Monday, October 31, 2011

Fog rolling in

Looks like a misty moody Halloween on the coast.

Someone call public works and tell them this sprinkler head is broken

Under the Leucadia Roadside Park sign

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A New Sheriff in Town

A couple years ago, my street was repeatedly hit by auto burglars.  It was like clockwork and happened on the same weekend night for weeks.

I ran into the local sheriff's captain at a city council meeting and asking him how his department would respond. In a few dismissive words he made it clear that my neighborhood was on our own. He did give some helpful advise about getting cars in garages, not leaving anything we don't want taken left in our cars, and suggested joining a neighborhood watch program.

Since then, our city got a new captain, Sherri A. Sarro. Patch reported that our local sheriffs recently conducted an undercover operation that nabbed a suspected repeat auto burglar.

Looks like we are no longer on our own.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Obesity Concerns

At a number of recent city events I heard several people mention the obesity problem facing our kids.

Diabetes and obesity is a problem for our nation, but the problem is unevenly distributed geographically and socioeconomically. Darker colors in the map below indicate greater obesity. There are lower levels of obesity in coastal California.

Understanding mechanisms (ie causes) related to natural phenomenon is tough without access to good experimental data. Observational data are useful in helping describe patterns and identifying associations.

Correlation doesn't equal causation. Correlation can help test ideas about mechanisms, but there is nothing better than good ol' experimental data to cleanly demonstrate causation. Check out this next map. The lack of an automobile and distance to a supermarket is spatially correlated with obesity.

Maybe we should fund a study that gives people cars and see if that results in an improvement in their obesity? Automobiles could be a solution to obesity. Well, maybe not.

On the other side, I've reviewed several epidemiological studies of obesity and urban design that are based on observational associations (correlations). Even for an observational study, the conclusions that could be drawn were fairly thin, however they were exciting because they pointed toward public policies that don't require direct intervention at the patient level. However, there were still too many alternative explanations that can explain the patterns seen in those studies, that had not been strongly tested. This doesn't mean the authors were barking up the wrong tree, only that we can't yet see clearly what climbed out on a limb.

Fortunately for our local kids, the issue is less pressing than in other areas of the country. Our kids have a relatively low level of obesity. Here are some data from last year's California Healthy Kids Survey. These BMI distributions are from our local high schools.

There are lots of cool reasons, which I support, for improving our infrastructure. Doing it because we want to keep our kids from becoming obese is not as strong a justification as others.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nothing new, but now it goes viral

Excerpts from the UT:

In 2000, Muir helped form and became president of a political action committee, Encinitas Coalition of Home Owners, which donated money in the 2004 election to Bond, Councilman Jerome Stocks and a failed candidate, Alice Jacobson. Muir's participation in the group has waned, he said. His wife is still treasurer.  

Who runs ECHO if not Mark? Does ECHO have members?

Muir bristles at the suggestion that his career path was aided by political favors.  

Bristles? The whole thing looks bad. It looks no different than if Muir got his millionaire job simply because he is friends and did political favors for the council majority. He shouldn't bristle. He should prove that his rise and his wealth is in no way a response to him being a political operative for the council majority, and then after that he can go big on the bristling. 

  “That is ridiculous,” he said. “I donate to nonprofit organizations and hold fund-raisers for schools. The fact that I am engaged in the community should not keep me from becoming chief.”

The concerns are not about the charity work but that was a nice deflection response that Muir tossed out. The concerns are about his political ties. Donating to nonprofits should not get the taxpayer funded millionaire job either. Worse, being bros with the council majority should not get you the job. Even more, doing campaign work for the council should not result in favors paid on the taxpayer's dime. 

  Councilman Dan Dalager dismisses the rumors as just that.

Just like Randy Duke dismissed the charges, when the facts needed to be explained. The facts need to be explained in Muir's case because the simplest explanation is cronyism.

“We had three division chiefs in the running,” Dalager said. “I see in them competence and decency. I would be very disappointed if (Miller) didn't hire one of them.” Bond said he supports Muir because of his abilities. “He has exceptional interpersonal skills,” Bond said. “He is a cost-effective, conservative-thinking guy. He is knowledgeable of any fire situation and great organizer who moves people in the same direction.  

