Tag Archives: san marcos

San Elijo Life Email Interview with Eric Flodine Candidate for San Marcos City Council District 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an email interview with Eric Flodine who is running for San Marcos City Council District 2. San Elijo Life has invited all candidates for Council in District 2 and Mayor to answer the same set of email questions.

Why should the residents in San Elijo Hills vote for you? 

Community. Education. Experience.

Community

I am a San Elijo Hills resident.  My family has lived in SEH for nearly 12 years.  My wife began her teaching career at SEES.  My children both attended SEES K-5, and now I have an 8th grader at SEMS and an 11th grader at SMHS.  We have donated our time and resources to the SEES PTO, SEES Country Fair, Hops in The Hills, SEMS PTO, Double Peak Challenge, local HOA board, and more.  We shop here, we eat here, we hike the trails here, even our dentist is here.  My father moved to SEH a couple years ago.  That means there are 3 generations of my family that live in SEH.  We love being residents of SEH and San Marcos and feel truly blessed at the friends and neighbors we have made over the years.  So, we understand firsthand the perspectives that our neighbors have.  

Education 

Education is very important in our home.  I earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly SLO and Master of City Planning from Cal Poly Pomona.  I earned a Leadership Certificate from CSU San Marcos.  My wife is an amazing elementary teacher in San Marcos with a Master’s Degree and a bilingual teaching credential.

Experience

For my civic experience, I have served on the City’s Planning Commission for 7 years, including 4 years as Chairman.  Prior to that I served 2 years on the City’s General Plan Advisory Committee.  So, for 9 consecutive years I have served the City, and have a solid understanding of our City’s process.  My professional experience includes over 21 years as a Community Planner.  Planning for the future of communities is what I do every day.  I understand the levers to push and pull to achieve desired results.  I look forward to engaging with local residents and businesses at the beginning of a project application, not at the end.  As a Planner, I am PROACTIVE, and this is what the City Council needs in discussions on future decisions.  

How can the council/mayor help address cut through traffic and school traffic in San Elijo Hills?

As a 12 year resident of SEH, I have lived here since before San Elijo Road / Twin Oaks Valley Road connected towards Highway 78.  This connection was important for access to the rest of San Marcos, and for fire evacuation, but it also opened up the heart of our community to pass through traffic looking for a “short cut” from the constant logjam of Highway 78.  The majority of our constant traffic issues are from cut through trips.  To reduce this, we must pressure Caltrans and the regional agency (SANDAG) to complete the improvements of Highway 78 from Hwy 15 to Hwy 5.  This will happen with collaboration with the adjacent cities, and with state influence by our state elected officials.  I have the experience to push this through.

Every city has traffic jams around school zones during morning and afternoon times.  We need to ensure safe routes to school to promote more students walking/biking/scootering to school.  One idea I have heard from residents is to coordinate with the Senior Volunteer Program of the Sheriff’s Department to be present at intervals/crossroads along major routes to provide safety for the kids.  I know I would feel more comfortable allowing my SEMS student to walk if there were going to be friendly officers along the way.  Another idea that was shared with me has been through coordinated vanpools and/or neighborhood carpool sign ups.  (I personally take 2-3 kids to SEMS every day).  Busing should also be reconsidered in partnersjip with the School District.  [I would love to hear other suggestions that we can analyze together.]

What is your position on future housing and commercial development around San Elijo Hills?

There are not many vacant private properties remaining around SEH for future projects.  I will be sure that future housing and commercial developments around SEH must provide public benefits for the existing community.  We have a wonderful community that future residents will utilize the amenities of, so in return, a future community must also provide benefits to existing residents and businesses.  This will expand the amenities for the entire region, which is a positive for our community image and quality of life.

How can you work with San Marcos Unified School District to solve school crowding?

