Monday, September 17, 2018

Does Measure U contain a Trojan horse to kill the right to vote?

Union-Trib:
Measure U proponent Kurt Groseclose, a former city planning commissioner, called the ballot measure a "locally controlled action plan" and said it was created during a "very transparent" process with more than 25 public meetings.

Opponent Peter Stern called it a "terrible deal for Encinitas residents and a wonderful giveaway for developers," and said it was worse than the city's previous proposal -- the Measure T plan, which voters turned down in 2016.

The new plan, which goes before voters Nov. 6, proposes up-zoning 15 properties in an effort to encourage the construction of low-income housing. Under the proposed zoning, each of the 15 privately owned properties would be permitted to have to 25 to 30 housing units an acre and buildings could be three stories.
Meanwhile, from the Encinitas Undercover comments:
At the Measure U debate forum on Tuesday, the Yes on U advocate, Kurt Groseclose, former Planning Commission member, got caught with his pants down. He claimed Measure U does not nullify Prop. A. The No on U advocate, Peter Stern, a lawyer, put the following PowerPoint slide on the screen.

PROGRAM 3C: Right to Vote Amendment
In 2013, a citizen initiative resulted in the Right to Vote Amendment (Proposition A), which requires voter approval of most land use changes and building heights higher than two stories. Proposition A cannot be modified except by another vote of the people. If a proposed Housing Element does not achieve community support, Proposition A may act as a constraint on the City's ability to comply with state Housing Element law. Assuming that this Housing Element is approved in November 2018, the City will take actions to ensure that future Housing Elements can be adopted in a timely fashion and that requirements for a vote of the people do not constrain the City's compliance with State law.

You can find this on Page 39 in the full text of the measure on the city website. The second time Stern put the slide up Groseclose turned around and read it. Mayor Blakespear took a photo of it with her smart phone. Both were stunned. Obviously neither had read the full measure. On leaving Blakespear looked like the bottom had fallen out of her world.
The full text is here. The language in question is on page 39-40 of the PDF and reproduced below (click to enlarge).

The most charitable reading is that staff will add enough buffer units in each housing cycle's update to be able to do the following cycle's update without a public vote.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mayoral forum

Do you like the status quo or are you ready for something... else?

Coast News:
Blakespear deftly offered detailed answers to the dozen or so questions, while Elliott, a self-described “metaphysical broker,” frequently pivoted back to his desire to build affordable housing for the city’s municipal workforce.

While not offering much detail about the plan, he alluded to building hundreds of units on the grounds of the old Pacific View Elementary School “as opposed to turning it into a garden,” alluding to the current plans to turn the property into the so-called Pacific View Academy of Arts, Culture and Ecology.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Phil Graham accuser faces criminal charges for false report

Coast News:
A North County woman who falsely accused former State Assembly candidate Phil Graham of groping and forcibly kissing her now faces criminal charges stemming from her claims.

According to Superior Court records obtained by The Coast News, the District Attorney’s office has charged Nichole Burgan with misdemeanor filing of a false police report stemming from the claims made during the lead up to the June 5 primary election.
Graham was the top Republican in the race, but didn't make the November ballot because the top two vote getters were Democrats.

As inconvenient as the election season false accusation was, it probably didn't make a difference, as the huge field of hopeless Republicans split the GOP vote.




Drive-by shooting at Olivenhain home of popular online gamer

NBC7:
A glass barrier in the rear of the home was visibly shot out from Lone Jack Road, according to a picture taken by an NBC7 reporter.

The online website US Gamer is reporting the shooting occurred at the family home of a popular Twitch streamer, DrDisrespect.

"Beahm also revealed that this is the second time in two days that someone shot at his family's residence, but today the shots hit his home's upstairs window. The clip ends with Beahm becoming visibly upset," the website states.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Encinitas dad gets 24 years for Ponzi scheme

For years we have wondered whether Encinitas was the Ponzi scheme capital of the world. First there was Scott Bottolfson. Then there was John Clement's EdgeFund. And then Steven Hamilton and Dennis Eugene Long.

The latest case is an accountant and family man who has lived in Encinitas and been active in the community for several years after swindling people out of millions in Colorado.

Gunnison Times:
A Ponzi scheme that swindled unsuspecting investors out of millions of dollars has landed a former Gunnison accountant behind bars.

District Court Judge J. Steven Patrick sentenced Laverne “Vern” Moter, 50, to 24 years in prison this past Thursday — the maximum presumptive sentence for the two counts to which Moter pleaded guilty this past May.

Over the span of four years beginning in 2009, Moter solicited more than $2.6 million from investors, promising hefty rates of return. However, a Colorado Attorney General’s office investigation found that Moter paid initial investors returns on their money with finances garnered from new investors — all while living a lavish lifestyle himself on the life savings of those victims.

Assistant Attorney General Jason Slothouber indicated that Moter spent investors’ money on past debts, credit card bills and “lifestyle.” A credit card bill for one month alone totaled $56,000. At the same time, Moter bought his wife a new Mercedes and used investors’ money to purchase a new home in Las Vegas.

Even at the time of Friday’s hearing, Slothouber noted that Moter rented a home in Encinitas, Calif., valued at about $1.5 million with a view of the ocean and paid $29,000 per year in private school tuition for three kids.
The defense asked for a few months in jail and probation, but the judge issued the maximum sentence.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Blakespear seeks SANDAG Vice Chair

Voice of San Diego:
Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said she’s pursuing the vice chair position, after [Poway Mayor Steve] Vaus urged her to do so.

“The Poway mayor and I have a positive collaborative working relationship on SANDAG and I look forward to being considered by the whole board to serve with him,” she said.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Mayoral challenger launches campaign on Nextdoor

Nextdoor.com:
Hello Neighbors I am John Paul Elliott Lets Save Beacons!

I am local Neighbor that is running for Mayor. I want to preserve Beacons and Leucadia from the Street Scape Crazed mentality that is trying to make us like Orange County. 
I will stop the back-room deals and have a plan for sustainable long term housing for our children and all the City employees. 1st of all everything will be video recorded espesially the "Back-Door-Deals" these guys will have to show Us who they really are. We will get rid of the Orange County City Manager and replace her with a less expensive replacement who is from Leucadia NOT Orange County. We can take it Back with this election please tell your friends about me and Coco(My little Dog who s running with me as Co-Mayor). My web site will up soon JohnPaulElliott.org and please call me so I can get you our yard signs and get the word out that we can change the pathway we are on before it's to late. 
 #1. We will "stop Street Scape in it's tracks" #2. We will install Ped-Crossing in Leucadia lat RXR Tracks like they did at Swami's. #3. We'll place Lighted Stop Signs and cross walks on 101, not go into 27 Million debt. #4. I will develop Affordable Housing for our Residents forever sustainable & Affordable. #5. I will Preserve Beacon Beach for all the future families to come. Get involved come to these City Meetings(Which was stirred up by Us the public in the July Public Planning Commission meeting in town hall ,where we all told the current government what the heck is wrong with you? Get involved Vote for me as the Local Mayor choice and we can save our Scared Community. You are welcome to call me and make any suggestions toward a better Leucadai. Thanks for reading my post.  John Paul (JP) Elliott & "Coco" (951) 781-6900

Thursday, August 30, 2018

From foreclosure crusader to nuthouse lawyer

Remember Encinitas attorney Michael T. Pines, who gained TV fame as a foreclosure attorney with unconventional tactics such as encouraging clients to break in and squat in their former homes?

