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Top Rated Stories
- Sabrina Cadini's La Dolce Idea -- The sounds of music add magic to your perfect party...
- A morning at BlogPaws conference with Mike Arms, Helen Woodward Animal Center director
- Bonnie Russell Observes: Tax Lady Roni Deutch Missing from late night TV
- Michael Mercury does Rancho Santa Fe for 2012 (astrologically speaking, that is to say)
- Got Rid of Gaddafi...WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET RID OF DEADBEAT SOLANA BEACH CITY MGR. OTT
Most Viewed Stories
- Sabrina Cadini's La Dolce Idea -- The sounds of music add magic to your perfect party...
- A morning at BlogPaws conference with Mike Arms, Helen Woodward Animal Center director
- Bonnie Russell Observes: Tax Lady Roni Deutch Missing from late night TV
- Michael Mercury does Rancho Santa Fe for 2012 (astrologically speaking, that is to say)
- Got Rid of Gaddafi...WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET RID OF DEADBEAT SOLANA BEACH CITY MGR. OTT
Brian Bilbray's last hurrah: Appropriate last speaker at the 112th 'Do-Nothing' Congress
Or: Say goodnight, Gracie.
It was a busy day of doing nothing but arguing over nonsense for the GOP Tea Party and its House leadership throughout New Year's Day, but finally, at long last, a two-month stop gap fiscal cliff measure passed the House in painfully bipartisan fashion, just before midnight.
As the GOP House leadership refused to consider a $60 billion funding request passed by the Senate to provide Hurricane Sandy relief, Republican and Democratic congressmen representing Sandy-affected districts spoke in shock and disbelief on the House floor. They passionately assailed the GOP House leadership for adjourning the session before taking action.
Just before the 112th House adjourned for all time, one last speaker strode to the podium, asking for a minute of the House's precious time before dissolving in the mists of history, and not in the good way.
Was it Henry Clay or John C. Calhoun, Sam Rayburn or the second coming of...nah. As Gilda Radner's Emily Litella used to say on "Saturday Night Live," NEVER MIND.
It was the esteemed Imperial Beach native, lifeguard-turned-Washington lobbyist-turned Rancho Santa Fe congressman Bilbray. And he wasn't talking about the fiscal cliff compromise or hurricane relief, he was talking about, d'uh, immigration. IMM-I-F'IN-GRATION.
"In leaving, I just want to say one thing," Bilbray said. "I hear one of the new, major issues you're going to address when this new congress comes is the issue of immigration and those of us in California understand that.
"I'd ask the one place Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree on this, especially with the budget crisis is when are we going to stop the practice of people who are committing a crime by employing illegal immigrants.
"Take the tax deduction away and require that if a business wants to claim a business deduction for employing somebody that we make sure those employees are legal just by requiring e-verify.
"Again Mr. Speaker, I'm going to miss a lot of these faces around here in Washington but as a San Diegan let me assure you, I will not miss the weather. God bless and thank you."
Say goodnight Gracie, I mean Brian. And for the rest of us, see ya at the next fiscal cliff next month. Immigration issues will have to wait.
AROund The Ranch...Ah-Ha hits 256,000 indexed Google pages; #518,992 in US traffic...
GOOD NEWS from the land of Web
This just in: Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News now ranks #518,992 in US web traffic. (contrast: coast news ranks #924,601 with an -5.17 decline last month)
Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News now has 256,000 indexed Google pages. (rsf review has 6,740).
AH RSF News has 11,000 indexed Bing pages (rsf review has 3,900)
So, who do you think is the actual local media moving forward? Expanded sponsorship opportunities soon will be available.
DON'T BE THINKING of robbing no avocado groves
In an effort to fight avocado theft in the area, San Diego County recently formed an Avocado Anti-Theft Task Force. The task force is a joint effort between Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM), the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Environmental Health (DEH).
AWM and DEH inspectors, along with representatives from the Sheriff’s office, will look for proper proof of ownership documents, avocado inspection stamps and labels on boxes and bins during routine visits to roadside stands, restaurants, markets and other businesses where stolen avocados may be found.
Representatives from those agencies toured Henry Avocado in Escondido, where they received valuable training in how to recognize the differences between commercially packaged and purchased avocados versus stolen avocados
OK SO WHY DOES SOLANA BEACH executive david OTT get $193,250 a year in base pay? FOR WHAT?
It is being reported locally that Solana Beach city manager David Ott got a 7.2 percent raise in base pay, hiking his annual salary to $193,250.
Ott said the hike in base pay was actually 3.75 percent when adjusted to account for a cellphone and car allowance he no longer receives.
Ott had left Solana Beach after U-T San Diego conducted a similar city manager compensation survey in 2010. He rejoined the city last December, and said he has taken on several more supervisory duties than he previously had because of cutbacks.
The city eliminated its finance director and deputy city manager positions, transferring most of those duties to Ott.
“I have much more responsibility now, including parks and recreation and human resources and information technology,” he said.
The city avoided having to lay anyone off during the recession, but has eliminated some positions through attrition, he said.
Carlsbad City Manager Lisa Hildabrand, who resigned Oct. 22, was being paid $230,492 — a 6.1 percent increase from $217,200 in the last survey.
Living large with multimillion dollar real estate
Then, Shelly Curtis has got the estate for you.
That would be the mega-estate known as Montagna De La Paloma in Fairbanks Ranch encompassing 12 acres and previously owned by the late Joan Kroc.
"I'm one of the buyers' agents for the Joan Kroc House," Curtis said. "People buy the agent before they buy the house. To get the listing takes a little bit of luck, being at the right place at the right time and your being knowledgeable about the area."
The 92067 ZIP code area in Rancho Santa Fe has a mother lode of expensive properties in its flat-out high-end market. As of this month, 73 properties listed at more than $5 million. Forbes.com ranked 92067 as second most expensive ZIP code real estate market in the nation for 2005 with a median sales price of $2.45 million. This was just behind Sagaponack in Suffolk County, N.Y., at $2.79 million and ahead of Newport Beach at $2.39 million.
Topping the local price list was a modest little place at 16337 Los Arboles in the covenant referred to in its marketing campaign as The Ultimate Estate. The $40 million, nine-acre property even has its own Web site, www.theultimateestate.co
Next in line was an estate at 15651 Puerta del Sol, also in the covenant, listing for $36.5 million. The Joan Kroc estate at 17897 Cira Oriente was being offered at $28 million. Rounding out the Top 8 list, all with asking prices greater than $10 million were an El Montevideo estate at $21.5 million, the former C. Arnholt Smith estate on Calzada del Bosque at $18 million, a $14 million estate on Ladys Secret Drive in Del Rayo Estates, a $13 million property on El Camino del Nort.
With Sterling Properties, Curtis noted, as did other agents representing the most upscale homes and estates around town, the high-end homes practically sell themselves although hard work always is required in the end.
"It's harder for me to sell that $350,000 condo to a first-time home buyer than it is to sell a $10 million property," Curtis said. "The high-end buyers come in knowing more what they want."
CACHET DOESN'T FADE
While the highest end homes are caught up somewhat in a general real estate market slowdown, they also have a certain cache that never seems to fade. The $40 million estate at Los Arboles features a 12,889-square-foot main house with six bedrooms, seven full and three half-baths, a nine-car garage, horse training centers — two — as well as catering kitchen, separate two-story guest suite, caretaker house, orchid greenhouse and 50-foot pool.
Financing can be complicated, but owning "The Ultimate Estate" probably comes along with $204,371 in monthly mortgage payments, according to real estate analysts.
Michael Taylor, Andrea Dougherty and K. Ann Brizolis of Rancho Santa Fe are listing agents working out of their boutique estate division for Prudential California Realty based at Del Rayo Plaza. Prudential Orange County estate agents Nancy and Kevin Casebier also are part of the team necessary to move such a large property sale.
"We've had maybe five serious showings," Taylor said. "One person ended up buying a $19 million property in Rancho Santa Fe nearby. The Web site has had over 14,000 visitors, but it's one of those properties where your buying pool is small."
The Web site even includes an eight-minute video regaling the estate's splendors. The estate sale went through a "quiet phase" with lower-key publicizing, then went a bit more public with advertisements in the publications one expects to check for such listings, including a front cover spread in Dream Homes International showing mega-dream homes only $10 million or more, Taylor said, as well as the Wall Street Journal and Stratus Magazine that goes into upscale private airports only.
"We're trying to let the community know we've got one of the high end properties," Taylor said. "Agents need to know how to deal with high end buyers and sellers who are always very successful in what they do."
BIG PRICES = BIG PROFITS (FOR AGENTS)
Any sale can be lucrative for agents. Typically, listing agents split 3 to 4 percent of the sale price, according to Taylor, while buyer's agents split 2 to 3 percent as well. Sometimes, a top agent might luck into being both listing and buyer's agent, Curtis said.
Those trafficking in the uppermost crust of the upper crust of home and estate sales also know it can take some time sometimes to move a property. For one thing, the serious potential buyers must be separated from the general public just wanting to gawk at the fabulous estates. So, serious buyers they must be identified through rigorous financial checks. Then, estates must be prepped and readied for in-depth visits and tours.
"The Ultimate Estate" is the pride and joy of Rick Nicholas and his family. While reluctant to provide too many personal details in order to maintain family privacy, Nicholas agreed to discuss the sale to help acquaint others with the overall process of high-end real estate transactions from the seller's vantage point.
"This is not an immaculate conception," Nicholas said. "You have to open up a private part of your life and how you live when you do this, but it is part of the process. You, and your lifestyle, become a source of speculation, cocktail party chatter. Your kids hear about it at their school. People are always intrigued."
Nicholas bought the property in 1992. He and his family moved in there in 1999. His family put in considerable time and energy over the last seven years developing the property into a magnificent estate. After selling, the plan is to relocate to another Rancho Santa Fe property and do it all over again.
WAITING FOR THE RIGHT OFFER
"It's not like this is a fire sale," Nicholas said. "One of the really cool things as an owner, you are creating a canvas, your own private resort. The property is unbelievably wonderful, a great place to entertain friends, where you can put up multiple families. It's like another little, very private world."
Nicholas has been developing such properties for the last decade, including one on the ocean at Laguna Beach he sold before moving to Rancho Santa Fe. Recently, he sold a high-end estate in Aspen, Colo. That property went in two days. The $40 million Los Arboles estate will take longer, obviously.
