Saturday, December 28, 2019

Residents see city council and Leichtag luring region's homeless to Encinitas

These guy have LIED THEIR ASSES OFF from day 1. Now they are destroying our town. EVERY HOMELESS person knows about the parking lot. The Swamis crew is getting FURIOUS about them FILLING UP THE LOT.


I have VERY BAD NEWS. Their advertising is working. I saw more bullshit vans today BY FAR than any other day. Already the architects have likely more than DOUBLED or TRIPLED our numbers. This is reckless behavior, we have no idea who these people are and 100% of communities suffer the consequences of these actions.


A friend talked to a nice homeless woman who just came here from Berkeley because she heard about the Encinitas “camp” already. She wants a “cleaner” place


word is spreading in Berkeley. Someone else said they were up there giving food to homeless with pets up there and one of them had heard about our “camp” opening!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Encinitas Guerrilla facing technical difficulties

From the Inbox:
The Encinitas Guerrilla's blog and email have been blocked.

There appears to be no limit to the treacherous reach of the Guerrilla's opponents.

This week's entry is attached should you care to post it on Encinitas Undercover.

We hope the Guerrilla is back to health soon! In the meantime, here's the post:

Hmm, What Can I Do to Make Myself Even More Unpopular?

The list of my transgressions and doing the opposite of what Encinitas residents want is so long and thorough that it’s hard to come up with other things to do to increase my unpopularity.

However, I have a few ideas.

I could push to reduce El Camino Real from six lanes to four and to shrink Encinitas Boulevard and South Coast Highway 101 from four lanes to two. Since there’s been such an outcry against reducing North Coast Highway 101 from four lanes to two, I’m sure the other road diets would be seen as an outrage.

Next, I could support the 69-foot, 277-unit apartment complex in Olivenhain and advocate for similar development at all the other HEU sites. That would go deeper than merely getting under residents’ skin.

Audience applause for people who speak during Oral Communications and to agenda items really bugs me. I say the clapping disrupts the meetings and makes them longer, but that’s not the real reason I object. The council and staff almost never get applause, and sincere praise from a speaker is rare. That justifies my anger.

So I’m thinking about strictly enforcing jazz hands and forbidding audience members from talking to each other and passing notes among themselves. That should really stick in their craw.

But I’ve saved my best unpopularity gambit for last. Banning surfing could be my zenith move. Maybe I can inch up to a ban by starting with restricting surfing to certain hours of the day. Eventually, a full ban would achieve my goal of being the most unpopular mayor since incorporation.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Marco's sister smashes gig economy, puts freelance writers and artists out of work

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the sister of Encinitas developer attorney Marco Gonzalez, is the author of Assembly Bill 5, which bans many types of independent contracting work.

SF Chronicle:
“My concern is that we’ll see a massive creative drain out of the state,” said Susie Medak, managing director of Berkeley Repertory Theater. “What will happen to the small dance, theater or opera companies where there is so little income? That’s why they pay stipends. Nobody’s getting rich.”

Many smaller performing arts companies in the Bay Area say that while they support a fair wage for artists and theater makers, they fear AB5 would destabilize them. They hope for an exemption for nonprofit arts companies or for artists who work minimal hours.
"These were never good jobs," Gonzalez said earlier this month. "No one has ever suggested that, even freelancers."

But many of the freelance journalists, writers, and content creators who now have to navigate the disastrous consequences of Gonzalez's legislation beg to differ.

"I've been able to earn nearly three times the amount I did working a day job, doing what I absolutely love, and having more to volunteer and spend time with loved ones," wrote Jackie Lam, a financial journalist. Kelly Butler, a freelance copywriter, echoed those sentiments. "Thousands of CA female freelancer writers, single moms, minorities, stand to lose their livelihood due to this bill," she said. "I was told by a client because I live in CA they can't use me. I made $20K from them this year."

Grauso says that CAFWU, the group fighting against AB5, is composed primarily of the people that Gonzalez claimed the bill would help. It is currently 72.3 percent women, which, according to Grauso, is no coincidence.

"The reality is it still falls primarily on women to be the caretakers and caregivers of their families, and freelancing allows women to be stay-at-home mothers or to care for an aging parent," Grauso notes. "Being made employees kills their flexibility and ability to be home when needed. I cannot stress enough how anti-women this bill is."

The 35-piece per publication limit comes out to less than one piece per week. Anyone who writes a weekly column, for instance, is likely out of a job if their publisher cannot hire them as an employee.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Shooting in Cardiff

City News Service:
A person was shot Monday at an Encinitas home, authorities said.

The shooting was reported shortly before 5:45 a.m. at a home in the 1200 block of Greenlake Drive, San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Nancy Blanco said.

Deputies responded to the scene and found a victim suffering from at least one gunshot wound, Blanco said.

The condition and gender of the victim – who was hospitalized – were not immediately available, the lieutenant said.

No suspect description was revealed.

The circumstances leading up to the shooting were under investigation.
That's just off Santa Fe, east of the high school.

UPDATE: Fox 5:
A man defending his wife shot his son in North County, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department

It happened around 5:45 a.m. Monday at a home on Greenlake Drive, in the community of Cardiff, San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Nancy Blanco said.

A man in his 50’s was threatening his mother, a woman in her 70’s, with a knife, deputies said. The woman screamed for help and her husband came to her aid. Her husband, a man in his 70’s, shot the son in the torso, according to deputies.

Deputies found a victim suffering from at least one gunshot wound when they arrived, Blanco said. He was rushed to the hospital and is currently in critical condition.

