Friday, December 31, 2010

Gaspar: How can I be the Great Uniter when Barth is such a horrible person?

Gaspar responds to NCT raspberry.

The hypocrisy is astounding:

This contentious tone was continued throughout the recent election season by both Ms. Barth and Councilmember Maggie Houlihan, as they disparaged the character and integrity of candidates they opposed.

Excuse me? Whose shadowy backers sent out the hit piece mailers? And whose supporters called Barth a "whore" at the Leucadia forum?

Additionally, a small group of their supporters routinely harassed my family.

Evidence please?

Not once did Ms. Barth or Ms. Houlihan publicly denounce the behavior of their supporters. In fact, they held several pep-style rallies to hurl accusations at their political opponents.

Those "pep-style rallies" were organized by citizens to bring attention to corruption at city hall. Barth and Houlihan may have attended some (I don't recall), but they didn't organize them or speak at them. Apparently Gaspar believes citizens holding their elected leaders accountable is just not right.

By the way, not once did Ms. Gaspar publicly denounce the behavior of her supporters.

Read the whole thing, but the bottom line is that Barth and Houlihan and their supporters are mean and so there's no point trying to work with them. So "cooperation and civility" means a three-vote majority ignoring both the council minority and the citizens.

Cooperation and civility as long as you agree with me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Miniature golf at Encinitas Ranch

What do you do if you have a money-losing, mediocre golf course in a region full of world-class golf courses?

You let the fairways go and have putting contests!

Brian Newmark was just visiting family in San Diego when he dropped by the Encinitas Ranch golf course on December 26th for a little day-after-Christmas putting and chipping practice.

Turns out it was worth the trip, as Brian won the U.S. Putting Tour's National Championship qualifying event that was taking place at Encinitas Ranch that day. For his victory, Brian received a $100 gift certificate good at the pro shop and an automatic entry into the USPT's National Championship schedule for September at The Crossings at Carlsbad.

Dang. Lost out to Carlsbad for the prestigious National Putting Championship. Obviously, we need to get some of those miniature golf windmills and volcanos and such.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Whole Foods puts up sign at Pacific Station

We had our doubts, but it looks like they're really coming.

And according to the Daily Transcript, the condos are now selling, too:

Models are open and the sale of 47 residential units are now under way at Pacific Station, the $40 million mixed-use development at 687 South Coast Highway 101, in downtown Encinitas.

With prices from the $300,000s to $700,000s, homes at Pacific Station include a mix of two-story townhomes, two-story lofts and single-story, flats ranging from approximately 600 to 2,300 square feet.

... though they don't appear to have them in the MLS yet. But who needs exposure? These things will fly off the shelves like the Moonlight Lofts did, right?

Here's the condo web site if you want to be the first to buy.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ducky Waddles featured in U-T

Even long-time locals will learn something they didn't know about Leucadia landmark Ducky Waddles Emporium in this article.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Alabama town's failed pension is a warning to Encinitas

NY Times:

PRICHARD, Ala. — This struggling small city on the outskirts of Mobile was warned for years that if it did nothing, its pension fund would run out of money by 2009. Right on schedule, its fund ran dry.

Then Prichard did something that pension experts say they have never seen before: it stopped sending monthly pension checks to its 150 retired workers, breaking a state law requiring it to pay its promised retirement benefits in full.


It is not just the pensioners who suffer when a pension fund runs dry. If a city tried to follow the law and pay its pensioners with money from its annual operating budget, it would probably have to adopt large tax increases, or make huge service cuts, to come up with the money.


“Prichard is the future,” said Michael Aguirre, the former San Diego city attorney, who has called for San Diego to declare bankruptcy and restructure its own outsize pension obligations. “We’re all on the same conveyor belt. Prichard is just a little further down the road.”

Jerome Stocks, James Bond, and Kristin Gaspar could not be reached for comment.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Del Mar, San Diego residents forced to consume government-ordered chemicals

Chemicals for the sheeple, because bureaucrats know better than nature what's good for you.

Fortunately, this hasn't hit Encinitas... yet.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The history of Encinitas' mayoral rotation

I'm more interested in whether three council members will stand up for pension reform than who gets to be mayor. But it's a bad sign that Kristen Gaspar and Jim Bond are allying themselves with anti-reform Jerome Stocks.

2010 12 14 Mayoral Rotation

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Animation Festival at La Paloma

Now through Thursday.

Support your local historic theater and Spike and Mike, a couple of local UCSD boys made good.

And see some really funny and creative stuff.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Do the math

The Encinitas city council lends to deadbeat developers at 4.5%:

The council approved 5-0 to authorize an agreement with Pacific Coast Properties to clean up the [Quail Gardens crack den] property and appropriate $35,000 from the city's general fund to cover the costs and file a lien on the property for that amount plus 4.5 percent interest.

... and gives city workers a guaranteed 7.75% annual return forever on their pensions.

If a bank charged borrowers only 4.5% interest and paid out 7.75% on investments or deposits, that bank wouldn't be in business very long. Why can't our city council do basic math?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Free the Yurt march today!

No yurts, no peace!

March on City Hall starting at 5pm at Yoga Swami's, 912 S. Coast Highway 101.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Leucadia's Scott Bottolfson busted for $6 million Ponzi scheme

We've got our own Bernie Madoff Jr.!

Leucadia's Scott Bottolfson pleaded guilty to felony wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison:

According to a criminal complaint filed Nov. 30, 2010 with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California in San Diego, Scott Bottolfson through at least two entities he owned and operated – Increase Investments, Inc. and Spirit Investments -- solicited more than $15 million from investors, many from neighbors in the Town of Newbold [Wisconsin] where he had lived for awhile, in exchange for fixed high-rate promissory notes, in at least one case of 20%.

The alleged fraud occurred from approximately September 2001 initially in the Newbold area and from 2005 through July 2010 from Bottolfson's base in Encinitas, California, prosecutors said.

The complaint said that as part of the scheme Bottolfson solicited investors via interstate e-mail and telephone calls and falsely claimed to investors that he could guarantee "high rates of return" for their investments that included commodities futures trading. The complaint said Increase was not registered with the National Futures Association (NFA).

The complaint read here said Bottolfson did not invest all investor funds as represented, but used “as much as 50% of investor funds for personal expenditures.” The “Ponzi” scheme involved giving new investor funds to previous investors and falsely representing those funds as investment returns, the complaint stated. “Defendant returned several million dollars to investors through the Ponzi scheme activity but still caused losses of approximately $6 million,” it added.

One victim, mentioned in the complaint by the initials only as “R.W.”, gave Bottolfson $1.3 million in December 2008 to invest in return for a promised guaranteed rate of return of 20%, but the money was used instead to pay previous investors, according to the complaint.