"We knew it was not going to be a quick sale," Nicholas said. "But even though the chatter is the market is soft and on a decline, our analysis was at a certain level of the market you're selling something that is one of a kind and not so subject to the ebb and flow of market pricing…We know the process could take 12 to 24 months."
The Rancho Santa Fe multi-multi-million dollar properties rank behind the top listed property in the county. That's a $50 million, 10,700-square-foot property at 2808 Ocean Front Ave. in Del Mar with 120 feet of beach frontage, health spa, theater, pool, tennis court, greenhouse and two guest houses listed in July.
Colorado theater shooting, TV media news porn and us
Curiously in an abstract sense, not so in the actuality of today's despicable cable and TV news porn cycles, this media continues to pile on today's outrage, treating it like a 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina. This is today's major story, but not all that different from tomorrow's or the one the following day except for the shrillness and wall-to-wall nature of the coverage.
One take-away from the Dark Knight theater shooting's cable TV media coverage is the utter lack of morality and classic journalism values that plagues us as a society. This partially accounts for the inability of this nation, and the world, to deal effectively with catastrophic issues such as climate change, economic depression, politics and war, to name but a ghastly few.
As we are wont to do in this ever-moving age of communications advancement, I've addressed a few other issues related to the theater shooting on my Twitter feed and Facebook page.
For example at my site, https://twitter.com/AhHa_RSF :
As well, I took to Facebook and received affirmative responses. However, these are my friends after all for a reason. I suspect though many others share their thoughts, and mine.
This all addresses the larger issue that we will stuff into the back story pack for future reference; how our society is poorly served by many areas of the media and how a site like Allvoices can cut through the official garbage of advertising-based greed-driven new coverage of events that greatly harm our society.
Ed Murrow and company in the 1950s would not have had, for example, negative political ads, entertainment and drug commercials regularly interrupt the breaking news. However, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, local TV stations et al were doing it with the theater shooting ad nauseam.
A disgrace to be sure, but we all will move on and the media certainly will as this becomes that. For all the breathless ah-ha news porn coverage of the moment, the media will move on as fast as a squirrel with a nut.
Not to pile on, but I do have a personal eye for details pertaining to this story. As a matter of fact, I edited several newspapers in the Torrey Highlands area of San Diego where alleged (we have to say that, but...) gunman James Holmes lived until college.
(Photo: Media news porn at Holmes' Torrey Highlands home, Friday, July 20, 2012.)
In fact, I regularly drove by his house, a detail I only know now because dozens of news porn media reps are camped outside that house. It's in a very upper middle-class suburb inhabited by extremely well educated and upwardly mobile San Diego residents.
As depressingly usual in today's America where very few people talk, or act, straight, the developers and real estate people dubbed the neighborhood Torrey Highlands, to associate the area with the tony Pacific Coast neighborhoods. However, the area is set in rolling hills about 20 miles from the La Jolla coast. It does, however, have beautiful scenery, easy living and a legitimate calling card as part of the Poway Unified School District, one of the best public school districts in California.
What immediately struck me about Holmes, the neighborhood and the incident, was the apple pie upscale suburban sprawl that framed each component. Let me digress briefly and then explain.
Firstly, I've spent a great deal of time in Denver as well and also recognized that Aurora area for what it is, a gritty, working class area about as far from Denver's downtown core as Torrey Highlands is from downtown San Diego. However, that's not the connection that came to mind.
No, I immediately thought about Denver's other mass shooting: Columbine. That took place in a Denver suburb exactly like Torrey Highlands; the same houses, the same economic class, same everything pretty much except for scenery and maybe rooting for the Broncos instead of the Chargers. Holmes is only a few years older than the Columbine shooters. The victims at the midnight Batman showing were predominantly young as well.
Just as I drove around Torrey Highlands all the time, I drove around unincorporated Jefferson County where Columbine was located a lot. There is a spiritual and intellectual blandness in these places. The kids are from great families. They go to great schools. Yet, something is missing.
There's not a lot to do. It's stifling. They hang out at shopping malls and skateparks. They're bright. They're bored. They're missing a certain something just as our society, as a whole, is missing something. Heart, soul, something.
These places feature vast spaces between veneer and truth. There is an emptiness of spirit, at least in my mind, that mirrors an emptiness in America, as greedy plutocratic pigs and political charlatans attempt to steal this nation, destroy the world for money or power or whatever drives evil people to do evil things. (Right now, they're winning as most of us are losing)
Everybody will draw their own conclusions about this event and pretty much everybody has an opinion about something like this. We could go on and on, but it's time to move on for me.
My final takeaway: Cable and TV news as well as many types of corporate greed-driven media have displayed their despicable 'porning' down of the news again at the very time our society more than ever needs a strong, just, credible journalism to help citizens create context and work towards better solutions to urgent problems.
It's a shame. It's our shame. Unless we are able to correct this corrupt media and cultural environment, the future appears gray, even grim.
Where is Gandhi? Where is Mandela?
So, Dan Weisman is Mad as Hell and not going to take it anymore. That about sums it up for many, I suspect, on both the left and right in this country. Truth be told, I’ve been there myself although after a time, it leaves me with a sour taste in my throat, all bile and venom. Still, it usually gets some energetic attention and as night follows day, when applied properly, anger can often serve as a catalyst for constructive change.
Steve Jobs was right, of course, when he told Rupert Murdock that he was behind the times, suggesting that instead of an axis of ‘left or right’ (an outdated paradigm, to be sure), we have been operating on a ‘constructive or destructive axis. Trouble is, too few people see that and instead cling to old perceptions, further fueling their own abrogation for meaningful resolutions towards positive change.
I watched Alan Simpson, Erskine Bowles and Warren Buffet in an interview recently where they discussed the economy—about how perilously close it/we are to heading off the cliff unless substantial and dramatic changes are made, not the least of which is honesty, not positional posturing. Cities are filing bankruptcy, over a 1,400 U.S. citizens have revoked their citizenship to avoid taxes, and banking schemes and fraud continue to be the news of the day.
Then I read another article about Paul Krugman getting in a tiff with someone from CNN. We really don’t have time for this finger pointing and pettiness, although it may be unavoidable if we have reached a point of no return and truly have to hit bottom before Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again, if in fact at all. The media is a mess, certainly biased, nearly all outlets, the government seems to be inert, incapable of constructive anything, and the economy, while suffering from a slim recovery, still staggers under the weight of powerful insiders controlling the gears.
So what’s a person to do? Well, leadership seems to be the siren call, at least in part, for what we need. So say both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’. For my money, the likes of Ghandi and Mandela serve as powerful examples, although there are others. Yet, part of what is called for is leadership from many other institutions such as the media, commerce, industry and most importantly, US.
That’s US not U.S. although it’s where we live and what this is all about. Who of us has the courage to go inside and take account for our own participation in this messy mess; the mess of our own participation in neglect, personal self-interest, of turning our backs on the greatest democratic experiment in human history? We are they. They are us, even the ones we can’t see. We are our leaders, even the hidden string-pullers. I don’t say this to blame any of us for in no way am I exempt. Instead, we need to be honest, truly, and take both individual and collective responsibility. A problem shared is a problem transcended, though not immediately and not all in like kind; each according to his ability, each according to his means.
If everyone examines their own head, heart, conscience and sense of duty – as opposed to self-interest – individual and collective responsibility to and for each other, things can be changed. There clearly is corruption, lies being told and manipulation of power, a government broke (financially and functionally), a society becoming unhinged. In a way, it is beginning to feel no different than I imagine the cover-up of Sandusky by Penn State officials turning a blind eye must have felt, because what was valued more than anything else was winning no matter the cost to others, no matter the pain.
America cannot afford the politics of destruction, socially, economically, or politically; that is unless it has to ‘hit bottom’ before it can be reconstructed into something greater. The clash of humanities’ levels, while certainly evolutionary, can also be dangerous, not that the sky is falling or anything. There are, however, so very many warning signs.
Just like Sandusky, Penn State, HSBC Bank, LIBOR, exclusionary new voting laws, astronomical debt, too much American off-shore money, complicity by both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ playing destructive games for what? To win? To win what? A football game of an unregulated Wall Street? Smaller government where police and firefighters are paid minimum wage? As Ghandi so wisely said, Be The Change. This will involve different actions for different people, depending on various skills and capabilities yet change we must, constructively not destructively.
Either that or we will all have to meet each other on the way down, or worse, at the cliff’s bottom.
“I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything till noon. That’s when it’s time for my nap.” Bob Hope
And so it was that a crowd of relatives and friends celebrated Bennet Mermel’s 90th birthday recently, complete with sunshine, fabulous food and a shocked face as we all yelled SURPRISE when he walked through the door. They say it’s not wise to startle old men yet, in Bennet’s case, it’s so very clear he can take it. After all, you don’t survive multiple concentration camps and death marches without building a thick layer of skin.
As Bennet made his way through the throng of people wishing him “Happy Birthday”, shaking hands and extending hugs, it was quickly obvious how affected he was by all this attention, as well as those responding back, like the boomerang that love symbiotically is. When working on his memoir, he once told me “what you give out comes back to you”, a karmic law if there ever was one. And of course that morning an infectious load of it was on display, the room pulsing out its unmistakable beat.
Writing Bennet’s life story has been one of my life’s greatest privileges; one that afforded a particular view through the lens of one man’s experience. While so much of Bennet’s life was shaped by his endurance through concentration camps, he has never been defined or confined by them. Instead, what has always struck me is his uncanny ability to recover his own sense of self, a changed man from the experience, to be sure, yet one who preserved both dignity and decency, surmounting many obstacles even in the years initially following his release.
After creating an astonishing life of successes – as an opera singer, an early pioneer in LA’s garment district, a father and world traveler – Bennet certainly has earned his afternoon naps, though I defy you to find many 90-year-olds who still walk a treadmill, do Sudoku and crossword puzzles with as much vigor as he. Upon starting his short speech after we sang “Happy Birthday” and he blew out his candles, he joked and said, “I can’t see very well, I can’t hear much, etc., and while we all laughed at his litany of complaints, in an abrupt turn, he broke down sobbing. This was not on account of his physical losses, mind you. Rather, it sprang instantly from the place where both gratitude and sorrow reside.
I know he knows how blessed he’s been throughout his life. While Bennet has sustained images of horror, both actual and re-lived, he has gained insight and sensitivity from the depths of his head and heart, mining and polishing a hard-won maturity with honor and wit. Though innocent by his own admission, he’s also nobody’s fool.
