Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Incentives for Derelict Land Lords?

Mailed in submission regarding  tonight's Starbucks appeal:

At 4:55 Bart said, "whatever they put up will be better than what is(n't) there now"

Bart,

I agree that the lot and the chain link fence is less-than-attractive. There are, however, two reasons I strongly disagree that whatever they put up will be better than what is not there now.

The first reason I disagree is because "anything is better" is far short of a legitimate reason for the City to allow any zoning variances on an already busy corner which will likely get busier for the foreseeable future. If the lot is an eyesore, then the City should require the owner to maintain it. The City should not reward them by granting variances for being an irresponsible citizen.

The second reason is that any opinion which includes "anything is better" only feeds the City's motivation to allow certain vacant lots to become eyesores. The cultivation of high-profile ugly lots causes some members of the community to develop and voice the opinion that anything is better than the non-maintained vacant lot. These opinions will, in turn, be used as the self-fullfilling twisted logic for the City to allow up-zoning and the building of grossly inefficient, out-of-character, and traffic impacting commercial buildings which are not intended to serve the neighborhood.

The City has the opportunity to encourage better commercial building practices which will blend well with the neighborhood in exchange for the possible bending of some of the rules for development on that visitor-serving-zoned corner lot.

If you believe the lot is ugly, call the City and file a complain about the lack of maintenance on the lot. Please don't let the City use it as a lame excuse to continue to engage in bad community planning.

B.D.

LB comments: A common ploy of some developers is to let their property go blighted prior to pushing for a big government favor.

The City of Encinitas does have a Dandelion Police Force.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reasoned and Open Selection

A few years ago I suggested having the council apply for board appointments and that the council should explain their selections. The council appoints representatives to all sorts of very powerful agencies where much of their work is not know to the public, or even the council, although the later is improving. The idea was considered one of those pie in the sky ideas I come up with because I have nothing else to do.

I was at a SANDAG meeting a few years ago when Chair Lori Holt Pfeiler made a suggestion that smelt like apple pie. She suggested that the board's nominees for appointments submit applications and that there are at least two candidates for each position. Good idea! Otherwise it can look like the selection was done in the backroom and for reasons other than merit and good public administration and policy. Some of the other board members clearly did not like apple pie.

Jerome applied for Chair of SANDAG. Here is the meat of his application.


NOTES: Click the image to enlarge. Jerome is currently responding to my questions about the toll road purchase, the sophisticated side of eminent domain reform, and the SANDAG chief's $270,000/yr (plus underfunded benefits) pay package with a yearly $10,000 raise.


I like the idea of the council applying for their appointments to boards like NCTD or the County Water Authority. I would hope their applications required a little more info than SANDAG's. It would be good if they were clear on the relevant principals applicants would apply when voting on these boards AND describe the seeds of the policy initiatives that they plan to spearhead while on those boards.

Do you think our representative to NCTD should say something about what they will do about Leucadia's trees near the rail corridor in their application? Will they seek pension reform at SANDAG or the Water Authority? (These agencies have little internal fiscal incentive to ever fix their pensions, because they can just say that the extra costs belongs in your water bill and that's that. It will take leaders who truly care to come in and bring up the issue.)

We've had enough bananas. It is time for apple pie.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Upcoming Events


Encinitas, CA ------- St. John School announces its Christmas Boutique on Friday, December 2 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at St. John's Parish Hall.  The Christmas Boutique will feature local vendors Cyndi and Sofi Designs (Note Cards, Hats, Headbands, Christmas Cards), KM Original hand stamped jewelry, Chic Mommy candles, Running Skirts, Queen Eileen's, Mary Kay, Harlow bags and Closet Couture clothing, etc. Stop by the Boutique for shopping and photos with Santa taken by photographer Leigh Duenas. Cookie decorating and refreshments will be available for sale. 

