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December 2013

On the Internet at www.SEASIDECourier.com

Volume 1 – Number 1

Welcome everyone to North County’s newest newspaper! By Jim Madaffer Publisher

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ho says newspapers are dead? It was just a generation ago that folks in coastal North County could turn to any one of several newspapers and find a steady

diet of local coverage. Today? Not so much. But we haven’t given up on print. Which is why we’re launching the Seaside Courier. Our goal is to provide residents from Del Mar to Oceanside the news, features and commentaries that are ignored by what’s left of the print media in San Diego County. Our

mission is to hear your voice. And our standards are high. In fact, the people editing and writing for the Seaside Courier include several respected, award-winning journalists with decades of experience covering the region. The Seaside Courier debuts as a monthly with a circulation of 33,000. More than 27,000

copies will be mailed to homes and businesses in Encinitas and Carlsbad. An additional 6,000 will be distributed at high-traffic rack locations. The newspaper will target an audience looking for content related to their home, neighborhood and community, See WELCOME page 13

The North County Race Is On

Civic boosters hope California 10/20 will showcase area By David Ogul Seaside Courier Editor

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ore than a year of planning and countless meetings with residents, business groups and government leaders culminate Feb. 16 with the launch of a new 10-mile run featuring bands on 20 stages spread along the coastal North County route. The inaugural California 10/20 starts at the Del Mar fairgrounds and heads west to Coast Highway 101 before turning north through Solana Beach and doubling back after reaching Restaurant Row in Cardiff. City officials are hoping the event will help showcase coastal North County.

At Your Service North County residents looking to sign up for health insurance By David Ogul Seaside Courier Editor

C The California 10/20 is modeled after a similar race in Austin. The route features 20 bands over a 10-mile course. Photo courtesy of Turnkey Operations

“It should bring a lot of people to the area and let them see and enjoy our community,” said Del Mar Mayor Terry Sinnott. The run is being organized by Peter Douglass, a founding member of San Diego-based Elite Racing Inc. and who

helped launch the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. He says 10 milers may be the next big thing in distance racing. “A lot of 10-mile events are cropping up around the country,” he said. “It’s See CALIFORNIA 10/20 page 13

RAIL IMPROVEMENTS PLANNED IN REGION

Extensive rail upgrades are in store for North County

By Ray Huard for the Seaside Courier

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n estimated $902 million in improvements are planned for the rail corridor between San Diego and the Orange County line, some of which are nearing completion and others more than a decade away. The improvements range from

replacing old railway bridges to double tracking the route, the latter of which would create separate north and southbound lines. “The whole goal of the program is to increase the rail capacity. For the most part, the way we increase capacity is double tracking,” said John Linthicum, director of mobility for SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments). “As you increase the number of

trains going through, you have to increase the tracks.” If all goes as planned, the entire 60-mile rail corridor from San Diego to the Orange County line should be double-tracked by 2040, Linthicam said. Roughly 30 miles already have been double-tracked. About 66 passenger and freight trains travel the route each day, and the plan – once improvements are complete – is to increase that to 83 by 2020 and 119 by 2030. Already, the rail corridor from San Diego to San Luis Obispo is one of the busiest in the nation, second only to the northeast corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C. Perhaps the most ambitious and least certain of the improvements for the San Diego to Oceanside stretch is a proposal to build a tunnel to double-track a portion of the line through Del Mar. See RAILROAD page 2

all it open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act. Covered California is in business and North County residents can sign up for health insurance on the exchange that implements the Affordable Care Act. Plans differ, and tax credits are offered to low-income residents. A person making $11,490 a year, for example, would pay $19 per month for a mid-range plan that comes with a $3 co-pay for office visits to a primarycare physician and a $25 co-pay for emergency room visits. An individual earning more than $45,000 per year would pay $364 a month for the mid-range plan, and a family of four earning more than $94,000 annually would pay up to $764 a month. The Affordable Care Act not only expands coverage to millions of uninsured residents, it also precludes insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. And it requires that insurance bought through the Covered California marketplace provide an array of preventative care services, including immunization vaccines. Covered California isn’t the only new insurance option available. Under a federally subsidized expansion of Medi-Cal, any individual or family with an income that is at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level qualifies for Medi-Cal insurance. Previously, a person had to meet other criteria to be eligible for Medi-Cal including being on a state welfare program or having a serious illness such as HIV or cancer. For more information, visit www.coveredca.com or call 800-300-1506.


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LOCAL News

Sea Creatures Column

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

Greetings From Sand and Sea By Chris Ahrens Seaside Courier Columnist Hello, my name is Chris. I’ll be your guide in walking, diving and surfing North County’s coastline. I’m qualified for this because of the miles I’ve put on our beaches and waves. My first thoughts about this area came in 1958 when my father announced we were moving to a town called Cardiff-by-the-Sea. I was a year or so from riding my first waves and protested so loudly that he relented and we remained locked in L.A. By the early ‘60s I was riding to the beat of Surfin’ USA where The Beach Boys sang “at Haggerty’s and Swami’s.” I had been to Haggerty’s, even had the honor of being run over there by the locals, but where was this Swami’s place? I would soon find out when I hitched a ride in Big Al’s infamous woody. Big Al was no surf legend, but he was a major player to us kids in LA, and we watched as he threw his 10’ 6” Greg Noll Surfboard over the cliff. The waves looked big and scary, but Big Al was bigger and scarier, so I surfed the little waves on the inside reef and fell forever in love with that spot. In 1970 I finally moved to Cardiff where I rented a threebedroom house for $100 a month,

along with a tribe of  local surfers. From then on I surfed Swami’s and the surrounding surf spots. I have surfed waves so small they could have broken in a bathtub and watched from the cliff as the biggest swells of the century shattered the coastline. I watched the last of the local fishermen, the late, great Tommy Lewis, ride 6-foot waves, gunning the motor at the last second on his purple skiff at George’s, and I’ve seen Mike Doyle take the drop on a 10-foot wave from way outside, Swami’s, not stopping until his fin dragged in the sand beyond the lifeguard tower. I’ve also seen Brad Gerlach, Rob

New Zealand. I was gone for two years, only to return after the longing in my gut for old friends and the clean, classic waves of my home became too intense. Back in California by ’74, crowds drove me to rediscover longboards. These days I only ride surfboards occasionally, more often prone on surf mats, bodyboards or a foam alaia. When the surf is good, however, I still employ my prize possessions - my Frye Fish or my Ekstrom Asymmetrical. Most mornings I merely walk the sand, observing the ocean’s changing moods, stopping to chat with friends or pocketing a seashell or a heart-shaped stone. I don’t carry pen and paper, but I do keep good mental notes. As a journalist, I consider the strip of sand and water from Ponto to Seaside Reef, my beat. I uncover many wonderful things, including characters that range from pro surfers, realtors and urban campers, all of whom dispense wisdom and nonsense in equal measures. I have a lot to say about the people and things that wash up on shore, or bob and weave amid the swells. Meanwhile, please feel free to contact me with your story ideas Machado and Joel Tudor morph as I attempt to gain clear focus from super groms into world- on the sand and water world we class surfers. all share and love. My email is In 1972, I fled the crowds of chubascopublishing@cox.net. North County for Australia and

