The Coast News Group
Eye on the Coast

State electeds trash cash-saving ideas

Killed in committee
Several ideas to save taxpayers’ dollars never advanced beyond the talking stage in Sacto. Among then were eliminating a water board to which jobless politicians are appointed and receive lucrative stipends for attended meetings once in a while. There was also a plan to reduce or freeze higher echelon state employees salaries. A proposed sale of state-owned properties also received a cool reception from the committee. There are a lotta profitable properties like the fairgrounds at Del Mar but also others that are laying fallow and could become productive if sold to private enterprise.
Sale previously suggested
In 2004 the California Performance Review committee suggested the sale of state-owned properties that included the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Its value then was pegged at $1.4 billion and noted that it was the most valuable of all state-owned urban land. There was no public reaction when the report was published.
PLF to take on the Delta smelt
Farmers and others who have suffered from restrictions placed on water distribution from the north becuz of the Delta smelt now have powerful counsel in their corner. Pacific Legal Foundation has been retained to battle the smelt. These tiny fish become enmeshed in the mechanism used to push the water down to Southern California and are partially responsible for the drought conditions although lack of rain is also a factor.
Stimulus package
Del Mar racetrack that will be celebrating its 70th year of operations (July 22 through Sept. 8) has developed its own stimulus package version. Except for opening day, all Wednesdays thereafter will be free admission days and there will be food and beverage specials. The track will be dark Mondays and Tuesdays for the first time since it opened in 1937 although in the early years it was dark on Sundays.
Nix on squirrel feeding
These little guys are cute and loving but Flower Capital Parks and Beach Supervisor John Frenken sez, “Please don’t feed ‘em.” They quickly become pests and invade neighborhood flower beds and vegetable gardens.
Journalism winners
Local high schools fared well in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism convention held recently at Arizona State. Best of Show winners in various categories included journalists from San Dieguito Academy, Torrey Pines High School, Mount Carmel and Westview. Torrey Pines also won in yearbook competition.
Butt fee
San Fran Mayor Gavin Newsome has proposed a hefty 33 cent fee on smokes to help defray costs of picking up butts that litter streets, trails and beaches. He believes the additional fee may also discourage smoking by folks who may decide to take their first puff.
Classic Car nite
Flashy autos will be all over the Flower Capital downtown streets June 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to encourage folks to “come on down” and ogle these elaborate wheels and to do a bit of shopping and dining. The event sponsored by Downtown Encinitas Merchants Association was formerly called Rods & Woodies.
Surfside City hires tuff litigator
Attorney Leslie Devaney has succeeded Tamara Smith as the city’s legal counsel. Smith retired earlier this year. Recently, Devaney represented Arthur Gonzales who was fired as Tri-City Hospital chief executive officer. He agreed to a settlement worth more than $1 million. Devaney will be looking out after the city’s interests as the 22nd District Agricultural Association (county fairgrounds) puts forth projects that will take it into the 21st century.
MainStreet group queried
The county grand jury has taken O’sides MainStreet group to task for sloppy accounting procedures. However, the MainStreet organization has already been making improvements the last several months and officials say some corrections already are in place. The city has invested $1 million in the group since it was retained in 2000 according to published reports. A reply to the grand jury is due in 90 days.
Ex Charger indicted
Former San Diego Charger Ryan Leif, who had a less than stellar career as a quarterback, has been indicted on drug and burglary charges in Canyon, Texas, according to published reports. He was on leave from West Texas A & M where he was an assistant coach. Leif was a second round pick by the Chargers in the 1998 NFL draft.
Solbeach has made its booze ban on the beach permanent after a trial basis for a year … Nine teachers from the L.A. Unified School District and a coppla activists went on a hunger strike after the recent election … Carlsbad High School grad Caylee Falco and Sunset High School senior Arianna Lasche have been awarded $5,000 Don Diego Fund scholaships … Folks are saying it’s time for Peter Douglas, the nonelected chief executive of the Cal Coastal Commish for the past 24 years, to seek other employment … According to published reports, Steve Rocco, a former stealth trustee with the Orange County School District, has been sentenced to two years of informal probation for swiping a bottle of ketchup from the Chapman College dining room that Rocco contended was half empty and, therefore, had no value … A Superior Court judge has ordered the Harbor City to hatch a plan to get rid of the seals in Children’s Pool in La Jolla before a June 15 status conference … Tracy Jarman, the Harbor City’s fire chief since 2006, is retiring to take advantage of current pension benefits … Inglewood city electeds have reviewed a proposed $2 billion housing and retail project on the site where Hollywood Park race track is located … Honolulu recently held the first all-digital election and reported everything went as planned … Three local state parks may be shuttered to save dough including Carlsbad State Beach, Torrey Pines State Beach and Torrey Pines State Reserve.
Hasta la vista