St. John Catholic School 
1003 Encintas Blvd. 
Encinitas, CA 92024
 


 


Join us next Saturday at the Form & Function Holiday Fest featuring an interactive mural benefiting Healthy Day’s healthy snacks program. Attendees are invited to decorate recycled vinyl tiles. The finished assembled tiles will become a spectacular garden theme mural. Following the event, the mural will be displayed at the DEMA office (818 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas) and auctioned off online at wabisabigreen.com.

And keeping in the spirit of giving, we will be handing out free fabulous holiday gift bags chock full of goodies to the first 100 guests to like Wabisabi Green on Facebook (and post on our wall). Please pickup at the Wabisabi Green Booth the day of the show. Gift Bag Sponsors include: Wabisabi Green, Lemongrass Spa, Form & Function, Karen Athens, Vertical Garden Solutions and more!

About Form & Function Holiday Fest
Wabisabi Green, other eco-friendly vendors and local artists will sell their products at Form & Function on South Cedros. There will be live music, a Pop Culture Desserts table and delicious gourmet fare available for purchase from the Alchemy Restaurant booth. This is a fun free family event. For more information call (760) 445-9225 or visit: wabisabigreen/wabisabigreen-holiday-fest.html.

Saturday, December 3rd, 201
 

A View on Pacific View

California Code - Section 65852.9 is relied upon, but not directly quoted in the Writ of Mandate for which EUSD has applied to the Superior Court, attempting to force Encinitas Council to rezone the Pacific View site for residential redevelopment.  This specific code utilizes an “if, and then,” scenario, providing that “b)If all of the public entities enumerated in Section 17489 of the Education Code decline a school district's offer to sell or lease school property pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 17485 of Chapter 4 of Part 10.5 of the Education Code), the city or county having zoning jurisdiction over the property shall, upon request of the school district, zone the schoolsite as defined in Section 39392 of the Education Code, consistent with the provisions of the applicable general and specific plans and compatible with the uses of property surrounding the schoolsite.”   Nowhere is it specified that the zoning must be identical to contiguous properties.   This code pre-supposes that some sites are zoned specifically for school use.  Pacific View’s current zoning is compatible with “uses of property surrounding the schoolsite.”

Further, the district never performed an independent appraisal of the property, and so never complied with the clear requirements of Educational Code.  That code also provides that if eight years prior to a surplus school property’s being offered for lease or sale, the site was used, in part, for playing fields (After Pacific View was closed, it was leased to the City for a temporary public works yard.), then the Naylor Act does apply, and 30% of surplus property shall be offered to the applicable public entities according to its original cost, adjusted for inflation (Pacific View’s site was donated), for as little as 25% on the dollar of the APPRAISED value.  Superintendents Devoir, King and now Baird have all attempted to skirt this requirement, refusing to honor the intent of the Legislature, or the wishes of the community.

Superintendent Tim Baird appears to have had a [community resource liquidation] agenda before he came to be Superintendent of EUSD.  An article, “Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave, When First We Practice to Deceive” can be read, through an Ojai, CA publication, “The View” published in July 2009:  http://www.ojaiskatepark.com/pdfs/viewskateparkstory.pdf

Some excerpts follow:

" .  .  . But whispers turned to a roar and with the stated goal of turning centrally located Chaparral school into a strip/shopping mall for financial profit.  They have obviously conspired to do everything they can do to NOT get the Skate Park completed, as promised.

. . . City Manager Jere Kersnar had to be reminded by local private citizen and State Farm Insurance Agent, Bob Daddi, that there were legal liability/workmens comp provisions already in place on the state books which would enable volunteering citizens to exercise their get-it-done spirit and contribute their free labors to a city/non-profit coop project to Get-it-Done.

. . . Tim Baird, Ojai Unified’s former Superintendent, recently ducked out of Ojai for a higher paying superintendent job with Encinitas Union School District (EUSD) near San Diego, educating elementary aged youth.  Reportedly he now takes home a salary of over $200,000 annually there, at least $65,000 above what he had been making in Ojai.

