2011 in Carmel Valley: A year in review

The seating at Cinepolis (Photo: Claire Harlin)
The seating at Cinepolis (Photo: Claire Harlin)

By Karen Billing

Here’s a look back at some of the stories that had Carmel Valley buzzing in 2011:

Del Mar Union School District: new offices, new lunches

The district moved its headquarters from 9th Street in Del Mar to its new Torrey Hills office building in July, and a maintenance and operations facility was set up in Sorrento Valley.

District Superintendent Jim Peabody joked that they don’t miss the mold, mildew, lead paint and cold water of their old digs.

“We’re very happy here. It’s great to be in a nice, professional place to do business,” Peabody said.

New fences went up to make the schools safer and parents became fed up with what they deemed were unhealthy school lunches. A lunch committee took on an aggressive schedule: a survey in February, tastings in March, a contract signed by May and the district was able to get a new private provider, Choicelunch, serving up healthy fare by the first day of school in August.

“We’re making changes that move us to the forefront of nutrition in the area and also making it better for our families and the kids,” said trustee Doug Perkins.

With the influx of new housing and families, Ocean Air School was filled to capacity and parents complained about neighborhood children not getting into their neighborhood school. The district board took a big step toward — hopefully — resolving the issue in December by approving the addition of new classrooms at the crowded school.

'Torrey Hills Lake'

The I-5 on-ramp from Carmel Mountain Road was a source of frustration for much of the year as it started flooding anytime it rained after October 2010. The Torrey Hills Community Planning Board created a flood of its own into city inboxes, sending emails and making calls to ensure that fixing the relatively new infrastructure was a priority.

Delays lasted throughout the year, but work began in late fall to correct the collapsed storm drain. “Torrey Hills Lake” was officially drained by November.

Police station shakeups and workouts

It seemed like every few months, a new San Diego Police Department Northwestern Division captain or lieutenant was being introduced to the community, but things finally seemed to settle around mid-year. Since opening in 2007, the division has hosted four captains.

Carmel Valley Northwestern Division welcomed Captain Albert Guaderrama in January, but he would only last seven months until being transferred, replaced by Capt. Lori Luhnow.

Lieutenant Jerry Mills came on board for a few months in January before being replaced by Lt. Todd Jarvis, who was transferred and there was no lieutenant until September when Lt. Andrew Hoffman arrived.

Hoffman and Luhnow, both with over 20 years of experience, appear here to stay for awhile.


A devoted athlete and fitness buff, Capt. Luhnow was able to convert an empty garage into San Diego’s Finest CrossFit, with the help of donations from Kilroy Realty, Del Mar Highlands Town Center and the Carmel Valley Recreation Council, which pitched in over $19,000 to help establish a program where cops do CrossFit with youth at the rec. center.



Be relevant, respectful, honest, discreet and responsible. Commenting Rules