Letters/Opinion: May, June, July, August 2019


July 4 issue:
Applause to Solana Beach council for passing amendment

Kudos to the Solana Beach City Council for passing an amendment to include marijuana in the Social Host Ordinance.

This is an important step in educating parents and the community regarding the daunting influence of the pot industry on youth. With the mounting number of dispensaries and Manufacturing Production Facilities (MPFs) being permitted in San Diego County cities, the area is soon to emerge as a serious “Pot Capital.” Along with the outlets and MPFs are sideline activities unanticipated by voters of Prop 64, including pot “party” buses, pot “tour” buses, as well as high-potency extracts contributing to a pot vaping epidemic among teens.

Unfortunately, many people are sorely misinformed regarding the harmful effects of pot on youth because of the lack of public education. This amendment is a step toward creating better awareness.

Peggy Walker

Help prevent fire

This a plea to home owners of Solana Beach concerning fire prevention this summer. Please have overgrown trees on your property trimmed. This can keep fires from spreading and protect our community.

Robert Kaselau

Solana Beach

One View:

Replacing Barbara Bry and other tales

By Gordon Clanton

San Diego City Council. District 1 includes Carmel Valley, Del Mar Hills/Heights/Terrace, and La Jolla, all communities of the City of San Diego. The First District council seat should be of interest to all who live in coastal North County. Remember One Paseo.

Incumbent Barbara Bry is running for mayor against Assemblyman Todd Gloria, thus creating an open seat, the irresistible lure for the politically ambitious.

Because of term limits, younger elected officials must win new offices in order to stay in the business, to be “career politicians.” As with career military officers, it’s up or out. Term limits also require the major political parties to develop deep benches.

So far five candidates have thrown their helmets into the ring. All five are Democrats as befits a long-time Dem-leaning district. None has served in elected office.

La Jolla community leader Joe LaCava ran a strong campaign for this seat in 2016. Will Moore is past-president of the Carmel Valley Democratic Club. The other candidates are Louis Rodolico (who also ran for the seat in 2016), firefighter Aaron Brennan, and economist and entrepreneur Harid “H.” Puentes.

In April District 6 Councilman Mark Kersey changed his registration from Republican to independent, increasing the Democratic advantage from 6-3 to 6-2-1. Citywide Democrats outnumber Republicans 315,000 to 163,000 – an edge approaching two-to-one. And independents (258,000) outnumber Republicans by almost 100,000.

Rumor. A DC-based newsletter said recently that former congressman Darrell Issa is considering running for the 50th Congressional District seat now held by embattled Congressman Duncan Hunter II, if Hunter resigns or does not seek re-election – or winds up in federal prison.

Hunter’s wife and co-defendant Margaret, whom he earlier blamed for “bookkeeping errors,” has pled guilty to misuse of campaign funds and probably will testify against the congressman. And now it appears that Hunter also spent campaign funds wooing five women – two staffers and three lobbyists.

Milestone. New Hampshire recently became the 21st state to abolish the death penalty, the ninth in 15 years. Four more states, including California, have instituted moratoria on executions. So half the states now have no active death penalty.

I have long favored the abolition of the death penalty. It is cruel, unusual, and arbitrary, yet it does not deter violent crime. States with the death penalty have higher murder rates than states without it. And capital punishment falls disproportionately on the poor and people of color.

— Gordon Clanton teaches sociology at San Diego State University. He welcomes comments at gclanton@sdsu.ed

June 20 issue:

The letter below was sent to the Health and Human Services Agency, County of San Diego and to this newspaper for publication.

A coincidence?
In recent weeks, there has been a new and large outflow of water from the bluff at the west end of 11th Street in the City of Del Mar. The water continuing to extrude from the ground and draining onto the beach has the distinct smell of raw sewage.

In recent weeks, construction crews have been working on the sewer and storm drainage systems at the corner of Camino Del Mar and 11th Street, as part of the City of Del Mar Streetscape project.

These two things could be coincidental. Or, maybe they are not.

Don Ellis

Del Mar

Slap in the face
The full page ad jointly placed by Zephyr and The Robert Green Company in the June 6 Solana Beach Sun was a full frontal smack in the face to the City of Solana Beach.

From the ad title “To our neighbors in Del Mar,” to the insensitive and blind text — blind to the concerns of the residents of Solana Beach - this ad was nothing short of offensive and insensitive to the concerns of the neighbors of Solana Beach.

Any proposal for that property should be vetted and voted on by the neighboring community.

