The Coast News Group
Eye on the Coast

Gas tax switch gets mixed reviews

Benefits the state
A gas tax swap from sales to excise recently approved by the Sacramento electeds has been described in some quarters as “bait and switch” but it won’t affect consumers at the pump they have been assured. The 6 percent sales tax per gallon has been axed but the excise tax has been hiked 17.3 cents on a gallon to make it 35.3 cents so what’s the diff? The excise tax is constant without regard to the cost of the commodity so when the price goes down it’s still the same in contrast to the sales tax, which fluctuates with the price. The state derives its general revenue from the excise tax. However, motorists in San Diego and Riverside counties will still pay a 2.75 percent sales tax becuz they voted for it specifically to fix potholes and other shortcomings on their state highways.
Deserved recognition
Veteran Flower Capital resident volunteer Jan Grice recently received an Award of Honor from the Congress of History of San Diego & Imperial Counties for archiving historic photos and records of the local area of more than two decades. Jan received the prestigious honor during a conference in the Harbor City. The Grice family members are longtime community volunteers. She currently is active with the San Dieguito Historical Society museum. She and her late husband, Bob, are among the early San Dieguito High School grads.
Lose & still win
California Horse Racing Board is considering a lottery with revenue coming from a pool of nonwinning wagers. The pot would be doled out weekly but in order for losers to become winners, they would have to be present to collect their booty. Purpose of course is to increase attendance.
Are trustees micromanaging?
Some Del Mar School District parents are questioning whether trustees are micromanaging affairs that are the responsibility of the superintendent. Dr. Sharon McClain, who was hired with high credentials less than two years ago, was released March 31. It likely will cost the district several thousand dollars to compensate her for the amount due on her contract. Tom Bishop, whom McCain succeeded, was hired in 1998, was paid in excess of $300 grand when he resigned under pressure in 2008.
Camp Pen observes
Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton is observing its traditional fundraising month through April 30 to benefit Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which is always in the forefront of aiding service personnel and their families when there is a need. Folks interested in fattening the financial pot can call (760) 763-4683 or visit
Promises, promises
Taxpayers, always willing to fund school operations, agreed to a state lottery on the promise proceeds would go for education. When the gedes started rolling in the elected tax spenders found a way to get a piece of the action. More recently the state senate OK’d a bill that will allow for even more funds to be diverted to the bloated, out-of-kilter state budget. Promises, promises.
Sandag pay raises
San Diego Association of Governments directors have OK’d a budget draft that will be going into effect for the next term. There’s no pay increases or bonuses for employees except for Exec. Director Gary Gallegos, who will continue to knock down an additional $10 grand annually through 2015. Equitable? You be the judge.
Historical merger
Del Mar Historical Society will merge with Del Mar Village Assn. and after June 1 it will be the Del Mar Historical Committee. Its mission will be the same but it will have added strength in keeping the Surfside City’s history maintained. Relocating the historic Casa de Alvarado now at the fairgrounds will continue to be a major objective.
National horse show
Many of the country’s finest show horses are bedding down on the backstretch of the racetrack in preparation for the prestigious 65th annual Del Mar National Horse Show scheduled April 22 through May 9. Events include Western Week from opening day through April 25; Dressage Week, April 29 through May 2; and Hunter-Jumper Week, May 4 through May 9. Grand Prix events are slated May 6 concluding with a $100 000 Del Mar Grand Prix on May 8.
Tourism marketing
O’side is following other cities that have established a tourism marketing assessment district with revenue going directly toward promoting tourism. Administration is by members connected with the visitor industry like hotels and motels. Originally, the Transient Occupancy Tax was to be used for this purpose. However, elected taxspenders soon started using hunks of it for various and sundry purposes.
Kids vs. seals
Harbor City electeds are still trying to figure out how seals and kids can coexist at the dedicated Children’s Pool in La Jolla Cove. The courts have ruled the seals can remain. A council-appointed committee has finally reached a solution after the issue has been studied for years.
Hollywood park racing
When Hollywood Park in Inglewood opens later this month, it will take a calendar to figure out its race schedule. There will be live racing on Wednesdays, Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays. The park will be open on Thursdays for satellite wagering. Shortage of horses to fill cards is causing a problem as owners head east where purses are more lucrative becuz they are tied to casino gambling. The economy also has caused many folks to get out of the racing biz. For starters Hollywood Park will offer more than eight races on the weekends. Surfside Race Place at the fairgrounds will follow the same schedule.
The 27th annual Encinitas Street Fair will be held downtown April 24 and April 25 … Harbor City electeds have taken over the administration of Centre City Development Corp. and Southwestern Economic Development Corp. following reported gross mismanagement operations … Only 9 percent of folks think state electeds are doing a good job … An initiative to OK pot has qualified for the November ballot and likely will succeed … Surfside City’s beachside parking fee will be hiked from $2 to three bux this summer pending an OK from the State Coastal Commish … MiraCosta College in O’side has opened a spiffy 400-seat music hall … John Roach, C’bad Unified School District head, has been named the region’s outstanding supe from among 60 schools by Assn. of Cal School Administrators.
Hasta la Vista