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The Paper - Escondido San Marcos North County
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Escondido Homicide

At approximately 12:09 a.m., on Saturday, November 27th, the Communications Division of the Escondido Police Dept. received a telephone call reporting a possible fight in the area of East Park Ave. and Norway Court. The reporting party described several subjects fighting in the area. A victim of the fight was taken to an apartment at 360 East Washington Ave. where medics were summoned. The victim was transported to an area hospital where he later expired from his wounds. The victim’s identity is not being released at this time awaiting notification of next of kin.

This case is being investigated by members of the Crimes of Violence Unit of the Escondido Police Department. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to telephone Sergeant Diana Provost at (760)839-4410. Anyone with anonymous information regarding this or any other crime is asked to contact the Escondido Police Department’s “Community Safety Tip Line” at (760) 743-TIPS (8477) or via the web site at

Carlsbad Bank Robbery

On Tuesday, November 23rd, Carlsbad Police responded to a hold-up alarm at the Bank of America. Upon arrival, officers learned that three, possibly four suspects had entered the bank wearing black hoodie-type sweatshirts and gloves. The suspects had jumped the counter and taken money from teller drawers.

Once they had committed the robbery, the suspects had fled the bank parking lot in a burgundy Chevrolet Tahoe. They drove the Tahoe through the lot and abandoned it in the south end, moving to a white, possibly Dodge, van and fled the area.

No injuries were reported and one of the witnesses identified that possibly one of the suspects had been carrying a screwdriver or pry-bar. No other weapons or tools were seen.

The burgundy Tahoe has been recovered and is possibly a stolen vehicle.

The investigation is continuing through the Carlsbad Police Department and the North County Office of the F.B.I.

Suspects Nabbed In Carlsbad Stabbing

On November 20th, at approximately midnight, the Carlsbad Communication Center received a 911 call from a security guard at the Motel 6 on Carlsbad Village Drive reporting a stabbing. According to witnesses, the victim, a 28 year old male, 22 year old Bradley Koppel, 28 year old Isais H. Cota, and 20 year old Cassandra A. Clouser, had gotten into a verbal altercation which escalated into Koppel and Cota kicking and beating the victim. During the fight, Koppel had produced a knife and stabbed the victim numerous times. When officers arrived, they located the victim on the sidewalk. The victim was flown to Scripps Hospital, La Jolla, for treatment.

The three suspects fled from the Motel 6 in an unknown colored SUV. Officers checked the area for the suspects, with negative results. Suspect Clouser had been registered to a room at the motel and this led investigators to the suspects.

The Carlsbad Police Department’s Crimes of Violence Unit was called to the scene to conduct a criminal investigation. As of November 23rd, all three suspects involved in the stabbing are in custody at the Vista Detention Facility.

Koppel and Cota and have been charged with Attempted Homicide for their actions in the attack and Clouser has been charged as an Accessory for Harboring Fugitives. The victim is expected to recover from his injuries.

Hidden Valley Kiwanis Coordinates Community Gift Packages for Military in Afghanistan

KiwanisSpearheaded by Dave Geary, a member of the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club . . . 355 packages are headed for our troops serving in Afghanistan.

The packages contain gift items for Christmas that include CD’s, DVD’s, candy, shaving cream, soap, tooth brushes, tooth paste, coffee, crackers, and other assorted items.

One of the prime movers in this campaign was Toyota of Escondido,” said Geary. I am a customer of Andrew Myers, who heads up the

Finance Department at the dealership. He is also the son of the owner. When I approached Andrew he jumped on board immediately and ran with the ball.

Andrew says: “When Dave Geary approached me, telling about this program the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club had in mind, I thought it was a marvelous idea and talked to a bunch of people here at the dealership and we put together 10 boxes in one day. When Dave heard about it, he asked if we wanted to try for 15 more. We said ‘sure’ . . .and we wound up with 25 boxes. We all came together as a dealership . . but it wasn’t just us. Another customer was there and he asked ‘what’s the deal with the boxes?’ We explained it to him, he took the project on as well and in just two days, he came up with another 15 boxes and donated them on behalf of the Toyota dealership. I don’t think need to point out that Toyota of Escondido not only has a great staff that cares about our community and our military . . . but we have mighty fine customers as well.

Dave Geary was ecstatic. “Our Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club started the project with 10 boxes . . . then Toyota of Esconido jumped in and the campaign just grew and grew. The rest of the 347 boxes came from the community. AAA donated 30 boxes, the North County Church of Christ donated 50 boxes . . . the people out there are incredible.” Geary said it was all word of mouth and/or a telephone campaign. Word just spread and more and more people wanted to help.

The campaign originated as a result of Geary’s son, who is stationed in Afghanistan. He suggested the idea, and Geary, a highly active activist in Escondido, took it from there. All of the gift boxes have gone to Afghanistan, 227 having been shipped to individual GI’s, the rest to a chaplain for dispersal. “I’m just very, very grateful to our community,” said Geary.

California’s Largest Sales Tax Delinquencies for Fourth Quarter 2010

Top 250 Largest Delinquent Sales and Use Tax Accounts over $100,000 Posted Online

The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) today announced the list of California’s largest unpaid sales and use tax delinquencies has been updated at The BOE replaced 22 names on its list of debtors. Those added to the list have delinquencies totaling $72 million in sales tax owed.

