When you think about it, our feet are pretty amazing. For most, they're an unfaltering foundation - two shock absorbers we rely on daily to hold our weight and propel us through life. Comprised of dozens of bones and hundreds of ligaments, muscles, and tendons, the average person's feet take a fair beating every day - on average, people stand for about four hours every day and take around 5K steps as well. Because your feet are smaller than most other parts of your body, they endure an enormous impact with each step, adding up to hundreds of tons of weight daily.
Strangely, when our feet, ankles, or toes begin to hurt, we do our best to ignore the pain and push through the day. We even give up sports and outdoor activities that we love. Unfortunately, ignoring pain and delaying treatment will further damage your feet and, by proxy, your whole body.
If you're living with foot and ankle pain or have given up on fun activities like hiking and jogging, it's time to change. Why sacrifice a life full of outdoor activities in our beautiful part of the world when you can visit an expert podiatrist in Solana Beach, CA?
Welcome to North County Foot and Ankle - where men and women just like you get new leases on life through some of the most advanced podiatric treatments available in California. With more than 50 years of combined experience treating a wide range of foot and ankle problems, our pioneering doctors have helped hundreds of people reclaim their love of walking, jogging, and life in general.
What makes North County Foot and Ankle stand out from other foot and ankle doctors in Solana Beach? Unlike some foot doctors, our podiatrists work with a client-first mentality. When you walk through our front doors, the time you spend in our office is all about you. We believe in a strong physician-patient relationship fortified by one-on-one attention and honest communication.
Before offering foot pain treatment options, we perform a thorough evaluation, taking into account your individual needs, goals, and preferences. Once that's done, we'll discuss your treatment options in detail and come to a mutual decision regarding the best treatment plan for you.
Whether you have a minor hangnail or need complex surgery, you will receive the same level of compassionate care from our medical team. As board-certified podiatrists in Solana Beach, our doctors are proud to treat you. You can rest easy knowing they will take the time to explain what's causing your foot pain, what treatments are best suited to your problem, and what steps you should take after treatment.
And while our podiatrists are uniquely qualified to perform surgery, we often recommend non-surgical options, using treatments like orthotics to relieve foot, arch, and heel pain. From sports injuries and bunions to gout and blisters, we're here to help you live life to the fullest without nagging, debilitating foot pain.
Patients visit our foot clinic in Solana Beach, CA, for many podiatric problems, including:
If you're dealing with chronic foot pain or are concerned about a long-lasting symptom that affects your daily life, we're here to help. Unsure if you need to call to make an appointment? These symptoms are often signs that you might need to visit our foot and ankle doctors:
Most people over 40 know that strange body aches and pains become more common with age. The same can be said with our feet. As we get older, our feet usually spread out and lose the fatty pads that help cushion our feet. If you're overweight, the ligaments and bones in your feet also take an extra beating. Also, with age, foot abnormalities that you were born with become more pronounced, as the joints in your feet lose flexibility and become rigid. To make matters worse, the skin covering your feet dries out, resulting in more cuts, scrapes, and infections.
It's clear that we endure more foot pain as we get older, but what kind of foot pain should we be most concerned about? It can be hard to tell - pain from what looks like normal bruising may actually be a sign that something more serious is occurring. That's why we're listing some of the most common symptoms of serious foot problems. That way, you're better educated and have a better shot at figuring out whether you need a simple bag of ice or a visit to your podiatrist in Solana Beach, CA.
When you sprain your foot or ankle or suffer an acute injury, it's normal for your foot to swell up. This type of swelling typically goes down after 48 hours have passed. However, if you hurt your foot and the swelling is severe and doesn't go away after a couple of days, it's cause for concern. Persistent swelling often indicates an ankle or foot injury that needs podiatric care.
North County Foot and Ankle Pro Tip: If you notice persistent swelling of any kind on your body, it's wise to see a doctor. Ankle swelling, in particular, could be a warning sign that a blood clot or heart issue is present.
It's normal for your foot or ankle to "smart" after you stub your toe or twist your ankle. However, if you're experiencing ongoing ankle and foot pain, it's probably not normal. The pain doesn't have to be sharp, either - if you have dull pain, tenderness, or weakness that lasts more than two days, a trip to the foot doctor may be in order.
