SLO County Roundup


Vandals threw a brick that shattered glass at the city’s prized Rotunda Building, officials said Tuesday.

Administrators said someone in the past few days threw the brick over the fence that surrounds the domed building, which has been closed to the public since it was damaged in the San Simeon Earthquake in 2003.

The brick broke a glass entry door and a window at the front of the building. The cost of the damage was minimal, officials said, and plywood sheets will be used to cover the door and window.

The historic building housed the Atascadero City Hall until the earthquake struck. City government now operates out of a converted bowling alley near Highways 41 and 101.

“It’s very disheartening,” city Finance Director Rachelle Rickard said in a news release Tuesday. “To see this kind of activity right now when we’ve been trying to protect this building for so long is a real disappointment.”

Anyone with information on the alleged vandalism is encouraged to call the Atascadero Police Department.

— Stephen Curran

San Luis Obispo

Road improvements including a new traffic signal and a state-of-the-art bicycle signal were recently completed at Orcutt Road and Laurel Lane.

Sacramento Drive was also extended from Industrial Way to Orcutt Road. The road extension allows direct bicycle, pedestrian and vehicle access to the area from the north.

The traffic signal is connected with the Union Pacific railroad crossing to direct traffic away from the tracks when a train is approaching.

The city’s Public Works department also extended the railroad crossing from two lanes to four, and Bullock Lane was realigned to provide access to the intersection and traffic signal.

The improvements will help traffic flow and lessen driver confusion, according to city staff.

The bicycle signal allows bicyclists to activate a signal that turns all four lights red to safely cross the intersection in any direction. The improvement was made to make it safer for students traveling to and from school.

Most of the two-year, $1.9 million project was funded by a Hazard Elimination Safety grant, which will pay for 90 percent of the construction costs.

— AnnMarie Cornejo

Morro Bay

Training of volunteers for several of the county’s state parks begins April 17 at the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation prefers that prospective volunteers for the museum, Harmony Headlands State Park, Pismo Nature Center and Spooner Ranch House at Montaña de Oro call Carolyn Frank at 528-8578 for an interview prior to the training session.

Docents for all but the Harmony park will work at visitor desks, operate information trailers, lead walks, conduct school field trips, develop exhibits and tend native-plant gardens and other tasks.

“Harmony Ambassadors” help keep Harmony Headlands State Park open by walking trails, providing visitor information and watching for emergencies.

The initial training session is expected to run from 9:15 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m., except for the Harmony volunteers, who should be done by about 10:30 a.m.

Additional training sessions for all but Harmony Ambassadors continue April 24 at the Pismo center, May 1 at Montaña de Oro and May 8 at the museum.

For details, call Frank or the museum at 772-2694, ext. 0.

— Kathe Tanner