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Updated: 48 min 47 sec ago

Surf BU12 Academy team wins Carlsbad Coastal Classic

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 01:00

Congratulations to the Surf BU12 Academy team, coached by Arturo Perez, for winning the Carlsbad Coastal Classic on Aug. 24.

Congratulations to the Surf BU12 Academy team, coached by Arturo Perez, for winning the Carlsbad Coastal Classic on Aug. 24. The BU12 team gave up only two goals and won all games to advance to the finals against the CV Rangers.  Winning 4-1, the boys brought home the trophy! Way to go, Surf! Pictured, front row (L-R): Brady B., Dylan C., Brock S., Jose A., Nicholas G., Ethan E., Sean Z. Middle row:  Dalton B., Eric F., Jake L., Cortez H., Nicholas F., Sam B., Chris T., Jacob Y., Ilan F., Derek L., Luca K., Justin R. Back row: Coach Arturo Perez.

Bishop’s School hires Carmel Valley resident as new coach for boys baseball

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 01:00

Nick Levine, left, and Ron Witmeyer.

The 2014-2015 school year will see two experienced coaches joining the roster at The Bishop’s School.

Ron Witmeyer will replace Joey Centanni as the head varsity baseball coach. Centanni has moved on to the University of Pacific.

Witmeyer, a Carmel Valley resident, attended Stanford University where he was a three-year starter on the baseball team and a team leader on back-to-back NCAA National Championship teams (1987, 1988). After his junior year, he was drafted in the seventh round by the Oakland A’s and went on to play six years in their organization, highlighted by his time in the Major Leagues during the 1991 season. Upon completion of his professional career, he returned to Stanford to complete his undergraduate degree in sociology while also serving as an assistant coach for the school’s baseball team.

Witmeyer earned a master’s degree in health and physical education from St. Mary’s College while coaching and teaching at City College of San Francisco. He joined the Division I UC Berkeley baseball staff and served as assistant coach for six years. During his time coaching in the collegiate ranks, he helped to develop more than 70 future professional players, including 13 who went on to play in the Major Leagues.

Nick Levine will join Bishop’s as the head coach of boys’ varsity basketball, taking over from Matt Niehues, who relocated to the Bay Area. A native of Philadelphia, Levine attended high school at Chestnut Hill Academy, where he became one of its all-time leading scorers in the sport, surpassing the 1,000-point career mark. He is a 2006 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, where he competed for the “Battling Bishops” in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

Levine comes to Bishop’s from the Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad. In 2014, he earned a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University in Irvine.

“We were very lucky to find great coaches like Levine and Witmeyer, as their collective experience and know-how are a perfect fit for our school,” says Joel Allen, Bishop’s director of athletics. “We look forward to benefiting from their experience in developing successful and full basketball and baseball programs for the Knights.”

Solana Beach homeowners get OK to repair bluff-top seawall

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 01:00

By Kristina Houck

The Solana Beach City Council recently gave several bluff-top property owners the go-ahead to better protect their homes by repairing a seawall.

After a coastal bluff failure in September 1998, the 352-foot-long seawall along Pacific Avenue was built in 2000 to prevent eight houses from eventually plunging into the ocean.

But the manmade walls prevent erosion, the natural process that creates beaches.

The structures prevent the bluffs from slowly converting to sand and cause existing sand to be washed away. Over time, the sea level rises and the beach disappears. Therefore, seawalls have pitted beachgoers and environmentalists against bluff-top property owners in the past.

The seawall along Pacific Avenue was constructed under a special use permit from the city and an emergency permit from the California Coastal Commission, which required continued monitoring and maintenance of the structure. A survey conducted in October and November 2013 found that while the seawall is structurally intact, it needs repairs.

The council on Aug. 27 unanimously approved a development review permit for the project, which will also go before the commission. The project includes the reapplication of about a half-foot of concrete to cover the lower portion of the wall, covering the exposed anchor heads and erosion markers, as well as filling any concave depressions formed as a result of cobble-induced abrasion. The damaged plastic heads will also be replaced and the color coating will be reapplied to match the surrounding seawalls and exposed bluff.

‘Mystics, Warriors and the Grail’ lecture to be held by Friends of Jung in Del Mar

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 01:00

William Grevatt

The San Diego Friends of Jung invite the community to their Friday Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12, featuring William Grevatt speaking on “Mystics, Warriors, and the Grail: Exploring the Sacred Medieval Psyche.”

The 12th and early 13th centuries mark a dramatic turn in human history, when new forms of religious life sprang up out of the Collective Unconscious, creating new spiritual movements and a constellation of symbols and myths such as the Holy Grail.

This presentation will explore the sacred medieval psyche as manifested through the teachings of Joachim of Flora and Meister Eckhart; the religious movements of the Cathars and Knights Templar; and the legend of the Holy Grail. These mystics and movements deeply influenced psychologist Carl Jung throughout his life and writings, and continue to resonate in the world today, if we but listen quietly to their message.

A Jungian analyst, Grevatt holds a master’s in education and an education doctorate, and maintains a private practice in Culver City and Whittier Hills. He is the co-director of training for the C.G. Jung Study Center of Southern California, based in Culver City.

Coffee, tea and refreshments are available at 7 p.m. before each Friday lecture, held at the Winston School, 215 Ninth St. in Del Mar.

Fee is $15 for Friends of Jung members, $17 full-time students and senior citizens (65+), and $20 non-members.

Earthquake Preparedness presentation to be held at Solana Beach City Hall

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 01:00

A Public Safety Commission meeting will be held on Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Solana Beach City Council Chambers (635 S. Highway 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075).

Kim McDermott, emergency services coordinator of the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services, will be giving a presentation on earthquake preparedness.

Injury helps accomplished volleyballer focus on what else is important in life

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 01:00

By Gideon Rubin

The rigors of playing elite level volleyball year-round offers little in the way of downtime, let alone much time for self-reflection.

