Thursday, November 30, 2006

What's not to love about this town?

Last night's city council eyewitness report by M. Fleener

What a cast of...uh...characters last night. My evening began with Doug Long telling me that "The Press" would probably make me move from the table I was sitting at in the back room. I told him I'd been contacted by the LA Times to possibly do a comic story about small town politics. "Ever hear of them?" I asked Doug. Then Dalager walked by us and with a big grin on his face said, "Looks like we're going to be here until 11 pm tonight!" All the folks around me said, "Yep. I guess so." Seems to me that crack was more of a challenge than an actual observation. As the crowd grew in number, some guy yelled out, "Low income seating, anyone?" When Christy announced item #9 would "be continued" at another meeting on Dec 13, there was a loud groan from the audience. Oh, she remarked that she knew people had made time for this and she was sorry but they just weren't "prepared" to vote on it. I think this means they got a LOT of feedback about this Housing issue and it wasn't good.

Then we were treated to a water district dog and pony show that was design to convince us why we need to raise our water rates. Power point presentation, lots of graphs, mathematical formulas, statistical manipulations, and the fellow talking was a good little robot who said the city only got ONE letter of protest. Gee, some people do need to get a life, don't they? Then James Bond droned on as to why we need to do this. Several people got up and spoke and Bond told the audience not to clap after each speaker. This was met with laughter. The Council voted 5-0 to raise the rates.

Then at 6:40pm we got to see a special duel meeting between the City Council and the Water District. A nice female robot informed the crowd that the city made a lot of money with property taxes, $813,000.00 excess, to be exact. We also learned the average price of a home in Encinitas is $800,000. After that was over, Bond yammered about the Libraray, the Hall property and told us all we gotta is wait and everything will be OK.

The best was yet to come. The General Housing Update Presentaion! Seems for 2 years there have been meeting and more meetings to address our dire situation here in Encinitas. Another power point slide show with graphs, and info. This was a boring robot who went on and on and on. I saw several people nodding off, their eyes closed, their faces weary. Dalager was looking away from the screen. Maggie looked tired. Bond was "acting" interested and Guerin kept staring at the crowd, and at one point interrupted the speaker and told people that "standing in the chambers is not allowed", and made 'em move to another room.

The speaker robot told us that if we don't act on this Affordable Housing Program SOON we'll lose out on "certain funds" from the State, such as transportaion. This was the good part. We gotta move on this, people. Hurry!! Emergency!!!! Anyway, the guy finished his talk, and Bond started speaking in that low montone of his. Man, was his face ruddy. He don't look so good and apparently was in a rotten mood. Guerin asked him to "wrap it up" and Bond snapped back, "I listened to your questions and now you're going to listen to mine!" Oooh, that made Guerin mad and when she finally got a chance to speak she started her comment with, "MIS-ter BOND....I voted against this, and blah blah blah". Talk about a woman scorned!!

We took a break at 8pm. (Somehow, magically, all the other agenda items were shelved,) and at 8:15pm the speakers for item #9 were heard and there was a 100% negative response to this Housing Element scam. No one likes it and everyone knows this is a plan by the developers to screw each and every citizen in Encinitas. Most people asked for a public vote. My very favorite speaker was a guy who held up a report that gave the word "spin" a whole new definition. Every concern, whether it be Traffic, or Quality of Life, was put in the "No Impact" category, so this guy led the crowd in a chant-when he would read one of the comments, such as "...environmental pollution..?", he'd gestured towards the crowd and we all yelled out, "NO IMPACT! This went on for a bit and was very funny.

I guess we were having way too much fun...the city manager and attorney glared at us and Dalager looked like he had a headache. I left after this nice man got up and told the Council that "...we are strong, we are organized and we are prepared. We want to be on your side, but we want you to be on our side too." Or something like that. He was very gallant. Robert Nanninga was spot on and brought up some good points and delivered his argument with an unusually cohestive cachet.

Wish I could've seen those croc tears of Guerins', but I've seen 'em before, like when she helped stripped Sheila Cameron of her Mayor title two weeks before Camerons' term was over. I suppose I'll see 'em next week when Teresa Barth takes her place.

What's not to love about this town?

Water rates increase; housing vote delayed

Encinitas approves water rate increase; most customers face 9 percent hike

*note the dirty trick tactic the city used.

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

-- The Encinitas City Council approved 9 percent increases Wednesday to the meter charges and usage rates for most of the San Dieguito Water District's 11,500 accounts.

Also Wednesday, the council listened to comments from an overflow crowd about a pending housing plan. Mayor Christy Guerin announced that a council decision on the plan would be postponed until Dec. 13.

Acting as the water district's board of directors, the council voted 5-0 to approve the rate increase.

*The increase came over objections from a resident who said a notice informing ratepayers of their right to protest did not make that point clearly.

Encinitas activist Kevin Cummins told the council that the notice the city mailed to ratepayers did not state that written protests submitted by a majority of the district's customers could have halted the rate increase. Ratepayers received the notice about six weeks ago.

"(Property owners) have the power to say no," Cummins said.

The mailed notice, which was included with the council's agenda, states that the water board would "hear and consider all protests" at Wednesday's meeting.

"It doesn't say that we can turn in letters," Cummins said.

Bill O'Donnell, a senior engineer for the water district, told the council that just one ratepayer had mailed a letter objecting to the rate increase.

Had the city's mailed notice informed ratepayers of their right to challenge the rate hike, "I bet you would have got more than one (letter)," Cummins said.

He added that a notice that the city of Poway mailed to ratepayers clearly informed them of their right to oppose a water rate increase in that city. Proposition 218 requires written notices of rate increases.

"We're extraordinarily careful to make sure we comply (with Prop. 218)," said Encinitas Councilman James Bond, serving as the water board's president.

Bond added that the increase completes the third of three scheduled rate hikes originally approved in 2005. Before then, the previous increase was in 1995.

To read the rest of this story click on the link at the top of the post.

Connecting the dots here is story from the San Diego Union Tribune, Lake Hodges too dirty, water authorities say

McCollom said his district is concerned about the urban runoff, algae, high carbon content, bromine and silt that end up in Lake Hodges.

“Probably urban runoff is the biggest problem,” he said.

