Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The obvious solution, build quality stairs at Beacons like at Grandview, D-St and Swamis.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Let the experiment begin...
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"This would slow things down and make downtown seem bigger than just Grand Avenue," said Thora Guthrie, chief executive of the Downtown Business Association.
They say such a change would make downtown more visible to drivers, who whiz by the city's Grand Avenue business district too quickly to notice what they are passing. "These are the most highly traveled streets in Escondido, but we do nothing to capture those people," City Councilwoman Olga Diaz said last week. In addition, supporters say downtown would become a more appealing place if it was "unified" by allowing pedestrians on Grand to travel more easily across Second to the public library and across Valley to Grape Day Park and the city's arts center.
NCT Parents Ask for Testing
A group of Kelly [elementary school] workers wrote a letter to San Diego County's public health officer in May, saying they want to make sure that Kelly educators who have suffered from the disease ---- but don't live in the city of Carlsbad ---- are part of any statistical study. The letter included the names of 8 teachers diagnosed with cancer in the last 10 years, as well as a few from the 1990s. The employees said they were concerned about an "alarming number of staff and former students who have become seriously ill."
Kelly Elementary is a small campus in northern Carlsbad, near the Agua Hedionda Lagoon. It was built in 1979, before certain types of testing were required for school construction projects. The area was once mostly farm land and Quartarone's group is worried that there may be a variety of pollutants ---- such as arsenic, methane or heavy metals ---- in the ground, air and water around the campus.
NCT Ballfield to be Cleaned Up
A tentative settlement has been reached in a court dispute over who will pay for the cleanup of French Field, a former burn dump that had been used by baseball and softball teams for more than 20 years before officials shut it down in 2005.
The Oceanside City Council last week approved a $2.6 million contract with a private company, Brickman Chargers Inc. of San Diego, to perform the cleanup.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
West Coast Arborists were out on Leucadia Blvd. Last year they gave the pine trees a buzz cut in the same location. This time they were amputating oak trees. Fortunately, plants are modular organisms and will continue to grow. But they will be without a substantial portion of their canopy. It appears that they had removed 25-40% of the canopies (see video).
The tree trimmers were out without their field manager and told me they were there cutting the trees for the health of the tree and safety. These trees are only about 8-10 feet tall and having worked in and around California oak woodlands for a decade, I'm comfortable saying that their pruning was not necessary to ensure these tree's health.
Encinitas arborists have also been critical of the chain-saw happy West Coast Arborists.
The council was told that city employees inspect all of WCA's work. Turns out there is no written record of the findings of those inspections.
See Also: Love Affair with WCA Continues
Looking for something fun to do with your child?
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Council voted unanimously to form a subcommittee to look into specific neighborhood concerns with mini dorms and make recommendations to council.
Subcommittees have proven successful in finding solutions, but Councilman Jerome Stocks requested the city take more immediate and aggressive action. “Forming a committee is nice, but we’re pushing the ball down the field,” Stocks said. “I prefer affirmative action. It’s a significant issue of property value and community value.”
The sub-committee will return to the full council (in open session) to discuss salary and the contract, presumably at our next council meeting on July 14. Cotton will still officially retire on July 6.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
The SFGate published an article on Encinitas recently. Here are some excerpts.
The Pacific Coast Highway, technically, is all of Highway 1, but anyone who grew up during the Beach Boys' reign knows the PCH begins at California's southern latitudes. Its laid-back, close-knit beach towns meant sun, sand and freedom from care to legions of young people.
Encinitas, halfway between San Clemente and San Diego, is a vestige of classic California beach culture that has all but succumbed to stratospherically priced homes inhabited by a generation to whom "working on myself" means attaining washboard abs rather than enlightenment. But partly because Swami's Beach remains a holy grail to hard-core surfers, good vibrations endure here.
Diversions include watching world-class surfing, exploring the 100-year-old downtown and meandering in soul-soothing gardens. If you need a vacation from life as well as work, this is the place...
Today, the city is known for its multitude of beaches, its flower growers, its mildly oddball character and the surf break immortalized by the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA."
Spend your day: Morning is best for visiting the Self Realization Fellowship's Meditation Gardens, a beautifully landscaped bower of pathways and secluded nooks lining the bluff overlooking Swami's Beach. You can sit as long as you like to contemplate life, God, nature or surfing. There's no charge (though donations are welcome) and no proselytizing.
Swami's is a narrow, rocky beach not suited to sunbathing or swimming. A better choice is Moonlight State Beach in the center of town. Its broad, flat sands lie at street level, festooned with volleyball courts, a playground, snack bar, picnic area and fire pits.