But Samantha Cash developed a different perspective during a six-month period during her sophomore year at Pepperdine, when the former Canyon Crest Academy volleyball standout was sidelined with an ankle injury.

“For so long I was ‘the girl who plays sports,’” said Cash, who started out playing competitive youth soccer before going on to volleyball stardom.

“My life always revolved around sports.”

Cash severely sprained an ankle at the end of her sophomore season that required surgery. She left the hospital in a wheelchair and spent many weeks afterward on crutches.

She has made a full recovery, continuing a stellar collegiate career that includes helping lead the Waves to a national sand volleyball championship in the sport’s first year as an officially sanctioned NCAA sport. But she said that during her recovery, she found herself asking herself questions she’d never before contemplated.

“The thing  about the (injury) was that I couldn’t play volleyball, there was no physical way for me to play volleyball, and it made me start to re-evaluate my life as far as who I am without volleyball,” she said.

“It kind of made me just look around and wonder, ‘OK, what else is there for me to do? How else can I make the most of my time if I can’t always work towards getting better physically? What else am I doing to make myself better spiritually and emotionally?”

Cash started focusing on developing friendships outside volleyball and spending more time on art projects. Earlier this summer, she traveled the world with her older sister, Alice, in a continuing effort to broaden her horizons.

Alice Cash is an aspiring theater director. Samantha’s younger sister, Gretchen, is making her own mark as a volleyball standout at The Bishop’s School. She is an incoming senior who’s committed to Division I Hofstra.

Samantha Cash’s travels included a visit to Mount Everest’s Northern Base Camp (on the Tibetan side), where an exchange with some pushy merchants quickly turned into an impromptu volleyball lesson at 15,000 feet above sea level.

“I kind of bring volleyball where ever I go,” Cash said.

“None of them spoke any English, and we couldn’t speak any Tibetan, so it was all hand motions and cheering and smiles all the way around.”

The visit to Mount Everest was cut short by a blizzard — in June — that forced them to evacuate.

“We made the last car out,” Cash said. “We were texting our parents that we were OK every five minutes. It was pretty scary.”

Cash’s travels included cultural eye-openers in Abu Dhabi, where she and her sister rode segregated buses — women were separated from men by glass barriers — and in China, where they visited the last Maoist village.

“It was so interesting seeing things you only read about  in textbooks and really kind of looking at the past, except having it right in front of you,” Cash said.

Now that she’s back to her volleyball routine, Cash is looking to the future.

Readying for her senior year at Pepperdine, she will play for the U.S. National Team next year. She hopes to represent the United States in the Olympics, possibly as soon as the 2016 games in Rio, although she acknowledges the 2020 Tokyo games are more realistic.

Cash is already considered a transformational figure at Canyon Crest Academy, where her emergence helped propel the upstart program to an appearance in the state tournament in her senior year.

“She was the first real big-time local player to choose CCA,” said Ravens coach Ariel Haas. “Through her, CCA volleyball was put on the map, and it has only grown from there.”

Haas believes Cash’s impact remains a factor in the program’s continued success in recent years. The Ravens were bumped up to the San Diego Section’s elite Open Division last year.

“Her personality and her desire to get better and her desire to win was quite infectious, not only for the players that were there around her, but other players that watched her and wanted to emulate her,” Haas said.

“That only helped to grow the program.”

Cash believes she’s grown, too, noting that her travel experiences contributed to her development.

“I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on any volleyball because I went on this trip,” she said. “I feel like I’ve grown as a person, and that’s just as important.”

For an athlete who aspires to compete internationally, there are obvious tangible benefits to learning how to find your way around while traveling abroad.

Cash also believes she’s found more balance in her life, noting that she’s feeling healthier since learning how to take care of herself better than she used to.

“If I hadn’t had that time to kind of re-evaluate myself as a person and not just as an athlete, I don’t think I would have taken this trip,” Cash said. “I would have thought, ‘Oh, I need to play volleyball now, I need to get better.’”

Helen Woodward Animal Center Surf-A-Thon to be held at Dog Beach in Del Mar

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 01:00

The Helen Woodward Animal Center throws its ninth annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, presented by Blue Buffalo, on Sunday, Sept. 7 at Dog Beach in Del Mar. This year, in addition to the “hang twenty” competition, Stand Up Paddleboarding Pups will be in a Paddle Paws Parade, led by Laura Nativo of Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family.” A semi-pro Stand Up Paddleboarder, she’ll be with her Pomeranian SUP-ing pup, Preston.

The Surf-A-Thon runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with more than 80 dogs surfing in four different weight class competitions. Other activities include the Beach Bum Bikini Babe Canine Costume Contest; more than 70 interactive vendor booths; and a Special Kids Activity area. There’s still time to enter the surf-dog contest! Visit or call 858-756-4117, ext. 350.

Condliffe GU11 are finalists in classic

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 01:00

The Surf Academy Condliffe GU11 team were finalists in the West Coast Futbol Classic tournament held Aug. 16-17 in Orange County.

The Surf Academy Condliffe GU11 team were finalists in the West Coast Futbol Classic tournament Aug. 16-17 in Orange County. Despite severe heat and a difficult schedule, the girls went undefeated in four games to reach the finals against a very strong squad from Las Vegas, losing 0-1 after a well-fought game. Pictured, back row (L-R): Paige Buchner, Emma Pidding,  Presley McDeavitt, Olivia Becker, Kelsey Branson, Abby Beamer, Emma Beckwith,  Corinne Wilson, Grace Hughes, Coach Gary Condliffe.  Front row: Allison Luo, Riana Kitchen, Mia Myers, Stormy Wallace, Lizzy Hood, Haley Miller, Caitlin Wilson.

Author, illustrator to launch new children’s book at Solana Beach Library

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:51

Meet author Tonton Jim and illustrator E. Felix Lyon as they launch “Harold and the Hot Rod” (Hound’s Glenn Series Book Two) at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Solana Beach Library. There will be readings from the book, illustration demonstrations, Q & A with the author, illustrator and publisher, and refreshments and door prizes.

