Tuesday, July 31, 2007

MMMMmmmmmm, Doooonuts!

Parade canceled? part II

Since people have been in a shoot the messenger mode lately I won't add much to this North County Times article by Adam Kaye. Click it, read it, then leave an angry comment on the NCT website.

Fate of Encinitas Christmas Parade in question

From the article:

Typically, the city hosts the event, but that changed in January, when the City Council agreed to hand over responsibilities to the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce. A leader of the chamber, however, said Monday that the business group might not have the resources to produce the parade this year.

"The question is, will we be able to put together an adequate level of funding and will we be able to tap into a large enough volunteer base," said Gary Tucker, chief executive officer.

In January, when the City Council set its goals for the year, chamber representatives offered to take control of the popular parade, which attracts dozens of participants and hundreds of spectators to the route through downtown Encinitas. Council members were supportive; the chamber produced the parade before the city incorporated in 1986.

The council never actually voted to stop producing the parade, but in May approved a city operating budget that includes no money for it.

In recent years, Encinitas had budgeted $37,500 to cover security, waste-collection and other costs associated with the event.

Tucker said the chamber does not plan to ask the city for money.

"There's no question about our desire to do it," he said. "There's a question of whether we do it this year or next year."

In my opinion even considering not having a parade in 2007 is completely unacceptable, especially after all the name change drama.

Leucadia Blog: Encinitas Chamber of Commerce in over it's head, Parade canceled???

Monday, July 30, 2007

I love Del Mar Race Season!

In Del Mar putting midgets on the backs of large land mammals and seeing which one runs faster for money is so popular that the traffic backs all the way up to Leucadia.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Something we can all enjoy together,

Nothing like a little music on a hot balmy summer night.

Cardiff Statue Contender

It should have been this guy,


Concerns over water quality

Working to bridge troubles over water
By Michael Burge

June 29, 2007

ESCONDIDO– Memo to Lake Hodges: We don't want your water.

A long-term plan to exchange water between the inland North County lake and Olivenhain Reservoir remains in doubt, with the Olivenhain Municipal Water District standing firm that it will not mix the two sources until Hodges water is cleaned up.

“We have a button here that says, 'What happens in Hodges stays in Hodges,' ” Mark Muir, an Olivenhain board member, told a joint meeting of his and the Santa Fe Irrigation District boards Wednesday.

But Gary Eaton, director of operations and maintenance for the San Diego County Water Authority, said it is working with Olivenhain and other water agencies on a plan to ensure that Hodges water meets quality standards before it enters the county's water supply.

“It's not in anybody's benefit to put poor-quality water into the aqueduct or anybody's system,” Eaton said yesterday. He said a committee composed of engineers from Olivenhain, the authority and other concerned agencies expects to propose an operations plan to the authority's board in November.

One of the group's first chores, Eaton said, is to separate fact from fiction.

“There is a perception that the trees you currently see (in the lake) are a real issue for water quality,” Eaton said. “The reality is that is not case.

Water-quality issues stem from runoff from Hodges' 250-square-mile watershed, which extends east to Julian. Farms and city dwellers have dumped chemicals and bacteria into sewers that feed into the lake, polluting it. After years of drought, thousands of willow trees that sprouted in the lake's dry bed were submerged when Hodges filled again in 2005.

The issue of the lake's water quality drew attention in November when David McCollom, Olivenhain's general manager at the time, suggested draining the lake and refilling it with imported water to rid it of contaminants.

Read the rest of the story here

Friday, July 27, 2007

Style Files

Good style never goes out of style, shortboard or longboard.

Encinitas Chamber of Commerce in over it's head, Parade canceled???

For some reason the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce took over organizing the Christmas/holiday parade from the city last year. Now it looks like they got in over it's head and are hinting at the unthinkable, not having a parade in 2007.

Like a slacker teenager who asked to borrow the car if he promises to wash it and fill up the tank but flaked out, the Chamber is a big disappointment.

SDUT article Chamber of Commerce might put off holiday parade

“One of the things we are considering is that maybe not doing it in '07 but doing it in '08,” chamber Executive Director Gary Tucker said. “We have not said we are not doing it. We want to make sure we are doing it right. We're looking at all options.”