Detectives are waiting for a warrant to go into the house and investigate.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

12/18/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Council plans to borrow $30 million for Leucadia Streetscape

Encinitas Votes:
Item 10C for City Council meeting on Dec. 18, 2019. Re: Leucadia Streetscape and $30 million dollar loan

Monday, December 16, 2019

Council plans to ban straws

Encinitas Advocate:
A proposal to phase out the use of plastic straws and utensils at fast-food restaurants and takeout places in Encinitas will go before the City Council this week.

Initially, the proposed ordinance, which the council is scheduled to consider Wednesday, Dec. 18, will require fast food workers to ask first before they hand out plastic straws or utensils to their customers. Some months later, plans call for a phased-in ban of plastic straws but not utensils, city environmental programs manager Erik Steenblock said.
And they said the moral panic over plastic straws was subsiding.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Cardiff fire burns duplex on Stafford Avenue

An investigation was underway Friday into the cause of a fire that tore through an Encinitas duplex and left a resident with a minor injury.

The blaze, which was reported around 11 p.m. Thursday in the 300 block of Stafford Avenue near Oxford Avenue, also destroyed a truck in the driveway, according to the Escondido Fire Department.

The fire burned both garages on the first floor of the two-story duplex before spreading to the rest of the residence, Encinitas Fire Chief Robert Ford said.

Power lines also fell in front of the driveway, making access difficult for firefighters who got the flames doused in about an hour.

A man, who was the only person in the duplex, was able to get to safety, but suffered a minor injury and was treated by paramedics at the scene, Ford said.
NBC 7:
Author and screenwriter Michael Allin, known for writing the classic Bruce Lee film "Enter the Dragon," was rescued from his burning Cardiff home late Thursday night by two teenage neighbors.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

12/11/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Restaurant closures on El Camino Real

San Diego Reader:
What’s happing to restaurants on Encinitas’ El Camino Real? In the last two months, eight restaurants have closed in the ten blocks between Encinitas Boulevard and Leucadia Boulevard.

The latest being on November 25. The owners of the Greek American Family Restaurant, opened since the 1980s, reportedly wanted to retire.

Gone are franchised or corporately owned restaurants of Noodles and Company, Subway, and Firehouse Subs. Also out of business, vacant, and up for lease are the former locations of locally owned businesses Pie Craft, Swirls Frozen Yogurt, and 2 Good 2 Be Bakery. (The McDonalds in the Encinitas Ranch Town Center was closed three weeks ago due to fire. Its expected to be reopened.)
101 is also seeing businesses struggle. There, it seems the rents are being set by the very profitable bars, and other types of businesses can't afford it. Two restaurants have failed quickly at the old El Callejon site, and it remains vacant, as do the former Whole Foods and Ace Hardware sites.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Car burglaries go unpunished

From the Inbox:
Car burglaries in some California cities are at crisis levels. Prosecutors say their hands are tied.

My street gets hit weekly. People don’t even bother reporting anymore.
From personal experience and posts, car burglaries seem to be common throughout Encinitas. Lack of response from the sheriff's department has led many people to stop bothering to report the crime.

What's your neighborhood experience?

Who is committing the burglaries? Vagrants, local druggie kids, gangs from out of town? Anybody know of anyone caught and prosecuted?

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Leucadia Flooding!

At Encinitas Current:

Big storms bring big problems to Leucadia. Highway 101 and the businesses alongside it are in a natural drainage swale and they suffer the majority of flooding. The highway sits in lower than the rest of the corridor, with the high bluff tops to the west, and higher ground to the east, across the train tracks.

In 2001, the City paid $4 million to lay 2 miles of storm drain between Highway 101 and the train tracks. Although this alleviated some of the flooding it did little to fix the problem.

Friday, November 29, 2019

More of Leucadia's historic eucalyptus trees killed

Encinitas Votes:
Here is the report that Tony Kranz linked to when he said they were removed b/c of a fungus, but fungus is not mentioned here for any of these trees.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Mayor's newsletter: homeless parking lot, Olivenhain mega-project, SANDAG upzoning numbers

The mayor's newsletter on the Saxony homeless parking lot:
The Safe Parking program here will be closely regulated, will include 24-hour security, and will be monitored to prevent negative consequences for the adjacent neighborhood. Based on my tour of one of the other Safe Parking lots run by JFS in San Diego, and the profiles of the people who park there overnight, I'm confident that very few people will even know that they are there.
The 277-unit mega-project at Encinitas Boulevard and Rancho Santa Fe Road:
[...] we've received a large number of emails from those concerned and upset about the project.

There are still a lot of serious issues to work out. The city's priority is to make sure that the project provides a high degree of quality in the design, materials, function and aesthetic.
SANDAG's next round of upzoning:
Encinitas was assigned 1,554 housing units, after the previous housing cycle assigned us 2,353. The methodology of distribution was entirely based on the number of jobs and the amount of transit, without any carve-outs or exceptions. Solana Beach was assigned 875 housing units, up from 340 in the previous cycle, and was particularly unhappy, along with several other cities.

As the mayor of a city that spent years in a losing legal and regulatory battle with the state over our housing plan, I’m relieved that the SANDAG board didn’t go down the path of proposing a methodology that the state was sure to reject.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

City commissioner wants to ban clean, cheap, plentiful natural gas

First came the plastic bag and polystyrene container bans. Now Encinitas may be exploring whether to limit natural gas use.

City Environmental Commissioner James Wang, who was instrumental in the city’s polystyrene and plastic bag ban campaigns, is asking his fellow commissioners to seek City Council approval for an ordinance prohibiting the installation of natural gas infrastructure in new buildings.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

11/20/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Monday, November 18, 2019

City to consider creating homeless camp on Saxony

10 News:
Encinitas leaders will consider developing a parking lot for the homeless next week, but the idea is already receiving pushback.

If approved, the parking lot would be the first for homeless use in North County and modeled after other similar lots in San Diego.