Minor ankle and foot injuries, like sprains, are quite common. When a sprain happens, it's normal to experience some instability or weakness afterward. Chronic instability, however, is a more serious problem. Long-term instability or weakness may signify torn ligaments or something worse. If you've had trouble standing or walking for a long time, it's best to make an appointment at a foot clinic in Solana Beach.
North County Foot and Ankle Pro Tip: Podiatric experts like those at North County Foot and Ankle may have a long-term solution to help reclaim your mobility without surgery. Give our office call today to learn more!
Stiffness is a normal symptom that should be expected with sprains, plantar fasciitis, and arthritis. Often, you can alleviate such stiffness with rest, weight loss, stretching, or even new shoes. With that said, if you're experiencing ongoing stiffness, it could be a red flag that something more serious is going on.
When you've been sitting for a long time, you may have noticed a popping sound from your feet when you stand. That sound is perfectly normal. So long as it's painless, you've got nothing to worry about. However, if you feel pain when you hear a popping noise, it could indicate a subluxation or dislocation, which are conditions that require a podiatrist's attention.
If you're not sure whether you should be concerned about a painful foot or ankle symptom, give our clinic in Solana Beach a call ASAP. Our helpful technicians can help answer your questions and set up a time for you to speak with one of our friendly podiatrists.
Here are just a few of the typical foot problems we treat daily.
Do you have intense heel pain that appears when you first stand up, only for it to disappear after a few steps? If so, you could be one of the millions of people in the U.S. suffering from plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is most often caused by an inflamed ligament covering bones on the bottom of your feet. Also called "Policeman's Heel," this painful condition is a common reason for heel pain, but it won't go away on its own.
Almost all cases of plantar fasciitis will get better with easy, non-surgical treatments and lifestyle changes. A good place to start is by refraining from activities or sports that cause pain, like jogging, hiking, running, or aerobic exercises.
Common treatment options at North County Foot and Ankle include:
Orthotic shoe inserts provide you with the arch support that your feet need, especially with shoes like women's flats that don't have much foot support. We also recommend wearing shoes that are appropriate for the activity you're enjoying, like hiking boots on your favorite trail and running shoes on the street or track.
Stretching regularly with gentle exercises can help prevent plantar fasciitis and stop flare-ups. Stretching your calves, specifically, reduces heel pain effectively. After you schedule an appointment at our foot clinic in Solana Beach, one of our doctors can explain the proper exercises in more detail.
Wearing a brace or splint while you sleep will keep your plantar fascia stretched. That way, when you wake up and take your first steps of the day, you shouldn't have as much pain because your plantar fascia won't have a chance to tighten up overnight.
North County Foot and Ankle Pro Tip: If you're still struggling with plantar fasciitis after using orthotics, treatments like orthobiologics, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment, or extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) may be more effective.
Ingrown toenails are among the most common foot maladies in the United States. Though common, ingrown toenails can be painful, resulting in swelling, bleeding, pus, and more. Various factors cause ingrown toenails, such as heredity, trauma, hygiene, nail conditions, and improper trimming. Thankfully, with the help of an expert, most ingrown toenails can be treated at home or in a podiatrist's office.
Ingrown toenails happen when the corners and sides of your toenails grow and eventually dig into the flesh around your nail. Most often occurring on the big toe, ingrown toenails become a serious concern when they are left untreated or when an infection is involved. To determine whether your ingrown toenail needs an evaluation by a foot doctor in Solana Beach, CA, keep an eye out for initial symptoms and infection symptoms:
To help prevent infection, try cutting your nails in a straight line, and don't cut them too short. Do not cut your nails to match the shape of your toe.
When your toenail becomes ingrown, you need doctors with real expertise in diagnosing and treating foot problems. At North County Foot and Ankle, our doctors are highly qualified to treat the underlying conditions causing your ingrown toenail. That way, you can enjoy long-term relief and also learn the ways to prevent ingrown toenails in the future.
If you have a bony bump near the bottom joint of your big toe, chances are it's a bunion. Bunions are deformities on your feet that are formed when your front foot bones become misaligned. When this happens, the misaligned bones cause the top half of your big toe to point inward toward your second toe. From there, your tendons will tighten, which pulls your toe even further inward. Once your toe is pulled more inward, the bottom joint of your big toe will bulge outward. The bulge you see is actually what we refer to as a bunion.
Without treatment, your toe pain can worsen, and the bunion can grow. Painful swelling in the balls of your feet can also cause hammertoe. Hammertoe happens your second toe is bent out of shape by your misaligned big toe.
