Sunday, November 1, 2015


Homeowners who received their November newsletter in the mail got a typo that stated the opposite of our intention:

Owners must supply their renters with a copy of our Pacific Tower Rules and Regulations. If your renters know the rules then they know the pool is closed at 9 PM, not to throw towels over their balcony railings, etc. etc and YOU, the owner will not be fined when your renters disobey the rules.

CORRECTION: Owners WILL be fined when your renters disobey the rules.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Scourge of the Pizza Box

Is there anybody who doesn’t like Papa Johns?  Of course not!
Okay, maybe you’re a Dominos person because they give you extra fattening brownies in case your pizza isn’t caloric enough. Fine. No crime committed.

But the point is - that on any given evening, somebody in Pacific Tower is getting a pizza delivered. Is that a problem? Well, the pizza isn’t a prob, but the box is.

Q. WHAT do I DO with my pizza box after I eat my pizza?
A. Empty all the crumbs and cheese bits out and then put the box in recycling bin

Q. WHAT should I NOT do with my pizza box after I eat my pizza?
A.Do NOT throw it in the garbage chute! Even though the box may seem smaller than the chute, once it starts its downward spiral, it can become wedged in the chute.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?  People start throwing their garbage down the chute and it starts to pile up on top of YOUR wedged Pizza box. 

Next thing you know, when you open the chute, there’s garbage jammed in and backed up all the way to the 12th floor. Not a pretty picture, especially if it happens on a Saturday night when Maintenance isn’t on site to unblock it.  ‘Nuf said. Now enjoy your pizza.

Rules for Renters 'n Owners

Owners must supply their renters with a copy of our Pacific Tower Rules and Regulations.  If your renters know the rules then they know the pool is closed at 9 PM, not to throw towels over their balcony railings, etc. etc and YOU, the owner will not be fined when your renters obey the rules.  A copy of the rules can be obtained in our Maintenance office or from Menas Realty (hard copy of download) for a small fee.

Speaking of renters, Pacific Tower does NOT allow short-term vacation rentals such as Airbnb, VRBO and other internet establishments.  The shortest rental we allow is 90 days and a copy of that lease must be turned in to our or Menas Realty office.  Your Board monitors the web for anyone advertising a short-term rental in our building and does not take this kind of violation lightly.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Our trusty Maintenance Manager John McLean is currently convalescing at home from surgery and should be back by the end of October. John has been a best friend to this building for 15 years and the feeling is mutual. If you want to leave a Get Well Card or write a personal note for John,  Marvin Mendez will collect and forward your cards in a bunch. We're sure John would love to hear from you.


Dear Boardie,
Q. What does an HOA board member do, exactly?
A.  Approves All Spending, such as (but not limited to):
Employee salaries, insurance, repairs, maintenance, upkeep of the common areas, purchasing of all new items like our new Exercycle, new floors for the elevators (on order), WiFi in Rec Room/Gym etc. 
ALL WHILE KEEPING IT AT $400 per month
B. Supervises our Maintenance staff of three
C. Reviews Architectural Requests and approves/not approve them
D. Evaluates all Violation Reports for compliance
E. Writes or re-writes rules like The New(ish) Animal rules and Rec Room Rules (available in the Maintenance Office)
F. Happily answers any and all questions about the building 


So sorry to report that Pacific Tower has lost its second cat this year due to falling off the balcony. Even Plexiglas surrounding your balcony railing will not stop a curious cat from leaping onto or trying to leap onto the top of the railing and slipping. Our hearts go out to the owners of the beloved deceased cats.

Friday, September 11, 2015


Dear Boardie, why are you so strict in enforcing every rule - even the most trivial?
A.    Whatever rule you’re breaking, ask yourself, what if everybody did it?
     Say A hangs their wet, sandy beach towel over their balcony railing. 
           B sees it, assumes it’s an okay thing to do and drapes his wet suit over his balcony. C sees the towel and wet suit and strings up a laundry line with baby diapers. D decides to air-dry sheets she’s tie-dying for her Etsy shop. E hangs out a duck he’s drying for Chinese cooking class etc. etc. Well, you get the idea.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Behind Closed Doors

Q. Have you ever noticed how some floors have their Laundry Doors Open 24/7 and others NEVER have their Laundry Room Doors open?