Bond often talks about how hands off he is with the city's adminstration and probably knows even less about the fire department than other departments. As long a Bond's memory holds out, he knows how well Muir is at organizing campaigns. Muir has been directly asked about the scope of his political operations in city council campaigns. He has not cleared the air. More on that later.

Family of Heros

Both Muirs have now been awarded leadership awards from Mike Andreen's ECR group.

Mo Muir for doing her work on the school board got Educator of the Year. Mark just got named as a hero for being a firefighter, according to Patch.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jerome Says Voters Want a Counterbalance

Just after Jerome's re-election, he wrote a memorable blog post. It was good enough to save, which is lucky. It has since been erased from the Red County Blog.

Jerome was probably responding to the dizzying astonishment that the voters would select both Jerome AND Maggie to represent their interests. Those are two extremely different types of candidates.

Jerome wrote:

A wise coffee vendor in Cardiff summed it up best for me when she said that she liked our current council, and wanted it to stay the same. She said she feels that way because while we have a common-sense majority basically having the final word, there's the "other approach" represented as well. And although she doesn't want the alternative voice to go away, she doesn't want it to be in the majority either.

and concluded,

I think that line of reasoning may help explain why the voters rejected all of the challengers--even in this year of change--and, instead returned the proven leaders of a reasoned and balanced council which has served our city so well these past six years.

Some of the council majority have been saying the open seat "is not Maggie's seat." OK, and it is not the council's seat. The seat ultimately belongs to the voters. Jerome Stocks believes the voters want that seat to be held by someone who will provide a balance against his position.

That means Jerome won't be supporting Alice or Muir, unless he wants to go against the will of the voters.


Three stories from Encinitas Patch about food:

Leucadia Woman to Launch Encinitas Food Swap

Community Resource Center in Serious Need of Food Donations

The Kebab Shop Opens in Encinitas

Isn't odd how food is everywhere yet so many people go hungry?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Time for a Change

From the mailbox,

It is time to start charging people for parking and tearing out parking spaces all together. We should be using parking spaces for people, not cars. Please share these links with your readers. W.O.
Cities today have ballooned into near-uncontrollable masses of cement and cluster. If you live in a car-centric metropolis of some significant population, you know what I'm talking about (if not, then you're one of the lucky ones). The question is clear: What do we do about cities that are becoming unlivable?
Grist has a post that discusses the issues of the modern city, what is currently being done, and what can be done to curb these horrid conditions. Here's an excerpt:
The world’s cities are facing unprecedented challenges. In Mexico City, Tehran, Kolkata, Bangkok, Beijing, and hundreds of other cities, the air is no longer safe to breathe. In some cities the air is so polluted that breathing is equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. Respiratory illnesses are rampant. In many places, the number of hours commuters spend sitting in traffic-congested streets and highways climbs higher each year, raising frustration levels. In response to these conditions, we are seeing the emergence of a new urbanism, a planning philosophy that environmentalist Francesca Lyman says “seeks to revive the traditional city planning of an era when cities were designed around human beings instead of automobiles.”
Maybe the time for traditional urbanism has come to an end. Maybe cities should focus less on industrialization and commercial development in favor of making themselves more habitable for their greatest resource: their inhabitants. And if that means more parks and less parking lots, why not?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hygeia House

Sweet new house on Hygeia.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Holy Guacamole! So Many Council Applicants

From the mailbox:

People who applied for the council vacancy.

Alan Lerchbacker
Cardiff, CA 92007
David Drielsma
Cardiff, CA 92007
Robert H. Campbell
Encinitas, CA 92024
Anthony Brandenburg
Encinitas, 92024
Joel King
Encinitas, CA 92024
Robert Dale Schneider
Encinitas, CA 92024
Lisa R. Shaffer
Encinitas, CA 92024
Kent Mesplay
Encinitas, CA
Ken Harrison
Cardiff by the Sea, 92007
Alice Jacobson
Tony Kranz
Mark Muir
Encinitas, CA
Joann Hoffman
Dave Clark
Cardiff by the Sea

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A neurotic Encinitas welcomes Wal Mart to town

With the news that infamous big box chain Wal*Mart is going to move into the former Home Depot Expo building we can now finally declare the city of Encinitas to be a neurotic mess.

