The Coast News Group
Eye on the Coast

Report predicts dismal future for satellite wagering

Del Mar in the mix?
An online report in the Bloodhorse (Feb. 19, 2010), a national publication based in Kentucky, notes that satellite wagering in the Southland except at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park is facing a critical financial future.
All off-site facilities, including Del Mar’s Surfside Race Place, are under the administration of Southern California Off-track Wagering Inc., or SCOTWINC, and it is reportedly in a state of bankruptcy.
Bloodhorse quotes Keith Brackpool, new president of the California Hose Racing Board, saying that it doesn’t appear that satellite wagering is a sustainable business under current conditions. SCOTWINC has incurred a serious deficit since 2007. San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall that offers training facilities for Thoroughbreds reportedly will be shuttered March 15. A five-year recovery plan is in the works and will be ready by June 15, however, the outlook for a comeback remains dismal according to the report. Will satellites be history? Stay tuned.
Running for mayor
C’bad Council electeds Keith Blackburn and Matt Hall have announced they want to succeed hizzoner Bud Lewis when he steps down this year after being the titular head for 24 years and councilor for 16 years before that.
The firefighters union that was heavily involved with the failed campaign to oust O’side Council elected Jerry Kern has signed on in Blackburn’s corner; Hall, a council member since 1994, has the backing of the mayor.
Fairplex to build new convention facility
Los Angeles County Fairgrounds at Pomona, commonly referred to as Fairplex, has broken ground for an 85,000-square-foot, all-purpose building and redo of a smaller 35,620-square-foot exhibit hall. The project will cost in excess of $30 mil.
Partial financing is being provided by the city and county of L.A. and Pomona. Like Fairplex, Del Mar Fairgrounds is having to provide better facilities to attract events and meetings. Del Mar receives no tax dollars and must generate its own operating revenue. For that it is unique in the Golden State.
On schedule
As predicted previously, O’side political campaigns are already in the works. In the mix are one that will oppose the city becoming a charter city.
Currently it’s classified as a general law city but being a charter city would enable it to become free of some significant state mandates. Voting on city status will occur in November along with the election of council members.
No school closures
After months of often-heated wrangling, pro and con, Del Mar Union School District trustees have opted to keep all eight schools open. Still on the table is where to relocate admin. operations that are currently on the Shores School site in the Surfside City’s Ninth Street.
No pay raises
Harbor City electeds voted against a substantial pay increase for themselves and hizzoner. They are still trying to figure out how to balance a budget that is grossly out of kilter and adding to the pile of debt wouldn’t look good on their re-election resumes they reasoned.
Lawsuit canned
A Superior Court judge has tossed a free speech suit filed by former Flower Capital Chamber CEO Gary Tucker against the organization. However, in separate action, he was awarded $10 grand plus interest for wages and perks.
Major fundraiser
Surfside City’s Education Foundation raised a whoppin’ $725 grand to assure the district’s Extended Studies Curriculum remains so that arts and music classes will continue.
Encinitas way?
Flower Capital Mayor Dan Dalager and Council elected Jerome Stocks apparently “forgot” that at the Oct. 22, 2008, council meeting they engineered a motion that was adopted to save the Hall house from the wrecking ball. In order to supercede that action a motion to reconsider it was necessary according to Robert’s Rules. Wuzn’t done. How come? Is this the Encinitas way?
O’side violent crime dips
Latest O’side law enforcement stats recently released indicate property and violent crimes in 2009 dipped by 4.7 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. In contrast, similar crimes in the county were up. Bodes well for Chief Frank McCoy’s gallant men and women in uniform.
Encinitas Senior Foundation urgently needs cash for its various senior activities that require transportation for shut-ins and suggests big and small donations be sent to P.O. Box 230793, Encinitas, CA 92023 … Law enforcement is keeping an eye on folks tooling around without seatbelts buckled and reminds that fines will be imposed … San Dieguito Heritage Museum has scheduled its 22nd annual barbecue food fest and fun activities May 15 … Harbor City’s annual pension payment is $20 mil. higher than first projected … Olivenhain Muni Water District has recognized C’bad’s Lars & Kelly Engstrom for exceptional water conservation in its 20-gallon challenge … According to PR Chief Linda Zweig, the San Diego County Fair in 2009 was the top ribbon winner in the annual International Assn. of Fairs & Exposition competition that included agriculture and green divisions among its 16 awards … Frida Silveira, Solbeach Chamber CEO, sez the organization’s 66th annual installation dinner is set for March 25 at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club … Raul Furlong of Datamar Inc. based in El Cajon reports a recent survey shows incumbent politicians have fallen out of favor with voters and a passel of them will be joining the ranks of the unemployed in November.
Hasta la Vista