A. There's no way to sugar-coat it: The Floors with the Closed Laundry Doors are the Nice Floors.
And the Floors with the Open Laundry Doors are the Naughty Floors.

Q. What's the big wup about Laundry Room doors? 

A. The Fire Department requires them shut FOR SAFETY REASONS.  It's just a guess but -The laundry rooms are the only rooms in our building that have a natural gas line. If (heaven forbid) a fire started in the laundry room and the door was open, the fire could travel through the building. If the door was closed it would hopefully be confined to the laundry room behind the fire-rated door.

Q. But I gotta fold my shirts and it's a steambath in there. What's a dude supposed to do? 
A. A dude could prop the door open while he fluffs 'n folds and remember to shut it when he's done.

ACTION ON THIS ISSUE: The Maintenance Staff has been instructed by the Board to shut every Laundry Room door whenever they spot one open...and we applaud our good citizen neighbors for doing the same. It's for our own good!

Water, Water Everywhere?

If you've been loving under a rock, you might not know that our gorgeous, perfectly sunny, beautiful state is in the midst of a devastating drought. We all have to do our part in saving water.
To begin doing our part, Pacific Tower is having
1. Our landscaper/gardeners install low spray sprinkler heads that are designed not to waste water by wetting the sidewalks.
2. Our maintenance crew is now washing the catwalks with a mop and pail, swabbing the decks like in the Navy, instead of hosing them clean using a garden hose and lots and lots of water.
What can you do?  Wash dishes by filling the sink with water FIRST. Shower with a friend. (Yes, it's an old standby, but it works.) Google "save water" and see what you get. Try not to cry. If you must cry, especially if something really bad happens, then cry into a Tupperware container and freeze those tears for a NOT rainy day.

Below is Government info on the water crisis copied from

Q&A on San Diego's State-Mandated Water Use Reductions1d ago

Public Information Officer Robyn Bullard from San Diegans Waste No Water
Beginning Monday, June 1, the City of San Diego will be mandated by the state to reduce its aggregate water usage by a total of 16%, and the City must report those numbers on a monthly basis back to the state. You may have heard other numbers in the news, and here's an explanation: the state must reduce by an overall total of 25%, but each water district was assigned a different percentage, based on several variables, to help achieve that 25%. The City of San Diego's reduction target was finalized at 16%.

Based on questions and comments from earlier posts here at Nextdoor, we wanted to provide some additional information related to this challenge.

Q: "Will you be tracking my bill to inform me if I’m meeting my 16% target reduction?"

A: The requirement from the state is that the City, as a whole, reduce its water consumption by 16%. The City does not currently have plans to track individual water usage by each customer, but rather to step up its outreach and enforcement of water waste in an effort to meet that 16% reduction overall.

Q: "I’ve already done everything I can do –- there’s no way I can reduce my usage by another 16%. How can the City lump me in with everyone else?"

A: To be clear, the 16% mandatory reduction was set by the state, not by the City. That being said, it IS the City’s responsibility to communicate that mandate to its customers, as well as enforce the City’s mandatory water use restrictions that are in place, in a serious effort to achieve that target. We know that many residents have taken big steps in the past years toward conservation, and we thank and applaud them. However, we also know that there are those people (you probably know who you are) who are able to do more. Either way, what may seem like harmless privileges such as 20-minute showers, irrigating freely outdoors and other practices now become--in the midst of our historic drought--areas where we can cut back and recognize immediate savings.

Q: "I’ve heard that the San Diego region is asking residents to reduce their irrigation to two times a week. Does this include City of San Diego residents?"

