Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Each of the units are two+ bedroom and come with two parking spaces. Originally, the units were marketed as condos. According to one of the residents, they were all converted to rentals because they were not selling.
When these Lofts were being developed, there was talk that the new residents were going to walk to work. You know, the live upstairs and work downstairs concept. I thought it was funny to act as if that were a new option. There are already mixed use buildings on the 101 and there is a ton of residential right behind the 101 shops in Leucadia.
In Moonlight Lofts, there is a small customer parking lot under the ground floor. Inclusion of such underground lots can add substantial project costs, but it is worth it because there will be a lot of auto activity associated with Moonlight Lofts. Right now there is plenty of parking. If the shops ever get fired up it is going to be tough for visitors to avoid overflowing into the neighborhood.
The Den was the first shop to open. Cool shop.
The proprietor also owns a shop in Carlsbad and if I recall correctly, she said she lives in Temecula. She definitely said she lived outside Encinitas, so that means she did not live upstairs.
Some of the other commercial space has been leased since I spoke with the owner of the Den. A local guy openned a hot dog shop and a couple law firms moved in. Other storefronts are still empty.
In 2008 the council banned certain uses (ex: Law Firms) of ground floor space in Downtown Encinitas.
NCT: Regarding the limit on downtown ground-level space, incumbents James Bond and Houlihan as well as challengers Collier and Doug Long said they support the ordinance as necessary to promote a "walkable" downtown business district.Does this mean the occurence of law firms at the Moonlight Lofts indcates this project has not successfully created a walkable environment? Will the city also exclude law firms (and other uses) from other "walkability" target areas?
I spoke to one of the residential tenants last week. The interior of the units is high-end. I was told that most of the tenants are young professionals. No families. There is no place adjacent to the apartments for the kids to routinely play (i.e. semi-supervised).
Although, being able to walk to the bars and restaurants was considered a great asset of the apartment for the tenant I spoke with, she drives an auto to work. After talking to tenant and shop keeper it appears that most of the tenants drive to work (each unit does come with two parking spots).
Some of the units have cool city light views. Some also have motel views. Urban living comes with some down sides and living next to the motel can mean being impacted by disturbances emanating from the motel. This was an issue for the tenant.
This week Chris wrote about contests at Swamis. Ahrens echos the Leucadia blog (because the Leucadia Blog is awesome):
...To me this is more about the rights of local citizens than Swami’s itself. While I believe that nobody has the right to rope off a public area to accommodate a few, many friends strongly disagree...
Chris addresses the propaganda about localism:
...Swami’s is now home to a variety of surfers from young up-and-comers to soulful rock dwelling guardians, to those who appear in response to the omnipresent surf cams that plaster its pretty face worldwide. Still, the place remains a fun, gentle break populated by a generally friendly group of wave riders, who look to escape the loud world that press us ever deeper into smaller corners.
...Since then a daily contest is held between those who ride big boards and small boards and those who sit in the outside pack waiting for set waves, which lately includes beginners brazenly snaking waves from the more skilled...Friends from L.A. had a good laugh learning about the Swamis localism propaganda this weekend. In LA there are spots were the local crew gets high on Meth before paddling out. They aren't very friendly.
I'm pretty sure no one has had a knife pulled on them at Swamis. That happened in the LA line up. There are breaks near Santa Barbara where the local crew post "guards" along the paths to the breaks. The "guards" use physical intimidation to keep the waves uncrowed.
Then there is The Ranch. The last undeveloped stretch of private land in Southern California. According to surfline:
Couple these militant day-trippers with the numerous landowners who surf, and you've got a healthy crew of fiercely protective locals to contend with whenever a quality swell -- the area picks up both summer souths and winter norths -- hits. First timers boating or, arms willing, kayaking in, will almost certainly be met with scowls and frowns of disapproval, if not outright shouting and physical hostility.If a contest is to be held as a symbolic act against localism the promoters have picked the wrong break. It would be much more interesting if they took the contest north. They would also get better waves, but this contest is not about surfing.
See Also: The localism card is propaganda to trick the public.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
North County Times: MAKE CHRISTMAS A LITTLE LESS WASTEFUL BY RECYCLING
Holiday trees, wreaths, garlands and cut flowers can also be recycled. While some botanical decorations can simply be placed in your designated green waste cans, trees need a little extra attention.
First, remember to remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel and, yes, the tree stand.
Then cut the trees in half and trim off the branches. The tree sections can then be placed in your green waste recycling cans or left curbside on the next collection day, depending on your city's specific rules. Generally, flocked trees cannot be recycled, so they will have to go into the trash or be dropped off at a tree recycling center.
