Friday, September 29, 2006

um...funky sells?

So I'm watching the Padres on Ch 4 (6th inning, Pads down by 2 runs, important game) and they just ran a Barratt American commercial for some development in La Mesa (the Aragon, lol) and they just used the word FUNKY in a positive way. Something like, "just minutes away from funky shops in artsy downtown" (I'm paraphrasing).

I had to laugh because after all the grief I've been getting over the word FUNKY on this blog that I actually felt pressured to change the name from KEEP LEUCADIA FUNKY to the less controversial (but funnier) KEEP TACOS YUMMY (which just confused people so now the blog is simply called Leucadia!)

Man, I thought all you developer yuppie nazis hated the word FUNKY. What gives???

Keep it funky yo.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Squeaky Wheel Gets Sidewalks

Yes, I'm jealous. Downtown Encinitas has sidewalks designed for fancy walkin' while Leucadia only allows regular walking.

Encinitas council to consider walkway, landscaping plans

By Jenny Lim

September 27, 2006

– When it comes to improving footpaths that skirt North Coast Highway 101, the Encinitas City Council has talked the talk.

Tonight, council members will decide whether pedestrians in the Leucadia community will actually walk the sidewalk.

The council will consider whether to revamp and connect the patches of sidewalk interspersed with dirt that line a half-mile stretch of the highway in Leucadia. The improvements would be done between North Court and 100 feet north of Diana Street.

Much more broadly, the council also will decide whether to authorize a series of public workshops to design and develop a North Coast Highway 101 streetscape project.

The streetscape plan would map out pedestrian, roadway and landscaping enhancements to the entire two-mile stretch of the highway through Leucadia – from Encinitas' northern city limits at La Costa Avenue south to A Street, where a $5.2 million streetscape project in 2001 transformed a half-mile stretch of highway through downtown Encinitas.

read the rest of the story here.

Sidewalk proposal headed to Encinitas council

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

---- Residents and merchants said Tuesday they are pleased with a proposal headed to the City Council tonight that would fill in missing sections of sidewalk on North Coast Highway 101 at the northern end of Encinitas.

"That would be a good idea," clothing boutique owner Kamie Archinal said when told of the sidewalk plan. Close calls with pedestrians and motorists on the highway are "really scary," she said.

Resident Helga Brady of Avocado Street added that sidewalks would improve the stroll she makes from her home to a corner store in the funky, older coastal community of Leucadia.

"There's dog poo and the dirt," Brady said. "It's everywhere."

The proposal from the Encinitas Planning Department calls for spending $300,000 to $400,000 to design and build sidewalks where none exists on the west side of the highway between North Court and Diana Street.

Along those eight blocks, more than half of the roadway has no sidewalk. The stretch represents the heart of the commercial strip in the Leucadia community.

Also tonight, planners will ask for the council's go-ahead to begin design work for a much-larger street and sidewalk improvement program, from A Street to La Costa Avenue.

The North Coast Highway 101 Streetscape Program would unfold in phases, from south to north, with a first phase beautifying the highway from A Street to North Court.

read the rest of the story here.

Finally, some positive news this week. I want to see a 5-0 vote tonight in support of making Leucadia walkable from tip to tip.

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mayor Guerin 30 years older than city itself

Public paying for sister city dinner that 'happens' to be on Guerin's birthday

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

ENCINITAS -- Mayor Christy Guerin is hosting an invitation-only dinner party for a sister city delegation from Japan, with taxpayers footing much of the bill.

And the party on Saturday "also happens to be on (Guerin's) 50th birthday," the invitation states.

"It seems that this whole sister city celebration has had problems of not including the public," longtime resident Jane Cartmill said Monday. "It's a little bit autocratic."

Up to 50 guests ---- including Guerin's family members and city and school officials ---- are expected at the home of Fire Chief Mark Muir, a longtime ally of Guerin.

In recent weeks, some residents have criticized Encinitas' sister city program, calling it elitist and inaccessible to the residents who pay for it.

"There's nothing elitist about it," Guerin said Monday.

She said the program, which began in 1988, has touched the lives of many people in Encinitas and Amakusa City, Japan.

She noted that residents can meet the visiting Amakusa officials, who arrive Friday, at a Sunday picnic at Cottonwood Creek Park. The city is hosting the picnic to celebrate its incorporation 20 years ago.

Also on Friday, the public can attend a $10-a-plate dinner with the Japanese visitors at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center.

"This visit (by the Japanese) is probably the most public, community-oriented visit we've ever had," Guerin said.

Some residents and Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan, however, remain critical.

In June, the City Council approved $30,000 to spend on the city's 20th birthday celebration and on the sister city guests. Of that, $20,000 would pay for the 20th anniversary party and $10,000 would entertain the visitors, officials say.

Officials Monday could not say how much public money would be spent on Saturday's private party, but said it would pay for all the food on the menu.

"I'm looking for the authorization for expenditures such as a private party," Houlihan said. "I don't know where the authorization was for that money to come out of the anniversary (budget). I think it's very important that we have an easy-to-explain and defensible process for making expenditures."

When the council adopted the city's operating budget June 21, that approval included "$30,000 towards the Sister City/City's 20th Anniversary celebration," according to records from the meeting.

At the private party on Saturday, former Fire Chief Don Heiser is providing the catering "as a favor to me," Guerin said.

Heiser was among those from Encinitas who traveled to Japan in June, returning just days before he retired. Guerin also represented the city on that trip, the third to Japan she has taken at public expense.

