Friday, July 29, 2011

Carlsbad Sports Park at Toxaphene Fields

Gerald Sodomka writes in the Coast News on the city cover-up of toxic waste at Hymettus and the Hall Park.

I think hexavalent chromium is the nasty stuff that made Erin Brockovich famous, by the way.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Encinitas developer and friend of the council majority John DeWald has sold the Pacific Station retail space for an astonishing $19.5 million, or $502 per square foot. That Federal Reserve easy money sure pays off for the wealthy, huh? Meanwhile, how are you liking your $4 gasoline and $6 milk?

Now if only those Pacific Station condos would start selling...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Miracle on Vulcan

When the City Council and the Parks and Rec Department let goat head thorns take over the 101 and Vulcan bike paths due to lack of funds, Russell Levan took matters into his own hands. Levan organized a cleanup party to weed the 101 side of the tracks at the south end of the Puncture Path near Jamroc, but didn't have nearly enough manpower to clean up both sides of the track all the way to the north end.

I haven't heard about any additional cleanup efforts, but behold!

The Vulcan side appears to have been raked and weeded at least up to Leucadia Boulevard. Was this another Levan cleanup party? Did the city have some money left over after pension expenses and frivolous legal challenges to provide some actual services to the public? Did the Surfing Madonna perform one last miracle before she was ripped down? Inquiring minds want to know.

It's still not safe to ride a bicycle on either the Vulcan or 101 bike paths, but if we can keep pulling all the goat head plants for another year or two, we may make the paths safe again after that. If you're passing by and see a low plant with little yellow flowers and long green arms radiating out from the center, pull it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

City lined Glenn Sabine's pockets to the tune of $25,000 in futile attempt to keep road report secret

... and they may have to pay $40,000 for Kevin Cummins' CalAware attorney.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave...

The council will attempt to defend the indefensible to the public at tonight's meeting. Should be very entertaining.

Bad cops, bad cops, whatcha gonna do?

Encinitas deputy sheriff Lauren McAllister was arrested at her home in Temecula on felony charges of harboring, aiding, or concealing a fugitive.

Cops are being very tight-lipped about what's going on. This could be interesting.

UPDATE: Patch has the story.
A 26-year-old woman met arriving deputies and told them a man had raped her inside the two-story residence, McDonald said. When deputies attempted to search the home, McAllister allegedly tried to stop them, prompting them to arrest her, according to the sergeant. Police then located the alleged assailant, 34-year-old Matthew Joseph Frembling of Murrieta, and took him into custody without incident.

McAllister was booked on suspicion of felony obstruction of peace officers, being an accessory to a felony and misdemeanor resisting arrest. She posted $5,000 bail and was released from Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta on Monday morning.

McAllister will remain on administrative leave pending completion of an internal investigation by her supervisors, according to San Diego County sheriff's spokeswoman Melissa Aquino. Frembling was booked on suspicion of forcible rape and sexual penetration with a foreign object and was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at the Murrieta jail. The nature of the suspect's relationship to McAllister or the alleged victim, if any, was not disclosed.

So it's not a felony-felony. It's a pissing match between cops. They'll drop it down to a misdemeanor and she could even keep her job.

UPDATE 2:  Matt Frembling is a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.  Lauren's brother Ryan, who is also listed as living at the house, posts on Facebook about all his time in the gym.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monster house Suzy Brown fails to appear in court?

There's no reporting of it in the press yet, but Encinitas Undercover readers are often far ahead of the newspapers. Reader Anonymous has the tip:

Today (July 18, 2011), Suzy Brown failed to appear at a preliminary hearing. The judge called for "Suzy Brown". Suzy's council [sic] said that she failed to appear, and was planning on pleading guilty. The judge ordered her O.R. revoked and asked for $50,000 bond. He also said to issue a warrant for Brown's arrest starting early August.

Presumably this is about the theft of fixtures from the Monster House, which was dismissed last year due to prosecutorial incompetence, but I think the prosecution had a chance to re-file.

Maybe the judge should have tried calling for Suzy Tesla.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Benefit for Paolo Mattioli at the BPOE

It's strange. We live among so many amazingly talented and diverse people that we don't even know about some of them until adversity strikes. Paolo Mattioli is a local drummer who has performed with some of the all-time greats, but I didn't know about him until there was a benefit concert for him, having been recently diagnosed with cancer.

Here' Paolo's home page with bio and music.

Thanks to Tony Kranz for the heads-up. I wish I could be there.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Respect My Authoritah!

Says Encinitas Taliban enforcer Richard Phillips to artist Bryan Snyder who brought us Kook Van Gogh. Click on over and read Snyder's excellent rebuttal.

In the letter sent to Snyder Art referring to the transforming of the Kook into Van Gogh, Richard Phillips proclaims that the statue was vandalized. As seen in a series of photos documenting the techniques and materials used during the installation, no adhesive or paint of any sort were affixed to the statue. All props were hung or attached by non-evasive wire with the purpose of eliminating all chances of damage and easy removal.

Phillips continues to inform the public art program was established to “respect cultural heritage, promote artistic development and add dignity and beauty to public spaces of the city of Encinitas. Is it wrong to credit the Kook and all its creative, imaginative and widely supported reworkings for not only abiding within the city objectives, but also advocating them[?] Each installation is a commentary on local and national current and cultural events. It has promoted a slew of artistic installations and it continues to encourage the development of a more artistic community. Most importantly, it has transformed a public art embarrassment into something enjoyed, applauded and sought.

Let's hope Snyder continues to delight us with creative art -- but next time, he won't be able to take credit.

