Wednesday, February 29, 2012

L101 Mainstreet Assoc Community Meeting March 1st

Leucadia 101 Main Street Association's Annual Community Meeting and Leucadia Update

WHEN: Thursday March 1, 2012 6:30 - 8:00 PM

WHERE: Paul Ecke Central School Auditorium 185 Union St, Encinitas

~ Find out what's going on in Leucadia these days!

~ Hear from the Leucadia 101 Main Street on their role in preserving, revitalizing and beautifying Leucadia's Hwy 101 corridor.

~ Get an update on the Leucadia Hwy 101 "Streetscape" plan, the continuation of the Encinitas Streetscape to the north!

~ Meet other Leucadians, City Officials and share what is important to you!

~ Tell your neighbors and friends.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Encinitas Minister of Misinformation?

NCT link

New 2012 link

The city council is getting tired of getting nuked for doing and saying goofy things. An Encinitas Minister of Misinformation would be a great help for them.

"More traffic is less traffic."

"The city budget is healthy and strong and increases in fees are unrelated."

"Our polls done by highly paid consultants that found that residents want to pay more taxes are accurate and worth the money. All our propositions are defeated because of a handful of malcontents and grouches."

"Leucadia floods because God is angry with you and not because the company we hired screwed up the drainage fix."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Big News

We've intercepted an increasing amount of internet traffic regarding Pacific View. Has it been saved for the people? An art center? A place to walk to? A place for public participation?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nobody Holds a Rally or Starts a Grassroots Movement to "Save Our Streets"

VoSD has ran a big series on San Diego's decaying infrastructure. Here is a clip from the last one:

Three things have become clear in Mayor Jerry Sanders' stewardship of San Diego's roads in the final year of his term.

1.) Streets are worse.
2.) The city doesn't spend enough money to keep them from degrading even further every year.
3.) The Mayor's Office takes no responsibility for either of these failures.

And now San Diego's road repair problems have reached breathtaking new depths, engineering officials revealed at a City Council committee hearing Wednesday.

Simply maintaining the status quo would cost $160 million a year. That's more than the annual budgets of the parks and rec, library and environmental services departments combined.

The city's plan to borrow $500 million won't provide enough money to reverse the decay or even preserve the status quo. Under its current proposal, the city won't begin making progress until 2017.

So over the next five years streets, buildings and storm drains will continue to crack, crumble and deteriorate.

Part of San Diego's problem is they deferred maintenance of the roads and now the repairs are even more costly. Their mistake started a decade before the roads started to crumble. Preventive maintenance is much cheaper than rebuilding road beds. I know a few LB readers have just thrown out the idea that it is not true. The offer still stands and is raised to $200. Write and publish an evidence based editorial that demonstrates that it is not true that preventive maintenance of streets is not cheaper than waiting until they are all torn up and filled with potholes, and the money is yours. Yes, that would be saying that the city's own analysis that shows the City to have accumulated $17 million in deferred maintenance is based on a faulty model.

Anybody on the council interested in $200 for their campaign war chest? 

Ya ya, Encinitas' streets are in good condition, everybody acknowledging that there are sections of pretty screwed up road, but that is not the point. The point is not whether or not there are lots of potholes now, but if there will be lots of potholes in the future because we did not do our maintenance now, or if future budgets will have huge craters in them to make up for work we didn't do now (and over the last decade). It is another example of passing debt to our future. Someone will have to pay and eventually the costs are going to hit something we are personally and emotionally connected to. Want the Hall park built? Well we are already strapped for cash on that. Want a park on Piraeus (with lots of air pollution)? We are already strapped for cash on that too. Want a nicer Moonlight Beach (or just the millions in funds from the State)? What will you want? Hope it doesn't cost anything.  Our City does not do honest long-term planning, unless the "just trust us" & the hope and pray method is OK with you.

Why pay now when you can force our kids to pay?

