Sunday, January 27, 2019

State sues Huntington Beach over housing plan

SF Chronicle:
The state sued the Orange County city of Huntington Beach on Friday to force it to plan for more affordable housing, part of a campaign by Gov. Gavin Newsom to boost construction in California as residents grapple with soaring housing costs.


The lawsuit was the first to be filed under a 2017 law, AB72, that authorized state housing officials to report cities and counties to the attorney general for legal action if they do not adequately plan for housing construction.

The action sends a stark message to communities like Huntington Beach that have not followed a state requirement to adopt a blueprint every five to eight years demonstrating how they will plan for regional housing needs for people across all income levels.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Super Blood Wolf Moon tonight

Starting at 6:30 pm if it's clear...

As the full moon passes through the shadow of the Earth, a number of factors will combine to create a so-called “super blood wolf moon.” The eclipse will be visible from anywhere in the U.S. for 62 minutes on Sunday night, as well as South America and parts of Europe and Africa.

Sunday’s eclipse is also a “super moon” because the moon will be at the closest point to Earth in its orbit, making it appear larger than usual. This combination happens roughly 20 times in a century.

The event will also create what some call a “blood moon,” a moon with a reddish tint. Because particles in the Earth’s atmosphere scatter blue light, only the remaining red light will reach the moon when the Earth blocks the sun. That red light will bounce off the moon, resulting in a coppery hue.

The name “wolf moon” just means a full moon in January, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Combining the terms together, some skygazers are calling the event a “super blood wolf moon,” though scientists still refer to the event as a total lunar eclipse.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Staff overrules committee on bike event

Coast News:
Earlier, a committee composed of four environmental and traffic commissioners Joy Lyndes, Amy Flicker, Christina Simokat (who has since left the traffic commission) and Brian Grover were planning the event to coincide with the city’s holiday parade — running for several hours after the conclusion of the parade — in early December.

Grover said Jan. 14 that city staff didn’t support the concept, and that the committee settled on a date that would impact businesses along Coast Highway the least, though the committee is hoping that businesses will open their doors and get involved with the event.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Resident beautifies junky lot against Encinitas government orders

CBS 8:
Four years ago, an Encinitas man could not stand the look of a vacant lot filled with trash.

In Wednesday’s Zevely Zone, Jeff visited Dave’s Garden where no stone is left unturned.

Dave Dean is open for business and laughs because his Rock Garden is free to whoever wanders by, but first things first – he does not own the property, the state does.

Dave figured that since he lived in the neighborhood he would pull some weeds and put down roots. Now, the garden is beautiful. But that was not always the case.

Things were ugly when city officials hit Dave with a cease and desist order, but the garden was saved by the power of the people. Those city officials now turn a blind eye to the man whose dedication can be seen by all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

1/16/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Encinitas "Footloose" anti-dancing policy to go before Planning Commission

From the comments (presumably from Mr. Peabody's):
We're finally ready to go to the planning commission with the dancing matter this Thursday. The permit process has been long and complicated. If we get permission from the City we will go through the ABC permit process next. We appreciate your support. The meeting starts at 6pm, City Hall. Hope you can make it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

One-party rule comes to Encinitas

San Diego Reader:
The January 9 unanimous appointment to the Encinitas City Council of Kellie Shay Hinze, executive director of the Leucadia 101 Main Street Association completes a singular vote for Encinitas of what one longtime community activist labeled as a “raping of the community.”

As a replacement for former councilwoman Tasha Boerner Horvath, who won a seat to the state assembly, Hinze’s appointment adds to the November re-election of Mayor Catherine Blakespear, Councilman Joe Mosca, and new-to-council, Jody Hubbard.

Now that a mayor and four councilpersons are seated as self-described liberal environmentalists, “There is no diversity of opinion or thought. It is a disservice to our community,” said former judge Tony Brandenburg, who had his name in the ring for the appointed seat.


Others have noted that for a council that claims to be for Encinitas’ small town identity, and environmentalism, they certainly seem to be supporting almost every development project that comes along, including three-story, low-income housing and the tearing down of mom and pop small businesses along Encinitas’ downtown to be replaced with two-story, mixed use commercial/residential buildings.

According to some city hall watchers, the fix was already in for Hinze. Encinitas has a recent history of seemingly choosing appointments to the council prior to hearing from all candidates.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Gaspar goes to White House

Times of San Diego:
San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar joined President Trump at the White House Friday to show her support for the president’s signature border wall.

Gaspar and several sheriffs from border communities in Texas highlighted violent acts committed by immigrants living in the country illegally. Gaspar said “insecurity at our border” has led to serious drug and sex trafficking crimes in San Diego.

“There’s an alarming trend in San Diego that our young teens in San Diego schools are being actively recruited by violent drug cartels,” said Gaspar, a Republican who represents District 3 in North County. “They’re being task mules for theses drug cartels, smuggling heroin, cocaine and fentanyl across the border.”

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

1/9/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Encinitas pro skateboarder faces drug charges

NBC 7:
A professional skateboarder from San Diego's North County is facing federal criminal drug charges following a raid at his home where authorities discovered heroin, methamphetamine and hundreds of Xanax pills.

Rob Lorifice, 30, was arrested along with two others during a Sept. 26, 2018, raid by deputies with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department at Lorifice’s home in Encinitas.


In all, deputies seized 231.6 grams of heroin, 193 grams of meth, and 196 grams of marijuana, as well as $16,824 from the skateboarder's home.
Lorifice has owned his home in a quiet neighborhood of New Encinitas since 2007.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

This must be one of those negative-amortization thingies

Mayor Catherine Blakespear thinks unfunded pension liabilities are just like 30-year mortgages. As she assured us in 2015:
Some worry about the government’s unfunded pension liability, which is about $32 million. The unfunded pension liability is the difference between the benefits current employees have earned versus the amount of assets we have set aside with the state to pay for those benefits.

We contribute about $4.4 million a year toward pensions, which is what CALPERS requires us to pay. If we make our annual contribution as required by CALPERS for 30 years, we’ll no longer have an unfunded pension liability. It’s like paying off your home mortgage in 30 years. We could pay off this unfunded liability faster, if we as a city wanted to prioritize that over other things. In fact, we contributed an additional $260,000 toward this unfunded liability at the end of last year. Prepaying this debt faster could be a future discussion topic for the Council.
Now that we're three-plus years into our 30-year mortgage, how is our balance looking?

From the city's just-released 2018 financial report:
$49 million!?? What the heck kind of mortgage sees the balance go UP by $17 million as you pay it down?

No, Mayor Blakespear. Unfunded liabilities are not like a 30-year mortgage. 30-year mortgages have fixed payments and certain balances. Pension liabilities have unknowable (but almost always rising) payments, and the balances are merely estimates of an unknowable distant future. Balances depend on things like stock market returns and city salaries (which Blakespear and the council are increasing much faster than inflation). What's worse, the balances are estimated using politically-driven optimistic assumptions, such as that CalPERS will continue to earn 7% per year forever in a 2% - 3% interest rate environment.

The "pensions are like a mortgage" trope has been used repeatedly by government unions to downplay the severity of the pension problem. It's no surprise that our small-town mayor, who relies on and frequently praises the expertise of "staff," fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Two realtors first to apply for council appointment

Coast News:
Encinitas is looking to fill the final two years of Tasha Boerner Horvath’s term after she was elected to the State Assembly [...]

In Encinitas, Susan Nancarrow Glenn, a local real estate broker, and William J. Creagan, a real estate agent, have submitted applications, Assistant City Clerk Claudia Bingham said.