My son once described Bennet as “every man, a universal man,” and that remains so obvious to me. This does not diminish Bennet’s very personal experience during the Holocaust. Instead, it expands it, amplifies it even. Through this one man I’ve witnessed every man’s suffering, watched every man cry out; heard each gasp as it forms the collective. Miraculously, I’ve correspondingly witnessed every man’s courage, every man’s fortitude, every man’s triumph, all through the one man that is Bennet Mermel.
As Bennet sobbed out his reverence for helping save his brother’s life, he also wept out his regret for not being able to save his friend’s. How many of us have ever had to confront the depths of these things so personally, so specifically. In an uncanny way, it strikes me that Bennet has done this not just for himself, but for each of us as well. In a stroke, it seems he offers this gift of his example, this consideration, this wonderment, quite possibly without his own awareness, yet extending it just the same.
Without a doubt, when the physicists describe entanglement theory, I have a keen sense of which they speak for I, we, cannot help but be affected by acknowledging Bennet’s exclamation. It is the great and glorious web of life that connects us one to another, invisible in its sourcing, yet so evident in its affects.
And what does Bennet do after the sobs cease? Flanked by his children on either side of him, he recovers. He begins cracking jokes, thanking people, reclaiming himself from sorrow, transcending it to light, as always, shining it on the joy that resides in front of him. As always, he insists on living-ness, the forward progression of himself and his connection with those he loves. It is all palpable and real, acknowledged in silence by everyone in the room, as we listen to what he has to say by his very transcendence.
At the end of the day, Bennet, indeed each one of us, will not be outdone by tragedy unless choosing to do so. For his part, Bennet decided decades ago to follow life and hope, remaining an unwitting example and inspiration for all to see.
Rosalie Cushman Explores 'Warwick's Books - A Local Gem'
Loaded with programs, including authors, publisher representatives, along with a commensurate plethora of books, Warwick’s Books of La Jolla tickles the avid reader’s fancy. I recently attended a delightful panel discussion of three local authors’ self-professed “path to publishing”. While there are as many stories about how any author got started, there remain core strategies that can accomplish the persistent writer’s goal to publication, whichever path he or she chooses. The industry has been shifting, of course, as the advent and ever-burgeoning presence of self and eBook publishing continues to bloom (some say ‘explode’).
The authors at Warwick’s on March 20 included Caitlin Rother, author and co-author of eight books, including Poisoned Love, Margaret Dilloway, author of How to be an American Housewife and Marjorie Hart, author of Summer at Tiffany. All of these women had interesting stories of their writing histories and paths to publication. The audience was filled with would-be, aspiring and/or semi-accomplished writers, all (including my humble little self) eager to gobble up potential advice.
It is a sobering prospect, this writing business; even more sobering trying to sell a piece of fiction or non-fiction, particularly in light of the current paradigm shift in the publishing world. It is just such a publishing paradigm shift that also includes a decade (or more) of massive advances given to ‘celebrity’ authors’ which swamp the industry, elbowing the little guys/gals increasingly off to the sidelines (or ditches). Case in point; in her early days Margaret Dilloway described ‘selling’ the manuscript Bluetooth for Dummies, only to have it cancelled. (The publisher didn’t think it would sell!!) To add insult to injury, her agent then dropped her. If an author cannot demonstrate immediate ROI for an agent or publisher, the uphill climb is made that much more difficult.
Still, like the independent bookstore the event was set in, all three women offered promise and hope in the form of meaningful suggestions, albeit conventional. Even with less accounting for the industry shift, they were still long on practical strategies for certain promotional activities and agent-snagging techniques. The aspect I liked most about their program was the setting – an independent bookstore. Warwick’s demonstrates they can not only have their cake but eat it too, in the age of internet superiority and B & N type domination. Warwick’s offers an inviting environment, exceedingly helpful staff and is bullish in creating events that bring in a crowd.
Personally, I cast no aspersions or throw no stones on the value of the mega stores or internet outlets since I imbibe in both the purchasing and publishing fronts (see Amazon and B & N for The Man Confused by God by Bennet Mermel and Rosalie Cushman). I believe there is room for multiple sales models in the book world, as well as in the publishing arena. In fact, I’m even looking forward to the day when books are delivered via a trans-dermal book patch, making reading massively faster while saving so much space in the process.
Please visit www.warwicks.indiebound.com for information on upcoming programs and reading suggestions.
WANT TO SEE A SUCCESSFUL COMMUNTY ONLINE DIGITAL JOURNALISM SOURCE? FOLLOW THE STATS FEB. 15 TO FEB. 21, 2012...
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO ADVERTISE ON THIS SITE OR PARTNER WITH US, EMAIL AT 92067FREEPRESS@GMAIL.COM.
STATS FEB. 15 TO FEB. 21, 2012:
Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News
- Born out of a desire to bring daily journalism coverage to Rancho Santa Fe, and surrounding communities, Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News was launched in June 2010.
- Ah-Ha RSF News is one of the top community journalism sites in the nation and is the top in per capita page views.
- Founder, Dan Weisman, is a fellow at Knight Digital Media Center, University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where he, and leading online experts, fine-tuned the groundbreaking Ah-Ha RSF News model.
• The communities in our coverage area are highly sought after by advertisers because of their appealing age and income demographics. The majority of our readers are college educated, professionals and have a greater amount of disposable income than other areas reached by the big dailies.
BENEFITS OF ONLINE ADVERTISING
- Online advertising is one step ahead over others, as more people are going online for their news than ever before.
- The primary benefit of online advertising over offline is that online advertising offers maximum exposure for a minimal cost. Everyone who visits Ah-Ha RSF News will see your ad, including local, regional, national, and global. This is an exceptional advantage to many businesses.
- Online advertising has no time limitations and is viewed day and night throughout the globe.
- Online advertising is much more cost-effective, is targeted to your audience, and has much higher viewership than advertising in a regional newspaper.
- As more people rely on computers there is a change in trend, shifting from print to online news. It is an “immediate medium”.
- By using Google Analytics, we are able to keep an eye on the performance of advertising campaign by how many page views we receive, and how many “clicks” your specific ad gets. This is impossible in other types of media. This data enables you to modify your campaign to achieve maximum effectiveness thus targeting potential customers.
Two From Don Bauder on Rancho Santa Fe's Own: Lady Catarina, Charles Brandes and 'The News'
Daily newspapers still report titillating items regularly. Early in February, the shapely Lady Catarina Pietra Toumei was charged in Manhattan with claiming she was a representative of the storied Guggenheim family as she tried to peddle fake diamond, gold, and oil investments. She is a social butterfly residing in Rancho Santa Fe (where else?). Trouble is, prurient readers could get this news for free online many hours before the newspaper reported the story the next morning.
So, it was not surprising that only a few days after the lady (who may or may not be a countess) dominated front pages that the big Sacramento-based newspaper chain McClatchy reported a 10 percent plunge in its January advertising revenue, compared with a year earlier. McClatchy’s earnings were about cut in half during the period. The stock plunged 12.2 percent that day.
Admittedly, the adventures of the comely Lady Catarina Pietra Toumei are more captivating than the plunging profits of McClatchy Company. But the ad sales drop of the newspaper company does interest us old fogies who concentrate on (1) money and (2) the media. Bottom line: it’s clear that investors, and perhaps the daily newspaper industry itself, are convinced that advertisers will continue to migrate to digital media, and even though dailies are stepping up their own efforts to make money online, it’s a losing battle. Ink and paper will continue in sick bay.
Daily newspapers are slashing costs, but that won’t be enough. There are rumors that the San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, and smaller papers owned by MediaNews Group could consolidate under common ownership. Hedge funds that have scooped up debt of overleveraged Southern California papers “are intent on driving consolidation,” says columnist James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times. The individual newspapers would retain their identities and news staffs but would combine efforts in advertising sales, distribution, printing, and human resources, says Rainey.
Such consolidation would no doubt lead to even more personnel head chopping. But would more pogroms work? Wall Street analysts don’t think so. They think the future of the daily newspaper is grim. “We are skeptical of the New York Times’ ability to keep reducing costs, and are concerned that the company will run out of fat to trim and have to cut into muscle, hurting the quality of its product,” says Joscelyn MacKay of Morningstar Research. “The growing number of free online information sources continues to weigh on New York Times’ core business,” which is newspapers, representing 84 percent of sales.
Newspapers are 78 percent of the revenue of Gannett, the largest publishing chain. Free online competition hurts. “Circulation volumes are falling, and advertisers are shying away from newspapers,” says MacKay.
Standard & Poor’s says McClatchy suffers from “migration of advertisers to the Internet.” Ditto for the Washington Post, which is also burdened by its ownership of Kaplan, Inc., a for-profit college operation that could lose some of its federal funding because of past and present misbehavior.
Morningstar quit doing research on E.W. Scripps stock. In 2008, E.W. Scripps created a new entity for its fast-growing cable networks and interactive media. Now the original media chain has only laggardly newspapers and TV stations; the websites associated with the company account for a small percentage of revenue.
Today, the question is whether the iPad and other “tablet revolution” products will rescue the daily newspapers. Investors doubt it.
The stock market seems to agree with analysts’ skeptical views. Newspaper stocks are far off their all-time highs, although they are now up from their very depressed 2008–2009 lows. Example: Gannett stock sold for $91.38 in 2004. In the depths of the bear market in early 2009, it plunged to $1.85. On Friday, it closed at $16.98. McClatchy sold for $76.05 in 2005 and sank below 50 cents in 2009, as Morningstar warned it was worth nothing. On Friday, it closed at $4.24.
(Investor Charles Brandes, with ...third wife Tanya, has seen money under his management drop dramatically.)
This brings us to Charles Brandes, San Diego money manager. His firm, Brandes Investment Partners, bought into McClatchy at $44.50, becoming the media company’s largest institutional shareholder, with 14.63 percent of the stock. Then the Brandes firm committed one of Wall Street’s unforgivable sins: selling near the bottom — in McClatchy’s case, 70 cents. Similarly, the firm bought into Gannett between $36.50 and $55.50, becoming the largest shareholder with 11.25 percent of the stock. It dumped the stock in late 2009 for an average price of $7.21 — less than half the price it closed at on Friday, $16.98. (Copley Newspapers dumped the Union-Tribune near the bottom of the market too.)
Brandes also got into a lot of other stinkers, such as Countrywide Financial, the scandal-plagued mortgage pusher that Bank of America tried vainly to purify; Washington Mutual, a similar organization seized by the government in 2008; Royal Bank of Scotland, which fell under the watch and ward of the British government; and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation), which went under U.S. conservatorship.