Heiser on Monday said tri-tip steak with a red wine and butter sauce will be the main course at Saturday's party. Also on the menu is bow-tie pasta in a parsley garlic-butter sauce; sauteed zucchini and yellow-neck squash, stir-fried with steamed broccoli; green salad and French baguettes; melon balls; and for dessert, brownies with chocolate frosting.

Guerin said she and her husband would purchase alcohol for the party at their own expense. Birthday cake would not be paid for by the taxpayer, she said.

"We're not throwing Christy a $10,000 birthday party," City Manager Kerry Miller said Monday.

Guerin added that in years past, city officials have entertained their sister city counterparts at private dinners with the Encinitas mayor. This year's dinner would be cheaper because it is at a private home and not a restaurant, she said.

Some residents, however, remained critical of the expenditure.

"This is Christy diverting taxpayer money to throw a party for herself," said Barbara Cobb of the Cardiff Town Council.

The good news is that in a year the city will be 21 and can finally stop hassling me to buy it Boone's Farm and Swisher Sweets in the 7-11 parking lot on Friday nights.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Skate or Don't Bro

Our redneck yuppie estblishment needs to justify it's own existence by constantly micro-managing our freedoms.

Encinitas adding to its list of no-skate zones

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

ENCINITAS ---- In a community with strong ties to skateboarding, eight more city-owned locations may be placed off-limits.

A resolution headed to the City Council on Wednesday would prohibit skateboarding and roller skating at a new public works center on Calle Magdalena, the unfinished Encinitas Community Library on Cornish Drive, and at Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library on Newcastle Avenue. All five Encinitas fire stations also are on the list.

The ban applies to "coasters ... and similar conveyances," as well.

It would protect "the safety of employees and visitors to the facilities and prevent physical damage to these sites," according to a city report.

Some of skateboarding's finest ---- Danny Way, Bucky Lasek and Buster Halterman and others ---- live in Encinitas, where the sport is off-limits at seven city parks and the parking lot at Moonlight Beach.

read the rest of the article here.

The multi-billion dollar skate industry has deep roots in north county and skateboarding provides jobs and revenue in Encinitas.

YMCA Encinitas skate park.

MCGILL'S Skate shop Encinitas.

K5 surf&skate shop Encinitas (managed by councilman Dan Dalagher's son).

Ducky Waddles in Leucadia has cool skateboarding books and art.

Transworld Skateboarding magazine covers Encinitas skateboarders.

Automatic magazine
is based in Encinitas.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Leucadia Cares vs The Man

Dear Leucadia,

In a recent ruling Judge Nugent has denied our petition to overturn the City’s decision of approval for the Barratt project.
When Leucadia Cares initiated legal action against the City of Encinitas and Barratt American it sought a judicial review to determine whether the City had the authority to overstep the Encinitas building codes regulating building height measurement.

Instead of clarifying the matter, Judge Nugent only refers back to staff quotes in the staff reports - the very same staff decisions we (Leucadia Cares) are contesting. The Judge relied on that after the fact testimony, apparently without realizing that our petition was about having the staff decision verified.

The following key points exhibit why the Judge’s arguments are without merit and may invite further consideration by an Appeals Court panel. Please take a minute to review the Judge’s arguments to get a better understanding of the following clarifications.

pdf link


The tentative subdivision map did establish the finished building pad elevation but did not automatically establish that the pad elevation would also be the reference from which building height is measured.
In order for the tentative map to designate the raised pad elevation as the building height reference it must be clearly documented on the map. There is not one printed note, comment, or remark on any of the tentative maps that would indicate that the pad elevation is used as the building height measurement reference. The grading elevation does not automatically imply the building height reference.

The Judge did not take the time to diligently understand the relevant code sections at hand. In his judgment he takes pieces of Encinitas Municipal Code 30.04 and 30.16, leaves out half of section 30.16 and lumps the language of these two code sections into one! The resulting word order is not only misleading but defies the true intention of the two original paragraphs, designed to prevent the "stadium seating" phenomenon widely seen in our beach communities.

The original sections of the code.

Municipal section 30.04 defines "building height" as follows:
BUILDING HEIGHT shall mean the vertical distance from the lower of the natural or finished grade adjacent to the structure, to the highest point of the structure immediately above.

Municipal section 30.16.010(B)(7)(d) provides as follows:
An approved subdivision map may establish the finished building pad elevation from which building height is measured with consideration given to on-site and surrounding uses and terrain.

An online inquiry at Merriam Webster yields the following results for "may" and "shall".
1 a archaic : have the ability to b : have permission to (you may go now) : be free to (a rug on which children may sprawl -- C. E. Silberman) -- used nearly interchangeably with can c -- used to indicate possibility or probability (you may be right) (things you may need) -- sometimes used interchangeably with can (one of those slipups that may happen from time to time -- Jessica Mitford)
2 a -- used to express a command or exhortation (you shall go) b -- used in laws, regulations, or directives to express what is mandatory (it shall be unlawful to carry firearms)

The Judge not only fails to recognize the implicit significance and meaning of the key words "may" and "shall" in these code sections but also overlooks the requirement for explicit notation of building height reference on the tentative map when "may" is considered in section 30.16.010

Even when erroneously referring to the staff reports, the Judge conveniently ignores a significant section of the Planning Commission resolution, which states: "Future construction of single family residences must comply with all applicable development standards, including but not limited to building height, setbacks, and lot coverage".

