Friday, July 31, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Two's a crowd?





"It is too fine an artwork to be destroyed—we need to find it a home so it can be enjoyed. Perhaps the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, a school, or a local surf shop might want it. Could you help spread the word and contact me with any takers."
Thanks much,
Jim Gilliam I City Manager's Dept. I City of Encinitas
505 S. Vulcan Ave. Encinitas, CA 92024 I
760.633.2746

Monday, July 27, 2009

Encinitas "in demonic bondage"

The religilous RickGreene.org blog has a post on Encinitas that includes a quick history lesson and notes the many churches found in our town. However, Rick is very alarmed. He is worried about New Age cultist among other things and describes the famous Self Realization Fellowship as "demonic".

From the blog,

There are churches that love Jesus in this area, and we simply desire to partner with them in the work that God is doing here. However, there are still many people to be reached and a lot of work to do! This city is in demonic bondage and is much like Mars Hill (Acts 17) in that there are many false religions and cults. The New Age movement has a massive influence in the city.

and,

Encinitas is full of false spirituality, religions, and cults: Chapel of Awareness, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito, Seaside Center for Spiritual Living, Christian Science, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and many others!

I believe that we are entering into intense spiritual warfare,


Saturday, July 25, 2009

term limits mash up

Term limits are favored by more than 70 percent of the public. If the political class fought the nation's problems as tenaciously as it fights term limits, America would be paradise by next Tuesday. George Will

John Adams was pro term limits as was his frienemy Tom Jefferson.The Republican's Contract with America included term limits.

Introduction

In ancient Greece, elected officials were term limited. From the 6th century BC many Athenian officials were elected by random lottery to serve a term of a year. Elected Roman officials were also no strangers to term limits of a single term.

Many of the framers of the fledgling United States governance system were also enamored of this notion. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson all considered term limits to be an important way of placing checks on individual power.

Lists of pros and cons for term limits tend to include the following:

Arguments Against
Term limits terminates the 'good' politicians along with the 'bad'.
This appears to be one of only two valid opposition arguments, but it is fully counterbalanced by the fact that, with unlimited terms in place, an unknowable number of talented individuals never run for office in the first place, or if they do, they lose, because incumbents 'always' win. [The American public believes that incumbents have an unfair advantage in elections]

Term limits reduces voter choice.
Obviously a false argument, since as incumbents reach reelection rates of 98%, most voters are being deprived of real choice. [Here in North County, we've had lots of pols get reelected without any real contest or any option within the same ideological tint as the incumbent, however that is not very true for city council races.]

The Fundamental Argument Against
Term limits are undemocratic. Judiciary Committee chairman Hatch complains that term limits demonstrate "a fundamental lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the voters," even though it is the voters who are approving them. [That's worth reading twice.]

Its Not Constitutional
The nation's Founders, along with famed Roman statesmen and British classical liberals, strongly believed in rotation in office. Unfortunately for Americans today, the Framers left limits on terms out of the Constitution. But then, they did not think limits would be necessary, for they did not foresee that politics would become a career for so many people.

Term Limits Give Lobbyists More Influence
If term limits help lobbyists, why do they uniformly oppose term limits? Special interests raised $3.3 million to block term limits in California in 1990; they are literally the only parties that donate to "no" campaigns.

Term Limits Promote loss of experience
There is also the related matter to consider that at the local level there has been a rise in council manager systems, bucked only by the largest cities. So this issue is diluted by that factor. Related: Inexperienced leaders will be easy prey for special interests: It is feared that bureaucrats and permanent staff will dominate them. [This is a loaded issue that deserves its own blog post.]

Term limits remove popular leaders:
This can be true. Both Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Hardberger of San Antonio are proof of that at present. However, does this mean that no one else replacing them can be popular? Are individuals more important than the system?


The following point was published as part of a review of term limits at City Mayors.com.

Term limits negatively affect the types of projects that elected leaders implement, and the continuity of those projects: This depends on the types of project involved and whether they were of the type that would not be supported by a successor. [If its not supported by the MAJORITY of the successors, doesn't that say something?]

The Washington Post has a series on term limits that focuses on congressional limit, but is relevant:

Inside Congress, I believe, term limits would likely weaken the influence and protection small states gain through seniority… But two things are clear. One inevitable result of term limits will be to cut short the careers of talented elected officials who retain the confidence of their constituents and have years of capable service still to give.

