Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Three Stars of Pacific Tower

         Thanksgiving may be over, but it’s important to acknowledge the contributions of our three dedicated Pacific Tower superintendents: John McLean, Marvin Mendez and Forrest Graham. John has served PT for 14 years, Marvin 10 years and Forrest two years (but we’re hoping he’ll stay till his hair turns grey too). Besides the daily cleaning maintenance, garbage and recycling duties, the men are called upon for every event and emergency. They pad the elevator for movers and swab the deck when a keg gets spilled in the lobby – and worse.

       John has the additional duties of getting bids from vendors - from window washers to elevator repairmen. John also coordinates roof access for cell tower repair, and was key in scheduling the many competing vendors for our massive remodel project. He also logs in newbies, updates the Excel census files, passes out mail-box keys, rents out the Rec Room and logs in new canine residents; and when stuff breaks down, he knows how to fix it or who to call. John also does the monthly walk-thru with our Menas Manager – looking for things that might need upkeep or noting Rules and Regulations violations such as balconies being used for storage.

      Both John and Marvin have gone beyond the call of duty, racing back here for occasional after-hours emergencies, and Forrest gives up his weekends for us. Maintaining a building of twelve stories plus two garages requires constant vigilance and upkeep and The Pacific Tower Governing Board is so pleased to have such dedicated men helping us. 

Re-Creating Beauty in our Recreation Room

      If you’re not a regular gym visitor, you may not have noticed our Rec Room has been fantastically upgraded. Thanks to the perseverance of board member Carol Foreman, all the chairs and bar stools have been beautifully reupholstered and the tables whitewashed. John, Marvin and Forrest cleaned the wood part of the chairs and tables. Carol collected bids from vendors, and with fellow board member Pat Nemeth, selected the gorgeous new color combinations. With the recent painting and carpets, the room looks brand new! 

June Crandall RIP

The Board of Pacific Towers regrets the passing of longtime PT resident June Crandall. June was a 39 year resident of PT. She almost never missed a Board meeting, was a Fire Floor Captain for the fifth floor, counted votes for our annual Board elections and always helped decorate the lobby Christmas tree. She was artistic, maintained a beautiful home and undeniably enhanced our Pacific Tower. She was active till she could no longer be active. Memorial services will take place in January with details still pending.

Sauna Like it's 2015!

                     Our Sauna floor has been beautifully repaired by John McLean. If you haven’t taken a sauna lately, or avoided it because the old wood floor seemed scarily springy, come on back – the sauna is waiting for you! 

Oh Christmas Tree... Needles

             After Christmas, those with live trees need to get them out of the building and take them to a tree drop-off site.  The needles and branches make a mess, the dryer and older they are; so please wrap them in a sheet before you take them into the elevators or sweep up after yourself if you need to. Everyone would appreciate it.

Recycling Boxes

                          We hope Santa brought you everything you asked for and all those gift boxes are no longer a mystery. Recycling is good for everybody, but it’s not fair to our maintenance men if you just toss a box in the laundry room and walk away. Boxes need to be emptied of shipping peanuts and wrapping paper and then opened on both ends and flattened: this is the owner’s job. 
*Large boxes need to be collapsed and taken by you down to the engine room in the upper garage. Thanks in advance.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Board Member

Pacific Tower Board of Directors welcomes its newest member and owner, Bob Weber! We’re always delighted when owners take a special interest in the building! 


                                Party noise that disturbs everyone is NOT allowed. If you have no way of reaching out to the miscreants, then call the police non-emergency number 619-531-2000. Tell them which condo the noise is coming from and ask for the incident report number.  Follow up the next day using the incident number to find out what action was taken by the police


      As of today, Pacific Tower has 41 rental units out of 118 condos. If you’re an owner who rents out your condo, it’s important to know the rules.

Included in this issue is a shortened recent article from the San Diego Union Tribune about the owner of a downtown condo who rented out his luxury condo on a weekend basis – which was strictly against his HOA rules requiring a minimum 90 day lease. His condo association has the same attorney as Pacific Tower and they won the case against the owner. He was forced to pay over $100,000 for his violation.

