Author Archives: San Elijo Life

Does My Child Need Occupational Therapy?

Many parents are concerned that their children aren’t developing as quickly as they think they should, often comparing them to other children they see. In her latest blog, Dr. Jaime Friedman breaks down the reasons if and when your little one may need this type of therapy. Read all about it HERE

Children’s Physicians Medical Group (CPMG), in partnership with Rady Children’s Health Network, is dedicated to offering outstanding healthcare for your kids, from birth through age 18. Have you checked out our website?  We can help you find a doctor, explain why CPMG is right for you and allow you to view videos on our doctors and other health topics.

We’re also very social! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Ask us a question, leave us a comment or make a suggestion for future posts. We love hearing from you!

A bomb threat has forced an evacuation of San Marcos High School Tuesday afternoon

A bomb threat has forced an evacuation of San Marcos High School Tuesday afternoon. Please avoid the area. All students and staff have been evacuated to the fields. Traffic on San Marcos Blvd has been re-routed. Watch Ch 10 Facebook Live feed

UPDATE: 2:54 p.m.San Marcos High School students are being transported via bus to San Marcos Middle School (650 W. Mission Rd.) to be released to their parents/guardians who must show ID to pick up their child. Students must check out with school officials prior to being released. listed in the student’s Synergy profile and they must provide a valid picture ID upon pick up. Again, authorized adults must be present a valid picture ID or your student, regardless of age, will not be released to you. We appreciate your patience. Thank you.

From San Diego County Sheriff’s Watch Commander: Just before 1 p.m., @SDSheriff received a call about a pipe bomb at San Marcos High School in the 1600 block of W. San Marcos Blvd. Out of an abundance of caution, students & staff were evacuated to a safe location. No one has been hurt. Deputies, as well as Sheriff’s K-9s and dogs from other agencies, are conducting a thorough search of the campus. So far, no explosive devices have been found.W. San Marcos Blvd. between S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd. and Discovery St. is closed to traffic. EB traffic on W. San Marcos Blvd. is being diverted either north or south on S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd. WB traffic on W. San Marcos Blvd. is being diverted south on Discovery St.Please avoid the area around San Marcos High School until further notice. Follow us at @SDSheriff for the latest updates. We thank the public and the media for their cooperation.

Update – After an extensive search, no suspicious devices were located

San Marcos City Podcast

Your City News. On Your Time.

San Marcos City Podcast! 


Hosted by City Manager Jack Griffin and other city staff, this podcast provides thoughtful and meaningful conversations to give our community members a deeper dive into what’s happening in their local government. You’ll get updates on important city initiatives, as well as interviews with some of our local experts, business owners, higher education leaders, and more. As a leader in public safety, infrastructure, recreation, industry, and cultural programs, the City of San Marcos is steeped in a rich tradition of discovering life’s possibilities. Welcome to the conversation!

San Diego Honda Dealers honor Double Peak 6th grade teacher fighting cancer

San Diego Honda Dealers honor 6th grade teacher fighting cancer $2,000 donation made to school’s music program in Julie Walsh’s honor.

In this Zevely Zone, I visited the Double Peak School in San Marcos where two special donations were made to the school’s library and music program.

In 2019, we profiled the Walsh Family and a mother’s fight against cancer.

Read and watch more via Source: San Diego Honda donation teacher cancer |

Julie Walsh Passed away last week.

Water pipeline condition assessment work scheduled for San Elijo Hills neighborhood.

SEH Pipeline assessmentWater main breaks are disruptive and expensive and usually occur on pipelines at the end of their useful life. The water pipelines in the San Elijo Hills area have experienced main breaks on relatively new pipe. Most of these breaks have been caused by human error.  

Vallecitos has hired a contractor to perform condition assessments of the water main pipelines in San Elijo Hills to help identify weak spots. This assessment will provide necessary information to determine which pipes require repair, rehabilitation, or full replacement.  By making proactive repairs, Vallecitos will be able to reduce costly main breaks. 

In the near future, you may see Vallecitos and/or contractor trucks in the San Elijo Hills area performing this work. For community members that would like to learn more about this upcoming project, Vallecitos will be hosting Zoom meetings to provide more details.  The first meeting will be hosted on April 27th at 6pm with details below:

Direct link to ZOOM meeting (

Webinar ID: 852 2952 7205
Passcode: 710821 

or Dial: 888 788 0099 (Toll Free) or 877 853 5247 (Toll Free) 

Fact sheet to learn more about the project….

New Superintendent to Lead San Marcos Unified School District into the Future

On April 20, 2021, the San Marcos Unified Board of Trustees approved an employment contract with long-time educator, Dr. Andy Johnsen, to serve as the District’s next Superintendent.  

Dr. Johnsen’s career spans twenty-seven years as a teacher, principal, director, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. Since 2017, he has served as Superintendent in Lakeside Union School District in east San Diego County. Before assuming the role of Superintendent, Dr. Johnsen led the district’s Educational Services Department as Assistant Superintendent. 

