Thursday, May 31, 2007

Breaking News: Mysterious Fuel Spill at Beacon's Beach



If you are in the Beacon's Beach area then you probably smell the diesel fuel in the air. It is all over the beach. The lifeguard I talked to said the city lifeguards were working with the Coast Guard to locate the origin of the spill.

The fuel in the air burned my eyes so bad that I only snapped a couple of shots before retreating back up the bluff.



The spill stretched the entire length of Beacon's Beach, I'm not sure if other areas are affected.



Fire Department, Lifeguards and a Haz-Mat team (with helicopters buzzing overhead).



More Traffic is (still) Less Traffic

Michael D Pattinson has thrown in the towel with NCT column. At first I missed the big fat whiner, but his replacement Lou Ochoa is just as funny. In this column he attempts to explain how further development in the hopelessly gridlocked Inland Empire will improve the traffic mess.

Growth key to solving gridlock

I guess Pattinson quit his column because he was exposed as a NIMBY regarding the Fanita power plant and that his propaganda crusade for 'more inventory means affordable home prices' mantra was shot now that the building industry is canceling projects left and right.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dozens comment on draft Ponto environmental report

Dozens comment on draft Ponto environmental report

article excerpts:

Wildlife agencies wanted more information about how coastal habitat might be harmed. The city of Encinitas said its traffic concerns hadn't been adequately addressed. And area residents and their attorneys raised a multitude of issues.

By Tuesday's deadline, the city of Carlsbad reportedly had received more than 40 letters and e-mails commenting on its new draft environmental document, which covers development plans for the south Carlsbad coastal region known as Ponto.

Now, the city must sift through those comments and respond to each before it can take its final version of the environmental report to the Planning Commission and City Council for approval.

Carlsbad didn't originally plan to do this environment report -- it was pushed toward that step after an intense public outcry against its proposed Ponto Beachfront Village Vision Plan.

That general planning document, which remains in draft form, calls for putting three hotels, a resort complex, condominiums and retail shops into the privately owned region, which is bordered by Carlsbad Boulevard to the west, the Hanover Beach Colony development to the north, Batiquitos Lagoon to the south, and the railroad tracks to the east.

In its comment letter, the city of Encinitas took issue with some of the traffic data in the environmental report, saying that there appeared to be errors in the vehicle volume figures and indicating that the Ponto development plans could have a far worse impact on area roadways than Carlsbad currently anticipates.

"No project traffic is forecast to access Leucadia Boulevard, which does not seem realistic," city of Encinitas environmental coordinator Scott Vurbeff wrote in his letter to Carlsbad.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the state Department of Fish & Game sent a joint letter asking for more details about how habitat that would be damaged by development will be replaced. Any impacts to coastal bluff scrub habitat should be mitigated by preserving other habitat that is of that same, hard-to-find type, they note.

The two agencies also wanted more information about how the endangered Least Tern nesting area along Batiquitos Lagoon would be protected given that development plans call for putting a resort next door the lagoon.

They weren't the only ones raising issues related to the lagoon. The Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation's President Fred Sandquist wrote that the city's draft environmental document "lacks specificity in certain areas, making it difficult to assess the magnitude of the impacts or the effectiveness of the mitigation measures." He argued that the document needs more information about a variety of things, including how lighting, landscaping and stormwater runoff from the proposed resort would be kept from harming the lagoon.

The homeowners association representing the people who live just east of Ponto -- the San Pacifico Area "A" Association -- also had concerns about how development might harm the lagoon, in addition to many other issues. In its comment letter, the association sought everything from hourly water spraying to reduce construction dust to more information about how peregrine falcons would be impacted by the development.

The longest letter the city received -- 17 pages of commentary, plus a dozen or so attachments -- came from an attorney representing a man who lives just north of Ponto in the Hanover Beach Colony. Residents in that area have opposed plans for a Hilton hotel, which would be directly across the street from the entrance to their development.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

City council meetings live on the internets?

