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Del Mar, Calif. gets 'D' grade for lousy tobacco policy from American Lung Association
The American Lung Association in California gave the city of Del Mar a D rating for its tobacco policies.
The annual report, which was released Wednesday, issues grades for all cities and counties in California on local tobacco control policies including those for smokefree outdoor environments, smokefree housing, and reducing sales of tobacco products.
Despite the city's overall low grade, Del Mar along with Solana Beach and El Cajon lead the pack with A grades in the Smokefree Outdoor Air category.
Overall, the association said the state of California "falls short in adequately funding tobacco prevention programs to protect children and curb tobacco-caused disease." California earned an A grade for its smokefree air policies but received a D for its low cigarette tax, an F for failing to adequately fund tobacco prevention and control programs, and another F for poor coverage of smoking cessation and treatment services.
The operator of the Del Mar Fairgrounds announced today that it would move forward with renovations after settling a lawsuit over its master plan.
Political leaders of Del Mar and Solana Beach sign the Del Mar Fairgrounds agreement with Adam Day, president of the 22nd District Agricultural Association.
Political leaders of Del Mar and Solana Beach sign the Del Mar Fairgrounds agreement with Adam Day, president of the 22nd District Agricultural Association.
The 22nd District Agricultural Association, the state agency that runs the fairgrounds, agreed to take several steps to settle the court action filed in May 2011 by the cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach and the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority.
The litigation challenged the plan's environmental impact report. The sprawling park is home to the annual...
Solana Beach-Del Mar-River Park environmental impact lawsuit against Fairgrounds settled
The 22nd District Agricultural Association, the cities of Solana Beach and Del Mar, and the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority have settled litigation over the District’s Master Plan Environmental report.
The cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach and the San Dieguito River Park had sued the 22nd District Agricultural Association, which operates the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds regarding the district’s master plan for upgrading its facilities. The lawsuit challenged the adequacy of environmental studies conducted in support of the master plan.
Concerns about the Master Plan impacts were addressed to the satisfaction of both cities and the SD River Park JPA, officials said.
“The settlement over our Master Plan EIR paves the way for the 22nd DAA to work towards the renovation of the Fairgrounds’ old and outdated exhibit facilities, and at the same time implements additional measures beyond what is called out in the EIR,...
Be Wise Organics, gnat flies and San Diego County supervisors reach 'last resort' measure
A 4-0 vote, with Bill Horn recusing himself from the vote and discussion because he owns an organic farm, gave initial approval with adoption scheduled for Dec. 5. If approved, the ordinance would take effect Jan. 4.
“I think the ordinance we have before us today is an excellent ordinance,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob.
“One of our charges here is to protect the public,” said Supervisor Pam Slater-Price. “We have a lot of people who cannot use their own property.”
Eye gnats, approximately 1/16 of an inch long, feed on protein from body fluids including the eyes, noses, and mouths of humans and animals. They are native to San Diego County and breed in organically-rich soil.
“Eye gnats are a nuisance for which we have no existing authority to address,” said Jack Miller, director of the county’s Department of Environmental Health (DEH).
Approximately 350 organic farms have commercial operations in San Diego County. Complaints...
No more plastic bags at Solana Beach stores starting today
Submitted by Recycling News on November 9, 2012 - 20:55.
Surfers and shoppers, expect fewer plastic bags in Solana Beach waves and stores.
Today all Solana Beach stores are going plastic bag free, as the second part of theCity's plastic bag ordinance becomes operative.
The City Council adopted the ordinance, banning plastic bags and charging ten cents per paper bags, back in May. The ordinance first went into effect in large stores, grocery stores, and pharmacies on August 9, and rolls out in all other retail stores today.
Solana Beach is the first and currently the only city in San Diego County to ban plastic bags. It is also the second largest city in the county. The city is well known for its environmental leadership--in 2003 it was the first city in the country to ban smoking on its beautiful beaches.
If you live in Solana Beach, let the City Manager know you support the ordinance by calling (858) 720-2477. For more information...
True crime author brings story of sexual predator John Gardner to Fallbrook
Rother will read from and discuss her controversial true-crime thriller, “Lost Girls,” the story of the rape and murder of local teenagers Amber Dubois and Chelsea King by John Gardner.
The reading, hosted by the Café des Artistes, begins at 6 p.m. with open mic for poetry and prose.