This topic is one of the main reasons I am running for City Council now.  I heard loud and clear the frustrations from parents on school crowding (remember I have been a parent of SEES, SEMS, SMHS kids for over 11 years).  The coordination between the School District and the City must be PROACTIVE; unfortunately, this has not been the case.  There has been so much finger pointing over the last couple years (which really heated up during this campaign season).  With my education and local experience, I can tell you the reality of the situation.  The School District has had the information needed to project student generation throughout the City, and with this information could estimate the number of new schools, expanded schools, or portables needed to accommodate the City’s growing student population. Cities around San Marcos have shrinking student populations; we have a growing student population.  The City General Plan estimates the amount of future homes and businesses throughout the City.  The School District can use this information for its school needs assessment.  The student population grew noticeably before the approval of recent projects that have become campaign fodder.  This means the student increases have largely come from existing homes (i.e. growing families).  However, fully understanding that General Plan Amendments are sometimes proposed, and that this impacts school planning, I do have a recommendation for the City Council to consider, and will champion this if elected.  If an applicant proposes an increase in the number of homes currently allowed by the General Plan, or proposes a change from non-residential (i.e. commercial, office, etc.) to residential, then that project must pay 100% of the required school fees before 50% of the homes are built.  This would result in the school district receiving millions of dollars in advance of the homes being built, and the new students attending the local schools.  The school district should then use these funds to provide new schools or expanded schools as they determine best.

What are your goals to improve the quality of life in San Marcos-(events, parks, trails)?

As I mentioned earlier, my family has donated our time and resources to the SEES PTO, SEES Country Fair, Hops in The Hills, Double Peak Challenge, local HOA board, and more.  We shop here, we eat here, we hike the trails here.  I am also a member of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, and volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club and San Marcos Promise.  Being involved in our community, our City quality of life is important to me.  I will continue to be involved, and will collaborate with, and support the City Park and Recreation Department, Friends of San Marcos Park and Recreation, San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, School events, and the other local organizations that put on these amazing community events.  These create a strong community where neighbors care for neighbors and shop locally supporting local businesses.

If elected what are the top 3 issues you would focus on for San Elijo Hills?

  1. Traffic Reduction.  This includes: 
    1. Collaborate with Regional Transportation and Transit Agencies for Traffic Congestion Reductions;  b) Ensure New Developments Reduce Traffic Impacts on Adjacent Neighborhoods; c) Increase Bikeways and Pedestrian Routes Connectivity and Safety throughout the City
    1. Youth Enrichment.  This includes:
      1. Proactively Collaborate with SMUSD, Palomar College, CSUSM and Private Universities on Future Growth; b) Ensure Safe Routes to School for Students and Parents; c) Support Youth-Focused Organizations throughout the City
    1. San Marcos Advanced Fire Evacuation Systems (SAFES). 

When our neighborhood evacuated in 2007 and 2014 due to oncoming wildfires, this was a scary experience for my children and your families also if you lived here then. The brave men and women of the fire department and sheriff department, saved our communities from danger. We are eternally grateful for these heroes.   Unfortunately, what thousands of concerned neighbors experienced was extreme chaos when it was time to jump in cars and evacuate our homes. These personal experiences drove me to want to work with our public safety and city staff to significantly improve evacuation systems and procedures for when the next large fire occurs. This is why evacuation planning is part of my C.I.T.Y. platform.  When elected to City Council, I will advocate for San Marcos Advanced Fire Evacuation Systems (SAFES). In short, the people of San Marcos should be clear about evacuation routes in advance of the firestorm. SAFES would include maps, defined routes, road closure info, custom app, and more, all understood before the need is there. Additional routes are also needed in specific areas of the City, and I will focus on this also.   Speaking with public safety officials and city staff, I believe there is a way to plan better for a coordinated effort on evacuations, and communicate effectively with our City residents. We are fortunate to have trained experts among us that I will work with and be sure they have the resources to implement the SAFES program.   I look forward to coordinating with City residents, City Staff, Sheriff Department and Fire Department to continue to make San Marcos a safe place to live.

Thank you for taking the time to read these brief responses to complex questions.  Please visit my website for my personal contact information www.Flodine2018.us  if you would like to discuss anything further.

Let’s work together proactively for the bright future of San Marcos.

Please VOTE for ERIC FLODINE for SAN MARCOS CITY COUNCIL.

San Elijo Life email Interview with Randy Walton Candidate for San Marcos City Council District 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an email interview with Randy Walton who is running for San Marcos City Council District 2. San Elijo Life has invited all candidates for Council in District 2 and Mayor to answer the same set of email questions.

Why should the residents in San Elijo Hills vote for you? 

I have a proven track record and have been deeply engaged in issues that impact residents of San Elijo Hills for almost 15 years, and lived in the community for nine of those years.