The location, at the Leichtag Commons agricultural property on Saxony Road, would be operated by Jewish Family Services. JFS runs San Diego's other three lots on Balboa Avenue, Aero Drive, and Mission Village Drive.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

“The Ray” Leucadia hipster hotel battle

NBC 7:
Gilmer and his local partners plan to renovate the dilapidated building into a boutique hotel destination with a rooftop pool, bar and restaurant area.

The potential noise from that rooftop area is now a main argument in a lawsuit filed by Encinitas community nonprofit Coastal Defender NC, led by Dr. Richard McPherson, against the City of Encinitas.

Attorney Felix M. Tinkov represents the group who says their “acoustic expert’s noise analysis” determined nearby residents would be inundated with late-night noise, a violation of municipal code standards.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

11/13/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

By (Buy) Right Density Bonus Bonanza

Measure U, the City's most recent attempt at updating Encinitas' Housing Element, was rejected by voters in 2018.  The City was sued by the BIA and an affordable housing advocate to force the Housing Element Update's adoption; the judge agreed with them and suspended Prop A for one cycle.  

Mayor Blakespear then took the additional step of suing residents and asking the court to invalidate Prop A in perpetuity for all Housing Element Updates.

The "Encinitas Boulevard Apartments" density bonus submission comes just months after the Housing Element Update was approved and is in direct contrast to Mayor Blakespear's comments that approval "Does not necessarily mean they [upzoned parcels] will be built on right away."  The Mayor also remarked "I don't think we'll have a bonanza of building."

This Housing Element Update parcel is certainly a bonanza to developer Randy Goodson of Accretive Investments: 277 units, 69' tall at Rancho Santa Fe Rd. and Encinitas Blvd.

Encinitas Boulevard Apartments

The estimated 14.8% affordable units may or may not be built, as "unlimited waivers" would apply and allow the developer a variety of ways out.

In addition, the City is reminded by the developer's attorney that requiring traffic and GHG (Greenhouse Gas) studies is contrary to a "by right" entitlement process: Allen Matkins - "Submittal Requirements."

Friday, November 8, 2019

Bumann ranch gets state historic status

An Olivenhain homesteader’s ranch that dates from 1886 definitely ought to be a state and federal historic site, the state Historical Resources Commission decided Thursday.

Commissioners said the number of aging wooden buildings on the 10-acre Bumann Ranch property off Fortuna Ranch Road were impressive, and the owners’ 45-page application for historic status was both informative and amusing.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Mayor's husband rejected for bike coalition board after advocating removal of bike lanes

Last month, the mayor's husband, Jeremy Blakespear, spoke at city council to support his wife's action to take away bike lanes on 101 in Cardiff, forcing cyclists to choose between a pedestrian zone and a single high-speed car lane.

No surprise then, SD Reader:
After being approached by a few Bicycle Coalition members, he threw his hat into the ring to serve on the organization’s board of directors, made up of cycling clubs around the county.

On October 23, of the six candidates up for appointment, only Blakespear was not approved for the board. “I felt attacked for advocating good protected bike lanes, said Blakespear.

“I immediately left the meeting and resigned the next day.”

Saturday, November 2, 2019

It's wrong for a city to sue its citizens, using their money

Mark Muir in Encinitas Current:
Last December, Superior Court Judge Ronald Frazier overturned [sic; he suspended it, not overturned it] citizen-driven and voter-approved Proposition “A”, known as the “Encinitas Right to Vote Initiative”. Proposition “A” gives Encinitas residents the right to vote on housing projects that include significant density increases and/or building heights greater than two stories. The court demanded that Prop. “A” requirements be overlooked for this housing cycle and ordered the City to adopt a legally compliant housing plan immediately. The ruling came as a direct result of the voters’ consistently rejecting the City Council’s site selections to upzone (i.e., increase density) in order to meet state growth requirements.

It is important to note that the ruling did not order the City to specifically implement either Measure “U” or “T”, the voter-rejected housing plans put forth in 2016 and 2018.

Instead of honoring Encinitas citizens by appealing the judge’s decision (a viable option), the Mayor and City Council rushed to approve the most recent voter-rejected housing plan, Measure “U”. To make matters worse, the Council also filed a lawsuit against their own citizens in order to seek judgment (Declaratory Relief) on whether they follow Prop. “A” voter requirements in the future.

It’s wrong for a City to sue its citizens and it’s even worse to do it with their own money! As a vocal supporter of both housing measures, I’ve always believed residents should have the final say on critical housing plans that are to serve as a blueprint for all future development. If the court decision is unfavorable to our citizens, nothing prevents the City from holding an advisory vote to honor the intent of Prop “A” and the will of the people.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

10/30/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Pedestrian killed by train in Leucadia

Times of San Diego:
A pedestrian was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Leucadia Wednesday morning.

The collision was reported shortly before 6:50 a.m. on the tracks at Leucadia Boulevard and North Coast Highway 101, San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Jason Vickery said.

Investigators believe the pedestrian, whose age and gender were not immediately available, attempted to cross the tracks while the crossing arms were down and was struck by the train, Vickery said.

North County Transit officials implemented a “bus bridge” to help passengers get to their destinations while train service was halted.

The tracks were reopened between the Poinsettia and Encinitas stations by 8:35 a.m., but North County Transit officials warned that delays were still possible due to restricted speed through Leucadia.
Meanwhile, Carlsbad to lower train tracks.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

10/23/19 City Council meeting open thread

It's been awhile since we had a City Council meeting. Should we just declare a housing and bike lane emergency and do away with them?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Bingo is a fun game of chance that anyone can play!     

Listen at a City Council meeting for the words below, get four squares in a row in any direction, and you have Bingo!

Watching the meeting from home?  Post BINGO! here on Encinitas Undercover.  Attending in person?  Print this sheet for the meeting – then get ready to yell BINGO!



