|July 21, 2022|
|The dog days of summer have officially arrived in Carlsbad (okay, temperatures are going from low 70s to high 70s, but, still …). Here’s what’s hot when it comes to city news this week:|
- County COVID status changes
- Your organics recycling questions answered
- A life changed by affordable housing
- Walking with the Carlsbad Cruisers
- Last TGIF concert at Poinsettia Park this Friday
- Take a transit survey (even if you don’t use transit)
- New 3-digit code for crisis help
- Election results final, here’s what’s next
- Upcoming meetings
COVID transmission level moved to “high”
The continued increase in local coronavirus cases has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to move San Diego County to its high-risk level for COVID-19. San Diego had been in the medium-risk category since the end of May.
For the week ending July 17, there were 12,838 new cases in San Diego County, 463 new hospitalizations and seven deaths countywide, according to the county Department of Health and Human Services. Transmission is still high this week, but cases may be starting to trend downward.
County health officials warn that the true number of positive cases is likely much higher, because so many people are using home tests that go unreported.
Like the rest of the region, Carlsbad is experiencing widespread transmission of COVID-19. We had 271 cases reported in the seven-day period ending July 2 (the most recent city-level data available), for an average daily case rate of 33.6, up slightly from the average of 33.5 the previous week.
What does this all mean?
According to health officials, with the availability of vaccines, natural immunity from all who have had COVID-19, widespread access to testing and more available treatments, risks from getting COVID are different than they were in 2020. But COVID is still with us and still evolving, so my advice remains the same: consult with your own health care providers and county, state and federal agencies in charge of public health for guidance on how best to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe and healthy.
New organics recycling program -Now that we are a few weeks into the new organics recycling program that started July 1, I wanted to share answers to some of the most common questions we have received from residents about this new statewide mandate, starting with …
Why are we now asking everyone to compost their food scraps? — A new state law (SB 1383) requires it because organic materials emit a lot of greenhouse gases when they decompose in landfills. By mixing food scraps with your regular yard waste, it will all get sent to a special facility that turns it into compost that can be put to beneficial uses.
What can go in the green bin now? –The best way to remember this is to look at the lid of your bin, which lists the main items. You can also look on the Republic website for details.
Do I need a small container for my kitchen? –You don’t need one, but many people find it makes setting aside food scraps more convenient.
Where can I get a kitchen caddy? — Republic Services has distributed all the kitchen caddies it has for now, and will plan more free giveaway events next month once they restock (the giveaway events scheduled for tonight, July 24 and July 30 will be rescheduled once more caddies have arrived). In the meantime, you can use another food safe container, just make sure you don’t put any plastic in your green waste bin.
How to keep smells and bugs at bay? –Make sure whatever you’re using to store your food scraps has a lid. Some people put their food scraps in a used paper bag or cardboard box and put that in the refrigerator or freezer until trash day. Paper products with food on them can be put in the green waste bin. This includes pizza boxes and used napkins too.
How can I clean my large bin? –If you feel like you need to clean your large bin, please drag it onto a landscaped area so water doesn’t run off into the street, where it picks up contaminants and ultimately harms our ocean water quality.
I don’t have a yard, so why do I need to compost? –The organic materials you put in your green bin are taken to a large composting facility. You don’t need to do the composting yourself. But if you want to put food scraps in your own composting bin and reuse the compost yourself, you can.
Can I get some of the compost created at the large composting facility? — Yes. Republic Services plans to hold annual events to give away free compost to residents. The rest of it will be used at city parks, street medians and other locations.
Here are links to more information, including general information about your new trash service.
Changing lives through affordable housing
As part of an overall effort to reduce homelessness and provide more affordable housing in Carlsbad, the City Council authorized a new program last year called the Affordable Housing Resale Program. Here’s how it works:
The city has long required housing developers to set aside a percentage of their units to be made available to low-income buyers.
When the original buyer is ready to sell the property, the city has the first right of refusal to buy it. By buying the unit, the city can keep it as part of the city’s affordable housing inventory.
The city has a wait list of eligible people who have qualified to purchase a unit when it becomes available.
So far, the city has resold five of these units. At this week’s City Council meeting, the City Council authorized the purchase of two more units, which will also be resold.
Earlier this year, Alma Castro bought the first affordable unit under this new program and recently moved in with her young sons. She called the move life changing and shared her story with us in an interview this week.
Connecting older residents for fun and fitness
All month long we are highlighting how our parks and recreation programs enrich the lives of residents, and this week’s feature focuses on active adults 50-plus.
For years, the senior center’s Carlsbad Cruisers walking group has met on Tuesday mornings at the senior center for a one-hour stroll through the Village down to the beach and back. It’s been a great way for older residents to get some exercise and make new friends. A similar group, also organized through the senior center, meets Thursday mornings at the Calavera Hills Community Center.
We tagged along last week and have this video to share. Enjoy!
