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Sand, Plans, and Blind Man's Bluff

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
October 1, 1998


Here in Encinitas we are really good at building roads. Some we widen, some we push threw, and some go nowhere. At the moment, I find myself at a fork in one of those roads. Instinct says take the high one. My peers say take the low one. And Henry David Thoreau said, "Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-believe." So after much consideration, I'll split the difference.

Last week my colleague, and fellow opinion columnist, Mike Andreen felt the need to set me straight on a myriad of issues. I am happy to report that it didn't work, although I do have to admit it was a very enlightening experience. Reading between the lines it was clear to me that an introduction was in order. So on Tuesday morning at 8 AM I attended the DEMA meeting at Pino's to hear Encinitas Councilman John Davis speak. First of all let me say everyone should check this place out. The photos of Sophia Loren are worth the effort. If this is fact finding, I like it.

Well like any good stalker, I sat through the whole meeting, and actually learned things. Things like Mr. Davis was one of the founding members of the Encinitas Boys Club, worked for the designation of Cardiff State Park, and that he has been working to push Leucadia Blvd. through for years. Two out of three ain't bad. But I digress. I had actually planned to be there to hear Mr. Davis, and Mr. Andreen's need to meet me added to the importance of that morning appointment.

First of all let me say I found it weird that I was sort of drawn to Mike in an kind of Ewok sort of way. Rent Return of the Jedi and you'll see what I mean. Anyway, Mike and I talked about the his throwing of the gauntlet, our differing opinions, and whether or not a certain mayor was a puppet. It was like a clash between the romans and the druids. If you think about it they were fighting the "roads versus oaks" battle too.

Hopefully by the time you read this I will have taken Mike's advice and called the City Clerk's office and obtained a copy of the Prop R. If I'm lucky the ballot language will include a definition for ‘dedicated' funding. Does this dedication include funding studies? I need not remind Mr. Andreen that over 2 million in funding "dedicated" to the Manchester Sports park has just been rededicated to the Senior Center in Oak Crest Park. Delays are expensive in Encinitas. As far as I can tell proponents of Prop R have no idea where to look for their Band-aids.

At our meeting Mike asked me to give examples to support my puppet remark. No problem. Home Depot, the city subsidized Ecke Ranch, the cutting through of Leucadia Blvd. Encinitas Golf Course, I could go on, and I did.I pointed out that the Mayor's environmental voting record was abysmal. As for his reference to Mike Barnicle, if he had done his research he would have known that plagiarism was the issue, not fiction. All I am guilty of is creative writing.

In his letter Mike never denied my statement that the Chamber of Commerce would like to see hotels and stripmalls along Leucadia's 101 corridor. All he did was recite the chambers mission statement which was never in question. As for the $1000 worth of trees, again I ask, "Were they indigenous?" Now, in regards to flower baskets Downtown do I really have to explain that greenhouse flowers hanging from a light post should never be considered an environmental achievement. Speaking for other Leucadia residents we really don't need signage to tell us where we live. Although I do encourage the placement of more of those orange End Construction signs.

Mike also had a problem with my statement about Leucadia Blvd. becoming a feeder road for San Marcos. Again I note, he did not deny this statement, and the last time I looked the San Marcos City Council had nothing to do we connecting Ecke Ranch to I-5. I should also point out that uncontrolled growth is a regional issue, which is a lesson we all should have learned by now. And as for no one being more disturbed about the uncurbed growth surrounding the City of Encinitas then the City Council all I can say is, Ha! When he is done shoveling that, there is a pile of mulch in my yard that needs moving.

Mike and I also talked about Property Rights. This conversation came after he asked me if I was a socialist or a communist.

"Neither" I told him, "I'm an environmentalist." Let me go on record in saying that I will never concede that property rights come before environmental integrity. I could go on but I won't. Mike and I have different agendas. Mine includes, open space and environmental restoration. His includes hotels and a tax increase.

I know Mike means well, he is merely promoting an old paradigm. Instead of being upset about his attempts to defend his agenda. I am just grateful at this glimpse of what the dinosaurs must have been going through when they realized their time had past.

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