We are now seeing how fragile the North County infrastructure really is.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"Most of these cost increases are coming from the increasingly diminished supply of water for all of us," Encinitas preparing to increase water rates

At tonight's Encinitas city council meeting there will be decisions made to increase housing density (more people) and increase water rates (more people=more water use).

Longtime council member Jim Bond (the old crusty Bond, not the new buffed out edgy blue eyed Bond) says, "Most of these cost increases are coming from the increasingly diminished supply of water for all of us,"

Sounds like the perfect time to dramatically increase the population within city limits!

From the article: The district is continuing to recover from state takeaways of local property taxes during fiscal 2004-05 and 2005-06 -- another reason cited for the rate increases, said Jay Lembach, city finance manager.

The district also faces a one-time payment of $3.4 million to the city for a new headquarters on Calle Magdalena, Lembach said. The water district and the public works department will share the former automobile dealership.

In 2005, when the three-year rate study was prepared, the district had budgeted $2.5 million toward the cost of a new facility. That amount was factored into the rate analysis. Lembach said.

He said the district's upcoming move from leased space at the old Pacific View School to the recently-purchased, $9.5 million dealership is not driving the rate increase.

In 2004, the water district sold its D Street headquarters to the city for $1,040,000 for a city library. At the time, the district earned $60,000 a year from renting portions of the D Street site to the public works department.

All this raises questions, city watchdog Bob Bonde said Tuesday.

"What kind of oversight do we have when we have the City Council being the buyer and the seller at the same time, and the ratepayers of San Dieguito Water District being the cash cows for the city?" Bonde said.

Also from the article, what you will pay: Most of the district's 11,500 accounts are served by 5/8- to 3/4-inch meters, for which the bimonthly charge would increase from $23.71 to $25.84. That's a 9 percent increase.

The additional $2.13 every two months amounts to a $12.78 yearly increase for most residential customers in the district, which covers coastal Encinitas east to El Camino Real.

Customers with larger meters face corresponding 9 percent increases.

For water itself, residential users can expect increases ranging from 8.2 percent to 9 percent. Under a three-tiered system, residential customers pay more per gallon once their water usage exceeds 700 or 2,100 cubic feet.

The San Dieguito water board meets at 6 p.m. at 505 S. Vulcan Ave.

Agenda Item#9 on tonight's city council meeting

Housing Element Update on the city of Encinitas official website: click me

Clever how they stick those controversial agenda items last eh?

City Council Meeting 6 pm at City Hall
505 S. Vulcan Avenue
Encinitas, CA 92024-3633

Monday, November 27, 2006

Low Income Overlay Zone

click map to enlarge.

Parcels in yellow are sites possibly targeted by the city that can be used for increasing our housing stock in the overlay zone. This map was created from data in the appendix.

Burning Questions:

Is the entire city basically an overlay zone?

What kind of low income apartment buildings will the developers build in our town? Will they show restraint or build massive UTC style buildings?

How will this affect the traffic?

Is the developer friendly city council using the state mandated low income housing requirements as an excuse to sell us out?

Friday, November 24, 2006


click images to enlarge

The cool swanky Artist Colony and all it's fun nooks and crannies will be gone forever soon. It will be replaced by what I call Yuppie Modern, a safe non-threatening building. I know a lot of people are bummed about this but trust me, it could be much, much worse. The project is less Carlsbad and more Gaslamp than what I expected.

Here is the website to the architecture firm that designed the project:

This building is going to look massive when it is finished. It will loom high above Encinitas Blvd. The story polls don't tell the whole story.

I will miss the 1950' slanted windows the most, I always loved those. If I owned this property I would have kept a lot of the existing elements instead of simply razing the whole area.

The existing site is home to some really beautiful trees. I hope the trees can be saved and moved instead of just getting chopped down. Maybe Quail Gardens can rescue them?

The project is called 101 Artists Lofts which is an odd name considering there probably isn't a single local artist who will be able to afford the new rent. It's kind of like when a developer bulldozes a hillside of oak tress and then calls the subdivision Old Oak Ranch Hills.

From the Coast News, Richard Sax, a Carlsbad attorney and developer, filed plans last year with the Planning Commission that show a proposed complex complete with underground parking, commercial space on the first floor and 19 two-story townhomes on the remaining floors. Upper decks would provide residents of the new development with views of the ocean and Cottonwood Creek Park. The 52,000-square-foot project is estimated to cost $23 million. The homes, ranging from one to three bedrooms, would start at $1 million according to Sax.

Hopefully for the new owners of the million dollar townhomes the city will get the Cottonwood Creek water treatment thingy working because right now that whole area smells like poo at night. Poles and strings show building's shape, size

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beacon's Trail Grant Requires Seawall?

Click image to enlarge (some users may have to click image twice to read)

Harsh because everyone hates the seawall and the Surfrider Foundation will unleash their army of lawyers and sue us if we put one in. Does this mean the Beacon's trail project is dead?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Crossing Over to Cadmus-Pros and Cons

New Encinitas railroad crossing proposed

What we know for sure is that the status quo sucks. The proposed Cadmus crossing is an intriguing idea.

Closing the train track crossing may seem extreme at first glance but I think it's a good idea. The chaos of the Leucadia Blvd intersection is getting worse and worse by the week.

The only reason Cadmus is even worth discussing is that Cadmus does not connect to Neptune Ave. This prevents Cadmus from becoming a busy thoroughfare to Beacon's. It's odd because Cadmus is one of the few streets that doesn't connect to Neptune Ave. What luck that is.

I think the traffic signal at the Leucadia park/coast highway 101 should stay so that if you are leaving Beacon's you can make a left turn. And if you are going north on Hwy 101 and you want to Beacon's you can make a left turn with a green arrow. There needs to be a pedestrian crossing here as well. I guess you will have to cross the tracks illegally if you want to get to 7-11 and the dry cleaners. Maybe we can work safe legal pedestrian crossings over the train tracks into this plan.

Encinitas Blvd is a prime example of a major thoroughfare with a business district and an entrance into the coastal part of downtown and the beach. Right now traffic coming down Leucadia Blvd is expecting the same thing but instead finds that Leucadia Blvd is more of a sleepy neighborhood road. Unfortunately this sleepy road is being used by commuters coming off the freeway during rush hour. This causes all kinds of gridlock and madness with the combo of the dysfunctional intersection. Cars from I-5, cars from San Elijo Hills, pedestrians, cars coming in and out of 7-11, people trying to take their kids to the elementary school, surfers trying to get to Beacon's, and the train mucking up the whole process.