Interesting North County Times opinion piece about local governments streaming their city council meetings live over the web:

Your government @ transparency


In addition to Internet video streaming, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Escondido, Solana Beach, Del Mar and San Diego County also broadcast their meetings live on area cable television systems. San Marcos and Vista both offer a delayed cable broadcast of their council meetings.

North County's two transparency truants are Encinitas and Poway, which offer only delayed cable broadcasts of their council meetings. Poway finally got around to even this tardy televising of its meetings only about two months ago.

All it would take Encinitas to broadcast its council meetings live is a flick of the switch and some municipal pocket change. Council members have talked a good game about streaming their meetings online, but didn't set aside one thin dime toward that goal this fiscal year. Hopefully, regional peer pressure will make it act sooner rather than later.

Of course, all of the video in the world, streaming or otherwise, won't make a difference if local residents don't actually tune in or log on to see their local governments in action, and, after watching, participate in the political process. But it does give voters one less excuse for not being informed and involved.


I think streaming the meetings live is a good idea but even more I would like the meetings to be archived in a podcast or something for viewing when you have time. Heck, let's put all the meetings on You Tube.

The city hasn't been all that happy about giving taxpayers access to information in the past Hobbyist, Democracy and Integrity Frustrate Local Tool Sharpener

New library now visible from downtown Enc



The new $20 million dollar library is now becoming visible over city hall from downtown Encinitas.

Monday, May 28, 2007

L101 Guardrail does it's job




Some folks say that the Leucadia 101 rusty guardrails are ugly and should be removed but this one at Jupiter St did it's job and prevented a vehicle from going into the southbound lane.

I wonder if the city will leave it crumpled like this forever?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Leucadia/Encinitas will absorb Carlsbad's Traffic

The following was posted in the comments section in the post about Carlsbad's plans for Ponto,

The bad news is the minimum estimate of 15,000 cars cutting through Leucadia each day will further degrade Encinitas by putting even more gridlock along the HW101 corridor throughout Encinitas.

Encinitas needs to manage the traffic volume cutting through Encinitas and encourage them to stay on I5!

The development should be conditioned to:

1. Design the access improvements to encourage access from Avenida Encinas- NOT LEUCADIA HW101.

2. Redesigning the La Costa/HW101 intersection to:

a. Reduce the current southbound HW101 through lanes to one at La Costa Avenue for a small segment to manage the cut through traffic in Encinitas. Making this small change would help Encinitas tremendously by moving the morning cut through commuters queue north to Ponto (which is were it belongs) instead of grid locking all of Leucadia and Encinitas every time that I5 gets backed up. The Cut through traffic problem is only going to get worse in the future with I5 currently backed up 50% of the time with projections to get much worse in the near future.

b. Include two left hand turn lanes from southbound HW101 turning east on La Costa Avenue.

3. Improve La Costa Avenue to handle the increased future traffic-including:

a. Rebuilding the existing bridge over the railroad tracks.

b. Rebuilding the intersections of Vulcan Avenue and Sheridan Road to assure no increase in cut through traffic through the Leucadia neighborhood east of HW101.

c. Bike lanes and Walkways, and Landscaping improvements.

Our Encinitas’s Staff and City Council need to get their game on and make sure Encinitas manages its roads and protect our City from the negative impacts of Carlsbad’s development policies.

Time will tell whether staff and City Council are watching our back. What kind of conditions do you think our City Council will suggest being included in the Specific Plans conditions of approval?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

PONTO BEACHFRONT VILLAGE VISION PLAN



Ponto is in Carlsbad but whatever happens to Ponto impacts Leucadia.

If you have an opinion about the future development of the Ponto area you have until next week to voice your opinion,

From the city of Carlsbad:

The Draft EIR will be available for public review and comment until May 29, 2007. All comments on the Draft EIR must be submitted in writing to the following City of Carlsbad contact:
Christer Westman, Carlsbad
Planning Department; 1635 Faraday Avenue; Carlsbad, CA 92008

Christer Westman AICP
cwest@ci.carlsbad.ca.us


check out the EIR here

Encinitas council OKs downtown restrictions

Encinitas council OKs downtown restrictions

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

ENCINITAS -- The Encinitas City Council voted 4-0 Wednesday to approve three related items in its downtown business districts.

