Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Surfing Madonna Run

The Surfing Madonna has become so much more than the guerrilla art that captured the imagination of the community. Now the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project is an ongoing charitable organization raising funds to further Mary's mission to Save the Ocean.

The next big event is the October 25 Surfing Madonna Run, a 1K/5K/10K beach run/walk suitable for people of all ages and athletic abilities.

Encinitas Undercover readers get a $15 discount on registration by entering the online code EUCVR15. Sign up today!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

6/25/14 City Council open thread

The current city council has continued prior councils' practice of not providing written summary minutes of council discussion, but only "action minutes" which state the outcomes. Encinitas Undercover will provide a forum for observers to record what occurs at each council meeting.

Please use the comments to record your observations.

In Encinitas, we'd call them "excellent"

"Every single VA senior executive received an evaluation of 'fully successful' or better over a 4-year period."

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Still catty after all these years

Teresa Barth's June 21 newsletter:
Gaspar takes over with little fanfare I was encouraged to read that Mayor Gaspar realizes that her presentation at the State of the City and the behavior of her friends and family at the May 28 council meeting was inappropriate.
Having read the Coast News article in question, we did a double-take. We recalled no such comment from Gaspar.

Upon re-reading, here's what Gaspar said:
[Gaspar's appointment to mayor] was briefly in question when Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer requested to discuss the compromise. While Shaffer said her intentions were never to deny Gaspar the mayoral seat, Gaspar and her supporters questioned the need to have the item on the agenda.

The council unanimously voted after a heated hearing to proceed with the transition, though Gaspar acknowledged that the incident might have strained her relations with the council majority of Barth, Shaffer and Tony Kranz.

There have been some events that strained some relationships on the council,” Gaspar said. “The next few weeks I hope we can rebuild those relationships so we can continue to work in the best interest of the community.

“I am hoping they are interested in doing the same, rebuilding trust and relationships,” she said.
"The incident" and "some events" to an outsider would most obviously refer to the Shaffer-Kranz move to "reconsider" reneging on the unanimous deal in the first place.

Is Barth's putting words in Gaspar's mouth just a typical Barth spiteful dig? That's the less frightening of two possibilities. The alternative is that she so completely lacks self-awareness that she actually believes that Gaspar bears most of the responsibility for recent council nastiness and was confessing.

And it's telling that Barth views Gaspar's State of the City comments on Encinitas' poor fiscal condition, made worse by the overpriced purchase of Pacific View, as a personal attack. So only happy talk is acceptable at a State of the City, and residents don't deserve to hear the unpleasant truth about Encinitas finances? If that's the case, what else are we being kept in the dark about?

Encinitas Advocate hits streets

Residents were skeptical of the motives behind the launch of three new local newspapers in an election year: the Seaside Courier, the North Coast Current, and the Encinitas Advocate. The Seaside Courier is published by San Diego political operative Jim Madaffer, and the Advocate is published by Union-Tribune owner and politically active developer Doug Manchester. The North Coast Current, an online paper published by San Diego City College journalism teacher Roman Koenig, was founded in 2002 but was relatively unknown and largely inactive until recently.

The Courier and the Current have had some limited local news coverage, along with some political opinion pieces including on the Pacific View controversy. We didn't expect much more from the Advocate.

But yesterday's inaugural edition of the Advocate was quite a welcome surprise. Led by former Coast News reporter Jared Whitlock, the Advocate is chock full of timely and relevant local news, plus coverage of local events and human interest stories. A small sample of the stories: possible changes to San Dieguito Academy's lottery admission process, the next steps in the Pacific View purchase, a look at how the city council races are shaping up, and the city council supporting a huge park & ride on the Manchester strawberry fields. All of it well-written as straight news without the injection of opinion.

You'll most likely find the Advocate in your driveway. Otherwise, you can find it in newsstands all around town or online here. Congratulations to Jared Whitlock on an outstanding launch!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

6/18/14 City Council open thread

The current city council has continued prior councils' practice of not providing written summary minutes of council discussion, but only "action minutes" which state the outcomes. Encinitas Undercover will provide a forum for observers to record what occurs at each council meeting.

Please use the comments to record your observations.

The feel-good distraction on tonight's agenda is the naming of a dog park after late Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan. It will obviously pass, most likely unanimously.

