We offer a huge bouquet of gratitude and a raincheck for some R&R to the hundreds of firefighters who came from near and far to battle the Cuesta Fire.
The fire was a frightening experience for Santa Margarita residents; at one point, the flames reached within a quarter-mile of town.
The Red Cross did a wonderful job providing shelter and comfort, as did friends and relatives who opened their homes to those temporarily displaced by the fire. We toss Good Sam bouquets to all who volunteered both in official and unofficial capacities.
Remember, it’s far too early to relax our guard. September and October are typically high fire danger months, and if ever we needed an example of why it’s so important to follow safety guidelines, look no further than the Cuesta Fire.
Haggen’s retreat leaves bitter taste
We hadn’t even gotten around to giving Haggen Food & Pharmacy a welcome-to-San Luis Obispo bouquet — and alreadyone store is closing? Good thing we held onto those bouquets.
We don’t like to kick a business when it’s down, but the announcement of the closure of the Los Osos store — and the warning that more stores could be closed or sold in the coming weeks — is disruptive to employees and customers of San Luis Obispo County.
Clearly, something was amiss with Haggen’s business plan. The chain gets a carton of broken brickbats and a bushel of bad apples.
Cal Poly settles the scoreboard
In lieu of a bouquet, we invite the community to join us in a collective sigh of relief: The name of disgraced financer and convicted felon Al Moriarty can now be permanently removed from the Cal Poly scoreboard.
Cal Poly — or more precisely, the Cal Poly Foundation — will pay $480,000, according to settlement terms announced on Wednesday.
The bankruptcy trustee originally sought the return of the $625,000 that Moriarty had donated to Cal Poly, plus interest. Cal Poly balked at that, claiming it would hurt students.
“In order to give back the $625,000, money would have to be taken directly from current student programs — Learn by Doing laboratories, classrooms and curriculums,” university President Jeffrey Armstrong wrote in a Tribune Viewpoint published one year ago. (In a rebuttal piece, the bankruptcy trustee responded that the foundation had nearly $250 million in assets, and “could withstand returning the victims’ money to the Moriarty bankruptcy estate for distribution to the Moriarty creditors.”)
By negotiating, the university managed to trim $145,000 from the original $625,000 minus any legal expenses racked up over the past 12 months or so.
Another way to look at it: Instead of being deprived of $625,000 in Learn by Doing programs, students will only be out $480,000. What a deal, right?
And so what if it meant leaving the “Moriarty Enterprises” name on the scoreboard for months and months and months, subjecting the university to ridicule and Moriarty’s victims to painful memories? At least Learn by Doing programs didn’t suffer!
Now, about that sigh of relief? Never mind. Let’s make it a sigh of disillusionment in Higher Education.
Dancing queen hangs up crown
We salute Chris Hovis with a standing ovation and a big bouquet of red roses for serving local dancers for 40 years. Hovis, 81, is ending her run as owner of The Dance Shop in downtown San Luis Obispo at the end of the month. She’s interested in selling the shop at 1019 Morro St., but if no buyer steps forward, Hovis plans to close the doors.
Thousands of dancers — past and present — have wonderful memories of shopping at The Dance Shop for leotards, ballet slippers and pointe shoes. The shop also has been the place to go for information about the local dance scene.
Thanks, Chris! You will be missed.