Details of the case are in this National Futures Association document and this criminal case.

Bottolfson bought the house at 1262 Urania in 2005 for $1.55 million.

HT: Encinitas Patch. Damn they're good.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Encinitas Christmas Parade

Tree lighting at 5:00, parade at 5:30.

See you there!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Whole Foods abandoning Pacific Station?

Rumors are swirling that the long-promised Whole Foods Market may not be opening in the Pacific Station development. The opening was announced back in November 2007:

A notice issued Thursday by Whole Foods says a 25,000-square-foot store will open at Pacific Station, a planned center on South Coast Highway 101 at F Street.

The "mixed-use" project proposed by developer John DeWald calls for two three-story buildings, a two-story restaurant and two levels of underground parking on the 1.39-acre lot between E and F streets.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring and last 14 to 18 months, DeWald said Thursday.

"We are thrilled to be opening our third San Diego store in Encinitas, a community that embodies the health-conscious lifestyle that Whole Foods Market caters to," spokeswoman Marci Frumkin said in a statement.

As recently as this past April, Downtown Encinitas Main Street Association said, "Construction has topped out on the project and work is continuing towards completion this summer. The retail tenant build outs including Whole Foods should be commencing soon."

So why are there no Whole Foods signs going up even as finishing touches like the "Park" sign and building address go on the exterior?

Encinitas is still listed as "in development" on Whole Foods' web site. An e-mail to a Whole Foods spokeswoman was not returned as of the time of this post. A A phone call to an employee at the Whole Foods regional headquarters revealed that there was no firm opening date, but plans are for a Spring 2011 opening.

The developer has posted a "Notice of Non Responsibility" in the window naming Mrs. Gooch's Natural Food Markets as the tenant. This is a standard form that landlords post to avoid responsibility for construction bills that are owed by the tenant. Mrs. Gooch's is the southern California subsidiary of Whole Foods, so on the surface, Pacific Station still believes Whole Foods is coming in. However, the notice was dated April 2010, and there appears to be no work going on inside the building.

It's certainly possible that Whole Foods is getting cold feet. Construction has taken longer than planned, and the economy is a lot shakier than it was when the store was originally planned. It's also possible that Whole Foods still plans to open the store, but is renegotiating a better rent rate. And Del Mar is also on the development list. Maybe Whole Foods is playing the two locations against each other to get the best deal.

Monday, November 22, 2010 comes to Encinitas

AOL is going local with its subsidiary, a sort of online newspaper / community forum. Encinitas' Patch is off to an impressive start under the leadership of young and enthusiastic Jennifer Reed, a recent transplant from Missoula, Montana.

Patch is what community blogs should be, except that most community bloggers have day jobs. Patch gets around that little issue by paying its staff. It's got a lot of potential to do things that are difficult for local blogs because of its resources and media connections.

I've seen Patch around town a few times already, at the Fall Festival yesterday and covering election night at Golden Hall.

Of course, being advertiser-supported means Patch won't be able to do a lot of things we love the local blogs for: muck-racking, yellow journalism, libel, and obscenities.

I think the existing local media, including the Coast News and North County Times, do a pretty good job of covering local issues, and blogs like the Leucadia Blog are indispensable for issues too controversial and politicized for mainstream papers. I welcome Patch into the mix and hope they'll play a significant role in the coverage and discussion of issues important to Encinitas' future.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fall Fair

Come on down! Brave souls are here now, and the weather is supposed to clear up by noon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Encinitas general plan update tomorrow (Tuesday) 6pm

If you care about the future of Encinitas, speak up now.

These meetings are run by city staff and consultants who want affirmation for what they want to do to Encinitas. For example, the most common and emphatic point coming out of the last round of meetings was that citizens "want to preserve the unique character of our communities." Some on the city council have twisted this to mean that we want 90-foot stadium lights drowning out Cardiff sunsets.

Be specific.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pacific View McMansions denied: a tale of dual fiscal mismanagements


That was my reaction to the 4-0 city council decision to deny EUSD's request to re-zone Pacific View Elementary for McMansions.

Surprise that Dan Dalager would recuse himself over a financial interest conflict.

Surprise that Stocks and Bond finally found a development they didn't like.

The city council has painted itself into a corner with massive pension liabilities so that they need the new tax base that new development brings. That was Dalager's plan all along: make his city worker buddies rich with outrageous pensions, and then pay for it by letting his devloper buddies develop everything in sight.

The EUSD, for its part, was trying to follow the Schwarzenegger death spiral plan of selling assets to fund operating budgets. This just after persuading voters to take on 30 years of debt to fund a few years' worth of technology.

Have we turned a new page? Will we get more reasonable development and real pension reform? Much hinges on the unknown new council member Kristin Gaspar. Kristin, are you with us or are you against us?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Citizens fight CalTrans plans for I-5 expansion

10 News:
The debate over plans to expand Interstate 5 has prompted a state senator to get involved.

On Monday, Sen. Christine Kehoe hosted a town hall meeting so CalTrans and other agencies involved in the expansion could clarify the five different options ranging from doing nothing to widening I-5 to 14 lanes.

"The impacts are huge. The benefits are minimal at best," said Oceanside City Councilmember Esther Sanchez.

La Jolla Resident Elizabeth Rudy said, "The CalTrans plan just makes it more convenient to drive more."

When asked if there was an option she was in favor of, Kehoe said, "I don't think so."

Kehoe said she and her constituents still have a lot of questions about the proposed project, which would cost about $4 billion.

Many residents said they want the money spent on mass transit instead of traffic. This includes a group called I-5 PLAGUE, which stands for "Prevent Los Angeles Gridlock Usurping Our Environment."

"L.A. has been expanding freeways for 40 years and they still have gridlock for seven hours every day," said PLAGUE spokeswoman Noel Spade.


The public has two more weeks to comment on the environmental impact report.
Solana Beach and Oceanside seem to be taking the lead on this. Teresa Barth is involved, but without support from the council majority.

If you care, contact PLAGUE for how to submit comments to CalTrans.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Public hearing on I-5 expansion Monday

This isn't a silly little community meeting, either. It's a state Senate Committee meeting, complete with state Senators, CARB, and CalTrans officials.

Be there if you care.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday November 8 at the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church's Debin Hall, 120 Stevens Ave.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Meet the new boss

... same as the old boss.

Jane Twining-Blair and the developers succeeded in purchasing the swing city council seat for airhead Kristin Gaspar, who has no positions and no knowledge of anything other than that she wants to put 90' stadium lights in Cardiff. The Jerome Stocks 3-2 union-developer majority is preserved.

