Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Green Day Encore

Encinitas, Ca. - In conjunction with the United Nations World Environment Day, Encinitas Environment Day will be celebrating five years of sustainability! Encinitas Environment Day 2011 will be held at Cottonwood Creek Park in downtown Encinitas on June 5, 2011.

Fostered by the City of Encinitas and presented by The Solana Center, this volunteer driven event is designed to encourage environmental awareness and highlight the efforts of the City of Encinitas and Eco-friendly organizations, businesses, and individuals making Encinitas their home.
Scheduled between 10am and 4pm, this free family-oriented event promises to educate and entertain while showcasing a municipal park developed with sustainable ecology in mind.
To learn more about Encinitas Environment Day or become a volunteer go on line to www.eeday.org for more information.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Leucadia Greenhouse Neighbors ask for City Review

Last weekend a group of Leucadia residents filled the Orpheus Park picnic benches. They were meeting to discuss the development at the end of Hymettus, where the soils were known to be contaminated with banned pesticides.

The developer has been trucking in huge amounts of soil for weeks and leaving the neighborhood streets a mess as the trucks drop collateral dirt on the city streets. This creates dust that blows across the houses and parked cars. I'm sure some folk would like their cars washed on the developer's dime.

Others in the neighborhood are accumulating evidence that their new health problems are related to the toxins that originated from the site.

The neighborhood set up a petition. A signature provides support for having the developer, the county and the city inform, dialogue, and protect the residents of Leucadia. That may help preempt future problems at other greenhouse developments.

At the council meeting last week the Mayor agreed to agendize this issue, according to one email we received. More signatures will help, because, sometimes the council agrees to hear an issue but then conveniently forgets about it (the best example it the open government ordinance!). Another example is the Quail Gardens Drive property blunder in motion. The council recently went against having a requirement to have requested items heard within 60days.

The city better be on top of this dust and toxics issue and not need 30 days to prepare. They should be prepared already and only need to organize.


Side note: Some of the soil coming into the site is clean soil from UCSD (see below).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tye Dye shirt guy in the Roadside Park

Judge Says Public has a Right to Know

The city is not a privately owned for-profit business that the council can manage in secret fashion. The public desires and has a California Constitutional right to know HOW, and thus, why decisions were made. The city belongs to the public and the city council must be accountable and open to informed scrutiny AND informed suggestions for improvement.

The Encinitas City Council has been covering up problems and in doing so have successfully manipulated the public's perception of the city's administration and financial status. One way they have been doing this is by constantly limiting the public's access to information. 

This week, a superior court judge told the City of Encinitas that it was not in compliance with the law and required the city to fork over the rest of the documents.

A year before this all started, Kevin C posted to the ETA blog:

No one brought up that there is no satisfactory means for the public to have their concerns regarding violations of open government laws resolved, short of suing the city. This is the first thing I would ask to have included in a sunshine ordinance.

This was in conjunction with Kevin C's effort to get the city to adopt a city sunshine ordinance (supported only by Barth). Such an ordinance  would have ended the city's closed government abuses and created a way to resolve problems without having to have a judge intervene. Maybe it is time to reconsider a REAL set of open government policies and practices in the City of Encinitas.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Solar for Encinitas

From the in box: 

Citywide Solar Program Supports the Creation of a Strong Solar Community

SAN DIEGO, CA (April 22, 2011) – Local business owner Daniel Sullivan has a vision of creating a strong solar community out of Encinitas by offering incentives to all residential, commercial and municipal properties with an Encinitas Solar Program. The innovative program allows residents to go solar for little to no upfront cost and receive substantial cash-back awards for their involvement.

The San Diego County locally headquartered solar provider, Sullivan Solar Power, launches the comprehensive solar advocacy program April 25, to inspire residents in declaring energy independence and making a longstanding impact on the community.  Participants who sign up before July 11, 2011 will be eligible to receive cash-back incentives at a level that is twice the amount of the current California state rebate.

