The Coast News Group
Eye on the Coast

Talk of fall racing, track surface at Del Mar

Interim events on schedule
Lots to stimulate backstretch chatter. According to published reports some owners and trainers are not happy about the Polytrack surface and are threatening to ship east next summer. Management contends track surface is a horse safety issue and will remain in place. Much talk, too, about the Oak Tree fall meeting being held where the turf meets the surf. Strong possibility that it could be but it’s more than just getting the track ready. Interim events are held weekly at the fairgrounds. Some highly successful ones like the Scream Zone Halloween event use some of the racetrack buildings and Holiday of Lights is held on the track. Skyboxes are used for parties and birds eye view of the light show. Other events use buildings and parking areas. Can horse racing and these activities coexist? You betcha — with lottsa professional planning and adjustments.
Whooping cough
Is whooping cough becoming an epidemic? Published reports indicate it may be. A vaccine has been recommended for youngsters. Some parents think it’s a great idea. A growing number believe it’s an invasion of parents’ rights. In the county it has been reported that objections are greater than the state average. A long time ago kids in elementary grades proudly displayed a scar on their upper arm certifying they had been vaccinated for small pox. That disease has nearly disappeared.
New Vons in the spring
Coming in the spring is a new Vons shopping center off Santa Fe Drive and west of I-5 adjacent to the planned Hall sports park. Not just the old store with a facelift but a new building that took out a half-dozen smaller stores in addition to the old building.
Youth booze
Young folks in the Surfside City have succeeded in their quest for a tuff law that will provide stiff penalties for allowing youth booze parties in homes. These kids are quite sensitive to these becuz one of their peers lost his life last year in a car wreck after attending such an event.
C’bad OKs store
C’bad City Council wuzzn’t about to pass up the opportunity to reap a cash register full of sales tax revenue. It recently approved the construction of a Lowe’s home improvement store in the former Olympic Resort off Palomar Airport Road. It was not without opposition reminiscent of the folks who did not favor Costco, which now draws shoppers from everywhere and has been a good neighbor.
MacDonald boardroom
Naming the MiraCosta college boardroom for former longtime superintendent and trustee John MacDonald is a notable gesture but why not a building or a field? MacDonald, who died in 2001, did more to raise the college from when it shared classrooms with O’side high school to its present stage. He served on a passel of important organizations including O’side City Council and County Board of Supervisors. Truly a great tireless community icon.
I-5 expansion
The more folks learn about the proposed I-5 expansion to 14 lanes in some residential areas the more adamant they become. However, it will have to be a tidal wave of opposition to impress Caltrans. It has a reputation of doing what it wants. Opposition groups have scheduled a Town Hall meeting at the Encinitas Community Center at 7 p.m.
Sept. 13.
Visitor tax
A sales tax on visitors is an easy way to go. When you are planning a vacation are you swayed by a visitors tax? Not likely. Most cities are convinced tourists will come regardless of how much tax they pony up when they vacation.
Herb Turner
Surfside City architect, designer and builder Herb Turner, who passed away in August, was a staunch supporter of a green environment. He built more than 130 homes and commercial buildings long before others in the bizness were sensitive to greenery in the scenery. Turner served his apprenticeship under John Lloyd Wright, son of world renown architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Ute Indian tribe
In a North County Times column Lola Sherman notes the Ute Indian tribe has significant real estate near the O’side beachfront.
However, no one thought of it ever accommodating a gaming casino. Wouldn’t it be a great revenue producer for the city? In 2007 the Sycuans announced plans to build waterfront resort in National City. No gaming is legal now, of course, but some day. That day may be soon when these moneymakers are allowed on nonreservation land. In 2003, the Sycuans bought the U.S. Grant Hotel in the Harbor City and invested more than $10 mil. in upgrading it to resort standards and now it’s ideal for adding slots.
The Golden State may be the first in the nation to ban plastic bags in stores … San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is in the process of installing the last two steam generators in the system before it goes into operation … Cal schools were the first to be put on the waiting list for their $2.9 billion a month payments pending approval of the long overdue budget … After lengthy confusing banter on the future of a bench near Pacific Station now nearing completion in historic Encinitas, it was decided to give it the heave ho … Fairgrounds is nearing “zero waste” thanks to cooperation from the racetrack and users of the facilities during interim events and will be the first from all parts of the universe to reach such lofty recognition … Bike the Coast Day on Nov. 6 will promote safety of young and old who use the two-wheelers for tooling around … Cardiff Town Council is presenting a council candidates forum at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at Ada Harris School.

Hasta La Vista