Railroad, from page 1 There’s no estimate on the cost, timing or environmental impact of a tunnel. “We haven’t done studies to say ‘here’s where we go under the ground, here’s where we come out of the ground,” Linthicum said. The cost of the tunnel is not included in the $902 million estimate used by SANDAG, but Linthicum said it was “an expensive proposition.” The $902-million estimate covers 19 separate projects, some of which are finished or nearing completion. Fifteen of the 19 have been funded through construction, according to SANDAG’s Bill Prey, who is in charge of rail corridor planning. Over the next few years, rail passengers can expect to see a lot of construction happening, Linthicum said. More importantly, they should see better train service. “The reliability should increase,” Linthicum said. Projects already under construction include a $41 million bridge over the Santa Margarita River north of Oceanside, set for completion in March 2014; a $44 million project to double track a portion of the rail line in Sorrento Valley; and $11 million for new pedestrian crossovers at Tecolote Canyon and Washington Street in San Diego. Projects nearing construction include $19.6 million in improvements to the Oceanside Transit Center, $34 million for more double tracking in Sorrento Valley and $9 million for four new concrete bridges over Los Penasquitos Lagoon to replace aging wooden trestle bridges. The improvements to the Oceanside transit center include adding a third track and new platform to allow trains to pass through while others are boarding. Construction is pegged to start next year. Projects in the design phase include double tracking through Carlsbad Village and building a new bridge across the Buena Vista Lagoon; double tracking across Batiquitos Lagoon; doubletracking across San Elijo Lagoon; and double tracking across San Dieguito Lagoon. Future plans include $13 million in improvements to Poinsettia Station to replace an at-grade pedestrian crossing with a crossing that goes beneath the tracks, and $9.5 million to build a new platform at Del Mar Fairgrounds for special events. The 100-yearold bridge at the fairgrounds would be replaced. Construction of the Penasquitos Lagoon bridge is expected to start this winter and the project to double-track the line through Sorrento Valley should break ground in early 2014, Linthicum said. “It’s a big important program,” Linthicum said of the overall rail line plans. Improving the rail corridor is a key element of SANDAG’s overall plans to improving transportation in the county. “You’re taking cars off of I-5 by giving them mobility choices,” Linthicum said. “It’s just so critical to the region’s economy.”


LOCAL NEWS

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

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CLEANING UP IN CARLSBAD

NORTH COUNTY NEWS BRIEFS

ENCINITAS PARK COMING TO FRUITION

Development of Encinitas Community Park has passed the halfway point. The 44-acre greenbelt at 453 Santa Fe Drive will have a 13,000-square-foot skatepark, a 2-acre dog park, a soccer field and three multi-use fields among its amenities. Construction began in September of 2012 and is expected to be complete in 2014. The cost is budgeted at $19.3 million.

Plastic bag ban on horizon Encinitas is moving toward banning single-use plastic bags at grocery stores. The City Council on Nov. 21 directed City Hall staff to develop a proposed ordinance to limit the bags that many say are a scourge of the environment. But it may become a moot point; an environmental review could take months and a state Senator has vowed to reintroduce a bill in early 2014 that would phase out such bags throughout California. Some 75 local governments have adopted ordinances regulating the use of plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores. Solana Beach in the summer of 2012 became the first city in San Diego County to restrict their use, and an ordinance is being prepared for the San Diego City Council to consider. The Encinitas-based Equinox Center says a San Diego ban would result in the number of

plastic bags used in that city to drop from 500 million to 150 million annually. Encinitas is looking at a phasedin prohibition for retailers over a one-year period, beginning with grocery stores, pharmacies and large retailers and followed by smaller retailers. People who opt for paper bags would be charged 10 cents per bag. Nonprofits and restaurants would be exempt from the rules, and plastic bags could still be used for produce. T h o s e supporting tighter rules on using plastic bags say the move would help lengthen the life of landfills

and while reducing ocean pollution. But a lot of Solana Beach residents say they have taken to shopping in neighboring cities, rather than pay a 10-cent per paper bag charge. The National Center for Policy Analysis found four-fifths of stores in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County covered by a ban there reported a decrease in sales. Stores not affected by a ban saw an increase. San Francisco in 2007 became the first city in the state to regulate single-use plastic bags. The Encinitas council moved ahead with its plans on a 3-2 vote with Mark Muir and Kristin Gaspar opposed.

Sidewalks in Carlsbad will be getting cleaner, thanks to a new contract with the Urban Corps of San Diego County. The city previously contracted with a private company to clean the Village area and seawall twice a year.  For the same cost, though, Urban Corp crews will perform work throughout the city three times a week, year round. “We’ve been employing Urban Corps for 10 years for other projects, and they deliver highly dependable, professional service for a reasonable price,” said utilities supervisor Carolyn Dobbs. “It also helps Urban Corps members develop job skills and gain

experience.” Urban Corps is nonprofit that provides a high school education and job training to adults between the ages of 18 and 25. It has helped more than 10,000 people since 1989. Sidewalk-scrubbing crews from the Urban Corps began working in Carlsbad on Oct. 4. “We’ll focus their efforts downtown and on the seawall, because we get so much foot traffic there, but they’ll be working throughout Carlsbad, wherever we need them,” Dobbs said. The contract, renewable annually for five years, is not to exceed $68,000 a year.

HOLIDAY ON PARADE The 2013 Encinitas Holiday Parade rolls along Coast Highway 101 on Saturday, Dec. 7th. The parade is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. following a 5 p.m. tree-lighting ceremony a the Lumberyard shopping center.

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4 S C — LOCAL NEWS Historic building getting Teacher of the Year’s secret? new life in Encinitas Love what you’re doing EASIDE OURIER.COM

Seaside Courier

Photo courtesy of the San Dieguito Heritage Museum

By Tawny McCray for the Seaside Courier A nearly 130-year-old historic farmhouse built in Olivenhain is getting all gussied up. The Teten house, constructed in 1885, will be set on a new foundation and undergo repairs to the roof and porch. Cost is estimated at $62,000, of which $15,000 is coming from the county. Donations will pay for much of the rest. The house now sits at the San Dieguito Heritage Museum on Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas. The renovation is part of the museum’s expansion plan that the Encinitas Planning Commission approved in September. Shea Homes is overseeing the construction. The farmhouse is among other historic buildings on the muse-

The Tetens and their historic house when it was in Olivenhain.

um’s campus, including a general store from the 1800s, a historic Texaco gas station, a Native American grass hut, a 1930s migrant shack built in the early days of Ecke Ranch, and an old stage coach. The house, first located on Block 26 in the Colony of See TETENS page 14

Science was a subject Samantha Greenstein liked when she was a kid because of the work in the lab creating and watching things change. But it was also one of her toughest classes. And that’s part of the reason she became a teacher: to help students understand difficult concepts and build a foundation to tackle challenging concepts later. “I didn’t want to go to medical school or do what the other science majors were doing,” she said. “I found all the things I was passionate about was working with young people...I realized that this was my calling.” Greenstein, 30, is a science instructor at Earl Warren Middle School in the San Dieguito Union High School District. She was recently named Teacher of the Year at the campus and was one of the more than 40 nominees for the 2013 San Diego County Teacher of the Year award. “I was surprised,” she said of being recognized. “I didn’t enter teaching to get any sort of external recognition. I think teachers are pretty clear that that’s not a big part of the job...most teachers are called to the profession because they’re giving and they want to give to the profession. But it’s nice that I can bring recognition to Earl Warren because there are really awesome teachers here.”

Samantha Greenstein Science Instructor Education has always been at the forefront of the Greenstein family. Greenstein’s father was a teacher in the same school district and her mother recently retired from a position with the testing office at MiraCosta College. She watched her father work within a school community, contributing to it and working with students to help them understand and become passionate about the subjects he was teaching. She tries to do the same thing with her students. Greenstein has been teaching for eight years and enjoys watching her students grow and mature and appreciate and become invested in what they’re learning. Her favorite teacher was a high school English instructor who took time to get to know her

DECEMBER 2013

students and try and understand where they were coming from. That kind of advocacy is something Greenstein practices with her own students today. It’s important to make sure “that my students, regardless of where they’re coming from, are able to access the curriculum and feel a part of the community and be able to learn,” she said. “To make sure students feel valued and accepted in the classroom environment. A big part of my teaching is looking at kids who are struggling and figuring out how they can be successful.” Doing that has led to the best moments in her classroom, when kids who were disengaged or having a difficult time are able to have an experience in class where they feel successful. The other side of that is when her students who are already successful feel challenged and stimulated in class. She wants them to feel respected, listens to their needs, and is willing to work with them until they have the grades they think they deserve. Through the years, teaching has taught her a lot. “About patience and about just having faith that the process is working because sometimes there are days that are tiring and they can be frustrating,” she said. “But it’s taught me that if you really care about students and put an effort into making their education meaningful to them, the rewards will come really naturally.”

