Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Insurrection of 31 May - 2 June Kook

... at least that's the only reason I can think of that the Kook would be a cheese-eating, surrendering Frenchman today.  See Wikipedia for the history.

The notion of the surrendering French is not typically associated with the French Revolution, however, but with the surrender to the Nazis early in WWII.  But the date most closely associated with that surrender is June 22, 1940, the signing of the armistice with Germany.  Premature Kook?

What's your theory for this costume?  Random act of France mockery?

Julius Caesar Kook

Et tu, Trupe?

Nice work, Period 6!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Planning Commission settles on high-density development map

They've chosen the "Sustainable Mixed Use Places Map," which was not one of the original three maps offered for public discussion last year but one later developed by staff.

We believe this is the current iteration of the map, but don't quote us on that.

After months of study, hand-wringing and public debate, a plan that spells out how and where the city could accommodate nearly 1,200 new homes in the coming years could soon be headed for the November ballot.

The city’s Planning Commission wrapped up work this week on the so-called Sustainable Mixed Use Places map, acknowledging there is no easy way to achieve state-mandated housing goals, but saying the map was the best of four possible options.


The latest plan that commissioners backed Thursday night would allow the city to accommodate 1,987 housing "units" in the 20 to 30 dwelling units per acre range.
1,987 market-rate units instead of 1,200? That's a heck of a "buffer!"

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Smoke shop trying to open near El Nopalito

Sounds like area chain Vishions was close to opening, but the city just found that their tobacco and paraphernalia focus violates city code because of the proximity to San Dieguito Academy.

More at Encinitas Votes.

Remember, kids: tobacco and marijuana bad; alcohol good (so long as it's served downtown in $8 pints that the city gets sales tax on).

Friday, May 27, 2016

EUSD parents oppose taking $800,000 from general fund to pay for yoga

From the Inbox:
My name is Greg Robin and I started this petition to show Encinitas taxpayers, parents and stakeholders do not agree with syphoning off $800,000 school funds to pay for Yoga.

It would be great if you could share this- we don't have much time left.

From the petition site, some ideas for better uses of that money:
Here are just a couple of ideas:
1. Hire 2 teachers for each school that could lower the class sizes of all of our students.
2. Pay for science, art, music, P.E. teachers (currently parents have to raise money to have science, art, music, and P.E. in our schools -- programs that are part of the core curriculums of other school districts). In fact, some of the schools in our district can't raise enough money and those children are missing out on some of these programs. Then any fundraising done at our schools can be used to pay for programs that are priorities to our families. If yoga is a priority, it could come out of the school's fundraising budget.

EU Note: What's up with Sonima/Jois getting Baird hooked on $800,000 yoga and then suddenly pulling the plug? Bad Karma!

Happy Birthday Tayler & Taschen Kook

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Take 2

Residents were surprised today to find in their mailboxes a second copy of the big, expensive, glossy HEU mailer that they received a couple weeks ago.

Speculation is that the city screwed something up in the first mailer so that it was not legal notice of the high-density development plans, but as of yet no one has identified the difference between the two copies.

Three burglars caught after recent string of break-ins

There has been a large number of residential burglaries and car break-ins in Encinitas recently, perhaps as a consequence of Prop 47's catch-and-release rules.  This trio may be responsible for some of the recent crimes.

A wanted felon and two other men were arrested Wednesday in Cardiff on suspicion of residential burglary following a search that involved a helicopter and a K-9 team, a sheriff's sergeant said.

The trio came to the attention of authorities at about 9 a.m. when residents near Robley Place reported seeing three men going to door-to-door, asking strange questions, according to San Diego sheriff's Sgt. Ken Lawrence.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

5/25/16 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.

Item of interest tonight: neighbors' appeal of the Hymettus Estates density bonus project on Fulvia Street.

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Last night's Planning Commission meeting on HEU

What happened last night?