The ultimate solution would be to lower the tracks like in Solana Beach. Since the cost for such a project is out of reach we have to think out of the box and look for a cheaper solution. Luckily, La Costa Ave and Encinitas Blvd are not affected by the train. Those two locations are equipped to handle the thoroughfare that Leucadia Blvd is not (La Costa Ave needs some improvements as well. See Leucadia!: La Costa Ave Expansion?).

The concern about doing this diversion around Leucadia's dysfunctional intersection is the ripple effect to Encinitas Blvd and La Costa Ave. Drivers may soon learn to avoid Leucadia Blvd and use Encinitas Blvd or La Costa Ave instead. Can these two other intersections handle the impact?

We need to be intelligent about this and look at the traffic studies and see if the new traffic imposed on Encinitas Blvd and La Costa Ave will work. Also, there needs to be fair warning to commuters from the freeway all the way down Leucadia Blvd that there is no direct access to the coast highway. A nice sign before the Leucadia Blvd off ramp on I-5 warning that there is no direct access to the coast highway would help prevent some confusion. A series of signs the whole route would be ideal.

Cadmus needs to have a very large sign declaring that there is NO beach access in order avoid cars going down that street and then having to make u-turns. That would be horrible, even catastrophic for the people that live on Cadmus.

An intersection tells us certain things. A stop sign tells us this intersection is fairly busy. A traffic signal tells us that this is a very busy route. People naturally assume that there is beach access at the traffic signals. We must make the new intersection as idiot proof as possible so not to destroy the quality of life for the people on Cadmus.

One thing that will improve for the good people of Cadmus is that they can use the light to make a left turn onto the coast highway. Right now making a left turn off Cadmus is pretty hairy.

Closing the Leucadia Blvd train track crossing will solve the problem of accidents at a dysfunctional intersection, but in turn it may force that traffic onto La Costa Ave and Encinitas Blvd. I don't know if there is much we can do to improve Encinitas Blvd but La Costa Ave improvements must be made in conjunction with the Leucadia Blvd project.

I don't know if the traffic studies are ever available for public review but it sure would be nice to see the numbers. The numbers should dictate the design. The idea is good but does it work with the numbers?

One of the most appealing things about this proposal is the train quiet zone. Imagine, no more horns blaring away. You could actual have a conversation with your cup of coffee at the Pannikan.

Culturally people are going to be upset about the direct route to the coast highway and Beacon's being closed. But I think this intersection project will jump start other infrastructure improvements needed for business and life to flourish in Leucadia.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Today is National Buy Local Day

Today is National Buy Local Day. Be sure to get out and enjoy this nice weather and support some of our cool little local mom&pop business. I plan on stopping in Ducky Waddles and Lou's Records myself.

Why Buy Local?

• Local businesses produce more income, jobs, and tax receipts for local communities than big box stores do.
• Local businesses are more likely to utilize local ads, banks and other services.
• Local businesses donate more money to nonprofits and are more accountable to their local communities.
• Supporting local businesses preserves the economic diversity of our communities and the unique character of our neighborhoods.
• Supporting local businesses is good for the environment, because it cuts down on fuel consumption. Buying locally produced goods reduces the need to ship goods from thousands of miles away and also cuts down on the distances shoppers travel.

* And don’t forget to also buy Fair Trade, organic and green!


Surfers, be sure to support your local shapers. Avoid outsourced "pop-outs" from Thailand and China. Thank you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

>>>a number of assumptions I find disturbing<<<


by Herb Patterson

The City of Encinitas is planning to move the San Diegito Water District [SDWD] into the new Mossy Public Works Yard. Moreland and Associates prepared the study allocating costs to the various entities [only the SDWD is technically a separate agency – the rest are simply departments of the City]. In the study, Moreland made a number of assumptions I find disturbing.

The first assumption is that the SDWD owed a capital cost donation to this project. Why? The study does not indicate that the SDWD would then own some portion of the property. What equity does the SDWD receive for the expenditure? When the City bought the SDWD property for the new library, it purchased the land and received title for payment – why is that apparently not happening here?

Assuming you believe it is appropriate for the SDWD to donate towards the purchase price of the Mossy property, I would suggest a long look at the methodology used to determine the cost. Moreland estimated that building a similar facility for the SDWD at $300 a square foot and then used the number of SDWD employees [a rounded off 23] as a percentage of the total employees using the yard to arrive at a square foot per SDWD employee of about 364 square feet. That was then multiplied times the $300 figure to arrive at the capital cost. The only problem with this is that about half of the SDWD employees are field workers, not desk bound. A good portion of the SDWD land use would be for parking vehicles and equipment in garages, car ports or parking places. Should the SDWD pay $300 a square foot for a parking place? I don't think so.

Among the other items left off the Moreland report, there is no discussion of the previous locations used by the SDWD. Wouldn't it have been instructive to see a breakdown of the office space and the parking/garage areas? Wouldn't some comment from the SDWD on what their needs were be appropriate? Why is there no discussion of alternative locations and their availability?

I have no problem with the SDWD moving in to the new Public Works area if they pay rent, and pay for whatever alterations necessary for their operation, but having to “up front” the capital expense appears to be a way of transferring the cost to acquire the Mossy location from the City to the SDWD.

This is useful to the City because they can raise your water rates [without a vote] to pay for it. If the City is transferring costs from the City to the SDWD, it is illegal under Prop 218. I have my doubts that the proposed Capital Improvement “donation” from the SDWD meets the Prop 218 definition of Capital Expense and may well be illegal regardless of the intent of the City.

Why does the Moreland report have no alternative scenario for a straight rental of City property to the SDWD? Might that be cheaper for SDWD in the long run ? Nobody knows because the report ASSUMES that the SDWD will buy into the Mossy location.

Since alternatives to the Mossy location were not even looked at, the cost estimate for an SDWD building are imaginary and poorly applied, a review of past locations usage was not done, and the actual needs of the SDWD not even addressed in the Moreland report, I believe it is premature to expect the public to buy into a solution that has the appearance of transferring capital costs from the City to the SDWD. The City Council, sitting both as representatives of the City as a whole and as Directors of the SDWD, have a fiduciary responsibility to both the citizens of Encinitas and the customers of the SDWD. They do not appear to have done that duty in relation to the ratepayers of the SDWD.

