By a landslide, we elect to offer bouquets of gratitude to the League of Women Voters and San Luis Obispo High School for assisting with last Fridays Lois Capps/Abel Maldonado forum at The Tribune. League member Marguerite Bader did a superb job as moderator, while other members of the efficient team collected and sorted questions; timed candidates responses; and occasionally held up a red stop sign to keep the vocal audience in line. SLO High provided chairs and a sound system, operated by the leadership and student government group led by social science teacher Jim Johnson.
Thanks, too, to the standing-room-only crowd for its patience and understanding in dealing with the close quarters. We were gratified to have such an impressive turnout, particularly on a Friday night. That said, we deserve a too-close-for-comfort brickbat for not providing a more comfortable venue, and you deserve a promise that well find a bigger meeting room next time.
Knock off the nasty political ads
We feel a tad like ungracious hosts, but we cant leave the subject of the candidates forum without holding Lois Capps and Abel Maldonado accountable for their responses to the last question of the night, which asked whether they would pull the plug on negative ads for the remainder of the campaign. Capps sidestepped that portion of the question completely, which Maldonado deftly pointed out good for him. But then he incited a mini-riot by stating that he has not run a negative ad in this campaign.
Its true other organizations, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are behind many of Maldonados ads, but what about that Maldonado-approved ad that accuses Lois Capps of supporting 14 years of bad ideas in Washington? Not nearly as nasty as some, to be sure, but wed still file that in the negative category.
Each candidate deserves ballot-shaped brickbats, but well replace them with bouquets if they tone down the viciousness.
Empty Bowls filled with goodness
We offer bountiful fall bouquets to all those who contributed to the 5 Cities Homeless Coalitions inaugural Empty Bowls fundraiser last week at St. Patricks Catholic Church in Arroyo Grande. The group estimates that it raised about $24,000 money that will help it set up warming stations this winter and provide clothing vouchers and gas cards to the homeless, among other things, says Shelly Higginbotham, 5 Cities Homeless Coalition board member and Pismo Beach mayor.
Eventually the group plans to set up a one-stop South County Community Services Center to provide numerous services including a health clinic, career and housing assistance, job training, laundry facilities, showers and a permanent home for South County Peoples Kitchen.
Artists, schools and Altrusa International donated 600 handmade ceramic bowls that lunchgoers bought for $25, then filled with soup donated by 23 restaurants and served by 15 celebrity servers with the aid of St. Patricks Church and countless volunteers all countywide. Its heartwarming to see such an outpouring of support.
Editorials are the opinion of The Tribune.