This congressman would not be in jail if he had been termed out of office.


[There was no real option or debate for Encinitas Congressman Duke Cunningham's seat for most of the gazillion times he was reelected. Duke's power structure and cult became so entrenched that an Encinitas council member publicly defending him after the details of the bribe scheme became known. Reports of Duke's bizarre public behavior and policy contradictions never had to be reconciled in the public or debated because he held the power of incumbency.]

History of Term Limits
Term limited congressmen and state legislators have to plan for a personal future other than that of a professional politician on the government payroll. They have to look forward to years of living under the laws they pass, and paying the taxes they set. In other words, they cease to be 'them' and behave more like 'us'.

Without term limits, incumbents have a huge advantage in elections: this may be true anywhere, but it is particularly true in the United States. Incumbents build up name identification over the years, and accumulate war chests, lists of donors, media contacts, and political skills (and favours owed to them). This makes it difficult for challengers to win.

The most competitive races in the US are for 'open' seats where there is no incumbent. Second to that are incumbents running for their first re-election, before they have built up such a formidable political advantage.

The text in this mash up is from:
Washington Post Series
The Cato Institute (Pro)
Adam Smith.org (Pro)
CityMayors.com (Pro)
Time Mag Series

[Comments in brackets are Leucadia bloggers' comments.]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

San Elijo Views

An anon comment to a recent post about a San Elijo project focused on motivations of the project appellants, and dismissed the issue of conformance with the law. Anon wrote, "The bottom line is... a small portion of the views of several homeowners in the Cardiff Cove project will be impacted."
I took the above photo a couple days ago and confirmed today that the story poles show the roof lines of the proposed buildings. Click to enlarge the photo. The story poles are on the left.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Batiquitos Bluffs Project Moving Forward

Developers are hoping to execute their property rights on a big chunk of expensive property in east Leucadia. The project is known as Batiquitos Bluffs. This project is going in front of the Planning Commission this week.

It is widely rumored that several years ago the property was offered to the city as open space/habitat and that only Houlihan was interested in considering the idea.

Is this rumor total BS? Was there a record of that vote? (I haven't had time to check this out, and I figure some of you might already know)

Links:
NCT Article
Planning Commission Agenda

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fresh Chamber CEO

The Coast News has posted a video of what appears to be a speech by the Chamber's new director. In it, the new director says he's floating an idea that would be the biggest thing that ever happened to our community.

The video is posted on the lower right of TCN home page.

See Also: Chamber Blows Up

Friday, July 17, 2009

The BIG Lunch July 19


www.thebiglunch.com
All Leucadians are invited out to an day called the Big Lunch on July 19th. The Big Lunch is a concept brought forward by the Eden Project in England. The goal is to get to know your neighbors and experience the concept of being a “localvore.” The best place to fulfill these ideal is at our Farmers Market on Sunday. If anyone has any question they can email me a
biglunchleucadia@cox.net

William Morrison

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sand Budget: Common Knowledge Wrong?

Encinitas Sand 2009

Where does our river-sourced sand come from?

From the Moffatt & Nichol (1990) Sediment Budget Report to the USACOE:
Major rivers discharge over 90 percent of the coarse fluvial sediments [ie sand] that reaches the coast. Small groups of coastal streams discharge the remainder mostly through ravines in the coastal terraces. UCACOE considers San Juan Creek the largest contributor of foothill and mountain-source sediment. In the Oceanside Littoral Cell, San Juan Creek yields an estimated 38% of the total average annual discharge of 82,000yd3/yr, followed, in order, by the San Luis Rey River (22%), Santa Maragrita River (12%), and San Mateo Creek (9%)...

Over 95% of the coarse sediment discharged by rivers reaches the coast north of Oceanside. Before control structures reduced flows in the major rivers the average annual coarse sediment discharge to the coast was about 134,000yr3/yr.
Most of our river sand comes from north of Carlsbad. Below is a graphic to show you the relative contributions of different river basins. Estimates of yields in several studies have San Elijo and Batiquitos providing a river discharge of zero to our beaches.

A lot of people think that Batiquitos and San Elijo would be major continuous sources of sand if we would just remove the highways and rail road from the middle of the lagoons. They conclude that we would have expansive sandy beaches if it weren't for those infrastructure obstructions.

