Saturday, December 31, 2011

Coming soon to Encinitas Ranch

The criminal masterminds of Walmart:
Do you have change for a million-dollar bill? 

Police say a North Carolina man insisted his million-dollar note was real when he was buying $476 worth of items at a Walmart.

Investigators told the Winston-Salem Journal ( ) that 53-year-old Michael Fuller tried to buy a vacuum cleaner, a microwave oven and other items. Store employees called police after his insistence that the bill was legit, and Fuller was arrested.

The largest bill in circulation is $100. The government stopped making bills of up to $10,000 in 1969.

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Encinitas Residents web site

Somebody has put a lot of effort into compiling and disseminating information about the General Plan Update.

Check out the new site New Encinitas Residents whether you're a New Encinitas resident or just someone else who would be negatively impacted by high-density housing and traffic gridlock on El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mr. Hankey the Christmas poo comes to Encinitas beaches

Doesn't this seem like something that just shouldn't happen? What are we, a third-world country?

Beaches near the San Elijo Lagoon were closed Wednesday due to a sewage spill, county health officials said. About 1,500 gallons of sewage spilled into the San Elijo Lagoon after a main break at a pump station on Manchester Avenue at Via Poco. The spill was discovered about 11:45 a.m. Crews from the city of Encinitas responded to control the spill.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Encinitas protest song

Wow. We've got some talented -- and justifiably pissed-off -- people here in Encinitas. HT: Leucadia Blog.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Kook mural in Cardiff

If you've been on San Elijo in downtown Cardiff recently, it's hard to miss the cool new mural on the Kook's Cafe.

The artist is longtime local Kevin Anderson. Carlsbad Crawl has the story and pics.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

House fire at 1820 Crest Drive

1820 Crest Drive burned this morning. Fortunately, no one was killed. According to NBC, firefighters are calling the fire "suspicious in nature." I hope it's not a case of arson, but it does seem a little odd that the whole house was engulfed so quickly. The house was bought at the peak of the bubble for $1.79 million and now Zillows at $1.05 million, so mortgage problems are always a possibility.

Welcome to Walmart

I'm still curious if they're going to try out that "upscale" concept they were going to do before Carlsbad turned them down. This has to be the most upscale neighborhood Walmart has ever gone into. The folks in the million-dollar homes in Encinitas Ranch will be able to walk to Wal-Mart for coffee and a paper!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bilbray, Issa vote to allow indefinite detention of Americans without charge

Encinitas' current and future Congressmen, Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa, voted to allow the indefinite detention of Americans whom the president declares, without any evidentiary standards, support terrorists.

Specifics on the bill from conservatives and liberals.

Text here.


    (a) In General- Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40
    (3) the current armed conflict includes nations, organization, and persons who--
    (A) are part of, or are) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.
    (b) Covered Persons- A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

      (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.

      (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

    (c) Disposition Under Law of War- The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:

      (1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

      (2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII ofPublic Law 111-84)).

      (3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.

      (4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.

    (d) Construction- Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

    (e) Authorities- Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

    (f) Requirement for Briefings of Congress- The Secretary of Defense shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application of the authority described in this section, including the organizations, entities, and individuals considered to be ‘covered persons’ for purposes of subsection (b)(2).

Roll call here.

And a reminder that we once had a Constitution that read:

"... nor shall any person ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Celebrating Council Member Kristin Gaspar's First-Year Accomplishments

On this first anniversary of her swearing-in, Encinitas Undercover would like to congratulate Council Member (and new Deputy Mayor) Kristin Gaspar on her triumphant first year. Let's review her goals and accomplishments.

1) Building the Hall Park. Anyone who watched the campaign last year knows that the one issue on which Gaspar could speak authoritatively was that she really, really wanted a sports park on the Hall Property. At the Cardiff candidate forum, she promised that her Rotary connections would be instrumental in getting private funding to build the park. Well, nobody's really gotten around to building the baseball and soccer fields. But after a year of Gaspar's hard work, local mountain climbers love the challenge of Mt. Gaspar -- as do adherents of the new sport "Downhill Boogieboarding."

The majestic Mt. Gaspar rises from the plains of Toxaphene Fields like Kilimanjaro rising above the Serengeti.

2) Installing wayside horns. Council watchers recall that Gaspar made her City Hall debut asking for wayside horns at intersections so that Amtrak and Coaster trains wouldn't have to blast their horns, disturbing Vulcan and 101 neighbors. Let's go to the video to see the results of Council Member Gaspar's good work.

You know, if I were a more cynical observer, I might think that the fact that the city has made zero progress on these issues so near and dear to the council majority's hearts was an indication that city finances are not as healthy as they would have us believe. If they can shell out millions of dollars a year for pensions, why can't they start park construction or put in wayside horns? Good thing I'm not a cynical observer.

3) Fiscal responsibility. From Gaspar's web site:
I understand that tax revenue is not the government's money or the city's money…it is your money, and , I pledge to use it wisely. I will not tie your money up with frivolous complaints or attorney's fees. I will promote the judicious use of your revenue to ensure that basic city services are provided and to improve the quality of life that we have come to expect in Encinitas.
No frivolous complaints or attorney's fees? How about her vote to support Glen Sabine's frivolous appeal of a judge's ruling that the public has a right to access public documents?

Beyond supporting expensive, frivolous legal adventures, has Gaspar done anything on the council that could be remotely described as pushing for fiscal responsibility? Has she questioned or criticized a single line-item in the city budget? And how is letting Carltas (the Ecke development company) out of its golf course obligations and sticking Encinitas Ranch homeowners with the bill fiscally responsible?

