What’s an environmentalist to do? By choosing not to endorse candidates, the local Sierra Club isn’t giving much guidance in the two contested races for county supervisor, even though it would seem that Jim Patterson and Adam Hill would be the logical choices. Both support banning plastic bags; limiting dust emissions at the Oceano Dunes off-road recreation area; curbing greenhouse gas emissions; adhering to smart growth principles, etc., etc., etc. True, Patterson and Hill also supported solar farms on the Carrizo Plain, which the Sierra Club opposed. But come on, is that enough to flunk the green litmus test?
The Sierra Club denies that its decision was based on just one issue. In a letter to the editor (see today’s Voices page), Director Andrew Christie says the decision not to endorse was based on “a number of votes and actions.” He also says that it was a “tough decision” and that the local chapter wishes the two incumbents “the best of luck.”
Given what’s at stake in this election — if either Patterson or Hill loses, the board will be dominated by a conservative majority less receptive to programs and policies favored by environmentalists — the Sierra Club might have given more than a cursory nod to the incumbents.
By endorsing no one, it’s saying, in effect, that all four of these candidates fall short, so we’re not going to dirty our hands in this election. For that, the club gets a soapbox filled with self-righteously scented brickbats. Then again, the lack of an endorsement may help Patterson and Hill win support from moderate and conservative voters who distrust — or downright dislike — the Sierra Club.
Farewell to Robyn Metchik
We toss an “encore!” bouquet to Robyn Metchik, a popular Lucia Mar drama teacher who is retiring. For the past decade, Metchik has put together theatrical productions featuring South County students, founded the daytime drama program at Paulding Middle School and lead Nipomo High School’s drama program.
To allow more diverse parts and experiences, Metchik puts on several shows a year (five this year at Nipomo High), afeat that requires late nights and lots of hard work, especially when it’s showtime. The payoff, though, is the process of inspiring her students, including one of her most famous — TV and movie star Zac Efron. “She was sort of amother figure,” Efron said in 2007. “She kept us all performing together, put us in shows and trained us — and that’s how we fell in love with performing.”
Metchik, who is rehearsing productions of “The Laramie Project” and “Schoolhouse Rock” with her students before she retires at the end of the school year, will be honored tonight at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts in Arroyo Grande. Her former students will gather to perform highlights of shows they’ve produced in a fundraiser for the Nipomo High drama department.
Metchik is moving on to the next act in her storied life, but it won’t be lights out completely; she plans to participate in local community theater and said she is open to the idea of returning to the schools as a guest director.
Pismo free parking needs work
Following in the footsteps of the city of SLO, Pismo Beach may offer free Sunday morning parking to accommodate churchgoers and other downtown visitors.
Unlike SLO, however, Pismo would allow free parking only at one lot near the Community Presbyterian Church.
The request originated with the church pastor, who pointed out that on busy weekends, it’s sometimes tough for churchgoers to find parking. He inquired about allowing a limited number of parishioners to park free in a city lot. That morphed into a plan to allow free parking for everyone in the one 90-space lot.
We sympathize with anyone who is stuck trying to find a parking space on a busy day in Pismo. However, we don’t quite understand how the free parking solution would help parishioners. Wouldn’t locals opt to park in the free lot near the church as well, making it even tougher for church members to find parking within a reasonable distance? On top of that, providing parking at only one lot, and at the behest of asingle church, leaves the city open to accusations of overt favoritism.
No brickbats — but Sunday best bouquets all around if the church and the city can find a different solution.