APR 29, 2019 Jason Mraz, music meets ag on the western side of Fallbrook
Morro Hills: Some call it Oceanside, some call it western Fallbrook. Whatever you call it, it’s a lovely area. Here’s what musician Jason Mraz is doing over there: growing coffee and avocados on his Mraz Family Farms.
APR 6, 2019 Highlights for this week include:
MAR 21, 2019 Mark your calendars! Rainbow Water Rate Increase Meeting (March 26) and coming to Fallbrook: Carl DeMaio (April 10), Supervisor Jim Desmond (April 11) and Avocado Festival (April 14)!
Mark your calendars! March 26, 1 PM, Rainbow Water will discuss raising its rates. Be there! Must see political activist Carl DeMaio who will be speaking at the Fallbrook Public Library on the evening of April 10 and our new County Supervisor Jim Desmond will be at the Fallbrook Revitalization Committee meeting on the morning of April 11. Our fabulous Avocado Festival is on April 14! Busy, busy, busy! Scroll down for more!
MAR 21, 2019 Rainbow Water Rate Increase Meeting March 26
Highlights include: “The District’s ending net position was $82,879,978. The change in net position for the fiscal year was a decrease of $406,092. The District’s net position from the prior fiscal year decreased by 0.5%. Operating revenue for this fiscal year increased 15.2% over the prior year. Operating expenses increased by 13.1% from the prior year due to increased wholesale cost of water purchases as a result of the increase in water sales. Non-operating expenses decreased by 85.1% or $1,949,975 due to previous year’s abandonment of capital assets.” “The District’s total operating revenues for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, excluding interfund transfers, increased by $5,476,417 to $41,617,724. This was due primarily to the increased water sales to customers. The District’s total operating expenses increased by $5,268,922 to $45,386,976 due to the increased wholesale cost of water purchases as a result of the increase in water sales.The loss from operations was $3,769,252.” [NOTE: loss after depreciation taken $3,648,435.]
Rainbow Water says a rate increase is needed to offset increased wholesale cost of water which, after all the rain we’ve had, should drop next year, right?
Doesn’t look like any sort of financial emergency at Rainbow Water or any need at all for a rate increase. Perhaps an accountant can take a look?
MAR 21, 2019 Sprawl Development Warner Ranch is Dead
San Diego Union Tribune’s J. Harry Jones reports that the owners of the proposed sprawl development Warner Ranch (780 units) have withdrawn it from County consideration. “It is now dead,” reports Jones.
The owners cite fears of extended litigation should it be approved since it deviates greatly from the County’s General Plan, a plan that took over a decade to create and is designed to protect San Diego’s rural areas from high-density sprawl development such as Warner Ranch. A December 2018 court ruling against the County’s greenhouse gas emissions plans also played a key part in derailing the project.
Jones’s article states, “County planners had penned a report that would have been presented to the planning commission next month saying there were too many inconsistencies with the county’s General Plan for it to be approved.”
Dan Silver of the Endangered Habitats League is quoted: “This is very positive news for patterns of growth and development in the unincorporated parts of the county. We are very pleased about it and hope this indicates a new direction.”
The owners say the property is not for sale and that they are considering developing it in compliance with the General Plan (possibly 200 or so homes on 513 acres). Warner Ranch is surrounded on three sides by the Pala Tribe Reservation, a rural area with very limited water resources within the Rainbow Water District which is holding a meeting about increasing rates on March 26.
MAR 6, 2019 Bonsall High School to share site with Palomar College
In November Measure EE, the sixth attempt since 1978 to build a high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley, failed by a huge margin. Since then SaveGirdValley.com volunteers have attended BUSD Board meetings. After the election, enrollment came in far below projections as did revenue, putting BUSD below the 3% reserve requirement. BUSD is now struggling to reduce expenses without cutting teaching positions.
We also attended a special meeting held March 5 at the Palomar North Campus located at the 15 and 76 where a joint campus proposal was enthusiastically discussed and fast tracked by the Palomar and BUSD Boards.
This is not the first time this has been discussed. In 2012: BUSD stated: “In a development planned to begin in the next 2–3 years, Palomar College will be across the street from the future site of a Bonsall School. We are exploring the possibility of this becoming a future site of a high school using a 2 plus 2 program where students in high school can graduate with up to two years of college credit. With an increased use of technology to serve the digital learner, our educational program will be flexible enough to adapt to a variety of settings.”
The North Palomar Educational Center’s Environemntal Impact Report (completed in 2008 under the County’s 1996 General Plan) is an 85-acre site which will eventually encompass 380,000 sq. ft. over several decades depending on student enrollment levels. Palomar Campus (currently located in San Marcos with satellite schools in North County) was projected to have 47,500 students enrolled by the year 2022. Palomar’s student enrollment peaked at 31,519 students in 2009, declined to 25,941 in 2014 and 23,848 enrolled (7,190 full time) by Fall 2017.
MAR 13, 2019 Coffee with the Sheriff on March 27
FEB 14, 2019 Heavy Rains in Gird Valley
We’ve had several months of great rain in Gird Valley. Here’s a video taken along Gird Road today:
DEC 27, 2018: Happy Holidays from SaveGirdValley.com
NOV 7, 2018 Final Election Results
A big thank you to those leaving the Board for their years of good service and best wishes to those who have volunteered to serve the community on the BUSD Board.
As for Measure EE, this marks the sixth failed attempt, under two different school districts since 1978, to build a high school on a site in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley. Measure EE lost by a very large measure so this communicates the community’s thoughts on this issue. It is time to sell or trade the Great Gird Money Pit and make new plans for the future.
NOV 6, 2018 Election Results 2018
Updated Nov 15 and 25: Following the election? The official results are posted here.
Measure EE, Attempt #6 to build a high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley since 1978, lost. Again.
