Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dalager Closing Family Tool Shop to Hunt Squirrels (?)

I was sad to learn that former mayor and current city councilman Dan Dalager was closing his longstanding family tool sharpening business on 2nd St in downtown Encinitas.

After 47 years, Dalagers closing June 15; City councilman's store a hub of chit-chat

I've taken some shots at Dalager on this blog in the last year. I started out as a Dan Dalager fan but grew frustrated with him over the last couple of years. I thought one of his redeeming values was his local roots as a small business owner.

Although I found it odd that Dalager never figured out how to sharpen surfboard planer blades despite the numerous surfboard shapers who live in Encinitas I've always liked the business and the little square green building and the faded lawnmower man mural.

This line in the above linked story stood out, Dalager said he had not decided what he will do for work, but planned to take a few weeks off to hunt squirrels.

Who hunts squirrels? Squirrels will come up to you if you have food in your hand.

Leucadia Blog: Hobbyist, Democracy and Integrity Frustrate Local Tool Sharpener

Leucadia Blog: Dan Dalager Constructs New Hall Park Statue


  1. I posted a comment to the NCT blog but the NCT did not post it. The comments were not out of line. I heard that a Dan fan edits the comments. Now I wonder if that rumor is true?

    Here I will be more blunt. Dalager’s was poorly managed. There are other lawnmower shops in town that do much better and get more of the professionals’ business. It couldn’t have helped that Dalager alienated a lot of his customer base. I know a lot of people who will not go to their shop for business anymore. They use to think that he was just the nicest guy on the planet. Dan is disrespectful to people who he disagrees with. He can be a real jackass even to lifelong ‘friends’.

    Dan loves to be the gatekeeper to city hall. He likes that people HAVE to come to him to get their problems fixed. This is a problem for citizens if they have spoken out against Dan’s mismanagement of the city.

    Dan does not try to get to the root cause of the problems at city hall, instead he fixes the symptoms for his friends. Dan would do the city better if he instead fixed the problem because as Dan likes to say he should just be in charge of setting the course for the city and not micromanaging its operations. By not paying attention to the course the city is in the city is following in the foot steps of his sharping shop. Dysfunctional.

  2. Is Dan going to hunt rodents at Beacons? I would pay $50 for a picture of that.

  3. Classic!!!

    North County Times will not post any comments about the story that are not totally pro-Dalager.

    This blog is open communication.

    NCT editors only allow their views to be presented.

    Dalagers business failed because Dalager can't listen to other people. His communication is one way - out of his mouth and into your ear. No wonder the business when upside down.

    I can't stand the fact that someone that can not listen to the public is running our City. Dan would be happiest if he was full time Mayor. Thank God the position rotates. What a bummer the squirel hunter no listener is on Council.

  4. Dan must have been misquoted. He didn't say squirrels. He said wabbits.

  5. It just hit me. Our city leader lost his job but he is jolly because he is going to go hunnnt some squirrels. That is so fucking rad. I am crying from laughing. I so wish he had said he was going to hunt rabbits.

  6. I just read the comments for the article on the NCT website. I thought the remarks were a little too effusive in praise of Dan. I suspected censorship, so I guess it is.

    Dan personally told me last week he was closing the shop. I already knew the week before. Dan looked haggard and depressed. I don't think this is the way he wanted it to end. He is trying to make the best of it.

    I had heard rumors since last year of deep family disagreement and Dan's inattention to the business. I understand that the mother still owns the property and that the third brother may have played a pivotal role in how things turned out.

  7. I hope Myron continues on in a new location. That guy can fix anything.

  8. I think Wal-Mart forced him out. Perhaps Aztlan got rid of him. Whichever, good ridance to a business run by a rude person.

  9. There business was doing fine because of the low overhead but Mom and loser Bro are jacking the rent so Myron and Dan said forget it were done. Not stoked, but what can you do when Mommy throws you out.

  10. Doing so well? You don't make a whole lot of sense, but you seem to know the truth.

    Why don't the brothers rent a different location? Most likely, because they recognize that the business has sputtered out. Dan should be the first one to appreciate how the free market eventually weeds em out. Dan should thank his mom for subsidizing his hobby for so long.

  11. From the JOY OF COOKING:


    (grey squirrels are preferred to red squirrels, which are quite gamy in flavor.)