The chapter book is recommended for readers aged 7 and up. Reader reviews include:

• “Tonton Jim’s fun chapter book for young readers is delightfully illustrated by artist E. Felix Lyon, and filled with the sort of quietly unobtrusive humor and puns that will keep adults and children happily amused.”

• “This is a great chapter book to get the ball rolling. The illustrations are outrageously awesome, full of color and the subtle and not-so-subtle humor this author shows on every page.”

• “I’m here to tell you if you are not open to a laugh a minute, this is not the book for you. I am an adult and for me it was laugh-out-loud funny. Author Tonton Jim manages to connect with the heart of humor in this warm-hearted clapper.”

The event is hosted by Dayton Publishing of Solana Beach; book sales will benefit the Friends of the Solana Beach Library. The library is at 157 Stevens Ave; call 858-755-1404.

San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Rick Schmitt’s Monthly Update

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:45

Rick Scmitt

Superintendent Schmitt plans to update the greater San Dieguito Union High School District community monthly through our local media. Topics will include curriculum, facilities, budget, safety, and other specific and special interest issues. Today’s update focuses on welcoming all to the new year and our 2014-15 priorities.

By Rick Schmitt

On behalf of our Board of Trustees, I want to welcome you and our 12,400-plus students to the 2014-15 academic year. The start of a new school year is always exciting. We have spent the summer eagerly preparing for your student’s return on Aug. 26 and look forward to sharing new learning experiences with each of you. For parents/guardians whose students are entering our schools for the first time, I would like to extend a special heartfelt thank you for the trust you have placed in us.

For generations, the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) has been the educational home to students across our community, as well as a critical part of what makes our cities and towns such a great place to live. As superintendent, I am thrilled to live in our community and be part of a school district whose traditions are honored and where keeping current with the best teaching and learning practice is valued. Our priorities include communicating and delivering our vision for success …

1. by offering a cohesive curriculum, instruction, and assessment program aligned to Common Core;

2. by deliberately prioritizing budget stabilization and recovery;

3. in world-class, 21st Century facilities aligned with instructional priorities, school safety, balanced enrollment capacity and our multi-year Prop AA projects.

Here is a brief update on Common Core, Prop AA, and school safety.

Common Core

Our district continues our gradual, multiyear transition to the Common Core State Standards  for English/Language Arts, Mathematics, and Literacy. These standards represent a significant shift in what we expect our students to know and be able to do, and the standards apply to all of our subject areas. The CCSS ask students to think deeply and critically about information, to apply knowledge and skills in solving real-world problems, and to master key skills essential to success in college and the workplace. 21st-century skills such as creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication are central to the CCSS and will help ensure that our students are prepared for whatever path they choose when they leave our schools.

One major area of focus for us this year will be ensuring that the learning outcomes we identify for each course are aligned with CCSS and that the assessments that we use to measure student learning are also aligned with CCSS expectations.

We will also begin to implement our new CCSS-aligned integrated math courses in grades 7-9, and we will support student learning in these courses with new instructional materials.

Finally, we will focus our professional development efforts on helping our teachers make the shifts in instructional and assessment strategies inherent to the CCSS. All of these shifts will be gradual, collaborative, and will be supported by ongoing comprehensive professional development for our teachers and staff. With this in mind, we expect students to find new levels of engagement in and ownership of learning.

For information about our district’s transition to the Common Core State Standards please visit our CCSS website at

Prop AA

Over the last two summers, Proposition AA has funded improvement projects at every one of our schools. We have updated several media centers, expanded bandwidth and wireless access, built new fields and stadiums, and added air conditioning to hot classrooms. Our newest middle school, which will open next fall, is under construction, and building continues on new high school science classrooms. I’m proud to report that so far all of our projects have come in at or below budget.

As we head into this school year, we are excited to expand upon that work and prepare for the next series of projects which will focus on new science and academic buildings, renovations of older classrooms, accommodating enrollment demand at our academies, and completing technology infrastructure upgrades at all of our schools.

We will be working with the Board of Trustees throughout the year to align instructional priorities with project budgets for the next two years. We will keep our Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee and the public informed of our progress. For detailed information, refer to our regularly-updated Prop AA website.

School Safety

Last year, I reported to you on our efforts to increase student safety at our schools. Teachers and principals worked together to identify areas to improve security on campus. We addressed many of those items over the summer and will continue to target the remaining issues this year. Some improvements will take longer to plan, and Prop AA projects will certainly play a part in bolstering our physical security. Principals will keep all informed of our plans and interim solutions as we continually refine our focus on safety.

We are also reinforcing a culture of safety. We will continue to work with law enforcement on our emergency response planning and training. Visitor and staff identification policies are being revised to help distinguish adults on campus better. The most important factor, however, is that students, parents, teachers, administrators and staff talk about what is happening at school and work together to ensure that school is a safe place for every student.

Our continuous improvement efforts are critical to our students, ensuring that the high quality of our schools is maintained. Improving student achievement goes beyond academics, co- and extra-curricular activities, and student performance. It means conservative budgeting and seeking new ways to protect taxpayer investment in our schools. SDUHSD has earned a reputation for efficiency and quality.

Please know that we always work to address critical issues transparently and involve community members in decisions that must be made on behalf of students. We will maintain our track record of inclusion and collaboration with our parents and extended community. Back-To-School nights are a great chance for you to be involved and hear from your children’s principals and teachers. Please take note of the following web addresses:

Back-To-School Nights Schedule:

2014-15 Instructional Calendar:

When I reflect on what we have to be proud of in San Dieguito, I always think about our talented students and staff who are regularly recognized for their achievements. They make us all proud. One way to follow all of our amazing students, staff and programs is to follow SDUHSD updates on Facebook, Twitter, the SDUHSD website, through our local media outlets, and by attending our school and community events.

On behalf of our district, please accept my thanks for your support of our schools and our students, and on a personal level, for the opportunity to lead and work with you as your superintendent.