Del Mar would most certainly require it and Solana Beach’s citizens’ concerns must be considered.

We already suffer the effects of Del Mar’s repressive and over-zealous parking enforcement - we can’t even park in our own neighborhoods around the Dog Beach/Brigantine area because the free parking in our town is full of cars that won’t pay the Del Mar parking fees.

That’s just the beginning.

When this “welcome addition to the community” is approved by Del Mar — without consideration of the effect on Solana Beach — the traffic and parking issues will only multiply.

Kevin Baum

Solana Beach

Reply to the June 13 letter ‘in support of horses’
I read last week’s letter (“In support of the horses I love” by Marla Zanelli) in favor of horse racing in California with complete bewilderment. Of course horse racing in California has been, according to Zanelli, “getting their worst press possible” this year. Good! These horrific horse deaths, including 28 at Santa Anita since January 1, have not only been national news, but world-wide news for months now because it is absolutely appalling. In fact, 60 horses have died at Santa Anita since 2018. At the Del Mar track, over 40 horses were killed in the past five years. Zanelli also states that “California can’t afford to lose (this) industry.” Of course it can! We don’t need any horse racing at all in this state, or the entire country for the economy to be strong.

Horse racing is nothing but cruel animal “entertainment” that people watch and bet on, just like pitbull and cockfighting, yet it is celebrated and acceptable because there are cocktails and women wear hats! Most people who are calling for the end of horse racing at Santa Anita are not as Zaneili writes “people who want your money, politicians who want your vote, or (unnamed people) who have other agendas.” They are not radical animal activists, PETA members, or even Humane Society members. They are simply people with common sense who know that this is disgusting and unacceptable. And yes Ms. Zanelli, the world is better off without these thoroughbreds being kicked, whipped, abused, mistreated, forced to run injured, stuck in cramped stalls, tied up, and tortured for entertainment. It does not matter what the problem at Santa Anita is, the end result are horses dying horrible deaths non-stop.

Carla Mapes

Carmel Valley

June 13 issue:

Wrongheaded conflict of interest policy

Del Mar City Council member Dwight Worden, once again with Ellie Haviland and Sherryl Parks (the Gang of Three), were the three that railed against Mayor Dave Druker for bringing the conflict of interest issue to the city council last March for discussion. The three argued that Dave was wrong to do so and that a conflict of interest policy was not needed nor appropriate.

Now, Worden and his two followers have changed their minds and say a policy is necessary. What is going on? Worden and Haviland have now created their own conflict of interest proposal and have brought it to the council for debate, knowing they have the three votes to pass it. Sherryl Parks will provide the third vote because she looks to Dwight for guidance on every issue.

Their proposal continues to allow spouses of council members to serve on the quasi-judicial Design Review Board and Planning Commission while they are seated on the Del Mar City Council. This is a wrongheaded policy and we, as a community, should revolt against the stupidity of their proposal and not let it happen. Just the “appearance of a conflict” should not be allowed. Dave Druker and Terry Gaasterland are against their policy and will argue vociferously against its implementation at the next city council meeting on June 17.

We reside in a very small town and this proposal, if passed, will only serve to further divide our community.

Hershell Price

Del Mar resident

In support of the horses I love

Horse racing in California has been getting the worst press possible. I have been involved and loved horse racing since I was 15 years old and while the industry has changed since then, there are major changes being made to improve the sport and safety of horses. California can’t afford to lose an industry. The people calling for horse racing to stop in California have other agendas and don’t really care about the animals. They want your vote and your money. Nobody cares more for the horses than the people who work with them. Having owned horses all my life, race horses too, they get hurt just being in their stalls.

While the number of deaths were high at Santa Anita it has been determined part of the cause was the rain and sealing of the race track. Do you really think the world is better without the thoroughbreds? I couldn’t even imagine how awful that would be. Thoroughbreds are magnificent intelligent horses. Stop harassing the racing industry. All you politicians please start paying attention to homelessness, drug addicts, PTSD sufferers, our economy and jobs, more important issues in the world. Don’t throw away an entire industry of which you know nothing about.

Marla Zanelli


June 6 issue:

New trolley line should be extended

We need to tell MTS and the City of San Diego that they should have extended the new trolley line not just to UCSD at first shot but to Via de La Valle and the horse farm+fair parking+polo fields. That would make a huge reduction in traffic for soccer, polo, gun shows, horse shows and the fair. But they wouldn’t have done it because they want congestion to increase. They claim funding problems, but they should investigate how San Francisco extended BART all the way out to San Ramon (60 miles) way before population built up there and along the way. Where did they get the money? You build light rail way before the population builds up, not afterwards.