Tucker declined to elaborate on the obstacles the chamber faces in hosting the event, which has attracted almost 100 community groups in the procession and 30,000 spectators in past years.

Tucker said one of the problems was the lack of time.

The chamber had spent the first half of the year preparing its new office at Second Street and moving from its former home on Encinitas Boulevard, Tucker said.

The Chamber parade committee hard at work.

Encinitas' holiday parade is not just a major holiday event. It was a source of controversy two years ago when then-Mayor Dan Dalager changed its name from Holiday Parade to Christmas Parade.

The name change infuriated some members of Encinitas' Jewish community, who accused the city of favoring the Christian faith in a taxpayer-funded event. The parade was held nevertheless.

Take the parade duties away from the pathetic Chamber who apparently has been too busy shopping at IKEA to give a damn. (Maybe give the parade duties to the Jewish community?)

Previous NCT.com story about the cocky Encinitas Chamber, Encinitas chamber on the move

Dude, I've been like really busy bro. I'll do that parade thing next year, I swear. Quit smothering me bro.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Attention Surfers, you may have noticed that we installed these cute crossing signs of you jaunty surfers. This was for the tourist delight only. You are not allowed to cross the highway or train tracks. We do not encourage transportation by foot. You will be ticketed for jaywalking. Yes, we made major road and sidewalk improvements to Santa Fe Dr but that doesn't mean we want you to continue on foot to Swami's. If you live in the neighborhood and want to surf Swami's you need to get in your car and go to Chesterfield (please enjoy the new statue while there) or drive to E St. Don't worry, gas is cheap and parking is plentiful.

We currently have deployed 500 Coaster Cops to ticket you for crossing the train tracks. We will use this money to help pay for the $120,000 surfer statue.

That is all for now.


your friends,


Tuesday, July 24, 2007



The lack of landscaping in the center medians of HWY101 are for YOUR BENEFIT.

The orange sandbags placed near the train tracks at the Leucadia Blvd/HWY101 are there for your safety and benefit. Please feel free to enjoy them at your leisure.

REMEMBER: The lack of sidewalks, streetlights and traffic controls are the fault of the longtime residents and not of the city, city staff or NCTD.

Thank you. There is nothing more to see here. Please move along.



This PSA brought to you by your friends THE THOUGHT POLICE.

Monday, July 23, 2007



Guest Editorial by The Thought Police

Attention citizens of Leucadia, Cardiff, Encinitas and Olivenhain, we are here to assure you that everything is fine. The current state of social order is calm and civil. Your tax dollars are being handled with supreme fiscal responsibility. There is no need to worry. We assure you that the city council and staff are well equipped to manage the daily needs of our beautiful city. The Hall Park property is on time and on budget. The library is on time and on budget. The city infrastructure is sound and functioning . The roads are safe and in perfect condition. Traffic flows smoothly on all street, roads, highways and freeways. We have zero pollution and zero crime. We have rezoned the empty lot next to your house for your benefit. You are happy and calm. You no longer feel the need to read newspapers or blogs. If any of your friends, family or neighbors show signs of unhappiness or dissent please alert the proper authorities at once for their own safety and benefit.

Thank you and have a nice day,

your friends,


Desperate Small Town Erects Worlds Largest Fiberglass Chili Dog

Desperate Small Town Erects Worlds Largest Fiberglass Chili Dog

The Onion

Desperate Small Town Erects World's Largest Fiberglass Chili Dog

PURLEY, TX—After years of unsuccessful efforts to establish itself as a center of tourism, industry or Texas history, the tiny East Texas town of Purley finally put itself on the map Monday, when civic leaders unveiled the world's largest fiberglass chili dog.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Sum of all Fears

Stealth camera phone photo of the new Cardiff Surfer sculpture taken today. It's worse than we feared. If you surf you know why. More blog post on this to follow...

