More dark race days at Hollywood Park

Stables exit state
With Hollywood Park at Inglewood now racing only Thursday through Sunday, major stables are exiting California and heading East where casino gambling is coupled with Thoroughbred racing. Horse owners get a piece of the action from the casinos; however, it’s not all peaches and cream there either. Churchill Downs in Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby, has eliminated Wednesdays from its spring program. And backstretch banter has Hollypark shutting down two or three weeks early and passing up its fall dates. There just izzn’t enough betting and horses. Horse racing fans are fun folks. They like to party and make merry. They occupy hotel rooms, rent homes, eat out and pay transient occupancy and sales taxes.
On the positive side for the seaside course is the fact folks won’t be traveling as much this summer and horse racing at Del Mar is a family attraction. It offers Friday night concerts, kid diversions and donut days that go with early morning opportunities to watch the ponies working out on the track. Will major stables be back? Good question.
Neighborhood watch
San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept. is organizing Neighborhood Watch groups throughout the Encinitas area. According to stats from Jan. 1 through April 30, there were 64 residential burgs in the area. Some of these occurred during daylight hours and some while folks were at home. This is a trend. With the economy in the tank, there is growing unemployment. Aid programs are being reduced or eliminated, so it’s expected that some folks will turn to crime. TV sets, computers and other stuff provide a source of revenue for burglars. Neighborhood Watch is a proven crime detractor. Wanna get involved? Heather Clark at (760) 966-3587 is a crime specialist and is ready to help form a unit.
Charity scam
According to an L.A. Times report (May 21, 2009), three charity operations based in Santa Ana were charged by the Federal Trades Commission with making false pitches to obtain funds in the name of charitable organizations like the Disabled Firefighters Fund, The Coalition of Police & Sheriffs Fund and American Veterans Relief Foundation. A good bit of this loot went to the scammers. Nationwide, 32 companies, 22 nonprofits and 31 individuals were involved in the scam in which innocent givers contributed millions of dollars.
DMV anticipates fee increases
Weeks ago the Dept. of Motor Vehicles sent out bills listing fees that were not in effect until June 1. No discount was given for paying early.
New Harbor City administration digs
Cash-strapped America’s finest city is going ahead with plans for a new administration complex. To be constructed under “really green” standards, it is projected to cost no less than $231 million and will take up to a decade to complete as a project of Centre City Development Corp.
Budget considerations
With Sacto electeds busy working on ideas to bring the budget wreckage into balance, taxpayers should be vigilant. One persistent thought is to weaken Proposition 13 or eliminate it, or to do away with the two-thirds majority needed to pass the budget, and to ax term limits. Some electeds are blaming these restrictions for the calamity they caused.
Property taxes
A raft of homeowners took the opportunity to have their homes reappraised. This will have significant impact on the revenue cities will receive from property taxes. Midway through the process more than 40,000 residents had requested new appraisals.
Solbeach summer camp
City staff is finalizing plans for a seven-week Fletcher Cove summer camp from June 22 through Aug. 14. Each week will be themed differently and will include a field trip. Complete skinny is available by contacting the Parks & Rec. dept. at (858) 720-2453.
Used car buyers bill of rights
More folks will be looking at previously owned wheels instead of new ones and may not be aware there is a buyer’s bill of rights. It was enacted in 2006 to protect folks who wind up with a clunker that dies shortly after it leaves the lot. There are disclosures that are required from the seller and a two-day grace period before it’s a done deal. But if you return the car you have to pay for mileage and other expenses incurred while you had it.
One-liners
C’bad is planning to switch to cost-saving, brighter nite street lights; however, Palomar Observatory is concerned these lights might impair their studies of outer space … Coast Cruiser is operating weekends between Leucadia and Restaurant Row in Cardiff-by-the-Sea through Sept. 7 … San Diego Coastal Chamber of Commerce (Del Mar) has tix on sale for its annual Lobster Fest to be held July 18 at Del Mar Shores Park and is promoting it will include live music and beautiful ocean views to go with the marine fare … If you missed the lima beans at the recent San Dieguito Historic Museum bar-b-q, no problem becuz it will have a Lima Bean Cook-off & Festival Sept. 25 to Sept. 27 … Del Mar Foundation opens its summer twi-night concert series at Powerhouse Park June 16 with a program by Eve Selis Band starting at 7 p.m. … When it became public that New York Times reporter Thomas Friedman was knocking down 75 grand for a single speech he opted to return the gedes … Carly Fiorino, former Hewlett-Packard CEO, is thinking about opposing U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer next year and is considered a formidable candidate … Some railbirds believe Mine That Bird could have beaten Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness if Jockey Calvin Borel had been in the irons.

Hasta la Vista

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