If you or someone you know would like to join, here are the links to register:
Carlsbad Cruisers (leave from the Senior Center on Tuesdays)
Calavera Cruisers (leave from Calavera Community Center on Thursdays)
Hits of the 70s and 80s at TGIF this Friday
This Friday our TGIF concert series finishes its three-week run at Poinsettia Community Park with a performance by High Tide Society, a stylish tribute band recreating the smash soft-rock hits of the ‘70s and ‘80s. We’ve had a fantastic season so far and we want you to enjoy every minute. If you’re planning to attend this Friday night’s show, please remember:
- Field will open at 4 p.m. Concert starts at 6 p.m.
- Consider getting dropped off or carpooling to ease traffic.
- You can park offsite at North Coast Calvary Chapel, 1330 Poinsettia Lane, and take our free shuttle to and from the concert.
- The shuttle runs from 4:15 to 9:15 p.m.
- Don’t forget to pack a picnic – no food and drink vendors this season.
- Please leave your furry friends at home (service animals are welcome).
- Bring bug spray, just in case.
Next week we’ll be moving to Calavera Hills Community Park.
See the full TGIF schedule.
Local transit survey
The North County Transit District asked us to share this survey about how transit could be improved in and around North County. NCTD will use this input to help determine future transit investments. Even if you don’t use transit now, NCTD would still very much like your input. Many of the questions are about ways to make transit a more appealing option to those who might not currently use it.
In Carlsbad, NCTD runs the COASTER commuter rail with stations in the Village and on Avenida Encinas near Poinsettia Lane, and the BREEZE bus with various routes around the city and North County.
New way to get help in a crisis … People experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis will now be able to call 988, or send a text to the same number, to get help for themselves or a loved one, thanks to a new national program that launched earlier this week.
The County of San Diego announced the program locally. It connects people to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which utilizes a network of local crisis centers, including the County of San Diego’s Access and Crisis Line.
San Diego County residents who call 988 will be able to speak to a trained counselor who can help them and connect them to services in the area where they live. This new service is in addition to the county’s Access and Crisis Line at 888-724-7240. Learn more.
Final election results and next steps for November
Carlsbad’s City Clerk will remain an elected position following the final certification of the June ballot measure results this week. Once all the votes were counted, 51% voted to keep the position elected, and 49% voted to make it a city staff position.
This means we will hold an election this November to choose the following:
- City Council Member, District 1
- City Council Member, District 3
- City Treasurer
- City Clerk
The City Clerk’s Office has information on its website for anyone who might be interested in running or just learning more about the process.
The nomination period closes Friday, Aug. 12, at 5 p.m.
Next week’s meetings
Before next Tuesday’s City Council meeting we will hold our annual Citizens of the Year ceremony, starting at 3 p.m. The Citizen of the Year program is more than 40 years old and recognizes community members who have given their time and energy toward the civic improvement, beautification and betterment of the City of Carlsbad.
You can read about this year’s honorees on the city’s website, and members of the public are invited to come to the event, which includes a presentation followed by a small reception:
Tuesday, July 26, 3 p.m. City Council chamber 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive
City Council meeting agenda
The next City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, July 26, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council chamber. Topics to be discussed include:
- Advertising for bids for the construction of a temporary Fire Station 7 on Carlsbad Boulevard near Cannon Road
- The agreement for buying and installing in-car video systems for 60 Police Department vehicles
- Renewing the city’s workers’ compensation insurance
- The city’s participation in college fellowship programs to give students professional experience working for the city
- Closing an employee retirement plan option that is no longer used
- An employment agreement with the city’s new city attorney
- Updates to the management compensation and benefits plan
- Results of the annual program to eliminate the fire hazards from dry weeds and trash on vacant lots in the city
- Adopting the final master plan for the 93-acre Veterans Memorial Park to be built near the corner of Faraday Avenue and Cannon Road
- Considering approval of proposed public art for the front of the renovated Fire Station 2 in La Costa
- An update from SDG&E on negotiations to move its service center, currently at the old power plant site, to a city owned parking lot at the Shoppes at Carlsbad.
- Twice-yearly update on the city’s efforts to manage traffic, including a discussion of how to prioritize various projects that would make transportation more environmentally sustainable, primarily by enhancing options to walk and bike.
Here is the full agenda with staff reports explaining each item. You can watch the meeting in person, or live on the city’s website or cable TV channel.
These city meetings are also scheduled for next week:
- July 27, 4 p.m. – Library Board of Trustees
- July 27, 6 p.m. – Arts Commission
- July 28, 5 p.m. – Growth Management Citizens Committee (This meeting will be at the Faraday Center, 1635 Faraday Ave., and focus on traffic management and emergency services)
Circling back to those “dog days” of summer, next week you can look forward to the opening of our newest dog park, at Poinsettia Community Park, along with other park improvements, which I’ll tell you more about in my next update. We plan to officially open the dog park gates around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27.
Until then, have a great weekend and stay cool.
Scott Chadwick, Carlsbad City Manager
CarlsbadConnects app is an easy way to report things that need repair or attention around town, like potholes, sidewalk cracks, traffic light outages, graffiti and code enforcement issues. Submit service requests anonymously or create a free account where you can track progress and see what other people have reported.