The council agreed to create restrictions that would limit ground floors of buildings on South Coast Highway 101 to retail businesses only.

It authorized its Planning Department to process the Encinitas Union School District's request to rezone the old Pacific View School campus to allow for housing and offices.

It also accepted a Cardiff Town Council roster of people to scrutinize the controversial Cardiff Specific Plan.

Councilman Dan Dalager, a business owner in downtown Encinitas, did not participate in the retail-only or school campus vote. Councilwoman Teresa Barth, who lives in downtown Cardiff, excused herself from the Cardiff Specific Plan vote.

Reserving ground floor spaces for retail businesses in downtown Encinitas will keep the bustling business district "vibrant," council members said.

"What we need to do is protect and enhance, if possible, the vibrancy (of downtown)," said Councilman Jerome Stocks, "so 30 years out, we have a resident-serving, visitor-serving downtown. That's what this ordinance protects. I don't want a bunch of lawyers moving in and buying up retail stores and bank locations and setting up their offices on the ground floor of Highway 101."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We don't need no education?



Pacific View rezoning proposal heading to Encinitas council

At tonight's city council meeting school officials and their consultants will show a replacement plan developed in cooperation with neighbors that calls for housing and offices on the 2.8-acre site.

The plan for the only public school campus in downtown Encinitas has been two years in the making, and at least one more year of hearings and debate is expected before any construction begins.

That's because the campus today is zoned only for public or semi-public buildings, such as churches, medical or government offices. The council on Wednesday will decide whether to authorize the city's staff to begin processing the zoning change requested by the school district.

When completed, the change would need the approval of at least four City Council members. The state Coastal Commission also would need to approve it.

I think this comment on the NCT.com page sums it up, Delaney wrote on May 22, 2007 12:15 PM:
"I thought that the original owner of this property sold it to the EUSD for one dollar under the assumption that the Pacific View property would always be used as a beautiful school site for the children of Encinitas. That is, obviously, not what is going to happen. As a public school teacher, mother and life-long Encinitas resident, I am truly sorry that the property will not be used for the local Enci kids at all."

and this, Diane wrote on May 22, 2007 5:07 PM:
"Medical offices are not public/semi public buidlings -- they are for profit commercial ventures - why should the City subsidize cosmetic surgeons! As for Pacific View that land should be used for children -- why not put some soccer fields there and downsize the proposed sports complex so many residents are opposed to at the Hall Property. The last thing we need is another new development of offices and residences that will block our ocean views. That land should be preserved for children, and their children."

I think this site could be used for downtown Encinitas employee parking and overflow summer beach parking. But, you know what would be great? If it was a school!

As downtown Encinitas increases it's density with more condos, lofts and duplexes shouldn't the city prepare for more kids in the area? Or, are we to assume that all the new residential developments will just be summer rentals or occupied by childless singles?

Cardiff rail area vs Leucadia rail area

The people of Cardiff know how to beautify their community. Can Leucadia recreate this? Or does NCTD stand in the way?

Cardiff



Leucadia

Monday, May 21, 2007

Invasion of the canopy snatchers....

This e-mail has been making the rounds...

To Whom It May Concern at Encinitas City Hall: 5-19-07

A few months back on a SATURDAY MORNING I was awakened by chainsaws doing work on N. Coast Hwy 101. Tree trimming is not that unusual here so I didn’t get up and take a look. When I opened my shop at 10am, The healthy, 16’ pine tree I had planted in the median 12 years ago was completely gone. My Dad said before they began, he saw a large white truck with a chipper in tow and the name of the company in big letters on the door of the truck, but he couldn’t remember what the company name was. He thought they were merely trimming as well and paid little attention to them.

I called Andy Bullington at the city and he said there were NO city crews working on Saturdays and that no company had been hired by the city to do trimming and such in Leucadia for the past 6 mos. He also said if I see the truck again to let him know who it was.

Today I found out who it was.