Dwell Mag has done a lot of coverage of prefab homes. Some of the prefab designs in Dwell are outright sicion.
The graceful forms and rich materials used in these homes defy the popular preconception of prefab housing as drab and primarily utilitarian. Since the components of the Dwell Homes and other modernist prefab houses are often less expensive because they're mass-produced, design becomes the priority.
In addition, pricing is attractive: Prefab promises a budget-efficient option because of controlled costs. The Dwell Homes, for instance, are priced on average at $175 to $200 per square foot, based on a two-level, 2,500-square-foot home. Other modernist kit homes, like the LV by Rocio Romero and the Wee House by Alchemy Architects, can run as low as five figures.
Here is a slide show of Dwell houses.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The SD Reader followed up on the Moonlight Christmas tree. It is a cool story. Read it here. Here is a clip:
"This year it took a day and half and eight guys to string them up,” says Miano, who has made legal provisions to ensure that the tree is lit up at Christmastime even if she no longer owns the house in the future.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
1. I'm sorry, but I beg to differ. I see [the] petition as extremely selfish and self serving. How many of the current contests serve the female surfing population?
[None because there are no contests, period. Everyone was very happy with that until a commercial promoter made it an issue and allowed folks like I.B. to become misinformed.
Note that many of the people opposed to the contest being held @ Swamis don't even surf Swamis very often. Some don't even surf.]
2. You are actually complaining that you don't have access to Swami's 365 days a year?
[That does sound bad if you put it that way. Maybe that is too extreme. On the other hand, it is public infrastructure and why should the community be denied access at all so that a promoter, professional surfers, and Miley Cyrus can make some money?
Isn't this like shutting down interstate 5 on a work day so a promoter could run commercial drag races? For $300 a day.
Please note that the Leucadia bloggers don't surf Swamis daily and they base their critiques on principle not personal stakes.]
3. Who said you were entitled to such a privilege in the first place?
[Who said celebrities are entitled to own an entire surf break for the purpose of making money at the expense of the community? Also, you probably support organizations dedicated to ensuring that right. The promoters even support them and in California we actual have legislation that guarantees access to the beach under the principle that beaches are a public resource and should not be privatized. The contest privatizes the beach for $300/day.
It looks like people with special relationships to the city council will be able to run contests. The promoters are not calling for a competitive process for the contest slots.
No one said that we have right to use Interstate 5 everyday but that is a reasonable expectation of the taxpayer, no? ]
4. Wake up - ALL the good breaks are extremely crowded now and access is a problem for everyone.
[Exactly, so please sign the petition. There is no surplus of waves anymore. There are too many people for a limited number of waves. Contests only make it worse and this Gidget International thing is going to be the grand finale to So Cal surfing.]
5. You want to deny some women a contest so you can have access EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR!?
[This issue is about access for everyone. Access for Kevin's wife. Access for Michelle W. Access for Darcy D.M. It is a public beach. Why should the community give up weekends of Swamis surf so that a few professionals, a promoter, and Miley Cyrus make some money? Why should Cardiff Reef surfers have to deal with the extra crowds during those weekends? So far the major reasons seem to be that the Promoter is awesome, it will be good for the environment, and Swamis is already so crowded we should nuke it with a contest. What else?
As you know, some years we only get a few good weekend swells, so why should the public risk potentially giving up the best days of the year. Why put the reason so many people live in Encinitas at risk? Maybe the next point answers this question.]
6a. The Women's contest at Swami's would actually IMPROVE access for me!!! I might be able to surf in an amateur heat (if they have one) without competing with a gazillion hot shots...
7. Linda Benson has worked tirelessly on behalf of half the population to promote the wonderful sport of surfing - and to raise funds for environmental awareness - I say let the contest go on!
[This is not a charity contest. What should qualify someone for getting temporary ownership of our most popular surf breaks, for $300/day?]
8. If a women's surf contest at Swami's cramps your style, maybe one of the other contests at Swami's should be eliminated due to redundancy in the audience it serves.
[Given that you were misinformed and believe that there are "male" contests at Swamis, it is understandable that you were led to believe that the issue has something to do with sexism. But, there are currently no contests at Swamis. The issue is about keeping Swamis free of contests and access open to everyone. There is an ironic sexist slant to comment 8. The majority of women longboarders at Swamis are opposed to contests @ SWAMIS and the Leucadia bloggers' families contain multiple generations of women surfers. ]
Friday, December 18, 2009
PERMIT TOO COSTLY
Using the promoter’s documentation we estimated that the revenue will exceed $150,000. There is plenty of room in that budget for Cardiff Reef fees.
