Saturday, May 28, 2022

Backroom Blakespear in sneaky SANDAG scheme

Coast News:
In April, the San Diego Association of Governments announced it was including the scandal-plagued and asbestos-ridden 101 Ash Street and Civic Centre Plaza buildings in downtown San Diego into its controversial 2021 Regional Plan.

However, nearly the entire SANDAG board — with the exception of Chairwoman Catherine Blakespear, Vice Chair Todd Gloria and Executive Director Hasan Ihkrata — appeared to be unaware of the deal.

Now, according to an explosive report from La Prensa San Diego, a supermajority of the San Diego City Council approved a deal during closed session for the City of San Diego to buy the 101 Ash Street building — which was abandoned more than two years earlier due to asbestos exposure and non-functional mechanical systems — to bypass at least two lawsuits brought against the city over original deal.

According to La Prensa’s report, Gloria, members of the San Diego City Council and City Attorney’s office agreed to keep the vote secret until after the June 7 primary. The media outlet reported “City Hall insiders” suspect the city will buy the property and sell it to SANDAG as part of its Central Mobility Hub.


Blakespear, Gloria and Ihkrata acknowledged their plans to Voice of San Diego, although most of the SANDAG board was unaware of the deal until after the press release had already started trickling out from media outlets.

Last month, Ihkrata said he disclosed to the board twice about the plans for the Central Mobility Hub, however the properties involved were unknown to other board members until the press release.

“In a Dec. 3 meeting, we had a deep discussion,” Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall said at the April board meeting. “Chairwoman Blakespear promised. Mayor Gloria, too. Mayor Gloria said this board would be part of the process. All of a sudden, it’s in the paper and SANDAG is moving forward at warp speed. I’m very disappointed.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

5/25/22 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Blakespear's "apology" inflames her censorship victims

 Coast News:

Mayor Catherine Blakespear and the City of Encinitas are now under threat of legal action after the 38th State Senate District candidate issued what some residents called a “disingenuous” public apology over the weekend as part of a settlement agreement for blocking her critics on social media, attorneys familiar with the matter informed The Coast News.

Michael Curran, attorney at Carlsbad-based law firm Curran & Curran Law who represents more than a dozen of residents who were reportedly barred from Blakespear’s social media pages, told The Coast News his clients will pursue a government tort claim against the city and Blakespear in both her official capacity as mayor and as a private citizen for violating her sworn oath to protect and uphold the constitution and infringing residents’ free speech rights.

If the city does not agree to settlement terms under this action, Curran said the plaintiffs will pursue a lawsuit in state court.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

U-T endorses Joe Kerr over Blakespear

As vice chair of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board and a retired Orange County firefighter, Kerr understands drought and fire fears and conditions better than his opponents, fellow Democrat Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear and Republican small business owner Matt Gunderson. In a district that runs down the coast from Southern Orange County to Mission Beach, Kerr's resume and grasp of the issues is at least the equal of Blakespear's -- and better than Gunderson's.

But Blakespear has three strikes against her. Her vote against a local housing project drew a rare rebuke from the state Attorney General's office, which dinged Encinitas for not following state law on housing construction at a time when it is surely needed in the city. Her term as chair of the San Diego Association of Governmentshas seen the agency plunge into fresh scandal as it pursues ambitious transit plans with unrealistic business plans. And her disdain for critics she illegally blocked on her public Facebook accounts is troubling: it led to a lawsuit and a formal apology. We see these as warning signs when a fire captain could offer more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

5/18/22 City Council meeting open thread

 Please use the comments to record your observations.

Blakespear agrees to stop censoring public comment and publicly apologize

Coast News

Mayor Catherine Blakespear will issue a public apology for blocking critics from participating in conversations on her mayoral Facebook page as part of a recent settlement agreement, sources familiar with the matter told The Coast News.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Planning Commission applicants to replace fired Bruce Ehlers

From the Inbox:

Prendergast and Vaughn are both Blakespear supporters.  Snedeker certainly makes up a unanimous third as we all know how much Blakespear can't stand dissent from "haters."
Applications here. Selection is on tomorrow night’s agenda.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Still more shady insider deals in city’s “affordable housing” program

Coast News:

A designated affordable home in Cardiff-by-the-Sea was sold to an investor and entered third-party escrow two weeks before the developer was authorized to advertise the sale, public records show, raising doubts as to whether the home was purchased legitimately under the terms of the city’s affordable housing agreement.
More history here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

5/11/22 City Council meeting open thread

 Please use the comments to record your observations.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Blakespear’s Body Count?

 Encinitas Guerrilla:

As part of Mayor Catherine Blakespear’s focus on increasing bicycling safety in Encinitas, the city had installed bollards — hollow green plastic posts about 3 feet tall — between the right traffic lane along Leucadia Boulevard and the bike lane next to the curb. The gaps between the bollards were about 10 feet. At Moonstone Court, the row of bollards extended close to the street’s corner.

Some cyclists commented that the bollard close to the corner forced the truck driver to make what cyclists call a “right hook turn.” That angle made it impossible for the driver to see Worley in his right-side mirrors. Photos taken at the scene shortly after the accident (see below) appear to show that the driver turned into Worley’s path, giving him no escape and causing him to fatally crash into the truck’s side.

Without bollards or had they stopped farther east of the intersection, the driver would have been able to see Worley in his right-side mirrors and to judge whether to slow and let him pass or to turn right ahead of him.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Attempted kidnapping at Moonlight Beach

 NBC 7:

A man attempted to walk away with a 5-year-old girl Sunday at Moonlight State Beach in Encinitas, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.

SDSO said the man took the girl's hand and tried to walk away at about 4 p.m. in the 400 block of West B Street.

The child's mother saw this, grabbed her daughter's hand and yelled at the man, who took off in a southerly direction, SDSO said.

The child was not hurt.

The man was described as white, in his mid-30s, 5 feet, 5 inches tall, 160 pounds, skinny, with short or buzz-cut blonde hair, wearing only gray sweatpants and no shoes or shirt, sheriff's officials said. Detectives were investigating.

UPDATE: False alarm. No charges for the false complaint.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Beacons closed due to bluff erosion

EU comments:
Breaking news on EU – Beacons beach closed until further notice. Bluff slide on northern half of parking lot with scarf going underneath rental house on North all the way down to the bottom of the tow of slops.

The repair is going to be expensive and long.

Beacon’s parking lot and access closed. The bluff has new structural changes. Not good.

UPDATE: Encinitas Votes has a picture from JP St. Pierre:

County population declines

LA Times:
U.S. Census Bureau data released last month showed San Diego County’s population fell by 11,183 residents from July 2020 to July 2021 — mirroring the wider trend of more people leaving California’s high-priced coastal urban centers.

The data raise questions about whether the state’s expensive metro areas are on the brink of population declines fueled by falling birth rates, lower levels of foreign immigration and more residents fleeing for lower-cost locales.