Of more importance is the staff's "Vision" for Encinitas housing which emphasizes "complete neighborhoods," a planning pop euphemism for high-density development.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Complete Neighborhoods is the new Smart Growth

The term "Smart Growth" means forcing people into high-density development near mass transit and shops. Because many people like their small-town character the way it is, and some even -- GASP! -- want to live in single-family homes with yards, the term "Smart Growth" has fallen into disfavor.

So it's no surprise that "Smart Growth" didn't appear in the Planning Department's Vision for Encinitas.

Staff report on Housing Element:
Vision

A city with diverse housing opportunities in complete neighborhoods within our five communities embracing these unique places, supporting economic sustainability and preserving the small town, coastal character of Encinitas.
We were curious, though, about that odd and undefined phrase "complete neighborhoods." What the heck is a "complete neighborhood?" I would venture to say most Encinitans believe their neighborhoods are perfectly complete.

Let's go to Portlandia for the answer:
The term “complete neighborhood” refers to a neighborhood where one has safe and convenient access to the goods and services needed in daily life. This includes a variety of housing options, grocery stores and other commercial services, quality public schools, public open spaces and recreational facilities, affordable active transportation options and civic amenities. An important element of a complete neighborhood is that it is built at a walkable and bikeable human scale, and meets the needs of people of all ages and abilities.
Oh, you mean SMART GROWTH!!!

Lost Abbey looks to open tasting room in Cardiff

Lost Abbey, the legendary local craft brewer of Belgian-style ales such as Judgment Day and Witch's Wit, is working to open a tasting room in Cardiff:
The new potential tasting room location, located at 2007 San Elijo Avenue in the Cardiff Towne Center Complex (Cardiff’s largest shopping center) will serve as an alternative destination to enjoy The Lost Abbey’s core lineup as well as beers from its award winning barrel-aging program.

Throughout its 8 year history, The Lost Abbey has crafted beers focusing on small batches with unique identities, making the decision to open an intimate space in a community like Cardiff that much easier.

“Cardiff has always been one of my favorite beach communities,” said Director of Brewery Operations Tomme Arthur. “We love its fiercely independent feel and a love of the local beaches makes it a special place for us.”

The construction of the new tasting room location still has several obstacles to overcome. Port Brewing Co / The Lost Abbey will be reaching out to the Cardiff community for support in this venture. The biggest hurdle is the Planning Commission hearing with the City of Encinitas, taking place Thursday, June 19th at 6pm.

The Lost Abbey is encouraging residents of both Cardiff and Encinitas to join us at the meeting (at The Encinitas Civic Center, 505 S. Vulcan Avenue)
to help bring our award-winning beers to their coastal area and along the way, become an additional community center for the neighborhood of Cardiff.

Multi-purpose Kook



Graduation, In-N-Out, Happy Sweet 16 Cara, Shamu/Blackfish... what else you got?

Friday, June 13, 2014

What's the rush? Planning staff short-circuit Planning Commission in order to push through fuzzy "5 Hearts" plan

Last week a correspondent noted the odd goings on at the Planning Commission:
The document that they released for Planning Commission consideration last night spoke about 5 communities and "5 hearts." Naturally, they want to inflict their definition of what the 5 community hearts are without asking the residents. The Planning Commission decided to cut it back to an outline without reviewing what will be sent on to the Council. According to [friends in the know], this is not legal, but they are doing it anyway.
A speaker at Wednesday night's council meeting added that Planning Director Jeff Murphy had insisted that there wasn't time to bring another draft to the Planning Commission.  What's the rush?  What timeline could possibly be so urgent that the Planning Commission doesn't have time to review an important planning policy document?

Then yesterday, a couple of blog comments speculated as to what's going on:
They originally said that the Housing Element would happen in 2016, and that residents would get to vote on it. I see another lie!!

This is they way they work. They give a fake date then push it through under the radar.
Then:
1:14

I believe you are correct! I had not thought about it. Gaspar and the council of cronies is planning to put the housing element overlay zone on the ballot this year to defeat Prop A

I can not believe I was actually resting easy- it is Barth's legacy destroying our community character-

They know if they puyt it on in 2016 a presidential election more people will vote.

They are cunning!

Bruce Ehlers and others please begin preparing. This is going to happen this year. Vina is a political snake-
Is the council planning on a last minute 2014 ballot initiative to gut Prop A after telling residents nothing would be on the ballot until 2016? It's pure speculation at this point, but the theory is consistent both with what happened at the Planning Commission and with a long-standing pattern of behavior by both this council and staff.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

6/11/14 City Council meeting open thread

The current city council has continued prior councils' practice of not providing written summary minutes of council discussion, but only "action minutes" which state the outcomes. Encinitas Undercover will provide a forum for observers to record what occurs at each council meeting.

