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Local News August 23rd, 2007

Young Boy Drowns at La Costa

A 4-year-old boy, Brennan Bostani, who was found at the bottom of a swimming pool at La Costa Resort and Spa last week has died, the county Medical Examiner's office said Monday. He was pronounced dead around 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Rady Children's Hospital. The boy was discovered in the pool last Monday afternoon. Bystanders and hotel staff members administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived. He is survived by his parents, who live in Los Angeles. An autopsy to determine his cause of death is pending.

Discovery Bank Names Sara Leposke as Relationship Manager

Sara Leposke has joined Discovery Bank as assistant vice president/relationship manager, based in the bank’s San Marcos office. Leposke is an active member of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce and Business Network International.

North County Cities Sharing in Watershed Study

Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Escondido are among seven cities sharing in a watershed study of the cost of pollution. Each city, in one form or another, is believed to have contributed to the polluted state of creeks, lagoons and the ocean. They are assessing themselves a participation cost in the funding to monitor, test and study the results. Billed as a pollution study of the Carlsbad Watershed, the area comprises some 210 square miles and includes four lagoons, Buena Vista, Agua Hedionda, Batiquitos and San Elijo. The area encompasses coastal cities from Oceanside to Solana Beach and inland from Vista to San Marcos and Escondido.

The pollutants looked for include bacteria, sediment, algae, minerals, trash and other solids. The San Diego Regional Water Quality Board has ordered the cities in the watershed and the county to conduct detailed tests for pollutants. The study is expected to begin in October. While the study itself will cost about $2.6 million there could be hundreds of millions of dollars involved in the cleanup.The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, which enforces the laws through its storm water permits, says the cities have not made enough progress.

The fertilizers that homeowners use to keep their lawns green, the dog waste that pet owners fail to pick up, the sudsy water that drivers hose off their cars and other pollutants have washed into creeks and lagoons. Even increasing the amount of pavement in the cities has made it easier for contaminants to flow into natural waterways. Recent studies show that the creeks and lagoons in what is called the Carlsbad Watershed are contaminated with bacteria, algae and minerals and silted with sediment that harm wildlife, contaminate the ocean and affect recreation.

Oceanside has approved $494,000, the first part of its $705,000 share of the study. The $494,000 will come from reserve funds. Escondido's City Council has approved its two-year share of $294,000.

San Diego County To Take Over Oceanside Airport?

The County Board of Supervisors has been warned by the county's chief administrative officer that taking over Oceanside Municipal Airport could entangle the county in a financial, operational and legal quagmire. Walter Ekard, the county's chief executive, didn’t recommend against taking it over, but said in a letter dated Aug. 13, “Existing deficiencies and risks associated with Oceanside Airport may cost millions of dollars to resolve.”

“In addition,” Ekard wrote, “serious compliance issues with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have occurred without apparent resolution. Therefore, taking ownership of the airport may expose the county to considerable financial risk.”

Ekard's letter introduced a four-page analysis by the county airport staff that said owning Oceanside's single-runway field would assure it would be developed to its fullest potential. However, the analysis concluded that the venture would be risky. The county initiated an analysis of taking over the Oceanside airport last September after Supervisor Bill Horn asked the Board of Supervisors to explore the idea. Horn said at the time that Oceanside, led by Mayor Jim Wood, was letting the airport fall into disrepair so it could sell the land for another use.

The city this week issued a public request seeking an independent operator for the airport, home to about 70 airplanes. The 50-acre airport, north of state Route 76 about two miles east of Interstate 5, opened as a city facility in 1963.

Concert Proceeds To help Preserve, Protect Creek's Open Space

The Escondido Creek Conservancy will hold its sixth annual Concerts on the Creek fundraiser at 6 p.m. Aug. 25 at Lazy J Ranch in Elfin Forest. The event will include dinner and a performance by award-winning acoustic music duo Berkley Hart. Stone Brewing Co. of Escondido will provide beer. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the gates. Proceeds will benefit the creek conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of open space within the Escondido Creek watershed.

Located on Harmony Grove Road in the rural community of Elfin Forest, the reserve will be home to an interpretive center scheduled to break ground in January. The Elfin Forest Interpretive Center will be in the parking lot at the trail head. The project is a partnership between the Escondido Creek Conservancy and the Olivenhain Municipal Water District, which operates the reserve. The $300,000 project was made possible through a $68,500 state grant to the water district and about $250,000 in private donations to the conservancy. This fundraising concert could provide additional money for the project, slated for completion in 2009.

Designed by Hubbell & Hubbell architects, the 1,000-square-foot interpretive center will be covered with grass and plants that will make the structure blend in with the surrounding flora. The water district, which also manages the adjacent Olivenhain Reservoir, will staff and manage the interpretive center. The path, part of a 17-mile trail system in the 750-acre reserve, starts in the Escondido Creek corridor, lush with oaks, manzanita and sycamores.

Sprinter Testing Moves Into West San Marcos

North County residents are getting more and more used to seeing Sprinter trains ambling thoughout their neighborhoods. Up till now they’ve been running signal tests in Escondido, eastern San Marcos . . and now it’s time to head to west San Marcos. City officials expect some increased traffic congestion as the testing takes place on higher traffic roads. There are 36 total railroad crossings on the 22-mile Sprinter line, which is slated to begin service between Escondido and Oceanside in December. Naturally, transit and city officials both want to test the signals at each crossing to ensure the safety of both pedestrians and motorists with advance notice of oncoming trains.

Expect to see transit employees driving trains along the rail line while co-workers at the next station on the line make sure that the approaching trains are triggering warning signals. Once San Marcos has been judged to be safe, North County Transit District officials plan on moving toward Oceanside. The new crossings where you are likely to see most activity (and related congestion) are -- San Marcos Boulevard, Pico Avenue, Knoll Road and Las Posas Road. They all have higher vehicle traffic volumes than the crossings where signal testing is already under way.

To reduce the risk of injury to motorists and pedestrians, the district will display warning messages on mobile electronic marquees that will be placed at each of the four crossings, said Kelleher. There will also be people waving flags at the crossings as a precaution, he said. Sprinter trains will pass by each crossing 64 times per day when service begins in December. Area residents will need to adapt.





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