Charles Brandes’s investment strategy is to buy undervalued assets and wait until the stock price gets more realistic. A couple of decades ago, newspapers’ profit margins were around three times those of the average company. A former manager with the firm thinks that Charles Brandes kept expecting newspapers’ profits and stock prices to return to the good old days. He was not grasping “the reality of what was going on in print media — falling subscriptions, falling revenues. There was a paradigm shift” that more alert analysts perceived.
In 2005, Brandes Investment Partners had $101.9 billion under management. That’s down to $47.8 billion. But Charles Brandes built one of San Diego County’s most expensive homes. It’s 54,000 square feet on 30 Rancho Santa Fe acres and is worth at least $35 million. He lives there with his third wife, the lovely Tanya, and their enormous collection of cars and other chattels of the rich and chic. Meanwhile, he is having a knockdown, widely publicized divorce battle with his second wife.
Charles and Tanya are quintessential Beautiful People of the San Diego party set — pictured in the Union-Tribune in mid-2008 with David Copley at Cannes, for example.
On October 23, 2009, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and David Copley put on a soiree to honor His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. Charles and Tanya were there to socialize with the prince — and with Lady Catarina Pietra Toumei, another invitee.
I didn’t see it covered in the daily newspapers.
(Video above: Mercury's "farewell" weekly astrology roundup. He temporarily retired 1 1/2 years ago to complete work on personal and literary projects. However, as an Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News tradition, he looks ahead to the new year around The Occupied Zone.)
Mercury, who also goes by Clint Cochran, mystic, is a yoga instructor and former restaurant owner, A Sacramento resident who has developed a wide and enthusiastic following among astrology enthusiasts. For many years, he hosted America’s only radio astrology call-in show at KDVS-FM, the UC Davis station.
Mercury is further known around the state Capitol for his weekly astrology forecasts on KXTV-Channel 10, Sacramento’s ABC affiliate. He continues his radio astrology experience with "Spirit Speaks" that can be accessed at his Web site www.michaelmercury.com and is a member of the Conscious Media Network.
And now...The Mercury Report on Rancho Santa Fe, now and in the years to come...
FIRST OF ALL let me state up-front, what I am going to try to do here actually what I am going to do here not just try, but what I am going to do is read the chart of Rancho Santa Fe as if it were a person and see how I can relate to the community at large what’s going to happen to the community in this coming year.
OK, so, Libra rising is the ascendant of Rancho Santa Fe, so the personality of Rancho Santa Fe is considered to be Libra-like and what does that mean, it means that relationships are very important. What is also interesting about this chart is that Saturn, the planet Saturn which deals with limits, limitations, authority, structure, is sitting right on the ascendant.
This is a very powerful position, so it kind of indicates that people who live in this community relationships are very important, however also finding balance within this community is extremely important as well.
There is a tendency within this community to maybe be a little bit one-sided in its presentation in the way it represents itself. If it’s extremely affluent maybe it is in its best interest as a community to make sure that those who are in need within this community are also being taken care of, not that it isn’t being done but that there seems to be a lack of variety, or dexterity of many, many social levels in this community due to there’s a need, an interest in doing this but it’s kind of like there is a contradiction in this community as well.
It’s kind of like it wants to expand, but it wants to contract. It wants to follow the rules, but it also wants to make rules. It doesn’t want to live by rules but somehow it wants to get around and somehow have its cake and eat it too by being unique being unusual and yet being structured. There seems to be this quality about this community.
The moon is in Scorpio in the second house of property, money and resources. There’s a strong emotional tie to the property, money and resources. People really love their homes. People come to this community to find their soul in their home, to make their home more than their castle but to represent who they are. There is a sense of secrecy, a sense of privacy in this community. People tend to be very private.
People don’t want other people necessarily unless they are invited to know about themselves. They want to keep themselves private. This is a community on the one hand wants to welcome the outsiders but at the same time want to be very private.
Mars in the third house, this is the natal chart I’m talking about, I’m just giving you a glow then I will talk about maybe what’s coming up in the next year. Mars in Sagittarius makes it a more philosophical open intellectual curiosity in terms of the community at large. It can have a very vocal voice in terms of what it represents and what it believes in and what it thinks should be done. It tends to be more open-minded, not necessarily liberal or conservative but certainly having an open mind from either camp.
Uranus in the sixth house really speaks to the idea of electronics of advancements. Uranus in Pisces in the sixth house of this chart of Rancho Santa Fe indicates that, again, innovative technology is a part of this community, but at the same time there is this kind of hometown kind of feel so that it wants the advances of the future but it wants the feel of the past. It wants to have a sense of community like in the old school but at the same time it wants to take advantage of all the high tech gadgets and technology that helps make life so much more pleasant.
Now, when it comes to relationships, we have Chyron, the south node in the seventh house of relationships, partnerships, marriage, all this kind of thing. One has to kind of be aware relationships, partnerships, things of this sort, it kind of makes the community a little bit, oh what’s the word, maybe a little bit apart from other communities, yet it wants to be a part of other communities, but at the same time it doesn’t want to be a part of the other communities.
So, there is kind of, again, contradiction within this community because of what one would call affluence. Based on this chart there is a real positive sense of affluence in this community but there is also a contradiction here, not that it feels guilty about it but there is a responsibility that comes with having so much.
The sun in Gemini -- the sun. What is the sun sign of Rancho Santa Fe, it’s Gemini. The sun sign is in Gemini. The rising sign is in Libra and the moon is in Scorpio. These are three important positions for this chart. It speaks to more air than water and no fire in the three important elements. However, Mars which represents fire in Sagittarius gives it a nice balance.
The real focus also is at the crown of this chart and we’re talking about Venus, Pluto, Mercury are all in Cancer. The sun is in the ninth house of education and travel. Mercury is a the crown of this chart in cancer, so home schooling looks like it is going to be a very important part of this community.
There is probably more people doing home schooling than people would recognize. Education is extremely important in this community, but at the same time there seems to be two sets of forms of communication. There is maybe the formal, regular type of schools, high schools, public schools, but there seems to be a really strong private school element in this community as well.
Pluto, Venus in Cancer in the 10th House of home, communication. Tenth House represents vocation, but with Venus in Pluto in Cancer, a very family oriented sign Cancer, it tells me that people are working out of their homes a lot more in this community than most communities, that authority can be derived, because of technologies concerning this community that one is maybe running their businesses out of their homes more than one would realize or that is certainly going to be an important part of this community as time goes on with technologies the way they are.
Neptune is in the Eleventh House of friendships so there is a real romantic quality, a charmed quality to this community. There is a basic feel if you will that borders on quality, romance, story-like making it a much more of a visual as well as a heartfelt community,. There is a real sense of sentiment also in this community. So, this is kind of a quick overview what I look at the natal chart of this community to be.
THE FUTURE, MICHAEL...
Now, what’s happening right now in this coming year as we look into the year 2012, the real focus is going to be on work and health issues. I’m just pointing out that Uranus, this year, Rancho Santa Fe is coming up to what is a very unusual return and that’s what we call Uranus return. It takes approximately 84 years for Uranus to arrive at the same location as when it was born.
When you gave me the date for June 7, 1922 when the breaking of the ground, Uranus was at 13 degrees Pisces. Right now in the sky Uranus is at 11 degrees Pisces. So, in this year it is going to have a Uranus conjunct. It is going to return to its original position. So, there is a major cycle that is being completed in this community.
It is a cosmic cycle. It is a larger cycle. It is an evolutionary cycle of this community. This community has now matured in a complete way and at the same time now it’s trying to look at how do we continue into the future with our boundaries set, with our limits set. We have our personality is set basically.
It has an ambiance that has evolved organically and now where do we go. So, there is a completion that is literally happening in this community as we go into the year 2012, a total recognition that OK we’re saturated, we’re terrific, we have all these things, now where do we go from here, how do we refine the qualities the joys the things we associate with family with home with community, how do we address this in a new way in an innovative genius-like unique way without destroying the home sentiment, the communal sense of family that we have established for this community.
There is also Neptune is going through the Fifth House of children, of recreation of short trips and I have to say now my intuition is kicking in here somewhat and I am also saying this because of what I anticipate in 2013. Pluto, the planet Pluto will go into the Fourth House of home concerning, so I am looking a little bit further ahead besides the year 2012 because what I am anticipating here is that if you maybe you already have a sister city, maybe Rancho Santa Fe has a sister city somewhere in the world.
You may Want to take a look at this to see what is their sister city, but it seems to me there is going to be more of a focus here on if they haven’t picked a sister city they are not sharing with whether it is in Africa or Europe or South America wherever they have chosen to adopt another city and kind of exchange keys and all of that stuff for some reason that is coming up in this chart for me. I am either seeing there is going to be a renewal of that, there is going to be some kind of recognition of that coming up or there might be an establishment of that if that hasn’t happened already. Or maybe the city adopts another sister city or vice-versa, a kind of city exchange. I don’t know why this is coming up, but it is.
If it doesn’t happen this year, I see 2013 will become a very important year because Pluto goes into the Fourth House of home and Pluto represents revolution, change, death, rebirth, so there might be in 2013 looking down the road because of the concept of real estate, the concept of housing, the concept of family that there could be some kind of new revolutionary approach as to how families are going to deal with families, properties and their homes in the year 2013. This could be technologically related or this could be some sort of philosophical awareness that this community is going to re-evaluate where do they go from here.
There seems to be a real emphasis that keeps coming up in this chart of some kind of pinnacle, some kind of peak, like this community is reaching the top of the mountain. It can see, start looking at what it could be like going down the other side of this mountain but it hasn’t quite reached the end and is preparing for some kind of awareness of some kind of overall view of ah-ha, here we are, now what.
A culmination is also indicated in this chart that this community is coming to some kind of saturation, some kind of total blossoming of fullness, of ripeness, something that is being ripe is ready to drop from this community. Jupiter is moving through the Third House of communication right now as I look at this chart. Mars has been as it ends the year of 2006 has been going through the Third House of communication. Pluto is going through the Third House of communication. Mercury also and the sun leaving the Third House of communication as the year ends and the new year begins it all goes into the fourth house.
This new year we have the sense of structure, of family, of a movement going forward but again putting a focus on home, on family, the importance of family in this community. So, this community has the opportunity it seems to me embrace itself in a unique way reinforcing its values but also having an eye toward the future.