“Lost Girls” chronicles the quest to identify King’s murderer, which ultimately led authorities to Gardner and then Dubois. Rother examines the systemic failures that allowed a convicted sex offender to remain at large, without treatment, putting the entire community at risk. The author also reflects on the ways the Gardner case will forever change how we consider convicted sex offenders.
"Lost GIrls" and several of Rother's other books will be available...
Local Obama supporters help get out the vote in battleground states
Organizing for America (OFA) is betting on get out the vote (GOTV) efforts to make the difference in November’s presidential election. To help secure a win for President Barack Obama, OFA is organizing North San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County volunteers to phone voters in battleground states and encourage them to cast their votes for Obama.
OFA, a grassroots organizing campaign operating under the auspices of the Democratic National committee, is launching three call centers — in Oceanside, San Marcos and Temecula. OFA is running traditional GOTV phone banks beginning this weekend and running every weekend until Election Day, staffed by volunteers. The goal remains of all three centers to make over 75000 calls on November 6, and many in weekends before.
Joe Comella of Fallbrook, a retired teacher and former Army reservist, is OFA’s local deputy regional field director. He believes volunteer efforts are the heart of Obama’s campaign.
Comella said, “President Obama was put in office by a hopeful electorate in 2008. The last four years have been tough, primarily because of gridlock in Congress. But people remain hopeful, and the level of volunteerism we’re seeing is proof of that. We have staging directors, data entry coordinators, and folks to train other volunteers on how to make calls. Early voting has begun, and we welcome all volunteers who want to join the effort at any of our three phone center locations.”
Volunteers are working three-hour shifts from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. People interested in lending their time to the effort can email@example.com or contact the following location coordinators:
Oceanside: Show Palace, 1527 Mission Avenue
San Marcos: Autumn Terrace Apartments Community Room, 251 Autumn Drive
Contact Rolf vom Dorp at 760-978-0965
HIGHWAY 78: This $41 million for you...to fix worst traffic bottleneck in San Diego County
Groundbreaking took place today for a $41 million project that transportation planners hope will be the first step in clearing up a bottleneck on state Route 78 that has become the worst in San Diego County.
The main part of the project is to replace the Nordahl Road overpass, which will allow the freeway to be widened near the San Marcos-Escondido city limits, said Hayden Manning of Caltrans. There will also be an added auxiliary lane leading to Nordahl Road, he said.
Having more room under the over-crossing could result in future projects to add lanes, Manning said.
A study by the traffic information firm INRIX found that eastbound SR-78 through San Marcos has supplanted Interstate 15 and the Interstate 5-805 merge for having the worst freeway congestion in the county. Speeds are less than half of normal for an average of 21 hours per week, the company found.
“With the new and expanded Palomar Medical Center West...
Bilbray-Saldana (Peters, Stahl) square off in first debate for new 52nd. Cong. Dist.(spans La Jolla to Rancho Bernardo)
The four main candidates in the 52nd Congressional District race talked gas prices, illegal immigration, small business and bailouts during a debate at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo on Tuesday.
The lunchtime crowd at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo provided a welcome setting for Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Carlsbad), who is competing against Democrats Scott Peters, a port commissioner and former president of the San Diego City Council, and Lori Saldaña, a former state assemblywoman and educator.
The debate, hosted by the Conservative Order of Good Government, brought together three challengers—Peters, Saldaña and John Stahl—and the incumbent, Bilbray, who is fighting to retain a seat after redistricting shifted him out of his current District 50.
The new 52nd covers several communities. In addition to Rancho Bernardo and nearby Poway, it reaches west to include La Jolla and Coronado.
Bilbray was at the center of several barbs against Washington, with all of the challengers arguing it is time for someone different to head to the nation's capital.
Bilbray, who first ran for Congress in 1995, has been in and out of the House for more than a decade. He lost his seat to Democrat Susan Davis after redistricting in 2000.
But in 2006 he won the 50th congressional seat after Randy Cunningham resigned, and he has represented it ever since.
"We need a new approach in Washington," said Democratic candidate Scott Peters, a former city councilman who represents San Diego on the Board of Port Commissioners. "Let's get the right person and stop worrying so much about the party."
The candidates answered a series of questions on a variety of topics, with one-minute each to respond. A couple of questions were targeted for specific candidates, with one providing Peters the chance to respond to Bilbray's characterization of him as the "father of San Diego's pension mess."
Peters, who admitted he made mistakes as a councilman, said the pension problems didn't begin with him but rather in the 1980s. Since then, he has worked to end pension underfunding and make city employees pay more for their benefits, he said.