North County becoming a craft brew capital By Ray Huard for the Seaside Courier

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orth County is awash in a growing number of craft breweries, and more are on tap for the coming year. From Carlsbad to Escondido, the region has evolved a microbrew haven. More than 20 already are open for business, with Vista setting the pace. “We have more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the United States,” said Kevin Ham, the city’s economic development director. Vista has eight craft breweries with two breweries and one beer pub set to come online soon, according to the Vista Brewers’ Guild. “I think the city was a little hesitant at first because we’re a pretty conservative town,” said Claudia Faulk, chief financial officer of Aztec Brewing Co. and one of the first breweries to open in Vista. “We work really hard to keep our standards up. We don’t think this is a place to party it up and sell as much beer as we can,” Faulk said. But Vista officials quickly realized that craft breweries were an important addition to the local economy, Ham said, and stepped

Tim St. Martin, CEO of Barrel Harbor Brew Co., is among those with high hopes for the North County craft beer industry. Photo by David Ogul

in to help with permits and other assistance. “We started understanding the business a little bit better,” Ham said. “Really, it was what we’ve already been doing, expanding to this new industry.” Aside from the economic benefit the breweries themselves bring to a city, Ham said they are a selling point in attracting other

businesses. “It really helps us from a business recruitment standpoint,” Ham said. Out-of-town executives stop in the breweries to relax and start to consider Vista as a possible location for their business, Ham said. The breweries also provide a gathering spot for company workers to brainstorm away from the

office. “Friday, at 7 o’clock, they’ll all go in and sit down and work through a problem,” Ham said. Faulk said the helping hand city officials offer brewers is one reason so many have located in Vista. “Working with Kevin (Ham), he was a great guy. They all are down at the city,” Faulk said.

Oceanside Economic Development Coordinator Tracey Bohlen said Oceanside just added one new brewery – Legacy Brewing Co. that opened in October on Airport Road off of State Road 76 – and is eager for more. “It’s another attraction,” Bohlen said. Oceanside is home to Breakwater Brewing Company, Oceanside Ale Works and Surfside Tap Room, Bohlen said. A new brewery, restaurant and tasting room also is set to open, probably sometime next year, in a former Oceanside Saab car dealership, Bohlen said. “That’s going to be real awesome,” Bohlen said. “He’s doing a lot of work to the building to turn it into a restaurant and brewery.” Stone Brewing Company, based in Escondido, also has a store and tasting room in Oceanside. It is looking to add a hotel, and recently expanded with a restaurant and microbrewery in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood. Carlsbad has a handful of craft breweries, but Economic Development Manager Christina Vincent said the city is at a disadvantage compared to some other North County cities in attracting more. “We don’t have quite the same See BREWING page 10


EDUCATION NEWS

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

Switching careers for the classroom

Grauer’s nationally competitive robotics team.

Seaside Courier Shawntanet Jara had a master’s degree in developmental psychology and was working in a mental health unit with minors. She knew she wanted to work with and help children, but discovered she didn’t want to do it in that capacity. “It was horrible. It was horrific stories every single day. I saw how evil the world can be to the most innocent individuals on the planet, and I thought, ‘I cannot do this every day and walk into this darkness,’” she recalled. “That was one thing that made me start looking at things differently.” She looked at teaching, which she’s been doing for the past 16 years. Today, Jara is 41 and a transitional kindergarten teacher at Solana Vista School in Solana Beach. She was recently named Teacher of the Year at her campus and was one of the more than 40 nominees for the San Diego County Teacher of the Year award. She was surprised when she was selected because “everybody around here works very hard and everybody’s doing what they feel is best,” she said. “I think I was caught off guard a little bit.” Transitional kindergarten is the first year in a two-year kindergarten program, serving children with fall birthdays from Sept. 1 to Dec. 2, according to Jara. It serves as a bridge between preschool and kindergarten, covering material – such as sharing, friendship and identifying sounds – that kindergarten doesn’t really have time for anymore. (Kindergarten kids have moved on to writing paragraphs and working with iPads.) She loves the connections she makes with the kids in her room and their families, and being in

Shawntanet Jara Transitional Kindergarten Teacher a field that allows her to be creative, which is something she wasn’t sure she could have in public education. Fortunately, Jara met teachers early on in her career who incorporated methods like storytelling and knitting to teach the required concepts. After that, she saw teaching as an art. “And if it’s not an art, I don’t really know how you’re doing it because the only way you’re even gonna get any sort of learning done is if you’re connecting with these kids,” she said. “If there’s a message to be spread, you can only do that by connecting to people, and that’s what teachers are trying to do every day.” Her time in the classroom has taught Jara humility and to remain open to learning. She’s also found that although people see teachers as nurturers, her students pour out a lot of nurturing of their own. The little ones in her room let her know that she’s important to them when they’re jumping up and down and excited to see her on a Tuesday or hugging her all day. “They nurture your spirit, they let you know when you’re doing the right thing and when you’re not,” she said. “I think the innocence and honesty of these kids is the bet because I know I’m not gonna get that anywhere else.”

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EDUCATION

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

COMMENTARY

From the classroom By Jeremy Ogul Seaside Courier

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fter sitting in on a couple of seventh-grade life science classes taught by Chris Faist and Tracy McCabe at Carmel Valley Middle School, I almost found myself wanting to go back to seventh grade. Students there don’t have to sit silently and listen to the teacher prattle on for hours. They don’t have to fill their notebooks with page after page of handwritten notes. Instead, the students in the Faist and McCabe classrooms spend their time answering the teachers’ questions, asking throwing out queries of their own and practicing their knowledge through activities, demonstrations and experiments. You know — fun stuff. Faist and McCabe teach their classes using a “flipped” model, meaning the material is introduced at home and then practiced in class. For homework, students go online for links to the videos they need to watch for the next day’s class. They watch the videos, take whatever notes they need and answer some basic questions on an online form that is sent to the teacher to prove they watched the videos they were supposed to watch. In class, the knowledge they gained from the videos is put into practice. “I’m not introducing the topic,” McCabe said. “I’m deepening their understanding of what they’ve already started to learn.” It’s a relatively new concept.

The two teachers seem to be the only ones in the San Dieguito Union High School District who have made it the foundation of their classes. The students seem to appreciate it. “The textbook doesn’t make sense to me,” said Ryan Caspersen, a student in McCabe’s class. “The textbook is too complicated.” Another student, Ayumi Bindley, said she learns more in her science class this year than last. “Last year we took a lot of notes but [my teacher] wouldn’t really explain it,” she said. “We didn’t really understand it.” The flipped classroom approach can work beyond science classrooms, too. Shannon Merideth, an English Language Development teacher at Carmel Valley, has experimented with flipping her lessons for English language learners. Traditionally, a teacher such as Merideth would read out loud in class as students follow along with the book, but that doesn’t leave much time to actually discuss what was read or to examine difficult words or sentences. With the flipped approach, Merideth records videos of the pages along with audio of herself reading the words out loud. This allows her students to pause, rewind or take a break if they need it. In class, it means there is more time for students to practice their academic English by discussing the themes and literary devices in the book with each other. The big question: Do these new teaching methods boost test

Science teacher Tracy McCabe uses a “flipped model” while leading students in a simulation of the heart’s pumping capacity at Carmel Valley Middle School. Photo by Jeremy Ogul scores? “I would love to be able to say yes,” Faist said. He and McCabe have been using the same tests for their classes for the past six years, but they have not been able to identify any statistically significant changes in the test score distributions. But there isn’t much room for improvement. At 976 last year, Carmel Valley already has the highest Academic Performance Index scores of any middle school in San Diego County, by far. The top score a school can get is 1,000. Carmel Valley also happens to serve one of the most affluent communities in the county.