I would say, however, that starting at the end of 2011 going into 2013 this is going to be a kind of a plateau period in this community where more examination rather than results will start to take place. I think that the community is getting ready to re-examine where it’s been, where it’s going and do this for many years. If a new master plan hasn’t been done, or is being spoken of maybe it’s time for a new master plan to be looked at of where this community is going to be going 10, 20, 30 years from now or if that hasn’t been done maybe that is being re-looked at this time to see OK we made this plan X number of years ago how will we have fulfilled those plans to where we are now.
That also seems to be an emphasis for the community from the governmental bureaucratic point of view of what’s happening with this community. If there isn’t a city council or something, there seems to be some need of some kind of government structure. If it’s not there it needs to be created.
If it’s informally loose, some kind of guidance to who or what is this identity. Do we become our own city, Do we create our own community. Do we have our own city council or how are we relating to the overall neighborhoods that we are sharing.
That’s pretty much, a lot of material to work with...
Rosalie Cushman: Predicting The Past - Reflections of 2011...
I couldn’t help but laugh at Dan Weisman’s latest posting about his “occupation” of the Crosby Estate. Then, of course, I cried. Several times this past year I’ve recalled a statement made by one of my Boston University professor’s claiming, “You will turn out to be much like your parents; more than you can even believe now”. I thought he was nuts! This was in the early 70’s, on the heels of Kent State, demonstrations against the Viet Nam War, post-MLK and Robert Kennedy assassinations and all that upheaval that signified some pretty dramatic shifts in American Society.
Or so we thought.
Being a political junkie, with occasional episodes of recovery at best, I’ve been following many events and discussions throughout the year, much of which has focused either on the economy and/or the Republican primary process, along with changes in the world at large. I have sustained shock and disbelief often, followed by lurching uncontrollably between disgust, shame, excitement, and boredom. At one point, I actually heard Howard Fineman of Huffington Post say we boomers are “greedy and selfish”, even owning the description like a grownup for himself, not proudly, mind you, just maturely. This was in the context of the early days of the Occupy Wall Street movement which, of course, has morphed into a new phase.
Fineman’s depiction and acknowledgement of ‘our boomer generation’ behavior, of course, is accurate in many ways, though not all. I liked his honesty but also chafed at the mirror he held up to some of what we have certainly done to ourselves as a society. I like it in part because of the exposure of the whole ‘victim-perpetrator- theme being played out in America today. He suggests it will only serve us when we own up to our own role in it; own up to our own participation in choosing one or the other to identify with. It is what grown-ups need to be about, after all; ownership and accountability. The 1% and the 99%, each, have much to learn from the other, not the least of which is to look the other squarely in the face while taking responsibility for their own participation. This naturally includes my own game-playing as well. No one is off the hook; no one exempt.
When I think back to the early stirrings of the Arab Spring, I am reminded of parallels within all societies that undergo upheaval and change. Sometimes that change is consequent to economic conditions. Sometimes that change is due to political repression. Sometimes it is due to rapid industrialization/modernization, and sometimes it is due to wild disparity between classes of people. In today’s globalization, there is something new operating that adds enormous benefit but incredible tension to the mix as well: technology. Yes, it’s been discussed re the power of Twitter, Facebook, rapid internet communications and cell/video phones that can expose events differently from how change was represented in the past.
I’ve heard NYT columnist Tom Friedman discuss his recent examination of where we are as a nation, the crossroads we find ourselves in, in his recent book, “That Used to Be Us”. Our dilemma is not hopeless, he says. However, reasonable solutions are time-sensitive and all the desire in the world to ignore or minimize the crossroads we huddle in right now while national and global events accelerate past us ensures failure, albeit at a snail’s pace. Yes, we can fail slowly, and may be doing just that, while others race by us.
Remarkably, I’ve met and known two emigrants; one Czech, who survived WWII and the Holocaust; the other a Chinese-Korean who survived the Korean War as a child. In each case, their fierce determination to adapt has been startling. It sounds like such an obvious conclusion to draw yet we’d be well advised to pay closer attention to not just why others have come to America but how and what they’ve done to change themselves as part of the process of adaptation. Often, their changes have been subtle but equally often, profound.
Yes, they survived. Yes, they learned strategies on overcoming starvation, poverty and displacement. But hidden in their very survival is their astonishing adaptation to new circumstances, a new set of events including people, language, cultures and economies. What’s more, each man can be an example as an individual to the group as a whole. For it is where we find America – indeed, the world – in currently. Context is everything. These two men know this even without articulating it. They know it in their heart and in their gut. Context requires innovation and new thought on many levels.
America has yet to fully understand our new context internally, let alone, globally, or at least many Americans have yet to do that. Friedman understands that all too well. Fineman and many others do too. The passing of Steve Jobs even, has cast a light on this very fact also, though more obliquely. At the end of the day/year we cannot ‘tweak’ our way out of this contextual paradigm shift by modifying old ideas just enough to avoid risk. The risk for us is in not taking greater risk itself. Not for the mere sake of it, but for the necessity of thinking differently because our context has changed.
Economist Paul Krugman suggested early on that the initial capital infusion was too small. He was so very right, as other economists have now corroborated. Elizabeth Warren, run out of Washington by Wall Street’s elite because she ‘risked’ exposing some of their practices, will likely return but from a different vantage point as an elected official, and legitimately so. Finally, what the 1% knows that the 99% hasn’t caught onto is that if the ‘light’ of video/phones, FB, Twitter etc. ever exposed their back room manipulations in any massive way like distorted pictures of street protests do, the jig would be up for them. I give you Enron. Believe me, there’s more Enron behavior operating in the shadows, some of it legal, though hardly ethical (and certainly not practical). We just cannot see it all; only some of the disastrous ‘results’.
But all of this discussion is not to blame anyone. Instead, it is to hold all of us accountable: the 1% and the 99%. I happen to like Capitalism. There are many fine and integrous companies in America. I also like government. (I never saw a tax cut put out a fire!!) What I don’t like is greed, bloat and excess on either side. None of those qualities will ever serve us. Blame will never serve us. Accountability will serve us though, and must. Any ‘position’ one takes always operates within a context and America’s context has changed. We all need to see that, truly see that, and mature individually and behave as a nation accordingly. If we don’t, we will shrivel and shrink from the promise that heretofore has propelled America forward.
San Diego Sheriff's crime report for 9/9/2011 - 9/15/2011: 33 local crimes found...
Follow the link above to view the entire mapping tool...
Sept. 11, 2001: Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at "Ground Zero" following attack.
That's where Escondido ironworker Paul Pursley found himself in September 2001 on a first-ever visit to New York City.
For the next 10 weeks, in a city reeling with shock, Pursley helped cut away the massive wreckage of the World Trade Center, allowing relief workers to recover some of the 2,992 people killed on Sept. 11.
Pursley flew home on Dec. 6. Later, sitting in the stilliness of a former girlfriend's San Marcos kitchen, he told of the horror of body parts, the sad daily trek through crowds of people anxiously searching for missing loved ones, the kindness of Salvation Army workers and of being able to touch President Bush.
"You never found a whole piece, whole people," said Pursley, who worked as part of an ironworkers' union contingent attached to a Yonkers, N.Y., wreckage excavation crew. Twenty men worked the day shift and 20 worked the night shift, he said.
"The first few weeks there was nothing really stationary to walk on," Pursley said. "There was so much energy in the pile that stuff would get catapulted 200 to 300 feet in the air. We were cutting through 50-ton pieces of iron. Stuff was all over the place. But the more iron you could cut, the faster firemen could get part of somebody out.
"I've never seen anything like that in my life," Pursley said. "The ground was so hot I went through three pairs of boots in the 2-1/2 months I was there."
But the heat, the dirt, the smoke, even the horribly acrid smell and danger of ground zero were nothing compared to the emotional toll, Pursley said.
"I was working one day and we found a fireman and a civilian trapped in Tower Two," Pursley continued. "They survived the plane crash, made it down to the lobby but they couldn't get out. That was hard.
"It was hard seeing the little kids in town," Pursley said. "Hundreds of people used to line the gates at night when we got off work. They asked: 'Did you see my daddy?' They all were holding pictures.
"There was nothing you could tell them," Pursley said. "That was the hardest part. What do you tell them?"
Marine to ironworker
A 41-year-old Allentown, Pa., native and former Camp Pendleton Marine, Pursley said he was "fascinated" with walking on steel beams as a child. So after receiving an honorable discharge from the Marines with the rank of sergeant he became an ironworker in 1985. He lived in Oceanside before moving to San Marcos in 1998. He moved to Escondido in 2007.
Pursley's odyssey to ground zero began in Hartford, Conn.
A member of San Diego Ironworkers Local 229, Pursley was on a job for Lewis Equipment of Grand Prairie, Texas. The crew was finishing installing beams with tower cranes for the huge Mohegan Sun Casino around Hartford "the day it happened," he said.
"We had a rented van and another job to go to in Washington, D.C.," continued Pursley, a strapping man with a soft voice. "We saw both buildings smoking as we were going by New York on the way. We were in D.C. a day-and-a-half finishing up a job at the convention center. They didn't need our help at the Pentagon but when we finished we asked Kyle Lewis, the owner of Lewis Construction, if we could go to New York and he said, 'Sure, you guys can volunteer there.'
"I had never been to New York," Pursley said. "My partner, Rusty Henry from Stillwater, Okla., and myself went there on the (Sept.) 17th, right down to the job site. As long as you were an ironworker you had carte' blanche.
Pursley said they worked non-stop the first day.
"It was pretty much disorganized with guys everywhere trying to volunteer in the chaos. We went to the union hall the next day," he said.
While plenty of police and fire personnel swarmed across the dust-filled, chaotic scene, they couldn't do much without help from skilled ironworkers who cut through the mangled iron and steel with cranes, torches, and big tools, not to mention sweat and desire.
Pursley said he and Henry were the only two out-of-town ironworkers at the scene. For 10 long weeks, the steel burners cut up towering beams and iron.
"Ironworkers worked every day," Pursley said. "We went on 12-hour shifts starting at 6 (a.m.) or 7 (a.m.) The more iron we cut up, the more firemen we could find. But we only found parts; a hand, a leg, a torso, never a complete body. We found parts from 650 people. You thought you would find somebody alive at first, but we never did."
Pursley added: "With all that debris and elevator cables pulling the pile, guys were getting fingers and hands smashed. Lots of accidents. Lots of guys hurt. I thought we were going to be there for a year."
Pursley said he and his partner were paid through the union but ended up renting a hotel room in lower Manhattan, then a motel room in Secaucus, N.J., that cost them $6,000 to $8,000. Salvation Army workers brought them food at the site.
