Saturday, December 29, 2018

VOSD: Still shilling for the developers

We've noted before the bias and bad reporting on Encinitas housing issues from Voice of San Diego. It's still happening.

Waves to Ride Blog:
Some local observers say Voice of San Diego (VOSD) has a pro-development stance because its principal funders require it. Recognizing the reporters and editors as objective journalists would be preferable, but the publication’s persistent bias in covering Encinitas housing issues makes that difficult.

VOSD has portrayed density bonus, Proposition A and HEUs in Encinitas simplistically and largely ignorantly. They’re not black-and-white, heroes-and-villains issues. VOSD has characterized City Councils and voters as trying to oppress low-income people and prevent them from living in Encinitas. No VOSD reporter has researched the topic well enough to understand it.

To get it right, VOSD would have to admit its gross errors regarding housing in Encinitas, start over and thoroughly research the issues. The publication’s integrity and credibility are at stake.

Police and fire action on the tracks at Santa Fe

It happened at about 5:30 a.m. on the tracks near the intersection of San Elijo Avenue and Cornish Drive in Encinitas, according to Deputy Christopher Campbell of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

The train had been heading north at about 60-65 mph when the train engineer noticed a man running toward the tracks from the east, Campbell said. The engineer sounded the train’s horn, but the man continued running toward the tracks and dove in front of the oncoming train.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Carlsbad moving toward trenching train tracks

From the Inbox:
Carlsbad digs deeper into trenching idea

What are Deep Community Roots Kranz and Preserve Paradise Blakespear doing about putting the tracks below grade in Encinitas?
Priorities. They’re spending Encinitas’ money on pensions and the Beacons Skyway.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Pension champion Mark Muir talks post-council plans

Del Mar Times:
After 42 years in public service, Mark Muir is looking forward to finally retiring — but that doesn't mean he's going anywhere.

Muir, who spent seven years on the Encinitas City Council and 35 years with the city’s fire department, lost in his bid for a third term in November to opponent Jody Hubbard. In the first election for the newly-created District 3, which covers Cardiff, Muir earned 46.37 percent of votes, while Hubbard, a planning commissioner, garnered 53.63 percent.
Muir is Encinitas' all-time pension champion, pulling in $185,000 a year in his early retirement. But he's likely to be surpassed by City Manager Karen Brust and others as city worker pay rises at a far greater rate than inflation.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Olivenhain drug mansion demolished

A million-dollar home in Encinitas is being torn down years after catching fire.

Neighbors have called the house an eye sore, especially because of the troubling history behind it.

The home, which was once the center of an investigation into drug-related activities, burned down three years ago.

The fire occurred on July 30, 2015. Firefighters knocked down the flames and then, while going through the residence, they made a tragic discovery - finding the body of a 23-year-old woman inside.
Backstory here:
SWAT raid in Olivenhain
Olivenhain drug house severely damaged in fire
Own your own Olivenhain drug mansion!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

St. John's priest terminated for "aggressive advances"

Del Mar Times:
At least three women say the former associate pastor of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Encinitas tried to seduce them.

The allegations rocked the congregation Sunday, Dec. 16, when parishioners opened the church bulletin to find an apology from Bishop Robert McElroy “to all who were subjected to this terrible mistreatment…

“There is no room in the Church or the priesthood for this reprehensible type of misconduct,” McElroy wrote.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Body found near Moonlight Beach

The body of a man was found early Monday in a brushy area near the beach in Encinitas.

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department officials received a call from someone who found the body around 9:30 a.m. near B Street and Second Street, sheriff’s Lt. Dave Perkins said. The location is about a tenth of a mile from Moonlight State Beach.
That sounds like the Cottonwood Creek area where a body was found in 2011.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Red-light camera vigilante attacks sheriff

10 News:
A San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy was injured on Saturday when trying to stop a man from hitting a red light camera with a bat.

Reports came in around 2:36 p.m. of a man on a ladder reportedly hitting red light cameras with a baseball bat at the intersection of North El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard in Encinitas. The man was identified as 53-year-old Frederick Gramcko. At the same time, a Sheriff's deputy was driving by and saw Gramcko allegedly hitting the camera.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Judge suspends Prop A; council chooses to impose Measure U

Voice of San Diego:
A San Diego County Superior Court judge on Wednesday temporarily suspended an Encinitas law that gave voters final say over land-use decisions and prevented the city from putting a state-mandated plan in place for affordable housing.


Attorneys for Encinitas had asked the court to order Measure U, the housing plan that failed at the ballot box in November, into law, but Frazier declined. He also declined to provide any specific guidance on the scope of the city’s plan and where the new units should go.
And from the comments on last night's council meeting:
Lawyer wants to submit Measure U with some adjustments to HCD. Council votes to do that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

12/12/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

UPDATE: Everyone wants Streetscape ASAP. Blakespear wants a bike lane to replace the “sharrows”  in the interim while Streetscape takes months or years. Kranz and Streetscape advocates don’t want bike lanes because they will remove the urgency of Streetscape.

City planners coordinated with Surfrider to push Beacon's skyway

From the Inbox:
These were brought up several times again at this past Thursday's Planning Commission meeting. One speaker printed out a set for each Commissioner so they would have hard copies.

After being asked specifically at the first meeting whether there was any prearrangement with Surfrider, Brenda Wisneski stated adamantly there was not. Later in the meeting she was caught out when the attached was shown.

The city in general and Brenda especially have an ongoing difficulty with what it means to be transparent. It's a word they use frequently, but rarely apply.
E-mail exchange between city staff and Surfrider here.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Beacon's skyway rejected again

Del Mar Times:
In their 3-2 vote, with Chairman Glenn O’Grady and Commissioner Jody Hubbard opposed, the commissioners took the unusual step of denying the latest proposal for a design review permit on the grounds that the project shouldn’t have been before them at all that night.

It’s only been a few months since commissioners rejected the previous proposal and city planning regulations state that unless a project’s backers are submitting a vastly different redesign, they must wait a full year before submitting a new plan, Commissioner Bruce Ehlers said as he put forward the denial idea.

His proposal was immediately backed by Commissioner Al Apuzzo, who hadn’t attended the July meeting when the previous proposal was rejected but said he had reviewed both that plan and this new one.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

CalTrans bridge collapses at San Elijo Lagoon?

That’s not good.

UPDATE: Part of the design?

Cyclist critically injured on 101 in Leucada

Coast News:

The executive director of the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association, a staunch pedestrian and cycling advocate, was critically injured Saturday morning when she was struck by a truck while riding her bicycle in Leucadia.

Roberta Walker was struck shortly after 6 a.m. on North Coast Highway 101 in front of the Leucadia Post Office. The impact of the collision threw her a significant distance and she was briefly unconscious.

