Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Vina pushes tax increase in Brentwood

Contra Costa Times:
In a push to solve the agency's long-standing financial troubles, directors of the East Contra Costa Fire District agreed Monday to the idea of reopening a fourth station next year as well as proposing another tax measure.

In a split vote, board members accepted these recommendations from a multi-jurisdictional task force that has spent nearly the past 4½ months brainstorming both temporary fixes and long-term solutions to the district's crippling shortage of firefighters and the stations to house them.

"We have a broken system," said Brentwood City Manager Gus Vina, who established the 10-member group that represents Brentwood, Oakley and the county as well as firefighters themselves.
Was Vina the instigator behind the failed Barth-Shaffer-Kranz tax hike? Will Vina call in Lew Edwards as an impartial arbiter of residents' opinions?

69 comments:

  1. Guess who isn't missed by anyone. Deadwood meets Brentwood.

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  2. Vina. the Humpty-Dumpty Administrator, on broken systems. Appears to have a one track approach to fiscal issues.

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    1. From a caption to a photo accompanying the article:

      "Over the past decade, the number of fire stations operated by the East County Fire District has dropped from eight to three"

      I'd say they have a real fiscal problem that tinkering with organizational efficiencies isn't going to make much of a difference. So a tax increase may be the only viable solution. But because the task force, established by Vina, made that recommendation then it must have been Vina himself who pushed that option.

      Ooooh, the Evil Vina!

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  3. thats what happens when all your experience is in Gov. No real business sense. Vina was a train wreck to begin. All you needed to do was look at his track record. Barth was a fool to support him.

    Then again Barth is a tax and spend Democrat, so it figures.

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  4. Vina left because Tony/Lisa/Teresa tried to take him out, but as usual, they hadn't done their homework and Muir easily shut the whole removal thing down.

    They wanted him out so they could install someone named Tom, a drinking buddy, who would happily violate all the state and federal laws that Vina balked at doing.

    Watch closely as Lisa and Catherine pull another $4 mil out of the $41 mil Capital Improvement Plan to try and develop Pacific View while all of us are still breathing. TB forced Vina to break several laws in pursuit of the proposed tax hike year before last that needed 4 council votes but couldn't get them.

    Employee affadavits concerning female employees being menaced by a council person that Interim Larry hid in the HR files are NOW on the near horizon; just in time for the next election.

    Plus, soon at a blog nearby you, every time Ehlers was written-up by the FPPC in the last 20 years. Set some time aside. The list is a real page-turner!

    Campaign Season is now officially open. Someone wake-up Dr. Lorrie, cat-loss-grievance counselor.

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    1. Up early again Mr. Atwater errrrr Andreen? Plus,soon at a blog nearby you, the list of frivolous FPPC complaints filed by the same d-bag for over a decade. The difference between you and Ehlers is that he has been effective while you have been nothing but a scummy little butt boy for monied interests. And for what? You're still broke.

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    2. Another totally confusing harangue by Andreen/Stocks - a little bit of fact laced with lots of fiction, most of which we have heard before. TB never wavered in her support for Vina. Remember that she asked for a premature performance review of Vina to shore up his position before she left office? It failed because the rest of the council had concerns about Vina.

      It sure would help if the posts were done before indulging, not after.

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    3. FYI-Dr. Lori is running for council so beware haters!

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    4. I wonder if she'll suck up to Stocks like she does on Rostra.

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    5. She's more likely to sue Stocks than suck up to him.

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    6. Nope. She has sucked up to him; she has not sued him.

      "For me, I have always liked you. . . Thanks for all the years you served our community."

      "XOXO" (okay, I added that part, but it's implied)

      http://sdrostra.com/?p=38369

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    7. 2:16- Let me rephrase. IF Stocks were to run again, Dr. Lori says she would sue him. Who cares what she said on La Rostra? How long ago was that post by the way? Maybe she wanted to get on his good side for a change. Who knows, and who in the hell cares? IF she is running for Council I want to hear it from her.

