Our San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors had an upheaval last week. It now has two new leaders. I imagine that caused tensions. Fortunately Saturday is Valentine’s Day. I suggest the supervisors exchange valentines.
Do school kids still exchange valentines? I seem to remember doing so as a boy. All 12 or 14 of us kids in that one-room country school made valentines. We used dull little scissors to make them out of red construction paper, white paper lace doilies and white paste.
I’ll never forget that white paste. It came in a big glass jar. Some kids used to eat it. They’d scoop some out with one or two fingers and eat it. It didn’t appeal to me. But maybe they were hungry. That was the 1930s after all. We were in the Great Depression.
Anyway, we each made valentines for every kid in the school and put them in a big box. Then on Valentine’s Day the teacher or one of the bigger kids would hand them out. I think lots of them said, “Be my valentine.” I wonder if today’s elementary school kids still exchange valentines.
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We also made valentines for our mothers and, I guess, for any sisters or brothers who were too old or too young for our school. I suppose we also made valentines for our fathers, at least until we got too old to call them “Daddy” anymore.
But let me get back to our county supervisors. It was like getting a valentine Wednesday to read in The Tribune that the supervisors might not abandon the Paso Robles groundwater basin after all. They voted 3-2 Tuesday to try again at a future meeting to find a way to rescue the Paso basin from death by overpumping.
This is especially important to those of us who live on top of that basin and who get water from it. Engineers tell us that every year we pump almost 2,500 acre-feet more water from our basin than nature puts back in. Many rural wells have already gone dry.
But last week the supervisors voted 3-2 to reject a proposed ordinance to stem that water loss. It would have banned farmers from increasing their pumping from the basin unless they had a way to replace or offset the water they would extract with their new pumping.
One of the big complaints from the opponents was that the ordinance would be permanent. But this week, the board voted 3-2 to consider either a temporary or permanent offset ordinance at a future meeting.
I can understand why some landowners don’t want to be hurried now into a permanent pumping limit. But it seems reasonable to have temporary regulations, while a permanent groundwater plan is carefully prepared.