“Encinitas’ Solar Program is designed in a manner that will create a critical mass and encourage as many residents as possible to go solar, and hopefully, lead a solar energy revolution where we shift our dependence on fossil fuels to renewable resources,” said Sullivan.

The community solar program will incentivize Encinitas residents to encourage their neighbors, groups and friends to go solar.  The more people who sign up, the greater the discounts will be.

There will be two educational solar seminars for residents on May 7 and June 11 at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Dr. The presentations will inform residents about solar technology, rebates and incentives and Encinitas’ Solar Program.

Additional information on the program can be found by calling 1-800-SULLIVAN or by visiting www.EncinitasSolarProgram.org

We know some readers have already checked this out. What do you know? 

Freeway Air Pollution = Bad

"What the study says is when you are designing and evaluating (transportation) policies, you should take into account the pollution impacts, because they do matter," says Katherine von Stackelberg of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, a co-author of the study. She says people at risk are those sitting in traffic and others exposed to the polluted air.

Traffic congestion experts have long warned that pollution caused by idling vehicles on crowded roads was harming Americans' health.

Now, for the first time, researchers at Harvard University have quantified the damage: They say that congestion in the USA's 83 largest urban areas last year led to more than 2,200 premature deaths and a related public health cost of at least $18 billion.

"Our estimates of the total public health cost of traffic congestion in the U.S. are likely conservative, in that they consider only the impacts in 83 urban areas and only the cost of related mortality and not the costs that could be associated with related morbidity — health care, insurance, accidents and other factors," the researchers at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health report.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Conspiracy Revealed

Just like they thought, it was always about Jerome.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Father Knows Best

“The city needs to be able to have a decision-making process free from second-guessing by public questioning of funding options,” Lusitana said. “Let them get to the process where they can prepare a draft that then gets submitted to council and then that’s when the public review process takes place.”

Read: The public can comment after we have already made the decisions, and then we'll show you only one option considered and not talk about why this is the best option. The public has to guess why this is the best option because we aren't going to tell you how staff (and their secret "advisers") arrived at the decision. The pubic can redo all the analysis in a week that took staff a year if they really want to participate in public policy discussions. The public isn't shut out of the process completely. 

See Also: The city doesn't want to release documents that can let the public and the council know how much the Hall park is going to cost. The documents have been two weeks from completion for close to a year.

City faces the right direction, but too afraid of reform

The UT just reported a silent contortion of the public process:
Come July, Encinitas employees will contribute 5 percent of their pension contribution, up from the 3.8 percent they do now, city Human Resources Manager Tom Beckord said.

Was this approved in public?  Was there a secret council vote? Why is an increase of 1.2percentage points the right number? Does that keep the city's long-term finances sound?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Date Night in Leucadia

By the way, what is up with that group of a-holes who said the world was ending today?

Friday Night Cap'n Keno's

It kinda goes off.

Local Dude Files Suit Over Access to Record

Link to News 10 Coverage 

Thursday, May 19, 2011


The Encinitas City Council has decided that a stained glass mosaic of a surfing Madonna must come down. The artwork on a railroad bridge support along Encinitas Boulevard has become a popular attraction, but the City Council ruled it was put up without permission and must go.

Stan Gafner was one of dozens of residents who addressed Encinitas City Council members Wednesday night. He argued the 10-by-10 "Surfing Madonna" mosaic wasn't sanctioned by the city, and is technically graffiti that needed to be removed.

Mike Andreen said...

Congratulations to the Encinitas City Council for finding an equitable solution to the 'Surfing Madonna' mosaic.

Allowing Cap'n Keno's Jerry Sova, (who has been operating the home-style restaurant since 1970 and feeding the poor and homeless and exhibiting humanity and altruism for over 40 years) to arrange for the 'Surfing Madonnna' mosaic to be moved to the Leucadia location makes the most sense from a public safety standpoint. Folks like to take photos of the mosaic and like to photograph friends and relatives in front of the mosaic and Cap'n Keno's is set back far enough from Hwy 101 to allow folks to take photos without endangering themselves by standing hip deep in oncoming traffic.