The people of this city should step up and start paying our way. If that means short term raising of taxes, compensating city staff fairly, ending the giving away of public money in real estate transactions, and ending bro deals with city resources, I'm cool with that. Regardless, the City should implement long-term financial plans that extend over the period of their current liabilities and are based on truly conservative estimates tied to contingencies if the numbers turn out to be cooked. 

 So, does anybody want a bumper sticker that says "Save Our Streets?"

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What is the genius of our country?

What are the Rights of the Minority Anyway?
Cyrus Kamada 2/6/2012

In reading some of the responses to criticism of the recent appointment of Mark Muir by the city council majority, you may have noticed that an essential theme was, “hey, we live in a democracy – the majority rules – stop whining and get over it”. This got me to thinking – what are the rights of the minority anyway? Certainly, no one would argue that the minority will should prevail. On the other hand, our democracy has gone to great lengths to ensure that majority rule is tempered. Examples abound, such as the allocation of two senators per state, regardless of population, the electoral college, the filibuster, the presidential veto, and the judicial confirmation process.  Why did our founding fathers go to such lengths to ensure that majority rule was limited? To get some perspective on the issue, here are the opinions of a few influential contributors to American political thought.

"Unlimited majority rule is an instance of the principle of tyranny." Ayn Rand
"We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how very often it is necessary, in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down." William F. Buckley Jr.
"There is nothing sacrosanct about the majority; the lynch mob, too, is the majority in its own domain." Murray Rothbard

"When I see that the right and the means of absolute command are conferred on a people or upon a king, upon an aristocracy or a democracy, a monarchy or a republic, I recognize the germ of tyranny." Alexis De Tocqueville

"The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime; abuses its strength, and, by acting on the law of the strongest, breaks up the foundations of society." Thomas Jefferson

The one principle that resonates with me is that the majority must not be allowed to subvert  the minority aspiration to one day become the majority. To do so, as Jefferson observed, is to act on the “law of the strongest”, which ultimately undermines the foundations of society. In practical terms, what does this mean for Encinitas?
Essentially, the only reason there is now a 4-1 majority on the city council is because previously, there was a 3-2 majority. The question of course arises, “what did you expect them to do, appoint an adversary?” No, but I did expect them to consider the existing makeup of the council, as determined previously by a democratic vote of the people. Suppose that, God forbid, for whatever reason, Teresa Barth was no longer able to serve on the council. Would it be legitimate for the city council to appoint yet another crony, and thereby have a unanimous 5-0 majority? What would prevent that?

The appointment of Muir and the ensuing lockout of protestors from the council meeting room, the monopolization of the mayoral rotation process by the council majority, the decision to ban Maggie Houlihan’s image from publicly displayed art, and the stacking of the ERAC committee to review the General Plan with real estate interests, are all part of a systematic exercise of the “law of the strongest”. In particular, the appointment of Muir and the monopolization of the mayoral rotation process create a non-level playing field, making it more difficult for the minority to be seen and heard, and therefore to realize their aspiration of one day becoming the majority. Those who feel that this is an appropriate outcome should consider that one reason the “law of the strongest” undermines the foundations of society is that it encourages a dog-eat-dog mentality, and thereby degrades the public character. End of whine.

LB Note: The genius is affording rights to all and ensuring the minority doesn't get tossed under the bus just because the majority thinks its funny.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

More Front Yards

Eclectic. Interesting. Real. 



Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Hall Park is Great!


I live adjacent to the Hall Property, just on the other side of the wall from Raspy Growers. This past summer, I noticed the city was digging in seemingly random spots on the property and phoned City Hall to inquire about it. I was told that they were testing the soil for contamination. When I asked why they were doing this again, had the EIR expired, I was told it was simply routine and it was done at all park locations. Granted, this was the woman who answered the general line, so it seemed obvious she wasn't in the know. I assume, now, that they were at the time testing the level of contamination in the 'hot spots' to determine what level of clean up would be required (i.e. residential, recreational). Given the current situation with the county and the city at odds over the required clean up methods, it seems like this was a logical explanation.

