Pacific Beach Town Council updated on new community garden
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 08/23/17 - 02:10 PM | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In August, Pacific Beach Town Council was updated on a new community garden and critical regional issues including airplane noise, fire dispatch emergency calls, police activity and political campaign reform.

Greta Aiken led a feature presentation on the new community garden that broke ground in July at St. Andrews by-the-Sea Episcopal Church at 1050 Thomas St. across from the Pacific Beach Library.

Aiken, a civil engineer who designs highways and has a passion for eco-living and gardening, thanked Pacific Beach community activist and planner Paula Gandolfo for her longstanding efforts in lobbying for more community gardens.

The new garden at St. Andrews is in the church's front yard.

“We will have 20 raised-bed boxes costing $275 for an initiation fee, plus a $20 monthly fee covering insurance,” said Aiken, who noted the church's new garden was blessed prior to planting.

The church garden groundbreaking involved digging a hole and filling it with organic materials, said Aiken noting the church's front yard is  gently sloped and the new garden will have to be built from scratch.

“We're hoping to complete construction by the end of the year in November or December,” Aiken added.

“You could give out community service hours for local schools, it's huge to let everybody know that,” pointed out Joe Wilding from the audience.

Ed Harris, San Diego Lifeguard Union chief and former District 2 Councilmember, discussed the ongoing controversy over routing emergency response calls.

San Diego Fire Department recently changed the way radio dispatch works, having all water-related 911 calls now go first to the fire department, instead of going directly to lifeguards, who've historically made all water rescues. Harris contends that change adds a step slowing down the lifeguards' emergency response time.

“The fire department has rescinded their (call) policy,” said Harris who added it's still possible for that policy to be reinstated.

Police media liaison Larry Hesselgesser updated the council on a recent shooting near Belmont Park roller coaster.

“It's being investigated by our gang detail,” Hessellgesser said, describing the suspect being sought as “a Hispanic male in his 20s.”

The police officer added there have been four new arrests in the police bait bike program, in which bikes are equipped with trackable devices and left to be stolen by crooks.

 Past PBTC president Alan Harris clued the group in on the latest with airport noise.

“A change in airplane routes started back in October 2016 affecting both departures and arrivals,” Harris contended, adding, “flights are coming closer to Mount Soledad and Kate Sessions Park.”

Former Councilmember John Hartley presented on Neighborhoods for Clean Elections, an effort to have publicly financed elections replace “pocketbook” politics, preventing special interests from having an undo influence in elections.

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