Democrats and Republicans and many others officially opposed Measure EE. See the coalition list!
Incumbent Lou Riddle, Roger Merchat and Michael Gaddis have won four-year term on the BUSD Board. Current BUSD Board President Timothy Coen drew the fewest votes. Appointed Board member Eric Ortega and union-backed candidate Brian Olson are battling it out for fourth and fifth place. Too close to call is the race between Dr. Sylvia Tucker and Larissa Anderson for a two-year term on the Board.
To learn more about the Board members, please review their answers to our Questionnaire.
The four winners join incumbent Dick Olson on the Board for a total of five Board members serving BUSD. Congratulations to all!
NOV 3, 2018 Carl DeMaio Labels Measure EE the Worst and a “Zombie” Measure!
Carl DeMaio reports on the proliferation of bond measures in San Diego County and says Bonsall Unified School District’s (BUSD) Measure EE is to be counted in the top two worst bond measures in the County. He referenced the chart below, BUSD’s plummeting reserves after seven years of deficit spending.
He also interviewed retired teacher Jan Patterson of the NOonMeasureEE.com campaign and calls Measure EE a “zombie” bond measure since it keeps coming back from the dead. with 2018 being the sixth time District residents have had to vote it down! Have a listen!
DeMaio is part of a growing coalition against Measure EE.
OCT 31, 2018 Email blast and our presentation at Rancho Monserate County Club
Here’s the link you need https://conta.cc/2QauJth for sharing today’s email blast on the upcoming election. NO on EE and support Roger Merchat and Sylvia Tucker ONLY for the BUSD Board! Good luck to us all!
We spent the evening at Rancho Monserate County Club in its lovely Fireside Room overlooking the golf course. Brad Jordan and Teresa Platt shared a PowerPoint presentation and BUSD Board candidate Roger Merchat met residents. Here’s more info on the BUSD/Lilac Hills Ranch connection.
Thanks to everyone who made this event possible!
OCT 24, 2018 Update on Gird Valley, Measure EE and more…
OCT 24, 2018 On projections, brick and mortar and fuzzy math…
Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD), with a 2018 graduating class of just 57, is wrong to ask voters to build it a new campus via the $38M Bond Measure EE. READ MORE…
OCT 24, 2018 Special Interests Funding Measure EE
The Yes on Measure EE committee, which is pushing to build a Bonsall High School for 1,500 in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley, advertises itself as a grassroots campaign when it is actually receiving large contributions from special interest groups. Oddly structured as a 501c4, the Yes on EE campaign does business (attempting to convince voters to vote to tax themselves for 30+ years to pay for a $38M bond measure with a final cost of double that) under the name “Safe and Strong Bonsall Schools”. It is estimated that, to build what BUSD has proposed, will actually take three similarly-sized bond measure. READ MORE….
OCT 23, 2018 BUSD says student safety is important but….
- BUSD proposes moving its high school students from a moderate wildfire zone in Bonsall to a very high wildfire zone in Fallbrook and then offered only one entrance/exit in the proposed design plan. READ MORE.
OCT 18, 2016 Village News on the progress being made a at Monserate Winery
Tom Ferrall of the Village News interviews owner Jade Work on the progress being made at Monserate Winery. Includes some very nice pictures by Shane Gibson.
OCT 14, 2018 Where once there was a golf course, now there are grapes
San Diego Union Tribune‘s J. Harry Jones revisits the failed Fallbrook golf course and watches the vines grow in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley…..
OCT 7, 2018 Update on the September meeting, Measure EE and more….
A BIG THANK YOU to all who attended SaveGirdValley.com‘s meeting on September 18th. It was wonderful to see a standing-room-only crowd of terrific people who care so much about Fallbrook’s Gird Valley and North County! Here is a tiny URL https://conta.cc/2E6Sj8v to our email blast on this! Share and read more….
OCT 6, 2018 Learn more about the growing coalition opposing Measure EE
The growing coalition Opposing Measure EE includes an All Star list of Democrats, Republicans, taxpayer advocates, teachers and community leaders committed to education and quality of life in San Diego County. Official Voters Guide for November election is out! See pages 62 and 63.
OCT 4, 2018 We asked Bonsall School Board candidates questions. Read their answers.
We asked the BUSD Board candidates some hard questions. See their answers and please vote wisely! The quality of our future depends on it.
OCT 1, 2018 BUSD earns spot on the State’s financially challenged list.
BUSD earns a spot on the State’s financially challenged list, where it is noted, “Qualified Certification: A qualified certification is assigned to a LEA [Lead Educational Agency] when it is determined that, based upon current projections, the LEA may not meet its financial obligations for fiscal year 2017–18, 2018–19, or 2019–20.”. See Main page.
SEPT 19, 2018 Thank you to everyone at the SaveGirdValley.com meeting at the Fallbrook Library!
A big thank you to our speakers and supporters, to all who attended the SaveGirdValley.com meeting at the Library on September 18. It was a terrific evening, standing room only! We are sharing the PowerPoint Presentation we used at the meeting. If you open it in slideshow mode, the links will work for you. We hope you find the info useful.
SAVE THE DATE and SPREAD THE WORD!
September 18, 6:30-8:30 PM, SaveGirdValley.com meeting! SaveGirdValley.com has reserved the Fallbrook Library’s Community Room for Tuesday, September 18, 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Use this link https://conta.cc/2oQLEF2 to spread the word!
- Monserate Winery’s Jade Work,
- James Gordon on the BUSD/Lilac Hills Ranch connection JUST CONFIRMED!
- Mark Jackson on the 2020 ballot measure and SaveOurCountryside.org,
- U.S. Marine and Gird Valley neighbor Julian Torres,
- Environmental attorney Kevin Johnson on CEQA/EIR,
- Carl DeMaio on the growing coalition Against Measure EE,
- Teresa Platt and Brad Jordan of SaveGirdValley.com will share an update on the Challenges Facing Gird Valley.
