Letters: May 6, 2011

Parked cars have to go somewhere
The Del Mar City Council has started having presentations at various homes throughout Del Mar to convince residents that the parking standards should be lowered in order to provide incentives for revitalizing (redeveloping) the downtown area. That means more parking in adjacent residential area.
What they are proposing is to lower the required parking ratios to that “suggested” by SANDAG.
For example, for a proposed restaurant/bar of 1,700 square feet, the current requirement is 19 off-street parking spaces, whereas under suggested SANDAG requirements the number would be six off-street spaces. 
So, where would those 13 extra cars park? In front of the adjacent residences. And for a restaurant/bar, that would mean late night patrons returning to their cars.
The Del Mar General Plan says that shouldn’t be. But if that is what you think residents should put up with, then be sure and let the council know the General Plan should be changed, also.
If you want more info, or to discuss this issue further, please e-mail me at artiepek@prodigy.net.
Ralph Peck
Del Mar

Been there, done that
Read with many memories Lillian Cox’s article on Jerry Morris and Karson Kupiec’s Grand Canyon hike. I have completed 15 of those hikes. At age 72 I will complete another one in late May. It’s quite simple — a lot of training, preparation and pacing.  Take one step and repeat 110,000 times with periodic rests.
Dan Oliver

Save the art
If anything fits the definition of graffiti, it’s the City Council’s literalist, rigid, blinded-to-beauty thinking process. Yes, I understand, their intention is to abide by the rules and regulations which are designed to serve the interests of the community-at-large.
But what would the council say if DaVinci descended from the heavens and anonymously gifted the city of Encinitas with the “Mona Lisa,” or if Michaelanglo did his Sistine Chapel on one of your public wall overpasses — “Tear it down, it hasn’t gone through our bureaucratic process!”
I personally scrutinized the surfin’ version of Our Lady of Guadalupe: it’s clearly a work of art, a gift to the city, a gift with a timely message “Save The Ocean.” 
I mean, where would Encinitas be financially and otherwise if our precious ocean, already contaminated in some local areas by noxious bacteria,  and awash with radioactivity, toxic oil spills and poisonous dispersents on other distant shores, was polluted, compromised,  violated, ruined and rendered useless?
As informed citizens,  City Council must know that our ocean systems worldwide are dying and that this spiritually infused, environmentally sensitive, beautifully rendered wakeup call couldn’t have come at a better time.
Sometimes as surfers we know that one needs to relax, let go and flow with the incoming tide particularly when it mysteriously and gently washes up a from-the-heart wake up call.
Let’s get the message out, not tear it down!
Phil Baum
Valley Center

What is debt capacity and why should I care?
Debt capacity is the amount of debt an entity can afford to incur and repay. It’s a financial computation that uses interest rate and payback period assumptions. Lenders can use debt capacity to determine whether homebuyers can realistically afford mortgage payments.
Tri-City Hospital prepared a Summary of Debt Capacity for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2010. The summary states that the current legal debt limitation imposed by the lender is less than $6 million.
But the summary also projects incremental debt capacity ranging from $130 million to $245 million for current year annualized earnings, as well as $350 million to $670 million for subsequent years.
These financial projections give great comfort to squeamish board members. But these projections fail to disclose one key fact: along with evidence of the ability to repay loans, lenders also typically require a security interest in collateral for their protection in the event that circumstances change and payments cease. Tri-City Healthcare District, as a state agency, is legally unable to grant a security interest in either its campus land or buildings. So, for traditional lending practices, the hospital’s debt capacity remains limited to less than $6 million.
By omitting this essential disclosure, projections of Tri-City’s debt capacity may result in unrealistic expectations of the entity’s ability to finance the mandated construction of new hospital facilities by 2030.

Randy Horton, CPA