Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bond slams liberal, mean-spirited public in farewell interview

North Coast Current:
Looking back at how the political climate has changed since he was first elected in 1992, [retired Councilman James] Bond said that coastal Southern California has gradually shifted toward a more liberal or left-of-center way of thinking. He said that accompanying that shift has been a swing toward more mean-spirited elections and campaigns.

Bond was critical of people who he said abuse the public comments portion of the council meeting, which is reserved for members of the public who want to address the City Council regarding non-agenda items.

“This year I was really disappointed to see that we had regular herds of people to criticize the sitting council,” he said. “To make disparaging and in many cases totally untruthful comments or remarks is not the way you elect, select and support your representatives.”
As council watchers the last few years, our perception is that criticism of the council majority's actions came from across the political spectrum, was usually well-founded, and was overwhelmingly validated by the public in November's landslide election.  Mean-spiritedness went both ways, and was often originated or exacerbated by council members' contemptuous, erroneous dismissal of public speakers as being a fringe minority.

We hope the new council gives, and earns, more respect, regardless of individual political affiliations.  Public civility is likely to follow the tone set by the council.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

90-foot stadium lights coming to Cardiff sunsets

U-T letter to the editor:
Lights will cause air pollution

I’m sure readers are aware of the development of the Hall Property Park off Interstate 5 in the middle of an Encinitas residential neighborhood. But they may not know about the 90-foot-tall lights the city of Encinitas is planning to install in the park.

The plan calls for the use of four 90-foot-tall lights and 10 80-foot-tall lights, which will be installed by the end of 2013. The standard height for lights in a residential neighborhood is 30 feet, 60 feet lower than the proposed Hall Property’s lights.

These lights will be a nuisance to citizens living around the area. Property values will plummet and the lights will pollute the air. Would you like it if your house, that you paid $1 million for, decreased in value?

Readers can help by writing to all five Encinitas City Council members today, and urging them not to install these lights. If enough people protest, we may be able to scale back the lights in time and save our community.

Jake Smith

student, Pacific Ridge School Cardiff

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Oceanside man crashes in Fallbrook, wakes up dead in Encinitas

Oceanside - Camp Pendleton Patch:
A man killed Sunday in a two-vehicle crash on state Route 76 near Pala Mesa was identified as 49-year-old Benjamin Taylor of Oceanside.

The Medical Examiner said Taylor was found unresponsive by a passerby in his Ford F150 pickup truck, in a ditch, against a tree, near Manchester Avenue in Encinitas after he crashed about 3:25 p.m. Sunday on Route 76 east of Monserate Hill Road.
The truck's flight of almost 30 miles is believed to be a new record for the F-150.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Coming soon to a gutter near you

In what is apparently the first expenditure by Encinitas charity "We Love Encinitas" since the campaign season, the group has inserted flyers among the mattress ads and other detritus wrapped in plastic and thrown unsolicited on Encinitas lawns, gardens, and driveways.

Though the expenditure seems odd, we suspect that WLE's lawyers told them they had better start spending some money outside of election season to try to create the appearance that the charity is something other than a campaign ploy.

In other WLE news, a commenter points out at North Coast Current that WLE's claim of 501(c)(3) status was likely fraudulent, as the brand new group wouldn't have had time to get IRS approval.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

More fingerprints on sham charity: Kristin Gaspar's, and developer David Meyer's

Last month, we learned that the charity sending out campaign propaganda to support incumbents Jerome Stocks and Mark Muir was tied to Paul Gaspar, husband of councilwoman Kristin Gaspar.

When questioned by the North Coast Current, Kristin Gaspar declined comment and directed questions toward her husband.

Now the trail goes directly to Kristin Gaspar.  The Coast News obtained the October 22 We Love Encinitas filing with the California Secretary of State which lists Kristin, not Paul, Gaspar as the agent for service of process.

More troubling than Gaspar's dissembling is the revelation that developer David Meyer is also behind the group.
The documents also list David Meyer, a real estate consultant and land developer in Encinitas as the secretary and chief financial officer of the group. Meyer’s past advocacy includes forming a political action group to oppose policies promoted by the late Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan.

A page from We Love Encinitas' Articles of Incorporation. It lists Councilwoman Kristin Gaspar as the agent for service of process. Documents filed later list Paul Gaspar as the agent for service of process.
In an email, Meyer said that any questions about his involvement with the group should be directed through We Love Encinitas, and not his personal email and phone number.

All requests for comments from We Love Encinitas, including whether the group has been granted or is applying for 501 (c) 3 status, have gone unanswered.
Who does Kristin Gaspar represent? The people of Encinitas or special interests like developer David Meyer?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Barth appointed mayor; Peace, love and happiness on city council?

Patch has the scoop:

It's a welcome display of goodwill on all sides. Kranz was ready to make Gaspar mayor, but Gaspar graciously deferred to the long-overdue Barth.

A new day for civility and cooperation in Encinitas?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2013 Cardiff Kook calendars now available

These make great Christmas gifts to fellow Encinitans and out-of-area friends and family alike.  And they benefit three good causes.

You can get your calendars at, or at the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association office at 124 Aberdeen.

We LOVE our local guerrilla artists, the calendars that chronicle them, and the charities that benefit!

Friday, December 7, 2012

New blog comes to Encinitas

The web site, connected to Paul Gaspar's "We Love Encinitas" charity, has changed over to a blog format.

As Gaspar told the North Coast Current, “... one does not have to be secret about disseminating good news – unlike the multiple anonymous negative groups and blogs that have infected Encinitas.”

We have no idea who the negative groups and blogs are that have infected Encinitas (if you do know, please send us a tip), but the new blog holds true to Gaspar's vision of All Happy Talk, All the Time. The first three posts include the amazing citizen satisfaction survey, "Encinitas citizens love a parade," and happy progress on the Hall Park.

