Face of racing changing in Southland

Hollywood Park may disappear

With Del Mar going to five days a week, the real possibility of Hollywood Park becoming an entertainment center and mall, and Magna Entertainment that owns Santa Anita in Chapter 11 and having the track up for sale according to published reports, the future of horse racing in the Southland is a muddled picture.
Add to it, Fairplex at Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona is making noise about expanding its five-eighths mile track to a mile and building stables where the livestock barns are located in an effort to obtain some of the Hollywood Park days.
A bill authored by Assemblyman Martin Garrick of Solbeach gives Del Mar additional days when they are available. Frank Stronach, the tycoon behind Magna Entertainment, a Canada-based company, owns a dozen racetracks in North America, and is rumored to be interested in the Del Mar franchise when it comes up for consideration later this year.
Santa Anita, now running until April 20, is reported to be doing OK. Del Mar will weather economic conditions this summer but izzn’t likely to set attendance and betting records.
Meanwhile, Seaside Race Place that offers satellite wagering at the fairgrounds is holding its own in spite of stiff competition from the casinos since George Bradvica took over as its general manager.

Save water door hangers

There are mixed reviews over the colorful “water conservation” door hangers distributed by San Diego County Water Authority. They contain tips on how to save the precious commodity and folks are supposed to have them at the ready when they observe water being wasted. It is suggested they note the infraction on the card and hang it on the door of the residence. Snitch on your neighbor or someone you don’t know? “No way!” some folks are saying.

Solbeach streetscape

After months and months of figuring and planning, Solbeach electeds have started engineering work on a Hwy. 101 streetscape project between Via de la Valle and Ocean Street to the north. It likely will include “pop outs” like those in the Flower Capital’s downtown and the much discussed “roundabouts” that are being installed in Rancho Santa Fe. Design options will be considered at public meetings.

New skate park receives high grades

O’side’s newest skate park on River Road that opened officially recently is doing boffo bizzness according to reports from the Parks & Rec dept. Although it’s an unsupervised facility, users are reminded that helmets are mandatory and subject to a fine when a skater is tagged without one.

Golf capital?

Having received rave notices for presenting the highly successful U.S. Open last summer and for staging the annual Buick Invitational, the Harbor City’s muni golf course on Torrey Pines now has added another blockbuster. The LPGA tournament is scheduled to be played on the south course Sept. 17 to Sept. 20. Torrey Pines is being talked about as the golf capital of the universe.

Border job appointment

Voice of San Diego, in a piece authored by Kelly Thornton, sez former Harbor City schools chief Alan Bersin is on the short list for the U. S. Customs & Border Protection job. Bersin currently is chairman of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and is the architect of the $12 bil. airport redo that will take until 2020 to complete. This gives him something to do until something better comes along like “Border Czar.” When he was eased out of the schools job, the Governator appointed him the state’s education head or something like that. He returned to the Harbor City as Mayor Jerry Sanders’ rep on the airport authority and in no time became chairman.

Remarkable Keri

When Keri Jucha of La Costa was 10 years old in 2006, she was a patient at Rady Children’s Hospital in the Harbor City with a critical brain condition. While there she received an assortment of beads as gifts. This was her springboard for a fundraising project for the hospital. She made necklaces and bracelets that she successfully sold online. She accumulated enough revenue to purchase several items like a home movie system for the hospital’s playroom and contributed to Liam’s Fund, which is dedicated to the hospital’s neurosurgery dept. Keri is not through, mind you. Her goal now is to purchase laptops for patients. Wanna help? Visit Keri’s Web site at wwwkeriskreations.net.
Bloomin’ fields
Ag fields along Palomar Airport Road are a blaze of floral color and can be toured from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through May 10. An escorted walking tour takes about 45 minutes. Currently among the most colorful bloomers are Tecolote ranunculous. Worth the excursion.

Chargers’ future manse?

Big money man Ed Roski of L.A., who is a longtime pal of the Dean Spanos family (owner of the Chargers), sez he has the lucre, and probably does, to build a state-of-the-art National Football League bowl and entertainment complex in the City of Industry,12 miles east of the City of Angels. Its population of 831 residents is described as totally bizness-minded. Roski’s $800 mil. complex would be located in the San Gabriel Valley with what has been described as a spectacular view. A potential tenant? The Chargers, even tho’ Spanos sez no but bizness is bizness. Right?

One-liners

The Sprinter that runs on tracks between O’side and Escondido recently celebrated its first birthday and while the ridership wuzzn’t up to predictions, it shows a lotta promise … Irby Mandrell, owner of O’side Music Supply Store in the 1940s and 1950s, died in Nashville and is remembered for teaching his school-age daughters — Barbara, Louise and Irlene, to play every instrument in the store and later became Barbara’s lifelong manager from the time she was named Miss Oceanside and was a runner up to the Fairest of the Fair in the County Fair’s pageant … Main Street Oceanside has made some hefty cutbacks in its special events schedule and has terminated its executive director … Legoland has received unanimous approval from the C’bad City Council to build a 250-room, three-story resort hotel on site … The Flower Capital has scheduled its annual Easter Egg Hunt & Festival for April 11 at Ecke Sports Park on Saxony Road starting at 10:15 a.m. … Flower Capital bizness ladies Samantha Owens and Danica Hiersch, who started Barrels & Branches on Santa Fe Drive when they were in their very early 20s, are prominently featured in the March issue of the prestigious Sunset mag.

Hasta la Vista

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