Sunday, March 29, 2009

All Sand and No Parking

Grandview Parking Lot, March 28

It seems like a symbiotic relationship between Ed Joyce and Aceti has developed.

KPBS Beach Sand Funding On Hold
Projects to restore sand on some San Diego County beaches are in limbo. Federal and state funding for the projects has been cut or delayed. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce has the story.

First, California cut funding for beach sand replacement programs.

Now, California Coastal Coalition Executive Director Steve Aceti says federal stimulus money for those projects isn't coming to San Diego either.

Blogger's note: Aceti is a taxpayer funded lobbyist and simultaneously represents bluff top property owners.

He says the Office of Management and Budget has pulled funding for every beach replenishment project from the stimulus list.

Aceti calls it a double whammy because two months ago California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger froze funding for coastal projects.

"In Solana Beach and Encinitas they're almost done with a feasiblity study that would lead to engineering and design of a beach project," he said. "Both of those areas need the sand and if we don't get it, it's going to hurt the region's economy."

I've put considerable effort into discovering how much of the study considers recreational aspects, like surfing. Here is a quote from a response I got last July, "The [Army Corps of Engineers] does not have the authority to look at artificial reefs for recreation. I'm not aware of any funding of designing a recreational reef/ jetties at Georges?" That caused me concern. I didn't see Aceti with the same heartburn, an observation that is consistent with him being primarily motivated to protect bluff-top property owners, not enhance our recreational infrastructure.

He says the lack of funding could delay or even doom those projects and one in Imperial Beach.

Many surfers in Imperial Beach will be happy to hear about this.

Studies show that beach tourism contributes tens of billions of dollars to California's economy each year.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

There is no doubt that tourism is an important economic element of coastal San Diego and our sand levels are not the limiting factor in the rate of beach attendance.

It is a reality that the beach (our best natural feature) is not as enjoyable as it once was. As the population expands and more locals and tourists want to head to the beach it is ever more common to find it difficult to find a parking spot at our local beaches in the middle of a summer day. I usually avoid the beach on holidays and sunny days during the summer.

Yesterday the water was cold and the waves measly, yet there was no parking available at Grandview. Grandview is near where the city paid to drop dirt from Pacific Station. The sand level at Grandview has not perceivable increased since the drop. It doesn't matter. More sand would not have put more people on the beach.

See Also: Sand Series

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Leucadia Stimulus Sale

Kim and Rene

In Kim's advertisement for their Grandview/H101 yard sale she said they would be "Keeping it funky in Leucadia." When I showed up to check out their stuff Rene pitched, "Stimulus sale, 1929 prices."

Funky Assortments

See Also: Signs of the Times.

Friday, March 27, 2009

E-Waste and Battery Recycling this Saturday


Saturday, March 28th
9am - Noon

Location: Solana Center
137 N El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024

Just up past the sheriff's station on Via Molena.

San Diego News Network

As newspapers fold all across the country and consumers of information look to new media for their content a new online newspaper in San Diego has launched, San Diego News Network:

note-Local Encinitas resident Wehtahnah Tucker is on the staff.

2nd note-I have updated the media links in the left column of the blog (scroll down). Please suggest more links to add.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Your Leucadia Hwy101 Tree Update

Subject: Tree Maintenance - Hwy 101

Good morning,

Larry asked that I update you on our efforts to complete the tree maintenance project on North Coast Highway 101.

As you will remember, we did an extensive inspection of the trees in the corridor. We had three certified arborists inspect the trees. It was determined that 11 of the trees should be removed and the remaining should be pruned. The removals will begin next Tuesday, March 31.

We have kept our community groups (Leucadia 101 Main Street Association, Leucadia Town Council & DEMA) updated on our project and have informed them that we will begin our last push to complete the maintenance work in the corridor next week. We will prune the trees in the median and remove the 11 bad trees. We will also finish the pruning on the east side of 101 south of Leucadia Blvd.

As it relates to the replanting trees, we are coordinating with the Streetscape Project and will replant trees as part of that improvement.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call.