Q. What is the minimum amount of time I can rent out my condo?
A. 3 months. A copy of the lease MUST be turned in to the office.

Condo owners MUST give their renters a copy of the Rules and Regulations. Ignorance of the rules is no excuse. Owners will be fined if their tenants break the rules.  

NextDoor.Com Finds PT Cat Owner!

POST SCRIPT : Owner of PT cat was found after rescuer wrote to our blog and also posted a notice on We thank neighbor Shelby Gray! 
Posted on ( owner was located)

                   HAVE YOU LOST A CAT?
Sun, Nov 2, 2014
Shelby Gray
I have unfortunate news, my boyfriend and I were walking our dog around 7:15am this morning and saw a cat fall from the Pacific Towers Condos. It fell from around the 10th floor and I took it to the emergency vet in Mission Valley. It didn't survive but I still can't find out who the owners are. If anyone knows who's cat this could've been please let me know. Thanks.

You can also reply to this email or use Nextdoor for iPhone or Android

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rule-breaker had to pay HOA $106K

Rule-breaker had to pay HOA $106K
San Diego Union Tribune By Jonathan Horn  Oct. 25, 2014
If you own a luxurious condo in downtown and want to make some easy money, you can rent out your unit for a weekend via popular sites like Airbnb, Craigslist and Vacation Rentals By Owner.
Just don’t let your homeowners association find out — you could be writing them an even bigger check.
That’s what happened to Thomas Stevens, who in July paid The Mark Condominium Association more than $106,000 after a Superior Court judge ruled that he continually violated the opulent downtown building’s regulations by renting out his 19th-floor unit on a nightly and weekend basis, something Stevens says he did only once. After he wrote the check, The Mark’s association posted notices in the elevators, informing residents of the victory as a tacit reminder to resist any temptation to list their units for leases shorter than the 90 days the complex requires.
With the skyrocketing popularity of sites like Airbnb and providing travelers an alternative to hotels, homeowners associations across downtown are taking steps to ensure their residents don’t get tempted to take advantage of the opportunity.
Some municipalities also regulate short-term rentals.
This week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to make the use of Airbnb legal for the first time in several years, a measure that moves to Mayor Ed Lee’s desk for signature. In New York, it’s still illegal to rent out a residence to someone for fewer than 30 days, rendering Airbnb moot for short-term stays. The city of San Diego doesn’t ban short-term house rentals, but requires a minimum seven-day stay for condos in some areas. Those who rent out their units are required by the city to obtain certification and collect transient occupancy taxes.
“Owners don’t want weekenders or other short-term stays because it turns their home atmosphere into a hotel atmosphere with visitors who can be loud, disruptive, rude and simply not use the care required to help keep the community clean, safe and free of damage,” said Laurie Kendrick Coxworth, general manager for ICON, a complex on 10th Avenue, which requires at least 30-day leases of its units.
Kendrick Coxworth said each year around Comic-Con, the complex sends out reminder notices to residents not to list their units for the international event. She said the board is considering raising the fine for an initial offense from $250 to $1,000. Across downtown, at the 43-story Electra complex off Harbor Drive, the board two years ago increased the fine from $50 for a first offense to a maximum $5,000, although general manager Jim Jennings said most first-timers are fined $500.
Jennings said he checks sites like Airbnb every two weeks to see if people are advertising their units, and even more frequently around Comic-Con. If there’s a listing, he sends the owner a notice, as the building requires a minimum one-year lease. Jennings said he also finds out about short-term rentals through word-of-mouth.
“You’re not going to keep anything secret in a vertical village,” he said.
David Peters, attorney for The Mark’s association, said visitors tend to get caught because they ask doormen and other workers at the buildings for services more akin to those in a hotel.
“I’ve had them order food from security, and they don’t understand it’s not a hotel and that it’s not their concierge,” he said.
The ruling against Stevens came three months after he sold the two-bedroom unit for $774,000, which was $175,000 more than he and his parents paid in December 2009. The $106,059 payment to The Mark took away any sort of profit.
“It was kind of a wash,” said Stevens, 49, who owns a demolition company in Orange County. “I had to pay my attorney, and all my time wasted. I really didn’t want to sell the unit.”
Leases at The Mark have to be at least 90 days to comply with the building’s regulations, which owners agree to when they buy a unit. Stevens said he only violated the rule once, when he said there was a lack of clarity in the requirement. He said he rented his condo out to a teacher visiting from Ohio for a week, pocketing $2,500. He said he received a violation letter after she commented on the building to someone at the front desk. He eventually paid a $350 fine, and then adjusted his advertisement on to a reflect a minimum 90-day stay.
“I turned people down all the time because I didn’t want to violate the HOA rules,” he said, speaking by phone from Orange County this week.
Peters, The Mark’s attorney, said that Stevens continued to rent out his unit for short terms, despite warnings to stop.
“He was basically bringing people in, and claiming they were his friends and his guests,” Peters said. “They were not his friends and his guests.”
Stevens said they actually were his friends. That includes Tunch Ilkin, a retired member of the Pittsburgh Steelers who stayed in the condo during visits to San Diego to care for his wife, who died in 2012 after a battle with cancer. A spokesman for the Steelers confirmed to U-T San Diego that Ilkin did stay at the property. Stevens said otherwise he and his wife and children would come down from Laguna Niguel for weekends, visiting places like SeaWorld, or that his parents would use it to escape the heat in Scottsdale, Ariz.
In the end, Superior Court Justice Jay Bloom found for The Mark, awarding $16,059 in costs and $90,000 in attorneys fees for breach of contract.
Seth Kaplowitz, a real-estate attorney and finance lecturer at San Diego State University, said homeowners associations are aggressive about enforcement because they want to sustain quality of life and property values. He said other parts of the county aren’t as strict on short-term rentals, noting there’s a large market in North County during Del Mar racing season.
© Copyright 2014 The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC. An MLIM LLC Company. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Great Un-Leashed