John Fiscella

Carmel Valley

Del Mar: Continue to keep ‘Greenery in the Scenery’

Del Mar enjoys a legacy of civic and environmental activism that started in the 1930s with the Del Mar Civic Association (DMCA).

Throughout the 1950s the DMCA successfully fought to move Interstate 5 from its originally planned route along what is now Camino Del Mar and Coast Blvd. to its present inland location, which was finalized in 1957 and completed in 1966. It helped that the California Highway Commission Board included DMCA member C. Arnholt Smith, a North Beach homeowner, and Roger Woolley, brother of Del Mar’s Basil “Monty” Woolley, who also lived in the North Beach area which would have been paved over.

After the DMCA spearheaded the incorporation of the City of Del Mar in 1959, DMCA president and five-time Del Mar Mayor Tom Pearson later led the drive to ban roadside billboards and create Seagrove Park and the North Bluff Scripps Preserve through the City’s acquisition of these properties in a private and public fundraising drive to block proposed development.

Contributing to the fundraising campaign of “Keep Greenery in the Scenery” were North Beach homeowners Jim Scripps, Helen Woodward and the Fletcher family as well as “Stars for Parks” Desi Arnaz and Jimmy Durante, who originally fell in love with Del Mar as vacation renters and patrons of the racetrack. Thankfully, Seagrove was later expanded and adjacent Powerhouse Park was created with its acquisition including the historic Powerhouse which was restored as a community center.

Continuing this legacy in 2006-8, more than 400 donors contributed $5.5 million, including $3 million from the nonprofit Winston School, to fund the City’s acquisition of the 5.3-acre former Shores School property which contained the only school and playing fields in Del Mar.

However, we are dismayed by reports from the Winston School that during closed-door lease negotiations, the City of Del Mar proposed that Winston develop multi-family housing on the Shores site. This violates Del Mar’s Community Plan, the Kerckhoff deed restriction that the site can be used for “school purposes only” and the City’s representations made to donors contributing $5.5 million to buy the property.

We urge the Del Mar City Council to uphold our Community Plan, the Kerckhoff deed restriction and commitments made to donors that enabled us to save this 30-year old school for bright children with learning differences and to make the largest acquisition of park land for active recreational use in the history of Del Mar.

Let’s continue to keep “Greenery in the Scenery.”

Laura DeMarco

Vice President, Friends of Del Mar Parks

Shores Park donor and fundraiser who moved to Del Mar in 1987

Adam Cherry

President, Big Blue Sky Foundation

Shores Park neighbor and donor who moved to Del Mar in 1977

Carl Hilliard

Former Del Mar Mayor and City Council Member

Shores Park donor whose grandparents moved to Del Mar in the 1920s

Kim Fletcher

Board Member, Fletcher Family Foundation

Shores Park donor whose grandfather developed Del Mar in the early 1900s

Kudos to Del Mar City Council for making sand replenishment a priority

In June the Del Mar City Council will vote to approve budgets for fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

We applaud the City Council for making sand replenishment a priority by funding Sand Compatibility and Opportunistic Use Program (SCOUP) sand replenishment permits. The City is dedicating $164,200 and $164,400, respectively, for sand replenishment in each of the next two fiscal years.

We encourage our elected officials to make this an ongoing commitment and not just a one-time occurrence, however.

Coastal sediment management long has been neglected in Del Mar, but our residents have voiced their concerns strongly. We have emphasized the importance of protecting and preserving our beaches and coastal community. Our message appears to be making a difference.

Our beautiful beach is an integral part of our community character. We treasure this natural resource and want to work together to maintain and enhance it.

Thanks to all of our neighbors who are working hard to make a difference!

Jerry Jacobs


Del Mar Beach Preservation Coalition

One View: Early start for political season

By Gordon Clanton

Ready or not, the race for 2020 has begun – at every level of government. Pay attention early so you can choose early and support your favorites.

March primary. This cycle is different in that the state primary, usually in June, has been moved up to March, bringing extra urgency to every campaign. So although filing doesn’t open until December, serious local candidates have been campaigning since the first of the year. And asking for money.

The early primary will increase California’s influence on the choice of presidential candidates. All of the Democratic candidates for 2020 will come to California this time. Too many to list. Get ready for the invasion.

