Tag Archives: California

San Marcos High Ranked #3 on US News & World Report California High School Ranking

San Marcos High is Ranked #3 in US News & World Report Ranking of Best High Schools in California. San Marcos High is also ranked #11 Nationally.

The 2012 edition includes data on nearly 22,000 public schools, 500 of which received gold medals.

U.S. News partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), which implemented U.S. News‘s rankings methodology. To determine the Best High Schools national rankings, schools were first analyzed at the state level in terms of how well students in each school performed on state assessments, taking into account the test scores of disadvantaged students (low-income, Hispanic, and black), who tend to score lower on tests.

High schools that made it through this analysis were then eligible to be ranked nationally, in terms of college readiness.U.S. News determines the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work by analyzing student success in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, both of which include college-level courses. U.S. News awarded more than 4,850 gold, silver, and bronze medals to the top-performing schools. READ MORE VIA US NEWS

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The San Elijo Hills Foodie Fest & Tree Lighting Dec. 3 Showcases 20 Gourmet Food Trucks and Fabulous Street Fare

To kick off the holiday season, on December 3rd, 20 of Southern California’s hottest gourmet food trucks will surround the Town Square for the San Elijo Hills Foodie Fest & Tree Lighting. Choose from a wide variety of around-the-world delicacies ranging from sushi to sweet potato fries and Mexican-Korean barbecue fusions to Indian curries as well as an assortment of desserts and treats. Entrée prices range from $3 – $10. Most food trucks do not accept cards, so please be sure to bring cash.

The event will start with a happy hour at 4 p.m. at surrounding eateries. The culinary feast on wheels will take place from 5 to 8:30 p.m and the annual tree lighting will start at 7 p.m. Throughout the evening there will be holiday entertainment and festive crafts for kids.

Please dress warmly! San Elijo Hills residents are encouraged to walk to the event due to the high amount of traffic anticipated in the Town Square. For more information, please contact (760) 798-1765. For a complete list of participating food trucks, please click HERE.

Interview with Mike Hunsaker candidate for San Marcos City Council

Here is an interview with Mike Hunsaker candidate for San Marcos City Council. San Elijo Life has invited all candidates for council the answer the same set of questions.

Why should the residents in San Elijo Hills vote for you?

San Elijo Hills is poorly served by the proposed General Plan, overly lavish employee perks, lagging infrastructure improvements and lack of transparency in government. I will address these issues with common sense solutions.

How can the council help address aggressive cut through traffic and school traffic in San Elijo Hills?

The lagging infrastructure needs to be reprioritized. Too much of the Redevelopment Agency funds that are supposed to go into infrastructure are being diverted into revenue supporting City labor costs. That needs to be reversed.

What is your position on Proposition K?

The need for Proposition K at the present time and conditions is undeniable. However, serious issues are present concerning why much of this funding is required. Mello Roos payments should have covered many of the needs. Where did that money go? Dig developers escape their fair share of impact fees? Why have known problems with asbestos and lead been allowed to continue in the schools over decades while more and more money was diverted into employee compensation? These issues are not being corrected.

How can the city of San Marcos work with San Elijo Development to complete the San Elijo Hills Town Center?

Employee pension expenses have exploded and are continuing on a steep upward curve. Most cities experienced just over 200% growth in pension costs over the last ten years. San Marcos experienced a 572% growth. Too much money is being diverted to fund this growth at the expense of such projects as these which better serve the community.

What is your position on changes to the San Marcos general plan?

I have analyzed the problems with this plan in depth on my website www.hunsakerinnovations.com. The proposed plan is not necessarily what the Council will see. The zoning ordinances underpinning the Plan have not been updated, the economic study identifying economic projections and the even the boundaries and designations of zones are undefined. Without these very basic definitions and concepts, the proposed General Plan is meaningless. Councilman Preston rightly opposed the expensive public forums which were more for political cover than informed citizen evaluations.

What is your position on future housing and commercial development around San Elijo Hills (Creekside District, and university area projects, recycling plant, Quathaven and Attebury road area)?

Commercial development near to San Elijo Hills is badly needed as well as better roads. Much of the Creekside District consists of redundant facilities which will be stressed to survive much less prosper. The recycling plant is a potentially valuable asset allowed to languish. Possible useful  alternatives would be an industrial center, a shipping center (which will provide tax dollars for road improvements), or even a large storage facility.

What are your goals to improve the quality of life in San Marcos, such as events, parks, and trails?

