Current & Local News

The Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Shop helps pay for the shelter’s costs throughout the year.

NBC 7’s Audra Stafford shares more on its reopening.

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23rd Annual Salute To Education

Honoring Encinitas School Districts Students & Teachers

The Encinitas Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with Rancho Santa Fe Security in presenting their annual Salute to Education. The awards ceremony highlights outstanding achievements in education by teachers and students alike in the Encinitas School Districts. The normalcy of many students and teachers’ lives has been shaken to the core due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Teachers have been called upon to fill in the gaps, offering critical resources and support beyond their normal scope of familiarity. Despite many obstacles, strong connections have been created with their students through the persistence of accomplishing a common goal.
For more information on how to buy tickets, make a donation or become a Sponsor for The Salute to Education Program, please contact the Chamber Office at 760-753-6041.
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Special Thanks To

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The Encinitas Chamber of Commerce would like to thank The Coast News for providing the above information and images.

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Rancho Santa Fe Security Systems
1991 Village Park Way
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 942-0688
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Encinitas Lions Club
285 N. El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
(442) 777-3252
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San Dieguito Trophy
6132 Innovation Way
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Phone: (760) 431-7674
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DaCosta Properties
2385 Camino Vida Roble, #200
Carlsbad, CA 92011
(760) 846-0557
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The Grauer School
1500 S. El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 944-6777
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Commissioner Lara issues Order resulting in workers’ compensation premium savings for California businesses affected by COVID-19

Commissioner’s action mandates workers’ compensation carriers reflect reduced risk of loss in premiums due to “stay-at-home” orders

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today issued an Order adopting emergency workers’ compensation regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These new regulations will mandate insurance companies to recompute premium charges for policyholders to reflect reduced risk of loss consistent with Commissioner Lara’s April 13 and May 15, 2020 Bulletins, and will result in savings for many policyholders as businesses continue to struggle financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“California’s business owners have been hit hard by COVID-19,” said Commissioner Lara. “Workers’ compensation premiums should reflect that many employees are performing less risky duties, and my Order will provide some financial relief for employers when they need it most.”

Under these emergency regulations, employers are permitted to reclassify an employee if the employee’s duties have changed to a clerical classification that has reduced risk than the employee’s previous classification. This reclassification will reduce the employer’s premiums for employees who are a lower risk because they are now working from home even though they may not have previously done so. This change would be retroactive to March 19, 2020, the first day of the Governor’s statewide stay-at-home order, and conclude 60 days after the order is lifted.

“We applaud Commissioner Lara’s efforts to meet the needs of California’s small businesses as they continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mark Herbert, Vice President, California for Small Business Majority. “These new rules will allow small business owners to correctly reclassify their workforce if their duties have changed, helping businesses keep more money in their pockets as they respond to a decline in revenue and adapt their business models. These rules will also ensure small businesses are better positioned for the long-term by protecting them from future increases in workers’ compensation premiums due to COVID-19. This kind of smart action will ensure our state’s job creators and innovators have the tools they need to succeed after this crisis.”

These emergency regulations also exclude from premium calculations the payments made to an employee, including sick or family leave, while the employee is not performing duties of any kind for the employer. Typically, these payments would be used as a basis for the employer’s workers’ compensation premium. This change will lower the employer’s rate by reducing the amount of payroll assessed, and the employer will not pay premium for paid workers who are otherwise being furloughed.

“These changes provide clarity to employers while helping to share any financial costs of work-related COVID-19 cases among all employers—not just those who found themselves at the center of the epidemic,” said Mitch Steiger, Advocate for the California Labor Federation, who is also a member of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) Governing Board. “In doing so, both workers and employers most affected by this crisis can more quickly begin the process of recovery.”

This new regulation will also exclude claims related to a COVID-19 diagnosis from being included in future rate calculations so that employers are not penalized with higher rates due to COVID-19 claims.

Insurers will also be required to report injuries involving a diagnosis of COVID-19 which will allow the Commissioner’s statistical agent—the WCIRB—to keep track of COVID-19 injuries, and will aid in the WCIRB’s future analyses of the workplace and market impacts.

The new regulations will go into effect on July 1, 2020.

Email inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov

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Communities Fighting COVID!

San Diego State University is partnering with the County of San Diego HHSA to recruit, hire, and train contact tracers representative of their communities.

If you’re interested in the positions, please read the Job Description and Common Questions then submit Community Health Worker Interest Survey.

The application process will begin Tuesday, June 9th at 9:00am here on ListentoSanDiego.org.