Plus, can anyone deny that this spiritual piece isn't a little bit funky?

Hat's off to Leucadia 101 for stepping forward to raise the necessary capital to move this magical artwork to a place safe and sound. Let's ALL pitch in!

Let's watch for news from Leucadia 101 on 'when and where' their fundraiser to move the 'Surfing Madonna' is?

It is a community park now

Dr L writes:
Last night at the City Council, I, as chair of the subcommittee of the Parks and Recreation Commission, presented to Council the name Rossini Creek Community Park as the P&R Commissions recommendation to name of the new park. There was much dialog before the meeting about whether it was true community park, or a special use park. The Parks and Rec. Commission used Community because we felt it was going to be used by the 5 communities of Encinitas, Most people who have followed the 10 year saga of this park know it is not a true Community Park, and indeed is a special use park, with a heavy emphasis on the sports fields. The Council thought they had a better idea, and in a 5-0 vote named it Encinitas Community Park. The names given to the members of the Council were submitted by the good citizens of Encinitas-175 total names. The list did not include this name. So, it makes me wonder, why do we have Commissions at all, unless it is to rubber stamp what the Council already wants. Nancy has a good point. This blog asked "Does a name matter?" In my opinion the answer is YES. At least Rossini Creek would have honored the geographical location of the park, as well as the people who live in the area around it. It would have said we honor the founding fathers and mothers of the area of Cardiff, known as the Composer District. Rossini was an Italian opera composer, noted for his works, especially the William Tell Overature, and The Barber of Seville. So the next question is where is the money to pay for building anything on this park? After 10 years the City cannot give the citizens an answer, yet it was the citizens that paid for this park. 17.5 million dollars for the land and a 23 million dollar bond that will cost over 40 million when paid off. When will this park be built? Your guess is as good as mine. Stay tuned. Althogh after this post, I will probably not be reappointed to the Commission. I am not a rubber stamp.


N L101 Weed Patrol

Contaminated soils exported

When the Ades and Gish nursery was put up for sale, long time ago, many of us neighbors became aware of the presence of toxics in the soil, primarily Dieldrin.  We asked many questions from the Planning Commission and from the City.

The decision made by the City was that the contaminated soil should be taken off the property and disposed of according to County regulations.  The other option had been to bury the soil onsite, but not under the roads, because of danger to utility crews, instead, buried under the houses to be built on the property.

We, the Neighbors of Ades and Gish (NAG), were pleased --insofar as one can be pleased about such things--  with the decision to haul the toxics off the site and out of the city. We even praised City staff for selecting this option among the various solutions acceptable to the County.

This was 2006-07, long time ago.  The property passed through 3 owners since then and is now being developed by Warmington Residential, a very large developer based in the LA area. Warmington has been a good neighbor, and has dealt with us in quite a respectful and cooperative fashion.  I said so at the last Planning Commission meeting, and meant it.

When the humongous machines appeared next door to us (by the way, a totally fascinating spectacle), we became concerned about the toxic soil again.  I asked the site superintendent, who assured me that they had much experience with removing soils contaminated with dieldrin and similar agricultural chemical, and that they did it so well that their workers were not even required to wear masks.   I contacted the City and they confirmed that toxic material was being hauled off-site, as specified in the tentative map approved by the City, and that additional soil testing was going to be performed to verify that the remaining soil was "clean" after the grading was finished.

I talked again to Warmington, and they told me the soil was taken to a transfer station near Otay Mesa, and from there shipped to Mecca, where a specialized plant would incinerate it.  I was satisfied, except that I wondered how the city would verify the cleanliness of the remining soils....You see, they moved so much material right and left and up and down that any top layer would have been diluted into the enormous trenches and piles of dirt well before the City would get their act together to run any tests.   However, be it as it may, Warmington was as good as their word and there was very little dust onto our property immediately east of the construction site (one of my main concerns).