For the last decade, I have been a member of the governing board of San Marcos Unified School District and have helped steer that district through a period of recession and dramatic growth. When I first ran in 2008, my stated reason for running was to rebuild or modernize San Marcos High School, which was in desperate need of upgrade. Once elected, I pushed hard for a bond (Prop K), and then helped lead the campaign. I was deeply involved in the planning and construction and take great pride in what we accomplished in a short period of time. 

In my time on the board, academic scores have skyrocketed, we have built, rebuilt, or modernized five schools in total (including Double Peak), and we converted nearly every campus to solar power. In addition, 11 schools have been named California Distinguished Schools, two schools became California Gold Ribbon Schools, and SMUSD is now considered one of the finest school districts in the region, which was not the case when San Elijo Hills was being built in the early 2000s.

In addition to my time on the school board, I have been an advocate for our ridgelines and trails, and helped draft the Ridgeline Protection Ordinance, a local law that seeks to protect our ridgelines from destruction by development.

Longtime San Elijo residents might remember when the San Marcos City Council approved a 120,000 square foot Wal Mart in 2004 at the intersection of Rancho Santa Fe Rd. and Melrose. A few of us San Elijo Hills residents (with some help from some other impacted neighborhoods) took up the fight to overturn the city council’s decision. It took a year of battle (I was sued by Wal Mart in the process), but ultimately the voters were allowed to decide the issue and resoundingly rejected the store. Looking back, I can’t imagine what Rancho Santa Fe and Melrose would be like if there was a huge Wal Mart there.

I have also been involved in other projects that I think have improved the lives of San Elijo Hills residents, or at least the children. I am a founder of the San Marcos Promise, which helps SMUSD students find their post-high school path, and for years was very involved in San Marcos Youth Baseball as board member and coach. Today, I am the coach of the surf team at San Marcos High.

San Elijo Hills has grown to be a really beautiful community, and I wish Curt Noland, who oversaw its early development, was alive to see what it has become. 

How can the council/mayor help address cut through traffic and school traffic in San Elijo Hills?

Traffic is a regional problem that requires a regional solution. As the “hub” of North County, San Marcos has thousands of cars pass through it every day to get somewhere else, and like pretty much everywhere else in California, the infrastructure in North County (and specifically San Marcos), to handle automobiles is way behind the growth of housing and business. 

There is obviously no easy answer to the question of cut through traffic through San Elijo Hills. The location of CSUSM and the lack of north-south roadway alternatives will always entice drivers to use San Elijo Rd. and Twin Oaks Valley Rd., and some of the cut through traffic is beneficial to the businesses in the Town Center.  

But the city shouldn’t be powerless to address it.  As a city, we should make our voice heard on projects that are likely to increase traffic through our city and through San Elijo Hills. In the last two years, approximately 3,000 homes have been approved or built in San Marcos and the surrounding sphere of influence and only Chris Orlando has pushed back on these projects due to the negative impacts they will likely have on traffic and our general quality of life. 

As for school traffic, it is an issue we have studied in the district, and an issue that is raised at schools across the district. The reimplementation of home-school transportation is something the district would love to do, but currently doesn’t have the funding.  To reinstate home-school transportation district-wide, it is estimated that the startup costs would be approximately $8.2 million, with an annual cost of about $4.5 million. It requires about 20 additional buses and 45 routes and would require an adjustment of school start times. If public funds are going to be used for busing, the law would likely require that it be provided district-wide, not just for certain schools. If there is a private pay option, which could help defray some of the ongoing costs, the law requires subsidies for low income families. School busing transportation is highly regulated by the state, and costly, and something the school district simply can’t afford to do for the foreseeable future. 

Could the city do it on its own? Possibly. But it would require the political will and citywide support and a realistic revenue stream. It is certainly worth exploring, but ultimately school busing is all about the funding, and any candidate who promises the return of school busing (during a political campaign) without a concrete funding source is playing politics and not advancing realistic policies. 

While school busing would help with traffic at certain times of the day, most of the traffic burden in San Elijo is caused by regional growth without the supportive infrastructure. Any future reductions in traffic will be the result of infrastructure improvements, which must be demanded, technological advances, and controlling the pace of growth. 

What is your position on future housing and commercial development around San Elijo Hills?

The population of San Marcos has nearly doubled to 100,000 in less than 20 years, and the conventional belief is that San Marcos will outpace all North County cities in growth for the foreseeable future.  When you consider traffic and school capacity problems today, and the houses approved but not yet built, there is a real cause for concern. 

