Bouquets and Brickbats

Maldonado is wise to avoid governor race

letters@thetribunenews.comJanuary 17, 2014 

Governors Race

Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado reacts after announcing that he's abandoning his long-shot run for governor at the Santa Maria City Hall in Santa Maria, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.


We’ve got to hand it to Abel Maldonado: He decided to get while the gettin’ is good, and for that, he deserves a big bouquet of only slightly deflated balloons. As we’ve said before, any Republican running for governor this year is serving him/herself up as a sacrificial lamb, and Maldonado’s already done more than enough for his party. As he said, “It’s not my time.” Good for you, Maldonado, and we’ll see you on the campaign trail next year, or the year after that, or the year after that ...

New public art suits PAC at Cal Poly

The three giant stainless steel spheres installed in front of the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly this week are a spectacular addition that perfectly complements the building. The backstory makes the art installation even more special: The sculpture was commissioned by the Kohlen family, whose strong ties to Cal Poly go back many years. Patricia Kohlen earned a master’s degree at Cal Poly and then taught in Atascadero schools for 27 years; her late husband, Ken Kohlen, taught architecture at Cal Poly for 28 years; and daughter Corinne, who is a dietician, received her education at Cal Poly.

To show their appreciation, the family decided to donate a piece of public art for the PAC plaza. The sculpture ultimately selected was created by — you guessed it — a Cal Poly grad, Ivan McLean.

It’s a wonderful addition that will inspire for years to come, and for that, we offer artfully arranged bouquets to McLean and the Kohlen family.

A toast to Gary Eberle

We raise a glass of cabernet sauvignon with a full-bodied bouquet of character to Gary Eberle, who was recently ousted as general partner of the Paso Robles winery he established 30 years ago. Vintner Dana Merrill aptly described Eberle as “sort of like our Robert Mondavi.”

The turn of events shocked many in the industry, including Eberle himself, who told a Tribune reporter that he was stunned by the development. Eberle’s sister-in-law was among those who initiated the change in leadership. According to what Eberle was told, those behind the decision wanted the winery to be more profitable. Well, good luck with that. Judging from some of the comments we’ve heard, the shabby treatment of Eberle has left some wine lovers with a bad taste for that particular label.

Burglarized salon picks up, moves on

A case of balding brickbats and a month of bad hair days are on order for the burglars who made off with thousands of dollars in cash and products from the Hair Lines Beauty Center in Los Osos. They cleared out nearly everything that wasn’t nailed down — even the toilet paper. The haul also included beauty products that individual employees had on hand for their clients, but the loss isn’t stopping the staff from conducting business. Salon owner Ray Ramirez is stressing that the shop is open as usual.

That’s excellent; we offer Ramirez and the entire salon staff a perfectly styled bouquet for not letting the bad guys keep them down.

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