You can follow Superintendent Schmitt on Facebook,, and Twitter,

To your health: 5 questions to ask your new doctor

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:43

By Lawrence Schlitt, M.D., Scripps Health

At some point, nearly everyone will need to choose a new physician, perhaps because of a change in insurance, a move to a new city, or simply a feeling that it is time to make a switch.

Your relationship with your physician is perhaps one of the most important in your life, and you want a provider who is not only highly knowledgeable and experienced, but also understands your needs and communicates effectively.

Asking a few important questions like the ones below can help ensure you will feel confident and comfortable with your new doctor.

1. What are your qualifications?

Medical school is only the beginning of a physician’s education and training; an internship, followed by a residency in the physician’s area of specialization, also are required. Some physicians go on to complete a fellowship, which is another period of specialized medical training or research.

Ask about board certification. A board-certified physician has gone beyond basic licensing and met nationally recognized standards for education, knowledge, experience and skills in a specific medical specialty. Studies have shown that board-certified physicians provide higher quality care and have better patient care outcomes.

Ask whether the physician has any special areas of expertise. A primary care physician, for example, may enjoy working with amateur athletes, or may have an interest in complementary treatments such as acupuncture or herbal medicine. Some gynecologists specialize in treating the challenges of infertility or menopause. Many physicians participate in research studies as well, or teach at local universities or medical schools.

2. To which hospitals do you admit patients?

If you should need surgery or hospital care, ask where the physician will send you. Ideally, you want to go to a hospital, clinic or surgery center that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established quality and safety standards, such as that provided by The Joint Commission. Also, make sure your insurance plan covers care at the hospital with which your physician is affiliated.

3. How do you like to work with patients?

Good communication is key to a strong relationship between physician and patient.  Some physicians take a more authoritative approach to care, and tell patients exactly what to do rather than discussing various options with them. This approach may be welcomed by patients who want the doctor to make all the decisions about their care.

Other physicians may offer several options and make a recommendation. For example, “You can reduce the sodium in your diet or take medication to control your blood pressure. I would recommend the medication.” Still other physicians may explain all of the treatment options, discuss the pros and cons of each, and leave the final decision up to the patient. Decide how involved you want to be in your treatment decisions, and find a doctor with a similar approach.

4. Who can I call if I have questions?

If you have a question about your care, who can you contact for information? Physicians generally cannot come to the phone every time a patient calls. Often, calls are handled by a nurse or physician assistant, who may be able to return your call sooner than the doctor could. If they cannot provide an answer or you really need to speak with the physician, ask how long it will take for him or her to get back to you. Some physicians may answer questions by email as well.

5. What if I need care on short notice or after office hours?

If you are sick or injured, will you be able to be seen within a day or two? Some physicians make time for last-minute appointments or have their physician assistants or nurse practitioners available to handle them. Also, know what to expect if you call after hours, such as in the evening or on a weekend. If there is no physician on call, you may need to go to an urgent care center or emergency department.

Knowing what to expect from a new physician can help build trust, confidence and satisfaction. Remember, you and your physician are a team, and the better you work together, the better you will feel about your care.

Lawrence Schlitt, M.D., is a family medicine physician with Scripps Health. “To Your Health” is brought to you by the physicians and staff of Scripps Health. For more information or a physician referral, please call 1-800-SCRIPPS.

One Paseo will affect emergency response times

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:42

I’m writing in opposition to the current One Paseo proposal and the impacts it will have on our community. Carmel Valley has a large population of retirees and elderly people, like me. I am extremely concerned that One Paseo will increase the response times of emergency service vehicles due to the inevitable gridlock the project will create on our local streets.

My wife and I live comfortably on our own in Carmel Valley. We are, fortunately, in good health. Many retirees and elderly are not in good health. The elderly have the comfort of knowing they live in a community with good emergency response times. Even with today’s traffic, I have on several occasions seen emergency vehicles struggle to get down Del Mar Heights Road. Kilroy Realty has proposed a project that will dramatically increase traffic and will clearly delay the emergency response times. Increased traffic threatens the independence and potentially the safety of Carmel Valley seniors. The information regarding the traffic solution Kilroy has distributed is misleading and disingenuous, because the solutions are decades away. Any project that causes immediate public safety impacts demands simultaneous mitigation!

All seniors who care about their independence and emergency response times should be concerned about the potential impacts of the One Paseo development. We must fight for a development that does not seriously impact traffic, does not threaten our safety and allows us to continue to enjoy our independent lifestyle.


Bill Chatwell

This One Paseo — 3 key facts

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:42

You can’t lie to the city. But apparently it’s OK to mislead the community if there are additional millions to be made. The final EIR to the city on Kilroy’s proposal found nine environmental impacts, especially regarding traffic and neighborhood character, that even including the proposed mitigation measures — such as two I-5/SR 56 freeway connectors that, best case, won’t be built until 2030 — remain significant. Kilroy’s published response to the community: “We don’t have any unmitigatable impacts.” Want to run that by us again?

What you see is not what you get. The pictures in the newspapers and the brochures  are just idealized concept renderings developers use to elicit “feel good” support for a project. They’re not what the project will really look like. Nowhere do they show the proposed nine-story (170 feet) office towers and other high-rise structures rising up just 10 feet from the street, walling off One Paseo from the community like a fortress. And the image of that soccer field-sized family open space? Once you lay out 1.5 million square feet of buildings with interior roads, walkways, parking and landscaping in actual scale, it shrinks dramatically to a very small area.

Vote No on One Paseo, and we still get Puesto, True Food, North Italia and more. That’s right — if the City Council votes No on this oversized version of One Paseo, the developer’s only choice will be to come back — quickly — with a smaller version. It will likely include these restaurants and more because they’re already committed and represent only a very small portion of the project. Like the TWC commercial emphasizes: We don’t have to buy all that extra furniture — or in this case, buildings — to get the ones we want.