I think it’s time to pump the brakes on the large tract housing., which is something the developer community doesn’t like to hear. That is probably why it has invested $27,000.00 into an independent expenditure negative campaign against me (and why it so strongly supports my opponents). 

As a city, we need to be smarter about how we grow.  In 2010, the city was asked by regional housing authorities (like all cities are asked) to produce housing for people at various income levels. For people of upper incomes, the city was asked to build 1613 larger, detached home by the end of the decade. How many has the city approved or constructed? 3189. It has built 200% of what it was asked, and this doesn’t include the Newland Sierra project at the north end of Twin Oaks Valley that was just approved for 2,135 homes (a majority of which will be built within the San Marcos Unified School District boundary).  In the same request, the city was asked to build 734 homes for people of moderate incomes. How many have we approved or built? 63. Less than 10%. There is no question that we have grown in an unbalanced way and have been over-producing the very housing that is more likely to crowd our roads, carve into our hillsides, and fill our schools.

If elected, I will likely be supportive of housing projects that advance smart growth principles. That is, housing that is transit-oriented and closer to the city’s core along the 78, designed for walkability, with smaller units that are more likely to be affordable for young professionals, college students, and families starting out. The North City project around the college is an excellent example of that.

Will San Marcos continue to grow? Yes, but we need to take the long view. The city’s current general plan states the total number of housing units when San Marcos will be at “build out,” and I don’t think we need to rush to get there. We certainly shouldn’t sacrifice our quality of life in the name of growth.

How can you work with San Marcos Unified School District to solve school crowding?

In the last 15 years, San Marcos Unified School District has built five new schools, and rebuilt or modernized five others, dramatically increasing the district’s capacity.  Considering how difficult it is to fund school construction, this is a remarkable achievement. Yet it is still not enough to keep up with the growth.

As a current school board member, I am deeply familiar with school capacity issues, the school construction process, and the complexities involved. On the city council, I would be uniquely qualified to engage in the issues and am ready to make that happen. Simply stated, the district needs to build more schools, and the city and the district should be united in this cause as it has tremendous impact on our collective quality of life.

What are your goals to improve the quality of life in San Marcos-(events, parks, trails)?

We are so lucky to live where we do and to have the quality of life that we presently enjoy. There are few places in the world that have our beautiful weather, hiking trails, open spaces, nearby beaches, excellent schools, and a burgeoning business community. It’s hard to imagine a place with more life-enriching assets than this place we all call home, which is why my wife, Kristen, and I moved here 20 years ago to raise our family.

The first goal in improving our quality of life is to protect what we have. There is a (well-funded) pro-growth crowd out there demanding rapid growth, and demanding it now, using a state-wide call for more housing to justify large development projects in the region and here in San Marcos. Those who resist are called NIMBY or worse, yet those who stand to profit the most from these projects often don’t live here, don’t travel our roads daily, and don’t have children in our schools. This is why I have taken no money from any developer interests in this campaign and am the only candidate in the race for District 2 to do so.

To me, our trails, parks, and native open spaces are enormously important. I raised my sons hiking the trails around San Marcos and San Elijo and playing sports in our beautiful parks. Those parks, and our native open spaces are integral to our high quality of life, and as a member of the city council, I will make preserving them and expanding them one of my highest priorities.

If elected what are the top 3 issues you would focus on for San Elijo Hills?

First, working with the school district to address the school capacity issues. This issue is likely to worsen in the next few years, so time is of the essence. 

Second, always making sure our fire department has what it needs to prevent and fight brush fires, update and improve evacuation plans, and educate the residents of best fire safety practices.

Third, with the growth of CSUSM, the approval of housing along Twin Oaks Valley Rd., and the unlikelihood that there will ever be an alternative north-south roadway, we need to study the current impacts on San Elijo Rd. and use that study in our evaluation of future projects that might impact San Elijo Hills.  

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Editors Note: We have invited all 2018 District 2 – City of San Marcos City Council and Mayor Candidates to answer the same questions. 

San Marcos in crosshairs of Growthzilla | San Diego Reader

 

To North Country residents living near Merriam Mountains, it feels like Dr. Frankenstein is bringing that monster back to life. A monster called urban sprawl the community chased out of their backcountry in 2010. “If you look closely, you can still see old Native American marks across the land, along with old rock carvings from passersby in the early 1900s.” STOP NEWLAND SIERRA Back then, the mammoth housing development was called Merriam Mountains. It’s now called Newland Sierra, but the opposition’s p

READ MORE VIA Source: San Marcos in crosshairs of Growthzilla | San Diego Reader

The Taste of San Marcos returns to North City!

