Eye on the Coast

Possible fairgrounds sale creates chatter

Just ballot hype
The Governator went all out to promote the six ballot propositions in the recent statewide vote. He managed to scare the daylights out of the little ones who were sure the roof was falling but most adults saw through the phony propaganda. His idea to sell facilities like the historic Surfside fairgrounds made front page news even in the Wall Street Journal in New York. But even if it became a reality it wouldn’t bail out the current budget morass becuz it would take several years of back and forth palaver.
In 1993, then-Governor Pete Wilson suggested venues like Del Mar be privitized. That was a neat idea that went nowhere. It was revived in 1999 and went a bit further. A board of directors including representatives from Solbeach and the Surfside City would operate the 350-acre facility.
It was appealing becuz the fairgrounds would be out of state mandates like having to comply with rules and regs that apply to four- and five-day fairs. Recently Surfside employees were ordered by Sacto to take a nonpaid furlough every month even though Sacto doesn’t pay their wages. Becuz Del Mar operates 24/7 due to the wide variety of events requiring professional staff, this has created extreme hardship.
In an effort to compete with casinos, Cal tracks have tried for several years to be allowed to add casino type gambling to their programs. The Governator and state electeds have been indifferent about that possibility primarily becuz casinos are lavish campaign contributors. What if the Diegueno Band of Mission Indians established the fairgrounds as a reservation?
According to history, the Diegueno footprints were all over the San Dieguito area. They could buy the 350-acre fairgrounds and take over the 20-year franchise to conduct horse racing that is now under review becuz the agreement ends at the end of the year. The millions of cash it would take to convince the Governator and state selecteds to sell to an Indian tribe is chump change for a casino.
Desal plant clears hurdle
If all goes as projected, North Countians may be drinking desalinated Pacific Ocean water by 2011. San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board recently gave Poseidon Resources a final permit to move forward on a $300 mil. desalination project to be located adjacent to Encina power plant. However, opponents Surfrider Foundation and San Diego Coast Keeper, who have opposed the project in the courts, have indicated they will continue to keep it from becoming a reality.
Pot clinics nixed
There are no weed dispensing clinics now in O’side and the council electeds want to be certain there won’t be any in the future. It recently adopted a 45-day moratorium banning them and it’s likely the act will become permanent. The action was triggered by an inquiry as to whether such a bizness was OK in the city. Council electeds have been striving to redo the downtown business sector into a high-end resort destination with hotels and stores replacing the bars and topless joints.
Seagull sculpture
A bronze sculpture of a seagull with a 6-foot wingspan will greet folks entering Fletcher Cove Park in Solbeach this summer. The art piece is a gift from Peter House and Carol Childs. The senior Childs were post World War II owners of the Solana Beach Hotel.
ADA relief
Small bizness owners who may be slapped with a hefty assessment if they fail to meet Americans With Disabilities Act standards will have more time to become compliant if a bill by Congressman Duncan Hunter of El Cajon becomes law. Fines of up to 4 grand are possible now for each violation and the fine money goes to the person who files the suit. San Diego lawyer Theodore Pinnock has the reputation of going through a bizness area and issuing warning citations. In 2007, he went to Julian and tagged more than 60 businesses. Some of them are reported to have gone out of bizness.
Student fees increased
Students attending Cal State colleges are paying 10 percent more in tuition fees for their education due to the current budget crisis. The system includes 23 campuses with more than 450,00 learners attending.
Vista wins suit
4th District Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the city of Vista in a wage dispute. Becuz it is a charter city it can pay less than the prevailing wage rate. A labor organization argued that a charter city can’t supersede state law in its decisions. Yes it can, a three-judge panel ruled by a 2-1 vote. Likely, the decision will be appealed to the State Supreme Court.
Ponto resort project
An off-again, on-again Ponto resort project has received unanimous Carlsbad Planning Commission approval. It has been in the works for several years and will consist of a 250-room hotel, ocean view restaurant and shops with easy public beach access.
Village Community Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe has opened a 9,000-square-foot playground … With two powerful union organizations now involved in a recall attempt aginst O’side City Council elected Jerome Kern, the effort has gained considerable fire power in the signature gathering phase … Ace Hardware is back in bizness at the Lumberyard in the Flower Capital’s downtown commercial sector and Smart & Final is now located at the former Albertsons Market, 479 Encinitas Blvd …. 67 percent of the voters in Chula Vista recently voted no on a sales tax increase … Vegas reactivated its slogan “What Happens Here, Stays Here” … San Marcos has joined the cities of Poway, Solbeach, and National City requiring that booze dispensers at bars and grills attend a training session … The Country Friends, a philanthropic organization based in Rancho Santa Fe, recently observed its 55th year of operation and has passed out several million bux to charitable organizations … Leucadia 101 MainStreet Assn. is seeking participants for its annual LeucadiArtWalk scheduled Aug. 30 … Homeowners associations have been advised that under the Davis-Sterling Act they are required to issue meeting notices and their meetings are open to the membership … The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito will have its 36th annual pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. May 30 at the Encinitas Griset Branch, 1221 Encinitas Blvd. … Take an elected Sacto tax spender to a t-party on the 4th of July.