Bouquets and Brickbats

Hybrid water district should go to a vote

letters@thetribunenews.comApril 11, 2014 

Katcho Achadjian


CORRECTION: The bouquet on Huckfest erred in stating the crowd estimate for last year's event. It should have said the event drew more than 2,000 vehicles and thousands of people.


Drought-tolerant bouquets are on tap for all responsible for keeping alive the plan to create a “hybrid” water management district in the Paso Robles groundwater basin.

Topping the list of recipients is Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, who announced this week that he’ll continue to pursue state legislation to allow the unique district, though it still faces an uncertain future.

The proposed district requires special legislation to advance because its board would be made up of some directors elected by popular vote, and others elected by property owners. Other districts in California are composed of either one group or the other.

Not everyone in the basin embraces the idea of a hybrid district. We get that. However, this is the compromise reached after much negotiating by disparate groups — one made up of large vineyard owners and other agriculturists, and the other of rural residents and small farm owners — and we would hate to see it die on the vine before going to a vote.

Huckfest taking steps to tame party

Like a house party that starts small and, before you know it, has spilled out the front door and onto the neighbor’s lawn, last year’s Pismo Beach Huckfest was way too popular for its own good.

Huckfest, a jumping contest for monster trucks, attracted more than 2,000 people last summer, clogging streets, drawing complaints and nearly snagging a Tribune brickbat.

“We don’t mean to slam Huckfest, but if it gets any bigger and/or gnarlier, it could easily spin out of control,” we said then. “Before deciding whether to grant a permit for Huckfest 2014, we urge State Parks to sit down with event organizers — and with the South County community — to discuss logistics, security, traffic and other concerns.“

As Tribune writer Cynthia Lambert reported this week, organizers are meeting with State Parks, Caltrans and CHP to talk about traffic and other logistics — including reimbursing State Parks for any additional staffing needed for crowd control.

That’s a good start, deserving of a pre-party bouquet. If all goes well at the actual event — scheduled for Oct. 17-18 — we’ll supply the Huckfesters with some giant coreopsis corsages for the after party.

Local artist designed baseball coin

We toss a game-winning bouquet and a year’s supply of peanuts and Cracker Jack to young SLO artist Cassie McFarland, whose design for a commemorative baseball coin was selected from 178 entries.

Cassie’s design — a baseball glove on one side and a baseball on the other — can be seen on limited-edition $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins and half-dollar clad coins produced by the U.S. mint to benefit National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which turns 75 this year. If that’s not special enough, these are also the first curved coins ever produced by the U.S. Mint.

The coins are adelight, and we’re especially impressed that Cassie came up with the design in just 24 hours — an MVP performance if ever there was one.

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