And how about the biggest fiscal responsibility issue facing Encinitas, pension reform? Oh, yes:

4) Pension reform. From her web site:
Most candidates seem to be in agreement that pension reform is needed because our current system is not sustainable. We cannot afford in the short-term, medium-term, or long-term to end up in the position that the City of San Diego is in. I am certain we can solve this problem while still offering our city employees extremely competitive and appealing salary and benefits packages. I am also certain that I can work together with all of the current council members and future council members to get this job done.
Well, it's a year later, the pension liability is getting worse, and we haven't heard a peep from Council Member Gaspar on pension reform.

5) Bringing civility to the council. One of Gaspar's frequent campaign promises was to change the acrimonious tone at City Hall. From her web site:
I will bring positive energy, a spirit of cooperation, and unity to the Encinitas City Council. Our council has too often been distracted by petty personal feuds and hyper-partisanship. I pledge to focus my efforts on the needs of our city instead of disparaging the personal character of those whom I may not agree with on specific issues.
Let's ask Union-Tribune columnist Logan Jenkins how she's doing on that one.

A soft brick — the Bonehead First Play award — to freshman Encinitas Councilwoman Kristen Gaspar for failing in dramatic fashion to live up to her campaign pledge to bridge, not widen, the bitterly personal schism on the Encinitas council.

By nominating her political supporters (and likely mentors) — Councilmen Jim Bond and Jerome Stocks — for mayor and vice mayor respectively, Gaspar, 30, demonstrated one of two things about her political character:

She’s either naive or she’s secretly spoiling for a fight while pretending to be Ms. Sweetness and Light.

Nov. 11, 2011:
A brick — the Red Cape and Bull award — to the Encinitas “pro-business” (for lack of a better label) majority — Mayor Jim Bond, Jerome Stocks and Kristin Gaspar — for appointing Mark Muir, the city’s fire chief, to fill the late Maggie Houlihan’s council seat.

This decision wanted some tact, some humility, some spirit of compromise. None was displayed.
And as for "instead of disparaging the personal character of those I may not agree with?" Well, in her first month in office, Gaspar wrote a North County Times commentary disparaging Teresa Barth as an explanation for her decision to pass over Barth for the Deputy Mayor position. And how about her more recent public dressing-down of Barth over a subcommittee disagreement?

Hmmmm. Sounds more like Mean Girls than a new civility.

We look forward with great anticipation to Deputy Mayor Gaspar's second year on the council.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

Huge, rare full lunar eclipse tomorrow morning.

Last night the moon was nearly full and set over the ocean just before sunrise. Get up early tomorrow morning and catch it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

City ordered to pay $54,862.50 attorney's fees for frivolous fight against Public Records Act

Here's the judge's order:
Attorney's fees order, Cummins vs. Encinitas

That's in addition to the tens of thousands they paid comic attorney Glenn Sabine to repeatedly and consistently lose his frivolous challenges.

Exit trivia question: what council member's campaign web site promised:
I understand that tax revenue is not the government's money or the city's money…it is your money, and , [sic] I pledge to use it wisely. I will not tie your money up with frivolous complaints or attorney's fees.

Answer here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

DEMA purges Maggie Houlihan's image from banners

In Joseph Stalin's Great Purge in the 1930's, former leaders who had become politically inconvenient had their images purged from history.

From the inbox:
From: "Dody Crawford"
Date: December 2, 2011 4:40:08 PM PST
Subject: Banner Recall

Attention All Banner Artists!

It has come to our attention that the banners we have given you do not comply with the permit we were issued. We are in the process of reprinting them and should have them for you in about 10 days.

If you have completed your banner, you are free to keep it. If you have the energy to paint another we would love to have you do it.

If you have not finished, please do no more. Return it to the DEMA office for a replacement banner.

I sincerely apologize for all the trouble this may have caused you. Unfortunately, I did not do my due diligence in preparing the permit. This not in any way the Artists' Colony's mistake, but mine alone and for that, I am truly sorry.

I do hope you will able to do another banner as soon as we get them. We will alert you when we get have them here.Thank you for your understanding.

Dody Crawford
Executive Director
818 S. Coast Hwy 101Encinitas, CA 92024

Sources tell Encinitas Undercover that what's wrong is that the banners carried an image of late Council Member Maggie Houlihan, who has become politically inconvenient to the council majority.

I hope the artists will put their heart and soul into decorating the original, uncensored banners and hang them with pride in prominent places.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kristin Gaspar is shocked, SHOCKED...

... that Teresa Barth would dare to bring her a few pages of some sort of proposal before Gaspar had agreed to hear it.

Watch the clusterlove of incompetence and vitriol as Bond tries to adjourn the meeting, Gaspar interjects, and then Bond (apparently erroneously) allows her to deliver her anti-Barth diatribe.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Jon Horn in the U-T raises concerns of Brown Act violations by Bond allowing Gaspar to berate Barth when it was not on the agenda. I'll allow a little Brown Act violation to enjoy a spectacle of buffoonery like this any day!

Is this really the allegedly sophisticated, highly educated town of Encinitas? This city council is like something out of Jerry Springer.

Finally, a trivia question for my dear readers. Which council member's campaign web site said the following?
I will bring positive energy, a spirit of cooperation, and unity to the Encinitas City Council. Our council has too often been distracted by petty personal feuds and hyper-partisanship. I pledge to focus my efforts on the needs of our city instead of disparaging the personal character of those whom I may not agree with on specific issues.
Stumped? Answer here.

Barth says she had nothing to do with the document that gave Gaspar the vapors. She only met with staff to ask some questions.