What a cool surprise for me to see a photo of one of my kelp art installations on page 135 this week (“Pictures of a Town,” November 4)! With the onset (hopefully) of winter weather, I plan on doing a few more this year and early next year. I create these kelp villages, peopled with the marine branch of the OBCean family, whenever enough of the right kind of kelp shows up on the beach. The smiles, questions, and quizzical looks the installations generate create a positive energy that flows along with the viewers wherever they go that day.
Truth From A To L
Please be advised that the October 28 article regarding the Carlton Oaks Country Club (COCC) has numerous factual errors and, unfortunately, misstates the events surrounding COCC’s arrangement with the San Diego River Conservancy.
Below, I have summarized several of the inaccuracies so that the San Diego Reader may retract the story or revise in a factually accurate manner.
A) My client’s name is TY Investment, Inc., not TY Investments, LLC (note: there is no s at the end of the word “Investment,” and it is a corporation, not a limited liability company).
B) TY Investment, Inc., is based out of Santee, California, not Melbourne, Florida.
C) Approximately 60 percent of the golf course and three-fourths of the country club are in Santee, with the balance in San Diego.
D) COCC’s 50-year lease with the City of San Diego ran out on January 1, 2009, and the City was unwilling to work out further lease arrangements, requiring the sale to move forward.
E) The San Diego River Conservancy and the San Diego River Park Foundation were aware that COCC was attempting to purchase the property for approximately two years. In fact, the River Conservancy was in constant communication with the City of San Diego regarding the property.
F) The River Conservancy was given three additional months over that statutorily required (60 days) to agree to purchase the property. The River Conservancy was told by the state’s Department of Finance that $3,000,000 did not exist in the budget to purchase this property, that it was questionable whether the money would be available in the next budget, and that in no case would the City of San Diego get these much-needed funds in a transaction with the River Conservancy for at least two years.
G) The River Conservancy does not have any personnel to manage leased property, unlike the City of San Diego. Therefore, the notion that the Conservancy could purchase this land and then lease it back to COCC is far-fetched.
H) The berm mentioned in your story is not in the riparian area. It is disturbed land, artificially constructed approximately ten years ago. Contrary to Mr. Hutsel’s comment, it is, in fact, the River Conservancy’s own top choice to place the trail directly on this berm.
I) As part of the arrangement with the River Conservancy, COCC will permit the River Conservancy to prepare a trail plan (note: the San Diego River Master Plan has been in draft form for over five years, and no planning has occurred on the golf course property to date). If COCC were to wait for the Conservancy, the Foundation, or the City to prepare a trail plan there is no date certain on when that might occur. The arrangement created permits the golf course to continue to exist and the trail to be put in on the Conservancy’s timetable, not COCC’s.
J) The River Conservancy will be given a public trail easement free of charge, not only over the property owned by the City of San Diego but also over significant acreage owned by TY Investment, Inc., so that the trail may connect with other publicly accessible lands. Without this additional trail area, the San Diego River Trail would have impassible gaps located on private property requiring eminent domain proceedings and purchase of land for considerable value.
K) There is nothing “loose” about the language of the agreement between COCC and the River Conservancy. In fact, over 40 pages of concrete terms, giving the River Conservancy a variety of rights and permissions, dictate the terms of the arrangement. Effectively, COCC provided the River Conservancy with the right to construct a trail on the property without having to spend $3,000,000 in state funds. This money can instead be used for other acquisitions or for trail development if and when it materializes.
L) The San Diego River Conservancy boardmembers overwhelmingly approved the agreement prepared by COCC because they saw the value of not unnecessarily spending public funds when a private organization gives the rights sought freely.
COCC expects that the San Diego Reader will follow through on its journalistic standards to make the necessary corrections in both print and web media. In the future, should you wish to prepare any further stories on this topic, I would expect that you would try to fact-check a more even-handed report, garnering information from more than just one side.
Felix M. Tinkov, Esq.
Lounsbery Ferguson Altona & Peak
Joe Deegan responds: I regret the errors contained in my story and apologize especially to Toru Mise, the owner of Santee’s TY Investment, Inc.
Ebb, EBM, And Belgium
The band Nitzer Ebb are actually from the U.K., not Belgium (“Club Crawler,” October 28). Their music genre, EBM (which stands for electronic body music, and not simply “body music,” as the writer suggests), was popularized in Belgium.
Name Withheld by Request