One of the biggest cultural and economic changes to ever happen in the history of Encinitas was the complete rezone of the "New Encinitas" area from agriculture to the Target shopping center.

Target changed all of our lives forever. It shifted the El Camino emphasis away from Wiegand Plaza. Leucadia Blvd now connects all the way through. We got a spiffy golf course. We got Barnes and Noble, Stater Bros, places to eat, all kinds of stuff!

The Target center has been a big success despite the boring facades and some waste of space. Target just did a big remodel and if you've been there lately you've seen it was a success and the store is rocking.

Linens and Things didn't make it and remains vacant, but let's face it, that store was pointless.

The difference between Target and Wal*Mart may just be different marketing and merchandising approaches, but Target achieves a level of yuppie class that Wal*Mart just doesn't have.

Wal*Mart moving into town right across from Target is like getting a new fat drunk neighbor move onto your street who immediately lets the lawn die and works on that crappy old van in the driveway all the time and never wears a shirt.

Now, all the wannabee free market libertarians are tripping over themselves to defend Wal*Mart's right to exist and they would be correct, if only they would make the same free market arguments about strip clubs, adult book stores and marijuana dispensers in Encinitas.

Allowing Wal*Mart into a town that previously made a huge culture shift in building Target, borrowing $20 million for a classy library, forever changed downtown Hwy 101 with Pacific Station and Whole Foods, a city which is trying to dramatically rezone the El Camino Real commercial corridor , a city that does all these types of things and then welcomes a thing like Wal*Mart to slip in through the backdoor, these are actions of a town with no real direction, vision or leadership.

The Expo space should have become a multiplex movie theater. Our town of over 60,000 people want it, the theater chains were interested and it wouldn't have taken much for city leaders to encourage the Home Depot property owners to go in that direction.

Total FAIL.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bizarre rant by Encinitas city council member appears in Canada

Encinitas city council dude Jerome Stocks wrote an editorial for The Candadian for some reason. And by editorial we mean it's mostly drunken angry blog post (we should know) that suggest Obama call former California governor Pete Wilson.
Check it out click me
Also, click around "The Canadian" website
The front page is mish mash of random and weird articles with an emphasis on UFO's and extraterrestrials.

LETC Report

First reports of last nights meeting coming in now. So far:

People had a lot of direct questions about the General Plan. The city manager's friendly style disarmed the concerns.  The city manager told the crowd that Barth (who was there) is working on a  subcommittee on how to involve people who were upset by the GP Update Draft. How the issues will be resolved and people will become involved were not explained. The city manager was gave the crowd the message there was still plenty of time for the public to influence the final General Plan of our city.

What were your observations from last night?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Photos from Occupy Encinitas Blvd

Looks like a big turnout. I have never attended a protest before but might have gone to this one if I didn't have to open the shop and work all day.
Photos courtesy of Mary Fleener.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Grass Roots Round Up

 Leucadia Encinitas Town Council

LETC ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING IS TUESDAY, OCT. 18TH AT 6:30 PM at Encinitas Community Center on Balour Dr & Encinitas Blvd.

After our regular meeting we will welcome our new City Manager, Gus Vina and he will answer questions from the the community.  Also, City Staff will be there with General Plan Update information and will also answer any questions you may have. Members and non-members are encourage to attend.

Come and water your grass roots.

Encinitas Land Donations

Context: Encinitas Union School District officials are privately stating that many of their reflexive decisions are motivated an desperate effort to balance their budget by finding more revenue. Leadership that promotes financing iPads that might last a few years with a 30 year repayment horizon should result in a vote of no confidence on EUSD's financial wisdom, but it hasn't.
Encinitas Union School District has announced it’s going to sue the City of Encinitas over the Pacific View school property.  Really?  Remember last November, when we passed proposition P to allow EUSD to borrow 44 million dollars and extend our tax rates another 30 years in order to upgrade their school’s computers and technology and renovate outdated classrooms and facilities?   65% of our community voted to pass Prop. P.  It is expected to cost about 150 million dollars over the next 30 years.  And now they are going to sue us?     Now, in addition to our overwhelming support of that 44 million dollar bond measure, we could end up paying the litigation fees for both EUSD and the City of Encinitas.

