Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Future Choke Point


F Street and 101 in downtown Encinitas. This will be a traffic light, making three lights in a row. As you can see the Pacific Station development is coming right along. Pacific Station promises to "transform" downtown Encinitas. Some of the people in Encinitas who strongly support this project are against improvements and traffic control upgrades for Leucadia's stretch of coast highway.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ray's Rips Streetscape in Coast News


click image to read in large view
The above editorial written by Ray Yargeau appears in The Coast News.
Stray observations:
Ray is against replenishing the tree canopy because it might block merchant signage?
He mocks people who want to walk safely on the east side of 101.
The drainage issue is a red herring.
If the streetscape process is draconian then Ray doesn't know what that word really means.
Roundabout as "traffic choking" has already been disproved.
Neptune allows 14 ft for vehicles but residents want that narrowed to slow down traffic.
Ray mocks attempts to slow down 101 cut through traffic from the I-5 but then mocks out of town bicyclist who want safe bike lanes.
The single north bound lane sounds like the end of the world until you remember that the 101 from Pipe's to Swamis it's a single north bound lane and the world hasn't ended.
"Magic Kingdom" was pretty funny and just might stick.

North bound single lane from Pipe's to Swami's. Photo taken last Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

No Word from Dalager


A few weeks ago nine wacky citizens, including professional engineers and scientists, addressed the council asking them to justify Austin Foust's no-bid contract or open the process up to other competitors. I addressed the council too. We all thought competition was good and assumed the council would agree. Here is the Coast News letter to the editor I wrote after that meeting:

The Aug. 28 article about the city of Encinitas’ contract for a citywide traffic study (“Mixed review for general plan consultants”) described Councilman Jerome Stocks’ confusing actions. It correctly reported that Councilmember Stocks said that he thought allowing competitors to bid on a $110,000 contract would be “appropriate.” The comment was even more appropriate when considering the last report issued by Austin-Foust contained poor data and analysis. Their report was never deemed acceptable by the council or traffic commission. So you might find it bizarre that Councilmembers Stocks and Dan Dalager and Mayor Maggie Houlihan ended up voting to rehire Austin Foust, without allowing any other firms to compete for the contract. Only Councilmember Teresa Barth said no to hiring a consultant who had stood behind shoddy work.

Why rehire Austin Foust? Consider the bombshell Mayor Houlihan dropped at the council meeting. Houlihan said Austin Foust’s last $100,000 report was years late because the city had manipulated the public review process. She said the delay was used to keep the traffic analysis from impacting the 2006 election (Dalager’s re-election). None of the other council members at the meeting denied or commented on Houlihan’s allegation. Barth wasn’t on the council at the time, but Stocks and Dalager were. Why the silence?

At the time of Dalager’s re-election, he was made aware that some citizens wanted to know why the traffic study was being delayed. The citizens’ concerns were shaken off. The public had been onto something, because the traffic consultants (Austin Foust) now blame part of the project’s delay on, “getting past council elections.”

Was Austin Foust rehired because they could be manipulated? Was the manipulation of the process condoned by Dalager? Well, I sent Dalager an e-mail a week ago asking him to comment on Houlihan’s public statements. He has not yet responded.

As of today we are going on three weeks without a response Dalager.


See Also:
Watch the Meeting Video (August 19th)
Council Report
Hoodlink

Thursday, September 24, 2009

October Streetscape Events Schedule

North Coast Highway101 Streetscape Events Schedule
 
The City of Encinitas has scheduled the following events to assist in educating and informing the public of traffic calming, pedestrian safety & walkability concepts as well as the project status.                         

 Educational Session Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009; 9am - 1:30pm; Banquet Room, Encinitas Community & Senior Center

Informational Open House – Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009; 4pm – 7:30 pm; Community Room, Encinitas Public Library 

Workshop #4 – Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009; 9 am – 12 noon; Banquet Room, Encinitas Community & Senior Center
                                                                
Oct. 3rd Educational Session will have three lecture components followed by an open house component to give the public an opportunity to review project plans and ask direct project questions. 

Introduction: 9:00 – 9:15 am    Presentations: 9:15 – 11:30 am - 1)  Pedestrian Safety/Walkability Design Criteria, 9:15 – 9:45 am      2)   Roundabouts "101"; general concept designs/theories re: roundabouts, 10:00 – 10:30 am     3)   Case History Example - Birdrock/La Jolla, 10:45 – 11:30 am 
 
Informational Open House: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm As scheduled we anticipate the talks for Items 1 & 2 (above) to be approx. 30 min. and item 3 (above) approx. 45 min.  Then the open house event could run for about 2 hours  -11:30 – 1:30 pm. 

Oct. 8th  Informational Open House #2.  The educational session (described above) will compliment another informational open house planned for Thursday 10/8/09 4pm - 7:30pm and Workshop #4

Oct. 10th  The Formal Workshop #4    planned for Saturday, 10/10/09 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon.  A new design alternative (#5) will be presented to compare with the previously design alternative #4.

