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SLO County Roundup

Atascadero

The Atascadero Fire Department has been recognized by a national nonprofit organization for its efforts to educate the community about installing fire sprinklers in homes.

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition designated the department as a Built for Life Fire Department as part of a national campaign to increase the number of fire departments that teach about home fire sprinklers, according to the group.

The department also received a community education kit and other training materials.

— Tonya Strickland

San Luis Obispo

PG&E will have an open house for Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday at the company’s community center, 6588 Ontario Road, just south of San Luis Obispo.

The purpose of the event is to allow the public to learn more about nuclear power and speak with experts in a variety of subject areas from the power plant.

“We are hoping to engage our neighbors in a healthy and friendly discussion,” said Kory Raftery, PG&E spokesman.

— David Sneed

SLO County

The San Luis Obispo County Library adult winter reading program begins Jan. 15 and ends April 15.

Adults who read nine books will receive prizes and other incentives.

County library branches participating include: San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Nipomo, Morro Bay, Los Osos, Cayucos and Santa Margarita.

— AnnMarie Cornejo

Paso Robles

The demonstration garden at Paso Robles’ Centennial Park will continue another year, the City Council agreed unanimously last week.

The council renewed the group’s lease Tuesday, allowing Transition Towns Paso Robles volunteers to continue their efforts in teaching the public how to convert lawn areas into food-producing gardens, save water and volunteer, according to the city.

“It models best gardening practices, planting for our local climate, self-sufficiency and sustainability,” city staff said.

In its first year, the 3,500-square-foot garden also served as a hands-on community project for workshop and volunteer opportunities for local groups and youth.

A portion of the food produced there is donated to the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, which is now a new partner in the venture with its own base of volunteers.

The council in November 2009 approved the creation of the demonstration “food forest,” as organizers call it. It’s located in an area that was once a plot of grass in front of Paso Robles’ Centennial Park Community Center on the city’s east side.

Transition Towns — an international effort with chapters that aim to encourage rebuilding community resilience and self-reliance — works with the city’s Library and Recreation Department on the effort.

— Tonya Strickland

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