Off Beat: Jerry Brown says 'Casi-yes'
Bring in the showgirls! Where's the booze? More gambling! More gambling!
Yes, it looks like a casino is on the way to historically poor Yuba County.
It's been a long, strange journey for the casino promoters, who initially wanted to bring a raceway to Yuba County and then gave up on that, throwing their weight behind an obscure Butte County tribe that claimed an ancestral homeland about 30 miles south.
Back in the last decade, the then-governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, insisted that the casino be placed before voters as an advisory measure.
It was kind of a new concept in California.
The vote, as it turned out, was against the casino, but it didn't matter.
Schwarzenegger is long gone, and nobody bothered to tell his successor that the vote had occurred.
Gov. Jerry Brown apparently never got the memo. In his announcement last month that he approved the compact with the tribe, he made no mention of the vote.
It didn't happen.
So now the tribe and its main backer, Gerald Forsythe, can see that the casino is within their reach, barring the expected legal challenges and other delays.
When the economy perks up, in about 2020, that casino should be a pretty sweet deal. Yuba County and Marysville may actually get some money out of it, too.
As for the other side effects — crime, alcoholism, broken homes — well, that's the way it goes.
Rideout or Fremont?
The other big story in late August was the rebranding of Rideout Memorial Hospital into Rideout Regional Medical Center.
It's interesting to note how well Rideout is doing financially, according to its most recent tax return as a tax-exempt organization, for the year ending June 30, 2011.
Total revenue was $338.6 million versus total expenses of $298.9 million. Not bad.
Theresa Hamilton, Rideout's CEO, is doing pretty well, too, according to the filing.
Her salary was $730,106, plus $33,764 in other compensation. She works an average of 70 hours a week, the document said.
Interestingly, Thomas Hayes, who resigned as the hospital's CEO in 2007, is still on the payroll.
His compensation was about $300,000, the filing said. He is "contractually obligated to provide services" for about eight hours a week.
But probably the biggest news is on the Rideout website (www.frhg.org).
You can actually see who is on the hospital board of directors, information that for many years was very difficult to find.