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City of Escondido
—  City  —
Downtown — Grand Avenue.
Nickname(s): Hidden Valley; The Hidden City; The Heart of San Diego North; Esco
Location of Escondido, California
Coordinates: 33°7′29″N 117°4′51″W / 33.12472°N 117.08083°W / 33.12472; -117.08083
Country United States United States
State California California
County San Diego
Incorporated October 8, 1888 (1888-10-08)
Government
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler
Area
 - Total 94.5 km2 (36.5 sq mi)
 - Land 94.0 km2 (36.3 sq mi)
 - Water 0.5 km2 (0.2 sq mi)
Elevation 197 m (646 ft)
Population (2006–2007)
 - Total 140,766
 Density 1,421.4/km2 (3,681.4/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Code 92025-92027, 92029
Area code(s) 760 and 442 (overlay plan)
FIPS code 06-22804
GNIS feature ID 1652706
Website http://www.ci.escondido.ca.us/

Escondido (pronounced /ˌɛskənˈdiːdoʊ/ "es-cone-DEE-doe") is a city located in California, just north of the city of San Diego. The name means "hidden" in Spanish—it occupies a shallow valley ringed by rocky hills. Founded in 1888, it is one of the oldest cities in San Diego County. The city has an estimated population of 128,819.[1] The city is known as Eskondiid in Diegueño.[2] A nationwide study in 2005 ranked Escondido #11 out of 25 of the most conservative cities in America.[3]

Contents

History

Escondido was originally settled by Native American tribes. Spain controlled the land from the late 1700s to the early 1800s, and established many missions in California to convert the indigenous people. When Mexico gained its independence from Spain, the local land was divided into large "ranchos." The land that would become Escondido was Rancho Rincon del Diablo, a land grant that was given to Juan Bautista Alvarado in 1843 by the Mexican governor.

In 1846, war broke out between the United States and Mexico, and a key battle was fought in the area just south of Escondido. Known as the Battle of San Pasqual, it pitted Mexican Andrés Pico (the brother of then California governor Pío Pico) against Americans Kearny, Gillespie, and Kit Carson. A large park in Escondido is named for Carson.

The city was home to a large Spanish-speaking population in the first census back in 1850, but after the US won the war, non-Hispanic settlers came to Southern California in increasing numbers. The decade of the 1880s is known as the "Southern California Land Boom" because so many people were moving to the state. In 1886 a group of investors called the Escondido Land & Town Company purchased the 12,814-acre (52 km2) area. Two years later in 1888 Escondido was incorporated as a city - the vote was 64 in favor of cityhood with 12 votes against. Railroads like the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific were laid in the 1880s, and the opening of U.S. Route 395 in 1930 boosted economic growth in Escondido.

Escondido was primarily an agricultural community, growing muscat grapes initially. After a dam was built in 1894-5 to form what is known today as Lake Wohlford, oranges and lemons were planted in large quantity, as well as a number of olives and walnuts. By the 1960s avocados became the largest local crop. Since the 1970s, Escondido has lost most of its agricultural landscape to new housing developments.

Through the 20th century the community grew and the economy diversified. Today the community has approximately 140,000 residents, and an economy based on agriculture, tourism, retail, services, light industry, and high tech. Escondido no longer has a large lower-middle-class population as it once had: most of this socioeconomic group had to move elsewhere when housing prices soared and older neighborhoods were bulldozed or renovated.[citation needed] Escondido has a high real estate appraisal rating, a phenomenon in North San Diego County since the population began to rise steadily in the 1970s.

36 Escondido homes were destroyed or damaged in the October 2007 Witch Creek Fire.[4]

Geography

Dixon Lake at Daley Ranch.

Escondido is located at 33°7'29" North, 117°4'51" West (33.124794, -117.080850).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 94.5 km² (36.5 mi²). 94.0 km² (36.3 mi²) of it is land and 0.5 km² (0.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.52% water.