Baird showed his true Ojai “community” spirit when he abandoned his sleepy little stepping stone of Ojai.  Under Baird’s self-promoting tutelage, the Ojai district has already spent well over $60,000 in scarce educational (and public) funds, on attorney fees toward his unrealized pet strip/mall development project."

Certainly Baird appears duplicitous relative to Ojai development plans by that school district, and now, with respect to pushing his development agenda within EUSD.  Was his development propensity why he was hired here?  Why is he being paid much more in Encinitas than in Ojai, despite EUSD's budgetary challenges?   And why are administrators paid so much when teachers are being laid off?  Why did Baird state that the $44 million dollar school bond could not go to teachers’ salaries, implying that money from the Pacific View site could, which is NOT TRUE, according to DEMA?

Glenn Sabine, Encinitas City Attorney, has quoted code, out of context, which DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY SUPPORT EUSD’s legal claims.  We hope some other firm defends against this action, which only Mayor Bond voted, in closed session, NOT to defend, despite numerous council meetings where public speakers insisted the donated site should remain for community use.  The plans advocated by DEMA seem practical and are welcomed by a consensus of the community.


Lynn and Russell Marr, Leucadia


LB Burning Questions: Will Mark Muir take the same "ethical" route to dodge this issue as Kristin Gaspar. Will he also claim to be unable to get up to speed on issues that began before they were on council? Will it make Kristin look really really bad if Muir jumps right in and votes on Pacific View matters? Does Muir have some of those other secret conflicts of interest that Gaspar does? Muir certainly has a novel situation with his wife on the board of the EUSD.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful

Thankful for all the locals who do right by others.

Cap'n Keno's serving thanksgiving dinner to a few of our old acquaintances who didn't have a family dinner to go to at home.

Target

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fitting in with Starbucks


From the Inbox:


The City of Encinitas Planning Commission has approved a variance in the General Plan guidelines to allow this new development (Starbucks) to ignore the required 20 foot setback for landscaping and use the undeveloped city street (city property) to fulfill this requirement. This will create temporary landscaping that will be removed when the city widens the street. There are no provisions for landscaping in the currently approved building plans for landscaping around the building itself, nor in the parking areas except along the streets.  Starbucks has already agreed to pay for the removal of the street landscaping when the city needs to widen Orpheus Street.  When this happens, we will be left with a 30 foot tall building, parking lot, and no foliage.

We have spent millions landscaping Leucadia Boulevard and now we are going to destroy that effort by crowning it with another bare parking lot and a 30 foot concrete wall complete with neon green Starbucks’ logos 26 feet in the air. The city council is now stacked against beauty and quality of life for us in Leucadia. We can show our support for our community by calling the city ((760) 633-2627, E-mail: cityhall@ci.encinitas.ca.us) and demanding permanent landscaping on the “to be developed property” and not temporary landscaping in our roadway. There will be an appeal hearing to the 20 foot variance at the November 30, 2011 City Council meeting at 6:00 PM. If possible, please attend, sign up on arrival to state your views, or contact the city directly by November 22, 2011 by 5:00 PM.

We cannot and are not trying to stop this development, only make it fit our community guidelines.

B.D.

Facebookers go here

This is the link you want. Then scroll down.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Responding to Rushing Traffic





From the inbox:
Encinitas Traffic Calming: Cardiff Example

It was bound to happen. Less than a month after the project was completed, one of the roundabouts was run over on Summit Avenue. Everyone that has been to my house in the past 30 days has said the same thing - it won't be long until someone plows over one.

After living on Summit for a couple years, I am in complete agreement that something had to be done about the speeding vehicles. The neighborhood is filled with kids, runners, walkers, bike riders and pets. My home office window faces the street, and I watch all day as cars blast past my house down the street. Some of my neighbors were hoping for speed bumps, which probably would have been more effective, but they are incredibly annoying, damage vehicles, and slow emergency responders. When we got word that roundabouts were going in, we were optimistic that the project would be an effective means to slow down speeding vehicles.

