Monday, January 19, 2015


The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. MLK

It is easy to stand up when we are all aligned. It is also inconsequential. It is a different story when those around you would rather not reflect on and defend the dominant trend. KMC 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sales Prevention Squad Ups Operations in Leucadia Business District

Beware coastal Leucadia dwellers, the Sheriff Swat Buggy is writing tickets to tax payers for crossing the train tracks.
Will the shadowy NCTD (North County Transit District) and the city of Encinitas ever provide adequate pedestrian infrastructure in the coastal Leucadia business corridor???

Sunday, January 04, 2015

We Can't Make More Mountains

I've been busy the last few years. That's why it was so sweet to have the opportunity to take two weeks off over the holidays.

California, with the SF Bay Area and San Diego especially, is geographically positioned in a such a way that folks of even modest income can have a very rich quality of life for the active and adventurous.

We live within a day trip and weekend trip of so many different sorts of places. Here in San Diego, we get to surf in the morning and ski in the afternoon. After a winter storm, we can load up the family after breakfast and head to Julian or Palomar and play in the snow for free (not counting fuel costs) and be back for dinner.

With flat waves and snow in the forecast, my family took advantage of a friend's rental cabin on Palomar Mountain, before the New Year's storm. We felt fortunate to have that resource to enjoy. We felt relaxed, calm, and connected to be out of the urban rush. That was before the storm.

Deep snow on Palomar

We got snow. There was snow up to the bottom of my knees. Snow was down in the valley and thick across Rancho Guejito (think "smart growth"). It was absolutely a wonderful few days on the mountain. We were sorry more of our friends couldn't share the time with us.

View from Palomar looking south across Ranch Guejito and Hell Hole Canyon.

Five years ago, I wrote about how fun it could be to run up to Palomar to play in the snow, as a break from the normal routine. A definite quality of life benefit of living in Leucadia. Even then, we saw that benefit was stretched thin. We were glad we drove up early in the morning, even back then.

Well, what we observed this week was redonkulous. Mountain day trips to the snow are no longer on the list of reasons it is good to live in Encinitas.

After the storm, there was not enough room at the top of Palomar for everyone. There was no sense of getting away from the urban rush for the 10's of thousands that sought to go to the mountains across the county. South Grade Road up Palomar looked like an ant trail of cars (see below). It was stop and go all the way up... to get to a destination where drivers would find difficulty parking and families finding it hard to spread out. CHP ended up closing east and south grade road. Thousands of cars were diverted past Rincon and south toward valley center, as they later shut down parts of the 78. It was nuts and must have been sad for many of the families that made it that far without giving up.

South Grade Road Traffic Jam (Click to Enlarge)

 Traffic backed up for miles on Highway 78

We saw all this as we left the mountain. The cars lined up for miles. People must have crawled for hours just to find out they couldn't drive up to the top where there was still deep snow. Certainly, many probably tried to go to Julian when they were diverted back through valley center. That would have been painful, because there were reports of 4-5 hour travel times to get to Julian from San Diego. This was caused by the shear numbers of people heading out; a function of San Diego's population size. Thousands of people set out to enjoy a nice day in the snow and instead found themselves stuck in their car for a majority of their day. 

We can add many new (and expensive) facilities to our city that are nice to have. We already have(/had) lots of great reasons to enjoy Encinitas and greater San Diego. We must remain thoughtful about the diffuse effects of our planning decisions and how the future's quality of life will be impacted. That's fine if we collectively decide to make those tradeoffs, but we should recognize and articulate what will be lost, as well as what will be gained, when the choices are made. However, I will always regret the erosion of our "close to snow" resource.

I know some folk think we should only discuss positives. Ignoring negatives can result in less positives in the future and reduces the value of communication from those who speak up only on rosy topics.


Saturday, January 03, 2015

Leucadia a ‘problematic area’ for illegal crossings

You may have seen the Encinitas Advocate story:
Leucadia a ‘problematic area’ for illegal railroad crossings
There’s a legal crossing at Leucadia Boulevard, but it’s common to see people just north breaking the law by walking across the railway.
In hopes of cutting down on illegal crossings, North County Transit District (NCTD) recently identified north of Leucadia Boulevard as one of three focus spots.
“It’s proven to be a problematic area for us since we’ve had a heavy number of incidents there,” said Katie Whichard, NCTD’s public information officer.