Authorship on the blog posts is anonymous, and comments are not allowed.

Ironically, the positive tone of the blog stands in marked contrast to the writings of We Love Encinitas' beloved Jerome Stocks, who is entering retirement with a poison pen. On county Republican blog SDRostra, Stocks attacks his successor, Tony Kranz, for "seeming" to want a ridiculous $56,000 expenditure (how does one "seem" to want a $56,000 expenditure?  Did Kranz request it or not?).

We struggle to recall an example of a politician being less gracious in defeat.  And politicians are not a gracious lot.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Whither the mayoralty?

Teresa Barth will obviously be mayor.  She has earned the traditionally rotational post with her years of service to the city, and now she will have enough support on the council to see that her repeatedly being passed over does not continue.

But when will she be mayor, and for how long?

This month, the voters chose to change the mayor position to a two-year elected post, rather than a one-year appointed post.  Electoral politics could come into play in the order of the rotation.  Encinitas political operatives believe that being mayor is an advantage going into an election. I dispute this view vehemently; ask Dalager and Stocks how that worked out for them.  Nevertheless, Barth may want to wait to be appointed until 2014 when she would be up for either re-election to council or election to the new mayor position.

The new council could also presumably choose to start the two-year mayoralty now, and give Barth the two years leading up to the next election.  After all, the voters want a two-year mayor; why make them wait?  But this could be viewed as overreach, and a breach of the new spirit of cooperation promised by the newly elected council members.

In that spirit of cooperation, is it possible that the council would allow Kristin Gaspar to become mayor?  As current deputy mayor, she would typically be next in line.  But given Gaspar's history of both petty tantrums over not getting her way and staged outbursts over feigned outrage, as well as her connection to the sleazy We Love Encinitas election mailers, it would take the turn-the-other-cheekiness of Jesus for the new majority to appoint Gaspar mayor.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Barth appointed mayor this year, with Lisa Shaffer as deputy mayor, given Shaffer's having overwhelming public support as demonstrated by having received the most votes by far of any candidate in Encinitas history.  Shaffer would then become mayor the following year so that if Gaspar and Barth wanted to go at each other in the elected mayor campaign, neither would have the "advantage" of incumbency.

More importantly, though, than who gets to be mayor for a year, is the substantive issue of how future council agendas are set.  While the voters chose to elect a mayor, they didn't choose to change to a "strong mayor" form of government.  Rules for how items get onto the city council agenda were not part of the ballot question, and remain within the purview of the city council.  This city council should ensure that control of the council agenda remains in the hands of future council majorities and not in the hands of one (possibly capriciously) elected person.  The mayor of a small city like Encinitas should be a ceremonial figurehead, not a Boss Hogg.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Large methamphetamine bust in Encinitas

A late-night stabbing incident has led to the largest Encinitas methamphetamine bust in recent memory.

NC Times:
Deputies responded about 3 a.m. to a call about a woman heard screaming in an apartment complex on Regal Road near Park Lane. They were directed to an apartment, where they found a broken window and blood outside.

The resident, identified as Jeremy James Boone, was uncooperative and resisted deputies’ attempts to take him into custody, Nelson said.


Detectives obtained a search warrant for the apartment and found a loaded handgun, about 14 ounces of methamphetamine, six ounces of cocaine, and two ounces of marijuana.
The drugs would be worth about $20,000 based on crude estimates often used by the news media.

Jeremy Boone is listed at the apartment complex at 808 Regal. Boone was apparently a long-time resident of the neighborhood, as there were also listings for him on nearby Gardena and Melba.

An old Myspace page purportedly by Jeremy Boone includes a 2008 post referring to difficulty adjusting after a recent release from prison. A more recent Facebook page indicated Boone was a 1996 graduate of Sunset High School.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Paul Gaspar fingered as man behind sham charity

Recently, we marveled at the gall of some shadowy new group to take charity money and use it for blatantly transparent political purposes. We can now add self-serving to that charge, and put a face to that seedy group.

From the California Secretary of State's web site:

None other than Paul Gaspar, husband of city council member and Jerome Stocks acolyte Kristin Gaspar.

Really, Paul?  Using a charity to send out campaign propaganda didn't trigger even the tiniest sense of shame?

Incidentally, Kristin Gaspar's 2010 election campaign was heavily funded by out-of-town physical therapists, who presumably had a lot more interest in currying favor with Paul Gaspar as director of the California Physical Therapy Association than they had in wayside horns for Encinitas.

 HT: Anonymous

Bonus Thought: If Paul Gaspar plays this fast and loose with IRS rules on 501(c)3 charities, what else might he be pushing the envelope on?  An enterprising IRS auditor might want to find out!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Have another beer!

Driver crashes into house, flees scene on foot with pickup truck still running in the living room.

1338 Mackinnon Ave. This is just up the street from the vehicular fratricide incident of two months ago.

HT: NCTimes.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Internet killed the slate mailer star

In recent elections, City Council seats have often been won by campaigns of glossy mailers backed by political parties, unions, and other interest groups. It was thought by the Cardiff and Leucadia "activists" that New Encinitas would generally vote based on mailers, signs, and endorsements.

Last week's landslide results certainly seem to have changed that. The sleeping giant of Middle Encinitas has awoken. Some of this can be attributed to the development threat of the General Plan Update, and the backlash it created in the Encinitas Right to Vote movement.

But are broader cultural and technological trends at work too?

Pew Research says the Internet is taking an increasingly important role in informing voters.

The Pew study is generally referring to national elections, but I think we're seeing even stronger trends in local elections. Coverage of Encinitas issues in the Union-Tribune, North County Times, and San Diego television stations is minimal. Even the Coast News has too little space in its weekly format to cover everything important in Encinitas city government.  Filling the void, perhaps for the first time for many Encinitas voters, is the Internet.