To explore the century-old historic downtown district, download the downtown association's walking tour and map (select the "Encinitas" menu on its Web site). The centerpiece, La Paloma Theatre, was built just before "The Jazz Singer" came out in 1927 and was one of the first to show talkies. The intricately designed wooden ceiling is a show in itself.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2010/06/06/TRTL1DMKB1.DTL#ixzz0rJy2UTQy
Friday, June 18, 2010
Mark Muir: AKA; Fuego Chiefo
Overweight and outta shape, but, by far the smartest and most likable horse on the track. Hometown horse would be a community favorite. But, horse really doesn’t wanta run to the finish line. Soon to be retired to greener pasture, watch horse to make comeback from retirement. Watch for easy favorite to pull himself out of the race.
Chris Hazeltine: AKA; Hall Ball
Strong and young horse that makes many mistakes down the stretch, as the race gets down to the nitty gritty, Hall Ball will get first run on his long-time friends, take the lead at the top of the lane, and have enough to hold off all comers. This horse is a favorite with the current prize winner.
Larry Watt: AKA; Arborist Choice
Arborist Choice, nominated but unlikely, will be trying to prove he fits in company, as a horse raised and taught by the county, may prove to be a poor training ground for this type of race track. Although a quick learner, sideline trees may blur Arborist Choice from even making it to the finish line. Also, not a favorite with the stable hands.
Jace Limbaugh: AKA; Moola Green
Moola Green is an unexpected entry, most likely more concerned with the purse, greenback or prize than the race itself. This low profile horse will bring up the back or fix the race in order to increase his rate of return.
Gary Murphy: AKA; Crazy Horse
Although, this is my favorite, horse has lotta energy, but his lack of experience and wild behavior (kicking and bucking) will most likely cause the horse to not even make it to the gate.
Odds: Better chance that BP will fix oil spill by this weekend
Speed bumps, trees, parks, flooding and revenue figures to be prominent in this year race, also key to this race may be the unknown Kentucy imports...
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Chris probably wants to be city manger someday. That would be cool. He does run Parks and Rec and the Hall park is the biggest project of all time so he might as well be in charge.
Maybe the public works director Larry Watt! Before the arborist thing he had a spotless record on the Leucadia blog, and that's hard to beat.
Maybe Jay should be in charge for a while. He knows finance and he knows what's really going on... so we should keep him happy or he'll spill the beans.
It would be all time if they made Gary Murphy interim city manager. His heart is in the right place and he is sure to keep the interest of the city in view. Would sure make things a lot more fun.
Chief Muir could keep the status quo from becoming passe. His cozy ties to the political machine problably make him America's Next Top Top Candidate.
I am also an excellent candidate. I don't have any friends so I can't be accused of giving special treatment bro-deals on the taxpayers dime and I've logged in over 2,200 hours of Sim City. Here is my latest city.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Consultant, Vicki Estrada
Estrada Land Planning
The Leichtag Family Foundation
Christopher C. Calkins
The Thomas C. Ackerman Foundation
(and Carltas Development Co.)
San Diego Botanic Garden
Jewish Community Foundation
Lux Art Institute
(Contract employee for City of Encinitas)
San Diego North Convention and Visitors Bureau
Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA
(Sup for Encinitas School District)
San Dieguito Heritage Museum
Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA
The costs to develop this vision were funded by The
Leichtag Family Foundation and The Thomas C. Ackerman
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
It is a widely used tax avoidance scam to rent out a house to one fellow who writes a rent check for $1500 and then collects another grand from a set of undocumented "sublets", in cash, and the landlord fails to report the cash income to the IRS. Shady or exploitable tenants tend to enter into this scam.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The whole southwest side of the house folds away and opens the living room to the yard and ocean view. Sweet.
Leucadians know how to appreciate their natural assets.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
council meeting on television. *sigh*
There has been a lot of concern about the Beacons Beach Access project agenda item. I wanted to provide you a brief summarry of the situation as to the facts as I know them after talking with staff and the state.
Please share this information with your board as well as other interested parties.
Information on Beacons Bach agenda item.
The city originally applied for grant funds for both the Beacons Beach Access project and the Moonlight Beach Master Plan project. The Beacons Beach project was awarded grant funds the Moonlight Beach project was not.
Beacons Beach is a state beach and the city working with the state parks staff proposed the Beacons Beach access project. The city stayed in contact and worked with the state park staff all the way through the planning process and ceqa.
