Eye on the Coast

Media is now a newsmaker as conveyor

Changing times
Usta be the media just reported the news, now it frequently makes the news. In Honolulu listeners were greatly concerned when two news TV stations decided to share a single newsroom but asserted their coverage would remain independent. The Evening Tribune and San Diego Union for years operated on the same floor of the news building but often outscooped each other. When they became the Union-Tribune, one point of view went down the tubes. More recently two local weekly news corps announced they were one. Now The Coast News Group is the only independent voice. It circulates from the Surfside City to Camp Pen and readers of the Del Mar-Rancho-Solbeach triangle read what their neighbors along the entire coast are up to. They can also keep track of community organizations, government agencies and chambers of commerce that cover the area. Not surprising that folks now frequently read news first in The Coast News Group publications.
Green chamber
Formation of the Green Chamber that is being subsidized for six months by the well-established Solana Beach Chamber is puzzling to some folks. Is there a need for it? With stores and businesses cutting their employees and expenses there’s good reason to ask. The Green Chamber will co-sponsor Fiesta del Sol, the Solbeach chamber’s major operating revenue source. What is the Green Chamber bringing to the table? Several years ago the San Diego Coastal Chamber of Commerce gobbled up the long-established Del Mar Chamber of Commerce. Is Solana’s chamber also heading into oblivion?
With the silly political season going into full bloom soon, politicians are busy raising lucre for campaign expenses including signs that appear in front yards, rights-of-way and some other nonlegal places. Removing or even defacing them is a no-no as a political volunteer in O’side recently learned. Caught red-handed, the gentleman was socked with a $45l dollar fine, had to take an anger management class, and is on probation for three years. Worth it?
Giving to charities
State Attorney General Jerry Brown in his annual report noted that giving to charities may sometimes benefit professional fundraisers more than the intended organization. It was noted that as much as 40 percent is often kept by the fundraisers. In some cases the charities have wound up owing the professionals money becuz enough lucre didn’t come in. Learning in advance whether a charity uses fundraisers and how much they keep should be known. Most local charities do it on their own.
Attendance remains up;
slot play down

Local casinos are reporting attendance remains about the same as in previous years but folks are investing less in the slots. The two-bit slots are now more popular than the pricey ones that offer a greater return.
Don’t peddle fairgrounds
An Orange County assemblyman has urged the Governator to abandon the sale of the Costa Mesa Fairgrounds and has introduced legislation that will repeal the law that provides for a bidding deadline on Jan. 8.
Fewer council meetings
O’side Council electeds have agreed to meet only twice a month instead of three times and meetings will start an hour earlier — at 4 p.m. The new schedule will give Councilwoman Esther Sanchez the opportunity to attend meetings of the State Coastal Commission board to which she was appointed in August.
Hookah lounges
Water pipe lounges that are growing in popularity throughout the state known as “hookah lounges,” will not be cropping up in Escondido. City electeds have indicated they aren’t even interested in learning about them. Hookahs feature big water pipes filled with exotic flavored tobaccos that patrons sit around and puff on.
Chicago Way
The recent Flower Capital caper to select a mayor and deputy mayor left many of those in attendance in disbelief. The deputy mayor was elevated to mayor and the mayor then was elected to deputy mayor. In essence from deputy mayor to mayor back to deputy mayor. It’s a deal that was cooked up behind closed doors. In Illinois elections are decided in this manner and is the reason there has been a Daley as mayor for years. It’s known as the Chicago Way.
Buffer zone
State Sen. Christine Kehoe has suggested a green buffer zone to separate proposed grounds and building improvements at the fairgrounds and the lagoon. This would provide protection for wildlife and birds as well as accommodate bike riders and pedestrians on trailways according to Kehoe, who calls it a win-win deal.
High on the hog
While Cal State University students are facing higher tuition fees becuz of decreasing college funds a recent audit showed that David J. Ernest, who left the system in July 2008, knocked down $150 grand in nonbudgeted expenses like junkets to China and Amsterdam. Lotsa rage being expressed by some who are high in the chain of command but no one is suggesting that Ernest compensate the university for such expenses.
Dough to sync signals
Traffic signals in the Harbor City and parts of the county will be synchronized to lessen stop and go driving. San Diego Assn. of Governments has budgeted $6 mil. for this long overdue project. Some cities already have such a traffic progam in place for their major thoroughfares.
In some cities, Long Beach for one, termed out politicians can be re-elected by mounting a successful write-in campaign which apparently is legal … C’bad Police Dept. was one of those in the area that participated in the 19th annual teddy bear collection campaign to distribute them to needy youngsters … In 2010 Del Mar may be the only Cal track that still offers a $1 million race — it being the Pacific Classic … Fire pits, a tradition on Harbor City beaches, may be history due to funding cutbacks … Future of the now closed Pacific Elementary School site in the Flower Capital is still very much in the air … Historical Society in Rancho Santa Fe recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Hasta la Vista