- Jade Work will update us on the progress being made at Monserate Winery located in the heart of Gird Valley.
- Learn about SaveGirdValley.com’s activism, including its work with the California Environmental Quality Act/Environmental Impact Report (CEQA/EIR) related to a proposal to build a huge high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley.
AUG 18, 2018 Power of the Pen: Letters to Editor Trigger Policy Change at Village News
Fallbrook residents (Brad Jordan and Roy Batchelor) wrote Letters to the Editor pointing out that a front page story, without a byline, was actually a press release from political campaigners. The Village News agreed and promptly enacted a policy change:
Mr. Jordan and Mr. Batchelor: Thank you for your reaction to last week’s press release submitted to us. You are absolutely right. We were so focused on news coverage and fires that less time was spent editing and it was a poor decision to run that press release on the front page, because it editorialized within the press release.
AUG 22, 2018 Long term public school enrollment declines start in 2021
The San Diego Union Tribune reports on schools competing for fewer students in San Diego County while California stats project that, starting 2021, “declining birth rates and lower in-migration rates will send school enrollment on a continuous decline, according to state enrollment projections.”
AUG 12, 2018 Fallbrook’s Gird Valley a Very High Wildfire Hazard Zone
San Diego County’s KnowYourHazards rates Gird Valley a Very High Wildfire Hazard Zone. This includes the site Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) proposes for a 1,500-student high school located just 1.1 miles from the northernmost edge of the District. While stating student safety is its number one concern, BUSD has proposed school designs for the site featuring only one entrance/exit. The current high school site, on West Lilac in Bonsall, remains in a Moderate Wildfire Hazard Zone, two levels below Gird Valley.
Since 1978, District voters have rejected the Gird Valley site for a high school five times at the ballot box, the last vote was in 2016. A 2018 bond Measure EE will be Attempt #6.
JULY 21, 2018 Why schools, all schools, need to embrace carpool apps
This is a video of early AM drop off at a 700 student K-5 elementary school in North Carolina. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrxxX-59b58 While this video is a Dept. of Transportation test of a two-lane drop off plan (which was abandoned) and not a real life scenario, it does illustrate what is involved in managing school-related traffic. When will States enact legislation requiring government entities such as schools to include carpooling and bikeways and walking, horse riding paths as a way to reduce traffic, parking problems, accidents and greenhouse gases (GHGs)?
JULY 10, 2018 BUSD meeting coming up on Thursday July 12
July 12, 2018 After the departure of Facilities Director David Medcalf, BUSD seeks to approve a relationship for facilities management with the County Office of Education. See Item 10.7. Item 10.5 notes that the SD County Taxpayers Association recommends BUSD add the following language to the fall ballot measure: “In order to maximize community benefit and efficiently apply taxpayer dollars, the applicant shall demonstrate a good faith effort to pursue all practical opportunities to expand community joint use facilities in every new or expanded construction project. In pursuing joint use, the applicant’s goal should be to maximize the use of facilities to the broader community without adversely impacting operations or finances.”
JULY 3, 2018 Fallbrook Village Rotary learns about battle in Gird Valley
The Village News published a slightly edited version of a report on a speech given by Teresa Platt of SaveGirdValley.com at the June 5 meeting of the Fallbrook Village Rotary. You can read the full report on the speech here.
Platt shared the history Gird Valley’s fight against large scale development, sprawl. She shared details on the failed 116-acre golf course located in the heart of Gird Valley, now being converted into Monserate Winery and vineyard and to be preserved from development via the use of conservation easements. Platt reported on how Bonsall, Fallbrook and other North County residents fought and won against five ballot measures to fund building a huge high school in Gird Valley which runs just 4 miles from Live Oak Park south to the 76.
JUNE 19, 2019 Fallbrook SourceBook features Fallbrook wineries
The Fallbrook Sourcebook, published by the Village News, includes information on Fallbrook area wineries. This issue also features lengthy profiles on Fallbrook Winery, located on the ridge line overlooking Gird Valley, and the new Monserate Winery in the heart of Gird Valley. Very interesting!
JUNE 10, 2018 Ouch! BUSD approves $242,000 in design work and Attempt #6, a $38 million bond to build one-third of a huge high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley!
Read all about it at https://conta.cc/2Jw6sdK
JUNE 8, 2018 “BUSD and developers”, commentary in Village News
The Village News published a commentary revealing a very strong relationship between BUSD and Lilac Hills Ranch development interests. We went back and looked at references to Lilac Hills Ranch that we’d compiled in our lengthy History section and organized them into one document. We hope you find it useful.
JUNE 4, 2018 In a nutshell…
BUSD ignored the state and county which recommended BUSD sell the Gird Valley property and build a high school in the core of Bonsall where it would be conveniently located for the entire district (88 square miles running from Oceanside to Pala). It ignored the Fallbrook Community Planning Group which said the same thing and this report by staff and community volunteers which also recommended building in conjunction with the Ocean Breeze property’s development (1,400 acres adjacent to Sullivan Middle School campus in the center of the district). Why does it keep pushing to build in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley, the northern most edge of the district?
MAY 30, 2018 BUSD Discusses Design Work Before Completion of EIR
Before we have all had the benefit of reviewing the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for building a large high school, BUSD has announced a special Board meeting to discuss: Item 3.1. Design Development of New Bonsall High School Campus and Next Steps. If these proposed designs focus on the Gird Road site, then BUSD is functionally approving and implementing the project before the EIR is finalized, an attempt to shortcut the process. The developer cannot implement the project before the full EIR review process is complete. In fact, the public has submitted varied and lengthy comments on the Draft EIR and the developer/lead agency (BUSD is both in this case) must respond to those comments, after which it must hold public meetings to present and explain the Final EIR to the public. Any attempt to shortcut that process is improper. Illegal? One legal expert we’ve consulted says, yes, illegal.