After a month of living with them, I can say that they are at best mildly effective. While most people slow down, the two roundabouts on Summit are just too small, and spaced too far apart. The street between the two roundabouts is now a drag strip. The car that ran over the roundabout left skid marks in excess of 75 feet - I kid you not. From a quick internet search, it looks like a car must be traveling at +/- 45 mph to leave skid marks that long, almost double the limit. The signs have been replaced, and the stump left behind looks like Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree. If it is still there after Thanksgiving, I think I will put a few ornaments on it.

Erik
Erik blogs at http://www.comidayolas.com/

Friday, November 18, 2011

Maybe a bit more investigative journalism?


Papa Manchester has bought the UT. Papa has a big history of giving back to his community, so maybe we will see more stories about the community and more investigative journalism from the UT.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We can't ignore the numbers

The peoples of earth have to go somewhere. A lot of people want to live either on Hollister Ranch or settle for groovy Leucadia. I'm not sure that means we should put in condo towers at Hollister. If they did, it would take away part of the motivation for wanting to live on the Ranch.

Monday, November 14, 2011

More on the Coronation

From the inbox:

It's Not About Muir - It's About Us

Maggie was far more than a member of the City Council. She was the most beloved person in this town. She understood Encinitas is much more than a city; it's a community.

Cities are about general plans; building codes; infrastructure; pseudo-roundabouts; land development; commerce; projects; programs and policies. Communities are about common values and social norms. Maggie knew the difference.

I loved Maggie. Still do. Always will.  More important than her position on issues  was the person she was: caring; passionate; honest; decent; and devoted to the people and animals who live here. Maggie exemplified integrity. She was pro-neighborhood; pro-environment; pro-family;  and pro-human dignity. She was one of us - independent; individualistic; intelligent; inventive; and, when her principles were at stake, immovable. How like Maggie to care about us until the very end - leaving us the gift of a beautiful, thoughtful video message shared with us after her death. Although she looked thin and frail, the full force of her larger than life presence was still there.

Far worse than the puerile political machinations in which Council members Bond, Stocks and Gasper engaged was the indecency and insensitivity with which they treated Maggie and the thousands  who voted for her.  They could have given her the honor she deserved by appointing the extraordinarily capable person she'd designated as her choice to succeed her. Or, they could have appointed any one of the several highly qualified civic leaders who stated they'd not run for election in 2012. It would have been an act of kindness and generosity with no cost to themselves - they'd remain the majority on the City Council.

Instead of honoring Maggie's wishes, Bond, Stocks, and Gaspar used their majority to appoint the only controversial, divisive, and politically-compromised candidate - an act sure to exacerbate community conflict. They knowingly, and negligently disenfranchised the thousands of people who shared Maggie's vision for Encinitas.

The greatest measure of a community is how we treat each other. Most of us would prefer that to be with respect, courtesy, caring and decency. We must make it absolutely clear that the Council majority's actions do not represent our values or interests.

For some of us, it feels like Encinitas lost its heart. But, it hasn't. Maggie left hers to us to preserve and protect.  With all the energy, passion, perseverance and determination in her, Maggie forged a pathway for us to follow; and bequeathed to us a priceless legacy.

It is time for us to act.

Are there 500 people in Encinitas willing to write a check for $250 to further Maggie's legacy? Are you?


Bob Aronin
Reform Encinitas
infor@ReformEncinitas.com

Leucadia cul-de-sac


Dead ends where there are no strangers or through traffic are still great for little kids.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Secret Rural Leucadia

City Administration in Question





Encinitas and the Arab Spring 
 Cyrus K
 In case you were on another planet last Wednesday, a major affront to democracy and open government took place in our beautiful little beach community. As a group of citizens protesting the council majority's appointment of Mark Muir to fill Maggie Houlihan's vacated seat attempted to enter the council meeting room, they were shunted away by police to a separate room, while supporters of Mark Muir, wearing "Thank you Mark" stickers were allowed in. Within the council meeting room, a surreal portrait was presented, as though you were in the streets of Tripoli, or Cairo, or Dara'a, when the rulers filled the squares with pro-government ringers to create the illusion of popular support. In the absence of popular legitimacy, power always strives to create its impression, so that the malfeasance, incompetence and arrogant disregard of the public can continue unnoticed.