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  5. All I know is he's no longer in Encinitas. The rest is the usual Andreen weepy tripe. Just remember the shenanigans at the Chamber of Commerce. Andreen doesn't even live here, that's the hilarious part...

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  6. Who f**king cares!

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    1. 11:44 wins the internet for today.

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  7. Maybe Vina could introduce a new idea to them called Peak Democracy to find out how Brentwood really feels about things. For just a few hundred thousand bucks, I hear it cuts to the chase for public opinion and is the wave of the future at America's City Halls.

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    1. 1:09 PM

      I love it when I see shots like this about Peak Democracy and similar online forums like MySidewalk (formally MindMixer) which Del Mar uses. Most of the postings here are anonymous and sometimes contain some of the most outrageous accusations. Readers here appear more likely to accept them then the results of a Peak Democracy survey (non scientific of course). These tools are actually being used by a growing number of public agencies (I have no connection to any of the companies).

      Many people here have their mind made up and no amount of information is going to change it. There was one exception when everyone was behind the new "coastal" council persons until they turned on them.

      It's so pathetic that you have to keep kicking Vina to keep the juices flowing. He's been gone almost a year now. I guess kicking Stocks and now Barth is getting old.

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    2. Speakers at council meetings are not statistically valid representative samples.

      If we're being consistent, we must end that practice.

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    3. 1:09, I was being facetious.

      1:59, Evidently you didn't see the input "our"city council members" left for another city using Peak Democracy. It pulled a credibility plug right out of that whole online scheme.

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    4. 4:47 PM

      Unfortunately, to many comments like yours are serious. You can forgive us if it's a little hard to tell.

      That "credibility plug" as you call it is getting a little old. If hackers can break into all sorts of sophisticated systems, I don't doubt someone determined to skew an online poll could do it.

      Peak Democracy, for all its faults, gave a reasonable result to the housing element update exercise. I think too many people here were afraid that the results would show more support for the update than the people here would like. Better to undermine Peak Democracy up front than risk unpleasant results. Sort of like killing the messenger before delivering the message.

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    5. 6:15 peak democracy was outed as a failure, and run out of town. The results of peak were like the rigged mapping exercise run by Pedr Norby that residents called manipulation.

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    6. 8:44 PM

      Exactly how did Peak Democracy (PD) fail? I know about the claims that older versions of PD allowed anybody to comment but the version the city used was greatly improved although not perfect. I know the mayor complained about the results not including enough comments with specific community identification.

      For comparison, if a developer (a common target here) wished to goose his/her support for a project, they could recruit people to speak at a council or planning commission meeting even if they didn't live here. How would we know, especially if there were only a few of them. People often give their name and city or community as in "Joe Blow, Encinitas" or "Jane Blow, Cardiff". Some people just give their name. Do you know everyone in Encinitas or even your community?

      The point is, speakers aren't required to prove their name and residence when speaking to council or commissions. While I don't think it happens, that's not to say it couldn't happen.

      The PD exercise was not meant to be a formal survey or to gauge actual percentages of the reaction to various scenarios, especially since people were allowed to create their own. My understanding of the PD exercise was to provide input, both mapping and comments, that reflected the general opinion of Encinitas that allowed staff to focus on those elements that most people found favorable. This is no worse than trying to gauge whether the speakers at any council meeting are representative of the general population. Neither are scientific.

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    7. The issue here is do we want reliable information or not? Peak Democracy never said it was reliable or valid. Therefore, they really didn't deceive anyone. The sad part of all of this is that the City could have gotten truly reliable and statistically valid information from the San Diego State grad students, with professorial overseerers, for a mere $1500.00. 2 Councils turned the offer down. So that tells me that perhaps they really don't want to know the truth. That kind of says it all in my book. And, since I was the one that offered, via my husband, I do know this to be true. LAG

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    8. 10:56 AM

      If you're talking about the Social Science Research Lab (SSRL) at SDSU that might have been an option but what the Peak Democracy (PD) exercise tried to do would be very hard to do in a typical telephone survey. I don't know if SSRL does focus groups but that would be closer to the PD exercise. Respondents interacted with maps which is hard to do over a phone. The more involved a survey is the more respondents become, in effect, self selecting as most people don't want to hassle with it and will drop out.

