Bouquets and Brickbats

Shelter can’t afford to lose state grant

$1 million could be lost if progress toward new homeless services center languishes

May 3, 2013 

Homelessness has been a hot topic during the campaign for San Luis Obispo City Council. That’s good — the issue needs to stay on the radar. It’s a shame, though, that we’re still dithering over where a homeless services center should be built: South Higuera Street or Prado Road.

Meanwhile, fundraising for the project is at a standstill, and — here’s a brickbatable moment in the making — a $1 million state grant could be lost.

On top of that, we’ve been told the decrepit Maxine Lewis Shelter is on its last legs — that it may only have about five years left before it falls apart.

So let’s make up our minds, already, because in this case, talk isn’t cheap. It could cost $1 million.

Those who don’t want the shelter built on South Higuera Street need to step up now — not one or two years from now — and take a leadership role in getting the project built at their preferred location on Prado Road.

Otherwise, don’t stand in the way of the approved project on South Higuera.

Applause for a young filmmaker

Korea has been called the Forgotten War, but 16-year-old Kyle Plummer of Cambria is making it come alive through his filmmaking, and for that, we toss him a congratulatory, red carpet bouquet.

Kyle’s short documentary, “Korea Remembered” is one of only five student films selected for showing at next week’s GI Film Festival in Washington, D.C. Other winners are from Oregon, Virginia, Ohio and Guam.

Kyle’s documentaries — he actually made three short movies — feature interviews with American veterans of the Korean War. All three will be posted on the Department of Defense website, http://www.defense.gov.

Shape up, tobacco violators

We have breathe-easy bouquetsfor the 15 Arroyo Grande businesses that refused to sell tobacco during a recent police sting operation. As for the three that failed the test — Albertsons, Arroyo Grande Valero and the Chevron station at 251 E. Grand Ave. — expect a shipment of nasty, nicotine-stained brickbats.

Laws against selling tobacco to minors under 18 are on the books for agood reason: If we can prevent kids from smoking in the first place, chances are they’ll never take up the habit. That has huge benefits not only for them, but also for the entire health care system.

By the way, if you think California’s tough, consider this: The state of New York may ban the sale of tobacco to anyone under 21.

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