Here are some key local races I’m watching.

Supervisor, D-3. The Third District includes the coast from La Jolla to Encinitas plus much of the I-15 corridor. The Republican incumbent Kristin Gaspar is a strong supporter of President Trump’s immigration policies. Elected in 2016, she ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2018, seeking the seat now held by Democrat Mike Levin and finishing sixth of 16 candidates.

Gaspar has drawn three Democratic challengers. Terra Lawson-Remer was a founder of Flip the 49th, a campaign to replace Darrell Issa. Olga Diaz serves on the Escondido City Council. Fire Captain Jeff Griffith is a spoiler. He cannot win but he can divert attention and resources from Terra and Olga.

Olga carries the further burden of having cast the swing vote in 2016 to remove the environmentally sensitive and beloved head of the Coastal Commission Charles Lester.

Because of demographic shifts, whichever Democrat survives the March primary will have a good chance in November 2020. And because of term limits, the Board of Supervisors may have a Democratic majority after 2020.

49th Congressional. A newly elected member of Congress typically is most vulnerable in the first bid for re-election. Republicans who want to replace first-term Democrat Mike Levin have unified behind the mayor of San Juan Capistrano, Brian Maryott, an unsuccessful candidate for the seat in 2018. He finished eighth in a 16-candidate field, fourth among the eight Republicans. Republicans outnumber Democrats by only 12,000. And Hillary Clinton carried the district in 2016.

78th Assembly. The district reaches from Solana Beach to Imperial Beach and east to SDSU. San Diego City Councilman Chris Ward is seeking to replace Assemblyman Todd Gloria, who is running for mayor against San Diego Councilwoman Barbara Bry.

— Gordon Clanton teaches sociology at San Diego State University. He welcomes comments at gclanton@sdsu.edu

May 30 issue:

Diverse voice and broadened field of community participation important for Del Mar

Diverse voice and broadened field of community participation important for Del Mar
In Anne Farrell’s May 23 letter to the editor, she characterized Mayor Druker and Councilwoman Gaasterland’s proposal for a conflict of interest policy as a “power grab.” However, it is clear that the Druker/Gaasterland proposal is anything but a power grab. While Farrell seems to be disappointed that Druker and Gaasterland broke the pledge they made to a small group of the “old greens” (now incarnated as the Del Mar Alliance), I applaud them for being sensible and not blindly following and for instead acting in the interests of the majority of Del Mar.

For the first time since our incorporation, Del Mar had the spouse of a sitting council member before council for re-appointment to the DRB. This created the appearance of a “conflict of interest” and raised the question of whether or not we should have a policy in place. The real “power grab” would have bloomed in 2020, where then-Mayor Ellie Haviland would control city council, and Chair Tim Haviland would control the DRB. This would provide a concentration of power at a time when numerous large projects are coming forward all requiring up-zoning to higher density as potentially desired by the Del Mar Alliance.

There were five well-qualified DRB applicants, including Tim Haviland, the spouse of Deputy Mayor Haviland. Many people spoke in support of Tim Haviland, but Farrell failed to mention that substantially more Del Mar residents took the time previously to write 52 letters favoring prohibition of a spouse serving on the DRB. Tim Haviland has done a fine job on the DRB, and can serve again when his wife’s service on the city council is complete.

In my 46 years of living in Del Mar, I have never witnessed such a transparent power grab as by the current council majority, the “troika” of Haviland, Worden and Parks. They, and the Del Mar Alliance they answer to, have ruled this community in a calculated and often mean-spirited exclusion of any alternative voice that attempts to participate. It was unnerving how the troika and the Del Mar Alliance supporters degraded and belittled Gaasterland and Druker for proposing even a discussion of a conflict of interest policy. While I have not agreed with many of Mayor Druker’s past positions, his last election platform — “Citizen’s First” — was appealing. It was the first time I felt that any council member was willing to listen to my voice! With their actions under this pressure, I can see why Druker and Gaasterland received the highest number of votes in the past two elections.

Del Mar is a very smart, talented and engaged community that only a diverse voice and broadened field of community participation will improve.

Terri Pavelko

Member of original taskforce which created our Community Plan

Diversity of community viewpoints needed

In “A lot to be said for ‘old green’ heritage” (Del Mar Times, May 23) Anne Farrell denounces both some members of the city council and numerous Del Mar citizens for their preference for a policy that would bar the significant others of council members from serving on key city committees.