At the end of a grueling day's shift, the ironworkers would hike a mile to get beyond the crime scene, maybe grab a snack, head out through the Port Authority Terminal on a bus to New Jersey, finally collapsing from exhaustion into motel beds.
"People would sit by you on the bus and you were so filthy," Pursley said. "Not even like being dirty, such a weird odor. I'd wash my clothes three times and still they were dirty."
Several close calls
One of Pursley's closest calls came on Oct. 23, according to a notification filed with construction contractors.
Police believed they had cleared out some of the estimated 1.7 million .38 caliber rounds from a destroyed U.S. Customs arsenal at the World Trade Center and directed Pursley to burn iron at one of the swept areas. A loud pop and painful burning of his cheek later, he found himself taken to St. Vincent's Hospital emergency room for treatment. He still has the scar on his face.
Alert and in good spirits, Pursley returned to the scene the next day and kept on working. On Nov. 13, a large excavator swung across a debris pile near where Pursley was burning through steel. The pile collapsed and Pursley fell down the 25-foot pile, injuring his left wrist. Medical workers had to use 18 stitches to close the wound, according to an accident report filed with city of New York Department of Design and Construction.
When celebrities descended on ground zero to lend support, Pursley took pictures with a disposable camera he bought. He has a picture with actress Susan Sarandon and with Jason Alexander, who played George in "Seinfeld."
And President Bush. Pursley said he went up to the President when he toured ground zero and "pulled on his shirt sleeve."
"I told him, 'I didn't vote for you, but I'm going to touch you.' " He then took a picture of the surprised president.
Thank you letters meant a lot
Pursley said he got a lift from schoolchildren's thank you letters forwarded by Salvation Army workers. He said he planned to answer all of the dozen or so letters he brought back to San Marcos. A lot of them shared sentiments like those expressed by Ryan Moran, a sixth grader at Pearson Elementary of Poulsbo, Wash.
Addressed to Iron Workers, Ground Zero, N.Y., N.Y., Moran's letter began, "Dear Savers of Helpless Citizens," and continued: "You guys are really brave and your heroic actions during the tragedy will remain in our hearts forever. We know we can count on heroes like you. You've changed everyone's lives."
Salvation Army workers also gave Pursley a red-white-and-blue hard-hat signed by many of them with inspirational sayings as a parting gift. "It's our house ---- never forget," one aid worker said.
But in the end, the experience was a once-in-a-lifetime, and a fulfilling one, Pursley said.
"All the people I met there were fantastic to me," Pursley said. "It was incredible. It was weird leaving and coming home. Hopefully there is closure for the victims and their families."
Despite local contractors wanting him to resume work as a foreman, Pursley said he wants to relax for a month.
"I have never seen so much iron in my life. I never cut so much steel in my entire life. I hope I never have to again," he said.
Well-known New York photographer Joel Meyerowitz took seminal images at Ground Zero, many of which were displayed at a groundbreaking exhibit titled "Echoes of Ground Zero" in 2003.
Lawrence Weschler in conversation with photographer Joel Meyerowitz in the living room of the latter’s New York City home, 7 April 2003 is available at the pdf file posted here.
This portion of the interview dealt with Pursley, and his iconic image that Meyerowitz displayed next to another iconic...c. 1650 image by the Spanish painter Velazquez.
LW: Well, this.
JM: Amazing. What a guy. He was a welder, commonly called a burner down there. His job was to go through the site and as each level was exposed, he would walk through with a torch and burn all the small standing steel so that men could walk through and do their search.
LW: Do you know his name?
JM: I do know his name . . . Paul Pursley.
LW: What is fascinating to me here is that we’re playing off the Velázquez of Mars with his tool and his helmet and his mustache. I don’t want to suggest or insist that you had this specific thing in your head, but you too are treating this worker as a kind of god or a personage of great nobility.
JM: I was just going to say that he was noble. The reason I saw him as noble was that he came up the road bend here, and I saw him, and we had just heard a bugler playing Taps, and there were eight of us standing around and we were all in tears and as he came to me I saw this little glint of a tear in his eye – you can see it in the photograph, he’s slightly dewy-eyed. And as he came forward, I just felt the power of this man and his nobility, and I stepped in front of him and just made a photograph. We didn’t have much of an interaction. He really didn’t even pose for me, he just stopped walking. And then I asked him something and he laughed and he said, “I was just wounded today. I was burning the steel and I exploded some ammunition that was buried.” He said, “A piece of bullet shell hit me in the face and I got five stitches under here.” He laughed. He laughed. And then he just stood there and I made this picture and I realized he is heroic.
LW: One of the things that’s amazing about Velázquez is how when he chooses to do a god, for perhaps one of the first times in history the god is just some mill worker. I mean, this is clearly some guy who worked as some smithy or something, who knows who he is. This is some guy who is a working-class guy, patently not a nobleman, you don’t think?
JM: No, not a nobleman.
LW: And yet a god. So, that’s kind of interesting.
Perry’s Previews 2011 Disney D23 Expo Review: “Perrific!” Attractions
(FOR MORE -- MUCH, MUCH MORE -- FROM THE INIMITABLE CARMEL VALLEY SIXTH GRADER...VISIT THE REAL DEAL AT http://www.perryspreviews.com/.)
2011 Disney D23 Expo Unveils New Attractions
By Perry S. Chen
How would you celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of the most creative studios in the world? Well, at the Disney D23 expo, we celebrated the awesome anniversary of Pixar with delicious cupcakes, about 4000 of them! Each cupcake looked like a ball with a red star and a blue stripe, and it was very soft with a sweet and slightly tangy frosting. Everybody got one and my mom and I really enjoyed them!
Perry Chen enjoying Pixar 25th anniversary cupcake (photo by Zhu Shen)
It was very fun at the D23 fan expo this year! During my second visit to the Disney Fan Expo, My mom and I got to see a full 3D film, find out about upcoming films, and attend interesting panels. This expo was quite a blast!
Perry Chen at press check-in (photo by Zhu Shen)
On the first day, we drove off from a friend’s house that we had been staying with for a film camp in Burbank, where I learned how to make live action films with a few friends. I even made a live action short which I co-directed, did the screenwriting for, and starred in, called “Life of a Businessman.”
Perry Chen having fun at D23 (photo by Zhu Shen)
We arrived at the Anaheim Convention Center, picked up our press badges, and went to see the main event of the Convention, Building Worlds: Inside the Walt Disney Studios. There we got some super sneak peeks at future films coming out in 2012 and 2013, such as Brave, a Pixar film about the adventures of a warrior princess in Scotland, Monsters University, a prequel to Monsters Inc, and many more interesting upcoming films. Four thousand people attended the packed event, and the screen showed pop quizzes and interesting facts about Disney, so I didn’t get bored.
Then when it started, Disney/Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter introduced many directors and stars of upcoming animation films.
Perry Chen checking out Wreck it Ralph videogame (photo by Zhu Shen)
The first film introduced was “Wreck it Ralph,” the story of Ralph, a villain in an 80’s arcade game who longs to be a hero. The first 4 minutes of Wreck it Ralph were shown. I don’t think there has been a feature film about a video game villain before. John C. Riley, a great actor I interviewed at LA Film Festival in 2010 at “Cyrus” red carpet, is the voice of Ralph.
We later met people who have been working on this film at the “Wreck it Ralph” display at the exhibit center.
Perry Chen with Disney modeler Tony Jung (L) & character technical director Si-Hyung Kim (R) who work on Wreck it Ralph (photo by Zhu Shen)
Next, John Lasseter talked about “Brave,” a story that takes place in ancient Scotland, where Merida, a Princess changes her own destiny. I thought that the ancient Celtic symbols and designs were very pretty. We got free posters of the film after the presentation.
Brave by Pixar
Also, they showed pictures from Monsters University, a prequel to Monsters, Inc., about how Mike and Sulley developed a friendship, with voice talent Billy Crystal (Mike) on stage, they showed the differences between the teenage and older Sulley and Mike. I really thought that the designs for the monster university were great, since the buildings still look like buildings in reality, but the doors have teeth and there are different designs on the walls like eyeballs and heads.
Monsters University by Pixar
There were quite a few more upcoming films and every one of them sounds exciting. There is “Frankenweenie,” directed by Tim Burton, a story about a boy who brings his dead dog Sparky back to life;
Frankenweenie by Tim Burton
“John Carter,” a story about a civil war veteran who is accidentally sent to Mars; Marvel’s “The Avengers,” and “The Muppets,” which is about the Muppets, with special appearance by Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy; and 2 untitled films from Pixar, one about a journey into the mind, and the other about what would have happened if the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs missed earth.
My friend Pete Doctor from “Up” whom I interviewed in 2009 and 2010, is directing the one about the mind with Jonas Rivera the producer, which will come out in the summer of 2014. Bob Peterson, co-director of Up and voice of Dug the dog, directs the dinosaur film, which is scheduled for release in the Holiday season of 2013.
Finally, the best part about the event is that everybody got a delicious cupcake for the 25thanniversary of Pixar. Here is a photo of the Disney characters made by the same bakery:
It was extremely difficult to get into the panel “A Conversation With the Pixar Creative Team” starting after the main presentation. Mom and I waited with a few other media people and were finally let in moments before the session started. The directors and head of story of some of best Pixar films are there: Pete Docter & Bob Peterson, Ronnie Del Carmon from Up, Andrew Stanton from Finding Nemo, Mark Andrews from Brave (wearing a Scottish skirt!), Dan Scanlon from Monsters University, and more! We were the last ones to get in! It was “Perrific!” and worth a separate posting:
Then, we went to the screening of Lion King 3D. It was quite a treat to watch the Lion King 3D at the first public screening! It had been quite a while since I watched Lion King on DVD (the original film was made in 1994 before I was born!), so I was a little bit vague on the details. I enjoyed the film greatly and gave it 4 starfish.
Perry Chen at Lion King 3D premiere
(4 out of 5 starfish)
At the morning presentation, the filmmakers told about the making of Lion King and the behind the scenes stories were intriguing and showed how difficult it was to complete the film. The film was wonderful and I really enjoyed the music and the great visuals. One of my favorite scenes is when the film shows leafcutter ants walking on a branch close up, and then it focuses on zebras running in the background.