Some of the candidates understood the trend.  Lisa Shaffer's web site was the most informative, by far, of all the council candidates. Jerome Stocks didn't even have a web site until late in the campaign. Before that, his Internet presence was limited to occasional posts on County GOP blog SDRostra, and often ill-considered comment wars on Patch and other news sites and blogs. Teresa Barth's e-mail newsletter kept hundreds of subscribers informed on local issues with dozens of links in each issue to news and opinion sources.

The bigger impact, however, was likely not from the campaign sites, but from local news and opinion sites, both professional and amateur. This was the first campaign season that Encinitas Patch was in full swing, and it has been a heavily-trafficked forum for both news and opinion. Long-time civic watchdog Leucadia Blog is still going strong, and worth reading far beyond the borders of Leucadia. Without sites like Patch and LB, it would be hard to keep up with everything that's happening. And people might just be tempted to re-elect incumbents based on a 98% satisfaction survey.

In his farewell speech, Congressman Ron Paul called the Internet the alternative to the "government - media complex." Locally, he could have been referring to Papa Doug's Union-Tribune and its ties to powerful developers and their politicians. In an era of concentration of power and collusion between Big Business and Big Government, Small Internet remains a remarkably effective weapon of dissent.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The bubble is back! Encinitas neighborhood now selling above 2007 peak prices

The bubble is back, baby!

Check out this little townhouse neighborhood by the library.  It's a good case study, because there are a lot of homogeneous units, and they trade relatively frequently.  They got into the low-$800's in 2005-07.  By 2009-10 they had dropped back to the $600's.

293 Triton sold in September for a record $840,000.  449 Pescadero listed last month at $875,000 (since pulled).

Your mileage may vary.  Some of this reflects a preference shift toward smaller, lower-price, low-maintenance units in prime locations.  I wouldn't expect most of Encinitas to pass peak pricing for quite a while.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Stocks Dumped!!!

Wow. How does an incumbent lose re-election with a 98% satisfaction rating?

Stocks came in fourth for three seats, behind Mark Muir who came in a distant third. Muir only hangs onto his seat because Shaffer and Kranz didn't find a third amigo.

Encinitas voters have spoken. They don't pay attention often, but Jerome made local politics impossible to ignore.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Banana Republic

Remember those innocent days of yesteryear when shady, unnamed political campaign supporters claiming tax deductions for campaign propaganda would at least pretend to cloak their propaganda in the guise of a generic "thank you" to unnamed, but obvious, incumbent politicians?

That was October 12, 2012.



Yes, "We Love Encinitas," which is a 501(c)(3) charity, meaning donations to it are tax-deductible, is now naming, quoting, and featuring press photos of the politicians it loves during the peak of the campaign season.

Your federal (and state) tax dollars are paying for Jerome Stocks' and Mark Muir's re-election campaign.

We have gone way beyond "Have you no shame?" and we are now well into "Is there no law or order?" territory.  Doesn't anyone know an honest prosecutor or an honest reporter any more?

Don't bitch to me about trillion-dollar deficits if you're not even going to pick up the phone to call the IRS about a blatantly fraudulent use of the charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) status.

Harry Eiler: Dump Stocks!

Harry Eiler is a long-time resident of New Encinitas in the Willowspring neighborhood near Encinitas Boulevard and El Camino Real.

He's also a long-time supporter of the pro-developer council majority, including hosting an event for Kristin Gaspar in 2010.

So it was very interesting to see his letter in the North County Times:
It is time the Encinitas City Council have some new faces. Mayor Stocks has had his time at the public trough long enough. I offer the following:

I am generally opposed to those who reside in the small communities of Old Encinitas and, most notably, Leucadia and Cardiff. They do not see the overall picture and fret over their minority role in the city. Their resentment at not being a singularly significant part of Encinitas dictates much, if not all, of their agenda.

Their desire to perpetuate some undeveloped beach town simply pales in the need to intelligently progress. Plus, the bloc of Tony Kranz and Lisa Shaffer with Teresa Barth (supported by single-minded backers — audet et al) only ensures continued discord at City Hall. Enough. We need independent, nonaligned representatives and not more majority rule by behind-the-scene manipulators.

I recommend Mark Muir for re-election because he is reasonable, intelligent and brings some continuity. I also suggest Bryan Ziegler for his youthful enthusiasm — long lacking in our city’s business — and Kevin Forester for his experience and ability to compromise — other talents missing on the council for too long.

Harry Eiler

It's also interesting to hear the pro-development point of view from someone who is not apparently motivated by financial ties to developers:

Their desire to perpetuate some undeveloped beach town simply pales in the need to intelligently progress.

Mr. Eiler has enjoyed decades in Encinitas as it is, a beautiful residential beach town without a lot of high-density development and traffic congestion. Why would he deny that opportunity to future generations? Where is it written that the need to "intelligently progress" cannot be done within existing zoning guidelines?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dirtiest election mailer yet

Exactly two years to the day since the infamous Lincoln Club hit piece, which came four days after a $4000 payment from Jerome Stocks to the Lincoln Club, we get this.

If a smear campaign like this can buy control of city council, we're all in deep trouble.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Who will upzone my greenhouse so I can build high-density apartments?

Pay to play in Encinitas

Dennis Lees discovers that Carlsbad firm O'Day Consultants and its employees gave Mayor Stocks $2000 to pay off campaign debt after the firm received a $77,000 city contract.

Welcome to Bellcinitas.

If your local newspaper isn't covering this stuff, it's not a "Watchdog."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

EUSD Superintendent Tim Baird admits he's asset-stripping to fund the budget

Just two years after his 30-year-debt-for-iPads swindle, Encinitas Union School District Superindendent Tim Baird now admits that his plan to strip the community of an irreplaceable asset is all about plugging the hole in his budget. Patch:
“This loss of revenue will force us to raise class sizes even higher, and ultimately lay off some of our best and brightest teachers," Baird said.