Menas NEW Web Portal

                 Menas Realty has put up a web portal  What’s the difference between a website and a web portal?  A web portal is INTERACTIVE.  Owners recently received an introductory letter that included a personal access code. Now you can see your personal account for payment and balance status, edit your contact and mailing info, add tenants info, submit questions about your account, and add your EMAIL address.

                 Yes, there are still some residents who are allergic to the World Wide Web but more and more of us cannot live without it and welcome the efficiency that can only come digitally. Your Homeowners Board of Governors welcomes this portal and is hoping to use the most current information to constantly update our census. And of course, neither Menus nor the Board is renting or selling your data.

Old and Unwanted

Wonderful Websites

                      There’s a wonderful website called which allows you to interact with your neighbors. It’s free. Sign up and get real-time updates from your local police and neighbors regarding crime, lost dogs, free stuff people are giving away and anything going on in our neighborhood. It’s like a virtual Neighborhood Watch and then some. There’s even a phone app to download for your smart phone.

                        Of course we still have Neighborhood Watch. Karyl Miller is Block Captain for Pacific Tower and posts updates from our Police Chief and others on our laundry room bulletin boards. The Neighborhood Watch head for all the PB neighborhoods is Marcella Teran Marcella also sits on the new Police Advisory board.

If you have no computer and need to contact any city service just dial 211 and ask.

Rules 'n Regs

                             Owners who rent out their places are reminded to give their tenants a copy of the Rules and Regulations and the CC&Rs. This way the tenants will know the rules and be less likely to break the rules and get the owner in trouble or fined. Digital copies can be downloaded from Menas. 

Can We Talk?