The best government money can buy.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How low can they go?

Bonus question: if Barth and Kranz are the socialists, then why are the taxpayers supporting them and the public employee unions supporting Dalager and Gaspar?

Late 'lection links

Everyone reading this already has his mind made up. You're either a hardcore Dalager/Gaspar supporter, or a hardcore Barth Kranz supporter.

So we're not going to change any minds among the informed. But you could still call a few of your less engaged friends and neighbors and fill them in.

A few parting links, then good luck to all for the election.

Gerald Sodomka writes in the new Encinitas Patch site: City responsible for construction delay on Hall Park Property.

And scenes from the Friday 10/29 press conference on dirty campaign funding: Bruce Ehlers, Marco Gonzalez and Bruce Ehlers, Teresa Barth, Tony Kranz, Maggie Houlihan, and Marco again.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lincoln Club of San Diego County attacks taxpayers' candidates, implicitly supports union-backed candidates

By now we're used to the sleazy mailers being sent out by "Voter Education Group" and Jane Twining-Blair and other developer front groups behind the Dalager-Gaspar campaign.

But I was shocked to see the same trash being sent by the Lincoln Club of San Diego County, which I had previously understood to be a mainstream, respectable, Republican-leaning business group.

Now I'm no fan of politician junkets and conferences, but $9,987 is a trivial amount of money for attending multiple conferences over a couple of years. To put that in perspective, Dan Dalager voted to give his developer buddy a break of over $200,000. And Dalager voted to increase the underfunded employee pension benefits by tens of millions. And Dalager has wasted millions overpaying for the Hall Property, and left the city with no funds to build or operate a park there!

The Encinitas Taxpayers Association, with whom the Lincoln Club should be ideologically sympathetic, rated Barth and Kranz A- and B+ and the union-backed Dalager and Gaspar D and F.

Barth responds here.

I do not know if that dollar amount listed is correct but I do attend meetings, workshops and the annual League of California Cities conference as a means of staying current with changing state laws, urban planning, transit, and environmental issues. Registration, transportation and lodging fees are paid by the city. I do not however request reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses or for per diem.

For the last two years the council voted unanimously to designate me as the city’s official delegate at the League’s annual conference. The other council members have had two opportunities to question the expense of attending the conference but they not raised any objections.

I don't know whether the Lincoln Club is corrupt in bed with the Dalager-Gaspar campaign, or if they were duped. Either way, it will be hard to trust anything from them again.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Follow the money

Details here and here. I'd expect this to get some press attention this weekend.

I'm your man

The world-famous Leucadia Blog is taking a break to let tempers cool off.

In the meantime, if you really need to vent, this is your place.

If you'd like to share commentary or op-ed, please e-mail encinitasundercover -at- gmail -dot- com.

Coast News covers Rotarygate

Somebody just flunked the Four-Way Test:

Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Coast News:

Tempers flared at a forum for City Council candidates sponsored by the Leucadia Town Council on Oct. 12. Particularly, accusations that one of the candidates, current Councilwoman Teresa Barth, was called a “whore” by one of the spectators have caused a stir.

Because the forum was videotaped, Barth can be seen asking a person in the audience, “What did you call me sir?” The person was a local dentist and Rotary member wearing a Kristin Gaspar T-shirt. At least one other Gaspar supporter, Rotary president Roger Bolus, was sitting next to the man, Dr. Fitzpatrick. The two left before the forum ended.

Speaking of the Four-Way Test, how 'bout those Gaspar mailers?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


An Encinitas political mailer with no lies or smears?

Somebody's running under a very different set of rules.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jane Twining-Blair gets cease and desist notice for illegal contributions to Kristin Gaspar campaign

Who is Jane Blair and why is she spending so much to buy the city council?

Jane Twining Blair Letter-1

Meanwhile, developer DCM Properties dumps another $6,000 into the sleazy mailer firm. Though Jane Blair's motives remain a mystery, we know who DCM are and what they want. Spend a few thousand to buy the city council, get development permits worth hundreds of thousands or millions. This, my friends, is a textbook example of small-town corruption.

Kudos to the U-T's excellent reporter Jonathan Horn for uncovering the corruption. I hope the voters are reading.

Encinitas Citizens United puts up Tony Kranz web site

This is to counter the smear campaign about Tony getting in an argument with a "Obama's Religion -- Destroy America!!!" protester.

Tony Kranz web site with lots of videos here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dalager confirms criminal investigation

NC Times:

Encinitas Mayor Dan Dalager confirmed Friday that the San Diego County District Attorney's office is looking into complaints filed against him, but added that he welcomes the probe and hopes it will be finished before the upcoming election.

Dalager said he believes the complaints are similar to those filed in August with the state's Fair Political Practices Commission, alleging that Dalager received discount appliances from a local merchant and later voted in favor of the merchant on a matter before the council. A later complaint alleges the mayor failed to report a $100,000 loan on financial-disclosure paperwork he filed with the city in 2007.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Coast News endorses Barth & Kranz

One paper that gets it right. They hit Dalager not just for corruption but for being clueless about several major issues: "Duh." I only wish they'd commented on Gaspar's cluelessness as well:

It’s not often The Coast News takes a stance on political decisions voters have to make concerning this great place we all live in. With the upcoming election, however, we felt compelled.

For too long now voters have cast their ballots without considering the qualifications of the candidates.

Voter apathy has led to electing officials less responsive to the people and the real needs of the city.

Witness the financial mess residents in some cities now find themselves in. Salaries and pensions are a major funding problem and infrastructure is neglected.

But times are changing. The public is demanding a more open and responsive government. People interested in government of the people and for the people are becoming involved, bringing fresh new ideas and trust back to government.

One of these individuals is Councilwoman Teresa Barth. She has championed open government, frequently to the disdain of some of her colleagues.

As a newspaper, we support elected officials who stand up for the people’s right to know what their government is doing.

She studies the issues, is well-prepared and responsive to the public. She supports both environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility.

She often points out, “It’s not about me but about we.” She has proven that promises she makes are promises she keeps.

Teresa Barth has earned your vote and deserves a second term.

As for Tony Kranz, we believe Deputy Mayor Maggie Houlihan and Councilwoman Teresa Barth when they say, “He’s the man for the job.”

Who are you not going to vote for?

Just in case you are reading this and don’t have all the facts that have come to light recently concerning the incumbent Mayor Dan Dalager, here goes.

He is accused of accepting deeply discounted kitchen appliances for his council vote. This newspaper had the opportunity to break the story, but declined because we thought it a minor pre-election jab. Other newspapers pursued and found out our mayor also received a $100,000 loan from a person with business before the council where he gave the only favorable vote. We started wondering what else don’t we know. His excuse, “I goofed.” Duh.