Stray Observations:
 *If you are one of the many citizens who live along the Vulcan corridor and want to access the coast highway business and the beach you are naturally going to take the path of less resistance.

*Crossings the train tracks is the easy part if you are non-suicidal sober person, it's the 4 lane coast highway that is the dangerous part of the journey.

*Fun Fact; the handsome founder of the Leucadia Blog also owns the business pictured in the background of the photo in the EA story. He recommends a marked pedestrian crossing at Jasper St. But, nobody listens to deadbeat bloggers.

See also:
Letter to the editor: Synchronize traffic lights

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Housing Plan Update Looms in 2016

In 2016 there will be a ballot measure on the new Housing Element for the Shire of Encinitas.

The city is seeking input on what the Housing Element will look like.

Visit the city's Housing Plan Update page: clicky clicky

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Pacific View site Proposal: Make it a "Glamping" Campground

I've been thinking about our recent Pacific View land purchase and I think I got a good idea for y'all.

We need more camping opportunities around here, camping in our urban beach environment is super fun. Even locals book a campsite at Cardiff or Carlsbad once a year.

With the proper landscaping and love the Pacific View site would make for great "Glamping" (glamor camping).

The city could put in cool Airstream trailers, build modern hipster tents and yurts and install facilities like showers and restrooms. It would be great.

Imagine spending the day with the family at Moonlight Beach all day, then walking a short walk to your Glamp Site. You could enjoy downtown Encinitas easily if you get tired of the beach.

I haven't crunched the numbers, but it should be an affordable build out and I have no doubt it would book out far in advance.

Don't laugh at my crazy idea, this could work. Classic retro family camping is the future. 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Why Kristin Gaspar will be mayor of Encinitas for the next decade (and beyond)

Encinitas, Kristin Gaspar is your mayor for at least the next 10 years and maybe more. 

Let's think about that for a minute.

In the last election we all decided that we should start electing mayors instead of the ceremonial rotating system that always broke down into weird high school politics.

But, we are a fearful group so we adopted a mere 2 year term for mayor.

Now that Kristin Gaspar has handily secured the mayor spot she will now spend the next 2 years in campaign mode. Look for her to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and sharp and on point everyday all day. She will never really say anything too controversial and she will milk her role as a visible and attractive mascot of all the good things of Encinitas. Not even  Dan Dalager could crush a ribbon cutting like Gaspar.

Previous mayors like Christy Guerin and Jerome Stocks would always slip up and say mean grumpy things that eventually erode at their votes and reputations. Gaspar is way too savvy for such slip ups.

Who can beat Gaspar in the next election for mayor? There is nobody in this town with a strong enough cult of personality to energize the amount of money and votes it would take to upset Gaspar.

Newly elected council person Catherine Blakespear has good support coming out of the gate, but she would be foolish to challenge Gaspar head to head so soon, losing to Gaspar in a mayor run in 2 years would only erode her reputation and make her council seat vulnerable.  

Silver haired business men can come out of the woodwork and spend their retirement money on runs at mayor, but why would they beyond satisfying their own egos? Washed up ceo's fresh off the golf course won't beat Gaspar and they would be better off lobbying her in the background anyway.

It would take a major, major mistake on Gaspar's part to derail her destiny as the new perennial mayor of Encinitas. The now missing 10,000 strong Leucadian vote that once supported Maggie Houlihan has no-one to rally behind. Are they even still out there?

Media coverage isn't a factor.
The San Diego Union Tribune will never write anything overly harmful about Gaspar.
The Coast News might take shots at her but nobody will read it because you can't get past their online subscription form.
The Seaside Courier will probably just shut down now that election 2014 is over because the Courier is pointless.
The Encinitas Advocate will continue to do fair balance journalism and no-one will notice.
The handful of local blogs are only read by fringe weirdos like you and me.

Another huge factor, Kristin Gaspar is only in her 30's.

Bud Lewis recently passed away, he was mayor of Carlsbad for 24 years! (source)

Unless a bright new star emerges (preferably a millennial female) on the local political stage over the next year we can count on another easy win for Gaspar in 2016 and she will keep on winning every 2 years for the next 2 decades.

Easy Win for Mayor Gaspar

screenshot from

Visit Encinitas Advocate for election roundup: clicky clicky