The Coast News Group
Eye on the Coast

Minor league coming to North County?

Maybe by 2012
More than just talk now. Recently Escondido allocated a pile of dough to have consultants tell them it’s a great idea like the Performing Arts Center. Padres are involved and would like to bring the Portland franchise to the city. It would require a 9,000-seat stadium costing in the neighborhood of $50 million. The Padres estimate they would pony up for the franchise. It would require that investors be given the rights to all revenue from admissions, concessions and naming rights. What source of income could the city expect? Not much, if any.
Lopez recall
Vista voters are out gathering signatures in an effort to recall council elected Frank Lopez, who is alleged to have substantial problems with finances. He sez he won’t quit even though his council colleagues and more than a few residents have suggested it’s time for him to go. Recall supporters have 120 days to gather 6,576 signatures of registered voters to trigger an election. City administration figures it will cost about $300 grand for an election that will stand alone.
Candidate forums
Talk to the Flower Capital council candidates by attending a forum. Leucadia Town Council has its set for Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. in the Encinitas Library. Register to vote if you aren’t already and vote early by casting an absentee ballot. Last day to register is Oct. 18.
Reduced fares
In an effort to get folks in the habit of riding the Coaster, NCTD will reduce fares beginning Jan. 20 for an undetermined period. Solbeach rep Dave Roberts proposed the idea and received enthusiastic support from his colleagues.
Correcting the record
Retired horse racing historian Bill Sherlis correctly notes that Hall of Fame jockey Bill Hartack, who won a slew of races at the seaside track is living back east, not in Vista.
Exceptional aptitude
Tom Pearson’s 500-page book is out after more than a decade in the writing. Pearson, the only five-term Seaside mayor, recounts the progress of the city from incorporation to the present. A must-read for residents interested in its history. It also details Pearson growing up since he was born in New Hampshire. It will be available in local bookstores.
Water rates going up
The New Year will bring higher water rates throughout the county. How much? Each water district has its own formula. The only thing certain at this time is that rates are not going down even though it rained more.
Local legend
Funeral services were held Sept. 23 for Ramon “Ray” Castro of Eden Gardens, who until his retirement operated his highly successful landscaping business for 60 years. He also was considered a master of the guitar and frequently appeared at social functions. He was a World War II Army veteran. Even though he was unable to finish grade school he was self-taught.
Tourism district finally OK’d
After months of diddling, Surfside City electeds have OK’d the Tourism Business Improvement District that will operate on a 1 percent tourist fee in addition to the established 11.5 percent fee paid by visitors who stay at local hotels. Revenue will be administered by folks involved in the tourism industry. Many other cities have similar operations.
Back in biz
Michael Pattinson, who was at the helm when Barratt American went belly up, now heads The Barratt Group with an office in Carlsbad. The company is described in published reports as a partnership that buys homes, rehabs them and sells them. One of Barratt American’s last ventures was a development in Leucadia called Nantucket. That remains unfinished and in decay.
Whooping cough
More than a dozen new cases of whooping cough have been recorded in the county. One of these is at Canyon Crest high school, another at the Child Development Center in Solbeach and third at Ocean Air Elementary in the Del Mar school district. The disease is now considered an epidemic statewide.
Invitational golf tourney
More than 100 golfers are expected to participate in the Scripps Encinitas 42nd annual Invitational Golf Tourney Oct. 22 at Torrey Pines South Golf Course. Winner of eight PGA Tours Jim Colbert will be in the pack.
Jack McDowell, Cy Young Award recipient, is baseball coach at San Dieguito Academy … 22nd District Agricultural Association is moving toward a complete no smoking policy during the annual County Fair … Blockbuster Inc., once a giant in video rentals, has filed for bankruptcy and likely will phase out altogether … Will your Sacto electeds include in their campaign stuff the fact he/she was part of the state’s record budget stalemate since the Gold Rush? … The community of Julian revived banjo and fiddle competition during a well-attended Music Fest … Bus driver who was quite pie eyed when operating public transportation is spending 90 days in the clink … Hand-carved carousel horses that once were seen on merry-go-rounds recently were auctioned off in New York City … San Diego Performing League recently honored Molli & Art Wagner of the Surfside City for service above and beyond … Bids are out for reconstruction of North Torrey Pines bridge … Water cooler buzz in Solbeach is about the retirement of City Manager David Ott at the end of the year.

Hasta la Vista