But the tree butchering is not limited to the pine tree. It is ANY tree they believe "impairs" people’s view of BILLBOARDS on the hwy here. In the past, we were also trying to figure out WHO was trimming the palm trees so badly. They would leave ONE palm branch sticking straight up in the air when they left in front of Bamboo 2U my neighbor.

Today, SATURDAY MORNING, a little after 10am I heard a big truck pull up. A crew of five men began putting tools together to trim trees and they headed for Judy’s palm tree (again). I said “You’re not planning on trimming that tree are you?” and he said “Yes” and I told them I didn’t want them to. They told me they were making it easier for people to see the billboard on Jason St.. I told them they were destroying trees (as if they didn’t know).

I believe the name of the company that completely took out my tree and God knows how many others, is EVERGREEN TREE SERVICE. I only had a second to look at their truck, went to get my camera and they had split. (It’s the last word I’m not postive about, but Evergreen and Tree were the first two words. Their large logo is on the door of a large white truck, the kind that holds chippings. The Name of the company is in GOLD lettering with maybe black outlines and is ARCHED above their addreess and phone # etc. there were about 4 or 5 lines of information below it.
Please do something from preventing this company from continuing to blight our business district. I just noticed the hacked off most of the palms of one of Charlie Marvin’s trees on HIS property as well (just before they got to my block no doubt. I will be taking picture of their handywork tomorrow.

I would like them to replace the tree in the median they destroyed. Lastly, I think they need some letter from the city forbidding them to continue under a costly penalty.

Yours truly,
Fred Caldwell
1234 N. Coast Hwy 101
Leucadia CA 92024

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Encinitas exploring 'retail-only' regulations for Ground Floors

Encinitas exploring 'retail-only' regulations

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

ENCINITAS -- Determined to retain the viability of its downtown business district, Encinitas is exploring a "retail-only" restriction for the ground floors of buildings on South Coast Highway 101.

In a report to the Encinitas City Council Thursday, Planning Director Patrick Murphy recommends amending planning documents to specify the kinds of businesses that would be allowed along 101.

The council will consider the report when it meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 505 S. Vulcan Ave.

Attached to the report is an analysis prepared by the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association. The analysis lists reasons why seven other California cities have enacted similar restrictions.

Maintaining a pedestrian-friendly environment and reserving space for businesses that serve residents and visitors are among the reasons the cities of Alameda, Arcadia, Atascadero, Coronado, Redwood, San Luis Obispo and San Mateo cited when regulating commercial space in their business districts.

"The concept is something I can support," Councilwoman Teresa Barth said Thursday.

Closer to Encinitas, the city of Del Mar recently adopted an emergency ordinance to encourage more retail and fewer offices in its small business district. Real estate, financial and legal offices occupy much of the valuable space.

"They lock the door at 5 p.m. and inadvertently take the life out of downtown," Barth said.

"The whole success of downtown is vibrancy," she continued. "That vibrancy is in the evening and the weekends."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Burning Questions about the Beach Smoking Ban



Let me begin by saying that I grew up with severe asthma and I am allergic to cigarette smoke.

Is the beach smoking ban about cigarette butts as litter or second hand smoke, or both?

If it's about litter then the ban won't be affective because the vast majority of the cigarette butts come from runoff from the streets and teenagers smoking at the beach after hours.

How many hours of manpower do our public works employees put into picking up cigarette butts off our beaches?

If it's about second hand smoke then we should consider a ban, even in an outdoor setting.

Should we have a complete ban on smoking at the beach, or have some smoking/non-smoking areas? For example, we don't want smoking at the Moonlight Beach Tot Lot but maybe it's okay if people smoke at the benches overlooking Moonlight Beach at the upper parking lot?

Surfing is blackballed between the two lifeguard towers during the summer and is for swimmers only. Should this be the non-smoking area and the beaches north or south allow smoking?

Who is smoking at the beach? The only people I see smoking are the young surfers in the parking lots. It used to be that NO surfers ever smoked cigarettes, but the next generation seems to be embracing it. This is wild because they are the generation that was targeted by unprecedented millions of dollars in anti-smoking education. I guess they are rebelling against that message.