The city is growing at a rapid rate with new communities like Hidden Trails appearing at the east end of East Valley Parkway. The city proper is surrounded by several sparsely populated unincorporated communities. These include Jesmond Dene and Hidden Meadows to the north; Felicita Park to the southwest; and Rincon Del Diablo to the southeast. Residents of these communities have Escondido mailing addresses and zip codes, and they are sometimes assigned to Escondido schools, but they cannot participate in city elections.[citation needed]

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Climate

Escondido tends to have warmer summers and wetter winters than its neighbor San Diego. Yearly precipitation averages around 15 inches and varies from year to year. More than 80% of all precipitation takes place from November through March. Snow is very uncommon. Climate is mild enough to allow widespread cultivation of avocados and oranges. Escondido is located in a plant hardiness zone 9.

Climate data for Escondido
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 68
(20)
69
(20.6)
70
(21.1)
75
(23.9)
77
(25)
84
(28.9)
89
(31.7)
89
(31.7)
87
(30.6)
81
(27.2)
74
(23.3)
69
(20.6)
Average low °F (°C) 42
(5.6)
45
(7.2)
47
(8.3)
50
(10)
54
(12.2)
58
(14.4)
61
(16.1)
63
(17.2)
61
(16.1)
55
(12.8)
46
(7.8)
42
(5.6)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.4
(86.4)
3.2
(81.3)
3.3
(83.8)
1.0
(25.4)
0.3
(7.6)
0.1
(2.5)
0.1
(2.5)
0.0
(0)
0.2
(5.1)
0.4
(10.2)
1.3
(33)
1.8
(45.7)
15.1
(383.5)
Source: {{{source}}} {{{accessdate}}}

Lakes

Three lakes are located in or near Escondido, all of which allow boating and fishing[citation needed]:

  • Dixon Lake is located in the north.[6]
  • Lake Wohlford is located on the north eastern fringe of the city limits.[7]
  • Lake Hodges is located just south of the city. A part of Lake Hodges is crossed by Interstate 15 via the Lake Hodges Bridge. Often this part of the lake is dry.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 541
1900 755 39.6%
1910 1,334 76.7%
1920 1,789 34.1%
1930 3,421 91.2%
1940 4,560 33.3%
1950 6,544 43.5%
1960 16,377 150.3%
1970 36,792 124.7%
1980 64,355 74.9%
1990 108,635 68.8%
2000 133,559 22.9%
Est. 2007 136,246 2.0%

As of the 2000 census, there are 133,559 people, 43,817 households, and 31,153 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,421.4/km² (3,680.9/mi²). There are 45,050 housing units at an average density of 479.4/km² (1,241.6/mi²). According to the 2000 census, the racial makeup of the city is 51.9% White, 2.25% African American, 1.23% Native American, 4.46% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 19.19% from other races, and 4.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 38.7% of the population.[8]

There are 43,817 households of which 39.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% are married couples living together, 28.9% are non-families, and 11.7% with a female householder with no husband present. 22.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.01 and the average family size is 3.50.

In the city the population is spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 98.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 96.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $42,567, and the median income for a family is $48,456. Males have a median income of $32,627 versus $27,526 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,241. 13.4% of the population and 9.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 17.9% of those under the age of 18 and 5.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

The city can be divided into two demographically distinct areas. Peripheral hilly areas to the north, southeast, and southwest are relatively wealthy and populated by non-Hispanic whites, and flat areas adjacent to the downtown are predominantly Hispanic. As of 2006-07 school year, non-Hispanic white children comprise 71.7% of all students in Bernardo Elementary School (southwest), 60.8% of all students in L.R. Green Elementary School (southeast), and 54.7% of all students in Reidy Creek Elementary School (north); on the other hand, Farr Avenue, Pioneer and Lincoln Elementary schools (three large schools just north of the downtown) all have more than 85% of Hispanic and less than 6% non-Hispanic white students.