Monday, October 21, 2019

Book of Mormon Kook

Mayor's husband shows up to support mayor taking away bike lanes; blasts cyclist groups who oppose

When we last heard from the mayor's husband Jeremy Blakespear, he was launching profanities at Kristin Gaspar for criticizing the SANDAG Director Hasan Ikhrata's goal to track and tax drivers' use of San Diego County roads.

At last month's decision to take away bike lanes on 101 through Cardiff, via Facebook:
San Diego cyclists, in coming months when you cruise the coast in Cardiff, either on your own, in pairs, or in a group, and wonder where your bike lane went to, .. well here's your answer.
The Encinitas Mayor's husband referring to you as "antiquated and self-interested".

When you find yourself dodging pedestrians, strollers, tots on razorboards and dogs on leashes on the west side, or swerving around plastic bollards and accumulated junk on the east side, just know that you, like the local bike clubs, the Encinitas Bike Walk society and TRUE cycling advocates in attendance, are simply "antiquated and self-interested" .
Here's the YouTube.

Friday, October 18, 2019

City Sues Big Pharma

Is this the influence of our new City Attorney Leslie Devaney?  Perhaps she convinced the council the lawsuit will prevail.  Little Encinitas has little to gain if it does win.

Another example of virtue signaling.

Link to article

More details in Cardiff murder

On Oct. 8, deputies armed with a search warrant entered the home, a “granny flat” behind where Cowan’s mother and brother live, the prosecutor said. The deputies found “evidence of a violent struggle,” including a broken stick and broken bottle, [Deputy DA Marnie] Layon said.

They found Lukosky’s body on the bed. She had been dead for more than two weeks and with a gash on her forehead. The autopsy revealed her ribs were broken and she had been strangled, Layon said.

A warrant for Cowen’s arrest was issued Oct. 11. The Fugitive Task Force found Cowan, who has a criminal record, in Riverside County.

Investigators learned that Cowan had spent a few days there in late September with a former girlfriend, Layon said. Afterward, he spent time with another ex-girlfriend — with whom he has three children — who also lives in Riverside County.

Layon alleged that that woman and her father took Cowan to the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles to try to get a visitor visa. When Cowan learned it would take months to secure such a visa, the prosecutor said, Cowan set his sights on going to New York.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Leucadia neighbors run pit bull owner out of town

Coast News:
A pit bull owner and recent transplant to Encinitas received a not so nice welcome upon moving into her new digs, saying she was bullied and harassed so much by her neighbors over her two dogs that she felt pressured to move out within days of moving in.

Janis Sandlin, owner of Surf’s Pup Doggie Lounge, moved from Ocean Beach to a triplex in Leucadia last month. She said on her first day there, her neighbor to the left, a new mom, made it clear she was extremely upset Sandlin and her pups were there.


Sandlin met her other neighbor a few days later and said they had a much nicer conversation, but the outcome was the same — that neighbor was worried her dogs would bite her friends if they came over.


As of last Wednesday, Sandlin found a new place to live in Cardiff, which she called “wonderful.”

Monday, October 14, 2019

Name that Park!

City press release:
The City of Encinitas Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department is looking for the community's input to name a new park. The City announced the naming campaign this week for the 3.1 acre Standard Pacific Park site located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Piraeus Street and Olympus Street in Leucadia. The City has criteria for naming public places that includes:

* Historical relevance
* Geographic location
* Geological features
* Community identity
* Significant financial contribution
* Degree of community support

The City will be gathering names from the community via an online survey. Visit the Standard Pacific Park site webpage at between October 14 and November 1, 2019 and click on the park naming button.

Please submit your suggestion in the comments below as well!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Body found at Cardiff house

Fox 5:
A woman was found dead in Encinitas Tuesday night, prompting an investigation.

Shortly after 5 p.m., after receiving a call about a foul odor, deputies obtained a warrant to search a home in the1200 block of Summit Avenue, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Inside a smaller structure behind the main residence, deputies found the woman's body. Sheriff's homicide detectives were called in to conduct an investigation.
CBS 8:
The woman's identity has not been released, however Lt. Blevins said a vehicle was found near the residence that belongs to a reported missing person.

The missing person has been identified by family and friends as Sabrina Lukosky. She was reported missing on September 20.

According to friends, Lukosky lived on the property with her boyfriend and the boyfriend’s mother.

Friends and family said no one has heard from Lukosky for nearly three weeks.

UPDATE: A friend on Facebook:
UPDATE: Homicide:
A decomposing body discovered Tuesday evening in Encinitas was that of a 43-year-old woman who died by homicide and whose mother reported her missing last week, a sheriff’s lieutenant said Wednesday.

Deputies discovered the body of Sabrina Lukosky around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday in small living quarters behind a home on Summit Avenue near Santa Fe Drive, San Diego sheriff’s homicide Lt. Michael Blevins said.
The cops are saying nobody is a suspect yet, but obviously the boyfriend is the suspect. He's not in custody, and yesterday cops were "still looking for one more witness they wish to take a statement from," so it's possible he's on the run.

UPDATE: Boyfriend Henry Simon Cowen, 41, arrested in Riverside. The mother who refused to allow the police welfare check appears to be Sally Cowen, a longtime resident of the La Veta and La Mesa neighborhood north of Moonlight Beach.

UPDATE: Encinitas Advocate:
In 2010, Cowen was arrested on assault and kidnapping charges in Lacey, Washington, about an hour southwest of Seattle, on accusations that he tied up and tortured a man over an argument about marijuana.

According to court documents obtained by the Union-Tribune at the time, the victim called 911 and reported that he’d been tied up and beaten for several hours in a home invasion before he was able to escape. Officers reported finding the victim at a neighbor’s house with several bleeding cuts as well as abrasions and swelling to his face and neck.