Communities like to support it's schools and their children.  EUSD knows this, and something else: they know we have short memories and lead busy lives.  As this plays out, citizens from all of Encinitas should take note, because this will affect not only how we deal with “surplus” school properties going forward, but "any" historic property near and dear to you as well! 

We all need to know the special history of the Pacific View school site.  Most of the property was gifted to our community in 1883 by one of the early town founders, J. Pitcher.  Over the last 128 years the remainder of the property has been meticulously deeded down through several generations until it was finally deeded to EUSD in 1964.  It was a gift.  There was lots of land available in Encinitas in 1883.  These town founders were very particular about this special site on top of the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  They wanted it for the community and it’s children.  They did not give cash.

While watching as EUSD staff members have left two city council meetings completely frustrated and angry that the city did not go along with their demands, it's hard to put your finger on why there is such disconnect on their part.  Yes, it’s about the money; it always is.  But, there is something more here.  The heart.  Superintendents are hired to think pragmatically always keeping their eye on the children and the bottom line. The Pacific View property has to do with this and something else: The heart of a community.  The heart that threads together a community’s history.  We have expected whichever superintendent: whether it’s Douglas Devore, Lean King or Timothy Baird to see the heart of the community he serves.  All of them have missed the mark when it comes to the Pacific View school site. None of these 3 men have had the nuanced ability to not only work the bottom line, but at the same time to uphold the integrity of our community history with equal importance.  It is understandable that a superintendent coming from outside our community would not fully understand the “heart’ of our community.  They arrive.  They stay for a while.  They leave.  The rest of us are here to stay.

As shocking as it sounds, it should not be a surprise when Tim Baird’s October 11th, 2011 letter states: “The only value that Pacific View has for the education of our children is as an asset that can be sold, leased or traded.”  This conveys the perspective of someone temporarily coming into our community with a singular focus on raising money for EUSD. That’s the job.  Up to this point the PV property has been a sale/exchange/development agenda item pushed on the citizens of the community.

In the past year DEMA (Downtown Encinitas Main Street Association) secured an offer to lease the PV property as a cultural arts center for $200,000 it’s first year, with an agreement to eventually lease the property for $600,000 a year.  Considering one of the initial reasons for closing the school was that the district would save over $100,000 yearly and that they have only generated $1 a year since 2003 by leasing it to the City of Encinitas, the DEMA proposal looked like a workable solution.  EUSD rejected the proposal.

So when Superintendent Baird says in his letter “we are now forced to take this step” (meaning litigation), it is the continuation of a tone deaf sentiment characterized by the last three EUSD Superintendents.

In the middle of our busy lives, let's stop to remember the history of the town that surrounds us.   Remember, it was a group of concerned citizens that formed the Encinitas Preservation Association in order to purchase and protect the Boat Houses.  Remember Ruth Larabee who donated her 26.5 acres in Encinitas to the County of San Diego to be preserved as a public park.  Her vision and generosity is why we have San Diego Botanic Garden right here in our own backyard.  Remember a group of concerned citizens that gathered in May 1965 to answer the question “What are we, the community, going to do with the Olivenhain Hall and property?”.   Remember Mr. Pitcher in 1883.   He deeded 2.8 acres on the bluff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the community of Encinitas and its children.  These historic properties are near and dear to the entire community of Encinitas.

Like the citizens before and among us today, we need to collectively work to preserve the Pacific View school site for future generations.  The first step is for community residents to voice their thoughts to our elected officials.  We cannot do this without the sincere help of EUSD and the Encinitas City Council.  It is time for these two groups to work "genuinely" and collaboratively with members of the community they serve.   Like the concerned citizens from Olivenhain in 1965, we need to ask ourselves "What are we, the community, going to do with the Pacific View School and property?".  If we don't pay attention now we will lose forever this magnificent 128 year old gift from our town founder.


