Bouquets and Brickbats

Abandoned bags can cause a kerfuffle

letters@thetribunenews.comNovember 8, 2013 

J.D. Cronin of the San Luis Obispo County Bomb Task Force investigates a suspicious package in the alley next to the parking structure at Morro and Palm streets in San Luis Obispo on Thursday.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

We all know the drill about not leaving bags unattended at airports and other transportation hubs, but can we also agree it’s not a good idea to saunter off and leave our luggage behind in any public place?

Case in point: When a silver suitcase was chained to a bike rack in downtown SLO — and left there for more than a day — of course it aroused suspicions. The bomb squad deployed a robot to open the bag, which was found to contain men’s clothing.

Yes, it’s a sad commentary on our world when a random package or bag triggers our worst fears, but it’s far better to be safe than sorry. We’ll pin a corsage on the robot, but the unidentified traveler who parked his bag at the bike rack gets a carry-on case of brickbats for failing to exercise common sense.

New terminal will be good for airport

The SLO Airport terminal may be nondescript, outdated, cold, cramped and uncomfortable — especially if you have to spend more than four minutes in those molded plastic chairs. But to call it “ugly,“ as Supervisor Adam Hill did this week, is a bit harsh.

Still, it’s good to see the Board of Supervisors move forward with plans for a new terminal; on Tuesday, it authorized spending $1.5 million — which includes a $1 million federal grant — for design work on the $25 million project.

The board also earmarked $212,500 as part of a revenue guarantee package that will, it’s hoped, induce United Airlines to begin offering daily flights from SLO to Denver. The business community has already made a nonbinding pledge of $1.3 million in ticket purchases.

We hear a lot of whining about the lack of flights in and out of SLO, and it’s good to see community leaders doing something about it. In recognition of that, we’re booking cleared-for-takeoff bouquets for the Board of Supervisors and the business community.

New library will brighten Cambria

It’s too big to put under the tree, but the community of Cambria will be getting a great day-after-Christmas gift: a new library.

With nearly 5,000 cardholders who collectively check out 10,000 items per month, the Cambria Library is one of the busiest in the county, and a bigger branch is — dare we say it? — overdue.

The new facility, at 1043 Main St., is set to open on Dec. 26. It will be more than twice the size of the existing library, and will have additional parking and more computer access for patrons.

In lieu of a bouquet, we’ll deck the library shelves with boughs of holly and offer sprigs of mistletoe to the hard-working members of the Friends of the Cambria Library, who raised more than $1 million for the project. Without them, Christmas wouldn’t be quite as bright in Cambria.

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