News

Police go door to door

By Promise Yee in The Coast News

OCEANSIDE — Police, support groups and residents have joined together to stand
against violent crimes following a shooting that occurred at 8:50 p.m. on March 13 at
Libby Lake Park in which two juveniles were killed and two were injured.

Oceanside police held a press conference at the park on the evening of March 20 to
pass out flyers and request that residents come forward with any information on the crime.

Flyers include the photos of Melanie Virgen, 13, and Edgar Sanchez, 15, who were
fatally shot, and the description of a gray or silver, 2005 or 2006, Toyota Tacoma or
Toyota Tundra extended cab pickup truck seen at the crime scene.

The suspects were described as Hispanic males wearing dark clothes.

Police also went door to door to distribute the flyers and ask for community assistance
in solving the crime. The efforts were made one week from the date of the crime to
contact residents who might be potential witnesses.

Serving Seniors: Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood Volunteers with Meals-on-Wheels

By Hoa Quách on March 19, 2013 in the Oceanside CampPendleton*Patch
Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood volunteered with Meals-on-Wheels of Greater
San Diego on Tuesday—delivering meals to local seniors.

Wood—one of more than 20 elected officials to take part in the Mayors for
Meals Day—said he’s done this for several years.

“It’s one of my favorite days,” Wood said. “It’s a wonderful thing that people
should get involved in. It’s one of the best charities out there.”

Meals-on-Wheels of Greater San Diego delivers meals to more than 2,500
homebound seniors in the region each year.

The organization has about 100 volunteers delivering meals to about 50
seniors in Oceanside.

Debbie Case, CEO of Meals-on-Wheels of Greater San Diego, said this
year’s event is one of the largest campaigns for the charity.

“We have over 20 government officials going out and delivering meals to the
seniors that are homebound throughout the county,” she said.

“It gives them the opportunity to visit with our seniors and hear what they have
to say, since they are the silent few that live in our community.”

New lights going into Libby Lake Park

By Ray Huard on March 15 2013 in U~T San Diego

Oceanside officials are installing additional street lights in Libby Lake Park,
City Manager Peter Weiss said Friday.

Weiss said he was mistaken when he reported Thursday that street lights
at the edge of Libby Lake Park weren’t working Wednesday when four teens
were shot. The lights just didn't light up the area of the shooting, he said.

“They actually were working on the night of the shooting but the lights are aimed
into the park on the back side as you come down the walking path,” Weiss said.
“We are going to be in the next few days installing additional heads on those polls
that will shine back toward the slope area where people were walking up to the
back plateau area.”

Weiss said more lights also will be installed near the shooting site “with two heads
on them, one pointing into the park, one pointing toward the slope.”

Police responding to the shooting reported that the area was dark.

Plan advances to reshape Coast Highway

By Ray Huard on Mary 18, in U~T San Diego

OCEANSIDE — A much anticipated project to dramatically remake the 3.1 mile
stretch of Coast Highway through Oceanside advanced last week with the city’s
call for consultants to submit proposals for design work.

The goal is to come up with a plan to reshape Coast Highway from a four-lane
commuter speedway to a two-lane avenue with broad sidewalks lined with
interesting shops and condominiums, dedicated bike lanes and roundabouts
at key intersections, said transportation planner John Amberson.

“The study is going to identify opportunities to establish what we call a road diet
on Coast Highway,” Amberson said.

The resulting road plan would tie in with the Coast Highway Vision and Strategic
Plan, adopted by the City Council in 2008, that set guidelines for future development
along Coast Highway.

Oceanside Council divided over sending letter

By Promise Yee in the Coast News on March 14 2013

OCEANSIDE — City Council voted to send legislators a letter opposing SB-7,
which if passed, will not allow charter cities that have a prevailing wage exemption
to receive state funding for building projects.

Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voted against sending the
letter at the March 13 meeting.

Both said they would write their own letters in support of SB-7.

They added that they disagree with the city charter and its prevailing wage exemption.

“The charter is a farce,” Sanchez said. “I agree with exactly what SB-7 says.”

Wood also expressed his disappointment with the city charter.

“It is a terribly flawed city charter,” Wood said. “It has been misused and should be gone.”

Several residents also spoke in opposition of sending the letter and in support of
the bill. Comments ranged from worries that paying below prevailing wage would
not produce quality building projects to the economic impact of local workers.

Speakers cited the downtown Springhill Suites Marriott hotel project that is
under construction.

Out of state contractors hired ironworkers from Arizona and paid them below
the local prevailing wage.

“You need to put your feet down and look at what the impact is going to be,” Jimmy
Knott, Oceanside resident, said.

Councilman Jerry Kern, who requested that council send the letter, said the bill sets
a precedent for the state to take away all powers from city government.

