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“The Jumping Turtle is not going out of business,” says owner Matt Hall, despite having lost his most recent appeal to keep the City of San Marcos from revoking his venue’s entertainment permit.

“City Hall hired a hearing officer who reviewed the claims against us, and she went back to two supposed noise violations as the main reason to revoke. I’ve never been cited [for a noise violation] in seven years; it was just two sheriffs who basically said, ‘Yeah, I pulled in to the Turtle once and I heard music.’ ”

Hall’s appeal included testimonials in favor of allowing the Turtle to host concerts, especially all-age events, provided by supporters such as Meliesa McDonell, music director of Vista School of Rock, and Beth Vinas, who runs the CCMusicArts School. “We do a lot of things with music students.… The City should be more worried about the methadone clinic down the street.”

Shortly after his last appeal hearing, according to Hall, “San Marcos city clerk Susie Vasquez served this letter of intent to revoke, which she has the power to do because that particular permit comes out of her office.… I don’t think there’s ever been another [entertainment permit] revocation in San Marcos.”

Other San Marcos clubs offering live music have included the Longshot, closed in September 2006 over state Alcoholic Beverage Control violations and a reported stabbing, and the Boulevard, which had its liquor license suspended for a time before closing in 2008.

For now, Hall says he’s operating under “business as usual. Our permit is not [currently] revoked, but they have the power to do so anytime they want. They can even tell me what color to paint my building if they want. So now we’re just waiting for the city council to decide what they’re gonna do.

“Probably the only reason they haven’t revoked us yet is because they’re in the process of changing lawyers.”

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Meliesa Jan. 30, 2010 @ 12:52 p.m.

Correction to the above:

What you refer to as 'Vista School of Rock' is actually the 'Paul Green School of Rock Music' in Vista.

I am no longer Music Director there, having left in August of last year to pursue other opportunities.

The owner of the School is Ron Weaver, and the Music Director is Thomas Mitchell.

Thank you. =))

  • Meliesa McDonell
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Jay Allen Sanford Feb. 2, 2010 @ 10:54 p.m.

UPDATE from Matt at the JT, 2-3-10: This email is to update the press regarding the ongoing situation involving The Jumping Turtle and the City of San Marcos, CA.

On Wednesday, February 3, 2010 The Law Offices of Everett DeLano will be filing the first lawsuit on behalf of The Jumping Turtle, Matthew Hall and Laura Mouradian against 1) The City of San Marcos; 2) Susie Vasquez, City Clerk, individually and in her official capacity; and 3) Sgt. Glenn Giannantonio (of the San Marcos Sheriffs' dept.) individually and in his official capacity.

We are not litigious people and have tried to handle this situation without filing any lawsuits. However, due to the defendants continued acts of unlawful behavior we were left with no choice. Hopefully, we will not be compelled to file further claims/lawsuits, but that can only be determined by the defendants possible further actions. Of course we are prepared to do so if deemed necessary.

The following are the claims listed in the lawsuit:

Complaint for Damages Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 1. Deprivation of Civil Rights 2. Conspiracy to Deprive of Civil Rights 3. Abuse of process 4. Nuisance 5. Harassment 6. Permanent Injunction 7. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress 8. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress 9. Defamation 10. False Light

Demand for Jury Trial

No dollar figure is listed in the lawsuit due to the nature of the losses and due to the fact that loses are accruing daily. Our intention is to reclaim the loses that have accrued due to the city’s illegal actions. Losses and damages are already well into the seven figures. (exact dollar figure to be proven in court) We are also suing for punitive damages so the defendants will hopefully think twice about illegally trying to hurt another business or any individual again.

We have been approached by other businesses as well as individuals who have also been victimized by San Marcos, CA City Hall. One individual was compelled to start the blog site listed below: stopsanmarcoscorruption.com

Here people can keep updated on some of San Marcos’ alleged dirty dealings and incompetence. Those who feel like sharing their own stories are invited to post individual blogs. Unfortunately, the stories we have heard, and our own experience, the City of San Marcos' politicians and employees have used their power to unethically and unlawfully hurt many good businesses as well as many good, honest individuals. IT NEEDS TO STOP!!! (continued in comment #3)

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Jay Allen Sanford Feb. 2, 2010 @ 10:54 p.m.

We have begun working with some of these businesses and residents compiling some great information that will hopefully help stop dirty politicians and city employees. Many individuals have been dealing with this for years and are understandably scared of retaliation. However, now many of those individuals are ready to come forward and we intend to help them.

We have started organizing and getting ready for the November 2010 elections.

I appreciate all of you keeping up with the story and my only request is that you continue to follow the story so that people can be informed. I have heard so many horror stories regarding this city hall’s administration. Our goal is to help prevent this from happening to anyone else.

We want to thank everyone who has supported us through this difficult time. The support for our cause has been huge and greatly appreciated by the entire Jumping Turtle Family.

Sincerely, Matt Hall – The Jumping Turtle

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box500 Feb. 3, 2010 @ 8:11 a.m.

"...The City should be more worried about the methadone clinic down the street.”

Why should the city, or anyone for that matter, be worried about a methadone clinic? The people who go to methadone clinics are there because they no longer want to live a life of drug abuse/addiction. They are taking steps towards getting their lives back in order by submitting to mandatory random monthly UA screenings, counseling, medical care, testing for diseases, etc. Each clinic is run differently, but most are no longer the "dose & go" clinics of yester-year that provided no other assistance. Sure, there are still some people who abuse drugs that attend methadone clinics, but they are not the majority of the folk - who are there to get help. It is called harm reduction, something the city/county of San Diego could learn a little more about.

I'll I'm asking is to think twice before bashing the methadone clinic and the people there trying to get help. These folks have enough issues to deal with, without adding stereotyping to the list.

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Jay Allen Sanford Feb. 12, 2010 @ 12:59 a.m.

Update - looks like RIP JT. Always a shame to lose a good live music venue. The Reader must have done half a hundred stories now on the ongoing venue turnaround around San Marcos - a lot of divergent factors seem to have contributed to what happened to the JT, but one has to wonder why it seems so difficult for ANYbody to host live music in San Marcos.

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