Dr. Johnsen’s journey in public education began in Los Angeles Unified teaching elementary students, working as a principal and assistant principal, and overseeing more than 100 independent charters as the district’s Charter School Division Director. In 2007, he and his family relocated to North San Diego County where he spent eight years as a principal in Poway Unified School District. In 2015, Dr. Johnsen was named Region 18 Principal of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) for his visionary leadership and student-centric approach to his work. 

Throughout Dr. Johnsen’s storied career, he has undertaken an array of initiatives and outreach that have created an environment of collegiality with staff, families, and the community-at-large. Having worked in small, suburban, and urban districts makes him uniquely positioned for success in San Marcos. As a strong communicator and fluent Spanish speaker, he brings a deep sense of inclusivity and insight to the role. Dr. Johnsen’s ability to listen, build relationships and bring people together are trademarks that will elevate SMUSD’s mission to ensure all students are challenged, inspired, and poised to excel. 

“As we thoughtfully searched for our next superintendent, Dr. Johnsen’s humility, commitment, and focus on bringing all voices to the table made it clear to the Board that he is the right person for the job,” noted Board President Stacy Carlson. “Finding an experienced superintendent with a proven track record of success was a universal desire expressed by every stakeholder group who provided input during our extensive search. We are confident that Dr. Johnsen’s spirit of collaboration will lead SMUSD through these unprecedented times and beyond.”

The Board extends its appreciation to Dr. Johnsen and the other applicants who showed an interest in the position. Trustees also want to express their gratitude to SMUSD employees, parents, community members, and the ESS search advisers for their valuable feedback throughout this process. 

Looking ahead to his July 1st start date, Dr. Johnsen shared, “As a destination district, it brings me great joy to make San Marcos Unified my new home. I look forward to partnering with the Board, staff, students, families, and the greater community as we create our roadmap for an extraordinary future together.”

San Elijo Hills Real Estate Market Update-April 2021

The average home selling in San Elijo Hills is selling for 109% of the listing price in an average of just 17 days. The price per square foot has jumped from $336 per square foot in 2020 to up to $466 in March of 2021. Currently, only four active homes for sale in San Elijo Hills and 16 homes are pending in escrow. With only 12 homes selling in March. Low mortgage rates and historically low inventory of homes for sale make now the time to sell your San Elio Hills Home. Please call or text 760 496-8134 and we can talk about safely selling your home.

760-496-8134 (Call/Text)

Edward Philbrick: REALTOR Lic #01967137

Corcoran Global Living Lic #02109201  

A car ran a San Elijo Hill’s red light, pushing another car into a hydrant Tuesday Evening

Tips for a Calmer Feline Veterinary Visit

Experts recommend that all adult pets see a veterinarian once a year for a wellness visit.  These exams allow the veterinary team to screen for medical, husbandry, and behavioral concerns on a regular basis.  This gives owners tools to help their pet live as long and as happy a life as possible, while potentially identifying early signs of illness and disease allowing for early intervention.  Unfortunately, studies have shown that many cats are not getting these visits on a regular basis. This is not because cat owners do not love their feline family members, but because they are concerned about the emotional well-being of their pets.  

Many feline owners report that their cats feel an extreme level of stress when going to the vet, which may manifest as hiding, cowering, howling, and even aggression.  As a result, many cat owners avoid veterinary visits, sometimes until their pet is very sick.

There are, however, ways to make a cat’s veterinary visit a much lower-stress experience. Working in concert with your pet’s veterinarian and staff, techniques can be employed to lower your cat’s anxiety level before, during, and after the veterinary visit.  These calming techniques begin at home, days before your scheduled appointment.

Start with the Carrier:
The choice of carrier/crate is extremely important.  You may choose a hard or soft carrier depending on your and your cat’s preference, but whichever you choose, it should have a few traits:

  • It should be big enough for your cat to lie down in while still being light enough for you to carry from the bottom
  • The carrier should have at least two openings – one at the front and one on the top
  • It should be easy to take apart so that the cat doesn’t have to be dragged out of the carrier for the exam
  • It should be sturdy, secure, and quiet

Most cats flee at the sight of the carrier because they only see it when they are being taken to the vet.  This does not need to be the case.  You can train your cat to love its carrier!  First off, do not “hide” the carrier; this will only signal your cat to flee and become stressed when you remove the crate from its hiding place.  Leave the carrier out at all times and fill it with soft bedding.  Place it in an area that the cat likes to rest and leave the door open, encouraging your cat to use it as a sanctuary.  Many cats prefer elevated surfaces, so place the carrier on a secure table or shelf off of the floor.  Play with your cat near the carrier, so it becomes part of an enjoyable environment.  You may also place favorite toys, treats, or feline calming pheromone spray (“Feliway”) to encourage your cat to go into its carrier.  If your cat is reluctant at first, take the top off or the carrier leaving only the bottom tray and the soft bedding.  Once your cat starts to use the carrier for sleep, you can put the top back on and continue to encourage your cat to use the carrier as a safe space.