Dear Encinitas Ballet Families, Friends & Community,
Enjoy Special presentation by world musicians and local Encinitas Ballet star Gabrielle Fish

County Library Adds Door-side Services at Limited Branches
Census Kiosks Available Soon by Appointment

SAN DIEGO — Effective May 26, the County Library will begin offering door-side service which will provide access to library materials placed on hold via the online catalog, without providing access to the rest of the library. This service will be offered at the Imperial Beach, Alpine, Ramona, Encinitas, Vista, and Borrego Springs branches, Monday through Friday, from 10 am to 4 pm.

Door-side service will allow the pickup of requested items by appointment only. The items will be waiting for people at a table near the front door, in the lobby, or a community room. Library staff will contact those individuals who had reserved items at a branch when the libraries closed in March. All public health orders will apply to these visits, and instructions will be provided by the library staff when they contact people. This is the only “traditional” library service that will be available until further notice. All online library resources are available at https://www.sdcl.org.

On June 1, this same level of service will be available at Poway, El Cajon, Julian, Solana Beach, San Marcos, Bonita (pending completion of the current remodel) branches.

“We are excited to begin serving our communities and customers in-person again,” said San Diego County Library Director Migell Acosta.

Acosta added, “We look forward to providing expanded services at our locations as guidelines permit. And remember, the library is always here!” he said referring to the wide array of eBooks, learning opportunities, and entertainment for all ages available at sdcl.org free of charge.

How door-side service works:

• If you had items on the request shelf at one of the available locations on the day the library closed, you will be contacted by library staff to set an appointment to pick up these items.

• Staff will provide pickup instructions when they make your appointment.  Please note that masks and social distancing will be required for all staff and customers.

• Arrive at your appointed time. Tell the staff your last name. They will provide you with your materials, which will already be checked out to you.

• We are not accepting returns or charging late fees at this time. Hold on to your materials until we begin accepting returns.

Additionally, the county recognizes that, even during the time of a pandemic, the census process is vital as this determines the allocation of resources for the region for years to come. This affects everything from education to emergency services and everything in between. To support this, SDCL will soon make access to Census kiosks available by appointment.

You can also follow the library on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (@sdcountylibrary) to stay informed on the latest services we offer and when branches may open even more.

More detailed information will be available soon at the library website, sdcl.org.

Protecting Your Credit During a Pandemic

In this article:

Challenges you may be facing and how they affect your credit score

COVID-19 has disrupted and overturned the lives of many because of state-wide stay-at-home mandates. Though designed to stop the spread of the virus, the order also caused millions of U.S. workers to lose their jobs, or to have their income cut because of reduced work hours. Many of those affected by the pandemic may heavily rely on credit cards to make ends meet. College students, for example, might have to pay forgone expenses on classes and rent. While some working from home might use their cards to make up for unforeseen costs like higher grocery and take-out bills, costlier internet plans for improved speeds and data caps, higher utility bills because of increased home occupancy and additional technological investments to enable remote work.

County Approves Plan To Request Accelerated Reopening

The County Board of Supervisors today approved two measures intended to allow the region to accelerate the reopening of the local economy. Under the first, the County will submit a plan to the governor’s office that, if approved, would move San Diego further into Stage 2 of the California Resiliency Roadmap in the coming days.

Under the proposal, in-person dining at restaurants and retail shopping would be allowed, as long as businesses enact social distancing measures and follow various restrictions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Based on the current readiness criteria, San Diego County is ready to move to the Accelerated Stage 2 of the state’s plan,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H, County public health officer. “The County has made great progress in the fight against COVID-19 and it is now safe for certain businesses to resume operations if they can implement safety measures outlined by the County and State.”

Stage 3 Pilot Proposal

The board also approved proposing a pilot program that would allow a select number of businesses from Stage 3 to gradually reopen ahead of the schedule outlined by the state.

The pilot program includes outdoor religious services, research labs, hair and nail salons, fitness facilities, youth sports and clubs and pools at apartment complexes. The pilot program would also allow therapeutic and peer support groups to offer sessions, but with group size limited to 12 people or fewer.

The California Department of Public Health and the Governor’s Office also will have to approve the County’s pilot program proposals before businesses from these sectors can begin to reopen.

Health and Human Services Agency
IMMEDIATE OPENINGS

SDG&E Is Hosting A Power Your Drive Community Workshop

Power Your Drive Extension Program

Webinar Information

When: Thursday, May 21st
Time: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Webinar Format: Skype Meeting Application

Join Skype Meeting <https://meet.lync.com/sempra-sdge/ksappington/JT589049>
Trouble Joining? Try Skype Web App <https://meet.lync.com/sempra-sdge/ksappington/JT589049?sl=1>

Join By Phone

Toll number: +1 (858) 284-1506,920936882# (Dial-in Number) English (United States)
Find a local number <https://dialin.lync.com/425bf23d-653d-4718-afe4-0b80089ce64a?id=920936882>
Conference ID: 920936882
Forgot your dial-in PIN? <https://mysettings.lync.com/pstnconferencing>  |Help <http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=389737>