The flaws of the film were mostly scientific ones. First, I thought that when the herbivores were all killed off, the plants in the grasslands should flourish, instead of being sparse and depleted, but, I guess that is poetic license signifying sadness. Also, when lightning started fires all around Scar and Simba while they fought, they stayed there and did nothing! Ordinarily animals would flee instantly from fire but the 2 lions kept on fighting. Finally, I thought that it looked even better with the 3D too. It took hundreds of animators months to make the 3D effects! The characters seemed to pop right out of the screen!
We stayed at a friend’s guest house in Newport Beach that night. I thought that a guest house is even better than a hotel. There was some food there, and internet access, where I entered a code on club penguin that got me a super rare club penguin hoodie! The beds were very comfy, and I could not wait for tomorrow, where there are many more interesting panels.
The next day, we drove off to the D23 again. While waiting in line for the “Art of Brave” presentation, I had fun working on my drawings. The panel was presented by Tia Kratter, shader art director, and Steve Pilcher, production designer, and learned many new things about the art design for the film. The creative team traveled to Scotland twice to learn about the history and check out the landscape and sceneries to get a realistic feel for the film. They traveled to a forest, where different shades of green and brown were all over the trees and moss.
I even got to ask the last question: What advice do you have for aspiring young animators? “Always carry a drawing pad with you and draw all the time,” said Tia Kratter. I’m happy to say that I’ve been doing that for a while now. “Also you have to love what you do and be passionate in your interests,” remarked Steve Pilcher. Great advice!
After the presentation, a fellow San Diego Union Tribune journalist Roger Showley came by to say Hi, mom and I had a nice chat with him. Roger read my movie reviews on the Union Tribune.
Mom & I also met Disney’s veteran animator, director Eric Goldberg (Aladdin, The Princess & the Frog, Winnie the Pooh) who gave a great demo on animation and autographed a “Winnie the Pooh” poster with fellow Disney animator Sean Felix. He remembered me from ASIFA-Hollywood’s 2010 Annie Awards where he won an award for animation and I was a presenter.
Finally, it was the end of the day, and after a delicious meal at P.F. Chang in Anaheim’s GardenWalk district, we drove home. All I could think of the rest of that day was,”When will we get to come again?”
About Perry Chen:
Perry Chen started reviewing movies and family-friendly entertainment with his unique, kids-friendly starfish rating system at 8 in third grade. He writes movie reviews for the San Diego Union Tribune, Animation World Network (AWN); Amazing Kids!, and his own Perry’s Previews website, with a combined readership of over 2 million. He became a national sensation with his network TV debut on CBS Evening News as the youngest film critic in 2009 and has since appeared on numerous national and international media, including NPR, CNN, Variety, the Guardian, spoke at a TEDx conference, and presented at Annie Awards for Animation. He won a prestigious “San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Award” in 2010 and is the youngest honoree of Cox Communications’ annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. He regularly interviews filmmakers and stars on the red carpet and film events. Perry started drawing when he was three, and frequently gets inspiration from nature. He has won numerous art awards and started learning computer animation using Toon Boom Studio software in November 2010. More info:
(Animation World Network: The Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child – Animated by a Child)
For more info and to donate and support this film, visit the official website:
Become a Facebook Fan:
Follow him on twitter:
Read all his movie reviews:
Subscribe to his YouTube channel:
For media & business inquires, contact
Zhu Shen, Producer, Perry’s Previews
bioforesight at gmail dot com
BREAKING NEWS 5:30 P.M. - Something Stinks Around Here And It Ain't The Surfing Madonna...
Normally sweet smelling residents of communities from La Jolla, Solana Beach and Encinitas to Mira Mesa and Rancho Bernardo are reporting something stinks and they don't know what it is.
Authorities are investigating reports from around San Diego County of a strong odor some say resembles jet fuel, or grungy aftershave. People around Rancho Santa Fe and Del Dios compared the strange smell to kind of ammonia/bleach, very vanilla tasting. Yeech.
The stinking calls started around 2 p.m. People at Encinitas, Solana Beach, Pacific Beach, Mira Mesa and La Jolla reported the odd odor.
A public affairs spokesman at MCAS Miramar said the odor can be smelled at the base, but noted that base air operations have had not reported any fuel spills or aircraft that had to dump jet fuel in the county area.
An FAA spokesman said the agency was not aware of any fuel dumping being carried out on Wednesday.
Mario Aguilar of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said he did not know of any algae blooms or anything organic that could be causing the smell.
Residents living in inland areas such as North Park, Hillcrest and Rancho Bernardo have said they can smell the odor in their area.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department has confirmed they have received numerous calls regarding the smell.
SDG&E officials confirmed they have technicians in the community trying to determine the source of the smell.
Casey Anthony gone from Rancho Santa Fe but not forgotten: her RSF attorney Todd Macaluso threatens lawsuit against The Morton Report...
I further state that I spoke with a woman on the intercom whom I now believe was Ms. Anthony. I just happened to be there at the right/wrong time when they were expecting somebody else. I believe I know precisely the identity of the woman who told Anthony to get off the intercom and closed the gate Anthony opened, but I don't want to be sued, you know. I am confident in the identifications, however. The fact is the inappropriate nature of stashing tot mom away at a $5.2 million Covenant estate, no matter how secure and well-appointed with helipad etc., and the attendant publicity moved the fugitive show along...to an as-yet undisclosed location.
The story from the Morton Report Blog and here has spun near and far with HLN's Nancy Grace devoting helf of her Monday show to the sighting. That's when the kitchen got hot and the going got going, if you catch my drift.
An interesting sidebar has developed over this story between Macaluso, with his residence under foreclosure at Rancho Santa Fe according to sources, and The Morton Report. The legal threats by Macaluso directed against Dawn Olsen apparently began when KSWB-TV's Fox Morning Show contacted Macaluso to ask for comments about the reported sighting of Anthony at his disputed property. KSWB also had invited Olsen and myself to the studio for a Thursday morning appearance.
Macaluso sent an email to the station making untrue charges, which he forwarded to Dawn and me. In my case, I pointed out I never said I spoke to his neighbors -- the emails are posted below -- and he seemed to apologize, or at least square things with me. Dawn out of Los Angeles, wasn't so lucky. I will start off her account here and then direct you to The Morton Report account of the Macaluso legal threats.
HERE NOW LIVE AND DIRECT TO BEHIND THE SCENES OF A MEDIA INTERVIEW REQUEST GONE WILD....
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.
Have any other local San Diego television stations contacted you?
We'd love to be the first to have you on a san diego morning show.
We're looking at thursday with an interview time of 8:10 a.m.
I'd ask that you arrive by 7:40 a.m. to our studios at 7191 Engineer Rd, San Diego, CA 92122.
You can ask for me when you get there.
From: 92067 Rancho Santa Fe Free Press [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2011 3:22 PM
To: Luck, Brad
Subject: Re: fox5 kswb san diego request
- Show quoted text -
Regards, Todd Macaluso
Sent from my iPhone
Begin forwarded message:
From: Todd Macaluso <email@example.com>
BradThe reports of these "bloggers" are completely false. If there any false statements aired, we will pursue any and all legal remedies available by anyone who disseminates such false information. We have verified with our neighbors that no such statements were made to the Ah ha Rancho Santa Fe news or the Morton report. We will pursue an action against Mr. Weiss an and Ms. Olson of false information is disseminated.
That's cool, but if you read the story I never said I spoke to neighbors, I cited Ms. Olsen's reporting. I'm very careful in how I approach possibly touchy subjects and have won first place investigative reporting awards from both the California and Florida press associations. Dan
- Show quoted text -
Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News, dedicated digital media for an independent and unique population. Visit us at http://ahharsfnews.com/
We are at our wits end with the media.
Regards, Todd Macaluso
Sent from my iPhone
- Show quoted text -
I’m sorry we actually have to cancel.
Something came up and we won’t have the time to be able to do this tomorrow.
But please stay in touch and let us know if you write anymore on this subject.
From: 92067 Rancho Santa Fe Free Press [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
WELL, THERE YOU HAVE IT...FOR NOW. REMEMBER TO SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MEDIA!!!
(From the files of the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol, Thursday, July 21, 2011...)
Over the past week we have taken reports for the theft of Back Flow Preventer Manifolds. What the heck is a Back flow Preventer Manifold? Well, its the "U" shaped pipe object you see coming out of the ground- usually near a water meter. Its made to prevent water back flowing through the pipes into your plumbing. The pipes are being stolen for the brass or copper value of the metal. But, not all back flow preventers are brass....
The stolen valves are taken to a metal recyclers and the crooks try to get cash for them. Changes in the laws prevent an immediate handout of cash- the recyler has to take the persons name and information and contact the authorities before handing over the cash.
Both cases we investigated occurred late at night. If you happen to see a car or truck stopped on the side of the road looking suspicious, please give us a call.
We have moved our office to 16936 El Fuego. This is on the south side of the Fire Station in the village. Our mailing address and phone numbers do not change. To reach us- 858-756-4372 or 858-756-9966. There may be a delay in answering emails for a day or so.
Although historically sightings are rare, there are several types of wild animals that live here in Rancho Santa Fe. Mountain Lions main food source is deer and coyotes. Eliminating plant species that attract deer help discourage mountain lions from coming into the area.
Please take precautions – mountain lions are most active at night as well as dusk and dawn. Do not leave children outside unattended; don’t leave pet food or food that may attract animals outside. Do not leave animals outside unattended. Horses should be kept in stalls in the barn. Be careful when walking/ jogging at dusk and dawn time periods. If you see a mountain lion- make noise-lots of it. Yell, scream, and bang on something. For example, pocket sized air horns are a good way to do that.
If you have any questions please call the Dept of Fish and Game at 858-467-4201 or the RSF Patrol 858-756-4372.
For more information: www.keepmewild.org.
'Blue Velvet' the David Lynch-like Reality Coronado Murder Plays Out To Be Continued...Coverage courtesy Fox 5 San Diego.
8:26 p.m. PDT, July 14, 2011
CORONADO, Calif. -- Authorities Thursday said a 32-year-old woman who died at a historic multi-million-dollar mansion in Coronado was found hanging from a balcony by the owner's brother.
Former District Attorney Paul Pfingst visited the scene Wednesday night, but Thursday denied he'd been hired by Jonah Shacknai. He would not elaborate on whether another member of the family had sought him for legal counsel.
Jonah Shacknai, chief executive officer of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Medicis Pharmaceuticals, bought the mansion for $12.75 million in 2007, according to the San Diego County Assessor's Office. The estate includes a separate guest house, three kitchens, six fireplaces and a six-car garage. Shacknai also owns a large estate in Scottsdale.