Her criticism of such anti-nepotism rule misses the basic purpose that such policy would advance. Contrary to Ms. Farrell’s assertion, the issue is not whether Mr. Haviland would be an effective member of the Design and Review Board member and advance the “old green heritage.” Many of us that favor this anti-nepotism policy would concede that Mr. Haviland might ably serve on such committee.

Opposition to the Haviland appointment while Ms. Haviland sits on the city council stems from the public’s interest in achieving a diversity of perspectives and avoiding a concentration of power in city government. The concentration of authority among closely affiliated groups such as members of the same family is against the public interest in that it concentrates authority in a few and crowds out needed diversity of community viewpoints. This and other considerations such as the avoidance of self-dealing among discreet community groups underlie long-standing prohibitions against having connected persons crowd out diverse policies in government operations.

Ralph Reisner

Del Mar

May 23 issue:

A lot to be said for the ‘old green’ heritage

Gordon Clanton, an astute long-time observer of Del Mar politics, got it exactly right in his May 2 editorial. He knows a power grab when he sees one: an attempt by two councilmembers to prevent the re-appointment of Tim Haviland, an experienced Design Review Board member, despite public testimony and support from a wide range of citizens. No other candidate came close to his DRB knowledge, and none had any public testimony on their behalf. Yet Mayor Druker and Terry Gaasterland bloc-voted to prevent the Haviland appointment, suggesting in the process that it was improper for CouncilmemberEllie Haviland to serve concurrently on council with Tim Haviland on DRB. However, it became clear that their reason had more to do with their wish to remove Mr. Haviland from the DRB. Was it because of his strong and principled performance on the board, standing up for the Community Plan and the strict DROs that have provided an effective framework for Del Mar development for decades? It’s no secret that big-money interests, developers, real estate mavens, and proponents for expanded short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods would love to see those rules loosened.

The Druker-Gaasterland red herring was so-called “conflict of interest”: their demand that no spouses should serve concurrently in Del Mar. In point of fact, the Brown Act already binds all city volunteers, and it is insulting to suggest that married individuals don’t have minds and opinions of their own and would always recuse if necessary. The City Attorney ruled there was no conflict of interest. (On her own accord and to ensure no hint of conflict, Ellie Haviland did recuse from the vote; with the Druker-Gaasterland bloc, the 2-2 tie meant there was no appointment and applications reopened.)

Clanton aptly referenced Druker’s term, “old greens,” pejoratively describing Del Mar citizens active in town since the 1960s and still working on behalf of sensible development controls and environmentalism. He annotated “terrible” things they have done, e.g., blocking the I-5 freeway from running through town; stopping condos from moving into Crest Canyon, protecting precious landscapes. The “old greens” created the Community Plan in 1976, “Del Mar’s roadmap, its land-use constitution,” and protected Del Mar’s unique beauty and character which, not coincidentally, has resulted in some of the highest property values in the West. “Old green” community leaders have moved our town forward in so many ways. They also supported Druker in three runs for City Council, and during his most recent campaign, he and Ms. Gaasterland pledged to uphold positions of the very same “old greens.” In fact, most in town would have called Druker himself an “old green.” But now that he is in office, he seems to have changed his hue.

I hope that on reflection, these two councilmembers can see that there’s a lot to be said for the “old green” heritage that came before them.

Anne Farrell

Del Mar

July 25 issue:

Rebuilding Del Mar Heights Elementary School: A bad idea

There has been precious little information readily available to the interested community about school district open meetings and planning for the rebuilding of the Del Mar Heights Elementary School. Neither the district itself nor the Del Mar Times have been a timely source of current information and much of what is disseminated is by inefficient word-of-mouth. For example, several days ago, local residents were surprised to see surveyors, hired for this project, working along Mira Montana Dr., on the east perimeter of the school, and even within adjacent areas of Torrey Pines Park Extension.

A current plan ambitiously seeks to rebuild Del Mar Heights Elementary School from the ground up: great for builders and architects but not so much for the rest of us.

A most recent proposed design for the rebuilding of the Del Mar Heights Elementary School is an obscene intrusion into the well being of the community. The plan calls for a large increase in the footprint of the school, an increase in parking spaces from less than 50 now to more than 115 (for what?), and the loss of about 2/3 of the grass field now used for both organized sports and free play by area children and their families, all day, every day, year round. Loss of open green space is lost forever!

