published by Del Mar Community Alliance. Inc.
Inside the October 2019 Print Issue

Click on cover for OCTOBER print issue in pdf format.

Kathy Shines
Ann Gardner

EDITORIAL: Strategic Challenges

Nuke Nemesis
Don Mosier

or Woman

Bud Emerson

Roving Teen Reporter:
Debt Woes

Dhathry Doppalapudi | Torrey Pines High School Senior

Remembering Sarah Dubin-Vaughn

Housing for Whom?
Ann Gardner

Our Fair Share
Ellie Haviland

Sea Level Rise Plan:
Yes, and...

Dwight Worden

Wetlands By-Product:
Beach Replenishment

Setal Pravhu | Del Mar Consultant

Bluff Assault
Julie Maxey-Allison

Radiation Realities
Sudeepto Roy

Burial Districts
Kristen Crane

Marisol: Process Check
Kathy Garcia

Environmental Values

Carol Kerridge

They’re Not Bluffing!

Bruce Bekkar

Streetscape Goes Green: Photos

Tree Time
Dolores Davies Jamison

Shared Parking Possible
Ann Gardner

Streetscape Moving Along: Photos

In the Painter’s Eye: Photos

Alice Goodkind
Benedict Massilungen
Darrell Swenson
Mac McMillan
Don Coordt

Cousins in Crime
Julie Maxey-Allison

Disaster Risks

Bulking Up
Valérie Dufort-Roy

Art, Science, Climate Change

Julie Maxey-Allison

The Keelings and the Commmunity Plan
Julie Maxey-Allison

A Moving Memoir
in three Parts

Nancy Fisher

28 Lock ‘em Up
Rose Ann Sharp and
Jennifer Lonbom

DMF: October 2019
Sandra Hoyle with Bill Morris

DMCC: October 2019
Ashley Simpkins

Extra copies of the Sandpiper are available at: the Del Mar Community Building on 9th Street; the Library; the Powerhouse; the Farmers’ Market; the Carmel Valley Library;the Solana Beach Library and the Solana Beach Community Center.


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Update 10/31/19
Inside the november 2019 Print Issue
Click on cover for NOVEMBER print issue in pdf format.

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Update 10/13/19
Gun Shows to be Gone

On Friday, October 11, Governor Newsom signed a bill banning gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The bill calls for the ban to take effect in 2021.

Rose Ann Sharp, speaking for the grassroots group Never Again stated: "Del Mar is where the surf meets the turf, and as of today we are adding: Del Mar is where the NRA met its match."

October Print Issue
Kathy Shines
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

Almost ten years ago Kathleen Garcia, Principal Landscape Architect at a prestigious planning and design firm in San Diego for over 25 years, was ready for a new challenge, and many of the skills she had were needed when Del Mar wanted to fill its vacant Planning and Community Development Director position. When former City Manager Karen Brust hired “Kathy” in November 2010 she was looking for someone who could kick start “priority projects” that were being pushed to the back burner by development permits, e.g. 183 last year.

Kathy discussed those priorities when we met before she is retiring at the end of this month. Village revitalization, the Fairgrounds Master Plan EIR review, review for a temporary train platform at the Fairgrounds and revision to our Parking Ordinance were on the list. The new Director would also be responsible for day to day permit applications, monthly Design Review Board and Planning Commission meetings, ongoing building permits and clean water, i.e. keeping pollutants out of storm water.

Kathy had lots of experience pulling together resources to implement projects. What was new, she recalls, was being part of local governance. “In my consultant role once a project was completed we were no longer part of the community. As Planning Director in a municipality we stay involved after the project is done. And, of course, municipal financing was a new learning experience for me.”


October Print Issue
The Sandpiper apologizes for the error in last month’s paper when we mistakenly placed a John Dempsey cartoon in an article written by Tom McGreal.
Update 10/04/19
no safe harbor for dirty tricks

Ann Farrell, Via Alta
Del Mar has always been a place where open and honest discussions and debate have led to good decisions that benefit the entire community.  We are an
"activist" community, and that is one of our core strengths and values.
While members can and do have different opinions on various issues, once a
vote is taken, then we citizens expect teamwork and unity from our City
Council, especially when representing us in the larger regional bodies.
Particularly at SANDAG, it is important that all City Councilmembers stand
for the positions of the Del Mar City Council as a whole.

There have been many lies and distortions put forth recently, especially by
the Woodpecker, a widely-distributed publication which continues to operate
in the dark with no disclosure of its sources of funding or its so-called
"Editorial Staff."  With increasing frequency, it levels unfair attacks on
Deputy Mayor Haviland and unwarranted praise on Councilmember Gaasterland.
The publication exemplifies what is unfortunately becoming partisan
politics-as-usual in this Trumpian era of lies, distortions, unsigned
screeds, self-serving grandstanding, and intentionally "fake news" intended
to sway electorates with scare tactics.  There should be no safe harbor in
Del Mar for political dirty tricks.