On Monday, a young boy was injured at the mansion in an apparent accident and had to be hospitalized, Curran told news crews. There was no evidence that the incident was related to the woman's subsequent death, the captain said.
Kennel owner Ted Greenberg told Fox 5 he was in the Coronado mansion after the boy was injured. He said Nalpea called, asking to take care of the family dog.
One of his two ex-wives lives in Coronado, not far from the historic estate, in a house owned by the millionaire.
Private security guards were seen Thursday outside Shacknai and his ex-wife's houses on Coronado.
The mansion was built in 1908 by industrialist John D. Spreckels, who was thought to be the richest man in San Diego in the early 20th century. Spreckels, who died in 1926 at age 72, once operated San Diego's street railway system, changing it from horse power to electricity in 1892, and owned the Hotel Del Coronado for a time, according to the San Diego History Center.
Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society home tour goes around town on Saturday, July 16
The Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society will hold its annual self-guided home tour from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 16.
The featured homes were designed by historically significant architects, including Lilian Rice, Gordon B. Kaufmann and Richard Neutra.
Tickets cost $30 for members and $40 for nonmembers. Proceeds help cover operating costs for the society's missions to preserve local history and educate the public.
Tickets may be purchased at La Flecha House, the society's office and museum at 6036 La Flecha. Checks may be sent to the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society, P.O. Box 1, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067. Call 858-756-9291
San Diego Sheriff's crime report for 6/22/2011 - 6/28/2011: 13 local crimes found....
Follow the link above to view the entire mapping tool...
DEL MAR FAIR RELATED ARRESTS
Jake DeRaadt's Last MOO-RAH: Harmony Grove to Lemoore to Del Mar Fair Odyssey of Cows...
“This is going back home for me,” said DeRaadt, 49. “June is fair month. I’ve been involved with this for 35 years. They got plenty of people milking in the valley at valley fairs. You’re preaching to the choir ‘cause many up there know the ag industry. Hardly anybody is left down here in San Diego.”
The DeRaadt family were dairy mainstays for decades in Harmony Grove, between Escondido and San Marcos. Dairy production once was big business in North County with well over 100 dairies as late as the 1970s producing the equivalent of $80.6 million in Year 2000 dollars. County milk production fell to an all-time low of $12.4 million in 2003.
But, changing times ended the local dairy industry for all practical purposes. With urbanization and environmental challenges costing local dairies too much money and energy, DeRaadt joined the migration north to the Central Valley in 2000 where he could expand his herd and work in an environment more amenable to dairy production.
“I came down two summers ago and was kind of disappointed hearing that zero dairy cattle were going to be at the fair,” DeRaadt said. “There were just no cows here. I talked to (livestock coordinator) Kim Jacobson and said if we can get the dairy display going, I’ll get you the cows if you get someone to milk them. I just can’t be at the fair the full three weeks.”
Deal made. DeRaadt brought kids Arie, 15; Eileen, 16; and Katrina, 18, back home for the fair where they tell other kids on 4H Club barn tours about raising cows. Dairy Council of California educators hold several milking demonstrations a day – with DeRaadt’s imported cows.
It’s all more than good for DeRaadt who combined a healthy dose of nostalgia for his old Escondido home with the practical business of acquainting urban youth with their farming roots. As if to punctuate this point, DeRaadt flew the family dairy’s old sign – Eden Vale 2531 Country Club Rd., Escondido – above his Lemoore, Kings County, cows at the dairy barn.
“The reasons we’re here are multi-pronged,” DeRaadt said. “It’s a lot of fun and a great experience for the kids. We’re also educating the public that for the most part is fairly urban or far removed from the farm.”
DeRaadt’s dairy cows have saved the day for this important, and historical, element of the county fair, said Efrain Valenzuela, Southern California education manager for the Dairy Council of California who has been conducting the daily milking demonstrations.
”Jake DeRaadt has been very helpful as far as bringing the animals to use,” Valenzuela said. “It’s harder and harder finding animals to bring to the public. He’s been there for us when cows have gotten sick. We called him and he said sure, he’d bring another one up. It’s tough finding cows to use.”
The milking demonstrations have proven quite popular with dozens of students and even adults at each show.
“You get that wow factor,” Valenzuela said. “There’s nothing like seeing that little squirt come out and it lights up their faces. Ag is slowly moving out little by little, so we’re happy to bring the farm to them.”
Part of that farm at the fair is the barn tour, this day conducted for a second year by Nicolina Prestininz, a Fallbrook 4-H member. She tells a group of elementary school students that only six dairies remain in San Diego County. Arie and Eileen DeRaadt show off their cows, explaining how they care for the animals.
“How many of you think chocolate milk comes from a brown cow?” Prestininz asks. Several students raise their hands. Jake DeRaadt laughs. That’s what he’s talking about.
NuEzzY BRieFs for Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. area: Coast Police Get Tough; Ag Commish Gets Going; Cardiff Parade Coming and Going...
Coastal deputies getting tougher on patrol this summer, captain says
Uh-Oh, mind your P's and Q's or you'll be sorry as ABC. OK?
San Diego Sheriff's Department officials said they were getting tough on crime this summer, believe it. A new coastal enforcement program is going to be more intense than in the past, according to Encinitas Sheriff's Capt. Sherri Sarro.
"Our focus, obviously, is on crime in the area, but not just that," Sarro said to Encinitas council members at their recent June meeting.
Teams of six Encinitas deputies and two Solana Beach deputies will work the coast on foot and in patrol cars. They will blend in, kind of for "You may see a deputy in shorts or a T-shirt" keeping an eye on the crowds, Sarro said.
In addition to extra police presence along the coast, the Sheriff's Department has increased its networking with business groups along the Coast Highway 101 corridor, Sarro said. Deputies are doing this to help spot emerging trends in criminal activity, such as the start of a spike in car burglaries in a given area, Sarro said.
San Diego County Ag Commissioner Bids Farewell
In 1975, Commissioner Atkins found the first Mediterranean fruit fly in California and later worked to eradicate the same fruit fly in a series of five quarantines in San Diego County from 2008 – 2010. He also led a local, cooperative effort to eradicate the Mexican fruit fly and Japanese beetle, and battled the insidious Asian citrus psyllid and light brown apple moth.
County Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Sarah Aghassi, has appointed Agriculture, Weights and Measures Assistant Director, Lisa Leondis, to serve as Interim Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer while the County searches for a permanent replacement. Ms. Leondis possesses all of the required licenses to be qualified to act as the Commissioner/Sealer and has more than 20 years of experience with the department.
Happy Days! Cardiff Marks Centennial with Parade, Festival
The Cardiff 101 Main Street association celebrates the community's centennial from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with a 100-Year Birthday Celebration in Glen Park.
Festivities will begin at 10 a.m. with a parade down Newcastle Avenue from the Cardiff Post Office (2027 Newcastle) to Glen Park (2149 Orinda Drive).
The parade's grand marshal will be a television and stage celebrity with deep local roots, "Happy Days" star Marion Ross, who grew up in San Diego and made her professional debut at the Old Globe Theatre in 1948.
Once the parade arrives at Glen Park, the festival will begin, featuring vendor, food and game booths, educational exhibits, music and children's activities.
Parking is limited, but free shuttle service will be offered from Encinitas City Hall at 505 S. Vulcan Ave. every half-hour from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more info, call 760-436-0431.
Encinitas, Calif. 'Surfing Madonna' Flakes Off The Wall...Next Stop: Oblivion?
San Diego sheriffs blocked traffic from traveling under the bridge on Encinitas Boulevard between Coast Highway and Vulcan Avenue as crews worked on taking down the mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe on a surfboard. It took crews almost two hours to complete the removal, and there was no damage to the piece.
The nearly 10-by10 foot mosaic was crafted from hundreds of pieces of stones, tiles, and stained glass, but was not permitted to be constructed on the city property.
Mark Patterson who installed the mosaic on Earth Day 2011, reached an agreement Tuesday with the city to help remove the artwork so it can be relocated somewhere else. He paid for the removal and was on scene as a technical consultant to help crews disassemble the mosaic.
Patterson said the mosaic was not for sale and was a gift to the community. He did not disclose the new location for the piece.
OK, Fried Kool-Aid Balls at Chicken Charlie's, Del Mar Fair, Is Breaking News Across The USA...
The balls look like red donut holes, and while some say they also taste rather like donut holes, other fair attendees seem to like the new junk food. One customer of fried Kool-Aid told Sign on San Diego, "It starts off tart and tangy, and then finishes really sweet... I love this stuff."
Boghosian is no stranger to fried candy concoctions. He claims to have invented more than 100 deep-fried treats to serve up at county fairs. In previous years he has created fried fare such as fried Klondike Bars, fried Pop Tarts, and fried Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies.
The tangy red dough balls have really taken off, doing much better than Chicken Charlie's previous new products. Over the fair's opening weekend, the food stall quickly went through its first 150 pounds of Kool-Aid powder and 1,500 pounds of flour - though the rest of the ingredients are top secret.
Deep-fried Kool-Aid in its finished form is like a pastry, first sweet and then tangy, according to delighted tasters. The recipe is top secret but it involves a whole lot of Kool-Aid powder, flour, powdered sugar and hot oil.
"It's really good, different, but a little more like a doughnut than Kool-Aid," Angelyn Lucia told the North Caroline Times after polishing off a serving of deep-fried cherry Kool-Aid.
Another taste described it as a "New Orleans Hushpuppy with Kool-Aid flavor.
Boghosian's fried fare has gained him a cult following as well as appearances on the Travel Channel and CNN. He said that his latest invention was a runaway success, outselling his other deep-fried items two to one.
"That's because it tastes so darn good," Boghosian said.
Fried foods of the sort served up at county and state fairs get the thumbs-down not just from obesity specialists but also cardiologists. The American Heart Association urges people to limit their intake of deep-fried foods, noting that they contain saturated and trans fats that can raise the risk for heart disease by increasing levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
A SAN DIEGO COUNTY FAIR BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD BE BUTTERED TO BE FRIED AND STUFF...
As for the Fair, these are a few quick Summer Solstice images with more to follow later. I was there when that ride went bonkers and injured the guy and that kid. Hmmm. I also could not bear to be part of the elephant opression clique so wished them solidarity from afar, appropriately enough the Fairgrounds security Apparatchik gathering hole.
As I've said, I've got a bunch more, but got to run just now.Anyone wanting to post their own photos, videos and stories from the Fair, feel freeto do so or email them to me at email@example.com and I'll do it.