Luckily, North County Foot and Ankle is California's go-to clinic for bunion treatment in Solana Beach, CA. Our highly-trained doctors can stop these uncomfortable conditions from happening and help prevent worse conditions from developing.
Jason Morris, a board-certified podiatric foot surgeon in Solana Beach, CA, is one of the top podiatrists in the greater San Diego area and has successfully treated patients with bunions for over ten years. He offers advanced treatments for bunion pain, such as:
Our hand-made orthotics, which are worn in your shoes, are molded to fit your foot exactly, correcting bone misalignments and relieving pain much better than cookie-cutter, store-bought options.
Drs. Morris and Redkar performs state-of-the-art triplanar correction surgery using 3-D digital imaging and a minimal incision approach. This procedure is very effective and works by rotating misaligned big toe bones back to the proper position. Once your toe bones are back in position, a metal plate is attached to your bones so that they remain aligned over long-term use.
Drs. Morris and Redkar may recommend both surgery and custom orthotics to keep your foot pain-free and your bunion from growing back.
If you’ve been enduring foot or ankle pain that affects your mobility and quality of life, why not make a change for the better? At North County Foot & Ankle Specialists, our podiatrists in Escondido help patients of all ages. Drs. Morris and Redkar take a patient-first approach with all of our podiatry services. Both are highly qualified and recipients of prestigious awards.
Featured in Los Angeles Magazine’s prestigious Top Doctors list of 2021, Dr. Avanti Redkar is a board-certified podiatrist that specializes in foot and ankle pathology. Dr. Redkar earned her undergrad degree in biology at the University of Scranton and her master’s degree in nutrition at SUNY Buffalo. She attended podiatry school at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. Her three-year surgical residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York, included foot and rearfoot surgery, wound care, and hyperbaric medicine training. Dr. Redkar also completed a one-year fellowship in sports medicine and ankle reconstruction.
After a rigorous three-year residency at the University of Pittsburgh, Jason Morris, DPM, moved to sunny California to practice podiatric medicine. Once there, Dr. Morris worked as an attending physician at UCLA Medical Center and Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Since relocating to the Escondido area, he has been a staff physician at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido and Poway. Dr. Morris is a podiatric foot and ankle specialist with board certification in rearfoot and forefoot reconstructive surgery. Dr. Morris has undergone extensive training in sports medicine, ankle trauma, diabetic limb salvage, and reconstructive surgery.
If you've been enduring foot or ankle pain that affects your mobility and quality of life, why not make a change for the better? At North County Foot & Ankle Specialists, our podiatrists in Solana Beach help patients of all ages. Drs. Morris and Redkar take a patient-first approach with all of our podiatry services. From minor bunion treatments to complex issues like foot fractures, every treatment option we consider is chosen with your best interest in mind.
Our podiatrists are members of several professional organizations, including:
If more conservative treatments are better for your condition, non-surgical solutions like custom orthotics may be the best route. If you need ankle or foot surgery, our podiatrists will complete your procedure with time-tested skill and precision. Because, at the end of the day, our goal is to provide you with the most effective foot and ankle pain solutions with the quickest recovery options available.
Contact us online or via phone today to schedule an appointment at our Solana Beach office. By tomorrow, you'll be one step closer to loving life without foot or ankle pain.
If you’ve yet to visit this lesser-known beach town, here’s why the city of Solana Beach deserves to be on your radar. Just 30 minutes from downtown San Diego, this coastal town is teeming with vibrant local businesses, art galleries, boutique floral shops, hand-roasted coffee purveyors and more. Fun fact—the name Solana is of Spanish and Latin origins and loosely translates to “sunny spot.” Whether you’re a lifelong resident or you haven’t spent much time in Solana Beach, check out this neighborhood...
If you’ve yet to visit this lesser-known beach town, here’s why the city of Solana Beach deserves to be on your radar. Just 30 minutes from downtown San Diego, this coastal town is teeming with vibrant local businesses, art galleries, boutique floral shops, hand-roasted coffee purveyors and more. Fun fact—the name Solana is of Spanish and Latin origins and loosely translates to “sunny spot.” Whether you’re a lifelong resident or you haven’t spent much time in Solana Beach, check out this neighborhood guide to one of San Diego’s most underrated neighborhoods. Solana Beach Itinerary
Credit: Ranch 45
Since opening in 2018, Ranch 45 has been a gathering spot for foodies and conscientious diners. They’re a restaurant, butchery and catering company all in one with a focus on locally sourced, farm-to-table produce and hormone- and antibiotic-free meats. The butchery carries beef from family-owned Brandt Beef, third generation ranchers from the Imperial Valley. You can find cuts of just about everything from ribeye and skirt steaks to tomahawks and all-natural beef hot dogs.