In the eleventh hour the state parks department could not support the Beacons Beach project as it was inconsistent with the states general plan. It should be noted that many individuals as well as environmental groups were strenuously opposssed and challenged the project.
The states general plan calls for natural retreat of the coast line and state parks could not support the project on a state beach due to the inconstancy with the states general plan.
The city has no recourse on the determination by the state not to support the project. Any decision that would alter this would occur at the state parks and not the city council level.
What the city did do and in my opinion it was very wise, was to first express serious disappointment in the state ruling and then asked the state if the funds could be used for the Moonlight Beach project instead. The state said that it could use the funds for Moonlight thus the agenda item for Wednesdays council meeting.
If not for this the city would lose the money entirely.
For more information please call Chris Hazeltine at 760-943-2210
Hwy 101 Corridor Coordinator
818 S. Coast Hwy 101
I went to the last ERGA BoD meeting and heard staff tell Donna Westbrooke privately that last year they had to dip into reserve funds to pay their bills.
The issue is back on the agenda tonight.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
From the mail inbox:
They are using the seawall issue as a reason to pull 2 million from Leucadia and put it towards a concession stand, new bathrooms and a new sheriff substation at moonlight beach.
If you care about your beach, your home value, and quality of life in Leucadia; you had better plan on writing an email to council, calling council or speaking at the council meeting this Wednesday night. Contact info is below. This should get your blood pumping. If you care about the grommets of Leucadia, please Act Now!
The City Staff is proposing to move $2 million in available funding from Improvements at Beacons Beach Access to Moonlight Beach at this Wednesday night’s council meeting.
This is a huge issue for Encinitas, especially Leucadia. Leucadia Mainstreet and SPA should be all over this one. Beacons is 1 of only 3 coastal access points from our mainstreet and all of Leucadia. It is the heart of Leucadia…. Its 33% of our access and by far receives the heaviest use. Why do you think our mainstreet is special? One hint, its not our gorgeous rail road corridor……. As you all know Its the coast and beach access which is why we all live here. The current access from Hwy 101 to Beacons beach is extremely dangerous.
Link to Staff Report:
Just read the staff report. This is insane. It sounds like staff may have presented a seawall was a “must” at beacons and that is why the state is not approving the plan. Many things are needed at Beacons. A seawall may or may not be one of the needed items, but we can all agree that many higher priority items are needed. You could debate the seawall issue for the next 20 years, but we don’t have too… You don’t see a seawall at moonlight beach now do you? Yet our City has spent millions and is proposing to spend Leucadia’s $2 million dollars at Moonlight beach….. One thing for certain is Beacons needs serious pedestrian access improvements, bicycle improvements, and landscaping improvements. Is the state against those improvements and aren’t they in conformance with the Leucadia State Beach General Plan?
$2 million dollars would provide for much needed pedestrian, bike, parking, landscaping and trail improvements. I feel their comment about cost to benefits received is off mark. I believe that comment was made in regards to the extensive cost for the seawall and rebuilding the entire bluff…. If we get a big storm, moonlight will be underwater and will suffer major damage more so than Beacons. Why don’t we push a big berm of sand up in front of Beacons each year, like we do at moonlight?
The beach access from Hwy101 up to Beacons is so dangerous that our family, and many others ,that live less than ¼ of a mile feels we have to drive to the beach to safely transport our children to our local beach. I see many other families doing the same. Even adults drive because they feel the walk is so unsafe.
As I said, the two million dollars could provide much needed access improvements to access Beacons beach. Improve the pedestrian access from Hwy 101 up leucadia boulevard to Beacons beach, improve the pedestrian space, parking and landscaping on the top bluff of beacons and trail improvements to make the trail more functional and stable without proposing a seawall. The access up Leucadia Boulevard is a liability hell hole that is waiting for a disastrous result. Why would they pull much needed money from our Leucadia’s beach with the greatest needs for safe beach access and give it to the City’s most maintained and improved beach access?
The grant was originally approved of the much needed Beacons Access. Don’t let it die do to the never ending debate about the need, costs, and liabilities of seawalls. From the states letter it sounds like staff may not have understood their initial constraints or direction of the grants. Why don’t they propose some improvements at Beacons that the state would approve? What improvements at Beacons beach would the state approve? Have those questions been asked to the state administrators and what’s their answer?
I bet with $2 million dollars of improvements, Beacons will much safer, encourage more pedestrian and bike access to our local beach, and look like a respectable Encinitas Beach similar to any of the other City Beach access points or view overlooks. More pedestrian and bike traffic means less car traffic to beacons, and less pollution to our ocean means a healthier Earth and a better Encinitas.