Nugent has not examined whether existing laws were overstepped or not and his argumentation pointing towards the after the fact staff report is worthless and without merit.

Judge Nugent recently ruled on another case involving Barratt and the City of Encinitas. In that case, Barratt was suing the City. Nugent ruled in favor of the City. After Nugent’s ruling against them, Barratt filed a successful appeal, showing that Nugent has a history of inappropriately giving deference to City officials over the law.

When Leucadia Cares initiated legal action against the City of Encinitas and Barratt American it sought a judicial review to determine if the City had once again overstepped its authority. Judge Nugent’s ruling does not provide that determination.

Please feel free to direct any questions or comments to Andree Pyfer and/or Ron Ranson.

Best regards,

Leucadia Cares

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Altar of the Leucadia Flood God

If you want to ask the Spirit of the Leucadia Flooding God a question you must bring him a sacrifice of a large tortilla soup from La Especial, a Ravi Shankar 8 track, a lock of Jerome Stock's hair and a Lou's Records bumpersticker.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Interesting Post

I found this post from a reader interesting:

Last night at the Leucadia Candidates Forum both Dan Dalager and Doug Long touted the wonderful financial situation of our city. I don't think either has the foggiest idea of the money manipulation that Kerry Miller has done. The hiring of Phil Cotton as city manager is to guarantee the status quo and hide the money trail out of the SDWD into the general fund. Will the city be forced to repay the money illegally transferred, as in San Diego? Only an outside, truly independent, line item audit will suffice. Not the annual audit that Dalager so smugly stated is being done and thinks is adequate.

Dalager also stated that Cotton cleaned up the mess in the Public Works Department. What mess? Lyn Wurbs left only about a year ago to take another job after it was discovered $1 million was missing and an additional assessment had to be made on Cardiff property owners to replace it. The "mess" had been created by Kerry Miller and his money manipulation. Cotton cleaned up nothing. It is the Cardiff taxpayers who will be cleaning up the "mess."

Last night only Teresa Barth had a clear sense of the problems in our city and maybe Tom Brown. D & D don't want to get it. That's Dumbest and Dumbester.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Strange City Shrine at Stater Bros

I hadn't been in the Stater Bros "super"market in the Ecke Ranch shopping center in ages so I've never seen this strange shrine dedicated to the city before.

It is placed high above the front doors and is very easy to miss as people rush in and out of store. Even if you want to pause and try to look at it you block the entry and people run into you with their wobbly wheeled shopping carts.

Even if you wanted to read the plaques it's pretty much impossible because the shrine is placed so high.

Just another one of the weird things you see on the "dark side" of Encinitas.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Candidate Forum Sept. 21

click photo to enlarge and read the notice.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Dalagher, Jews, Japs and Skateboaders

Some Jewish residents pan Encinitas for scheduling of event on Rosh Hashana

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

-- Some Jewish residents criticized Encinitas officials Tuesday for scheduling and promoting a regional event on Rosh Hashana, one of the holiest days of the year for Jewish people.

The event, Operation Homecoming at Encinitas, is a stop on a national reading tour that is scheduled to visit more than 30 cities.

The visit to Encinitas by editor Andrew Carroll and contributors to a just-published collection of war stories is expected to draw 1,000 guests to the Encinitas Community and Senior Center on Sept. 22.

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown that day.

read the rest of the story here

It would be easy to milk the Dalagher/Jew thing for comedy but I'm going to cut Dalagher some slack. Between changing the name of the Holiday parade to Christmas parade and now scheduling an important event on a major Jewish holiday, Dan Dalagher isn't winning any Jewish votes in November. But I don't think Dalagher is some sort of Jew hater, I think he is just a goofy Gomer Pyle kind of guy who keeps having Seinfeld/Larry David type moments (ironically, both are Jewish) where he just keeps digging himself a hole by being sort of oblivious to the world around him. Dalagher is kind of like our very own Forrest Gump who has accidentally found himself as a city councilman and has to pee.

From the article
: Dalager said Tuesday that the choice of dates for Operation Homecoming at Encinitas was not his.

"They gave us a choice of three dates, and we grabbed the one that the community center was open," he said. "Where else are we going to have it? In a parking lot somewhere?"

For Jewish people, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur on Oct. 1 are known as High Holy Days. Great numbers of worshippers attend synagogue on those days, Rabbi David Frank of Temple Solel in Encinitas wrote Tuesday in an e-mail to the North County Times.

Okay, fine. But you know what? If I was on the city council I wouldn't be scheduling events around people's superstitious beliefs, Jewish, Christian, Muslim or whatever either. That parking lot quote is hilarious by the way. Normally I would think a quote like that is political suicide but our president says stupid shit like that all day long and he got another term.

Slalom skateboarding coming to Encinitas this weekend

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

---- A two-day skateboarding event is scheduled in Encinitas this weekend, and it will close a segment of Saxony Road and take some participants back to the days of their childhood.

The Encinitas Open is expected to attract 100 competitors and 500 spectators to watch skaters carve through the cones at speeds of up to 30 mph, organizers say.

The course begins along a stretch of Saxony just north of Quail Hollow Drive. From that point north, Saxony will be closed to traffic from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

read the rest of the story here.