                                    Nothing lasts forever and neither did your intercom. PTHOA is happy to announce the purchase of our spanking new intercom. Yes, there are always a few kinks till it’s up and running perfectly but we promise the sound is greatly improved over the old one, it’s easier to read and best of all your guests will thank you because they can hear you and because you let them in!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Rules for Fluffy and Fido

            You recently received a mailing from Menas containing a copy of our new Community Association Pet Rules and New Rec Room Rules. Your Board, along with Tom Ward and input from concerned residents labored diligently to hammer out the rules and the exact wording for the new official rules for both Pets and the Rec Room.
Q.  Why did we need new rules?
A.   The old rules were not specific enough. We felt the rules had to be stated clearly for the safety and enjoyment of everyone in the community. We increased the Pet Rules charges to cover the cost of cleaning and/or replacing soiled carpet and to send a message of how seriously we take our rules. We changed from charging for the Rec Room to taking a refundable deposit instead for “renting” the Rec Room instead. Forms for both are available from Menas. Owners should send a copy of the New Rules to their tenants.   

Sunday, September 14, 2014

New Rules for Fluffy and Fido

      You recently received a mailing from Menas containing a copy of our new Community Association Pet Rules and New Rec Room Rules. Your Board, along with Tom Ward and input from animal-loving residents labored diligently to hammer out the rules and the exact wording for the new official rules.
Q.  Why did we need new rules?

A.   The old rules were not specific enough. We felt the rules had to be stated clearly for the safety and enjoyment of everyone in the community. We increased the charge to cover the cost of cleaning and/or replacing soiled carpet squares and to send a message of how seriously we take our rules. New rules go into effect October 1, 2014 so if your pet is already registered under the old rules, you will not have to pay the increase.

They're Painting Again?!

      Don’t you just love the sound of electric grinding in the morning? This is actually music to the Board’s ears. Why? Because we felt the recent paint job that was part of our remodeling project turned out less than perfect. The paint on the elevator doors and some of the residence doors were already nicked and or peeling. Through the efforts of the Board, Tom Ward and other interested residents, we demanded and got our painting contractors to return and revise the job and make good on their guarantee. We’re very happy with the result and hope you are too. 

Those *#%&* Elevators!

      Recently, you might have felt that thrilling surge of your blood pressure spiking when the blare of a fire engine got louder and then STOPPED - and you thought “It’s here!”  Breathlessly, you run to your window or race down hallway. You peer down and see the ambient flash of a spinning Fire Truck Spot Light as it sweeps across the dark. Wilbur looks like the end of every cop movie you’ve ever seen. Heart pounding, you hope none of your favorite neighbors is having a heart attack.

      Someone was stuck in an elevator. “What floor?” I asked the fireman. “Not sure,” he says as he puts his ear on the elevator doors, thumps it and yells upward, “Fire Department! What floor are you on?” Getting no answer, he high tails it up the stairs. Moments later a muffled female voice is heard “Hello? I’m on 11. Hello?”  All very dramatic and over in minutes.  Our trusty 24 Hour Elevator Repair service got to work post haste. A part was needed, so the elevator had to be shut down temporarily. Etc. Etc.

      So what’s going on with the %&*# elevators? Short answer: They’re not young anymore. We all wish we were 41 again, but 41 is actually middle age in the life of an elevator. After a recent building inspection, engineers verified that our elevators are still good for another13 to 28 years. So, like people born in 1973, our elevators might need a little Botox now and then. We’ve been assured that they are completely safe and cannot fall. Getting stuck between floors was a rarity and help comes quickly. September 15 -19, Bergelectric will be replacing the electrical cables in each of our cars. Inconvenience will ensue. Lighting may be effected. Please be cool.

Pool News

      So happy to report this summer we have had no late-night swimmers. All it took was closing the pool earlier (at 9) and installing an outdoor infrared security camera at great expense! Yay!

      Did you know we have a life raft hanging on the South Wall of the pool enclosure? If somebody is drowning, why not be nice and throw him or her a life raft?
      If you’re just playing in the pool, remember the life raft is NOT a toy – so keep your pruney paws off! 

      The bad pool news = loud music. Please don’t fancy yourself a disc jockey spinning platters or blasting your Spotify faves for the enjoyment of every ear within 50 feet. If people living poolside can hear your music, it’s TOO loud. Make friends, get earbuds. 