The above schedule and project summary will be available at the City’s Planning Department and at the Leucadia 101 office (386 N. Coast Hwy 101). It is also on the Leucadia 101 Main Street’s website: www.leucadia101.com  Diane Langager, Principal Planner on the project, is available to answer any questions on this important community project.  Diane can also be reached at 760-633-2714 for more information.
 
Please help us spread the “Streetscape Word” and share this event schedule with neighbors and business associates.  Public participation in this process is of the utmost importance!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Lost Oaks of California Avenue


You think Leucadia's disappearing tree canopy is bad? Read this horror story of how small minded cubicle idiots clear cut 50 cherished old growth oak trees in order to replace them with smaller "tidier" trees.
http://www.paulgraham.com/californiaavenueoaks.html

17 September 2009

A week ago, California Avenue in Palo Alto was one of the nicest places in Silicon Valley. Palo Alto is unusual in having two downtowns, because it's a merger of two towns, Palo Alto, whose downtown is University Ave, and the older town of Mayfield, whose downtown is California Ave.

What made California Ave unique were the beautiful old oaks that lined the streets. Until the city cut every one of them down earlier this week. I was there this afternoon, and everyone is talking about it. People are in shock.

I'm still trying to figure out what happened. From what I can tell so far, the city cut down the trees as part of a plan sponsored by an organization called CAADA (the California Avenue Area Development Association) for "improving" California Ave. Apparently some planner decided that maple trees would be nicer than oaks.

If they were going to replace the trees, why didn't they do it gradually? This is hard to believe, but according to this news article, they thought the street would look more "tidy" if all the trees were the same height:
Officials considered doing the replacement project in phases, but eventually decided to "bite the bullet and do it all at once," said Ronna Devincenzi, president of the California Avenue Area Development Association. She said that will allow the new trees to grow in at uniform height, giving the street a more tidy appearance.
Tidy. They cut down mature oaks in order to replace them with a bunch of maple saplings because that would look tidier?.

CAADA says that the trees were cut down because 80% of them were diseased. I have trouble believing that. They didn't look diseased. When a bunch of trees in the way of a development project are suddenly found to be diseased, I look for alternative explanations.

We can't bring the trees back. The oaks of California Ave are gone, and it would take more than our lifetimes to grow them back. But we can find out how this disaster happened and try to prevent something similar from happening again.

If you'd like to know what happened to the oaks of California Ave, you can reach Ronna Devincenzi, the president of CAADA, at rdevincenzi@akrealty.com, and Palo Alto mayor Peter Drekmeier at pdrekmeier@earthlink.net.

Update: 18 September

The mayor, city council, and city manager do not seem to have been consulted about the decision to cut down all the trees on California Avenue. Apparently that decision was made by someone else. It's still unclear who.

I'm now trying to piece together the chain of events that led to this terrible mistake. If anyone has any leads, please let me know at pg@ycombinator.com.

See also, www.paloaltoonline.com

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Internet Cheerleader for the Encinitas Elite, The Coastalwatchdog


click image for large view

The Coastal Watchdog always gets firsties on the North County Times stories. He is a perennial cheerleader for the Encinitas Elite and it looks like he is sticking behind his man Mike Andreen.

North County Times ENCINITAS: Report finds "irregularities" in chamber expenses

The weekly local paper The Coast News scooped The North County Times on this story: Leucadia Blog: Coast News: ENC Chamber of Commerce misuse of city funds

"New" Encinitas Chamber of Commerce website

Old Encinitas Chamber of Commerce website

ENC Mayor Maggie Houlihan vs Cancer


San Diego Union Tribune story, ‘Thankful for the gift of life’

Audit the Fed

The Leucadia Blog now has a button on the left bar called "Audit the Fed" and here is why.

Mainstreets across America will be affected if things are allowed to go unchecked at the Federal Reserve. You can sign the AtF petition here.

Who's sponsored the Audit the Fed bill so far:
Rep Bilbray, on 4/21/2009
Senator Boxer, on 9/17/09

Who hasn't:
Senator Feinstein

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Coast News: ENC Chamber of Commerce misuse of city funds

ENCINITAS — The Chamber of Commerce released the results of a long-awaited financial review late Wednesday afternoon to the City Manager’s office. Among the findings are a pattern of co-mingling of funds, diversion of specific-use funds and providing financial benefit to a board member.

Specifically, former CEO Gary Tucker and Marketing Director Mike Andreen were accused of mismanaging funds. Andreen also served on the board of directors.

READ THE REST, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Krazy Man on K-uuuuUUUUU-S-iiiii embraces yellow journalism re: Hall Park


LOL. I don't even know what to say except: Turko Fail.

The Hall Park blog post the Encinitas elite and San Diego media don't want you to read, Hall Park Roundup

Update: This clip is also posted at Jerome's Red County blog.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lou's Top 20 Rack Empty, a troublesome sign?