It is understood that one of the goals of the redesign is to mitigate what has been a chronic problem, that being the twice-a-day automobile back-up on Mercado Dr., Cordero Rd., and Boquita Dr., as students are dropped off and picked up before and after school. The proposed substantial increase in parking lot driveways on school grounds may help to move traffic along, but at the cost of spreading the noise, congestion, and pollution to an additional stretch of Cordero Rd. and also along Mira Montana Dr.

Here’s an alternative. How about renovating the existing buildings and just replacing the temporary classrooms with a more suitable structure? Keep the “new” on the same footprint as the “old.” The cost to do this will be a small fraction of what is being proposed, and the dollars saved can instead pay for the cost of busing children to school. This way, we get to keep open space, reduce traffic congestion, reduce automobile pollution, and relieve hundreds of adults from the burdensome task of driving children to and from school. It also gets around the challenge of having to relocate Del Mar Heights students to other schools in the Carmel Valley area if total reconstruction is to happen; an intrusion that would likely last for more than one academic year.

Mark Sherman and Enid Sherman

On transparency in Del Mar

The Del Mar City Council seems to have trouble filling various committee vacancies lately. The Design Review Board (DRB) recently had an opening. Four people applied (some of whom had previously applied several times). Among them an architect, a contractor’s associate, and two businesswomen. All made intelligent and knowledgeable presentations to council’s queries. None was chosen and the council decided to re-open the position so that additional candidates could be solicited. During the extended time a new applicant “surfaced” and he was selected at a subsequent council meeting (this occurred during the significant other/nepotism brouha).

At the July 15 council meeting, the Parking and Traffic Committee (TPAC) had an opening. Two people applied: one a medical professional and the other an engineer/attorney. Again, neither was selected and the position was re-opened for more applicants (some of these volunteers were educated at “lightweight” institutions such as Duke and Stanford).

My thoughts are that Edward Teller-type credentials aren’t good enough to serve on Del Mar committees. Bottom lines: 1: If the applicant’s values don’t align with our “gang of three” on the council, then there is no need to apply. 2. If the applicant wishes to run for elective office in Del Mar and hasn’t served on a committee, then the candidate’s resume may be found lacking. That’s transparent to me.

Owen Hahn

Del Mar

Aug. 1 issue:

One View: Del Mar turns 60 and other tales

By Gordon Clanton

Del Mar recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of its incorporation as a city with a grand reception on the Civic Center patio and a sparkling concert in the newish Town Hall.

The reception welcomed former mayors including several old friends and allies like Nancy Hoover (now Fletcher), Herv Sweetwood, Elliot Parks, Crystal Crawford, and Henry Abarbanel, plus more recent mayors. I also visited with my old nemesis Tom Pearson.

The concert in the council chamber featured 80-year-old jazz legend Charles McPherson and his quintet. They were terrific, performing wordless compositions written by McPherson, a master of the saxophone who played, toured, and recorded with Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis.

Thanks to event sponsor the Del Mar Foundation and to Betty Wheeler who produced and directed. It was a great evening for Del Mar, a community-building experience.

Thanks also to those 1950s Del Marians who understood that cityhood was the only way to protect the natural beauty and the village scale of Del Mar. Although neighboring cities to the north are much larger, Solana Beach and Encinitas (including Cardiff, Olivenhain and Leucadia) did not incorporate as cities until the 1980s, leaving themselves at the mercy of a pro-business, pro-development county board of supervisors for 25 more years. The county board allowed development that was too dense, too tall, too close to the edge of ocean bluffs, too bad for the people who live there.

Del Mar celebrated again with an ice cream social to mark the near-completion of the Downtown Streetscape project. Construction has brought serious traffic congestion, inconvenient for everyone and very bad for businesses on Camino del Mar.

Flashback: One of the first people I met when I moved to Del Mar in 1974 was a city lifeguard named Eric Sandy. Eric, 72, retired recently after 47 years of service in a variety of positions – Del Mar’s longest-serving employee. Thanks for looking out for us, Eric. And best wishes.

DMCC: After a year off I have returned to the board of Del Mar Community Connections, a volunteer-driven non-profit that provides supportive services for older people so they can continue to live at home – lunches, classes, events, excursions and transportation.

DMCC always needs volunteer drivers who use their own cars to provide transportation for those who no longer drive. Giving rides is very rewarding. To learn more or to volunteer, contact Ashley Simpkins at 858-792-7565.

— Gordon Clanton teaches Sociology at San Diego State University. He welcomes comments at gclanton@sdsu.edu