San Diego joined several other local cities on July 28 in banning the use of electronic cigarettes in all places where conventional smoking is already prohibited. The ordinance is scheduled to become effective this fall.
Adopted unanimously by the City Council, it regulates how the increasingly popular electronic cigarettes can be sold, requiring special permits for businesses that sell them and prohibiting sales from vending machines.
The makers of e-cigs, which are battery-powered and emit vapor instead of smoke, allegedly target young people with colorful packaging and by featuring flavors like bubble gum. In addition, councilmembers said young people frequently use the devices to smoke marijuana and tobacco.
A representative from the industry brought a petition to the council containing more than 900 signatures in opposition to the legislation regulating the use of e-cigarettes, which is also called “vaping.”
The city joins the county government and the cities of Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, El Cajon and La Mesa in regulating e-cigs. New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and Long Beach have also regulated the devices.
OB TOWN COUNCIL READIES FOR NEW BOARD ELECTIONS
The 2014 Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) Board of Directors election is approaching, and candidates’ letters of intent are now being accepted. If you would like to take your community involvement to the next level, here’s a great opportunity.
By being an OBTC director, you can be an elected voice in communicating the views and needs of the community to the appropriate agencies, be at the forefront of community discussions, take appropriate action on community issues and be a leader in promoting the general betterment of Ocean Beach.
There are 15 seats on the OBTC board of directors, and OBTC members elect directors for two-year terms. Half of the board stands for election every year. This year, seven seats are up for election. If you would like to be considered for candidacy, submit your letter of intent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, Aug. 26.
Eligible candidates must be over 18 years of age, already be a paid-in-full OBTC member and either live, work, own property or operate a business in Ocean Beach.
Voting will take place from Friday, Aug. 29 to Monday, Sept. 8.
The Ocean Beach Town Council is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to expressing the will of Ocean Beach residents and representing the welfare of the community.
For more information, email email@example.com, or visit www.obtowncouncil.org.
SECOND ANNUAL DINE OUT FOR THE CURE SET FOR AUG. 14
The second annual Dine Out for the Cure will make for one delicious day as local restaurants and patrons across San Diego will be dining out to support the fight against breast cancer. On Aug. 14, participating restaurants — including the Broken Yolk restaurant at 3577 Midway Drive — will donate 25 to 50 percent of the day’s proceeds to Susan G. Komen San Diego to support education, outreach, free mammograms, financial and food assistance, transportation and more.
“By enjoying a meal at some of San Diego’s most notable restaurants, you will be making a difference in the lives of local women and their families affected by breast cancer,” said Laura Farmer Sherman, executive director of Susan G. Komen San Diego. “Imagine if you were too weak to even be able to make dinner for your family. That is a reality in the lives of some of the women that we serve, and with the money raised from this event, we will be able to take that burden off their shoulders.”
Participating restaurants include Nothing Bundt Cakes, Yanni’s Bistro, Aqui es Texcoco, Croce’s, Redfield’s Sports Bar and more. Making dining plans at a participating restaurant will support San Diego breast cancer patients and help them become breast cancer survivors.
With $1 million at work in San Diego, Komen San Diego is the largest funder of free breast cancer diagnostics, treatments, services and support of any organization in San Diego County. For more information, visit www.komensan-diego.org/DineOut.
POLL SHOWS BROAD SUPPORT FOR MIMIMUM-WAGE HIKE
A new poll commissioned by the Raise Up San Diego coalition and released Aug. 7 found that 63 percent of registered San Diego voters support the minimum-wage increase approved by the City Council last month.
The ordinance calls for the local minimum wage to increase to $9.75 on
Jan. 1, to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2016, and $11.50 on Jan. 1, 2017. After that, it would be indexed to inflation.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer vetoed the ordinance, although the council could still vote to override his veto. The poll was conducted between July 31 and Aug. 4 by Greenburg Quinlan Rosner Research.
• 63 percent of likely San Diego voters support the council-approved ordinance.
• 59 percent reported that they would vote against repealing the ordinance.
• 41 percent said they would be less likely to support Faulconer if he proceeds with a veto of the ordinance.
The poll surveyed 500 registered voters and has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.
— San Diego Metro
SD REALTORS ASSOCIATION REPORTS COUNTY HOME SALES DIPPED IN JULY
Home sales fell in July, while the median sale price of single-family homes in San Diego County continued to stabilize above $500,000, according to new housing statistics from the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors.
Single-family resale homes sold in July decreased by about 13 percent compared to June, while sales of previously owned condominiums/townhomes fell about 2 percent.
The median price of single-family homes sold in July was $517,000, down slightly from June, but still 7 percent higher than July 2013. Condos and townhomes sold at a median price of $325,000, down by about 3 percent from June, and about the same as a year ago.
Meanwhile, the number of active listings in San Diego County is approaching 8,500 on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). That is the highest it’s been in 2 1/2 years, yet it represents only about three months of inventory. Six months of housing stock is generally considered a healthy inventory level, a point the San Diego market hasn't seen since 2011.
On average, homes continue to stay on the market less than 40 days and are selling 19 percent faster than a year ago and nearly 50 percent faster than 2012.
“Our real-estate market has been seeking a sustainable equilibrium for some months now,” said Leslie Kilpatrick, SDAR president. “Our local economy remains in a fragile healing stage, yet properly priced homes continue to sell quickly and inventory levels are still relatively low. Long-term, the San Diego region will need to see quality job growth and more first-time homebuyers to fuel greater sales volume and further price gains.”
