Saturday, January 29, 2022

Another Democrat joins state senate race

Until recently it looked like Catherine Blakespear had a clear path to the state senate. She was the party insider choice. No other Democrat had announced for the race. She caught another break when redistricting made the district significantly more Democratic.

So it will no doubt come as very welcome news to voters who are loyal Democrats but don't like what Mayor Blakespear has done to Encinitas that now there's another choice:

Firefighter Joe Kerr.

If Blakespear holds on to the support of the party bosses, Kerr will need a lot of grassroots support. You can donate here.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Blakespear's Equity Committee gets criticism about influence over public safety contracts

 Coast News:

After a contentious public comment period, Blakespear addressed the criticism directed at her and the council.

“I’ll just say that I know you have the right to stand up here and to berate me, to insult me, to demean me, to bait me and that’s all part of the First Amendment rights that you have,” Blakespear said. “My hope is always that we can go back to recognizing that our democratic system relies on having the ability to see the humanity in others and to trust each other. And if you don’t like the policies, if you don’t like what you see from your elected officials, that you work really hard to elect somebody else.”

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Coast News commentary: The truth about Prop A

The Coast News has a history of Prop A and Mayor Blakespear's attacks on it. 

Here's the conclusion:
Throughout this prolonged and expensive legal process, it is worth noting that none of the city’s adopted housing plans provide adequate affordable housing, despite this being the stated goal.

In fact, the city is currently being sued in Federal Court due to alleged violations of Fair Housing law.

The city’s aim has always appeared to give the developers what they want, rather than to follow the intent of state law to create affordable housing. The mayor and city council lost sight of this intent and goal.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

1/26/22 City Council meeting open thread

 Please use the comments to record your observations.

Wall Street giant Blackstone Group involved in Encinitas fair housing scandal

 Coast News:

A federal housing discrimination lawsuit alleging an illegal housing scheme in Encinitas has recently widened its scope to include 14 defendants, one of which is controlled by private equity megalith Blackstone Group, according to new court filings.


Victor Spayde, [buyer Kenneth] Reed’s associate at Finance of America’s office in San Diego, was the preferred lender for the Mackinnon property. According to the complaint, Spayde discriminated against a low-income applicant during the qualification process to “enable his co-worker Kenneth Reed, a male investor to purchase the designated affordable home.”

Finance of America Mortgage, a publicly-traded company claiming to have originated over $65 billion in loans since 2017 from a variety of financial products, is owned by Finance of America Equity Capital and controlled by Blackstone Group.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Blakespear's sudden appreciation for democracy

Coast News op-ed:

Mayor Catherine Blakespear stated in her Jan. 6, 2022, newsletter: “The foundation of democracy is this: eligible people must be able to vote, the votes must be counted and the results must be respected.”

Has anyone noticed the hypocrisy of our mayor? Has Mayor Blakespear “respected” the results of our local elections? (Quoted text below is from her newsletter.)

1. She promoted Measure T that contained clear language that would have removed our Proposition A right to vote on all increases in zoning density and building height that exceeds 30 feet. When Measure T was voted down by the electorate of Encinitas, she doubled down with Measure U.

2. “Our precious democracy is at a tipping point.” The mayor formed a Housing Task Force to develop a new ballot measure. Several citizens put forth ideas that residents of Encinitas would accept. None of those ideas were included. The mayor arbitrarily overrode the Planning Commission’s lower height plan. The new measure contained language that would remove our Prop A rights. Measure U did not pass.

3.“And no matter who wins, we must agree to let the winner hold the seat of power until the next election.” When Measure U failed to pass, it went to the courts. During the trial, the city argued that the citizens of Encinitas would never pass a Housing Element no matter what was presented.

4.“The delegitimizing of our elections leads people to think that violence and physically thwarting the certification process is justifiable in the name of patriotism.” The city failed to defend prop A in court, siding instead with developers in its attempt to help delegitimize Prop A. The judge gave the city council 180 days to put forth a housing plan that would satisfy state requirements, allowing the mayor to set aside our Prop A voting right for one housing cycle. Instead of creating a voter-acceptable plan, she overstepped “the seat of power” (the people) and submitted the failed Measure U to the Housing and Community Development Agency (HCD).

5. “I call on each of us to speak out and demand that our elected officials participate in our democracy with faith to the Constitution.” Has she? The mayor did not stop at just “delegitimizing” two elections. She sued her citizens to permanently remove their voting rights. The mayor claims that she was seeking clarification. But I received notice that the city had filed a suit against the supporters of Prop A, asking the court to permanently set aside our voting right. The mayor later amended that suit to replace us with HCD, a friendlier defendant. The intent was the same: remove our voting rights. Prop A supporters filed as interveners which allowed us to defend our voting rights from this “delegitimizing” attack by the mayor. The decision sided with the citizens, upholding our constitutional right to vote on all up zoning.

6. “My biggest concern is that the delegitimizing of elections that led to this attack will become more coordinated and infiltrate deeper down into our system.” Mayor Blakespear used the word “democracy” 17 times in her newsletter. Either the mayor doesn’t understand the meaning or she has revised its definition. The greatest threat to local democracy, “delegitimizing” our local elections, and restricting voter rights, is Catherine Blakespear.

Dean Turney

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Big mixed-use project to replace Captain Keno’s

 Coast News:

The developer who purchased Captain Keno’s Restaurant and neighboring Portofino Beach Inn has shared new renderings exclusively with The Coast News, revealing a bright and colorful plan to redevelop the iconic Leucadia landmarks along Coast Highway 101.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Blakespear's revisionist history

Coast News Commentary

With State Senate stakes high for Encinitas Mayor Blakespear, she cannot rely on her actual record to get elected and instead has resorted to creating an alternate history to bolster her image.

Her revision of history started with the Cardiff Rail Trail and her flip-flop of its location on the east or west side of the tracks, and the embarrassment of having both SANDAG and the Coastal Commission disagree with her.

Last year’s loss in court when she sued Encinitas residents over Prop A further prompted her to begin changing the actual history of events to create a false and distorted record of her performance as mayor.

A review of “Catherine’s Top 10 of 2021” exposes her revisionist history on every single one of her “accomplishments.” Let’s take a look:
Click on over to read Blakespear's Top 10 rebutted. It's good.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Racist, homophobic graffiti at high school

North Coast Current:

Members of the Encinitas community and candidates for state office gathered outside San Dieguito High School Academy on Monday, Jan. 3, in solidarity against hate after racial and homophobic slurs were spray-painted on campus walls New Year’s Day.
District officials say that security cameras recorded a lone youth committing the vandalism about 4 a.m. New Year's Day, but the identity was obscured by a mask and beanie.