Walker was transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where she is listed in critical but stable condition after suffering serious injuries to her brain and spine, as well as several broken bones, according to Kellie Shay Hinze, Walker’s friend and executive director of Cardiff 101’s sister organization, Leucadia 101 Main Street.
UPDATE: Roberta recovery updates here.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Dueling commentaries on Measure U

In this weekend's Coast News (not yet online):

Former Mayor Sheila Cameron:
Encinitas residents have no problem with conforming to state law guidelines. It is what the City Council itself has voted to include that made Measure U untenable. As one citizen stated to the Council, "We trust the state more than we trust you." That was a clear signal to the council that they were proceeding in the wrong direction. Here are the main issues voters had with Measure U:

1. Height: Our City Council requires 33- to 42-foot-tall buildings. The Housing & Community Development Department (HCD), the state agency, has no height recommendation. Proposition A -- the Right to Vote Initiative that allows us to vote on density and height of projects, requires 30 feet. Presentations were given at City Council meetings, to the mayor and council members showing buildings that were build locally, demonstrating that three stories can be built within the 30-foot height limit with the required 30 units per acre. Otis builds elevators at 28.5 feet that fit into a 30-foot structure. Despite repeated speeches and demonstrations by the public, the mayor and council proceeded with this huge height increase that only catered to developers wishes.

Current Mayor Catherine Blakespear:
Now that I've been re-elected with nearly 84 percent of the vote, I'm happy to continue letting you know in this column what we are working on at city hall. I'm honored by your overwhelming support!


My feeling remans that, in our two attempts, the city worked in good faith with tremendous dedication of time and resources to develop a housing plan that both met the state requirements and addressed community concerns about design standards and site selections.
Pick up a hard copy of the Coast News to read the whole thing.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Leucadia burglar caught on camera

CBS 8:

Terrifying moments for a Leucadia woman when a man broke into her home while she was inside.

The woman was able to chase him off, and now police are looking for the suspect who was caught caught clearly on camera by the victim's doorbell camera.

Rocket launch in skies tonight

If you missed October's spectacular launch, you'll get another chance tonight.

The launch Friday night is scheduled for 8:19 p.m. It's the product of a a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing called United Launch Alliance. The launch, a Delta IV Heavy rocket, will be carrying a secretive satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.
UPDATE: Delayed until 8:06 PM Saturday.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Encinitas waits on sidelines while Costa Mesa fights for sober-living regulations

Coast News:
Encinitas considered enacting a sober-living home ordinance in 2015, which would have included regulations like obtaining a city permit, having a manager on-site at all times, and maintaining a 650-foot buffer from any other sober-living or treatment facility.

But those policies were not adopted due to concerns regarding the litigation brought against Costa Mesa for implementing similar measures.

Last year the city of Costa Mesa settled a lawsuit filed by Solid Landings that resulted in the immediate closure of 15 sober-living homes and the agreement that 18 more would shutter over a three-year period. Sabine explained to the council, “That’s led a number of people to believe that somehow that’s precedential from a legal standpoint, but it’s not.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Encinitas' dumbest criminals: robbing a transient

Coast News:
A robbery suspect is still at large after San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies apprehended one of two perpetrators Monday night accused of robbing a transient woman near the transit center in downtown Encinitas.

Isaiah Eichelberger, 20, was arrested for strong-arm robbery and booked on Dec. 3 at the Vista Detention Facility.

At around 9 p.m., the victim told authorities that Eichelberger and another male wearing a black mask forced her to the ground and took her backpack before fleeing on foot in an unknown direction.

Friday, November 30, 2018

City asks judge to impose Measure U in its entirety

... despite the fact that it both fails to meet HCD requirements and has unnecessary giveaways to developers.

Coast News:
Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said, “I can’t think of anything more the city could have done to craft a plan that both housing regulators and voters would accept. We really did try our best, both in terms of effort expended and compromises to gain consensus. So we find ourselves here,” meaning in court and at a judge’s discretion.

Frazier’s ruling will wait until the county and city have officially certified the ballot results of Measure U. The controversial housing initiative failed, with 53 percent of voters opposed, which makes the judge’s decision to wait a mere formality. Measure U sought to allow increased housing density up to three stories high at 15 potential sites in Encinitas. A similar ballot initiative, Measure T, was soundly defeated in 2016.

Encinitas’ legal counsel argued that the city should be made to adopt Measure U. Attorney Dolores Bastian Dalton of Goldfarb & Lipman described that plan as “a workable and practical solution that gets all three parties out of the impasse that we’re in.” She said other potential options that require more community feedback and political consensus would “only embolden the anti-housing group.”

Thursday, November 29, 2018

City manager gets raise

Del Mar Times:
Encinitas’ chief administrator will be one of the better paid city managers among similar municipalities in the region after City Council action Wednesday, Nov. 28.

Council members voted 5-0 to give City Manager Karen Brust a $7,283 boost to her annual base salary as well as a $20,000 increase to her deferred compensation plan and an additional nine hours of paid vacation annually.

“The city manager has done a great job in the last year,” Mayor Catherine Blakespear said. “One of the key things is that we had a staff reorganization, and a number of vacancies ... that we needed to fill and she’s done an excellent job of filling out her team so that we’re able to accomplish the City Council’s priorities.”

With the salary increase, Brust will receive $250,043 in annual base pay, which does not include health and retirement benefits. The wage figure does not include the addition to the deferred compensation plan, a savings account untaxed unless the money is withdrawn.

The base pay alone is 36% more than Gus Vina was making just six years ago.

It seems city workers have discovered the ol' ratcheting trick.

City reportedly considering one-way streets in Cardiff

Del Mar Times:
Members of the public are invited to join the City's Traffic Engineering Division to discuss potential street modifications, including changes to existing street striping and parking along Liverpool Drive and Chesterfield Drive.

The meeting will take place Dec. 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Encinitas City Hall, 505 South Vulcan Avenue. For more information, visit

Monday, November 26, 2018

Streetscapes in Paradise

LA Times:
After a fast-moving fire swept into town a decade ago, burning more than 200 homes and trapping thousands of fleeing residents on gridlocked mountain roads, a grand jury called on officials to improve evacuation routes.

But six years later, the city decided to narrow a portion of the main road through town from four lanes to two as part of an effort in the downtown area aimed at boosting commerce as well as traffic and pedestrian safety.

Two other roads in the city were also narrowed, records show.

The so-called “road diet” for Skyway slowed traffic, and a local civic group donated benches and landscaping to beautify the zone.

Nearly two weeks ago, Skyway was the scene of unspeakable horror when the worst wildfire in California history besieged Paradise. Up to 27,000 residents trying to escape the flames instead were stuck in traffic, the buildings around them burning. Some died in their cars when the fire roared over them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

La Paloma featured in industry publication

Good history and profile of the current proprietor at

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

11/14/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Mountain rises behind Sunset High School

In 1943, a volcano suddenly arose in a cornfield in ParĂ­cutin, Mexico.

Similarly suddenly, a mountain has arisen here in Encinitas, behind Sunset High School on Requeza Drive.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

L.A. "road diet" program comes to Encinitas

On Wednesday's agenda:
Vision Zero starts with the ethical belief that everyone has the right to move safely in their communities, and that system designers and policy makers share the responsibility to ensure safe systems for travel.

Vision Zero is a significant departure from the status quo in two major ways:

1. Vision Zero recognizes that people will sometimes make mistakes, so the road system and related policies should be designed to insure those inevitable mistakes do not result in severe injuries or fatalities. This means that system designers and policymakers are expected to improve the roadway environment, policies (such as speed management), and other related systems to lessen the severity of crashes.