On Thursday through Saturday nights from 5 to 8:30 p.m., Ranch 45 has a full dinner service curated by Executive Chef Aron Schwartz. Diners can choose from selections like dry-aged steak and even Kagoshima A5 Wagyu. There are also more humble entrees that are just as mouthwatering, such as ocean trout or jidori chicken. If you’d prefer to be pleasantly surprised, order the chef’s tasting menu, which is a pre-selected five course dinner.
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Local Insight: To see Ranch 45’s full menu, click here!
There’s no better place for breakfast in Solana Beach than Claire’s on Cedros. Everything is as local as it gets with fresh bread delivered daily from Prager Brothers in Carlsbad and pastries from Isabelle’s French Bakery in Encinitas. All omelets are made with free-range eggs from Ramona. But if you’re looking for more of a grab-n-go meal, their sister coffee shop is just around the corner and is ready to help you fuel up with a latte and croissant.
Both a restaurant and working fishery, you can stop by The Fish Market to pick up some quality cuts of sushi-grade salmon or a dozen freshly shucked oysters or take a seat for some crab cioppino and an ice-cold margarita. We highly recommend their panko-crusted calamari steak—it’s one of their most popular items, and once you have this, you won’t be able to go back to eating plain ol’ fried calamari.
This open-air coffee bar serves up organic, micro-batch roasted coffee, gluten-free goods and pastries. For something unique, get the Lofty Style Nola, which is a Kyoto cold brew with steeped chicory and scratch-made vanilla with a splash of Straus milk poured over ice. They also have a full breakfast menu and are famous for their special poached eggs, which are served with artisan sourdough, organic butter and seasonal fruit jam.
This winery features award-winning wines from Carruth Cellars, made with grapes exclusively from the West Coast. The vibe is unpretentious and relaxed, so have a glass or maybe even a flight. If you call ahead, you can book a private 90-minute wine tasting, where an expert vintner will explain the wine and wine-making process and guide you while you sip on reds and snack on cheese and crackers.
Solana Beach residents consider Cedros Avenue the heart and soul of the city. This historic district is home to over 80 different retailers, including bookstores, novelty shops and fine jewelry boutiques. You’ll also find an eclectic mix of galleries featuring local artists and photographers, art studios and more. If you need a break from shopping, pamper yourself with a facial at Kika Skin Care or grab a bite at Homestead.
This farmers market takes place right on Cedros Avenue every Sunday morning, rain or shine. After serving Solana Beach for 15 years, it was voted one of San Diego’s greatest farmers markets, and with an open-air food court, craft area for the kids and tons of specialty products, it’s easy to see why. In addition to locally grown produce and meats, shoppers can also find handmade chocolate, soaps, jewelry and clothing.
Annie’s Canyon is a relatively simple 2-mile loop that will make you feel like you’re in a different state. Part of the loop will take you through a naturally eroding sandstone canyon; you’ll have to hug the walls a little, but the experience is well worth it. Hikers come for the small challenge the slot canyon brings as well as panoramic views of the ocean and San Elijo Lagoon.
This rock ‘n’ roll venue has been open and rocking since 1974, having hosted legends like The Rolling Stones, Etta James and Lady Gaga. Here, you can catch live music and enjoy delicious grub just about every night. You’ll feel the iconic tavern’s rich history as soon as you step foot through the door. Stop by and soak up some of this electric energy for yourself!
Affectionately known as “Pillbox” by locals, Fletcher Cove Beach is a scenic and secluded beach with a small park and picnic tables. Calm, easy waves make this beach great for kayaking, surfing and bodyboarding. The beach is protected on both sides by high bluffs, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific. When the tide rises around sunset, you’ll want to make sure you’re perched up on the bluff for some spectacular views.
In March 2020 I wrote about the last show I’d seen one week prior to the pandemic shut down. It was David Bowie’s band playing Diamond Dogs and Ziggy Stardust. Although the recent news has been all about Taylor Swift and the difficulty of ticket acquisition, the story which should be followed is how small venues like the Belly Up Tavern managed through an extended period of zero activity, then rebounded once the world reopened.For most people, music is not something they see often in a stadium or arena. It’s local, i...
