Eye on the Coast

Four counties enact new DUI law

May go statewide
In Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties, residents who are first time offenders or have been previously convicted of driving while being looped have a new law to contend with. They have to install an ignition gizmo, costing about $125, that monitors booze presence. If the would be driver has consumed an adult beverage the car won’t start. There’s also a $60 monthly maintenance charge plus a one-time administrative fee of $45 tacked on by the Department of Motor Vehicles. According to an Associated Press report, the program is on a five-year trial basis and after that it could be imposed statewide. It’s already in place in 13 states.
Lottsa community grants
Community grants funded by the transient occupancy tax and with local input from Supe Pam Slater Price have been announced. The lengthy list includes $3,500 to both Carlsbad Music Festival from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26, and Los Angelitos de Encinitas youth soccer league; $5,000 to each San Dieguito Heritage Museum’s community event in September, San Dieguito River Valley Open Space Park to design four interpretive signs, San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy for online teacher and docent scheduling software, San Diego North Chamber of Commerce for the 2011 RB Alive Expo, Community Resource Center for the holiday baskets program, Friends of Cardiff Library for historical handouts in connection with Cardiff centennial celebration and library garden, Del Mar Rotary Foundation for the October fund raiser at Powerhouse Park, Del Mar Village Association for the October Street Art & Taste of Del Mar, Holiday Wonderland and tree lighting events; $7,000 to Leucadia Hwy. 101 Assn for the Art Walk and Light Up Leucadia contest; $9,925 to the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy to print maps and brochures; $10,000 to the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce to maintain Carpentier Park, for the Green Expo and surf competition, for the Kringle Mingle event, for the Arts Alive banners, and for the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest and Del Mar Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Expo; $10,000 to the Solana Chamber to update its website for the visitors bureau and for the 2011 Fiesta del Sol; $10,000 to the Del Mar Foundation for four summer concerts; $15,000 to DEMA for various projects including visitor material; $15,000 to San Diego Botanic Garden for trash recycling containers; $15,000 to San Diego Coastkeeper for cleanup day; $50,000 to North San DiegoVisitors Bureau for promotion; and $122,000 to the Cardiff Library for structural changes.
Hail the senior grads
With the alarming news of lottsa kids dropping out of school, it’s worthy to note that some are doing great. Example: Cathedral Catholic High reported 97 percent of its seniors are enrolled in college and 83 percent are going to four-year institutions. Students have raised more than 12 grand for various charities and 75 percent are participating in team or club sports. Kudos to all schoolers.
71st season
America’s premier race meet, Where The Turf Meets the Surf, opened July 21 and continues thru Sept. 8. Lottsa visitor special events to reverse the downtrend in horse racing on the West Coast. That and quality competition should keep folks coming back for seconds during the seven-week season.
On the shorts
Rancho Santa Fe Community Center, always humming with youth and adult activities, has asked the Association for a three-year stimulus bailout. No surprise, it’s suffering from economic fund malaise.
Battle brewing
Surfside City residents who are just recovering from the recent spat regarding a transient occupancy tax on short term rentals are gearing up for another tiff. A citizen’s committee has recommended loosening up the design review process, particularly in the commercial core. That is causing great concern.
Water agencies unhappy
Olivenhain Muni Water District and three similar organizations have formally complained to San Diego County Water District about increased rates. Sez fee hike was supposed to reflect increase imposed by Metropolitan Water District, the major supplier and the district has charged more than that fee so some agencies want an accounting of why.
Center progressing
With approximately $200,000 in the till or pledged by Solana Beach Community Foundation, city electeds have directed staff to prepare a permit application to the Coastal Commission for the first phase of the Fletcher Cove community center renovation. It was a World War II military barracks originally. Now it will be ADA compliant when done. Total cost is anticipated to be in the neighborhood of $500,000.
New record
A record attendance of $1.34 million was posted by the County Fair besting last year’s previous high of $1.274 million. A significant increase given the continuing flat economy. It also helped that it was the best family value in the Southland and the crummy cold and overcast weather didn’t appeal to beachgoers so they attended the fair instead. On the other side of that coin, however, the weather didn’t invigorate the desire for ice cold lemonade, adult suds or ice cream.
For the time being, Vista sidewalk twirlers can continue to entertain motorists with their signs while the council electeds decide their future … San Marcos planning commissioners revised their sign ordinance but no mention of twirlers … In L.A. County supes are in the process of banning pot shops from unincorporated areas … San Clemente is looking for antique surfing memorabilia and already has a super collection of boards … San Dieguito Heritage Museum has scheduled its second annual Lima Bean Faire from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26 … Stephanie Edwards has been named interim CEO for Encinitas Chamber of Commerce until a permanent one is selected … Del Mar Library has invited interested folks to its monthly seasoned readers book club meeting July 27 at the library at 2 p.m. … Rancho Santa Fe Fire District has broken ground for a new station that will serve Fairbanks Ranch … San Diego Coastal Chamber of Commerce lobster fest (sans BP oil) set for July 31 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Shore Park … North County Transit District has installed 24 solar panels on its admin building roof using stimulus grant dough … Leucadia’s Art Walk will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 29 … In Cardiff, Dogs Days of Summer will be on Aug. 14 with leashed dogs encouraged to bring their masters.

Hasta la Vista