 The question here as in the countries of the Arab spring is - who's government is it anyway? By selectively filling the meeting room with supporters, the current council majority has made the statement that our city government is strictly for them, and those who support them. Unlike the middle east, their tools of tyranny are not guns and tanks, but rather the tyranny of the majority. The essential strategy is the same though - use power to gain power, and hope that the public either doesn't notice or is powerless to do anything about it.

Rather than mortars and rifles, in a peaceful democracy, our recourse is to conscientiously object to actions taken without conscience, at the ballot box, in print and in person. There is much to object to beyond just the Muir appointment. An unfunded pension liability of $39 million dollars; a deferred road maintenance bill of $17 million dollars; a long-term debt including lease-revenue bonds of $172 million dollars; $1.5 million dollars interest per year on the $31.5 million dollars owed for the Hall property ( while it just sits there ), and a projected development cost of $13 million. All this with $9 million in the bank ( figures drawn from the city's 2009 Annual Financial Report and the Calpers Actuarial Pension Study for Encinitas ). In addition, we should be vigilant regarding attempts by the sitting council super majority to alter zoning regulations in favor of the developers who fund their campaigns. As Maggie said, democracy is not a spectator sport.


To see if the city has a response, email the city manager at: citymanager@cityofencinitas.org.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Credit to New Sheriff Captain

There have been some comments posted about the Sheriff presence. From what I saw they did a great job, especially considering how many deputies there were.


  • I saw deputies thoughtfully and respectfully work with citizens to remove their sticks from their signs as they entered city hall.
  • I saw Captian Sherri Sarro interacting with people in the crowd in a very relaxed and respectful manner when she was walking around solo.
  • I saw groups of deputies standing way off away from the crowd, and out of sight of the event. Pictured above is where many of them congregated, down in the LOWER parking lot. You don't stick your deputies out of sight if you want to intimidate the crowd.
  • I saw the deputies refrain from nit-picking on how the organizers set up posters and lights.
  • I didn't see the deputies during the presentations except when the organizers needed a hand getting a walkway cleared (there were a lot of people). The sheriffs helped make a path respectfully and then went back out of sight (from where I was standing anyways).

I wasn't there, but a lot of protesters report being kept out of council chambers by order of the fire marshal when there were reportedly still seats available, so maybe we'll have nice things to say about the fire marshal too, but not until after someone asks him what was up.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fire Chief Muir successfully "promoted" to city council person

The controversial appointment of now retired Encinitas Fire Chief to Encinitas city council person to fill recently departed Maggie Houlihan's (R.I.P.) spot happened last night at city hall.

The popular (and sometimes controversial in her own right) Maggie Houlihan was the all time vote getter in Encinitas. Houlihan had expressed her replacement be Lisa Shaffer, who is now confirmed to run for Encinitas city council in 2012. Many residents felt the seat should be filled by the last election's next highest vote getter, Tony Kranz.

The appointment of Muir concerns many citizens because they say it creates a 4-1 super majority for special interest on our city council. It will be interesting to see what kind of council person Muir is. Recently elected member Kristin Gaspar has been criticized as an empty suit yes man with zero distinguishing leadership.
It's hard to imagine a decades long fire chief assuming this same role. Watch for Muir to establish dominance over fellow council member Jerome Stocks and set himself up as the new Jim Bond, our perennial council person who has been recently tempted by retirement.