MAY 25, 2018 KPBS reports: Fallbrook High Loses Millions Of Dollars As Districts Jockey For Students
We built Fallbrook Union High School and it’s losing students to other high schools. Are we overbuilt in North County? You’ll want to read this KPBS report on the economics and dynamics of high schools.
MAY 10, 2018 Another Quarter of a Millions Dollars on the Great Gird Money Pit
Even though it has not yet completed the legally-required CEQA Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process, Bonsall Unified School District ‘s (BUSD) board approved (Item 9.2) to spend another quarter of a million dollars on the Great Gird Money Pit, Attempt #6 to build a huge high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley. This check, for $242,093, goes to Baker Nowicki for design development work. The design development stage, says BUSD (which follows the schematic design phase which cost $181,569), “is where the District and the community will work collaboratively to incorporate the high school educational program requirements with aesthetic and functional design parameters.”
May 5, 2018 Village News reports on BUSD’s Attempt #6 to build in Gird Valley
Hoping that it is more palatable to the voters, The Village News reports that BUSD will place a bond for $38M on the ballot this fall for building 1/3 of a massive 1,500-student high school proposed for Fallbrook’s Gird Valley. This would be Attempt #6 to build in the location which is located about a mile south of the northern edge of the district boundary, inconveniently located for most parents and students.
Superintendent David Jones was quoted, “We’re asking for 20 million less than the 2016 bond. My hope would be that people would understand that and support that we’re being reasonable and conservative with what we’re asking. We are being as reasonable and conservative as we can be in constructing the high school. We’re not asking for all three phases.”
Not yet. But they will.
MAY 3, 2018 You’ll enjoy this update from Monserate Winery
Christina Smith, manager of the vineyard, gives us a detailed update Thanks, Christina!
MAY 1, 2018 Resolution amended and passed April 27 to build 1/3 of a high school in Gird Valley but does not mention Gird Valley
BUSD’s Board passed this amended version of a Resolution to place a $38M (double that to include financing costs) bond on the ballot this November. Although Gird Valley is not mentioned anywhere in the document, just a few weeks ago, BUSD’s Board approved a site in Gird Valley as the preferred site so this bond measure would be Attempt #6 to build a high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley. The Resolution states that this $38M will cover costs for housing 500 students (BUSD currently has only 328 student enrolled in a new high school, completed in 2016, to house 350). BUSD is in the middle of the Environmental Impact Report process for the proposed school for 1,500 so the bond will cover 1/3 of a high school proposed for the northern edge of the district, “foot in the door money to allow BUSD to start grading and building in Gird Valley.
APRl 30, 2018 What passed?
BUSD passed, at an extended special board meeting on April 27, a heavily edited version of a Resolution to place a $38M bond measure on the ballot this November, representing Attempt #6 to build a high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley. We are still trying to get a copy of the final version, what actually was approved Friday night. Stay tuned.
APR 27, 2018 Update: What happened?
Last night’s BUSD Special Board Meeting was extended to Friday April 27, 6 PM, The resolution is a 9-page legal document (due at the Registrar of Voters office by August) and there were lots of questions and contentious moments. Some board members wanted it spelled out what the public would get for its debt but others wanted buzz words that poll well to ease passage of Attempt #6 to build a huge brick and mortar high school in Gird Valley.
APR 24, 2018 BUSD Board Meeting Agenda includes “foot in the door” money: $38M for Attempt #6 to build a huge high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley
The Agenda for Bonsall Unified School District’s (BUSD) April 26 Board Meeting includes one item on which the board members (Timothy Coen, Dick Olson, Eric Ortega, Lou Riddle and Sylvia Tucker) will be voting on a Resolution for a bond measure to be placed on the November 2018 ballot:
APR 24, 2018 Mark Jackson connects the dots between BUSD and Lilac Hills Ranch
At an April 24 presentation at the Fallbrook Library, Mark Jackson of the Save Our Countryside Initiative reveals Lilac Hills Ranch-related entities had funded BUSD’s unification and the November 2016’s Attempt #5 to pass a bond to build a high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley. BUSD is “influencing land use,” explained Jackson. “The Bonsall School District is warmly embracing increased sprawl development, any development, because it, they, need revenue. They’ve made a decision that they can’t fund. It’s that simple. For sure.”
SaveGirdValley.com volunteers reviewed the History section of our website and, sure enough, there were lots of breadcrumbs leading from BUSD to Lilac Hills Ranch. So many that we created a new page: BUDS/Lilac Hills Ranch connections
APR 12, 2018 What happened?
Thanks to everyone who showed up! Jason List of Urban Futures presented results of a telephone survey of 400 district voters. Yes, the answers went a little shaky when the Gird Valley site came up. With mixed results and controversy in the community over the site, Mr. List urged the board to not move forward with a bond but to do more outreach. The Board listened and heard from audience members who felt those opposed to a huge high school in Gird Valley were “selfish” and those who felt historical Gird Valley is worth saving from such a huge development (especially when a school on that site has been rejected five times at the ballot box).
April 10, 2018 BUSD to Vote on Building High School on Gird Road Thursday April 12
The Bonsall Unified School District’s (BUSD) Board’s Agenda for its April 12 meeting reveals that the Board will hear (Item 9.1) the results of a survey to measure support/lack of support for a bond to pay for building a large 1,500-student school in Gird Valley and (Item 9.2) discuss and vote to move forward (or not) with building a large 1,500 student high school campus at the southern end of Gird Valley.
