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Encinitas and the San Diego Association of Governments are moving forward on the Coastal Rail Trail, with the proposed location along Highway 101, reports the Coast News.

Previously the city pursued a design with the trail on the east side of the train tracks, but that plan was scrapped when residents said fences separating the trail from the rail would cut off their access to the beach. (Council members, meanwhile, are discussing what the penalties should be for those kinds of illegal track crossings.)

After the city of Encintas and SANDAG agreed to align the Rail Trail along Highway 101, the two agencies couldn’t agree who would be responsible for lost costs if the California Coastal Commission doesn’t approve the project. The Coastal Commission ultimately must sign off on the Rail Trail, and it’s said that it opposes the alignment on Highway 101.

SANDAG wanted Encinitas to foot the bill, but the new agreement caps Encinitas’ liability at $250,000.

Ongoing Desal Discussion

Unless you’ve been living under a giant block of halite ‒ or perhaps you just missed your indispensable North County Report for the past few weeks ‒ you’ve read a bit of the ongoing discussion about the desalination plant in Carlsbad.

Yep ‒ the one that’s been built and open since late last year.

It turns out whether the Carlsbad plant is seen as an asset or a liability affects projects in Huntington Beach, Rosarito Beach and Camp Pendleton, where plans could still solidify or be swept out to sea.

As VOSD’s Ry Rivard writes this week, “There is a reason this is all happening now, besides just good old-fashioned attempts at an I-told-you-so. … The perceived success or failure of the Carlsbad plant could tip the scales for those projects, which will face regulatory hurdles and legal challenges of their own.”

They’re on Email at Least

News outlets around the country are scrambling to use platforms like Facebook Live, Twitter, Snapchat and Tinder to engage audiences.

(I hope that I’m confused about that last one.)

But Tom Missett, the former publisher of the Oceanside Blade-Citizen, which last appeared before the internet was a thing, resurrected the Blade this week in a more familiar form: paper.

The Oceanside Blade will distribute weekly, and looks like it’s forgoing an online presence entirely (although the first edition can be found here).

Osiders have been eager to get a hometown paper back, though more than a few people think The Blade is only around to make up for a failed plan to erect digital billboards in the city.

It’s got a small staff, no bylines and an ax to grind with a few City Council members.

A Plastic Bin Ban in Del Mar?

A plan to extend the city’s ban on plastic bags to polystyrene containers is in the early stages in Del Mar.

The Sustainability Advisory Committee discussed dumping the containers, also known as Styrofoam, at a meeting last week, but didn’t produce a decision to advance the measure.

“I’m very sensitive to how this new initiative would impact the local businesses in combination with several other dynamics in play,” Management Services Director Kristen Crane told the Union-Tribune.

Encinitas shelved a similar provision last year, which was opposed by restaurateurs, because polystyrene containers are the cheapest solution for take-out.

(Disclaimer: I work in IT at the Surfrider Foundation, which advocates for polystyrene bans.)

Also in the News

• Carlsbad will ask voters to approve a measure on the November ballot, to spend up to $10.5 million to replace a fire station that was built in 1969, when Carlsbad was just a little bit less crowded. (Union-Tribune)

• A developer is hoping to build 392 homes at the former Escondido Country Club. After seeming to make an effort to engage the community more, the new plan has only 38 fewer than the one that was rejected by voters two years ago. (Union-Tribune)

• A “complete street” near the Palomar College Sprinter station has reopened, continuing San Marcos’ record of killing it on smart growth. (Union-Tribune)

• The resolution to a 40-year water dispute over the San Luis Rey River is in Congress’s hands, but Escondido officials believe it may just pass before the end of the year. (Union-Tribune)

• Last week, Oceanside’s Planning Commission was informed of a change to how the city will measure traffic impacts created by large developments, which could affect how city leaders weigh the ongoing test of a controversial road diet on Coast Highway. (Coast News)

Ruarri Serpa

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

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