PUBLISHED IN THE UT:
Money, it should be noted, played a role in Benson’s decision to pass on Cardiff, the logistically easy choice. The state of California’s Department of Parks and Recreation, in its finite wisdom, charges about $7,000 a day to contest promoters for use of its beach.
This, to put it nicely, is a rip-off. Encinitas, on the other hand, would charge a small fraction of that sum for a permit at Swami’s [$300].
The cost of a permit was “a main thing” in turning Benson’s gaze to Swami’s, she said.
Is the public being manipulated? It is hard to tell because the promoters have refused to have a conversation with us and they leave us to draw lines between dots. As always, we would welcome their editorial submissions.
THE CONTEST IS FOR THE ATHLETES
$30,000 is only 20% of the projected revenue. Yeah, that’s a minimum, but this is the biggest thing to ever to happen to Encinitas. We've had surf contests in Encinitas before. I think the Chamber of Commerce CEO wouldn't make such a huge claim if he didn’t know something was special about this event. The athletes should be calling for a bigger cut of the pie and asking for the budget to be transparent so they don't get exploited.
The revenue for the contest is probably going to be more than $150,000 and that is probably why the promoters don’t want to answer hard questions.
The revenue breakdown for the contest includes 4 “supporting” sponsors at $25,000 each. The revenue figure does not include the amount for the title sponsor. The title sponsor has already come on board. It is Gidget International!
Until people in the know are willing to talk, lets just assume that the title sponsor is going to fork out twice the supporting sponsor amounts. So that brings in another $50,000.
Dang! That’s a lot. Maybe this explains why dissenters are under attack and why people don't want to answer questions.
People in the surf press have told me that no one in the surf industry is going to fork over much money for this contest, especially when the risk of the contest going sour is so high. THE MAIN SPONSOR IS NOT A SURF COMPANY. It is just another "interloper*" company that is selling the surf image to the masses.
Why would Gidget fork out $50,000 for a contest which has brought angst to the community?
This event is not about the community. It is about selling plastic sparkly earrings with Miley Cryus pictures on them, and lunch boxes, Halloween costumes, action figures, posters, TV shows and movies. It is going to be the next Star Wars franchise. Big bucks and it’s the third big sell out of surfing. This is not going to make surfing better in the long run.
This summer Miley Cyrus signed on to make the first in a series of Gidget movies.
Miley Cryus' hobbies include:
Her favorite hobby is SHOPPING!!!!! She obviously also likes to sing and act.
Her contract for 6 movies and merchandising is reported to reach $500,000,000.00. That's a lot of shopping.
You bet Gidget would fork out at least $50,000. They could also afford the permit costs at Cardiff reef. If the first Gidget movie comes out next summer then the Swamis contest will be positioned to hype all the Christmas shopping run-up for the Gidget merchandise.
I would rather see a charity event at Swamis. The promoters could choose to work for a good cause and pull the permits under the name of a good charity instead of Gidget International. I think one of the reasons the promoters don’t want to talk is that it will be plainly evident that this event is not about charity. This whole thing is kinda like green-washing. I call it charity-washing.
Maybe we got it all wrong. I sure freaking hope so.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
These awesome polar bears were made with 10,000 Ecke poinsettias and are on display at The Palazzo in Las Vegas.
The white “Polar Bear” poinsettias have an important message to promote awareness of polar bears and the loss of their sea ice habitat to climate change. Ecke Ranch is donating a portion of the proceeds from each poinsettia cutting sold to Polar Bears International (PBI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the worldwide conservation of polar bears through research and education. This event serves as the official launching pad for Ecke’s “Pay-it-Forward for Polar Bears” campaign which benefits PBI.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
December 13, 2009
To: City Attorney Glenn Sabine, City of Encinitas
505 S. Vulcan Ave. Encinitas, CA 92024
From: Stephen A. Meiche, Citizen of Encinitas
505 Orpheus Ave. Encinitas, CA 92004
Subject: Formal Personnel Complaint Against City of Encinitas Administrators Phil Cotton, City Manager and Chris Hazeltine, Director of Parks and Recreation
This is a formal complaint against the above-mentioned city administrators for the following misconduct:
Making untruthful and inaccurate reports. Making misleading statements with the intent to deceive and influence the city council to adopt a new city ordinance.
False and misleading verbal statements during a public meeting with City Council.
Failure to perform and breach of fiduciary duty and responsibility.