Please attend the special Council meeting on 11-29 at 6:00PM in the Council chambers for a discussion of the SDWD water rates – want to guess which way they are going?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Even More Beacon's-post planning commission thoughts

I attended a portion of tonight's planning commission meeting about the proposed Beacon's beach trail access. I arrived at 6:15 and I left right around 8:00 pm when public comments were still taking place.

Here is my 2 minute take on the whole thing:

The conceptual plan presented by the city was fairly weak and seemed to be lacking a lot of detail. Maybe this was because they are proceeding slowly and carefully due to all the public interest.

The sea wall is a no-go. Everyone hates it, nearby bluff residents, environmentalists, surfers, beachcombers, etc. The mere fact that Surfrider Foundation will sue over the sea wall makes finding an alternative all the more attractive.

We have a grant for 2.8 million bucks for this thing but the presented plan comes out to 5 million. The city has no extra money for anymore capital projects. We just borrowed 20 million and it's all spent. Let's do a Beacon's beach access for 2.8 million. Let's work with what we are given.

My architect wifey made a rare appearance tonight and soaked in the presentation. We ducked out early and went out to dinner where she sketched out a really solid plan on her placemat. Her plan should only cost around 3 million. She is going to draw up a rough draft of her idea and submit it to the city. I will post the plan on this blog. It's a good idea and doesn't have a sea wall.

For those of you who didn't make the meeting you missed 3 oddball minutes by unsuccessful city council candidate Paul "Pablo" Martens where he ranted about hurricanes in the 1800's and paleontologist in the future. FYI, he talks in that voice all the time.

For those who stayed, how did the commission end up voting? This meeting was about the EIR only. What happened? What happens next?

And dammitt, I can't believe I missed My Name is Earl and The Office. I really need Tivo. story:
Beacon's Beach report criticized at meeting

Union Tribune

Beacon's Beach part 3

You can download the Beacon's Beach pdf plans from the city website: click me

If you download the big Graphics zip file you will find good pre-visualizations on files 2.2-10 through 2.2-14

Today's NCT story: Surfrider to challenge Beacon's Beach study

The public meeting is tonight at city hall 6:00 pm

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Beacon's Beach Trail Photos with Captions

click all images to enlarge
Read the previous post about the proposed Beacon's trail here: Leucadia!: Beacon's Beach Trail Access

Here is cliff erosion meeting the beach sand. The experts will tell you that the majority of our beach sand comes from the cliffs and that is why we cannot build sea walls of any kind. As a 36 year old surfer who grew up in Leucadia I can firmly tell you that there is a clear difference between dirt and sand. Classic Leucadia beach sand is mostly black and is sticky. It comes from huge sand basins offshore that spring and summer south swells push onto the beach. During the winter when we have big north swells and storms we lose a lot of sand. It's the ebb and flow of the beach. I believe the Surfrider Foundation has a political agenda against beach property owners so they overhype the amount of "sand" we get from the cliffs.

The natural beauty of the bluff and vegetation meeting the beach is superior to any kind of wall. But what about safe public beach access? Is there a happy medium?

The trail and it's switchbacks are pretty cool. When I was a kid the switchbacks were concrete ramps that were slippery with sand and impossible to walk up in flip-flops. The current trail has some dicey sections that are sure to fall during the next good rain storm.

When Leucadia Blvd was extended to El Camino Real the city was thinking about the Ecke's new golf course and shopping center. Did they realize they were also linking the new shiny mega-sprawl known as San Elijo Hills to Beacon's (and the dysfunctional Leucadia/Vulcan/Hwy101 intersection). The Union Tribune reported that 170,000 people visited Beacon's last year. While I don't trust those beach people-counters that much (your surfboard appears to be getting counted as you walk by) it's obvious that since San Elijo Hills was built, Beacon's beach and it's soft breaking beginner friendly waves are more crowded than ever.

The new plan must address drainage.

The parking lot is always busy. It's a great place to pull up in the evening and watch the sunset. Unfortunately there is only one decent bench on the north end of the lot. I failed to take a photo of the north end but there is a lot of un-used space. There is a pay phone used by illegal aliens and drug dealers, a bike rack, one of those nice tiled art trash cans, a planter and not much else. This would be a good area for porti-potties.

Bonus photo, a Ron Stoner shot of Billy Hamilton surfing Beacon's in the mid 60's summertime.

Several items which I think are noteworthy; the bluffs are effected by the wind. When Beacon's had thick healthy kelp beds not only did the surf stay glassy and good all day but the cliffs were not taking a constant beating from the wind. Our kelp beds are still trying to recover from the horrid chopping they took from the last and possibly illegal midnight run by the Kelpco and their kelp cutter ship.

Also, when I was a kid many areas of the bluffs were always damp, wet and drippy. Wild tomatoes grew all over the cliffs. Now the bluffs are bone dry and therefore brittle. You know when you build a sandcastle how the sand needs to be damp so it will stay up? The bluffs are the same way. Now that Encinitas has turned into suburbia, rain water no longer soaks into the ground and slowly seeps it's way towards the ocean. Now it just quickly runs off down the streets, into the gutters and goes gushing out into the ocean. I don't think this is reversable.

The majority of our sand migration down the coast is blocked by the Oceanside jetties. I don't see how our local cliff erosion is supposed to make up this massive quanities of sand that no longer reaches us.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Beacon's Beach Trail Access

click all images to enlarge

I'm well overdue blogging about the proposed Beacon's Beach trail refurbishment.

I've been meaning to stop by the city and check out the plans in person before I started whining about it on the internet but I lag.

This Thursday, 6 pm at city hall there is going to be a public meeting about the new Beacon's trail. If you frequent this part of Leucadia you know that sections of the dirt trail down to Beacon's beach are constantly collapsing. The other popular beaches in Encinitas; Swami's, D-St and Grandview all have nice staircases while Beacon's has a rapidly eroding dirt trail.

Here is the pdf link about the meeting from the city website, click me

Here is the Union Tribune story that ran about the Beacon's trail the other week: click me

You'll find in that article that the Surfrider Foundation is against any sort of sea wall at the base of the trail and will sue the city to block it.