    "To skin, don gloves to avoid possible tularemia infection. Cut the tail bone through from beneath, but take care not to cut through the skin of the tail. Hold squirrel by the tail and then cut the skin the width of the back. Turn the squirrel over on tis back and step on the base of the tail. Hold the hind legs in one hand and pull steadily and slowly, until the skin has worked itself over the front legs and head. While holding the squirrel in the same position, pull the remaining skin from the hind legs. Cut off the head and the feet and remove the internal organs, plus two small glands found in the small of the back and under each foreleg, between the ribs and the shoulders.

    Stuff and roast the squirrels.

    Serve with Walnut Catsup and/or Polenta."

  12. conspiracy theoryJune 07, 2007 6:10 AM

    My question is how are Ecke and others going to launder money to Councilman Dan now that they can't just send some of their equipment to the shop for 1000's of dollars of "sharpening". NOTE: I completely made this up but my conspiracy theory mind always thought this was why Dan was their lap dog.

  13. It is quite possible that Dan has some sort of tourette syndrom effects. He has a total inability to shut his mouth with his unwelcomed smart mouthed comments to people. He justify's them by saying its just because he has known you for a long time or that he likes you. I choose to pick better friends than him. He's been known to insult city staff members openly and particular departments as well. It doesn't bode well for morale or professionalism. If more of the voters had first hand experience with him,it is quite possible that he would not have been elected in the first place. Good luck Dan I hope you will take a long hard look in the mirror and grow up, don't forget that your not in junior high anymore.

  14. Great photo's J.P. Owning a small buisness myself, I would consider myself fortunate to close after 40 years.

    J.P., will you return to the walk of Leucadia soon? Would love to see where the sidewalks will be.

  15. JP-

    I love the pictures. Keep up the great work!

  16. JP

    How about a series on surf shops, surf manufacturers in encinitas?

  17. I heard Home Depot is hiring people to sweep the parking lot.

  18. Maybe Gil can chime in with an answer.
    Dan said in the UT article today that the business is closing because the agriculture industry in the area is no longer viable. I would not think that growers are heavy users of lawnmowers and saws that need sharpening. I would assume that all those new homes with yards that need mowing and trees that need trimming would be better customers for a sharpening business.
    Am I wrong?

  19. Word inside City Hall is that the brothers are fighting over Dan's hobby and are tired of it. So, it is sort of a family drama. That is if you believe anything anyone sais at City Hall.

  20. JP,
    Can I like your ass like everyone else here. Mmmmmmm, tastes like corn.

    You're the greatest.

  21. no more cheap rent for danny boy and bro. mom wants it to be higher. boys won,t pay it. there is more money in squirrel hides and dan is going to offer classes in communication skills and dressing for success.

  22. Thank you for that hilarious photo and for your blog

  23. Maybe the need for sharp blades fell with the excessive placement of concrete locally.

  24. Clever and accurate response anon 1:49

  25. So it turns out that Dan can't hide the fact that his shop was just his hobby. a past time that gives puts him in contact with people to chitchat with. Not that it has come time for to step up, because his mom stopped subsidizing his poorly managed business, he is jumping ship.

    There are other local lawnmower shops in town. Leucadia has its very own south of leucadia blvd on 101. They don't seem to have problems with changing "demographics and economics."

    Dan ran his shop the same way he runs the city. Superficially he looks like he has it together, but scratch the surface and you can see that it was a mess.

  26. Gil chimes in . . .
    The boys built that funky wonderful building. They had mom living upstairs for years and years. She was always looked after and it was her home. With time she could no longer navigate the stairs to reach the top floor. What to do?

    Brother said get mom a place she can navigate and he would move in with her and care for her.

    They found a place in Vista and to finance the move, drew up a revokable trust, into which they put the property that was the shop. With a guaranteed rental income from the shop, myron and dan had provided mom something that the banks could loan against to service mom's new home debt. Mom got her new place to live and everything seemed fine . . for awhile.

    The brother looking after mom decided to be like Johnny Rocco in "Key Largo". "That's right soldier, that's what i want, Johnny Rocco wants more".

    Brother whisked mom to another lawyer and accountant where mom was convinced that it was meet and right that the rent on the shop should be raised so that mom(brother) could have more disposal income to....

    Rather than get into a messy competancy hearing and family court battle, myron and danny just decided to quit. They did not want to quit but they were dead set against a family feud. Really who can blame them.

    They did what they thought was best for mom and brother Johnny Rocco. It just turned out that johnny Rocco was an asp.


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