I looked up things on the web and found out that there is indeed a major dirt incineration plant just north of Mecca, and that the County had approved its use to deal with agricultural toxics.  I explained that to neighbors of the Brown property and to neighbors of the Hall property, indicating that I found the solution to be satisfactory, and likely better than onsite burial. 

We held were several meetings with Warmington, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, and other neighbors, and everything appeared to be kosher.  As far as we all could tell, all issues had been resolved to everyone's satisfaction, and we indicated that to the Planning Commission.  The Commissioners expressed considerable satisfaction about the civil interaction between developer and neighbors.

So this morning, reading the Los Angeles Times (May 15, 2011), I was stunned when I ran across the article attached as a PDF file, with the title "Noxious odor plagues a poor desert region:  Smell sickens children and adults. Regulators blame a soil-recycling plant on tribal land" ... You guessed it, this is in Mecca.

The fact that the soils from our neighborhood probably contributed to this disgusting situation does not exactly warm my heart. The fact that our city is part and parcel of this sordid story does not make me feel comfortable with the way we deal with the development of nurseries around town.  City staffers and officials can of course use the classical bureaucratic dodge that the County has authority and the city's hands are tied in the matter of toxic soils.   I think this is not morally tenable.

I suggest that neighbors of the Brown and Hall properties and other nurseries approved for development have a look into it.  The solution to this class of problems should emerge from a rational discussion and an agreement between bureaucrats and citizens, and not from the fact that powerful developers can de facto lord it over  poor desert residents.... I am having nightmares about Love Canal (for those of us old enough to remember.)

When will they ever learn?

Here is the link. Share it with others.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

City afraid of what the public might think

City gets a second wind.
From the city:
Pursuant to Section 6254(a) of the California Gov. Code, the City will not be releasing draft preliminary statements of probable cost related to the subject matter of your request.  The City will not be retaining these draft preliminary statements of probable cost for its records.

Instead, these statements merely represent a "work in progress" until a final cost estimate is established for City Council and public consideration.  Furthermore, the public interest in withholding these statements clearly outweigh the public interest in disclosure since they constitute "works in progress" and as such may mislead or confuse the
public or otherwise thwart the deliberative process pending consideration of an accurate and complete final cost estimate. (see Times v Mirror Co. v Superior Ct 53 Cal. 3d 1325, 283 Cal Rptr. 893 (1991)

No mention of Prop 59?

See also: city has been having trouble finding the money.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Does a name matter?

From the In Box:

Good morning.

It would be inappropriate, insulting and dishonest to name this clearly defined SPECIAL USE PARK a Community Park.

Current submissions for naming the special use park.

Rossini Creek Community Park

Encinitas Heritage Community Park

Encinitas Community Park

Kumeyaay Park

Seaside Community Park

The current plan for a park on the Hall Property is not a 'community ' park.

This fact is collaborated by the Hall Property EIR, the Planning Department,(WHICH REJECTED THE HALL EIR, ALTHOUGH THE CITY CURRENTLY CLAIMS TO IT'S CITIZENS, WAS APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION), Park and Rec. Department and the General Plan.

Although it can be shown that the majority of the community wanted a community park. The city funded Godby Servey clearly determined that over 80% wanted a more passive park, public comments showed the majority indicated they wanted a community park and letters and comments further supported a community park as well as public comments at council meetings.

The public was invited to design the park they wanted. The public did. the city recorded the public's wishes. Then the city ignored the wishes of the majority and inserted the directive, "…maximize sports fields", without any public input. At a council meeting, the question of who inserted this directive into the guiding design directive was asked but never answered.

That was the end of a community park design. It was changed by someone. It was not changed by the taxpayers.

During the last election, Council member consistently referred to her support of a 'community park'. What she was in fact supporting was the current plan, which is defined everywhere as a SPECIAL USE PARK. This designation is determined a a legal definition when a park has  a majority of area defined as a special use. In this case, sports fields and not a community park that has more diverse elements offered. This designation is in the EIR.