This event almost didn't happen but when Dalagher saw a photo of local skater/surfer Josh E. he recognized him as a local kid who used to hang out at his house with his sons and encouraged the event to go ahead. There was confusion about the name of the racing club, The La Costa Boys, because it was assumed they were from Carlsbad. All of the La Costa Boys are from Leucadia/Encinitas and it's a good soulful local event.
Josh, who has worked with me at my family shop for years and years now, is not going to compete in the event because he is a new father and his wife won't let him race but he will down there helping out. It's a good thing Josh isn't Jewish eh?

Clouds of anger billow over city's anniversary fete
By Angela Lau

September 15, 2006

Tears of frustration flowed and harsh words spewed from a critic who told City Council members to take a hike over what was supposed to a joyous celebration of the city's 20th anniversary.

The flap at Wednesday night's City Council meeting stemmed from a five-day visit to Encinitas later this month by delegates from the sister city of Amakusa, Japan. The Japanese visitors have been invited to celebrate the city's 20th anniversary of incorporation.

The anger was a culmination of past frustration over the sister-city program, which critics call a taxpayer-subsidized activity that rewards council members and city officials with trips to Amakusa but excludes the public.

This time, critics accused the city of orchestrating a celebration that revolves around the sister-city visit and not the significance of Encinitas' first day as a city on Oct. 1, 1986.

Moreover, critics said, the city is spending roughly $10,000 of the $30,000 earmarked for anniversary celebrations to entertain the Japanese guests. The remaining $20,000 will be used for a community picnic scheduled Oct. 1 at Cottonwood Creek Park, city officials have said.

read the rest of story here.

Look, I love the Japanese. The local surf industry has been bringing Japanese tourism to Encinitas since the 70's. Last Tuesday my brother-in-law hired a limo to entertain his Japanese clients and drove them up to the Surfer Poll Awards in Anaheim. My Dad is a cult hero in Japanese surf culture, Cardiff pro surfer Rob Machado is a downright demi-god in Japan as is Joel Tudor. Leucadia shaper Mike Slingerland has been bringing free spending Japanese surfers here for over 20 years. So I'm down with the Japanese, I get the Japanese, I love the Japanese (and this is coming from a guy whose grandfather was a pilot who fought in the Battle of Midway).

So yeah, it would great if our sister city was a town with surf (Flower Capital-Surf Center, remember?). But whatever, it's not that big of a deal. But comon' you guys. $10,000 to impress your Japanese friends? Does that include booze and strippers? Can I come along?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Developer Demands Increased Breeding

The always loopy Michael D. Pattinson, CEO of mega-huge developer Barratt American, writes an especially strange column this week in the North County Times. link

No growth results in higher tax burden

By: MICHAEL D. PATTINSON - For the North County Times

Anyone who ever puts one brick on top of another soon learns the no-growth mantra: New homes create so many problems with roads, schools, parks and police that new homebuyers have to pay $100,000 in additional taxes to solve them.

But sometimes even that is not enough, as members of the Ecke family found out last year when voters rejected plans to turn their Encinitas farmland into new homes. Opponents said city services for the new homebuyers would be too costly, ignoring the huge budget surpluses and other benefits that new homeowners are generating in North County cities.

The main argument against Prop A was that Paul Ecke III already had previously signed a legal binding document promising to keep their land agricultural in "perpetuity". Also, I don't know what huge budget surplus Pattinson is referring to because the city of Encinitas is borrowing $20 million dollars to pay for the library, Hall park and fire mansions.

If growth is costly, no growth can be downright catastrophically expensive. Just ask the 2,750 "outraged" residents of Encinitas and Carlsbad who have been paying $800 a year for almost 10 years to finance a middle school only to learn recently it is no longer required.

Pattinson loves to use dodgy logic for his causes. He should rail against these scammy taxes called "Mello Roos". A cute name for a bad tax. The homeowners paying $800 didn't realize they should have had more kids to make the tax worth it. He thinks the problem is that not enough homes were built in the area resulting in not enough kids to create a new school. This is how developers think people.

The reason is simple enough: Not enough children. The kind of children that would have lived in the nearby Ecke Ranch.

I don't remember this argument in the pro Prop A mailers. "We must convert our farmland to housing so that an elementary school can be built in Carlsbad."

The Ecke proposal lost by a 2-1 margin. I do not remember these outraged citizens fighting for their school when it counted the most: During last year's election when the NIMBYs shut down the homes that would have made this school viable.

Some of those NIMBY's who voted against Prop A ironically live in the Barratt homes built next to the golf course. They didn't want more traffic and wanted to keep their views of farmland, not houses. Also, is Pattinson suggesting that NIMBYs make up 2-1 of the population?

Today, some would have it both ways: Shut down housing opportunities for families, then demand we open new schools for kids that are no longer there. These are the same kind of folks who shut down roads, then wonder why we have traffic problems.

What roads is he talking about? Anyone? And, there is no way he was sober when he wrote this gem "then demand we open new schools for kids that are no longer there"

Curiously, Ecke opponents are silent about their role in closing the school.

Technically, the "Ecke opponents" should be called Prop A opponents. Curiously, no opponents actually closed down a school, that is all in his head. So what is there to be silent about?

The school might be canceled, but the tax is forever. There will be no refund. School officials, however, have assured the "outraged" residents that the millions they paid in taxes for the new school will be well spent on other projects.

This should be the meat of Pattinson's article. These people should receive refund checks and Mello Roos should be abolished in this country. Pattinson doesn't care about the tax, he is just mad because it was his company that was up for the contract to build the Ecke homes.

Call it a no-growth tax ---- just another of the many real costs the NIMBYs have imposed on the rest of us without our permission or even knowledge.

