Friday, October 18, 2019

Check out the Escondido Library Watchdog

Escondido Neighbors United received this message about the library.  If you care about public libraries, please take a look and help provide the oversight needed to ensure our library serves the public, even if operated by a for-profit corporate interest.

Dear Supporters of the Escondido Library,

We are happy to report that we have launched a new effort to oversee our library-- The Escondido Library Watchdog.  The website was launched today at the regular meeting of the Board of Library Trustees.  Please see the statement of Brenda Townsend below.

Statement Announcing the launch of the Escondido Library Watchdog, October 10, 2019

Good Afternoon.

As some of you know, as long as I have lived in Escondido many years. I have been passionate user and supporter of our library.

Then, from the time I marched to and hand-delivered over 4,000 signatures to the City Clerk’s office in 2017 in opposition to LS&S, I became a dedicated defender of our library and committed to quality library services for our city, in spite of its operation by a for-profit corporation.

I’m happy to be here today to announce the launch of a new website the Escondido Library Watchdog.

Why a Watchdog?

Some of you will remember on January 14 of this year, a meeting was held.  Several of you were in attendance along with the Mayor and John Masson.  Without going into the details of that difficult meeting, we were told that we should engage with the public and the Trustees in the oversight of LS&S and the contract.  We took this directive to heart and the result is the new Escondido Library Watchdog website launched today. 

This kind of independent oversight is needed now. Since LS&S has taken over our library, many people have complained to us about its operation, the low staff morale, loss of books, high staff turnover rates, and many other problems.  When told them to file a complaint with LS&S, they replied they did not think it would do any good, that no one ‘will hear us’.

Since the Trustees have the obligation and desire to oversee the performance of LS&S in its contract, we are sure you will all agree with us that public input and involvement is highly desirable and necessary to have a library worth the residents of this city—and worth the tax-dollars we spend on it.

The Watchdog will be a clearinghouse for concerns, information, important links, and other information easily accessible to the public.  Importantly, it will have a form that can be submitted raising questions or concerns related to library services in Escondido.

The Library Watchdog will vet those concerns to the best of our ability and share those most relevant with you, the public appointed trustees of our library, for response and action. We would like to offer our first Community Concern today.  Several of our members are very concerned that while the library has a 3-D printer, no one gets to use it.

We request that the Trustees respond to the Notices of Concern in the public venue of these meetings so that your oversight is visible and known to the public.

We are very excited about this new public tool and we wanted to come to you first to announce it.  We hope you will check it out at www.EscondidoLibraryWatchdog.org

We can be contacted with questions should you have any at EscondidoLibraryWatchdog@gmail.com.

Thank you

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

DTSC's Carefully Worded letter on Oak Creek and contamination issues

Recently, the Department of Toxic Substances Control released a carefully worded letter to the Oak Creek developers KB Homes Sept 11, 2019 . 

While ENU fully supports the permanent prohibition on future uses of groundwater at the site (for obvious reasons), DTSC makes a very interestingly worded statement in this Removal Completion Report letter.- bold added for emphasis.

"During investigation activities, it was determined that releases from the Chatham Yard do not appear to represent an environmental concern to the Site of future occupants, as contaminate concentrations appear to be naturally attenuating."

The way it is worded it seems to mean that in some time in the future when the natural attenuation is complete there won't be an environmental concern. Our concern is that DTSC's opinion is based on future conditions, not current conditions; ie, future occupants, attenuating.  
We have long-asked the agency when do they expect the attenuation to be complete (actions have been on-going for 20 years).  Here, they still don't say when the process of natural attenuation will be complete so that when the future occupants move in they will be protected.  
So, does this mean that prior to issuing occupancy permits the developer will need to do additional testing to demonstrate that the process of natural attenuation is complete?



Monday, March 4, 2019

Say Good Bye to our Friends- Decimation of Oaks for 'Oak Creek' in full gear

Oak Creek-- never was there a more wrongly named development. The decimation of the Oak Trees is in full swing as you can see if you drive on Felicita Road near the Park. The chainsaws and bulldozers are hard at work, indiscriminately destroying hundreds of oak trees on site.
It is too late to save them.

The former Mayor and Council majority (Thank you Olga Diaz for voting no) refused to even examine modest changes to the plan that could have saved many of these trees. This is happening in Escondido in Mike Morasco's district, who supported it.

Even the staff agreed with us that a bike path alignment that reduced the tree cutting was possible.  But Abed and his supporters Morasco, Gallo, and Masson ignored it all.

So, while (under new leadership) we develop a new climate plan that calls for planting of new trees, Oak Creek developers are busy cutting down established, threatened, and healthy oaks on their site and in the park. Neighbors downstream are concerned about flooding with good reason. It is a terrible result from a bad process to facilitate an ill-advised development.

So, please take a moment to say good bye to these beautiful trees who have offered their air, beauty, greenery, and carbon sequestration for us for so long. Our neighborhood will be forever degraded as a result.

All we can do is bear witness and remember this legacy of Mike Morasco and John Masson and former elected officials Sam Abed and Ed Gallo.





Please send your photos and videos to us.  We may need them in the future.
esconeighborsunited@gmail.com    Video below