Mark Hosford

Street Division Superintendent

City of Encinitas

505 S. Vulcan Ave.

Encinitas, CA. 92024


Is it worth a tree to print me? P

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

City Council Meeting March 25th Agenda

Don't sit at home and watch mindless television, tonight attend the city council meeting at 6 pm at city hall and thrill to how your local government works.

The agenda is online, click to read.

*Note-Spotted work crews with weed wackers in the north Leucadia 101 center medians today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Encinitas Surf Artist: Juan Flores

Cross-posted on The Leucadia Project:


Painting-Cardiff Night
Cardiff Night
Late Go Out (Swamis)

This is one of my favorite parts about this site. I got an email out of the blue from local artist and surfer Juan Flores. He stumbled onto the site and sent me these images of his work. I was really impressed. They are fun and of course I always love art of Leucadia and Encinitas. I really love the lineup point of view as well. I think a lot about how beautiful our bluff line is as I wait for sets. I've always wanted to take a picture of the bluff on a good day but a) it's a good day and I'm surfing. b) You need a good long distance camera to get a good shot. These paintings are cool because it gives you that detail and color from a higher point of view which lets you see the surf and the bluff. I dig it. Great work. You can check out more work of his at


Ed Lewis

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's Spring in Leucadia (so where are all the flowers?)

The Leucadia/Encinitas/Cardiff coast highway was once famous for it's wildflowers. This year even the state flower, the California Poppy is a rare sight. What is the deal?

See this post from Feb 2008, Leucadia Blog: Remember the Coast Hwy Flowers?


Leucadia Blog: Old Leucadia Streetlamp Artifact and the Vanishing 101 Flower Bed


Take time to read this excellent article from Rolling Stone magazine,
The Big Takeover


People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d'état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.

The crisis was the coup de grâce: Given virtually free rein over the economy, these same insiders first wrecked the financial world, then cunningly granted themselves nearly unlimited emergency powers to clean up their own mess. And so the gambling-addict leaders of companies like AIG end up not penniless and in jail, but with an Alien-style death grip on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve — "our partners in the government," as Liddy put it with a shockingly casual matter-of-factness after the most recent bailout.

Friday, March 20, 2009

EcoWarrior Invites You to Plant a Tree and Feel Better

From Jru, "Hi friends, I would love for you to come down to Yoga Swami at 912 S. Coast Hwy, Encinitas this sunday at 12:30pm for our first native tree planting workshop. We'll start the afternoon off with a drum circle and community gathering then begin the native oak planting workshop at 2pm. Bring any type of drum or acoustic instrument you have and jam out with us. Everyone is welcome. The workshop will be very simple and everyone who comes will go home with their own oak tree to plant and a booklet with step by step instructions to care for it."

Ghost Trees of the 101

News: City tree policy takes root (ha ha! "takes root", I get it).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tomato Mania

From the in box:

This weekend Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22 Quail Botanical Gardens is having their annual herb festival. One of the more popular features of this event is tomato mania, growers of heirloom tomatoes have many varieties of tomato plants for sale just in time for spring planting. There will be many other vendors including plant sales.

ENCINITAS: Council approves tree policy

Read the North County Times story, ENCINITAS: Council approves tree policy


ENCINITAS ---- With a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Encinitas City Council formally declared that trees are an important part of the town's character and should be treated with respect.

The newly adopted urban forest management policy declares that trees are "an integral part of the city's infrastructure" ---- something that some residents have sought for years. The next step will be for city staff members to create guidelines for the pruning and removal of city trees.

The tree-care document should come before the council within 90 days, city Public Works Director Larry Watt said at Wednesday's meeting.

City employees also will have other tree-related tasks to handle in the coming weeks. They are finishing work on a heritage tree program that establishes a process for identifying noteworthy trees in town. And, they're looking into getting Encinitas declared a "Tree City USA" by the National Arbor Day Foundation, Watt said.

The mayor has sought to put a citywide tree management policy in place for years, but the project has taken on added urgency in recent months as various city tree removal controversies have surfaced.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Urban Forest Management Policy on City Council Agenda tonight

FYI-Agenda item #4 at tonight's city council meeting is the consideration of a Urban Forest Management Policy.