You need to be there! BUSD Board meeting, Thursday, 6 PM, at the Bonsall Community Center, 31505 Old River Rd. Read all about it at https://conta.cc/2GG8vyp
Thanks and spread the word! Bring a neighbor or two with you. See you there!
MAR 26, 2018 Endangered Habitats League (EHL) submits comments
Endangered Habitats League (EHL) submitted comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for Bonsall Unified School District’s proposal for a huge 1,500-student school north of the 76, at the southern end of Gird Valley.
“…the consulting biologist did not conduct protocol level surveys as requested by USFWS/CDFW for the arroyo toad or focused/protocol level surveys for gnatcatchers.”
MAR 22, 2018 Comments submitted re: Draft EIR for BUSD school proposal
Whew! We did it! Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) set a short 45-day public comment period on its proposal to build a 1,500 high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley.
Lots of praise for the staff at environmental attorney Kevin Johnson’s office. They did an amazing job. A Big Thank You to everyone who shared information and supported the work on these comments! You’ll want to read them!
MAR 20, 2018 Fallbrook Community Planning Group (FCPG) comments on proposed high school in Gird Valley
Gird Valley neighbors attended the Fallbrook Community Planning Group’s March meeting (Agenda, Item 5 ) to engage in discussion on the Draft EIR for Bonsall Unified School District’s proposal to build a 1,500-student high school in Gird Valley in Fallbrook. Thank you to those who spoke and shared concerns regarding the very large project creating a massive increase in traffic, parking problems and accidents while pointing out that the proposed site is not centrally located within the Bonsall Unified School District.
MAR 19, 2018 Declining enrollment = Valley Center School District laying off teachers
Valley Center School District will lay off as many 30 teachers this year due to budget issues related to declining enrollment. “Student enrollment continues to decline, the union president said, ‘Yet there doesn’t seem to be a clear understanding of why that enrollment is going down’.”
MAR 10, 2018 Just to remind ourselves where we were and where we are going…
It’s good to look forward and satisfying to look back. In March of 2017, the failed golf course on Gird Road was under new ownership and just starting its transformation into Monserate Winery. These 116 acres are to be protected as agricultural land and open space via conservation easements.
By June of 2017, vines were planted on the ,astern side of Gird Road.
How quickly things change! As of Spring 2018, we’re watching the vines grow and following the work happening on the western side of Gird.
Congrats to Jade and Julie Work and their Dream Team for helping save Gird Valley! Here’s a slideshow which we hope you’ll enjoy; just a taste of what we love about Gird Valley.
FEB 14, 2018 SaveGirdValley.com needs your help on the Draft EIR related to Attempt #6 to build a huge high school in Gird Valley
Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) released for public comment its Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a huge 1,500-student high school proposed for a site in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley. The EIR is available for review via BUSD or on our SaveGirdValley.com website.
The public review/comment period began February 5 and continues through March 22, a scant 45 days. That doesn’t give us much time to read, digest, write and submit comments on this massive 1,800-page document. Read more…
FEB 11, 2018 BUSD calls special meeting to discuss survey questions
We know the questions we’d like to have asked but BUSD most likely will select others. It’s really short notice, but here’s your chance to listen in on that public discussion, scheduled for February 12 at 7 PM at the Bonsall Community Center.
FEB 1, 2018 Guest commentary in Village News on BUSD’s attempt to build a high school in Gird Valley
JAN 23, 2018 Village News on Superintendent’s Advisory Committee (SAC) Site Analysis Report and our analysis
Sadly, BUSD Superintendent David Jones is the only person quoted in the entire Village News article about the Site Analysis so there’s not a lot of meat in this piece, reads like a BUSD press release. But we’ve already done an analysis of the report and researched the Committee (which is supposed to represent the public). As is often the case, all is not as it seems to be. You’ll want to read this, our analysis of the report.
JAN. 13, 2018 It only took us six months but we finally found out what the last Superintendent was actually paid in 2016. It’s a shocker!
In 2015, The San Diego Union Tribune commented on Dr. Justin Cunningham’s Superintendent’s salary, benefits and pension ($191,000 for overseeing a 2,300-student school district) … Read more
JAN. 9, 2018 Mark your calendars!
Thursday, January 11, 6 PM, attend the BUSD Board meeting. We expect to hear about the Superintendent’s site advisory committee’s report and the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) related to the sixth attempt to pass a bond to build a 1,500-student high school in Gird Valley (overdue for release). Here’s an email blast we just sent out on the key issues. As we move forward, please keep this in mind: October 2012: The Village News reported that “BUSD studied its existing facilities and determined that Sullivan Middle School can adequately house the small high school that is envisioned. The school would house approximately 500 to 600 students.” This was before BUSD built a high school for 350 on the Sullivan Campus in Bonsall. We have asked for capacity figures for the Sullivan Campus. Still waiting. We would really like to see a full inventory of what BUSD already has: acreage, capacity (permanent and temporary buildings) and enrollment by site. Hopefully we’ll have that info at some point.
JAN. 9, 2018 Q: How many high schools do we have in the area? You’ll never guess!
Do we even need another high school in the area? That’s a sensible question. So one of our volunteers worked up a list of high schools in the area. Guess what? We have 32 publicly-built and funded high schools and 15 privately-funded high schools in the area! That’s amazing! Beyond this, you can home school or attend school online. Here’s the list we have so far of how many high schools we have in the area. Have we missed any?? Also important to note that BUSD enrollment for grades K-3 is declining (peaked in 2013-14 at 1,134 and dropped over 7% to 1,054 in 2016-17). Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) has seen enrollment plummet by more than 20 percent from a high of 3,117 students in the 2008-’09 school year to about 2,000″ as of November 2017.
JAN. 8, 2018 Site Advisory Committee Report released along with proposed contract with bond experts for another attempt (#6) to pass a bond to build a huge high school in Gird Valley.
