Bouquets and Brickbats

Huckfest leaves some visitors to Dunes hanging

letters@thetribunenews.comAugust 30, 2013 

Campers without reservations were turned away from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area on Saturday, Aug. 24. The Pismo Beach Huckfest truck-jumping contest drew more beach-goers than the park’s capacity; even those with annual passes but no reservations were turned away.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Never heard of Huckfest? Neither had some regular visitors to the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area — or if they had, they forgot to mark it on their calendars. Many of the park’s annual pass holders showed up last weekend, only to find that their off-road playground had been taken over by Huckfesters.

Pismo Beach Huckfest 2013 — a truck-jumping contest — had attracted such a crowd that the dunes had to be closed to vehicles Saturday morning. That rarely happens, and usually only on big holiday weekends.

The closure left many disappointed off-roaders milling around in Oceano. Some would-be Huckfest spectators were out of luck, too, though they did have the option of parking in Oceano and walking several miles to the competition site.

So what’s Huckfest all about?

Agustin Jimenez, associate online editor for Four Wheeler Magazine, describes it like this: “Huckfest 2013 had the gnarliest high-flying off-road action you will ever see and we’re looking forward to bringing you all the wild action from next year’s Pismo Beach Huckfest.”

OK, that’s a little scary. We don’t mean to slam Huckfest, but if it gets any bigger and/or gnarlier, it could easily spin out of control.

Before deciding whether to grant a permit for Huckfest 2014, we urge State Parks to sit down with event organizers — and with the South County community — to discuss logistics, security, traffic and other concerns.

We’ll give Huckfest a pass this year, but it can expect to be awarded a monster brickbat if there’s a repeat performance next time.

Tip leads to robbery suspect arrest

We toss a crimestoppers’ bouquet to the alert staff at the Golden 1 Credit Union, who notified police when a woman matching the description of the Central Coast Bandit entered the branch Aug. 23. Thanks to the tip, authorities were able to arrest Christina Fernandez Padilla, 50, who allegedly committed a string of bank robberies in the county.

The suspected robber — whose photo was widely circulated by the FBI — is believed to be responsible for six robberies that occurred in California since December, including four in San Luis Obispo County.

Detox center offers a huge service

We’re delivering a bouquet of baby’s breath to Sandy Wortley, the former county employee who quit her job so she could open a detox center for addicted women who are pregnant or parenting.

A brief recap: The county put out a request for proposals to parties interested in running a detox program. When no one responded, Wortley, a registered addiction specialist, stepped up and offered to operate the facility.

Bryan’s House, which is scheduled to open in Paso Robles on Sept. 1, will accommodate up to five mothers and 10 children at a time.

With the scarcity of detox facilities in our county, Wortley is providing a huge service to women who need help overcoming addiction — as well as an incredible gift to their children.

Editorials are the opinion of The Tribune.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service