I would like to appeal to everyone invested in this issue to think beyond the Orpheus park tree debacle and think about the entire town, with special consideration to Leucadia's coast highway. I think the city council and staff took enough of a shellacking last week that we should all be able to move forward together on this issue. Please, no angry comments of "this is war." like last week. Let's not turn something as basic and fundamental as trees into a lefty vs righty partisan cultural war.

Let's encourage an Urban Forest Management Policy that includes planting, watering and trimming trees and not just cutting them down. The Forest Policy should also mesh with Leucadia's Streetscape program (which currently seems to be lost in limbo).

In my opinion trees mean much more to our town than mere landscaping, let's try to work with the city on this one so future generations will have a strong quality of life.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


The City of Encinitas currently has 5 at-grade pedestrian crossings. One is pedestrian only.


I am a longtime resident of Leucadia and am appalled at the proposed plans for the railroad underpasses that have just been approved by the Encinitas Planning Commission. Each underpass will have a price tag of $5 million to build, and thus far, there is only enough funding to build one. In addition, has the commission not noticed that we are in a deep recession?

I propose that pedestrian crossings be built in more spots, across the tracks. The models to use for this can be found at the Encinitas train station, where pedestrians cross the tracks from the parking lot over to the station to board the train. Another pedestrian crossing can be found at the intersection in Leucadia. There are warning signs posted at each to proceed with caution.

More crossings at a reasonable price will better serve the community. I urge the Planning Commission to reconsider and approve a more realistic plan.

Doug Dixon

Blogger's note: I'd like to point out that I'd rather have my children be allowed to cross the tracks on at-grade crossings than have them walk along La Costa Avenue or the Leucadia/101 intersection. Having better ways to cross from Vulan to the 101 would improve Leucadia.

Update: A.J. posted a link to an interesting state government document regarding ped crossings. Here is the link.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Patriotic Anon Rant

This was pulled forward from the comments section:

Don't the patrons using the park have a right to an ocean view? Plant the new trees on the perimeter of the park so the gorgeous view is not blocked again. Here in Encinitas as most everywhere else there are literally tens of thousands of new trees with more being planted everyday than just ten or twenty years ago. Almost every tree you see in town is planted by us and not native so why do so many of you treat this as if Jesus has been crucified again. Is nature your new God? Maybe its time to wake up and see the real crisis that is happening in the USA. Instead of having a cow regarding the axing of a few trees maybe you could feed and clothe a homeless or hungry person or demand that our elected representatives follow the will of the people or become a patriot and demand the constitution and laws of the country be enforced.

But above all save the eucs on 1o1. Don't cut down even one more. Also, I don't remember one death from the trains here in town that was an accident, but after the tunnels are installed they are going to install six foot tall chain link fences with three strands of barbed wire atop on both sides of the tracks from Cardiff Slough to Batiquitos Lagoon. That's going to make the ten trees axed seem pretty pale in comparison.

The Four Arborists

Recall one of my recommendations: Never ask the guy you pay to cut down your trees, "Do you think this one needs to go?"

Parks and Rec Staff Giving their Tree Drama Report

I learned a lot at this week's city council meeting. One of the things that stuck out like a thirty pound sore thumb was the emphasis that Chris Hazeltine (Parks Director) made about the qualifications of his staff. He stated that four city staff who were certified arborists helped to review the Orpheus park trees. I interpreted Hazeltine's statement as an effort to demonstrate the depth of tree expertise at city hall.

Sore thumb question: If there are so many tree pro's at city hall why did the city ask their contract tree trimmer to determine which trees on the 101 should be removed?

See Also:
7 Points

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Return of the Jru

Council Report: Orpheus Tree Drama

I said I'd show up for the council meeting. I had forgotten how much fun it could be.

I had to laugh when Lynn stood to the side of the podium. The "city" moved the podium so that the speakers couldn't face the audience when addressing the council.

She made the point that it was lame that staff claimed that they cut down the trees to honor a written resolution that they seemed to only know about after the trees were cut down.

Three former mayors (Cameron, Aspell, Hano) were in the audience because of their concerns about how staff dealt with the tree issue. I saw Hano and Cameron speak. They pointed out that the property was designated and permitted for a park even before the city incorporated or the condos were planned.

Cameron quotes:

What we have is a failure to communicate

This was more than devastating, it was disastrous.