“It is not too late to stop this train wreck."
So how will EUSD pay its teachers a few years down the road when the money from Pacific View has been blown through? One of the most basic principles of running any organization is that you don't use non-recurring revenues for recurring expenses.

Baird, by the way, is reportedly demanding a pay raise, and the school board, including Mark Muir's wife Maureen Muir [I stand corrected?], appears set to give it to him.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Encinitas Right to Vote leader endorses Kranz and Shaffer

Olivier Canler is one of the organizers behind the Encinitas Right to Vote (on increasing neighborhood density zoning). Without the initiative, a 4/5 majority on the City Council can decide to put an apartment building right next to your single-family home.

Here is Canler on the Council candidates:
-Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz are the preferred candidates. They will listen to the residents, are concerned how the General Plan Update can change our communities, and are supporting the idea of having the community being engaged in a meaningful way in future land-use changes. They both want to maintain our beach-town character, and want to preserve open spaces and our precious natural resources. Beyond the General Plan they are very familiar with issues facing our city. They will bring fiscal responsibility to our council.

In contrast, Jerome Stocks and Kevin Forrester are pro-growth and are backed by special interests made of developers (most are out-of-town). They have very little regards for what residents want when it comes to growth. Mr. Stocks has been quoted saying things like, "This is just a planning exercise, none of these units have to be built", or "I'll try to respect community character". Mr. Forrester, a realtor and attorney, specialized in mitigating land-use disputes, is more blunt: He does not believe the public should be involved in zoning exercises adding that these exercises are best left to the "professional planners". He wants to expedite the planning process. Here is what Mr. Forrester said to the Union-Tribune: "The biggest challenge facing the city of Encinitas is re-establishing the policy-setting role of the City Council in land-use planning, and avoiding the takeover of planning by a vocal minority of Encinitas citizens". Characterizing the people behind the Right-To-Vote Initiative as a vocal minority is offensive and a gross distorsion of the facts. In reality, most Encinitans are deeply concerned about further developments in our town.

Both Mr. Stocks and Mr. Forrester strongly oppose the Right-To-vote initiative.

Mark Muir is all over the map when it comes to zoning changes. He takes credit for the reboot of the GPU (when the vote was unanimous and it did not take a genius to understand that this plan was vastly unpopular). He is not in favor of density bonus but does not support the Right-To-Vote Initiative. He is also aligned politically with Jerome Stocks and Kevin Forrester. We can't trust Mark Muir.

The other candidates, Barb Yost, Brian Ziegler, Thomas Brophy, are all concerned about zoning changes. Their hearts are in the right places. All three support the Right-To-Vote initiative but are newcomers on the Encinitas public scene. I would encourage everybody to visit each of these 3 candidates website and decide for yourself.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jerome Stocks: I swear my $4000 check to the Lincoln Club had absolutely nothing to do with the hit piece they sent out against Teresa Barth four days later

Here's Mayor Jerome Stocks at the Cardiff candidate forum when asked to pledge not to send out last-minute, negative hit piece mailers.

"I've not only pledged that I won't; I will state affirmatively that I never have, and I won't change that now."

Oh, really?

Then why did you pay the Lincoln Club $4,000 four days before they sent out this sleazy hit piece against Teresa Barth in a race that no one in the Lincoln Club claimed to know anything about?

Do Encinitas voters really want a city councilman who will lie to their faces like that? What else is he lying about?

Sign-gate spurs local songwriter

Ha! I had thought many times of the Boss Hogg analogy for our local crony council, but hadn't used it yet. Curse you, Trevor Trevitis, for beating me to it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Stocks uses taxpayer-funded survey, tax-exempt charity for campaign propaganda

We knew when the city commissioned its ridiculous "citizen satisfaction survey" in an election year, the purpose was to give the incumbents a political weapon. As if the reason anyone likes living in Encinitas has anything to do with City Hall. Conveniently left out of the survey, by the way, were questions about overdevelopment, unfunded pension liabilities, toxic waste at the Hall Park, crony real estate transactions and city contracts, etc.

I'd say the survey tells us what we already knew: that people love to live in Encinitas and have almost no interaction with City Hall.

So here is the mailer we've been expecting. "Thank you to our city council... for making our city such a wonderful place to live, work, and play. Keep up the good work."

But the new twist is that the group paying for this is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, "We Love Encinitas."

Quoting from the IRS web site on 501(c)3's:
The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests [...]
Charity money going to send out love notes to politicians during campaign season? Whose interests are served by this at all other than the private electoral interests of Jerome Stocks and Mark Muir?  When, in the history of all municipalities, has a legitimate charity ever been formed to mail out puff pieces on politicians during campaign season?

Think about that: Jerome Stocks' backers are getting tax deductions for sending out what are, for all practical purposes, campaign mailers.  I suspect the IRS will frown on this charade and those involved will face legal consequences.  But even if not, what was Stocks thinking?  On the heels of sign-gate, to serve up another prime example of cutting corners and bending or breaking rules for political gain?  How much more blatant could he be in validating the complaints of his harshest critics?

Coast News now includes Dump Stocks bumper sticker

A bumper sticker in every copy!

The sticker is from the Encinitas Election site, which is a roundup of anti-Stocks/Muir material.

Hat tip: Anonymous.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

10 News on Encinitas Signgate

10 News covered the Stocks-Muir Midnight Cowboy story here:
Strong words were issued Wednesday night as the mayor of Encinitas and a city council member were blasted for a violation of city code.

The incident is becoming known as "Signgate." Encinitas Councilman Mark Muir and Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks were caught on video breaking their own city code by putting up their campaign signs on the corner of Encinitas Boulevard and El Camino Real before they were allowed.

