Wednesday, January 30, 2008

State of the Union 2008

Just in case you missed it here is Bush's state of the union address,



Smooth B responds,

Former Encinitas Councilman John Davis dies at 83

Former Encinitas Councilman John Davis dies at 83

Who will your ballot machine vote for?

Now that electronic voting is taking over there are deep concerns about security and corruption.

Here is an interesting website dedicated to voting machine security:

The Tangible Ballot Initiative

The Problem

The danger of the “digital gap,” in voting is that, when you touch the screen on a DRE (direct recording electronic) machine, your vote is registered in a digital pattern, which is then transmitted as your vote, at best, to a chip. The information on that chip is then transmitted into a central processing unit for tabulation. Like every other computer process, that tabulation can be hacked, most easily by those in power. Just as “one bad apple can spoil a barrel,” one chip containing malicious code can spoil an election.

The Solution

The tangible ballot initiative strives to make the voting process simple, accessible, and traceable, by requiring that a paper, or otherwise tangible ballot, serve as the basis for all vote counting.


Princeton University Exposes Diebold Flaws

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Over 300 Have Voted

Visitors to this blog have probably noticed that on the righthand sidebar there are several polls you can vote on. One poll asks, Should Encinitas Ban Smoking from Beaches and Streets?

So far 208 people voted have YES (69%) and 93 people voted NO (30%)

Total votes so far: 301 (You can still vote. You can only vote once).

I bring this up because last year the city of Encinitas paid a firm $10,000 to poll 300 residents. Some people suggested that the smoking ban question be included in the poll but mayor Jerome Stocks rejected this idea saying it would cost too much.

I had the idea that the city of Encinitas should post the survey on the official city website so people could vote online.

Phone survey: $10,000
Blogger poll: FREE



The Encinitas Taxpayer's Association website has several in depth blog post about the $10,000 survey,

Survey Says Residents Satisfied: Taxpayer Not Satisfied with Survey

We Can’t Have the Data


and from this blog,

Comments from the community

Killing 2 birds with 3 stones

Burning Questions about the Beach Smoking Ban

The Surveys Usefulness is Dubious

$10,000 Warm & Fuzzy waste of funds.

local media,

NCT.com, Encinitas survey criticized; results show most respondents satisfied with services

Coast News story

Art Banners 2008






Morgan Mallory took this photos at the Art Banner party the other night.

The event was held in the old metal building on 101 and the future site of the final yuppification of downtown Encinitas.

In Encinitas, banners going up and building coming down

Monday, January 28, 2008

L101


North L101 has the cool tree tunnel effect in many sections (try to ignore the NCT wasteland on the right).

South L101 doesn't have many big old growth trees but it does have some nice Torrey Pines in the center medians (and the NCT railway is slightly less of an eyesore on SL101).

ENC Local on Ron Paul in NCT

Rise of the Ron Paul Republicans

By: CRAIG L. COMBS - Commentary


Recently I was honored with the opportunity of speaking to the California Federation of Republican Women on behalf of presidential candidate Ron Paul. Surely, I thought, these ladies would understand the one issue that is driving so many young people to the GOP, the one issue that gets the loudest cheers from the audience wherever Ron Paul speaks, the one issue that no other presidential candidate is discussing except for Ron Paul.

No, I am not talking about Dr. Paul's call for an immediate withdrawal of our troops from the Middle East (I knew that these gentlewomen do not necessarily agree with his foreign policy of peace). I am talking about his vow to abolish the Federal Reserve Bank.

As it turned out, I was wrong. In fact, not one person in the audience could tell me who owned the bank that creates the currency we use every day. These ladies, who certainly should know better at this late stage of their lives, were shocked when I told them what is common knowledge to the young people joining the Ron Paul Revolution: The Federal Reserve Bank is a privately owned corporation.

The Federal Reserve, an unelected and unaccountable private organization, pumps more dollars into the economy whenever it chooses. Basic economics tells us that the more there is of a commodity, the less valuable it becomes. This is also true of money: The dollar is worth 4 cents of what it was when the Federal Reserve was created in 1913. Every day, every dollar we hold is devalued. We pay an "inflation tax" without even realizing it because we are forced by a falling dollar to pay more for goods and services. Of all the presidential candidates, Republican or Democrat, only Dr. Paul is addressing this profound flaw in our economic system.