The Agenda for the January 11 BUSD Board Meeting (see you there!) is online and it includes item 9.4, the Site Advisory Committee (SAC) Presentation which met six times in closed session (we asked, we were not allowed in and there are no public recordings of their meetings). Not included in the report is any detail as to how those serving on the committee met the parameters set by the Board. We’ve asked for this info several times. No response. … Read more
JAN. 6, 2018 Mark your calendars!
Thursday, January 11, 6 PM, attend the BUSD Board meeting. We expect to hear about the Superintendent’s site advisory committee and the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) related to attempts to build a 1,500-student high school on Gird Road (overdue for release). Here’s an email blast we just sent out on the key issues.
DEC. 5, 2017 Mark your calendars!
Thursday, December 14, 6 PM, attend the BUSD Board meeting.
Join us Wednesday, December 20, 4 PM to 8ish PM for a neighborhood Holiday Mingle. This is a “more the merrier” event. Hear an update about progress at Monserate Winery and meet BUSD school board candidate Roger Merchat. Hope to see you there! Ho! Ho! Ho!
NOV. 16, 2017 Site Advisory Committee Established and Experts Warn BUSD Not to Attempt Bond for Building on Gird Road Site in 2018
At the BUSD November 9 meeting, bond experts warned BUSD not to attempt a bond to pay for building a 1,500-student high school on a proposed site on Gird Road in Fallbrook and the Board released the names of volunteers chosen to serve on the Superintendent’s Site Advisory Committee. Broken down by region, they are: Area 1, Pala – Eric Ortega, No Alternate; Area 2, Rancho – Tom Flanagan, Alternate: David Toney; Area 3, Gird – Eric Nordeen, Alternate: Kara LaRussa (supported Measure DD and building on Gird Road in Village News, October 6, 2016); Area 4, Sullivan – Kassandra Costa, BUSD (elementary) teacher, Alternate: Larissa Anderson (Campaign Manager for failed 2016 Measure DD to fund building a big high school on Gird Road); Area 5, Bonsall – Jeff Johnson, Alternate: None; Area 6, Bonsall West – Brian Olson, Alternate: Eric Ford, reported the Village News. … Read more
NOV. 7, 2017 Reminder: Attend BUSD Board Meeting November 9!
Hope to see you there, 6 PM. Come earlier and sign up if you want to speak. Here’s the agenda. Per Agenda Item 9.6, 24 people volunteered by October 31 to serve on the Superintendent’s Site Advisory Committee. The breakdown by geographic areas is as follows: AREA 1 / PALA: 1; AREA 2 / RANCHO: 5; AREA 3 / GIRD: 6; AREA 4 / SULLIVAN MS: 3; AREA 5 / BONSALL ES: 1; AREA 6 / BONSALL WEST: 5; OUT OF DISTRICT: 3. We should hear more about this at the meeting. The Environmental Impact Report was expected to be released by now but we have not yet seen anything. There will be bond elections experts presenting at the November 9 meeting too so that should be interesting.
OCT. 19, 2017 BUSD seeking applications for site advisory committee
OCT. 15, 2017 Busy SaveGirdValley.com Volunteers are busy attending meetings, learning and volunteering. Join us!
SaveGirdValley.com volunteers attended a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Workshop and the Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) Board meeting on October 12. BUSD is also establishing a Superintendent’s Site Advisory Committee to help build the perfect school in the perfect location. We need your involvement! … Read more
OCT. 9, 2017 Please attend the BUSD Board Meeting, Oct 12, 6 PM!
Here’s the info you need abut this meeting to be held, 6 PM, at the Bonsall Community Center. The Agenda includes a resolution to raise fees on homes and developments based on a new Needs Report that you’ll want to read! BUSD will also be hammering out the details on a Superintendent’s Advisory Committee to survey the area for properties suitable for a high school location (Item 9.2 on the Agenda). If interested in serving, you’ll have until October 31 to submit an application. These Site Advisory Guidelines provide some direction.
SEPT. 30, 2017 Fallbrook and North County residents invited to CEQA/EIR Workshop September 30
PLEASE ATTEND! Fallbrook and North County residents are invited to attend a one-day workshop on September 30 on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process.
SEPT. 29, 2017 Special Board Meeting, EIR and process to pursue school funds
A status report on the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and design information for a high school for 1,500 students proposed for a site on Gird Road in Fallbrook was presented at a special board meeting on September 28 at the new (opened Fall 2016) 18,000 square foot 350-student high school. This high school is located at the Sullivan Middle School Campus (current enrollment 328). Ten classrooms upstairs are designed to serve 27 students each, reported Facilities Manager David Medcalf. The upper floor also hosts a large lab space, the Principals office and a separate office for the administrative assistant. Downstairs is broken into additional large rooms/labs with a very large meeting space. … Read more
SEPT. 28, 2017 Lest we forget, here’s what they told us in 2012
July 2012: California Department of Education (CDE) analysis notes that “Upon unification, the district’s plan for the high school facility is to convert the existing Sullivan Middle School site into a high school over a 4 year period. The first year after unification would include 9th graders at the site, the 2nd year after unification would include both 9th and 10th graders, etc., until after 4 years of unification all 4 grades of high school (9 through 12) would be located at the site. The current enrollment at the middle school is 533 students. At this time, the site has 10 excess capacity classrooms for additional students if needed. This would provide ample space for the projected enrollment of 513 students for all four grades of high school. In addition, the site has a special education classroom and regional program currently housed on site. (Attachment 6.).” … Read more
SEPT. 27, 2017 BUSD calls special meeting to discuss building plans
As part of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Gird Road site, BUSD has announced holding a special board meeting on the evening of September 28 to discuss the schematics for building another brand new 1500-student high school and performing arts center. You will want to carefully READ the info on this meeting and, if you can, attend the meeting. BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE CEQA WORKSHOP ON SATURDAY. The BUSD Special Board Meeting on September 28 will start at 5:30 PM and will be held at at BUSD’s brand new 350-student high school in Bonsall 7350 West Lilac Road. … Read more
SEPT. 24, 2017 Village News reports on September 30 CEQA Workshop
“Fallbrook and North County residents are invited to attend a one-day workshop on Sept. 30 on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process,” reports Village News. “Hosted by respected environmental attorney Kevin Johnson, this workshop will help us all gain an understanding of the law, its purpose, power and the CEQA process for protection of the environment.”