And forcing the developer to eliminate some of the office and residential we don’t need creates room for that big, green open space and large public plazas the renderings promise. Plus we won’t be stuck an extra 20 minutes in traffic going to and from work or our kids’ schools to be able to enjoy it.

Bonus fact: The One Paseo version Kilroy is pushing, triple the size approved in our Community Plan and generating nearly 400 percent more unmitigated traffic, is not an “All or None” proposition. Attend tonight’s Planning Board meeting and urge our board to reject this version, and the project’s economics will compel Kilroy to return with the same concept but on a smaller scale that better fits our community’s character and infrastructure capacity. One that really does incorporate our vision.

Robert Freund

Carmel Valley resident and retired commercial real estate executive

An offense to the community and to the General Plan

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:41

Why won’t Kilroy propose a smaller mixed-use project that would not overwhelm our streets? Because they would not make enough profit. This is what they say, in more elegant terms, in Appendix B.3 Retail Critical Mass Memo for Reduced Project Alternatives of the Final Environmental Impact Report for One Paseo.

Kilroy goes to great extent to disguise their profit motivation by claiming that the oversize project is in accordance with the “City of Villages” concept adopted by the city of San Diego and embedded in the General Plan. The General Plan is supposed to guide all development.

So what is this “City of Villages” concept? It is a commonsense response to increasing population and the potential of increasing traffic congestion. It proposes to build dense (read housing units per acre) communities, or to densify existing communities, around transportation nodes, thus saving us from a sprawl which would threaten our rural lands.  For its success in preventing traffic congestion, the concept relies on the villages being connected by public transit. The skeleton of the City of Villages concept exists here in North City, but a skeleton City of Villages it remains until the public transit links are developed.

One Paseo claims to be the heart of Carmel Valley, but it plans to be the heart of an area reaching 10 miles in all directions. Kilroy makes much of some cosmetic attempts to provide pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly options for local residents, but in fact it is dependent for its profit on a sufficient conglomeration of high-end shops and restaurants that will draw people from afar by automobile.

Is Carmel Valley, or Torrey Pines, or Del Mar, or Solana Beach served well by a closer Ann Taylor, Lululemon, or Pottery Barn, typical offerings of an urban center? Not at the expense of a 370 percent increase in traffic density. Nor is One Paseo adhering to the General Plan if it places a Lifestyle Center right next to a Town Center when both rely exclusively on the automobile for access.

I say One Paseo is an offense to the community and to the General Plan.

Diana Scheffler, Torrey Pines Community

Rant with Randi: The elephant in the room

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:37

Randi Crawford

By Randi Crawford

How can I not talk about Robin Williams’ death? Like most of you, when I learned about his death/suicide, I was saddened beyond words. It felt like losing a neighbor. I can’t say that I was shocked, because it seems like most funny people are hiding a deep sadness.  Lots of comedians have said that laughter is cheaper than therapy. But from everything I’ve read and seen about his life, the people who knew him best loved his heart.

The story of Robin Williams’s suicide has made such a huge impact on all of us. First, he was truly one of the most incredible talents of our time, and I don’t just say that because he is no longer with us. His “Aladdin” character is better than any other Disney character I’ve ever seen, mainly because of his outrageous monologues. I equally love his more serious roles, like in “Good Morning Vietnam” and “Dead Poets Society.” Who can forget his famous words, “O Captain, my Captain,” or “Carpe Diem”?

When I graduated from Villanova, he performed. He wasn’t the keynote speaker, he was actually doing his stand-up routine, and boy, was he racy. Trust me, being at a Catholic school with nuns and priests, Robin Williams’ stand-up routine was saucy — and we all loved it.

One of the reasons that I can’t get his death off my mind is because his suicide tells me how little we really know about depression and mental illness.  When someone as successful as Robin Williams can’t see light at the end of the tunnel, we’ve got a real problem. This isn’t about money, fame, or adoration. This is something so much deeper and darker that it’s almost untouchable. Unless you have it, you probably can’t empathize or understand it. I know I sure don’t.

I realize that there’s a stigma when you tell someone that there is something wrong with your brain, but this paradigm has to change. Isn’t it strange that when you tell someone about any physical ailment you have, they rush to help you find the right doctor? But we don’t want to tell people that we have anything wrong with our brain because we fear that they will label us as “crazy.” When I ran a healthcare company focused on menopausal women, I did a lot of research and learned that not too long ago “menopausal” women were institutionalized because people labeled them as crazy. Can you imagine that happening today? When you hit menopause, your hormones definitely impact you physically and psychologically, but trust me, you aren’t crazy.

Let’s face it, we all have that image of  “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Nurse Ratched etched into our brains. Remember when Nurse Ratched would administer the mind-numbing medicine to all the loons, and when that didn’t work, they got electric shock treatment? Her famous quote, “If Mr. McMurphy doesn’t want to take his medication orally, I’m sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way. But I don’t think that he would like it.” That’s some scary stuff. It reminds me of what the movie “Jaws” did to people. It made us all afraid to get back in the ocean. So when you’re really far out in the water, you hear that music in your head. Na-Na … Na-Na … nanananananana until you speed- swim right back to shore. We can thank Steven Spielberg for that phobia.

Mental illness and severe depression are deep, dark and possibly deadly. They are probably a lifelong battle that needs constant support and small gestures of love and caring every day. I wish we had the answers, but I believe we have a long way to go before we truly understand this disease.

And for the love of God, stop looking at mental illness and picturing Jack Nicholson. You are better than that.

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AutoMatters+: Bluegrass at Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum + November Man

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:15

Steam tractor

By Jan Wagner

The Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum is much more than a museum. Its mostly agricultural, construction and early industrial treasures are displayed on a sprawling, 55-acre patch of farmland in Vista, California. Unlike at a typical museum, much of the equipment on display here is actually fired up and demonstrated. At tractor shows in the spring and fall, which are also known as harvest shows, visitors can see how crops were harvested and cooked.

