Bouquets and Brickbats

Everyone, root for the Mustangs

letters@thetribunenews.comMarch 21, 2014 

Cal Poly's closes out a practice at Scottrade Center. Cal Poly will face Wichita State in the second round of the NCAA tournament. (March 20, 2014)

JAIME GREEN — The Wichita Eagle

Just in time for Round 2 of the Big Dance, we’ve got a rush order of bright green boutonnières en route to St. Louis for the Cal Poly men’s basketball team, their coaches and the joyful fans who will be in the stands today when the Mustangs face No. 1 seed Wichita State.

But heck, why stop there? We’ll widen our net and toss garlands of green to all of you Mustang supporters — including the many Poly alumni spread throughout the world — who will be watching and rooting from home today, wherever that home may be.

It’s been quite a ride for this Cinderella team, and it isn’t over yet. Good luck, Mustangs.

Reign of chaos ends in Oceano

We don’t know exactly why Lonnie Curtis was fired as general manager of the Oceano Community Services District after less than six months — the OCSD Board of Directors isn’t saying — but during his brief tenure, Curtis managed to skirt rules on various occasions.

Curtis — the latest in a long line of GMs at the Oceano agency — was suspected of plagiarizing a writing sample for his job application; violating California’s open meeting law; overcharging residents for district services; and generally muddling up the works.

“Everything is in a tangle — our minutes, our agenda, our rules and policies and even our goals,” board member Karen White said last week, when Curtis was fired by a unanimous vote of the board.

Sounds like a reign of chaos, though to be sure, the board hasn’t exactly been a model of stability. It’s gone through eight general managers since 2007, though to be fair, a few of those were appointed to serve as interim managers only.

We’re not even going to try to sort out who bears more responsibility for this latest chapter in the Oceano district’s saga of the revolving door — we’ll just take a single sorry brickbat and split it between Curtis and the board.

A welcome and a farewell

We toss a congratulatory bouquet of welcome to retired college history instructor Dick Hitchman, who has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Cuesta College Board of Trustees. Hitchman, a former Cuesta instructor, will serve though the November election, when voters will decide who should fill out the remainder of Gaye Galvan’s term, which expires in 2016. Hitchman indicated that he will be a candidate in that election.

Galvan resigned for health reasons; because of macular degeneration, it was difficult for her to attend nighttime board meetings. She served as trustee for 17 years — a record for the Cuesta College board. Her commitments to youth and education are legendary; in addition to her tenure on the Cuesta board, she’s served on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Education since 1981 and on the Grizzly Youth Academy Charter board. She also helped found Friday Night Live for teens and Partnership for Children.

Galvan isn’t retiring from public life — she plans to continue on the Grizzly Academy board and county Board of Education — but we can’t let the occasion pass without recognizing her contributions to Cuesta College with an in-a-class-by-yourself bouquet for Gaye.

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