Summary here and here from EU commenters:
People were freaking out about the zoning change proposals next to their spacious neighborhoods. Suddenly, 30 - 2 storied cracker boxes/acre rising like toadstools next door, forever changing the nature of the atmosphere of these areas. Also, the non-addressed issue of further congestion arose - cars lined up for 3/4 mile to get onto the freeway on Manchester, people seeing their streets turned into the Indy 500, people afraid to walk or ride bikes for fear of their lives - only the developers and their shills gave credence to the housing plans. One commissioner said the clause in the fine print that allows the council to overrule Prop A by majority will be removed - they got slammed on that sneaky attempt to override public rule, and realized it'd be used against them in the election. And many did not buy into the implied threat that if one of these city proposals isn't accepted, a judge will make the decision for the city by State mandate.

More on Thursday, but public input is over.
And here from Commissioner Tasha Boerner Horvath:
Thank you to all the people who came out to speak tonight at the Planning Commission Meeting! Over 40 speakers expressed a variety of opinions.

Staff clarified at the beginning (and again at the end) that they are recommending the supermajority clause be removed.

The Commission heard public testimony tonight. On Thursday we will deliberate and make any recommendations to Council.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night on housing ballot initiative

Encinitas Votes:
Please don't forget that Tuesday, May 24, 2016 the Planning Commission will be taking comments from the public about the City of Encinitas's Housing Element. You all should have received a large packet in the mail about what the City wants to do. If you are content with it, you can come and show your support. If you do not like what is attempting to be done, NOW is the time to let your voice be heard. If you don't feel comfortable speaking in public, you can also give your 3 minute time allotment to another person. However, you do have to be there to do that. It starts at 6PM and is at City Hall in the Council Chambers. If you are happy, or unhappy with the Housing Element and don't show up, you can also write to the Planning Commission. This is our community. If you don't participate others will. It is up to the citizens to make their thoughts and feelings known. Join me there.
Prop A reversal language still in updated housing element plan:


Last section, last page, where no one will look.
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
In perpetuity, no less!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

5/18/16 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.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Library-buying Mizels' ties to failed S&L, shady land deals

Earlier this year, the Mizel family offered $2 million to buy naming rights to the Encinitas Library.  Before locals knew what was going on, the city council had agreed in principle and directed staff to negotiate a memorandum on the terms.  The majority of the $2 million would go to the city's general fund, where it would be relatively insignificant compared to the city's vast road maintenance backlog and unfunded pensions.

If we're going to be checking out books from the Mizel Library from now on, it behooves us to learn about the people we are honoring.

Victoria Advocate, March 11, 1990:
Deals by Silverado Borrowers Outlined

HOUSTON (AP) - Four major borrowers of a failed Colorado thrift also made deals with individuals or savings and loans in Texas that did business with organized crime figures or CIA operatives, the Houston Post reported.

In a story in Sunday's editions, the Post said the borrowers at Denver's Silverado Savings and loan had dealings, though sometimes indirectly, with Robert L. Corson, a Houston developer who is the subject of two federal investigations and allegedly had connections to the CIA and Herman K. Beebe Sr.

Beebe, who was convicted in 1968 of bank fraud, had connections to 12 failed Texas savings and loans and is alleged to have ties to New Orleans mafia boss Carlos Marcello.

The December 1988 collapse of Silverado, now operating as part of Columbia Savings, the largest thrift in Colorado, is expected to cost taxpayers up to $1 billion

The borrowers -- Denver developer Bill L. Walters, Denver homebuilder Larry Mizel, Mizel's company M.D.C. Holdings and Denver developer Kenneth M. Good -- had many loans and ventures with Silverado, the Post reported.


Silverado, an M.D.C. subsidiary, and a New Mexico company that was a business partner with Corson were involved in a questionable deed transaction involving 300 Harris County homesites in 1996, the Post reported.  The M.D.C. subsidiary, Wood Bros. Homes, sold the sites to Silverado, which then sold them to Bellamah Community Development, a New Mexico-based joint venture.