That conclusion is probably false for several reasons. First, there isn't much sediment moving down those drainages. There is over 20 times as much sediment flowing down the rivers north of Carlsbad than is coming into San Elijo. Second, the lagoons act as a big sediment trap. The capacity of the rivers to move sediment is very sensitive to the velocity of the moving water, which is a function of the slope. The lagoons are very flat and wide and velocities low. Coarse material does not get pushed through the lagoon very easily. Below is a great visual that shows what has been happening in our lagoons over geologic time scales (click to enlarge). Notice how the lagoons act to capture the sand.


One of the things that makes me smile about the above graphic is that it includes cobblestones as part of the wild system.

Maintenance of river-sourced sand on Encinitas beaches depends on resource utilization, infrastructure developments, and land use decisions in cities north and north-east of Encinitas.

As our population grows, the strains of balancing the use of our public resources will aggravate many of our current local issues. More reservoir dams on the northern rivers results in less sand. More transportation infrastructure (trains/roads) and more concrete and steel buildings means greater motivation to mine sand--there is already a stress on our industrial sand sources. These are issues that should be resolved before we commit to upzoning the region and a discussion of sand resources is either short-sighted or incomplete if it does not include a sophisticated integration of those larger decisions.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Coastal Commission Questions the Council Majority

There is only a very small strip along the water's edge where Encinitas development projects can be appealed to the Coastal Commission. The Coastal Commission won't mess around with people's development permits unless there is an issue regarding the proposed project's conformance with the law.
Excerpts from the SSEL blog:
May 29. We gave the City Council five very good reasons to reduce slope encroachment and impact to wetlands. However, they voted 4 to 1 to approve the project (Barth agreed with the Coastal Commission).

The City violated the Hillside Inland Bluff Overlay Zoning Ordinance. This has serious consequences to steep slope areas.

Anytime a project is proposed on steep slope areas the driveways and access roads are being excluded from slope encroachment. This is happening when they do not lead to areas where the slope is less than 25%. In other words, the bigger a developer makes their driveway, the less impact they have. This was not the intent of the Hillside Inland Bluff Overlay Zone.

July 9. The California Coastal Commission found that a "Substantial Issue" exists on this project. This has moved [the project] to a de novo (start all over again) hearing to be scheduled, perhaps in February 2010 in San Diego.

The staff report recommended that substantial issue exists on the items we raised previously with the City. Their staff report and the
Commissioner's appeals can linked to from SSELB.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Smart Growth Units Now Available

Beach and transit close, smart growth units are being auctioned in north county San Diego.
These ocean view units are in the middle of a mixed use downtown with lots of shops, restaurants, and vibrant activities.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Why doesn't Encinitas have a 4th of July fireworks display???



We have been a city since 1986 and still no official fireworks display for the 4th of July. Dear city leaders, you spend a lot of money on pet projects and always speak of how Encinitas is a family friendly city. Get it together and organize a fireworks barge off Moonlight Beach for next year.
A Festive Fourth: In spite of the economy, most cities are still planning fireworks for Independence Day

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Busby pepperspray incident makes MSNBC Countdown

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and


The most boring party in the world makes Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" list, beating out Palin and Limbaugh.
Leucadia Blog: Busby Fundraiser/Cop Pepperspray Incident

Intelligent and Cautious


Letter to the Editor - North County Times

Let's use safer at-grade crossings

I am a resident of Encinitas for more than 30 years. I live north of Encinitas Boulevard, just east of Vulcan Avenue, and want to express my opinion regarding the at-grade crossings of the railroad tracks. I would also like to state that I am a physician, so I consider myself intelligent and cautious.

I frequently cross the tracks to get to the beach so I can take my daily runs. I carefully listen for the train whistles, look both ways, and then run across. Now there is a proposal to spend millions on a few below-grade crossings.

However, at the Coaster station, I am allowed to cross the tracks at a spot with a red light and bells, which is not at the "formal" crossing at D Street. Thus, we are allowing an at-grade crossing with warning bells and lights in our city.

Can we petition to allow multiple at-grade crossings with warnings such as these to be established throughout our community? It would be much less costly, safe and much more practical than the few pedestrian crossings that are planned. Why not make our beach as accessible as possible?

Arnold Markman

Encinitas

See also, Leucadia Blog: San Clemente At-Grade-Crossings