He's now representing himself in Atascadero State Hospital.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Friday, August 17, 2018

Olivenhain Jackass

From the Inbox:
Some idiot smoked the mailbox on Cole Ranch on the section between Lone Jack and del Norte. We reported it to the cops and they said they heard reports of other sh** getting hit on Rancho Sante Fe Road earlier. This happened around ~4 pm yesterday, and by the tire marks you can tell this imbecile made the illegal rush hour turn. Looks like he/she hit the left and was going into the property facing to the east, then overcorrected and slammed into the mailbox and swerved back on to the road. Must have been someone who lives off Lone Jack who is just too g*d damn important to sit in 30 more seconds of traffic, which I do as principle even though I live on the f***ing street.

That's not just one mailbox... it's the mailboxes for the whole block. Here's the Google image of the site:
Doesn't anybody on the street have security cameras that would have caught it? We hate to stereotype, but we'd guess it was the failure-to-launch offspring of a Lone Jack resident.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

8/15/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Candidates filed

Del Mar Times:
Three incumbents and three challengers will vye for a trio of seats on the Encinitas city council this November.

In Encinitas, voters will be able to select their choice for the mayor, as well as districts three and four, if they live within one of those area’s boundaries. District three represents Cardiff, while district four encompasses areas of Olivenhain and New Encinitas.

The six candidates are:

Mayor:

* Incumbent Catherine Blakespear, a 42-year-old lawyer
* John Paul Elliott, a 71-year-old metaphysical broker

District three:

* Incumbent Mark Muir, a 62-year-old retired fire chief
* Jody Hubbard, a 61-year-old Encinitas planning commissioner

District four:

* Incumbent Joe Mosca, a 45-year-old manager of major projects at San Diego Gas & Electric
* Tony Brandenburg, a 56[?]-year-old retired chief judge
We've never heard of John Paul Elliott, don't know what a metaphysical broker is, and assume he won't run a serious campaign.

Hubbard is the Barth-Shaffer candidate for Cardiff.

Tony Brandenburg is an Olivenhain institution, but didn't do well when he ran for council in 2016 before district elections were established. We shall see.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

TV's Mike Rowe covers Ian "Poods" Barry family philanthropy

Watch the video here.

Fatal hit-and-run at I-5 off-ramp to Encinitas Boulevard

10 News:
A search is on for a driver suspected of hitting and killing a woman near an off-ramp from Interstate 5 in Encinitas Tuesday morning.

The crash happened at around 6:30 a.m. near the Encinitas Boulevard off-ramp from northbound Interstate 5, according to California Highway Patrol officials. The off-ramp was closed for a short period due to the investigation.

The collision is under investigation, but CHP officials confirmed that the body of a 62-year-old woman was found in a ravine off the roadway. Officials believe the woman had been dead for about an hour when her body was discovered.

CHP officials described the vehicle believed to be involved in the incident as a 1995 to 2002 Ford Expedition or Ford F-150 pickup that is missing its right front headlight and likely has additional damage.
That's remarkably close to the site of a hit-and-run last year, the perpetrator of which also drove a Ford F-150 and is apparently already out of jail.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Under deadline gun, council approves sending bad plan to voters

Del Mar Times:
In a turn of events, Blakespear — who previously voted against the plan — joined Kranz, Mosca and Muir on Wednesday in their support of the document. Blakespear said while she disagreed with certain zoned sites on the housing element, she wanted residents to be able to vote on the matter.

[...] several residents argued against the proposal and said properties like the "Cannon Property" on Piraeus and the "Meyer Proposal" on Clark Avenue were unsuitable for development due to concerns such as potential traffic, overcrowdedness at nearby schools and health concerns.

Residents advocated for removing the Meyer site and replacing it with the "L-7" property, which is owned by the city and was removed from the plan in April when hundreds of neighbors in the Quail Gardens area spoke in opposition. HCD had recommended L-7 as an ideal site for affordable housing.

City staff advised that revising the list of sites was not an option at this time due to the need for a public hearing and the deadline to file for the November election quickly approaching.
The Clark Avenue site is a huge development in an area with extremely narrow streets and very few ways in and out, miles from amenities like grocery stores, and with the air quality concerns of being right on the freeway.

As many residents pointed out, calling "shame" on the council, the process has been awful, with backroom negotiations between staff and developers, and sites being added and dropped like hot potatoes. The residents of eastern Leucadia got stuck holding the hot potato when the clock ran out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Big housing meeting tonight

The city council faces a deadline tonight to come up with a housing plan to put on the November ballot.

The most recent iteration has Leucadia residents up in arms over a massive new development on Clark Avenue near I-5 and Leucadia Boulevard, which, rumors have, was added as part of a land swap to give developer David Meyer the city's prime real estate on Quail Gardens Drive.

According to the council's plans, the majority of high-density development would fall on Leucadia and Old Encinitas, while Cardiff and Olivenhain would be largely unscathed.

The council appears determined to push forward with this plan even though it has already been ruled inadequate by the state Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Council chaos causes housing deadline panic

Union-Trib:
On Wednesday night, the City Council will once again debate what to put on the ballot. The county election office's filing deadline is Friday, so a decision must be reached that night, or it's too late to get the paperwork together to make the November ballot, the city clerk has said.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Coastal Commission staff recommends major changes to Leucadia Streetscape

Coastal Commission report:
As presented by the City, the LCP amendment fails to address the potential scope of road modifications on major coastal access routes and the coastal resource impacts that need to be addressed in the context of the LCP. In addition to lane reduction projects, potential road modifications could include installation of roundabouts or stop signs, removal of public parking, non-automobile improvements, such as pedestrian and cycling amenities, removal of major vegetation, or the addition of travel lanes or turn lanes. The City’s proposal to allow for roadway variations citywide and to allow for travel lane reductions on Highway 101 in Leucadia raise significant concerns related to coastal access and recreation. Roadway modification projects, especially on a major coastal access roadway like the iconic Highway 101, have the potential to result in adverse impacts to the public’s ability to reach the coast and to enjoy a scenic coastal drive on Highway 101. Major roadway modifications also have the potential to adversely impact water quality, biological resources, visual resources, and community character.
That sounds pretty firm. Can the city modify plans enough to appease the Commission?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Cardiff schools separate but equal?