Read here our latest call to action for this important meeting.
September 15, 2017 Fallbrook and North County residents invited to CEQA/EIR Workshop September 30
Fallbrook and North County residents are invited to attend a one-day workshop on September 30 on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process.
Hosted by respected environmental attorney Kevin Johnson, this workshop will help us all gain an understanding of the law, its purpose, power and the CEQA process for protection of the environment.
September 15, 2017 Interview with Dr. Sylvia Tucker, veteran member of BUSD Board of Trustees. Women’s Lifestyle magazine.
Congratulations to the inspirational Dr. Tucker for being featured in this magazine! All your hard work over many years is much appreciated!
September 10, 2017 Mark your calendars: Two important meetings to save North County and beautiful Gird Valley!
Thank you to everyone who took time from their busy schedules to attend the Bonsall Unified School District’s (BUSD) August meeting. Please make an effort to attend the September 14 Board meeting at the Bonsall Community Center. You also need to attend a Workshop on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) on September 30. Mark your calendars now! Read more….
August 11, 2017: Thanks for showing up at the meeting!
Thanks to all the volunteers who took time from their busy schedules to show up at the BUSD school board meeting on August 10. For many attendees it was their first time and they were able to meet the new Superintendent David Jones who committed to working hard for educational excellence and the community. Speakers included the daughter of the Campaign Manager for last year’s failed Yes on DD $58M initiative who read selected portions of a Facebook thread. Stated concerns at the meeting and the Facebook thread include: BUSD’s deficit spending over 6 years and failing financial position; the community’s rejection of funding for building on the proposed Gird Road site five times at the ballot box over several decades, most recently in 2016; that the proposed site on Gird Road is inconveniently located in Fallbrook, not Bonsall, far from where the majority of the students live; that Fallbrook already supports a very large high school; traffic, traffic and traffic; increased growth in Gird Valley and Fallbrook, areas that committed to slow growth decades ago; and more. For those who are cramming to learn about this issue, we highly recommend our HISTORY section as a great place to start your research. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the next BUSD meeting September 14, 6 PM.
August 7, 2017: We need your support to Save Gird Valley! Attend the BUSD Meeting on August 9 and an upcoming CEQA workshop!
We need you at the BUSD Board meeting August 9, 6 PM, and an upcoming California Environmenal Quality Act (CEQA) workshop organized by CEQA attorney Kevin Johnson. Read more…
August 4, 2017: BUSD has a new superintendent and changes Board meeting to August 9, 6 PM. Please attend!
Read all about it! BUSD has a new superintendent, reports the San Diego Union Tribune‘s Deborah Brennan-Sullivan.
Please make an effort to attend the BUSD Board Meeting Aug 9, 6 PM at the Bonsall Community Center. (NOTE: Meeting date changed from Aug 10 to Aug 9!)
The site on Gird Road (proposed for a very large high school and performing arts center) will be discussed at the August 9th meeting so please mark your calendars, attend the meeting, urge others to attend, spread the word! Thanks!
July 16, 2017: We continue to work together to stop a massive development proposed for Gird Road!
Thank you to everyone who took time from their busy schedules to attend the Bonsall Unified School District’s (BUSD) July 13 meeting where the Interim Property Report was formally presented to the Board. Volunteers spent m any hours over five months researching properties and the Interim Property Report details the findings. It includes info on the proposed Gird Road site and others including the Ocean Breeze Ranch property located adjacent to the existing Sullivan Middle School/Bonsall High School campus. …Read more
July 13, 2017: Community Leader Jack Wood tells BUSD it is “ill advised” to continue attempts to build on the Gird Road site.
Read Community Leader Jack Wood’s speech which included the history of the property and closed with, “… I am here to speak … on behalf of Fallbrook because of the constituents who are calling all up and down the Gird Valley. During the General Plan update and the Fallbrook Community Plan it was never considered that there would be a high school there, and it is not an appropriate location. I think it would be ill advised for this school district to continue to pursue that property for a high school. It is not an appropriate property for numerous reasons.”
The July 16 2017 Village News included a shot of Jack Wood along with the caption, “Jack Wood expresses his opposition on behalf of a number of other Fallbrook residents who oppose the proposal to build the Bonsall High School along the southern end of Gird Rd during a BUSD school board meeting, July 13.
July 10, 2017: We need you to help save Gird Valley!
Hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July and are enjoying the summer!
We want to provide a quick update on the 1,500-student school and performing arts center, a massive development, proposed for Gird Road and urge you to attend BUSD’s Board Meeting on July 13. …Read more
June 26, 2017: SaveGirdValley.com submits comments on NOP on EIR
SaveGirdValley.com volunteers submitted lengthy comments on the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a 1500-student high school and performing arts center proposed for a site in Gird Valley, a site that has been rejected by the voters for a high school fully five times. Please share and we’d like to hear your comments too!
June 16, 2017: EIR process explained in PowerPoint, comments due 6/26
The “scoping meeting” related to the Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report on the Gird Road property is now viewable in an online PowerPoint presentation. Follow the link to submit your comments on the process by June 26.
