A trust-but-verify bouquet goes to state Sen. Bill Monning, who is proposing to extend the life of the independent panel of scientists charged with reviewing PG&E’s Diablo Canyon seismic studies.
The California Public Utilities Commission authorized the Independent Peer Review Panel to review and comment on PG&E’s seismic data in 2010, but unless the panel’s contract is extended, it will disband on Nov. 30.
The panel, which includes county Supervisor Bruce Gibson, takes its job seriously. It’s issued several reports on PG&E’s seismic work; has pointed out some perceived shortcomings; and is planning to hold a public meeting to explain it all. But without the passage of Sen. Monning’s extension, SB 657, that could be one of its final official acts.
Monning’s legislation would keep the peer review panel in place until Jan. 1, 2025. Given what’s at stake for the Central Coast, that’s a good idea. We can use the collective brain power of geologists, seismologists, engineers and any other experts who can help us understand more about the array of earthquake faults near the nuclear power plant. (Bonus points if they can translate techno-speak into plain English.)
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Monning’s bill is in the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. Stay tuned.
Revisit Morro Bay-Cayucos plant
Common sense alone suggests it would be less expensive for residents of Morro Bay and Cayucos to partner on building a new sewer. Yet last week, the Cayucos Sanitary District announced its intent to “suspend consideration” of a joint project.
Since then, we’ve heard from residents of each community who are convinced they’re better off going it alone, and are spouting some version of good-riddance-to-bad-rubbish about their coastal neighbors.
We aren’t going to wade in with brickbats yet — we’ll wait to see how it plays out — but we hope there’s at least a good faith effort at reconciliation.
A.G., Lucia Mar personnel changes
Welcome and farewell bouquets are en route to Arroyo Grande, which is gaining a new city manager and city attorney, but losing a school superintendent over at Lucia Mar headquarters.
Dianne Thompson, formerly the manager of the city of Cotati in Sonoma County, is scheduled to take over as city manager in Arroyo Grande in August. And Heather Whitham, a partner at Carmel & Naccasha, is replacing Tim Carmel as city attorney.
Meanwhile, over at the Lucia Mar Unified School District, Jim Hogeboom is leaving to become superintendent of the Novato Unified School District in Marin County.
Hogeboom’s departure follows a bitter wage dispute with the teachers union that had both sides preparing for a possible strike.
Lucia Mar trustees plan to hire a search firm to help find a replacement for Hogeboom, and by the sound of things, they aren’t going to drag their feet.
“I really don’t want to wait a year to get a new superintendent in here,” said trustee Mark Millis, a former Arroyo Grande High government teacher. Well put, Mr. Millis.
New York Times video visits SLO
If you haven’t seen the New York Times story/video on how to spend 36 hours in San Luis Obispo County, check it out: www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/travel/things-to-do-in-36-hours-in-san-luis-obispo.html .
To whet your appetite, here’s a preview: Kayaking. Madonna Inn. Jockos. Beaches. Sunset Drive-In. Wine and beer. Art museum.
Conspicuously absent: Cal Poly, Bubblegum Alley and Hearst Castle.
Bouquets of hospitality to all who participated in the video shoot. You were all great, but we have to toss the Most Charming Performance bouquet to Daniel and Erin Green, owners of Whiskey & June in Atascadero. (Check it out and you’ll see what we mean.)