From the Inbox:
The recent discussion about the 22 million dollar bond to upgrade Cardiff Elementary school has again crystalized for me the issue of a fiefdom within the city of Encinitas. It has long been overlooked that the Cardiff Elementary School District is distinct within the state of California for its underenrollment and high cost per student, and its independence as a district operating within a district. Comparing data available from the California Department of Education, it's obvious the disparity between Cardiff School District and Encinitas Union Elementary School District.

Encinitas Union Elementary enrollment by grade: link

Cardiff Elementary District enrollment by grade: link

It's time for an open discussion about the opportunities available for our elementary school students within the city of Encinitas and for our students to enjoy a broader distribution of the resources available within our community. As Cardiff Elementary school is rebuilt, let's look closer at fully utilizing the facility rather than limiting enrollment to small number of students residing within the fiefdom of the Cardiff Elementary School District.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Beacon's Skywalk rejected

Planners reject "Vegas-style" staircase at Beacon's Beach:
A proposed staircase down to Beacon's Beach must be redesigned to make it look less like a "Las Vegas-style skywalk" or "freeway overpass" and more like something that fits with Leucadia's funky vibe, Encinitas Planning Commissioners decided Thursday.

The decision -- a 4-0 vote with Commissioner Al Apuzzo absent -- came after hours of public testimony dominated by project opponents. Some 30 people spoke to the commission. Many of them stayed to hear the vote, then jumped to their feet to give the commissioners a standing ovation afterward.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Housing deadline in doubt amid council chaos

The Coast News:
The Encinitas City Council continues to play a dangerous political game with the Housing Element, now putting the ballot-filing deadline at risk.

After hours of public comment and about 10 minutes of councilmember discussion at the July 18 meeting, the council moved to vote on whether to approve the Housing Element in its current form. The vote tally on the screen flashed 2-2, with Mayor Catherine Blakespear and Tasha Boerner Horvath opposed. Councilman Mark Muir was absent.

As the city’s attorney, Glenn Sabine, then explained, the tie vote meant that no decision could be rendered. Because approving the Housing Element was a prerequisite to approving the ballot measure, no action could be taken on that measure either.

The shock in the room was palpable. Councilman Tony Kranz said, “It seems clear that the mayor is willing to sabotage this.” His comment was interrupted by loud outcries of dissent from attendees. After Blakespear quieted her supporters, Kranz continued, “We have a lot of professional fees that we’re paying tonight and we’re doing a lot of things that we could have postponed until we had five councilmembers here.”
Click on over to the Coast News for much more, including that the state housing department (HCD) rejected the current plan due to the Kranz/Mosca/Muir last minute changes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Man hit by train in Leucadia

Del Mar Times:
A man lying on railroad tracks was struck by an Amtrak train Friday, July 13 and hospitalized. San Diego County Sheriff's Transit Enforcement Unit responded to a train versus pedestrian collision at 7:20 p.m. July 13, along the tracks in the 1400 block of North Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas, according to Deputy Jason Burk with the Sheriff's Department.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Locals oppose concrete at Beacon's

Coast News:
A group of residents is urging the city to reconsider plans for a large, concrete staircase at Beacon’s Beach to supplement, and ultimately replace, the iconic switchback staircase beachgoers currently use.

The group, called “Preserve Beacon’s,” has mounted a petition drive and campaign in advance of the July 19 Planning Commission consideration of a coastal development permit for the proposed staircase.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Get out of jail quick these days

From the Inbox:
Remember this?


Periodically I look at the State and County inmate search sites to see where Justin Parker is. I was shocked to find that he is not in their systems anymore. (I don't think he was ever in the State system)



He was booked in March, so he is out in less than 4 months!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Encinitas to get ALDI discount grocery store

San Diego Reader:
Encinitas grocery shoppers are about to get a little more European influence. A design review permit application with the city became public last month, for the opening of an ALDI supermarket. It will be the sixth German-based store opened in San Diego County in the last two years, but the first one along the upper-middle class coastline.

ALDI’s website identifies the chain as “discount grocery.” Grocery items are shelved directly in the product’s cartons or open boxes. Their stores do not have banks, pharmacies, or cash checks.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Mark Muir running for re-election

We’ll have at least one contested city election this November.

Mark Muir’s Cardiff Current:
After much consideration, I am proud to announce that I will be seeking re-election to the Encinitas City Council.
Earlier, Planning Commissioner Jody Hubbard announced that she would run in Muir’s district, backed by former council members Barth and Shaffer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

6/27/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Naked guy breaks into Days Inn hotel room

10 News:
Sheriff's Deputies responded to an Encinitas hotel room Tuesday night after reports of a break in on Encinitas Boulevard.

Upon arriving, deputies were told that a naked man broke into the Days Inn room around 10:15 p.m., and several teenagers were inside.

Deputies tell 10News that the man was staying in a room on the third floor and the teens, in town for a school field trip, were staying on the second floor.

The man got into the room, but eventually jumped off the second story of the building and landed on the windshield of a car below.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Motorcycle fatality at Moonlight Plaza




CBS 8:
According to authorities, the motorcyclist was popping a wheelie around 11:45 a.m. in the 400 block of South Coast Highway 101 when he lost control and slammed into the back of a patrol unit driven by a deputy.
Wheelie or no, it sure looks like a southbound deputy made a left turn in front of a northbound motorcyclist.

UPDATE: Victim is Carter Yarborough, 48.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Council removes four more sites in contentious, late-night meeting

Del Mar Times:
At just about 2 a.m. June 21, the council voted in favor of removing two of three HCD-recommended sites, as well as two additional, contested sites. Mayor Catherine Blakespear and Council member Tasha Boerner Horvath opposed the motion.

[...]

In addition to the elimination of the El Camino Real South parcel and Dewitt property, Kranz also recommended removing the former Frog's Gym site at 780 Garden View Court and a site on Rancho Santa Fe East in Olivenhain, with Deputy Mayor Joe Mosca and Council member Mark Muir agreeing. Both added sites received strong vocal opposition from residents at the meeting.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Neighbors organizing against upzoning sites

... in Cardiff ... and in Olivenhain.

Well, it worked for Quail Gardens "L-7"!

But with time running out for HCD certification and placement on the November ballot, is it too late? Tomorrow night's City Council meeting should be a doozy!

Why didn't Sheriff's Department warn public there was a rapist on the loose in Encinitas?

NBC 7:
According to the complaint, the earliest evidence against Winslow stems from a March 17 incident when he allegedly kidnapped and raped a 54-year-old transient. The other alleged crimes occurred May 13, May 24 and June 1.

There is no indication, however, that SDSO investigators warned the public about that series of sex crimes, all but one of which was violent in nature.

While it’s unknown if the department had any identifying information about the perpetrator, law enforcement routinely sends out warnings and alerts that include a description of the suspect or other information that could help residents protect themselves and generate leads that help the investigation.