I am currently working in the Walnut Grove Park area organizing more community activities in that Park. My wife plans on helping with the Heritage Homes.

Would you care to comment on the recent excessive compensation concerns for San Marcos city staff?

I am a member of the San Diego Taxpayer Association who has been active in uncovering and monitoring the lavish pay and benefits given to City employees. I suspect that unless firm action is taken these costs will continue to skyrocket. A number of employees are eager to acquire lifetime medical benefits and higher COLA’s in retirement. These increases will bankrupt the City and consume every dollar leaving nothing for projects. All three labor contracts will expire in 2011. These Council is considering shifting to a multiyear budgeting plan which could conceal the costs of new contracts until after the 2012 elections. I have recently attended a special Taxpayer Association seminar on pension plans in the County. My report is on the website.

If elected what are the top 3 issues you would focus on for San Elijo Hills?

1.     More infrastructure investments, not more pension benefits (now already the most generous in San Diego County).

2.     More balanced commercial development meeting local needs for grocery stores, drug stores, home improvement outlets, restaurants, etc.

3.     Ensuring that new developments pay their fair share so that another Proposition K is needed again for what should be normal expenses.

How will you clean up the campaign signs after election? will they be recycled?

I have no campaign signs. My campaign works entirely off the Internet and is totally green.

www.hunsakerinnovations.com

Editors note all San Marcos, Calfifornia candidates are welcome to contact us to conduct an interview.

Interview with Chris Orlando candidate for San Marcos City Council

Here is an interview with incumbent Chris Orlando who is running for San Marcos City Council. San Elijo Life has invited all candidates for council the answer the same set of questions.

Why should the residents in San Elijo Hills vote for you?

San Marcos is on the right track.  Despite a historic recession, we’ve added new parks, improved our traffic conditions, maintained a high level of public safety and taken several significant steps toward defining a future for our City. Most important, we’ve done these things while keeping San Marcos on solid financial footing during one of the most challenging economic environments in generations.  I am seeking re-election to the San Marcos City Council to continue this progress.

In addition to helping to guide the City’s success, I also have played a very active role in improving the quality of life in San Elijo Hills by working directly on and adding a voice to important local issues such as:

  • Adding stop signs at Brightwood and Questhaven, and at Elfin Forrest and Schoolhouse Way;
  • Changing the color of the gas station;
  • Increasing traffic and parking enforcement in the community and in the Town Center;
  • Improving the fencing around the construction site in the Town Center;
  • Moving the Town Center project forward;
  • Allowing only a quality project at the site of the old recycling plant;
  • Improving coordination between SEES and SEMS, and the Fire and Sherriff’s Department during lockdowns;
  • Gaining participation of City public safety officials in crime prevention and preparedness events;
  • Helping to address and solve specific neighborhood concerns such as maintenance and residential traffic issues, and most recently
  • Securing a grant to add barriers and more sidewalk space at the crosswalk at the corner of San Elijo Road and Schoolhouse Way.


How can the council help address aggressive cut through traffic and school traffic in San Elijo Hills?

Cut through traffic remains a challenge. The opening of San Elijo Road over the hill was very positive for the community, but it also opened San Elijo Hills to more commuter/cut through traffic.  The City has done targeted enforcement to help improve safety, and as I noted above, added stop signs at Elfin Forrest and Schoolhouse Way to help slow down traffic.  Also, the City recently received a grant to improve the sidewalk area at Schoolhouse Way and San Elijo Road. That project will get underway next year.  So, progress has been made, but cut through traffic and traffic safety in the community, in general, continue to be issues in which I plan to be very engaged.

What is your position on Proposition K?

I strongly support Proposition K. I think it is extremely important for our schools, our kids, and our community.

How can the city of San Marcos work with San Elijo Development to complete the San Elijo Hills Town Center?

As most residents are aware by now, the recession significantly slowed the completion of the Town Center.  Over the last few years, I’ve meet with the developer many times to discuss moving the project forward.  There has been some progress.  The Town Center was originally planned to be completed as one project, rather than the phased approach that brought in the portion of the Town Center that’s now built.  The City has actively explored a variety of ways with the developer to jump start the remainder of project, while ensuring a quality project is built.  The major hurdle remains the flagging economy.  The goal, however, is unchanged: get a quality Town Center built as soon as possible.

What is your position on changes to the San Marcos general plan?

