10/28/10

A Word From Supervisor Bill Horn October 28, 2010

SUPERVISOR 5TH DISTRICT COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO

October 28, 2010

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Gang injunction

Since 1997, we have found that one of the best ways to keep our North County neighborhoods safe from violent street gangs is through court-imposed gang injunctions. The orders prohibit certain activities within designated “Safety Zones.”

Two weeks ago, I joined members of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis office, and Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy to announce a renewed gang injunction with the City of Oceanside that was approved by a Superior Court Judge in Vista. The preliminary injunction is against 46 named members of a violent street gang operating in the City of Oceanside.

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The injunction was filed following complaints from residents about gang activities in two areas that have now been designated “Safety Zones”. One is in the Mission Avenue, Division Street, Horne Street and Interstate 5 region and the other starts at Highway 76 from Interstate 5 and encompasses a large area that includes the 1000 block of Civic Center.

The order lists 20 specific actions that are prohibited by defendants, including associating with other gang members, wearing gang colors, or flashing gang hand signs. Other provisions ban activities which are already illegal, such as drinking alcohol or using drugs in public, possessing weapons, trespassing, and graffiti. It is a pro-active tool that allows officers to arrest named gang members if they have a can of spray paint or a Sharpie pen in their possession. Violating the order can result in criminal prosecution and bring a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

This is the 19th injunction against street gangs filed in San Diego County. I commend District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and her office for a relentless, pro-active approach to this form of law enforcement. The injunction process dates back to 1995 when there were ten homicides in Balderama Park on Oceanside’s eastside. Working with the District Attorney, we have used the injunctions to take back neighborhoods from gangs such as the Varrio Posole Locos that were the target of the most recent court action.

I appreciate the dedicated efforts of Dana Greisen, Chief of the District Attorney’s Gangs Division, Shawnalyse Ochoa, Deputy District Attorney and all law enforcement professionals for their part in reducing gang activity. Chief McCoy says gang crime in Oceanside is down 22 percent so far this year compared with 2009. 

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In this edition of the Word, I’ll be sharing news of the opening of the first phase of our new County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa, the results of an emergency drill at Palomar Airport and a special salute to a centenarian and aviation pioneer, Bill Gibbs who helped me get my private pilot’s license 48 years ago.

Thanks for letting me use this way of keeping in touch with you.

Bill Horn

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Crime-Free Multi-Family Housing


Photo courtesy of the San Diego Sheriff's Department

Earlier this month, we had an important informational meeting in Fallbrook to clarify portions of an ordinance relating to the County’s Crime-Free Multi-Family Housing Program that is operated by the Sheriff’s Department. I appreciated Lt. Mike Barnett from the Fallbrook Substation and Robert Pennegar, Executive Director of the San Diego County Apartment Association who met with concerned apartment owners.

When modifications to the ordinance were passed last June, I had wondered about some of the language and possible unintended consequences. We need to improve the language when it comes back for review next summer. The modification applies only in the unincorporated areas of the County of San Diego. Participation requires a $150 fee, owner/manager training on crime prevention techniques and periodic inspection by the Sheriff to avoid significant fines.

The San Diego County Apartment Association raised concerns about the new program being confused with a pre-existing voluntary program. Owners that voluntarily participated in the program do not want prospective tenants to think there are crime problems on their properties.

The Sheriff is currently working on outlining changes and updating the program manual projected to be in use this fall.

For more information: http://www.sdcaa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=137&Itemid=30

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Emergency Preparation

When emergency responders save lives and property it’s because they are well trained. In order to be fully prepared, these brave men and women often conduct drills for the “real deal.”

Such was the case at McClellan-Palomar Airport when emergency personnel mobilized as if a plane had crashed.

At 9:30 a.m., a radio call scrambled emergency units. The scenario was an aircraft that had lost its landing gear upon touching down. Wings were torn off and the plane had begun leaking fuel as it veered across the runway and taxiway, finally coming to rest in the run-up area at the edge of the airport.