SDG&E Is Hosting A Power Your Drive Community Workshop

Power Your Drive Extension Program

Webinar Information

When: Thursday, May 21st
Time: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Webinar Format: Skype Meeting Application

Join Skype Meeting <https://meet.lync.com/sempra-sdge/ksappington/JT589049>
Trouble Joining? Try Skype Web App <https://meet.lync.com/sempra-sdge/ksappington/JT589049?sl=1>

Join By Phone

Toll number: +1 (858) 284-1506,920936882# (Dial-in Number) English (United States)
Find a local number <https://dialin.lync.com/425bf23d-653d-4718-afe4-0b80089ce64a?id=920936882>
Conference ID: 920936882
Forgot your dial-in PIN? <https://mysettings.lync.com/pstnconferencing>  |Help <http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=389737>

A Few Words From Encinitas Mayor Catherine S. Blakespear On Beach Staircases & Businesses Reopening

Things are slowly opening up. Updated regulations from the state and the county that affect our residents, beaches, and businesses have just been issued.

As a reminder, the City of Encinitas isn’t making the rules during this pandemic, but we’re responding quickly as things change. Whether and when to open businesses, playground equipment, and parking lots are decisions handed down from the county and the state. Our Encinitas city government is trying to do whatever’s possible to help you navigate this ever-changing maze during these highly unusual times.

Here’s the latest:

Encinitas Businesses

Starting Friday May 8th, certain retail businesses, including stores that sell books, clothes, shoes, home furnishings, music and flowers, could open for delivery and curbside pickup only. The State of California is not allowing these businesses to have inside shopping just yet.

All businesses that re-open must prepare and post a “Safe Reopening Plan” near the entrance in a place that’s visible to the public. There’s a template that businesses can download and complete, to make it simpler – that link is here. The plan doesn’t need to be submitted to the county, just prepared and posted.

Additionally, any manufacturing, warehouse or logistics companies that support the listed retail entities can also open. If you’re wondering if your business is in a category that can open, check out this link from the county for more information.

It’s interesting that the State of California is allowing some counties to move more quickly if certain criteria are met. But San Diego County doesn’t qualify – for starters, in order to reopen faster, the county must have had zero COVID-19 deaths for 14 days. In this county we’ve had multiple deaths nearly every single day for six weeks. None of the larger urban counties, including ours, meet this standard. Only smaller, rural counties currently qualify at this point.

The next level of opening – offices, seated restaurants, shopping malls, in-store retail – will need to await a further announcement from the state. The more we get behind this new phase, the more quickly the next phase will begin. Our businesses are our city’s lifeblood and I’m eager to have them safely operating again.

Businesses with questions can send them to this county email: COVID19BusinessQuestions@sdcounty.ca.gov. And more information from the county can be found here at https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/coronavirus.html.

Unreal Unemployment

The unemployment numbers in our county (as seen above) are hard to stomach – 26.8% as of April 25, exceeding the 24.9% rate during the peak of the Great Depression in 1933. There’s a tremendous amount of pain and uncertainty as so many of our livelihoods have evaporated.

The SANDAG analysis shows that our Encinitas unemployment rate is slightly lower than the county average, at less than 26%, along with our coastal neighbors Solana Beach and Carlsbad. More information on the employment numbers from SANDAG can be found here.

Encinitas Beaches

After a beach jog this week, I stopped into the lifeguard tower to get an update and took the opportunity to jump on the Moonlight Beach Marine Safety Center public address system to welcome folks to our beautiful beaches and thank everyone for following the protocols around social distancing and staying actively moving. Most people are staying safely distanced from others, peacefully enjoying the large expanses of sand and ocean with their loved ones. I’m proud and grateful that we’ve been able to quickly and safely return this resource to the public.

Summer’s Here Early

In the City of Encinitas, we’re seeing record crowds at our beaches – we hosted about 80,000 people in just seven days. With kids out of school, and no malls, movies, sports, music or entertainment open, this really isn’t too much of a surprise.

During the one-week period of April 27 to May 5, our lifeguards made contact with an average of 1,725 people a day, compared to 111 contacts during that week in 2019. The lifeguards performed 34 ocean rescues, compared to zero rescues during that week last year. They attended to 43 medical problems, vs. 16 in 2019.

In short, it’s already summer in Encinitas. The summer beach crowds are coming despite the “red tide” that makes swimming less pleasant. The tide has also produced a stinky smell from rotting fish and plant material, caused by the overgrowth choking off the sunlight and oxygen to the plants and animals, killing them.

The city typically increases beach staffing when schools let out in June. But we need summer staffing levels now. In order to accomplish this right away, we authorized $45,000 for additional staff. The lifeguards provide a safety presence in the towers, lifeguard trucks, ATVs, water craft and on foot patrols.