 

Name: Taste of San Marcos
Date: September 8, 2018
Time: 12:00 PM4:00 PM PDT
The Taste of San Marcos returns to North City!
Saturday, September 8th, 12 PM – 4 PM.
250 North City Drive, San Marcos, CA 92078

Join us for the best bites & sips from the growing culinary and beverage scene in San Marcos!

Enjoy walking from booth-to-booth for an array of delectable eats or UPGRADE your experience to include UNLIMITED sips of amazing craft brew, cider & wine – all by local & independent acclaimed wineries and breweries.

We’ve got a terrific list of San Marcos favorites, and the list is still growing! Here’s a sneak peek of a few favorite hometown heroes that will be serving up the snacks and suds:

RESTAURANT LIST

Cocina del Charro
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Decoy Dockside
Everbowl
Fresh Healthy Cafe
Grit Coffee
Jersey Mike’s
Noodles and Company
Old Cal Coffee House & Eatery
Old California Mining Company
Pick Up Stix
Players Sports Grill
Prep Kitchen San Marcos
San Marcos Deli
The Bellows
The Original Mr. Taco
Umami Japanese
Urge Gastropub & Common House
+ MORE to be announced!

BREW, CIDER, WINE LIST

Dos Desperados Brewery
Mason Ale Works
Newtopia Cyder
Raging Cider and Mead
Rip Current Brewing
Stumblefoot Brewery
The Lost Abbey / Port Brewing
Wild Barrel Brewing
La Fleur’s Winery
Twin Oaks Valley Winery

ITEMS TO BRING

Do not forget your UNEXPIRED & VALID photo ID!! It’s the state law, and the responsibility falls on us to ensure you have one to enter the event and/or partake in the Sip Garden!

BRING THE KIDS!

The Taste area is a family friendly event and kids are welcome to join in for tasty bites in the food sampling area (tasting ticket is required per person). Please note: You must be 21 years or older to enter the Sip Garden!

PARKING & TRANSPORTATION

Parking is FREE & convenient in the parking structure located directly next to the event on Campus Way. If you plan on enjoying the Sip Garden, please plan accordingly and consider your options, be it Uber/Lift or using the Cal State San Marcos SPRINTER station, located only 0.4 mi walking distance away!

CONTACT US

Please contact us directly with any additional questions about the Taste of San Marcos event. 760-744-1270 / melanie@sanmarcoschamber.com

San Marcos, CA: City refinances bonds to save San Elijo Hills taxpayers $3.9 million

Good New Update from The City of San Marcos – This summer, the City of San Marcos refinanced $20.6 million of bonds that will save some property owners money on their Mello-Roos taxes that help pay for important things like grading, streets, utilities, parks, and trails.

Property owners in the San Elijo communities of Saverne, Azure, Cambria, Woodley’s Glen, Crest View, Waterford, Village Square and Westridge will see an average annual savings of $120 to $450 per residence on a portion of their property tax bill next year. The bond refinancing will collectively save residents in these neighborhoods about $3.9 million over the life of the bonds.

The refunding reduced the net interest cost from 4.82 percent to 3.55 percent and was accomplished without extending the term of the bonds.

Rear about your CFD/Mello Roos here  

2018 North County 4th of July Fireworks

2018 North County San Diego  4th of July Fireworks

San Marcos 4th of July Celebration
Location: Bradley Park, 1587 Linda Vista Dr., San Marcos
The City of San Marcos is hosting its annual 4th of July Celebration either entertainment by Liquid Blue at 6 PM. Fireworks begin at 9 PM. Those attending are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs for lawn seating.

Oceanside’s 130th Anniversary and Independence Celebration »
Location: El Corazon Site at Rancho Del Oro Road
The City of Oceanside Fireworks Show will take place on Tuesday, July 3, starting at 9 PM. There will be music and food trucks. Recommended viewing location: Rancho Del Oro Road between Mesa Drive and Oceanside Blvd. Parking is in the business park, bring a beach chair, and walk to viewing location.

Fourth of July at the Fair »
Location: 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar
The San Diego County Fair’s fireworks show starts about 9 PM at the west end of the racetrack. You can see the fireworks from many parts of the Fairgrounds.

