Save Our Downtown earns a big bouquet of freshly cut cabbage flowers for organizing SLO’s first “cash mob” at Phoenix Books. Cash mobs take an old-fashioned idea — shopping at locally owned, brick-andmortar stores — and give it a 21st-century twist by using Twitter, Facebook and email to invite shoppers to turn out en masse at a particular time and place.
On Monday night, more than 200 people “mobbed” Phoenix Books, and the results were as impressive as they were heartwarming. Store owner Bruce Miller says sales were 20 times what the shop normally does on a Monday night. And it wasn’t just Phoenix Books that benefited; several “mobsters” were spotted at neighboring businesses as well.
Sure, they’re a little gimmicky, but we think cash mobs are agreat idea. They provide merchants with an instant infusion of cash and they introduce shoppers to establishments they may not have visited before, possibly leading to repeat business.
They’re also fun for participants — a combination social event and shopping expedition — and they don’t require a huge investment. Organizers generally suggest spending around $10 or $20. That’s not a lot of money, but multiply that by a few hundred, and it can make a big difference to a small business.
A levelheaded reaction to bear
It’s tough to keep cool when confronted by a growling 6-foot-tall bear, but 15-year-old Nathan Church did exactly that. When a bear showed up near aSanta Margarita park where Nathan was visiting with friends, the teenager instructed everyone to stand up on a picnic table and look big. It worked; the bear lumbered away, leaving the group shaken but safe.
According to a state Fish and Game expert, the bear was attracted to the area by pie tins filled with cat food. We understand the desire to help the feral cat population, but leaving pet food outside can inadvertently draw wild animals into populated neighborhoods, creating hazardous situations exactly like this one.
Nathan earns a honeysuckle bouquet for saving the day, but we’ll be lobbing some bear-sized brickbats if residents don’t heed Fish and Game warnings to stop leaving pet food outdoors where it can attract wildlife.
What was that junk doing in there?
Commercial divers Eric Miramon and his stepsons Robert and Jared Pelz have hauled more than a ton of trash from the bottom of Morro Bay as a community service project.
This has been no treasure hunt — the divers have scooped up nasty stuff like car tires and batteries, a couple of toilets, broken coffee mugs, cellphones, a bowling bowl and a laptop computer. Some of the junk may have accidentally fallen overboard, but toilets and a bowling ball? Hard to fathom how those wound up in the drink.
The slobs responsible for the mess can expect some unseaworthy brickbats, but we offer the team of divers a water lily bouquet for their volunteer effort to clean up the bay.