I remind you that Deputy Mayor Haviland was directly following the wishes of
her City Council colleagues (who voted 5-0 instructing her to support the
SANDAG staff formula).  It was wrong for Councilmember Gaasterland to give
testimony undermining Deputy Mayor Haviland's representation of Del Mar at
October Print Issue
EDITORIAL: Strategic Challenges

Del Mar, the smallest city in the region, has an impressive history of hitting beyond its weight, accomplishing big things against big odds. We have been successful in diverting the I-5 freeway away from our main road, incorporating as the region’s smallest city, moving private encroachments off of our public beach, developing Crest Canyon as open space instead of planned condo development, reviving our lagoon as the opening of a giant river valley preservation, raising funds to achieve one of the highest per capita open space/parks ratios in the nation, and much more.

What is it that accounts for this continuing string of accomplishments over the decades? We believe our “secret sauce” is human talent, citizens and leaders who work in a unified way to plan strategically and work persuasively in key decision-making forums. We have a deserved reputation for arguing among ourselves to get the details right, but when it comes to core values and working on vision and big challenges we have been effective in creating a unified majority. That unity makes us strong.

Contrast that with many other cities where internal bickering, personal attacks, and parochial perspective define their reputations and therefore their limited influence in regional decisionmaking. One very concerning consequence of such a reputation is that talented managers and staff professionals are reluctant to apply for positions where professional level work is devalued by political contentiousness.


October Print Issue
Nuke Nemesis
Don Mosier | Rimini Road
Click on image to View the 50-page complaint here.

Public Watchdogs, a local non-profit “chartered to protect California businesses and residents from the California Public Utilities Commission and other rogue government agencies,” filed a suit in federal court on August 30th seeking an injunction to halt the spent nuclear fuel loading operations at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The suit names Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Sempra Energy, Holtec International (the manufacturer of the thin-walled canisters and the subcontractor for loading operations), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Does 1-100 as defendants. The complaint alleges violation of federal law governing administrative procedures when the NRC approved an amended operations plan for decommissioning without public input, violation of California statutes by creating a public nuisance (viz. the threat to humans and the environment if a single failed canister releases more radioactivity than the Chernobyl accident), and violation of warranty standards by Holtec. The lead attorney for Public Watchdogs is Charles (Chuck) G. La Bella of Barnes and Thornburg, a former federal prosecutor and experienced litigator.

View the 50-page complaint here.

Filing suit against the NRC will be an uphill battle since federal government departments are subject to sovereign immunity unless all administrative options have been exhausted. I reached out to Charles Langley, Executive Director of Public Watchdogs, about the rationale for including the NRC as a defendant in the lawsuit. Charles replied, “We believe the extreme urgency of the issue supersedes the requirement to wait for years attempting to exhaust every administrative option. Nothing is impossible. What some call ‘futility’ is what we call ‘a day at the office.” He continued, “There are billions of dollars in the decommissioning trust fund that we paid for as ratepayers. Yet Edison’s penury has delivered a dime store solution at a Rolls Royce price.”


October Print Issue
Marisol Process Check
Kathy Garcia | Planning and Community Development Director

A different process: On August 5, 2019, the City received a Notice of Intention (NOI) to circulate a petition related to the Marisol Specific Plan Initiative. According to the text of the NOI, “the purpose of this Initiative is to facilitate the development and preservation of an approximately 17.45-acre area located south of Border Avenue and west of Camino Del Mar (the “Specific Plan Area”), by adopting the Marisol Specific Plan (“Specific Plan”) and conforming amendments to the City’s Community Plan, Local Coastal Program, and Zoning Map.”

The initiative does not include lands at the Scripps/North Bluff Preserve or North Beach.

Approval of the Initiative by the Del Mar electorate would approve the “legislative” changes necessary to allow visitor-serving uses. This initiative replaces the staff process that was underway to develop the Resort Specific Plan. The Marisol Specific Plan, as it is now known, along with the proposed amendments to the Community Plan and Local Coastal Program, would rezone eight private properties from single-family residential to “Marisol Specific Plan” and provide the regulatory framework for a visitor-serving resort development. The Local Coastal Program Amendment would still be subject to certification by the California Coastal Commission.

The proposed initiative and related documents can be reviewed on the City’s website at Questions on the Specific Plan as an initiative should now be directed to Zephyr Development rather than staff at


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