An SDSO spokesperson has since last Friday declined to provide any information about what the department knew about those earlier attacks, whether it issued any sort of public alert, and if not, why it chose not to inform the public.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Planning Commissioner Jody Hubbard to run for Council

Coast News:
Encinitas Planning Commissioner Jody Hubbard tossed her hat into the City Council ring, announcing her decision on June 10 through a campaign launch party. Hubbard will vie for District 3, which represents constituents in Cardiff and part of New Encinitas.

Mark Muir currently occupies the seat and has not publicly stated whether he will run for re-election in November. No other District 3 candidates have emerged yet.

[...]

Hubbard has been endorsed by Teresa Barth, former mayor of Encinitas, and by Lisa Shaffer, former deputy mayor.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Winslow charged with kidnapping, rape

10 News:
Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II was arrested for the second time in one week Thursday on charges including kidnapping, rape, and sodomy.

Winslow, the son of legendary Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow, was originally booked on a residential burglary charge on June 7.

The new charges filed Thursday include:

- Kidnapping with intent to commit rape - 2 counts
- Forcible rape - 2 counts
- Forcible sodomy - 1 count
- Forcible oral copulation - 1 count
- Residential burglary - 2 counts
- Indecent exposure - 1 count
It's unclear how, or whether at all, the new charges relate to the original burglary.

NBC:
SDSO Lt. Michael Blevins told NBC 7 there were multiple victims associated with the new charges but would not say how many. Blevins said the alleged incidents happened in the Encinitas area, but not in the Park Encinitas mobile home park where he was arrested last Thursday, June 7.
UPDATE: Encinitas Advocate:
Among the charges in the complaint:

- Kidnap, rape and forced oral copulation of a 54-year-old woman in March;
- Kidnap, rape and sodomy of a 59-year-old woman in May;
- Indecent exposure in May;
- Burglary with the intent to rape a 71-year-old woman in June;
- Burglary with the intent to rape an 86-year-old woman also in June.
And all the gruesome details are at Deadspin.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Monday, June 11, 2018

Blakespear running for re-election

North Coast Current:
Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear announced her plans to run for re-election this November in an email to supporters Sunday, June 10.

“I’m excited to announce that I’m running for re-election as your Mayor in Encinitas this fall, and I wanted you to be among the first to know,” Blakespear wrote.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The more things change...

This Mary Fleener cartoon is from 2013.


(click to enlarge)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Planning Commission meeting gets contentious

U-T:
The Encinitas City Council should take another look at the 19 sites it is proposing to rezone for high-density housing and reconsider some of them before putting the list on the ballot in November, the city's Planning Commission unanimously agreed Thursday.

After hearing hours of testimony from 50 public speakers, commissioners said the speakers had made some very convincing points about the unsuitability of some of the sites. The commission didn't vote on which ones ought to be pulled from the controversial list, saying that highly politicized decision was the council's to make.

But, several commissioners said, at least three sites added late in the review process were prime removal candidates and one new site mentioned Thursday night should be added to the list. Both audience members and commissioners forecasted gloomy prospects for the ballot measure if the list remains as it is.

"If these three to four (sites) remain on here, there's really no shot it's going to pass," Commissioner Al Apuzzo said, referring to several sites that faced intense opposition from neighboring homeowners that night.

Kellen Winslow II arrested in Park Encinitas trailer park burglary

CBS 8:
Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II, the son of San Diego Chargers legend Kellen Winslow, was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of burglarizing a residence at the Park Encinitas Mobile Home Park.

Winslow was spotted around 2:40 p.m. walking into a residence at the park in the 400 block of North El Camino Real by a neighbor who lived nearby, according to Lt. Karen Stubkjaer of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

The neighbor confronted Winslow because he did not recognize him as being the resident who lived there, Stubkjaer said.

The 34-year-old Winslow left the scene in a black SUV and deputies spotted him a short distance from the park, she said.
Winslow, a Cardiff homeowner, has had brushes with the law before.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Levin claims victory in 49th Congressional District

Coast News:
Republican Diane Harkey emerged as the top vote-getter after the June 5 primary election in the race to replace Darrell Issa, who did not seek re-election. The State Board of Equalization member will likely face Orange County environmental attorney Mike Levin, who leads Sara Jacobs and Doug Applegate with thousands of ballots remaining to be counted.
Sara Jacobs is still ahead of Levin by 200 votes in San Diego County's results, but Levin has a 2000-vote lead in Orange County.

Rehab racket comes to Encinitas

Coast News:
The proliferation of addiction recovery centers in Southern California coastal communities has given rise to the catchy nickname “Rehab Riviera.”

Largely unregulated and often incredibly expensive, these sober-living homes and rehab facilities for drug and alcohol addiction have led to numerous homeowner complaints in cities like Costa Mesa.

Leucadia residents at the City Council meeting on May 23 voiced their concerns that Encinitas could be the next stop on the Rehab Riviera if the city does not do something to regulate sober-living homes.
A lot of these places are a complete scam. They lure people to do rehab in a luxury location, bill the insurance thousands of dollars a month, then throw the patients out on the street when the insurance runs out. More on the racket at NBC Los Angeles.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Election results

Encinitas politicians go 1 for 5: Boerner advances to general election, Gaspar distant 5th, Stocks and Muir fail to break single digits but siphon enough votes to keep Graham and Republicans off the general election ballot.

It will take a while to count since so many people vote by mail now, but a lot of the races aren't very close. Jacobs and Levin are neck and neck for 2nd in the Congressional race though. Results here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Leucadia Bull Taco location to get trendy Asian restaurant from D.C.

Eater San Diego:
Chiko, the Eater Awards 2017 editor’s choice winner for Game Changer of the Year in Washington, D.C., is winging its way to North County, where it will open in Encinitas later this summer. Named for the two cuisines — Chinese and Korean — that the menu most represents, it’s been an out-of-the gate hit since its opening last July and remains one of the toughest tables to score in the nation’s capital.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Housing update effect on traffic gridlock

From the Inbox:
Does the state law on the Housing Element upzoning require traffic gridlock?

To be fair, we already have LOS level F gridlock in many places around Encinitas, and you can't get worse than F, can you?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Lux Art director out after staff and artist complaints

San Diego CityBeat:
The million-dollar-budget arts organization and residency (whose vision statement was to redefine “the museum experience to make art more accessible and personally meaningful”) would prefer not to talk about the troubling reputation of recently departed executive director and founder Reesey Shaw. [...]

“I described it as an abusive relationship,” says former Deputy Director of Lux Dan Buryj in reference to working with Shaw. “I think every single person who worked there cried at least once in front of her. But at the same time you loved the mission, and you loved the people you were working with. I think that’s what kept a lot of people there. You felt camaraderie with your coworkers.”

Speaking to Buryj was the first time I was able to get anyone to openly talk about what I’ve heard among many peers in the art scene—stories of verbal abuse, high staff turnover and more. As I’ve talked about in the previous columns in this series, arts and non-profit professionals often fear for their careers if they speak about unfair working conditions and toxic leadership.