Please use the comments to record your observations.

On tonight's agenda: finalizing approval of Gus Vina's budget, which increases staffing levels and costs, increases debt, and continues to underfund road maintenance and pension liabilities.

They'll also approve putting medical marijuana dispensaries on the ballot, but this is a mere formality as they are required to do so after the sponsors gathered enough petition signatures. Prediction: the voters will reject the dispensaries by a landslide.

And of course there's the giant land giveaway to San Diego's Botanic Gardens.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

Brady Aiken Kook


Encinitas' Brady Aiken was the #1 draft pick in last week's Major League Baseball draft.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Density Bonus!

... again in Leucadia, the city's favorite dumping ground.

From the Inbox:
Currently there are two tiny cottages and they want to build five three-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom. They are seeking a density bonus and variance for the set backs. Though the address is on Vulcan, the project really is on East Jason which is predominately small single family homes. With so many bedrooms there's a potential for adding dozens of people and their cars, traffic, noise etc. to a small street.

The sad thing is is that my wife and I "fled" living in North Park because the City of San Diego was handing out liquor licenses and approving large density projects in an area that was originally a nice mix of single family homes and small shops. Now we live in Encinitas where the city council is bent on the same destructive path. By contrast look at Laguna Beach. No infill, strict design requirements for businesses and it is a thriving and beautiful area.
There's a neighborhood meeting this Wednesday evening at 6PM at the site at 1265 Vulcan (corner of Vulcan and Jason).

Friday, June 6, 2014

The old double-scheduling trick

From the Inbox:
I am not sure if you heard about what happened last night, but they want to restart the Housing Element. Of course, they scheduled this topic at the same time as the Leucadia 101 Streetscape making it impossible to attend both important meetings at once.

They did the same thing when they had scheduled another important meeting on the General Plan Update at the same time that the main roll out of the I-5 widening was presented at the Senior Center.

The document that they released for Planning Commission consideration last night spoke about 5 communities and "5 hearts." Naturally, they want to inflict their definition of what the 5 community hearts are without asking the residents. The Planning Commission decided to cut it back to an outline without reviewing what will be sent on to the Council. According to [friends in the know], this is not legal, but they are doing it anyway.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Olivenhain Crop Circles

These have been appearing with some regularity this past month on Rancho Santa Fe Road.



In tangentially related news, a woman described as "very drunk" reportedly drove down Lone Jack on Saturday night smashing into various things including signs, fences, and a fire hydrant. She ended up broke down on 13th near Rancho Santa Fe Road when her car just wouldn't go any more, and got a ride to the pokey.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mayor Poll

Fact Thrower brings up lots of legitimate points in the comments about the records of candidates.

But in a world of limited and imperfect choices, what are you going to do?

Please vote in the poll in the left sidebar below, and leave your comments here.

UPDATE: OK, not sure what the problem is with Blogger polls. Let's try SurveyMonkey.

And yes, I know SurveyMonkey is as insecure and manipulable as the city's idiotic new Peak Democracy software. So you're on your honor to vote only once.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Not sure how to display the write-ins, but here's the count so far:

Julie Graboi 5
Catherine Blakespear 2
Al Rodbell 2
Bill Rodewald 1
Sheila 1
Donna (if Julie isn't running for mayor) 1
Michael Vilkin 1
Richard Dreyfuss 1
Judge Brandenburg 1
Leucadia Strange Thing 1
Gus Vina 1
"As yet undeclared" 1

Purple panties and Hello Kitty slippers Kook



Whatever floats your boat...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Two columnists in one! Logan Jenkins on Reconsider-gate

Logan Jenkins, May 31:
A raspberry — the Unnecessary Nuclear Option award — to Encinitas Mayor-To-Be-Very-Soon Kristin Gaspar for turning a transparently dumb council meeting in which she had every reason to be annoyed into an almost unprecedented family full-court press.

[...]

Yes, the correct result was reached. I suspect, however, it would have been reached without the extraordinary emotional appeals from Gaspar’s family. The drama was not required.

[...]

Gaspar had plenty of good cards to play. Most important, she had her own generally persuasive voice. She didn’t have to play her family.
Logan Jenkins, May 25:
It appears all but certain that Kranz, Barth and Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer will vote Wednesday to strip Gaspar of her title unless she promises not to run for mayor.
We suppose you could say Jenkins "reconsidered."