Schools across the country regularly encourage reading — among students, even the public — recognizing that it helps educate them and broadens their horizons, understanding and comprehension.
Consider local elementary schools such as Los Ranchos in San Luis Obispo that offer a Battle of the Books reading incentive program or Cuesta College’s Book of the Year event, where the author of “Farm City: The education of an Urban Farmer’’ spoke on campus Wednesday.
And don’t forget Harloe Elementary’s six-week read-a-thon in Arroyo Grande. Youngsters there read more than a million pages this year, raising $15,841 for the school. Some of them even chose reading over video games.
Now that’s saying a lot. For all of these readers — young and old alike — we offer continual learning bouquets of begonias in hopes that they keep inspiring deep thoughts.
Officials’ stubbornness will cost us
Clearly there’s no hint of a real budget resolution in Sacramento. Without four Republican votes, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to let voters decide whether to extend temporary sales, personal income and vehicle taxes will die — and severe budget cuts will ripple across the state to address the $15.4 billion deficit.
And in Washington D.C., both houses of Congress were summoned to the principal’s office in the 11th hour. If an agreement is not passed by midnight today, the federal government will begin closing some services and suspending pay to nonessential workers.
Such gridlock is not what voters had in mind when they elected their representatives. True leadership at times includes compromise. As the old saying goes, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” That holds true in this case. We’re sending a 5,000-page budget ledger brickbat to each unwavering, stubborn and self-righteous elected official at the state and national levels. Good for farmers, good for us all
In a semirural county like ours that prides itself on its agricultural and ranching roots, it was great news indeed that temperatures and rainfall conspired to push crop values to a record high of nearly $713 million last year.
Higher grape sales contributed about a quarter of that total, followed by strawberries, broccoli and cattle and calves.
If farmers — a key part of our economic fabric — fare better, it’s logical to assume that they’ll have more discretionary income to spend locally. And that in turn helps boost others’ bottom line. We toss a thankful round of farm-fresh bouquets to all our hardworking agricultural enterprises.