The fire rings are extremely popular at Moonlight Beach, is there a health risk from the smoke from these fires? Is it less or worse than second hand smoke from the occasional cigarette?

What is the fine line between taking away the personal freedoms of a smoker out in public as opposed to my freedom to not breathe in crappy smoke that was already in somebody's gunky lungs?

Does the snack stand at Moonlight Beach sell cigarettes?

Speaking of air pollution, the coast highway is getting busier and busier every summer. What effect is thousands and thousands of idling cars having on our local air quality?

What would happen if a leashless dog smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer out of a glass bottle was riding a horse at the beach???

See also:

Jerome Stocks op-ed in SDUT: Let Encinitas citizens decide smoking ban

Encinitas councilman wants beach smoking ban on ballot

Leucadia Blog: UNION-TRIBUNE EDITORIALS

SDUT story: Smoking debate resurfaces

Letters from Encinitas council persons Houlihan and Barth in Union Tribune. (scroll down)

CigaretteLitter.org

Thursday, May 17, 2007

UNION-TRIBUNE EDITORIALS

Smoke, mirrors and burning money in Encinitas

May 17, 2007


Blowing smoke

Let's take a long pause and rethink before we hand Jerome Stocks a
Cancer Fighter of the Year Award.

Stocks is an Encinitas City Council member, deputy mayor this year, who has long been part of a threesome blocking a smoking ban on Encinitas beaches. Encinitas is an environmentally conscious city, but with Stocks, James Bond and Dan Dalager in office it is in danger of winning the label Ash Tray of Coastal San Diego County. Every coastal city has acted or is considering a smoking ban on public beaches. Every city but Encinitas.

In a sudden jolt of public health consciousness, Stocks announced in an op-ed piece last week (“Let Encinitas citizens decide smoking ban”) that he is helping form SmokeoutEncinitas and will gather signatures to put an advisory measure on the ballot next year.

What's wrong with this picture, aside from Stocks listing half a dozen reasons he still doesn't think a smoking ban is a good idea?

For openers, is there any doubt how Encinitas residents feel? Eighty-six percent of Californians have made the decision not to smoke. Do they really want to inhale secondhand smoke at the beach?

But why go to the effort to gather signatures? The Encinitas City Council, by simple vote, can place a referendum on the ballot.

And why stop at making it advisory? If Stocks, Dalager and Bonds are afraid to make a decision, they should ask citizens to vote on a mandatory measure.

Del Mar and Solana Beach have beach smoking bans. So do San Diego, Coronado and Imperial Beach. National City and Chula Vista don't have ocean beaches, but they have seen the light. Oceanside just adopted a no-smoking ordinance and one is moving forward in Carlsbad.

Enforcement has not been difficult. Signs warn beach visitors, and beach-goers are quick to politely remind offenders.

If Stocks is sincere, and belatedly so, congratulations to him. But put the measure on a public ballot by council vote, not by gathering signatures and spending tax money to verify them. Make it a mandatory referendum, not an advisory measure. Oh yes, just one more thing. Not that we question the honorable councilman's intentions (we clearly do), but we think council members Maggie Houlihan and Teresa Barth should be the ones to write the proposed ordinance in consultation with City Attorney Glenn Sabine.


Horn of plenty

When is the last time you received a $33,000 pay raise, didn't have to go through a performance evaluation to get it, and the paperwork was slipped into a stack sent to the big boss to be signed without review?

That pretty much explains the situation in Encinitas where rookie City Manager Phil Cotton, on the job just seven months, received a 20 percent raise to $198,000 and an increase in retirement benefits.

The raise had been put on the consent calendar amid routine items to be approved en mass without discussion. Only after approval of the raise on a 3-2 vote did the council get around to discussing Cotton's performance in closed session.

The pay raise puts Cotton in pretty heady company, among longtime city managers of much larger cities.

This largesse is compliments of council members James Bond, Dan Dalager and Jerome Stocks.

link

Underground Parking

Story today in the Union Tribune about underground parking in Encinitas.