      There is still time to do a more formal survey as everything gets finalized. When the next to final drafts are prepared a survey can ask whether people support it's policies and locations. While a map would still be helpful, a survey might just describe key locations or key alternative locations.

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    9. It's a red herring.

      People who complain about PD don't want a statistically valid survey. If the city had access to accurate polling, they'd be able to tune and tweak the HEU to assure that the version that goes on the ballot is the one most likely to pass.

      There will be a highly accurate public opinion poll taken next November.

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    10. 10:06 are you crony capitalist Marlena Medford? Remember Medford parlayed her power position as editor of Patch into a 6 figure job with the city as spin Doctor. Medford and Vian along with Barth Shaffer and Kranz then forced PD on citizens-

      Medford the parlayed her city gig into a lobbyist like gig with PD hoodwinking yet more unsuspecting and underinformed citizens.

      See how it works? Many of us do.

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    11. 12:29 PM

      "See how it works?" Yes I do. Avoid answering the question by attacking the one who asked it. Standard operating procedure for many of you here (thankfully, not all).

      I'm not Medford or have any connection to those companies. I'm not even a crony capitalist although maybe I'd have more money if I signed up.

      "Remember Medford parlayed her power position as editor of Patch into a 6 figure job ..." Saying that Medford had a power position at that shoestring operation Patch is quite a laugh.

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    12. Medford was in charge of a leading online publication in town that Vina, Barth, Shaffer and Kranz all used to benefit themselves with press releases, favorable coverage and commentaries.

      To deny that is to be delusional-

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    13. It's all about perception and remember, we do have a particularly gullible and easily-hoodwinked council...they heard "editor," you can bet your bippy they were impressed, Patch or no Patch.

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    14. Medford did not have a 6 figure job at the city, but what if she did? If I thought I could get that job, I would have applied. She probably got about $75k. People on here love making it up...

      BTW, she was probably lucky to make $30k at Patch, which does not pay. Patch sucks, that's why it's pretty much out of business. Patch is not journalism. Patch is crap. Clue in....

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    15. Medford was not a manager, she did what whoever her boss was (could have been Vina) told her. And BTW, she's no longer with the city.

      http://encinitasundercover.blogspot.com/2015/05/city-spokeswoman-marlena-medford-resigns.html

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    16. Full disclosure, she parlayed her gig into one at Peak Democracy...

      -MGJ

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    17. 6:34 PM

      I'm sorry but when you say "... she parlayed her gig into one at Peak Democracy" you are speaking of motives. You're in essence saying that the reason Medford took the job with the city is to use it as a stepping stone to her current job. I find that a stretch.

      But also, with so many here calling for the elimination of her position, is it hard to imagine that Medford might have worried that her position would be eliminated and she jumped at the chance with Peak Democracy since they worked together on the housing element update.

      So many here profess to know people's motives and those motives are always bad. I didn't know this city had so many mind readers. I don't know Medford and I don't profess to know her thinking or motives.

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    18. Actually it was just a turn of phrase, but I don't think it's unfair to say she wouldn't have had the chance to work at Peak Dem. had she not been working at the City.

      I have no problem with Marlena. I've met her and she's ok with me. She applied for that city job fair and square and she seemed like a hard worker. That's it...

      -MGJ

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    19. 7:50 PM

      I have to admit that as soon as I posted 11:59 AM I saw the other side. I thought of adding another post but let it stand. I think what swayed me was the "Full disclosure" lead. Why "Full disclosure"? There is no doubt that working for the city on the housing element project brought her into contact with Peak Democracy and the company. They got to know each other and obviously liked what they saw. As far as I can tell, there was nothing inappropriate. Employees, both public and private, get recruited all the time by other organizations that they interact with.

