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AROund The Ranch...Ah-Ha hits 256,000 indexed Google pages; #518,992 in US traffic...
GOOD NEWS from the land of Web
This just in: Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News now ranks #518,992 in US web traffic. (contrast: coast news ranks #924,601 with an -5.17 decline last month)
Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News now has 256,000 indexed Google pages. (rsf review has 6,740).
AH RSF News has 11,000 indexed Bing pages (rsf review has 3,900)
So, who do you think is the actual local media moving forward? Expanded sponsorship opportunities soon will be available.
DON'T BE THINKING of robbing no avocado groves
In an effort to fight avocado theft in the area, San Diego County recently formed an Avocado Anti-Theft Task Force. The task force is a joint effort between Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM), the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Environmental Health (DEH).
AWM and DEH inspectors, along with representatives from the Sheriff’s office, will look for proper proof of ownership documents, avocado inspection stamps and labels on boxes and bins during routine visits to roadside stands, restaurants, markets and other businesses where stolen avocados may be found.
Representatives from those agencies toured Henry Avocado in Escondido, where they received valuable training in how to recognize the differences between commercially packaged and purchased avocados versus stolen avocados
OK SO WHY DOES SOLANA BEACH executive david OTT get $193,250 a year in base pay? FOR WHAT?
It is being reported locally that Solana Beach city manager David Ott got a 7.2 percent raise in base pay, hiking his annual salary to $193,250.
Ott said the hike in base pay was actually 3.75 percent when adjusted to account for a cellphone and car allowance he no longer receives.
Ott had left Solana Beach after U-T San Diego conducted a similar city manager compensation survey in 2010. He rejoined the city last December, and said he has taken on several more supervisory duties than he previously had because of cutbacks.
The city eliminated its finance director and deputy city manager positions, transferring most of those duties to Ott.
“I have much more responsibility now, including parks and recreation and human resources and information technology,” he said.
The city avoided having to lay anyone off during the recession, but has eliminated some positions through attrition, he said.
Carlsbad City Manager Lisa Hildabrand, who resigned Oct. 22, was being paid $230,492 — a 6.1 percent increase from $217,200 in the last survey.
Uh-Oh, It's Minkow, Marsch v. The Bridges Again with Casey Anthony Attny. Macaluso in Mix...
A real estate developer accused one of the world's largest law firms of legal malpractice involving a gated golf project in one of the world's richest communities, Rancho Santa Fe.
Nicolas Marsch and Briarwood Capital sued DLA Piper US LLP and law firm partner Brian Foster, in Superior Court. Marsch claims the defendants represented both Briarwood and Lennar Corp. during the development The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe DLA Piper, Foster and Nicolas Marsch in May 2010, claiming that Foster and DLA Piper helped Marsch get the better of Miami-based Lennar, causing it millions of dollars in losses. That case was settled for $37.5 million.
(Photos: The two faces of Barry Minkow...)
The disputes surrounding the real estate project also have ties to convicted fraudster Barry Minkow, who is serving a second prison sentence for fraud after pleading guilty to conspiring to damage Lennar by falsely accusing it of deceptive accounting. After Minkow's comments on YouTube and the Internet, Lennar's market value declined by more than $500 million. As part of his plea deal, Minkow agreed to help federal prosecutors investigate Marsch, which hired Minkow after his partnership with Lennar soured. Marsch has denied any wrongdoing
In his new complaint, Marsch claims that since 1997, DLA Piper represented Marsch's Briarwood, and Lennar Corp., Lennar San Jose Holdings Inc., Lennar Land Partners II LLP II, HCC Holdings LLC and Lennar Bridges LLC in connection with The Bridges golf project.
HHC Investors was founded by Lennar and Briarwood Capital to develop the project, according to the Bradenton Herald.
Marsch and Briarwood now claim that DLA Piper's "appalling and irreconcilable" negligence "caused continuous disputes between the parties," leading to a judgment against Briarwood and "various bankruptcies filed by the plaintiff."
Marsch claims that DLA Piper never revealed the conflict of interest while it represented Briarwood in Superior Court litigation against Lennar, though the law firm "informed Lennar of said conflict of interest and withdrew from representing the Lennar entities."