2. Vision Zero is a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together diverse and necessary stakeholders to address this complex problem. In the past, meaningful, cross-disciplinary collaboration among local traffic planners and engineers, policymakers, and public health professionals has not been the norm. Vision Zero acknowledges that many factors contribute to safe mobility -- including roadway design, speeds, behaviors, technology, and policies -- and sets clear goals to achieve the shared goal of zero fatalities and severe injuries.
Here's how that's implemented in practice:
In July of 2017, Los Angeles imposed a "road diet" in the quiet beach community of Playa del Rey, replacing car lanes with bike lanes and parking spaces. The roads were suddenly jammed with traffic. The community was livid.

"Most of Playa Del Rey didn't know this was happening," says John Russo, a local resident and co-founder of Keep L.A. Moving, a community group formed to fight back against the city's unilateral decision to reconfigure the streets. "It really created havoc for us because we have no other roads to take."

Road diets are part of a strategy known as Vision Zero, in which Los Angeles aims to eliminate all traffic-related fatalities by 2025. It's an idea borrowed from Sweden, which in the '90s started experimenting with reconfiguring the roads to encourage more commuters to bike or take mass transit to work.

"In order to achieve zero deaths, public officials have been doing some odd things," says Baruch Feigenbaum, the assistant director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, the 501(c)(3) that publishes this website. Road diets aren't "based on science" or any "empirical findings."

"After the road diets were put in, we actually saw traffic accidents go through the roof," says Russo. "We had an average of 11.6 accidents per year on these roads in Playa Del Rey. We've had 52 accidents in the last four months."

In October, Pasadena residents successfully fought the city's attempt to put a "road diet" on Orange Grove Boulevard.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Will the city be honest with the court about why Measure U failed?

Open letter from Luke Dion to the city council on Encinitas Votes:
Encinitas will go before a judge on November 13 in a status hearing for lawsuits against the city related to our non-compliant Housing Element. These cases were delayed pending the outcome of Measure U, which if passed would have mooted the basis for the suits. Measure U was defeated, and so the cases will somehow proceed.

This is the second time voters have rejected a ballot measure. Judges are notoriously deferential to voters, and rarely issue sweeping rulings that invalidate the will of the electorate. I expect the judge to look for ways to avoid or minimize the scope of judicial intervention. I would expect the judge to ask our city leaders if they feel voter approval of a compliant housing element is impossible in Encinitas.

I think it’s important for our elected leaders to answer carefully. After watching voters reject months or years of work by our city council, there will be a temptation to say that council did everything possible, and that blame for the failure rests with voters—that there is no hope for a voter approved plan. This would be factually incorrect, and an insult to voters that we will never forget.

The difficult truth is that there is a voting bloc who will never vote yes on a compliant housing element, but they are a minority. There are others in the middle who voted no on this specific plan because of mistakes and poor decisions made by our leaders in the crafting of this plan. When the judge asks, we expect and deserve leadership that accepts responsibility for the flaws that caused Measure U to fail. I realize this is a difficult and painful thing to do, but it’s the truth, and it’s what is best for the City legally.

I ask each council member to spend real quiet think time over the next few days to write down a list of specific decisions and elements of the process and the plan that you think cost votes. Go to court prepared, and when asked by the judge, do the hard right thing.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Tasha triumphs

Did anyone get the license plate on that Mack truck that hit the city council?

Tasha Boerner-Hovarth came out of nowhere, spent a brief time on the planning commission, spent less than two years on city council, gerrymandered Mark Muir out of a council seat, helped kill Measure U, and got elected to the state assembly over the strenuous objection of her council colleague.

That's more in two years than any Encinitas council member we can recall has accomplished in multiple terms!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Election results

With so many people voting absentee and provisional now, it will take a long time to count the votes in the close races.

Here are some early results: Levin and Horvath winning, Hubbard and Mosca narrowly ahead, Measure U narrowly trailing.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Opinion: "Measure U is such a scam that even Goldman Sachs would blush"

Charlie McDermott in the Coast News:
Measure U is an attempt to coerce the residents of Encinitas into gifting our most valuable public asset, our established zoning, to select landowners and developers to enable them to earn an instant risk-free windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars. In return we will get more traffic and infrastructure strain. What the Mayor and her fellow council members will get down the road has yet to be determined – but we have seen this kind of movie before.

Our zoning laws greatly limit what each of us can do with a piece of property. Individually, we all agree to these rules because they limit what others can do with their property and this prevents them from doing something that would negatively affect us. Thus, our city zoning largely determines what each parcel of land is currently worth; and as a whole it defines the character and layout of our city. Literally billions of dollars in Encinitas land value is allocated across the established zonings – and this hidden value is a very tasty pie for special interests.

The Measure U lobbyists are asking us to create a massive exception to the rules to enable them to develop over 2,000 high-density, “up-zoned” housing units, which will allow up to 30 units per acre! Plus it will gut Prop A for good measure.

If Measure U passes, these “special” individuals will enjoy an instantaneous zero risk land value profit in the hundreds of millions of dollars (e.g., 2,000 units x $120,000 land profit/unit = $240,000,000). The total profits when the finished units are sold will be much higher and yet not one penny of this up-zone value will be paid out in fees as dividends to the public or to the City for public infrastructure projects.

Once Measure U passes, we the people will see these units built out ASAP and our local population increase significantly. However, if Measure U fails then developers will have to to buy and develop the land at market prices and under the current zoning rules. Thus they will move very slowly, block-by-block, because of the high costs and free market risks. But if we socialize all the risks then all these units will be immediately built out because so much profit will be baked in from the Measure U land value increase.

Measure U is such a scam, that even Goldman Sachs would blush, but it is right there in black and white for you to vote on. Send a very clear message to interloping developers, Mayor Blakespear, and her comrades in the City council that our town is never ever going to be for sale by voting No on Measure U in overwhelming numbers. Make this one really hurt so the interloping special interests go away for good.

Charlie McDermott, Encinitas

Friday, October 26, 2018

Council punts, sends Measure U to voters with very little low-income housing

The question of whether to bump up Encinitas' low-income inclusionary housing requirement needs more research to make sure the change won't adversely impact new housing development in town, the City Council decided Wednesday night.


Measure U supporters say it could increase the city's supply of low-income housing, while opponents say there's no guarantee that the proposed zoning changes actually will result in more housing for low-income families. They contend the upzoning will increase the town's housing density, but those new homes will be higher-cost units.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Modern Times restaurant opens downtown

San Diego Eater:
Modern Times Beer, which expanded up the West Coast this year with brewery restaurants in Los Angeles and Portland that both feature vegan cuisine, has returned to its home base to debut a new North County venue that’s also its first in the San Diego area to serve food. Rolled out over the weekend, The Far West Lounge lands on Highway 101 in downtown Encinitas where the space is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Decked out like a grandma’s living room circa the 1970s, the company spent hundreds of hours handcrafting design details that range from felted recreations of TV dinners to knotted macrame plant hangers and a bar facade made from 2,000 dominoes and Modern Times coffee-stained wood. There’s wall of stadium-style seating, a mini mart area that retails beer, coffee, and brewery merch, and a 40-seat, 34-tap bar that will pour Modern Times Beer from all of its brewery locations; a special Hazy IPA, called Totally Open in Encinitas, will be released here soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sheriff helicopter with unintelligible loudspeaker circling downtown

UPDATE: Patch:
Authorities were searching for two suspects who fled a stolen vehicle after crashing into a parked car near a park in North County.