Limits for underground parking lots considered

By Angela Lau
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

May 17, 2007

ENCINITAS – A once-upon-a-time panacea to urban parking problems – underground parking – has some Encinitas officials worried that too much of a good thing may be bad for the city.

They are concerned about a trend by developers to build subterranean garages so they can construct much larger buildings above – so large that they could stretch from one end of the lot to the other, forming a wall of big buildings that could ruin the city's small-town flavor.

They may have reason to worry.

read the rest click me

The Union Tribune website now allows comments like the North County Times.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

You Can't Kill Art

COMMUNITY ARTS GROUP CELEBRATES “ARTS ALIVE” EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE HOMELESS IN ENCINITAS

Birthplace of National “Arts Alive” Banner Program Holds Annual Banner Auction on Sunday

Encinitas CA, May 16, 2007 – Nothing is stopping the 101 Artists’ Colony from holding their Annual Arts Alive Banner Auction on Sunday, May 20th, 2 p.m., at the Cardiff Towne Center – not even the fact that the Colony lost its home in late April to make way for a high-end condominium development. “Not even a wrecking ball will stop art in Encinitas,” stated Danny Salzhandler, 101 Artists’ Colony President.

This is the eight year that the 101 Artists' Colony, the Cardiff 101 Chamber, and the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association (DEMA) have presented this community art event. Originally conceived in Encinitas, the Arts Alive program has spread to numerous cities across the country.

This year, eighty-two (82) artists from throughout the county painted banners – all original pieces of artwork – that have been on display on lamp posts on Historic Highway 101 in both Encinitas and Cardiff. This year's program has also gone international with two banners submitted by artists in Belarus. The artists’ proceeds from the sale of these two banners will be directed to the Children of Chernobyl Foundation, www.givehopesandiego.org Proceeds from the remaining banner sales are split 50/50 between the artists and either the Artists' Colony or the Cardiff 101. This year, the Encinitas banners are sponsored by Charlie's Foreign Cars in Encinitas.

“Silent” bids are currently being accepted by DEMA by phone 760-943-1950 and can be viewed at www.encinitas101.com “Silent” bids will be accepted by DEMA through Friday and at the auction for a short time before local auctioneer, Rich Houk, begins the Live Auction on Sunday, May 20th. Minimum bid is $150.

Known as “a jewel in the community”, the 101 Artists’ Colony was founded in 1998 and, until recently, provided studio space for dozens of artists, a central space for exhibitions including their highly acclaimed “Children of Chernobyl” Art Exhibitions, a gift shop featuring their gifted artists’ work, and a venue for weekly musical and spoken word performances. In addition, the Colony supports its sister organization, Full Moon Poets, with its increasingly popular twice yearly poetry slams at the La Paloma Theatre, and open poetry readings that are held once a month on the full moon.

Always the optimist, Danny Salzhandler is confident that the organization will land on its feet. In the meantime, Danny stated, “Art is like weeds, it will continue to sprout up everywhere.”

For more information on the 101 Artists’ Colony or Sunday’s Arts Alive Banner Auction, contact 760-944-6027; artistscolony@speakeasy.net

www.101artistscolony.com

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I'm down with this Norby dude

Encinitas considering MainStreet coordinator to promote economic development

The city of Encinitas wants to hire Peder Norby to be the Highway 101 MainStreet coordinator and has budgeted a healthy gob of money for the position.

At first I thought, "Wow, what a scam. Why can't the existing city staff provide infrastructure for the 101?"

Then I threw my head back and laughed and laughed.

Here is why I've decided to support Peder Norby:

He did a good job with the downtown Encinitas streetscape program. I remember when the city first talking about fixing up downtown coastal Encinitas a lot of people were afraid that they were going to bulldoze the whole thing. I think Norby did a good job of fine tuning and beautifying downtown Encinitas that enhanced it's historic ambiance.

Norby seems like a guy who gets stuff done. If he can do half of what he did for downtown Encinitas for coastal Leucadia then I think we can have a functional community that we can all be proud of.

