Friday, August 29, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Educating the Educators

It was delightful to see Julie Graboi school Professor Lisa Shaffer on the legal and well-understood meaning of "community character" in Encinitas after Shaffer's bizarre and entirely unsupported attempt to define it as something completely different.

Graboi's slides are here.  When the city council video is available, you can watch Graboi beginning at about minute 15, the last public speaker in "oral communications."

8/27/14 City Council meeting open thread

The current city council has continued prior councils' practice of not providing written summary minutes of council discussion, but only "action minutes" which state the outcomes. Encinitas Undercover will provide a forum for observers to record what occurs at each council meeting.

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Items of interest include the Fire Station 2 (Mackinnon in Cardiff) appraisal

What's the real majority view on development in Encinitas?

City insiders have dismissed concerned residents on development issues as "criticizers and complainers," and suggested that they are just a vocal minority.

Where does the true majority actually stand?

The Waves to Ride blog points to five significant evidentiary indicators as to what the majority clearly wants.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Community character has absolutely nothing to do with high-density development

Council Member Lisa Shaffer in the Encinitas Advocate:
Campaign season is upon us and I guarantee you will hear the words “community character” often. Take a breath and think about what that really means.

To me, Encinitas community character is about kindness, integrity, and open minds. We are a center of healing arts practitioners. We are an outdoor destination. We have a community full of wonderful, well-educated, interesting, creative, innovative people. The community character I support is treating each other with compassion and contributing positive energy to this amazing city we are privileged to live in.
Pay no attention to what they're doing to our city. Just remember they are nice people.

Woulda been kinda nice for Shaffer to tell us her definition of "community character" before we elected her to city council.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Food for thought

A national publication (the Daily Beast is the web site that bought Newsweek) makes many of the same points, admittedly more eloquently, that Alex Fidel has been making in his mayoral campaign about the militarization of police.

We saw a deputy sheriff in a quiet neighborhood in Encinitas in full body armor today. It was only a few years ago that local police and sheriffs didn't look like combat troops occupying Iraq.

UPDATE: A few commentaries from the Inbox: LA Times cartoon and HBO's John Oliver.

Barth, Shaffer, Kranz ban plastic bags, tax paper bags

Seaside Courier:
With a 3-2 vote, Encinitas became the second city in San Diego County to pass an ordinance barring retail establishments from providing single-use plastic bags to customers.

The ban will be effective six months from Wednesday for the city’s 80 grocery, drug, convenience and liquor stores, and at city facilities and city-sponsored events. Within 12 months, all other retailers and farmers markets are required to follow suit.

The ordinance encourages consumers to carry reusable bags for shopping, and allows forces retailers to charge a minimum of 10 cents per recycled single-use paper bag.

Businesses which don’t comply can be warned and then cited, with fines starting at $100 and going up to $500.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

8/20/14 City Council meeting open thread

The current city council has continued prior councils' practice of not providing written summary minutes of council discussion, but only "action minutes" which state the outcomes. Encinitas Undercover will provide a forum for observers to record what occurs at each council meeting.

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Items of interest on tonight's agenda include a plastic bag ban, flood damage at City Hall, the possible illegality of paying far more than the appraised value for Pacific View, and an old, uncollected judgment.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why does Encinitas City Council regularly do the opposite of what Encinitas residents want?

Thoughts over at Waves to Ride.

We think we've seen some degree of all of those motivations in past actions of the various council members.

WTF Kook

Orange M&M, lei, and rice paddy hat. Not sure what they're goin' for here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bee Against Monsanto Kook

More info on Bee Against Monsanto here and here.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Barth slams grassroots activists

From the Inbox:

Hi WC,

Not sure if you saw this yet; it was sent out by Barth and touts Blakespear's supposed virtues. My own comments inserted below a couple of Barth's sentences.

"While others just criticize and complain, Catherine gets things done."

What a nasty slap in the face to all the hard work residents have done over the years in an attempt to keep the City honest.
It's no secret that Barth has had contempt for community activists ever since she achieved power via a majority on the city council. But it's pretty amazing that she would express this contempt so brazenly in a broadcast e-mail.

As for "criticizing and complaining" versus "getting things done," we know of no council candidate who has gotten more things done for the benefit of Encinitas residents than Julie Graboi, who has been a leader on both the Prop A and Desert Rose issues, and has been a tireless advocate for accountability at City Hall. Blakespear was completely absent from both the Prop A and Desert Rose issues, and only during election season made her first public foray into the obviously admirable defense of Coral Tree Farms.

Barth's blast is highly ironic, because those same "criticizers and complainers" are the same people who not only got Barth elected and re-elected, but gave her the majority by electing Kranz and Shaffer.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Jen Kook

OK, this is embarrassing.  Where's Snyder when you need him?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Silly season begins

One can only hope that Lisa Leslie just wrote this letter as a favor for a friend, and doesn't actually pretend to know what she's talking about.