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  8. What a great bunch of comments. In a few lines posters have trashed Vina, Barth, Dr. Lori, Andreen, Ehlers, Tony, and Lisa. Have I missed anyone? Are there any people you like out there. This is beyond "who the fuck cares?' This is just crazy. And no, I am not the crazy cat lady.

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    1. Welcome to the blog on a good day during the off season. At least when there's an election, some of it is on topic. We're going to beat Vina until he comes back and shows some remorse apparently....

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    2. 6:05- we have a state government that rewards illegal immigrants of a certain skin color with legal driver's licenses, while making other legal immigrants complete legal forms and pay legal fees to come to the state. We have a federal government that under Nancy Pelosi/harry reid, and now under Bohner-Ryan-McConnell has not passed a budget in 7 years (that is how little they care for american families). We have Presidents named George Bush and Barack Obama who lie to citizens, pass bills in the dead of night and have actively worked to reduce the living standards of citizens while promoting open borders and crony capitalism to benefit their friends Soros, Koch, Buffet and Gates. We have a media (Lying Brian Williams and Dan Rather) along with Fox, CNN, NBC and others that mislead and misinform the public daily.

      It is helpful for all americans when citizen journalist like EU post updates on failed leaders such as Vina and others.

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    3. 12:24 PM

      "we have a state government that rewards illegal immigrants of a certain skin color with legal driver's licenses ...". I wasn't aware that the state doesn't issue driver's licenses to non Hispanic illegal immigrants, just to Hispanic ones.

      I'm sure EU is proud of your endorsement.

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    4. Governor Brown passed a law to benfit the latino illegal immigrant community. Lorainna Gonzalez just proposed legislation that all drivers licenses are registered to vote. In one swoop Brown and Gonzales reduced the value of each legal citizens vote. Not suprisingly Governor Brown and Gonzales oppose voter ID requriments that would ensure only legal citizens vote protecting the value of each current legal citiizens vote. Brown and Gonzalez are supported by the press and open border billionaires Koch Brothers, George Soros, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, The Bush Dynasty, the Clinton Dynasty.

      Thankfully, legal immigrants of all colors , races, sexes and religions are following our rules and respecting our borders -

      Unfortuantely, an overwhelming number of illegal immigrants are latino's who don't care about our rules of law and seek special laws based on their skin color LA RAZA.

      Governor Brown called white american males "Gringo's" when he spoke to the Latinon business community San Diego last year. A racist comment. The Governor went on to say that "Brown Power" was the future of the state. I thought our future was based on the rule of law and the content of each person character.





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    5. 12:24, neither Williams nor Rather reads the news right now, but thanks for keeping up. You're a nut dude...

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  9. If you really paid attention to what these scoundrels have done you might understand. Dr Lori is fine and has only helped Encinitas.

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    1. 2:50 is right. Dr. Lori is the ONLY one who has ever gone up twice before the Council and shared what a piece of work Sabine really is. He bills the City and turfs most of it to his own firm. She spent 9 minutes in front of a Council, including Barth, who said her first job if she was elected is to review Sabine, and possibly make a change. Well, as we all know that did not happen. So, before you start trashing her once again, be sure of your facts. As far as the Rostra post, I checked it out, an it was over a year ago. Surely you can do better than that Jerome or Mike? So, if she runs, I think I would vote for her. My understanding from others is she has no desire to run, nor does she even desire to go after Sabine anymore. Haters gonna hate, no matter what, and if Dr. Lori is your target, go for it. Personally I think it's petty and mean spirited, but then again, I don't like a lot of things that are going on in this city. I have also heard that if Jerome were to run and win, Dr. Lori has Gloria Allred in her back pocket. She will skip Marco and go right to Allred. That would prove to be interesting. Beware Jerome or Mike.

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    2. ". . . be sure of your facts."

      Like the spelling of her name?

      https://www.linkedin.com/pub/lorri-greene/11/6a5/b84

      #irony

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    3. Trust me, Dr. Lorri is not in love with Jerome. There's a long backstory to that one, and it does not involve her showing up to his house with roses.

