Bouquets and Brickbats

Welcoming supervisor Caren Ray

letters@thetribunenews.comOctober 4, 2013 

Caren Ray


Finally, the governor came through and appointed a supervisor to fill Paul Teixeira’s seat. For that, Gov. Jerry Brown earns a bouquet of rescue grass for potentially averting an even bigger water crisis in North County.

The appointment of Arroyo Grande City Councilwoman Caren Ray to the Board of Supervisors increases the likelihood that an emergency moratorium on new vineyards in the depleted Paso Robles groundwater basin will be extended. At the same time, it strips Debbie Arnold — the only supervisor who voted against extending the moratorium — of her queen-for-a-day power to single-handedly block efforts to stabilize the basin.

The emergency water restrictions expire Oct. 11, unless four supervisors vote to extend them. While there’s no guarantee that Ray will do so, in responding to a New Times questionnaire she went on record in support of a county ordinance to limit new water use.

“Evidence is clearly showing the basin is in crisis. It is vital that the Board of Supervisors act quickly to protect both the residents and the economic viability of viticulture. It is the first step toward a careful and comprehensive plan to ensure the long-term economic vitality of the entire basin,” was her full response.

That sounds like a Ray of enlightenment. We toss the new supervisor a bouquet of welcome.

Blackmail and bullying

With so much already written about the federal government shutdown, we tried to resist jumping into the fray with a basket of brickbats … for about two seconds. Turns out, resistance was futile, because we cannot keep quiet about this outrage. Nor should you.

This isn’t just about shutting Yosemite, possibly postponing Monday’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting in SLO or turning off the panda cam at the National Zoo — though those are among the many, many repercussions. It’s about allowing a group of bullies masquerading as elected officials to shut down government services that we, the taxpayers, fund and are entitled to receive.

House Republicans lost the fight against the Affordable Care Act. Withholding funds necessary to run the government unless implementation of the law is delayed is a form of blackmail. We shouldn’t let our politicians get away with it.

A young Samaritan saves the day

At the risk of sounding redundant, we offer young Samuel Waterman of Arroyo Grande a good Sam bouquet to go along with his county Sheriff’s Office 911 Hero Award. Sam, 11, was walking home when he heard a cry for help. He discovered a woman who had slipped and fallen in her home and had been unable to move for nearly 28 hours. Not only did Sam call 911 for help, but he also stayed with the woman after rescue workers arrived, prepared her ameal and walked and fed her dog.

That’s amazing. Sam, and his family, should be proud.

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