A Bunch of Garbage

A Bunch of Garbage
Ever had that sinking feeling when you jam two dozen corn husks into your garbage disposal and it REBELS? It just grinds and grinds wimp-ily and you know it’s dead and you killed it? Newsflash: The HOA is NOT going to pay your plumbing bill. You dood it, you pay for it. This  expense can be easily avoided by learning about the care and feeding of a garbage disposal
Grease - solidifies inside your drain and creates clogs
Pasta and rice – uncooked expands with water, causes clogs.
Coffee grounds – get caught in the drain
Apple cores, pits, seeds
Eggshells – membrane can wrap around blades
Bones - too strong

Cold water for 20-30 seconds before and after grinding food
Liquids and soft foods, chopped foods
Dish soap
Ice cubes  - grind lemon flavored cubes for a nice smell

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lobby Art

By now, everyone has seen and admired the new furniture in the inner lobby and also the new art photos of our local beaches and the Crystal Pier. The pictures were taken by PT resident Jack Zabawa, who took the bird’s eye views using his customized radio controlled paragliders and tiny GoPRO cameras.

The Gallery at Land’s End will showcase Jack’s unique photographic art at an artist reception Friday August 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. 4984 Cass St. San Diego, CA. Everyone’s invited. Refreshments will be served. Be there or be square.

POST SCRIPT FYI: Jack made no profit from lobby art. Building paid bill submitted from printing company, period.

Be Cool @ The Pool

Hey Mailman!

Recently you may have noticed that if you receive a package too large for your mailbox or it if needs a signature, a smiling postman DOES NOT show up at your door. Most likely you received a notice in your box telling you to show up at the Post Office and get the damn thing yourself. Why is this happening when Fed Ex and UPS seem to have no trouble coming right to our doors? Doesn’t the Post Office know you have better things to do than stand in and endless line waiting to sign for package from your Granny containing doilies she knitted from Mitten’s cat hair?! 

The Post Master claimed it was too difficult to get into our building (which is ridiculous). PROBLEM SOLVED: The PO is being given their own keys to the building, so soon they will have no excuse but to leave larger packages at our doors.  As to how this works out, we’ll keep you posted.

Padded Elevators

Whether you’re moving in or out or just getting a delivery from Jerome’s, it’s important to follow the rules.

Moving is only allowed Monday thru Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM. Why? Because the elevator needs to be padded for protection and our Building Superintendent and staff - John, Marvin or Forrest,  must be present to unlock the lobby double doors to accommodate large pieces of furniture.  After the delivery, half  the double doors will be re- locked and secured.

Moving In/Out Elevator Reservation forms are available in advance in John McLean’s office and there is a $50 fee.

No moving is allowed on holidays, weekends or nights. If you MUST receive a large delivery on a Saturday, please try to make it in the morning when Forrest is here.  Fill out an elevator reservation in advance.

If you violate these rules and your movers or delivery men damage the elevator, you will be charged for the damages.

Up In Smoke, Down With Music

Now that it’s summer and we’ve all got our windows and doors open it’s important to be aware that we’re sharing this space and to be considerate of our neighbors.

Please don’t smoke on your balcony, the catwalk or at the pool and remind your guests smoking is only allowed INSIDE your unit. 

If your neighbors can hear your music, it’s too loud. If you have the base turned up to 11, the thumping is giving everybody a headache. If you live poolside (catwalk or 10 or 11 stack), please consider closing your doors when your music is playing.

Stork Alert

Thayne Yungman, former resident and board member, and his wife Tara Jones Yungman are expecting a little one in mid-January. We wish them the very best! Thayne was an active member of the board. He and Tara were original members of the Remodeling Committee.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Annual Party

Refreshments were indeed served at the Pacific Tower's Annual Election and Membership meeting June 24th.  Luscious fruits, sandwiches, dips, lemonade, wine and cookies covered the kitchen's long countertop and became the initial greeting place filled with warm welcomes, spirited discussions and laughter.