A: Yes. More than 50% of residential water use can be attributed to outdoor irrigation, so this is where we stand to gain the most ground quickly. The City of San Diego is asking that residents please cut back their outdoor irrigation to two days per week, 5 minutes per day (NOTE: this time limit applies to standard sprinkler systems, but does not apply to landscape irrigation systems using water-efficient devices, including drip and micro-irrigation systems and stream rotor sprinklers). The following is a schedule you can follow to help make that goal easier to remember:

Odd-numbered addresses - water Sundays and Thursdays, for no more than 5 minutes per day.
Even-numbered addresses – water Saturdays and Wednesdays, for no more than 5 minutes per day.
Apartments, condos and businesses – water Mondays and Fridays, for no more than 5 minutes per day.

Also, beginning Monday, June 1, watering times are no earlier than 6 pm and no later than 10 am.

For more information and resources, visit our website here: As always, we appreciate your engagement and feedback and will work to provide you with the information we all need to succeed.
Edited 1d ago • Shared with San Diegans Waste No Water in General

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nip That Problem Neighbor in the Bud

Dear Boardie,
 Q. My neighbor smokes on his balcony which I know is against the Rules and Regs. I’ve asked him to stop but he continues. What should I do?
A. Owners can fill out a Violation Report (available in our lobby Maintenance office, at Menas Realty, or download from Menas Web Portal). Fill it out as instructed. Return it to Samantha Emig at Menas or send a digital copy to Samantha at
Q. I’m worried my neighbor will shun me if I report him.
A. He’s not exactly your best friend now anyway. Ask your closest other neighbor if he too, has noticed and was bothered by the smoke and if so, if you can include his observations in your report. That’ll take some of the heat off you. While your complaint is confidential, the Violator has the right to know who his accusers are – if he asks, but they seldom do.
Q. What happens after I turn in my Violation Report?
A. Menas sends the smokers a warning letter to stop smoking on the balcony. If they ignore it and continue smoking, the Board will ask them to come to a Hearing at our monthly board meeting and explain themselves. Afterwords the board will vote to dismiss the issue with a warning or to fine the Violator $250 for noncompliance.
Q. What happens if I’m a renter?
A. You would have to get the owner of your unit to complain about the smoker in your behalf.
Q. What happens if the smoker is a renter?
A. The Owner of the rented unit would get the violation warning letter and/or be asked to appear before the Board. Renters have no voice whatsoever at Homeowner Meetings.

Flying Saucers?

Got a balcony lined with glorious geraniums or a cute dwarf palm tree? That’s all fine and dandy until you over water and/or forget to have a non-porous saucer under each and every plant.  You do not want have water pooling on the concrete. If the cement becomes soaked over and over, it can contribute to spalling, which is when the water gets inside and the concrete separates from the rebar inside. It’s not just unsightly, it’s bad for the structure. So be nice to the building. Get yourself over to Green Gardens right next door and grab some plastic saucers from the array of saucers they offer in their shed area. 'Nuf said.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Patti O'Donnel newspaper obit

Patricia Lang O'Donnell(1926 - 2015)

O'Donnell, Patricia Lang 07/05/1926 ~ 04/03/2015 SAN DIEGO -- Patty O'Donnell, wife of the late LtGen Andrew W. O'Donnell USMC, died on Good Friday surrounded by her children. She is survived by Kerry and Rick Kruger of Katy, TX, Jody O'Donnell of San Diego, Barby and Frank Harvey of Houston and MajGen Andrew W. O'Donnell Jr. USMC and wife Kelly of Quantico, VA. She had eight loving grandchildren to whom she was known as Tutu; Tricia Kruger Gittemeier and husband Joel, Andre Kruger, Blake Hayter, Katie and Allie Satterwhite, the late Drew Satterwhite, and Andy and Isabelle O'Donnell. She was also proud of her two great-grandchildren, Campbell and Carter Gittemeier. Patty was of the "old school" where women were the matriarchs of the family. As a Marine Corps wife of 39 years and a Marine Corps mother of 35 years, she was Always Faithful. She had been a resident of San Diego for 21 years but her heart remained in Hawaii where she and her husband Andy had enjoyed retirement. Today we wish her...Much Aloha. Services to be held April 27th at 1:00pm at Pacific Beach Presbyterian followed by a reception at White Sands of La Jolla. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to The Assistance League of San Diego or The Semper Fi Fund.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Patti O'Donnell RIP

