Bouquets and Brickbats

Grover Beach council stands firm on dust rule

letters@thetribunenews.comJuly 19, 2013 

Grover Beach City Council members earn Scotch broom bouquets for standing up to the mayor in the ongoing dustup over the Oceano Dunes dust rule. The rule passed by the county Air Pollution Control Board requires State Parks to reduce the amount of sand drifting from the off-highway vehicle park onto the Mesa, where it contributes to the high particulate pollution. Mayor Debbie Peterson has been a leader in the campaign to repeal the rule. She’s claimed, among other things, that it’s a ploy by APCD chief Larry Allen to shut down the OHV park.

Grover Councilman Bill Nicolls cleared that up: “I think he (Allen) is very sincere in his job, and I have no indication that he ever thought about closing the Dunes to vehicular traffic.”

For that, Nicolls deserves an extra-large bouquet. (Incidentally, Nicolls also has asked the council to discuss at a future meeting whether Peterson should continue serving on the APCD Board.)

Peterson gets two sandblasted brickbats — one for spreading misinformation and the other for her “They’re not dying fast enough” comment made on the Dave Congalton radio show.

The identity of the “they” isn’t exactly clear. Some residents of the Mesa believe she was talking about them, but a comment made just before her remark referred to residents of the San Joaquin Valley.

That’s really beside the point; the comment, in and off itself, is out of line, and Peterson’s apology — “I hope people know that I don’t want people dying” — doesn’t let her off the hook. Nor does her claim that the remark was taken out of context absolve her. There is no conceivable “context” in which that statement would be OK.

Mid-State Fair has much fun in store

We toss a best-wishes bouquet to the staff at the Mid-State Fair, which opened on Wednesday and runs through July 28. As usual, the fair folks landed some impressive acts: Adam Lambert, Goo Goo Dolls, John Mayer, Van Halen, to name afew. And that’s just on the main stage; there are plenty of free acts as well. (Note to boomers: David “I Think I Love You” Cassidy performs Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.)

On another fair note, we also present a thanks-for-putting-up-with-us bouquet to neighboring residents of the fairgrounds. It can’t be easy to have your routine disrupted in a major way every summer, but it is appreciated.

Capitol display gets a needed update

The 21st Leadership SLO class earns a best foot-forward bouquet for its work in updating SLO County’s tired old display at the Capitol Building in Sacramento.

As Joetopia opined in a Tribune column back in June, the existing display is “… littered with a variety of unrelated decorative knickknacks including a worthless cobalt-colored mug, faux grapes and grasses, ugly pamphlets, old patches, at least one extremely out-of-date map, and for your edification, our very own mission statement mounted on a plaque, which reads, “The county’s elected representatives and employees are committed to serve the community with pride to enhance the economic, environmental and social quality of life in San Luis Obispo County.”

As Joetopia later reported, Leadership SLO had already decided to update the diorama as its legacy project. The new display will emphasize Hearst Castle, the coast, wine country and farm-to-table agriculture. The group is accepting proposals until Aug. 15; email for information on how to apply.

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