No deeds of trust were ever recorded of the deals.  The brother of Larry Mizel, Steven, last year joined the board of Houston-based General Homes, which has done more than $100 million in land deals with Corson.  Steve Mizel was on the board of M.D.C. from 1985 until 1988, the Post reported.

Corson is the subject of two federal investigations involving failed savings and loans, including Vision Banc Savings of Kingsville, which went bankrupt four months after he bought it in 1986.
Corson died supposedly "of natural causes at 45" but more obviously of a drug overdose while a target of a federal investigations.  His mother, Billie Jean Garman, was sentenced to 6 years in prison after spending 10 years on the run.

More at the LA Times.
The documents show that the committee approved Silverado-Elektra's role as a phony buyer of some Houston residential lots from MDC Holdings Inc., a Denver home builder, the newspaper reported.

The SEC documents indicated that the Silverado committee knew Silverado-Elektra was to be a straw buyer. Straw buyers typically are employed to disguise property ownership and do not use their own money.

"During the course of its internal review, representatives of the party (Silverado-Elektra) that purchased the residential lots from MDC stated that they would not have purchased the lots had they not felt assured of selling them to the third party," the documents said.

The Post said previous testimony by then-MDC President David Mandarich showed the home builder wanted to sell several hundred lots in the depressed Houston market to Bellamah Homes of New Mexico. MDC also wanted to buy lots near Castle Rock from a Bellamah Homes subsidiary.

Because MDC is a publicly traded company, federal securities laws prevent it from exchanging properties with Bellamah and then recording a profit on the sale of the Houston lots.

The SEC documents indicate that MDC asked Silverado-Elektra to buy the Houston lots for $3.7 million. The same day, MDC contracted to buy the Castle Rock land from Bellamah Homes, and three days later, Silverado-Elektra sold the Houston lots to Bellamah homes, the documents showed.

The SEC disciplined MDC in September, 1989, for its handling of eight real estate transactions between 1985 and 1987, including employing Silverado-Elektra as a straw buyer and booking profits on the Houston sale. MDC neither admitted nor denied guilt but agreed to make changes in some of its accounting practices.
And still more including MDC's ties to Charles Keating, Neil Bush, and Michael Milken in the New York Times bestseller Inside Job: the Looting of America's Savings and Loans.

Wonder if any of the council members knew any of this when they jumped at the chance to rename the Encinitas Library.  And the Planning Commission, when they voted to allow the Mizels to erect two monuments to themselves on city trails.

Once the precedent for selling naming rights in Encinitas has been set, maybe we can go for some serious money. Do you think Angelo Mozilo or Franklin Raines might be interested in paying $10 million to rename Moonlight Beach or Swami's?

Friday, May 13, 2016

City sale of library naming rights may be a done deal

San Diego Reader:
Steve Mizel, a wealthy investor and a philanthropist, wants to have the name of the Encinitas Library changed to honor his wife. He’s offered $2 million to the city to change the library’s name to the “Pat Mizel Encinitas Library.”

As city staff and the Mizels are negotiating a memorandum of understanding, former mayor Sheila Cameron and others have a problem with that. Cameron spoke out at the May 11 meeting of the city council.

Cameron says the issue was originally brought up late in the evening at a council meeting in January, when few members of the public were in the audience. Councilman Tony Kranz reminded the audience that the item was on the agenda and properly noticed.
The Mizels are also planning to build two monuments to themselves on a city trail in Encinitas Ranch.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cardiff school board seeks to raise property taxes

Encinitas Votes:
The Cardiff School District board is meeting [today] (Thursday) at 5 pm in the Cardiff School auditorium to consider putting a bond proposal on the November ballot. This would result in an additional assessment on every property tax bill in the district if approved by the voters. Please attend the meeting if you have concerns about the board doing this so soon after the previous bond measure.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

5/11/16 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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

EUSD spending $800,000 per year on yoga?

From the Inbox:
This document showing the EUSD board approval of $800,000 for health and wellness (aka yoga) was obtained by a special records request. It was discussed and approved at the special board meeting on April 26. There is not a link on the EUSD website. There is not one mention of the word yoga. This was a special board meeting to discuss a budget related item (not an emergency which is the true purpose of special meetings which allow only 24 hours notice to the public).

