Information Technology Completes Wireless Overhaul
The Information Technology Department recently completed an overhaul of the citywide WiFi system to remediate long standing service issues while ensuring security, reliability, manageability and performance. This was accomplished by reconfiguration of existing network components; no new hardware was purchased. Users can now move anywhere throughout the libraries without loss of service while maintaining full connection speed. Behind the scenes, Information Technology can now manage all the infrastructure from a single console, streamlining the maintenance and troubleshooting processes. All WiFi connectivity is now completely contained in an isolated, dedicated network, further protecting city assets from potential intrusion from external threats.
Crime Fighter of the Quarter
Congratulations to Crime Fighter of the Quarter, Officer Michael McKinney. McKinney is actually a two time recipient of this award. Besides McKinney’s daily work ethic and crime-fighting expertise, McKinney organized several community outreach programs including the distribution of care packages to those experiencing homelessness and toys to children on Dec. 25.
Care Packages for Community Members Experiencing Homelessness
The Homeless Outreach Team was invited to Kelly Elementary School to collect and distribute care packages designed to assist community members experiencing homelessness. The children’s school project was the result of the Great Kindness Challenge and the Great Kindness Week.
Exploration HUB Upgrade
The Exploration HUB, located at the Dove Library, is a technology center offering free classes, creative opportunities and access to free equipment and software. The HUB was recently upgraded with eight new iMacs that have the full Adobe Creative Suite, Premiere Elements, Photoshop Elements, Final Cut Pro, Silhouette Studio and GameMaker Studio 2. The HUB also features a 3D printer and a Media Conversion Station for transferring VHS tapes and Super 8/8mm to MP4 files. We offer family, tween and teen classes as well as classes for adults. Visit the HUB during Open Lab hours or take a class. Special thanks to IT for the help with the upgrade!
Library Learning Center First Time Saturday Event
The Library Learning Center held its first time Saturday event on Jan. 25, in honor of Lunar New Year. Children and adults celebrated Year of the Rat with stories explaining the origin of Lunar New Year and crafts. The San Diego Chinese Cultural Association North County entertained attendees with a traditional lion dance at nearby Holiday Park as part of the celebration. The Learning Center is proud to now serve the community on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. thanks in part to support from the Carlsbad Library and Arts Foundation.
Authors Galore at the Library
The library held three recent author events. On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27, author Meeg Pincus read her children’s book Miep and the Most Famous Diary, which tells the story of Miep Gies, the woman who rescued Anne Frank’s diary and sheltered the Franks in her attic. On Jan. 30, two local crime fiction authors and long time friends spoke about being on “Opposite Sides of the Law” as a former cop and recovered criminal. On Feb. 2, the library held the “Super Bowl of Authors” featuring eight local authors on a panel, followed by a book signing.
Wildlife Tracking Workshop
On Jan. 24, Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park hosted the San Diego Tracking Team for its first Wildlife Tracking Workshop. Nearly 50 Carlsbad residents of all ages learned to identify wildlife tracks native to San Diego County. Several participants took to the Rancho Carrillo trail after the workshop, and were able to spot coyote and racoon tracks.
California Parks & Recreation Society Directors Academy
Congratulations to Tracy Stayton and Kyle Lancaster, who recently completed the California Parks & Recreation Society Directors Academy. This two day intensive academy was held in El Cajon and was offered to Parks & Recreation department directors and staff wishing to become directors. The academy curriculum included sessions on the following topics: Employee Relations, Leadership and Change Management, Risk Management and Budgeting, Professional Ethics and Political Constraints, Resource Planning and Management, and Maintenance and Operations. Continuing education units for these sessions were available to those graduates who had also been distinguished as Certified Parks & Recreation Professionals by the National Recreation and Parks Association.
The Great Kindness Challenge
Fire Department personnel joined city staff members and leadership in kicking off the Great Kindness Challenge at Jefferson Elementary School on Monday, Jan. 27. Initiated in Carlsbad, The Great Kindness Challenge is a proactive and positive bullying prevention initiative aimed to improve school atmosphere and increase student engagement. Practiced in over 110 countries, this annual event devotes one week to performing acts of kindness on campus.