I voted to initiate the process to update the City’s 30-year-old General Plan because San Marcos has changed so much in the last three decades that the existing plan did not reflect the San Marcos of today.  Having an open, interactive and thorough public process to update the General Plan provides residents the opportunity to express their views about the future of San Marcos.  By updating the plan now, when the recession has halted most development, San Marcos will be well positioned to bring jobs and quality projects to the City when the economy recovers.  The update process is still very much underway.  I encourage residents to participate in the process, and I look forward to hearing feedback about the recommended plan once it is completed.

What is your position on future housing and commercial development around San Elijo Hills (Creekside District, and university area projects, recycling plant, Quathaven and Attebury road area)?

The Creek District and University District are award winning plans, which I voted to support. One of my goals, if re-elected, will be to move those projects forward because they will bring jobs, needed amenities, and quality projects to our City.  In terms of the other areas mentioned, I believe we need to be extremely careful about the projects that may come into those areas.  We’ve already had a few concepts put forward that would not have been good for our community (think motocross facility).  If I am returned to the Council, I will continue to work hard to ensure that any project that comes to San Marcos adds to our quality of life.

What are your goals to improve the quality of life in San Marcos, such as events, parks, and trails?

In the next four years my focus will be:

1. Improving Quality of Life

  • Continue to expand our parks and trails system by acquiring or protecting more parkland in San Marcos
  • Move the Creek District and the University District projects forward, securing the environmental approvals and other steps necessary to advance these important projects
  • Implement solutions to our traffic challenges by furthering improvements on SR-78 and completing key infrastructure projects to improve traffic circulation on our City streets
  • Improve programs for families, seniors and students who call San Marcos home

2. Keeping Our City Strong

  • Maintain a conservative approach to City finances, keeping our budget balanced and our fiscal house in order
  • Continue strong support for public safety
  • Protect the open spaces and natural resources that make San Marcos a great place to live

3. Planning for Our Future

  • Complete the modernization of the City’s General Plan and pass an updated Plan with broad public support
  • Support only projects that make significant additions to our quality of life, improve our local economy, or bring needed services

Would you care to comment on the recent excessive compensation concerns for San Marcos city staff?

Concerns about compensation are absolutely valid. However, I believe very strongly that San Marcos is one of the best-run cities in the county.  San Marcos has fewer staff members per capita and spends less per capita on its operating budget than the average city in the county – and that’s after many cities in the county have slashed services and laid-off employees to balance their budgets.  San Marcos avoided those types of cuts because we always operated efficiently.  By taking a conservative approach to the City budget and making early, decisive moves to cut the budget where possible, we guided San Marcos through a historic recession, balancing our budget and increasing our reserves while continuing to provide responsive, quality services.   Maintaining a balanced budget and operating efficiently remain the most important factors in keeping our City strong. It’s an operating philosophy I seek to continue.

If elected what are the top 3 issues you would focus on for San Elijo Hills?

  1. Improving traffic and safety
  2. Getting the remainder of the Town Center underway
  3. Supporting a high quality of life for residents

How will you clean up the campaign signs after election? will they be recycled?

I’ll be out with a team of volunteers to get the signs done right after the election, probably within 25 hours.

www.orlandoforcouncil.com

Editors note all San Marcos, Calfifornia candidates are welcome to contact us to conduct an interview.

Interview with Mike Preston candidate for San Marcos City Council

Here is an interview with incumbent Mike Preston who is running for San Marcos City Council. San Elijo Life has invited all candidates for council the answer the same set of questions.

Why should the residents in San Elijo Hills vote for you?

I realize that in this election year there is an anti-incumbent mood. However, unlike the federal, state, and many other local governments, San Marcos has bucked the trends for many years by balancing budgets, improving public services, adding Parks and trails without raising taxes. I believe my fiscal conservatism and independent voice are assets that have benefited San Elijo Hills and San Marcos. For instance when I introduced the Parks and trails master plan years ago it required tenacity to overcome the objections of other council members and the development community to make it the reality we all enjoy today. I fought hard to get Twin Oaks Valley/ San Elijo road completed and with it the opening of fire station #4. The extension of Twin Oaks/San Elijo road also enticed Albertson’s to open their store in San Elijo Hills. I believe my experience, fiscal conservatism, and independence will be needed as we move the city forward in these challenging times.

How can the council help address aggressive cut through traffic and school traffic in San Elijo Hills?

I have advocated for years the necessity of at least one more motorcycle patrol to enforce traffic problems throughout the city. More aggressive traffic enforcement in problem areas will help this issue.