Red, White, and BOOM »
Location: LEGOLAND California, 1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad.
The celebration lasts from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm with fireworks at 8:30 pm. All Red, White and BOOM! activities are included in the cost of admission to LEGOLAND California.

Mira Mesa Fourth of July Celebration »
2018 Fireworks at Mira Mesa High School
The day begins with a Pancake Breakfast at the Mira Mesa Senior Center from 7 AM to 11 AM, hosted by the Black Mountain Masonic Lodge. Family Fun Day in the Park opens at 11 am with food vendors and entertainment. The annual 4th of July Parade steps off at 11:30 am from the corner of Mira Mesa Blvd and Greenford Drive, traveling down Mira Mesa Blvd and turning north on Camino Ruiz to end at New Salem. Family Fun Day continues until 9 pm, and the Park provides a front row seat for the Fireworks Extravaganza.

Scripps Ranch Fourth of July Run and Ride»
NOTE: NO FIREWORKS
Location: Red Cedar Drive and Aviary Drive, San Diego
Celebrate the 4th of July by being active and being part of the 41st Annual 10K Race & Fun Run and the 32nd Annual Bike Rides. Choose from two running races, the 10K and the 2 Mile Fun Run, or from three bike rides, the 12, 28 or 50-mile bike ride. Get outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Miramar Lake, Hoyt Park, and other areas of North County. The event lasts from 6 to 10 AM. There will also be a beer garden to celebrate.

Fourth of July and Fireworks in Poway »
Location: Lake Poway High School, 15500 Espola Road, Poway
Gates for the fireworks show at Lake Poway High School Stadium open at 6 PM. There will be games, activities and a DJ spinning tunes. Fireworks begin at 9 PM. Admission is $5 per person at the gate, but children 11 and under are free.

Rancho Bernardo’s Spirit of the Fourth »
Location: Athletic Field of Bernardo Heights Middle School, 12990 Paseo Lucido, Rancho Bernardo
The evening opens at 6 PM with live music by the local “Us” band. Rancho Bernardo’s “Sky Concert” and fireworks display will begin at 9 PM. Food and refreshments are available for purchase. Seating is on the grass and those attending are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs. Parking is free in the student parking lot off Avenida Venusto. A donation of $10 per person or $20 for a family is requested at the entrance of the event to support the fireworks show.

Vista Independence Day Celebration »
Location: Moonlight Amphitheatre Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Dr., Vista
This event features music by the Mar Dels at on the amphitheater stage at 7:35 PM. The fireworks display will begin at 9 PM. The park opens at 7 AM. The amphitheater opens at 5 PM. Admission to the amphitheater is $5 per person. Admission for children five and under, active and retired military members and their family are free. Parking in the park is $15 per car and $30 per recreational vehicle.

Escondido’s Annual July 4th festival and fireworks »
Location: Grape Day Park and The Center’s “Great Green,” 321 N Broadway, Escondido
This free community event features rockin’ live music by Moonlight Trio, Finnegan Blue, and Casey Hensley, fabulous food vendors, and a wealth of children’s activities and games for everyone to enjoy. The day’s festivities will conclude with a special performance by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band and, of course, dazzling fireworks display starting at 9:00 pm. The festival begins at 4 PM. The festivities will conclude with a performance by Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Division Band and the fireworks display starting at 9 PM. There will also be a ticketed VIP beer tasting event from 4 to 9 PM. The festival is free and open to the public.

Temecula’s Fourth of July Extravaganza »
Location: Ronald Reagan Sports Park, 30875 Rancho Vista Rd, Temecula
Festivities start at 2 PM but the park opens at 6 AM. There will be a kid’s zone and food vendors, with entertainment on the main stage from 2 to 9 PM. Fireworks start at 9 PM.

San Marcos firefighters help CSUSM students test drone technology

During a wildfire simulation, students explored how drones could deliver hoses to crews

Last month North County firefighters gathered in San Marcos for a wildfire simulation, but this wasn’t your typical training.
The City of San Marcos rallied crews from several cities to help California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) students test a drone technology that could improve how wildfires are fought.

“Firefighters spend a lot of time and energy shuttling hoses from the engine to the actual wildfire,” explained Nick Blaylock, one of the students involved. “And they’re often doing this up steep slopes and across rough terrain, which is exhausting.”