      I somehow doubt she's running, that's probably disinformation from the dark side as usual. But speaking of the dark side, look for Lerch to run again....

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    4. 7:03 is correct about the mutual dislike of Jerome Stocks and Lorri Greene. And, it does go way back. The Rostra post was a way in which she attempted to go along to get along. And, if you read the whole thing, she also got Jerome to apologize for calling ALL of the current council members basically too stupid to run the City. When she asked him if he meant Muir and Gaspar he backed off and said NO he only meant the other 3. For Jerome to admit anything wrong is HUGE and it was exactly what she wanted to do, which was to call him out on so many of his wild accusations that have no proof.

      I have heard that she is running and I have heard that she is not. She is being pressured by some to run, but she has other interests at this time, and since her main focus was on Sabine, the only way she would probably run is if she could get rid of him, which won't happen. The sad part of the Sabine story is she has so much information on him and the Council ignores it. However, I do know that Lorri personally know Allred and Allred has already said she would take the case if he were a political figure again, meaning he was on the Council. She could have filed a lawsuit back when all of it hapened, but she chose not to. Since the Filner debacle, however, she was once again asked if she was sure she didn't want to file suit. Many of the women who filed against Filner stated that the episodes with him were many years ago, so there is no statue of limitations. But, Jerome would have to be in office, or some kind of public position for her to file now. This new PAC that has been formed, with Jerome as the President is a grey area that actually could put him up for consideration for a suit. This could prove to be interesting, as rumor has it she still is very upset about what he did. Anyway, food for thought Jerome. Be careful. Filner's downfall could very easily be yours.

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    5. So she doesn't actually like Jerome, even though she told him the opposite?

      Do we have a word for that?

      Maybe one that rhymes with "Tony?"

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  10. Vina also pushed along the $3 million lifeguard tower here. Not your normal lifeguard tower, it will have bells and whistles not imagined by the ordinary taxpayer. It will have almost wraparound windows. Does it mean central air and heating? Plus, drum roll, please- There's also a screened-in, outdoor area where injured seals and sea lions will be kept until animal rescue services can come collect them, the project architect said.
    The council will be running its own little Sea World. Aren't permits required from Federal and State agencies to keep the animals penned. Of course, that hasn't stopped the council before with doing illegal acts.

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    1. 10:54 PM

      "There's also a screened-in, outdoor area where injured seals and sea lions will be kept until animal rescue services can come collect them ..." So you'd rather have them either wander around the beach or have a lifeguard waste their time babysitting them. I'm sure that outdoor pen is a big chunk of the $3 M.

      Oh yes, the lifeguards should be rushing off for a permit every time they encounter an injured animal.

      I hope my sarcasm comes through.

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  11. 10:51 AM
    Your sarcasm came through and so did your ignorance. The pen is a permanent structure. It needs a permit. Want to run afoul of the Feds and the State just start handling protected species. Does every lifeguard tower in the state have pens for the seals and sea lions? Has the council made rescuing seals and sea lions the #1 priority of the lifeguard duties?

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    1. 11:03 AM

      Permitting is only required when the animal will be kept for any length of time for whatever reason. I could find nothing on the NOAA site about temporary holding pens where an animal is held for a few hours until animal rescue services arrive. Not only is helping an injured animal humane but it could pose a danger, however minor, to swimmers and beach goers.

      Show us where the state and federal regulations require a permit for a very short term holding pen.

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  12. Someone's nose is growing again . . .

    Section 109 (h) of the Marine Mammals Protection Act:

    (h) [TAKING OF MARINE MAMMALS AS PART OF OFFICIAL DUTIES.] —

    Nothing in this title or title IV shall prevent a Federal, State, or local government official or employee or a person designated under section 112(c) from taking, in the course of his or her duties as an official, employee, or designee, a marine mammal in a humane manner (including euthanasia) if such taking is for—

    (A) the protection or welfare of the mammal,

    (B) the protection of the public health and welfare, or

    (C) the nonlethal removal of nuisance animals.