Crime

In 2008, there were 567 violent crimes and 4,182 property crimes in Escondido. There were 4 murders and non-negligent manslaughters, 31 rapes, 195 robberies, 337 aggravated assaults, 898 burglaries, 2,405 larceny thefts, 879 vehicle thefts, and 27 arsons.[9]

In 2007, the city ranked #65 by violent crimes per capita and #58 by property crimes per capita among 165 cities in California with populations greater than 50,000. Compared with 12 largest cities in San Diego County, it ranked 6th in both categories. Its crime rate was lower in both categories than in San Diego, El Cajon, and National City; higher in both categories than in San Marcos, Carlsbad, Encinitas, and Santee. Escondido had higher violent crime rates but lower property crime rate than La Mesa and Chula Vista, lower violent crime rates but higher property crime rates than Vista and Oceanside.

Points of interest

Downtown

Downtown Escondido (centered on Grand Avenue) has become more active in the past few years with the opening of restaurants, cafes, and galleries. Every Friday night from April through September, the Downtown Business Association hosts the popular "Cruisin' Grand," where the public can show and view hot rods and historic cars. A different car club and/or featured attraction (i.e. antique fire trucks, nitro night, midget and sprint cars) is highlighted each week. Cruisin' Grand also features a DJ, hula hoop contests for children, and 7 trophies each night.

In addition to the many art galleries on Grand, a branch of the Mingei International Museum has recently opened there. This museum displays handcrafts from around the world. Just one block off Grand Ave. is Grape Day Park with the civic center and the California Center for the Arts, Escondido that features two theaters, a visual arts museum, an educational complex, and a conference center. The Escondido Children's Museum and the Escondido History Center, two independent non-profit museums, are located in Grape Day Park. The Children's Museum features hands-on exhibits and programs for children up to 10 years of age, with an authentically regional perspective on natural and social science. The History Center features the city's original Santa Fe Depot, first library, Victorian house, barn, and blacksmith shop. The Pioneer Room of Escondido Public Library (located in the Mathes Center building next to the Main Library) has photographs, maps, oral histories, genealogical collections, directories and yearbooks documenting Escondido's history.[10] The San Diego North Convention & Visitors Bureau[1] is located in the California Center for the Arts, and sells half price arts performances and is the only ARTS TIX outlet in San Diego North. The Visitors Bureau also provides literature, maps, and their Travel & Planning Guide free of charge to visitors.

Valley Center

Valley Center is located just north of Escondido. With a history in agriculture, there are many farms and wineries around Escondido, some of which offer tours. Today, Valley Center is portrayed with an image of exo-suburban prosperity, when multi-million dollar homes and properties appeared in the 1990s and now residential and commercial development covers the landscape in the formerly farm-based community. Valley View Casino, owned by the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, is located in Valley Center.

Stone Brewing Company

In 2006, Stone Brewing Company moved its headquarters and brewery from San Marcos, California to a new, much larger facility in the Quail Hills area of Escondido.[11]

Deer Park Buddhist Monastery

Deer Park Monastery is a Buddhist sanctuary that occupies 400 acres in the hills north of Escondido and west of Daley Ranch. It is one of the two monasteries in the United States under the direction of a well known Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. Deer Park Monastery is home to 27 Buddhist monks and nuns, and it frequently hosts events and retreats that bring people from all over the western United States and from abroad.

Sports

From 1964–1968, the San Diego Chargers, then of the now-defunct AFL, held training camp in Escondido.[12]

In 1981, Escondido National Little League became the 19th[13] team to make it to the Little League World Series from the state of California. The team was first District 31 champions, then District 8 champions.[14] They then won the Southern California Divisional Tournament at Youth Athletic Park by beating San Bernardino Civitan 3-2 in the quarterfinals, then beating Granada Hills American 5-1 in the semifinals and then beating Ladera National 7-5 in the finals to earn a trip to the Western Regional. At the Western Regional in San Bernardino, the Escondido team won four straight games to earn the trip to Williamsport.[15]

Parks and recreation

Escondido has 13 parks: Daley Ranch, El Norte, Grape Day, Jesmond Dene, Kit Carson, Dixon Lake, Lake Wohlford, Mountain View, Rod McLeod, Washington, Westside, Ryan Park, and Grove Park.[16]

Queen Califia's Magical Circle, the last major international work by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, is located in Kit Carson Park. De Saint Phalle, a colleague of Salvador Dalí and Jasper Johns, is best known for her Stravinsky Fountain, located in Paris, France. The artist chose Escondido as the site for her final work because it reminded her of Italy.