Video shot by Joe Corder on Oct. 5 – two days before campaign signs were allowed to go up – shows Stocks and Muir in violation of their own city code.
Click on over and watch the video -- especially Mr. Stocks' reaction at the end.

Let me be the first to say that I agree with Mr. Stocks: campaign violations are not capital offenses, and I do not favor his execution. May Mr. Stocks live to a ripe old age free of the pestering of Encinitas busybodies, and they free of him.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

And then there were five...

Patch reports that Lisa Shaffer leads in fundraising, and four other candidates are also raising money:
Lisa Shaffer took in the largest amount of contributions at $35,125 to date. Non-monetary contributions total $1,507 to date. Her total expenditures are listed at $25,809.

Current Mayor Jerome Stocks, who has served twelve years on the council, with three years as mayor, reported monetary contributions totaling $5,715, with an additional loan from Stocks to the campaign for $2,500. His expenditures were reported at $4,364.

Tony Kranz reported monetary contributions at $15,091 to date. In addition, Kranz’ filing showed non-monetary contributions at $1,267 to date. His total expenditures are listed as $10733.79.

Kevin Forrester took in $4,961 in monetary contributions and a $4,300 loan that the candidate made in three increments to the campaign. His expenditures came in at $5,313.64.

Appointed City Councilman Mark Muir showed monetary contributions of $22,162.16 to date in his bid to secure a four-year term on the council. Muir also reported a personal $4,000 loan to the campaign. Non-monetary contributions came in at $679.16 to date. His expenditures are listed as $12,880.57.
All of those five have a very legitimate shot at one of the three seats. The other four? Not so much. This election really counts, and will be really close, so if you care about the direction of the city, you might want to talk to your neighbors about it.

Don't forget the Leucadia - Encinitas Forum tonight.

Monday, October 8, 2012

If it weren't close, they wouldn't have to cheat

Republicans have a saying, "if it's not close, they can't cheat," reflecting their belief that Democrats will turn out dead voters, out-of-state college students, and missing boxes of ballots to steal close elections.

A corollary is that if they're cheating, it must be close.  Which is why it was interesting to see that Jerome Stocks and Mark Muir felt the need to break the city's election law and put up their signs early... and promptly got caught on video.

Jerome Stocks, who was such a stickler for the rules when it came to tearing down the Surfing Madonna, apparently no longer thinks rules are important.

A further note: while Kevin Forrester, as predicted, joins Muir and Stocks as the endorsed candidates of the RINO establishment, at least he had the good sense not to go riding around in the middle of the night with Laurel and Hardy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

DUMP STOCKS bumper stickers now available

From the Inbox:
DUMP STOCKS Campaign Stocks Up on Yard Signs

The DUMP STOCKS campaign has received new supplies of DUMP STOCKS bumper stickers and yard signs. They're available by using the contact form at; or emailing info @
An equal opportunity offender, Encinitas Undercover will share contact information for other groups distributing material for or against any council candidates.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Welcome Home Kook

More American troops were killed last weekend by their Afghan "allies," bringing the body count to over 2,000 in the failed occupation.

What's the point of lingering for two more years and suffering hundreds or thousands more casualties when we've already told the Taliban we're surrendering in 2014?

How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

It's time to go home.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Skater Ian "Poods" Barry dead after fall from Neptune bluffs

Lifetime Encinitas resident and skateboarder Ian Barry has died after a fall from the Neptune bluffs early this morning.

NC Times:
A man who was found unconscious early Thursday after apparently falling from a cliff in Leucadia has died, authorities said.

Authorities identified the man as Ian B. Barry, 22, of Encinitas.

Sheriff's deputies got a call about 3:20 a.m. from a passer-by who spotted the man lying unconscious on the beach near the intersection of Neptune Avenue and North El Portal Street, said Lt. James Bovet.

The injured man was about 80 feet below the top of the cliffs above, Bovet said. Deputies did not suspect foul play.

Rescuers took the man to a hospital, Bovet said.

Barry died at the hospital at 7:28 a.m., according to the county medical examiner's office. An autopsy had not been completed.
Ian was featured in this 2011 issue of Soggybones magazine.

City Council to EUSD thugs: Pound sand!

It's nice to see the City Council unanimously (apart from "recusal" wonder girl Gaspar) stand up to the bullying tactics of EUSD Superintendent Tim Baird and the Art Pulse scammers.

The Art Pulse pitch is: we'll build a nice art center, but only if you upzone the property so we can flip seven houses on the historic property and make a fortune. Meanwhile, Tim Baird's pitch is: give me upzoning or I'll sue the pants off of you.

In a 4-0 vote, councilmembers agreed they could not approve the request because Encinitas Union School District is currently suing the city over the property. Councilwoman Kristin Gaspar recused herself from the issue, as she has done in the past.


“The lawsuit should have been dropped prior to the request for the rezone,” said Mayor Jerome Stocks. “We’re not going to start going down a process with a gun to our head. That’s just not appropriate.”

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Encinitas has second-worst pension funding in the county; Jerome Stocks still not worried because "it's complicated"

In 2005, Jerome Stocks voted for a 35% pension increase for city employees, who already had full retirement at 55 years old.  Now Encinitas has the second-worst funding ratio in San Diego County.

When asked recently about Encinitas' chronic underfunding of pensions, Mr. Stocks claimed that Encinitas was not, in fact, underfunding its pensions. He said that pension funding was complicated, that it fluctuates, that sometimes you're up, and sometimes you're down, etc.

In fact, pension records indicate that Encinitas pensions have not been fully funded for even a single year since Mr. Stocks' 2005 vote to increase pension benefits 35%. Even after the recent market rebound, Encinitas' pensions remain severely underfunded.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

And they're off!