In March 2020 I wrote about the last show I’d seen one week prior to the pandemic shut down. It was David Bowie’s band playing Diamond Dogs and Ziggy Stardust. Although the recent news has been all about Taylor Swift and the difficulty of ticket acquisition, the story which should be followed is how small venues like the Belly Up Tavern managed through an extended period of zero activity, then rebounded once the world reopened.
For most people, music is not something they see often in a stadium or arena. It’s local, in a favorite bar close to home or a small club. The Belly Up is a classic example of a small venue. It opened in 1974 within a restored Quonset hut and has been a central hub of the community ever since. Inside there are a combination of seated and standing areas holding a maximum of 600 people, plus two separate bars which easily handle the task of keeping the crowd lubricated.
The Belly Up has developed such a reputation that private shows have been held there with The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimmy Buffet, Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga and others over the years. Meanwhile their reputation as a sterling facility attracts such quality acts that the management are about to start on February 3rd, 2023 booking The Sound at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The Sound is a 1,900 capacity venue which will open with a show from Ziggy Marley, followed by shows from Steve Aoki and Big Gigantic.
More than anything, the Belly Up is central to the community of Solana SOL -6.5% Beach. The shows draw a local crowd which often sell out the room. Just this week Donovan Frankenreiter played, reuniting his long-time band as Jara Harris returned to the fold after spending the better part of this year undergoing chemotherapy while he worked to beat a cancer diagnosis.
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Frankenreiter is the kind of performer who consistently sells out the Belly Up. He’s a Hawaii based former professional surfer who spends seven months a year touring. His four-piece group has Frankenreiter on a 1949 Orpheum guitar, a bass player, a keyboardist and the aforementioned drummer. Together they played a set list that built upon itself melding the crowd together and raising the energy in the room on a linear path to the ultimate blowout conclusion. As often happens at the Belly Up people go to the show to be out for an evening with their friends, then leave with a new band or performer on the must see list. That’s the power of a well-run room and emblematic of what the Belly Up sets out to achieve nearly every night.
The pandemic was a terrible time for both musicians and venues. Live music has interdependencies. There is the need for performers to see an audience, and they in return to be in the room so they can experience the performance rather than simply observing it through a screen. There is also the need for a venue to have a draw to bring the people in, and the people arriving must not feel abandoned in the room. Venues like Belly Up create a warm room where there’s both music and a social aspect which makes the crowd trend more toward an extended family. Because venues know their audiences, acts repeat and many times the next time an artist returns, the crowd is similarly composed as those who were there for a prior performance return on the next loop through town.
Almost every significant venue is built upon the vision of the operator. That’s who ultimately sets the tone and assures continuity. For Belly Up, that person is Steve Goldberg who has been the managing partner since 2003. Goldberg, like his contemporaries makes sure the experience is consistent. Going to a big concert can be stressful navigating getting tickets, finding parking, and getting in or out of the venue alongside 15,000 people. There is no preplanning needed to get into a smaller room, other than buying the tickets when they go on sale for events which typically sell out.
Big shows look great on an Instagram feed, but they often do not feel like you were part of the event. A musical performance in a baseball stadium can be more like live radio than being in synch with the artist. Those who attend shows in smaller rooms tend to be more fully engaged. Sightlines are better, the sound is consistently good, and the possibility of actual human interaction is high. 2023 might be the year to venture more into the smaller rooms and catch up on being in the mix rather than overwhelmed by it.
When in search of a San Diego dining experience like no other, the compass points north. Ranch 45 in Solana Beach takes your grill-and-chill night to the next level, providing high-quality, natural cuts with the option of dining in-house or bringing it all home to make your own. With ...
When in search of a San Diego dining experience like no other, the compass points north. Ranch 45 in Solana Beach takes your grill-and-chill night to the next level, providing high-quality, natural cuts with the option of dining in-house or bringing it all home to make your own. With delicious restaurant options offered all day long, choosing between dining in or hanging at home can be a toss up. The best way to get a taste of it all? Dine in any time Monday through Sunday (for breakfast and lunch) or dinner Wednesday – Saturday, then swing by their onsite butcher shop on your way out to pick up all the grill-at-home essentials. You’ve reached the haven of high-quality cuts—you’ll just have to supply the proper grill for the Sunday cookout.