At a recent candidate forum Mayor Dalager was asked what he thought about Prop. P, a $44 million Encinitas school bond issue. He didn’t have a clue what Prop. P was. Duh.

Our city has held five community workshops to review its General Plan. The mayor was asked how many of the five community workshops he attended and what he had learned from citizen input. He replied that he hadn’t attended any because he didn’t want his presence to skew the input. Duh.

Mayor Dalager is not an evil man. He has done a lot of good.

Is he working hard doing his job and being honest and transparent enough to deserve our vote? We don’t think so.

Do the right thing. Vote for incumbent Teresa Barth and Tony Kranz for Encinitas City Council.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

North County Times: No on Prop P

It's good to see some independent reason rather than homer school cheering at the NC Times:

[...] the district's own facility accountability report in 2009-10 said every school was "good" and "no repairs were needed."


The measure would tack on a 14-year extension to the bond that taxpayers are currently paying through 2012.

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association has pointed out that the measure lacks some specificity in how the money will be used.

We wonder whether the bond is essential at this time.

For instance, while it might make sense to buy solar panels to shield the district from electric rate hikes while interest rates are low, we believe any savings generated by lower power bills should go to paying off the bonds, not for maintaining class sizes. And giving a grade-school child a computer to haul home is an invitation to see what happens when high-tech stuff is dropped.

Additionally, while the learning center proposed for property near the Encinitas Ranch development would be nice, it is not essential for the mission of the school district at this time.

With an economy that has many people stretched, Prop. P is the wrong proposal.

For the school board, they endorse Andrade, Gray, and Stritch. I've heard good things about Andrade from another source who has kids in the district.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Your November HoodLink is up

In this issue, candidate endorsements and I-5 expansion public comment deadline.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Lawnmower Man

Remember Lawnmower Man, the 80's Stephen King sci-fi movie about an affable moron who becomes a power-mad tyrant?

Why does that story line sound so familiar?

Outrageous and unsustainable pensions aren't only a problem in Bell-cinitas

They're going to bankrupt states and cities nationwide.

Joshua Rauh, of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and Robert Novy-Marx, of the University of Rochester, estimate that the states’ pension shortfall may be as much as $3.4 trillion and that municipalities have a hole of $574 billion. Mr Rauh calculates that seven states will have exhausted their pension assets by 2020—even if they make a return of 8%, a common assumption that looks wildly optimistic. Half will run out of money by 2027. If pension promises are to be kept, this will place immense strain on taxes. Several have promised annual payments that will absorb more than 30% of their tax revenues after their pension funds are exhausted (see chart 1).

The severity of states’ pension woes was disguised for years, because asset markets were so strong and because of the way states accounted for the cost of pension provision. But the 21st century has been dismal for stockmarkets, where most pension money has been put. State budgets came under huge pressure as a result of the 2008-09 recession, which caused tax revenues to plunge. Meredith Whitney, an analyst who made her name forecasting the banking crisis, believes the states could be the next source of systemic financial risk.

Now the problem is making headlines, especially in California, where taxpayer groups have been highlighting the generous pensions of some former employees. More than 9,000 beneficiaries of CalPERS, the largest state retirement plan, receive more than $100,000 a year.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Get up, stand up

Don't give up the fight.

It's about time that the public stands up and tells the city council that they work for us. We have one chance to get the city council majority to tell us the truth and be accountable, and it won't take much from you to help.

We the People start taking our city back on Wednesday at 5pm at city hall. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

More places I suddenly don't feel like shopping

Fred's Flowers and Plants, Leucadia

No prison for online predator

I guess it's open season on 15-year-old girls.

A man accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl, who lied to authorities and said she was raped by three men who kidnapped her in Encinitas, pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor statutory rape charge.

Jose Adrian Cano, 20, of Vista was given credit for time served in county jail and placed on probation for three years. Vista Superior Court Judge Robert Kearney ordered Cano to stay away from the girl.

Deputy District Attorney Katherine Flaherty said in a telephone interview that Cano pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sex with a minor more than three years younger than he.

Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Cano will now undergo immigration proceedings and a judge will determine whether he will be deported. Cano was deported this year after he was arrested on a minor drug offense, according to court records.

I guess it's cheaper to just deport him and hope he doesn't come back right away just like he did last time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Big Dirty Money in Little Encinitas

While The Leucadia Blog readers investigate the developer, union, and statewide physical therapist group money behind the Kristin Gaspar campaign (read the comments here, including a link to Gaspar's filing and background on Paul Gaspar's position in California physical therapy), Mike Andreen is investigating the funds behind the Yes on P campaign. And -- shocker -- the Proposition is behind funded by the same firms that will profit from selling crap to the district if Prop P passes!


According to the 9-30-2010 460 on file with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters; the proponents of the misleading $150 million dollar facilities bond Proposition P, (that the Encinitas Union School District has placed on the November 2 ballot) the Committee for Encinitas Schools has raised $38,700 from only 8 donations; 6 out of 8 of these donations are from vendors of the district, legal firms, construction companies and consultants that will benefit most by passage of Prop P. The vendor’s investment $38, 500 has a financial return of $150 million dollars over 30 years. The remaining $200 balance of donations is by two incumbents. Are we to understand that, out of the thousands of families with students currently enrolled in EUSD not one parent of one student donated even one dollar toward the passage of Prop P?

Don’t let six vendors and two incumbents mislead you into assuming $150 million dollars in debt for buildings. Defeat Prop P and ask the school district to return next spring with a proposition to fund programs and teachers; not buildings.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hansen's pulls Dalager sign!

Just a day after we noted the unseemly sign in support of Dan Dalager in front of Hansen's, the sign has been removed!

I would like to thank Hansen's for doing the right thing. I'm sure Dalager is an old friend going back years, but it's time to clean up city hall.

Maybe a little friendly pressure from customers would help bring down the rest of the signs supporting the ruling majority. Just let them know that we see what the developers and the unions are doing at city hall, and we don't approve. A lot of these small businesses might not be aware of the shenanigans, or might even be afraid to oppose the people in power.

Anybody need a new surfboard? Hansen's is open for business!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Places I suddenly no longer feel like shopping in Encinitas

Hansen's Sports

O'Brien's gas station

Encinitas Ford

California Community Bank

What places do you no longer feel like shopping? Send the pics or at least the names and I'll put 'em up! Send to encinitasundercover -at- gmail .com

Saturday, October 2, 2010

San Diego hates children

Families are not welcome at the Tour de Fat, because Demon Beer is served there.

