The Coast News Group
Eye on the Coast

Orange County Fairgrounds sale under review

Del Mar sale possible?
Last year the Governator announced his interest in peddling high-producing state properties to replenish his anemic cash box. Included in a list were the Surfside, Orange and Ventura fairgrounds plus the L.A. Coliseum. Later Del Mar was reported to be off the table. Is it? Politicians have the reputation of saying one thing and doing the opposite. Now under study, following a bid process, is the sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds in spite of heavy opposition from heavyweight politicos from that area. The high bid was $56.5 mil. — far less than the $96 mil. expected by the Dept. of General Services. Nevertheless it did not toss out the bid but took it under advisement. Currently, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, major lessee at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, has a one-year extension on its racing franchise. It would be possible for an interested fairgrounds buyer, if the state sells the property, to buy it and take over the operation of the track. Possible? Why not?
Kids’ gardens
School kids in Vista and O’side are having fun learning about the environment by digging in dirt at Alta Vista Gardens in Brengle Terrace Park where there is a highly successful community garden. Children meet there every month and attend classes that have to do with garden walks and they participate in nature crafts. Kids at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School soon will have a similar opportunity thanx to a $30,000 grant from the Paul Ecke Family Foundation.
Candidate garners support
Steve Danon, who will be seeking to unseat Pam Slater-Price if she chooses to run again, has announced that he has gained the support of Flower Capital elected Jerome Stocks and current Mayor Dan Dalager. Slater-Price, the current board chair, launched her highly successful political career as a member of the Flower Capital City Council.
Governator nixes meeting with councilors
When three members of the Costa Mesa City Council attempted to meet with the Governator privately he refused saying that would be a quorum, a Brown Act violation, so one of them had to sit outside in a conference room. In another possible Brown Act violation, a trustee for the Garden Grove Unified School District who was due to become president walked out of a meeting when she was skipped over. She charged that a deal for such action was cooked up before the meeting when trustees while not meeting together had discussed the election among themselves, a Brown Act violation. Sounds like the action taken during the recent Flower Capital election. The Encinitas way.
Lindbergh parking
Starting in July it will cost more to park at Lindbegh Field. Tab will be $2 for 20 minutes, and $4 bux for 40 minutes. Some long-term fees also will be more. At least one airline is increasing its fee for checked luggage.
Enough already
The Environmental Protection Agency now wants more environmental info for the proposed Gregory Canyon landfill near Pala. The permitting process has been ongoing for years and reams of info are on file. Time for involved bureaucratic agencies and other detractors to quit wasting time and money and let the project move forward before other local landfills are overflowing with trash, which will be soon.
Veterans’ cemetery
A 323-acre veterans’ cemetery that will serve as an annex to maxed out Ft. Rosecrans in Pt. Loma will open in September at Miramar Air Station. It has taken upwards of a decade to process Washington bureaucratic paper work. It will accommodate 527 burials, 10,188 urn niches in a columbarium, and 4,578 in-ground sites for cremations.
Zenyatta vs. Rachel Alexander
Both female steeds are worthy of being Horse of the Year. The crown went to Rachel. Zenyatta won 14 races including the Breeders’ Cup classic against all boys and will continue racing. Rachel has won seven straight contests, however, her owners have declined to run her on synthetic turf which was the reason she skipped the Breeders’ Cup. In contrast, Zenyatta will even race on the highway becuz she likes racing so much and that should have given her the edge as Horse of the Year if not the decade.
Transnet revenue
It was sold as a cash cow for transportation needs but so far Transnet revenue has been below expectations. In the last financial review it was noted it would be at least $38.6 mil. below estimates.
Tracy Emblem, the Escondido lawyer who is vying against Francine Busby for the opportunity to unseat Rep. Brian Bilbray, is reported to be long on ideas but short on finances. This is Emblem’s first venture into the political arena.
Cox in for Watkins
Supervisor Gregg Cox has been named to succeed Chairman Bob Watkins on the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority when his term ends at the end of the month. Watkins has encountered a pack of problems over financial disclosure forms, travel, bizness fees and other alleged misdeeds.
Fairgrounds CEO Tim Fennell sez the Holiday of Lights at year’s end was a great success but the two big winners were the hayrides available to view the light spectacular and the carolers in the Paddock … According to the Associated Press, 38 state electeds were deficient in reporting gifts (mostly restaurant tabs) from outfits that do bizness with the state including Reps Lori Saldana and Martin Garrett and Sen. Christine Kehoe … Rancho Santa Fe Association held a groundbreaking for an arboretum adjacent to the golf links … Del Mar Education Foundation is seeking contributions to continue funding the school district’s Extended Studies Curriculum that includes arts, music sciences technology and other subjects … South C’bad and San Elijo state beaches have formed a nonprofit org to work with State Parks Dept. to preserve and protect coastal beaches … Solbeach Chamber is having a Sundowner networking event at 5 p.m. Feb. 3 at Round Table Pizza, 126 So. Solana Hills Drive … Cardiff-by-the-Sea Town Council reports the former Charlie’s eatery will open soon as a full-service restaurant called Tides … San Diego Gas & Electric is recruiting more than 100 volunteers to serve on community councils to trumpet progress on the proposed $1.8 bil. Powerlink project.

Hasta la Vista