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Who’s News: 1/13/23


It’s easy to enjoy the Pala Resort this year. Ride the new Pala Casino Express luxury round-trip motorcoach from various locations throughout San Diego County. Service begins Jan. 16 and the cost is $20. For reservations and pick-up details, visit or call (800) 254-3423. Must be 21 or older to participate.


Escondido author Bill Toone has published a new book, “On the Wings of the Condor,” (2022, CCS Publications, available on Amazon) a memoir that takes the reader on wild, single engine plane rides, through thick jungle treks, shaky canyon-spanning footbridges, pirogue boats and pole barges as his teams face smoldering heat, malaria infested jungles, poisonous animal bites, and the equally trying politics of conservation brought about the founding of ECOLIFE Conservation, based in Escondido. The book is the story of a sensitive boy coming of age, but equally of a sensitive man traveling to over 100 countries in search of the meaning of conservation and founding a nonprofit against tough odds. Ecolife Conservation’s aquaponics and sustainable stoves conserve forest areas and prevent climate change around the world.


Ascend Coffee House will host its grand opening at 10 a.m. Jan. 20 at 1080 W. San Marcos Blvd.,Ste. 176, San Marcos. RSVP to


The Southern California PGA Section announced that San Marcos resident Nikki Gatch, PGA, has officially assumed the role of SCPGA section executive director / CEO. Gatch was elected to PGA Membership in 2013. Gatch will be responsible for oversight of the section staff, implementation of the section’s strategic plan; liaison for the section board of directors; and representing the section with regards to government agencies and various communities to advocate on behalf of the PGA professional, their facilities and the game of golf.


• Ashley Fox of Oceanside has been named to the provost’s list at Troy University for the fall semester/term 2 of the 2022-2023 academic year.

• Anita Panatch of Carmel Valley was named to the Westminster College dean’s list for the fall 2022 semester.

• Claudia Whitehead  of Carmel Valley participated in Emerson Stage’s production of “Are You Someone to Somebody?” performed in December in the Greene Theater at Emerson College in Boston.

• Grace Laliotis of San Diego made the president’s list at Shenandoah University for the fall 2022 semester.


Solana Beach Community Connections s recruiting volunteers for their standing committees. SBCC is looking for interested volunteers to supplement their existing committees. People with interests and ability in website management, publicity, initiating program ideas, and development/fundraising are invited to volunteer their support.  Volunteers will attend a monthly hour and a half meeting in addition to time spent as a committee member. Contact Kathy Bratcher at [email protected] for more information.


Brain Balance, a drug-free brain training program, designed to help adults and kids improve focus, behavior, social skills, cognitive performance, and emotional well-being, has opened a new location at 165 S. El Camino Real, Suite E, Encinitas.


Cal State San Marcos has received a grant of $350,000 to provide support for seven California State University campuses that will collaborate to develop a plan to remove barriers to the success of transfer students. The director of the grant project from CSUSM is Dawn M. Formo, dean of the office of undergraduate studies. Formo will lead a working group composed of representatives from six other CSU campuses and seven community colleges to reduce barriers to transfer for the highest risk populations.


Feeding San Diego, the county’s leading hunger relief and food rescue organization, is in urgent need of volunteers this month. Visit Volunteers are critical to Feeding San Diego’s operations, helping to sort, glean, and pack food that goes out to people in need. Volunteers are also needed to operate Feeding San Diego’s  Marketplace.


The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a limited-edition bobblehead Jan.6 and Jan. 7, featuring Hall of Fame San Diego Padres shortstop Ozzie Smith making the sensational barehand play that is often considered the best during his rookie season. Visit


Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the “State of Lung Cancer” report reveals that it is detected at high levels in about 8% of homes in California and is the leading cause of lung cancer in people who have never smoked. During January for Radon Action Month, the American Lung Association urges everyone to test their home for radon. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas emitted from the ground. Radon can enter a home through cracks in floors, basement walls, foundations and other openings. Learn more about radon testing and mitigation at


San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance won the Animation Award for most outstanding use of animation in the 134th Rose Parade with a float celebrating the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s 50th anniversary. The float’s theme, “Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation,” depicted rhinos, giraffes and the Safari Park’s iconic Wildlife Safari experience. The giraffes and rhinos on the float were animated, with the rhinos seemingly coming to life as they turned their heads and the giraffes moving their long necks and bending down for a cool drink of water from a flowing waterfall.