Can you imagine getting cornered by Pattinson at the office Christmas party after he's had a couple? He's hovering over you, red faced and bad breath, slurring and pointy his finger into your chest "The NIMBYs have imposed on us without our permission or knowledge." You nod and smile politely and try to slink away but you can't.

The city of Carlsbad recently caused a firestorm when it released a study saying a no-growth proposal would cost tens of millions of dollars. Another no-growth tax.

It's unclear what Pattinson means here. I'm guessing he's talking about this story. Pattinson is odd because he seems to ping pong his support for taxes.

The city of Oceanside is having the same kind of problem. Recent news stories show that enrollment in Oceanside schools is down by 623 students. That means the district will lose out on more than $3 million in state aid this year.

I thought Oceanside was full of illegal aliens that were overflowing our schools with their kids? That's what I heard on a.m. radio anyway.

Another no-growth tax: The costs residents have to bear after decades of shutting down the production of new homes in the North County ---- forcing up prices and forcing our young people to move to Riverside if they wish to buy their first home.

What young people? I thought the big problem was we don't have enough kids? And aren't home prices finally coming down to reasonable levels now?

The consequences of a generation of no-growth policies are clear and expensive. And here is just the latest: More and more of our towns have fewer and fewer children.

We should ban all forms of birth control and start knocking up girls on their 18th birthday. That should do the trick.

The implications of this anti-child policy were largely hidden from us when they were first proposed. We didn't vote for a single one.

Nevertheless, every day we pay our no-growth taxes.

Pattinson is very clever but I am on to him. I think he wants you to invite him over for dinner and sex with all the fertile women in your family.


Why can't you ladies by more like this mom of 9? Mom Has Quadruplets 3 Years After Triplets. (she has 2 older kids as well).

what folly!!

Intersections Don't Vote--Guest Editorial by RSB

This intersection isn't a high priority for the council because train/car intersections don't vote!! It doesn't fit on a campaign sign as well as "Firefighters support JOE PUTZ!!!! That's why there is no support to fix that intersection!! Infastructure doesn't garner votes!!! Also how many council members use that intersection daily?? 1 maybe, but more likely none!!

The tracks should be buried through the city, they should have been buried when Solona Beach buried theirs, but the Enc.council at the time had no vision and todays council is no better.

Nothing less than a blockade of the tracks will bring NCTD to the bargaining table. Railroads in the USA are Omnipotent!!! They do as they please under laws set-up by Congress in the 1800's.

Leucadia blvd should have been brought down to Vulcan when the east end of the road was punched through, just wait until the city adds the roundabouts to Leucadaia Blvd and eliminates the stop sign, cars will be backed up to the I-5.

As for using this intersection as an excuse for a RDA, what folly!! The city doesn't need this intersection nor the flooding as an excuse for an RDA. BTW anonymous, can you be counted on to help sandbag the alleyways and 101 when it rains this winter, doubtful it's always the same JOE's everyyear!!!

Perhaps the L main/street 101 association could propose a solution for the city regarding the intersection, I'm sure whatever L101 comes up with the city will make them pay for it, just like the flowers in the center median.

With or without the train the entire length of the tracks should be a green belt of grass and flowers (not the shitty flowers like in the center median now, but giant, long swathes of blooms, R. Naninga won't like it but screw him!!)

J.P. are you ready for 2+ years of construction along the tracks, with the train running along the east side of 101?? That's where it's going when they finally get around to this project, but don't worry it won't be for at least 20+ years. The city still has a library to finish and then firehouses and then the park and by then the existing city hall will need to be replaced, not to mention Beacons Beach trail and some new lifeguard towers. You get the idea!!! Don't hold your breath for any good changes coming anytime soon!!

Not holding my breath as I stagger down the 101, it's the Roadside Park Bum!!!

I think we can all deal with the years of construction, it would be worth it. But yeah, not holding my breath.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Some Thoughts about the Leucadia Blvd Interesection

The recent train collision that left some poor sap in a coma has spurred a lot of "if you don't want to get hit by the train stay the hell off the tracks" type comments from the know-it-alls.

They, of course, are right. If you don't want to get hit by the train stay the hell off the tracks.

But some things to consider:

I find it very interesting that the same people who say that the Leucadia Blvd/Hwy101/train tracks/Vulcan Ave intersection is perfectly safe and functional are the same people who say that Leucadia is blighted and needs to be redeveloped. This makes no sense at all.

The intersection is not safe and functional. Anyone who uses the intersection daily can vouch for this. Ever since they connected Leucadia Blvd to El Camino Real the intersection is getting heavier use. The westbound traffic often backs up all the way to the Hygeia stop sign.

The 7-11 parking lot creates chaos as people try to turn left onto Leucadia Blvd, a manuaver that really jacks the traffic. Cars trying to merge into southbound Vulcan Ave mucks things up good in the morning rush hour. Many of the vehicles are big work trucks mixing with moms trying to take their kids to Central/Paul Ecke school.

Going westbound on Leucadia Blvd when the Vulcan light turns green cars eagerly push forward over the tracks, but the Hwy101 light doesn't green right away, there is a delay. Add pedestrians to the mix and the flow of traffic stops. It is very common for drivers not to notice this and stop on the tracks. Yes, you should never stop on the tracks, but drivers who are unfamiliar with the intersection find themselves stuck there all the time. Luckily the light turns green and the traffic moves so that collisions are rare.