Cowen allegedly told police he “lost control” and forced the victim into a kitchen chair, using phone cords and hoses to tie him up, and then began “beating and cutting him with a knife,” according to the documents.


A judge sentenced Cowen to 12 months in jail on one charge and eight months on another charge, according to the online court records.
Seems like you should get more than a year and change for kidnapping and extended torture. But what do I know?

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Clark Avenue freeway-adjacent houses going for $1.3 million plus $246 monthly HOA

This is not your father's Leucadia.

Near the gorgeous Pacific coastline of upscale Encinitas California, is Alcove, an exclusive enclave of 13 new homes that will inspire the very best of beach living. This beautiful new home community is centrally located and close to unspoiled beaches, phenomenal shopping and dining, and sensational attractions like the San Diego Botanic Garden, Legoland, and the Carlsbad Flower Fields. When it’s time to hit the road for work or play, the 5 and 78 Freeways are close at hand. Alcove represents a rare opportunity to enjoy the benefits and amenities of a new home. Beautiful enclave with a unique street scene consisting of a diverse architectural palette including Mid-Century Modern, California Contemporary, Bali and Plantation design. Enjoy Open Concept Living Space, Gourmet Kitchen, Spa-Like Master Bath, Walk-In Pantry, Outdoor Living Space, Spacious Loft, Walk-In Closet, Spacious Laundry Room and Highly Appointed Finishes.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Gaspar coalition prevails over Ikhrata on SANDAG bait-and-switch

Escondido Times-Advocate:
Last week a coalition of cities led by Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, but with a strong assist from Supervisors Kristin Gaspar of the 3rd District and Jim Desmond of the 5th District persuaded the SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) board to reprioritize some monies for the roads.

Before Friday’s vote the staff had proposed a set of priorities that moved a large share of funding from TransNet that had been approved by the voters for road improvements for Hwy 78 and Hwy 67 to mass transit. This had fomented something of a revolt among cities that were affected by the vote.

At Friday’s vote the board voted to include $600 million on a spending plan to could add new lanes to Hwy 67 and 78 and prioritize improvements for Hwy 52.

After the vote Gaspar commented, “The vote represented a huge win for our coalition. By allocating the necessary funds to the 67, the 78 and the 52, we have taken a big step in the right direction. I am cautiously optimistic, but we must remain vigilant to ensure our priority projects are completed.”

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Pedestrian killed in Olivenhain

David Goodblatt of Encinitas was crossing Rancho Santa Fe Road near the intersection of Lone Jack Road around 6:45 a.m. on Sept. 23 when he was struck by a Toyota Tundra pickup driven by a 28-year-old man, according to information from the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office and the county Sheriff's Department.

Monday, September 30, 2019

City Sues Citizens

On September 6 the City of Encinitas filed a lawsuit against Encinitas residents, naming 100 [John] DOEs as defendants along with “other unknown persons or entities claiming any interest in the subject of this litigation as DOE defendants.”  At Council direction, the City is effectively suing its own residents for their participation in Proposition A “Right to Vote Initiative” (Prop. A), Measure T, and Measure U elections. 

The City seeks to overturn the results of the 2013 election that passed Prop. A and replace the current requirement for voter approval of Housing Element Updates (HEU) with a simple Council majority.  These required updates represent the bulk of all upzoning in Encinitas. 

Citing the failures of Measures T and U, the City claims that Prop. A interferes with its ability to comply with state housing law.  Residents who voted against Measures T and U maintain that the City far exceeded State housing requirements in its desire to provide maximum profits to developers.  Voters viewed these measures as gifts to developers and the reason for their majority No votes.  Examples of these gifts included: low percentage of affordable housing; Prop. A nullification clauses; and greater building heights than necessary.

The City further alleges that it negotiated Measures T and U with HCD (Department of Housing and Community Development) yet despite claims of transparency failed both times to provide requested verification to the public of such negotiations through minutes, emails, and recordings.  The City also maintains that it considered resident input in crafting Measures T and U; however, no proof of this input having been incorporated is evident in either plan.

Prop. A was a single issue Special Election with 12,873 people taking part in the vote.  It is unclear from the lawsuit how many of the people who participated in the Prop. A, Measure T, and Measure U elections are named in the lawsuit.

Click the link to view the lawsuit: Complaint for Declaratory Relief

Fire burns Mozy Cafe, Shatto & Sons, Peace Pies, Cali Life

Fox 5:
A blaze ripped through a well-known Encinitas cafe and three attached businesses early Monday morning.

The fire broke out at Mozy Cafe, off North Coast Highway 101 and Daphne Street in the Leucadia neighborhood, some time after midnight.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Blakespear vs. 5G

Encinitas Votes:
In pandering to a pressure group, and misleading them about what the city can do to help their cause, she has actually done material harm to that cause. And by quoting the email contents publicly, the group STOP 5G Encinitas itself has shot itself in the foot. If the mayor actually planned to wield the restored decision powers in the wake of a legal victory over the FCC to slow and block the expansion of 5G, then she would have considerably more latitude to do so without everyone knowing about this email.

And now that Encinitas is a party to the lawsuit, the mayor’s email may become evidence in court that the FCC could use to demonstrate that municipalities should not have restored local powers, because they plan to abuse them. Ironically, Encinitas joining the suit may hurt plaintiffs’ chances of winning.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

9/25/19 City Council meeting open thread

Tonight’s hot topic: Blakespear vs. the cyclists!