For those who have been crowned household grilling champion, it’s hard to make a sit-down meal feel as exciting as firing up the grill at home. Make a pit stop at Ranch 45’s premium butcher shop to find a wide selection of top-tier meats guaranteed to impress every guest, from New York strip to ribeye, tri-tip and everything in between. Regardless of the cut, each one of their meats is of the highest quality. Take out the guesswork out of your next meal and feed up to four with a Marinate Your Night Box, stacked with a pound of Brandt Flank Steak and one pound of Brandt Skirt Steak complete with chimichurri, Carolina BBQ sauce and coffee chili rub. If you’re looking for a bit of a splurge, co-owner Pam Schwartz recommends the 45-Day Brandt Dry-Aged Ribeye. “Yes, it’s a splurge, but it’s 100% worth it!” beams Schwartz.
Ranch 45 exclusively sells Brandt Beef products, meaning that every animal on the farm is humanely raised, naturally and without the use of hormones or antibiotics. With quality meats you can feel good about, it would be a huge missed steak not to stock up—grilling season is in full effect, and you’ve got hungry people to impress!
Credit: Chris Rov Costa
Ready to let someone else take over the grilling? Treat your taste buds to full flavor and stay a while at Ranch 45’s full-service restaurant! Serving specialty dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, choosing which time to visit is often enough of a question itself—and your next challenge is even tougher. Choose from their menu of high-quality, farm-raised options: a housemade chorizo burrito for breakfast, grilled teriyaki ocean trout for lunch or chef’s daily Brandt Beef tasting for two for dinner are among the faves.
Schwartz’s favorites depend on the time of day, but the top options seem to always come right out of the butcher’s shop, which comes as no surprise. “For dinner everyone loves, the dry-aged bone marrow, veal Milanese and anything that comes out of the butcher’s case” are all can’t-miss options, she says.
A dining experience and a DIY smoked meats haven—what else could they possibly pull off? Believe it or not: events! Ranch 45 hosts several unique events throughout the year in accordance with seasons and holidays. “May is always a fun one!” says Schwartz. “We start with Cinco de Mayo carne asada kits, then move right into Mother’s Day with Brunch in a Box and then to National Burger Day with burger competitions between our cooks.” Other fan-favorites include their annual Mardi Gras crawfish boil, patio dinners on warm summer nights and Thanksgiving orders to-go in the fall. Holiday happenings and unique onsite events are constantly popping up, so be sure to check Ranch 45’s happenings page for all upcoming events!
Ranch 45 512 Via de la Valle, Ste 102 Solana Beach, CA 92075 858.461.0092
This will be the Solana Beach School District’s first election since transitioning to trustee areas from at-large elections. Candidates Gaylin Allbaugh and Chuck Ringer are hoping to fill the Area 4 seat, which represents the community of Pacific Highlands Ranch and portions of Carmel Valley and Rancho Santa Fe.The Area 1 seat represents Solana Beach west of I-5, with candidates Aubrey Huff and Debra Schade in the running. Aubrey Huff could not be reached to participate.Meet the candidates in alphabetical order, in...
This will be the Solana Beach School District’s first election since transitioning to trustee areas from at-large elections. Candidates Gaylin Allbaugh and Chuck Ringer are hoping to fill the Area 4 seat, which represents the community of Pacific Highlands Ranch and portions of Carmel Valley and Rancho Santa Fe.
The Area 1 seat represents Solana Beach west of I-5, with candidates Aubrey Huff and Debra Schade in the running. Aubrey Huff could not be reached to participate.
Meet the candidates in alphabetical order, in their own words:
Gaylin Allbaugh, Area 4I’m running for re-election to the Solana Beach School Board to represent the communities of PHR, RSF and Carmel Valley. I am dedicated to ensuring our Solana Beach schools deliver the best educational experience for our students. I am committed to small class sizes, inclusion in our classrooms, financial transparency, and connecting our parents and community to our school board. I take pride in modeling the civility, inclusion and respect that we expect of our students. I believe in collaboration over conflict. As a parent of four children, I hold our School Board accountable to do what is best for all students. My family has lived in Trustee Area #4 since 1999 and I have served in volunteer leadership roles in our schools since 2010. I am proudly the only candidate with children presently attending our schools. I am at our schools every day and hold our schools accountable to provide a best-in-class-education. I respectfully ask for your vote for re-election.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing the district? The answer is three-fold. First, identifying and addressing the unique needs of each of our students and ensuring each of our students feels safe and connected to their school is necessary to their success. Anxiety, feelings of isolation and learning loss are still being felt across our K-6th schools and we must be able to support the needs of all of our students and families. Second, we must deliver a fiscally responsible budget so that we can continue to offer this support along with the highest quality education, small class sizes and retain top-notch teachers at our schools for generations to come. Third, the School Board must continue to listen to the needs of our students and families, while ensuring we have a learning environment that enables all of our students to achieve their full potential and prepare them for success in middle school, high school and beyond.
