Tag Archives: san marcos

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

Bike to Work Day in San Marcos

The City of San Marcos and Bike Vault are teaming up to host a Bike to Work Day pit stop on Thursday, May 17 from 6 to 9 am at the San Marcos Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Drive.

Join thousands of people throughout the San Diego region as we GO by BIKE on Bike to Work Day. With thousands of miles of bikeways in the region, biking gets you where you need to go.

With more than 100 pit stop locations throughout San Diego County, all riders are encouraged to register for Bike to Work Day to receive a FREE t-shirt* and snacks. Riders who visit the San Marcos pit stop location will be entered in a raffle and have a photo opportunity. *You must register online to be eligible for a free t-shirt.

To get prepared for Bike to Work Day,  resources are available on the iCommute website, including the San Diego Regional Bike Map, riding, and safety tips, bike lockers, and information about taking your bike on transit.

For more information on Bike to Work Day 2018, visit the Bike Month web page, call 511 and say “iCommute,” or email iCommute@sandag.org. Make sure to follow @iCommuteSD on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

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Editor note-San Elijo Hills IS cycling. On a given day you can see USA National Team Junior Cyclists riding through town or 1976 Olympian John Howard riding our amazing roads trails and hills. Give them a wide pass and smile. #sanelijothankful

San Marcos wins state award for economic development efforts

The honor recognizes the city’s public outreach over the past year

On Friday, March 16 the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) honored the City of San Marcos with an Award of Merit for its public outreach efforts surrounding economic development.

The award recognizes the City’s efforts to inform the public about its economic development program over the past year, which included a promotional video, series of news stories, informative brochure, community profile, interactive online demographic dashboard and social media campaign.

“We’ve worked hard to spread the word about economic development because it’s still relatively new territory for San Marcos,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster, who has led the division since in launched in 2015.

In fact, economic development was named a top priority in 2015, spurred largely by an increasingly competitive business landscape. And the city’s charter–a voter-approved guiding document–says staff should embrace a business-like mentality and find ways to boost revenue, which certainly applies to economic development.

“Our businesses are a critical piece of our local economy, supplying more than 40,000 jobs here in San Marcos,” Sangster said. “When we empower our businesses to succeed, the entire community benefits.”

Working under the City’s newly minted brand and tagline, “Discover San Marcos,” city staff invited the public to learn more about its economic development division, which is gaining steam as the City’s surrounding business community grows.

“Our business inventory has grown by 25 percent in the past decade alone, and we expect that growth to continue,” Sangster said. “That’s partly why we’re committed to proactive economic development and this award speaks to that.”

During CALED’s annual conference in Monterrey, CA, Sangster formally accepted the award, which is the City’s first economic development honor.

“This is a great starting point for us,” Sangster said. “We contribute a $7.9 billion annual GDP to the regional economy. And as North County’s education hub, we also produce 10 percent of the region’s total academic program completions. This recognition rightfully puts San Marcos on the map.”

San Marcos City Council Approves Massive Development Plan – NBC 7 San Diego

San Marcos City Council Approves Massive Development Plan Some residents are concerned it’s too much change while others are looking forward to new housing options

San Marcos is moving forward with a massive development project, but not without a little bit of pushback from the community. Tuesday, the City Council voted in favor to develop a desirable 87-acre parcel just west of Cal State San Marcos and east of the San Marcos Creek.

READ MORE VIA Source: San Marcos City Council Approves Massive Development Plan – NBC 7 San Diego

27th annual San Marcos Trails Day (postponed for rain)

Lace up your hiking boots, air up your bike tires, saddle up your horses and join the city in celebrating the 27th annual San Marcos Trails Day on Saturday, March 3, 2018 from 9 am to 1 pm.

Hike participation is free and will begin at 9 am; hikers can start signing in at 8 am. Hikers, kids bike ride and walkers will meet at Lakeview Park/Discovery Lake, 650 Foxhall Drive. Equestrian riders will meet at the Ridgeline Trailhead, 102 San Elijo Road. The staging area will also feature food and giveaways.

“Trails day is a celebration of the outdoors and in San Marcos we have something for everyone,” said Community Services Director Buck Martin. “With more than 63 miles of trail connecting to the entire region, San Marcos offers an extensive trail network for residents to discover.”

An easy two-mile hike will visit Discovery Lake and the Discovery Creek trails.  A more challenging seven-mile hike will explore the trails that lead to Double Peak Park.  Mountain biking enthusiasts are encouraged to bring bikes and enjoy the ride.

“Adventures are meant to be shared and this event is a great opportunity to meet new people in your community and share a fun experience on a local trail,” said Martin.

An adult must accompany all minors.  Sturdy walking shoes are recommended; bring water, sunscreen and trail snacks.  Dogs must be on a maximum 6-foot leash at all times. The hike is subject to cancellation in the event of rain.

Event participants are encouraged to share your hiking moments on Instagram by tagging the city with @sanmarcoscity and using the hashtag #DiscoverSanMarcos .

For more information on hikes or the city’s trails, please visit www.san-marcos.net/trails

San Marcos Trails Day postponed due to rain

Due to forecasted rain, San Marcos Trails Day has been rescheduled to coincide with National Trails Day on Saturday, June 2.

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