Letter to the Encinitas Advocate:
Not surprisingly, the commentary did not mention that Ms. (Kristin) Gaspar supported the purchase of the Hall property when she was a candidate in 2010 before there was a definite plan for its use, and knowing that there was toxic soil on site.
Um, no. The Hall property was purchased long before 2010 and long before Gaspar was a candidate.
After she was elected, she voted to borrow money to build the park, at the expense of the Moonlight Beach lifeguard tower, road maintenance, and other needs, with no recognition of the arts.
As did Leslie's preferred candidate Tony Kranz, by the way. Funny that she doesn't mention that fact.

Then there's this:
Her ad also says she “opposed city sales tax hike,” but there never was a proposed city sales tax hike.
Do we really need to revisit the Barth-Shaffer-Kranz attempt to use taxpayer money to hire expert tax-increase propagandist Catherine Lew of Lew Edwards to run a campaign to push a sales tax increase? Really, Ms. Leslie, you're either incredibly uninformed or incredibly dishonest.

It's tough enough trying to get a decent city council with an uninformed electorate. It's much worse when clueless people write completely false commentaries trying to sway the vote.

Morrison out, Lerchbacker in

Leucadia 101 merchants' association leader William Morrison has apparently not filed his council candidacy papers. The deadline passed last night.

In the race now is long-time Cardiff resident and US Navy veteran Alan Lerchbacker.

Read all about it via Jared Whitlock in the Advocate.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Graboi goes live

City council candidate Julie Graboi has launched her web site here.

It's refreshing to see policy specifics and Graboi's history of working to improve policy at City Hall. For far too long, Encinitas campaigns have been defined by generic platitudes and motherhood statements from the candidates, and personal attack mailers from the big-money political machines. Other candidates would do well to follow Graboi's lead and address the issues of concern to Encinitas voters.

Graboi can be reached at

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The history of third parties in the United States

Cliff Notes:
Third parties often represent factions that break away from the major parties over policy issues.


People typically vote for a third-party candidate because they are trying to send a message to the major parties. That protest vote is often heard. Both the Democrats and Republicans have accepted reforms and programs that originally seemed radical when presented by third parties. The eight-hour workday, women's suffrage, and the railroad rate regulation are good examples. Historically, third parties eventually fail to maintain themselves at the local and state levels, usually because one of the major parties skims off their talent by embracing some of the issues that party supporters hold dear.
And that is exactly what we see with the Graboi and Cameron candidacies. Neither of Encinitas' dominant factions, the pro-business / pro-developer Republicans and the Smart Growth / Vina-backing Democrats, represent the interests of a large block of voters who just want to preserve the community they love. Whether or not Julie Graboi and Sheila Cameron win, the impact they and future third-faction candidates have on elections will ensure that one of the major factions will eventually take community character and city government reform seriously.

Council race still open for candidate filing

Friday, the U-T noted that William Morrison had not filed his council candidacy papers by late afternoon, shortly before the 6pm filing deadline.

But Encinitas rules state that if no incumbent runs for the council seat, the filing deadline will be extended. So Morrison and any others interested have until Wednesday to file.

Long-time Cardiff resident and Navy veteran Al Lerchbacker also pulled papers and may enter the race.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cardiff candidate forum, September 16

Please post your suggested questions for the candidates in the comments.

William Morrison makes four

Coast News:
William Morrison, the vice president of the Leucadia 101 Main Street Association and Bryan Ziegler, a deputy county counsel who ran for a city council seat in 2012, pulled nomination papers this week, according to the City Clerk’s office.


Morrison, according to biographical information on the Main Street website, is a licensed architect who currently serves as the group’s economic development chair.
Morrison is a longtime leader of Leucadia 101, which has been consistently pro-Streetscape, so if you're among the anti-roundabout gang, he's not for you.  Here is an anonymous and pointedly opposing view of his May 28, 2014 L101 presentation before council.  You may wish to view the video of that meeting on the city's web site to get an unfiltered measure of Mr. Morrison (nevertheless, I do think this new citizen reporting of council meetings on EU is quite helpful in pointing us to that presentation!).

On Prop A, we don't know his position, but we do have this in a letter from Fred Caldwell to the Coast News: with disregard for the truth and without permission used our L-101 logo to push their agenda against Prop A on their recently printed literature sent to many residents. Likewise, uses “Leucadia Main Street Association” deceitfully on their website to garner votes against Prop A. They have since been asked to cease to do so by our president, William Morrison and irrespectively have not ceased as of the date of this email to The Coast News.
Welcome to the mix, Mr. Morrison. We look forward to learning more about your positions.

UPDATE: Former mayor, regular city warchdog and critic of Gus Vina, and Prop A campaigner Sheila Cameron runs for mayor! And Morrison hadn't turned in his papers yet the last time the U-T checked late in the afternoon.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Should Al Rodbell run for mayor?

He respectfully requests your input.

Another victory for Desert Rose

The court's final ruling is that the city violated the Environmental Quality Act, and must completely void its approval of the density bonus project and go back to the start.

From the Inbox:
More good news for Save Desert Rose!

