City of Escondido


News Releases

Queen Califia's Magical Circle Open This Saturday, June 11

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 June 11, 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. More information is at


Escondido Appoints New Director of Community Development


CONTACT: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

City Manager Graham Mitchell announced today that Bill Martin has been appointed Director of Community Development for the City of Escondido, effective June 5, 2016. 


Mr. Martin started in the Community Development Department as an entry-level planner in 1990 and has steadily advanced through the ranks of the Planning Division, serving most recently as Interim Director of Community Development.  Prior to that he served as Assistant Planning Director in which he directed development review and managed daily operations of the division.  Over the years, Bill has served as planning manager on many high-profile developments in Escondido including the Rancho San Pasqual residential neighborhood and the recent upgrades to the Westfield North County mall.


Mr. Martin has a long history in the community having graduated from Escondido High School and is a recent inductee into the Escondido Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame.  Bill holds a B.A. in Geography from San Diego State University and is professionally certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners.


In making the announcement City Manager Graham Mitchell noted,  “Bill brings with him a thorough understanding of our community and its development standards, as well as fresh ideas to streamline our processes and work collaboratively with the residential and development communities. I believe that Bill can take the City’s Community Development Department to the next level.”


Mr. Martin’s salary will be $130,020.


Escondido Cool Zone Locations


Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

The City of Escondido reminds the public that three City facilities have been designated as Cool Zone sites.  These sites are air-conditioned settings where seniors and others can gather. The sites encourage people to share air conditioning during the heat of the day, lowering individual usage and helping to conserve energy for the whole community.

Escondido’s Cool Zone Sites are:

  • Park Avenue Community Center, 210 Park Avenue (760-839-4688)
  • Escondido Public Library, 239 Kalmia Street (760-839-4684)
  • East Valley Community Center 2245 East Valley Parkway (760-839-4382)

Aerial Mosquito Larvicides Applications


CONTACT: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

To better protect communities and the environment, the San Diego County Vector Control Program (VCP) applies mosquito larvicide via helicopter to mosquito breeding areas that cannot be treated by hand.  These aerial applications occur every three to four weeks during the mosquito breeding season, generally April to October, or as needed.


The ponds in Kit Carson Park will be treated during the week of May 30, 2016.  For more information please visit:


Tickets on Sale Now for Wine Tasting at Cruisin' Grand June 3rd

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    

CONTACT: Michelle Geller

PHONE: (760) 839-4587

On Friday, June 3, 2016, seven local wineries, plus Stone Brewing, will be featured at a special tasting event on Maple Street Plaza from 5 – 8 p.m. during Cruisin’ Grand. Maple Street Plaza is located in the heart of historic Downtown Escondido between Valley Parkway and Grand Avenue.

Cruisin’ Grand brings classic cars, live music and fun to Downtown Escondido every Friday night from April to September. To celebrate Escondido’s booming wine and craft beer industries, the City of Escondido is pleased to also have some of its best wineries pouring samples of their finest vintages. Local favorite, the Baja Bugs Beatles tribute band, will play live music at the event.

Participating wineries include:

Tickets are $20 and available for pre-purchase online at and can also be purchased at the event. Proceeds will benefit the Escondido Arts Partnership. Cruisin’ Grand is a family-friendly event for all ages. The wine tasting area will be open to guests age 21 and over.


Partial Road Closure on Broadway


CONTACT: Randy  Manns, 760-839-6290 x 7031

Due to the installation of new recycled water pipelines, the City of Escondido advises motorists that Broadway between Washington Avenue & Valley Parkway will be reduced to a partial lane closure effective Tuesday, May 31, 2016 to Friday, June 3, 2016. All work will be performed between 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Residents and businesses will have driveway access at all times along Broadway from Washington Ave. or Valley Parkway.

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


Escondido Appoints New Fire Chief


Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

City Manager Graham Mitchell announced today that Deputy Fire Chief Russell Knowles has been named Fire Chief for the City of Escondido, effective June 5, 2016.   Chief Knowles will succeed Fire Chief Mike Lowry who will retire on June 3 after almost 34 years with Escondido.


A twenty-five year veteran, Chief Knowles currently is responsible for the day-to-day details of running the Department including supervision of three Battalion Chiefs and the Training and EMS Division.  Chief Knowles joined the Escondido Fire Department as a Firefighter 1991. He has risen through the ranks, working as a Firefighter Paramedic, Fire Captain, Battalion Chief, Division Chief and Deputy Fire Chief.


Russ holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Administration from Cogswell Polytechnic College as well as an Associate’s Degree with a major in Public Fire Service.  Russ served as the Chair of the North Zone Operations Chiefs and the North Zone liaison to the San Diego County Operations committee. He also has served as President for the Escondido Firefighter’s Association.


In making the announcement City Manager Graham Mitchell noted, “Chief Knowles will continue Escondido’s tradition of providing a highly professional level of medical and fire service.  I look forward to his innovative perspective to service delivery.”


Commenting on the announcement,  Jeff Sargis, President of the Escondido Fire Fighters Association, said, “On behalf of the Escondido Firefighters Association, I  extend our congratulations to Chief Knowles on his promotion.   I look forward to our future and believe the department and community will prosper under the leadership of Chief Knowles.”


Chief Knowles’ salary will be $183,214.


SDG&E Planned Power Outage - Sunday Night, May 22 to Monday Morning, May 23

A planned SDG&E power outage will take place from Sunday, May 22 at approximately 10 p.m. to Monday, May 23 at 7 a.m. in Escondido near the area of Washington Ave. and Metcalf. It will affect traffic signals in that area. SDG&E will place stop signs at intersections. For more information, call SDG&E at 1-800-211-SDGE (7343) or visit



2nd Tuesday Book Club Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary and Discusses Code Talker by Chester Nez


CONTACT: Monica Barrette, 760-839-4836

Escondido, CA - Escondido Public Library invites adult readers to join the 2nd Tuesday Book Club meeting on June 14, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in the Turrentine Room. This event is part of the Library’s annual Summer Reading Challenge for kids, teens, and adults, which runs from June 13 to July 31 and encourages community members of all ages to Exercise Your Mind. This month’s selection is Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII by Chester Nez. Refreshments will be served in honor of the program's 10-year anniversary, and this meeting is not to be missed! Copies of the book are available for check out and may be reserved in the Library catalog at

Chester Nez, the last original Navajo code talker to serve in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, recounts the engrossing true story of how he and his fellow code talkers turned the tide of the war by creating a secret military language that not even the Japanese could crack. To this day, it remains the only unbroken code in modern warfare.

The 2nd Tuesday Book Club will continue as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge on July 12, 2016 with The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. The selection for August 9, 2016 is There’s Something I Want You to Do by Charles Baxter. More information about the Summer Reading Challenge can be found at

Library programs are generously sponsored by Friends of the Escondido Public Library and are free to the public. Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street in downtown Escondido.  For more information about the 2nd Tuesday Book Club visit or contact Adult Services Librarian Monica Barrette at 760-839-4836.


Planned Power Outage in Northern Escondido on Saturday Night


Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621


San Diego Gas and Electric has scheduled a planned power outage for Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 10:00 p.m. for up to 8 Hours to replace cable in the area (weather permitting and barring any other unforeseen circumstances).  SDG&E has sent letters to all residents who will be impacted by this planned outage, with details about the scheduled outage and steps to take to prepare for the outage.


To get more information, or if you experience an outage that you were not notified about and need more information, please call us at 800-411-SDGE, check the outage map at, or download the SDG&E app on your cell phone for up-to-date outage information.


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