The first campaign mailer of the season.


Professional, positive, a little light on specifics but with a nod toward preserving community character. Her web site featured prominently on the mailer does have quite a bit more detail on issues.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Grassroots homemade poster contest

There are a lot of creative folks in Encinitas.  Let's see if they'll put that creative energy into action for the election.

There will be a lot of big money mailers and campaign signs that usually determine who wins elections in Encinitas. But maybe a few grassroots flyers, collected here for sharing among neighbors, can counter the money tide.

You can use photoshop, or MS Word, or meme generator, or whatever you like to create a flyer that expresses your thoughts about the city council election. E-mail them to encinitasundercover -at- gmail -dot- com (anonymity is assured if you wish), and I'll post them here.

Here's a sample to get your creative juices flowing.

Winner gets a new city council.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Logan Jenkins: Shaffer will win one seat, Kranz, Stocks, Muir will compete for other two

Jenkins in the U-T:
Lisa Shaffer — As Houlihan’s hardworking heir, Shaffer appears to have earned a lock on a seat.

She owns an impressive academic background — environmental science and business ethics — and she’s been in campaign mode for a long time, smoothing her liberal-leaning message.

I’d be shocked if Shaffer doesn’t find her way to Maggie’s old chair.


Encinitas will return to its natural 3-2 split, a balance that reflects the city’s divided ideological soul.

The mystery, to be solved in November, is whether the new majority will lean right or left.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some Kooks are more equal than others

Did you see how quickly the Maggie Houlihan Kook and the Remove City Council Surfing Madonna Kook were removed the first weekday morning?

The Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Kook is still up late this afternoon.

Oktoberfest Kook

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Maggie Houlihan Memorial Kook

Don't bother clicking to enlarge; you still can't see it.  So get yourself down there on this beautiful day.

UPDATE: Better pics (and stories) at Coast News, Patch.

Friday, September 14, 2012

109 in El Cajon

Coastal living has its rewards.

Utility prices are going much higher thanks both to the Federal Reserve's money-printing and California's new global warming law.

Encinitas is at a distinct advantage to most of Southern California, not needing much heating or cooling.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Village Park resident Glen Doherty killed in Libya

One of the four Americans killed in Libya Tuesday was a former Navy SEAL turned author who lived in Encinitas.

Glen A. Doherty's family spoke to the Boston Globe, saying the government had confirmed that he was killed while providing security at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi that was attacked by extremists. He had only departed San Diego for the assignment eight days ago.

Fox5 San Diego reports that he lived in Encinitas, where he also worked at the CrossFit/SEALFit gym.
Doherty had lived on Rodney Avenue in Village Park since 2005.
It's time to go home.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Crash on Encinitas Boulevard causes gridlock

Encinitas Boulevard eastbound was closed and traffic was backed up on I-5 following a multiple-car pileup at FedEx around 4:30 p.m. this afternoon.

The driver of the Toyota was driving erratically westbound, according to witnesses. She crossed over the median into oncoming traffic in front of Town & Country Plaza.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weekend stabbing and hit-and-run suspects named

There's a tragic, Shakespearean new twist tonight in the hit-and-run death of an Encinitan on Villa Cardiff.  The suspect is the victim's brother.  Patch:
An Encinitas man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murdering his older brother Sunday night by hitting him with his truck after they got into an argument, according to homicide investigators with the San Diego County Sheriffs Department.

Encinitas resident Camilo Perez-Ruiz, 37, is believed to have killed his older brother Joaquin Perez-Ruiz, 44 and also an Encinitas resident, after the two got into a heated argument at a friend’s house nearby, said investigators.
And the suspected stabber and getaway driver in the D Street Bar & Grill stabbing were also named:
Jose Villanueva, 34, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, the knife, Stevenson said. Jacqueline Albrecht, 23, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, the vehicle, Stevenson said.
The suspects were reportedly arrested at the Olivenhain mansion of Susan D. Albrecht, apparently Jacqueline's mother, on three acres on Wiegand Street. The Albrechts have owned the property since Jacqueline was middle-school age.

The assault with a deadly weapon charge against Jacqueline will likely be dropped or pleaded down to something much less. Police tend to over-charge in cases like this, and prosecutors tend to under-prosecute.  It will be very difficult to prove that Jacqueline intended to assault anyone rather than just get away, especially because she didn't hit anyone.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's getting kinda stabby out there

Nothing good happens after midnight in Encinitas, folks.

NC Times:
Two men were stabbed outside an Encinitas bar early Tuesday morning and authorities later arrested two suspects, according to the Sheriff's Department.
About 12:35 a.m., the victims reported that there was an argument in the men's bathroom of the D Street Bar, 485 S. Coast Highway 101, and continued outside the bar into the street, where they were stabbed, said Detective Robert Stevenson.
Come to think of it, it's not that safe out there after 11 either:
An unidentified man was killed late Sunday in a hit-and-run at the intersection of Windsor Road and Via Cardiff Drive in Cardiff, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
Deputies were sent to investigate a report of a "person down" in the area at about 11:30 p.m. They found a Hispanic male lying at the northeast corner of the intersection. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Well, with police resources diverted to revenuing, we can probably expect increasing crime rates. Be safe out there.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Robinson held on $3 million bail

Stephen [Steven?]Clay Robinson, the suspect in Monday's Herder Lane neighbor feud shooting, is being held on $3 million bail.

Leave it to the San Diego Reader to cover news the U-T and NCT won't:
Prosecutor Aimee McLeod said the two people who were allegedly targeted by Robinson, a man and a woman, were “absolutely terrified” of him. The prosecutor asked the court for a “protective order” and to set a high bail amount, because the alleged victims are “afraid if he gets out they will be dead.”

Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man.  Photo credit Bob Weatherston, San Diego Reader.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shooting up your neighbor's house is a time-honored tradition in Encinitas

Some newer residents of Encinitas were surprised at yesterday's Hatfields & McCoys shooting on Herder Lane.

Old-timers know that's just another day in Encinitas.

Union-Trib, April 21, 2005:
A jury acquitted an Encinitas man yesterday of attempting to murder a neighbor by shooting into his home, but convicted him on charges of assault and firing his weapon.

James Craig Darling, 54, faces a sentence of about 10 years in prison, less than the 30 years he would have faced had he been convicted of all charges.

Darling shot into the Encinitas home of Gary Murphy, near Leucadia Avenue and North Coast Highway 101, early May 21. Detectives found at least five bullet holes on the property. Murphy and his adult son, Kyle, were home at the time and were not hurt. Murphy was able to give deputies a description of the van from which the shots were fired and a sheriff's deputy driving to the home found the van with Darling in the driver's seat.

Deputy Kelly Anderson testified Darling pulled out a gun and pointed it at Anderson's head. The deputy lurched backward and fell to the ground, firing his gun at the van as he fell.

Darling drove the van with Anderson and other officers pursuing in a high-speed chase that ended in Solana Beach, where Darling was arrested. A .45-caliber handgun was found in the van.

Darling also was convicted of shooting into an inhabited dwelling, shooting from a vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and evading arrest.
Gary Murphy is still a well-known Leucadian and active community member. Jim Darling? He's in a private prison in Red Rock, Arizona because California can't afford to incarcerate everyone under six-figure unionized prison guards. But Jim's getting near the end of that 10-year sentence, especially with a little good-time credit.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Shooting near San Dieguito Academy

Just days after the Leucadia skate park shooting, more bullets flew near San Dieguito Academy.


A 44-year-old man allegedly fired shots at a neighbor's house today, prompting authorities to lock down three area schools for about a half-hour as a precaution, a sheriff's lieutenant said.

Steven Clay Johnson [Robinson] allegedly opened fire about 11:10 a.m. on a home across the street from his residence in the 700 block of Herder Lane near Nardo Road, according to sheriff's Lt. Kenn Nelson. The alleged assailant and his neighbors have been involved in an ongoing dispute, Nelson said.

Deputies surrounded Robinson's home and ordered him to come outside, where he was arrested without incident and booked on suspicion of attempted murder, Nelson said.
The houses involved were reportedly 729 and 732 Herder Lane, but Robinson is listed at 730 Herder Lane in a neighborhood of older multi-family dwellings.

723 Herder sold earlier this year for $400,000 as "situated on a quiet street in Encinitas."

Robinson appears to be related to the Herder family who subdivided and developed the property years ago.

Developing Leucadia

Jim the Realtor cruises north 101, including the good (Surfy Surfy and Dos Palmas), the bad (ten big bombers on an acre overlooking the junkyard), and the ugly (Bar Leucadian).

J&L Pies Kook

Not sure who J & L Pies is. Oddly, they don't have any web presence at all except for sponsoring Tom Smith's Frisco-to-San-Diego ride.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Leucadia Art Walk Poster

Gang shooting in Leucadia

... at the skate park on Vulcan.

Completely coincidentally, that's the neighborhood where the city dumps much of its low-income housing.

Art Walk!

Turnout will be lower this year because Jerome Stocks banned the street banners that are the primary means of publicity.

Gaspar heels are out this year, replaced by sensible walking shoes.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Encinitas school charity goes to San Marcos for golf fundraiser

Wait a minute. Don't we have a quasi-municipal golf course here in Encinitas? Why did the city get in bed with developer Carltas if we can't even use the golf course for stuff like this?

The Encinitas Educational Foundation (EEF) started the school year on a successful note, raising about $9,300 with its Aug. 8 golf tournament. The event, held at Twin Oaks Golf Course in San Marcos, benefitted the nine campuses in the Encinitas Union School District that are served by the private, nonprofit foundation.

The tournament drew 48 participants, including district Superintendent Tim Baird. Several district administrators, district school board members, school principals, teachers and parents also played, donated, or volunteered their time. Sponsors included local businesses such as Pagni Real Estate, Tina’s Deli, Stratford Court CafĂ©, Callaway Golf, TaylorMade Golf, Which Wich Sandwiches, and Adonai Producciones.
Was the EEF turned down by Encinitas Ranch, or did they just not want play on a "goat patch?"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Crash at the Kook

According to witnesses, this black truck was heading north on San Elijo and turning left toward the Kook. Another vehicle came speeding southbound through the intersection and was hit by the turning truck. That vehicle ended up off the road southwest of the intersection behind the fire trucks.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thomas Brophy background

We've covered city council race newbies Bryan Ziegler and Peter Schuh.  Another unknown quantity is Thomas Brophy.

Dr. Brophy is, literally, a rocket scientist.

Thomas Brophy has a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, was a research scientist at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Boulder, with NASA interplanetary spacecraft projects, and was a National Science Foundation exchange scientist with the University of Tokyo and Japan Space Program.
He is currently listed as faculty at the California Institute for Human Studies, an unaccredited new-agey hippie school, and has some new-agey views of his own.
Interests in fundamental theory led to broader studies involving the non-calculable and immeasurable aspects of the universe, and teaching Integral philosophy, and his book The Mechanism Demands a Mysticism. [...] Recombining Integral philosophy with astrophysical dynamics led to his studies of the astro-archaeology of pre-historic and proto-historic Egypt, and his book The Origin Map.
Brophy has apparently not been involved in Encinitas issues or politics as of yet. Based on his philosophical leanings, we presume he'd align with Barth/Kranz/Shaffer rather than Stocks/Muir/Gaspar/Forrester.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mean town

No cripples allowed, Cottonwood Creek Park, Encinitas 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Clown Parade continues: Peter Schuh

Last week we brought you the comedy stylings of Bryan Ziegler, who is on the second round of his quixotic quest to gain elective office without any campaign issues, or, indeed, any campaign.