P.S. Did you know that the city spends $127,000 a year for a public art administrator? Plus $22,000 a year for contracts and services, materials and supplies? It's right there on page 70 of the budget. We've got world-class local artists like Mark Patterson and Bryan Snyder turning out great public and private art and we're paying some joker $127,000 for government art? What have you gotten for the half million dollars you've given this guy over the past four years? The Kook put up and the Madonna torn down. How about we cut out the government art and start maintaining bike paths and roads?

If you kill someone while driving drunk, leave the scene

Anybody think this guy would be facing only four years if he'd stayed at the scene and blown a .20?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Appeals court to Encinitas city lawyer Glenn Sabine: You have absolutely no case!

It was bad enough when Glenn Sabine used public money to fight public access to public records. He claimed that oversight from public/media/bloggers would make it impossible for staff to conduct city business in secret (which is the entire point of public records acts -- you're not supposed to be doing secret deals and hiding financial problems from the public!!!).

But when a judge told Sabine that yes, the Public Records Act did indeed apply to Encinitas no matter how much they wanted to hide their dirty laundry from public scrutiny, Sabine persuaded the city council to appeal! In a blatant display of reckless disregard for both the spirit of public records acts and limited city financial resources, Maggie Houlihan, Jerome Stocks, Jim Bond, and Kristen Gaspar voted to waste more money filing a meritless appeal trying to keep an old road report secret from the public. What are they so desperate to hide?

Well, on the same day the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared in Cardiff with a message of hope and change for Encinitas voters, the 4th District California Court of Appeal has told Glenn Sabine to pound sand and turn over the public records!

The arrogance and paranoia of this council knows no bounds. They are already threatening to waste more money taking this completely frivolous appeal to the California Supreme Court. All so Encinitas residents can't see some public road report that might be politically embarrassing to the council majority.

Kook costume removed in record time

Is somebody in City Hall a little sensitive? Worried that the voters are going to find out about your record on public pensions, open government, and tearing down the Madonna before the next election? I don't think those are going to be winning issues for you.

Too slow, slackers! It's on the front page of the U-T web site!

Photo by Charlie Neuman.

Miracle of Cardiff! Surfing Madonna reappears!

I guess we better do what she says.

Seriously, though, it's really well-executed. Go check it out before the Grumpy Old Men have it taken down.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The future of the Surfing Madonna

Mother Mary has been replaced by street art that is less beautiful and more political. Is this what the Grumpy Old Men wanted?

Meanwhile, I've been rethinking the wisdom of putting the mosaic at the library. When I wrote favorably about Logan Jenkins' column recommending the library, someone commented, "Gimme a break!" I couldn't figure out what was so objectionable.

But upon further reflection, the library wouldn't give the Madonna the exposure it deserves. The library gets its crowd of regulars: homeless people, children, and Internet-surfing deadbeats. It wouldn't be seen by most of the thousands of locals and tourists who come to the beaches, shops, and restaurants of Encinitas.

The three remaining proposed locations are 7-11, Captain Keno's, and Surfy Surfy. 7-11 is a non-starter. A chain convenience store is no place for Our Lady of the Waves. Which leaves Captain Keno's and Surfy Surfy, which represent the history and future. Both are owned by community-minded good folk. I wish they both could host Mary.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Horita, van a cogerte

True story. A local gringo lawyer was working on his Spanish, and had a Mexican client in jail. They had the typical lawyer-client interview, with the assistance of an interpreter, about the facts of the crime and about don't talk to the pigs without a lawyer, etc.

At the end of the interview, the lawyer wanted to show off a little Spanish. Wanting to say, "Horita, van a recogerte," meaning, "Now, they [the guards] are coming to get you [to bring you back to your cell]," instead he said, "Horita, van a cogerte." All of which would not be very amusing but for the fact that coger is a colloquial term for f&^%. Imagine this poor guy in jail in a foreign country where he doesn't speak the language and his lawyer tells him, "Now, they are coming to f&^% you!"

All of which is an introduction to the latest Encinitas city scandal. The city cut a sweetheart deal with Carltas, the Ecke family development company, where if the golf course did well, the Eckes made out like bandits. And if the golf course failed, the city and Encinitas Ranch homeowners were liable.

Well, if you're an Encinitas Ranch homeowner, ¡Horita, van a cogerte! HOA fees are going up because the golf course isn't pulling its weight.

A drastic drop in the number of golfers who play at the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course, combined with some changes in the way the public course handles its finances, will cause nearby residents' property tax-related assessments to increase.

The tax bills, which will come out in August, are "going to reflect the roughest year the golf course has had thus far," said Jay Lembach, an Encinitas city finance manager who handles the golf course and attends its board meetings as a city representative.

The average Encinitas Ranch area homeowner, who now pays $2,500 in annual community assessment fees, will probably see bills go up in August by about 8 percent, or about $200, because the golf course isn't going to be making a contribution to offset those fees this year, he said Friday.

This is only the beginning. Encinitas Ranch is a mediocre golf course in a region full of world-class golf courses. BOHICA, Encinitas Ranch homeowners and Encinitas taxpayers!

Friday, July 1, 2011

The greatest radio station ever

Ladies and gentlemen, the genius of John Prine:

I first heard this song on an indie radio station around 1995 before corporate radio took over. I was transfixed and had to buy the album immediately. The tune is catchy as hell, and the lyrics are sublime. You can read it as a celebration of live-and-let-live libertarianism, which I did and do, and the video suggests he means to take it even further as a celebration of victimless vices.

I've lived many lives and been many people since then, but hearing that song today is like hearing it for the first time.

Anybody remember that radio station? I think it was out of Carlsbad or thereabouts, and it was something like 95.9 or 95.7. Only the good radio stations die young.