Drones, however, could possibly help crews conserve some energy by air-dropping those hose- packs so firefighters don’t have to haul them. As part of a senior project, Blaylock and four other students spent months exploring that with Skylift Global, a San Marcos-based company that makes drones capable of delivering supplies to first-responders.
Though Skylift Global has been in business for three years, serving firefighters is new territory it wanted to explore–so the company submitted a proposal for the Senior Experience Program, which assigns CSUSM students to real-world projects like these.
The students began by researching what crews face during a wildfire. That led them to San Marcos Fire Battalion Chief James Colston, who oversees the department’s training and safety division.“We’re fortunate to have Cal State San Marcos right here in our backyard, so we were happy to help,” he said. “We invited them to observe our annual training, which I think opened their eyes.”

It did, in fact, says Blaylock. His team realized that a drone probably couldn’t help much during the early stages of a wildfire because the flames are too unpredictable. But it likely could help during the later stages, when a fire border has been established.
Based on that, the students designed a simulation that included fire hose packs every 100-feet, as if a drone had peppered them out for crews. Now, all they needed were firefighters to run the test.

“Thankfully, Chief Colston got an amazing turnout for us,” Blaylock said. “We were so thankful that so many firefighters were willing to come volunteer their time on a Sunday morning to help us.”

During the May 6 simulation, firefighters from the cities of San Marcos, Carlsbad, Escondido and Rancho Santa Fe—as well as the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)—participated. Results showed that if crews did not have to manually haul hose packs, they worked about 18 percent faster—and theoretically, would be less fatigued during a real wildfire.

“While time is a good measurement, fatigue is really the key factor,” explained Colston, who added that he can see the potential support drones could provide. “If something like this can increase efficiency while reducing the chance of firefighters getting hurt, then I’m all for it.”
That exact sentiment is what inspired Amir Emadi to start Skylift Global. His father was working as a United States cooperative in Iraq when he was killed by Iraqi forces while protecting a city.

“Since then, I’ve spent my life finding a way to introduce technology to the people who dedicate their lives to protect us,” Emadi said. “I formed Skylift to help our first-responders save time, money and lives by delivering their critical supplies with our heavy-lift drones.”
As a next step, Emadi will use the research conducted by the CSUSM students to develop a plan to bring the drones to market. There are still hurdles to navigate, as drones are legally not allowed to be in the air during a wildfire, but Emadi is optimistic he can keep the momentum going.

“It was refreshing to work with such a driven, intelligent and responsible team,” he said, adding that although the CSUSM students have now graduated, some have remained interns and he hopes to hire them. “I am so thankful that San Marcos is home to such bright young talent like this, as well as city leaders who value innovation and are open to collaboration.”

For more information about Skylift Global, visit https://www.skyliftglobal.com/

SMUSD Superintendent, Melissa Hunt, has announced her plan to retire

Dear San Marcos Staff and Community,

SMUSD Superintendent, Melissa Hunt, has announced her plan to retire, and it is with appreciation for her many years of service that the Governing Board accepts her resignation.  Prior to being named Superintendent, Melissa has served as Principal of Woodland Park and San Marcos Middle Schools, as well as Director of Secondary Education. As a cherished employee of this district since 2001, Melissa has been admired by staff for her deep understanding of curriculum and instruction, and by students for her love and compassion. She has worked closely with students and teachers to improve achievement and inspire hope and confidence. During her tenure as Superintendent, Melissa started important and challenging conversations about the direction of San Marcos Unified, leaving the district better prepared for the future. The Board wishes Melissa the best, and hopes she succeeds in lowering her golf handicap alongside her husband, Burl.

In response to Melissa’s announcement, The Governing Board will be appointing Dr. John Roach as Interim Superintendent.  Dr. Roach is the former Superintendent of Carlsbad Unified School District and will work closely with the Board throughout the transition. A comprehensive search for a new Superintendent, conducted by Dave Long and Associates, will convene following approval at the June 19th Board meeting.  It is the Board’s intention to cast a wide net to find someone with the vision and leadership skills necessary to build on the successes that are the pride of San Marcos Unified School District.   Your Board members will be actively engaged throughout the summer working with the search firm and will keep the community informed as the process unfolds. It is our hope to name a new Superintendent in the Fall of 2018.