The museum is a popular destination for groups, including car clubs. I have been here before with the San Diego Miata Club and again on this day with the Mustang Club of San Diego. We drove here to take in the Summergrass Bluegrass Music Festival where, one weekend a year, the mechanical sounds of the antique engines are replaced with the melodious sounds of authentic bluegrass music, where singing is accompanied by banjos, mandolins, guitars and other instruments. As the audience relaxed in lawn chairs on the grass in the shade, many wonderful bands entertained them from the stage, including Prairie Sky, Rusty Gait, Shirthouse Band and others. If I were to single one out, it would be the Sonoran Dogs – only because I stumbled across them playing offstage in a jam session for what would grow to be only a couple of handfuls of people, myself included. As we sat around them, literally just a few feet away, they told us about their band and entertained us with their music.

Summergrass Bluegrass Music Festival

At the museum are farm buggies, vintage cars and trucks, and massive old harvesters. One of those, even though it looks old and completely worn out from decades of hard use and prolonged exposure to the elements, is in fact a brand new 1953 Harris Hillside Harvester partially wrapped in oiled paper packing. I was told that it was one of two that were purchased for use on a farm, and that shortly afterwards the purchaser passed away and it was never used.

Several of the antique tractors are used to pull wagonloads full of visitors around the Carlsbad flower fields. Museum staff operate and maintain them. Also, there were several of the museum’s tractors on display in the agriculture area of the infield at this year’s San Diego County Fair.

The steam engines on display date all the way back to the 1860s. Boilers provide their steam.

Brand new 1953 Harris Hillside Harvester

One of the buildings houses a blacksmith shop. It was quiet here this day but, on other days, the Vista Forge of the California Blacksmith Association offers blacksmithing classes at several skill levels.

In another large building, weavers were busy working at several of the more than 50 looms, which date from Civil War times to present day.

Large gas and diesel engines can be found on gas engine row. Engines like these powered farms and factories from the 1890s to the 1940s, after which time they began to be replaced by powerful electric motors.

Other exhibits include the Short Track Railroad model railroad club, construction equipment and a farmhouse containing antique furnishings and a kitchen, complete with a wood-burning stove, that are used to demonstrate what life was like at the turn of the previous century.

Old wagon by the blacksmith shop

In the machine shop, they make replacement parts that are no longer available for the museum’s tractors, steam traction engines, steam and gas stationary engines, and farm implements.

At the gift shop you will find a variety of interesting things for sale, including blacksmithing items and woven rugs that are made here by museum members.

For directions and information on upcoming events go to

* * * * *

In “The November Man,” Pierce Brosnan plays retired CIA agent Peter Devereaux in a tense, action-packed thriller about spy craft. International intrigue, devious plot twists and deception, gunplay and car chases (great use of airbag deployment!) will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is almost as if Pierce Brosnan returned to the screen to reprise his role as James Bond – with the guns but without the high-tech gadgets and gizmos. The stranger who was sitting beside me in the theater brought up a good point as he interrupted my immersion in this movie: where were the local police when all the mayhem was going on? That aside, this is a very entertaining spy versus spy movie. I recommend it.

As always, please write to with your comments and suggestions.

Spinning yarn

Weathered old truck

In the garden


Rigging of some sort

Copyright © 2014 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters+ #347

The November Man

Summer 2014 Carmel Valley Open Basketball League Champs: ‘Carmel Valley Spurs’

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:05

Summer 2014 Carmel Valley Open Basketball League Champs: “CV Spurs”: (Above, l-r) Coach Rob Jenkins, Jake Cabulio, Kasen Dickerson, Sean Reed, Holden Brosnan, Justin Lam, Alex Jenkins, Austin Lam.

On Aug. 18, the Carmel Valley Spurs defeated the Solana Beach Stray Cats, 67-41, in the 5th/6th grade championship game in the Master Sports Carmel Valley OPEN Basketball League.  Over a 10-game season, the offense scored 659 points while giving up only 364 on defense.  The average game score was 66-36.  They had the best rebounders, best shooters, and best defense in the league all season long.  This game capped a memorable season for a team that finished with a perfect 10-0 record.  Congratulations to “CV Spurs.”

Hundreds turn out for Carmel Valley planning board meeting on One Paseo

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 11:22

By Karen Billing

Kilroy Realty has long seen its One Paseo mixed-use project as providing a heart for the Carmel Valley community, creating a village in the community core where the land has sat fallow for 30 years.

Opponents argue that Kilroy’s vision is not the community’s vision — that they bought into a different kind of community core when they moved to Carmel Valley, and they want the land use to stay true to the original goals and intent of the community plan.

Hearts and visions collided at the Aug. 28 Carmel Valley Community Planning Board meeting, where an overflow crowd turned out to debate the future of the last major slice of the community left to be developed. All 400 seats in Canyon Crest Academy’s theater were filled, and people spilled out into the aisles and crammed into standing-room only spots in the back.

A huge crowd, including Supervisor Dave Roberts, front, turned out at the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board’s Aug. 28 meeting on One Paseo. Photos by Karen Billing

Opponents wore the red buttons of the opposition group What Price Main Street, which read “No on THIS One Paseo,” while Kilroy supporters donned pale blue One Paseo stickers and held placards that read “Connect Carmel Valley.”

“It continues to makes me so proud to see everyone here, willing to spend the time to make sure your voice is heard,” said San Diego City Council President pro-tem Sherri Lightner, who sat in on the meeting. “It speaks to how important this is to your community.”

After six years, One Paseo appears to be heading into the home stretch. The planning board will deliberate and come up with a final recommendation on the project at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, at Canyon Crest Academy. Public testimony will not be taken at that meeting.

Kilroy expects to be before the San Diego City Council for a final decision by November on the 1.5-million-square-foot project that includes 198,500 square feet of retail, 484,000 square feet of commercial office and 608 multifamily residential units at El Camino Real and Del Mar Heights Road. The land is zoned and approved for 510,000 square feet of office buildings only.

Kilroy Senior Vice President Steve Scott said that they have worked “tirelessly” with city staff and have pounded the pavement and engaged the community to hear people’s likes and dislikes.

