Bouquets and Brickbats

A novel way to save 10 gallons of water a day

letters@thetribunenews.comFebruary 28, 2014 

Jim Marrocco

Like most Californians, we’re no slouches when it comes to saving water. We turn off the tap when we brush our teeth; run full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher; and we can’t remember the last time we washed our car. Yet when it comes to conservation, Jim Marrocco of Arroyo Grande has us beat by at least a half-a-dozen gallons.

As he explained in a letter published in Thursday’s Tribune, he decided to do his part for the cause by taking the plunge, so to speak, and shaving his head. He figured that he could shorten his time in the shower if he didn’t have to mess with shampooing and rinsing.

According to Jim, it worked. He checked his water meter before and after he shaved, and calculated that he saves 10 gallons of water a day.

Jim, by the way, suggests that we publish stories from other readers who have come up with novel ways to save 10 gallons a day. “Saving more is always better,” he wrote us in an email. “The point is, if we all save a little, it will make a big difference.”

For coming to the aid of our drought-stricken state, we shower Jim Marrocco and his wife — who gave her blessing to her husband’s sacrifice — with a rain barrel of rose petals.

And if you want to share your ideas for saving 10 a day, email us at

Glad to see Nick Franco back at work

State Parks did the right thing when it reinstated Nick Franco, the district superintendent who was placed on paid administrative leave following the Lady Gaga video shoot at Hearst Castle. But why was he punished in the first place, especially since state officials now seem to be in general agreement that Gaga’s visit was a good thing?

At least, that’s what they’re saying on the record: “We’re absolutely thrilled about what she’s done at the Castle,” said Richard Stapler, spokesman for the Natural Resources Agency.

So, it appears all’s well that ends well: Franco gets his office back; Gaga fans get their video; the Hearst Castle Foundation gets a $250,000 donation from Gaga. State Parks administration gets something, too: a tin-eared brickbat.

A quarter century of food aid

A huge birthday bouquet is our present to the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this week. The amount of help this nonprofit organization has provided over the past quarter century is incalculable. By helping families put food on their tables, it’s filled hungry bellies, while at the same time offering loving kindness to people in need.

As Executive Director Carl Hansen points out, the Food Bank has expanded dramatically, both in size and number of people it reached. But one thing has not changed: It wouldn’t be nearly as successful without the cheerful volunteers who give so generously of their time — many of them showing up week after week to distribute food — and the donors who help with financial contributions.

You take the cake, and we have a healthy serving of flowers for each and every one of you.

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