What do you think about how the board currently functions and what you can bring to this board? I am committed to safeguarding the civility, intelligent discourse and respectful expression of opposing viewpoints that are essential for a high-functioning school board. I believe deeply in the necessity of a governance model for our school board to maintain focus on student achievement. As a parent with students attending the district schools, I value the voice of our students, parents and community members. I am committed to ensuring our schools prepare our students to be well-balanced and be able to achieve their full potential. I am committed to supporting the diverse needs of our students. The Solana Beach School Board has demonstrated its commitment to open communication, opportunities for community input and collaboration and a steadfast focus on doing what is best for the students of our district. This has also been my guiding principle during my first term, and I pledge to tenaciously uphold these tenets if re-elected.
Chuck Ringer, Area 4
I am a father of three, a robotics engineer and I have hands-on experience managing organizations the size of our school district. I care deeply about our local schools and my three children will start attending Solana Ranch next year. I strongly believe in evidence-based education. Therefore, I am committed to ensuring that kids in trustee area 4 have equal access to the small class sizes, music, and arts resources that children elsewhere in our district enjoy.
After receiving my master’s degree in engineering from Johns Hopkins, I worked for the Chief of Naval Operations creating research and development programs to protect our troops. Following that assignment, I continued to work in the public interest, managing research programs with complex government budgets. I have practical experience in the mechanics of government finance, and I have successfully lead organizations the size of our school district through budgetary uncertainty.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing the district?The issue I am most passionate about is ensuring that our small communities in Pacific Highlands Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe have a voice on the board. With the shift to trustee areas, this election is truly the first opportunity our community has had to have a local representative. I believe that with your vote and my advocacy, we can ensure that our kids have equal access to small class sizes, music, and arts.
Pragmatically, the multimillion-dollar budget deficits that the district has run for the last four years is the most pressing issue. I did a comparison with neighboring DMUSD and found that they spent about 10% more of their budget on classroom salaries than our district and still balanced their budget. I will look to leverage our neighboring district’s experience to improve our financial execution and to refocus our spending priorities on our children’s classrooms.
What do you think about how the board currently functions and what can you bring to this board? I am thrilled that we finally shifted to trustee areas. I believe this change will provide each unique community the opportunity to have their voice heard. Pacific Highlands Ranch has yet to have an advocate on the board and that lack of representation has had consequences. Our students face larger class sizes, long commutes and a smaller share of district music and arts resources than students in neighboring schools.
I believe that the board needs to focus on its core job – ensuring that all district students have equal access to a high-quality education. I was embarrassed when our board made the news by unanimously voting to ban books depicting diverse families and then streamlined the process to ban curricular materials. I strongly believe that public schools have a duty to promote a message of tolerance for all people, regardless of their protected class, identity, or belief system.
Debra Schade, Area 1I believe in public education and am passionate about the Solana Beach School District. I am currently Board Vice President and serve on the Executive Board of the San Diego County School Boards Association. I am the elected State Director for the California School Boards Association representing school board members in San Diego. I have an advanced degree in Public Health and over 39 years in education, research, technology and business. My three children have had the great fortune of attending, and flourishing in our schools. The Solana Beach School District has a reputation for excellence and celebrating the whole child. Our award winning district, innovative programs and quality child centered education have made SBSD a district of choice. I am seeking re-election because I have the passion, commitment and experience to continue to make a difference for our students. I pledge to always put students first in all decisions and work every day to maintain Solana Beach School District’s reputation of excellence.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing the district?The greatest challenge facing our district is funding. California public school budgets continue to be impacted by rising special education costs and the current acceleration of employee pension obligations. The Solana Beach School District has been able to weather these challenges due to healthy district reserves. As a board member I have championed transparency in our district budgeting process and provided strong fiscal oversight to ensure the long term financial health of our schools. I am active in legislative advocacy at the regional, state and federal level with our elected representatives to secure full and fair funding for California public schools, increased federal funding for special education, enhanced supports for our student mental health programs and other important issues that are key to the success of public education and our district.
