Monday, February 25, 2013

City hires notorious pro-development law firm to give legal opinion on Right to Vote Initiative

Props to the Leucadia Blog, who broke the story, rumor as it was. The North Coast Current now confirms it:
Encinitas city planners have selected Costa Mesa law firm Rutan & Tucker to conduct a report on possible effects of the Right to Vote Initiative, as asked for by the City Council on Feb.13, the planning department confirmed.
More background on Rutan & Tucker's Jeff Oderman here at Friends for Fullerton's Future, a sort of Leucadia Blog Norte, a blog that was instrumental in a successful recall election against Fullerton City Council over the cover-up of the police beating death of homeless man Kelly Thomas.

Here's Oderman's bio.  You'll note he's got a long history of representing developers.

Obviously, the Rutan & Tucker report will warn of dire consequences of allowing the public to vote on up-zoning.  Those warnings will then be used as cover by Encinitas City Council to avoid taking a position,  and then will again be used in a fear campaign by developers to sway the public at election time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Shots fired, SWAT standoff at Tortilla Flats

10 News:

Authorities have responded to reports of shots fired in an Encinitas neighborhood.

A San Diego County Sheriff's Department official told 10News the incident happened in the 700 block of Del Rio Avenue.

The official said deputies were in the area as part of a stolen vehicle search when at some point shots were fired.

It remains unclear what prompted the gunfire and who fired the shots.

According to the sheriff's official, a deputy was injured in the incident but it is unknown if it is a gunshot wound.

A SWAT unit has been summoned to the scene.
Over the police scanner, we just heard that the officers have the suspect on the phone. Police are gathering at Del Rio and Puebla.

NBC7 is reporting a deputy was taken to Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla but was alert and in good spirits. They are also reporting that the sheriffs have surrounded 736 Del Rio, but from this picture, it looks like they are focused on the house next door, 748 Del Rio.

A neighbor told NBC7 that the shooter was a 20-something male who had a heroin problem and had threatened sheriffs before.

More scanner: "He's talking about coming out but nervous about it."

UPDATE: LA Times: crazy 22-year-old son of resident is shooter.

If the home is indeed 748 Del Rio, that would appear to be the home of Stephen and Michelle Kwik, who would be about the right age to be the suspect's parents.

UPDATE: Game over.

Yoga haters file suit

Encinitas is now nationally famous for three things: the Cardiff Kook, the Surfing Madonna, and the crazy yoga-hating parents of EUSD.  Seriously.  Those are the three things I've heard about Encinitas from out-of-state acquaintances.

Parents of an Encinitas elementary school student have filed a lawsuit against the Encinitas Union School District. The lawsuit claims yoga classes that are part of the district's physical education curriculum are religious and seeks to have the classes suspended.

A group of parents began protesting the classes in October and began an online petition against the classes. By the end of the year, the petition had about 260 signatures, while a petition to protect the classes had about 2,700 signatures.

The district has maintained throughout the controversy that the classes have no religious content.
The U-T outed the parents as Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock.  Jennifer Sedlock appears to be a professional speaker and life-coachy kinda thing.

"Gratefulness changes us and others.  Be grateful for everything big and small."  Except for that devil's dance, YOGA!

If there's an upside to this nonsense, maybe the lawsuit will distract Superintendent Tim Baird and his lawyers from their attempt to asset-strip the community of Pacific View.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bankrupt bank sells Moonlight Lofts at $5.3 million loss

San Diego Daily Transcript:
The Lofts at Moonlight Beach, the recently completed residential/retail condominium at 90 N. Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas 92024, has been sold for $14.7 million.

The transaction consisted of $10.6 million for 15 of 17 residential units financed with a loan of $7.42 million from California Bank & Trust, and $4.1 million for the 15 retail units financed with a loan of $2,665,000, also from California Bank & Trust.


The complex was constructed by The Lofts at Moonlight Beach LLC, with Distinctive Projects Company Inc. as manager. Richard Lee Sax was president of Distinctive Projects. The condo was built with an October 2007, $20 million construction loan from Vineyard Bank. California Bank & Trust is the receiver for Vineyard.
Two of the project units on the back side of the alley sold in 2011 and 2012, at about $460 per square foot and carrying HOA dues of $490 and $535 per month.

Vineyard Bank was taken over by the FDIC in 2009.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vulcan apartments sell for $250,000 per unit

14 units, $3.5 million.
The seller acquired the property in July 2010 for $2,425,000 as a renovation project. SOS Management handled the renovation and management for the partnership and continues to manage the property. The property was previously sold in June 2004 for $2.95 million.
Game on!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

EUSD iPads in schools

Never mind the wisdom of using 30-year debt to buy iPads that will be broken or obsolete in five years.

What's the wisdom of using iPads in school in the first place?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Dirty tricks & happy endings

Logan Jenkins recently compared the Encinitas city council to deer in the headlights, afraid to make a decision.

Wednesday night's decision to go forward with the 101 bike lane in the face of Coastal Commission opposition will certainly help alleviate that image.  They are going to start striping now and work it out with the Coastal Commission later: it's better to ask forgiveness than permission.  Will Planning staff take a similarly tolerant view with unpermitted minor remodels?

While we (and the public, it seems) are pleased with the outcome, it appears that staff cut corners and deceived the public and the council on the law.  One neutral observer thought David Smith's oral communication Wednesday night caught staff red-handed.

This time, the public's interests aligned with city staff.  But what happens next time, when the public's interests conflict with staff's interests?  Desert Rose, for example?  Many council watchers believe the staff has a pro-development agenda, and presented the city council with partial facts and a biased interpretation of the law in order to push the council toward the staff's desired outcome.

Who's in charge here?