“We know we work in ‘la-la land’,” McCabe said. “We know we work in this amazing place where parents are involved and kids come to class with technology.” That’s why McCabe says she would never try to sell these teaching methods across the board. What works in the wealthy northern neighborhoods of San Diego may not be so effective in the struggling working-class neighborhoods of Oceanside. But test scores are only one measure of success. We could also look at the level of focus and engagement among students during class. More importantly, we could

measure how many of McCabe or Faist’s students go to college, how many of them choose to major in a scientific discipline and how many of them end up getting jobs in the sciences. Or we could simply ask students about how they feel about going to class every day. It’s too soon to measure most of these things. If this teaching style has a truly lasting impact, it could take years before we could really measure it. For now, the smiles and laughter and the questions and answers among students in these classes has to be proof of something.

Academic achievement leads to letterman’s jackets By Steve Lombard Communications specialist Oceanside Unified School District It used to be that only athletes could strut across a high school campus sporting decorative letterman’s jackets. Not anymore. At Oceanside High School, a growing number of students are donning vibrant green-and-white jackets as symbols of their academic achievements. Since 2002, the local Girard Foundation has provided the money to pay for the coats that grace members of the Girard PREP Scholars team. Bob Schroeder, who created the original scholars’ program at Lincoln High School in San Diego, said the jackets are a simple way for the group to recognize students for their outstanding study habits. “There is no scholarship money in this program,” said Schroeder, a member of the foundation’s board. “It’s all about the jackets. The students know that if they do certain things, so does the foundation. They have to earn it.” At a cost of nearly $300 apiece,

OHS Girard PREP Scholars looking sharp decked out in their new letterman’s jackets. Photo by Paul Ruez, Oceanside High School instructor

the jackets are awarded to students who maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5, have solid citizenship and attendance records, and maintain a firm interest in pursuing a college education. Students and parents sign a contract outlining the requirements.

Meeting the requirements result in an invitation to an annual “Celebration of Success,” an evening for students and their families to celebrate academic gains. It’s the moment when the newest scholars finally slip their arms into a new letterman’s jacket.

“In 12 years, this is the only program that recognizes student academics,” said Oceanside High School counselor Ruth Sienkiewicz, who coordinates the program at the school. “All that is expected is for them to excel in the classroom and to purse a college education.” In fact, Oceanside High is the only campus with such a program in the county. After about a decade, the Girard program was retired at San Diego’s Lincoln High. Schroeder, through his Rotary connections, helped bring it to Oceanside. Junior Amanda Dixon drew her inspiration to earn a jacket the night she attended her brother, Isaac’s, Celebration of Success. ‘This proves you don’t have to play to get a jacket and that good grades are just as cool,” said the future lawyer. “It’s a good feeling because I know all my hard work has paid off.” Athletes are competing academically, too. Varsity football player Joshua Bernard firmly believes his academic prowess trumps his athletic accomplishments. “Getting the jacket was a very humbling moment. Academically

I consider it a huge blessing,” said the Pirates’ linebacker and running back. “A lot of people did not expect to see me do this because I am an athlete. It feels really good to prove them wrong.” Bernard and Dixon are among the 210 Oceanside High students who have earned the title of Girard PREP Scholar. And nearly every scholar in the past has gone on to college. Said Will Tate, a Gates Millennium Scholar who now attends the University of San Diego: “The Girard PREP program was the first to encourage me and recognize my commitment to attend college.” “I’m just amazed at what the former students get out of this program and how astute they are at identifying the benefits and what it means to be a Girard PREP Scholar,” said Sienkiewicz. Steve Lombard is a communications specialist with the Oceanside Unified School District. This story was written for and edited by the Seaside Courier as part of an effort to let local residents know what is happening in their schools.


EDUCATION

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF MIRACOSTA COLLEGE By Francisco Rodriguez MiraCosta President MiraCosta College’s San Elijo Campus is undergoing dynamic changes that are strengthening its role as a leading transfer-focused institution with an actively engaged student body.  Students are benefiting from a growing academic program.  Construction of  the first phase of a new science building is set to begin this semester with the scheduled opening next fall. The number of Friday course offerings this fall has almost quadrupled from last spring. And extracurricular student activity has exploded. “I see a much more vibrant campus and students who are much more engaged,” said Nikki Schaper, associate dean of student services. “In the past, for example, we often struggled to get students to our events. Now we have people coming up to us asking when our next event is going to be.”  The transformation is being directed by Dana Smith, the instructional dean who is in charge of the picturesque campus located near the northern shore of the San Elijo Lagoon. Smith has developed a strategy based on an analysis of student needs and demographics after she arrived as site dean little more than a year ago. What she found was that San Elijo is a campus where 7 of 10 students are between the ages of 18 and 24 (compared to the Oceanside Campus’ ratio of 6 in 10), and where nearly half of all students are no older than 20. The school is drawing a growing number of students from Carmel Valley in the district’s southern boundaries, complementing the still large number from Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas. Finally, she found that the younger students were going to the San Elijo Campus with a purpose. “Our students are local, our students are young and our students want to transfer to a four-year college or university,” Smith said. That led to the new `Friday Core’ – courses in English composition, political science, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, chemistry, film, communication, biology, art, and oceanography – that enable students solely enrolled in Friday classes to meet all the general education requirements needed to transfer to a UC or CSU school, or a private university. The added courses also relieve crowding of these high-demand classes during the rest of the week. “The best part is that these classes filled,” Smith said, adding that enrollment is up to nearly 400 students on Fridays, from roughly 100 just last year. Another key addition will be new science labs, eliminating the need for students in the southern part of our college district who are taking advanced science courses from having to drive to

the Oceanside Campus. In May 2012, the Board of Trustees authorized spending up to $4.7 million on several new modular laboratory buildings at the Oceanside and San Elijo campuses, and “green” Gen 7 models were installed at the Oceanside Campus in June. It later became clear, however, that it would be better aligned with the long-term needs of the San Elijo Campus to build permanent lab space. The labs will be used initially for popular and much-needed transfer classes in chemistry and general sciences classes. “You cannot teach chemistry or biology in a regular classroom,” Smith noted. “You need these labs. They will be a vital addition.” Administrators, meanwhile, have been busy working to accommodate the growing number of students by expanding cafeteria hours and health services on Fridays. Efforts also include making the campus more of a place for students to stay and socialize. “We’ve created spaces for students to meet and form a greater sense of community,” she said. Those spaces include the revamping of a second-floor patio at the Student Center, which offers breathtaking views of the San Elijo Lagoon. Lawn chairs also have been placed around the campus. College Hour, where students can gather to hear live music, relax, and eat while visiting various informational tables, is held twice monthly. More than 300 people attended the first event featuring singer/songwriter Raelee Nikole. In addition, the Learning for Everyone Program, coordinated by the Student Activities Office, partners with the International Languages Department to screen foreign films on various Fridays and hold symposiums ranging from poetry to politics on the Fridays when no films are shown. “We’ve seen more students stay here and gather throughout the campus,” Schaper said. One barometer of increased engagement is in student government. In the past, it often wasn’t until late in the fall semester that all student government positions were filled. Not so this year. All positions were filled by mid-September. “That was unprecedented,” Schaper said. “Students are much more interested in campus life.” The campus has come a long way since the MiraCosta College District purchased the 47-acre site in 1980 and opened its doors to 2,500 in 1988. Today, more than 3,300 students are enrolled in at least one of the 225 courses offered, and classes are 91 percent filled. Thanks to all the work the faculty, staff and administrators are doing at the San Elijo Campus, it is a jewel in the southern part of our district that serves the needs of our students and community.