When the gathering was called to order, serious business was conducted in a professional and amiable manner and once concluded the cheerful socialization resumed. Pacific Tower is its own wonderful neighborhood and I'm so delighted to part of it!
Trish Mylet

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Goodbye Patti D'donnell

Longtime resident Patti O’Donnell has sold her place at 704 and moved to the nearby White Sands La Jolla. Patti moved into Pacific Tower almost 20 years ago when her husband was sick with ALS and stayed as a widow, collecting many close friends in the building. We will miss her many spontaneous invitations for a sunset glass of wine or a delightful dinner made from one of her amazing recipes. Despite her advanced years, Patti must be admired for her computer literacy – so we will be emailing, texting and Tweeting her between visits. 

Oh Poop

Some residents parking just under the RecRoom-to-pool walkway have had the misfortune of suddenly finding their cars covered in seagull guano.

Seagulls are the birds most closely identified with the beach, so it’s no surprise they made their way over to Pacific Tower.

In order to discover the mystery of the miserable poop, our building superintendent, John McLean,  went up on the roof peered down into the top of our cell tower panels and sure enough - Pacific Tower has its very own seagull – a mother with a nest and at least one egg.  Apparently the closely-knit seagull family is circling our building in eager anticipation of the blessed event, and when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Once the chick is born, the birds will probably fly the coop. In the meantime, John is temporarily installing spikes at the top of the pool fence.  Until then, everyone walking in the upper garage is warned to wear a hat.

When is a Garage NOT a Garage?

Your parking space is for your car and not your stuff. Some spaces have room for a bike or motorcycle - and that’s permitted.
The details:
Q. Is it okay to store my surfboards? Beach chairs? A. No and No.
Q. Is it okay to store my inflatable bounce house? A. Are you kidding?
Q. Is it okay to store my Steel- Belted Radial tires (they're car related !) A. No!  

Parking Roulette

Can I sell my parking space? NO.
Can I rent my parking place? YES.
Can I swap my parking place with my friend in the building? YES, BUT ONLY TEMPORARILY.
What happens when I sell my condo? YOUR PARKINGS SPACE IS THE      ONE STATED ON YOUR DEED. PERIOD.

Office Hours

Our Building Superintendent's Office is manned till 5 PM every weekday and in the AM on weekends.

If the door is closed, the Superintendent, John McLean, or Marvin or Forrest are no doubt doing chores in the building. Call the office cell phone 619.339.3490 (for an instant response) or call the office land line 858.272.0860 and leave a message.

Committees 2014


Executive  (Makes unanimous decisions relating to imminent threat to safety and risk of substantial financial loss)
Karyl Miller - Chair
Kathleen Morgan
Peter Holmes

Legal  (Liaison with Board and our PT attorney)
Tom Ward – Chair
Kathleen Morgan

Architectural (approves alterations/modifications to common areas within individual units) 
Pat Nemeth – Chair
Trish Mylet
(REQUIRES a 3rd volunteer)

Landscaping   (Supervises, makes decisions re: plantings)
Kathleen Morgan – Chair
Carol Foreman

Building Operations (Monitors daily building maintenance)
Karyl Miller – Chair

Leasing  (Collects and maintains copies of leased condos)
Carol Foreman – Chair
Karyl Miller

CAI (Community Associations Institute, a group of HOA leaders)
Kathleen Morgan – Chair

Interior Improvement Committee (remodel public areas)
Carol Foreman – Chair
Karyl Miller

HR Committee  (Supervises building employees)
Karyl Miller – Chair
Peter Holmes

Newsletter  (Writes, edits monthly newsletter)
Trish Mylet – Editor
Karyl Miller

Finance and Collections

Board of Directors 2014

NEW Pacific Tower Board of Directors - August 2014

President                 Karyl Miller
Vice President         Kathleen Morgan
Treasurer                Antoinette Hamilton
Secretary                 Peter Holmes
Director                   Pat Nemeth
Director                   Trish Mylet
Director                   Carol Foreman