Immediately, Palomar Airport’s Rescue 8 responded and began firefighting and rescue operations. Within moments, units of the Carlsbad Fire Department arrived, followed closely by other personnel and equipment from Encinitas, Escondido, Oceanside and San Marcos.

A bus was used to simulate an aircraft interior with rows of seats and an aisle that emergency responders would have to navigate. Volunteers from Carlsbad College Fire Academy, volunteering as “victims,” were trapped inside the simulated fuselage while others were lying on the ground. Stu Seagall Productions in San Diego added to the realism with injury special effects.

As firefighters began rescue operations, an on-site command post was established. Victims on the ground and in the smoke-filled bus were assessed and then carried to a collection point where a secondary triage was conducted, and then loaded into ambulances for transport to area hospitals. Hospitals informed the command post of the number of patients of “immediate” and “delayed” status they could accept.

A media center was set up at the airport administration building for briefings and the Red Cross established a family support center.

The 90-minute exercise tested the ability to plan and mobilize personnel and equipment to conduct rescue operations, as well as to continue airport operations and maintain security. It also tested the ability of different agencies to communicate and work together in a crisis event.

The FAA requires McClellan-Palomar Airport County to conduct such an exercise every three years. When this one was over, all agencies had further honed the skills needed in the event of an actual event and Palomar Airport was given the required certification for another three years.

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County Operations Center

Doing business more efficiently has long been our goal at the County and soon our new County Operations Center (COC) on Overland Drive east of Highway 163 in Kearny Mesa will enable us to serve the public even better.

This month, two new 150,000 square foot, four story office buildings opened and will be home for nine County departments and their 1,100 employees. The departments include: General Services, Library, Aging & Independence Services, Sheriff, Purchasing & Contracting, Public Works, Auditor, Environmental Health and Parks & Recreation.

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The $188.5 million first phase of the COC development construction project was built $10 million under budget, and was designed and built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards. Building on these high environmental standards sets a positive example for other builders in our region, and reduces the amount of tax dollars we spend on energy costs.

Included in the complex will be a multi-level parking structure with more than 1,800 parking spaces, which will be completed in February. Parking is free; a user-friendly part of our serving the public at a time when many governments charge visitors and employees.

The next phase of construction, built at a huge savings because there is no Project Labor Agreement mandating union wages for workers, will involve two buildings that mirror the ones that debuted and a 20,000 square foot conference center.

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Saluting our Veterans

I hope you will be at the Veterans' Day Parade in downtown San Diego on Thursday, November 11th. It begins at 11 AM at 1600 Pacific Highway on the east side of the County Administration Center and continues south.

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November 11th marks the 56th observance of Veterans' Day by our nation to honor the memory of those warriors who did died in the line of duty and to acknowledge those who have returned and continue to make valuable contributions. More than 260,000 veterans call San Diego County home and they carry their patriotism and concern for others beyond the battlefield; participating in local government, churches, community groups, charitable organizations, and volunteer service programs.

Thousands of veterans will take part and be honored with the 24th Annual San Diego County Veterans' Day Parade in San Diego. It is a great event that involves active duty military units, marching bands and JROTC units from local schools. This year’s parade theme is “Welcome Home Cold War Warriors.”

On October 19, I presented a proclamation to members of the Veterans' Day and Veterans' Week Committee who work so hard to make the parade a success. Committee members Jack Harkins, John Weaver, Bea Brunner and Clint Steed received the proclamation on behalf of all those volunteers who work the year round to make the one-day event happen.

As a former combat Marine officer, I have an extra measure of appreciation for those people who honor all who wore the military uniform of the greatest nation in the history of the world.

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Putting a Green Lid on the Library

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The Fallbrook Library is on track for move-in and dedication. This month modules were attached to make a “green roof.” This planted roof, the first of its kind was designed and implemented by the design architect, Manuel Oncina, and the architect of record, Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects. The landscape vision for the library green roof covers about 3,500 square feet and uses a variety of native plants and species to create a fully realized design that becomes a living quilt of textures that can be seen from street level.

Here’s how it will work: at the base, concrete will cover the metal roof deck. Above that there is bonding adhesive and above that will be reinforced hot applied waterproofing membrane.