Statewide Bluff Collapse Committee
The Fire Department’s Lifeguard Program represented the City of Carlsbad at a statewide meeting held in Laguna Beach regarding bluff collapses. Lifeguard Supervisor Mike Burke attended the meeting with 11 other agencies, to help formulate a statewide plan for bluff collapse response and rescue operations as well as appropriate signage informing beach goers of the risks of bluffs at various California beaches.
North Zone Urban Search and Rescue Team Meet and Greet
The Fire Department coordinated the first Meet and Greet of our partner agencies for the proposed North Zone Urban Search and Rescue Team. The meeting was held at San Marcos’ Fire Training Facility and was attended by numerous members of the four agencies spearheading the program: Carlsbad Fire, San Marcos Fire, Escondido Fire and Cal Fire. The Meet and Greet entailed presentations on local vulnerabilities, training standards, specialist position requirements and a familiarization of Carlsbad’s and CalFire’s Heavy Rescue units. Once established, the goal of the multi-agency team will be to deploy 29 highly trained people with specialty equipment to assist in variety of rescue related incidents ranging from earthquakes, mudslides, building collapses, terrorist attacks, swiftwater, confined space or trench rescues.
Fire Prevention personnel recently attended a Resource Fair located at the Villa Loma Apartment Community Center. Villa Loma Apartments are a 342 unit affordable housing complex equipped with electric cook tops in all the units. According to the NFPA Home Cooking Report, households that use electric ranges have a higher risk of cooking fires and associated losses than those using gas ranges. About 30 community members learned various fire prevention tips. Children and adults practiced prevention techniques, such as testing a smoke alarm and creating escape plans.
Jan. 27, 2020
We All Count
Starting off with a big shout out to our staff working on the city’s homeless response plan, including our two newest team members Holly Nelson, homeless program manager, and Jessica Osborn, our new “housing navigator”. They, along with members of the Homeless Outreach Team in the Police Department, plus city staff from other city departments participated in the nationwide “Point in Time” count of individuals experiencing homelessness. Not only is this important work that is a very high priority for Carlsbad residents, we had over two dozen community members volunteer to work alongside staff for this year’s count. Oh, and did I mention this all took place starting at 3:30 a.m.? Excellent work all around! Thank you.
Assistant City Manager/Chief Operations Officer
As you know by now, Chief Operations Officer Elaine Lukey has decided to retire in March. Now that I’ve had a little time to think about how to move forward, I have decided the chief operations officer title will “retire” along with Elaine. I will instead be bringing back the assistant city manager position. My goal in making this change is to shift the main responsibility for operational oversight to our three deputy city managers. This will allow the City Manager’s Office to have an even greater focus on the big picture strategies of the organization and making sure they are aligned with what is most important to our community.
City of Carlsbad Awarded an Excellence Award for the Fiscal Year 2019-20 Operating Budget
The California Society of Municipal Finance Officers recognizes those entities with highly professional budget documents with two levels of certificates. The first level is the “Meritorious Budget Award,” which requires the entity to meet a very specific list of criteria. The second level is the “Operating Budget Excellence Award,” which requires that the organization meet even higher criteria which effectively enhances the usability of the document.
City Personnel Connect at Technology Summit
Fire, Safety I/T, and GIS personnel attended a two day Fire Operations Technology Summit, hosted at the world renowned ESRI campus in Redlands, California. The technology summit, presented by CalChiefs and FIRESCOPE, brings together fire operations chiefs, public safety personnel, and technology experts from across the state of California. The goal of the summit is to improve daily operations and first responder safety, and to discover innovative uses of technology and approaches to emergency response, management and data analytics.
Newest Certified Park and Recreation Professional
Recreation Area Manager Margaret Hamer recently became a Certified Park and Recreation Professional. Margaret joins other employees in the Parks & Recreation Department who achieved education and experience prerequisites and passed a rigorous national examination which is designed to assess the core knowledge of job-related tasks common to parks and recreation professionals. The certification is the leading professional certification in the parks and recreation field. Congratulations, Margaret!