"Furthermore, defendants were representing Lennar and related entities unrelated to The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe and failed to disclose said information to plaintiffs," the complaint states.
"Put simply, defendants represented the Lennar entities in other litigation as their counsel of record simply because it presented an economic opportunity defendants could not pass up. Defendants placed its own interest in profiting from the Lennar entities ahead of the interest of the plaintiffs. Defendants' failure to disclose the conflicts of such representation is not only a breach of defendants' undivided loyalty owed to plaintiffs but a conflict of interest which must be adequately disclosed, explained and waived. Failure to do so was a breach of the duties owed to the plaintiffs."
"The HCC Operating Agreement failed to have adequate language to protect Briarwood, Marsch, HCC and Lennar Bridges from Lennar making contributions to HCC and Lennar Bridges without the knowledge, consent or permission of Briarwood, Marsch, HCC or Lennar Bridges. Defendants failed to adequately and properly define how Marsch and Briarwood would be paid back their investment of $37 million in HCC. Additionally, as a result of the negligence of the defendants, Lennar and Pacific Greystone unilaterally were allowed to take these funds because said agreements failed to protect Briarwood, Marsch and HCC from Lennar and related entities."
Marsch claims that DLA Piper also persuaded Brairwood to enter into inadequate tolling agreements. Those agreements were ruled invalid when Briarwood sued Lennar, and barred Marsch from pursuing further claims against the Miami home builder for fraud and accounting, according to the complaint.
Marsch seeks damages for legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duties, breach of contract, and fraud/concealment in connection with the law firm's "breaches of their duties of trust and undivided loyalty".
Marsch is represented by Todd Macaluso with Macaluso & Associates of Carlsbad. Macaluso was an important member of Casey Anhony's murder defense team. People even reported seeing Anthony in Solana Beach following her acquittal, but Macaluso vehemently denied reports he had brought Anthony to his Rancho Santa Fe home to rest following the trial.
Neither Foster nor DLA Piper immediately responded to requests for comment.
San Diego gas prices HIT NEW LOWS while reaching new seasonal HIGH, HIGHER, HIGHEST PRICES...
(EDITOR'S NOTE; WE HAVE ADDED A LOWEST GAS PRICE WIDGET TO THE MARGIN TO HELP IN THE QUEST FOR CHEAPER GAS.)
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose today to its highest amount since May 24, increasing 1.2 cents to $4.071.
The average price has risen for 26 consecutive days and is 20.3 cents more than one week ago, 34.2 cents higher than a month ago and 50.9 cents more than a year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
The average price has risen 31.4 cents over the past 26 days, including 2.5 cents on Sunday.
Analysts have cited increasing oil prices and the closure of some refineries that supply California customers as reasons for the rising gasoline prices.
Crude oil costs account for two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline, according to Tupper Hull of the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing oil companies in six western states.
THIS JUST IN FROM CHARLES LANGLEY, SAN DIEGO UCAN.ORG FUEL TRACKER. FOR MORE VISIT HERE...
In the last 48 hours, gas prices in San Diego have surged by nearly 10¢ a gallon. At $4.07 a gallon, San Diego's gas prices are the highest on record for any February in County history, including the year 2008, when gasoline prices hit an all-time record high of $4.64 a gallon on June 13, 2008. This trend is paralleled by a a national average of more than $3.54 a gallon, which is also the highest price on record.
Since last Monday, San Diego prices have increased 17.6¢ a gallon.
According to a report published in Businessweek last Wednesday, two major Southern California refineries have shut down for maintenance in order to comply with State and Federal clean air mandates. These annual shutdowns are famous for causing shortages and price spikes. Every spring, refineries must change their gasoline formulation to accommodate seasonal changes in air quality. The summer blend is more expensive to produce and requires a shutdown of the refinery. Refiners must then buy their fuel on the "spot market."
How the spot market affects your gas prices
When a refinery shuts down, it will often buy the fuel it needs from other refiners, who sell it for cash on the spot. This is where the term "Cash on the barrel head" and "cash on the spot" come from, and it is where the term "spot market" originates.