Frank and to the point

MainStreet Mornings, Tomorrow! 8:00am at Encinitas Television Featuring: Tom Frank, P.E. & ReCon Recyling

Tom Frank is a licensed professional engineer , with an MBA, who has been focusing on municipal engineering for over 20 years. Most importantly though, he is an Encinitan who is is raising his family here, and is committed to helping make Encinitas a better place. Mr. Frank is also the Chair of the Traffic Commission in Encinitas.

Mr. Frank will speaking about the delicate balance between traffic, business, and the MainStreet character, and will provide updates about the Leucadia 101 streescape project. He will also discuss the impact the Leucadia 101 streetscape will have on Downtown Encinitas specifically, and the impact on Encinitas overall.

There will also be a brief presentation by ReCon Recycling about a recycling service they have recently started in Encinitas.

MainStreet Mornings
Tuesday, July 17, 8:00am
Encinitas Television
1140 South Coast Highway 101

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Friday, July 13, 2007

Another Incident on The Gauntlet

click images for large view

The stretch of coast highway from La Costa Ave to Encinitas Blvd has become known as The Guantlet. These photos were taken late Friday afternoon. This is just one of many terrible accidents that occur frequently in the Leucadia coastal zone. The Encinitas city council should take immediate action to lower the coastal speed limit to 35 mph and then make it a priority to slow and control the flow of traffic in coastal Leucadia. This will require leadership, vision and community support.

There were 3 or 4 cars in this mess but this big white truck seemed to be the main culprit. Drivers like to speed through both lanes in coastal Leucadia but the right hand lane is far too dangerous for this.

This vehicle was pushed onto the sidewalk from the force of the collision. Thank goodness that woman with the kids and stroller was not hit. The front wheel that broke off from the white truck is visible in the lane. *Note the Amtrak train in the background barreling through the residential neighborhood at 80 mph sans pedestrian crossings or warning lights.

Encinitas council debates traffic plan
Bicyclist injured in Encinitas crash
Encinitas chef was loving life when tragedy struck: Joshua Tiscareno, 29, killed in crash on Coast Highway

Thursday, July 12, 2007

"Plant" fake grass, get rebate check

CA water leaders vote ‘yes’ to fake-grass rebates

LOS ANGELES — In an effort to save water, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) has approved a measure to give homeowners in drought-plagued Southern California a rebate for using synthetic turf, a July 11 North County Times story said.

Lawn watering makes up 50 to 70 percent of the water used by homeowners, according to the story.

Water officials think this is the first time in Southern California’s history that such an incentive has been offered.

Las Vegas offered rebates in 2002 and still continues to do so.

According to MWD spokesman Bob Muir, the rebates will equal 30 cents per square foot of turf. In Las Vegas, $1 per square foot is offered.

Encinitas, CA, Mayor James Bond, who is also a member of the Water Authority and Metropolitan boards, said he thinks this is a better plan than encouraging homeowners to xeriscape. Bond said in the story, “People still like green grass. It's part of the culture. And a culture shift takes time.”

The rebates will be offered to the agency's 18 million customers.

The real reason Dalager's tool sharpening shop closed down. Artificial turf gets vacuumed, not mowed.

Former city council candidate Doug Long has an artificial lawn in front of his plumbing business on Second Street in downtown Encinitas.

Washington Family Vacations in Leucadia

Washington Post writer Blaine Harden describes his family trip to southern California where they rent a beach house (possibly at the gated community of Sea Bluff) in Leucadia. He describes how his kids love our local beaches as much as they would anywhere in the world, discover Leucadia Donuts and make several grueling treks to the San Diego theme parks.


Since we wanted to keep it simple and maximize the amount of fun and relaxation we could have while staying close to a refrigerator stocked with sippy cups, we spent the biggest chunk of our vacation money on accommodations. We had decided that a hotel would be too constraining - without being all that cheap. Spending $200 to $300 per night for two suites (for our family and my wife's parents) would add up.

We also worried that if we spent a week in a hotel, we would feel compelled to drive somewhere every day - to pricey theme parks, crowded public beaches or fancy restaurants where the kids would spurn the complicated food - just to keep from going crazy. We decided we would rather spend that money to rent a nice place where we would not feel pressured to rush out the door.