But if Shaw was making people cry, why was she allowed to lead for so long?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Unions waste no time capitalizing on bogus Graham story


Graham cleared by witnesses and video

Coast News:
Assembly candidate Phil Graham has been cleared of any wrongdoing after the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department announced that allegations that he forcibly kissed a woman at an Encinitas bar were unfounded.

The Sheriff’s Department disclosed its findings in a news release Tuesday night, one week before the June 5 primary election.

“After conducting a thorough investigation, interviewing several witnesses and reviewing video surveillance from both inside and outside of the business, detectives disproved the allegations made against Mr. Graham,” the department said in a news release. “As a result, this case is being closed as unfounded, pending any new or additional information.”
Shortly after the accusation surfaced, the Coast News found the accuser to have a long history of dubious claims.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

5/23/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Beavis & Butt-Head kidnappers get 7 years, 1 year

Times of San Diego:
A man who tried to kidnap a 15-year-old girl as she waxed her surfboard in front of an Encinitas home was sentenced Monday to seven years in state prison.

Jeremiah Owens, 28, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life. He pleaded guilty in April to attempted kidnap for rape of a minor.

[... Accomplice Christopher] White, also 28, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to kidnapping and will be sentenced to a year in custody on June 19.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Where dolphins and surfers come to play

Leading Republican Assembly candidate accused of drunken, unwelcome bar kiss

10 News:
Niki Burgan filed the battery case with the Sheriff's Office Sunday, May 20. She accuses Graham of forcibly kissing her at an Encinitas Bar. Burgan told 10News that it happened at 1st Street Bar on S. Coast Hwy 101 on the evening of Sunday, May 13, into the early morning of Monday, May 14 as the bar was closing.

She said that Graham had initially been flirting, even mentioning that he was running for office and asked whether she would vote for him. After finding out that he was a Republican candidate she said, no she was a Democrat.

At some point, she says his talk turned into aggression and Graham grabbed her hair, pulled her in, and started to kiss her. She said she had to push him off.

Burgan also said she remembers that Graham had so much to drink that night that she had to help him sign his tab.
Graham, who previously ran a half-hearted campaign for city council, appears to be the leading Republican in the Assembly race with many mail ballots already having been voted.

UPDATE: Accuser has serious credibility problems.

UPDATE: Sheriff clears Graham.

Monday, May 21, 2018

City cancels housing task force meeting, puts Lisa Shaffer in charge

From the Inbox:
Item 10B on [this] week's May 23, 2018 Council agenda report will review output from yet another unnoticed meeting:

"On March 7, 2018, the City Council held a Special Joint City Council and Planning Commission meeting to conduct an inclusionary housing public workshop with a panel of experts specializing in inclusionary housing and Lisa Shaffer, as the workshop facilitator."

Say, what??? The originally-scheduled joint task force meeting was canceled. Was the public re-noticed that a Lisa Shaffer-run meeting would instead be held? Folks who signed up to be noticed say “no.” Is this another of Brenda Wisneski’s “unadvertised” meetings?

Output from Shaffer’s meeting – that claims to have been a “Public Hearing” – introduces policies the Council is too scared to really make public. It’s the usual “keep residents in the dark at all cost” tactic we’ve come to expect under Blakespear.

Shaffer’s meeting was a supposedly “Public Hearing to review and consider the introduction of City Council Ordinance No. 2018-03, titled “An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Encinitas, California, adopting amendments to Title 24 (Subdivisions) and Title 30 (Zoning) of the Encinitas Municipal Code, which proposes changes to the City’s inclusionary housing regulations to better address the need for affordable units reserved in new residential development projects.”

Folks, get to reading and see what Shaffer and cronies are up to this time.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Rifleman threatens Olivenhain resident in bizarre mid-morning crime

10 News:
Sheriff's Deputies are on the lookout for the man who jumped out of the bushes and confronted an Encinitas man with a rifle.

The attack happened Friday morning on Fortuna Ranch Road when the victim was in his driveway. A neighbor tells 10News the man popped out of the bushes wearing a ski mask and camouflage clothing. He then pointed a rifle at the victim, threatening to rob or shoot him.

Deputies say, somehow, the victim was able to run to his neighbor's home and call 911. The gunman got away before law enforcement arrived, but it's unclear if he ran or drove away.
That's deep Olivenhain, and with only one way in and out by car, it's a horrible place to try to commit a random crime. You have to wonder if the perpetrator is the halfwit offspring of a neighbor.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Another pedestrian killed by train

Fox 5:
A train struck and killed a pedestrian Tuesday morning in Encinitas, authorities said.

Few details of the accident were immediately available, but it happened sometime before 5:15 a.m. just south of E Street on the tracks between South Coast Highway and South Vulcan Avenue, San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Amber Baggs and Deputy Marcus Levine said.
This comes less than a week after a woman was killed late at night in the same area.

UPDATE: Coast News:
A man was struck and killed after allegedly jumping in front of a northbound Amtrak Coaster commuter train early this morning near the transit center just south of E Street between South Coast Highway and South Vulcan Avenue in downtown Encinitas.

San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies responded after receiving a call shortly before 5 a.m. of a possible pedestrian trespassing fatality. The train was traveling around 75 mph when it struck the victim.

The victim was described as a white male in his late 50s but has not been identified, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Burk.

Authorities said they couldn’t rule out suicide as a possible reason for the accident, but further details surrounding the death remain unclear.
And Del Mar Times:
The man, who appeared homeless, died at the scene prior to deputies arriving to the scene [...]
Last week's victim has not been identified by authorities, but appears to be a woman in her 30's who grew up in Encinitas and still has family here.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Woman sitting on railroad tracks killed by train

Patch:
A woman was fatally struck by an Amtrak train early Thursday morning in Encinitas, according to authorities.

The collision happened about 12:27 a.m. in the 900 block of North Vulcan Avenue, where the woman was sitting on the railroad tracks, said San Diego County sheriff's Deputy Marcus Levine.
900 N. Vulcan is at Leucadia Boulevard, also the site of a fatality last year.

UPDATE: A commenter says this was around G and H Streets in Encinitas, which would be 900 South Vulcan, behind the Lumberyard. Sounds like someone either suicidal or drunk late at night in the bar district.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

5/9/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Many more high-density sites added to replace Quail Gardens L-7

From the Inbox:
The last-minute addition of 21 more sites to he agenda for tonight's City Council meeting might be worthy of discussion on your site.
City Council meeting on this is tonight. Here are the new sites.

Bioluminescence is back

CBS News:
Area shorelines have been drawing larger crowds lately because of the sight, which has been particularly popular with photographers.

"It's this bright electrical blue color and it's beautiful," said Jami Leslie Feldman, owner of Underwater Paparazzi.

Tuesday was the second night of the bioluminescence.