A vehicle was reported stolen Wednesday in Carlsbad, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. The vehicle later crossed into Encinitas and crashed into a parked vehicle near Cottonwood Creek Park at 95 North Vulcan Ave., sheriff's officials said. The occupants, a man and a woman, then fled the vehicle on foot.

Carlsbad police and sheriff's deputies were searching the area for the suspects.

The driver was described as a Hispanic man who is about 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds. He was wearing a white shirt and jeans. The passenger was described as a white female with a thin build and dark, curly hair.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Kranz endorses Horvath's opponent

Still bitter over her opposition to the last-minute Clark Avenue housing switcheroo?

(Poorly written and edited) press release:
Kranz explains, I have worked alongside her opponent for months—and it’s no contest. Elizabeth is the superior candidate. She has depth—and wisdom—which comes from life experience. She has endured hardship and bounced back. Elizabeth has the kind of maturity that inspires collaboration and helps get things done. That’s a quality you want in a representative.

“Elizabeth also has a stronger—and more balanced—command of the issues. Her background as a lifelong journalist, community advocate, and organizing leader with national nonprofits, demonstrates that she can dive deeply into complex legislation and grasp nuances that others miss. Elizabeth has been a watchdog for constituents here and throughout the state. She not only understands what matters locally, but she’s fought for change on critical issues at the national and international levels—and won. Her years of leadership, organizing grassroots activists from coast to coast to stop a congressional vote on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, show that Elizabeth is tenacious—she has what it takes to play in the big leagues."
A further statement at the end of the press release missing a quotation mark and attributed to no one in particular but presumably meant to be from Kranz:
I urge everyone in the district to vote for Elizabeth Warren. We need a mature, experienced, selfless, hardworking leader representing us in Sacramento.”

Homeless robber assaults Leucadia homeowner

Encinitas Advocate:
An Encinitas family detained a homeless man who possibly attempted to break into and rob their home, sheriff's officials said in a news release.

Fred Weston, the 62-year-old homeowner of the one-acre property on the 500 block of La Costa Avenue, was awakened by his surveillance system on his property at about 5 a.m. on Oct. 20, according to a news release written by Sergeant Joe Tomaiko of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

According to the news release, Weston's property had been targeted several times in the past by suspects stealing copper cable and wire, leading him to set up the surveillance system.

Weston then grabbed a shotgun and went outside to check the property, eventually encountering a man in dark clothing who was attempting to hide, Tomaiko said. Weston ordered the suspect — later identified as Chuck Neil, a 43-year-old homeless man from Escondido — to stand up, show himself and start walking to the front gate of the property.

The two men then entered an altercation, according to the news release. Neil was able to grab the barrel of the gun, which Weston shot while it was pointed toward the sky, Tomaiko said. Neil then punched Weston "several times" in the face, breaking his nose and causing Weston to fall to the ground, face first. Neil then began choking Weston with the barrel of the shotgun against his throat.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

10/17/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Coastal Commission approves Leucadia Streetscape

Coast News:
A proposed overhaul of Leucadia’s stretch of Coast Highway 101 received the California Coastal Commission’s unanimous blessing.

The commission’s board, which is hosting its monthly roving three-day meeting in downtown San Diego, rendered its decision after two hours of testimony on a project that has polarized the community for more than a decade.

The commission also denied an appeal of the city’s approval of the project filed by a group known as the Encinitas Residents Coalition.

The project will dramatically transform the stretch of 101 into a bicycle-, pedestrian- and transit-friendly enclave complete with six roundabout intersections.

Rainbow at Moonlight Beach

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

It was a great white

City of Encinitas press release:
ENCINITAS, California - Forensic analysis of DNA obtained from the wetsuit of a freediver who survived a recent shark attack near Encinitas confirmed the involvement of a white shark, Long Beach State University Shark Lab Director Dr. Chris Lowe said.

Laboratory results obtained Friday provided conclusive evidence that a white shark was involved in the incident, which took place on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 29, in the waters near Beacon's Beach. Eyewitness accounts had previously suggested the probability of a white shark's involvement.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

UFO over Moonlight Beach

This was super weird. Only there for a minute and now gone.

Moving too slow to be airplanes. More like helicopters but with no sound, and super bright spot lights coming down from them. 7:30 pm.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Pedestrian killed crossing Balour

A 76-year-old woman was fatally injured Friday night when she was struck by a Toyota Prius outside an Encinitas Fire Station, authorities said.

The crash happened just before 7:10 p.m. at Balour Drive a little south of Encinitas Boulevard, San Diego County sheriff’s Sgt. Agustin Rosas said.

Investigators believe the pedestrian was crossing Balour Drive in front of Encinitas Fire Station No. 5 when she was hit by the northbound Prius, Rosas said.
That's just north of where an elderly man was killed in a crosswalk hit-and-run less than a year ago.

Friday, October 5, 2018

More turnover in city management

From the Inbox:
This week in a routine email to our City Engineer I received the attached response. Is our City Staff going through a revolving door or training people who now work in other cities?

Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2018

From: Chris Magdosku

Thank you for your email. My last week at the City of Encinitas is the week of October 1 and I am off on Friday September28th and will return on Monday October 1. [...]
Magdosku, we hardly knew you.

Radical redesign of El Camino Real in the works?

From the Inbox:
This is the summary of the news from the New Encinitas Network meeting last Thursday:

The California Coastal Commission issued a blistering 28-page response to the City of Encinitas that found the North Coast Hwy 101 Streetscape project to be in serious violation of the State of California Coastal Act. Ironically two dozen planning staffers have been forced out of the City of Encinitas in the past 18 months because they essentially refused to put their signatures on this plan for legal and safety reasons, as well as the CCC report makes crystal clear that the Streetscape project is designed to stop thru traffic, affecting the rights of California residents and visitors the ability to access North County beaches. The City submitted for an extension of time to cook up more numbers at a the Coastal Commission's September hearing in Ft. Bragg, Northern California and will try again at the next hearing, Thursday October 11, at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside, 1355 North Harbor Drive, San Diego.

