SLO County Roundup

SLO County

Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, and four other state legislative leaders have received the John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage award for their handling of last February’s budget crisis, according to the Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert, a political newsletter.

In addition to Blakeslee, who served briefly as Assembly Minority Leader last year, those singled out were Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, former Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill and former Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines.

The legislators received the award “in recognition of the political courage each demonstrated in standing up to the extraordinary constituent and party pressure they faced while working with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to address California’s severe financial crisis,” according to the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, which gives out the award.

The leaders met mostly behind closed doors with Schwarzenegger for weeks last January and February to hammer out a solution to close a $40 billion deficit that relied on both heavy cuts to social services and schools, as well as temporary tax hikes.

Cogdill lost his leadership post on the final night of the legislative vote, while Villines stepped down weeks later.

Bass and Steinberg did not suffer similar fates, although unions and social service advocates were displeased, according to Capitol Alert.

The February 2009 budget deal proved to be insufficient, however. A further decline in tax revenues and voter rejection of some of the deal’s solutions forced lawmakers and the governor to solve another $24 billion budget gap last summer.

Among the award’s judges was Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy. She is a cousin of Maria Shriver, Schwarzenegger’s wife.

— Tribune staff report


A 20-unit apartment project in Nipomo has received the go-ahead from a county hearing officer.

Supervising planner John Nall this month approved a minor use permit that will allow Bill Kengel of Mesa Dunes Investment to build the apartments at Flint Place, Blume Street and Hill Street.

The project is located on 2 acres and will consist of seven building clusters of between two and four units. It includes individual backyards and garages and a 3,000-square-foot common recreation area.

— Bob Cuddy

Cal Poly

The recent Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show was the first junior livestock show in the nation to stream the entire event live on the Internet, according to university officials.

More than 460 student exhibitors and their families attended the show held President’s Day weekend at the Paso Robles Event Center.

Western Bonanza Corporate Manager Kirk Kimmelshue said that his group attempts to incorporate new and innovative technology every year.

Western Bonanza, managed entirely by Cal Poly students, began as a senior project 26 years ago.

For more information, visit www.westernbonanza.calpoly.edu.

— Nick Wilson

SLO County

Transitions Mental Health will hold a Rock & Roll-athon Bowlathon fundraiser on various dates from April 16 to May 2 at Pismo Bowl and Paso Bowl to benefit SLO Hotline.

Teams of five bowlers can sign up by calling 541-5144 ext. 152 or visiting www.t-mha.org for details.

— Julia Hickey