In 1802, then-President Thomas Jefferson wrote the following in a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin:

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

Thomas Jefferson's words are proving prophetic indeed. Today, the economic bubbles created by the Fed have resulted in massive foreclosures across the country while China and Saudi Arabia, sitting on trillion-dollar sovereign wealth funds, snap up major interests in marquee American companies. America, once the world's greatest creditor nation, is now its greatest debtor.

Jefferson also stated in his letter to Secretary Gallatin that "the issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." Ron Paul, as well as the tens of thousands flocking to his campaign, is saying precisely the same thing: By legalizing competing currencies we can end the Federal Reserve's monopoly on our money supply and begin to restore value to the dollar.

Craig Combs lives in Encinitas.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Moonlight Beach facilities are old and crappy

When is the city going to do something about the giant seagull attacks on our children?

Story in Saturday's North County Times about the crumbling infrastructure at the heart of Encinitas, Moonlight Beach.

Moonlight Beach facilities deteriorating

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer
Some fixes done, the most expensive ones remain

ENCINITAS ---- At one of North County's busiest beaches, the lifeguard station is falling apart and the restrooms are grungy, officials say.

Moonlight Beach, at the foot of B and C streets, attracts thousands of visitors on an average summer weekend, attendance that exceeds that of all other Encinitas beaches combined.

In a report this month to the City Council, the city's Parks and Recreation Commission chairman highlighted the deteriorating condition of the beach structures, which are nearly 45 years old.

City officials say improvements are part of a long-term plan for the beach, but that there's no money in the budget to make the fixes now ---- even if they're badly needed.

"It's no surprise to any of you that the bathroom is really (nasty)," Deputy Mayor Maggie Houlihan said later. She said the stalls always seem to have water puddled on the floor. "You should never go barefoot in there."

The lifeguard station also needs attention, she said. "Deferred maintenance isn't working anymore, because it's just falling apart."


No money in the budget to keep up the most popular tourist destination in Encinitas eh? But, we've been told time and time again that the city of Encinitas is flush with cash.

Maybe somebody should have considered Moonlight Beach during the "shoot for the moon" capital improvement projects at those backroom planning sessions?


Staff Pay Raises: 15% Over 4 Years

If there is no money to improve Moonlight Beach than I assume my wish list for Leucadia will go unfulfilled.

Friday, January 25, 2008

New Leucadia Sidewalks!



This former pedestrian death trap gauntlet zone along La Especial and Leucadia Liquor is one of the biggest improvements to the L101 and is a welcome relief. I can now walk to my brother-in-law's house with the baby stroller. Good timing city of Encinitas, thanks!




I've been meaning to post photos of the new Leucadia sidewalks for some time. There are more to come. When I have time, I will do some before and after post (and I swear that I will soon finish the Leucadia coast photo tour I started a year ago).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Quick List of 2008 Goals for the city of Encinitas

On tonight's agenda for the Encinitas city council meeting is a report on City Council Goals and Work Tasks. If you are involved and invested in our town you should attend the meeting or send an e-mail to the city council with your ideas and concerns.

council@ci.encinitas.ca.us


Here is my brief list of 2008 goals:


*Create an urban tree policy for maintaining our classic old growth trees and planting new trees for future generations to enjoy.


Notice the gaps in the "tree tunnel" and how ugly the NCTD area is.

*Establish the property line along the L101 and NCTD territory. Can we plant a nice hedge along our side so we don't have to look at the hideous scorched earth train track area?



*Improve the unsightly and dangerous Leucadia Blvd/Hwy101/Vulcan Ave intersection. This will mean working with the notoriously hostile NCTD. However, we are spending heaps of money to beautify Leucadia Blvd and it shouldn't lead to a crappy and dangerous intersection with frustrating long red lights and hideous landscaping (orange sandbags, weeds, etc).



*Once the Leucadia Blvd improvements are finished it's only natural that a sidewalk should continue up west Leucadia Blvd to Beacon's beach. Then you could walk safely all the way from the golf course to the beach.

*Repave and repaint the Leucadia Blve/Hwy101 intersection. Right now there are no turning lanes, no clear crosswalks and it's wearing out our tires.