The City Council (with the exception of Mark Muir) has directed planning staff to hire out the creation of a redesign of El Camino Real. The plan removes one vehicle travel lane in both the North and South direction between Encinitas and Leucadia Boulevard in order to make room for two 8-foot wide bike lanes replacing the outer vehicle driving lanes. The remaining two vehicle travel lanes are to be reduced from 14 feet in width to 10 feet in width. Bear in mind that the Encinitas Fire Department's hook and ladder trucks are 11 feet wide... This proposal also includes the implementation of a "staggered" pedestrian crosswalk that will be located between Via Moleno and Encinitas Boulevard that will be an unsafe pedestrian controlled sidewalk that strands pedestrians on the shrub-centered median strip. This will cause the stacking of traffic, endangering drivers at the stopped cars as accelerating drivers turning onto El Camino Real from Encinitas Blvd try to beat the red light camera. Also, a 6-Way "Continental" crosswalk will be located on Mountain Vista and El Camino Real. To date there has been no public discussion concerning the lane dieting, lane reduction, the two new bike lanes and the two potentially unsafe pedestrian crossing, the combination of which will dramatically increase traffic gridlock, carbon exhaust emissions and safety hazards for drivers and pedestrians. Reduction of vehicle access to businesses along Camino Real will also reduce profits and city revenue. As the California Coastal Commission's oversight extends to the eastern border of El Camino Real, CCC's refutation of the North Coast Hwy 101 Streetscape project may help residents and commercial property owners fend off this radical redesign. The city staff engineer assigned to the El Camino redesign, Christopher Magdosku recently resigned and took a position with the City of Chino. STC Traffic, Inc. Carlsbad, CA is the consulting firm engaged to develop the plans.

Additionally, the powerful non-profits bordering Quail Gardens Drive recently hired former council member Lisa Shaffer to lobby her council friends to use citizen tax dollars to essentially privatize Quail Gardens Drive. This might shed light on why the City L-7 (9.8 acre property) was removed from the preferred properties that comprise the newest Housing Element Up-Zoning Measure U that the Council hopes to pass in the election 5 weeks from now.

The next Traffic and Public Safety Commission Meeting is scheduled for 5:30 PM Monday October 8 at City Hall. We should have as many concerned residents mustered there as we can to speak against the proposed radical redesign of El Camino Real.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Neptune / Melrose kooks trademark "Leucadia," send threats to local merchants

Blowback ensues.

In addition to the lawyer Steven P. Chase who appears to be operating out of the old location of Moonlight Motors on Melrose, the company Flashbuz is connected online to reported founder Aaron Bruce of Neptune Avenue.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Beacon's shark attack: 13-year old in critical condition

NBC 7:
A teenager was attacked by a shark and air-lifted to the hospital early Saturday morning, according to Encinitas lifeguards.

The attack happened at Beacon’s Beach in Encinitas, around 6:55 a.m.
The boy was lobster diving not far from shore. It was an 11-foot shark, species unknown. Encinitas beaches are closed until Monday morning.

UPDATE: Victim is Keane Hayes, now upgraded out of critical condition.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Serial arsonist gets 10 years

10 News:
Tyler Carender, 22, was given 10 years in prison for damaging and destroying buildings at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and Oak Crest Middle School on three different occasions in fall 2016.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

9/26/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pedestrian sought in road rage vandalism

The North Coastal Station is looking for a woman believed to have vandalized a car in Encinitas.

The woman was walking when she thought a car drove too close to her, said a station spokesperson, Detective Adrian Moses.

Upset, she used an object to vandalize the driver’s car.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Does Measure U contain a Trojan horse to kill the right to vote?

Measure U proponent Kurt Groseclose, a former city planning commissioner, called the ballot measure a "locally controlled action plan" and said it was created during a "very transparent" process with more than 25 public meetings.

Opponent Peter Stern called it a "terrible deal for Encinitas residents and a wonderful giveaway for developers," and said it was worse than the city's previous proposal -- the Measure T plan, which voters turned down in 2016.

The new plan, which goes before voters Nov. 6, proposes up-zoning 15 properties in an effort to encourage the construction of low-income housing. Under the proposed zoning, each of the 15 privately owned properties would be permitted to have to 25 to 30 housing units an acre and buildings could be three stories.
Meanwhile, from the Encinitas Undercover comments:
At the Measure U debate forum on Tuesday, the Yes on U advocate, Kurt Groseclose, former Planning Commission member, got caught with his pants down. He claimed Measure U does not nullify Prop. A. The No on U advocate, Peter Stern, a lawyer, put the following PowerPoint slide on the screen.

PROGRAM 3C: Right to Vote Amendment
In 2013, a citizen initiative resulted in the Right to Vote Amendment (Proposition A), which requires voter approval of most land use changes and building heights higher than two stories. Proposition A cannot be modified except by another vote of the people. If a proposed Housing Element does not achieve community support, Proposition A may act as a constraint on the City's ability to comply with state Housing Element law. Assuming that this Housing Element is approved in November 2018, the City will take actions to ensure that future Housing Elements can be adopted in a timely fashion and that requirements for a vote of the people do not constrain the City's compliance with State law.

You can find this on Page 39 in the full text of the measure on the city website. The second time Stern put the slide up Groseclose turned around and read it. Mayor Blakespear took a photo of it with her smart phone. Both were stunned. Obviously neither had read the full measure. On leaving Blakespear looked like the bottom had fallen out of her world.
The full text is here. The language in question is on page 39-40 of the PDF and reproduced below (click to enlarge).

The most charitable reading is that staff will add enough buffer units in each housing cycle's update to be able to do the following cycle's update without a public vote.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mayoral forum

Do you like the status quo or are you ready for something... else?

Coast News:
Blakespear deftly offered detailed answers to the dozen or so questions, while Elliott, a self-described “metaphysical broker,” frequently pivoted back to his desire to build affordable housing for the city’s municipal workforce.

While not offering much detail about the plan, he alluded to building hundreds of units on the grounds of the old Pacific View Elementary School “as opposed to turning it into a garden,” alluding to the current plans to turn the property into the so-called Pacific View Academy of Arts, Culture and Ecology.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Phil Graham accuser faces criminal charges for false report

Coast News:
A North County woman who falsely accused former State Assembly candidate Phil Graham of groping and forcibly kissing her now faces criminal charges stemming from her claims.

According to Superior Court records obtained by The Coast News, the District Attorney’s office has charged Nichole Burgan with misdemeanor filing of a false police report stemming from the claims made during the lead up to the June 5 primary election.
Graham was the top Republican in the race, but didn't make the November ballot because the top two vote getters were Democrats.

As inconvenient as the election season false accusation was, it probably didn't make a difference, as the huge field of hopeless Republicans split the GOP vote.

Drive-by shooting at Olivenhain home of popular online gamer

A glass barrier in the rear of the home was visibly shot out from Lone Jack Road, according to a picture taken by an NBC7 reporter.

The online website US Gamer is reporting the shooting occurred at the family home of a popular Twitch streamer, DrDisrespect.

"Beahm also revealed that this is the second time in two days that someone shot at his family's residence, but today the shots hit his home's upstairs window. The clip ends with Beahm becoming visibly upset," the website states.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Encinitas dad gets 24 years for Ponzi scheme

For years we have wondered whether Encinitas was the Ponzi scheme capital of the world. First there was Scott Bottolfson. Then there was John Clement's EdgeFund. And then Steven Hamilton and Dennis Eugene Long.

The latest case is an accountant and family man who has lived in Encinitas and been active in the community for several years after swindling people out of millions in Colorado.

Gunnison Times:
A Ponzi scheme that swindled unsuspecting investors out of millions of dollars has landed a former Gunnison accountant behind bars.