As much fun as last Friday's Leucadia Nights event was, it exposed many flaws in the functionality of the coastal corridor (dark areas, dead zones, broken or no sidewalks, parking issues, etc).

Leucadia Nights also demonstrated just how fun and cool Leucadia is. With a little TLC, Leucadia can have one of the best main streets in California.

Norby seems like a pretty hip guy and I think he can help create a funky and functional Leucadia.


The coast highway is beautiful but the dirt medians kind of...suck.


Nothing has been the detriment to Leucadia more than the NCTD's scorched earth policy. It's unclear if Norby can have any influence on the NCTD (rumor is that the N stands for Nazi).


Leucadia is a great but places like this section could really benefit from improvements. Could Peder Norby be mediator between the heart (you Leucadians) and the head (the city of Encinitas staff and council)?

Sure, $100,000 a year is a pretty sweet gig but in a way we are getting Norby for cheap as he is courted by other cities willing to pay more.

Heck, I'm a little jealous. This 101 coordinator position is like, my wife's dream job. During her architecture school education she specialized in urban planning with emphasis on historical preservation and pedestrian movements. Plus, she is a third generation Leucadian so she gets it.

Peder Norby and I have exchanged a few e-mails and I think he is a smart, thoughtful guy. I like what he says here, I have visited and worked in over 300 downtowns during the past 10 years. There is no example that I can point to as a success, where they destroyed the culture and history of their downtown, replacing it with “generica”.

Besides, Norby now knows that he if turns coastal Leucadia into a touristy version of San Diego's Seaport Village then 10,000 Leucadians are going to march to his house with pointy sticks.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Funky Noir



Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi. It was fun (after we finally figured out how to work the projector, ha-ha). Special thanks to Team Plant Lady!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Captain Ambiance at Leucadia Nights



Friday, May 11 6-9 Leucadia Coast Highway 101 CA USA

Captain Ambiance is coming out of retirement for Leucadia Nights and will be spinning his special blend of rare and thrilling .25 cent thrift store records. Hear the smooth sounds of Hawaiiana, groove to jazz, mambo, surf and exotica. 33's and 45's all found in Encinitas thrift stores. All vinyl, that's final!

Also playing, big screen surf movies of rare and never-before-seen archival and modern footage of Campbell Brothers Bonzer surfing.

All this excitement to be found in front of The Plant Lady in north Leucadia on Hwy101.






Happy Cotton

Encinitas approves 20 percent raise for city manager

Newbie city manager Phil Cotton received a whopping 20% raise last night.

20%, whew! That is a fat raise! Especially for a guy who has only been on the job for six months.

He's done a good job so far. But let's face it, how hard was it to "save" the city money by simply not following former city manager's shell game of a budget?

Mayor Bond and Jerome Stocks pushed for the 20% raise citing the pay scale for neighboring cities. Oops, those cities are twice as large as Encinitas.

Phil Cotton now makes $198,723 with a full pension. He will be living the good life as he already has a pension coming to him from his honorable military career.

I wasn't against Cotton getting a raise, but 10% would have been reasonable, generous even after 6 months on the job.

Houlihan and Barth praised Cotton but complained that the subcommittee of Mayor James Bond and Deputy Mayor Jerome Stocks presented inadequate information to justify such a hefty raise.

Stocks defended the amount, saying his recommendation complied with a council policy that sets employee salaries at the midrange of those among similarly sized cities.

Houlihan said she received no comparative analysis until Monday, and that the full City Council never had agreed upon a pay range within which the subcommittee would negotiate.

Barth noted that the analysis itself was flawed because it compared Encinitas to cities such as Carlsbad and Escondido, which are twice as big.

Beyond that, she said, the 20 percent raise would be difficult to explain to other employees.

"I don't want to be put in that position to explain to the rank and file why they should only get 3 percent," Barth said.


This should make you happy, Leucadia improvements will start this year:

In other business Wednesday, the council awarded a $2 million construction contract to 3D Enterprises to improve Leucadia Boulevard between Vulcan and Hermes avenues. The project includes roundabouts at Hermes and Hymettus avenues.

