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 Columns & Editorials

February 14, 2000

Race Tracks

Well, for starters, what does everyone think about the problem at Hialeah? For myself, my heart is breaking. It's obvious that urban sprawl is finally catching up to one of Florida's more beloved tracks. I had the false hope that I would see it rise out of the doom and gloom and everything would be fine. But, with the lease expiration coming into the picture, the best I can muster is to visit one last time this year, take all the pictures I can stand and shed a final tear in memory of the years I spent there in my childhood.

I hate to feel like this because it seems to be the fate of many small tracks who don't realize that if they can't get the community to accept their existence, they will eventually be swept aside. The political powers-that-be have the strength of tons of taxpayer money to get what they want, when they want it. For years Hialeah (the city) had entertained legislation for noise abatement, EPA regulations, usage impact fees and a myriad of other ways to force the closure of this once-mighty bastion of South Florida racing. Now, the waiting game will be won. Time and money is now stacked in the city's corner. Man, this sucks!

So here I am, wondering who is next. Will I have a chance to introduce my future family members to the family sport I love so much? What can be done to work towards protecting what we have against the future? I would love to know how. Granted, there are no absolutes against the unknown, but the Y2K scare was good proof that big problems can be effectively hindered by preparing for the what-ifs.

So what do you all think? Is all of this worth it? Is there anything we could do to make a difference at our own favorite track to preserve it for future use? I welcome any positive thoughts on this.

The Family Section.

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