San Francisco allows families into the Tour, with no adverse effects.

The Tour de Fat organizers did the best they could to accommodate families within San Diego's fascist rules. They set up spaces near the stage but outside the fence where kids could hang.

Tour de Fat today!

Bicycles and beer. Two great tastes that taste great together.

Balboa Park, today, 10-4.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

High Society

Encinitas ranks 16th in nation for most expensive homes, according to Coldwell Banker.

Full survey data here.

Online predator caught in San Dieguito Academy sex case -- Jose Adrian Cano, 20, of Vista

A Vista man is in custody for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl San Dieguito Academy student.

Last week, the teen said she was snatched off an Encinitas street, forced into a car, then sexually assaulted by three Latino suspects, who drove around for an hour before pushing her out of the vehicle near the site of her alleged kidnapping.
She later admitted she had lied and had consensual sex with a man she met on the Internet.

Jose Adrian Cano, 20, was arrested Tuesday and is facing several charges, including contacting a minor online with the intent to commit a sex crime, a lewd act with 15-year-old and unlawful intercourse with a minor. He is being held on $20,000 bail.
Authorities say evidence they gathered during the investigation has led them to believe there may be other underage victims out there.

Cano is being held at the Vista detention center and will be arraigned Thursday.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rape report was false

As I hoped and suspected, the San Dieguito Academy kidnapping/rape story was false.

A 15-year-old girl who said she was abducted and raped Friday by three men who pushed her into a car in Encinitas made up the story after she had sex with a man she met online, sheriff's officials announced Monday.

The Sheriff's Department is planning a 4 p.m. press conference at the Encinitas Sheriff's Station to discuss the case.

The girl on Monday told detectives that she skipped her last class at San Dieguito Academy on Friday and was picked up at the school by a man she met on the Internet, sheriff's official said.

The victim and the man went somewhere and had sex, and then the man drove her back to school, officials said.

While the original story didn't make sense, the facts should be just as chilling. Predators aren't cruising the streets; they're trolling the Internet. I hope this girl gets the help she needs, and I hope the predator is caught and put away for a long time.

Encinitas Taxpayers Association rates Council candidates

The ratings can be found here. Detailed questions and responses are here.

Dan Dalager gets an unsurprising D. Teresa Barth gets an A-. Tony Kranz gets a B+. Kristin Gaspar gets an F for refusing to meet with the ETA, not addressing any fiscal issues on her website, and being evasive throughout the campaign on her positions.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

San Dieguito Academy student reports rape, kidnapping

... in broad daylight, right after school.

I hope this turns out to be a false report.

A 15-year-old girl walking home from school in Encinitas in coastal northern San Diego County was kidnapped by three men and sexually assaulted Friday, the Sheriff's Department said Saturday.

The girl was forced into the backseat of a car near San Dieguito Academy, where she is a student, the department said.

The three men drove for nearly an hour while the girl was sexually assaulted. She was then pushed out of the car near the school, the department said.

The three attackers were described as Hispanic in their early 20s to early 30s.

One was thin, with a shaved head and a 6 or 619 tattoo on the back of his neck; a second had a mustache and goatee and possibly a scar on the right side of his neck; the third had acne, large ears and a goatee, according to information provided by the Sheriff's Department.

The car was described as a white, older model midsize sedan with a squared-off back and tinted rear windows.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (858) 565-5200.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

San Diego County Taxpayers Association opposes Proposition P

Thanks to Mike from New Encinitas Network for sending this. We all love the kids, but this is 30 years of debt for a grab bag of goodies, many of which will be obsolete long before the debt is paid off. You don't take on 30 years of debt to buy computers that will be outdated in five years.

Full report below.

Proposition P Staff Report.finaL (2)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CalPERS: raises and bonuses for incompetence

Just to remind you, these are the guys who we're trusting to earn 7.75% annually forever in an environment where Fed Funds and CDs earn 0% and long-term Treasuries earn 3% - 4%. And if they don't hit that lofty goal, Encinitas taxpayers will be required to make up the difference.

As its investment portfolio was losing nearly a quarter of its value, the country's largest public pension fund doled out six-figure bonuses and substantial raises to its top employees, an analysis by The Associated Press has found.

Board member Tony Olivera said the California Public Employees' Retirement System tried to reduce the bonuses but was under contractual obligations to pay them.

CalPERS' plunging value came as stock values tumbled around the world, the state's economy suffered its worst decline in decades and basic state services faced severe budget cuts.

Virtually all of CalPERS' investment managers were awarded bonuses of more than $10,000 each, with several earning bonuses of more than $100,000 during the 2008-09 fiscal year. The cash awards were distributed as the fund lost $59 billion.

Thanks for spiking the pension liabilities 40%, Dan and Maggie!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

We've got wood

Woody Festival at Moonlight Beach. Til 3pm.

Council races in a nutshell

This quote from the Coast News on the recent forum captures the essence of the candidates perfectly: Dan Dalager, aloof and (feigning?) confused; Teresa Barth, crusader for open government; Kristin Gaspar, who either doesn't know about and/or won't take a position on anything other than the Hall Sports Megaplex; and Tony Kranz, the good guy outsider.

“I was almost thinking that’s what our rules had said before,” Dalager responded when the audience member asked why he voted in favor of the measure and how would the two challengers vote if given the opportunity.

“Your memory doesn’t serve you very well,” Barth responded. “It goes against the grain of our democracy,” she said referring to the inability of the minority to be heard. “You don’t have to have a majority of the people already supporting something to have it go to council for discussion.”

Barth raised the stakes when she called the move to a majority council in order to agendize an item “appalling and embarrassing” to thunderous applause from the crowded auditorium. Kranz went further saying he would consider a process by which citizens could get an item on the City Council agenda while Gaspar said she would entertain arguments both for and against the three-person agenda rule.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

So this is what they were hiding!

The Dalager / Stocks / Bond Council of Three has been stonewalling the release of the road condition report.

Now we know why.

Under pressure of recent court filings and efforts of Tony Kranz, the city released their streets condition assessment today.

The version of the report released today indicates that the city has over $17 million in deferred streets maintenance. The city currently spends about $2 million on streets maintenance and much of that is funded from outside the city. The version of the report released today indicates that $9.4million/year needs to be spent to catch up with the backlog of deffered maintenance.

The Director of Engineering has not responded to requests (sent yesterday) to orient the ETA to the report and allow the public access to the modeling software used to produce the report. There are only two staff working days before Wednesday's meeting.

The city required half a year to review this report, which was originally authored by a consultant. The city is still withholding the consultant's original work and records that outline what changes were made by the city, and why the changes were made.