Pine Avenue Community Center and Gardens Project Recognized
The Pine Avenue Community Center and Gardens Project has been selected as the Outstanding Community Improvement Project by the American Society of Civil Engineers Region 9. The selection provides significant recognition for civil engineering design. Staff is very pleased the city’s civil engineering subconsultant, BergerABAM, nominated the Pine Avenue Community Center and Gardens project for this prestigious award.
Hidden Valley Trail Event
On a crisp January Saturday morning, 24 volunteers came out to the Hidden Valley Trail Event and contributed approximately 45 hours of service to help beautify the trail. Volunteers (including one recently retired city planner!), along with city staff, painted bollards, trimmed vegetation, repaired erosion and picked up trash. The enthusiasm of the group was palpable. At the end of the event, volunteers expressed their satisfaction for a job well done and the excitement of meeting new friends. The City of Carlsbad appreciates all the volunteers and staff that came together to make this event a success.
eGaming Tournament Takes Over Pine Avenue Community Center
On Jan. 10, the UCSD Triton Gaming Club hosted the first eGaming Tournament in Carlsbad at the Pine Avenue Community Center. Middle schoolers from Carlsbad and throughout North County arrived ready to battle it out and earn the championship title. The center was filled with cries of triumph and defeat as the bracket slowly narrowed down to the final two. Participants gathered in the gym to cheer on the top two contenders as they challenged each other in a final showdown.
Walking Wednesdays Club Is Now Carlsbad Cruisers
The walking club that met once a week on Wednesday mornings at the Pine Avenue Community Center has grown so large that a second day, Tuesday, was added. The participants voted, and a club name change was made. Keep an eye out for the Carlsbad Cruisers as they make their away around Carlsbad on foot and prepare to participate as a team in the Carlsbad 5000.
Distinguished Service Award
At a recent Infragard San Diego membership meeting, Assistant Director of Emergency Operations, David Harrison, received InfraGard San Diego’s Distinguish Service Award “in recognition of extraordinary vision, dedication and achievement in the spirit of the InfraGard mission.” This award was presented in recognition of David’s and Carlsbad Community Emergency Response Team member Bob Welty’s coordination of Infragard’s first-ever regional earthquake symposium, which drew 400 attendees at Qualcomm’s Jacobs Hall. InfraGard is an alliance between the FBI and regional businesses focusing on critical infrastructure protection and has 2600 members making it the 3rd largest Chapter in the nation. David serves on InfraGard San Diego’ Board of Directors.
New Fire Department Personnel
On Jan. 13, the Fire Department welcomed five new Paramedic/Firefighters to Team Carlsbad. These personnel; Ryan Hetzler, Enrique Jacobo, Trent Robinson, Merritt Veyveris and Nick Vosdoganes, will begin their journey working through a six week academy, which helps to form a strong foundation, builds on current fire and emergency medical service skills, and teaches performance expectations to achieve long term success.
Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership School Graduate
Sergeant James Willis graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute. This esteemed program for law enforcement is designed to stimulate personal growth, leadership and ethical decision making. It is an intense eight month program that challenges students to learn new ways to resolve issues.
Kid’s Mile Marathon
Members of the Police Department joined young runners at Legoland for the Tri-City Medical Center Kid’s Mile Marathon. Kids ran or walked a mile through the park and five dollars of each race entry fee was donated directly to Merlin's Magic Wand, helping children and families during times of serious illness or disability.
Police Department Promotes Three Officers
Congratulations! Nineteen year police veteran, Morgan Griggs was promoted to Police Sergeant. Seven year police veteran Matt Bowen was promoted to Corporal and five year police veteran Matt Jencen was also promoted to Corporal.
2020 Invitational at Cannon Art Gallery Until Feb. 8
The City of Carlsbad’s Cultural Arts Office presents the 2020 Invitational, an exhibition featuring the work of five San Diego County artists. The biannual exhibit provides an opportunity to showcase a select few of the artists from the most recent Juried Biennial and present their work in greater depth. The exhibition opened Dec. 15 and continues through Feb. 8 at the William D. Cannon Art Gallery, located at Dove Library.
