We’re delivering a good-luck-with-that bouquet to the San Luis Obispo City Council, which is once again tackling the rowdy party problem. On Tuesday, the council will consider adjusting the unruly gathering ordinance it adopted in 2010. That ordinance targeted party hosts and owners of property where out-of-control parties are held, but since it took effect, only 12 citations have been issued.
As currently written, the ordinance has been hard to enforce for a couple of reasons: Police often have a tough time identifying the hosts. Also, the ordinance applies only to gatherings of 20 or more people that cause a “substantial disturbance” to a “significant segment of a neighborhood” — and many parties fail to reach that level.
Proposed revisions will attempt to close loopholes by giving police authority to cite party guests whose bad behavior contributes to a disturbance and by further defining an unruly gathering. The proposed rewrite offers examples of behavior that qualifies a party as “unruly,” such as having unpermitted live bands; partying on roofs that aren’t designed for occupancy (are you listening, St. Fratty folks?); urinating or defecating in public; setting off fireworks; possessing unlawful drugs; serving alcohol to minors; littering on neighboring property; obstructing a public street; fighting; throwing bottles at police, etc.
Party guests cited under the ordinance face a $350 fine for a first offense. (By comparison, get caught hiking Bishop Peak at night, and you’re subject to a fine of $489.)
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We’re not convinced that any ordinance is the answer, but a toothless ordinance that’s practically unenforceable is little more than a joke. We hope, for the sake of residents living near party houses, that the revisions — if adopted — will be more effective.
A moldy, leaky situation at CMC
We’ll say this for the California Men’s Colony: It didn’t try to butter up county grand jurors by serving them a special lunch. Jurors who took a tour of CMC received a prison lunch of peanut butter and jelly packets and sliced bread. Two jurors got moldy bread — and learned that it’s not uncommon for inmates to receive moldy bread.
The jury found other, more serious deficiencies, as well. Many of them related to inmates’ rights to religious expression. For example, three prison chapels were in bad shape — mold, asbestos and leaky doors and windows were among the problems.
On the positive side, the jury commended CMC for its prison industry program — which includes boot making, license tag printing and knitting — though it did suggest teaching vocational skills that would better equip inmates for real-world jobs, given the lack of opportunities for skilled boot makers and knitters. The grand jury also had positive things to say about security and safety at the prison.
On balance, though, we give CMC a moldy brickbat. The report on the condition of the chapels was especially alarming; the grand jury described them as unfit places for humans to congregate. A prison spokeswoman did tell The Tribune the chapels are being repaired. That’s good, but it shouldn’t have taken a grand jury report to make it happen.
Thank you for letting fairways brown
We offer a bucket of bouquets to golfers who are hanging in there and continuing to play at local courses where fairways have been allowed to go brown on account of the drought.
Course managers are saving precious water to irrigate greens and tee boxes, and are allowing fairways to fade to brown, or in some cases, they’re planting more drought-tolerant varieties of grass.
Brown grass is less cushiony than well-irrigated green turf, which makes for more difficult play. Business is down as a result. We sympathize — golf is a frustrating enough sport without additional challenges — but given the circumstances, it makes sense for brown to be the new green at many of California’s golf courses.