Several weeks ago, I noticed that they were once again digging up the property, but this time large trenches and covering portions of it with tarps. Most of the workers did not appear to be wearing any safety gear, I didn't see any soil being watered down or taken away. Having heard through the rumor mill that SDGE was planning on 'conversion' (underground power lines) of the existing lines, I assumed this was what was going on. However, I'm pregnant, with a preschooler and a toddler at home who play outside on a near daily basis, so I was concerned about what kind of dust was being kicked up and inhaled by my family. After calling the city and SDGE, I finally spoke to both Mara and Stephanie (both listed on this mailing) who told me the following:

  • They had already dug up a 'hot spot', had the remaining soil tested and found that they had excavated and hauled away all contaminated soil and none remained in that particular spot (behind Vons)
  • They were planning on digging up the second 'hot spot', meaning an area contaminated above levels determined to be above the California Human Health Screening Levels, on the Raspy Growers property, that coming Thursday, January 19th and Stephanie promised to phone me a day in advance to let me know so I could ensure we minimized our time outside and kept windows closed. She did phone and leave a message.
  • The city had both County and Water Authority supervisors on hand to ensure proper handling of the toxic soil.

I was pleasantly surprised that the City was willing to share this information with me, although they had not told my neighbors (I informed them) and assumed (wrongly) that this would be the last of it.

I received the attached letter on Friday, February 3rd. Reading through the letter, if you had no prior knowledge of what had gone on at the property, it implies that they are beginning work this coming Monday, to be completed Tuesday, and that there is no reason to be concerned about the soil because they won't be grading in those areas, that they have not been working in those areas and if they should need to during this one week time frame, all proper procedures will be followed.

I was so enraged at this letter - it's as if they waited until they were sure they had exposed my entire neighborhood to the soil (which was caked all over my car, parked outside) and then sent a reassuring notice with a false sense of security to mislead the community into thinking they have our health at the forefront of their intentions. (When in fact, they have already taken it for granted). They have been working on the property for WEEKS without any notice to the surrounding homes affected.

I don't know if this is the kind of story any of you are interested in publishing, but I hope, if anything, that this information can help to alert the community around the park of how conscientious we all need to be about protecting ourselves against the environmental contamination we live next to and the City and utilities who have no concern for our well being.
ECP Neighbor

In related news: The city is posturing to do another one of these $20,000 surveys. That means, less money available for the seriously underfunded Hall park!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Mayor Reaches Out

Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: From the Mayor of Encinitas
From: "Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks" <>
Date: Mon, January 30, 2012 12:17 pm


The other day I ran into one of our neighbors at Von's.

She was surprised to hear that 5.8 acres of land near the San Elijo Lagoon
have been purchased for permanent open space.

She had not heard about it. And asked if she could be included in future
emails that I send out.

I told her I did not do an email newsletter to poeple in Encinitas, but
that this would be a good excuse to start one.

So here is my first email. If you do not wish to receive news from me
about Encinitas, let me know, I will gladly remove your name from this

In the meantime, I hope you are having a great New Year.

Jerome Stocks
Mayor, City of Encinitas

p.s. Not produced or sent at government expense or using government

Land purchasing is not really one of Jerome's strong points and he hasn't learned from his "mistakes". Nothing has changed since this post was made.  Then there was this questionable transaction that the Mayor avoided fully addressing. 

Mr. Mayor, on what page of which report can the public read the "do not purchase" scenario comparison regarding finances and service (all the way to then end of TransNet and the SBX contract)? We are still waiting.

There are lots of government protocol manuals for land transactions that the city could adapt or adopt today (they are much more than just an appraisal policy). Some of them are pretty good and could have saved the City of Encinitas $5 million over the last 10 years. Why didn't Turko cover that? We could open the Hall park Phase I if we hadn't blown that money.