Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Leucadia Nights Friday, Dec. 7th

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L101 Slideshow

Leucadia Blvd northbound to La Costa Ave. There is no other stretch of coast highway like this in California. It is truly a special place. Notice the major gaps in the tree canopy, this is only going to get worse.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Leucadia Blvd Backup

This is a photo of the second Leucadia Blvd roundabout currently under construction. Roundabouts promise to smooth the flow of traffic, but only one problem here, the traffic is gridlocked at a dead stop. The stoplight at Vulcan, the train tracks and the coast highway intersection all create a perfect storm of traffic, backing up through the roundabout and all the way to the stop sign (and beyond on weekends). After I took this photo I sat through three red lights and one train before making it across the coast highway. The total wait from the time the photo was taken to getting through the Hwy101 intersection clocked in around 12 minutes.

Monday, November 26, 2007

NCTD to Cut Down Trees on L101

If you cruise northbound on the Leucadia coast highway you may notice glimpses of spray painted red X's on many of the eucalyptus trees that line the 101 and train tracks. A red X means the tree is going to be cut down. A green X means trimming. You may notice that some of the trees with red X's are obviously dry and dead, but several of them look vibrant and healthy. The NCTD counts 40 large trees on the 101, they have slated at least 7 of them (maybe more) for removal.

click images for large view

The majority of this beautiful row of trees are marked with red X's and will be cut down. Probably because some are on that slight slope. I remember that in the early 90's a branch from one of these trees fell onto the railway during a storm.

This tree is marked with a green X, meaning trim branches. Of course, there have been many incidents in recent history where L101 trees that were supposed to be trimmed have been completely cut down.

The large tree on the left is obviously dead but the large tree on the right of the photo has a full green canopy, however it is marked to be cut down. The center tree has some green leaves but is also marked with a red X. When these trees are gone this section of L101 will look very dry, dusty and barren.
The large tree in the foreground is the only one that leaps out at you as a dead tree.

These three giants are to be removed despite only one of them appears to be dead by the layman's eye.

The NCTD fears that the trees on the left of the photo will fall onto the tracks. Nobody wants that to happen but the question is, can the older taller trees be trimmed and maintained with outright removal? Without the highway tree canopy the look, feel and ambiance of coastal Leucadia will drastically change.

Area residents enjoying the NCTD's Scorched Earth policy.

See the NCTD's budget projections on the ETA Blog, click here.

Unclear on the Concept

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sweet, Crisp Leucadia Fall 2007

Another classic Thanksgiving weekend in Leucadia, the western edge of the home of the brave and the land of the free. Notice the copious amount of sand--not a cobble stone in sight. Photo taken this evening.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Please Post a Comment on Jerome's Blog

Encinitas city councilman and NCTD board member Jerome Stocks is one of the bloggers over at the Red County Blog.

His latest post complains about the lack of comments from the public so please click here and leave a comment for our friend and leader Jerome.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

ENC101 2009

The new mixed use development that promises to transform the look and feel of downtown Encinitas, Pacific Station, has a website up:

Developer John Dewald confirmed to 101 Coordinator Peder Norby this morning that a 25,000 square foot Whole Foods market will be the main tenant. While I remain critical of many design elements of Pacific Station, I am happy to have a grocery store return to the Encinitas coast highway, especially one that specializes in quality organic goods.

The Whole Foods press release is as savory and elegant as the food it sells: Created to satisfy and delight their customers, the new location promises to be an unrivaled culinary experience, offering a fresh and distinctive approach to the grocery shopping and dining experience that customers have come to expect from Whole Foods Market. All the latest, most innovative natural and organic offerings will be incorporated into the store. Whether shopping for the families' groceries, grabbing a hot lunch or having salmon grilled to order, shoppers will be amazed by the selection and variety of natural products that are available to choose from.

I can only speculate what the traffic is going to be like on that section of downtown but the many residents who live in the downtown Encinitas beach area should be thrilled to have a full service market they can walk to.

Pacific Station will have two three-story buildings, a two-story restaurant and two levels of underground parking on the 1.39-acre lot between E and F streets. The 33-foot-tall buildings would be among the tallest in downtown Encinitas

In other ENC101 news, an ACE Hardware store has opened in the Lumberyard shopping center to rave reviews for it's customer service. ACE is in the space Casady's Organic Market formally occupied.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NOOOOooooo! Not Yardage Town!!!

Yardage Town has been around since before I was born. I can't believe it's closing down *sob*.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sign On San Diego Covers Leucadia Tree Memorial

A tree falls in Leucadia... and a memorial springs up

"Say what you want about Leucadians but the folks who live in the small beach community nestled between Interstate 5 and the Pacific Ocean definitely love their trees.