Wild Animal Park

A major tourist attraction just outside Escondido is the San Diego Wild Animal Park, sister park of the San Diego Zoo. The Wild Animal Park shows world animals in open habitat, where they can roam, graze, and fly.

Government

Sister cities[17]
Japan Maebaru, Japan

Local

Escondido is governed by a mayor-council system. The city council consists of a mayor and four City Council Members. Along with the City Treasurer, they are elected at large to four-year terms. The current mayor is Lori Holt Pfeiler. Current City Council Members are Sam Abed, Olga Diaz, Dick M. Daniels, and Marie Waldron. The current City Manager is Clay Phillips. The current City Treasurer is Ken Hugins. The most recent election was held on November 7, 2006.[18] Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler won 59% of the vote, defeating challenger Tim Dagosta. Councilmember Marie Waldron led the seven-way race for city council, after basing her re-election platform on a controversial housing ordinance that seeks to ban the city's illegal immigrant population from renting apartments. The ordinance is being challenged by the ACLU in court and might be ruled unconstitutional under California law. Retiring councilmember Ron Newman was replaced by newcomer Dick Daniels. Issues in the municipal election included managing growth and improving opportunities for business and recreation.

Due to the public outcry and legal challenges to the aforementioned housing ordinance, and the election of Olga Diaz to the City Council, it has since ceased any overt attempts to lower the illegal immigrant population in the city (which, by councilmember Sam Abed's estimates, possibly constituted as much as 35,000, or 25% of the city population in 2006[19]), and focused on "quality of life" issues instead. Periodic police checkpoints are instituted to catch unlicensed drivers. An active area of debate is an overnight parking ordinance that would limit the number of cars each household can legally park on city streets.[20] The city is estimated to have lost as much as a quarter of its non-citizen population between 2006 and 2007. Latino activists attribute this to a perception of the city as hostile to immigrants.[21]

State and Federal

In the state legislature Escondido is located in the 38th Senate District, represented by Republican Mark Wyland, and in the 74th and 75th Assembly District, represented by Republicans Martin Garrick and Nathan Fletcher respectively. Federally, Escondido is located in California's 50th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +5[22] and is represented by Republican Brian Bilbray.

In the United States presidential election of 2008, 53.3% of residents of incorporated Escondido voted for John McCain, 44.9% voted for Barack Obama, and 1.8% voted for one of the third-party candidates. Unincorporated areas were considerably more conservative: among voters in neighborhoods of Rincon Del Diablo, Hidden Meadows, and Valley Center, 62.3%, 65.5%, 66.9% of voters respectively cast their votes for John McCain.

Education

Escondido is served by the Escondido Union School District,[23] the Escondido Union High School District,[24] and the San Pasqual Unified School District. The city has 19 elementary, five middle, and seven high schools.

Public high schools:

Middle schools:

  • Bear Valley Middle School
  • Del Dios Middle School
  • Hidden Valley Middle School
  • Mission Middle School
  • Rincon Middle School

There is a wide range of API scores for Escondido schools, reflecting the demographic diversity of the city. As of 2007,[26] six elementary schools in the district scored above the 80th percentile of all schools in the state, and eight elementary schools scored below the 20th percentile.

The Escondido Public Library system consists of the Main Branch, the East Valley Branch, Pioneer Room, Computer Center, and a bookmobile.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Escondido is served by two highways, Route 78 and Interstate 15. Local bus service is operated by the North County Transit District (NCTD), with connections to San Diego's Metropolitan Transit System and Riverside Transit Agency. NCTD began operating the Sprinter, a light rail service, on March 9, 2008. The rail line links Escondido to Oceanside using the existing 22-mile (35 km)-long Escondido Branch trackage of the San Diego Northern Railroad. This made Escondido one of the first cities in the United States to operate Desiro-class diesel multiple units manufactured by Siemens in Germany. The California High Speed Rail Association chose Escondido as a proposed stop along the proposed high speed rail system that will reach from Southern to Northern California. A section of the line between San Francisco and Los Angeles was approved by voters in the November 2008 elections.