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Blakespear pleads for public support for bike lane removal

Mayor Blakespear’s newsletter:

Let me start this newsletter with a big thank you to everyone who has written an email in support of the barrier-protected bikeway along Highway 101 through Cardiff. The City Council will consider the proposal this Wednesday. Please keep your supportive emails coming to our Encinitas elected officials at! And importantly, please come out Wednesday to speak to the City Council at City Hall, located at 505 S Vulcan Avenue. The meeting starts at 6 p.m., but I would predict that this item won’t be heard until after 7 p.m.
Blakespear’s proposal would eliminate the existing bike lane and force cyclists to choose between a 45 mph car lane and a pedestrian walkway full of families with beach gear.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Neptune land owners lose seawall and setback appeal

4th Appellate District ruling:
The Commission's appeal challenges the trial court's disapproval of the special conditions requiring (1) the home to be set back 60 to 62 feet from the edge of the bluff, instead of the 40-foot setback approved by the City of Encinitas (the City); and (2) a waiver by the Lindstroms of any right to construct a shoreline protective device, such as a seawall, to protect the home from damage or destruction from natural hazards at any time in the future.
Result: no seawall, 60 foot setback.

Analysis here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

9/18/2019 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Will the Cardiff Bike Obstacle Course go the way of our innovative mayor's other inventions like jazz hands and mandatory mediation? The vote isn't until next week, but we're likely to get an earful from cyclists tonight.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Blakespear pushes Cardiff separated bikeway over objections of cyclists

Mayor Blakespear’s newsletter:
I’m excited to tell you about a proposal to create a protected bike way, sometimes called a cycle track, on Highway 101 through Cardiff and across the lagoon, from Chesterfield Drive south to the border with Solana Beach. A cycle track is a physically separated bicycle-exclusive path along a road.

This project would upgrade the existing Class II Bicycle Lane to a Class IV Cycle Track, as shown in the graphic below, effectively connecting our 1.3-mile Cardiff Rail Trail to the 1.7-mile Solana Beach Rail Trail.

Bike advocacy groups and individual cyclists of all stripes are reportedly adamantly opposed, as this idea would take away the current bike lane which works well and put cyclists in danger of collision with people crossing from parked cars carrying surfboards and other beach gear to the beach.

The idea was pushed through by staff against the recommendation of the Traffic Commission.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

CCC not buying what developer is selling

The California Coastal Commission cited "environmental justice concerns and public waterfront access issues" when it rejected its own staff's approval of developer consultant David Meyer's density bonus project.  

Lagoon housing plans flagged

The 48-unit density bonus project is located on a prime blufftop along La Costa Avenue west of I-5, overlooking Batiquitos Lagoon.

Commissioners objected to the clustering of the four low-income houses and their location on top of contaminated nursery soil.  They took issue with the much-touted overlook that does not allow access to the lagoon.

In contrast to Coastal Commissioners, the Encinitas City Council did not hesitate to unanimously approve the project when it came before them.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Belated 9/11/19 City Council meeting open thread

What did we miss?

Surfer dies at Moonlight Beach

KUSI: The body of a surfer was found floating offshore from Moonlight State Beach Wednesday afternoon. The death in the ocean off the coast of Encinitas was reported as an apparent drowning shortly before 4:30 p.m., sheriff’s Lt. Michelle Craig said.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Not that there's anything wrong with that

A man brandishing a black handgun and wearing a wig and yellow dress robbed a U.S. Bank branch in Encinitas Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
Thanks for the tip @_Torqued.

City celebrates participation trophy for financial statements

City of Encinitas press release:
Monday, Sept. 9, 2019

Highest honor in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting

Encinitas, CA - An Award of Financial Reporting Achievement has been awarded to the City of Encinitas Finance Department for their role in preparing the award-winning comprehensive annual financial report. The City was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its Fiscal Year 2017-2018 comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the organization's highest form of recognition for governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

"The City of Encinitas prides itself on the critical role and responsibility it has to properly manage and report the City's finances," said Mayor Catherine Blakespear. "Encinitas residents and business owners deserve the best accounting and financial reporting available. This honor demonstrates our commitment to manage the City's finances in the most transparent and efficient way."

The City's CAFR was judged by an impartial panel of GFOA members and staff to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

For more information about the GFOA Certificate of Achievement, please contact Michele Mark Levine at (312) 977-9700 or

Government Financial Officers Association:
GFOA congratulates the 4,328 organizations awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the fiscal year ended 2017.
UPDATE: 67.46% of cities in Encinitas' size range get the award. It's unclear whether any of the other 33% of cities participated, but the correlation of award rate and size of city is strongly suggestive that many cities don't bother to participate.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Public-transit-pushing SANDAG boss gets $1,000/month car allowance

Well, that's embarrassing.

Last week's post about SANDAG Director Hasan Ikhrata wanting to make driving and parking prohibitively expensive and difficult brought this question:
How does Hasan get to and from work?

Does he park?

If so, what does he pay?
Thanks to a tip from Twitter user @_Torqued:

The compensation is a significant increase from what Gallegos had been making, about $310,000 a year. The position also comes with a vehicle allowance of $1,000 a month, participation in the CalPERS pension plan, a supplemental SANDAG retirement plan, four weeks of vacation and $10,000 in relocation assistance.

Ikhrata downplayed the compensation package on Friday, saying that he was motivated to take the job because of the potential for improving the region’s transportation system.

Pro skater Rob Lorifice pleads guilty in federal drug case

Robert Lorifice, a North County professional skateboarder, and his then-girlfriend Elizabeth Alexandra Landis, pleaded guilty in federal court today to possessing methamphetamine and heroin with the intent to distribute.

Lorifice and Landis admitted to possessing the methamphetamine, heroin and other controlled substances with the intent to distribute them and that Lorifice, with Landis’ assistance, coordinated deals utilizing phone calls, text messages and communication through other apps; and they admitted to selling methamphetamine, heroin and other controlled substances for money.
Each of the two counts carries a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Lorifice has owned his home in a quiet neighborhood of New Encinitas since 2007.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Another bluff collapse in Leucadia

A section of bluff collapsed in Encinitas Sunday night but no injuries were reported, a sheriff’s official said.