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EDUCATION

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

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SOLANA BEACH NEWS

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

Solana Beach resident captures trail riding title By David Ogul Seaside Courier Editor

Solana Beach resident Gabrielle Lofton was a bit burned out and had taken a few years off of competitive horseback riding when she saw her sister at an equestrian event last winter. “I realized how much I missed it,” she said. “I decided it was time to go back.” It didn’t take long to find her groove. Just a few months after returning, the 19-year-old entered the American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma City in August. She topped 156 other entries in her division and took first place in the Trail Challenge. “I was in shock,” she said. “I hadn’t won anything in a while. It was a great feeling.” Lofton has been riding almost as long as she’s been walking. Born and raised in the small Imperial County desert town of Brawley, Lofton took her first riding lessons when she was 3 years old. “I’ve always been around horses,” she said. In fact, Lofton has been riding competitively since she was 7 and she who won her first international competition just two years later in Dallas at the American Junior Paint Horse Association World Championship Show. “I was born into horseback riding and I was raised around it, so it’s kind of normal, but winning a world competition was surreal,” she said. Lofton says her favorite thing about her sport is that her teammate is a horse. But that also can

Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Lofton

Solana Beach equestrian Gabrielle Lofton rides at the American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Championship in Oklahoma City

prove challenging. “You’re dealing with an animal. Who knows what their attitude is going to be like on any particular day. And my horses are kind of moody, so I don’t know what I’m going to get.” In fact, her horse, who goes by the name Lil Bit Western in competitions, was acting up the day before the Oklahoma City event. Thoughts of skipping the competition crossed her mind. But when it came time for the Trail

Challenge, which basically is a maneuvering around an obstacle course, her teammate was willing to take direction without a fuss. Lofton is attending MiraCosta College and hopes to graduate in May. She has her sights set on Oklahoma State University, where she hopes to continue her equestrian pursuits. “I love the school and I love the state and there are a lot of horse shows out there,” Lofton said.

COMMENTARY: SOLANA BEACH BEAT

PAYING TO PARTY By Gerri Retman-Opper

How much does it cost to get an initiative on the ballot in Solana Beach? According to a document recently filed with the city, it cost one individual $24,612.79 to get the Party Policy Initiative for Fletcher Cove Community Center on the ballot. In August, the City Council developed a policy that allows residents to rent the Fletcher Cove Community Center for private parties on two weekends per month. Alcohol and music would be allowed. The council’s policy is a compromise that took into consideration all sides: the residents who want to rent the facility, the people who want to use the beach and parks, the customers who want to shop and dine on Highway 101 and the Plaza, and the homeowners who live in the Fletcher Cove area. Importantly, the council’s policy can be modified without requiring an election.

Gerri Retman-Opper has been a Solana Beach resident for 30 years.

But that wasn’t enough for some. Over the past several months, one wealthy individual and his group paid to circulate petitions calling for looser rules at the Community Center. Then they tried to pressure the City Council into adopting their rules without a public vote, using the cost of a special election as leverage. This group’s “my way or the highway” campaign left the

City Council with the choice of either spending $200,000 for a special election on the initiative or adopting a bad law that can only be changed through another election. Council members agreed that the initiative’s Party Policy is a bad law. And adopting a bad law based solely to avoid the cost See PARTY page 12

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LOCAL News

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

Brewing, from page 4 kind of makeup for land use that some of our neighbors have,” Vincent said. Calling Vista “the Mecca of North County” for craft beer breweries, Vincent said “it’s not one of our major industry clusters.” “A lot of it has to do with the land use and the availability of space that’s conducive to a manufacturing environment,” Vincent said. “I very rarely get a call.” Aside from helpful city officials, location is a key attraction North County offers craft brewers. Legacy Brewing co-owner John Snyder said he picked Oceanside because of its easy access to markets in San Diego, Riverside,

Orange County and Los Angeles. The site along State Route 76 also gave the brewery high visibility, which Snyder said was important. “We wanted to get that drive-by traffic,” Snyder said. Unlike downtown San Diego with a younger “hipster” crowd, North County also provides a market more in tune to craft breweries, Snyder said. “People are looking for that neighborhood place

to hang out and have a beer,” Snyder said. As the craft brewery market continues to expand, some wonder if there’s a limit to how many North County in general and Vista in particular can absorb. “It’s getting a little crowded,” Faulk said. Ham said he’s seen no evidence of any let up. “You always wonder when there might be a saturation point and that’s not anything we’ve seen thus far,” Ham said.

Live at the Belly Up By Jen Van Tieghem Seaside Courier Music Writer It’s a daunting challenge to capture the energy of a live musical performance on film, but Tim Powell and his SDSU Film and TV students met that challenge with Season 1 of “Live at the Belly Up.” Now they’re back for Season 2. The project evolved after Powell, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, contacted the folks at the Belly Up Tavern with an offer to bring his students in to film performances and interview local bands. The show would air on KPBS; Powell already had John Decker, program director at KPBS, on board. “It was a dream come true,” said Meryl Klemow, whose title at the Belly Up is Show and Venue Promotions Manager. Klemow had just started dabbling with video promotions using YouTube, but found the process time-consuming and not worth the effort. She also said that Belly Up was looking for ways to appeal to “adult” audiences, “a demographic that watches KPBS.” The first season of “Live at the Belly Up” aired last year with a relatively good response, but the team is looking for higher profile bands and better ratings in Season 2. “KPBS is known for awardwinning local news,” Decker said. “My colleagues and I want to develop shows that appeal to the other half of the brain. You know what they say about all work and no play.” Klemow and her staff were in charge of booking bands for the live tapings and looked to stack the lineups with diverse talents representative of San Diego’s thriving music scene. Many of the bands featured during the first season were regular performers who drew repeat customers at Belly Up, which is one of the region’s top venues for live music.

This season, Klemow said, the talents have brought in more new patrons who travelled from across the county to be a part of the experience. The acts last year ranged from alt-country rockers Dead Feather Moon to soul-funk ensemble The Styletones to hip-hop mainstays Vokab Kompany. This season, which wrapped filming on Nov. 18 with headliners The Heavy Guilt, comprised another eclectic mixture that includes Sara Petite and the Sugar Daddies, Trouble in the Wind, and The Drowning Men. “I’ve long been a fan of Belly Up and an admirer of their ability to curate talented musicians. They always have great shows. What’s more, they don’t confine themselves to one genre; they do practically everything,” Decker said. “That music exploratory spirit is what we want in a partnership because the public media audience is very keen on learning about all kinds of music…. And you really couldn’t fund a better venue than that Quonset hut in the Cedros Design District.” The other imperative piece of this project’s puzzle is the production work of SDSU’s TV and Film Department. Led by Powell, students use their own equipment and guidance from their instructor to complete the filming process from start to finish. “They are so professional!” Klemow said. “[It’s] very impressive how much they operate like a real camera crew. They do most of the editing and deliver a nearly finished product to KPBS. They work with [our] lighting department to get the right angles… Our crews gelled together really well.” “We were brought together by Tim Powell,” Decker echoed. “The technical aspect would not be possible without SDSU film students.” Season 2 of “Live at the Belly Up” will air Friday nights at 10 p.m. on KPBS beginning Jan. 24.

