Eye on the Coast

California’s budget remains in the news

Most cities OK
Most local cities have passed balanced budgets. C’bad did it with a modest 1 percent increase in the cost of doing bizness. On the other end of the spectrum, the Governator continues to sing a sad song with the deadline for an acceptable budget fast approaching.
It likely will be done with the usual smoke and mirrors the Sacto electeds are pros at concocting. Some of the local electeds — who for the most part are used to saving tax dollars instead of spending them — could show the Sacto tax spenders how rewarding it can be to be frugal.
Chamber suffering 2nd divorce
For the second time in recent history, the Flower Capital’s Chamber of Commerce is going through a separation. A group identifying itself as the Encinitas First Partners Chamber of Commerce has cited irreconcilable differences and has packed its belongings at the nifty chamber office on 2nd Street and moved to El Camino Real. In the mid-1950s the organization faced a similar spat. This was during the bitter freeway battle. Some members favored a coast route but there was a significant number who felt inland was the only way to travel. The inlanders were engaged in holding strategy meetings behind closed doors in the chamber office. The coasters took this matter to court and won. The decision being the inlanders couldn’t conduct closed sessions becuz the chamber was receiving taxpayer money from the Board of Supervisors, therefore, meetings had to be announced and open. The inlanders promptly formed the Greater Encinitas Chamber of Commerce and the closed sessions continued. However, it celebrated publicly when the inland route was selected.
No Qualcomm expansion
A proposed 70,000-seat stadium at Qualcomm never advanced past the presentation phase recently. The Chargers are in the market for a larger layout but they showed minimum interest in the proposal. It would include a 16-story hotel and 3 million square feet devoted to commercial businesses and condos. Cost would exceed $1 billion. Meanwhile Chargers’ owner Alex Spanos hasn’t ruled out relocating to the City of Industry where a friend has received city approval for a 78,000-seat stadium that would involve an $850 million investment by Ed Roski Jr., reported to be a billionaire developer. Roski has made no secret he would like to bring in an NFL team like the Chargers. Neighboring cities too have voiced opposition to the development based on traffic and noise. C of I has a population of 830 residents and is located 18 miles east of downtown L.A.
Recall effort
O’siders seeking to replace council elected Jerry Kern have until July 23 to submit petitions with 11,400 signatures of qualified voters. Kern backers are saying an election would be a terrible waste of $500 grand that could be used for critical projects. Kern would have less than a year left of his term if an election was held as soon as January.
Transit volunteer group
San Diego Association of Governments is seeking folks to volunteer for the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project Working Group. Applications are due June 22. The organization will provide input on the proposed light rail extension from Old Town Transit Center to University City, University Town Centre, UCSD and downtown San Diego. First meeting will be held next month. Interested folk can contact Anne Steinberger at (619) 699-1937.
Traffic cameras
Motorists traveling on major San Marcos streets won’t have to be watching out for a red light traffic camera. City electeds decided not to join the growing number of cities that have them and opine they are a proven accident preventer. They also are a source of revenue. While some cities are enthusiastic about them there are reports there has been an increase in rear-end collisons when drivers stop suddenly to avoid being in the intersection when lights turn red.
Children’s Garden open
Nothing for the kids to do? Spend some time at the recently opened $4 mil., 36-acre Children’s Garden adjacent to Quail Botanical Gardens. Julian Duval, ramrod of the kid’s area, sez it’s designed so the youngsters can get their hands dirty planting seeds, sloshing around in a water stream and climbing a tree house. The area has received great reviews from the kids of course.
Shores campaign facing payment
The Friends of Del Mar Parks are facing a $47,000 payment that is due at the end of the month as part of its contractual agreement to purchase the Shores School site on Ninth Street. They have already raised $5.4 mil. toward the $8.5 mil. needed to swing the deal. A brainstorming session was held recently to consider fundraising alternatives.
Encinitas Heritage Museum and the high-powered Rotary Club have scheduled a four-night Baja cruise on the Royal Caribbean and have room for a few cruisealongs … L.A. County will suffer a $440 mil. loss as the result of lower real estate assessments … Tri-City Hospital is claiming Encinitas Scripps is pirating some of its patients … North County Transit System and So Cal Edison have agreed to split the cost of retrofitting the railroad bridge spanning the lagoon west of the fairgrounds … Rancho Santa Fe has scheduled its highly popular Rancho Days from Oct. 9 through Oct. 17 … Expansion of the San Diego Convention Center will include a rooftop restaurant and 300,000 square feet of new exhibit space … Friends of Solana Beach Library have announced an essay contest in four divisions from kindergarten to adult with the overall theme being “It’s Our Earth, Our Chance” … At the June 5 meeting of the California Horse Racing Board, approval was given to Hollywood Park’s request to eliminate Wednesday racing for the rest of the meet so now it will operate on a Thursday thru Sunday schedule … Important meeting of the Neighborhood Watch program will be held June 23 at Encinitas Community Center starting at 6:30 p.m. with drugs being the main topic.

Hasta la Vista