District Court Judge J. Steven Patrick sentenced Laverne “Vern” Moter, 50, to 24 years in prison this past Thursday — the maximum presumptive sentence for the two counts to which Moter pleaded guilty this past May.

Over the span of four years beginning in 2009, Moter solicited more than $2.6 million from investors, promising hefty rates of return. However, a Colorado Attorney General’s office investigation found that Moter paid initial investors returns on their money with finances garnered from new investors — all while living a lavish lifestyle himself on the life savings of those victims.

Assistant Attorney General Jason Slothouber indicated that Moter spent investors’ money on past debts, credit card bills and “lifestyle.” A credit card bill for one month alone totaled $56,000. At the same time, Moter bought his wife a new Mercedes and used investors’ money to purchase a new home in Las Vegas.

Even at the time of Friday’s hearing, Slothouber noted that Moter rented a home in Encinitas, Calif., valued at about $1.5 million with a view of the ocean and paid $29,000 per year in private school tuition for three kids.
The defense asked for a few months in jail and probation, but the judge issued the maximum sentence.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Blakespear seeks SANDAG Vice Chair

Voice of San Diego:
Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said she’s pursuing the vice chair position, after [Poway Mayor Steve] Vaus urged her to do so.

“The Poway mayor and I have a positive collaborative working relationship on SANDAG and I look forward to being considered by the whole board to serve with him,” she said.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Mayoral challenger launches campaign on Nextdoor
Hello Neighbors I am John Paul Elliott Lets Save Beacons!

I am local Neighbor that is running for Mayor. I want to preserve Beacons and Leucadia from the Street Scape Crazed mentality that is trying to make us like Orange County. 
I will stop the back-room deals and have a plan for sustainable long term housing for our children and all the City employees. 1st of all everything will be video recorded espesially the "Back-Door-Deals" these guys will have to show Us who they really are. We will get rid of the Orange County City Manager and replace her with a less expensive replacement who is from Leucadia NOT Orange County. We can take it Back with this election please tell your friends about me and Coco(My little Dog who s running with me as Co-Mayor). My web site will up soon and please call me so I can get you our yard signs and get the word out that we can change the pathway we are on before it's to late. 
 #1. We will "stop Street Scape in it's tracks" #2. We will install Ped-Crossing in Leucadia lat RXR Tracks like they did at Swami's. #3. We'll place Lighted Stop Signs and cross walks on 101, not go into 27 Million debt. #4. I will develop Affordable Housing for our Residents forever sustainable & Affordable. #5. I will Preserve Beacon Beach for all the future families to come. Get involved come to these City Meetings(Which was stirred up by Us the public in the July Public Planning Commission meeting in town hall ,where we all told the current government what the heck is wrong with you? Get involved Vote for me as the Local Mayor choice and we can save our Scared Community. You are welcome to call me and make any suggestions toward a better Leucadai. Thanks for reading my post.  John Paul (JP) Elliott & "Coco" (951) 781-6900

Thursday, August 30, 2018

From foreclosure crusader to nuthouse lawyer

Remember Encinitas attorney Michael T. Pines, who gained TV fame as a foreclosure attorney with unconventional tactics such as encouraging clients to break in and squat in their former homes?

He's now representing himself in Atascadero State Hospital.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

8/22/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Olivenhain Jackass

From the Inbox:
Some idiot smoked the mailbox on Cole Ranch on the section between Lone Jack and del Norte. We reported it to the cops and they said they heard reports of other sh** getting hit on Rancho Sante Fe Road earlier. This happened around ~4 pm yesterday, and by the tire marks you can tell this imbecile made the illegal rush hour turn. Looks like he/she hit the left and was going into the property facing to the east, then overcorrected and slammed into the mailbox and swerved back on to the road. Must have been someone who lives off Lone Jack who is just too g*d damn important to sit in 30 more seconds of traffic, which I do as principle even though I live on the f***ing street.

That's not just one mailbox... it's the mailboxes for the whole block. Here's the Google image of the site:
Doesn't anybody on the street have security cameras that would have caught it? We hate to stereotype, but we'd guess it was the failure-to-launch offspring of a Lone Jack resident.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

8/15/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Candidates filed

Del Mar Times:
Three incumbents and three challengers will vye for a trio of seats on the Encinitas city council this November.

In Encinitas, voters will be able to select their choice for the mayor, as well as districts three and four, if they live within one of those area’s boundaries. District three represents Cardiff, while district four encompasses areas of Olivenhain and New Encinitas.

The six candidates are:


* Incumbent Catherine Blakespear, a 42-year-old lawyer
* John Paul Elliott, a 71-year-old metaphysical broker

District three:

* Incumbent Mark Muir, a 62-year-old retired fire chief
* Jody Hubbard, a 61-year-old Encinitas planning commissioner

District four:

* Incumbent Joe Mosca, a 45-year-old manager of major projects at San Diego Gas & Electric
* Tony Brandenburg, a 56[?]-year-old retired chief judge
We've never heard of John Paul Elliott, don't know what a metaphysical broker is, and assume he won't run a serious campaign.

Hubbard is the Barth-Shaffer candidate for Cardiff.

Tony Brandenburg is an Olivenhain institution, but didn't do well when he ran for council in 2016 before district elections were established. We shall see.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

TV's Mike Rowe covers Ian "Poods" Barry family philanthropy

Watch the video here.

Fatal hit-and-run at I-5 off-ramp to Encinitas Boulevard

10 News:
A search is on for a driver suspected of hitting and killing a woman near an off-ramp from Interstate 5 in Encinitas Tuesday morning.

The crash happened at around 6:30 a.m. near the Encinitas Boulevard off-ramp from northbound Interstate 5, according to California Highway Patrol officials. The off-ramp was closed for a short period due to the investigation.

The collision is under investigation, but CHP officials confirmed that the body of a 62-year-old woman was found in a ravine off the roadway. Officials believe the woman had been dead for about an hour when her body was discovered.

CHP officials described the vehicle believed to be involved in the incident as a 1995 to 2002 Ford Expedition or Ford F-150 pickup that is missing its right front headlight and likely has additional damage.
That's remarkably close to the site of a hit-and-run last year, the perpetrator of which also drove a Ford F-150 and is apparently already out of jail.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Under deadline gun, council approves sending bad plan to voters

Del Mar Times:
In a turn of events, Blakespear — who previously voted against the plan — joined Kranz, Mosca and Muir on Wednesday in their support of the document. Blakespear said while she disagreed with certain zoned sites on the housing element, she wanted residents to be able to vote on the matter.

[...] several residents argued against the proposal and said properties like the "Cannon Property" on Piraeus and the "Meyer Proposal" on Clark Avenue were unsuitable for development due to concerns such as potential traffic, overcrowdedness at nearby schools and health concerns.

Residents advocated for removing the Meyer site and replacing it with the "L-7" property, which is owned by the city and was removed from the plan in April when hundreds of neighbors in the Quail Gardens area spoke in opposition. HCD had recommended L-7 as an ideal site for affordable housing.