The collapse was reported around 8:30 p.m. An hour after the incident, the department said it still was light on details other than the area had already been cleared and was somewhere near Neptune Avenue, which runs the length of the beach.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Your SDG&E bill at work

As your SDG&E rates increase unceasingly "for the infrastructure," never forget.


Here along jagged bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, just south of the only liquefied natural gas plant on the west coast of North America, a luxury-appointed, mission-style resort has risen from the coastal scrubland.

Hidden behind miles of fencing and razor wire, Casa Azul is a little-known project of Sempra Energy [parent of SDG&E], whose chief executive Donald Felsinger personally approved construction of the $17 million-plus private conference center, according to work orders obtained by The Watchdog.


OC Weekly:
In July–two days after Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Republican leader Sam Blakeslee put [Mike] Duvall on the Rules Committee that oversees member ethics–the second-term, conservative, Republican assemblyman sat in a public hearing and vividly described lewd details about his trysts with a female lobbyist whose clients [Sempra / SDG&E] had business before another committee on which Duvall sits.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Gaspar vs SANDAG

Supervisor Kristin Gaspar:
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse with SANDAG - San Diego Association of Governments, it does. The Executive Director's goal is to make driving, and as you're about to hear, PARKING, so expensive, that you will have no choice but to take public transportation. In my interview with Mark Larson Media on AM 760 KFMB, I shared how much Hasan Ikhrata (Exec. Dir.) believes San Diegans should have to pay to park around the county. You're not going to believe it!

Link to the interview: I would love to hear your thoughts at

Also, please mark your calendar to attend our next SANDAG meeting on Sept 6th at 9 am. Our Board will discuss what projects we fund for the next 7 years. It is crucial that we hear from San Diegans who want SANDAG to follow through with its 2004 promise to repair and improve our highways! Meeting location is 401 B Street, San Diego, #800. Thank you for your support!

Leucadia geyser

Yesterday on 101:


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

8/28/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

SDG&E wants to punish people for conserving energy and installing solar

San Diego Gas and Electric is looking to nearly quadruple the minimum bill it charges customers.

"The minimum bill amount currently is $10 per month and we’re proposing to increase it to $38 per month," said SDG&E Spokesman Wes Jones.

Jones added that the proposed increase comes as more customers are turning to solar.

"A solar household may not pay their full cost of service in terms of us giving them electricity and that cost is then shifted to a non-solar household for the grid to be maintained and operated," he said.

Critics of the proposal say it is a tactic by SDG&E to keep people from going solar.
They'll make you pay for their wildfires one way or the other.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

8/21/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Fool's Gold Accounting at City Hall

There are two accepted financial accounting standards.  FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) is the gold standard used by private businesses that requires truthful reporting of liabilities.  The other is GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board), used by state and local governments.  It does not impose accrual accounting and permits aggressive assumptions for valuing pension obligations.

Under GASB, cities may report balanced budgets and surpluses that are neither.  It treats loans as revenue, avoids cost recognition by not paying expenses, and reports less debt than is actually owed.

GASB accounting is the method used by Encinitas:

Jody Hubbard is a CPA.  Why does she stay silent when the Mayor touts the city’s great financial health?  Is she ignorant about governmental accounting standards?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Park advocates get TRO on Cardiff Elemenary expansion

From EU comments:
As many of you have seen, major construction is underway at the Cardiff School campus. Most of the original buildings have been demolished, mature trees have been cut down, and significant grading has taken place. As a reminder, all of this work is supposed to be part of "Phase 1" of the project which avoids further violations of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Agreement that protects George Berkich Park in perpetuity. In spite of this, the District had Phase 1 plans to create a stormwater detention basin and other destructive work inside the boundary of George Berkich Park.

On July 24, representative of SAVE THE PARK, BUILD THE SCHOOL (STPBTS) appeared in California Superior Court to request a temporary restraining order (TRO) be issued to prevent irreversible damage from taking place at Berkich Park. In a significant win for STPBTS Judge Earl Maas issued this TRO. Language from the TRO clearly states that George Berkich Park is not to be touched until further notice:

“IT IS ORDERED” that Defendant Cardiff School District … be restrained and enjoined from engaging in, committing, or performing, directly or indirectly, by any means whatsoever, the following acts: Performing or causing to be performed any further construction activities for the Cardiff School Modernization and Reconstruction Project within the existing 6(f)(3) boundary … commonly known as George Berkich Park… This Temporary Restraining Order shall be effective until further order from the Court.”

Our continued success in saving the park depends on generous donations made by those who believe George Berkich Park is important to our community. Please consider adding your support by making a tax deductible donation to our cause:

Bike Wars

Encinitas Votes:
Several people have messaged me and say they don't want to post about bikes as they feel they will get slammed by 3 people, who I shall not mention. So, would it be possible to let the bike story go for a while. We all know how the ones that post think and feel. We also know at least 2 of our council members made it public to these people that they were all for whatever it is they want. Or at least that is what I was messaged, and what one person who did post said. So, I think we all know what is going on, and much more at this time is not needed. Perhaps you can talk about other things except bikes? For example, mass transit for all? I have posted several things in the last few days that are controversial in other cities, but people have either ignored, or are too engrossed with their own issues to pay much attention. I have no idea which is. I just know that when I get 3 messages saying some are intimidated it is my job as moderator to ask you to please let the bike issue go, unless there is new information. Thank you for helping keep this site up and vibrant.
We can talk about it here.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Local women Anne Clave and Julie Davis among dead in bluff collapse

San Diego Medical Examiner

Clave is Davis’s daughter. The third fatality is reportedly Elizabeth Cox, Clave’s aunt. The family was at the beach to celebrate Cox’s cancer recovery.

