Bouquets and Brickbats

Random acts worthy of praise

letters@thetribunenews.comFebruary 22, 2013 

The Atascadero Library will move from Morro Road to a larger, now empty, 20,000-square-foot building at 6555 Capistrano Ave. in downtown Atascadero.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Bouquets of 26 roses to all those Central Coast residents who are quietly performing 26 random acts of kindness in honor of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. As you might imagine, these kind-hearted folks aren’t exactly advertising their good deeds, so we can’t mention any of them by name.

We did hear about one example of a“random act” however: Someone left a lottery ticket in the women’s restroom at United Blood Services in SLO, with a note attached explaining that she (we’re assuming it was a “she” on account of where the note was found) was performing “random acts” in remembrance of the Sandy Hook victims. A staffer at the blood bank found the ticket, scratched it off … and won another ticket. If that ticket’s a winner, the proceeds will go to charity. Sure, the odds of winning aren’t great, but it’s a wonderful thought, nonetheless.

By the way, if you’re interested in joining the #26Acts movement — which originated with journalist Ann Curry — there are plenty of “random” suggestions on the Internet.

Boo to school board on Teach

Ultimately, the San Luis Coastal school board made the right choice in deciding to keep Teach Elementary open while a task force considers its long-term future. But did it really have to put everyone through such a painfully adversarial process before arriving at the conclusion?

We’re especially troubled that the board president arbitrarily limited public comment to 20 minutes at Tuesday’s meeting.

Granted, most of the arguments by Teach supporters had no doubt been heard many, many times before. But if the public makes an effort to attend a meeting, elected officials should have the courtesy and patience to hear them out.

At least board member Kathryn Eisendrath Rogers had the class to apologize to the public for being denied the opportunity to speak. The rest of the board earns tin-eared brickbats and a “D-” for its poor handling of the situation. Oh, and next time, how about appointing a task force before threatening to close a school?

A milestone for new library

We’ve reserved a bibliophile’s bouquet for the Friends of the Atascadero Library for meeting its final fundraising goal for the new library. With that, the project — a partnership between the city and county — can get under way. An existing, vacant building at 655 Capistrano Ave. will be converted into a library that will be double the size of the current one. County offices will be on the second floor.

We understand that there’s still work to do; upcoming fundraisers will benefit a contingency fund, fixtures and furniture, but for now, it’s time to celebrate a milestone that’s one for the books.

Volunteer searchers inspiring

Good Sam bouquets to all of the volunteers who joined in last week’s search for 12-year-old Mikayla Andersen. Some volunteers came from as far away as Ventura to participate, after Mikayla went missing in the rural Huasna Valley area east of Arroyo Grande.

As we now know, she was found to be safe and sound — she told officials she went off to “clear her head” — but whenever a child goes missing, it’s a frightening time for everyone. The fact that so many wonderful people would put their own lives on hold to join in the search is inspiring.

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