City staff advised that revising the list of sites was not an option at this time due to the need for a public hearing and the deadline to file for the November election quickly approaching.
The Clark Avenue site is a huge development in an area with extremely narrow streets and very few ways in and out, miles from amenities like grocery stores, and with the air quality concerns of being right on the freeway.

As many residents pointed out, calling "shame" on the council, the process has been awful, with backroom negotiations between staff and developers, and sites being added and dropped like hot potatoes. The residents of eastern Leucadia got stuck holding the hot potato when the clock ran out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Big housing meeting tonight

The city council faces a deadline tonight to come up with a housing plan to put on the November ballot.

The most recent iteration has Leucadia residents up in arms over a massive new development on Clark Avenue near I-5 and Leucadia Boulevard, which, rumors have, was added as part of a land swap to give developer David Meyer the city's prime real estate on Quail Gardens Drive.

According to the council's plans, the majority of high-density development would fall on Leucadia and Old Encinitas, while Cardiff and Olivenhain would be largely unscathed.

The council appears determined to push forward with this plan even though it has already been ruled inadequate by the state Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Council chaos causes housing deadline panic

On Wednesday night, the City Council will once again debate what to put on the ballot. The county election office's filing deadline is Friday, so a decision must be reached that night, or it's too late to get the paperwork together to make the November ballot, the city clerk has said.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Coastal Commission staff recommends major changes to Leucadia Streetscape

Coastal Commission report:
As presented by the City, the LCP amendment fails to address the potential scope of road modifications on major coastal access routes and the coastal resource impacts that need to be addressed in the context of the LCP. In addition to lane reduction projects, potential road modifications could include installation of roundabouts or stop signs, removal of public parking, non-automobile improvements, such as pedestrian and cycling amenities, removal of major vegetation, or the addition of travel lanes or turn lanes. The City’s proposal to allow for roadway variations citywide and to allow for travel lane reductions on Highway 101 in Leucadia raise significant concerns related to coastal access and recreation. Roadway modification projects, especially on a major coastal access roadway like the iconic Highway 101, have the potential to result in adverse impacts to the public’s ability to reach the coast and to enjoy a scenic coastal drive on Highway 101. Major roadway modifications also have the potential to adversely impact water quality, biological resources, visual resources, and community character.
That sounds pretty firm. Can the city modify plans enough to appease the Commission?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Cardiff schools separate but equal?

From the Inbox:
The recent discussion about the 22 million dollar bond to upgrade Cardiff Elementary school has again crystalized for me the issue of a fiefdom within the city of Encinitas. It has long been overlooked that the Cardiff Elementary School District is distinct within the state of California for its underenrollment and high cost per student, and its independence as a district operating within a district. Comparing data available from the California Department of Education, it's obvious the disparity between Cardiff School District and Encinitas Union Elementary School District.

Encinitas Union Elementary enrollment by grade: link

Cardiff Elementary District enrollment by grade: link

It's time for an open discussion about the opportunities available for our elementary school students within the city of Encinitas and for our students to enjoy a broader distribution of the resources available within our community. As Cardiff Elementary school is rebuilt, let's look closer at fully utilizing the facility rather than limiting enrollment to small number of students residing within the fiefdom of the Cardiff Elementary School District.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Beacon's Skywalk rejected

Planners reject "Vegas-style" staircase at Beacon's Beach:
A proposed staircase down to Beacon's Beach must be redesigned to make it look less like a "Las Vegas-style skywalk" or "freeway overpass" and more like something that fits with Leucadia's funky vibe, Encinitas Planning Commissioners decided Thursday.

The decision -- a 4-0 vote with Commissioner Al Apuzzo absent -- came after hours of public testimony dominated by project opponents. Some 30 people spoke to the commission. Many of them stayed to hear the vote, then jumped to their feet to give the commissioners a standing ovation afterward.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Housing deadline in doubt amid council chaos

The Coast News:
The Encinitas City Council continues to play a dangerous political game with the Housing Element, now putting the ballot-filing deadline at risk.

After hours of public comment and about 10 minutes of councilmember discussion at the July 18 meeting, the council moved to vote on whether to approve the Housing Element in its current form. The vote tally on the screen flashed 2-2, with Mayor Catherine Blakespear and Tasha Boerner Horvath opposed. Councilman Mark Muir was absent.

As the city’s attorney, Glenn Sabine, then explained, the tie vote meant that no decision could be rendered. Because approving the Housing Element was a prerequisite to approving the ballot measure, no action could be taken on that measure either.

The shock in the room was palpable. Councilman Tony Kranz said, “It seems clear that the mayor is willing to sabotage this.” His comment was interrupted by loud outcries of dissent from attendees. After Blakespear quieted her supporters, Kranz continued, “We have a lot of professional fees that we’re paying tonight and we’re doing a lot of things that we could have postponed until we had five councilmembers here.”
Click on over to the Coast News for much more, including that the state housing department (HCD) rejected the current plan due to the Kranz/Mosca/Muir last minute changes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

7/18/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Man hit by train in Leucadia

Del Mar Times:
A man lying on railroad tracks was struck by an Amtrak train Friday, July 13 and hospitalized. San Diego County Sheriff's Transit Enforcement Unit responded to a train versus pedestrian collision at 7:20 p.m. July 13, along the tracks in the 1400 block of North Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas, according to Deputy Jason Burk with the Sheriff's Department.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Locals oppose concrete at Beacon's

Coast News:
A group of residents is urging the city to reconsider plans for a large, concrete staircase at Beacon’s Beach to supplement, and ultimately replace, the iconic switchback staircase beachgoers currently use.

The group, called “Preserve Beacon’s,” has mounted a petition drive and campaign in advance of the July 19 Planning Commission consideration of a coastal development permit for the proposed staircase.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Get out of jail quick these days

From the Inbox:
Remember this?

Periodically I look at the State and County inmate search sites to see where Justin Parker is. I was shocked to find that he is not in their systems anymore. (I don't think he was ever in the State system)

He was booked in March, so he is out in less than 4 months!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Encinitas to get ALDI discount grocery store

San Diego Reader:
Encinitas grocery shoppers are about to get a little more European influence. A design review permit application with the city became public last month, for the opening of an ALDI supermarket. It will be the sixth German-based store opened in San Diego County in the last two years, but the first one along the upper-middle class coastline.

ALDI’s website identifies the chain as “discount grocery.” Grocery items are shelved directly in the product’s cartons or open boxes. Their stores do not have banks, pharmacies, or cash checks.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Mark Muir running for re-election

We’ll have at least one contested city election this November.

Mark Muir’s Cardiff Current:
After much consideration, I am proud to announce that I will be seeking re-election to the Encinitas City Council.
Earlier, Planning Commissioner Jody Hubbard announced that she would run in Muir’s district, backed by former council members Barth and Shaffer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

6/27/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Naked guy breaks into Days Inn hotel room

10 News:
Sheriff's Deputies responded to an Encinitas hotel room Tuesday night after reports of a break in on Encinitas Boulevard.

Upon arriving, deputies were told that a naked man broke into the Days Inn room around 10:15 p.m., and several teenagers were inside.

Deputies tell 10News that the man was staying in a room on the third floor and the teens, in town for a school field trip, were staying on the second floor.