Violating practices and procedures of the City of Encinitas.
Violation of City of Encinitas Administrative Manual Code of Ethics and Discipline.
Violation of City of Encinitas Administrative Manual Environmental Policy.
Violation of Municipal Code 2.24.070.
December 13, 2009
Formal Personnel Complaint Against City of Encinitas Administrators
This complaint is generated from written as well as verbal statements and analysis made by Chris Hazeltine, Director of Parks and Recreation to the members of the City Council during a public City Council meeting. The statements were in regards to the adoption of City Ordinance 2009-14 amending Chapter 8.04.160 of the Municipal Code. The described ordinance was placed on the City Council Agenda for adoption. (See attached Agendas)
During Mr. Hazeltine's preparation of the analysis he failed to perform his duties and responsibilities. Mr. Hazeltine violated city practices and procedures in the preparation of his analysis by failing to contact and consult any and all local stakeholders that could potentially be affected by this ordinance amendment. Additionally, he violated the City of Encinitas Administrative Manual Environmental Policy.
In his written analysis he states he following:
“Based on staff’s analysis and consultation with local stakeholders, staff has determined that the hours and days dogs are permitted off-leash at these parks sites could be expanded to better meet the needs of dog owners.”
Based on the above statement, Mr. Hazeltine willfully perjured public documents on 3 different agendas that mislead the public. Mr. Hazeltine also made verbal statements supporting his analysis at the November 9 City Council meeting with City Manager Phil Cotton present. Mr. Hazeltine’s actions gave false information that was inadequate and inaccurate and caused the City Council to make motions to adopt the ordinance without having full and complete information. Consequently, the adoption of the ordinance was published in the local newspapers. Local stakeholders became aware and contacted the individual council members with their concerns. When the errors were brought to their attention the council acknowledged the omission of the stakeholders and amended the ordinance without ordering Mr. Hazeltine to reanalyze his recommendation with the input of the local stakeholders. Stated on the most recent City Council Agenda Report for the December 16 meeting, Mr. Hazeltine continues to make false and misleading statements to the public and City Council by continuing to submit incomplete analyses that do not reflect consultation with local stakeholders.
December 13, 2009
Formal Personnel Complaint Against City of Encinitas Administrators
The stakeholders that are affected by this ordinance represent a large number of citizens, taxpayers and constituents. Willfully misleading the public and City Council with intent to deceive is illegal, unethical, violates state and city government policies and discredits public trust.
The following are stakeholder groups that were not consulted:
Any and all homeowners, neighbors and residents adjacent to Orpheus, Viewpiont and Sun Vista Parks including Home Owners Associations (HOA) representing the condominium complexes and townhomes next to Orpheus and Viewpoint Parks.
The Principal and PTA, Paul Ecke Central School adjacent to Orpheus Park.
The Principal and PTA, Olivenhain Pioneer School adjacent to Sun Vista Park.
The Superintendent of Encinitas Union School District.
The Principal Librarian of the North Region Branch, County of San Diego Libraries, Encinitas.
As you can see the stakeholders groups alone represents hundreds of citizens that could be affected by the new ordinance. All of the above-mentioned were not consulted as Mr. Hazeltine states.
I formally request a full investigation into these allegations and that Mr. Hazeltine and Mr. Cotton are put on administrative notice that they are under investigation for their misconduct. Additionally, I request that the Agenda Report for the December 16 Council Meeting be revised by removing Agenda Item 5A pending the investigation and a full and complete analysis of the impact of the City Ordinance 2009-14 amending Chapter 8.04.160 of the Municipal Code. I also request a full written response to this complaint outlining any and all actions to be taken as well as my rights as a complainant.
December 13, 2009
Formal Personnel Complaint Against City of Encinitas Administrators
This complaint has be forwarded to the following:
Members of the Encinitas City Council
State of California State Auditor, Bureau of State Audits
California State Assembly 74th District Martin Garrick
United States Congressman Brian Bilbray
San Diego County Supervisor 3rd District Pam Slater-Price
San Diego County Sheriff Central Investigations Division
San Diego Association of Governments Board of Directors
Additional copies of this complaint will be forwarded to:
All stakeholder groups mentioned in the complaint
Local television and print news media
Stephen A. Meiche
505 Orpheus Ave.
Leucadia CA 92024
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
It is now super common for community events such as bike races, marathons, walks for "cause x", and tournaments to market themselves as charity events. It is common for non-profits to associate with for-profit entities in such cases. A local example of that is the rock and roll marathon.