What is your position on Proposition K?

I am neutral on Prop K. I believe it is a personal decision on whether you want to raise your taxes to build and rehabilitate schools. I have chosen not to use my position to influence voters because I recognize how difficult it is for some to increase their taxes when they may be losing their jobs and houses.

How can the city of San Marcos work with San Elijo Development to complete the San Elijo Hills Town Center?

I think it is difficult to use the governmental stick when the economy is more the problem than the willingness of the developer to complete the downtown. I have asked city staff to review our permit processes to determine if we can be more user friendly to new and existing businesses that want to expand. The cost and time of the permitting process has been a hindrance to some businesses. Additionally, I think the city can be actively involved in advertising the city as a great place to shop. This project, if approved, could entice new retailers to the city and the San Elijo Hills downtown area.

What is your position on changes to the San Marcos general plan?

The general plan update will guide the build out of San Marcos for the next 20 – 30 years. The significant issues to be decided are population increase, traffic impacts and mitigation, and the balance of commercial, residential, office, and industrial development.

The build out of San Marcos will require us to be vigilant on how we mitigate the impacts to our existing infrastructure, especially traffic. The mitigation of these traffic impacts will be a key focus of mine as we process the approval of a new general plan.

Another area that will be important to me is the balance of new commercial, residential, office, and industrial development. While commercial provides the city with an important revenue stream, I think it is important to also create job opportunities via industrial and office development.

What is your position on future housing and commercial development around San Elijo Hills (Creekside District, and university area projects, recycling plant, Quathaven and Attebury road area)?

I am excited about building a new downtown San Marcos (Creekside District, and university area projects). My primary concern is how we mitigate the traffic impacts so that these new projects do not worsen peak hour traffic in San Marcos. I have not seen any plans for the recycling plant, Questhaven and Attebury road areas, so it is difficult to comment in any specificity. I believe that whatever is proposed and presented for those areas should be publicly vetted and be of a quality that San Marcos can accept.

What are your goals to improve the quality of life in San Marcos, such as events, parks, and trails?

Insure that San Marcos remains fiscally strong so that we can afford the improvements to our quality of life; like Parks and trails.

Continue to improve emergency services; law enforcement response times, gang and graffiti enforcement, and fire protection.

Continue to add Parks and trails.

Insure that we continue to improve traffic flow through new and expanded streets and roads, high tech traffic synchronization, and traffic enforcement.

Would you care to comment on the recent excessive compensation concerns for San Marcos city staff?

“Fifty of the 88 employees who earned more than $100,000 last fiscal year were firefighters, many of whom entered that salary range with overtime that increased their total compensation by 15 to 30 percent” (NCT).

We made a decision to pay more overtime rather than hire more employees. This actually resulted in a savings (recruitment, training, and benefits) and lessens the need for potential layoffs down the road.

Additionally, we pay our employees longevity pay which most cities do not. This helps us retain good people and saves on recruitment and training costs. We balance this with fewer employees working harder (we have one of the lowest employee to population ratios in the county) and by contracting out wherever possible (street sweeping, landscape maintenance, etc).

If you examine our bottom line, operating expenses versus population, then we again are one of the lowest in the county.

We will have to address pensions this fiscal year and negotiate a reasonable compromise that insures a highly motivated work force and sustainable pensions. I will be open-minded about pension reform and my first allegiance is to the taxpayers and citizens of San Marcos.

If elected what are the top 3 issues you would focus on for San Elijo Hills?

Better traffic enforcement and control.

Developing a retail strategy that attracts new customers and businesses.

Insuring that the new creekside and University projects do not worsen peak hour traffic in San Elijo Hills and San Marcos.

How will you clean up the campaign signs after election? will they be recycled?

I personally drive around and collect all of my “small” campaign signs and then recycle them. My yard signs in neighborhoods will be recycled by the homeowner who graciously allowed me to place them there. I have previously introduced an ordinance that would restrict the signs to no larger then 16 square feet because I personally feel the large 32 square foot signs are overkill and a driver distraction. The smaller size would improve the visual clutter of campaign signs. I will once again introduce this ordinance and hope for better results.

www.mikepreston.com

Editors note all San Marcos, California candidates are welcome to contact us to conduct an interview.

Mountain Lion Spotted Near CSU San Marcos-10News

SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A mountain lion sighting near California State University San Marcos over the weekend has some students on edge.

The sighting was reported just after 1 p.m. last Saturday when a man said he saw the animal on a trail behind campus.