The man got into the room, but eventually jumped off the second story of the building and landed on the windshield of a car below.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Motorcycle fatality at Moonlight Plaza

CBS 8:
According to authorities, the motorcyclist was popping a wheelie around 11:45 a.m. in the 400 block of South Coast Highway 101 when he lost control and slammed into the back of a patrol unit driven by a deputy.
Wheelie or no, it sure looks like a southbound deputy made a left turn in front of a northbound motorcyclist.

UPDATE: Victim is Carter Yarborough, 48.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Council removes four more sites in contentious, late-night meeting

Del Mar Times:
At just about 2 a.m. June 21, the council voted in favor of removing two of three HCD-recommended sites, as well as two additional, contested sites. Mayor Catherine Blakespear and Council member Tasha Boerner Horvath opposed the motion.


In addition to the elimination of the El Camino Real South parcel and Dewitt property, Kranz also recommended removing the former Frog's Gym site at 780 Garden View Court and a site on Rancho Santa Fe East in Olivenhain, with Deputy Mayor Joe Mosca and Council member Mark Muir agreeing. Both added sites received strong vocal opposition from residents at the meeting.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

6/20/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Neighbors organizing against upzoning sites

... in Cardiff ... and in Olivenhain.

Well, it worked for Quail Gardens "L-7"!

But with time running out for HCD certification and placement on the November ballot, is it too late? Tomorrow night's City Council meeting should be a doozy!

Why didn't Sheriff's Department warn public there was a rapist on the loose in Encinitas?

NBC 7:
According to the complaint, the earliest evidence against Winslow stems from a March 17 incident when he allegedly kidnapped and raped a 54-year-old transient. The other alleged crimes occurred May 13, May 24 and June 1.

There is no indication, however, that SDSO investigators warned the public about that series of sex crimes, all but one of which was violent in nature.

While it’s unknown if the department had any identifying information about the perpetrator, law enforcement routinely sends out warnings and alerts that include a description of the suspect or other information that could help residents protect themselves and generate leads that help the investigation.

An SDSO spokesperson has since last Friday declined to provide any information about what the department knew about those earlier attacks, whether it issued any sort of public alert, and if not, why it chose not to inform the public.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Planning Commissioner Jody Hubbard to run for Council

Coast News:
Encinitas Planning Commissioner Jody Hubbard tossed her hat into the City Council ring, announcing her decision on June 10 through a campaign launch party. Hubbard will vie for District 3, which represents constituents in Cardiff and part of New Encinitas.

Mark Muir currently occupies the seat and has not publicly stated whether he will run for re-election in November. No other District 3 candidates have emerged yet.


Hubbard has been endorsed by Teresa Barth, former mayor of Encinitas, and by Lisa Shaffer, former deputy mayor.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Winslow charged with kidnapping, rape

10 News:
Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II was arrested for the second time in one week Thursday on charges including kidnapping, rape, and sodomy.

Winslow, the son of legendary Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow, was originally booked on a residential burglary charge on June 7.

The new charges filed Thursday include:

- Kidnapping with intent to commit rape - 2 counts
- Forcible rape - 2 counts
- Forcible sodomy - 1 count
- Forcible oral copulation - 1 count
- Residential burglary - 2 counts
- Indecent exposure - 1 count
It's unclear how, or whether at all, the new charges relate to the original burglary.

SDSO Lt. Michael Blevins told NBC 7 there were multiple victims associated with the new charges but would not say how many. Blevins said the alleged incidents happened in the Encinitas area, but not in the Park Encinitas mobile home park where he was arrested last Thursday, June 7.
UPDATE: Encinitas Advocate:
Among the charges in the complaint:

- Kidnap, rape and forced oral copulation of a 54-year-old woman in March;
- Kidnap, rape and sodomy of a 59-year-old woman in May;
- Indecent exposure in May;
- Burglary with the intent to rape a 71-year-old woman in June;
- Burglary with the intent to rape an 86-year-old woman also in June.
And all the gruesome details are at Deadspin.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

6/13/18 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Blakespear running for re-election

North Coast Current:
Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear announced her plans to run for re-election this November in an email to supporters Sunday, June 10.

“I’m excited to announce that I’m running for re-election as your Mayor in Encinitas this fall, and I wanted you to be among the first to know,” Blakespear wrote.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The more things change...

This Mary Fleener cartoon is from 2013.

(click to enlarge)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Planning Commission meeting gets contentious

The Encinitas City Council should take another look at the 19 sites it is proposing to rezone for high-density housing and reconsider some of them before putting the list on the ballot in November, the city's Planning Commission unanimously agreed Thursday.

After hearing hours of testimony from 50 public speakers, commissioners said the speakers had made some very convincing points about the unsuitability of some of the sites. The commission didn't vote on which ones ought to be pulled from the controversial list, saying that highly politicized decision was the council's to make.

But, several commissioners said, at least three sites added late in the review process were prime removal candidates and one new site mentioned Thursday night should be added to the list. Both audience members and commissioners forecasted gloomy prospects for the ballot measure if the list remains as it is.

"If these three to four (sites) remain on here, there's really no shot it's going to pass," Commissioner Al Apuzzo said, referring to several sites that faced intense opposition from neighboring homeowners that night.

Kellen Winslow II arrested in Park Encinitas trailer park burglary

CBS 8:
Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II, the son of San Diego Chargers legend Kellen Winslow, was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of burglarizing a residence at the Park Encinitas Mobile Home Park.

Winslow was spotted around 2:40 p.m. walking into a residence at the park in the 400 block of North El Camino Real by a neighbor who lived nearby, according to Lt. Karen Stubkjaer of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

The neighbor confronted Winslow because he did not recognize him as being the resident who lived there, Stubkjaer said.

The 34-year-old Winslow left the scene in a black SUV and deputies spotted him a short distance from the park, she said.
Winslow, a Cardiff homeowner, has had brushes with the law before.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Levin claims victory in 49th Congressional District

Coast News:
Republican Diane Harkey emerged as the top vote-getter after the June 5 primary election in the race to replace Darrell Issa, who did not seek re-election. The State Board of Equalization member will likely face Orange County environmental attorney Mike Levin, who leads Sara Jacobs and Doug Applegate with thousands of ballots remaining to be counted.
Sara Jacobs is still ahead of Levin by 200 votes in San Diego County's results, but Levin has a 2000-vote lead in Orange County.

Rehab racket comes to Encinitas

Coast News:
The proliferation of addiction recovery centers in Southern California coastal communities has given rise to the catchy nickname “Rehab Riviera.”

Largely unregulated and often incredibly expensive, these sober-living homes and rehab facilities for drug and alcohol addiction have led to numerous homeowner complaints in cities like Costa Mesa.

Leucadia residents at the City Council meeting on May 23 voiced their concerns that Encinitas could be the next stop on the Rehab Riviera if the city does not do something to regulate sober-living homes.
A lot of these places are a complete scam. They lure people to do rehab in a luxury location, bill the insurance thousands of dollars a month, then throw the patients out on the street when the insurance runs out. More on the racket at NBC Los Angeles.