Saldaña, a former Democratic state assemblywoman, focused on education and green energy during the debate, arguing that investing in education and reducing costs for small businesses by better energy efficiency are the keys to protecting the American Dream and turning the economy around.
Stahl, a Republican who served in the U.S. Navy and worked in the semiconductor industry, said he will work to balance the federal budget within the next three to five years and reduce the nation's dependency on foreign oil by the end of the decade.
"I have lived the American Dream and I'm not going to watch it die," Stahl said.
On illegal immigration, the candidates agreed that something must be done.
"If we do not have the rule of law in this country, we have nothing," said Stahl, who said benefits should not be provided to people who are not citizens.
Bilbray said while many focus on border security in illegal immigration talks, it is not the problem; it's just a symptom of the real problem which is people hiring illegal immigrants and the government providing benefits for them.
Peters said the U.S. needs to be "tough, fair and practical" with its illegal immigration and border policies, making legal crossings more efficient and looking at the income disparity between this country and Mexico which entices people to come here.
Saldaña said there needs to be an improved path to citizenship, with deportation for those who break the law, as a way to bring in the high-tech expertise this country does not have because of a subpar education system.
On gas prices, which recently climbed above an average of $4 per gallon locally, Peters said anyone who claims an ability to lower prices quickly isn't being honest. It's going to take a while, he said, so the focus should be on developing an alternative energy plan and creating incentives for conservation.
To raucous applause, Bilbray said the government needs to permit a pipeline between Canada and the U.S. to bring in oil, a nod to the stalled Keystone Pipeline project recently delayed by President Barack Obama.
As for the 2008 bailout of the financial industry, Bilbray proudly said he did not vote for it because of the financial burden it would place on his grandchildren.
While Saldaña argued that she didn't like the rushed process to create the bailout plan, most of the money has been paid back, she said.
"The process was flawed, but the outcome remains to be seen," she said.
Peters said he was surprised no one has gone to jail in connection with the fiscal crisis, and the government needs to regulate banks in a new way.
"No more bailouts," Peters said.
Stahl, who said he would not have voted for the bailout, said it wasn't right that banks made bad bets but still got their money back.
San Diego gas prices HIT NEW LOWS while reaching new seasonal HIGH, HIGHER, HIGHEST PRICES...
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.
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.
San Diego North County Japanese-Americans recall World War Two internments
In San Diego County, which had a population of 2,076 Japanese-Americans in 1940, families were sent to Poston, 12 miles south of Parker, Ariz. Poston was one of 10 internment camps created during World War II after an executive order authorized the Secretary of War to designate specific areas as military zones and excluded certain people from living in them.
President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942.
In San Diego County and other Pacific coast communities, the reverberating terror of the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese in 1941 fueled fear of conspiracies, treason and espionage from within.
Doggone for it at Del Mar Fairgounds Saturday, Feb.26 for Silver Bay Kennel all-breed show
San Diego's annual dog spectacle, the Silver Bay Kennel Club Dog Show, sets up at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26-27, 2011. And what better way to spend the weekend than to check out all the amazing breeds: small, large, huge, cute, ugly, prim, sloppy...but they're all lovable. And the best thing is that admission is free.
If you weren't able to attend last week's 136th Westminster Kennel Club show in New York (where Palacegarden Malachy, a Pekingese, won Best of Show), you can still get your canine kicks next weekend when the Silver Bay Kennel Club of San Diego hosts its annual all-breed dog shows on Saturday and Feb. 26 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
More than 1,900 dogs (representing 174 breeds) in competition, the Silver Bay show is among the largest in the country. The weekend schedule consists of two separate shows (one Saturday and one Sunday). The shows also feature contests of canine obedience, rally and agility.
At 10 a.m. both days, guides will lead the public on a tour of the dog show, where they can see the breeds and meet the breeders, owners and handlers. And from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days, the public can "Meet the Breeds" in a walk-through exhibit where more than 47 breeds will be showcased at different booths.
Show hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Feb. 26. The best-in-show competitions usually take place late in the afternoon (5 to 6 p.m.) once the judging for individual breeds is complete.
The fairgrounds is at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. in Del Mar. Spectator admission is free, but parking is $10. Call 760-561-7382 or visit www.silverbaykc.com.
'What Fresh Hell Is This?' Failure on the 763, first morning Amtrak San Diego train to LA
For more tales from the Surfliner on Amtrak's front lines, visit here....
