The Coast News Group

Letters to the Editor

Fire prevention

I have been a Carlsbad resident for 38 years and had the pleasure of attending a hike, which terminated immediately adjacent to the burn areas of the recent Poinsettia fire. This hike was sponsored by San Diego Canyonlands along Encinas Creek, adjacent to Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad on July 26.

As part of the outing, deputy fire Marshal Greg Ryan talked with us about the different types of vegetation in the area adjacent to developments and their varying potential for fire damage.  It was so informative I found it rather sad that there were only 12 to14 folks on the hike even though 1,000 flyers about the event had been distributed by volunteers to the nearby residents, none of which attended.

I hope the home owner’s associations will contact the city fire marshal in the future when planning landscaping, as their decisions could have a profound impact on fire prevention.

Kathy Parker,



Ballot homework for Escondido voters

Mail-in Ballots prepared for registered voters are just being finalized for the general Election in November 2014 — with Candidate Statements, full Ballot Summaries (with pro/con arguments), Propositions, and Sample Ballots.  These will soon reach mailboxes of registered voters everywhere in U.S.

So Escondido voters will soon have to make our own crucial choices to elect leaders most suitable for our community, our citizens, reflect our values and Quality of Life.   I want all voters to make the best possible, most ‘informed choice’.

I always do, and I usually lose.   Why is that?  Because becoming ‘informed voters’ requires all of us lucky registered voters to do our part, by becoming thoughtful, informed Voters, way before we ever reach the Ballot box, or start filling out a sample ballot.

For real democracy to work, it’s essential for voters to go out, meet our neighbors (get to know them better), walk our neighborhoods, districts.  Do our own homework and don’t rely on a left/right scorecard!  Read, and listen to all candidates.    It’s up to Voters to examine Sample Ballot info carefully, and make our own choices.

Stakes have never been higher than this 2014 election in Escondido!


Patricia Borchmann,



Sheriff Department and  response times

The newly appointed captain of the San Diego County Sheriff department, Encinitas branch, recently had provided the city of Del Mar’s budget and finance committee with the average response times for the four major types of 911 calls. The response times as stated by the captain appear to be consistent with our neighboring cities including Solano Beach.

Priority 1 calls, extreme emergency to life such as serious accidents, airplane crashes and SWAT actions, at approximately 12 minutes.

Priority 2 calls, serious felonies in process such as homicide, kidnapping, rape, armed robbery, and residential burglary, at approximately 9.5 minutes.

Priority 3 calls, such as potential risk of injury that is ongoing such as reckless driving, driving under the influence, hit and run property damage, at approximately 14 minutes.

Priority 4 calls, occurrences or recent events with less chance of injury or harm such as loud parties, prowler, vandalism, trespassing and burglar alarm, at approximately 42 minutes.

The independent consultant hired by the city of Del Mar to evaluate the current sheriff contract reported in late 2013, that the estimated average response using our own police department would be similar to the response times of our fire department at 5 minutes. The consultant also stated that the annual estimated cost of running our own department would be comparable with the current Sheriff department contract at $2 million annually.

Under this current five-year contract, the Sheriff department provides one deputy 24/7, one traffic officer for 40 hours per week, and one detective for 40 hours per week. Our consultants have estimated that with our own police department we would need up to 19 full and part time employees.

The captain has admitted that the Sheriff department is unable to improve these response times significantly based on the way deputies are assigned to patrol.

You be the judge.

Our community deserves better.  Your opinion matters, please contact your city council members at

Barry Entous,

Del Mar 


Good luck with “That Change Thing”

Being a hybrid resident-tourist to Oceanside, I just couldn’t sit back and not comment on the “Mission Avenue Re-do.”   Ultimately, the changes may create a significant magnet for tourists.   However, this marathon project has likely cost dearly — both to the city coffers and to the unfortunate merchants along Mission Avenue.

My biggest armchair criticism of the project is the allotment of lanes to traffic.  One too few!   Even the tourist town of Palm Springs, allots three lanes of one-way traffic along it’s main cruising thoroughfare, called South Palm Canyon Drive.  I’ll bet Oceanside staff, planners and council fought hard and long, over the number of traffic lanes.  Looks like “the lanes” lost.  I predict that this shortsightedness will create traffic back-ups to the east–perhaps even to the Interstate 5, during midsummer weekends and holidays.

Additionally, did O-staff, consultants, and city fathers, overlook providing three lanes of traffic (one west and two east) on Pier View, east of Coast Highway?   Unlike restoring a third lane to Mission Avenue, this is something that can be enacted at any time. The changes to Seagaze Drive appear to be fairly traffic friendly, although the abrupt transition from one-way to two-way traffic at Clementine, will surprise many drivers using the Number one lane.

It should be interesting to see how this all pans out for Oceanside.   After some intervals of use, say six, 12, and 18 months. Staff would do well to analyze the changes and its effects.

G. Lance Johannsen,