Sarah Garfield & Bill Sparks
Friends of EUSD
Friends for the preservation of Historic Pacific View Property

Well, you probably shouldn't trust the city with a land donation either. From Hoodlink:

In 1975 the estate of Mildred Macpherson donated the properties located at 945 Orpheus Avenue and 1000 Vulcan Avenue to the County of San Diego with specific instructions for their use.

Mrs. Macpherson instructed that the Vulcan property be used for a park bearing her name. For the Orpheus property, her instructions were to create the James Macpherson Roadside Park in honor of her husband. These parks, in addition to money she left to create a fountain at Quail Gardens was the legacy she chose to leave her community, little pieces of peace.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Voice of Reason Versus Council Majority

From the inbox [with edits]:

Encinitas to acquire over 30 acres of open space
At the October 12 council meeting the council voted unanimously to accept three parcels of open space from the California Coastal Commission at no cost to the city.
The City staff had been contacted by the Coastal Commission about the upcoming expiration of several offers recorded against property that had been set aside as a condition of approval for development projects in the 1990's.

The staff's recommendation was to just accept open space easements on the property rather than the offer of fee title.  The city would retain the right to purchase the land from the property owners at a later date.

The council majority initially concurred with the staff. Barth noted that because of the requirements of the original agreements this was an opportunity to accept title at no cost, if the city accepted the Coastal Commission's offer before the agreements expired. Opportunities such as these are rare and the council majority seems to think it was a good thing Barth was there to catalyze the decision.

A single voice or reason can be a powerful thing. A single minority voice speaking reason to a council majority puts pressure on the majority to find legitimate justifications that pass the smell test for their actions.

Open space comes with some management responsibilities.

Is there anybody in the public following the city's development of the city's MHCP (multiple habitat conservation program)? Given the number of environmentally interested citizens, it has been surprising that we haven't been able to locate anyone following the city's progress on this.

According to city staff, the Open Space Management Plan and early MHCP implementation development only got started in 2008 (hey, that's not long after I started asking the city about the MHCP progress!) and has been dragging on since then.

The city says they have already gone through a document review cycle, at this point. I hope that process was not like the cardiff specific plan, the hall park eir, city-wide traffic study, or the roads report draft document cycles, because there was room for easy improvement of those processes.  It really is time to implement the lessons learned. Unfortunately, my recent conversation with the new city manager leaves me expecting more of the same, except now city management will be superficially courteous in their personal interactions with the public. 

When the city-wide traffic study tried to get shoved through it took a herculean effort by the public to quickly highlight the problems with the report's data and analysis. The city placed the public's input at the end of the process of DRAFTING the policy document. At that point, there was no going back. It was a take it or leave it situation. The process was effectively complete and the public hearings were a facade.

When the roads report was finally released the consultant had already been paid off and the public was only given a few working days to review the document it took a professional staff a year to review. On top of that staff refused to answer questions about the document, so the major issues with the roads report will likely never be addressed, and almost certainly not be improved.

There are many people who care about open space habitat in the city. There are maybe three people with a history of pressing back on the city when they refuse to release public documents.  Would it be bad for the city to release MHCP related documents that have ALREADY been reviewed, so that more years don't go by before the public's input has a chance to help define considered options? Would it be bad to release such documents so the public can monitor and report on the progress of the city's Open Space Management Plan and early MHCP implementation? Can the city legally withhold these documents?

It is time for others to step up and start gathering source documents from the city on these sorts of issues and help distribute them to the public. We have a dozen plus natural resource professionals on the LB email list. We are certain that many of them would be willing to help you interpret the city documents. You just have to get them the documents.

If you like open space habitat, email to see how you can help.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Will we be driving in 20 years?

The general plan update assumes people will still be driving cars around town in 20 years.

