Letters to the Editor: July 27, 2012

Make the connection

 In several recent articles in our local San Diego County papers, the L.A. Times and the New York Times, it is claimed that natural disaster areas, because of drought and excessive heat, now affect crops in 1,297 counties in 29 states, or 61 percent of the continental U.S.

Further, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reports that 77 percent of the corn and soybean crops are in areas designated as drought-impacted. Natural disasters? Amazingly, in none of these articles has Climate Change even been mentioned. Isn’t it time to recognize the connection and start doing something about it? It’s time to accept science and discard politically motivated propaganda. There’s too much at risk.

Milton Saier, UCSD Professor of Biology,


Is change in the air?

I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this week’s Encinitas City Council meeting. Instead of the spectacle I saw at the July 11 Council meeting when Mayor Stocks was rude, arrogant, and applied the procedural rules of speaking time limits inequitably (as he has also done in past meetings), I saw a council listening respectfully to the community speakers; a council seriously discussing various aspects of the issues without grandstanding; and I saw Deputy Mayor Gaspar running the council meeting smoothly, efficiently, and effectively without targeting disparaging remarks at Council Member Barth, as she has sometimes done in the past. In fact, I saw the kind of council many of us wish we had all the time–individuals with varying attributes and opinions working together to address concerns and solve problems. What a concept!

Why the difference this week, you may ask? Well, for one thing, Mayor Stocks was absent. The power that Mayor Stocks seems to hold over the Council majority and City staff was missing. The contempt that Mayor Stocks directs at those who disagree with him or irritate him was missing. The animosity that can arise between the council majority and the community was seemingly nonexistent because the majority did not exhibit hostility toward the public, as we have sometimes seen them do and as Mayor Stocks often does.

What can we expect when Mayor Stocks returns? Will the poisonous atmosphere return too? OR will the council majority find the inner strength of character to stand up to a mayor who acts out in ways that are not only self-destructive, but that are destructive to the successful operation of our city.

C.J. Minster,


Sharrows YES; Lane Diet, NO

Bicyclists aren’t asking for a lane diet. We support Sharrows and additional bicycle safety signage from K St to La Costa Blvd, but NOT the lane diet, for which Leucadia is being singled out.

The diet is to be from La Costa Blvd, at the northern end, to Leucadia Blvd, at its southern end, although that will change when and if the initial roundabout is installed at El Portal. Then the “lane diet” would begin SOUTH of the intersection at Leucadia Blvd, which the staff report, SPECIFICALLY STATES would not be workable, due to traffic’s already backing up between the stop sign at Marchetta and the signal at Leucadia Blvd. Putting the first roundabout at El Portal is RIDICULOUS.

None of the bicyclists speaking at the July 18 Encinitas Council Meeting said ANYTHING about a lane diet. ONLY realtor, Elena Thompson, representing Leucadia 101 Main Street Association (subsidized by the City) spoke in favor of the lane diet. She did say the lane diet should be bifurcated from Sharrows.

But their dividing the issues didn’t result in Council’s making the correct decision. They ignored legal ramifications and

neighborhood concerns, approving the lane diet, improperly separating it out from the Streetscape project, as a whole, still under environmental review.

Unfortunately, prematurely approving a lane diet, before the Streetscape project receives a Coastal Permit, is another way that

politicians/administrators, acting as executive, legislative and judicial branches of our local governments, with little checks and

balances, are pushing through a high-density development agenda.

Roundabouts count as traffic mitigation; roadways are exempt from receiving an “F” grade when traffic circles are installed. A few commercial interests would get higher property values, added angled parking; the majority of us would suffer through gridlock, traffic cutting through neighborhoods, slowed emergency response times, and lower City “reserves.”

Lynn Marr,