Although the city has used the term community park, even on documents that clearly state in the documents that it is a special use park, it is not true. the city recently added in the description of amenities, basketball courts. This element was rejected in the original plan, as was tennis courts and other public amenities requested by the public. The map shows no basketball courts or any area where these could be placed.

The city if Encinitas has endured eight years of unpleasant divineness over this issue. It would be a insult to call this plan, which is clearly defined in as a special use park, a community park. It would further divide the community on this issue. It would be a slap in the face of all those Encinitas citizens who fought so hard and for so many years to have a community park, and lost. And it would not be honest.

City web site shows the Hall Park land designated as a SPECIAL USE PARK designation in its recreational land designations.

Cardiffiian II

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Encinitas City Council Rejects California Constitution

In 2004 the voters approved, by a landslide majority, a change to the California constitution in the form of Prop 59.  Prop 59 was proposed, in part, to obliterate the deliberative process privilege, that local governments would claim allows them to withhold information from the public.

For these reasons, it is considered that Prop. 59 has eliminated the “deliberative process privilege” that was previously used by local governments to deny access to public documents and information (link). 

In approving a recent legal challenge, the Encinitas City Council (5-0) decided to take on that dubious distinction of challenging the reason behind Prop 59. Even Arnold knew he shouldn't fight Prop 59.

Parts of the Prop 59 ballot statements read:
The people have the right to instruct their representatives, petition government for redress of grievances, and assemble freely to consult for the common good.

(b) (1) The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny...

A YES vote on this measure means: Californians would have a constitutional right of access to government information. A government entity would have to demonstrate to a somewhat greater extent why information requested by the public should be kept private.

California’s government—all three branches, statewide and local—should be as transparent as possible to the public it asks for funding, power, and trust. But too often officials and judges choose secrecy over disclosure. Proposition 59 would make transparency a constitutional duty owed to the people, to whom officials are accountable.
No one wanted to step up to oppose Prop 59 and someone had to be found to write the con arguments to the ballot statement. Why didn't Mayor James Bond step up to the plate? He would have been perfect. On behalf of the City and City Council Mayor Bond writes to the Court:

Based upon my many years in public office, I believe that, in this instance, the deliberative process privilege protects the integrity of the City’s decision-making process by confirming that City officials should be judged on by what they decide not on matters they consider before making up their minds.

Wow! Is this what the city council approved for part of their legal argument? It is what was sent to the court. 

Dear City Council, 

The issue in court is whether or not the city acted lawfully. There wasn't any policy decision to judge. It was a roads condition report that reports out the data on the condition of the city's streets, and does some analysis (which should have been predetermined, so as to not be manipulated). MOST IMPORTANTLY, the report had been completed for months!

There doesn't appear to be anything else left to "deliberate" other than how to spin/hide the $17 millions dollars the city had gotten behind on preventative maintenance, or do you usually pay your contractors in full before their work has been fully inspected?

Kevin Cummins

Note: My earnest requests for the document started in June 2010 and the FINAL report IS DATED March 2010. Gee.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

City finally exhasuted from shoveling B.S.

After years of questioning and writing about the other reason behind the Hall park construction delay, it looks like the public will finally get to find out what it is going to cost to build the park. Thanks to a city that is freaking out.

The city has been withholding the construction cost estimates for about a year now. In fact, THE CITY WAS SUPPOSE HAVE STARTED BUILDING CLOSE TO A YEAR AGO (the schedule was created long after the lawsuit), and nothing had been standing in their way for a long time .

The city has communicated to several citizen's including myself, that the construction cost estimates were weeks from being completed. That was as far back as July 2010. We were also told construction would begin soon afterward. In retrospect it looks like a lot of electioneering for Dalager, rather than real openness.

