SLO County Roundup

San Luis Obispo

The fall race for San Luis Obispo mayor is off to an early start.

Councilwoman Jan Marx has announced her intention to replace Dave Romero, who is ineligible to run again due to term limits. The race will be decided during the general election in November.

Marx, a San Luis Obispo attorney, was elected to the council in the last election cycle and still has nearly three years left on her four-year term. She plans to retire from her law practice in July to free up her schedule to run her campaign and continue to serve on the council.

“My main motivation is to serve the city as best I can,” she said. “I feel I am the logical next mayor.”

July 12 is the earliest date candidates can take out papers to run for mayor. Marx said she will continue to serve as a council member if she is not elected mayor.

— David Sneed

SLO County

Redwood Toxicology Laboratory of Santa Rosa has received the contract to test urine samples for county residents in drug programs for the remainder of this fiscal year, and for the following two years as well if the Health Department director considers their work adequate.

The contract amount is $85,000 for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends June 30, and $104,000 for each of the upcoming years.

Redwood must meet various “performance measures,” including a 5-day turnaround on testing.

County Behavioral Health Services issues 600 urine samples a month for detection of drug abuse, according to a memo to the Board of Supervisors from Health Director Jeff Hamm and Behavioral Health administrator Karen Baylor.

Among the drugs tested for are alcohol, opiates, cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines and benzodiazepines.

Hamm and Baylor wrote that drug testing helps the Health Agency “achieve its mission of promoting safe, healthy, responsible and informed choices concerning alcohol and other drugs.”

— Bob Cuddy

North County

About 1,300 bicycle riders will be on North County roads from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday for the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club’s annual Wildflower Bike Ride for Scholarships event.

Organizers say the riders are mostly experienced and will be required to ride safely, observe traffic laws and share the road with vehicles. Participants will ride south on O’Donovan Road from Creston, to Highway 58, up Huer Huero to Park Hill and Las Pilitas roads, get back on Highway 58 to Shell Creek Road then north to Shandon.

After lunch at Shandon Park, some will ride south on Highway 41 back to Creston, and others will return on Highway 58.

Roads in the Park Hill area should be clear of riders no later than noon, organizers say, and Highway 58 should be clear by 5 p.m.

The fundraiser ride benefits local organizations.

The San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club donates several thousand dollars each year to Creston Elementary School, Park Hill Scholarship Fund and to the Shandon High School Scholarship Fund.

For more information, call 543-5973.

— Tonya Strickland

San Luis Obispo

Earth Day will be celebrated Saturday at the Mission Plaza from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event will feature more than 75 exhibits, live music, an Eco Kid’s Village, a car-free corridor, an upscale art center, alternative travel show and renewable energy sources.

Visitors are invited to relax in the Healing Garden and enjoy green cuisine from local vegetarian chefs.

This will be a zero- waste event; all trash and scraps will be recycled or composted. The event will kick off at 10:30 a.m. with a parade for all ages.

In addition to the best “green” education, several bands on the Central C#Coast will perform. The free event marks the 20th anniversary of Earth Day celebrations in San Luis Obispo.

For more details, call 544-8529 or visit www.earthdayalliance.com.

— Tribune staff report