So sorry to announce our good friend Patti O'Donnell has died. She lived in Pacific Tower for almost 20 years till she moved 8 months ago into White Sands.  Her daughter Kerry just called me. Patti had been in severe hip pain and walking was becoming a chore. She had hip replacement surgery March 30 and was planning to recover at the V, but they never released her from the hospital because her vital signs were iffy.  She was 89.

Memorial service will be Monday,  April 27 at 1 PM, Pacific Beach Presbyterian followed by a reception at White Sands. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to The Assistance League of San Diego or The Semper Fi Fund.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Recycling VS. Garbage: What's the Diff?

Recycling is good for everybody, but it’s not fair to your neighbors to just toss a cardboard box or a bag with food particles in the laundry room and walk away.

FOOD WRAPPERS with food particles in them or a take-out box with cheese stuck to it or a Starbucks container still containing a drop of coffee are NOT Recycling.  If there’s food on it, it’s considered garbage and it should be put in a plastic bag, tied at the top and dropped down the garbage CHUTE. The reason: Old food smells and attracts bugs and vermin.

BOXES need to be emptied of packing paper and then opened on both ends and flattened: this is the owner’s job. Thanks in advance. Large boxes need to be collapsed and taken by you down to the engine room in the upper garage. Your main house key will open the double doors.

 Thank you for your consideration.

What's That !&*# Noise?!

                              You know how sometimes you’re sound asleep dreaming of tranquil beaches and little birdies tweeting and suddenly there’s a crashing noise like a 747 going through your ears? And your heart is pounding out of your chest and you’re thinking what-the-Hell?! That’s the sound of some jerk tossing glass bottles and who-knows-what down our trash chute.

So be a nice neighbor.Don’t throw glass bottles down the garbage – that’s for recycling. And DON’T use the chute after 9 PM. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pacific Tower, a HOTEL?!

Lots of news articles have been popping up lately about people renting out their condos thru internet websites like Airbnb. The Pacific Tower Homeowner’s Association wants to remind OWNERS that renting out your place for less than 90 days is NOT allowed. In other words, you can only rent out your place four times a year at most,  AND you MUST submit a copy of your lease to the onsite Manager’s Office for logging by the HOA Rental Committee. Owners should note that these rules also apply to your Renters who attempt to sublet a portion of their place.

                                The Reasons Behind our Rules:
We don’t want our building used as a hotel because weekend guests don’t know or even care about our rules. We don’t want strangers who are vacationing and eager to party, smoking, bringing food or glass bottles to the pool, going for a midnight swim, tossing their wet suits over the railings, stuffing banana peels or Drano down our delicate garbage disposals, giving out our entry access codes to their new-found pals and doing all the careless things strangers can do when they’re occupying somebody else’s property.
                          If You Rent Out your Condo:
1.    Advertising must state 90 Days as the minimum number of rental days.
2.    Rental agents must be notified of Pacific Towers 90 day rule.
3.    Renters must notify our onsite Manager when moving out.
4.    Owners must give renters a copy of the Rules and Regulations (available for $5 from onsite Manager or Menas Realty).

      What Happens if I Ignore the Rules and rent My place on weekends or other short terms?
                     The Board will find out and has the discretion to fine you for every day you are not in compliance with our rules (thus removing the profit from your rental scheme).

The above is an abbreviated, reader-friendly version of the Rules. Below are the the actual rules.                             
                                                 The Rules
Short term occupancy of units in Pacific Tower is prohibited and the Owner may be held liable for fines arising from violations of any one or all of the following sections of the CC&Rs.
Section 3.3; Section 3.4A; Section 5.10; Section 6.1B; Section 6.1C; Section 8.2 A-B-C-D and F; and Section 9.1. The applicable Rules that may result in penalties for violation by such activities are Rules Section A.2; Section B.1 (a-b-c-and d); Section B.3 and Section H.10.  
The Board has the primary responsibility to protect the Common Areas and the interests of all the members / Owners / residents in Pacific Tower.

