We toss a long-time-coming bouquet to all involved in the planning and permitting of a new sober-living facility at Dan De Vaul’s Sunny Acres property on Los Osos Valley Road.
Some history: De Vaul had been allowing people with substance abuse issues to stay on his property for years; at various points they lived in tents, campers, sheds and a barn. But he feuded with neighbors and clashed with county code enforcement officers — and went to jail at one point — over numerous building code violations at his property.
Eventually, a settlement was reached that allowed De Vaul to build a sober-living facility at his ranch. Groundbreaking for the new, 14-room facility was held Friday; supporters of the project hope that it will be built within 12 months.
Several volunteers have come forward, but more help and donations are needed to make this a reality. A sober-living facility is desperately needed in our county, and we wish De Vaul and his supporters the best in moving the project forward.
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City needs to act before tree falls
A wise kindergarten teacher once said: “All living things die.”
Come to think of it, she didn’t say it once, she said it whenever the class discussion warranted it, and in a matter-of-fact way so that her students would know that’s the way things work here on planet Earth.
That’s a fact that Atascadero officials may want to keep in mind as they contemplate the fate of the 100-year-old coast live oak near Sylvester’s Burgers. The tree is showing signs of decay; the city’s arborist gave it a risk rating of between eight and nine out of a possible 10. One limb already fell onto Sylvester’s patio, though there were no customers there at the time.
We, too, would hate to see the tree go — and we offer bouquets of oak leaf clusters to those thoughtful souls who want to save it — but if this tree is in danger of toppling, it has to come down. Google “people killed by falling trees,” and we think you’ll agree.
At 100, this tree is on the young side — coast live oaks can live to 300 — so perhaps it is a candidate for treatment. But the city should act soon; don’t wait until another limb or, heaven forbid, the entire tree falls.
If the tree must come out, what’s to stop the city from planting another?
Forever Never Land organizers fail
Remember that old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it is”?
Sadly, that applied all too well to Forever Never Land — a music and fun festival billed as the only one of its kind in California.
“AT FOREVER NEVER LAND, YOU DON’T HAVE TO GROW UP (YET),” the promo materials promised.
Yet the festival held this past weekend in Avila Beach was so far from what was promised that attendees were demanding their money back. We don’t blame them. It wasn’t as if one or two bands were scratched, the line for the restrooms was too long or the beer was flat.
Most of the promised activities — the zip line, bounce houses, water slide, rock climbing, human chess board — never materialized, and half-a-dozen performances were canceled.
Forever Never Land CEO Valerie Wang apologized, blaming the mess on “unforeseen financial woes” and the drought.
We suspect grandiosity may have also played a role; remember, this is the same outfit that asked the county Board of Supervisors for a permit for 10,000 attendees.
On behalf of all those disappointed festivalgoers who wished they’d never, ever bought a high-priced ticket to Forever Never Land, we’ve got a bounce house of brickbats for festival organizers.