Wednesday, March 25, 2020

We're famous!

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Modeling has shown that more than 60,000 homeless people could become ill with the coronavirus in California over the next eight weeks, badly straining the healthcare system, the state governor said on Wednesday.

Hospitalization rates for those infected with the flu-like disease was about 20%, creating a requirement for additional hospital beds that could quickly overwhelm hospitals if the modeled predictions come true, Governor Gavin Newsom said.

“Over the next eight-week period, we have modeled that of the 108,000 unsheltered Californians that are out on the streets, if you had an attack rate of about 56%, you’re looking at 60-plus thousand individuals that may have COVID-19,” Newsom, a Democrat, said in a Facebook address to the state.
Yes, that's our own La Paloma Theater.

CalPERS loses $69 billion

Years of overly generous benefits, overly optimistic assumptions, and underpayment of contributions left CalPERS only 70% funded at the peak of a historic 10-year stock market boom.

Nobody knew Coronavirus was coming. But everybody should have known stock markets don't boom forever.

This week:
The pot of invested money used to pay for hundreds of thousands of California public employee pensions has shrunk by $69 billion as coronavirus has squeezed global markets.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s fund balance stood about $335 billion Thursday, down from a record high of $404 billion one month ago, according to CalPERS officials.


Absent a major market swing upward, the losses will impact local governments, schools, taxpayers and some state and local public workers.

Cities, counties and schools will have to pay CalPERS more in the years to come to help make up for the losses, putting pressure on them to raise taxes or reduce public services.
Look for the City Council to bring back the Barth-Kranz-Shaffer sales tax increase proposal to pay for those huge early retirement pensions.

Mayor Blakespear assures us that unfunded pension liabilities are just like a home mortgage.

Monday, March 23, 2020

City closes beaches

After failing to observe even the most obvious work-from-home protocols at city hall, the city now declares that taking a solo stroll on city beaches is prohibited because of Coronavirus.

City of Encinitas:
In support of regional efforts to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), effective at midnight tonight and beginning on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the City of Encinitas is closing all City beaches, access points to beaches, and parking lots adjacent to beaches until further notice.
This is apparently due to bad behavior of crowds on LA beaches. So now you can't go for a social-distance walk alone on the beach.

Isn't urban density fun?

Saturday, March 21, 2020

High-density living and mass transit are major contributors to pandemics

As we think about how our elected representatives want to transform Encinitas, this is worth keeping in mind.

Washington Post:
Coronavirus is so hard to stop because it is so easy to spread. As with other viruses similar to the flu, the coronavirus travels easily through the air or via human contact. That’s why public health experts are pushing social distancing. The fewer people we come into contact with, the less likely we are to contract or spread the virus.

The United States, however, already practices a form of social distancing in its daily life through suburban living. For decades, Americans have been criticized for their detached, single-family houses and their solo car commuting, but these factors may also mean that Americans are less likely to be in close quarters with strangers during their daily lives than are residents of most other developed countries. That alone means we have a form of protection many Italians or Chinese didn’t.

The data are crystal clear on this. China’s population density is 397 people per square mile. Italy’s is 532 people per square mile, and South Korea’s is 1,366. The United States, by contrast, has only 94 people per square mile. That’s got to be a fact in our favor.

We also come into contact with fewer people when we commute. According to the 2017 American Community Survey, more than 80 percent of Americans either work from home or commute alone by car. In Beijing and X’ian, on the other hand, only 30 percent of commuters travel by car. Italians similarly use public transit much more frequently than do most Americans. A paper from the Brookings Institution says that the average resident of Milan, the epicenter of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak, takes 350 trips a year on public transit compared to 17 for the average resident of San Diego. It’s a lot easier to get sick from the sneezing person next to you on the bus than it is driving by yourself.

These data suggest why New York seems especially hard hit by the pandemic. New York is one of the most densely populated places anywhere, with nearly 28,000 people per square mile. (Even Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus originated, has only about 3,200 people per square mile.) And most of those New Yorkers don’t drive to work; New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority says that more than 80 percent of rush-hour commuters to the central business district in Manhattan take transit. With a few exceptions in Staten Island and the fringes of the outer boroughs, New Yorkers live, work, commute and shop in much closer proximity to other people than almost anywhere else in the United States. It’s no wonder the virus is spreading rapidly there and in the commuter suburbs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

3/18/20 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Bureaucracy in the time of Coronavirus

While the schools are closed and businesses are asking employees to work from home in order to slow the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, it looks like business as usual at City Hall with a full parking lot Tuesday morning.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Coronavirus at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary

North Coast Current:
The Encinitas Union School District announced Sunday, March 15, that a person at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary tested presumptive positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“Recently a positive case was noted in Encinitas and today the County Department of Public Health and Human Services confirmed a presumptive positive in our school community.” 
Superintendent Andree Grey said in the announcement. “An individual at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.”
Presumably a staff member with significant symptoms because they're still not testing kids or people with mild symptoms.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Scripps Encinitas sets up outdoor Coronavirus triage

The next few weeks should tell us how serious this thing is. In the meantime, don't shake hands, and don't touch any public door handles or shopping carts. If you have a dry cough, stay home.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Coronavirus at Scripps Encinitas

Scripps Health, which admitted the region’s first presumptive positive COVID-19 case on Saturday, said in a short statement Thursday that it admitted another patient with a positive test at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas on Wednesday. The rest of the hospital, Scripps said, is unaffected and safe for patients.
The patient reportedly had no travels to known hotspots, meaning the coronavirus is likely loose in the community.
The final case is a man in his 50s who is isolated at a hospital.

Health officials believe his case may be the result of community transmission.

"We fully expect and know that we will get more cases, and yes, we will have deaths," she said.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

City to have meeting on homeless problem

UPDATE: Postponed due to coronavirus pandemic.
On March 16, 2020, the City of Encinitas will be holding a public workshop to gather community input on the development of the Homeless Action Plan. The first of two public workshops will provide an overview of the data collected to date on the homeless population, an overview of current programs and laws, and an opportunity to provide input on the challenges and potential strategies.

All are encouraged to attend the upcoming public workshop to be held:

Monday, March 16, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
Encinitas Community and Senior Center
1140 Oakcrest Park Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024

Visit for more information on the Homeless Action Plan. To stay apprised of project updates and upcoming meetings visit: to sign up to receive “City News” and e-notifications.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Big police action at the Saloon

10 News: driver arrested for assault on pedestrians.

The man had reportedly been thrown out of the bar and got into his U-Haul van and intentionally rammed pedestrians. Five people injured.