The city has been spending far too little on road repair so that they could wander off and jack up union pensions by 40% and overpay for the Hall Property, Mossy property, and other properties by millions of dollars.

I fear this is only the tip of the iceberg and Encinitas is in far worse fiscal condition than its ruling triumvirate want us to believe.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What's the worst that could happen?

PBS: CalPERS is severely underfunded, has horrible investment performance, and has overly optimistic future return assumptions. And they've got a brilliant idea: take on more risk and hope they don't screw up so badly next time.

ROBINSON: Well, Joe Dear was running the Washington state investment board up until the end of 2008. And he has come into really clean up Calpers. There have been some influence peddling scandals that have affected it. But more seriously for him is dealing with the under performance of the fund. Calpers lost $70 billion in the crash of '08 and '09. And Dear's job is to rejuvenate Calpers so that it never loses that much again.

HUDSON: Let's take a look at this under performance because Calpers benchmark is 7 3/4 percent return per year, but over the past decade, it is under 3 percent return and that's even less than the median state retirement plan which is closer to 3.5 percent. So are the funds beginning to question these assumptions of trying to get close to 8 percent a year?

ROBINSON: Yes, they are. There is enormous pressure on Calpers and other public pension funds to lower their investment return assumption to what critics say is a more realistic level, perhaps around 6 percent, perhaps even lower. The difficulty for Calpers though in doing that is if they lower their investment return assumption, they are going to have to increase the contributions that public workers and the agencies that employ them have to put on the table. And that creates a lot of political ramifications for the state. And as you could imagine, that is not an easy situation.

In other words, if they told the truth, it would be a political disaster as the fiscal black hole is revealed. So they're going to keep lying to us.

But don't worry -- when they eventually blow up, cities like Encinitas will have to raise taxes and cut services to bail them out!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Your September HoodLink is up

Link here (.pdf).

I'd like to call attention to this editorial:


It would be easy to jump all over our Mayor’s latest faux pas. Far too easy. We believe that “appliance-gate”, “loan-gate”, and “bank-gate” are serving as distractions to what is really going on in City Hall.

Our City Council has five members. One of the members, elected by the five members of the Council, serves as Mayor for a year at a time. Our Mayor is chosen by the majority of the Council with no regard to the votes a Council member received from the voters in a general election. We have a City Manager who is selected and hired by a vote of the five members of the Council.

As mentioned elsewhere in this issue, the current Council majority, which includes our Mayor Dan, likes to run roughshod over the concept of open and fair play in our
representative democracy. Their behavior is nothing new. Some would say it is so common, that we should grow up and get used to it. But their behavior is no longer simply boorish or tiresome. The fruit of their behavior is getting toxic. We can, and need, to do something about it.

It is all about the power of counting to three, and the trouble of going too far with running a City using that limited knowledge...

Up until this summer, to get an item on the public agenda for a Council meeting, it took two members of the Council to agree that an item was worth public consideration. Regardless of whether the item was submitted by a member of the Council or a member of the general public, if two members of Council agreed it was a topic worth discussing, the item was placed on the agenda.

For reference, in Solana Beach it only takes one member of the Council or of the public to get an item on their agenda.

Democracies, even representative democracies like ours, are messy by design. But ours is supposed to work in the open and with a majority’s dogma unable to violate the rights of a minority, of even one, to have their voice heard.

What our current representatives in the majority on the Encinitas City Council have done is to exclude all issues from the agenda which were not chosen by the majority. The vote was, wait for it… 3 to 2… with Dan Dalager, Jim Bond, and Jerome Stocks voting to require that three members of the Council must agree to adding an item to the agenda.

Those three have been telling us for years that omnipotent knowledge is divined by counting to three. Now, in addition to telling us that they have no responsibility to listen to an opinion they do not hold, they have voted to totally exclude items from the agenda that they do not want to be officially discussed.

It is time to break up that poisonous triumvirate. Regardless of what a friendly guy
he may be, or how long he and his family have been in town, we need to step into a better future by voting Dan off the Council. Now!

The Leucadia Blog also chose to highlight the same editorial. I swear I'm not copying, just thinking alike.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Union-Trib: Dirty Dan pressured Encinitas businesspeople to bank with California Community Bank

Small town corruption:
“When you’re brokering business relationships, it creates an awkwardness,” said Encinitas attorney Marco Gonzalez, who passed on Dalager’s invitation to bank with his client. “To me, an elected official has to avoid the appearance of impropriety. The citizens depend on it.”

Former Encinitas planning commissioner Bruce Ehlers didn’t appreciate being solicited by an elected official either.

“I don’t pressure that easily, so I guess I didn’t feel overly intimidated,” he said. “But I thought it was a bit inappropriate that the council member was going around drumming up business.”

Isn't it obvious on its face that having an elected leader with significant influence over city budgets and development approvals should not be earning commissions from steering people toward a certain bank?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Candidate statements

Thanks to K.C. at The Leucadia Blog for getting the candidate statements.

In general, the statements are long on motherhood and short on specifics. But a word search can give a clue to their priorities. Here's how the following words show up.

Pension: only Tony Kranz even mentioned the word that is perhaps the single most important issue in the long-term viability of the city. "Our city needs to control its expenses and its pensions. I will vote on your behalf to make this happen," Tony writes.

To be fair, Teresa Barth made pension reform a key issue in her kick-off speech, transcripted on her web site. "I have been principled and conservative in how our tax dollars are spent. I fully support public employee pension reform."

The word "pension" could not be found on Dan Dalager's or Kristin Gaspar's web sites. Note: Dan Dalager voted for the huge pension increase in 2005.

Fiscal responsibility: Barth, Dalager, and Gaspar claimed it. Dalager promised to "continue to put fiscal responsibility, public safety and basic services first [...]" If his idea of fiscal responsibility is huge pension giveaways, over-budget libraries, and vastly overpaying for the Hall property at the peak of the real estate bubble, I'd prefer if he didn't continue.

Open government / transparency: Apparently only an issue for Barth and Kranz. Kranz: "My campaign's theme is summarized in these seven words: Trust, Tranquilty, Tradition, Traffic, Trains, Trees and Transparency." Barth: "support open government [...] my actions have demonstrated my strong belief in government transparency and my determination to safeguard the public's right to know."

Encinitas City Council Candidate statements November 2010 election

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pension time bomb still ticking; City Council fiddles while Encinitas burns

Even if we reform pensions today, there's already a time bomb of unfunded liabilities that will force a combination of severe tax increases and drastic cuts to services:

An August report by the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University found government pension programs in as many as 31 states are headed for financial disaster by 2030 and that taxpayers will likely wind up paying for unfunded liabilities.