I personally view the wall as less of a sea wall that will disrupt sand migration and more of a basic retaining wall that will keep the trail from sliding down the cliff ( I must again note that I haven't yet seen the actual plans).

The Surfrider Foundation has a no tolerance policy towards sea walls. I think sea walls should be considered on a case by case basis.

The city has proposed building a 450-foot-long sea wall – the length of the beach – to keep the bluff from crumbling, said John Frenken, the city's park and beach superintendent.

The sea wall would be 17 feet high, but most of it would be below sand level, leaving about 6 feet visible. Steel anchors would be connected to bedrock to stabilize the upper bluff face. The $5 million project includes building new stairways, a lifeguard tower and showers.

Missing from this plan are some sort of public restrooms. Porti-potties would be fine even.

A friend of mine who grew up in Leucadia posted about the Beacon's trail on a surfing message board and a representive of Surfrider posted this reply:

First, I am responding to this without the consent of the current Executive Committee of the San Diego Chapter of Surfrider Foundation. But I have been part of the leadership for some time. For the record, all of the following comments are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of other Surfrider members, the San Diego Chapter, or National. I'm simply trying to give some of the principles on which Surfrider has based their actions.

The San Diego Chapter of Surfrider Foundation has been very active in fighting seawalls for a over 10 years. The reason we're opposed to them is because they impede the natural migration of the coast eastward, as historically has occurred for millions of years. Why does this matter to surfers? Impeding the natural sediment flow takes away the public's beach to preserve structures that have been built on an eroding bluff. You don't build in a floodplain because your house would get washed away; similarly, you don't build a house on an eroding bluff because it will fall in the ocean. The public's use of the beach serves more people than a few homeowners. It's unfortunate for the homeowners, but the public deserves to keep its public resources.

On the Beacon's issue, we were asked to review redesign plans several years ago because there is an active slide in the area. The SD Chapter was not comfortable endorsing the plan because it called for permanent or semi-permanent structures on the bluff; endorsing that would have contradicted our then-active lawsuits in Solana Beach.

This is an extremely complicated issue with many angles/facets. The bottom line is that Surfrider Foundation is opposed to armoring the coastline. The coastline is a dynamic - not static - environment. Our infrastructure, urban planning, and future development should reflect that.

I'm sure many of you want to send me email and get more specifics. Unfortunately, I have a full-time job like (most) of the rest of you and a wife (read - I don't have time to answer everyone's questions one-on-one). I'm trying to give you the gist of Surfrider's stance, but our attorneys at Coast Law Group can elaborate in far greater detail than myself. I have volunteered with the Chapter for nine years while working full-time as an environmental consultant and wildlife biologist. I've been to many public hearings (taking time off from work or in the evenings) while serving as Chairman of the Chapter. Our attorneys also work pro-bono on Surfrider issues and volunteer much of their free time while trying to raise families and make ends meet amidst SoCal's high cost of living. I encourage all of you to contact our full-time employee, Bill Hickman ( or better yet, come to a Chapter meeting and get involved. Educate yourselves. We need more people to get involved and understand the full effects of coastal armoring.

See you in the water,

Brian Woodward
Advisory Committee
San Diego Chapter
Surfrider Foundation

I hope Surfrider presents an alternative idea instead of just shutting down this proposal.

Here is a photo I took of Beacon's during our last 7 ft+ high tide. As you can see even with this extreme tide the surfline does not reach the cliffs.

Granted the waves are not very big this day. A high tide during a gnarly winter storm may reach the base of the trail and the sea wall. I guess the fear is that the beach sand will be stripped away from the wall during such a storm.

So my question is, could we design a sea wall that is jagged shape, something that sand can cling too? Could we design a sea wall with nook and crannies that plants could take root in and birds could nest in? A smarter better sea wall? Any engineers out there?

It seems to me that a lot of people on both sides of the coin have never even spent any quality time at Beacon's are going to be making some big decisions on it's future.

Can we preserve the natural beauty of the bluff and still have safe passage to the beach?

North Beacon's has an old sea wall that juts out into the surf during high tides. Sand seems to be doing a good job of staying around here. In fact there is too much sand on the reef for the waves to be as good as they can get there.

Encinitas Citizens for Residential Stability

I love the name Encinitas Citizens for Residential Stability so much that I'm starting another post about the short term rental drama.

Coastal panel to weigh Encinitas vacation rentals

It's a shame the Encinitas Citizens for Residential Stability can't just ban short term rentals behind the iron gates of the fading pink stucco 80's ghetto condo complex that is Sea Bluff.

From the NCT:

For more than two years, city officials have wrangled with regulating vacation rentals.

In February, the city was scheduled to bring its ordinance banning new short-term rentals to the commission for approval, but pulled back because of a negative recommendation from the panel's staff.

If permitted by commissioners, Murphy said he would negotiate an "over-concentration clause" akin to an existing city ordinance that prohibits bed and breakfast establishments from operating within 200 feet of one another.

The city has argued that plenty of short-term lodging exists at the city's hotels and motels, where year-round vacancy rates range from 34 percent to 53 percent.

"You can't put a family in one room," said Chris Carrico, who manages vacation rentals at the 255-unit Sea Bluff complex in Leucadia. "Vacation rentals let families enjoy time together for a week at the beach. Hotels don't supply that."

Some 75 of the condos at Sea Bluff are rented to short-term tenants, she said, adding that the clause proposed by Murphy would effectively prohibit new landlords from renting short-term.

That's what members of Encinitas Citizens for Residential Stability have argued for.

I used The Google to find some Encinitas beach house rentals. This first link is to a Sea Bluff rental:

"Sea Bluff is a one of a kind gated community. Located in Leucadia in the city of Encinitas, this 50 acres of ocean front property has 255 townhomes, beautiful landscaped grounds with over 900 trees, large green belts, and security guards 7 days a week."

It must be frustrating to be a full time Sea Bluff resident. The reason paranoid people move into gated communities is to seal themselves off from the rest of the world. Imagine the horror of having the rest of the world come to you.

Previous post on this issue: Leucadia!: Limitation, not ban, urged for Encinitas. Mayor Guerin's blood boils

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Are the cult of personalities hurting Encinitas?

Encinitas is a beautiful place. It's unique beauty attracts a lot of respectful quality people. It also attracts a lot of strange people who want to exploit Encinitas for personal gain.

I've been doing my best to create a scorecard of who is who in the this town. The heavy hitters and the players.