Winter Reading Challenge Runs Until Jan. 31
The library is kicking of the New Year with the Winter Reading Challenge for all ages, running until Jan. 31. Carlsbad’s collective community reading goal for January 2020 is 125,000 minutes. As of day eight of the Winter Reading Challenge, the community had already read 25,161 minutes! To participate and earn a reading incentive, register here. Need reading ideas? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Author Event of 2020
Carlsbad City Library held its first author event of 2020 with the Transformational Authors of San Diego. These five authors inspired the nearly 50 attendees with a panel discussion moderated by Community Relations Manager Jessica Padilla Bowen, who used her skills acquired from her recently completed program through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.
Positive Feedback on City Hall Construction
On Friday, a librarian was returning to Cole from a meeting as one of toddler/preschool programs was ending. As she walked toward the library, she saw several toddlers, preschoolers and their families watching the construction crew work on Laguna Drive. One family even sat at the picnic table to watch all the action while eating snacks. The look on the little ones’ faces as they witnessed the construction crew use an excavator was priceless!
Jan. 13, 2020
Carlsbad Becomes First California City to Adopt 2019 Energy Reach Codes
In the city’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet Climate Action Plan goals, Carlsbad has been recognized for going above and beyond in energy efficiency. Carlsbad is proud to be named the first California city to adopt 2019 Energy Reach Codes, a law adopted by a local government that requires building energy performance beyond current California Building Efficiency Standards. Read more in the article here.
Carlsbad’s Annual Financial Report Now Available
The city’s fiscal year 2018-19 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is now available online here. In addition, at the City Council Workshop on Jan. 21, 2020, staff will present the results from the fiscal year 2018-19 audit and highlights from the fiscal year 2018-19 report.
Carrillo Ranch Extended Operating Hours
Operating hours at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park have been extended to better serve the public. Since park opened in 2003, it had been closed on Mondays, and it had opened at 11 a.m. on Sundays. The park is now open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Guided tours of the Hacienda and other historic buildings will be offered at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Hope to see you soon, amigo!
Carlsbad Full and Half Marathon & 5K Next Weekend
The Parks & Recreation Department recently permitted the annual Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Full and Half Marathon & Surf Sun Run 5K, which takes place Sunday, Jan. 19. The ideal weather conditions and spectacular coastal route attract over 9,000 runners. The event includes a two-day Health & Lifestyle Expo on Friday and Saturday, and the Kids Marathon Mile on Saturday. A list of temporary road closures may be found here.
North County Intergenerational Council
Last Wednesday, the City of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation Department hosted the North County Intergenerational Council for San Diego County at the Pine Avenue Community Center. The meeting included a presentation by former Carlsbad City Council Member, Dr. Mark Packard, an intergenerational advocate promoting his Paper Rocket Project. The meeting covered the wide range of programs currently offered at the city as well as 2020 plans. The North County Intergenerational Council was founded in January 2013 and focuses on the role youth and adults play in making communities healthy for all ages. Intergenerational programming strategies are a key component in the North County Community Leadership Team’s Community Health Improvement Plan. The Council serves as an avenue to promote and encourage intergenerational strategies in senior and youth programs, discuss new solutions and programs to improve health and wellness across the generations and prioritize key projects and priority issues for North County. Meetings are held on the second Wednesday every other month from 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Jefferson Elementary Students learn about Stormwater Pollution Prevention
Watershed Protection and Storm Drain Maintenance city staff met with 22 fifth grade students at Jefferson Elementary, as part of the students’ Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan program. The interns, as the students are called, learn about their watershed, the impact of our actions and common pollutants. They make the connection between the work they are doing on their school site and the work done by stormwater professionals in their city. City staff demonstrated how a vacuum truck and power washer are deployed to clean the storm drain inlet and explained the storm drain system and the connection from their school campus to Agua Hedionda Lagoon.
Safety Tool Added to Police Officers Tool Bag
Safety first. The Police Department is the first agency in California to equip all officers with a medical alert card to ensure their safety in an emergency. The card, created in part by an active duty law enforcement officer, notes important medical information that can be used to help an officer during a medical emergency.
Senior Volunteer Patrol Delivers Holiday Cheer
Each year during the holidays, members of the Senior Volunteer Patrol collect goodies and create holiday baskets for their clients in the You Are Not Alone Program. The program is for seniors who would benefit from a daily welfare check to ensure their safety while continuing to live independently.
