Simply San Marcos: News not-so-briefs

Valley of Discovery

Redesigned city of San Marcos website

A redesigned city of San Marcos website is due to launch in mid-February with several new features and an overall improved user experience, according to city officials.

A tremendous amount of analytical research and user surveys were conducted prior to developing the new site to ensure it would meet the needs of San Marcos residents and businesses, San Marcos communications officer Sarah Macdonald said.

Coming attractions.

Coming attractions.

The new design puts the most popular items right up front, making the site easier than ever to navigate, Macdonald said. Other new features on the site include an interactive map directory of parks and facilities, online facility reservations, a more icon-oriented design and streamlined department pages with easy to find contact information, Macdonald said.

Residents will continue to enjoy existing popular services like online class registration and job applications, and long-term plans call for increasing online service delivery, according to officials.

An e-news announcement will be sent out to all subscribers once the site is live.

Best of San Marcos photos

Photogenically yours.

Photogenically yours.

The city of San Marcos is kicking off its second annual “Best of San Marcos” photo contest co-sponsored by the San Marcos Arts Council now through Monday, Feb. 29.

Amateur and professional photographers are invited to submit striking images that capture the “Best of San Marcos”: natural beauty, recreational activities, architectural points of interest, as well as people enjoying San Marcos parks and trails, sporting and special events, and other community programs.

Limited to one entry per person, photographs must be taken in the City of San Marcos and accompanied by an entry form and liability waiver, and a parent/guardian release for photographers under age 18. All entries must be submitted in a digital, TIFF or JPEG format by Monday, Feb. 29 to Community Services Program Manager Holly Malan,

Winning entries will be published in the San Marcos 360 News and Recreation Guide or used in other city publications, promotional materials and/or city website. First place winners will also receive $50 San Marcos Bucks redeemable towards one session of any enrichment camp or specialty class, subject to availability. Second place winners will receive $25 San Marcos Bucks redeemable towards one session of any enrichment camp or specialty class, subject to availability.

Vallecitos Water District gets desalinated water

Water pipeline to San Marcos.

Water pipeline to San Marcos.

The Vallecitos Water District is receiving desalinated water directly from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Desalination Plant in Carlsbad.

The direct connection pipe, located at the corner of Pawnee and Cherokee Streets in San Marcos, will deliver as much as 4,083 acre feet of desalinated water annually to Vallecitos’ distribution system.

This equates to approximately 27 percent of the District’s annual supply and is enough water to meet the needs of more than 8,100 families for one year.

Desalinated water is now a major component of Vallecitos’ water portfolio, further minimizing the District’s reliance on imported water and providing customers an increased level of reliability despite drought and other regulatory issues. Vallecitos is currently one of two water providers that have a direct connection to the Desalination Plant.

“It’s exciting to be a major participant in this effort,” said Vallecitos Board Vice President Craig Elitharp. “The Carlsbad Desalination Plant is the largest, most technologically advanced and energy-efficient seawater desalination plant in the nation.”

The plant is located near the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad. The facility produces 50 million gallons of water per day from Carlsbad’s Aqua Hedionda Lagoon using a state-of-the-art, reverse osmosis system.

Waterwise landscaping comes to San Marcos Boulevard

Bull Muhly Grass.

Bull Muhly Grass.

Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 27, crews started planting waterwise landscaping surrounding the city’s Civic Center located along San Marcos Boulevard to set the water-saving example, according to San Marcos communications officer Sarah Macdonald.

While newly planted varieties may look like grass from the past, the new “Native Move Free Sod” to be planted requires 50 percent less water than a traditional lawn and only needs mowing eight times per year.

“Knowing that California still faces unprecedented drought conditions, this project is helping the city be good stewards of all our water resources,” San Marcos Public Works Director Mike Edwards said.

Landscape designs approved by the San Marcos City Council call for a large area of native mow free grass surrounded by an oval-shaped border of meadow grasses, a variety of succulents and yellow blanket flowers instead of intensive, high maintenance ornamental turf. Decomposed granite will border the meadow areas.

Yellow Basket Flowers

Yellow Basket Flowers

Irrigated with well water, higher efficiency irrigation technology with drip emitters and high-efficiency spray nozzles also will be put in place.

By transforming the landscaped area, the city not only expects to reduce water use by more than 50 percent but will also trim down on landscape maintenance costs for fertilizers, weed control and labor, Macdonald said.

The $400,000 project, paid for in part by funding from the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act, will reduce water use and minimize run-off into the streets while creating a sustainable space for City Hall visitors.

CSUSM offers emergency preparedness training

Cal State University San Marcos preparing the prepared.

Cal State University San Marcos preparing the prepared.

Recent flooding due to El Nino is just the latest in a string of challenges to businesses and organizations in Southern California, including ongoing threats from earthquakes, wildfires, and other disasters.

The San Diego Office of Emergency Services says that every business should have an emergency preparedness element as part of their strategic business plan, but few do.

California State University San Marcos Extended Learning (EL) is launching a class series, beginning Feb. 12, to help organizations build a “living” document that can be used to effectively navigate through an emergency situation.

The Professional Certificate in Business Emergency Preparedness Planning (BEPP) will teach hands-on processes for developing and implementing an emergency preparedness plan, developed by industry experts in the field. The course will train students to help their organizations mitigate potential damages and to recover from emergencies and to quickly resume business operations in the aftermath of an incident.

Guest speakers will include representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the American Red Cross, the Department of Homeland Security, City of San Diego Emergency Management, and the San Diego Police Department Critical Incident Unit. The program will be held at Emergency Operations Centers across San Diego.

“This is a unique opportunity for any business to obtain proven, specific methods to assess vulnerabilities in their organization, create an emergency plan, and address business resumption and recovery plans to ensure business continuity,” says CSUSM Dean of Extended Learning Mike Schroder. “Whether your organization is nonprofit, public, or private, emergency preparedness like the hands-on training that this course will provide is vital.”

The Professional Certificate program is comprised of six, half-day sessions taking place on Fridays from Feb. 12 through March 18. Enrollment is open to any organization (business, civic, governmental, or non-profit) that has not developed an emergency plan.

Space is limited, so to learn more or to enroll, call (760) 750-4004, or visit

Buffalo Wild Wings flies to town

Buffalo Wild Wings, ye-haw.

Buffalo Wild Wings, ye-haw.

The San Marcos staple recently carved out room for Buffalo Wild Wings, a restaurant and sports bar franchise. The roughly 6,200-square-foot restaurant opened Jan. 18.

“Hopefully, it is a place we will be at for many, many years,” said Jon Gotreau, regional marketing manager for the chain.

Minneapolis-based Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., which operates more than 1,140 restaurants worldwide, has been aggressively opening up new restaurants.

The chain first landed in San Diego County in 2012 with a restaurant in Chula Vista. The San Marcos site will be the eighth Buffalo Wild Wings in the county and the third in North County. An Encinitas branch opened in September 2013 and one in Oceanside opened nine months later.

Bob Eubank, president of the Old California Restaurant Row, said Thursday that he welcomes the addition of the wings spot, especially as the complex is on the cusp of modernizing its offerings.

Buffalo Wild Wings “is going to make it more exciting, more happening,” Eubank said.

Buffalo Wild Wings plans to hire roughly 120 people to work at the San Marcos site. Although the management team has already been tapped, job seekers interested in other positions can go to

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