I have decided on something.

I believe this town has been held back by our local government due to the strange cult of personalities. Infighting and personal vendettas have suppressed the progression of our infrastructure. The politics of this town is basically that of ASB high school blown up on a larger stage.

Too bad it's our tax dollars that are going along for the ride.

When I hear that the train tracks were not lowered because this person got in a fight with that person, that the flooding is jacked because this guy didn't communicate with that guy, that one person knew about federal funding that the town could have accessed but didn't tell anyone about it out of spite; it's enough to make you throw up.

It seems like we discuss personality traits just as much as we discuss issues.

Hopefully we can begin to start getting shit done is this town instead of playing out this bizarre soap opera.

Let's end the personal drama. Your city council is nothing more than glorified pothole fillers and they can barely do that. There is no true leadership or any kind. There is no clear vision of the future.

We need to end the drama and invest our energies into the infrastructure. Let the residents live their lives. The council members and surrounding court need to back away from themselves.

Someone posted a comment that Encinitas had been "Guerinized". That made me laugh at first but you know what? That sucks.

What is an example of Guerinization? Well, one of the new ordinances that was put on the owner of the new D-St Bar&Grill (located in the historic La Paloma building) is that there is no dancing allowed. Think about that for awhile. A small town ordinance designed to legislate your behavior.

A very powerful and influential out of towner is the loathsome Michael D Pattinson, a carpet bagger developer who would raze the entire town if left to his own devices.

When you speak in front of the city council are you there because you truly love Encinitas or are you there out of some need to feed your ego?

If you are on the council are you there because you love Encinitas or because you seek higher office down the road?

If you are just a normal salt of the earth kind of person going about your business, trying to make a living, doing all the right things like paying taxes and working hard and trying your best to enjoy life in Encinitas; your daily routine is affected by morally corrupt adults who are still stuck in a high school mentality.

That's weak.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Limitation, not ban, urged for Encinitas. Mayor Guerin's blood boils

Encinitas short term rentals; uncouth party pads or nice family vacation destinations?

Union Tribune story by Angela Lau today on the short term rental ban drama, click here

Excerpts from the article:

*The city's attempt to ban new vacation rentals leased for 30 days or fewer has been dealt another blow by the California Coastal Commission.

The commission's planners have once again rejected a citywide ban on short-term rentals and have recommended, instead, a partial prohibition covering just residential areas east of Coast Highway 10l.

*City officials had estimated Encinitas has about 110 vacation rentals and are now taking an inventory of how many are west of Highway 101.

*Yesterday, news of the rejection outraged ban supporters but instilled some hope among vacation rental landlords whose properties are west of Highway 101.

Harry Fund, a member of Encinitas Citizens for Residential Stability, which supports a citywide ban, said of the rejection: “That's ridiculous. You can't do that to a city. It absolutely goes against what the city believes. It's absurd.

*“There are not enough vacation rentals. A ban will decrease access to the coast,” Carrico said. “A lot of the complaints have not been validated. We had a very quiet summer.”

Murphy said he had expected obstacles in pushing through the proposed plan because Coastal Commission planners had rejected a similar proposal in February.

At the time, the city withdrew its application to avoid a definitive commission vote that would seal the fate of the proposed ban.

This time, however, the city will not back off. A gung-ho City Council decided in August to make its case before the commission, with Mayor Christy Guerin then saying the city will bus ban supporters to the commission meeting if necessary.

And in the North County Times a story about the new senior citizen complex Mayor Christy Guerin has this quip about the Coastal Commission: "The issue about the Coastal Commission really makes my blood boil." link

Okay first, the fact that a group of people named themselves Encinitas Citizens for Residential Stability is hilarious. What are we, San Elijo Hills now?
Boys, what we gotta do is form a committee. No wait, a task force. Yeah, that's the ticket.

I always love a good compromise, especially when it leaves both concerned parties unhappy. I like this, new rentals should be at least 200 feet apart, similar to existing restrictions on bed-and-breakfast inns.

For those of you out there that believe the Coastal Commission does a good job of protecting our coast you need to be deeply concerned about the venomous hatred Christy Guerin has for them because she is going to work for your new congressman Brian Bilbray.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Pablo picks up a few more votes!!!

Here is your updated vote count:

9509 32.26%
TERESA A. BARTH 7214 24.47%
DOUG LONG 6298 21.36%
THOMAS L. BROWN 5131 17.41%

They are still counting absentee votes.


*I'm really not all that interested in this. I just want to put in some distance from my baby seal clubbing post.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dalager celebrates election victory by clubbing baby seals

Re-elected Encinitas city council incumbent Dan Dalager celebrated his sweeping victory at the polls last Tuesday by clubbing baby seals.

Dalager encouraged residents to drop by his small business centrally located on Second Street to talk about city issues in person; and to feel his soft new seal pelt sash that he is making.

"Encinitas is the greatest place on Earth." said Dalager in between kill strokes. "The library is on time and on budget and the flooding problem in Leucadia is fixed. Now if you will excuse me, this little guy is trying to wiggle away."

Election Roundup

This morning's story on the election results:

Dalager coasts to victory in Encinitas; Teresa Barth wins City Council seat

Both Doug Long and Thomas Brown say they are going to run again in 2008. I have heard speculation that Jim Bond may retire, leaving an open seat. Maggie Houilan will be up for re-election but since she received over 13,000 votes last time, way more than Dan even, she is a shoo in.

It's now all on Jerome Stocks.

Jerome doesn't possess the wide folksy appeal of Dan Dalager so he is going to have to step it up over the next two years. Jerome is going to play an important role in the council now. I believe he may now be the most important person in Encinitas.

With Christy "Bossypants" Guerin no longer around to bully the council things should loosen up a bit. Jerome can now be his own man. I want to see that defeated slouch disappear, I want to see him to sit up straight with confidence. I want to hear what he has to say about issues and not just grumble.

There are questions about Jerome. Is he really a fiscal conservative? Dan can get away with pretending he is while taxing and spending at whim; but unless Jerome starts a barber shop on Second Street or something I don't think he can get away with the same behavior.