What do you think about how the board currently functions and what can you bring to this board? Our board has a reputation for strong governance and putting the students at the center of all decision making. Proven leadership and thoughtful, collaborative decision making will keep our schools strong. As a board member I pledge to engage, educate and innovate to provide the highest quality child-centered education for every student.
Students First: My highest priority remains providing an academically rigorous education, rich in diversity, meeting each child’s individual needs in a safe and supportive learning environment - providing an educational environment where every child knows they belong, knows they matter and knows they are safe.
Cooperative Partnerships: Support cooperative partnerships between teachers, parents, community and administration that cultivate academic achievement for all students.
Excellence: Prioritize excellent academic programs by maintaining small class sizes, recruiting and retention of outstanding staff, managing growth and voter-approved modernization projects, and providing sound fiscal responsibility and transparency for long term financial health of district.
I am supported by parents, teachers, community leaders, district employees and elected officials. Read more of my story at schade4kids.com.
California Supreme Court declines to hear housing lawsuit brought by four cities in San Diego region, upholding lower court rulingsA legal tussle over accommodating new affordable housing in the San Diego region ended Tuesday when the California Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit brought by Coronado, Solana Beach and other cities.The ...
A legal tussle over accommodating new affordable housing in the San Diego region ended Tuesday when the California Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit brought by Coronado, Solana Beach and other cities.
The litigation challenged zoning requirements for low-income housing imposed by the San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG, in 2020. Imperial Beach and Lemon Grove were also plaintiffs in the case, which was subsequently rejected by two lower courts.
“We are pleased to have closure and move forward,” said Hasan Ikhrata, the agency’s executive director. “It is time to build much-needed housing for the San Diego region.”
The case revolved around SANDAG’s so-called Regional Housing Needs Assessment Plan. The most recent version of the blueprint lays out how many units of affordable housing each city and the county must plan for between 2021 and 2029. Such assessments are required by the state and renewed about once every eight years.
The agency’s determination, based largely on jobs and proximity to transit, directs cities to update the zoning in their general plans. It doesn’t mandate that cities actually build the units.
Coronado leaders were upset with a dramatic increase in the amount of affordable housing called for in the current assessment, as compared to the previous planning cycle approved in 2011. The city is now required to accommodate 912 units, up from 50 units last decade. More than a third of that new planned housing would need to be affordable for a family of four making no more than $33,259 a year.
Coronado is already too dense to build that amount of affordable housing, and the plan doesn’t take into account sea level rise or height restrictions imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration, said Mayor Richard Bailey, who spearheaded the legal challenge.
“The decision reinforces the one-size-fits-all methodology that SANDAG used when allocating the housing units for this cycle,” he said. “Other jurisdictions that could accommodate more housing were willing to take some of our units, but SANDAG refused to even have that discussion. So ultimately now, even when zoned, few if any of these units will be built.”
Likewise, Solana Beach saw its housing allocation jump to 875 units this cycle, up from 340 units last decade, according to SANDAG documents. Imperial Beach’s requirement increased to 1,329 units, up from 254 units, and Lemon Grove to 1,359 units, up from 309 units.
The cities pleaded with SANDAG’s 21-member board of elected officials in 2020 to lower their housing obligations. An initial tally vote sided with Coronado and the other small cities, but a subsequent “weighted” vote based on a city’s population overturned that determination.
Elected officials from San Diego, Chula Vista, Del Mar, Encinitas and National City banded together to uphold the agency’s housing document. The weighted vote was ushered in about five years ago by then-Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez as part of a reform bill that came in the wake of SANDAG scandal.
Coronado and the other smaller cities challenged the use of the weighted vote in court but lost at the trial and appellate levels before the state’s high court declined this week to hear the case.
“Thirteen of the 18 jurisdictions present that day agreed that the geographically challenged smaller cities should be granted a lower number,” said Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner, “but the weighted vote was called in a quasi-judicial proceeding, and five out of 18 (cities) disenfranchised the smaller jurisdictions, overriding the will of the majority.”
The dust-up is part of a larger debate about how to bring down the soaring cost of housing in California. Lawmakers have argued that a housing shortage is to blame, taking numerous steps in recent years to promote more residential construction.
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