Community association living requires the full cooperation of all residents to be a good neighbor. Getting to know and complying with the Governing Documents is a good start. With a little consideration and understanding, all residents within Pacific Tower may enjoy the quality of life provided by living here.

The success of our community is founded on the basic principles of common decency, respect and consideration for the basic rights of all neighbors.  The Board urges all Owners to consider the Governing Documents as a ready reminder of the various obligations residents have to one another in day-to-day living at Pacific Tower.

Squeeky Clean

STAIRS: People who take the stairs instead of the elevators will be pleased to notice how clean they are! Yes the Board has taken action and had the stairs AND both garage floors hydrojet washed!
LANDINGS: Our outdoor stair landings on the North side of the building (which get no sun) were getting weathered so rehabbing has begun by the OnSite Manager’s Office and our new helper Gerry Gutierrez will bring them back to life.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


          Despite having Norton anti-virus protection, Building Superintendent John McLean’s office computer was hacked sometime during the last weeks in January.  Ransomware infected the machine. Cyber criminals captured all the files and encrypted them making them impossible to read. The bad guys were demanding $450 to be paid in internet bitcoins to unencrypt the files and return them to readable condition. Of course, there was no guarantee the criminals would honor the bargain after we paid, because – criminals!  Luckily a board member happened to have a copy of John’s most important file, so PT opted not to pay the ransom or deal with the *&%#  crooks. 

This incident serves as a reminder of how sophisticated and devious these cyber miscreants are and how careful and vigilant we all must be.  With the help of Scott Miyazaki of local computer repair company Geeky Clean PC, John’s entire computer hard drive was cleaned and the vital programs re-installed. We are happy to report everything's up and running once again. 

Ironically, the same day Scott discovered our particular virus, NBC Nightly News featured a story about the newest in cyber crimes -  "Ransomware."  Pacific Tower, always on the cutting edge!   

Oh Baby!

Former Board member Thayne Yungman and his wife Tara Jones are the proud parents of a baby girl, Elizabeth “Ellie” Jean Yungman, born January 30. Thayne and Tara no longer live in PT, but Thayne owns the Land’s End Gallery on the corner of Cass and Loring. Besides making custom frames, the gallery also has many cute gift items, perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Friday, February 6, 2015

New Employee

Pacific Tower is sorry to report that our weekend janitorial helper Forrest Graham has moved away. After putting an ad to replace him on CraigsList, we received 150 replies in 10 hours – many seemed qualified. It's certainly a symptom of our economy that so may good workers are available.

We took down the ad and selected the 12 best. John McLean narrowed the choice to 6 and interviewed the top contenders. We are happy to announce our new weekend and part-time employee is a college student, Gerardo Gutierrez, who prefers to be called Gerry. Please make him welcome.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Residents got a rude awakening when our elevators stopped operating around 8 PM New Year’s Eve. Getting stuck in an elevator or climbing up 12 stories in your Spanks ‘n Manolos is nobody’s idea of how to bring in the New Year. Climbing down with a dog who wants to pee pee ASAP on the coldest night of the year – also not fun. There was plenty of unhappiness and inconvenience to go around. Many people called Menas emergency hotline. Two of your board members spent their New Year’s Eve trying to troubleshoot the situation with our emergency elevator repairman and on the phone with our building superintendent John McLean.

At press time we are expecting explicit reports on exactly what happened with the elevators. The board shares your frustration.


The rules of recycling are simple: One plastic bin is for cardboard and old newspapers and the other is for cans and bottles that have been washed and dried.

Please, please do not leave food particles on anything. It will smell and draw bugs and vermin.

A cereal box with a little cereal is NOT OK.
A pizza box with cheese stuck to it = NOT OK.

It only takes an extra minute to be a good neighbor.

Thank you!