Hwy101 bicyclist always run the light, especially the big groups of yuppie lycra tour de France wannabees. They think they don't have to stop for some reason. This really causes gridlock and frustrates drivers still on the Vulcan side who can't see what the holdup is. This is a major problem at this intersection.

The trains run frequently causing major delays at this intersection. I have sat there in gridlock waiting to go watching as many as three trains go by before the green light cycles back around to me. Luckily I'm pretty calm and zen about it but I've seen people get road rage because of the long wait and stomp on the gas pedal screaming when it's finally time to go.

Downtown Encinitas is extremely lucky that Encinitas Blvd goes under a train trestle where it connects to the coast highway. Can you imagine it any other way? It would be a giant nightmare. I think most of the powers that be use this smooth flowing intersection so they don't really relate to the drama going down at Leucadia and Hwy101.

I was in the Patagonia store over the weekend and started talking about the Chesterfield crossing with the employees and a few locals browsing. They say that intersection is getting bad too. Not at the level of Leucadia Blvd but it has bad gridlock in the mornings and on busy weekends.

When they lowered the tracks in Solana Beach the construction delays were very frustrating, but wasn't it worth it? It is so great not to have to wait for trains there. That intersection functions smoothly. Just make sure the cars ahead of you don't leave you stuck in the middle of the intersection for the red light cameras and their quick yellow lights.

At the west end of Leucadia Blvd is the increasingly popular Beacon's beach. Thanks to a surf school Beacon's is gaining more and more regular surfers every summer. Many of these "surfers" are coming from the new mega developments in San Elijo Hills and New Encinitas. It was silly to widen Leucadia Blvd (taking several long established homes via eminent domain) and connecting it to El Camino Real and beyond without addressing the needs of the coastal intersection. It's beyond silly really, it was shortsighted, selfish and stupid.

The city of Encinitas spent a lot of money improving Santa Fe Rd, a road that doesn't connect to the coast highway. This is just silly when you have one of the most frustrating and dangerous intersections in north county that desperately needs attention.

It's bizarre that the same people are say that Leucadia is blighted because it has dirt and weeds are the same people who say that the intersection is safe and functional. Bizarre and scary and a little sad.

The tracks need to be lowered under Leucadia Blvd like they are in Solana Beach. We should force to the NCTD to do this on their dime.

As is, cars will continue to get stuck on the tracks, people will continue to get hurt or killed, trains will continue to be delayed after collisions, and the traffic gridlock will get worse as the population grows but I guess it's all good right?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

El Santo Rojo, Defender of Leucadia

This town has been crying out for a hero...

enter El Santo Rojo! Defender of Leucadia!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Leucadia vs Solana Beach and Our Poor Leadership

In Solana Beach the train tracks are lowered under a major intersection as they should be.

In Leucadia our holier than thou city "leaders" extended Leucadia Blvd so that it links with Rancho Santa Fe Rd and um...that's about it.

Now we have gridlock and the occasional car/train collision.

Time to tap the funds that former mayor Lou Aspell sought and get the tracks lowered once and for all.

slideshow and video of accident click here

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"Shoot me for it," Dalager said.

Five in the race for two City Council seats
By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer link

ENCINITAS -- City Council candidates staked out their positions Tuesday in the first forum leading up to November elections.

Incumbent Dan Dalager and Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Doug Long were generally supportive of the decision-making at Encinitas City Hall, while community volunteer Teresa Barth challenged many recent policy actions.

Contractor Thomas Brown called for improving communication between City Hall and residents, and Paul Martens, who approaches the race as an outsider, said he, too, would work to bring residents together.

The candidates are competing for two open seats, one of them Dalager's. Incumbent Christy Guerin, who has taken a job working for Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray, is not running.

Hosted by the Cardiff Town Council, Tuesday's forum drew more than 100 listeners to the auditorium at Ada W. Harris School.

Questions came directly from members of the audience.

Candidates were asked to state their positions on Proposition A, the November 2005 ballot measure that asked voters whether the City Council should rezone agricultural property for housing.

Long defended his work on the measure's steering committee.

Landowner Paul Ecke III's offer of property for a park and roads ---- and the tax base the new homes would have brought ---- were attractive, Long said.

"I'm not at all upset about being behind that," Long said.

Dalager also supported the measure, which lost badly at the polls.

He said council members had demanded eight acres for park property before approving the measure for the ballot and that had the measure passed, he would have asked for more amenities.

"I voted for it but was not out there campaigning for it," he said.

Barth said Prop. A's defeat amounted to a vote of no confidence for the City Council.

"I voted no," she said flatly. "I campaigned hard against it. I walked the streets and passed out fliers."

Brown said he "was just a voter at the time" and was at first skeptical of the measure. After learning more about it, he said, he voted for it.

As with many questions put before him, Martens did not provide a clear answer. He did not say whether he supported the measure.

"With respect to the way things like Ecke Ranch should be handled," he said, "I don't know the answer."

One question, directed to Dalager, put him on the spot for his decision in 2005 to rename the city-sponsored Encinitas Holiday Parade as the Encinitas Christmas Parade.

He said he stood by his decision and that it stemmed from a conversation he had with Wendy Haskett, a local historian who died in February.

"Shoot me for it," Dalager said.

Long said he marched in the parade when he was a boy and when the event was called the St. Nick's Parade.

"I don't feel a problem with what it's called now," Long said. "It was such an uproar in favor, you'd face a lot more criticism now changing it back."

Brown said he would leave the event's name as the Christmas Parade.