Personally, I think Jerome can be an ally when it comes to improving the infrastructure on Leucadia without resorting to eminent domain. But will he make smart choices about projects or will he rubber stamp anything that comes along? Can he be objective when it comes to projects by Barratt American? Councilman, developer say donation is a mistake

There is an undercurrent of people who want to have a recall election and unseat Stocks. I feel that is a bad idea and will further poison the climate in this town.

Jerome needs to become a leader over the next two years because Long and Brown are nipping at his heels.

Stock photo of Stocks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Let's all move forward together

DAN DALAGER 8843 32.13%
TERESA A. BARTH 6752 24.53%
DOUG LONG 5891 21.40%
THOMAS L. BROWN 4782 17.37%
Precincts: 52.....Counted: 52.....Percentage: 100.0%

Waking up and checking the election results I'm surprised to see all votes are counted. I thought it would be at least the end of today. Man, those ballot counters deserve credit for staying up all night.

Dan Dalager gets re-elected with big results. I guess his charm and wit overrides the fact that he voted for an illegal tax hike. Well, good for him I say. I've been coming down hard on Dan for the past week and now I get to pester him for another 4 years.

Teresa Barth is in. This is a good thing in my opinion. I think her smarts and charisma can do a lot of good. Maybe she can be a positive influence and build a bridge between Maggie and the rest of the council. Teresa will keep an eye on our tax dollars at the very least. I admit, I'm stoked she won.

Doug Long comes in third. I think Doug killed his chances when he erected a giant sign next to the story polls of a beloved old building in the heart of downtown that is going to get razed . Oh yeah, and his major campaign contributer was Barratt American, the controversial mega-builder that wants to turn Encinitas into an LA suburb.

Tomas Brown, what can you say? He spent a lot of money and he showed us he is a smart, clean cut, white collar professional. Brown should have worn Hawaiian shirts and grown a mustache. I think people were nervous about voting for a guy who has such close ties to developers.

Pablo! Okay Pablo, you didn't actually say anything concrete all summer until last weekend in the NCT. You were the spoiler man, keep on trucking.

Thanks goodness the election is over. Now let's embrace this new city council and all move forward together.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Your Moment of Zen

Pablo chills out after voting.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Leucadia, a beautiful place

Leucadia is a unique place in this world. You have a stake in it's future. Be sure to vote on Tuesday.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Oddly enough, I'm somewhat newsworthy

San Diego Union Tribune reporter Angela Lua wrote a piece on an e-mail I sent out the other day encouraging the surfing community to support Encinitas city council candidate Teresa Barth.

So, now I get to blog about myself which is creepy and fun at the same time.

Blogger asks surfer friends to go to polls

By Angela Lau

November 4, 2006

– A few ripples have finally appeared in this unusually quiet City Council race.

In the waning days before voters go to the polls on Tuesday, a Leucadia blogger hopes to tap the power of the local surfing community by urging them to vote for candidate Teresa Barth, one of five competing for two council seats.

Blogger J.P. St. Pierre said he's also sent an e-mail to several hundred Encinitas surfers, urging them to go to the polls Tuesday and vote for Barth, saying she is not one of the “Usual Scoundrels” at City Hall.

“We surfers are haunted by many stereotypes, one of them is the stigma of political apathy,” St. Pierre wrote in his email. “The local surf community has to shoulder the burdens of rapidly expanding population that puts unprecedented pressures on our beach and surf spots.”

St. Pierre started, a popular forum for residents who are disgruntled with City Hall. These days, it mostly attacks incumbent Dan Dalager, who St. Pierre describes as a longtime friend and neighbor who has turned his back on surfers.

Dalager took it in stride.

“What are you going to do?” he said. “It's silly season.

“I think my credentials and my background speak for themselves,” Dalager said. “Some people will say most anything. God love them. It's their right.”

In addition to Dalager, co-owner of Dalager's Sharpening Service, and Barth, a former county fair exhibit supervisor, candidates running for the two council seats are contractor Tom Brown; Doug Long, owner of Bert's plumbing and chairman of the city Parks and Recreation Commission; and photographer Paul Martens.

Outside of cyberspace, Brown and Dalager have secured the support of the Deputy Sheriffs Association of San Diego County while Barth is endorsed by the Sierra Club.

Although the council seats are nonpartisan, Brown and Long have been endorsed by the Republican Party of San Diego. The local Democratic Party didn't weigh in on the race.

Brown has been under scrutiny by some voters who question how he can be on the council, since his Sierra Pacific West Inc. has done work for the city.

He said he won't bid for city contracts if he is elected.

“It's a conflict of interest. I will never bid for any more work as a prime contractor,” he said. He did not, however, rule out the possibility of subcontracting some projects.

The candidates have been spending various amounts of money, according to the latest financial forms filed with the City Clerk.

Long has raised the most money – $27,000 – and listed developer Barratt American President Mick Pattinson as a contributor.

Brown has been funding his campaign. Of the $24,000 in campaign contributions listed, $14,000 came from him.

Dalager has raised $15,100 while Barth has collected $14,900 and Martens has brought in about $1,100.

Despite the wide-reaching power of the Internet, Barth will not have to disclose St. Pierre's support because the California Fair Political Practices Commission does not consider e-mail messages as advertisements in the same vein as fliers mailed to voters, a commission spokeswoman said.

Angela Lau: (760) 476-8240;

Here is the complete e-mail I sent out to my bros:

Dear fellow Encinitas surfers,

We surfers are haunted by many stereotypes, one of them is the stigma of political apathy. Encinitas will always be a surf town first and a flower town second. The local surf community has to shoulder the burdens of a rapidly expanding population that puts unprecedented pressures on our beaches and surf spots. As a 36 year old Leucadian surfer and second generation surfboard builder I have become active in local politics over the last two years. I am asking all Encinitas, Leucadia, Cardiff and Olivenhain surfers to support Teresa Barth for Encinitas city council on November 7th. Teresa Barth is a rare find for the surf community, she respects us.

The current Encinitas city council attempted to dupe us all by trying to Jedi mind trick us into raising our fees/taxes in the feel good fiasco that was Prop C, a bad tax disguised as a clean water program. Thanks to Teresa Barth and the Encinitas Taxpayer's Association (headed by lifelong surfer Bill Rodewald) Prop C was exposed as a sham and was soundly defeated. The Encinitas surfing community deserves better. Surfers, you are vital part of this town and critical to the local economy. I urge all surfers and the local surf industry to please support Teresa Barth, she has our back.