Spot fuel is surplus fuel. In San Diego, there are a large number of gas stations that sell surplus fuel at deep discounts. These stations are the independents that aren't affiliated with a major brand such as Chevron, Shell, Arco, etc. Normally, unbranded independents are the most competitive players in San Diego's retail gas market. Usually, an unbranded station will charge as much as ten or twenty cents a gallon less for its gasoline than a brand-name competitor. Brand name retailers, on the other hand, must pay a predetermined "rack price" for their gasoline, which is almost always higher.
Because the unbranded stations are intensely competitive, they tend to force the prices down. But right now, surplus gasoline is hard to find. On Thursday, we reported that average retail price in San Diego was $3.96 a gallon, but our estimate of the price an independent dealer must charge to break even was $4.06 a gallon, which is more than many brand names stations are charging as their retail price. This phenomena, where unbranded dealers pay more for their gasoline than brand-name dealers is called a "rack inversion," and in our experience, rack inversions are always accompanied by higher gas prices on the street.
Tale of two Garrick's: RSF GOP Assemblyman stung by Bee for DUI yet perseveres (somehow)
(Garrick, the pride of Solana Beach, pled guilty to being twice as drunk as the legal limit while trying to drive into the state Capitol one balmy day last summer. Yet, he continues to serve out his term with...honor??? Just end it buddy -- Ah-Ha)
Editorial: Lawmakers who break our laws shouldn't get a break
Californians should expect their lawmakers to not only make laws, but follow them. Lately, several in the Legislature have been accused of serious breaches – a trend that is generating far too little alarm in the Capitol.
A blood test later found that Garrick had a blood- alcohol level of 0.15 percent – nearly twice the state's legal limit for driving.
(Photo left: Garrick at Mille Fleurs fundraiser where they served mixed drinks and wine and he drove home.)
In October, Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, a Democrat from Castro Valley, was arrested on suspicion of felony grand theft. She has pleaded not guilty to stealing $2,500 in clothing from a San Francisco department store, claiming she absentmindedly stepped outside with merchandise while taking a cellphone call.
Then, on Wednesday, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican from Twin Peaks, was cited on a misdemeanor charge of carrying a loaded .45-caliber handgun into Ontario International Airport.He faces a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, and could face larger fines from the Transportation Security Administration.
We're sorry. If you are unaware you are carrying a loaded gun, you shouldn't be carrying one in the first place.
Donnelly is also being less than forthright about whether he had a concealed weapons permit. San Bernardino County officials say they have no record of such a permit. Donnelly needs to answer the question: Did he have a permit or not?
Garrick pleaded no contest to the DUI charge, losing his license for four months. Hayashi and Donnelly will have their day in court.
Yet regardless of outcomes, these recent arrests raise questions about whether authorities are giving California lawmakers preferential treatment.
When Garrick was pulled over, the California Highway Patrol cited and released him, allowing the lawmaker to avoid a night in jail – the usual outcome for misdemeanor DUI suspects. Donnelly also avoided arrest and jail, unlike Shaun Rogers, a Cleveland Browns nose tackle, who was taken to jail in 2010 after the TSA found a handgun in his carry-on bag at an Ohio airport.
Lawmakers who drive drunk, take merchandise out of stores or bring a loaded gun into airports shouldn't be treated lightly.
If authorities want to deter normal citizens from breaking laws, they should set an example with lawmakers who take oaths to uphold them.
The heck with planking, we're talking BATMANNING around town this week...
F'in advisor Steve Sexton, legalite Mike Walters, and Kerman Beriker from the Inn at RSF
(San Diego Entertainer Magazine goes all puffy at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. Enjoy!)
Each month San Diego Entertainer Magazine presents entertainment and lifestyle segments on E&L TV. The show airs the first Sunday of the month at 5pm on Channel 6 (CW).
Past shows have included segments with financial expert Steve Sexton, local artists like The Riders, and local businesses from the Coronado Boathouse to Vasseur Day Spa. In this month’s show, you’ll be treated to find even more great San Diego stories.
The show is hosted at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. This location is a true San Diego staple for visitors and locals alike. It’s a hot spot for celebrities and has played host to past presidents and Hollywood royalty. It’s tucked in the hills in North County San Diego and overlooks rolling hills and riding trails, giving guests a taste of the country just a few miles from downtown. Hear from Kerman Beriker, the managing director at the Inn about what makes the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe so special.