University officials sent out an e-mail to the more than 10,000 students and faculty on campus warning them to “not walk alone.” READ MORE VIA 10 News

 

 

 

San Elijo Hills chapter of Kids Korps will be participating in the annual Kid’s News Day

 

Description unavailable

Image by Grahambones via Flickr

 

Kids’ News Day

One Dollar. One Paper. One Day.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 19th, the San Elijo Hills chapter of Kids Korps will be participating in the annual Kid’s News Day by selling a special edition of the Union Tribune. Look for Kids Korps kids in their red shirts in front of San Elijo Elementary, Alberston’s and the PepperTree Hills Cafe from 7:30-8:30 am. All proceeds go directly to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. Buy a paper and help a child for life. For more information go to www.kidsnewsday.com.

5th ANNUAL SAN ELIJO HILLS 5K!

The Academy at San Elijo is proud to bring you the 5th Annual San Elijo Hills 5K “Toughest 5K in North County”

When:  Saturday January 8th 2011.

Get off the couch with a healthy start to the new year!

San Elijo Hills resident Rich Farmer started this run nearly five years ago and will remain involved as a consultant and will assist with all organization and planning efforts.  “It is my pleasure to remain involved with this event and I am really looking forward to working with The Academy and taking this to the next level”.  said Rich Farmer San Elijo Hills 5K Founder.

“I think what Rich has done over the last four years with this run has been great for our community and we want to see it continue.  The San Elijo Hills 5K is a great fit for our organization.” said Chris Fitzsimmons Founder and Director of The Academy.

The 5th annual San Elijo Hills 5K will see some changes this time around.  There will be a new and maybe more challenging course that will get participants seeing more of what makes San Elijo Hills so great!  After the run is over, there will be a family event featuring many local vendors on hand, food, beverages, and plenty of fun things for the kids to do including a 100 yd kids dash.

Complete info and details will be available on this page soon including on-line registration for the race itself.  The family event afterwards will be open to race participants and San Elijo Hills residents.

One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the race and event will benefit The Academy at San Elijo and both San Elijo Schools!

For further questions please contact Chris Fitzsimmons:chris@theacademyatsanelijo.com

www.theacademyatsanelijo.com
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Fall Harvest Celebration in San Elijo Hills on October 16th

Don’t forget this Saturday the 16th is San Elijo Hills’ Fall Harvest event at the Terraza models and sales center.

Celebrate the fall season with Oktoberfest inspired food and refreshments, an ice cream sundae bar, live music and fun activities for the kids including pumpkin decorating, pinecone art and mask making.

Visitors will also get the opportunity to tour the beautiful models at Terraza, Lennar’s first all-solar community in San Diego County.  Terraza features three two-story floor plans ranging from 2,182 to 2,721 square feet and an extensive package of energy-saving features, including a SunPower® solar system.  Homes are priced from the mid $500,000s.

This event is free and open to the public

12-3pm, Saturday, October 16th

Terraza at San Elijo Hills

1000 Festival Road (near the intersection of Wild Canyon Road and San Elijo Road)

Click here for more information.

The San Elijo Hills Women’s Club (SEHWC) Proudly Hosts A Victorian High Tea

At Richoux, in London.

Image via Wikipedia

The San Elijo Hills Women’s Club (SEHWC)

Proudly Hosts

A Victorian High Tea

Sunday, October 17th,  at 2:00 pm

Location:

Martha Kaloogian’s house

1409 Schoolhouse Way

San Elijo Hills

Menu:

This elegant affair includes the traditional three-course menu of:

Delicate tea sandwiches
Freshly baked scones
Delectable desserts
A fine selection of teas and sparkling champagne

Details:

–       Tax deductible donations are $25 per person, all of which will go to Women’s Empowerment International (WE) which gives grants to women to help them work their way out of poverty

–       Hats are welcome so if you like hats, please wear your favorite or browse in our Hat Loaner Boutique to borrow one for the day

–       We can seat 64 people so make your reservation right away.  This event is open to everyone so bring someone you know will enjoy the experience.

–       Includes shopping at a Bazaar to sell goods made by some of the women who were helped by WE here in San Diego.  There will be jewelry, scarves, and African artifacts. There will also be Fresh Produce Sales from the organic garden run by International Rescue Committee in University Heights.

–       Participation is limited to 64 so make your reservation soon!

Contact:  Martha Kaloogian at 760-736-4044 or email at sehwc@yahoo.com .

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