    In any case in which it is feasible to return to its natural habitat a marine mammal taken or imported under circumstances described in this subsection, steps to achieve that result shall be taken.

    Pro tip: Stop making stuff up, and use the Google machine if you are about to opine on something you know nothing about.

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    1. 11:52 AM

      Thanks for finding that. I'm sure it includes temporary holding enclosures like vehicles, cages and holding pens that are used in the performance of those duties provided they are humane.

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  13. 11:46 AM
    Obviously, you are just too smart.
    http://www.sunnews.org/latest-news/opinion-sea-lions-best-chance-of-survival/

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  14. https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/07/13/2015-16965/takes-of-marine-mammals-incidental-to-specified-activities-construction-activities-at-the-childrens

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  15. When it takes two lifeguards to pen the sea lion, who is watching the water for swimmers in distress? So Encinitas has three lifeguards per tower and two of them spend their time rescuing the marine animals. Wrong priorities by the city.

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    1. Boy are you trying hard to see problems where none exist.

      Injured or sick sea lions on the beach are a hazard to the safety of beach goers, just like a rip current. They can't be ignored. Besides, if an animal can be helped and returned to the wild, most citizens want that to happen.

      Caring for animals does not distract lifeguards watching swimmers. They call it in on the radio, and other guards doing admin or maintenance work are dispatched to deal with the animal.

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    2. It's that Bah Humbug time of year.

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  16. 2:19 PM
    What is the budget for the lifeguard department?

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    1. You can find the pay on this blog if you hunt around...

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  17. Life guard budget is a fricken waste of money. What is the budget for one year?

    Why are we borrowing to build a nice lifeguard tower that will take so much room on our precious beach?

    Shouldn't the tower be built on higher ground like Solana Beach?

    Should the tower be funded by contributions from private citizens like in Del Mar and not delaying much needed projects in Encinitas?

    Who controls this City Manager?

    where do the citizens fit in?

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  18. Carlsbad spend zero on lifeguards, yet its a much bigger city.

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    1. 10:09 PM

      Maybe that's because the State operates the beaches and is doing such a good job that Carlsbad has been kicking in extra money to pay for maintenance and minor upgrades. Look in the State budget for the lifeguard expenses.

      Also, it may be that some of you would prefer to see this happen but good luck getting tourists here if we let them drown in our sometimes tricky waters with changing rip currents. Or maybe you're just callus.

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    2. 11:45 PM

      Oops. I meant callous.

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    3. 11:45 AM
      Deciding to go to the beach without a lifeguard is always paramount in the tourist's mind. Doesn't the state put up a sign - no lifeguard on duty. Swim at your own risk.

      Delete
  19. 8:58 states, "The sad part of the Sabine story is she has so much information on him and the Council ignores it. However, I do know that Lorri personally know Allred and Allred has already said she would take the case if he were a political figure again, meaning he was on the Council. She could have filed a lawsuit back when all of it hapened, but she chose not to. Since the Filner debacle, however, she was once again asked if she was sure she didn't want to file suit. Many of the women who filed against Filner stated that the episodes with him were many years ago, so there is no statue of limitations. But, Jerome would have to be in office, or some kind of public position for her to file now."

    Can someone in the know help me understand what it is that happened. Did Sabine do it, Stocks, or both? If we're talking Allred, we're talking sexual stuff? If so, is there not a moral obligation to come forward (hopefully, with suitable protections) and prevent further acts?

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    1. A year ago she posted, then deleted a lengthy story that amounted to Stocks playing grab ass with her at a holiday party in front of people.

      Hard to tell whether anything happened that would support legal action, or what others saw.

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    2. Maybe it was Bill Cosby!

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  20. Time to step up Lori.

    We have heard about about your MLK stories. now its time for you to stand for what is right for future generations of Encinitains and especially young women wanting to make a difference.

    Are you a do-er or a Nothing?

    I hope your a doer for my daughters sake. Thanks in advance Dr. Lori

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