In the September show you’ll also see a familiar face — expert financial advisor Steve Sexton. Steve has been providing financial advisories to Entertainer readers for over 2 years now, and we’re happy to share more advice on how to manage finances in these turbulent economic times. In Steve’s segment you’ll also learn more about finding money that has “fallen through the cracks” and how many people in San Diego have used those monies to help charities in need.
Got Rid of Gaddafi...SO WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET RID OF DEADBEAT SOLANA BEACH CITY MANAGER DAVID OTT???
We are tired of these career bureaucrats bleeding taxpayers dry. This isn't a Tea Party position, but a progressive Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News opinion.
There are plenty of slings and arrows to cast at the numerous despicable North County and San Diego political officials and sycophants but that's for another day. Today, we bring you the worst of the worst, a most despicable thief of the public funds for his own greed and aggrandizement.
DAVID OTT. Past, present and future Solana Beach city manager. Really, the only people making out better through greedy subterfuge are the 100 Rancho Santa Fe "farmers" receiving federal farm subsidies even though, obviously, they are not farmers and the few who do have "farms" use them as tax dodges.
But back to ODD: Listen to the tale of his take:
"David Ott, who also served for years as the city's public safety director, officially retired from his city manager post in December and began collecting a pension of roughly $13,500 per month.
However, he still works under contract as Solana Beach's interim city manager, earning roughly $78 per hour in addition to a monthly cellphone allowance of $50 and car allowance of $450."
Ott continues to serve as interim city manager and no search for a permanent replacement is yet under way. He said last week he doesn't know exactly how many hours he has billed the city under his contract, but it's less than 960 hours, which is considered full-time employment by the California Public Employees' Retirement System and would jeopardize his retirement.
Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News says: DAVID OTT MUST RESIGN OR BE REPLACED IMMEDIATELY.
More backstory, compiled from sources:
An email criticizing Ott's pension and pay arrangement was recently sent to several news agencies. It accused Ott of using his years as a public safety employee to receive a higher pension.
Ott said allegations he spiked his pension are untrue, but he acknowledged that his pension is unique because he held several positions in the city.
He said he believes the recent criticism is coming from firefighters who were unhappy with pension reform and worried about the potential for staff cuts in the Fire Department.
Solana Beach is working to close a nearly $700,000 budget shortfall in the current fiscal year. Proposed cuts include leaving two city administrative positions open to save nearly $300,000; reducing the amount of work scheduled to be done on the city's general plan to save $310,500; and cuts to various city departments totaling $153,700.
OTT GETS ON THE PUBLIC GRAVY TRAIN
Ott was hired by the city in 2003 as its director of public safety and fire chief. He said Thursday that he also served as the city's assistant city manager, before he was hired as city manager in 2006.
From 2006 to 2009, Ott retained his post as fire chief in addition to serving as the city manager and public safety director.
During those three years, Ott said his retirement was calculated using formulas for both regular government employees and public safety employees.
According to the city, 75 percent of his retirement was calculated using a "2.5 percent at 55" formula and 25 percent was calculated using the public safety workers' formula "3 percent at 50."
Government employees' retirements are calculated using a percentage of their highest annual salaries (2.5 or 3 percent here), multiplied by the number of years they worked, for up to 30 years of service.
When Ott retired in December, his annual salary was $180,250.
"I didn't spike my pension, I got promoted," Ott said.
YEAH RIGHT. GET RID OF OTT TODAY. Over and sold-out...
BOYCOTT THE CITY OF DEL MAR! City's disgraceful parking ticket scam and medical pot harassment stinks! Do not patronize...
BOYCOTT THE CITY OF DEL MAR
Two developments, and revelations, involving the city of Del Mar this week points to more than political incompetency on the part of its political leaders. It also points to moral turpitude.
BOYCOTT DEL MAR. This is the only way to get through to these misguided leaders and some of their supporters.
These two developments are linked by the utterly morally corrupt nature of misguided political agendas. Unfortunately, the entire city of Del Mar is involved in this in a way. And in another way, this is a case of misguided political peons refusing to do what's right rather than something they believe will help them politically.