"It's nice to be able to spread the word so everyone can see it," said Feldman.

The rare phenomenon on Southern California's West Coast is known as the red tide.

Stephen Bay, of Stephen Bay Photography, captured the neon tides Monday night at Torrey Pines.

"It kind of looked like the color of a light saber," said Bay. "It really was a bright blue color that was just fantastic to look at."

The last red tide was in 2013 in San Diego.
It was pretty spectacular in 2011 too.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Tax reform increases cost of typical Encinitas home ownership by $700 per month

Last year's tax reform bill notably featured limitations on the deductibility of mortgages and state and local taxes, which would hit hardest places like Encinitas with high state taxes and high property values.

Nevertheless, many Encinitans are finding that their taxes will be reduced overall this year due to the accompanying lower tax rates and higher standard deduction and child credits. The Tax Foundation has an excellent calculator here where you can estimate the impact of tax reform on your personal situation. Even in high-tax, high-property-value Encinitas, most people will probably see their taxes reduced.

However, even those who receive significant tax cuts will see the marginal benefit of home ownership reduced. Here's a look at the math for a $986,000 (recent median Encinitas sale price from Zillow) house. With a 20% down payment, tax reform raises the monthly after-tax cost of home ownership from $3,592 to $4,326.

To see how tax reform affects the cost of ownership of your house, go to the Google spreadsheet and select File > Make a copy, and then put in your own numbers (note: there are simplifying assumptions and perhaps some technical errors, but the big picture doesn't change).

Will this affect the real estate market? It's a pretty big change in the cost of ownership. UPDATE: For buyers who were previously in the Alternative Minimum Tax, the change may be more in the range of $450/month.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

St. Archer tasting room to open next to Surfy Surfy

Times of San Diego:
San Diego craft brewery Saint Archer Brewing Co. will open its second tasting room in a 1930s-era building in the Leucadia community of Encinitas.

The new 1,200-square-foot tasting room will feature 30 taps offering core beer selections and specialty brews from the the main brewery in Miramar.

Saint Archer said that with Leucadia’s ties to surf culture, the beach community is a natural fit for the new facility.

The tasting room will open in mid May in a building originally occupied by Roy’s Market at 978 North Coast Highway 101.
How are they opening in mid-May if Modern Times has been trying for a year and a half and still isn't open?

El Callejon location changes hands again

San Diego Eater:
The Patio Group (Fireside by the Patio, Surf Rider Pizza, Saska’s Steakhouse, Harvest by the Patio) is making a first foray into North County with a new restaurant in the works for Encinitas. The Patio on 101 will land on South Coast Highway, replacing Open House Food + Drink. Launched last year in Moonlight Plaza by owners Wade and Kristi Hageman, Open House spanned 7,000-square-feet of indoor/outdoor space and offered everything from Asian cuisine to burgers, a raw bar, and craft cocktails. Expressing gratitude to their employees, loyal customers, and the city of Encinitas, where they continue to operate the popular Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria and The Craftsman New American Tavern, the Hagemans say that The Patio Group will be the right fit for the coastal neighborhood.

Monday, April 30, 2018

City wins ruling in court against developers

Background from KPBS:
A Vista Superior Court judge will hear arguments Monday on three lawsuits filed against Encinitas, the only city in the county that has not complied with state law to develop a housing plan.

From the Inbox:
[...] on the three lawsuits against Encinitas from the BIA/Tenants United and DCM [David Meyer]: the two from the building industry to force immediate adoption of Measure T were denied, with the judge instructing Encinitas to wait for the November election results and the DCM suit was just plain old dismissed.

[...]

The direct quote from the judge on the DCM was a question to Meyers' attorney: "Are there cases out there that say you get one vote and I can then ignore the initiative process?" No response, so obviously not.

Sabine was in the audience, not at the table arguing for Encinitas with Barbara Kautz (who apparently was quite strong). Meyer was there, as was Andreen.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Encinitas' "Footloose" anti-dancing policy gains national attention

Reason.com:
City officials in Encinitas, California, have fined Peabody's Bar and Grill $3,000 after catching people dancing to live music performed there. Owner Brie Cardosa says she was surprised. She says she doesn't run a dance club but sometimes the natural reaction to music is to move around.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sunday, April 22, 2018

"Oldest living native of Leucadia" dies

Union-Trib:


Clark Kenneth Baumgardner, the oldest living native of Leucadia, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, March 25th, 2018. He was the youngest child of Everette Lee and Mabel Florence Baumgardner. He was born in the "Homestead" our grandfather had built for our grandmother in the 1920s. A Spanish revival-style home, it still sits at the top of Hillcrest Drive in Leucadia; and is as pretty today as it was when it was first built.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Hipsters of Encinitas

San Diego Reader's Ask a Hipster column:
The next hipster haven will be somewhere nobody expects. Maybe Encinitas. Can you not imagine all the hipsters caring deeply whether they live east or west of the five? Imagine the hipsters on the right (left?) side of the freeway not-so-silently judging the hipsters on the wrong (right?) side of the freeway; sort of how real life Encinitas people do, but with detached irony. It would start ironically, but the next thing you know all the hipsters are sporting yoga pants and board shorts, and complaining about “non-locals” taking up all the brunch parking. The future is now!

Friday, April 20, 2018

$3.9 million lifeguard tower late and over budget; city touts award from mutual admiration society

Coast News:
Originally, the tower’s opening was slated for Memorial Day weekend in 2017, but staff announced in April 2017 it would not be ready for several months due to weather delays, the discovery of lead, asbestos and an underground seawall that wasn’t anticipated. Summer came and went, and officials again delayed the opening until the fall.

The final price tag for the tower: $3.896 million, significantly higher than the $3.728 million price tag the council originally approved.

City officials defended the overruns and delays by pointing to the fact that the lifeguard tower won the 2018 American Public Works Association project of the year award.

“Please respond to this reporter. This might be a good opportunity to highlight the ‘Best Project Award!” Assistant City Manager Mark Delin wrote in an email to city staffers Brenda Wisneski and Stephanie Kellar asking them to respond to questions submitted by The Coast News.

Coastal Commissioners appeal Leucadia Streetscape approval

From the Inbox:
Two Commissioners appealed Streetscape: Steve Padilla and Effie Turnbull Sanders.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Quail Gardens site dropped from housing plan

Del Mar Times:
Deputy Mayor Joe Mosca — who motioned to remove the “L-7 property” near the conclusion of the April 18 meeting after the council voted April 4 to include the land in the city's draft housing element, which was sent to HCD on April 13 — said he met with a number of residents who were concerned the parcel wasn't ideal for access to mass transit and wasn't near retail space, which would cause more traffic congestion.

[...]

But Mayor Catherine Blakspear and Council member Tasha Boerner Horvath argued L-7 was the only piece of city-owned, residential land available and therefore the city's "only real shot" at getting deed-restricted affordable units.