[Jru] is an ecowarrior. He is our Hero.

Cameron then put staff back in their place:

Then Jru busted out some zingers.

"We're going to win no matter how many trees you cut down" and told the council how he's got a sound track with him and kids singing about the trees and chainsaws in the background. He said he was going to release the song right here on the Leucadia blog!

See Also: Trees vs. Views and Local Hero Saves Trees and Goes on Vacation

City Council Meeting Wed 3-11-2009

Wednesday's agenda has two items of interest. Beach Shuttle Bus and Orpheus Park tree removal report.

view agenda, click me

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Botanical Gems of Leucadia: Part II

From the In Box:

Jesse writes, "Here are some photos from a weekend hike at Indian Head Canyon. You need to get up to the top areas that get a lot of sun - that is where many species are in full bloom right now."

Captions by Jesse:

Sun cups (Cammisonia species) - these are so cute and cheery. They are low to the ground and the flowers are only open when the sun is out. You'll see them along the edges of the trails.Suncups (yellow) mixed in with a little Crypantha species (white).
Everlasting (Gnaphalium bicolor) - One of my favorites. The flowers are kind of papery, and the leaves have a fabulous, citrusy smell.Nightshade (Solanum parishii I think) – What a gorgeous purple flower. Related to potatoes, tomatoes, peppers; but don’t eat it – some nightshades are poisonous.
Blue dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum). This is in the lily family, grows from a bulb and dies back after it makes seed.
Lemonade berry (Rhus integrifolia) flowering. This is a big bush with thick, green leaves. It is related to poison oak, but no worries, it won't give you a rash. Great garden plant - uses little water and can be shaped into just about anything.
Just look how SMALL these white Cryptantha flowers are.
You might have to get down on your hands and knees to really get a good look at them and see how perfect they are.

See Also: Botanical Gems of Leucadia: Part I

Monday, March 09, 2009

City to import sand from far, far away despite nearby "sand pit"

click image for large view

The city of Encinitas is seeking bids to transport that infamous ashtray sand from San Juan Capristrano to dump in the tourist section of Moonlight Beach. This is no surprise, they do this every year.

What is telling about this year is that a mere 3 blocks away is the giant "sand pit" from the Pacific Station development. As you know, the developer John DeWald, sand lobbyist Steve Aceti and the city of Encinitas created and executed a bizarre plan to dump construction dirt from the site onto a north Leucadia beach. For weeks massive dump trucks have been roaring up and down the sandy beach "replenishing" the beach with construction dirt...err, I mean "sand".

We've been told over and over again what great high quality beachsand this dirt is and how everyone involved are environmental heroes and true American geniuses.

So I ask you this, if the construction dirt/sand is so awesome why isn't the city using that material to spread on Moonlight Beach? Why go through the trouble of bringing riverbed sand all the way down from San Juan Capistrano?

Leucadia Blog: Sandy Beach "Replenished" with Developer's Construction Dirt
Leucadia Blog: Mayor Maggie tricked into supporting fake environmentalism
Leucadia Blog: Moonlight Beach, Grassy Park instead of Sand?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Regional Sand Plan

Did anyone know about this?

The draft regional sand plan came out in early December '08 and the comment period officially ended in February. Here is the link: SANDAG Sand Management Plan.

This seems like something a lot people in Leucadia would be interested in. Did anybody check this out?

I noticed that Aceti was a "community adviser" to SANDAG on this issue, which is odd because he is directed and paid by SANDAG and its members.

Olive Trees in Leucadia?

John Portilla from Fulano's Cafe sent me this email,
I just wanted to give you a suggestion on trees for 101 in Leucadia. Last week I had a job in Vegas. Up by the Lake. There was a beautiful Blvd. that had Olive trees in the middle & on the outside of the Blvd. It was beautiful!!! Olivie trees are drought tolerant, live 300 years & would keep the Euro feel of Leucadia. Just a thought.

Street lined with Olive trees in Arizona.

Olive tree as landscaping.

Van Gogh understood the beauty of olive trees.

Olive tree tunnel, oooooooh!

Imagine this as a Leucadia Hwy101 roundabout.

Lassen Street Olive Trees in LA. link Nice shade!

Olive trees have interesting twisty trunks.