Things have been rough for those of us on Pacific Surfliners 763 lately. This is the first train out of San Diego, and is very heavily used by commuters.The big stop is Irvine, but a surprising number of us are power commuters going all the way to LA on a daily basis.
From LA, 763 goes on up to Goleta, where it turns around and comes back down as train 784. This is the 5.10 departure out of LA and is also a heavily used commuter service. Of course, if 763 is late going out, 784 is late coming back.
For the last few weeks 784 has been a disaster, mainly due to trackwork north of LA. Finally, Amtrak decided to have 763 terminate in LA, and use the Amtrak coaches to bring everyone down from up north. (This was suggested by one of the regular tweeters some days before they did it.... did Amtrak listen to him?) That helped. Now the trackwork is done and 763 is again going up to Goleta.
But 763 has been having problems. There have been cancellations, mechanicals, and a trespassing incident last week (= railspeak for fatality, probably suicide) . This last caused me to get a ride to Irvine from a fellow commuter, D; he dropped me at the Irvine station so I could get on Metrolink. My mother would be horrified that I'm getting into cars to drive 50 miles with men whose last names I don't know! ;-)
Monday this week 763 was 30 min late which had me really peeved. But yesterday, it exceeded even that, by throwing a mechanical just before it reached the LA river, about 15 min outside of LA Union. We came to a stop and sat waiting.
Normally, if there is a locomotive failure, they sweep it up by coupling the dead train to the next Amtrak coming by, making a double-length train that limps the rest of the way into LA. The yard is there and they can swap out the engine.
Foolishly, we assumed that since we were at most 2 miles from the yard, they would just send out a locomotive and pull us in. Right?
Wrong! Turns out the worst place it could have happened was near the yard. We waited, and waited, and waited. Apparently they drove some mechanics over who couldn't fix it. They offered to let people off and walk them to the street, but we were in industrial east LA/Vernon, in the middle of the freight yards-- not exactly a place where you can catch a cab, and not easy to direct a colleague with a car. We watched as Amtrak 599 (the express) went by an hour later, and then, another hour after that, we saw 567 go by. Finally, FINALLY, a rescue locomotive arrived and took us into LA Union, 2.5 hours late.
A conductor told me today that the problem was that the rescue locomotive didn't have a conductor and they had to have one to leave the yard. (Conductors are the commanders of the train; the engineer is the driver). If that is the case, why didn't they just hook us up to 599 when it came through, and go in together? Yes, 599 would have taken a 20min delay to do that, but the hundreds of people on 763 would have gotten to LA much earlier and 599 is often late anyway.
Whose brilliant idea was it to leave 763 sitting there stranded for 2.5 HOURS?
The first goal should be to get passengers where they are going. Especially for 763, which is not full of vacationers, but full of people trying to get to work. I should have been at work at 9.15; I needed to be at work by 10; I got there at 12.
If we'd thrown the mechanical in San Juan Capistrano, we would have been to LA by 10 and I'd have been to work by 10.30--not good, but not nearly as awful as it was.
Every morning when I get on 763, I feel like Dorothy Parker: What fresh hell is this?
Carmel Valley to Solana Beach & Hwy 56 corridor bus line considered for region's wish list
You probably won't see a rapid bus line along the Highway 56 corridor overnight.
But on Friday, plans for a $70 million line connecting Sabre Springs with Solana Beach inched forward, gaining a recommendation from a regional transportation committee.
The catch is, the bus line was recommended for addition only to the region's unfunded transportation plan or "wish list."
An article in the North County Times on Thursday incorrectly reported that the bus line was to be considered for inclusion in the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan, a nearly $200 billion plan transportation officials not only want but say there is money for.
Jerome Stocks, chairman of the San Diego Association of Governments, the agency that plans the region's transportation projects, said Friday's endorsement of the bus line is still significant.
SANDAG's board of directors will decide later whether the bus line should actually join the wish...
Rancho Santa Fe hotel tax revenues rise in 2010-11; overall San Diego County Transient Occupancy(Hotel) Tax revenue rises...
Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue for the County of San Diego increased both countywide and locally from fiscal year 2009-10 to fiscal year 2010-11.
The countys overall TOT collection revenue increased from $2,423,811.31 in 2009-10 to $2,448,836.43 for 2010-11. The tax money collected in Fallbrook rose from $256,328.20 to $282,087.11 while the revenue from Bonsall lodging facilities grew from $25,880.00 to $26,798.85.
