Bouquets and Brickbats

Achadjian breaks ranks on Medi-Cal

letters@thetribunenews.comMarch 15, 2013 

Candidate: Katcho Achadjian | Race: 35th state Assembly District

We believe that Katcho Achadjian is far and away the more experienced candidate and deserves re-election. Read our endorsement »


A bipartisan bouquet is en route to Sacramento for Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, who was the only Republican in the state Legislature to vote in favor of bills expanding Medi-Cal.

The legislation, which passed both houses in spite of Republican opposition, is a first step in expanding Medi-Cal to cover another 1.2 million low-income Californians.

The enabling legislation will allow the state to take advantage of additional federal funding available through health care reform.

Other Republicans in the Legislature were reportedly worried about what would happen once that funding is reduced. That’s a legitimate concern, but does it make sense to deny health care coverage to low-income families because of what might happen in the future? We don’t believe so, and we commend Achadjian for standing alone on this important issue.

Caltrans moves to fix Highway 1

We were ready to dump a truckload of chip-sealed brickbats on Caltrans this week for chip-sealing a 20-mile stretch of Highway 1 in Cambria — a move that has endangered cyclists and stirred fears of financial losses among visitor-serving businesses on the North Coast.? At least one cycling event has been postponed, and other rides and even bus tours are in jeopardy on account of concerns about the rocky, unsafe condition of the highway.

But now that Caltrans plans to “test roll’’ the shoulder along 1,000 feet of the highway to make cycling a smoother experience there, we’ll hold our brickbats in abeyance until we see if it works.

Caltrans commissioned the UC Davis Pavement Research Center in January to find ways to smooth the surface. The center is helping to supervise the work that’s expected to start Monday.

This isn’t the first time Caltrans has run into this problem. In 2010, a couple of highways were chip sealed in Lake County with similar bad results. Under pressure from cyclists, motorists and local government agencies, Caltrans ultimately decided to repave the chip sealed sections of highway in Lake County. It was an expensive fix. Some cyclists and others upset about the road’s condition are calling on Caltrans to repave the Highway by June 1. We agree that it makes sense to set a deadline.

Please don’t vandalize public spaces

We love animals; like others, we consider them part of our families. But we have to side with members of the Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers in expressing our sadness at the vandalism discovered there Wednesday. Someone carved and painted an epitaph in memory of Fisher, “the best dog ever,’’ into the staircase railing near Whaler’s Cove beach, which leads to the lighthouse. Now volunteers will have to spend time and money to remove and replace those boards. A bag of dog-biscuit sized brickbats to the person whose heart was in the right place in commemorating Fisher, but whose head was not. Let’s all remember to protect our public spaces.

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