Police Department Teams Up with Shipping Carriers
To help reduce front porch thefts during the holidays, the Police Department teamed up with shippers like Amazon to provide training on safe delivery practices.
New and Improved Flag Drop Boxes
In partnership with the Carlsbad Fire Explorers, the Carlsbad Fire Department purchased two new flag drop boxes to replace the old weathered boxes at both libraries. The new boxes arrived last week and will be installed soon by facilities outside the Carlsbad City Library and Georgina Cole Library. The old boxes were installed back in March 2013. These mailbox-like disposal containers serve as bins for worn American flags that are no longer fit to display. The flags are collected from the bins by the fire department and retired in accordance with the United States flag code, which states burning the flag as a preferred method for dignified destruction.
New Hire Family Night at the Fire Department
The Fire Department’s New Hire Academy brings about a new tradition in 2020 – New Hire Family Night. This gathering offers the opportunity for newly hired department personnel and their families to spend the evening with other personnel and family members, immediately creating a family support network for employees, spouses and children. In addition to building relationships, new employees will learn about the history of the Carlsbad community and fire department, gain insight to the department’s mission, vision and values, and better understand the expectations during their probationary period. This event is held prior to the start of the Hew Hire Academy and provides these individuals a head-start in learning, development, teamwork and support. Being a new employee is always difficult. This new tradition paves the way for early success and unity.
Carlsbad Fire Explorers Parent Night
The Carlsbad Fire Department recently held its annual Orientation and Parent Night for the new recruits of Fire Explorer Post 2200. The department is ecstatic to bring on 12 new explorers from the Carlsbad community to participate in the North Zone Fire Academy, beginning in February. Fire Exploring is a hands-on program available to young men and women interested in a fire service career. The explorer program teaches basic firefighting and EMT skills, along with the development of team building, leadership, service and life skills, that will serve them throughout their lifetime.
Dec. 16, 2019
Shop with a Cop
The Police Department was honored to participate in the San Diego Shop with a Cop again this year. Officers from all over the region gather in San Diego and are partnered with specially chosen children who can use a little extra help with holiday season. The officers share a meal with their child and then take them shopping.
Teddy Bear Drive
While Police Departments cannot collect teddy bears for Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego like they used to, it does not mean departments stopped providing bears for the children at the hospital. This year, law enforcement agencies helped collect 41k for children’s programs at Rady Children's like the new, germ-free, teddy bears. The teddy bears for the little ones at the hospital are just one of the many programs law enforcement is honored to support.
The Carlsbad Firefighter’s Association, along with support from the Carlsbad Fire Department and the Carlsbad Christmas Bureau, brought holiday cheer to the Carlsbad community with the 7th annual Operation Santa Claus. Fire Department personnel and Carlsbad Fire Explorers volunteered their time collecting donated toys from residents throughout Carlsbad. Neighborhoods visited include Terramar, Foothills, Camino Hills, Evans Point, Canterbury, Rancho Carrillo and Bressi Ranch.
The Carlsbad Firefighter’s Association delivered a truckload of donated toys to the Carlsbad Christmas Bureau with hopes of bringing smiles to the 406 families that are currently adopted through the bureau. Donations collected by residents stay in the Carlsbad community and help the less fortunate who have requested help through an application process. This annual event has become a cherished tradition in the Carlsbad community and the Carlsbad Firefighter’s Association family is proud to host this event each year.
Congratulations to Paula Crewse and Lee Henderson
Congratulations to Senior Program Manger Paula Crewse and Communications Manager Lee Henderson on your graduation from the Civilian Leadership Institute. This comprehensive five-month leadership program is designed specifically for civilian public safety employees who are supervisors/managers or aspiring to become a supervisor or manager, working for municipal, state or government agencies. The goal of the Civilian Leadership Institute is to provide participants the opportunity to develop skills and strategies to become engaging and effective leaders in their organization.
Congratulations to Stephen Kash
Congratulations to Stephen Kash, senior engineer in Utilities, for successfully passing the Project Management Professionals exam administered by the Project Management Institute.