On Wednesday night, Stocks told his fellow council members that all-electric vehicles are "definitely the future" of transportation. The region may soon have hundreds of charging stations, including outside popular restaurants and shops, he said. Read more:

I doubt in 10 years Jerome will still be driving on the same battery pack in his Leaf. Nissan refuses to stand behind their claims regarding battery charge loss capacity. Leaf owners might be surprised when they read the bold print in the battery section of their warranties. According to Nissan, the fast charging makes things worse.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Easy Money

Rocky rebounded from his loss to Clubber Lang, but he did not rely on hope [or optimism] in preparing for his rematch. Hope is neither a training plan nor an investment strategy. Anyone familiar with the Rocky series’ ubiquitous training montages will know the keys to success are hard work, sweat, an adrenaline-firing score, and some measure of pain. The answers to our pension problems are not all that different. I pity the fool who expects an easier answer. Source: Zero Hedge. The LB's $100 offer for a published editorial, based on data and analysis, that explains why staying on the current pension course is both fiscally conservative and not a burden to future city retirees or Encinitas residents is still available.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More Debt than Expected

SDCTA released a report on local cities' retiree health care funding.

The City of Encinitas sat on a retiree health care liability study for months and refused to release it the public. The report was materially complete. The city called it draft and told the public to go away so they could get on with doing the people's business. That refusal, a violation of the California Public Records Act, was soon followed with a refusal to release the materially complete roads report.

Monday, October 10, 2011

SANDAG is Super Open and Transparent

From the in box:

"But exactly how transportation planning officials have decided which projects to spend billions on — and when, and why — has been shrouded in secrecy. Their justification is detailed in complex models, formulas and data that few understand."

"Local transit advocates have long sought to dig into them to understand how Sandag makes its decisions, but the agency has resisted their requests to release the information.
Advocates had to hire lawyers to get Sandag to release the models at all. The agency relented, but even then only on the condition that the advocates not share them with anyone else and only use them in certain ways."

"Last year, lawyers for local transit advocate Duncan McFetridge threatened to sue the agency, and it finally released the data. But the information was so indiscernible they had to hire a consultant to help them understand it. What they found troubled them. They believe Sandag's formulas make assumptions that allow the agency to justify highways over transit — reinforcing advocates' chief criticism."

"One of the assumptions they found is that poorer people are more likely to ride transit while wealthier people will not, even if the service is improved. Sandag's model predicts that higher income residents will take just 4 percent of work trips on transit while lower income residents take 37 percent. The advocates argue that assumption allows Sandag to justify highway expansions by saying some people will just never ride buses or trolleys no matter how convenient it is."

Read more at VoSD.

Solution: Don't change any practices or policies. Just make sure SANDAG is run by people we can trust, then it will be all good.

Leucadia's Backyards

One reason we love Leucadia is our big backyards with established fruit trees and plenty of space for huge vegetable gardens.

You can also find crazy Dr. Suess forests.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

FD Ready for General Plan Upzone Skyscrapers

Encinitas fire department's $1,107,000 hundred foot style ladder truck was on display today. The city is prepared to reach for the sky.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Not endorsing it is sometimes worse than just saying no

Martha Cox, who attends Encinitas council meetings as an observer for the local League of Women Voters organization, asked the council Thursday night to pick a "seasoned veteran" who would promise not to run for election in 2012, saying that would be the fairest way to handle the situation.

Her comments drew a loud round of applause from audience members, but council members didn't put the requirement on the application. [LB spies say the reaction actually wasn't very strong.]

Councilwomen Teresa Barth and Kristin Gaspar ---- the two council members who served on a subcommittee that created the application process, said they both decided against including an election vow.

"We wanted to leave it wide open," Barth said, adding that candidates can mention that they won't run in 2012 when they speak to the council and they can put the vow in their application paperwork, but they're not required to do so.

Read more:

LB burning question: Barth is the one quoted as appearing to defend the council's action. Does Barth disagree with the Martha? If she agrees, why not suggest that this question formally be put to all the candidates? That would put the council on record that they believe this question is important and should be addressed by all the applicants, not just those that are willing to go on record (but why would they bother when the council sends the signal that this is not critical).  

If it is not on the questionnaire, will Barth be asking the candidates this question at the public hearings?

 If  she agrees with the Martha and those who clapped in support , she will have to ask the question because it needs to be on record.  Isn't it a lot easier to just put a yes/no question on the application questionnaire and move on?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Cost of Living Going Up

It costs a family of three nearly $63,000 to be self- sufficient in San Diego County, about $10,000 more than three years ago, according to a study released today by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

Concerned about the cost of living in San Diego?