After an old Torrey Pine was cut down last week on a vacant lot on Orpheus Avenue an impromptu shrine memorializing it quickly appeared.

Dozens of flowers were placed in front of the property which sits just south of Leucadia Boulevard and several signs and posters were affixed to the chain link fence.

Messages ranged from proclamations of love for the tree as well as words of - well, not love - for the property owners."

click here (includes photos)

Leucadia Blog: Orpheus Tree Shrine

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New City Intimidation Ordinance?

At the last council meeting, on the consent calendar (there is no public discussion on an item unless it is pulled by the public or a council member), there was an ordinance to amend two chapters of the municipal code.

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click image for large view

The blocked out passages are from a highlighter pen, sorry about that:
C. The presiding officer and D. of Section 403 of the California Penal Code

D. is the section to be added. The sheriff already has the authority to do this.

Section A. and C. already state that. My take on this is that the stronger wording of Section D is meant to intimidate people.

Local activist Lynn Braun pulled the item so there was council discussion. The vote to approve the amendment was 3-2 (boys against the girls).

I am calling this the Braun Amendment. I believe it is an effort to intimidate and silence Lynn Braun who is a perennial thorn in the side of the Encinitas city council. I have criticized Lynn Braun in the past, encouraging her to take public speaking classes to help her at the podium. But it's the council's job to patiently listen to to public speakers for those precious 3 minutes, no matter how uncomfortable it may make them.

As for the 2nd reading, all new ordinances must be "read" (voted on) twice at an open meeting. My guess is that the 2nd reading will probably be on Dec. 5th or Dec. 12th.

It's Poinsettia Time

I dropped by the Ecke Ranch Friday morning and Paul Ecke III showed me the new crop and breeds. The live poinsettia wreath was impressive. It's hard to believe that next week is Thanksgiving and that it's already time to start giving poinsettias as gifts to friends and family. It seems like summer ended yesterday.

Ecke farming out his poinsettia crop

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Fleener Report: Smoke Out Encinitas!

From time to time I ask Leucadian artist Mary Fleener to break down the city meetings she attends,

Smoke Out Encinitas!

The City Council had a single agenda item on Tuesday, Nov 13, 2007 to discuss the belabored issue of smoking and whether or not to ban it city wide, ban it some places, or not to ban it at all. There were about 40 people in attendance, and the first speaker was a city attorney who told us what The Letter of the Law was...things like State Statues, smoking regulations, fines, legal analysis, and how to enforce it. As usual, I never cease to marvel at the eight syllable Orwellian phrases these guys come up with. "Enforcement Methodology" was one, (good name for a Metal band, too).

Speaking of enforcement, some towns such as Calabasas are encouraging The Fink System and hoping citizens will take it upon themselves to report this criminal act. Uh, isn't that a good way to get punched out or something? Just try doing THAT at the Bar Leucadian after midnight.

There were 15 speaker's slips presented to the city clerk and every one supported either a complete city wide ban, or ban on beach, park, and trails. I thought I was neutral on this issue, and I'm an ex-smoker. It's none of my business what someone else does, but damn, the trash issue and pollution of the ocean are reason enough to make cigarettes illegal. Oh yeah, they can kill you too. Anyway, the first speaker said we were the only city south of Camp Pendleton that allowed smoking, the second speaker cited a study from Stanford about the dangers of 2nd hand smoke, North Coastal Youth Coalition kids nervously testified to a beaming Maggie Houlihan, (I know, like, how cute are THEY?), then a couple of guys from Surfrider talked about water pollution and overall it was a very well spoken group. Hell, they should be, it sounds like they've been a broken record for three years now, making the same comments over and over again. That's a ridiculous amount of time for 5 people to make a decision, but I'm used to that with our city policies which are pathologically sluggish.

Jerome Stocks started the council discussion with some joke I didn't get and corrected the first speaker. He told him that, NO, Encinitas is NOT the last town to ban smoking, Carlsbad allows it as well. Oh dear. Then Stocks said he'd received 600 Emails and they all showed "a complete intolerance for 2nd hand smoke". "I'm not sure this is a good way to govern". When was the last time they got that many letters for anything?!? Oh dear, oh dear, Mr. Stocks, this is not going over well, not well at all. Jeeze, you could feel people's temperature rising steadily the more he spoke.

