This week, developer Rick Caruso conceded defeat in the special election over Measure A, in which Caruso tried to fast-track his plan for a luxury mall.

What began as a 186-vote lead for the “No on A” side after last Tuesday’s election grew to a 1,638-vote lead this week, or 52 percent of the total vote.

And now that the furor ignited by the City Council’s decision to send this to a special election last November has abated (a little), people are looking to figure out just what went wrong for Caruso.

Logan Jenkins over at the Union-Tribune said the Council’s original approval of the project sent a patronizing statement to residents, and subsequent TV advertising of the project, in which Councilman Mark Packard appeared, was a “soft deception” that angered them even more.

Repudiation of the project became a repudiation of the City Council.

Also in the Union-Tribune, one writer said the opponents of Measure A capitalized on feelings of anger at being excluded from the approval process in the first place, and then used scare tactics to cast doubt on all aspects of the project. Curiously, the same writer said in the Seaside Courier that it was a matter of transparency and trust in elected leaders.

With professional mailers and TV ads on one side, and Facebook groups and hand-painted signs on the other, a former North County Times columnist says the victory is a testament to the power of grassroots efforts in the face of well-financed corporate opposition and little local media coverage.

Relaunching Palomar Airport

The county held a public workshop to propel a new master plan forward for McClellan-Palomar Airport.

The county wants to make the airport economically viable in the wake of the departure of several commercial tenants, and make it safer for the airport to handle some of the larger aircraft that are already landing there.

The previous master plan expired last year, and a new one will be needed to continue major improvements moving forward. They’re also required by the Federal Aviation Administration to secure grants to help complete improvements.

Gordon Nesbitt, a member of the Palomar Airport Advisory Committee, the citizen group that makes recommendations to the county, told me that while he has some concerns about the master plan, it still lays out the vision for bringing in a mix a new tenants, which will keep the airport stable into the future.

Also in the News:

Carlsbad Police are testing out body cameras. The city attorney expects to handle the release of the footage on a case-by-case basis. (Seaside Courier)

Check out VOSD’s roundup of where departments all over the county stand on body cameras.

A couple of San Marcos neighborhoods made San Diego Magazine’s list of Next Hot Neighborhoods. (San Diego Magazine)

The Montessori school at Oceanside’s Mission San Luis Rey will close next year. (Union-Tribune)

Encinitas Deputy Mayor Catherine Blakespear says she’s running for mayor. (Encinitas Advocate)

A group of Del Mar residents wants to force a public vote on a 48-unit project, by starting an initiative that calls for a public vote when changes are made to land-use plans. (Coast News)

Oceanside is considering allowing breweries on Coast Highway without costly permits. (Union-Tribune)

Ruarri Serpa is a freelance writer in Oceanside. Email him at and find him on Twitter at @RuarriS.

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