published by Del Mar Community Alliance. Inc.
Inside the November 2019 Print Issue

Click on cover for NOVEMBER print issue in pdf format.

Ann Gardner

EDITORIAL: The Del Mar Way

Lynn Gaylord

by the Sandpiper Editorial Board

Roving Teen Reporter
Classes vs Climate

Dhathry Doppalapudi

What’s Up with UP?
Kristen M. Crane

Nervous Nukes:
Coastal Commission Caves

Don Mosier

Clear Lake
Jeff Barnouw

Salty Waters
Don Mosier

Thanks, Del Mar!
Kathy Garcia

> Fiscal Physical
>Sea Level Rise Negotiations
> UPDATE on Winston >Update on City Manager and Planning Director recruitment

Composting > Fermenting
Valérie Dufort-Roy

Thanks to the City Council
Donald Mosier

Fair Fair Housing
Dwight Worden

A Year or So to Go
Ann Gardner

Running Room
Nicole Pentheroudakis

“Unbelievable” Gala
Jeff Barnouw

Little Ladies
Ed Mirsky

A Moving Memoir
Part Two – Anonymity Fail

Nancy Fisher

DMFTalks: 5G IT
Julie Maxey-Allison

Farmer Scholars
Leslie Robson
and Jeff Barnouw

DMF: November 2019
DMF Announces New Directors & Officers

DMCC: November 2019
Ashley Simpkins

Extra copies of the Sandpiper are available at: the Del Mar Community Building on 9th Street; the Library; the Powerhouse; the Farmers’ Market; the Carmel Valley Library;the Solana Beach Library and the Solana Beach Community Center.


DM Calendar

DMCC Calendar

DMF Calendar

DM Village Association

Public Meetings

City Council

Design Review Board

Planning Commission

home | home page archives | NOVEMBER 2019 home page


Update 11/16/19
The following articles about MARISOL are included in the December print issue.
Process Hampers Electorate
Claire and Tom McGreal | Stratford Court
Click here for the article in pdf format
Bud Emerson | Klish Way
Click here for the article in pdf format
John Weare | Ocean View Avenue
Click here for the article in pdf format
Nate McCay | Ocean View Avenue
Click here for the article in pdf format

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Update 11/16/19
Inside the DECEMBER 2019 Print Issue
Click on cover for DECEMBER print issue in pdf format.
Update 11/27/19
Toys for Tots

For our 21st holiday season, we’re proud to be an official drop-off station for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s
“Toys for Tots” campaign.

So please help us make the holidays brighter for San Diego area families by dropping off a new, unwrapped children’s toy at my office at 1011 Camino Del Mar,
in downtown Del Mar.

We’re open to accept your holiday donations from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday NOW through December 13th.

So please join in the fun and help us spread the Holiday Spirit to our San Diego area families.

Thanks for your help,
Jim Coleman and Staff, Your State Farm  (858) 755-6794

Update 11/16/19
Remembering Jerry

Innovator directed Nissan design center in La Jolla.
Del Mar neighbor, Jerry Hirshberg, earned a well deserved reputation as an international auto design leader.
He was an artist, musician, author, management consultant, lecturer, and devoted family man. Jerry and Linda have been longtime supporters of the Sandpiper.
Update 11/16/19
How Del Mar can Minimize Wildfire Risks
Thursday, Nov. 21– 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Del Mar Civic Center Town Hall

Dear Del Mar Friends,

Many of you were here during the catastrophic Witch fire in 2007, when those of us on the hill and many others east of Camino Del Mar, were forced to evacuate. The devastating fires of the last few years only serve to remind us that serious wildfire risks have not gone away, and with the more extreme weather patterns brought on by climate change, Del Mar, notwithstanding its coastal location, is vulnerable.

On November 21, we will have the opportunity to hear and learn from the many efforts underway in Rancho Santa Fe to prevent a devastating wildfire from engulfing their heavily-wooded community.  Balancing this important goal with the need to preserve one of their best defenses against climate change—their urban forest—is something Del Mar also needs to come to grips with.

Click for info.

I hope to see some of you there.


Dolores Davies, Crest Road

November Print Issue
FACT Check
Editors’ Note
We are seeing an increase in misinformation and personal attacks in our community. In the interest of informed debate and discussion, we will be printing “Fact Checks” when necessary.
Transit $
Push Polls
Affordable Housing
November Print Issue
Ann Gardner

Downtown Streetscape crossed the finish line last month when, during the night hours, striping for lanes was put down along Camino del Mar and torches were used to apply thermoplastic to crosswalks. We think City Manager Scott Huth was right when he predicted it would be worth the unforeseen rain delays, crumbling metal pipes that needed to be replaced and a layer of concrete from the older road in the medians slated for new trees, to name a few. Although a ribbon cutting has not been announced readers can take an inaugural stroll along the wider sidewalks some with accent pavers, drive the realigned lanes with fresh curbs and new landscaping, find new parking spaces and, most of all, experience Camino del Mar as part of the Village not just a thoroughfare.

In her 2017 article Julie Maxey-Allison reminded us that our “Historic US Route 101” was commissioned in 1926 when concrete replaced dirt roads for horses, wagons and other animals. By 1960, however, 101 through Del Mar, was so packed with gasoline stations, advertising and traffic it was labeled “Gasoline Alley.” The completion of Interstate 5 erased some of that image but in 2006 merchants and residents wanted more “complete streets” that included safe and attractive space for walkers and cyclists as well as a more inviting Downtown experience. Spurlock Associates won the bid and put a plan forward.

In took more than another decade to dust off and update the plan, thanks to the persistent push of the Del Mar Village Association and the passage of Measure Q approved by residents to fund the new Streetscape (in addition to Undergrounding and Shores Park plans). Along with the new Civic Center, sidewalks and improvements stretching from Jimmy Durante Blvd. at the north end of town to Carmel Valley Road on the south end, Del Mar has become almost a brand new village by the sea.