In all, the Competitor Group has returned $344,176 in public funds since The San Diego Union-Tribune reported in February that the private business profited off the marathon while receiving thousands of dollars in discounted police services and county grants through an affiliated foundation. (UT 10/5/09)_______________________
Probably more common are events being run by legal charities being operated in full or in part to benefit the principals running the charity. Most of us know that lots of charities take advantage of the good will and generosity of Americans.
Be most inquisitive of charities that invent their own causes.
Back to the contest. The contest is being pitched to the public as a charitable event, however it looks like the associated charity won't be running the contest. The permits will be issued to a for-profit organization. It can't be a charity event; surfers will be competing against each other for personal financial gain.
The promoter is telling the WLBs that the prize money will be $30,000.
They have stated a hard minimum for the prize money. There is no hard minimum for how much will be given to charity. Why not? Does this reflect the priorities behind this event? That is fine if it does, but lets not confuse this with a charity event.
We have some documentation the promoter has been circulating in the surf industry. The promoter has been trying to get companies to give her money in exchange for:
- -Increase your brand leverage with surfers and the coastal community
- -Touch point to connect with your customers and potential customers
- -Sampling opportunity for consumers to try your products and services first-hand
- -Enhance exposure in the southern California market and media
- -Tie in to a fun community event
- -Partnership – ...Please let us know your event marketing goals so we can craft special features just for you.
The documentation also describes what the promoters will do for the commercial sponsors. One is, "Recognition over the public address system and webcast during the event" and "Opportunity to go onstage 10 minutes per day to promote, conduct giveaways". That is what the sponsors are being told. Others are being told the event is going to be quite and have a garden party feel; something that won't disturb the Self Realization Fellowship.
The SRF is the most at risk of being impacted by amplified sound. The SRF's visitors spend a lot of money to meditate on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific.
The promoters are telling potential sponsors that there will be 4 "Supporting Sponsors" and multiple lesser sponsors. The supporting slots cost $25,000 each.
Contributing sponsorship cost $2,500 each.
Friends of the event cost $1,500 each.
There is a huge gap between the prize money and the anticipated revenue. No word on entry fees so far, and that is another revenue source. Possibly, another huge revenue source is the street fair that they will run in parallel with the contest. The promoter is telling potential sponsors that:
No mention that contests at Swamis are controversial and it makes it sound like Encinitas is going to get another street fair. At what point do the residents experience street fair fatigue? Lets say the street fair booths go for $200 for the duration of the event and she gets a quarter of previous street fairs.
Previous street fairs in Encinitas have been embraced by the community and have drawn 400+ vendors, and more than 100,000 shoppers over a two-day period.
I'd like to know if the promoters are thinking they are going to pull in $150,000+ on this contest and how much of that is going to go to administrative expenses? I wouldn't care or even think to make a point of that if the event was not going to be entirely based on the use of public property (at the bro deal cost of $300 a day) and being sold as a charitable endeavor. After subtracting operational costs we are still talking about many tens of thousands left over for the contest promoters to pay themselves a juicy salary.
The promoters say exactly how much will go to paying the contest winners and use some weasel words to describe how much goes to charity. They say "net proceeds" will go to charity. That can mean, "what ever we decide" will go to charity if the promoters decide to dish out a healthy salary. (Preemptive response: Once this event got marketed as a charity event to the public, these issues became relevant.)
It doesn't look like the promoters want the surf community to know how much they are going to rake in for themselves.*
The promotional material does give some specifics on the charities they claim are involved. It indicates that some organizations will be present at the event. It seems like it implies that Surfrider has already signed on and supports the contest, but read carefully:
One of Surfrider's missions is to promote the right of low-impact, free and open access to the world's waves and beaches for all people. SURFRIDER acts to preserve this right of access. Contests at Swamis reduces access to waves and I'm certain some SR members might be asking for membership refunds if SR has endorsed contests at Swamis.
The charity list might be baloney*. The documentation also states, "The Women’s World Longboard Championships has partnered with the City of Encinitas, the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Merchants Association to produce the event." It turns out that City HAS NOT partnered with with the WWLB. That is good. It would be really bad for the City to partner with this event because the promoters don't seem to have done all their homework*. The result might be that this event could really flop so bad that sponsors might go after the partners for refunds, particularly the city.
What is also missing from the documentation is info on ASP sanctioning. This is a commercial event so we'd think the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) would be involved. How many WLB world champions can we have at one time? Will the ASP allow the WWLB winner to claim the title of world champion in conflict with an ASP sanctioned world champion?*
They don't piggyback a cause onto a commercial operation.
Revenue Now Projected at $200,000