Martens said that if the decision were up to him, he'd call the event the Christmas Holiday Parade.

Barth said she is Catholic and noted that one of Encinitas' most famous icons is the Self-Realization Fellowship retreat, where adherents celebrate the unity of all religious faiths.

"What bothers me most is (the name-change) became an unnecessarily divisive issue in the community," Barth said.

-- Contact staff writer Adam Kaye at (760) 943-2312 or

***Not that I care to revisit the parade name change but if the parade was called the St. Nick's Parade when he marched in it then why didn't Dalagher change the name to that? His earlier explanation of tradition has no logic to it.
I say call the event The Encinitas Christmas/Holiday Parade. See? A win win.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Closed Session Meeting to Pick New City Manager

From my inbox:

Go to the city's website and check out the special closed session meeting they are having tomorrow night - city manager - our worst fears are probably coming true - Kerry Miller and Christy Guerin will pick the next city manager and it will be Phil Cotton who was hand picked by Kerry and Christy - would love to know his credentials for this job?


click here

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 6, at 4:30 pm, the city council will hold a closed session meeting on a public employee appointment, the city manager.

If you want to at least protest what the city council is doing tomorrow in a closed session, email and phone the city clerk and the council.

Our Unique Funkyness

The wife and I were talking Leucadia the other night. I like to seek my wife's opinions, she approaches topics with practical logic. She is cool, calm and collected with a dash of passion and sincerity and a refreshing lack of ego. I asked her what she thought of our unofficial town slogan, Keep Leucadia Funky.

As a third generation Leucadian she says she understands what the "funky" means but feels that it is being misinterpreted by the masses. I agreed, the word funky is off putting to some. Before, I didn't care. If "they" didn't get the funky then that was their problem. But now Leucadia has all eyes on her. There are grumblings from the yuppies who live over the hill (on the darkside). They want to gentrify Leucadia, make her more familiar. The R word just won't go away. You keep hearing it, redevelopment--redevelopment.

A wacky neighbor of mine gave me a ration of grief over the word funky. She thought it meant smoking crack in a tye dye shirt. I didn't know where to begin with that one so I just nodded and smiled and back away slowly.

So the wife suggested changing the name of the blog to Keep Leucadia Unique. My ears perked up, "Have you been reading the blog?" I asked. She laughed and stirred the ice cubes in her tea. "I've never read your Leucadia blog." she confessed, "Leave me out of the political stuff."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Keep Leucadia Funky is the greatest t-shirt slogan ever. Shatto at Deluxe (next to La Especial on the coast highway) has made a few shirts but I'm surprised local merchants haven't run with it more. In Austin Texas you see plenty of Keep Austin Weird t-shirts and bumper stickers. In Ballard, a community of Seattle, you lots of Free Ballard shirts and stickers.

I see plenty of Keep Leucadia Funky stickers and Keep Leucadia Funky license plate frames (with proceeds going to a scholarship). It's a popular expression and I like it, but I'm beginning to wonder if it serves us well.

Leucadia is funky this true, but Leucadia is more than that. Leucadia is unique.

Leucadia is THE last cool quaint beach town in southern California. You won't get the same small town beach feel until north of San Luis Obispo.

I'm not a status quo guy when it comes to Leucadia. I like to see the commercial property owners take some responsibility and invest into the community. I like to see home owners taking care of their yards. I want to see the apartment building landlords invest some of that rent money back into the property. I want to see the city do their civic duty and invest our tax dollars back into our infrastructure. I would like to see the empty weed lots developed into something special.

But redevelopment is not the answer. Bulldozing Leucadia would be a crime because Leucadia is a diamond in the rough. Razing Leucadia would be like stomping on a flower with jack boots before it has a chance to open.

The reality is, most of the buildings on coastal Leucadia just need a fresh coast of paint. It's a shame the facade program doesn't extend north of Leucadia Blvd.

The powers that be, the ones who are interested in forming an RDA, they need to take a road trip up the California coast. They need some perspective. Then they need to drive across America. Then they need to visit some areas that actually have blight. Real blight, not this phony blight of an intersection that should have been improved before Leucadia Blvd connected to El Camino Real and a severly botched attempt to control the flooding.

The irony is, the people who drive through Leucadia without stopping, the people who want redevelopment, they won't stop here after redevelopment. They will just keep driving, but for that 2 minutes as they pass by they will feel better because they only feel comfortable at places like the Forum and the Carlsbad outlet mall. They need generic familiarity. But they won't stop.

Leucadia is not their town, it ours. Let's all move forward together and not lose our souls in the process. Let's keep Leucadia unique.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Candidates Forum Tues. 5th


Candidates Forum
Tuesday, Sept. 5
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Ada Harris Elementary School
1508 Windsor Rd.
Cardiff candidate roundup

Teresa Barth

Teresa Barth, a third-generation resident of coastal North County and longtime activist in Cardiff, said the seated City Council is out of touch.

"(The defeats) of Prop. A and Prop. C said that loud and clear," she said.

Barth, 53, serves on the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Chamber of Commerce's board of directors and is president of the Friends of the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library. Cardiff is one of five communities in Encinitas.

Barth also serves on the Greater San Diego Resource Conservation District and the San Diego County Fish and Wildlife Advisory Commission.

Barth's face is familiar at City Hall. In 2001, she co-chaired workshops soliciting residents' ideas to create a planning document for Cardiff's six-block commercial district. Recently, she has criticized city officials and a consultant because the Cardiff Specific Plan remains incomplete.