Read about the appointment on Encinitas Patch.
and,
North County Times And the Coast News

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Swearing In Celebration

Many people believe that Christy and Mark have been the queen and king of the insider bro deal network in Encinitas. Appointing the city's key political fund manager and campaign operative  was a move that was obviously going to cause rancor. It was not a move designed to bring the community together. 


From the inbox: 
 

To: All Encinitas Concerned Citizens
Monday, November 7, 2011

CITY HALL CONTINUES TO IGNORE OUR VOICE
ENCINITAS CITIZENS PROTEST

Encinitas citizens gather to hold elected officials accountable for engaging in blatant cronyism, ignoring conflicts of interest, and condoning politically corrupt practices.

Concerned Encinitas citizens to hold press conference at City Hall
505 S. Vulcan, Encinitas, CA 92024
Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at 5:15 p.m.
before the regular City Council meeting.

On November 9, at 5:55 pm, the Encinitas City Council plans to swear in Mark Muir into the seat formerly occupied by Maggie Houlihan.  The decision to appoint Mr. Muir was made by the Council majority —Bond, Stocks, Gaspar— in complete disregard for the concerns and wishes expressed by many of the citizens at the City Council meeting of November 2, 2011. 

Earlier, at their September 26 (non-televised) Special Meeting, the Council had viewed an eloquent and hopeful videotape of Maggie Houlihan — taped in her last weeks.  Her desire was to seek out someone to step into her shoes, to fulfill the last months of her term of office and to keep true to her campaign promises. She endorsed Lisa Shaffer.  As a popular candidate who was the runner-up in the last election, Tony  Kranz also had a justifiable claim to the seat.  Either Lisa Shaffer or Tony Kranz should have been appointed to serve the remainder of councilperson Houlihan’s term of office.  Instead, the majority appointed their employee, their election campaigner and sitting Encinitas Fire Chief, Mr. Muir.


Why was Mark Muir chosen? Could it be because each of the majority members owed him favors?  Mr. Muir worked on several of their campaigns in the likely expectation of paybacks. This was not democracy in action, this was political
quid pro quo.  There is a word for this:  Cronyism!

Mr. Muir funneled endorsements and support through Political Action Committees directly linked to him.  Muir founded and led both ECHO (Encinitas Coalition of Home Owners) and Golden State Firefighters (GSF) which repeatedly endorsed campaigns of Stocks and Bond and paid for deceiving trash mailers.  The International Association of Firefighters described GSF as a “San Diego-based political organization” that circulated “cynical and deceptive” slate mailers.  One of these mailers endorsed Stocks and Bond and included a message and picture of the PAC’s leader, “Mark Muir, Fire Division Chief and Chairman of Golden State Firefighters.”  He organized and established these PACs while employed by the City and benefitting from promotions culminating in his ascension to the well-paid post of Fire Chief for the City of Encinitas.   The term for this is:  
Conflict of Interest!

Mr. Muir’s political activity of more than a decade was also a direct violation of City Policy. Egregiously, he campaigned
using his city email address from the City Hall during normal business hours.  This is a clear violation of City policy and common standards of ethics. 

This was brought to the attention of the Council prior to the appointment.  The Council majority proceeded with the appointment without asking Muir to confirm or deny the allegations.  The accurate characterization of this conduct is:
Corruption!

Mr. Muir’s new council vote delivers a 4-to-1 super-majority, and the pro-development majority can rest easy knowing that their developer-funded plans for Encinitas can avoid public vote.   Our current General Plan requires “voter approval” for increases in zoning density unless the Council approves the change by a vote of 4 or more.   With Mr. Muir’s vote replacing Maggie Houlihan’s, this 4-to-1 majority is all but assured.