Kern said the state was “micromanaging” charter cities with the bill.

“Withholding state funds is an attempt to force changes,” Kern said.

“Local charter cities are opposed to this,” Kern added. “I think this law is
unconstitutional. They are trying to punish charter cities.

“They have the right not to pay minimum prevailing wage.”

City may bring back fireworks display

Feller suggests fireworks at El Corazon for city's anniversary

By Ray Huard on March 13, 2013 in the U~T San Diego

“Bring back the fireworks” has become a rallying cry for Oceanside City
Councilman Jack Feller.

Feller is trying to drum up support for restoring the city’s annual 4th of July
fireworks, which Oceanside canceled in 2009 to save money.

“I’d certainly like to see the return of fireworks,” Feller said.

With the city looking at a budget surplus of $1.3 million this fiscal year, and Oceanside
celebrating its 125th birthday, Feller said now’s the time to add fireworks to the mix.

He said he’d like to have fireworks either on July 3, when the city has scheduled
a birthday bash, or on July 4, to mark Independence Day.

He said he’ll leave the choice of dates up to the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce,
which has taken the lead in organizing the 125th anniversary celebration.

Mayor Wood Says Council Trio Could See Voter Backlash in 2014

By Hoa Quách on March 7, 2013

Jim Wood on being removed from regional boards: “As a citizen or as the mayor,
I thought my vote counted for something.”

Please go to Oceanside Camp Pendleton*Patch for the entire article,
including videos of Mayor Wood and Councilmember Felien explaining
their sides on this issue.

Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood is no longer serving on two regional boards, but he
thinks his colleagues who voted him off will see voter pushback in 2014.

Wood—recently removed from the SANDAG board and the North County Transit
District board—said Councilmen Gary Felien, Jack Feller and Jerry Kern were
wrong in voting him off the board and removing his appointment on the San
Diego County Water Authority board.

“As a citizen or as the mayor, I thought my vote counted for something,” he said.
“This is the first time I’ve seen a vote for someone like myself doesn’t count. I
think it’s going to backlash on them.”

MainStreet Morning Meeting Notes March 5, 2013

Thanks to DeeDee for sending the meeting notes along to ACTION,
and to Lola Sherman for writing them up.

The $3-million project to improve Mission Avenue, reduce the traffic lanes and
turn it into a one-way street will begin in September and finish the following May,
the monthly meeting of MainStreet Oceanside was told on March 5.

A larger-than-usual crowd of about four-dozen people attended the meeting and
heard Nathan Mertz, a city capital-improvements manager and John Helmer,
Downtown Area Manager talk about Mission Avenue.

Mertz said the plans call for access to businesses along Mission to be open
at all times.

The first phase of the project, Mertz said, will improve the roadway between
Horne Street and Coast Highway.

The plans, Mertz said, call for taking the current four lanes - two in each direction -
nd reducing them to just two lanes total - westbound.

Sidewalks will be widened, he said, varying in width from 5 to 30 feet.

Oceanside Council Strips Mayor of Regional Posts

By Lola Sherman on February 28, 2013, in the Oceanside-CampPendleton*Patch

The Oceanside City Council majority successfully stripped Mayor Jim Wood of
his regional positions Wednesday night.

Councilwoman Esther Sanchez, a Wood ally, called the action “mean-spirited.”

Wood also was defended by a half-dozen speakers from the audience, including a
representative of the local Democratic Club, Pat McFarlane, who said it broke tradition
last year in supporting the mayor although he is a Republican.

Sanchez said the Council majority of Gary Felien, Jack Feller and Jerry Kern, all
Republicans, is “to the right of Attila, the Hun."

“You want to strip the mayor of his mayoral powers because he beat you guys—
Mr. Kern lost miserably," Sanchez said. Wood was re-elected over Kern in November
by a vote of 54 percent to 30 percent with a third candidate, former Mayor Terry
Johnson picking up 15-plus percent.

Oceanside council majority trims mayor's power

By Ray Huard on Feb. 27, 2013 in the yU~T San Diego

Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood was stripped of his power to appoint the deputy mayor
and dumped from his slot as the city’s primary representative on a local transit
agency on Wednesday by a three-member City Council majority.

“I’m angry about it, I don’t think its right. I think you lose respect for the mayor,”
Wood said. But, he added, “I’ll live through it.”

The same council majority — councilmen Gary Felien, Jerry Kern and Jack Feller
— voted in January to remove Wood as the city’s representative on the San Diego
Association of Governments, a regional planning agency.

The move to further trim Wood’s authority and yank him from the North County
Transit District was proposed by Felien, who said he wanted to “to broaden
participation in regional boards and commissions.”

Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voted no.

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