*Beautify Leucadia's 101 center medians which are chronically plagued with weeds and dying plants. A lot of Leucadians want to volunteer to take care of these medians themselves but obviously there is a safety issue. The medians don't need super fancy expensive landscaping, something simple and cheap will suffice.



*Lower the southbound speed limit on L101 to 35 mph.

*Consider a stop sign at Grandview Ave on the L101, it's almost impossible to turn left there.

*Consider some sort of traffic control in the Pannikan area of L101. Maybe ban left turns and create a nice U-turn lane or put in a stop sign. That area is a death trap.

*Install port-potty restrooms in the parking lot areas of Beacon's Beach and Grandview Beach. Both these beach access points are incredibly popular with families but there is nowhere for the wife and kids to go when nature calls.

*The popular park on Vulcan and Hillcrest needs port-i-potty or permanent restrooms. Right now all the little skater kids are using the bushes.

*Can we work with the NCTD to lower the sound of the train horns and spread wood chips or something around the barren track areas? Everytime the train goes blasting through Leucadia the train kicks up a huge dust cloud covering L101 business and homes in a layer of grim. There is like, 80 trains a day! That's a lot of dust and noise.

*Kind of minor, but I want the Leucadia sign at the north entryway to have a light on it at night.

*This will probably fall under the upcoming streetscape program but some humble pedestrian friendly streetlights on the coast would be great. Nothing towering and obnoxious, just some cool old style streetlights so we can walk down the L101 on warm summer nights.

Obviously my list is Leucadia specific. There are many other needs around town like the Hall Park and the Cardiff downtown specific plan.

Here are three ideas for Encinitas:

*We need a multi-screen movie theater. The closure of the AMC on El Camino Real has been brutal. It's silly for us all to drive to Carlsbad and San Marcos to see a movie. How much tax revenue is the city losing not having a local modern movie theater?

*The San Elijo lagoon that opens up to the incredibly popular Cardiff Reef has the worst water quality in all of north county beaches. It constantly rates a D on the Surfrider water quality report cards. What can we do to improve this? Who else besides me is tired of sore throats and ear infections after surfing Cardiff Reed?

*Encinitas needs a bowling alley. Seriously. Bowling is a great American pastime and not having a bowling alley for the families of Encinitas is just unpatriotic.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

L101 Trees 2003



From the files of Fred Caldwell.


As you can see, these trees are now gone.

Hall Park Project SOLVED



Hall Park Project SOLVED

guest editorial for Leucadia blog,


When I left in 2005 to go to Morocco with the Peace Corps, my hometown of Encinitas was in the throws of an ugly dispute over what sort of park the Hall Park was to be. Having returned almost 3 years later, nothing has been accomplished. The issue is still in a stalemate.

Who does this benefit? We have what could be a great community asset just sitting around growing weeds! Here's a thought: why don't we work together as a community and come up with a solution? We have the means to do this. A community-based, comprehensive, inclusive, rapid, cost-effective solution to the controversy over the Hall Park development is right in front of us -- so why aren't we all jumping on it?

Some of the groups involved have hired professional neutral facilitators (the La Jolla Center for Dispute Resolution ) to assess the situation and see if it might be possible to come together as a community to work out a solution that sports groups and residents alike could live with. They are trying to get input from all points of view to see where we agree and disagree and if people would be willing to sit down and talk it out.

Isn't this the most mature way to figure this out? We all have to live together as a community -- there are residents around the Park who have kids and like sports, and the sports folks aren't out to upset the residents, they just need more room.

Everybody knows this will end up in years of more lawsuits the way it's going now, so why don't we save time and money and try to get the solution that the majority can live with?

What would stop people from choosing to try a community collaborative solution?

· They weren't happy with the outcome of the community workshop held in 2003 -- There were many people on all sides who didn't like how the workshop was conducted and so were not happy with the result. But that workshop was not facilitated by professional neutrals who knew how to run a meeting with a lot of conflicting ideas.

· They have a reason to keep the controversy going -- There are "spoilers" and people who try to benefit from any problem situation -- financially, politically. You can't let them run the show.

· They don't trust the community to figure it out for themselves -- We all have to live with this, and getting the key sports people and residents to sit down and work it out is the real definition of Participatory Democracy. The City Council would surely prefer to have a plan in front of them that the majority of the community supported, without lawsuits waiting in the wings.