The negative impacts on our community character and vision for Encinitas are numerous. Among these, we count:
  • A super-majority will enable the Council to approve rezoning and up-zoning without voter approval (for example, reconsidering and approving the conversion of the Ecke property from agricultural-zoned —“in perpetuity”— to residential-zoned land).
  • A super-majority would be able to push through the replacement of our well-written, original General Plan and approve the controversial redevelopment of the El Camino Real corridor without a vote of the residents.  The proposed plan extends from the recently City-approved Walmart in the north to Encinitas Blvd in the south.  Current proposals would allow four-story or higher multi-use buildings, causing increased traffic congestion, crowding, and a decrease in neighboring New Encinitas residential property values.
  • A super-majority would allow immediate obliteration of sunsets by 90-foot tall field-lights for neighbors of the Hall Sports Park (aka Hall “Community” Park)
  • A super-majority would effectively enable the Council to approve spot up-zoning of any parcel, irrespective of neighbors’ concerns, whenever a deep-pocket developer asks for it.




LB note: Not sure Muir isn't the 5th vote or is the 4th vote on each of the super-majority concerns.


Mr. Muir’s appointment means that the 12,488 voters who elected Maggie Houlihan in 2008 will no longer be adequately represented on the Council.  A chance to vote again in November 2012 is upcoming, but unless we show the council majority that we do not believe this appointment is fair, democratic, and morally supportable, they will be emboldened to further abuse our rights and continue to marginalize our participation in the democratic process.  Don’t let them ignore you.

 LB note:  Jerome did write that he thought the voters wanted someone who would counterbalance his votes. Muir and Jerome are bros and long-time political cooperators, so Jerome must have changed his mind.

Please come to protest the swearing-in of Mark Muir on Nov 9.

Attend the public protest and press conference in front of City Hall at 5:15 pm, before the Council meeting, and attend the protest during the Council meeting thereafter, at 5:55 pm.

Don’t let them ignore you!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Local Arts and Crafts

I attended a show at the Mingei museum this weekend. The show featured local furniture designers. We found a few pieces created by local leucadians, including this funky chair made by local surfing legend Carl Ekstrom.



There was a panel discussion with several generations of SDSU furniture design professors. It was striking how many times they noted how influential San Diego's post-WWII design was inspired by San Diegans' close connection to "natural" environments. This was opposed to some of the less dynamic and interesting stuff coming out of the east coast designers, who were described as being surrounded by urban environments. Carl is well known for his close connection to the wild.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Another View

The reason Mark got the position, in spite of what you all might think, is because he really does know what is going on in this City. You can all call it cronyism, but he will be able to hit the ground running. Not even Tony or Lisa could have done that. Actually Mark had 2 fundraisers for Maggie, but somehow that fact has not been shared on this blog.

Dr. Lorri

Friday, November 04, 2011

New Coffee Shop Opens in North Leucadia!




Today is the "soft opening" of the new coffee shop next door to Surfy Surfy Surf Shop.
All the coffee is fresh roasted on site. Come check out the amazing transformation of the old Longboard Grotto board room into a spiffy new coffee shop.
It's a great rainy afternoon to cruise down and get an expresso.
Hooray!

No denials from the Encinitas Mayor, Deputy Mayor, or Mark Muir

Links: Muir's "Golden State Firefighters" called out by the IAFF. Crony gets council seat and ~$3.5 million dollar valued retirement package for being pushed up the ranks because of his political favors.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

There's another $100 billion

What happens when you cross big construction contracts with environmental happy talk? You end up with less money for useful local mass transit, less money for education, less money for other services. You also end up with new sprawl into the desert and regional ag land.



California's high-speed rail system would cost nearly $100 billion when the main north-south link is completed, an eye-popping figure for a state with massive annual budget deficits and a lagging economy.

Still, the business plan released Tuesday by the California High-Speed Rail Authority said the project is manageable if it's built in smaller segments over 20 years.

The plan also predicted that estimated ridership figures would make the system profitable and noted that new freeways and airport expansions to deal with the state's expanding population would cost far more.

It's too soon to know whether the $98.5 billion price tag _ more than double the previous $43 billion cost projection _ will be a deal-breaker for lawmakers, who will decide whether to move forward after a public comment period.






Real Firefighters Call Muir's Stuff Lame

What happened last night doesn't smell right to me. 