The Transient Occupancy Tax is collected from occupants of hotels, motels, bed and breakfast venues, mobile home parks, private campgrounds, and other structures occupied or intended for occupancy by non-residents for lodging or sleeping purposes. A timeshare unit used by an ownership partner is not subject to the TOT, although if that unit is rented to the general public it is subject to the tax for that period. Campgrounds at the eight county parks with such facilities are exempt, as are lodging facilities on Indian reservations or other areas where the County of San Diego has no taxation power.
A Federal or State of California officer or employee on official business is exempt from the tax, as is any foreign government officer or employee exempt under Federal law or international treaty. The tax is not collected if the rent is four dollars a day or less or if the lodger receives a free room where the only consideration received is publicity for the lodging site. If the unit is occupied or rented for more than 30 consecutive days, it is not subject to the TOT.
The Transient Occupancy Tax is currently eight percent of the lodging unit rate. Payment to the county is on a quarterly basis; the facility operator must submit the payment by the last day of the month following the end of the calendar quarter (if the facility ceases operation the payment must be made within 30 days after the operator ceases doing business).
Although the Transient Occupancy Tax is only collected from lodging facilities in the unincorporated portion of the county, the revenue is used for the countys Community Enhancement funding which may be given to organizations in incorporated cities as well as in unincorporated communities. Community Enhancement funds are intended to promote tourism, including visitors from other parts of the county, and are allocated as part of the countys annual budget process.
The 2010-11 totals changed Fallbrooks rank among unincorporated communities from fourth to third, as revenue from Borrego Springs fell from $296,616.81 to $261,431.49. TOT revenue collected from Rancho Santa Fe rose from $514,730.79 to $591,131.42 while revenue collected from facilities in unincorporated Escondido dropped from $334,696.61 to $294,776.23. Julian has ranked fifth in both of the past two years, collecting $174,923.77 in 2009-10 and $191,395.21 in 2010-11. Bonsall ranked twelfth among the 22 communities in both years, behind Ramona and ahead of Pauma.
Countywide first-quarter TOT revenue increased from $642,450.92 from July 2009 through September 2009 to $647,410.93 during the corresponding 2010 period. Fallbrook saw a first-quarter growth from $74,150.91 to $76,737.55 while Bonsalls first-quarter collections dropped from $8,387.00 to $7,195.00. Fallbrooks first-quarter revenue ranked third in the county both in 2009 and 2010 while Bonsall had the twelfth-highest figure for both years.
The countys second-quarter revenue, covering the October through December period, declined from $538,624.02 in 2009 to $511,275.69 in 2010. Fallbrooks second-quarter collections grew from $61,092.33 to $66,002.76 while Bonsalls revenue gained from $4,608.00 to $4,801,48. The second-quarter decline was attributable to decreased revenue in the northeast part of the county; although Julians collections increased from $54,449.41 to $60,875.43, revenue declined in Borrego Springs from $97,206.54 to $43,413.21, in Warner Springs from $24,294.61 to $18,560.67, and in Pauma from $6,438.49 to $5,471.56.
Unincorporated Escondidos revenue dropped from $63,232.25 to $58,909.17, allowing Fallbrook to move from fourth to third among the countys communities. Bonsalls second-quarter revenue ranked 13th both years.
The county saw a third-quarter growth from $583,052.94 to $651,889.01. Fallbrook experienced an upswing from $46,683.56 to $59,122.85 for the January through March period while Bonsall collected $5,547.00 in 2010 and $6,552.89 in 2011. Rancho Santa Fe revenue grew from $108,338.49 to $152,812.22 while Alpine also saw a significant gain by collecting $28,884.56 in 2010 and $37,561.30 in 2011. Jamul saw the greatest third-quarter increase in terms of percentage, increasing from $1,217.06 to $2,626.34. A decrease in unincorporated San Marcos collections from $51,763.00 to $38,927.99 moved Fallbrook from fifth to fourth in the year-to-year community rankings while Paumas drop from $5,695.35 to $5,529.08 moved Bonsall from 13th to 12th.
Overall fourth-quarter county TOT revenue dropped from $496,999.43 in 2010 to $467,057.83 for 2011. Fallbrooks April through June collections of $74,401.40 ranked third in the county in 2010, while an increase to $80,223.95 in 2011 coupled with unincorporated Escondidos drop from $119,270.00 to $69,196.14 placed the Friendly Village second behind Rancho Santa Fe in terms of fourth-quarter 2010-11 revenue. Bonsalls fourth-quarter revenue grew from $7,338.00 to $8,209.48, which ranked twelfth in both years.