During that time the city refused to share its "draft" construction drawings or estimates. As we have seen with the City Traffic Study, the Pavement Report, Health Care Study, the Cardiff Specific Plan, and the Hall Park EIR, it looks like the city is delaying the release of documents to avoid: 1) providing an adequate time for public review, and/or 2) hide the fact that the costs are way more than they have been telling people and budgeting for.

Well, right now the city is working on its 6 year financial plan. This is the time to look at the BEST GUESS at what it will cost to build the park. According to the former parks and rec director they were pretty damn close to being done a LONG time ago. That means that what they've worked up should be better than basing the estimate on pulling a number out of the air. No?

I did a records request a week ago for a copy of the construction cost estimates (in what ever form they are in). I did this for TWO REASONS: 1) Begin tracking the progress of that project, and 2) get an idea if the city's draft budget is reasonable.

Well, they haven't rejected the request yet, as they have in the past. So, maybe there is hope.

Below is the budget for the Hall park in the DRAFT budget (click to enlarge).

They've got $12 million for the park and they show operating costs in 2013. That's much better than NO OPERATION COSTS for the next 4 years that was in the last budget. That indicated they didn't think they could open the park any time soon. But what has changed? Why does $12million open the park now, but it didn't 2 years ago? Is it because the Hall park construction estimates say so? If the city is basing budget decisions on that document, then that sucker should be shared with the public and the council. No?

Or, is it that Jerome doesn't want to have to explain why there is no money budgeted for the operation of the Hall park?

Speaking of which, why was the city estimating the operations would cost half a million a year 4 years ago (see below), but now says it will cost 30% less to operate. What part of the earlier estimates were way off? That's assuming the current estimates are to be trusted.

The city has been hiding information from the public. It is time for the city to turn 180 degrees and share what it has. The city is doing the 6 year budget NOW. This is the time to release the construction cost estimates for the biggest project in the history of Encinitas, so the council and the public can make informed decisions.

(Yes, it is my guess is the council majority know exactly what the estimates say, and they have decided that it is better to keep it a secret. A lot of the Hall park financing plan has been a secret. )

Burning Question: Why didn't any of the council members blink at the last budget meeting when Tony Kranz and I suggested the construction cost estimates be released, and thus used in the budget  process?

Friday, May 13, 2011

City Hall Freaks Out

The city has been withholding information on its staff's disciplinary problems and management response for months (see the Leucadia blog archives). With the arrival of Calaware attorneys riding into town, the city blinked and has now announced that it is releasing documents related to staff disciplinary actions next Wednesday, precisely after 5pm, according to city staff. Yes, the city has done a 180 and they didn't do it because they believe in open government.

Calaware is the organization that has helped in the effort to get the city to stop cheating the intent and letter of the California Public Records Act. The city is going to trial over similar mischief right now (see the encinitas taxpayers association website).

Keep reading.

Before Lady Ga Ga writes some song about how terrible it is to violate the privacy rights of city staff,  stop her from freaking out. The records request was for redacted records; records without names attached. 

There is little doubt that these records would not be released if Steve Meiche had not kept up the effort (records requests, editorials, letters). No one else was putting up a fight to get these records finally released, as is the intent of Prop 59 and the California Public Records Act.

Hopefully, the release will be genuine and the documents will address the questions about the fire department management. Unfortunately, there is no law to compel the fire chief to answer questions about his city council campaign management activities prior to being appointed by his buddies to his $170k/year (plus lifetime high paid pension) fire chief job.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Westbrooke Declared Honorary Leucadian

Donna Westbrooke appealed the planning commission's decision to segregate all the poor peoples from the new density bonus subdivisions. The appeal would have made our elected representatives responsible for this precedent codifying policy.

Clipped from the April 15th Planning Commission meeting agenda:

 On the agenda an admendment to a resolution.

 At the end of the agenda a notice that there was 15 days to file a request to have the decision reviewed by the City Council.

According to Westbrooke, she filed less than 15 days after the decision. The city rejected her request. They said she needed to file within 10 days, not 15. Click to read the agenda.

