The Coast News Group
Eye on the Coast

Coast Hwy. shuttle to benefit business

Leucadia to Restaurant Row
A chartered mini-bus will operate on a timely schedule between the Leucadia bizness sector on Coast Highway 101 and Cardiff’s restaurant row this summer. The bus will be fueled as much as possible with recycled cooking grease obtained from local restaurants. Sponsors will include Leucadia 101 Mainstreet Association, the city, and a grant provided by Supervisor Pam Slater-Price. Flower Capital Councilwoman Teresa Barth, who has been spearheading the trial project along with Peder Norby, Hwy. 101 coordinator, studied a similar operation in O’side and Santa Barbara. It was so successful along the harbor in O’side that it was expanded to include the bizness district. She anticipates it will be widely accepted locally by visitors as well as residents.
Recall signatures sought
A committee headed by O’side resident Jim Sullivan has until July 23 to collect 11,389 valid signatures that will trigger an election to recall Councilman Jerry Kern. No small task. In 2001, an effort was made to oust then-Mayor Terry Johnson and in 2006 Councilwoman Esther Sanchez was targeted. Neither effort progressed past the signature gathering stage and was abandoned.
Hospitals merger?
Beleaguered Tri-City Healthcare District and Palomar Pomerado Health Districts are reported to be chatting about a possible merger. Tri-City serves Carlsbad, O’side and Vista; Pomerado has its medical facilities in Escondido and Poway. Bottom line is to reduce costs which could be feasible. Tri-City is under a state mandate to bring its hospital up to earthquake proof standards. Three bond measures to finance the upgrade have failed.
Education officials
Encinitas Unified School District is in search of a superintendent to replace Lean King who announced his retirement after four years on the job. Meanwhile, MiraCosta College is accepting applications until March 13 to fill the District 7 post being vacated by Judy Stratton. Her district includes CamPen and a large chunk of the O’side area.
Closer tabs
In a Feb. 21 editorial labeled “Defiance and denial,” the Union-Tribune took the management of the San Diego County Fairgrounds to task for failing to adhere to the Governator’s order to furlough hardworking, dedicated employees two days a month. Unlike most state agencies, it operates year-round day and night and in so doing is financially self-sufficient. Although all state fairs are entitled to receive annual funds from pari-mutuel wagering at racetracks, Del Mar has not taken its share since the 1950s when it decided to make it on its own and operates a $56 mil. budget. The fairgrounds hires 175 permanent workers and none are in danger of losing their jobs. In addition, it employees 1,800 part-timers before and during the fair and 300 for special year-round events. Its facilities are available and are widely used by local organizations mostly for their fundraisers. The best example that the fairgrounds plays in the community is during last year’s wildfires when it took in hundreds of animals and on two or three hours notice became an evacuation center for hundreds of displaced residents, many who required special care. Several of the staff worked around the clock. Premier Foods, the concessionaire of record, fed evacuees and workers without concern whether it would be paid, if ever. The Governator made a photo appearance at the fairgrounds and praised staff for the prompt and efficient action. Was he just blowing smoke? The national media gave it heaps of praise. Fairground policies are set by a nine-member board of directors all volunteers who serve without pay unlike most state agencies. The San Diego paper promises closer tabs on General Manager Tim Fennell. It should do that and it will learn how one state agency is making it on its own and not standing in line waiting for a hand out from the so-called stimulus package.
Another desal delay
The longer bureaucrats delay in issuing a final permit to Poseidon Resources for the construction of a desalination facility at Cbad’s Encina operation, the more it will cost the consumer for potable water and the longer the drought problem will exist. San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board delayed issuing a final permit until its April 8 meeting. It requested more information to put on the shelf along with the reams of collateral it has already collected the past several years since the initial desalination application was filed.
Escondido marine explorer Scott Cassell has built a two-person submarine he plans to use during the next five years to gather scientific marine data. The underwater craft is reminiscent of World War II mini-subs that were reported to be in use by the Japanese to drop off spies along the coast although this was never confirmed. However, several village youngsters on the beach one morning came upon a Niesi clad only in a loin cloth. They took him home, fed him, found him some clothes and fixed a cot for him in the garage. He disappeared.
Alternative cleaning
Naked Clean, a new C’bad cleaning bizness, advertises it uses a steam cleaner that uses only cleaning agents that are planet, human and pet safe as an alternative to toxic and unhealthy cleaning products.
Fund day at Viejas
Del Mar Sea Coast Republican Women Federated prexy Betsy Schreiber sez reservations are being taken for a fun day at Viejas Casino on April 24 that includes winning at the slots and other diversions, great chow and on-site shopping. To save a seat on the bus, dial (760) 753-3863.
Ugly mutts
Del Mar Kiwanis Club’s 14th annual ugly dog competition is scheduled at the fairgrounds March 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are 14 categories in which mankind’s best friend can compete from the homeliest (the dog not the owner) to the best dressed.
Arts council in bizness
San Marcos Art Council is off and running following its recent organization. It plans to promote and to hold everything artsy from exhibitions to musical events. One of its first community efforts was a highly successful Valentine’s Soiree for music aficionados.
Chang gallery locates
Aaron Chang, world-renowned photographer, has opened a gallery in the Solbeach Cedros Design District. Chang is known for his photographic imagery and has more than 100 magazine covers to his credit ranging from sports to fashion.
Thanx to co-chairs Piper Parry and Marla Engel of the Friends of the Powerhouse, the new lifeguard headquarters and safety center is $38,800 closer to its goal as the result of a highly successful Party for the Tower recently … MiraCosta College is offering a divorce workshop under its Community Services program … Veteran Solbeach barber Bob Castro and his assistant, Nick Downs, were honored recently along with a dozen other longtime business operators at a luncheon sponsored by Solana Beach Historical Society … According to a Cardiff Town Council fact finder, the seaside community’s median age is 36.7 and there are 5,242 male and 5,125 female residents … Whatever happened to antiwar activist Nancy Sheehan who declared she would oppose House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the next primary election? … Circus Vargas, last of the tent traveling circuses on the West Coast, will be at the fairgrounds daily through March 9.
— Hasta la Vista