Sniff Sniff Pounce Seize: San Diego County Crime Dog Stops Ag Pests In Their Tracks...
The San Diego County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures recently seized 10 Kaffir lime trees from Florida after detector dog Drake discovered them in an unmarked box at a North County commercial shipping terminal.
Detector dog Drake and his handler, Ted Olsen, found the shipment two weeks ago during a routine inspection of packages coming into San Diego County. Each tree had leaves, roots and soil which increase the potential for pests to be present. The shipment was in violation of federal domestic quarantines that guard against the importation of plants that may carry certain agricultural threats. Those include citrus canker, citrus greening and the Asian citrus psyllid, imported fire ant, citrus black spot, and sweet orange scab. Quarantine violations against burrowing and reniform nematodes and other citrus pests were also cited in the case. If introduced into local agriculture, any one of these pests could have a serious impact on San Diego County’s $78.5 million citrus industry.
“Kaffir lime from the state of Florida is prohibited,” said County Agricultural Commissioner Lisa Leondis, “This one shipment of trees violated seven different quarantine requirements, and is a perfect example of how valuable our detector dogs are in protecting the County’s $1.652 billion agriculture industry.”
San Diego County has two United States Department of Agriculture-trained detector dog teams that are part of a statewide network of 13 teams coordinated by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Our first team, Jeremy Partch and Friday, came on board in January, 2009 followed by Ted Olsen and Drake in January, 2010. Last year, the two teams inspected 10,571 marked packages and found 747 unmarked packages containing fruit, plants and live animals. Unmarked packages of illegal plants and certain live animals represent a route of entry for unwanted, damaging pests.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture are handling the investigation regarding the origin and intended destination of the shipment. After testing for other pests, the trees will ultimately be destroyed.
For more information about the county Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures and its role in protecting county agriculture, visit the department's website.
Smart Meters A'int So Smart; La Mesa Peeps Are Suing SDG&E About Dat, D'uh...
LOCAL GROUP FILES PROTEST WITH CPUC OVER SMART METERS, WHICH REMAIN MANDATORY IN SAN DIEGO
43 COUNTIES IN CA HAVE VOTED TO OPPOSE SMART METERS -- AND 10 HAVE BANNED THE DEVICES
The Center for Electrosmog Prevention in La Mesa along with Californians for Renweable Energy, Inc. filed a protest July 6 with the California Public Utilities commission (CPUC) against San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E).
The complaint seeks to stop expansion of “a dangerous, large scale, radiation-emitting mesh network of wireless smart meters (automatic readers)" that have already been installed at many homes and businesses locally.
In Califiornia, 43 counties have gone on record opposing smart meters--and 10 have banned them completely. But San Diego’s Supervisors have not taken any such action. (View the list of counties .)
Opponents who filed the CPUC protest contend that the mesh network is “a vast indoor and outdoor area that...
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...
NuEzzY BRieFs for Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. area: Coast Police Get Tough; Ag Commish Gets Going; Cardiff Parade Coming and Going...
Coastal deputies getting tougher on patrol this summer, captain says
Uh-Oh, mind your P's and Q's or you'll be sorry as ABC. OK?
San Diego Sheriff's Department officials said they were getting tough on crime this summer, believe it. A new coastal enforcement program is going to be more intense than in the past, according to Encinitas Sheriff's Capt. Sherri Sarro.
"Our focus, obviously, is on crime in the area, but not just that," Sarro said to Encinitas council members at their recent June meeting.
Teams of six Encinitas deputies and two Solana Beach deputies will work the coast on foot and in patrol cars. They will blend in, kind of for "You may see a deputy in shorts or a T-shirt" keeping an eye on the crowds, Sarro said.
In addition to extra police presence along the coast, the Sheriff's Department has increased its networking with business groups along the Coast Highway 101 corridor, Sarro said. Deputies are doing this to help spot emerging trends in criminal activity, such as the start of a spike in car burglaries in a given area, Sarro said.
San Diego County Ag Commissioner Bids Farewell
In 1975, Commissioner Atkins found the first Mediterranean fruit fly in California and later worked to eradicate the same fruit fly in a series of five quarantines in San Diego County from 2008 – 2010. He also led a local, cooperative effort to eradicate the Mexican fruit fly and Japanese beetle, and battled the insidious Asian citrus psyllid and light brown apple moth.
County Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Sarah Aghassi, has appointed Agriculture, Weights and Measures Assistant Director, Lisa Leondis, to serve as Interim Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer while the County searches for a permanent replacement. Ms. Leondis possesses all of the required licenses to be qualified to act as the Commissioner/Sealer and has more than 20 years of experience with the department.
Happy Days! Cardiff Marks Centennial with Parade, Festival
The Cardiff 101 Main Street association celebrates the community's centennial from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with a 100-Year Birthday Celebration in Glen Park.
Festivities will begin at 10 a.m. with a parade down Newcastle Avenue from the Cardiff Post Office (2027 Newcastle) to Glen Park (2149 Orinda Drive).
The parade's grand marshal will be a television and stage celebrity with deep local roots, "Happy Days" star Marion Ross, who grew up in San Diego and made her professional debut at the Old Globe Theatre in 1948.
Once the parade arrives at Glen Park, the festival will begin, featuring vendor, food and game booths, educational exhibits, music and children's activities.
Parking is limited, but free shuttle service will be offered from Encinitas City Hall at 505 S. Vulcan Ave. every half-hour from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more info, call 760-436-0431.
Wild Pigs and we ain't talking Weinergate; ABC News investigates San Diego County feral pigs and gthe people who would kill them...
(ABC News this week produced an interesting look at the feral pigs of San Diego County. Story by CHRISTINA NG. For more...)
It looks as if San Diego County is far from becoming hog heaven for theferal pigs in the area that potential eradication.
With no natural predators and voracious breeding habits, hunters in California cannot keep up with the expanding population of these wild pigs that weigh between 250 and 350 pounds. Even though they are not dangerous to humans, the hefty creatures, with their dark fur and large tusks, are a sight to see. They have also been known to make deep grunting sounds.
Many landowners view these pigs as a destructive nuisance. "They tear up property, tear up landscape and tear up habitats," said Andrew Hughan, the public information officer at the California Department of Fish and Game.
Now the federal...
Guess who's coming to Del Mar Fairgrounds June 10 to July 4: YOU, ME, THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY FAIR...
The 2011 San Diego County Fair’s wheels are in motion to "Race to the Fair" for 22 days starting Friday, June 10, through Monday, July 4. (The Fair will be closed the first three Mondays, June 13, 20 and 27.)
The theme for this year's Fair is everything about cars, Cars, CARS! Southern California is a mecca for car clubs and car enthusiasts from around the world. There's no better place to celebrate automotive history and car culture than at the San Diego County Fair! Featured throughout the Fair are exotic cars, luxury cars, "star" cars, muscle cars, low riders, Southern California car culture and lots more! And, true to the mission of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, the 2011 San Diego County Fair will highlight agriculture, farmers, 4H, FFA and Grange.
Of course, the Fair will have more than 100 food vendors, great commercial exhibitors, thrill rides and attractions, the Paul Ecke Jr. Flower and Garden Show, a fun and educational Theme Exhibit, and a fantastic lineup of headliner entertainment with the Toyota Summer Concert Series on the Heineken Grandstand Stage, the Paddock Concert Series, The Solid Gold Series, the Chevrolet Del Mar Arena, and so much more!
Gates open daily at 11 a.m., Tuesdays through Fridays, and 10 a.m., Saturdays, Sundays and Monday, July 4. Admission is $13 for adults; $7 for ages 6-12 and 62 and older; and free for ages 5 and younger.
The San Diego County Fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County and the sixth largest fair in the United States. The 2010 Fair hosted more than 1.3 million guests and hit an all-time attendance record.
(The mobile phone link only works when accessed on a mobile phone.)
It's exciting canine action at the 2011 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons/Sav-on, as the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge returns to the Chevrolet Del Mar Arena the first weekend of the Fair, June 10-12.
San Diego-area dogs have the opportunity to qualify to participate in two of the events – Incredible Diving Dog and Incredible Freestyle Flying Disc. Qualifying is open to all dogs from around the San Diego area to try to dive for distance into a 19,000-gallon pool of water or catch a flying disc with great accuracy and speed. Top qualifiers win the chance to demonstrate their skills during the competition on June 11 at the Chevrolet Del Mar Arena.