Music Calendar

Dec. 13 – Transfer, The Drowning Men, and The Paragraphs at Belly Up Tavern. $15 - $17. 9 p.m. While alt-rockers Transfer have found success abroad, they always return home to San Diego. This time they’ll rock a familiar stage with a folk-tinged outfit, The Drowning Men, and North County rock ‘n’ roll mainstays, The Paragraphs. Dec. 27 So*Cal Vibes at Mr. Peabody’s . Free. 9 p.m. Our fine city is home to many reggae-influenced bands. So*Cal Vibes takes the genre and brings it a gritty edge with aspects of rock, rap, and R&B. Dec. 27 – Cash’d Out Christmas with Scottie Blinn, and Sean Wheeler and Zander Schloss at Belly Up Tavern. $18 - $20. 9 p.m. This years winner for San Diego Music Awards Best Cover/Tribute Band, Cash’d Out features veteran guitarist Scottie Blinn of Black Market III. The duo of Sean Wheeler and Zander Schloss presents a unique brand of Americana brushed with soul and pop. Dec. 28 – Tiffany Jane and the Kicks at Crush. Free. 9 p.m. This young group brings a vibrant spirit to its live sets. Led by pint-sized Tiffany Jane, they combine elements of blues, pop, funk, and jazz for a unique sound. Don’t let the little lady fool you- she’s got big pipes and belts out originals and covers while backed by several talented gentlemen.

Out of the Woods Pick of the Month

Dec. 28 – Get Back Loretta, The Heavy Guilt, The Palace Ballroom, and Chess Wars at Casbah. This one is definitely worth the trek. Get Back Loretta doesn’t play often, but when they do they present a fantastic live performance of their pop-rock tunes along with some fun covers mixed in – “Eleanor Rigby” anyone? The Heavy Guilt is a tight indie-rock ensemble that can pack a room of their own volition. The Palace Ballroom brings a slightly mellower vibe to the lineup. And tucked in the Atari Lounge hard rock duo Chess Wars will likely blow that flimsy roof off the Casbah’s back room. Not to be missed.


LOCAL NEWS Meth makes a comeback

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

Parking remains a challenge in Del Mar A new parking survey done for downtown Del Mar confirms what almost everyone who has ever driven there already knows: It can be tough to find a good spot. Walker Parking Consultants conducted the Del Mar Village survey in August at lunch and dinner hours during a busy weekday and a busy day during the weekend. The toughest time to find a parking spot was midday Saturday, when 83 percent of on-street spaces were taken, according to the report. But the 83 percent was the average rate; some blocks had no available parking spaces at all. Further, nearly 1 in 4 cars parked on Camino del Mar was there for more than three hours “despite diligent enforcement efforts.” “The survey findings demonstrate that Del Mar Village and the adjacent area do not suffer from a lack of parking spaces overall, but rather concentrated areas of high occupancy rates in the most convenient spaces,” according to an executive summary in the report. Availability is thus “not an infrastructional problem, but rather the result of parking management issues.” The report suggests opening

some private off-street lots, discouraging city employees from parking in prime areas, and expanding paid parking to the busiest blocks of Camino del Mar. “The chronic parking challenges that Del Mar has faced for years are the result of parking behavior that appears to have become ingrained as the result of ineffective policies and the habits they reinforce,” states the report, which was conducted as part of an ongoing effort by the city to address complaints from residents and businesses. Two city advisory committees are working on the matter, and the City Council was scheduled to further address the issue Nov. 18.

LIGHTING UP FOR CHRISTMAS

Methamphetamine use appears to be on the rise once again. A new government study has found that the number of inmates testing positive for methamphetamine when arrested has increased to levels not seen since 2006, and those dealing the drug say demand has increased. The study conducted by the San Diego Association of Governments says that 47 percent of women and 31 percent of men arrested tested positive for meth in 2012, compared to 39 percent and 26 percent, respectively, in 2011. Four percent of juveniles tested positive last year, the same number as in 2011. After marijuana, methamphetamine has consistently ranked as the second most commonly used illicit drug among arrestees. Results mirror trends throughout the region. According to the county Medical Examiner’s

office, the number of accidental deaths associated with meth use jumped 16 percent between 2011 and 2012 (from 122 to 142), and meth-related emergency room admissions went up by nearly 13 percent between 2010 and 2011 (from 3,412 to 3,846). Overall, 32 percent of local substance abuse treatment admissions in 2012 involved meth as the primary drug of choice.

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“Meth use remains a chronic problem in our region,” said Dr. Cynthia Burke, SANDAG’s director of Criminal Justice Research. The study, entitled Methamphetamine Use by Adult and Juvenile Arrestees in 2012, is based on data gathered as part of the San Diego Substance Abuse Monitoring program. Some 235 adults and 11 juveniles answered questions that pertain to how they obtain and use meth, their involvement in distribution, the effect it has on their lives, and their participation in treatment services. The study found that meth users were more likely to drive a car than people under the influence of other drugs, and more than half reported going to work under the influence of the drug within the past year.

Construction forces closures Maxton Brown Park in Carlsbad will be shut down through the end of the year and some streets will be shut down at times while renovations are made on sewer line and lift station in the area. Although Carlsbad’s sewer system operates mostly by gravity, sewage at some spots needs to be pumped to higher elevations. The pumps are called lift stations, and a station built in 1963, along with a sewer line, is being replaced. Construction crews are tunneling beneath Carlsbad Boulevard to replace a line that ultimately leads to the Encina Water Pollution Facility. The westernmost section of the pipe is at Maxton Brown Park, prompting the shutdown of that recreation area. “We’ll try to minimize the impacts to adjacent business owners and residences along the pipe

route,” said Mark Bishop, an associate engineer in the city’s utilities department. NEWest Construction of San Diego is doing the project under a $2.6 million contract. City officials are eyeing May of 2014 for the project’s completion.

New horticulture director at Botanic Garden San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas will get its shine on for the holidays with its annual Garden of Lights display through most of December. More than 100,000 lights will illuminate the garden from Dec. 7-23, and from Dec. 26-30. For the more adventurous, the Botanic Garden is inviting visitors to bring a snow disc or sled to enjoy some snow on Dec. 7, 9, 11, 26 & 28 (weather permitting). Wagon rides will be available in the lower area of the garden on Dec. 14, 15, 18-23 and 27-30. Other events, including

marshmallow roasting and craft making, will help welcome the season, and a complete list of attractions is on the Botanic Garden’s website at sdbgarden. org. Admission to the Garden is $8 for members. Adults who are not members pay $14, and students, seniors and active military who are not members pay $10. Children’s admission is $6, but kids 2 and under get in for free. There is no charge for parking. The Garden is at 230 Quail Garden Drive, between Leucadia and Encinitas boulevards.

The San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas has a new director of horticulture. Paul Redeker joined the Botanic Garden after serving for five years as director of horticulture at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego. “I’m excited to be part of the San Diego Botanic Garden and can already see the devotion the staff, docents and volunteers have for this wonderful place,” Redeker said in a statement. “I am also thrilled to be part of expanding efforts towards the

construction of a new Education and Events Pavilion, increasing the plant collections, enhancing the existing exhibits and cultivating native plant conservation efforts.” Redeker has a degree in ornamental horticulture, with a focus in landscape design, from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Formerly known as Quail Botanical Gardens, the San Diego Botanic Garden spreads across some 37 acres off Encinitas Boulevard and includes plants from around the world.


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LOCAL News

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013 Party, from page 9 of a special election sets a bad precedent. It gives incentive to people who have the money to push an initiative forward, using threats to coerce the council to adopt their initiative rather than take the heat over the cost of a special election. It would lower the standard for what is acceptable when it comes to making laws in Solana Beach, and would give an unequal amount of power to those with the greatest means. This is not Democracy. In a recent 5-0 vote, the Solana Beach City Council did the right thing and called for a special election, which will be held on Feb. 11. The burden to fund and run a campaign opposing the Party Policy Initiative now falls on a citizen’s group, since election laws prohibit the city from participating in political campaigns. Those who want the city to retain the ability to regulate the policy for the Fletcher Cove Community Center are working hard to defeat the Party Policy Initiative. But they are pitted against the well-funded Party Policy group, which can easily afford to continue to hire consultants and lawyers and send out slick glossy mailers from now until Election Day. If passed, the initiative’s policy will be set in stone and the City Council will lose all authority to modify it to correct for any problems that may arise, even if public safety is affected. The only recourse would be to hold another election and let the public vote on the changes. Many of the voters who signed the initiative petition are kicking themselves since realizing they unwittingly signed up for an expensive special election. Some say they signed under false pretenses after being told the FCCC was not being used (untrue) and that promises for private use were made to people who donated to the renovation (also untrue). In October, the initiative group sent voters email blasts and mailers written to confuse the issue, asking them to tell the council not to waste money on a special election — the very election it triggered! In this special election the voters will decide whether they want their elected officials to continue to make the policies and laws that govern our city, or to head down a path where wealthy individuals use the initiative process and strong-arm tactics to create such laws.