In the end, we settled on a $2,500 waterfront townhouse with four bedrooms (two of them with king-size beds) and a large, well-equipped kitchen in a gated community in Leucadia, 30 miles north of San Diego. We booked it three months in advance and rented a minivan for the week ($400).

With a big airy home base (one that was filled with the sound of surf) it was easy to establish routines that Lucinda and Arno could find comfort in. There was, of course, a price to pay: We were far away from downtown San Diego - and its restaurants, museums and shops. But the kids did not care and neither did we. When they are older, we will come back and be sophisticated.

I bring this up because not too long ago our former mayor Christy Guerin flew to Monterey and lobbied the Coastal Commission to put a ban on home beach rentals in Encinitas. I was against this because it is my opinion that although Encinitas/Cardiff/Leucadia has many fine hotels/motels none are truly adequate for a large family vacation. Thank goodness for the Harden family (and our local economy) that the Coastal Commission wisely rejected mayor Guerin's anti-social request.

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


Okay, which one of you punk kids keeps soaping the Target entrance fountain?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Invasive plants vs non-native plants vs invasive non-native plants

A reader named Jess posted this comment on the Invasive Plants topic:

I think some clarification is needed:

The concern is with invasive non-native plants. These are plants that are both non-native AND invasive. These plants are not native to California (i.e. they came from South Africa, the Mediterranean, etc.) and are invasive, meaning they grow rapidly and overtake areas. It is very MISLEADING to just talk about ‘non-native plants’ - because this includes everything from petunias to basil to jacaranda trees. Most non-native plants are not a problem- they stay in their planted areas. But the invasive non-native ones spread by roots, underground stems, and seeds and aggressively take over. Why is this bad? Invasive non-native plants can, they cause fire hazards and flood hazards, displace native plants (and thus native wildlife), they can make areas inaccessible for recreation, and they cost the city, state and private property owners when they cause problems, such as becoming fire hazards.

People have twisted the intent of the proposed committee to investigate invasive non-native plant use in the City. I was at the City Council meeting when this was discussed. My understanding is that the City is considering not allowing the use of the most problematic invasive non-native plants on City properties and on new developments. We are talking about is a list of about 10 plants that they do not want new devlopments to plant. These are plants you don't want in your yard anyway. They are NOT going to create a 'plant police' that will tell people with established gardens that you they can’t have such and such a plant in their yard. Come on. Little old ladies being told to rip out their plants. That’s ridiculous. It is frustrating to see this issue get sensationalized. For the City to have a more comprehensive policy on invasive non-native plants on their properties and on new developments would be a great thing. Invasive plants are real problem and they seriously degrade our natural areas and cause fire and flood hazards. The cost of dealing with invasive non-native plant infestations once they have established is huge. The idea is to prevent these plants from ever getting established.

Go to www.plantright.org and www.cal-ipc.org for more info. Plantright.org lists the most problematic species in different parts of California (only 9 species for our area) and suggested alternatives.

California south coast invasive plants list (with alternative plants).

Bonus: Logan Jenkins witty take on this matter click here.

Vintage and Retro Gas Stations

Fred Caldwell e-mailed out this montage of vintage gas stations and a mock up of our retro themed Mobile station currently in progress on the north Leucadia coast highway corridor.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Old Timey Leucadia

Last week Fred Caldwell e-mailed me these sweet photos of Leucadia in the 1920's. This was located just north of the roadside park on the coast highway.

These photos supplement this comment posted last week:

Before LeucadiART Walk, there was world famous Streeter Blair, who's art studio / antique shop was next to Leucadia Roadside Park. Blair's oil paintings were primitive American style, and when Grandma Moses died, her agent deemed him Grandpa Moses. His studio burned to the ground in 1953 and he moved to LA. In the 1960's years after Blair passed, a container with nearly 100 of his paintings was discovered and auctioned off at Sotheby's. Vincent Price and Jonathan Winters were among the collectors bidding high on his work. In the 40's, Blair also built a large, early American style log cabin on Sanford Street out of mortared pier pilings. I was lucky enough to be given a tour of it by a friend of Blairs who had purchased it from him and preserve it from the 40's. A huge fireplace, chandelier and the original furniture Blair built for it was also in tact. Sadly, a year later, Greystone made her an offer she couldn't refuse. It's all gone now.