In July, the ZIP codes in San Diego County with the most single-family home sales were: 92028 (Fallbrook) with 49; 92071 (Santee) with 46; 92115 (College Grove) with 44; 92009 (Carlsbad) with 43; and 92128 (Rancho Bernardo), also with 43.
The most expensive listing sold last month in the county: aa seven-bedroom, eight-bath, 8,700-square-foot home in La Jolla that sold for $8.25 million.
— San Diego Metro
CITY COUNCIL TAKES LITTLE ACTION BEFORE AUGUST RECESS
Before the San Diego City Council adjourned for its August recess, members sat down for what was shaping up to be a busy special meeting, but it seems like they went on vacation early.
The council took no action on a proposed settlement with an unidentified woman who sued over the sexual-assault actions of ex-police officer Anthony Arevalos.
He was convicted in 2011 for sexually assaulting women while on duty.
The council also did not decide whether to appeal this month’s court ruling that the city’s plan to fund the San Diego Convention Center expansion was illegal. Members also postponed voting on an item that would urge Mayor Kevin Faulconer to finalize the proposed Climate Action Plan.
Although the nine-member City Council was down two members — Mark Kersey and Marti Emerald were absent — the council did ratify labor agreements for the “San Diego Works” program. That’s the mayor's plan to award public employees who bring forth money-saving ideas.
The council also passed a resolution to support hosting the 2017 America's Cup in San Diego and gave final approval on a tax incentive for Illumina, a medical-device company. In exchange for the rebate, the company agreed to stay in the city for the next decade.
The council reconvenes Monday,
‘HO HUM BANDIT’ EARNS SENTENCE OF 56 MONTHS
The man known as the “Ho Hum Bandit” who held up three tellers at two La Jolla Banks and another bank on Rosecrans St. in 2010 was sentenced Aug..4 to 56 months in federal prison.
Adam Lynch, 36, the bandit who was portrayed as nonchalant and unassuming appeared Monday before U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez in jail clothing with a chain around his feet.
Benitez determined the 56-month term will run consecutive to a 64-month term that Lynch is already serving for bank robberies in Denver and Cheyenne, Wyo. Benitez ordered a 70-month term with 56 months to run consecutive and the other 14 months to run concurrent.
Benitez ordered Lynch to pay nearly $26,000 to the banks, which include the Citibank branch at 7900 Hershel Ave. which he robbed twice, and the Wells Fargo Bank at 7714 Girard Ave., both in La Jolla.
He also ordered Lynch to repay a U.S. Bank branch at 1075 Rosecrans that was held up on Feb. 27, 2010, as well as other banks in Hillcrest and downtown San Diego. He also ordered him to pay $700 in penalty-assessment fees.
Lynch gave general apologies to tellers and police officers. He said he was living legally in the U.S. with a green card. Lynch differed with his attorney about the role of depression in the bank robberies
Lynch pleaded guilty Jan. 28 to all seven San Diego hold-ups. He presented a demand note that said he was armed, but no weapon was ever displayed. He left San Diego in 2010 and moved on to commit bank robberies elsewhere.
— Neal Putnam
PL WOMAN APPOINTED TO BIKE GROUP ADVISORY BOARD
A Point Loma woman is among six advisors on the city's first Bicycle Advisory Committee, charged with providing guidance on making the city more bicycle-accessible.
Nicole Burgess, of Point Loma will serve a term ending July 1, 2016. She will serve under Andy Hanshaw, a Point Loma resident and executive director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition, and Kyle Heiskala, of Hillcrest.
Others on the advisory board include Petr Krysl, of University City, Kathleen Keehan, of Rancho Bernardo; Michael Brennan, of Hillcrest; Randy Van Vleck, of Golden Hill; and Samantha Ollinger, of City Heights.
In March, City Council unanimously approved its first Bicycle Advisory Committee to lead the City in several bike-intensive implementations, including those within the Bicycle Master Plan Update.
“The city has a lot of great bicycling initiatives coming to fruition and copious opportunities to become one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation,” Hanshaw said. “I look forward to working with the committee members and elevating San Diego to be a premiere city for bicycling.”
The bike coalition is a nonprofit organization that advocates the rights of bicycle riders, promoting bicycling as a mainstream form of transportation. For more, see sdcbc.org.
COAST GUARD OKs HIKE IN VESSEL DOCUMENTATION RENEWAL FEES
The U.S. Coast Guard's final rule on vessel documentation renewal fees was published in the Federal Register on
The Coast Guard is amending its regulations to separately list an annual fee for renewals of endorsements upon the certificate of documentation. The Coast Guard is required to establish user fees for services related to the documentation of vessels.
This final rule separately lists a fee of $26 to cover the costs of the vessel documentation services provided by the Coast Guard. It will increase the annual certificate of documentation fee collections so that they more accurately reflect the actual costs to the Coast Guard of providing the documentation services.
The Coast Guard sets fees at an amount calculated to achieve recovery of the costs of providing the service. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 requires the Coast Guard to charge a fee for services but limits charges to no more than the overall cost of the program.
The fees will become effective 90 days after the rule is published.
Visit www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/08/12/2104-18999/vessel-documentation-renewal fees.