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Gerri Retman-Opper is a 30 year resident of Solana Beach. She has managed numerous political campaigns in Solana Beach, served as of the chair of Parks and Recreation Commission and played a critical role in a successful effort to save the 3.44 acre parcel known as the Gateway Property for open space.  


LOCAL NEWS

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013 California 10/20, from page 1 a distance that is getting some attention because it’s attainable but still a challenge.” The California 10/20 is modeled on the Austin (Texas) 10/20 that debuted in April of 2012 and is run by Douglass’ Texas-based Turnkey Operations. Some 8,500 runners took part in this year’s event, up about 7 percent from the initial run. Other 10-mile races include the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, which attracted more than 40,000 participants in 2012, and the Cherry Blossom Run in Washington, D.C., a race that was originally established as a training sprint for elite Boston Marathoners. Meanwhile, the Crim Festival of Runs in Flint, Mich., has steadily attracted more than 50,000 participants for years. Initial plans called for the California 10/20 to launch in February of 2013, but concerns raised by the Solana Beach City Council killed that idea. A $7-million improvement project on Coast Highway 101 got under way just months earlier, and officials weren’t thrilled about the prospects of thousands of runners being exposed to a major construction zone through their city. Some noted that merchants forced to put up with the inconvenience of construction on their street weren’t enthusiastic about having to shut down for a race, if even for just a few hours. Now that the boulevard has been remade with widened sidewalks, new street furniture and additional landscaping, Solana Beach says its decision to hold off has been validated. “If we would have done this in 2013, we would have faced a lot of difficulties because of the construction,” Mayor Mike Nichols said. “Having the 101 the Welcome, from page 1 with stories ranging from a look at North County’s burgeoning craft brew industry to profiles of educators and programs at local schools. But Luddites we are not. Turn to our recently-launched website, SeasideCourier.com, and you’ll find a homepage that is updated daily and packed with photos and links to breaking news and features by Seaside Courier staff and wire services. In short, our aim is to provide a voice to the community. And we encourage residents and business leaders to submit photographs and commentary for publication. Because at the Seaside Courier, we represent you. And no, newspapers are not dead.

way it is set up now will make it much more functional and the route much more enjoyable.” Councilwoman Lesa Heebner agreed. “I’m really glad we waited until the road was ready, and I think Peter Douglass is, too,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to showing off the street and showing off the city. I think people who run this race are going to be impressed. It will be a great marketing tool.” Solana Beach wasn’t the only city raising concerns after the idea was first floated. The Del Mar City Council worried about noise from the bands along the route, and the Encinitas council was concerned about impacts to local

businesses. Douglass said all of those concerns have been addressed. Organizers hope to register up to 10,000 runners for the event, and more than 1,500 took advantage of an earlyregistration discount by signing up before Oct. 1. First place comes with a $3,000 prize, a second-place finish will capture $2,000 and a third-place finish brings home $1,000. If the winner sets an American record, he or she will collect an additional $5,000. With the Competitor Group, which runs the Rock `n’ Roll Marathon series, eliminating its prize money, the California 10/20 could end up with the largest purse of all San Diego County running events in 2014. Organizers also have promised to donate $10,000 to

nonprofits in each of the three cities. In addition, the 10/20 website says the event will benefit the American Cancer Society. It’s not clear how much Turnkey Operations will earn on the endeavor. Douglass said he lost $40,000 on the inaugural Austin 10/20, which had a budget of roughly $750,000. He said the first San Diego Rock `n’ Roll Marathon lost $1 million when it debuted in 1998, but estimates it earns more than $2 million annually now. The race promoter said he has been talking with Buffalo, N.Y., officials about setting up a 10/20 race in that city. He also has interest in staging 10/20 races in the Phoenix area and in Northern California. His hope is to have up to 10 such races across the country by the end of the decade. Setting up races elsewhere in the country should be less challenging than what Douglass faced in dealing with three cities to craft a plan for the California 10/20. “It’s definitely more difficult in dealing with three different jurisdictions,” he said. “But then again, a big piece of the equation is traffic control, and the Sheriff’s Department is responsible for law enforcement in all three cities, so that helped.” One thing that has not been settled is a headliner band to play at the fairgrounds at the race’s conclusion. Everclear played at the inaugural Austin 10/20. More information about the race is at www.Cal1020.com. “I’m looking forward to the run and I hope it lasts many, many years,” Nichols said. U-T San Diego is the run’s main sponsor.

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14 Tetens, from page 4 Olivenhain, was originally owned by Theador Pinter and used as an area schoolhouse. Fred Teten, a German immigrant who moved with his family here from Kansas, bought the property in 1892. He later added an additional building to the original house to accommodate his family. The Tetens ran a blacksmith shop and grew barley, corn, wheat, oats and lima beans. They also cultivated fruit trees, grape vines and a vegetable garden. All the crops were grown without irrigation, as the Hodges Dam had not been built yet. Instead, the Tetens relied on rain to drench their land and fill their cisterns. Will Neblett, the Heritage Museum’s director, said the restoration effort is only the first phase of the planned project and is being spearheaded by Encinitas resident Dave Oakley. Further plans include window replacement and interior work. Neblett added that one of the Teten’s granddaughters, Gladys Teten Shull, saved a lot of the furniture that was in the house in the 1920s and those pieces will be put back into the house once it is restored. Neblett said the museum is about creating exhibit spaces that make you feel like you’re in a certain time period. “We want to restore (the farmhouse) back to about 1910 to 1920 so people have an idea of how people lived back in those days.” But it’s not all about the olden days. Neblett said the museum also has displays from the surfing and skateboarding culture. He said the Teten house restoration is important because it shows people the origins of Olivenhain and Encinitas. “They were one of the early farmers and turkey ranchers,” he said. “We’re trying to preserve the past for people to understand that this area was a farming community for many years before it became more of a suburban bedroom community.” Tawny McCray is a veteran newspaper reporter who covers coastal North County.

LOCAL NEWS

LOCAL NEWS

Solana Beach effort to honor vets moving takes giant step By Tawny McCray for the Seaside Courier A long-time effort to create a courtyard at La Colonia Community Center in Solana Beach to honor area veterans is closer to becoming a reality. Some $2,000 was collected at an inaugural fundraising event on Veterans Day, and organizers are hoping more money will soon start to flow in. City officials a year ago gave the go-ahead for a group led by former Solana Beach Mayor Teri Renteria to design the site, which initially was envisioned as a veterans’ memorial. Some sort of recognition for Solana Beach veterans has long been included in a $4-million La Colonia Community Center Master Plan, but the effort suffered a serious setback when redevelopment funds became unavailable after California’s redevelopment agencies were dissolved about two years ago. The project has since been updated as a courtyard to honor veterans, included those who are still alive. Dan King of the City Manager’s office pegged the project’s cost at $190,000. Most of the money will have to be privately raised, with much of it coming from the purchase of courtyard tiles. “The tiles will be inlaid into the ground similar to what you might see at Disneyland or Petco Park,” he said. The tiles will be sold for $300 each and the money will go toward construction costs. The community group, city staff, council liaisons Mike Nichols and Lesa Heebner, and Van Dyke Landscape Architects have met several times over the past year to come up with preliminary designs. To date the city has spent $11,855 of capital improvement program funds for the preliminary design. The estimated cost for the next phase, which will include final design plans, is $18,000.

