SLO County Roundup

South County

A planning department scoping hearing for the Excelaron oil project in Huasna Valley has been postponed to March 29.

The meeting, originally set for Tuesday, was rescheduled due to conflicts with other meetings, said John McKenzie, senior county environmental planner. The time and location of the meeting remain the same: 6 p.m. at the South County Regional Center in Arroyo Grande.

The purpose of the hearing will be to take public input on which issues should be addressed in an environmental impact report that will be prepared later this year.

Excelaron has proposed drilling as many as 12 oil wells in rural Huasna Valley, 12 miles east of Arroyo Grande. The oil would be trucked to a refinery.

A previous scoping session revealed numerous concerns valley residents want addressed, including air and water pollution and traffic.

— David Sneed


“Get Your Funny On” will be the theme of this year’s Colony Days celebration.

The festival, now in its 37th year, is scheduled for Oct. 16.

Members of the event’s planning committee chose the idea from more than a dozen possibilities, organizers said.

After much discussion, the board chose the theme because it was light-hearted and upbeat, Colony Days Committee Chairman Steve Martin said.

The event’s committee has begun planning this year’s event, he added.

The theme doesn’t mean comedic acts will debut in the festival this year, he added, but planning is still in the early stages.

Theme ideas come from committee members, including about a dozen people on the board and several more on the full committee.

The Atascadero Colony Days Committee was founded in 1973 by Maggie Rice to provide the city with an annual celebration commemorating the founding of the colony by E.G. Lewis in 1913.

Those seeking to volunteer at the annual event can visit www.colonydays.com.

— Tonya Strickland


A popular local theater can finish the run of its current play, but must install a $32,000 fire-sprinkler system before staging another, fire safety officials have said.

Cambria Fire Chief Mark Miller notified Pewter Plough Playhouse management Jan. 25 that he cannot extend the deadline past Feb. 28. Miller said that Art Trinidade, the county’s chief code-enforcement officer, and Francis “Sonny” Solich, California’s deputy state fire marshal, agree with the decision.

Work has been under way since 2006 to bring the playhouse at 824 Main St. up to code. But the sprinkler system has been on hold because it’s expensive.

The nonprofit playhouse’s board is launching a major fundraising campaign to pay for the equipment and other costs. Members hope to find a way to keep the theater open during the installation.

During the remaining performances of “Finishing Touches,” the playhouse must pay $90 a night for a firefighter with a radio to be posted inside the hall.

For details about the theater, go to www.pewterploughplayhouse.org.

— Kathe Tanner