More: Low Income Housing Series

Let's review the surfing aspects of the Virgin Mary art

We all pretty much love the new guerrilla art installation and number one tourist attraction, the surfing Virgin Mary mosaic, located under the train trestle on Encinitas Blvd.

But it's time to review the surfing elements of the art piece out of fairness for the Leucadia Blog's history of slaughtering of the Cardiff Kook statue.

Let's start by noting that the Virgin Mary artist is very skilled, as is Cardiff statue artist. But, like the Cardiff artist the Mary artist goofed up the surfing part.

Her surfboard has a terrible outline, the curves are all wrong and it looks awkward and clunky. The surfboard was done so poorly that it distracts from the rest of the great work.

Surf art in general comes off as a cheesy cliche.

I do like the way her cloak is catching the offshore wind, it looks like real organic movement.

After accepting the premise that the Virgin Mary surfs and maybe she shaped her own board, which is pretty soul and would explain it's funky outline, my number one complaint is the missed opportunity for the slogan. Save the Ocean? ZZZZzzzzz.

It should have read PRAY FOR SURF.

Public Works Yard Smells Like More Roses

click to enlarge

The city overpaid MILLIONS for the Mossy Dealership and obnoxiously avoided learning its lessons from its mistakes.

At the time of purchase, public concerns were all attacked with city responses about how the Mossy Dealership was super duper turnkey and the city wouldn't have to spend any more money on it. Except for the gazillions of things that the city had to remediate, and upgrade, but nobody mentioned that stuff when the city was overpaying for the dealership and calling it turnkey. The council either looked the other way or figured no one would notice or care years later that they were full of crap.

The costs for the public works yard have been trickling in as hundred thousand dollar chunks for years. The newest charge is $180,000 for a back up generator. A good idea? Sounds good to me. So good that it must have been on the the top-secret list of future non-turn-key upgrades? How many pages long is that top-secret list?

Read Also: Public Works Yard Smells Like Roses

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Obama Killed Osama

This justifies the existence of the Cardiff Kook statue once and for all.
Photo via Encinitas Patch.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Hapi Fish Rules!

Friends, this a great place. Super cool, fun vibe and the place is busy. Support your Leucadia 101 businesses! Hapi Fish is located just north of the iconic Captain Keno's. Check it out.

New Leucadia Eats! Hapi Fish!


Friday, May 06, 2011

Leucadia's Coast Highway still dangerous

Sand Update

Dirt update.

City Moving on Mosaic

The Surfing Madonna

The mosaic is indeed a special and unique work of art.

Because the mosaic piece was installed without the benefit of the public art review and vetting process issues such as appropriate location, durability and safety of materials, unknown attachment means to transportation infrastructure, and subject matter were not addressed.

The City has retained the services of a professional art conservancy agency (Sculpture Conservation Studios, Inc) to develop recommendations and feasibility of removal and relocation to minimize damage.

The city has been contacted by a number of nearby private property owners who would be happy to display the mosaic for the public to enjoy.

The conservancy firm conducted a site visit last week and is preparing the assessment and report.  The report is anticipated to be completed this week.

Regardless of the subject matter or how it was installed the mosaic is a beautiful work of art. It has generated numerous comments from the public...overwhelmingly positive in nature. The simple message of Save the Ocean appeals to many of the city's residents.

I believe that the City will be able to find a positive resolution to this situation.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Flooding, Streetscape and Roundabouts

Here are some clips from the city's draft budget. This is from the unfunded/underfunded section of the budget. Its nice to see that this budget cycle they included this information, its very interesting. (click to enlarge)

Leucadia still has a drainage problem and the city says it will cost $90 million to fix it (remember that number was developed in the rampage toward redevelopment). It means Leucadia still has an official flooding problem and that the city doesn't have the money to fix it.

Lovers of Leucadia and streetscape activisits, take a close look at the first project on the underfunded streets projects. How much funding over the next 6 years is being added for the second phase? How much money is needed? Take a look (click to enlarge). The last column is total cost, and the second to last is how much more money is needed.