Since January 1, 2007, the BOE is mandated by state law to post online a list of the largest 250 tax delinquencies of more than $100,000 in tax after notifying the debtors that their tax liabilities will be disclosed to the public. The taxpayers identified to be listed are notified 30 days before their information is posted. Vice Chair Jerome Horton authored the legislation (AB 1418, 2006) that created this state law when he was a member of the California State Assembly.

Since the inception of this program, 31 qualifying taxpayers whose account balances represent a total of $31.4 million in sales and use tax liabilities have come forward to take care of their debts. Of the $31.4 million in liabilities, $4.1 million has been collected to date. The debts have been taken care of in the following ways: 21 through installment payment agreements and 10 by making payment in full. The list, updated quarterly, currently includes debtors with $393 million in tax liabilities. Of that amount, $83 million in liabilities are jointly owed by more than one taxpayer on the list. Tax liabilities under appeal, litigation, or bankruptcy proceedings are not included.

Some of the major delinquencies are:

California Target Enterprises, Incd





TOTALS $71,833,796.00

The five-member California State Board of Equalization is a publicly elected tax board. The BOE collects more than $48 billion annually in taxes and fees supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit

High Permit Fees Hinder Large Commercial Solar Power, One Third of Cities Over-Charge, Others Promote Solar says Sierra Club

The Sierra Club (San Diego and Loma Prieta Chapters) have initiated a campaign to encourage municipalities in San Diego County to support the installation of large-scale solar power systems on commercial structures by lowering permit fees. In November 2010, the Sierra Club formally asked municipalities with unreasonably high commercial solar permit fees to consider lowering them to cost-recovery levels.

In the fall of 2010, Sierra Club volunteers surveyed all the municipalities in San Diego county to determine their estimated permit fees for installing roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) systems on commercial buildings. Such structures can include office buildings, stores, industrial facilities, schools, churches, government and non-profit buildings. Volunteers conducted this survey for a 131 kW PV project. A new report has just been published for the Sierra Club’s Commercial PV permit fee campaign for San Diego County.

Some cities, such as the city of San Diego, have formally adopted PV permit fee schedules and provided confidential survey answers. Some jurisdictions have adjusted their fees as a result of the Utility Consumer Action Network’s PV permit campaign in 2001 and the Sierra Club's solar permit fee campaign which began for residential PV systems in 2009 for the Southern California area.

The survey shows that for commercial PV projects 131 kW in size, 37% (7 out of 19) of the jurisdictions are over-charging fees, exceeding maximum cost recovery threshold levels as determined by an innovative PV permit fee calculator highlighted in this new report. Kurt Newick, leader of the study states, “This survey reveals many municipalities are complementing federal and state governments by incentivizing solar power with very reasonable permit fees, while other cities are doing just the opposite, charging many times more than what is needed to recover costs.

On November 22, 2010, the survey team contacted 6 municipalities that have fees exceeding $5,000 for the 131 kW system size. The team did this to notify these cities that their solar permit fees were unreasonably high and request that they review their solar permit fee calculation methods, since they are likely charging fees higher than cost-recovery levels. Charging more for solar permits than the reasonable costs to administer them violates California Government Code Section 66014, which provides that fees associated with building inspections and building permits "shall not exceed the estimated reasonable cost of providing the service for which the fee is charged."

Since local sunlight and available roof space are plentiful, only the number of solar power installations limits the production potential of this abundant renewable resource. This news release and solar permit fee campaign acknowledges leaders of those cities that have already taken action to make solar energy more affordable, particularly for businesses and non-profit entities, and ask others to follow their lead.

The attached chart shows PV permit fees for commercial buildings for jurisdictions in San Diego County.

A fall 2010 survey by the Sierra Club revealed wide variation in permit fees charged for commercial rooftop photovoltaic (PV) energy systems by municipalities in San Diego County. The survey found that fees for commercial PV projects of 131 kW in size varied from just over $100 to almost $15,000. High fees can discourage businesses from making good, long-term, high-yield investments in solar power. 37% of the surveyed municipalities are charging fees that exceed the maximum cost-recovery levels identified in this report.

The time needed for city staff to review and inspect a commercial PV project does not vary linearly by system size. For instance, interviews conducted in the preparation of this report revealed that the difference in time needed to process a 100 kW PV project is about twice as long as a 10 kW project (not ten times as long). Basing fees on the value of the solar equipment inflates permit costs to unreasonably high levels, especially for larger, more expensive solar power projects To recover costs, therefore, permit fees should be based on specific review times and billable hourly rates and not on PV project valuations.

Late Arriving News

More Maritime Smugglers

A boat laden with about 453 pounds of marijuana was seized by ICE agents this past weekend; the two occupants of the boat, Stephen Konst, 52, and Tyler Reinoehl, 55, were arrested and face federal prosecution.

The seizure took place off the coast of Oceanside, about three miles out. Agents were on routine patrol Saturday afternoon when they stopped a private, 24-foot fishing boat. Once they stopped the boat they conducted an investigation that revealed 98 packages of marijuana which had been hidden in compartments throughout the boat. Street value of the pot is estimated at around $272,000.

Town Hall Meeting Held to Discuss Explosives Removal

Sheriff Bill Gore and Escondido Chief of Police Jim Maher were just two of a number of experts available to answer questions the public had about the removal of explosives from an Escondido home.

The Sheriff's Department hosted a town hall meeting Tuesday evening at Woodland Park Middle School, 1270 Rock Springs Road in San Marcos.

Representatives from the FBI, the sheriff's Arson and Bomb Unit, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and local fire departments were also on hand to answer questions.

The meeting was held to allay fears and calm the public.


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