April 2016 home page

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Stones blocking the entrance to the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon.
Photo Virginia Lawence.

El Niño Block
Because of a huge buildup of stones deposited under the 101 causeway by El Niño, the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon is once again totally blocked. An attempt was made to clear a channel through the stones, but the ocean has washed many back.

The Matter of Soil
At its March 9th meeting the Parks and Recreation Committee received and forwarded to the Public Works Director a report from its Soil Amendment sub-committee The report specified the materials and methods to replace the former practice of using synthetic fertilizers on the turf at the City’s three parks and to begin an integrated pest management process by building a living soil with composted matter. The initial examination of turf amendments for the parks was heard at the October 19, 2015 City Council meeting when the Green Committee submitted its White Paper. Council directed staff to report back in Spring 2016 about more sustainable alternatives. The Public Works Director can now evaluate the costs and the report recommendations that include 1) starting the amendment application during the spring growing season; 2) using a locally produced organic compost from San Pasqual Valley Soils; 3) preceding the application method with aeration; and 4) using the “Eco Lawn Applicator” machine for top-spreading. Director Minicelli will meet with members of the subcommittee to decide about implementation.

Plastic Bag Ban
The Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB) at its March 17th meeting directed its single use plastic bag ban sub-committee to continue the outreach with the Business Support Advisory group before the proposed ordinance is scheduled for a second reading. Questions about the requirements for the manufacturer’s imprint on the reusable paper bag, the minimum size of the reusable bag (1.5 Liters) and the plastic thickness of the single use bag to be eliminated are items of concern to many merchants and business owners. SAB’s subcommittee and staff agree to work with the merchants to achieve a broader agreement and acceptance.

Draft Sea Rise
At the next Sea Level Stakeholders Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) on April 14th from 4 to 6 pm at the City Hall Annex, the Committee will have its first review and discussion on the draft Vulnerability and Risk Assessments. These documents will become the foundation for the proposed policy changes. The public will be able to view the hazard maps and projections for flood risk and erosion over the next 20, 50, 100 years. This is a ‘must-attend’ meeting.


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