Bouquets and Brickbats: County groups form united front against drinking while pregnant

newsroom@thetribunenews.comAugust 31, 2012 

Here’s sobering news: One in three pregnant women in SLO County drinks alcohol during the first trimester of pregnancy, which is nearly twice the statewide average.

Experts theorize that SLO County women may be more honest in reporting their drinking to their doctors, or that our “wine country” culture plays a role.

Whatever the reason, it’s good to know that local health and child welfare organizations are uniting behind a public information campaign on the dangers of drinking during pregnancy. Among other activities, they’ll have displays at Cuesta College on Sept. 5 and 6 and at the county courthouse between Sept. 4 and Sept. 7. We toss them a baby’s breath bouquet for their efforts to draw attention to a problem that’s totally preventable.

Keep the insults to yourself, Christie

Not that we always agree with Jerry Brown, but if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to insult the governor who was duly elected by California voters, he could at least stick to substantive issues.

Instead, the New Jersey gov — who delivered Tuesday night’s keynote address at the Republican convention — ridiculed Brown for being an “old retread.”

“I mean, he won the New Jersey presidential primary over Jimmy Carter when I was 14 years old,” Christie told California delegates.

The last we checked, there was no upper age limit for running for public office. If there were, well, John McCain may not have qualified. Christie gets a wet-behind-the-ears brickbat for taking a cheap shot at Brown — and California voters.

A serene reaction to telescope theft

When Priest Randall Massey of Pure Land Buddhist Temple in Grover Beach realized a telescope had been stolen from his patio in the night, he did not react with anger. Instead Massey, who is legally blind, issued a statement to the thief: “Come knock on the door and get the rest of the lenses.”

Massey, who uses part of the telescope to help him see things like street signs, also made it clear that he doesn’t want the thief to be jailed.

We offer Massey a Buddha-full bouquet for acting with love and being an example of his faith, but the thief gets a how-low-can-you-go brickbat.

Good on lawmakers for refusing gifts

We offer priceless bouquets wrapped in transparent foil to state Sen. Sam Blakeslee and Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian for making good on a promise to accept no gifts from special interests.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, 23 state lawmakers posted “no gifts” signs on their office doors, but only three actually kept that pledge last year. In addition to the two SLO County lawmakers, Assemblyman James Beall of San Jose also lived up to his word. Here’s a gift of free advice for the other 20 lawmakers: At least have the decency to take down those signs.

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