Bouquets and Brickbats

Rain is here, but conservation is still needed

letters@thetribunenews.comFebruary 7, 2014 

Rain Dance

The Central Coast Center for Spiritual Living headed a rain dance spiritual cermony Saturday in Templeton Park. The Rev. LaVonne Rae Andrews/Welsh and Rev. Don Welsh headed the dance accompanied by drum beating that Andrews-Welch described as was "the heart beat of Mother Earth" Photo by Laura Dickinson 2-01-13


Last weekend’s rain dance in Templeton may not have had a lot to do with our recent spate of wet weather, but just in case, we’re going to toss an umbrella-shaped bouquet to the dancers and musicians. Keep up the good footwork!

On a less positive note, we’re stockpiling a supply of bone-dry brickbats for water wasters. Despite the rain, we still need to conserve, conserve, conserve. We don’t want to get personal — we’ll leave it to you to decide when to flush or how long to shower — but can we all agree to run the washing machines and dishwashers with full loads, to turn off faucets when we’re brushing our teeth and to keep the outdoor irrigating to a minimum?

Take action on languishing property

Businesses come and go, so it’s understandable that some long-term commercial vacancies are inevitable. But there’s no excuse for the rundown, boarded-up, litter-infested eyesore of building like the gas station at Taft and Kentucky in SLO, which was pictured on the front page of Sunday’s Tribune.

The property owner — a developer from L.A. whose plans for the property were shot down — told The Tribune that he’s tried to maintain the property, but trespassers break through the fence and vandalize the building. “The only way to do something about it is to build something there,” he said.

Here’s an idea: Why not tear down the derelict building and be done with it? Or install afence that isn’t so easily breached? This is a public nuisance, and the nothing-can-be-done excuse buys a bundle of broken brickbats for the property owner.

Good luck to Land Conservancy

A big bouquet of drought-tolerant wildflowers is on order for the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo, which has been working on the acquisition of 900 acres of open space behind Pismo Beach. We also toss a bouquet to property owner PB Coast View LLC for its commitment to this worthy project.

The land, known as Pismo Preserve, offers gorgeous views of the coastline. There’s already a system of dirt roads and paths in place that can be used as trails. The Land Conservancy plans to open the property to the public for daytime use for passive recreation — hiking, cycling, picnicking and horseback riding. The property is being offered for $10 million; the Land Conservancy has lined up various funds for the purchase, but needs to raise another $1.7 million for operating expenses and public access improvements, including a parking lot off Mattie Road.

This would be a great addition to the county’s inventory of trails and open space. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it will come off without a hitch.

Congratulations to Andy Shen

We have a gold-medal bouquet to add to the first-place medallion that 7-year-old Andy Shen won at a regional Braille competition.

Andy, who has been blind since birth, began learning Braille when he was 5. This amazing second-grader also is multilingual — he speaks English and Mandarin and is learning Spanish through Pacheco School’s dual immersion program — and he’s been playing piano since he was 2 1/2.

We offer Andy and his parents, Xiaowei Cai and Shuhua Shen, and his teachers our heartiest congratulations, along with a prediction: We have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more about Andy Shen and his accomplishments in the years to come.

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