The Initial CEQA on the site reported, “Development of the project will impact approximately 22.4 acres of the 48 acre site.” Now the NOP of the EIR states the project will disturb 39.5 acres.” This means BUSD plans to build over most of the land including the 16.14 acres of federally designated (under the Endangered Species Act) critical habitat for the wetlands dependent endangered arroyo toad. To mitigate this damage via mitigation credits from a mitigation land bank can be costly. The average cost per acre for mitigation credits in San Diego County is $380,000/acre. Credits located within the San Luis Rey River Valley are estimated at $500,000/acre.
June 15, 2017: BUSD new high school Interim Property Report released
In early January 2017, BUSD administration asked members of the community to research high school building sites that would be acceptable to both local residents and the District. Over the next 5 months, many hours were spent researching properties within the District boundaries. This interim report details the findings, all or in part, and will be officially released to the Board on June 8, 2017. Click Here to Read the Report..
June 12, 2017: Your input is needed to stop massive development proposed for Gird Road!
Even though North County voters have denied a high school on Gird Road fully five times, it keeps coming back. Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) is ignoring the voters and moving forward with an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process for a massive development proposed for Gird Road in Fallbrook. Your input and commitment is needed to stop this.
Please attend at least one of the two meetings BUSD has scheduled this week:
- Wednesday, June 14: a “public scoping” meeting regarding the Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the BUSD’s proposed project on Gird Road. The Power Point Presentation from this meeting will be online soon. You need to get your comments in on the Notice of Preparation by June 26. There will be other opportunities to comment on the EIR in the future too.
- Thursday, June 15: a “public hearing” on the EIR process during BUSD’s regular Board meeting. If you want to speak, come a few minutes early and sign up.
If you can attend both meetings, even better! They will start at 6 PM at the Bonsall Community Center, 31505 Old River Road, Bonsall.
June 5, 2017: Massive brick and mortar monster development proposed for Gird Road! We need comments and attendance at upcoming meetings!
Even though North County voters have denied a high school on Gird Road fully five times, it keeps coming back. Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) is now undergoing the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process and you need to comment on the massive brick and mortar monster development proposed for Gird Valley and attend the meeting on the EIR process on June 14, from 6-8 PM, at the Bonsall Community Center, 31505 Old River Road, Bonsall.
Additionally, under pressure from community outrage over the proposed Gird Road project and underpaid teachers working without contracts, BUSD’s controversial pro-growth Superintendent Justin Cunningham has announced he’s retiring. BUSD is asking for community input on the next Superintendent at a stakeholder forum June 6, from 5 to 7 PM, at the Bonsall Community Center. An online survey is also available to the public on the BUSD website through June 12.
May 18, 2017: Monserate Winery is planting vines in its vineyard in Gird Valley! So exciting!
May 18, 2017: Special meeting of the BUSD Board
7 PM. Details and agenda here.
May 18, 2017: Looking back a few years….
Less than five years ago, the official line from Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) was, “We do not want, nor do we need a massive brick and mortar high school ……Nor do we need fifty acres of dirt to accomplish our mission.”
Only five years ago, here were the plans and promises:
July 2012: California Department of Education (CDE) recommends that SBE adopt the Negative Declaration …. which finds that there is no substantial evidence that the project (proposal for the Bonsall School District to expand to include a high school) will have a significant effect on the environment. The State Board of Education issued a report on the subject and BUSD declared: “In a development planned to begin in the next 2–3 years, Palomar College will be across the street from the future site of a Bonsall School. We are exploring the possibility of this becoming a future site of a high school using a 2 plus 2 program where students in high school can graduate with up to two years of college credit. With an increased use of technology to serve the digital learner, our educational program will be flexible enough to adapt to a variety of settings.”
May 11, 2017, 6 PM Regular BUSD Board Meeting
You’ll want to attend! Agenda is available for your review.
April 25, 2017 BUSD’s Controversial Pro-Development Superintendent Announces Retirement
Controversial pro-developmnet Superintendent Justin J. Cunningham announces he has a knee injury and will retire from his position with a goal of having a new Superintendent in place as of July 1. His compensation (salary plus benefits) package at retirement totals over $210,000. The Village News reports Cunningham’s taxpayer-funded pension will be 80 to 85% of his salary.
March 26, 2017 A+, Five Fails and Who’s Driving The School Bus?
A+ to everyone who packed the house on March 14 for SaveGirdValley.com’s first official meeting. What a great showing! You’re terrific!
The website is up and running and our Project List is shaping up nicely, a good starting point for community work. We are looking for volunteers, those willing to lead projects and serve on the steering committee, to help with fundraising and provide creativity! Don’t be shy! Let us know what you’d like to do to help Save Gird Valley.
Beyond the basics of getting a group formed, we have been compelled to direct a lot of effort to the proposed high school on a site on Gird Road. Even though North County voters have voted this down fully five times, the issue keeps coming back.
March 11, 2017 A Tale of Two School Districts
This is the tale of two of those school districts located in two unincorporated towns living side by side in North San Diego County.
The 2010 Census tell us Fallbrook covers 17.6 sq. miles with 9,999 households and a population of population 30,534; 26.3% (8,045) under the age of 18.
March 7, 2017 Gird Valley Is Organizing and Needs You!
When development threatened the fallowed golf course in Gird Valley in early 2016, neighbors organized to save the property. The 116-acre property has been the heart and soul of Gird Valley since the 1960s and its loss would have been a tragedy for Fallbrook.
After months of false starts and broken deals, escrow closed on the property on November 15, 2016. The new owners, Jade and Julie Work, are long-time Fallbrook residents. They have begun the transformation of the neglected property into a working vineyard with an Italian-themed restaurant and wine-tasting room. Single sycamores are becoming groves, trellises are being constructed and soon the vines will be planted. The Works have also committed to preserving the property from future development through the use of conservation easements, a great gift to the community.