The schedule for registration and qualifying competition:
Friday, June 10
10 a.m., Qualifying Sign-Up and Registration at the Fair’s Stable Gate off Jimmy Durante Blvd. near the intersection with Via de la Valle
11 a.m., Incredible Diving Dog Qualifying
Noon, Incredible Freestyle Flying Disc Qualifying
Saturday, June 11
12:30 p.m., Incredible Diving Dog Competition
2:45 p.m., Incredible Freestyle Flying Disc Competition
Top dogs from around the country and their handlers will participate in a host of other competitions before and after these events. More great canine performances will take place in the Chevrolet Del Arena on Sunday, June 12. The performances will be recorded and aired on San Diego 6 — The CW on Sunday, July 31, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Encinitas, Calif. is Funky Town - The View from AspenSpin.com, Living the Dream Since 2006...
Encinitas is Funky Town
Encinitas, California might just be the funkiest town in the United States. The small coastal berg which is pushed up against the Pacific Ocean is home to about 60,000 residents many of whom are living in their vans. Encinitas is made up of 5 distinct neighborhoods. Historic Encinitas which runs along the famous 101 and borders the ocean. It's a small and super-funky beach inspired downtown.
New Encinitas is East of I-5 (so we've never really been there) and is basically like any other suburban, strip mall lined town (Target, Bed Bath and Beyond , Walgreen's etc.) Olivehain is also a bit inland and is mostly olive groves and has a more rural ranch-like setting.
Bordering the 6 miles of pristine coastline are&...
State of California-mandated Solana Beach affordable housing is not just a river in Egypt, according to officials...
(Photo: Solana Beach-supplied artist's conception of "The Pearl" proposed mixed-use affordable housing project.)
Faced with state of California-mandated affordable housing requirements, Solana Beach officials Wednesday unveiled a mixed-use development project proposal called "The Pearl" that would add 10 apartments and 1,300-square foot market. The apartments would house an estimated 44 residents.
That leaves only another 130 to 135 affordable housing units to go before 2020.
Solana Beach officials held a sparsely attended workshop detailing the first small steps towards affordable housing for Solana Beach-kind. The proposed site at South Sierra Avenue, just north of Via de la Valle is a parking lot on the bluffs above Highway 101.
A public-private development partnership with developer Ginger Hitzke will go threesies with a cherry on top with three each of 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom apartments topped by the exclusive -- albeit "affordable" -- 4-bedroom suite. Families of four who make between $27,500 and $48,700 per year would be eligible to apply. Solana Beach’s is $78,500.
As per the general Solana Beach NIMBYism, a few residents of the neighborhood kind called the project "completely inappropriate for our neighborhood."
Interim City Manager David Ott -- he "retired" in September 2010 -- was quoted as saying, “Low-income housing has to be throughout the community to integrate with the whole community,”
Said councilman Dave Roberts, according to sources, the project was a “gift that fell into this community’s hands that would help the city avoid costly lawsuits for violating state housing rules as well as provide housing for local teachers and police officers.
MORE ON DAVID OTT'S INTERIM CONTRACT WITH SOLANA BEACH
Solana Beach City Manager David Ott, who announced last month that he would retire at the end of the year, has agreed to stay on into 2011 to help the city transition to his eventual replacement.
Ott, 56, said last month that “personal circumstances” led to his decision to leave his position as of Dec. 30. He will serve on in an at-will, interim basis from Jan. 1 through June 30. His agreement has the potential for two 180-day extensions. Ott will earn $78 an hour, have a monthly vehicle allowance of $450 and a cell phone allowance of $50. He will not receive any medical, dental or retirement benefits, saving the city an estimated $84,000.
Encinitas, Cal. Erases Monster Art But Not The Surfing Madonna To Date...
(Report courtesy of KPBS, public radio in San Diego. For more visit the source, or so they say, here.)
Enlarge this image Photo by Alison St John Above: Veronica Gianecolla walking her dogs by the bridge next to Cardiff State Beach where the city removed the monster painting from a concrete space below Highway 101. May 27th 2011.)
The city is already grappling with what to do about another piece of unsolicited public art that appeared overnight under a bridge off Encinitas Boulevard....
Producing and Eating Produce from Local Sources, Not Just a Fad Anymore...
(Editor's Note: Helen and Richard Nielsen-Eckfield are actively retired living in Carlsbad in North County. His career has been in city management and teaching public administration. Helen is the former co-owner of Carlsbad Ranch Market, which continues as a community icon for fresh produce under her son Vincent's owners. Photo beow: Lemon Twist farm stand on Del Dios Highway.)
Producing and Eating Produce from Local Sources, Not Just a Fad Anymore.
Food availability is fast becoming the new driver of world politics, contends Lester Brown in the lead article "The New Geopolitics of Food" in the May-June issue of Foreign Policy Magazine. Brown,...