I agree with Baloo. The council should have tried to appoint someone neutral, which is way more moderate than saying we should try to honor Jerome's original view on the voter's wishes. What the council did was 180 degrees in the opposite direction.

By all accounts Muir has been highly active running council campaigns and facade organizations which funnel campaign funds. He is also personally close to council member, before he was a department head. Long ago, along with others, I asked Muir to address his role in past campaigns. Why? Because the job competitively. It looked like Muir got his very high paying job because he did the dirty work for the council majority. He did what someone who has something to hide did and just left us hanging. In the last few days a lot of information about Muir's activity have surfaced and perhaps explain why Muir would want to avoid the subject.


To Kristin, I am not saying he should not have the right to do all that he has done. There should be no appearance that taxpayers are on the hook for Muir being financially and professionally rewarded for political favors. Many people think this true. Maybe they are off-base and I'm sorry that you didn't take the time to help avoid even the appearance of impropriety. 

Yes Jerome, if your seat had been lost and Maggie and Teresa were trying to replace you with Bruce Ehlers I would have spoke up against that.

To the readers, we are getting all sorts of stuff in the mailbox. None that supports what the council majority did last night. If you have a different view and support what the council did, please send us a submission so we can share another view.


Gaspar was appalled that Ehlers was bringing up Muir's history prior to the vote. This is one of the articles Ehlers pointed out last night. 



IAFF Declares Golden State Firefighters As Rival Organization

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) took a stand against a San Diego based political operation that has been marketing a “firefight- er” endorsement to promote a paid slate-mail operation [that supported Stocks and Bonds]. By a unanimous vote, the IAFF Executive Board declared Golden State Firefighters [Muir's personal operation] to be a rival organization to the IAFF. The rival organization declaration means that any IAFF member who joins Golden State Firefighters is subject to sanctions and expulsion from the IAFF if another IAFF member files charges against them. IAFF took the action against Golden State Firefighters after a series of attempts to co-opt the image of front line firefighters for their own ends. In early 2004, “Golden State Firefighters” sent letters to legislative candidates around the state, soliciting them to participate in a slate mailer for the March 2nd Primary Election.
 
The solicitation described Golden State Firefighters as a membership organization consisting of “Fire District Board members, Fire Chiefs, Fire Marshals and rank-and-file firefighter’s association and union members.” It promised distribution to more than a million voters statewide and, in an especially Machiavellian twist, promised to center its efforts in the counties most heavily affected by last fall’s devastating firestorm.

But although Golden State Firefighters claims to be a membership organization, they have made no formal outreach to career firefighters, offer no member benefits or services, hold no training seminars ... they don’t even put out a newsletter.


What they do is political mail, often in direct conflict with candidates endorsed by IAFF-affiliated locals, such as San Diego City Firefighters. California Professional Firefighters (CPF) was able to head off any significant defection of our endorsed candidates to the rogue mailer. Nonetheless, Golden State Firefighters did eventually circulate a slate mailer that was cynical and deceptive. Candidates and causes were falsely listed as having paid for slots on the mailer, implying participation where none occurred. Perhaps most despicably, the authors of the mailer actually sought to trade on the tragic death of Novato firefighter Steven Rucker in the firestorm by placing Rucker’s picture at the bottom.


Faced with this assault on the image of our profession, CPF members approved a resolution at their Convention in May asking that IAFF declare Golden State Firefighters to be a rival organization. The IAFF action this week ratifies that request.


If you’re an IAFF member and have been approached to join Golden State Firefighters, we’d like to know about it (so far, they don’t seem to be inter ested in members — only dollars). Please contact CPF at (916) 921-9111 or via email — info@cpf.org.


Kristin wasn't the only one appalled. The International Association of Fire Fighters was appalled too. 

KMC

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A New Day for Encinitas

3:1 vote for Mark Muir. He knows how the city works and knows about all the skeletons. There were some big smiles on the council's faces.