This money came out of the general fund. Last year Baird asked for special permission of the state board to allow the $10 million Pacific View money (which by law should have went to a one time use) to be put in the general fund. This allows for no accountability of the money to the taxpayers. It was approved by the state.

Baird sits on the yoga board for the Jois Foundation.
I'm guessing some of that $800,000 is also going to "Healthy Day Partners" for running the vegetable garden. In any case, the district could certainly be more transparent.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Ocean views linked to better mental health

Don't ask us; it's just science.
New research suggests that residents with a view of the water are less stressed.

The study, co-authored by Michigan State University's Amber L. Pearson, is the first to find a link between health and the visibility of water, which the researchers call blue space.

"Increased views of blue space is significantly associated with lower levels of psychological distress," said Pearson, assistant professor of health geography and a member of MSU's Water Science Network.
Guess that explains why Olivenhain folk are so surly.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

City harassing residents with interminable, obnoxious push poll advocating Housing Element approval

Epic rant from victim of a "poll" on the city's housing element ballot initiative here.

Despite the resident's belief that the "poll" was so ridiculous that it couldn't possibly have come from the city, Deputy Mayor Lisa Shaffer seems to acknowledge the city's responsibility for the push poll in her newsletter:
Some of you may have also received a phone call with a rather long phone survey about the housing plan. I didn't get the call, but have talked to several folks who did. What I understand is that it's very long and complicated, and people ended up frustrated and annoyed. That's unfortunate. This kind of polling is commonly used when considering a major ballot initiative, to help us assess what the level of understanding is, what people's concerns are, so we can prepare a ballot measure that the voters will support.
How much are the taxpayers paying consultants for this gem?

Out with the old...

From the Inbox:
The continued crapification of everything in Encinitas


The same folks who ran out the Encinitas Blvd. 7-11 have recently done their magic on Betty's Taco's, the RC car place, Swami's Cafe, a pizza place, and now my favorite place to take the family for an evening of fun, Pacific Q billiards.  The sign on the door said they can't make enough money to stay open.

That means only a tailor, a barbershop, and a beauty supply store remain in the way of the wrecking ball and a future upscale dining experience, presumably made up of national chains and upscale hipstercrap.

Loss of community character is the cost of 21st century capitalism...


Interestingly, while the Ralph's / Trader Joe's parcel immediately behind this property is on the city's map for upzoning to mixed-use 3-story condos, this property is not.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

City surveys residents

The city of Encinitas is asking community members to participate in one of two surveys as it works to create a draft Parks, Beaches and Trails Master Plan.

A 25-question survey was mailed Friday to 3,500 randomly selected residents.
If you receive the survey, please send a scan or photo to encinitasundercover at gmail.com. We'll post the questions so that everyone has a chance to respond, not just the lucky 3,500.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Prom Invitation Kook

Doesn't say who it's from. Hope Hannah knows.

Artist from Encinitas murdered on Maui

CBS 8:
Two men are being held in connection to the death of a Maui artist.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that a 24-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were arrested in the death of 39-year-old artist Michael Colby.

Colby's body was discovered March 1 in the area of Kaa Point, just west of Kanaha Beach.

The man has been charged with second-degree murder and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. The teen was arrested Friday by Maui police and has been turned over to the Sheriff's Department.

The painter moved from Encinitas, California, five years ago and often worked outdoors or at Kanaha Beach.
Maui News:
[P]olice identified the murder victim as 39-year-old Michael Colby, who was living in Kahului after moving to Maui from Encinitas, Calif., about five years ago.

"He was an incredible soul," said Janel Enger, who grew up with Colby in California and considered him a brother. "There's nobody in the world even close to him."

"He was a wonderful human being, always had a smile to share and a laugh. He was willing to cheer anybody up at any given time through any circumstances at all."


Colby grew up in the San Diego area, graduating from San Dieguito High School in Encinitas in 1994.