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

COMMENTARY

NEEDS, WANTS AND PRIORITIES By Alice Jacobson

Construction costs are estimated at $161,000. Other elements of the project include a reflecting pool, a flagpole and plaque, a central medallion that reads “In honor of those who served,” and a stone veneer wall with military seals. “It’s a very elegant design and it creates a peaceful kind of courtyard/garden experience where one can sit and reflect,” Nichols said during a recent City Council discussion. A veterans’ wall now stands at the center, and the new wall will include the names that are on the existing structure, King said. Veterans from outside the city will be included, if the interest is there, he added. Renteria said two of her brothers and her daughter have served in the military and she wanted to help create “a special place to honor, remember and pay respects to our veterans and troops.” She said organizers have a long way to go to raise the money needed for the project and hopes organizations, corporations, businesses and individuals will work with them to do fundraisers and/ or donate funds. She said she recently received payment for a tile from the family of a veteran that fought in World War I. “I want to get it done before any more of the handful of living World War II vet’s die,” she said. “We had one pass away two months ago that was hoping he’d see it.”

Encinitas families every day have to decide how to budget and spend their money. They have to set priorities and figure out how to live within their means. Each family has to first look at their needs – food, housing, utilities and transportation. Then come the ‘wants’ – kids want toys, the family wants to eat out and everyone wants to go on more vacations. Through the process of setting priorities, families determine what is really affordable based on their financial means. Shouldn’t our City leaders operate the same way? The Encinitas City Council has an obligation to ensure the budget covers the needs of its citizens. In 2012, the city employed a nationally recognized firm to survey the opinions of a true cross-section of the community. A series of questions within the survey asked residents to prioritize a list of 28 programs and services provided by the city. The top priorities included public safety, road maintenance, and reliable water and trash service – all traditional ‘needs’ provided by city government. Arts and culture, meanwhile, ranked among the lowest of these priorities. In fact, 86 percent of the people surveyed thought the city was doing very well in providing arts and culture programming. I applaud the City Council for surveying its citizens and using this information in conjunction with the creation of a long range Strategic Plan. Yet discussions continue on about building an art center on the old Pacific View school property, a campus that has been vacant since 2003 because of declining enrollment. The Encinitas Union School District wants a shocking $13.5 million dollars for this 2.8-acre piece of land. Keep in mind that the $13.5 million would not cover the cost of building an art center. It is conceivable that the total project

cost could well exceed $20 million dollars. As the council moves forward with the potential purchase of the Pacific View site, it is important to understand the ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ the city could have to forgo. Already agreed upon priority projects – such as the Leucadia 101 Streetscape, school and neighborhood sidewalk improvements, pedestrian railroad crossings, a new lifeguard tower at Moonlight Beach, and bluff stabilization at Beacon’s Beach – would potentially be on hold. In addition, the city would not be able to address a longrange strategy for unfunded pension liabilities. Our City Manager, Gus Vina, clearly outlined what the city could afford to put toward the purchase and development of an arts center without cuts or elimination of projects determined to be of the community’s highest priorities. According to Mr. Vina, we have the ability to commit our entire savings (unappropriated funds) for the next six-year period in order to make payments of $250,000 per year, which would allow the city to borrow $3.3 million in the form of a 20-year loan. This does not seem to be a wise use of our savings. And it appears that the city simply cannot afford the down payment and monthly debt service on an arts center without making serious sacrifices to our basic services and the already established community priorities. As is true in any family, often you discover that you cannot afford all the wants once you satisfy the most basic needs. Shouldn’t your city leaders operate the same way? Alice Jacobson is a former longtime member of the Encinitas Planning Commission. She currently chairs the city’s Environmental Commission.


LOCAL NEWS

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

COMMENTARY

A letter from the superintendent By Rick Schmitt Superintendent SDUHS District As many of you may know, property tax statements were mailed in October with an incorrect tax rate for Proposition AA. Once the error was discovered, the San Dieguito Union High School District, the county Treasurer-Tax Collector and the Auditor-Controller took responsibility to correct the mistake. The county mailed letters to every affected property owner and new statements were sent before the first payment was due. Anybody who paid the incorrect amount will be refunded the difference. The district would like to thank the Treasurer-Tax Collector and the county for working so quickly to ensure that all taxpayers will only pay the correct amount. We have all promised to work together to make certain this will not happen again. We encourage anyone who may have questions about their tax bill to contact the tax collection customer service staff at (877) 829-4732. One of the major priorities of Proposition AA is the upgrading of network technology infrastructure at each of our schools. Bond funds will be focused entirely on improving our network bandwidth, power, and wireless access so that any device a student or teacher wants to use on the net-

work will have a fast and reliable connection. With more instructional content making its way online and traditional applications moving to browser-based cloud computing, it’s important that we build a network that will support any device accessing the curriculum, whether it is owned by the school or a student. Over the next three years, we will upgrade local networks, wireless access, servers, media centers, and classroom technology at all of our 10 campuses. While we would love to accomplish all of this work over a summer, the upgrades must be methodically phased in at each campus and, in some instances, wait for other structural bond projects to happen before the technology improvements can be completed. To keep updated on our bond projects and schedules, refer back to the Prop AA website at www. sduhsd.net/PropAA. Meanwhile, plans call for the San Dieguito Union High School District to open a new middle school in Carmel Valley in the fall of 2015. The as of yet unnamed school will be very near to Canyon Crest Academy and will be designed to initially accommodate approximately 500 students with the ability to expand to accommodate up to 1,000 students should population growth call for this. While the new middle school will be very

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close to Canyon Crest, attendance at the new middle school will not provide students with any advantage if they ultimately choose to apply to attend Canyon Crest Academy for high school. The construction of this middle school will allow us to decrease the size of Carmel Valley Middle School to somewhere in the neighborhood of 900 to 1,000 students. The current plan calls for the new school to open with seventh graders only in fall of 2015 and grow to include both seventh and eighth graders in fall of 2016. Student attendance at this new school will be determined by attendance boundaries and these boundaries will be determined nest spring through a process that will examine demographic projections and existing elementary and middle school boundaries. Input will be sought from parents, community members and educators. One of our priorities in developing our new middle school boundaries is to do our best to ensure that students from individual feeder elementary schools are not forced to attend different middle schools. Rick Schmitt is superintendent of the San Dieguito Union High School District. His column will appear regularly in the Seaside Courier.

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High-rent district in Del Mar Heights Seaside Courier

A

stretch of El Camino Real between Del Mar Heights Road and Highway 56 has the most expensive office rents in the county, according to a new study by a Chicago-based real estate investment management firm. Asking rents along the street are coming in at an average of $43.32 per square foot, according to the study by Jones Lang LaSalle. The top full service office rent along the thoroughfare is a full 80 percent higher than the average metro San Diego market rate of $25.92 per square foot. In downtown San Diego, meanwhile, Tenth Avenue between J and K Streets near Petco Park commands the highest rent at $37.20 per square foot, making it the 14th most expensive central business district address in the nation. Office tenants on this street can expect to pay nearly 45 percent more rent than the San Diego market average. The block is home to DiamondView Tower, a Class A 15-story office and retail building. “It is not surprising that San Diego ranks so high on the lists with El Camino Real in the Del Mar Heights submarket leading the way,” said Bess Wakeman, executive vice president of Jones

Lang LaSalle in San Diego, said in a statement. “The street’s proximity to executive residential housing and blue ribbon schools attracts a talented workforce that wants to live where they work while its central location within the county and access to a network of freeways makes it a strategic location for mobile sales teams. While rental rates may be high, the above-market parking ratios complement the unreserved parking charges that remain, for the time being, free.” The El Camino Real location in Del Mar Heights has become a destination for healthcare technology firms, pharmaceutical corporate headquarters, and even gaming and technology companies.


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LOCAL NEWS

SEASIDECOURIER.COM — DECEMBER 2013

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Seaside Courier - December 2013