Many Beach Stairways Are Opening Saturday May 9th

Here’s the sign you’ll see at Encinitas beach staircases. Facial coverings are required on the stairs, and if you’re within six feet of others on the beach.

Starting this morning (Saturday), we’re authorizing re-opening the beach staircases that are under the city’s control – the ones in Leucadia and Old Encinitas. Stairs in Cardiff are state-managed, and because they haven’t lifted their restrictions, they’ll remain closed for now. We’re working with the state agency to encourage re-opening those too.

Also, the beach parking lots remain closed based on the county’s orders. So the city can’t open Moonlight parking lot, I’m sorry to say. We’re looking to do that as soon as possible to relieve nearby neighborhood parking issues and make beach access easier.

One beach entrance – Beacon’s – will remain closed because it needs emergency repairs after the spring rainstorms. Unfortunately, it’s not safe to access the beach at Beacon’s now. Our city staff is seeking Coastal Commission approval on an expedited basis to do the needed repairs.

The City of Encinitas has issued a press release that offers more specifics:

“The beach access stairways located at Swami’s, D Street, Stonesteps and Grandview will open for access to, and egress from the beaches at 8am on Saturday, May 9. A facial covering is MANDATORY while using the narrow staircases. Please help us keep these access points open by using them only to transit back and forth to the beach (no jogging/working out on stairs). Use the stairs in a single file fashion, please be respectful while passing others…”

Here’s the Encinitas Advocate story.

I have to tell you that I’m proud of our city staff and government for being so nimble and responsive in helping our community access our coastal resources.

Encinitas Parks & Trails

Mother Nature seems to be celebrating our newly re-opened Coastal Rail Trail in Cardiff – it’s resplendent with colorful blossoms.

Starting Saturday May 9th, parks in Encinitas will reopen active areas for household units to recreate, allowing basketball, tennis and field sports but only for those who live together. Organized or pickup sports involving people who do not live together are not allowed yet. The skate areas, beach volleyball, pickle ball, dog parks and playground equipment remain closed because the physical distancing and sanitation protocols don’t allow reopening yet.

All Encinitas trails are open.

More specific information about what’s open in Encinitas’ local parks and trails can be found here. If you have additional questions about park-related openings, please contact Jennifer Campbell, our Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts at jcampbell@encinitasca.gov.

Basic Requirements Remain

To recap where we currently stand, the state-mandated stay-at-home order is still in effect. While some relaxing of the rules is happening, it’s still advised that people go out only for essential needs, their jobs, or to exercise.

It’s a countywide requirement to wear a facial covering when going into public and coming within six feet of another person. If you aren’t headed to a densely packed area, I recommend that you wear a facial covering around your neck and pull it up when coming close to others. What you’re communicating by doing that is that this is important, you care about the person’s health, thoughtfully recognizing that you might be an asymptomatic carrier and that your facial covering is protecting the other person.

This New Yorker article, The Political Consequences of Loneliness and Isolation During the Pandemic, delves into the distinctions between loneliness and solitude and the effect on our social, political and economic reality. If these concerns are on your mind too, I highly recommend the read.

While so much uncertainty remains about the ultimate severity of these disruptions and the timetable for recovery, I remind myself every day that the most important things in life are family and our community. Together, we hold each other up and create the bonds that will enable our recovery. Mother’s Day is the chance to celebrate one member of the core family.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope everyone sends love, appreciation and a real or virtual kiss to their mother on Sunday, wherever they are, regardless of whether you connect with them in this world or in spirit.

In service,

 

 

Join Us Online On May 27th For This Year's North County Economic Summit!

Hosted By: San Diego North Economic Development Council
When: Wednesday, May 27th, 2020
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Event Details
Join us on ZOOM for this year’s North County Economic Summit! This free event will feature presentations on the state of the national and local economies post-COVID19 from Mark Vitner of Wells Fargo and Josh Williams of BW Research.

North County has one economic forecasting event each year and this is it. For the past six years, this summit has brought together regional leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors from throughout North County to gain valuable insight into where the economy is going and what are the key challenges and opportunities for our region. In our first ever virtual North County Economic Summit, we’ll be focused on how North County can survive the COVID19 crisis, recover from it, and thrive in a post-COVID19 world. With the recent changes surrounding COVID-19, we are pleased to offer this event free of charge to our many attendees. 

Updated 5/5/2020

Masks Required Starting May 1, 2020

Starting on May 1st, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency is ordering that everyone must wear a face covering anywhere in public if they come within 6 feet of another person that is not part of their family/household.
Cloth face coverings should—

fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face be secured with ties or ear loops include multiple layers of fabric allow for breathing without restriction be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2.

Updated 5/5/2020