It's all about MONEY. And stupidity. Surprise.
#1. It was revealed that the city of Del Mar gets more operating funds from PARKING TICKETS than any city in San Diego County and most cities statewide. Almost 4 percent of the city's annual budget came from traffic fines, of which 91 percent were parking fines. That was $653,730, more than Solana Beach, Coronado, Santee and Lemon Grove combined. Only SEVEN of 412 California cities had higher traffic ticket percentages for total city revenues.
#2. City of Del Mar's enlightened leaders decided to take some of their ripped-off-from-you-and-me parking ticket revenue, turned around and sued the the Coast's only medical marijuana dispensary, the 1105 Cooperative, providing comfort and hope for local residents who otherwise must drive to other communities. Despite the wishes of California voters, Del Mar leadership feels it is is best to mess with a legitimate tax-paying business while fostering an illegitimate one in the form of parking ticket scams.
Del Mar leaders are a disgrace. The city is a disgrace.
With the exception of the 1105 Cooperative, we call for a total boycott off all Del Mar activities except for activities at the Fairgrounds. You know, the cool place city of Del Mar leaders claimed they were going to purchase, and used YOUR parking ticket scam dollars to finance a costly exploraion effort.
Merchants or residents who don't want the boycott should put pressure on their so-called leaders to cut back the parking ticket sam program by at least HALF and to end IMMEDIATELY the inhumane attempt to impose their misguided misbegotten woefully poor morals on a worthy and medically helpful service.
For more about the Del Mar medicinal marijuana store visit: http://1105coop.com/
The 1105 Cooperative is a patient-centric licensed cooperative in compliance with California Prop 215 & SB 420.
- 1105 Camino Del Mar
- Del Mar, CA 92014
LISA LEONDIS NAMED SAN DIEGO COUNTY AGRICULTURAL COMMISSIONER/SEALER
(Photo: Lisa Leonids, left, with Tina Thomas and San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob)
Lisa Leondis has been selected to be the permanent director of the County of San Diego Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures, and to serve as the County’s new Agricultural Commissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures. Leondis was named as the department’s interim director in June, when Commissioner/Sealer Bob Atkins retired.
“We are delighted to have Lisa Leondis as the new County Agricultural Commissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures,” said Sarah Aghassi, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for the Land Use and Environment Group.
“Lisa’s vast experience in the field, along with her expertise in pest management and plant protection will help ensure the viability of our agricultural community; and her displayed levels of professionalism and dedication along with her credentials as Sealer of Weights and Measures will enhance our consumer protection for all residents of San Diego County.”
Leondis will oversee a department with a roughly $19 million annual budget and a staff of 155 who protect the public through a wide-ranging array of services. Agriculture, Weights and Measures services include pesticide monitoring programs to ensure farmers and growers are using pesticides safely and egg-inspection programs to prevent food-borne illnesses.
The department also conducts roughly 50,000 inspections each year to make sure that all devices that scan, weigh or measure the items people buy are charging consumers accurately and people are getting what they pay for — from the neighborhood butcher’s scale to the pumps at the gas station down the street and the cash registers at retail stores countywide.
The department also regulates organic growers and certified farmers’ markets and protects the region’s $1.5 billion agriculture industry through exotic-pest inspection programs.
Encinitas, Calif. 'Surfing Madonna' Flakes Off The Wall...Next Stop: Oblivion?
San Diego sheriffs blocked traffic from traveling under the bridge on Encinitas Boulevard between Coast Highway and Vulcan Avenue as crews worked on taking down the mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe on a surfboard. It took crews almost two hours to complete the removal, and there was no damage to the piece.
The nearly 10-by10 foot mosaic was crafted from hundreds of pieces of stones, tiles, and stained glass, but was not permitted to be constructed on the city property.
Mark Patterson who installed the mosaic on Earth Day 2011, reached an agreement Tuesday with the city to help remove the artwork so it can be relocated somewhere else. He paid for the removal and was on scene as a technical consultant to help crews disassemble the mosaic.
Patterson said the mosaic was not for sale and was a gift to the community. He did not disclose the new location for the piece.