 

On Behalf of the SMUSD Governing Board,

Stacy Carlson, Board President

Copper Hills Development at The Entrance to San Elijo Hills

MEETING NOTICE

Subject: The County of San Diego’s SD15 Property Specific Request (also known as Copper Hills in San Marcos) proposes up to 362 dwellings and 138,000of commercial space on San Elijo Road (next to old landfill) will be on the Planning Commission agenda for a Public Hearing. This is the last step before it heads to the Board of Supervisors for approval

When: This Friday, June 22 at 9am.

Important details: This is part of a larger County-initiated GPA called Property Specific Requests. There will be 43 PSRs presented to the Commissioners on Friday. Some will be quick and others will be more extensive. The Planning Commission requires that people fill out a speaker slip before 9am. SD15 will not be heard until later in the day, but you will still need to fill out a speaker slip (you can leave and come back later). Read the Notice of Public Hearing for more detail.

Location: County Planning Commission Conference Center, 5520 Overland Avenue, San Diego 92123

What will happen: The County Staff will present their findings and recommendation to the Planning Commission who will then vote to recommend for or against recommending approval. This is part of the County of San Diego’s process since the property is in the unincorporated County. It then goes the Board of Supervisors later this year.

Why should I attend? The County is specifically asking to hear from residents who might be affected by the project. Community input is important in projects like this, so the more attend the better. Public testimony can make a difference in approving or denying projects like this.

What if I can’t? Live bodies are always best and it is always important to do your civic duty to participate in the process even if it only once in a while… but, if you cannot attend, please make sure to email your comments to the County Planner, Kevin Johnston at the contact info below (and please cc the Town Council efhgtc@gmail.com).

San Marcos Mayor Hit With Campaign Finance Complaint In Bid For County Supervisor Seat | KPBS

San Marcos Mayor Hit With Campaign Finance Complaint In Bid For County Supervisor Seat Thursday, May 31, 2018 By Leo Castañeda / inewsource Six days before the June 5 election, the city of San Marcos appointed an outside attorney on Wednesday to investigate a complaint alleging Mayor Jim Desmond violated city campaign finance laws as part of his run for the county Board of Supervisors.

Realtor Ana Rosvall filed the complaint on Tuesday with the city clerk and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. She alleges Desmond received contributions too close to when six donors had development projects voted on by the City Council. San Marcos requires a 12-month gap between campaign contributions and council votes. A spokesman for Desmond, a Republican running for Supervisor Bill Horn’s open seat, said he doesn’t believe San Marcos’ campaign finance rules apply to a county race. “The rules that govern our campaign are the county of San Diego rules,” spokesman John Hoy said. “We’re quite certain that we adhere to both the spirit and the letter of the law as they apply to the county supervisor race.” Also running for Horn’s seat are Oceanside Mayor Jerry Kern, a Republican, and two Democrats, Jacqueline Arsivaud and Michelle Gomez. Rosvall said she’s been involved in campaigns to stop housing developments that required zoning changes in San Marcos and unincorporated San Diego County. She’s a Democrat and said she filed the complaint against Desmond because she and others are concerned he is overly influenced by developers. Rosvall said she is happy the city is investigating her complaint. “It’s so amazing that someone is taking us seriously and listening to us, and that it’s a process that’s working the way it’s supposed to,” she said. Campaign finance rules in San Marcos say City Council members can’t vote on an issue that financially affects someone who gave them a campaign contribution of $100 or more during the previous 12 months. Council members also can’t receive contributions of $100 or more in the 12 months after casting a vote that affects that donor. The mayor is part of the council. San Marcos City Attorney Helen Holmes Peak told inewsource Shawn Hagerty, an attorney with Best Best & Krieger, has been hired to investigate Rosvall’s complaint. Hagerty specializes in municipal and water law and is Santee’s city attorney, according to his law firm’s website. The donors listed in the complaint include San Marcos Highlands developer Farouk Kubba. The council approved his project to build 169 single-family homes in November 2016. Kubba contributed $800 to Desmond’s supervisor campaign seven months later in June 2017. Three others working on the project also contributed a total of $1,350 to Desmond’s campaign. Two other donors who had worked on the Brookfield Residential project to build 220 condominiums in San Marcos contributed a total of $650 to Desmond’s campaign. The City Council approved the project in January.

Source: San Marcos Mayor Hit With Campaign Finance Complaint In Bid For County Supervisor Seat | KPBS

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