Bouquets and Brickbats

Some on air board are mean-spirited

First, they denied a pro-children resolution; then, they wouldn’t defend their own agency

June 7, 2013 

An ATV rider kicks up sand at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — The Tribune

As if pooh-poohing the Children’s Bill of Rights wasn’t mean-spirited enough, certain members of the county Air Pollution Control District board later decided to thumb their noses at their colleagues. County Supervisor Debbie Arnold, Atascadero Mayor Roberta Fonzi, Grover Beach Mayor Debbie Peterson and Pismo Beach City Councilman Ed Waage voted not to defend the district against ongoing legal action filed by Friends of the Oceano Dunes.

At least the naysayers were outvoted on this one. That means the APCD will continue fighting the lawsuit, which seeks to overturn a rule requiring State Parks to reduce dust pollution from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. That pollution has been linked to ongoing air quality violations on the Nipomo Mesa.

The district already won one round in the case last April, when Judge Charles Crandall dismissed the lawsuit filed on behalf of Friends of the Oceano Dunes, an off-highway vehicle advocacy group. However, the judge’s decision has been appealed, and it requires a vote by the APCD board to authorize legal staff to continue representing the district. The vote was taken in closed session, but the results were later reported to the public.

We understand that some members of the APCD board oppose the dust rule, but once a course of action has been charted by a public agency, decision-makers generally close ranks and authorize the agency to defend against legal challenges. Otherwise, taxpayers could be left holding the bag.

But not this bunch. Some of the same board members who think it’s OK to deny a feel-good measure that advocates on behalf of a healthy diet and adequate exercise for children also see nothing wrong with letting the air district twist in the wind in a court of law. The four contrarians — Arnold, Fonzi, Peterson and Waage — earn brickbats filled with hot air.

Congratulations to local graduates

We toss congratulatory bouquets and hum a verse of “Pomp and Circumstance” for all the high school graduates in our county, along with their parents, teachers, coaches, counselors — and all the other dedicated individuals who work so hard to help our kids succeed. Whether the grads are off to college, entering the workforce, joining the military or taking a gap year to figure things out, we wish them the best as they enter the next stage in their young lives.

Proposal is something to chew over

For gross-out value alone, Bubble Gum Alley is a must-see attraction for first-time visitors to San Luis Obispo, but the Eighth Wonder of the World? The very idea merits an ABC (already been chewed) brickbat.

Sure, the contest sponsored by http://virtualtourist.com is little more than a lark, but listing tacky Bubble Gum Alley as a nominee alongside such marvels as Mount Rushmore, London (yes, the entire city) and the Matterhorn makes about as much sense as, well, sticking wads of saliva-slick gum on a brick wall and calling it a collage or art or graffiti or youthful expression or whatever the heck it’s supposed to be.

By the way, if readers want to support a Central Coast entry, there are a couple of alternatives: the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach and Channel Islands National Park in Ventura.

But all things considered, our money’s on Mount Rushmore.

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