Crazy Summer’s awards include: National Book Award Finalist, Coretta Scott King Award (Author), ALA Notable Children's Book, Newbery Honor Book, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults.

Library programs are free and open to the public. The R.E.A.D. Middle Grade Book Club is generously sponsored by Friends of the Escondido Public Library. For more information on Library programs for children, visit the Library’s website at library.escondido.org or contact Children’s Librarian Kristine Macalalad at 760-839-5458 or kmacalalad@escondido.org.  Escondido Public Library is located at 239 S. Kalmia St., Escondido, CA 92025.


Escondido Public Library’s Bilingual Book Discussion Group Meets in February


CONTACT: Cecy Rayphole, 760-839-4289

Escondido, CA - Rincón Literario (The Literary Corner), Escondido Public Library’s Bilingual Book Discussion Group, will meet on Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. in the Turrentine Room. Senior Library Associate Cecy Rayphole will lead the discussion of this month’s selection, El amante japonés/The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende, in both English and Spanish. Copies of the book are available for check out and may be reserved in the Library catalog at library.escondido.org.

Celebrate Love Your Library month with Isabel Allende’s mysterious, romantic work of historical fiction. Alma Belasco, a Polish immigrant residing in San Francisco’s quirky Lark House retirement home, begins receiving mysterious gifts and letters that intrigue Lark House employee Irina Bazili. Irina, who struggles with her own mysterious past, enlists the help of Alma’s grandson Seth. Together, they uncover a secret, forbidden love story that spans 70 years, two continents, and World War II and, in the process, create their own love story.

Rincón Literario will meet next month, on Saturday, March 26, 2016 to discuss Todo oscuro sin estrellas/Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King.

Rincón Literario is made possible by the generous support from Friends of the Escondido Public Library. This program is free and open to the public. For more information about future Rincón Literario selections and other Library programs, visit library.escondido.org or contact Cecy Rayphole, Senior Library Associate, at 760-839-4289 or at crayphole@escondido.org. Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street in downtown Escondido.



Free Blood Pressure Checks For Escondido Residents on February 11, 2016


CONTACT: Jeff Murdoch, 760-839-5406

The Escondido Fire Department and Palomar College Medic students will provide free blood pressure screenings to Escondido residents from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on February 11, 2016 at the following locations:


  • Escondido Public Library: 239 S Kalmia Street


  • Northgate Market: 606 N Escondido Boulevard


  • Silver Crest Senior Residence: 1303 Las Villas Way


  • Palomar YMCA: 1050 N. Broadway


This effort is part of the “Love Your Heart” campaign to empower Escondido residents with the right information to support long, healthy lives.  Additional information can be found at:  http://www.livewellsd.org/love-your-heart/


State of the City Address


CONTACT: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Escondido’s Annual State of the City Address by Mayor Sam Abed will be held in the Conference Center of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 beginning with an optional breakfast at 7:30 a.m. followed by the program at 8:00 a.m.  The event is organized by the City of Escondido in partnership with the Escondido Chamber of Commerce. The Master of Ceremonies will be radio talk show Host, Mike Slater, heard on Talk Radio 760 KFMB.

The optional breakfast is available for $20 per person by prior reservation. To make your reservation for breakfast, please visit www.escondido.org.  The deadline to reserve breakfast is 5:00 p.m. February 19, 2016. Persons wishing to attend only the program may do so at no cost, and no reservation is required.

If you would like to sponsor a table, please contact the Escondido Chamber of Commerce at 760-745-2125.


Temporary Road Closure on Hickory Street


CONTACT: Randy Manns, 760-839-6290, ext. 7031

Due to the installation of new recycled water pipes, the City of Escondido advises motorists that Hickory Street between Washington Avenue & Valley Parkway will be closed during construction.  A full closure of the street will be in effect Thursday, January 28, 2016 through Friday, February 12, 2016.  Detour signs will be posted. All work to be performed between (8:00AM to 4:00PM). No vehicles will be able to access either side of Hickory Street via the Escondido Creek Canal bridge, including emergency vehicles.


Residents and businesses will have driveway access at all times along Hickory St. (between Washington Ave. and Valley Parkway). However, gaining access to those points during the full road closure will be limited to either using Washington Ave. or Valley Parkway; no through traffic (across the Escondido Creek Canal bridge) will be allowed.

Persons with questions or comments may contact Greg Gomez, Resident Engineer at (760) 902-7249, Mark Lewis, City of Escondido Field Engineering Inspector II, at 760-807-1121 or Wayne Papac, MBL Project Construction Manager at 619-247-7828.


The new pipes are part of the City’s Recycled Water Easterly Main Extension Project which will deliver reclaimed water to eastern Escondido.



Love Your Escondido Public Library this February


CONTACT: Joanna Axelrod, 760-839-4330

Escondido, CA – Love is in the air this February at Escondido Public Library. Throughout Love Your Library month, community members of all ages are encouraged to visit the Library and share the love with the following events.

  • February 1 – 29, 2016
    Blind Date with a Book
    Don’t judge a book by its cover! Visit the Library’s displays during open hours, and go on a blind date with a fantastic read. Selected titles are wrapped and decorated with clues as part of this literary guessing game. You may just find your perfect match!
  • February 2, 2016
    6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
    POUND Rockout Workout
    Show your body some love with this cardio jam session, combining light resistance with constant drumming. Pre-registration is required by February 1, 2016. Call 760-839-4814 to register.
  • February 5 & 12, 2016
    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Feldenkrais – Discover Natural Pain Relief
    Make a resolution to love the new you – mind, body, and spirit. Feldenkrais can help accomplish that with no exercise, stretching, or postures. After a lesson, you may feel taller, lighter, and breathe more easily. Call 760-839-4814 to register.
  • February 11, 2016
    10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    Love Your Heart Blood Pressure Screening
    Celebrate American Heart Month, and show your heart a little love. Drop by the booth in front of the Library for a free blood pressure screening conducted by the Escondido Fire Department.
  • February 13, 2016
    3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
    2nd Saturday Concert Series Presents MohaviSoul
    Treat your soul mate to an afternoon of bluegrass and Americana sounds.
  • February 27, 2016
    3:30 – 4:45 p.m.
    Rincón Literario Bilingual Book Club
    Join fellow literature and Spanish language lovers for a discussion of El amante japonés/The Japanese Lover by renowned author Isabel Allende.

Library programs are generously sponsored by Friends of the Escondido Public Library and free to the public. Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street in downtown Escondido.  For more information about Love Your Library month visit library.escondido.org or contact Principal Librarian Joanna Axelrod at 760-839- 4330.


Escondido Public Library’s 2nd Saturday Concert Series Presents Bluegrass Band, MohaviSoul


CONTACT: David Frazee, 760-839-4839

Escondido, CA - Bluegrass band MohaviSoul will perform at Escondido Public Library on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in the Turrentine Room.  

MohaviSoul was founded by guitarist Mark Miller and mandolinist Randy Hanson, who describes their songs as “filled with bluegrass, jazz, blues, and country instrumental riffs.” Learn more about MohaviSoul and sample their musical stylings at http://mohavisoul.com/.

The 2nd Saturday Concert Series runs through May 2016 and features an array of classical, jazz, and other diverse musical styles. March’s concert presents country swing band Judy Taylor and Wild Oats.

For more information about this and future performances, visit library.escondido.org/concerts, or contact Librarian David Frazee at 760-839-4839. The 2nd Saturday Concert Series is free, open to the public, and generously sponsored by Friends of the Escondido Public Library. Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street, Escondido, CA 92025. For more information about other Library programs and services visit library.escondido.org.