Today we bring you Peter Schuh.

Photo: Charlie Neuman / Union-Tribune

Peter is most famous for his biofuel equipment business, which is run out of his dad's house in the Bay Area. It is unclear how many (if any) actual sales they have. Prior to that business, he fancied himself a mutual fund manager. He managed more than one million dollars of friends and family money, also out of his dad's house, for a few years before shutting it down after really bad performance.

We don't want to harsh on the gigs of delirious dreamers like Ziegler and Schuh, but if they're going to get in the race and run un-serious campaigns and split the vote and help the incumbents get re-elected, they deserve a little scrutiny. And if these guys knew anything or cared about Encinitas, why haven't they been involved in local issues before?

Silver Surfer Kook

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The cost of America's global military empire hits home

A staff sergeant from San Diego was one of three Marines who were fatally shot Friday night in the Garmser district of southern Afghanistan.

Scott Dickinson, 29, who attended Horizon Christian Academy in the Clairemont neighborhood, was killed by an Afghan working on an installation shared by international coalition and Afghan forces.


The shooting was the second of the day involving Marines in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Earlier Friday, three Marine special forces operatives were killed in the Sangin district by a man wearing the uniform of an Afghan policeman. They were with Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion.
Many Encinitas families send their kids to Horizon. Will we still be unwelcome military occupiers in foreign lands around the globe when those kids are of service age?

The Leucadia Blog also has its focus beyond city limits today. Global military empire is expensive in treasure as well as in blood.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Your August 2012 HoodLink is up

HoodLink is a long-running Encinitas publication written anonymously in the great American tradition of Publius.

Your August 2012 HoodLink is up here, and, as usual, it's a good one. This issue covers council races and upzoning.

Please share with your Encinitas friends and family.

Flash Gordon Kook

RIP Dr. Allan Snavely. Too young.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This Man Wants to Clean Up Your City Hall: Bryan Ziegler

NC Times:
Bryan Ziegler, an attorney who recently made an unsuccessful bid for a San Diego County supervisor's seat, become the first person Monday to file candidacy paperwork for this year's Encinitas City Council races. [...]

Ziegler, a San Diego County government attorney, couldn't be reached for comment Monday afternoon. His website tells Encinitas voters that he is their candidate if they are "tired of voting for career politicians that are only interested in furthering their own career and getting rich."

The website also says that Ziegler is a Christian and a tea party Republican who supports Occupy San Diego's efforts "to take the power back from Wall Street and Corporate America."

Interesting guy... too bad he's so ignorant and/or compromised on pensions.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A few thoughts on the council candidates so far

The Leucadia Blog has the list of candidates who have taken out (but not yet filed) papers to run for City Council.
Bryan Ziegler
Kevin Forrester
Mark Muir
Tony Kranz
Lisa Shaffer
Barbara Yost
Shoja Naimi
Here are a few initial thoughts, which I reserve the right to amend and retract.

Jerome Stocks will file unless he gets a good-ol-boy seat with good pay on a do-nothing government board.

The more yahoos who enter, the less likely the incumbents get tossed. Every unknown name added to the ballot splits the Dump Stocks vote and makes Stocks / Muir more likely to be re-elected.

Bryan Ziegler ran for Supervisor and lost badly, taking a distant 4th place, apparently with little or no campaign organization. Encinitas City Council looks like his consolation prize. He calls himself a "Tea Party Republican," but he doesn't seem to think pensions are a problem:
The employees pay for their pension just like other people pay for their 401K [WRONG - employees sometimes pay a modest amount into pensions which is almost never anywhere close to enough to cover the benefits they are guaranteed].


The County's pension is 100 percent paid for and is a model for the rest of the country. [WRONG - it's only 52.2% funded].
It would be a huge mistake to elect someone so dangerously uninformed on pensions when Encinitas' own pensions are so severely underfunded, but let's not stop there. What kind of person keeps running for elective office with little or no campaign and little or no public support? Has Ziegler ever been involved in any Encinitas civic issues? He strikes me as someone who wants to BE a Council Member for the title but doesn't have any idea or interest in DOing anything for the people of Encinitas. Read his Patch interview and see if you disagree.

Kevin Forrester is an attorney for real estate developers. He has a very good Constitutional / property rights link list, including SCOTUSblog, Volokh, and the Castle Coalition. He is an ally of Stocks-Muir-Gaspar.

Mark Muir is, well, Mark Muir. The guy who rose to the top of a demanding physical profession while morbidly obese by buttering up the right power brokers. And now a set-for-life-at-55 pension beneficiary who will receive millions of dollars from Encinitas taxpayers over his retirement.

Tony Kranz is back after losing last time to Gaspar's huge outside money campaign and that little confrontation with the Obama=Hitler guy. Kranz has a web site up and is actively involved in civic life, frequently speaking at City Council and seen at most local events. He is an ally of Teresa Barth and in opposition to Stocks-Muir-Gaspar.

Lisa Shaffer seems the most serious of the challenger candidates, with the most content on her web site and an active calendar of events. She has been active in writing commentaries in the Coast News and on Patch and speaking on good government issues at City Hall. She is a UCSD professor. She is allied with Barth and Kranz.

Barbara Yost lives in Olivenhain Village Park [but she could throw a rock to Olivenhain], doesn't have a web site up, and hasn't been active in Encinitas affairs that I know of.

Shoja Naimi is the owner of Roxy, and is involved in 101 DEMA. I do not know whether he would be allied with Stocks-Muir-Gaspar or Barth-Kranz-Shaffer.

Please correct me where I am wrong.

Monday, July 30, 2012