If any meeting concerns a proposal to change the city's land-use plan, chances are Barth will attend. Changes that seek to allow more housing than called for in the general plan should be put to a vote of the people, she said.

On the fiscal front, Barth questions a city proposal to borrow $20 million to pay for capital projects.

Barth said won't hire a consultant to develop a "slick" campaign and that she won't solicit donations from political action committees.

Barth retired in 2003 after 25 years as an exhibit supervisor at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. She lives in Cardiff with her husband, Don.

Thomas Brown

If you don't know Thomas Brown, you probably know his work ---- or at least have driven on top of it.

Brown is president of Sierra Pacific West Inc., an engineering contracting company that has completed numerous jobs in the city. Most recently, the company finished nearly $3 million in improvements to Santa Fe Drive, which included construction of the city's first roundabout traffic circle. The company was based in Encinitas for years before relocating to Vista.

Brown, 57, says his experience as a contractor would be an asset to a City Council that faces ever-increasing costs for capital projects.

Brown said city staffers and engineering consultants sometimes produce "fantasy-type budgets," and that the city would benefit from his oversight of capital project costs.

On the topic of community development, Brown said, "There's always going to be controversy with growth. I think growth needs to be carefully planned, and it needs to be in moderation."

If elected to the council, Brown said, his company would not compete for city contracts while he is in office.

Brown serves on the state Contractors License Board and is chairman of the San Diego Family Center for Justice, which provides services for abused women and children. He is the San Diego chapter president of the Associated General Contractors of America and is an honorary deputy sheriff.

Brown has coached softball, sponsored Little League and soccer teams, and has supported the YMCA.

An Encinitas resident since the mid-1960s, Brown lives with his wife of 37 years. They have two grown sons.

Dan Dalager

Dan Dalager, 56, is quick to remind colleagues and constituents that he has lived in Encinitas his entire life. More than once during his first term he has stated from the dais that he remembers when the Interstate 5 corridor in Encinitas used to be a cow pasture.

Dalager says he's running again because he wants to see to completion the construction of the planned Hall property park in Cardiff.

Elected in 2002 after serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission, one of Dalager's first swing votes was to approve a playground at Moonlight Beach.

During his one-year turn as the appointed mayor, Dalager made the controversial decision to return the city-sponsored Encinitas Holiday Parade to its original title, the Encinitas Christmas Parade. Also that year, he directed city staff members to wear name tags. Recently, he successfully lobbied the National Endowment for the Arts to include Encinitas as a stop on a reading tour to support a compilation of war stories written by troops and their families.

By day, Dalager works at his family's business, Dalager's Sharpening Service, which sells and repairs outdoor power equipment. The little store on Second Street is an informal gathering place, and Dalager says constituents often stop in to discuss city business. He keeps his city business cards on the worn countertop.

He doesn't seem worried that his open support of Prop. A and Prop. C would work against him.

Dalager and his wife, Shirley, have two grown sons.

Doug Long

Doug Long's attendance record at City Council meetings is nearly spotless, even when the agendas are lean or contain no business pertaining to the Parks and Recreation Commission, which Long serves as chairman.

He says he enjoys watching the council conduct his business.

For many months, Long, 56, told a North County Times reporter he was not interested in running for the City Council, but clearly he's had a change of heart.

He said he's concerned that other challengers could disrupt the chemistry of a City Council that functions well.

"I want to keep the council on the path they've taken right now," he said. "I think I'd be a better fit."

Long and Dalager are personal friends. Both of them graduated from San Dieguito High School in 1968.

Long's plumbing business, which has sponsored youth sports teams, is about a block away from Dalager's store.

Long is a member of the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association's board of directors.

One year ago, Long served on a steering committee that tried to promote passage of Prop. A.

Long said he doesn't feel his support of the measure amounts to a political liability.

Long and his wife have two grown children.

Paul Martens

Paul Martens, a resident of the Leucadia community for 13 years, joins the City Council race as an outsider but an eager politician. He was a write-in candidate for the 50th Congressional District in June, although his name does not appear on candidate lists published by the registrar of voters. The registrar issued petitions for him to run as an Independent candidate in November but he never returned them, officials with the registrar said.

Martens, 48, says he is running because the City Council is dysfunctional and subservient to the staff members who control the city's day-to-day operations. He added that a council member's $897-a-month salary isn't enough to live on.

Martens said he works as a freelance photographer and accounting consultant. He said he would have to keep those jobs if elected, even if that left him less time to serve on the council.

He lives near the city's most flood-prone area, at Leucadia Boulevard and North Coast Highway 101.

He said he wonders why the city couldn't negotiate with the North County Transit District to build evaporation ponds along the nearby railway, where floodwaters could settle. A permanent flood-control system shouldn't cost $30 million, as a city consultant has estimated, he said.

During the record rains of 2005, improvements to the drainage system and emergency pumping by the city's Fire and Public Works departments kept property damage to a minimum.

"That was effective," Martens said, "but at a tremendous expenditure of money in terms of men and material to make the stopgap measures.

Martens is single and has no children.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Keeping Leucadia Beautiful?

The parking lot next to Karina's and 100% Natural on the coast highway has been fenced off and is a trash pit, complete with outdated election signs.

I talked to Elizabeth, the popular lady who runs both restaurants, and she wasn't too happy about it but the parking lot doesn't belong to her.

The parking lot belongs to this property owner, and this building isn't looking well kept either.

What's the deal?