Below the actual plants will be a polypropylene sheet with edges overlapped and seamed. On top of that will be engineered soil with moisture portals. There will be a roof tray and then pre-planted, fully mature plants.

The parking area has been paved, initial custom artwork pieces were installed in September, and interior finishes are being installed as we get closer to moving the books from the temporary library, burying a time capsule, cutting the ribbon and opening this great community asset.

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Vallecitos H2O District

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Fifty-five years ago, the water necessary to support North County was much more plentiful than it is today. Two large agricultural centers in San Marcos and Twin Oaks Valley had all the water growers needed just beneath the surface.

Growing demand and a depleted groundwater supply caused community leaders to look elsewhere for sources and a more reliable flow of irrigation water.

On March 24, 1955, Vallecitos (Little Valley) Water District was established and enabled the formation of two improvement districts that financed the construction of a much needed sewer system and treatment plant. A year later, the first water from the Colorado River arrived and several small businesses started. Construction of Highway 78 continued and in the mid-50’s San Marcos had a population of 2,500. Today San Marcos is a city with 85,000 people living on 24 square miles.

This month we honored the Vallecitos Water District with a proclamation that recognized 55 years of outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to the people of San Diego County.

The Vallecitos Water District uses the latest sustainability practices such as generating power from solar panels installed above its parking structures, increasing recycled water output from its Meadowlark Water Reclamation Facility, and creating a new sustainable demonstration garden for all North County residents to learn about water conservation.

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Bonsall Dude

Congratulations to Steven Branham who is the new 2010 “Bonsall Dude.” It was a great time meeting Steven at the Bonsall Chamber Country Festival, October 16.

Steven is an 8th grader at Sullivan Middle School in Bonsall. Part of the Bonsall Dude’s duties is for the boy to select and lead a community project. Steven’s project is a clothing drive for New Haven Home for Boys in Vista.

The 13-year-old has maintained a 3.5 or higher grade point average and is involved with various ASB activities at his school. An athlete, Steven plays football, rugby, and soccer throughout the year and strums the guitar.

While at the Festival, it was also my privilege to announce the new 2011 Honorary Mayor of Bonsall. She is Aunjelique “Jeeky” Andersen. The combined total raised by both candidates was more than $4,000. The Bonsall Chamber will use the money for different projects in the Bonsall Community.

The entire community owes a debt of gratitude to the 2010 Bonsall Honorary Mayor, Erica Perko. She represented Bonsall so well and along with her husband, David was involved in many educational and historical activities, including the Bonsall Certified Farmers’ Market that benefits all schools in the Bonsall School District via the Bonsall Education Foundation and the Bonsall Woman’s Club.

I appreciate the leadership of Ruthie Harris, Bonsall Chamber executive administrator, her husband John and all the tremendous volunteers who worked so hard to make the 7th Annual Bonsall Chamber Country Festival an overwhelming success. It was great to be there and meet all the good people from Bonsall, Fallbrook and surrounding communities.

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Honoring a Boyhood Aviation Hero

Bill Gibbs is a man who is rightly mentioned in the same conversation with Charles Lindbergh and other aviation pioneers. Bill celebrates his 100th birthday this year and I was honored to present a proclamation commending him for his outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to area residents.

Bill’s love affair with aviation began at the age of 17 in 1930, three years after Charles Lindbergh made his historic flight. Bill took flying lessons and saved enough money to establish a landing strip in Kearny Mesa, which is now known as Montgomery Field.

In 1989, Bill established the Bill Gibbs Scholarship Endowment Fund that has resulted in scholarships for students to pursue a collegiate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics; all which relate to aviation or aerospace. For more than two decades, Bill personally donated nearly $200,000, which has allowed 86 scholars to attend universities all across the country.

Bill also played a major role in my life when I was 14 and helped me become a private pilot. In exchange for washing his planes at Montgomery Field, Bill allowed me to study for a pilot’s license and in 1962 my dream came true.

Happy Birthday Bill! You are a hero to me and countless others.

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