Top 10 Stories in 2011

From the welcome sign to marijuana to pensions, these were the can't-miss topics of 2011.

Top 10 Stories in 2011


In no particular order:

  • Welcome Sign Goes Undesigned (All Year)

For better or for worse, the battle over the welcome sign—which, at this point, is likely no longer about the sign—took over Rancho Bernardo in 2011. Since a motorist destroyed the former sign two years ago, community groups have struggled to agree on a new design for its replacement. There were three rounds of online voting, so many designs that people lost count (), and now an entirely new committee is taking the lead on the project. Will this story once again make the top 10 in '12?

  • RB High Baseball Coach Gets Fired—and Rehired (December)

It only lasted about a week, but the firing-rehiring saga of longtime and well-respected Rancho Bernardo High School baseball coach Sam Blalock put this community under a hot spotlight. Blalock was —apparently without explanation—on a Wednesday, and the community from Thursday to Monday, then . Poway Unified School District officials issued a about the firing, and offered little more clarity upon the rehiring. It was Blalock's players who spoke the loudest, gathering signatures in defense of their coach, and vowing to fight until he was brought back.

  • Medical Marijuana Controversy Grows (April)

The debate over medical marijuana's gray legality (OK in California; not so much in the eyes of the feds) is nothing new, but for locals it got personal when in Rancho Bernardo in April. The dispensary resisted calls for its closure—that is, until the federal government began to on the shops all across the state in October. The future of medical marijuana in California—and MediBloom—.

  • Harry Summers Becomes 100th Hall of Famer (April)

He founded Rancho Bernardo and in 2011, the community found a special place for him: the Rancho Bernardo Hall of Fame. As the 100th inductee, Harry Summers was the where he was joined by his family and lauded by generations of residents.

  • Michelle Le is Killed (May)

The crime didn't happen here, but the shocks were felt across San Diego. Mount Carmel High School graduate Michelle Le, a nursing student who had been living in the Bay Area, in May. Relatives and friends for the 26-year-old in Rancho Peñasquitos in June. In September, the and now her former friend is on trial, .

  • High-Speed Rail Gets Off Track (June)

State plans to bring high-speed rail through North County San Diego, and beyond, didn't sit so well with the RB Community Council and Planning Board, who . The Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council so far on the plan—which is decades away from fruition—but some members have expressed a more positive of what the rail could mean for the future of transportation.

  • Power Goes Out and People Freak Out (September)

Oh, some of us Californians just laughed at those silly East Coasters after they let a " shake them up. And then our and well, it was their turn to laugh. Candlelight dinners (but not quite the romantic kind) and a TV-less night made some people miserable, but others enjoyed the chance to reconnect with neighbors—or meet them for the first time.

  • Dirks Voted Off of Planning Board (October)

By the time city officials agreed that many of the complaints Joe Dirks had made about the RB Planning Board's were justified, he was no longer part of that team. In October, Dirks was amid somewhat ironic accusations that he, the former parliamentarian, had violated several policies. Dirks denied all accusations, but board members, many saying they were tired of him interrupting meetings with his complaints, said he had to go. In December, Estelle Wolf was appointed to fill his seat and the board objected to the city's findings that it had been out of compliance.

  • Ed Brown Senior Center Avoids Shutdown (October)

Just how do you define recreation? That question was at the center of a debate between city and Ed Brown Senior Center officials. As a senior center, there are restrictions on what types of programming each location can offer. For a while it appeared that some of the revenue-generating and popular programs at the center , jeopardizing the center's ability to stay open, but in the end the center was .

  • DeMaio Takes Up Pension Reform (All Year)

San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio, who represents Rancho Bernardo in District 5, began the year and as we hit 2012, it's still at the top of his conversation. Now a mayoral candidate, DeMaio says the future of San Diego depends on changing the way retirees are paid and he is behind a proposal to as a way to reduce pension costs. The plan has been controversial, sparking strong pushback from employee unions, and it's sure this conversation will carry over into the new year.


  • (July)
  • (July)
  • (October)

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