Leucadia Blog: Art Training Ground

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Event: LTC Party Tues. July 10

Area Man wishes Encinitas had a smoking ban

Man Pleads Guilty To North County Burglaries

An ex-convict who pleaded guilty to burglary after DNA evidence found on cigarette butts linked him to two North County break-ins was sentenced Thursday to four years in state prison.

Mark Stephen Rochambeau, 45, was arrested Feb. 20 on suspicion of burglarizing the "It's a Love Thing" boutique on Coast Highway in Encinitas last Dec. 1, and a San Marcos home on San Pablo Drive about 10 days later.

Sheriff's detectives testified at a preliminary hearing in April that they found cigarette butts at both locations that had the defendant's DNA.

See: Leucadia Blog: Killing 2 birds with 3 stones

Friday, July 06, 2007

Invasive Plants aka "weeds" may be regulated in Encinitas

The city of Encinitas has decided to form a citizen's panel in addition to the Blue Ribbon Environmental Committee, to devise a plan and method to control invasive plant species.

Sounds dumb at first, right? It would be impossible to regulate non-native plant species in sprawling Encinitas. Our streets are lined with Australian eucalyptus (which I would like to see eventually replaced with California oaks) and other non-native trees. Heck, the beloved poinsettia is non-native.

But non-native and invasive plants are two different things. Invasive plants are basically weeds that can get out of control and take over, slurping up all the water, becoming fire hazards and dominating the increasingly rare native California plant species.

The city recommends banning the razor sharp leaves and itchy pollen of pampus grass from city properties.

The San Diego Union Tribune article by Angela Lua makes this story seems controversial, but is it really? link

From the article:

The 2002 Blue Ribbon Committee suggested, among other things, banning non-native plants on city property and requiring new residential and commercial developments to avoid using them. It also suggested eradicating pampas grass and arundo from city properties.

Besides pampas grass and arundo, the Blue Ribbon committee also listed acacia, giant reed, ice plant, wild fennel, perennial pepperweed, myoporum, castor bean, Brazilian and Peruvian pepper tree, and tamarisk/salt cedar as commonly found invasive plants in Encinitas.

Councilman Dan Dalager cast the only dissenting vote in this latest anti-invasive plant effort. He said the city doesn't need to set up a bureaucracy to regulate what people grow in their yards because city staffers already do a good job of keeping invasive plants out of developments that are near wildlife habitats.

“Talk about a regulatory nightmare,” Dalager said. “You have a whole code enforcement section walking up to little old ladies' doors to tell them rip this out and rip that out. It seems like a nice path to go down, but it's an infringement (on privacy). I have no problem at all with a program of education.”

Houlihan became concerned when she saw that a Cardiff revitalization plan contained invasive plants in its landscaping recommendations. That plan is being revised after numerous Cardiff residents told the council they were unhappy with many of the plan's recommendations.

I have to agree with Dalager in that trying to regulate what people plant in the gardens may be impossible and contains some Big Brother issues (you old hippy residents and your 2 or 3 wilting pot plants had better watch out). However, I think it's a good idea for the city to try and keep invasive plants out of places like Cottonwood Creek.

Big clumps of arundo have been growing down at Swami's and Beacon's beaches for over 30 years. They seem harmless to me at these locations. Besides creating shelter for bums and drug addicts that might even be stabilizing the bluffs. But, we don't want arundo in the creeks or wetlands where they could grow out of control.

Notice the large patch of vegetation at the base of the bluff at Beacon's beach. The surf spot in front of this patch is named "Bamboo's" after it, but I don't think that is actually bamboo growing there. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that is arundo or giant reed grass.

The NCTD controlled zone in Leucadia is a mecca for dirt and weeds (mostly dirt). Are there invasive plants growing here and would a city ordinance even apply to this depressing area?

Leucadia Blvd and the coast highway are blighted by non-native invasive orange sandbags.

More info on invasive plant species at The United States National Arboretum website.


California Invasive Plant Council