“The community engagement has significantly improved the project, which we are pleased and excited about,” Scott said. “We believe the project will fulfill the community vision by complementing the surrounding land use … we believe it will be a major unifying element for all of Carmel Valley.”

According to spokesperson Ken Farinksy, What Price Main Street has gathered strong community support in the last two weeks, adding 1,600 new members.

“We’re not against development. We’ve always supported an appropriate project on this site,” Farinksy said.

Bob Fuchs, another What Price Main Street mainstay, said that they have heard over and over that Kilroy has reduced the scale of its plans by 30 percent, but claims that the number is misleading.

“It’s not how much you’ve reduced it from your original, overblown presentation, but how much it’s increased by what you’re entitled to get,” Fuchs said.

Opinions and passions are strong on both sides of the project, and the anti-One Paseo group appeared to be the loudest. Twice Chair Frisco White had to silence jeering from the crowd, reminding people to be respectful of others and their opinions.

The loudest roar of applause was prompted by County Supervisor Dave Roberts. Although he does not get a vote on the project, he said he has followed it closely and studied every document, and that his five children will attend or have attended schools in the Carmel Valley neighborhood.

“Community character counts, and we cannot allow something three times the zoning to be approved,” Roberts said.

Traffic has been a major sticking point for the opposition throughout the entire process, and on Thursday, Kilroy revealed its belief that with One Paseo, travel times will actually improve because of the $6 million it is plugging into improving local roads and the installation of a comprehensive transportation demand management program that reduces delays and stops, moves traffic more efficiently and replaces antiquated hardware.

Representing Kilroy, engineer John Leppert said the program uses advanced technology to create real-time traffic solutions and will give the entire network of signals in Carmel Valley “a total makeover.” With the coordination, travel time improves by 8 to 13 percent, and stopped time on Del Mar Heights Road improves 20 to 29 percent. In the case of El Camino Real, travel time improves 13 to 21 percent and stopped time improves 32 to 46 percent.

“It’s the stops that aggravate the commuter, not the number of cars on the road,” Leppert said.

He said the system has been used to see positive results in a few areas around San Diego County, including a 26 percent improvement on Palomar Airport Road and a 21 percent improvement on Carlsbad Village Drive, both similar high-volume east-to-west roads.

Kilroy is proposing to improve 40 area intersections using the system, as well as to install a new emergency vehicle system that allows first responders to control the intersections. Leppert said an emergency response route can be identified in advance, and the system can help clear the vehicle’s path before it even reaches the signals. Slowed emergency response times have long been a concern of the Torrey Pines community, which relies on Fire Station 24 on Del Mar Heights Road.

Supporter Janette Littler, who lives within walking distance of the project, said that she appreciates all the traffic improvements One Paseo will bring.

“Absent a project like this, we will never see these kinds of upgrades in Carmel Valley,” Littler said. “Our lives will be enhanced by One Paseo. I want more than that glorified strip mall across from me.”

Opponents remained unconvinced that commutes would improve with the addition of a 1.5-million-square-foot development and two new traffic lights.

Fuchs said that he sees the project as making the traffic four times as bad, not better, making residents prisoners in their own community. He said much of the traffic study assumes a full buildout of the Interstate 5 widening and the SR-56 connection, which might not happen until 2030 or beyond.

“Make no mistake, the approval of One Paseo will sentence Carmel Valley and the nearby communities to gridlock jail for life, with no possibility of parole for 14 years,” Fuchs said.

Resident Gabrielle Stratton offered an alternative view, noting she is retired and travels on Del Mar Heights Road often during the day.

“There is no traffic during the day, so I’m assuming it’s during rush hour,” Stratton said.

She said it would be a shame for the community to lose the project over two hours of traffic in the mornings and evenings.

Resident Dennis Glazer agreed; he tends to believe that there will be additional traffic, but it will mostly occur in those peak hours.

“Carmel Valley needs something other than Del Mar Highlands for amenities and facilities to keep us in this area,” Glazer said, “I think Carmel Valley could use a big development to keep us in Carmel Valley, so we don’t have to leave and spend time on the freeways.”

Marcela Escobar-Eck, representing Kilroy, said that with the project’s design, the company is providing an enhancement to the community’s character. Kilroy aims  to transform Del Mar Heights Road into a safe and enjoyable pedestrian environment with crosswalks, wide sidewalks and a dedicated cycle track, according to Escobar-Eck.

She added that Kilroy also seeks to create places for people throughout the project, such as a gateway town green on Del Mar Heights, which flows into a plaza with shops and cafes and down onto the activated “Main Street.” Main Street leads into a market plaza off El Camino Real. Animated renderings showed people strolling down tree-lined sidewalks, running on a path around the town green, and enjoying an al fresco meal at sunset in the market plaza, the office buildings in the distance.

Escobar-Eck said the opposition likes to scare people by threatening that One Paseo’s office buildings will be towering monoliths — but, in fact she said, they will be located on the lowest portion of the site, a 70-foot grade differential from Del Mar Heights Road.

Farinksy said it’s hard to dispute that Kilroy’s renderings look great, but the project does not fit in Carmel Valley— it’s too big, too dense.

Some supporters spoke in favor of adding density. Resident Bill Lynch said he believes the project to be smart growth development for the city, and Charlie Singh said he sees One Paseo as bringing lots of new people to Carmel Valley and building a stronger tax base.

“We have a wonderful, thriving downtown in San Diego,” retorted resident Karen Kelley. “If you want urban density, move there, but don’t put it in Carmel Valley.”

What Price Main Street believes a smaller scale One Paseo would still attract tenants and customers without putting the community in “traffic jail.” Bob Freund encouraged the board to reject this One Paseo, as the buttons read, and ask Kilroy to come back with a smaller version.

“If you build a smaller One Paseo, they will still come,” Freund said.