Calmer Transportation:

When it comes time to take your cat to the vet, give yourself time to make it a calmer experience.  Don’t rush to shove your cat into the carrier and go.  Take the time to lure your cat into the carrier with treats or toys.  Place familiar smelling objects in the crate before transport.

Once your cat is in the carrier, cover the carrier with a familiar smelling towel and/or one infused with calming pheromone spray.  When moving the crate, carry it from the bottom, at chest height, to prevent too much movement/swinging.  

In the car, place the carrier somewhere with lower visual stimuli and little motion.  The ideal place is on the floor behind the passenger seat.  Keep the towel over the carrier on three sides so the cat has the option to look out of the carrier or hunker in a darker space.  Play quiet, calming music while driving as cats may become stimulated by loud noises, and drive calmly trying to avoid sudden starts and stops.

At the Vet*:

Working with the veterinary team, you can make your cat’s time at the veterinary clinic a calmer experience.  Leave your cat in the safe space in the car for as long as possible.  This may mean calling the reception for check in or walking to the reception desk to check in while leaving your cat in the car, weather permitting.  Once in the hospital, keep your cat’s carrier on an elevated surface facing away from the open space of the waiting room where other animals may over-stimulate your pet.  

Once in the exam room, remain quiet and calm.  Open your cat’s carrier, but do not force them to exit.  Offer tasty treats and play with toys if your cat is interested.

*If your veterinarian is currently offering curbside service, leave your cat comfortably in their secure spot in the car until the veterinary staff member comes to get them for the exam.

The Return Home

Remember that your cat may still be in a heightened state of arousal when they come home.  This may interfere with their interactions with other pets in the household.  When you come home, take the carrier to a quiet, safe space and allow your pet to leave the carrier on its own. Watch for signs of stress or aggression between pets due to behavioral changes or foreign smells on your cat.  Distract other pets with treats or play while your cat acclimates to being back home.

Other Tips and Tricks

  • Bring your cat’s favorite high-value treats along to the veterinary visit.  Encourage staff members to feed your cat if your pet is willing to eat
  • Feed your cat less that morning so they arrive to the appointment hungry and willing to take treats
  • Purchase calming pheromone spray (“Feliway”) and spray covers, blankets, your car, and yourself 15 minutes before leaving for the vet

For very stressed cats, anti-anxiety medication can make veterinary trips a much calmer experience.  Appropriate use of these medications can help your pet immensely, resulting in less fearful visits which will ultimately benefit your pet’s health by decreasing stress and allowing for more comprehensive examinations.  Talk to your veterinarian about options for your specific pet.

If your cat has significant fear issues when going to the vet, discuss these concerns with your veterinarian so that their team can devise a plan to make the visit as low-stress as possible.  This will help your pet get the wellness care it needs to help it live as long and happy a life as possible.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our hospital at (760) 736-3636.

Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo 

1691 Melrose Dr. Suite # 110
San Marcos, CA 92078


The upcoming summer session at California State University San Marcos offers more than 180 online courses to CSUSM students as well as students from other universities and individuals in the community. In addition, a popular summer payment plan is being offered again, allowing students to pay for courses in three installments if they desire. Summer session dates are June 7 – Aug. 14, 2021.

“We are committed to supporting the success of our students as well as others in the community who are pursuing educational goals,” says Godfrey Gibbison, dean of Extended Learning and Global Programs. “Our faculty and staff have worked hard throughout the COVID-19 health emergency to offer solutions that anticipate and address students’ needs. With its wide range of courses, Summer Session 2021 sets students up to stay on track—or even get ahead— in their education plan.”

The Summer 2021 schedule includes courses from mathematics to computer science and from sociology to digital and media arts. The classes are offered on a compressed timeline with students earning units in as little as five weeks. All courses are taught by CSUSM faculty and are online as the university continues remote instruction in response to COVID-19.

During summer session, students from other universities, qualified high school seniors and community members can register for courses without being formally admitted to the university. Credits from CSUSM courses are fully transferable to other institutions. In addition, up to 24 undergraduate and nine graduate units taken as a nonmatriculated student may be counted toward a CSUSM degree.

The first block of classes will be held June 7 – July 10 and the second block of classes is scheduled for July 12 – Aug. 14. A small selection of classes runs the full 10-week summer session, June 7 – Aug. 14.

About Extended Learning at CSUSM

As the academic outreach arm of Cal State San Marcos, Extended Learning is a premier resource of professional and continuing education in North San Diego and Southwest Riverside counties. Our education experience is tailored to the unique needs of our students and includes undergraduate and graduate degree programs, global education, professional certificates, customized training for businesses, online courses and lifelong learning programs. Please visit CSUSM Extended Learning to learn more.

About California State University San Marcos

Building on an innovative 31-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward- focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 306-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos, CSUSM is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego, Southwest Riverside and South Orange counties.

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