Utilities

San Diego Gas & Electric is the electric utility for the city.[27] The Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District serves Escondido.[28]

Health care

Palomar Medical Center, located east of downtown, is the city's largest employer and the only designated trauma center in northern San Diego County[29][30]

Notable natives and residents

See also

References

  1. ^ 2007 American Community Survey estimates of social characteristics of Escondido, CA
  2. ^ Ted Couro and Christina Hutcheson (1973), Dictionary of Mesa Grande Diegueño, Malki Museum Press, Morongo Indian Reservation, Banning, California 
  3. ^ Study Ranks America’s Most Liberal and Conservative Cities.govpro.com.
  4. ^ City of Escondido (2007-12-20). "Updated List – Escondido Homes Destroyed/Damaged By Fire" (PDF). Press release. http://www.ci.escondido.ca.us/wcfire/press/12-20-07.pdf. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Dixon Lake". City of Escondido. http://www.ci.escondido.ca.us/glance/lakes/dixon/index.html. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  7. ^ "Lake Wohlford". City of Escondido. http://www.ci.escondido.ca.us/glance/lakes/wohlford/index.html. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  8. ^ http://censtats.census.gov/data/CA/1600622804.pdf censtats.census.gov
  9. ^ California - Offenses Known to Law Enforcement by State by City, 2008
  10. ^ Pioneer Room
  11. ^ Article in North County Times
  12. ^ "Chronology 1959-1969". San Diego Chargers. http://www.chargers.com/team/history/chronology/1959-1969.html. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  13. ^ West Region State Little League Champions
  14. ^ 1981 Southern California Little League Tournament Results
  15. ^ 1981 Little League World Series Rosters
  16. ^ "Facilities and Park Directory" (PDF). City of Escondido. http://www.ci.escondido.ca.us/recreation/facilities/directory-map.pdf. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  17. ^ "Escondido Sister City — Maebaru, Japan". City of Escondido. http://www.ci.escondido.ca.us/glance/uniquely/sister/index.html. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  18. ^ General Municipal Election
  19. ^ "Escondido to vote on housing ordinance". San Diego Union Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20061004-9999-7m4illeg.html. 
  20. ^ City delays adoption of parking ordinance
  21. ^ http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/09/23/business/zd7019718d243a59d882574cd0079bfdd.txt Escondido faces another fiscal obstacle: fewer people
  22. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. http://www.clcblog.org/blog_item-85.html. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  23. ^ Escondido Union School District
  24. ^ Escondido Unified High School District
  25. ^ Valley High page at EUHSD
  26. ^ 2007 API scores of Escondido elementary schools
  27. ^ "Our Service Territory". San Diego Gas and Electric. http://www.sdge.com/aboutus/serviceTerritory.shtml. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  28. ^ "Our History". Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District. http://www.rinconwater.org/our_history.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  29. ^ "Top 25 Employers - City of Escondido". City of Escondido. 2008-06. http://www.ci.escondido.ca.us/econdev/largest-emp.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  30. ^ "Palomar Medical Center". Palomar Pomerado Health. http://www.pph.org/PPHContentPage.aspx?nd=170. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  31. ^ Angwin, Julia (2009-03-29). "Putting Your Best Faces Forward". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123819495915561237.html. Retrieved 2010-02-14. "Born Nov. 8, 1970, he grew up in Escondido, a sleepy farm town about a half hour's drive north of San Diego." 
  32. ^ Eastman, Quinn (2007-05-09). "Escondido a quiet corner of 'D.C. Madam's' life". North County Times. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/escondido/article_4ae2dbd7-5bdd-5199-a4d9-511988044d59.html. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 

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