Letters: Feb. 13, 2009

Fresh Start gives thanks
On behalf of Fresh Start Surgical Gifts for Kids and the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund, the Low and Slow Running Club of Del Mar extends its sincere ‘Thank you” to all of the numerous contributors / sponsors for helping to raise over $16,000 through the 2008 Red Nose Run. Since 1992, it is the support of many individuals and businesses, which has enabled a small local running group to raise over $125,000 in support of Fresh Start and the Injured Marines Fund. While space only allows us to list the major contributors and sponsors; we say to all in these difficult economic times: Well done, thank you and God bless!
Bernotas Consulting; Bond Fletcher; California Community Bank; Childs Mascari Warner; Coseo Properties; CMR Risk Insurance; Del Mar Lifeguards; Del Mar Thoroughbred Club; Frogs Club One; IVID Communications; Jim Holcomb; John Coseo; Josepho Group; Kimball, Tirey and St. John; Madison Mollison, LP; Miramar Signs; New Vectors Aviation, Inc.; Pedcor Homes; Poseidon Restaurant; Professional; Maintenance Services; Rancho Santa Fe Country Club; Trilar Management Group; W. Kent Jessee & Associates; Washtek; Westmore Management, LLC; WLA Investment and V & P Scientific.
Low & Slow Running Club of Del Mar

What about cyclists?
As Bill Arballo noted in his recent column, Caltrans has finally completed the I-5 / Lomas Santa Fe interchange. The only problem is that they have created a westbound combined bicycle-and-pedestrian path to the right of the view-obstructing columns and to the right of the high speed sweeping right turn onramp. Bicyclists using this facility are setting themselves up for a classic right-hook collision. Knowledgeable vehicular cyclists will soon learn to eschew this path, correctly taking the center or even the left third of the right lane.
If we as a society are serious about conserving energy and keeping our citizens from looking like the morbidly obese folks in “Wall-E,” we need to do a much better job of creating bicyclist- and pedestrian-friendly intersections. High-speed free right turns, merges, diverges and unions are great for freeway-to-freeway connections, but they have no place on our surface street grid.
John Eldon
Encinitas

Protect Second Amendment
It is interesting to watch the Mexican government look to the United States to solve their problem with firearms being smuggled illegally into Mexico. This is the same Mexican leadership that shrugs its shoulders when the U.S. taxpayers demand it do something to stem illegal immigration into our country. Regardless of the documentation that shows these firearms are nearly always purchased by “straw-purchasers” or from the black market — both already illegal — the monster looming around the corner is that this situation will provide an excuse for the Obama administration to launch its own inevitable assault on the Second Amendment. It is only a matter of time until Obama initiates and effort to restrict firearms ownership by lawful U.S. citizens under the guise of helping our neighbors to the south. I have a suggestion for Mr. Calderon. Why don’t we build a wall all along the border between Mexico and the United States? That would keep those firearms out of your country, and make the Unites States more secure at the same time. Win-win, eh Mr. Calderon and Mr. Obama?
Robert Gladden
Oceanside

More tree talk
Well, I’m no botanist. No, wait … actually I am, but that’s really not that important. I don’t understand the City Council’s “all or none” strategy on the trees. Apparently they weren’t too tall last year, so it’s just the latest growth that is the problem. Instead of completely tearing them out, why weren’t they just topped to last year’s height, saving the wide shade-casting bottom part? Maybe it leaves the tree a bit oddly shaped, but it would be way better than what has happened. I saw the new “replacement” trees. They are way over to the sides, not anywhere close to the places that people want shade, and they’ll not create any useful shade for at least a decade. And then to see the transcript of the councilpersons fighting amongst each other over the issue in the paper. Embarrassing.
Neil Gibbs
Encinitas

What do Sinatra and city of Encinitas have in common?
I imagine most people working for the city of Encinitas do not remember Frank Sinatra and his merry bunch of men, known as the Rat Pack. In one of his more famous songs titled “I Did It My Way,” Sinatra seems to have summed up his life in five words. It appears that some people at Encinitas City Hall are using Sinatra’s “playlist” and doing things their own way as well.
In an action that did not go “public”, until almost after the event, the city chopped down 10 healthy trees in Orpheus Park in Leucadia, a community within the Encinitas city limits. Few citizens would have known if Councilwoman Teresa Barth and “tree hugger” Drew, had not drawn attention to the situation. The city of Encinitas seems to have resurrected Sinatra’s song, using it to benefit eight property owners in Leucadia. On Jan. 30, 2009, City Manger Phil Cotton and other staff “higher ups” decided, apparently on their own, to honor an unwritten verbal agreement with some condo owners in Leucadia. This agreement, which was never written, signed, or even passed on to future city staff, seems to be good enough for City Manager Phil Cotton to order cutting down 10 healthy trees, so that eight property owners can have better views and maintain property values. There is a problem with this reasoning, besides the obvious fact that there is nothing written to honor this “alleged” agreement. There are no view ordinances within the city of Encinitas. Furthermore, property values cannot be used as a legitimate reason for citizens to receive favors. Apparently the city of Encinitas does it their way. I guess if it was good enough for Frank Sinatra, it is good enough for the staff and three council members of Encinitas.
Lorri A. Greene
Cardiff-by-the-Sea

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