Bouquets and Brickbats

Note to Pismo and Coastal Commission: Communicate

September 7, 2012 

The California Coastal Commission may be Goliath to Pismo Beach’s David, but don’t ask us to pick sides in the latest dustup between the two agencies.

Pismo recently completed a $2.3 million installation of seawalls at two locations — work the city believed necessary to protect its sewer system and prevent aspill of raw sewage into the ocean.

The project was done under an emergency permit issued by the city, but that was news to the Coastal Commission, which had expected to receive an application for a coastal permit.

The city is attempting to mend fences with the Coastal Commission, but CC staff says any work done without its approval amounts to a violation, which means things could get ugly.

All of this drama could have been avoided with improved interagency communications and, for that, properly permitted brickbats are in the mail. But we’ll rescind them if the agencies can work this out without resorting to slingshots.

No excuse for this sort of talk

Last week, we brickbatted Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey for referring to Gov. Jerry Brown as an “old retread” and ridiculing California voters for electing him.

This week, a Democratic politician — California’s own John Burton, who chairs the state’s Democratic Party — leveled a far more egregious insult when he compared the Republican Party to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.

It’s an embarrassment that a California politician would stoop so low, and his weak and “humble” apology to anyone who may have been offended does not redeem him.

Lobbing a brickbat at Burton doesn’t even begin to express our disgust.

As the Contra Costa Times eloquently put it in a recent editorial: “There is no comparison between the Nazis and anyone, anything or any party in mainstream American politics. If we are to have any hope of elevating the level of political discourse in this country’s campaigns, we simply must not allow such comparisons to enter the fray.”

Biker on a trek to help sister

We toss a brotherly bouquet to Cal Fire engineer John Byrne, who is bicycling across the country to raise money to purchase an adapted vehicle for his sister Lauren Byrne, 22.

Lauren broke her neck in a swimming accident seven years ago, which left her quadriplegic with some use of her arms. Not having a car has limited Lauren’s ability to live independently and to transfer from a community college to a four-year university. Her brother’s goal is to raise $63,000 to purchase a car specially equipped with hand controls.

John Bryne, who is based at the Cal Fire station in Nipomo, starts his 3,600-mile trek Sunday in San Francisco. We wish him and his support team the best of luck on this inspirational journey.

To donate or to follow their progress, go to laurens ride.org   or www.facebook.com/LaurensRide  .

Impressive marks from local schools

Here’s a class act: SLO County students continue to improve on statewide, standardized tests.

Every district in the county showed year-over-year improvement in English and language arts tests administered in the spring, and most districts also posted higher scores in math.

Overall, nearly 63 percent of SLO County students scored “proficient” or “advanced” in English, and 56 percent scored proficient or above in math.

There is room for growth, of course, but we’re much impressed by the dedication of teachers, who continue to do right by students even as budgets are slashed and class sizes increase. We’re delivering a busload of well-schooled bouquets to students, along with bunches of apple blossoms for their teachers.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service