In 2016, 92024 Magazine profiled the family.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Bluff collapse at Grandview

Fox 5:
The cliff failure at Grandview Surf Beach in the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas occurred shortly before 3 p.m., just north of a lifeguard station that was staffed at the time, according to officials in the northern San Diego County city.

Emergency personnel pulled five people out of the resulting mound of rock and soil, Encinitas Fire Chief Mike Stein told reporters.

One of the victims, a woman, was pronounced dead at the scene. Three others were taken to hospitals, two in critical condition and one with minor trauma, Stein said. One other was treated at the scene for superficial injuries.

Boat Houses to get historic status

The beloved Boat House apartments in Encinitas can become national historic landmarks, the State Historical Resources Commission unanimously agreed Thursday.

An architect with the state commission was very pleased with the Encinitas Preservation Association’s request to list the boat-shaped structures. He called them part of the fabric of California creativity in the 1920s and said that he really hoped more structures like them would be registered, association president Tom Cozens said after getting a report from association vice president Sean Englert, who attended the meeting in Sacramento.

As long as no one appeals the commission’s decision within the next 14 days, the Boat Houses will be added to the national register, joining such famous California attractions as Hearst Castle, the Hotel del Coronado and the cable cars in San Francisco.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Lane diet fattens up to $54M in 18 months

In the face of Streetscape's mounting costs the Council continues to downplay the real number and under report expenses.  This is no longer a Leucadia-only issue, it is now an Encinitas taxpayer affair.

Here's a breakdown of what we do know:

What future surprises are in store?  Stay tuned....

Friday, July 26, 2019

We're gonna need a bigger boat

Press release:

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

City of Encinitas Posts Shark Activity Notices

 Due to recent reports of shark sightings and activity in the North San Diego County region and out of caution for safety, the City of Encinitas today posted advisory signs for "Shark Activity" on all public beach access points to advise beachgoers to use caution when swimming. The shark sightings and activity have been away from swimmers and have thus far been deemed non-aggressive. Despite the heightened vigilance, Encinitas beaches will remain open.

Encinitas lifeguards are on heightened awareness and they are following the California Marine Safety Chiefs Association Shark Sighting and Incident Response Guidelines. In addition to the posted signage, Encinitas lifeguards will be closely monitoring for shark activity.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Suffer from congestion? Relief is just a tax away!

Blakespear voted at a recent SANDAG meeting against excluding congestion pricing on local roads - another step in her mission to get us out of our cars.  (Congestion pricing is a surcharge for using roads during peak use times.)

We already pay road taxes and now we'll pay even more for the crime of driving our local streets during peak hours: Encinitas Blvd., El Camino Real, Santa Fe Rd., Vulcan Ave., Hwy. 101, San Elijo Ave., Leucadia Blvd., Quail Gardens Dr., and more.

From the SANDAG minutes:

Action: Upon a motion by Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, the Board of Directors voted to limit using congestion pricing only for managed lanes and to exclude its use for local roads and general purpose lanes.  Gaspar's motion failed.

Vice Chair Blakespear voted NO and congestion pricing on our local roads is on its way.  Who voted in the interest of Encinitas citizens?  Better start rearranging your schedule or pay the price. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

SANDAG pushes ahead with freeway toll plan

Coast News:
Gaspar, a Republican who represents District 3, pushed for the removal of the concept of congestion pricing from consideration within the 5 Big Moves. She added that any plan with that in it would serve as a “deal breaker” for garnering her support.

San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones concurred with Gaspar’s motion in the minutes before the vote ensued.

“Personally, I look at the price of what the congestion pricing would cost on our roads and I’m actually mortified that anyone would think for one second that it wouldn’t hurt our businesses, our low-income folks, and literally the goods, the services, how much everyone would be paying for this,” Jones said. “And I’m appalled that we would even discuss this.”

But SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata advocated for leaving all options on the table during the early stages of the planning phase.

“By doing this, you’re taking an important tool — a very important tool — out of the toolbox, and you’re putting your stock in such an impossible situation to meet the (state’s greenhouse gas emissions) requirement,” Ikhrata said.

Gaspar’s motion proceeded to fail. The meeting ended not long after that vote took place, with Gaspar quickly exiting the room before any other SANDAG member.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

7/17/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Drunken Tesla driver crashes in Cardiff, ignites building

10 News:
A driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI Wednesday morning after he crashed a Tesla into an electrical box in Cardiff, causing the vehicle to burst into flames.

Firefighters were called to the 100 block of Liverpool Drive at around 2 a.m. in response to the vehicle fire, 10News learned.

It took firefighters about 30 minutes to put out the blaze before flames spread to a nearby building.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, but law enforcement officers arrested the driver -- who escaped the fire without injury -- on suspicion of DUI after field sobriety tests were administered.
It looks like that's by the new Fish 101. Anybody down there see what building burned?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Encinitas Monopoly game

From the Inbox, taken at the Encinitas Ranch Walmart:

(click to enlarge)
I wonder what the rent is on the Pacific View square.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Council to reconsider e-mail destruction policy

Encinitas has one of the shortest records retention policies in San Diego County. It deletes emails deemed unimportant to the public at 30 days. But that could soon change.

Next month, the City Council will consider a new policy requiring staff to hang onto emails for the same length of time that it hangs onto other types of records: two years. Mayor Catherine Blakespear, who has already signaled her support for that effort, said it’s important “we do show people what we’re doing.”

Many municipalities argue that emails are a special kind of communication, but the courts, the Legislature and public are increasingly pushing back on the notion that emails aren’t subject to the same California Public Records act rules as other government documents.

A deposition filed recently in an Encinitas public records-related case gives a good sense why. It is a window into the subjective and arbitrary way that individual officials decide what is and isn’t a public record on a timetable convenient for no one but themselves.