On July 22nd, the Honorable Judith Hayes, Judge of the Superior Court, issued her Judgment in the case of Save Desert Rose vs. The City of Encinitas.  In her ruling it was ordered that:

1.      Judgment be entered in favor of Petitioner (SDR) that Respondent City of Encinitas’ approval of the Desert Rose Project (“Project”) and the related approval of a Mitigated Negative Declaration, violated the California Environmental Quality Act, as identified in the Court’s Minute Order dated April 24, 2014, and the Court’s subsequent Statement of Decision.
2.      A Writ of Mandate directed to Respondent issue under seal of the Court (1) ordering the Respondent City of Encinitas to set aside and void its approval of the Project, (2) enjoining and prohibiting Real Party (developer), and any agents, servants, assigns and anyone acting in concert from taking any steps to further the project that could result in an adverse change to the physical environment until lawful approval of the Project is obtained from the City of Encinitas. (Note:  a copy of the Writ is attached)
3.      Petitioner is awarded its cost of suit.
4.      Petitioner is found to be the prevailing party and the Court will retain jurisdiction over further proceedings in this case including any motion for attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 1021.5 or other applicable law.

The fact that the judge has directed that the City’s approval of the Desert Rose project be vacated means that it is now not an “approved” project and may be viewed through the lens of the newly-adopted Encinitas guidelines for density bonus projects.  As you know, from previous emails, this means that the calculation for density will be rounded down, rather than up, when determining the number of units permissible.  It may also mean that environmental factors such as detention basins, wetland buffers and easements will have to be deducted from the “buildable” area.  The new building guidelines will also require that the “affordable” units have to meet minimum requirements for size and design.  The unit would have to be the larger of 1,500 square feet or the average size of the market-rate units.

While this is indeed good news and very favorable to our cause and the cause of many other neighborhoods within Encinitas, the battle is far from over.  On June 27, 2014 Woodridge Farms Estates, LLC (the developer) initiated an appeal of the ruling.  There are two interesting aspects of the appeal.  First, the developer filed for the appeal prior to the Court publishing the final documents that defined the actions required of the City of Encinitas.  The second interesting point is that the City has not joined in the appeal.   Based on the current backlog in the appeals process it could be a year or longer before an appeal is heard by the Court.

Our tremendous success would not been possible without the financial support of YOU and your neighbors.  The Judge did award the costs of the suit but this is limited to the actual filing fees and other direct court costs.  We will file an petition to seek reimbursement of all of our legal and expert testimony fees but granting of actual fees and other costs would not happen until after the appeal is heard.

We continue to fight on your behalf and we are very aware of and appreciative of the financial backing of our friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, our legal costs continue throughout this process and it is imperative that we receive additional financial support.  This process affects not only Olivenhain, but all of the five cities of  Encinitas and the State of California.  Please forward this email to all of your friends and neighbors in the area and ask them to help out.

Please consider sending a generous donation to:

            Save Desert Rose
            2240 Encinitas Bl., D-107
            Encinitas, CA 92024

Thank you!

Bill Butler
Mark Bramson
for SDR and Encinitas

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Exclusive: Bryan Ziegler to run for City Council

A well-placed source tells Encinitas Undercover that County attorney and reserve deputy sheriff Bryan Ziegler will run for city council a second time.

We weren't impressed by Ziegler's 2012 run, where he showed himself to be badly misinformed about pensions, and came in a distant 7th place.  But both the candidate and the electoral landscape have changed. After his 2012 defeat, Ziegler publicly campaigned for Prop A (as did Julie Graboi, making Catherine Blakespear the only council candidate who opposed the public's right to vote on upzoning), giving him connections to an important grassroots group.  He is also presumably better-informed and a more experienced candidate now.  More importantly, Ziegler lacked organizational support in 2012.  This year he is expected to win the endorsement and support of Republican and business-oriented groups and community leaders, making him a formidable candidate.

We expect Graboi, Blakespear, and Ziegler to be the only three serious candidates for the open council seat... but don't be surprised if a few yahoos jump in.  We had nine candidates last time, one of whom didn't even show up to the candidate forums.

Ana Garcia memorial Kook

Ana Garcia died in a car accident in April while home from Navy deployment. Read more about her life and contribute to a scholarship fund in her honor here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Encinitas Little League advances to West semi-finals with back-to-back wins

Full story in the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
Encinitas pulled off two wins in extreme circumstances Monday, hanging on to defeat Pacifica of Northern California, 9-7, in a night game after downing St. George (Utah) Dixie, 15-2, in an 8:30 a.m. start, both at Al Houghton Stadium.


Encinitas (15-3, 2-1 tournament) clinched a berth into the West Regional semifinals, which begin Friday. Had it lost both games, semifinals hopes could’ve been over, particularly with a loss to Hawaii in Saturday’s opener.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Maxim Kook

Last night's Little League game reportedly rained out

Fans of Encinitas Little League seeking last night's results will have no luck in the local news or on the official Little League World Series web site.

We did find this rain postponement claim on, which unfortunately is the most credible source we have at the moment.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Go Encinitas Little League!

Even the Grinchiest Kook hater in town can't fault today's Cardiff Kook costume.

The Kook is dressed in honor of the Encinitas Little League All-Star Team, which has made Encinitas history by winning the Southern California division for the first time. Next up: the Western region, starting with this afternoon's game against Honolulu.

Make us proud!

That's going to leave a mark

Seaside Courier: