Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Target of Olivenhain SWAT raid sentenced to counseling on misdemeanor charges

San Diego Reader:
On the day set for her misdemeanor trial, Anastasia Kirkeby, 50, a woman plagued by multiple drug-related arrests at her home in Encinitas, made a plea deal and was ordered to get counseling. That hearing was on November 10.


[Prosecutor Melissa] Ocampo had charged Kirkeby with two misdemeanors: under the influence of meth, and resisting, delaying, and obstructing a police officer.

Papers found in the court file suggest that Ocampo was having trouble coming up with “material witnesses.”
Kirkeby's house was the subject of a spectacular SWAT raid last December, and later was severely damaged in a fatal fire.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cardiff Rail Trail supporters respond

Earlier this month we heard from Cardiff Rail Trail opponents. This week trail advocates respond. From the Inbox:
Many of us are just waking up to the well orchestrated campaign by the opponents to the Cardiff Rail Trail. There is a sudden blitz of posts on Nextdoor, a discussion on this blog, a web site that generates automated emails to the City Council, and a flurry of articles and op-end pieces.

I am dismayed by the sudden explosion of activity. Those of us that support the rail trail on the east side of San Elijo feel like we've fought this battle already in an extensive series of public meetings which were widely advertised and well attended.

Now we see this attempt to reverse a decision that a vocal minority didn't like. These very loud voices claim to represent a groundswell of opposition to the project. That isn't right. They don't represent the whole community, they are late to the party, and their arguments are biased and one sided.

There is a lot of misinformation that has gone unchallenged for too long. The web site, posts, and op-ed pieces are based on highly biased, inaccurate, and often incomplete data. The strident tone is very reminiscent of the debate we had at the time the proposals were first being considered; back then we felt like we were actually being bullied in some of the public meetings by these folks.

Those of us who love the current plan for the trail are not organized and have been slow to respond to the ambush. However, a few of us have put up a web site with the facts (clearing up some of the fog that our opponents have woven around the issue). Please check out yesrailtrail.com (and if you wouldn't mind, also post as a resource like you did with the web site with the opposing point of view).

Many of us are still hugely supportive of the vision for the east side rail trail. We can't wait for the trail to be built in 2017.

As envisioned, the rail trail will link our community with Cardiff's market area and with downtown Encinitas. It fits beautifully with the other projects in the surrounding area, including the Santa Fe Pedestrian Underpass (thank you for that), the Chesterfield intersection re-vamp, and the Montgomery at-grade crossing. The coordinated development happening here is a rare example of a tapestry of improvements that will level up the whole area. These projects all complement each other.

The alternative that was discussed for the rail trail - which was to expand the existing bike lanes on 101 - will keep the Santa Fe underpass isolated from the majority of pedestrian traffic flow, create a mess on Second Street in Encinitas where the trail hits the city, and leave San Elijo Avenue in a state that's far from ideal.

We are so tired of dodging cars when we try to walk along San Elijo Avenue to Seaside Market or downtown Encinitas from our house... it's aggravating and dangerous given that drivers who are parking are often paying more attention to traffic on San Elijo than pedestrians who trying to walk through what is effectively their parking lot. Also, pedestrians are often forced out into the road with speeding traffic because cars - and large pickup trucks - park at 90 degrees rather than at a slant or parallel. Finally, the area is just not pedestrian friendly or pretty.

We need the trail on the east side of the road. We're thrilled about the plan and are counting the days until construction starts.

We understand that the white-hot issue of the fence along the tracks and the plan for the rail trail are not linked in the way the opponents would like us to believe (this is their #1 argument against the trail). With or without the trail, NCTD will eventually have to fence off the tracks at some point to reduce the potential for fatalities caused by people trying to cross the tracks illegally. This is a major safety issue. The problem will only get worse as rail traffic increases, especially with the double-tracking project reaching completion in the coming years. Fencing off the tracks is a foregone conclusion and is coming whether we like it or not; better to have it accompanied by a delightful rail trail that connects our community together and makes San Elijo a walkable and bike-able corridor.

I hope you hear more from those of us who haven't yet spoken up... who are just becoming aware of what seems like an ambush by trail opponents.


Mike Verdu
Proud Cardiff Resident

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Encinitas $100,000 Pension Club membership rises to 13

When we previously checked in on Encinitas' pension elites, there were four big swingers pulling in more than $100,000 per year in 2010.

That list doubled to eight in 2012.

Last year, Encinitas' tony $100,000 club hit 13, with two more scratching at the door collecting more than $99,000. Transparent California:

Name Pension Years ofService Year ofRetirement
Mark Muir $181,936.56 34.11 2011
Donald G Heiser $159,274.80 33.79 2006
Joseph W Bunn $154,836.00 31.02 2010
Jeffrey S Henry $151,155.24 33 2013
Talmadge F Tufts $127,270.56 33.35 2005
Darlene R Hill $111,573.96 36.26 2009
Robert M Romero $109,443.00 35.1 2009
David L Moore $104,875.68 31.73 2007
Charles Essex $102,499.92 31.27 2014
Darrin R Ward $102,011.76 21.26 2014
John C Gonzales $101,330.52 29.9 2014
Tom Henie $101,104.80 33.69 2010
Thomas E Curriden $100,975.44 31.59 2013

Former fire chief and current councilman Mark Muir is the undisputed champion, pulling in $181,936.  Talmadge Tufts and Donald Heiser have already collected more than a million dollars each, and with Encinitas' young retirement age, some of these folks will be collecting this every year for decades.

Meanwhile, CalPERS continues to fail miserably in its investments, meaning they'll be taking more and more money from Encinitas each and every year to keep these fatcats rolling in the green.  Encinitas already spends more on employee pensions than on maintaining its underfunded roads.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cardiff man dies in Carlsbad helicopter crash

Fox 5:
The county Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the two men killed in a helicopter crash at McClellan-Palomar Airport late Wednesday afternoon as 65-year-old pilot Bruce Allen Erickson of Rancho Santa Fe and 60- year-old passenger Wayne Frank Lewis of Cardiff-by-the-Sea. The helicopter crashed and caught fire as the pair were practicing landings.
Lewis was a realtor at Berkshire Hathaway, an aviation enthusiast and cyclist.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

11/18/15 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.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Encinitas Goat Buster prevails; Kranz, Blakespear back down on backyard livestock proposal

Encinitas Advocate:
A subcommittee tasked with updating Encinitas agriculture rules is no longer in favor of relaxing residential livestock buffers, which would have made it easier to raise chickens or goats without special permitting.

The subcommittee at its Nov. 12 meeting voiced support for maintaining current city livestock setbacks — the distance chicken coops and goat pens must be kept from neighboring homes.
See earlier: "Encinitas Goat Buster" Facebook campaign backfires

Friday, November 13, 2015

Grassroots campaign against the Coastal Rail Trail

From the Inbox:
This note just went out today [Nov 10] notifying a group of residents opposed to the Coastal Rail Trail that an Internet-based campaign is underway to stop it.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

I emailed many of you more than a month ago to let you know that I was working on a website that will help give voice to the many folks in our community who are opposed to the Coastal Rail Trail as envisioned by three members of our Encinitas City Council. What I thought would take another week or two at that time is just now up and live. My apologies for the delay.

The website address is www.norailtrail.com. I urge you to notify others in our community who share our concerns about the Coastal Rail Trail by forwarding this email and/or the www.norailtrail.com site address. If we can each reach 10 people, and those recipients each reach 10 more, we will amplify our voice into the thousands. Most people in our community and the areas surrounding do not even know about the Coastal Rail Trail, and this is an easy way to spread the word.

The site is presently designed to inform the public about the Coastal Rail Trail, but its power comes from you and your friends, neighbors and contacts visiting the site and inputing your contact details into the fields on the site. Please be advised that by doing so, form letters will be sent in your name and with your address to the political actors involved in this project. The list of recipients is long -- all Encinitas City Council members, involved parties at SANDAG, all voting commissioners at the California Coastal Commission, and most of the editors of our local print news. Being on the receiving end of what I hope amounts to hundreds, if not thousands, of email letters from concerned citizens may get a bit annoying, but these individuals and institutions are here to serve the public, and we are the public most directly affected. We have a right to speak and be heard by our representatives.

Thank you in advance for lending your good name and contact details in helping correct a willful and wrong-headed policy by bureaucrats seeking to impose changes that fail to meet community needs and impose numerous negative impacts for the sake of a small but vocal few. There's a better way to achieve multi-modal transportation in our community that leaves a smaller footprint and doesn't alter the natural public land left along our coast, and the Coastal Rail Trail as envisioned is not the answer. Please use www.norailtrail.com to let our politicians know.

Best regards,

Joe A.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

City Housing campaign just a ruse to overturn Prop A?

According to documents uncovered by the local Waves to Ride blog, the city's proposed General Plan update would eviscerate Prop A, remove the public's right to vote on upzoning, and return to the 4/5 council supermajority standard for zoning changes.

Waves to Ride Blog:
If amendments to any part of its planning policy documents, including but not limited to the General Plan, specific plans, Encinitas Municipal Code or its Local Coastal Program, are required to secure or maintain certification that may otherwise invoke the requirements of Chapter 30.00, the City Council is authorized to make any and all necessary amendments with a four-fifths super majority vote or any other lesser super majority vote should less than five Council Members be eligible to vote while maintaining a quorum.

Comments: Chapter 30.00 referenced above is the Encinitas Right to Vote Amendment. In other words, Proposition A. It was passed by the voters through a special election ballot on June 18, 2013 and subsequently incorporated within the Encinitas Municipal Code.

K2 above guts Proposition A. It takes from the people the right to vote on any amendments that might invoke Proposition A and are needed to certify the Housing Element or Local Coastal Program. It gives that vote to the City Council.

Olivenhain burglar caught on video

Nice... burglarizing a widow during her husband's funeral.

Do you know this man?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

"Encinitas Goat Buster" Facebook campaign backfires

In the wake of the recent "barnyard" robocalls against Blakespear, Kranz, and Shaffer's plan to allow farm animals in suburban Encinitas, someone going by the name of "Encinitas Goat Buster" (apparently a close relation of Encinitas Goof uster) has set up a Facebook page to warn about the coming chickens, goats and bees. The page's posts showed up as "Sponsored" in Encinitans' Facebook feeds, meaning the Goat Buster was paying Facebook to promote the posts.

The campaign seems to have missed its target; most of the comments on the post are supportive of suburban agriculture. A sampling:
You can already have chickens in Encinitas (there are rules) just no roosters. Most chicken owners I know keep their coops cleaner than the dog parks.


Also, did you know that Olivenhain, Leucadia, and Cardiff are part of Encinitas? Olivenhain already allows livestock and bees. Methinks you just may have a beef with these city council members and are trying to find some poopie to stir up.


I live in village park and my next door neighbors have chickens. Not a problem


Seeing as how San Diego County has MORE small farms than any COUNTRY [sic] IN THE NATION, it makes pretty much sense. We are a GARDEN CITY. Agriculture is in our roots. Animals are an integral part of that system.


I grew up here and we had goats, cows, horse and chickens... I was in the 4-H… And showed my animals at the Del Mar fair....i loved it, and so did all of my friends.... I bet my food was way more organic than whole foods....


I live in encinitas and have chickens people should not get into ppls business and just let them pluck there chickens


Bring it back. I want the old flavor of Encinitas and Leucadia to dominate. Tate Sanderson's family had chickens, peacocks and geese. Aside from the ocasional attacks it's was totally cool.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

How many lives have been lost all these years because our lifeguard tower was too small?

Former mayor Teresa Barth's newsletter on the council's new $3 million lifeguard tower:
Encinitas unveils plans for new lifeguard tower This will significantly improve public safety at the beach and along the coastline.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Encinitas Smog bites the dust

San Diego Reader:
For the third time this year, another Coast Highway 101 building in Encinitas’ downtown is scheduled for demolition.

Encinitas Smog, at 682 South Coast Highway, has lost its long-term lease, says owner Alex Stanton. He expects to be out of business by next June if the property owner’s plans get approved.

The other two buildings — the former Villa Mar Motel at the corner of Coast Hwy. and West I Street, already demolished, along with the former Coast Furniture building at 850 South Coast Hwy. — will bring new mixed-use commercial/residential. None of the buildings were considered so historic that they were worth fighting to save.

The planned two-story, 30-foot-high structures will help push the changing face of downtown's ten-block length.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Vina pushes tax increase in Brentwood

Contra Costa Times:
In a push to solve the agency's long-standing financial troubles, directors of the East Contra Costa Fire District agreed Monday to the idea of reopening a fourth station next year as well as proposing another tax measure.

In a split vote, board members accepted these recommendations from a multi-jurisdictional task force that has spent nearly the past 4½ months brainstorming both temporary fixes and long-term solutions to the district's crippling shortage of firefighters and the stations to house them.

"We have a broken system," said Brentwood City Manager Gus Vina, who established the 10-member group that represents Brentwood, Oakley and the county as well as firefighters themselves.
Was Vina the instigator behind the failed Barth-Shaffer-Kranz tax hike? Will Vina call in Lew Edwards as an impartial arbiter of residents' opinions?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Second surfer death at Swami's in a week

The Coast News:
Only a few days after one local surfer was found dead while surfing at Swami’s Beach, another local surfer, a 57-year-old woman, died Monday morning surfing the same spot.

Joy Froding, a Cardiff-by-the-Sea resident, was out surfing with friends at Swami’s Beach when she suffered medical distress in the water and lost consciousness, according the Capt. Larry Giles of the Encinitas Lifeguards.
Joy Ann Froding was sitting on her board after riding “one of the best waves of her life” when she felt a pain in her chest, friends and authorities said. She told other surfers she was with that she didn’t feel well, and then she collapsed.