November Print Issue
EDITORIAL: The Del Mar Way

As we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Community Plan along with the city’s 60th birthday, it is important to understand what Del Mar might have become without it. Very likely we could have become a planned development, shorn of trees with minimal open space populated by over-built McMansions on over-lit streets with rampant view blockage, a restaurant row along our beach front teeming with short term vacationers, condos in our canyons, a multi-modal bus and train station, a major highway through our town center, and high rise commercial development in the center of town. We only have to take a look at so many other towns that let haphazard development overwhelm and define them.

Instead we elected far-sighted leaders who called on dozens of neighborhood leaders to work collaboratively on a far different vision. They invented a process that involved hundreds of citizens in the grueling, but promising tasks of laying out a blueprint for the kind of small town village we could become. The resulting Community Plan became our constitution which spelled our values and guidelines for how we would grow and change. Of course, there were doubters, but a solid consensus developed that became a constituency for a voter-adopted Community Plan.

From this very participatory beginning we evolved what came to be known as “the Del Mar Way,” a commitment to maximum citizen involvement in almost all decision making. Some worry that it takes so long to make decisions, but we have always benefited when we respect multiple viewpoints and observe the tenets of civil discourse. Our community attracted many smart, accomplished, value-driven citizens who have given of their time and talents in extraordinary levels of involvement. The result is a town that we can be proud of. The essence of our community is the collaborative harnessing of that human talent and energy.

We are not done yet, probably never will be. But we need to remember what got us this far. Our commitment to vigorous debate and involvement coupled with mutual respect will help us face the many opportunities and challenges in front of us.

November Print Issue
Lynn Gaylord | Ocean Frjot

I would like for all of us to change the tone of some of what I have been hearing at Council meetings recently, and reading attack letters to the editor in the Del Mar Times. We don’t need that kind of vitriol in our town.

Del Mar, in my opinion and the opinion of many others, is the most wonderful place to live in all of southern California. Why is that? Is it because our real estate values are going up when others are going down, maybe… – but the deeper question is why? Why is this so?

It is more than our sandy beaches because other cities have sandy beaches…
I am going to offer up the fact that many in this town held strong to the belief that we didn’t want big mansions. We wanted open spaces. We wanted public parks. We wanted protected lagoons. And, if you were going to build, you couldn’t block your neighbor’s view. Landscape plans were required, to be respected and adhered to.

And much of this was recently quantified by our Design Guidelines. These guidelines were started by Ellie Haviland, as a private citizen, and then supported by Council members Parks and Worden. In fact, Worden was the Council’s liaison to the Guidelines committee. These guidelines have made it much easier and fairer for architects and residents when working with the Design Review Board.

And speaking of gorgeous designs, thank you Council members for our Orchid award-winning city hall! It’s beautiful! It is open and friendly! It was fantastic on a recent Saturday night to be here for the Community Connections Gala with the whole caring community turned out! Utterly delightful to enjoy the sunset, great neighbors, and a glass of wine! I am speaking from my heart.

We have a wonderful, caring, and committed community here in Del Mar. People look out for each other. We are not like some other coastal towns which are night-after-night of short-term rentals, run by online, money-making agencies. That is not us. That is not who we want to become either. Thanks again to Councilmembers Haviland, Parks and Worden who have supported controlling short-term rentals to a manageable and neighborhood friendly use. I just wanted to say thank you for all you have done to keep Del Mar a wonderful place to live! We incorporated 60 years ago so that we would have control over our development, our open spaces, and it was the best thing we ever did!

November Print Issue
by the Sandpiper Editorial Board

Pat Vergne and the City have turned the page on a disruptive chapter in Del Mar’s history, with the settlement of Vergne’s remaining legal claims against the City. Vergne has agreed not to seek employment with the City in the future, will receive $45,000 from the City, and the City will pay the cost of the mediator who brokered the deal. Moving forward, Vergne has just begun a term on the Del Mar Foundation’s board of directors, and will take over responsibility for the Summer Twilight Concerts.

Vergne has handled himself with grace throughout the time since his termination on August 23, 2017, as did City Manager Huth as he sat through long sessions of heated comments, many aimed directly at him. Sadly, however, the quality of our public discourse took a big hit, with some residents publicly excoriating the city manager and council with predictions that the City would pay multi-millions to Vergne for defamation or wrongful termination. Now that the outcome is known, it’s worth noting what actually occurred.

After filing a $5 million claim against the City, Vergne filed a lawsuit that included defamation, wrongful termination, fraud, conspiracy, age discrimination, and whistleblower claims. The defamation claim was not only dismissed, but Vergne was ordered by the Court to pay the City $9,670 for its legal fees. The wrongful termination, fraud, and conspiracy claims were also dismissed. The age discrimination and whistleblower claims were the remaining claims that were resolved in mediation, shortly before the scheduled trial date. Other than the $9,670 payment to the City, each party will pay its own attorneys’ fees.

If hindsight is great teacher, there are some lessons in this episode for all of us. Skepticism in the face of claims that the City had defamed Vergne, and that there would be a multi-million dollar award against the City, was clearly warranted. Patience, it turns out, remains a virtue: waiting for a fuller picture with respect to facts and legal claims before jumping to conclusions. Most important of all, we as Del Mar citizens could learn from the grace under pressure exhibited by both Vergne and Huth, and strive for a more civil civic discourse. As it is, we are still recovering, as a community, from the harsh and extraordinarily divisive way we responded to this truly sad chapter in our history.

The Sandpiper wishes Pat well in his new role with the Foundation and its Summer Twilight Concerts. We appreciate his decades-long role as a valued member of our community.

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