· They figure lawsuits will happen anyway -- Having a community collaboration on a solution involves those who might be "spoilers" and gets their concerns on the table, and so it reduces the chances of a lawsuit, or that a lawsuit would be taken seriously by the courts.

We don't have to settle for the same outcome where someone "wins" and someone "loses" -- let's take control of this situation's outcome and figure it out for ourselves!

Cottonwood Creek Park took 17 years to build -- how long do we want to wait for Hall Park?

~~~


Here's a survey the facilitators put out where everyone can give their opinion
http://www.surveymonkey.com

Here are articles from North County Times and the Coast News



Sincerely,
Amanda Wolfe
Encinitas Resident

Monday, January 21, 2008

Do you agree with your favorite candidate? Quiz

The following is an interesting exercise. You answer a few questions, then click the "find your candidate button" and the program selects the candidate whose position on the issues is most like your own. The questionnaire was developed by Minnesota Public Radio. You may be surprised at what you find.

Take the quiz, click here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Leucadia Lava People





What is the story behind the Leucadia Lava Men? Anyone?

Leucadia Farmers Market Sundays

Before settling in to watch the scrappy but injured San Diego Chargers get destroyed by the undefeated New England Patriots take a trip to the Leucadia Farmers Market.


The Leucadia Farmer's Market is certified organic.



Fancy pancakes made on the spot!


Check out the kid built mosaic murals at the school.


Right across the street from this soulful little trailer park.

When: Every Sunday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Where: Near the beach on the interior grounds of Paul Ecke Elementary School,
Sponsored by: a partnership between the Paul Ecke Centeral PTA and the Leucadia 101 Mainstreet Association.

Why go organic?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tues, Jan 22: Deadline to register Republican to vote for Ron Paul


January 19, 2008

You must register as Republican to vote for Ron Paul in the Feb. 5 California primary. Independents and declined-to-states will not be given a Republican ballot. You only have a couple more days left to register.

If you or someone you know who is a Ron Paul supporter and is not registered as Republican, it is imperative that you change your party registration immediately if not sooner. The deadline for party changes is postmarked by Tuesday, Jan. 22.

I don't recommend registering to vote online. After you fill in your data, the registrar's office will mail you a hard copy for your signature which must be mailed back. This could result in a missed deadline!

Instead, go to your nearest post office and complete a readily available Voter Registration Form and mail it right there - postage paid. That alone is a 41 cent savings!

To double-check that you are registered Republican. Call your local registrar's office. See the list on our website of their numbers:
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/states/california/county-election-officials/

Then, get all your family and friends that are Ron Paul supporters to register as Republican. Bring them voter registration forms to fill out and mail it for them!

In liberty,

Holly Clearman
California State Coordinator
Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign Committee
ca@ronpaul2008.com

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/






Thursday, January 17, 2008

L101 Tree Canopy Video & Issues



*We need to find out where the NCTD territory and city property line is on the 101 corridor. Any trees on city property should not be cut down unless absolutely necessary. Any dangerous limbs should be trimmed asap.

*The remaining big trees need to be trimmed, watered and maintained so they look nice and stay healthy.

*There are thousands and thousands of big eucalyptus trees in San Diego county. Take notice how most communities take care of them and that they look beautiful, not scraggly like ours.

*The gaps in the "tree tunnel" should be filled in with new moderate sized trees that look nice and don't need a lot of water and maintenance. Personally I like Torrey Pines. Torreys seem fairly idiot proof to take care of. They are all over Del Mar and grow straight out of dry sandy soil like our section of the 101 has.

*There are already many existing Torrey Pines along the L101 corridor and they appear to be thriving (you can check them out by pausing the video or better yet, talk a walk or drive through there). Torreys have a different look than the big eucs, but they aren't as messy and they don't drop car crushing limbs in high winds. More Torreys along the highway would look classy in my opinion.

*Planting aloe vera in the barren center medians would look nice. Aloes need no water or maintenance. Their unique red flowers bloom all winter.

*The city needs a tree policy not just for the 101 but for the entire town. For example, the trees in front of Paul Ecke Central school are going to die soon because when the parking lot was repaved, they paved all the way to the base of the trees. They did not leave enough dirt surrounding the tree trunks. Now the roots cannot collect water because it no longer soaks into the ground and instead runs off into the street.