Blakespear added she was concerned the vote would add credibility to existing litigation against the city. Encinitas is the subject of three lawsuits regarding the lack of its housing element. A hearing for the lawsuits is scheduled for April 30.

Because the housing document had already been submitted to HCD, Boerner Horvath said she was concerned Encinitas would look like "fools" and the removal might negatively affect the city's 45-day window for review and comments from HCD. Currently, the city is scheduled to hear back from HCD by May 28, after the state agency approved a 45-day period rather than the typical 60-day.
Watch the tempers flare here, beginning at hour 5.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Leucadia Streetscape appeal

Waves to Ride Blog:
The Encinitas Local Coastal Program (LCP) reflects the California Coastal Act of 1976. The Leucadia 101 Streetscape project is inconsistent with one or both in these ways:

• On page 4, the city of Encinitas Planning Commission Resolution No. PC 2018-12 states that “the project is not located between the sea and the nearest public road.” That’s erroneous. The project is in the first public road for the half mile of Highway 101 from La Costa Avenue to Grandview Street. It proposes to reduce that half mile from four lanes to two and install four roundabouts in it. Three of the four would be one lane. Those factors alone would restrict beach access at the Grandview stairs. By choking southbound traffic in the first public road gateway, the project would also restrict beach access south of Grandview.

• One of the stated purposes of the project is to reduce traffic volume on Highway 101. It proposes to do that by shrinking nearly 2.4 miles of highway from four lanes to two and by installing six roundabouts. Five would be one lane. Fulfilling that purpose with those features would inherently restrict beach access. The project would discourage visits to the beaches by non-residents and slow visits by residents.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Unnoticed "stakeholder" meetings promote taller buildings, less parking

The city recently held two "stakeholder" meetings on housing that were not noticed to the public and attended by staff, consultants, and developers.

Recommendations coming from the meetings include raising the height limits to three stories and 37 feet, and reducing parking requirements.

Details on the attendees and recommendations can be found in the agenda report for this Wednesday's council meeting.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Quail Gardens parcel stays in the housing plan

Parcel L-7, the object of opposition from dozens of neighbors speaking at the council meeting last night, is still in the plan. The property is north of the EUSD Farm Lab on the east side of Quail Gardens Drive.

Del Mar Times:
A controversial piece of city-owned land will be included in Encinitas' proposal to the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) after nearly four hours of debate between residents and city officials at the April 4 City Council meeting.

The council voted three to two, with Council members Tony Kranz and Mark Muir dissenting, to keep the “L-7 parcel,” at 634 Quail Gardens Lane, on the list of properties to be included in the city's draft Housing Element Update, which it will send to the HCD on April 13 for a 45-day review period. Also included on the list of 16 properties are the Dramm and Echter farm — which has been proposed as an "agrihood," a neighborhood built around an agricultural property, and was formerly suggested as a cultivation site for marijuana — and the strawberry fields on Manchester Avenue.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

City Council meeting open thread

Special meeting on housing update.

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Coastal Commission to Leucadia Streetscapers: Not so fast!

Coastal Commission to city staff:
Staff appreciates the responses, but remains concerned that the issues raised in the previous correspondence continue to raise significant Coastal Act and LCP consistency issues related to the public’s ability to access the beach or enjoy a recreational drive along the historic Coast Highway. Specific concerns include the following:

[...]

The reduction of traffic speed and the desired outcome of deterring cut-through traffic or traffic shifts from Interstate 5 most likely means that the time it takes to travel through the corridor on Highway 101 will increase. The Commission’s primary concern is that the increase in travel time will deter the public from traveling to Encinitas beaches from inland destinations. If it will take significantly more time for a member of the public to travel from their home to the beach and then to get back from the beach to their home, they may be less likely to use the public beaches in the City.
Additional serious concerns at the link.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Dense enough already?

Builder Online:
There’s an outdated view circulating around that California urban areas are lower density than those of the Northeast Corridor, according to New Geography, but a comparison of Census data shows coastal California suburbs more than double Northeast suburbs in density.



New Geography compared “Coastal California” hubs Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose to the Northeast Corridor which runs from Washington, D.C., through Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, Providence, and Boston. The analysis shows urban core population density in coastal California is at least 60% higher than urban Northeast populations while suburban density more than doubles that of Northeast areas. New Geography’s Wendell Cox writes:

Given the already elevated level of density, proposals to cram more people into already settled areas of California could worsen the quality of life. California’s high urban densities are accompanied by the worst traffic congestion in the nation and some of the worst in the world. With plans in place and more proposals to increase densities, this can only get worse.
HT: Bubbleinfo

Friday, March 23, 2018

City Council spikes firefighter pensions again, this time by 11.5%

City press release:
At its March 21, 2018 meeting, the Encinitas City Council approved a new four-year contract with the Encinitas Firefighters' Association. This replaces the previous contract which expired on December 31, 2017.

Effective Date
Base Pay Increase
Cost Sharing Increase
Net Increase
March 16 ,2018*
3.5%
1.5%
2.0%
January 1, 2019
3.0%
1.0%
2.0%
January 1, 2020
2.5%
0.5%
2.0%
January 1, 2021
2.0%
0.0%
2.0%

The median firefighter pay was already $138,000 in 2016, and $183,000 including benefits.

The effect of the cumulative 11.5% increase in base pay is an 11.5% increase in future pension benefits and costs, while the "cost-sharing increase" minimizes the impact to the current council's budget. The council could have just given firefighters the straight 2% cost of living increase without using the "cost-sharing" gimmick to spike pensions even further.

Encinitas' pensions remain severely underfunded despite the decade-long stock market rally.

Meanwhile, the Encinitas $100,000 pension club already has 20 members.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Transparency and Trust

Voice of San Diego:
California law requires cities to keep emails for a minimum of two years, but half of the cities in San Diego County delete most of their emails from city servers in much less time — in some cases, within a few weeks.

A recent survey by Voice of San Diego showed that Encinitas and Poway have the shortest retention policy, deleting emails after 30 days. Del Mar deletes theirs after 60 days. Carlsbad, Escondido and Oceanside wait until the 90-day marker, while Solana Beach waits for 100 days, Santee for 180 days and Coronado for one year.

In justifying these policies, city officials argue that the law isn’t as clear on email retention as some would believe and they delete emails they view as non-public records to save taxpayer money. In the process, they’ve designated themselves the arbiters of what’s public and not public — a practice that troubles some of California’s leading open government advocates.

“It goes against what state law requires of them,” said Kelly Aviles, an attorney and vice president of transparency group Californians Aware, who reviewed Voice’s findings.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Encinitas hopes bike rentals will make people take public transit more

Del Mar Times:
Dockless bike sharing, the novel idea that rolled out with a rough start in San Diego in February, could spread to North County coastal communities as soon as this summer.

Led by Encinitas, the proposed one-year pilot program may also include Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, and North County Transit District.