“Even if states uniformly eliminated generous early retirement deals and raised the retirement age to 74, the unfunded liability for promises already made would still be more than $1 trillion,” Kellogg associate professor Joshua Rauh said in prepared remarks.

“Assuming states don’t start defaulting on their bonds and other debts, it seems that taxpayers will be footing most of the multi-trillion dollar bill for the pension promises that states have already made to workers,” he added.

We're in a huge hole and Dan Dalager, Jerome Stocks, and Maggie Houlihan are still digging.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

City blames Vulcan Puncture Path and 101 Puncture Lane on lack of funds

The Encinitas Chamber's paper picks up the goat head thorn issue:
[Bike store owner Frederic] Breidenthal shares his customers' frustration toward the city of Encinitas. "It's a nonperfect world," he said. "The cleaning crew doesn't sweep up after (foliage removal), and there is an increase in flats the day after. The city has covered, scraped, and poisoned them, but the thorns always come back."

From the city's perspective, there isn't the money to constantly clean up. "We clean the main thoroughfares four times a year," Howard Whitock, assistant superintendant of public works, said. "We can't afford five to six times, and there's a pretty good level of service."

We can't afford basic Parks and Rec services for residents, but we can afford for city employees to retire early and get paid fat pensions for life. Funny how that works.

Throw the bums out!

Support your local theater

If you don't go to the La Paloma, who will?

La Paloma consistently shows great movies, but attendance is weak. La Paloma is currently running Inception, which rates 87% on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you don't support the La Paloma, Jerome Stocks and Dan Dalager will turn it into another yuppie mini-mall.

Are you with us, or are you against us?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cardiff Kook makes front page of Wall Street Journal

Tomorrow's news today.

Tuesday's WSJ features the Kook.

How come they never covered the Scripps Turd?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tony on the taps

That's Tony Kranz manning the Stone kegs at the Leucadia ArtWalk beer garden. Maggie Houlihan was enjoying the music there as well.

Dan Dalager was the conductor on the London-style double-decker bus shuttling people to Leucadia from the train station.

When you see the council people around town, they seem like good, regular people. It's hard to see them as the same people who sold us out to the city unions, stonewall on public document requests, and got involved in that bitter harassment fiasco.

Bicyclists not welcome in Encinitas

Bike tire massacre in the 101 Puncture Lane this morning.

The city and NCTD are still doing nothing about the invasive, non-native goat head puncture vines.

Leucadia Art Walk today

Come on down.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Graceland can be yours

7026 Estrella del Mar, La Costa. For sale by owner, who was last seen in a 7-11 in Oklahoma.

Elsewhere around town today,

two bicyclists broken down on the Vulcan Puncture Path. One reported 20 goat head punctures in his tire. So far NCTD and the Encinitas Parks and Rec Department appear to be doing exactly nothing about it.

You too, Dan! An ill wind blows for good ol' boys from Washington D.C. to Encinitas this November.

Rancho Tyvek Estates. Reportedly just sold. No construction action yet.

The top of the bike / running trail between the golf course and El Camino Real. The path starts across the street from Quail Gardens.

I hadn't heard of this train death, and couldn't find anything about it online. Somebody apparently either suspects foul play or needs more evidence for a lawsuit vs. NCTD.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dalager: it's OK to build an illegal rock wall on public property as long as you give me $1400 worth of kitchen appliances for $150

The Union-Trib has the goods on Dan Dalager and his sweetheart kitchen deal from Aztec Appliance, whose owners Matthew and Robin Gordon were contesting a violation before the city council.

Maggie says she was offered a free refrigerator but turned it down. Even Stocks had enough sense to recuse himself.

I'd like to see a prosecution.

State law prohibits elected officials from accepting any gift or combination of gifts from the same source worth more than $420 in any one year. Dalager reported accepting no appliance gifts in 2009, on state-required disclosure forms.

The scary thing is the only way this came to light is that Dalager went blabbing about his free kitchen to a reporter. How many good old boys are on the take but not so loose-lipped?

Dalager doesn't even have a campaign web site up. Is he phoning in the election because he thinks he can't lose, or can't win?

HT: Leucadia Blog.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Your August HoodLink is up

In the great American tradition of Publius, our anonymous fellow Encinitans at HoodLink have published again to strike a blow for good government. In this issue: I-5 expansion, Barth coverage in the U-T, Quail Gardens, and Maggie's been hanging with the bad boys.

August 2010 HoodLink

Subscribe for free by emailing subject "subscribe" to

City Council Guide

The more I learn about Encinitas politicians, the more brilliant and accurate this Leucadia Blog City Council Guide seems.

I haven't figured out who Tony Kranz is yet, but I'm pretty sure Kristin Gaspar is Tracy Flick, the Reese Witherspoon character in Election.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Teresa Barth campaign kickoff speech


My favorite part?
Transparency in government and full citizen participation in the decision making process is critical to our success as a City.

I have been principled and conservative in how our tax dollars are spent. I fully support public employee pension reform.

Tranparency in government and reform of employee pensions. That's a pretty good campaign platform. And it's interesting that Barth, widely viewed as a green Democrat, is running as a fiscal conservative -- and rightly so! The Republicans on the council have been anything but fiscally conservative.

I hope the other candidates will follow Teresa's lead in starting to discuss issues. One candidate doesn't appear to have any campaign information online, and another has a web site that's very long on bio ("one time, at band camp...") and a big zilch on issues.

Summer Sunday Concert by the Sea

Starting now. Come on down! The band is an Irishy rock band called Scelpin (sp?). Barthy & Houlihan are here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Council races in a nutshell: Kristin Gaspar, Dan Dalager, Teresa Barth, Tony Kranz

This quote from the Coast News on the recent forum captures the essence of the candidates perfectly: Dan Dalager, aloof and (feigning?) confused; Teresa Barth, crusader for open government; Kristin Gaspar, who either doesn't know about and/or won't take a position on anything other than the Hall Sports Megaplex; and Tony Kranz, the good guy outsider.

“I was almost thinking that’s what our rules had said before,” Dalager responded when the audience member asked why he voted in favor of the measure and how would the two challengers vote if given the opportunity.

“Your memory doesn’t serve you very well,” Barth responded. “It goes against the grain of our democracy,” she said referring to the inability of the minority to be heard. “You don’t have to have a majority of the people already supporting something to have it go to council for discussion.”

Barth raised the stakes when she called the move to a majority council in order to agendize an item “appalling and embarrassing” to thunderous applause from the crowded auditorium. Kranz went further saying he would consider a process by which citizens could get an item on the City Council agenda while Gaspar said she would entertain arguments both for and against the three-person agenda rule.