This photo leads me to believe that money is so tight these days that Lou's Records can't afford to even keep their own Top 20 rack stocked. I heard the record labels are clamping down on terms and even demanding C.O.D. these days. That's tough.
It's no secret the internet has destroyed many mom & pop record stores, now the recession has added to that burden.  Imagine for a minute what Leucadia would be like without Lou's Records. It sends chills up my spine.
So here is my idea, everyone go to Lou's this month and buy a t-shirt.
Why a t-shirt? Well, A. since it's their own product it's probably one of the best margins in their whole store. B. it's cool to wear t-shirts that represent your local community.
(oh, and if anyone from Lou's reads this, you guys should really add your t-shirts to your online store. There are lots of proud Leucadians spread across the country who would order them because they miss you and Leucadia).
See also www.the350project.net

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It is all on Dalager Now


The second Hall property park lawsuit is finally over. The City prevailed in this lawsuit (the city lost the first lawsuit).


Good News:
The city can now use their empty property, which it bought years ago and has been paying gobs of bond interest on.

Bad News:
The construction of the park is not fully funded.

About a month ago I had an email exchange with the Encinitas Soccer League. They seemed to be unaware of the evidence that the city was responsible for some of the substantial delays in the park construction process. They had been blaming all the delays on Citizens for Quality of Life. I was also asking about park funding issues. The Encinitas Soccer League (ESL) wrote this about funding for the park, "the money is already in the capital budget."

I thought that was funny because the budget document adopted this summer was clear that the city didn't have the money to start Phase I (even though lots of other things weren't so clear). After pointing out the apparent discrepancy to the ESL, they wrote, "The park can be funded once it becomes a genuine option."

Opening the park is now a genuine option.

I would really like to move to a post park period where the public will consider other important issues. Unfortunately, I don't think its over. Either Dalager, Stocks, and Bond are going to be roasted for not quickly building the park, or we are going to see some intriguing financing schemes.

Area Shark Attack Model/Actress/Dancer Speaks Out


Interview by Leucadia local Chris Cote.
See also: Leucadia Blog: Encinitas Official Doubts Shark Attack

Thursday, September 10, 2009

North Leucadia 101 trees continue to get cut down

Big or small, the scorched earth policy towards north Leucadia's trees has continued all year long in 2009. You might not even notice right away that a small tree here and there has disappeared, but after awhile you do notice how barren and bleak the north Leucadia tree corridor has become. It seems that many of these recent cutting might not be on the up and up.
"I called a guy at the city and told him someone was cutting down a healthy tree that the city planted 8 years ago on the east side of 101. No one told the city that was going to happened and he said he'd get back to me on it."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Encinitas Official Doubts Shark Attack


Bethany Edmund, swimsuit model, was gnawed on by a great white shark according to the internet.

Bethany wrote,

"I was hit on the upper right thigh and propelled about one foot out of the water,"

Assuming a nearby swimmer had bumped her, she shrugged it off.

Bethany just graduated from National University.

The North County Times reported,

Area lifeguards are aware that the encounter has made fast news on the Internet, but say there is no cause for concern.

"I physically inspected her," Encinitas lifeguard Captain Larry Giles said, "and I highly doubt from my experience that it was a great white."

Larry also gets primo retirement benefits.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Streetscape Project Events

North Coast Highway 101 Streetscape Project Events

North Coast Highway Events Schedule

Thanks for your interest in participating in the North Coast Highway 101 Streetscape project. We have confirmed the events schedule which includes Workshop #4 and other events to assist in educating and informing the public of traffic calming, pedestrian safety & walkability concepts as well as the project status. The final schedule is as follows:

Educational Session - Saturday, October 3, 2009; 9am - 1:30pm; Banquet Room, Encinitas Community & Senior Center

Informational Open House – Thursday, October 8, 2009; 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm; Community Room, Encinitas Public Library

Workshop #4 – Saturday, October 10, 2009; 9:00 am – 12 noon; Banquet Room, Encinitas Community & Senior Center

For the educational session we are planning three lecture components followed by an open house component to give the public an opportunity to review project plans and ask direct project questions. The educational event is tentatively planned to consist of the following:

Introduction: 9:00 – 9:15 am

Presentations: 9:15 – 11:30 am

1) Pedestrian Safety/Walkability Design Criteria (9:15 – 9:45 am)

2) Roundabouts "101"; general concept designs/theories re: roundabouts (10:00 – 10:30 am)

3) Case History Example - Birdrock/La Jolla (10:45 – 11:30 am)

Informational Open House: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

As scheduled we anticipate the talks for Items 1 & 2 to be approx. 30 mins and item 3 approx. 45 mins. Then the open house event could run for about 2 hours.

The educational session would compliment another informational open house planned for Thursday 10/8/09 4pm - 7:30pm and the formalworkshop #4 planned for Saturday, 10/10/09 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly.

Sincerely,

Diane S. Langager

Principal Planner

City of Encinitas

505 So. Vulcan Avenue

Encinitas, CA 92024

760 633-2714

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Wallkable Leucadia 101

Is the L101 sidewalk too unwalkable and dangerous to hold anymore Art Walks on the 101? Should we wait until the streetscape is completed to hold the next Art Walk?



Disclaimer: This is just a friendly rhetorical stress test and in no way should be considered insightful regarding the opinions of The Leucadia Bloggers.