Landscaped medians and meandering walkways would provide safe havens for pedestrians who today must cross a boulevard that is up to 50 feet wide.

In addition to the Hermes and Hymettus roundabouts, the first phase of the Leucadia job would include curbs, gutters, sidewalks, streetlights and bike lanes on both sides of the boulevard from Vulcan to Hermes; the construction of left-turn lanes on northbound and southbound Vulcan Avenue; and an asphalt pathway on the north side of Leucadia Boulevard from Hermes to Interstate 5.

The pathway would be replaced with concrete sidewalks during a second phase of construction.

The second phase, which is not yet budgeted, would add a third roundabout at Hygeia, where today there is a four-way stop sign. It also would add sidewalks to both sides of the boulevard all the way to the freeway and would include landscaping on the sides and on a median for the busy road.

Blair Knoll, a city engineer, told the council he expects the six-month job to begin in June.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Leucadia Blvd Intersection Brutal all Weekend

The Leucadia Blvd coast hwy/Vulcan/train tracks intersection was just brutal this weekend. Total chaos. I can't believe nobody got hurt.

West bound was especially bad. Cars in the right lane wanting go north on Hwy101 were almost running over pedestrians trying to cross the coast highway.

West bound has two lanes, the far left you are supposed to keep turning onto Hwy101, the right lane you can go straight to Beacons. I saw people in the left lane go straight to Beacon's and almost collide with people in the right lane. It was really hairy.

The west bound lights are not in sync. This was causing gridlock on Vulcan. The Vulcan light turns green but the Hwy101 light takes almost a full minute to turn green. People were honking and yelling.

The weather was nice this weekend, just a prelude to when summer starts. That intersection is reaching critical mass.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

City to decide on Leucadia "improvements" this week

Council to consider road improvements

The Encinitas City Council will consider on Wednesday whether to award a $2 million contract to San Diego-based 3-D Enterprises to build roundabouts at Hermes and Hymettus avenues and wider turn lanes on Leucadia Boulevard at Vulcan Avenue. The work is expected to take six months.

That would be the first phase of a package of improvements Leucadians have requested for at least a decade.

The second, and last, phase would wait until 2012-13 because of budget constraints. That includes a roundabout at Hygeia Avenue and sidewalks on Leucadia Boulevard. But leaders said they are glad something is being done. “I would be very happy if Phase I begins,” said Morgan Mallory, a Leucadia 101 MainStreet Association board member.

Kathleen Lees, secretary for the Leucadia Town Council, said she understands the city cannot afford more right now. “If that's what we can get, we are perfectly happy with it.” –A.L.

So it's Roundabout crunch time and I'm still skeptical on these things. I have a bad feeling deep down about these Roundabouts (did anyone ever see a goo traffic study on these things) but that's not what is really concerning me right now.What bothers me is how the city throws Leucadia these little scraps of food and we go nipping and chasing it and are grateful for it.

Budget constraints??? For the past two weeks the city has been bragging about their new property tax windfall.

“If that's what we can get, we are perfectly happy with it.”This is the attitude we Leucadians have to end. We have to stop being happy with whatever we can get.

Leucadia is supplying the majority of property tax to the city so Leucadia deserves some serious quality improvements under a decent time table. Aren't you tired of driving away from your $800,000 home in your $30,000 vehicle just to get stuck at the Leucadia Blvd train track intersection for two cycles through the light, just to drive over potholes and almost hit a pedestrian because the whole thing is a confusing jacked up mess?

Maybe Roundabouts are the answer, maybe they will just make Leucadia Blvd pretty but make the traffic worse. Either way, as Leucadians I think we should all start having more self esteem and as taxpayers start demanding a little a quicker time table on improvements.

Maybe Peder Norby can be our self help guru?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Leucadia Nights



From the L101 website:

Join us on Friday May 11th. We're staying open late - there will be fun and music, and bargains galore!

Stop be early for the planting and dedication of two new Monterey Cypress trees to replace our two 115-year-old trees, recently lost to old age.

The new Leucadia 101 Guide Map will also be available tonight for the first time.