Fire Marshal Visits Sacramento
Fire Marshal Randy Metz attended the Quarterly Building & Fire Advisory Committee Meeting in Sacramento this week. This committee is a collaborative effort between the California Fire Chiefs Association, the California Building Officials Association and the State Fire Marshal’s Office, to explore opportunities that enhance the ongoing working relationship between Fire and Building Officials at local and statewide levels. Fire Marshal Metz serves as one of four fire officials statewide appointed to this committee.
Trail Volunteer Appreciation Event
Last Thursday, Parks & Recreation Department trail volunteers and staff joined together for the Trail Volunteer Appreciation Event at the Leo Carrillo Ranch stable, to celebrate the past year’s successes. Accomplishments included over 1,120 hours of trail maintenance work worth $28,500, which demonstrated the generosity and commitment of our community. The festive décor along with holiday music provided an air of great holiday cheer. The evening began with a warm reception as participants mingled and shared their favorite trail stories. Guests enjoyed tasty taco bar and churros. After dinner, staff recognized volunteers for their long-standing commitment to the trail program and provided highlights of the past year achievements.
Holiday at the Rancho
It was a winter wonderland at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park this past Saturday as families joined Parks & Recreation Department staff and volunteers to celebrate the holiday season. Despite a rainy day, attendees were still able to enjoy cookie decorating, crafts, face painting entertainment, a plush snow ball fight, and a fun photo booth. The event featured a holiday tree lighting and a special visit from Santa (who, coincidentally, resembles a City of Carlsbad Public Works employee)!
Amid the aroma of garlic, onion and myriad of other spices, the Pine Avenue Community Center intergenerational culinary lab prepares fresh food grown in the community garden. The lab is a weekly hot spot that whips up fun, fresh food and science to explore the many health benefits of the culinary arts. Students become the masters of their taste buds while learning how to create delicious fresh meals! Food isn’t just fuel, it is a powerful medicine with a capital M. Not a pill on the planet comes close to the multi-organ, every-cell-of-the-body impact food has for the body. The culinary lab is open every Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for health-conscious foodies.
Library & Cultural Arts Staff Development Day
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, Library & Cultural Arts staff gathered for their annual staff development day. Staff Development Day is an opportunity for all Library & Cultural Arts staff to come together to discuss reflect on our vision for the future and to learn how we can prepare to grow and learn as individuals and as an organization. The theme this year, Finding Your Inner Superhero, featured a panel of employees sharing how they have discovered and utilized their personal strengths to enrich their professional roles. Following the panel, keynote speaker Devin Hughes led a lively presentation including how staff can be their best selves at work, by recognizing how everyday interactions impact those we serve.
Library & Cultural Arts Holiday Performances
The Library & Cultural Arts Department celebrated the holidays with several recent performances. Fifty people enjoyed a concert at the Library Learning Center on Dec. 5 featuring vocalist Allison Adams Tucker and guitarist Peter Sprague performing Christmas tunes mixed with some popular favorites. A lively crowd of 150 enjoyed a performance by vocalist and electric violinist Val Vigoda, who shared stories of touring with Cyndi Lauper and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, on Dec. 8 at the Dove Library. A final holiday concert takes place Sunday, Dec. 15 at Cole Library featuring Danny Green on keyboard and Rebecca Jade on vocals.
And More Library & Cultural Arts Holiday Events
On Dec. 6, approximately 60 Library & Cultural Arts staff and family members gathered to celebrate the holidays with an open house at Dove Library featuring cookie decorating, crafts and a visit from Santa, also known as Fred Vrabel, a retired Library Children’s Division employee. Santa will return for visits with library patrons at the Cole Library and Library Learning Center on Thursday, Dec. 19.
2020 Invitational in the Cannon Art Gallery
The William D. Cannon Art Gallery concluded a successful exhibit Ansel Adams’ Early Works with over 4,500 patrons viewing the black and white photography. The next exhibit is the 2020 Invitational presenting an eclectic mix of the work of artists from local artists Sue DeWulf, Juan Flores, Alison Haley Paul, Annalise Neil and Vicki Walsh. A reception will be held Saturday, Dec. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. to kick-off the exhibit, which runs through Feb. 8, 2020.