Drought-tolerant bouquets are on their way the state Legislature, which overwhelmingly passed a bill allowing the creation of a water district in the depleted Paso Robles groundwater basin. Local Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, who sponsored the legislation, gets a special arrangement of SLO-grown blossoms for shepherding the bill through.
Once the bill is signed by the governor — and we see no reason why it shouldn’t be — the next step is to petition LAFCO to form the water district. The petition can be submitted either by 10 percent of landowners within the proposed district or by the county Board of Supervisors. For the sake of expediency, we urge the board to take on this one.
Upclose look at zoo was unreasonable
Zoos put up fences for a reason, and it’s not just to prevent the animals from wandering off and starting a Planet of the Apes-like commune in the woods somewhere. Fences also serve as a barrier that prevent human beings from being injured by wild animals — and vice versa.
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Apparently, 24-year-old Amanda Hall of San Luis Obispo never got that memo, because she climbed over a fence at the giraffe exhibit at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wis. For her trouble, she was kicked in the face by a 2-year-old giraffe. Authorities say Hall was not seriously hurt, which is fortunate. She was, however, ticketed for harassing zoo animals. And while we hate to add insult to her injury, for monkeying around at the zoo, Hall also earns a long-necked brickbat covered in spots.
Nacimiento pipeline problems costly
When a $176 million water pipeline springs a leak after just a few years, who are you going to blame? We don’t know the answer, which is why we’re hoarding our brickbats for the time being.
In the meantime, though, the bill for the Nacimiento pipeline keeps rising. The Board of Supervisors will be asked Tuesday to authorize county staff to spend up to $425,000 to investigate the cause of the leaks and to patch the cracked section of pipeline. Previously, the board had authorized spending up to $275,000.
Even if the county is fully reimbursed for its costs, this is not a good situation. The pipeline has been shut down since June, which means local agencies have not been able to receive their full allotment of water during one of the most severe droughts in recent history.
Stay tuned for results of the investigation.
Take Ice Bucket Challenge to lawn
At least one ex-president has done it (George W. Bush). So have Gwyneth Paltrow, LeBron James, Oprah, Mark Zuckerberg, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and a host of others famous and not-so-famous people. All have taken the ubiquitous Ice Bucket Challenge, which had raised more than $40 million for ALS research as of Thursday afternoon. That’s incredible, especially when you consider that last year’s ALS Association campaign brought in just over $2 million.
The challenge is simple: Either donate to ALS research or suffer the indignity of having a bucket of ice water dumped on your head, in front of a video camera, of course. Turns out, though, many folks are willing to be doused and to donate.
A feel good story, right? Except, this being the year of the drought, there has been a backlash over wasting water. It’s been estimated that as many as 6 million gallons of water have been used in the challenge (that was a couple of days ago; it could be much higher by now). Yes, that’s a lot of water, but to put that in perspective, a 10-minute shower with a low-flow showerhead uses approximately 25 gallons of water. So, if you want to dump a gallon or two of ice water on your head for a good cause, we say go for it — just shave a minute or two off your next shower.
Even better, take your bucket out to any sad, ugly, water-starved patch of lawn — if you don’t have one, there are plenty around — and take your challenge there. We’ll even throw in a bouquet of towels.
SLO gets into conservation spirit
Speaking of lawns, SLO residents will now be restricted to watering their yards three days a week. Residents of homes with even-numbered addresses can water Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Odds water Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
City officials say they aren’t experiencing a water shortage — lucky SLO — but they are putting restrictions in effect to comply with mandates from the State Water Resources Control Board. In the spirit of conservation, we’ll toss the City Council a bouquet of cacti — minus the spines — for joining the party.