The San Luis Obispo City Council and its natural resource management team deserve a backpack of bouquets for deciding to step up patrols at Bishop Peak.
The city is hiring three additional rangers to patrol the city’s open-space areas, including Bishop Peak. Rangers will crack down on common violations, including night hiking and allowing dogs to roam off-leash.
The City Council also agreed this week to several improvements at Bishop Peak, including better maintenance and signage and the addition of a couple of informational kiosks. For the benefit of hikers accompanied by (leashed) dogs, mutt-mitt dispensers will be installed.
Improved enforcement of the night hiking prohibition should improve the situation for area residents, who have complained of camping, littering and excessive noise.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Tribune
We’re not so sure, though, about the effectiveness of the city’s decision to stop promoting Bishop Peak as a hiking destination. We suspect it will still get plenty of exposure via word-of-mouth. But we suppose it’s worth a shot if it will help prevent the trail from being “loved to death” and will reduce congestion in the surrounding neighborhood.
One last warning: As tempting as it may be, you really don’t want to violate rules against night hiking and off-leash dogs. The fine for each is $489 — ouch! — and we’ll throw in a bad-neighbor brickbat to boot.
Gearhart case judge deserves praise
The federal judge in the Kelly Gearhart case imposed a lengthy but, in our view, fair sentence, and for that, we offer Judge Otis Wright a judicious bouquet. Wright gave Gearhart, a former Atascadero developer who bilked investors of at least $15 million, the maximum sentence of 14 years — three more years than the prosecution requested.
Judge Wright clearly had great empathy for the victims.
“I would imagine many of them have a number of sleepless nights worrying about what their future holds in store,” he said.
We don’t doubt that. Given the magnitude of the losses, we believe the judge made the right decision.
Cal Poly realizes every drop counts
In a drought, every drop of water matters, which is why we’re impressed with the swimming pool study underway at Cal Poly. Different types of covers and nontoxic chemical additives are being tested to see which is best at reducing evaporation. The test will last 60 days, and results are expected about two weeks later.
The project, funded by a nonprofit trade association, is being conducted at Poly’s National Pool Industry Research Center located near Baggett Stadium. This is the first time the research facility has been used since 2008, because of the economic downtown and lack of funding. It’s great to see the center up and running again, especially for such a practical application; we’re sending water lily bouquets to all involved in the research project.