SDG&E is a government protected power company and wants a big bump in the rates it charges customers. UCAN reports SDG&E has the highest rates already. We got smart-meters that were suppose lower our costs. SDG&E had plenty of money for all sorts of P.R. media blitzes the last few years (Much of it was feel good phony-baloney. I know because I asked SDG&E to address some of their claims.) They and their parent company got plenty of money to spread on sponsoring community events, so they must still have more revenue than the cost of providing power. They can also find the cash for sweet bonuses.

One of the SDG&E justifications:
“We want to give our executives more incentives
to do a good job.”

UCAN Response:
No, SDG&E, you can’t have $10 million for
stock incentives on top of the $50 million that
you shouldn’t get for annual employee bonuses.

This is really a bad time for SDG&E rate increases because those Occupy Wall Street mobs might find out.

The nearest public meeting on this rate increase will be held at:

OCEANSIDE – Oct. 13, 2011, 2 pm & 7pm
Civic Center Library Community Rooms
330 North Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Even Carlbad Gets It

When Carlsbad filled a council vacancy one of the characteristics they used to select their replacement was whether or not the applicant would agree to not run as an incumbent in the following election IF appointed to the council.

Here is part of Mayor Bud's powerpoint which explains why Nygaard should (and was) appointed:

For those who won't click and enlarge it, it says:
  • Nygaard promised not to run in the following election, so she wouldn't be handed an "incumbent advantage" by a council majority.
  • Thus, an environment for a "fair election" is created.

People understand the fairness angle. It can be explained in one sentence.

Gaspar and Barth Against Election

The cost of a democratic election was too much for Barth and Gaspar. "They" found two options and recommend against an election.

Good thing Jerome and Jim weren't on the subcommittee.

Special Meeting Thursday

Rumor has it that there will be a special meeting and closed session of the City Council on Thursday evening. The special meeting is probably about the council vacancy. I emailed City Clerk Cervone midday yesterday asking her to send me the agenda and staff report, because the city didn't post it to their website. There was no response from Cervone.

City website screen shot from early yesterday:

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Growers Respond to Details that Matter

Last night's general plan advisory committee meeting was really interesting. Many of the comments made it look like the board had little to do with    drafting of much of the updated new general plan. The video is just one example. In a joking tone, one member said they had worked on 3%.

The other interesting thing was the MIG guy (Daniel Iacofano) was very selective in which advisory board comments he would respond to. For many comments he would go into depth and with others he just wrote them on the board and tried to move on. To the credit of the board, various board members kept bringing  up one key concern (this was another sign that board was distanced from the drafting of most of the plan). That key concern was the insertion of the word "endorse" into the document.  Such a change can be construed as an effort to make the plan something other than a plan.

Daniel and Patrick Murphy were pressed to respond, but they did so in a very shallow manner and never discussed the word endorse. One member even highlighted the importance of clarifying terminology, regarding different language, as means of bypassing needless discussion clutter from the deliberative process. The terminology should have been the first thing Daniel addressed and to many it appeared that Daniel either had zero clue or was going to try to skip past its discussion. Daniel spoke at length about many subjects. Why not clarify language as a starting point?

Even Patrick Murphy ended up vaguely admitting that the usage of the word shall or should matters. 

It is time to bring the deliberative process regarding the drafting of this document into the public's view. Hopefully, the upcoming meetings will be designed to result in options, each of which are analyzed and weighed. It sure would be easier if the staff released which options they had considered and their analyses.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Just like walmart

Quote of the Day

World's biggest bond manager Bill Gross:

"there are no double-digit investment returns anywhere in sight for owners of financial assets. Bonds, stocks and real estate are in fact overvalued because of near zero percent interest rates and a developed world growth rate closer to 0 than the 3 – 4% historical norms. There is only a New Normal economy at best and a global recession at worst to look forward to in future years."

Just because he said this doesn't make it right, well thought out, reasonable or well founded.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Lobster Season!

You don't have to eat them.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

UT's Jenkins Tosses Mayor Bond a Brick

 A brick — the Blackout Black Eye award — to Encinitas Mayor Jim Bond for calling a special meeting Monday night and then decreeing the proceeding so trivial that it should not be televised.

Logan must have watched this Leucaida Blog video.