The short-term bicycle rentals are based on a phone app, like Uber and other ride-sharing programs. Renters can pick up their bike in one place, such as a bus stop or train station, and leave it someplace else, maybe parked on the sidewalk outside their workplace, anywhere within the company’s service area.

Bike sharing is seen as a way to get more cars off the road, reduce pollution and greenhouse gases, and encourage more people to get out of their vehicles and exercise.

“One of the things we are trying to solve is that first-last mile in transit,” said Crystal Najera, an Encinitas climate plan administrator leading the group project.
Related: Coronado declares dockless bikes a public nuisance.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Hit-and-run driver gets 1 year jail sentence

Union-Trib:

An Encinitas man who left the scene of a crash that seriously injured a mother of two near Moonlight Beach was sentenced Monday to a year in jail and placed on probation.

Justin Walt Parker, 39, pleaded guilty in Vista Superior Court in January to felony hit-and-run with serious bodily injury. He faced a maximum of two years in prison.

Parker — whose probation will run three years — turned himself in about two weeks after the Sept. 22 crash that left 33-year-old Ashley Lane with a concussion and broken bones, and caused her to suffer three strokes, according to sheriff's officials.
The article doesn't say how much time Parker is likely to actually serve. After California's "prison realignment," many criminals sent to county jails instead of prison are serving only a tiny fraction of their purported sentences.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Council and Planning Commission meet on housing

Coast News:
Encinitas officials appeared to reach consensus on whether to raise the percentage of affordable housing in developments, which currently stands at 10 percent.

The City Council and Planning Commission, appearing at a joint meeting dedicated to discussing the city’s inclusionary housing policy, agreed that the city should raise the percentage to 15 percent, among other things.

The joint body heard from a panel of experts assembled by former City Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer, who moderated the two-hour workshop. The panel included Carlsbad Housing and Neighborhood Services Director Debbie Fountain, Shea Homes of San Diego division President Paul Barnes, Chelsea Investment Corp. founder and CEO Jim Schmid and Community Housing Works President and CEO Sue Reynolds.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Santa Fe and Encinitas Boulevard pedestrian underpass work begins

10 News:
Construction is underway on bike and pedestrian improvement projects in North San Diego County.

Paths will be built beneath the Interstate 5 overpasses at Santa Fe Drive and Encinitas Blvd.

The work, which will cost $12.5 million, should be finished in late summer 2019.
The project comes just 10 years after a San Dieguito student was killed at the Santa Fe underpass.

Encinitas Handel's ice cream operator sued by franchisor

The Vindicator:
Here’s the scoop: Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court that accuses a franchisee of going rogue and using the company’s trade secrets to open an unauthorized ice cream parlor in San Diego.

Kenneth Schulenberg, who operates a franchise in Encinitas, Calif., executed a lease to construct an ice cream parlor in San Diego that would compete with his Encinitas franchise, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

The complaint alleges that Schulenberg, his business partner Juliana Ortiz and their company Moonlight101 Inc. cannot operate a competing parlor while Schulenberg operates a Handel’s franchise without improperly using Handel’s trade secrets.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

City staff celebrates successful behind-the-scenes orchestration of Streetscape

From the Inbox:
From: Brenda Wisneski
Subject: PC Recommends Streetscape Approval
Date: March 2, 2018 at 3:08:31 PM PST
To: Karen Brust
Cc: Roy Sapau, Stephanie Kellar, Anna Yentile, Mark Delin, Laura Ferguson


Hi Karen and Councilmembers (Blind Copied)

Good News!! Last night, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the Leucadia Streetscape project. We had 25 speakers. Twenty speakers were in support. Three indicated support, but were concerned with traffic overflowing onto Vulcan. One asked for the item to be continued for additional analysis and one was opposed based concerns with emergency response time delays.

It was a tremendous team effort. Anna Yentile introduced the project, Stephanie Keller orchestrated the staff and consultants behind the scenes, and Roy supported the Planning Commission.

We are on schedule to present the project to the City Council on March 21st.

Have a great weekend

BRENDA WISNESKI
Development Services Director

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Norby's back

Peder Norby, the controversial former six-figure city consultant from the Stocks-Barth era who was recorded on video suggesting 4- or 5-story zoning at a city meeting he was facilitating, is back, apparently getting a no-bid contract to work on train corridor issues.

From the Inbox:
According to the staff, their justification for hiring Norby is:

"Mr. Norby would assist in developing and implementing a near-term and long-term action plan, based on direction and approval from the City Council, coordination with other agencies and pursue securing grant funding sources. It is estimated that this effort would be conducted over a one year period at a cost of $60,000. As directed by the City Council, staff would develop a detailed scope of work and the contract would be authorized by the City Manager, subject to the review and final approval of the City Attorney. Consistent with the City’s Purchasing and Contracts Policy PC01, given Mr. Norby’s relevant experience and success with similar projects, such as in the City of Carlsbad, a Sole Source Justification form has been prepared (Attachment 7), which upon direction by the City Council would be authorized by the City Manager."

The city has a policy and form that must record the details of why a contract isn't put out to bid. The Sole Source Justification form has that information. Diane Langager requested the approval.

The staff report was part of a special Council meeting on Feb. 14, 2018 at 5:00 pm.

Encinitans Gone Wild!

Patch:
A speeding motorcyclist who allegedly eluded officers chasing him on an Oceanside highway was unable to shake a San Diego police helicopter that tracked him to Pacific Beach, where he was taken into custody, authorities said Wednesday.

The chase began a little before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday on eastbound state Route 78 just west of College Boulevard in Oceanside, California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Latulippe said. That's where a CHP officer attempted to make a traffic stop on a speeding Yamaha sport motorcycle, but the rider refused to pull over, fleeing at speeds reaching more than 120 mph.

[...]

Apparently unaware that he was being tracked from the sky, the motorcyclist stopped at a Pacific Beach convenience store, where CHP and SDPD officers converged to arrest him, Latulippe said. He was identified as 27-year-old Encinitas resident Matthew Giordano.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Leucadia Streetscape at Planning Commission this Thursday

One of Encinitas' most controversial long-running issues is Leucadia Streetscape. Some Leucadians believe it's a poorly thought-out plan created by city staff that will increase traffic congestion and will not provide adequate parking.

What do you think?

The Planning Commission will be considering Leucadia Streetscape this Thursday.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ficus Wars!

From the Inbox:
A group of Encinitas residents have been working on preserving the ficus trees in Downtown Encinitas through identifying them as Heritage Trees. We have already lost most of the Leucadia treescape on 101, and the ficus trees on 2nd and 3rd Streets could also be in jeopardy if steps are not taken to preserve them. Lisa Shaffer and Teresa Barth both wrote emails to undermine advocates' position to protect these trees as a cherished and valuable resource that benefit residents, businesses, and visitors to our community. They are doing so by disregarding the feelings that people have about these trees and also taking a very narrow interpretation of the topic.