The Coast News Group

Letters: June 10, 2011

With unclear rules, nothing can be done

The June 6 Del City Council meeting included a report on the several Community Conversation meetings that had been held throughout Del Mar. It seems the residents still want the same non-economical things for Del Mar. I continue to wonder why they chose Del Mar to live.
I congratulate David Druker on his comment at the hearing from the audience at the end of the report, when he suggested the following hadn’t been established — defining the “problem” and defining the “goal.” What a brilliant idea!
As a commercial property owner in the subject area, I had been trying to get some definition of those two subjects for some time, to no avail. What is the current “problem” with the downtown, other than that we are in a depression and unable to provide all of the sales tax the city wants?
What is the definition of a “pedestrian friendly,” viable resident-serving commercial area? What is the “goal” the city expects of the commercial property owners? They are the one’s that will make it happen!
Property owners have to know what the rules are going to be for any further developing of their properties. Right now, and for the last several years, no one has known what the rules are going to be in the near future, or distant future, even though our General Plan is supposed to tell us what the rules should be.
The problem is that the city is redefining what the General Plan has said what the rules should be for the last 23-plus years, without changing the General Plan! Nobody knows what the rules will be, so nothing can be done!

Ralph Peck
Del Mar

Please fix Cleveland Street

Dear Mayor Wood and City Council members,
I live at the northern-most end of Cleveland Street. There is now a pothole growing so deep that it threatens to become a sinkhole. It is a clear and present hazard for automobiles and cyclists entering my community.
One block south, the entrance to San Luis Rey Bike Trail, causes many Oceanside residents to park their cars up and down Cleveland Street, while they download bicycles to ride either the River Trail or to ride south along Cleveland Street to reach downtown Oceanside and the Oceanside Transit Center.
They also use North Cleveland to Surfrider to access The Pacific Coast Bike Route, and Oceanside beaches, pier, amphitheater and the harbor. So from a cyclist’s point of view Cleveland is both a vital and an accident in progress.
Cleveland Street is old cement construction and has many cracks and bumps that pose a clear and present safety hazard to cyclists. Could you please fix the potholes and cracks along Cleveland Street?
Thanks for your attention to this problem before the busy summer season.

Bob Kiger

City’s graffiti definition not consistent

I have lived in Encinitas for 40 years and moved to the downtown area next to City Hall 10 years ago. I immediately noticed how many skateboard brand stickers were pasted on almost every public edifice — street signs, phone booths, streetlight fixtures, newspaper vending machines, business signage, etc.
As the last manager of the now defunct Del Mar Skate Park (closed 1989) I had then become distressingly aware of how important the dissemination of illegal skateboard graffiti was to the skating culture.
Not only did I deal with a constant barrage of stickers, but also actual painting on concrete. As I have always had a tremendous amount of pride in our fair city, exhibited by my producing free jazz summer concerts at The Lumberyard shopping center on Coast Highway 101 for the last eight years (now a permanent event), I started a personal campaign to remove as many stickers as I could from the downtown business district.
I have removed over 1,000 stickers over the course of several years and at one time informed then City Manager Kerry Miller of the scope of the problem. Although he was initially skeptical, he was convinced once and for all when I called his attention to the two very large stickers affixed to the main City Hall sign I had purposely left untouched to illustrate how serious the problem had become.
The reason for this letter is to call into question the priority our fair city officials have given to the question of legality and subsequent efforts to remove the now famous Surfing Madonna mosaic on the train trestle. I have personally witnessed a significant positive reaction to this work from virtually everyone I know and also from many tourists and visitors.
It has also generated amazing interest in the local and national media. Why is this being given so much time and attention supposedly to resolve for the public good when they have spent so little time on the actual graffiti problem right under our noses?
Take a look around our beautiful town (and every other one in San Diego )and you will still see hundreds/thousands of unsightly stickers and paint on so many traffic signs, freeway signs, buildings and other public structures, many of them having been there for years. I cut back my personal efforts to physically remove them due to time and energy constraints coupled with my frustration at the lack of effort from the city.
There have also been on occasions many floods of illegal advertising in the form of small “stick-in-the-ground” signs for local karate business and various matchmaking companies such as Great Expectations, which I have tracked down and called to the attention of the city Planning department only to be basically ignored.
Shouldn’t the city officials spend time and money dealing with the chronic and long-standing illegal “art” problems that are actually visually destructive before they even consider dealing with something that is quite the opposite? Just sayin’.

Mike Whisler