Lets keep the money at Beacons and ask the state for cooperation and direction on what type of improvements are consistent with the Leucadia General Plan.
I respectfully request Council recommend forming a subcommittee including a few councilmembers, a few parks and recreation commissioners, a few Hw101 Mainstreet Representative, and a few Seacoast Preservation Association members, along with Staff and the State Staff. I know we could provide a functional and feasible project that would meet the beacons state beach general plan and would greatly improve Beacons Access and by doing so would improve the quality of life for all in Encinitas.
Monday, June 07, 2010
SANDAG and NCTD staff were there and gave pretty generic outlines. SANDAG's model for a pop growth of a million must be right because they always repeat it. They didn't really say what that means in terms of the quality of transportation in the future.
I was really hoping to hear some more meat about what faces Encinitas in the future and start chewing on possible solutions. Perhaps, that wasn't the purpose of the lecture. On the positive side, you could say they threw out some tools...
One idea is to include bike boulevards in the toolkit. It seems like this might work where there is grid flow traffic. He didn't give any suggestions on where in Encinitas they might go, but I have thought for years that the alley off the 101 could be a cool bike boulevard that gets peds and bikes separated from 101 traffic.
Our city has had the same traffic consultant since incorporation (Austin-Foust). A couple years ago we successfully got the city council and traffic commission to reject their city-wide traffic study because its underlying data were bad and projections questionable. Austin-Foust spoke last night and I'll post up their stuff later.
There was some talk about connecting people to where they want to go with transit. NCTD pointed out a whole bunch of key destinations, including Tri-City and Palmarado. They left out Scripps.
They had some cool maps showing work force density and residential density. North county's transit network is structured like a "boomerang" around the outside of the Vista/Carlsbad work center. There isn't good transit to North County's core work center.
Here are some options that NCTD might someday develop: shared taxi service and on call mini buses to cruz you around your zone.
NCTD also noted they are finally going to invest in some smaller buses for their routes that don't carry a lot of people. They are going to need to save some money and put it aside if NCTD is going to chauffeur 10 thousand senior citizens and school kids around town.
Dave Billings, Leucadian, spoke in favor of changing current polices regarding pedestrian crossing on the rail road right of way. He thesis was that it was poor form to have barriers in the way of using the transit system. He noted folks living on the east of 101 can't easily get to the 101 bus route without illegally crossing the rail road. He also noted that Vista has at-grade crossings, and wanted to know what it would take to make it legal to cross the rail road throughout Leucadia.
The NCTD guy said that the Sprinter is slower than the trains running the coastal corridor so its more dangerous to have at-grade crossings here. (UPDATE: He didn't explain how this could happen in San Clemente, click here)
The point was made publicly that 100's of people cross safely everyday and later to me that it is more dangerous to cross the 101 than to cross the rail road (deja vu: read our whole series on at-grade crossings.)
The NCTD guy says he crosses the tracks too.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Here is a comment posted in 2008:
A couple of the worst taggers in Leucadia are living in a nice Habitat for Humanity home provided to their parents with our cities help. If you see ENC T/F and so forth in the area it could be these guys. There has been some effort to get the family to control their boys or they could lose the house, we shall see, it seems the city doesn't want to deal with the issue.
At that time I sent inquiries to the local and national Habitat for Humanity offices. I wanted to know if something was happening in Leucadia and if they have policies and practices that defend against these sorts of issues and if they have something built into the deed that gives Habitat some recourse. I got zero response from Habitat (which is often a sign that something is up).
I asked the Habitat representatives at the general plan festival about the situation. They acknowledged some serious problems, but said it was something I should contact the City of Encinitas about. The City government subsidized that house, according to them. They also said dealing with the situation is in the City's hands.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
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.
*In addition: Moonlight Beach is the perfect place to host a fireworks show. People could watch from down on the beach, downtown Encinitas streets and from the library. There are many viewpoints around town that could see the show, like Orpheus park. It would be a lot of fun. It's sad how the power trio city council of Dalager, Stocks and Bond have failed year after year to bring a fireworks show to Encinitas. Comon' guys, there is still time, get one going.
OR DO YOU HATE AMERICA THAT MUCH?
Wednesday June 2nd. The fate of the city administration will be decided behind closed doors.
1. CLOSED SESSION: PUBLIC EMPLOYEE APPOINTMENT
AUTHORITY: Gov. Code § 54957
TITLE: Interim City Manager and Permanent City Manager
REPORT FROM CLOSED SESSION