The Vulcan bike path will destroy your tires

These are goat head thorns:

Whether you call it goat head, stickers, puncture vine, or sand bur, this plant is about the most obnoxious weed on the planet. It produces tiny goat head shaped burs that poke the foot and flatten bicycle tires. A large patch of them can even flatten the tires on a small car.

Puncture Vine is an invasive species of plant that originally came from Europe. The botanical name is Tribulus terrestris. This fast growing annual sends out a low forming, dense mat of tiny leaflets. The stems can grow up to 6 feet in length, covering large areas in a matter of a couple of months. They bloom in the early summer, producing tiny 5 petaled yellow flowers. The fruit of the puncture vine looks like a spiny 5 sided Maltese cross. After the individual fruit bursts open, it releases the goat head thorns.

The bike paths along the east side of 101 and west side of Vulcan between Encinitas and Leucadia Boulevards are absolutely infested with them. The photo above was after a very short jog along the path.

Goat heads will go straight through bike tires and give you multiple punctures. Tony Kranz hit them a couple weeks ago, and more recently an entire family's tires were massacred out on the same paths.

The city needs to remove this invasive, non-native species ASAP.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Encinitas resident Steve Aceti promotes plastic bag ban

... and it looks like it might even pass.

Amid growing frustration over mounting garbage in the Pacific Ocean, California is poised to become the first state in the nation to ban plastic shopping bags.

A bill by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, would bar grocery, convenience and liquor stores around the state from bagging items with plastic throwaway bags, with the goal of encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable cloth bags.

Shoppers who didn't bring their own bags would need to purchase recycled paper bags, for a nickel apiece, to bag their groceries. [...]

The bill has the support of environmentalists and grocers, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has indicated he will sign it if it reaches his desk. The plastic industry opposes the measure.


Steve Aceti, executive director for the California Coastal Coalition ---- which represents 35 coastal cities, five coastal counties and three regional associations across the state ---- said the group once preferred the recycling approach to a ban. Aceti said, however, that campaigns to encourage more recycling haven't made a significant dent in the problem.

"So many of these bags are showing up on beaches and in the ocean, and flying around in our communities," Aceti said. "It's just time for a solution, and that is a ban on a product that has outlived its usefulness."

He said it is time that Californians change their habits.

"We should start doing what people in Europe and other countries do, and bring our own bags to the store," he said.

I'm usually opposed to nanny state legislation, but this is kind of like smoking on airplanes. It's just common sense to me. Plastic bags are a real environmental problem, both in the production and the disposal, and they are of no benefit to consumers relative to more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Houlihan and Barth are on board:

[Activist Gina] Goodhill was joined at a news conference by Encinitas Councilwomen Teresa Barth and Maggie Houlihan, who support the bill.

"It's going to help us keep plastic bags off our beaches," Barth said.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dirty Feds force WiMax towers on unwilling Leucadians

The Leucadia Blog has been covering the unwelcome Sprint/Clearwire WiMax antennas coming to the Cabo Grill.

Today the Coast News has a story on Dr. Dan Harper, who tried to speak out against the antennas but was told the city's hands were tied by federal law:

Dr. Dan Harper, M.D., was among the first to arrive at the Encinitas City Council meeting the evening of July 21. Carrying a 12-inch stack of medical journal articles about the health risks of electromagnetic field, or EMF, radiation, he was there to speak on behalf of his patient, Michael Schwaebe.

Schwaebe was appealing the placement of WiMAX towers on the site of the former Cabo Grill at Coast Highway 101 and La Costa Avenue. WiMAX is often referred to as “a cell tower on steroids.” [...]

Harper said he was frustrated, but not surprised, that he was unable to complete his presentation.

It would have been illegal.

The wireless industry is protected by Article 704 of the Telecommunications Act signed by President Clinton in 1996 which prohibits arguments of potential health risks from communications towers to be made at public hearings, even if they are legitimate.

I don't know about the science behind the dangers of WiMax, but given the choice, I probably wouldn't live next to a WiMax tower.

Permit me to make an ideological point, though. This is what you get when you vote for Senators and Congresscritters who don't believe in limited government: you get heavy-handed orders from Washington saying locals have no control over what goes on in their towns, in their states, or in their private lives.

Read the Constitution. Pay special attention to the Bill of Rights. Then go vote for someone who has read it too.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

AAII investor meeting with CEOs of local public companies

Leucadia's own Chris Girand is the president of the San Diego chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors, and he's kicking off a series of chapter events with a big meeting with management from four local public companies:
The first of a new series of meetings featuring publicly traded companies domiciled in our own backyard will be held on October 2nd at the Scottish Rite center in Mission Valley. The meeting will run from 9:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. We'll meet with upper management of four profitable companies that share our San Diego roots. The floor will be open for discussion.

Andrew S. Clark / CEO / Bridgepoint Educations (NYSE: BPI)
Greg Garrabrants / CEO / Bank of Internet (Nasdaq: BOFI)
Gwen Rosenberg / Vice-President / Senomyx (Nasdaq: SNMX)
John M. Heffner / CFO / PriceSmart (Nasdaq: PSMT)

It's open to non-members. Cost is $5 to cover facilities and parking.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Anarchy in the ENC

Cardiff's Ken Harrison, writing in the Coast News Aug. 6 dead tree edition, apparently not available online, reminds us that people can still get together to get things done themselves rather than waiting for government action.

Folks in Encinitas are known for their roll-up-the-sleeves attitude, taking matters into their own hands, and getting community projects done. Prior to cityhood, local chapters of the Elks, Optimists, Soroptimists, Kiwanis, Lions, and other service clubs personally built almost every ball field in the area.

Twenty-seven years ago, Cardiff residents raised money and poured 1.2 miles of sidewalk along Birmingham Drive because the county refused to build a sidewalk on the busy thoroughfare. They financed the construction by selling one-foot squares where "owners" could put handprints and messages in the wet cement.

Such was the case recently for a band of 40 Crest Drive residents. In an act of "independence" on the July 4 holiday weekend, after waiting six years for the city of Encinitas to landscape the unsightly northwest corner of Crest Drive at Santa Fe Drive, residents took matters into their own hands.

He goes on to detail how 40 residents donated a little time and money to landscape the corner. If the city had done it, it would no doubt have cost 10 times as much and required fat contracts with city council cronies and many hours of studies by bloated-pension-getting city workers.

This is one of the things I love about Encinitas. The community spirit of the people has not yet been crushed by the bureaucrats and the public employee unions. That's becoming harder and harder to find these days.

And I bet you didn't even think of yourself as an anarchist.