Then Dan Dalager got up and The Hokum Factor got turned up a notch. "I'm a simple person", said he, and "I want to do this as simply as possible". Well, shoot, Danny, we'all reckon that's a garsh durn good idear! Dalager mentioned that there's old Joe Blow at the Senior Center who smokes and since it's his only pleasure in life, he should be able to enjoy his Golden Years jacked up on nicotine if he wants. What worried Dan was, that after a smoking ban, we might be opening the doors to forbid fire rings at the beach, and backyard BBQs. I agree. The smell of cooking meat and sausages are next! Maggie Houlihan spoke at length, then Teresa Barth, spoke briefly, and came to the point without a lot of superfluous sentences. I wish all the council members would do that. Make a decision, and do it quickly so we can all go home! I think it caught everyone by surprise, because that's exactly what happened. Bond make the motion, Jerome seconded it, and after a few more words, the vote was cast-unanimously.

You are now forbidden to smoke cigarettes or cigars or pipes on the beach, any trails, parks and places people congregate, and as Houlihan noted, "...that includes pot, but that's illegal anyway, so you can't do that". Man, I would've said the same thing if I had a Sheriff in the third row glaring at me like she did Tuesday night!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


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Big Crane on L101

I am curious to see what this new development on the corner of Phoebe St and L101 (by Caldwells' antiques and the tiki shop) will look like when finished. It is now the tallest structure on the L101.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Orpheus Old Growth Destroyed

The massive old growth Torrey Pine tree that welcomed visitors at the east gateway to Leucadia has been removed.

Leucadia Blog: Iconic Leucadia Torrey Pine getting removed!

Iconic Leucadia Torrey Pine getting removed!

From the inbox:

As I write this, the beautiful Torrey Pine at 925 Orpheus is being
trimmed in preparation for being cut down.

Please encourage people to call the City, ANYONE, at the City and

The project update in the October Hoodlink had some information about what has been happening the past few weeks with the tree and the Fire Department.

City Main Desk: 633-2600

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

November 7th Council Meeting Video not available

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"The November 7th Council Meeting Video will not be available until Tuesday November 13th. We apologize for any inconvenience"

I confess, I have not watched any of the council meeting videos on the city website since they began. In fact, I can't even find the videos on the city website.

City of Encinitas official website

Let the conspiracy theories begin...!

City of Encinitas, School District Sued for Wrongful Death

Remember the tragic death of the San Dieguito Academy student walking under the I-5 bridge on Santa Fe? His family is suing. I remember walking or riding my bike under that bridge hundreds of times when I was a student there. It was harrowing.

From City of Encinitas, School District Sued for Wrongful Death

The family of a San Dieguito Academy teenager who died after being hit by a fellow student's car has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Vista Superior Court. Named in the lawsuit are the City of Encinitas, San Dieguito Academy, San Dieguito Union High School and the State Department of Transportation. The driver of the vehicle and his father were also named.

The lawsuit alleges that the district and the state knew that road conditions in the area were dangerous and therefore must share in the liability.

The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, alleges that road conditions in the area are dangerous and that the agencies are partly liable for the boy's death because they knew of the problem, or should have known, and did nothing about it.

The accident happened beneath the Interstate 5 bridge that spans Santa Fe Drive, about four blocks west of San Dieguito Academy. Ryan was walking with other students who were returning to school from a lunch break.

No sidewalks exist on the south side of the busy road, where the students were walking. The lawsuit states that pedestrian access is inadequate, and so are signs and warning devices to keep pedestrians safe.

The lawsuit alleges that the school district was negligent and says the open-campus policy at San Dieguito Academy exposes students to the risks of busy roads without adequate supervision.

The victim's family is represented by prominent San Diego attorney Craig McClellan, who has said his case against the school district would focus on the negligence of it "open campus" policy knowing of the dangerous conditions outside the campus.

There is apparently evidence that the negligent driver, also a teen, was showing off to his passenger at the time of the accident, and deliberately maneuvered his car in a reckless way before losing control of his car. Everybody in the case will obviously be pointed at the driver as the sole case of the accident. I think it will be tough to get around that, but if any lawyer in San Diego can spread the liability around to the other defendants it's Craig McClennan. This will be an interesting case to follow.

Lots of comments on the story:
Mother of teen suing over son's death

Feb. UT story: Boy's death spurs talk on lack of sidewalks

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Nov. '07 Issue of Hoodlink now Online

This month Hoodlink features a good write up on the baffling city of Encinitas traffic studies, called unscientific and pathologically inconsistent, and a nice rundown of current local issues. It's always worth taking a look at Hoodlink (pdf file):

See past issues of Hoodlink here.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Pizza on L101

There is a new pizza place on the north Leucadia 101 coastal corridor. Joey's Famous New York Pizza replaces Jimmy Mac's Pizza. They are just south of the Royal Inn and liquor store.

These poor guys, their brand new sign got wrecked during installation. They are pretty bummed about it.

Call for deliveries, support local Leucadia pies.

FYI, they are cash only.