Unfortunately our longtime friend and neighbor and incumbent council member Dan Dalager no longer has our back. Danny Dalager has repeatedly raised our fees and taxes at every opportunity and has been very deceitful and even dishonest with the public. Dalager and the rest of the "Usual Scoundrels" that make up the current city council conceive these fee and tax increases behind closed door sessions, often in violation of the Brown Act. It pains me to say this, but we can no longer trust Dan Dalager. Make Teresa Barth your only vote for Encinitas city council and stop the bleeding.

warm regards,

J.P. St. Pierre
Leucadia, CA USA

In other news, the mysterious "Pablo" has launched his website:

Friday, November 03, 2006

Election Signage

Tom Brown's smiley face signs.

The sleaziest motel and liquor store in town is supporting Dalager and Long.

Are these sign clusters even legal?

Pablo's sign is pretty funny. It reads, it's all about US! it's all for YOU!

The majority of these orange and blue Teresa Barth signs were stolen from private properties all over town in a single night. Classy.

Dalager's amazing lies, half-truths and misinformation (PART 3)

Part 3 The Whine Heard Around the City

Dan Dalager is fond of calling people who question his authority "whiners", but Dan and the rest of the Usual Scoundrels whined the hardest when it came to the state mandated clean water program.

Considering that we are a beach town it is a no brainer that we should do everything we can to keep our beaches clean and our water quality high.

But this city council caught up in their usual financial flim flam whined like little girls and decided to sneak in a little illegal tax hike and hope nobody would notice.

It didn't work. The "whiners" caught the Usual Scoundrels with their hands in the cookie jar and they were sued by Howard Jarvis, a group that protects our hard earned tax dollars.

But this arrogant city council couldn't just take it on the chin, they decided to spend over a $100,000 on consultants to try and influence an election. Prop C was born, a shady tax with a fake feel good premise.

Dalager says he is most proud of his Tot Lot in Moonlight beach and it's a fine little park. It is also right next to a creek that drains out by the volleyball courts. Upstream from this creek is sprawl and infrastructure that contributes to contaminated runoff. You think Dalager would make it a priority to ensure the creek next to his beloved Tot Lot was clean. But no, Dalager whined that the state was coming down on him too hard, that money to keep the Tot Lot clean and safe shouldn't come out of the general fund.

Dalager brags in his campaign mailer "As a former beach lifeguard, our beaches have always been important to me."

Then why does he act like our beaches are a burden to this town when they are our #1 asset?

"Since I've been in office, we've prevented over 6,000 tons of trash and debris from draining to our beaches."

This is the state mandated clean water program in action. Trash and debris are cleared from our storm drains. He brags about this in his mailer but whined about it in real life.

I can see Temecula or Escondido being pissed off about the clean water program because they don't care if trash and toxins wash down to Carlsbad, but our city council should have been doing this stuff before the state mandate because *cough* we are a beach town.

Prop C was an unfair tax that targeted certain homeowners and let restaurants, shopping malls, golf courses and business off the hook. Prop C was crushed at the polls. If you voted against Prop C then Danny Dalager thinks you are a whiner.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dalager's amazing lies, half-truths and misinformation (PART 2)

Dalager's boasting on his campaign mailer knows no boundaries and for him truth and reality are slippery subjects:

"Construction of our new library is also underway, on time and on budget. Environmental reports on the Hall property are complete, and I am anxious to get that park opened!"

The library is far from being on time. In fact, the library is a black eye for the current council. The library will be years late and its construction costs are millions more than they had budgeted. This is one reason the City of Encinitas recently had to borrow $20 million (kinda easy to now say everything is on budget when you borrow all that money).

Union Tribune story from last year about our library delays.

By Angela Lau

December 31, 2005

ENCINITAS – The new library is falling further and further behind schedule.

Although the facility was projected to open this fall or next winter, the city hasn't chosen a company to build it. And city officials are scrambling to figure out how to pay its skyrocketing construction cost, which has doubled.

Construction of our over designed bling bling library has just begun. On schedule eh?

Dalager claims everything is right as rain wih the Hall property.

The Hall property EIR is "complete"? Oh really? Can we see it then?

Check this out:

Dan started saying the EIR was done well before I got this response.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Kathy Greene"
> Date: October 23, 2006 10:37:32 AM PDT
> To: "Kevin"
> Subject: RE: records request October06-2
> Hi Kevin:
> I have been informed by Jennifer Smith that the Hall Property EIR is not
> yet completed and is still a "working document." Jennifer has not
> received the draft from the consultant but hopes to have it available
> for distribution in November.
> When it is received I will advise.
> The reason I am so late replying to you is because I have been on
> vacation and just returned today.
> Thank you.
> Kathy Greene

Dudebro Dalager just got caught lying on his campaign mailer.
Stay tuned for Part 3 where we discuss Dalager's hubris when it comes to clean water (and the scam that was prop C).

Dalager's amazing lies, half-truths and misinformation (PART 1)

Dan Dalager sent out a glossy fold out mailer this week. It is full of lies.

It reads: Infrastructure Improvements

"We've also managed FEMA flood plains and improved storm drainage, which have significantly reduced flooding along Hwy 101."

I almost choked on my Halloween candy when I read that. The Leucadia flooding fix botch job, now lovingly known as the Pasco Fiasco, actually made the flooding worse. On top of letting this fiasco slide, Dalager repeatedly talks about declaring Leucadia "blighted" because of the flooding problem. You will recall at the Redevelopment workshop that when the RDA bond stooge admitted Leucadia's only "blight" was flooding Dan Dalager exclaimed "We don't want to talk about flooding tonight, that is a different subject!" (a chorus of groans came from the audience).

Now in his campaign mailer he is claiming the flooding is "significantly reduced". Talk about spin, spin, spin. The flooding is a colossal failure and city is now saying it will cost $30 million to fix. Of course, there is no funding out of the glorious $20 million bond for Leucadia flooding. Dalager says he loves that bond as much as his own family (cue Twilight Zone theme).

read What is a Pasco Fiasco?

also check out the City Council Monitor.

Stay tuned to this blog for more updates on Dalager's sad little lies.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dalager releases names of people who enjoy paying unnecessary fees and taxes

Encinitas city council incumbent Dan Dalager has never met a fee or tax increase he didn't like and I suppose these people feel the same way:

click image for large view.