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SLO County Roundup

Atascadero

The City Council recently elected Roberta Fonzi as mayor.

Councilman Tom O’Malley will serve as mayor pro tem. Atascadero is the only city in San Luis Obispo County that doesn’t have an elected mayor.

Under California law, the mayor and mayor pro tem of a “general law city” such as Atascadero are selected by a majority vote of the council every year.

In 2003, the council voted to institute an annual rotation system for those two positions. Three years later, it amended that resolution to ensure that council members serve at least one year on the council before being appointed mayor.

Atascadero switched back to the original system — election by a council majority — in March.

However, Atascadero voters may soon have a chance to choose a mayor for the first time ever. The council decided to put the issue before voters during the November 2010 election.

— AnnMarie Cornejo

North Coast

Highway 1 will be closed overnight one mile north of Ragged Point as workers install new horizontal drains, Caltrans has announced.

The closure begins at 8 p.m. today and is scheduled to end at 5 a.m. Friday.

There may be delays of up to 20 minutes from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday as flaggers control one-way traffic. The drain installation work is slated for completion in February.

Further north in Big Sur, two miles south of Lucia and about 45 miles north of Cambria, a $29 million, four-year project is also under way.

A 620-foot bridge and protective cover will be installed at Pitkin’s Curve in the Rainrocks area.

The road there is subject to one-way traffic control from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Caltrans suggests that, before driving the coast, motorists call a new hotline to check traffic information on Big Sur from Cambria to Carmel.

The toll-free number is 888-836-0866.

Road information is also available online at www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/road_information.htm.

— Tribune staff report

South County

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area is scheduled to be closed today and Friday for a prescribed burn.

The burn will cover 158 acres and is intended to remove European beach grass, a nonnative species. Removal of the beach grass will allow for the re-establishment of native species that occur naturally in the dunes.

Oso Flaco is a part of Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and is located five miles northwest of Guadalupe. The burn is weather dependent and will be conducted by Cal Fire and the State Parks Department.

— David Sneed

San Luis Obispo

To accommodate increased holiday shipping, the post office at 1655 Dalidio at Madonna Road will offer additional window service from10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20.

The office is normally closed on Sundays. For details, call 543-2605.

— Julia Hickey

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