Carmel Valley running events kick into high gear for 2014-15

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 09:00

Carmel Valley is one of San Diego’s fastest-growing communities, and with growth comes many opportunities and possibilities for activities and community projects. The running industry has taken notice and advantage of Carmel Valley’s picturesque bike paths, roadways, and trail systems.

Over the past couple of years, Carmel Valley has seen a few events run through the area, but one of the most notable is the third annual Kaiser Permanente Carmel Valley 5K and Kids Fun Run. In 2015, the event will start and finish at the Bay Club on Carmel Country Road while using the 56 Bike Path for the run course. The Kaiser Permanente Carmel Valley 5K and Kids Fun Run also helps raise money for 22 local schools in Carmel Valley. To date, the event has raised a total of $70,000.

Seeing the continued success of the Kaiser Permanente Carmel Valley 5K and Fun Run, Seasick Marketing, a Del Mar-based sports marketing company, wanted to help continue the trend of bringing running events to Carmel Valley, especially to lesser-used areas. In the next few weeks, Seasick Marketing will bring in two new events: the Carmel Valley Trail 10K/ 5K (Sept. 20) and the San Diego Monster Run 5K (Oct. 25). Both events will support and raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

The Carmel Valley Trail 10K and 5K will use Gonzales Open Space Canyon with a start and finish at Torrey Highlands Community Park (behind Torrey Pines High School), while the San Diego Monster Run 5K (a Halloween-themed Costume Fun Run) will start and finish at the Changes Plastic Surgery Center parking lot on El Camino Real, heading onto the 56 Bike Path heading East. This will be the first time that the western side of Gonzales Open Space has been used for a trail race, and the first time that a Halloween-themed fun run will be held in Carmel Valley.

The San Diego Monster Run 5K will include costume contests, silent auctions, kids area, food trucks, and live music.

“We are excited to get these events under way, and are hoping both these events will add to the community,” said Jeff Stoner of Seasick Marketing. “Gonzales Open Space is a beautiful area for trail running and we want to show everyone in the San Diego area that it is definitely worth a visit. And since Carmel Valley is such a family friendly community, we felt a themed fun run would be the next best option in getting that demographic involved with our races.”

Seasick Marketing hopes that its fundraising efforts for the Challenged Athletes Foundation will be comparable to the success that the Kaiser Permanente Carmel Valley 5K has had in raising money for the Carmel Valley schools.

“Katie Wilsey has done an amazing job the last couple years at getting the Kaiser Permanente Carmel Valley 5K off the ground and showing support for the community,” said Stoner. “We are hoping to follow her lead. The Challenged Athletes Foundation is such a great local charity that is close to our hearts, and we wanted to make sure this was the first foundation we worked with on these events.”

In recent weeks, there had been some confusion that the Kaiser Permanente Carmel Valley 5K had changed to a trail race and moved its date, but this is not the case.  Seasick Marketing and Katie Wilsey want to assure everyone that they support each other’s races, and that their respective races are separate events.

“The last thing we wanted to do was confuse people, so after our first annual Carmel Valley Trail 10K and 5K on Sept. 20 has concluded, we will look at making an adjustment to the name in 2015, while keeping the Carmel Valley roots,” said Stoner.

For information on the Kaiser Permanente Carmel Valley 5K and Kids Fun Run or to register, visit

For information or to register for the Carmel Valley Trail 10K and 5K or the San Diego Monster Run 5K, visit or

Torrey Pines High School sailing team aims to bring more hands on board

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 09:00

Torrey Pines Sailing Team captain Trey Muschamp rigs the jib. First practice is Sept. 3 at the Southwestern Yacht Club in Point Loma.

By Marni Kaufman

Beyond its stellar academic record, Torrey Pines High School is also famous for its formidable basketball crew, Rory Mcilroy-inspired golf team, and invincible volleyball league, among others.

However, Torrey Pines also has a club that has navigated its crew through the shoals of an invigorating letter sport on the high seas every Wednesday after school — the sailing team. Torrey Pines Sailing Team has developed into a friendly yet competitive group that allows teammates to stop and smell the salty air and appreciate nature and the magnificent outdoors.

Even on the coldest and calmest of days, the team still manages to enjoy and learn the skills of sailing a CFJ (Club Flying Juniors) sailboat.

After two years on the team, I have observed the strong camaraderie and complementary skills of the two partners on the boat. Team Captain Trey Muschamp has been sailing for six years. He joined the team five years ago while in middle school.

“My position is more along the lines of teaching skippers and crew the assorted skills of sailing,” he said. “The president of the team, Robbie Johnson, takes on a more administrative role.”

Whether this year will be more competitive rather than recreational, Trey said, “depends on the number of people on the team, and since we are expecting a larger group we will try to lean towards a more advanced racing team, but still keep it fun. I want to ignite the fire in these young sailors so they will come back year after year.”

Muschamp also mentioned that sailing is an impressive passion, since it is a combination of all great sports. Not only is it physically demanding, it’s mentally challenging, like chess. “You have to continuously out-think your opponent to get ahead.”

That plan of action applies for both weekly practices and during the exhilarating regattas (sailing meets). Sept. 13 kicks off the first regatta, called a “friendly,” in Newport Beach, while in October the team heads north to Monterey for the Sea Otter regatta where Torrey Pines will compete against statewide schools.

This is just one of the many perks of sailing, over and above the intrinsic beauty of the sport: meeting students from other teams, making lifelong connections, and especially opening your eyes to fun and exciting experiences.

The team is searching for new skippers and crew members. There are no skill, height, weight, gender or age requirements. Everyone with an adventurous spirit and love of the wind and water is welcome. The first practice will be Wednesday, Sept. 3, at the Southwestern Yacht Club in Point Loma with Coach Eric Heim, who will teach dedicated sailors the finer points of tacking and gybing, along with other strategies and techniques.

For more about the Torrey Pines Sailing Club, contact Robbie Johnson at 858-442-8871 or

Marni Kaufman is a senior at Torrey Pines High School, a passionate sailor and skipper on the sailing team.