*North Leucadia coast highway is cool! I've driven the entire coast of California and our little 1 mile stretch of it is unique and classic. We should replant, regrow and replenish our little slice of it. It's the tree canopy that puts the shelter into the name Leucadia.


Torrey Pines are unique to north San Diego county.

Aloe Vera would look nice in the center medians and don't grow tall enough to block the view of traffic.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ch 8 News covers the tree removal


I can't decide which newscaster is prettier.

"Oh, the humanity!"

NCTD: "Puny humans, do not resist our scorched earth policy. We have captured your mayor. He was delicious."

Are your children safe from wild Koala bears that could inhabit eucalyptus trees?

Hey look, in the background you can see the new crab shack in town.

Watch the video online click me.

Congressman Brian Bilbray submits funding request for Leucadia improvements



From the website of our congressman Brian Bilbray:

Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

6: Leucadia Boulevard/Railroad Safety Improvements--$6.6 million

The existing Leucadia Boulevard/railroad at-grade crossing contains a severe crest over the rail line that creates vehicle carriage clearance issues passing over the rail tracks. The project objective is implementation of a grade-separated solution for the rail/roadway crossing with the preferred solution depression of the rail line in a trench. The next required phase for the grade-separated solution is conducting preliminary engineering design and environment documentation and potential right of way, followed by construction.

Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies


1: Leucadia Flood Control Project Design in the City of Encinitas, Highway 101 from Athena Street north to La Costa Avenue--$1 million

The funding will be used to design an underground storm drain system with the capacity to convey the peak flow rate from a 100-year frequency storm event. This large storm drain system is required to convey the runoff from the Leucadia watershed. Preliminary results show that for the 100-year storm a 5-foot diameter pipe is required at the upstream end of the watershed, eventually transitioning to a 9-foot diameter pipe at the outlet into the lagoon. This includes utilization of the existing 24’’ storm drain as a low flow system discharging to the detention basins north of La Costa Avenue to preserve water quality benefits. This storm drain system would remove the floodplain for up to a 100-year storm from the study area.

Also for Encinitas:

4: Encinitas Boulevard/Interstate 5 Interchange Project Study Report, Project Report, and Environmental Review--$800,000

Encinitas Boulevard must be widened as part of the North Coast Interstate 5 Corridor (widening) Project or the City will suffer extreme traffic congestion at this location by 2030 and probably much sooner. If the City is to have any hope of later integrating its alternative, we need to keep pace with the Caltrans Interstate 5 widening project.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Leucadia 101 Annual Meeting, Jan. 17th



Just a reminder for tomorrow's meeting, Jan. 17th 6 pm in the Poinsettia Room, City Hall.

Some of the topics that will be discussed are the streetscape planning workshops, traffic calming ideas, and tree replacement for Hwy 101. City Council members and City staff will be on hand to answer questions about these important issues in Leucadia.

In addition, the winners of the Light Up Leucadia contest will be announced.

Come find out what's new in Leucadia and mingle with other Leucadia 101 members.

Hope to see you at the meeting!

Paula Kirpalani
Leucadia 101 Main Street

320 N. Coast Hwy 101

Encinitas, CA 92024
760-436-2320

Leucadia 101 website: www.leucadia101.com

Town Uglification Committee Approves Pile Of Orange Bags


ENCINITAS, CA—As part of ongoing efforts to maintain the town's unplesasant appearance, members of the Encinitas Uglification Committee in conjunction with the NCTD unanimously approved a measure Tuesday to preserve the ugly orange sandbags and weeds in the middle of the Hwy101 intersection. "We're doing to do all we can to make sure these new piles of trash are in full view of anyone who comes to visit our little town, as well as those who call Encinitas home," said chairwoman Karen Spalding, who oversees all of the town's upkeep, including planting weeds in parks, spray-painting profanities on the walls of the public library, smearing dog feces at prominent intersections and chopping down all the old growth trees that line the historic coast highway. "It's important that our work properly reflects a white trash persona in hopes to someday attract a Wal*Mart. I think tearing down the La Paloma theater might help as well." Spalding added that she was confident this latest initiative would attract businesses interested in dumping their waste products directly into Cotton Wood Creek.