No money in the next 6 years for the roundabout at Hygeia either.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Monday, May 02, 2011

Public art brings crowds to downtown

All weekend long small crowds of people came to downtown to see the mosaic art. Young people, old people, poor people, rich people.

Negotiation 101

Cross Posted from Encinitas Undercover

What not to say before negotiating the salary for a new city manager:

With broad grins, Encinitas council members announced [Gus] Vina's appointment to the post immediately after a 20-minute, closed-to-the-public meeting Monday afternoon.

"I think all of us are pleased, almost giddy," Encinitas Mayor James Bond said, describing the council's unanimous decision to offer Vina the job and his eagerness to accept it.


His salary is still in negotiation, and will be the subject of a public meeting later this month, council members said.

This is a guy without a job who wants to live in Encinitas and would take this job for half what the city is going to pay him. And they're going to give him a fat pension to boot.

On the plus side, he's an outsider, so he's not (yet) beholden to Encinitas' Good Ol' Boy network. And he's 50, which is almost retirement age in government work, so he won't accrue too many years before retiring to Pension Fat City. Hopefully he's already rung up a doozy of a pension on Sacramento, so he won't have to ding us too badly.

More on Vina's resignation from his last job (and a favorable review of same) here.

Don't assume people are happy about corprate pillaging

If we can't keep our own backyard clean how can we expect to keep Washington in shape?

We've been waiting for one of our readers to clean up and edit an email sent around to make it bloggable for weeks now. People work and have families and it takes a lot of time to write stuff up, so we understand the delay. Further below is an excerpt of the email.

Once in a while we publish on broader scale topics for several reasons:
  • To dispel the lame spin that Encinitas residents don't care about national and worldwide events.
  • To respond to the knee jerk reaction that local activists don't care about corporate raiding of the national wealth, when they bring up problems like the looming pension tsunami.
Also read the Leucadia Blog's comment on, "aren't there bigger things to worry about?"

Here is an edited version of that email:
If this article does not motivate you to call your Congressman in a rage then you are part of the problem.

I have more respect for the entrepreneurial spirit and transparency of a Somali pirate than I do of the Fed, Gang Banksters, and my elected representation.

My guy in Congress, Brian Billbray is on the government oversight committee - and after all this crap; not one word from this tool on corruption.

There is no unilateral action that the public could take that that I would consider too extreme when dealing with these individuals and their central banking system.

Hopefully for them the NFL strike will resolved soon because once the Libya bombing runs end this summer there will be a big news gap to fill before kickoff.

From the Rolling Stone Article

Most Americans know about that budget. What they don't know is that there is another budget of roughly equal heft, traditionally maintained in complete secrecy. After the financial crash of 2008, it grew to monstrous dimensions, as the government attempted to unfreeze the credit markets by handing out trillions to banks and hedge funds.
It's hard to imagine a pair of people you would less want to hand a giant welfare check to — yet that's exactly what the Fed did. Just two months before the Macks bought their fancy carriage house in Manhattan, Christy and her pal Susan launched their investment initiative called Waterfall TALF. Neither seems to have any experience whatsoever in finance, beyond Susan's penchant for dabbling in thoroughbred racehorses. But with an upfront investment of $15 million, they quickly received $220 million in cash from the Fed, most of which they used to purchase student loans and commercial mortgages. The loans were set up so that Christy and Susan would keep 100 percent of any gains on the deals, while the Fed and the Treasury (read: the taxpayer) would eat 90 percent of the losses. 

In response to that email, another local government (pension reform) activist wrote back:
I [hope voters] read that article before they vote in 2012. Here is the GOP front runner signaling to all Wall Street donors that his knee pads are ready: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6JDooqBcjg

To show that we know there are bigger problems to worry about, the Leucadia Blog has run posts like this Audit the Fed post in 2009.  Looks like the Fed was hiding something.