Roundtable: Tony Gwynn Tobacco Lawsuit, Maintaining The Border, Future Of Del Mar Fairgrounds
Gwynn's family sues over his death
One of San Diego's most beloved sports icons, Tony Gwynn, died of cancer in 2014. His family filed suit this week contending that his death was the result of a product long associated with baseball: smokeless tobacco. They're blaming Altria Group Inc., formerly the Philip Morris company, for getting him hooked and using him to promote it.
Gwynn's family says they hope that the lawsuit will shine a light on the dangers of "dip" and prevent other young athletes from using it. But dipping among baseball players is rampant. Can this lawsuit convince them to quit? Or get Major League Baseball to change its policies regarding its use?
Keeping the U.S.-Mexico border fence intact
As a symbol, the U.S.-Mexico border has played a major role in the current presidential campaign. Expanding the wall is a cornerstone of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's campaign. While Democrat Bernie Sanders has visited the existing border fence in Arizona and San Diego and called for reformation of the nation's immigration system.
But the division between the U.S. and Mexico is not just a symbol. In San Diego County the border fence stretches for 46 miles. And it's breached on a regular basis.
Keeping the border fence in California intact costs $9 million per year. What does it take to maintain the fence? And what would it cost to expand and maintain it to cover the nearly 2,000 miles between the two nations?
The fiscal impact of the Del Mar Fairgrounds
The cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach are reacting to a study they commissioned on the fiscal impact of the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The report shows that tiny Del Mar nets about $1 million a year, while Solana Beach nets about $200,000.
But the cities are unhappy that the report didn't put a dollar value on things that are harder to calculate, like how their quality of life is impacted by the additional traffic, noise and crowds.
With less revenue coming in from horse racing, North County beach community residents are wondering how to share shrinking benefits to outweigh the costs of having such a disruptive neighbor.