Bouquets and Brickbats: State unions should weigh all options

A note to state employees: Be careful what you wish for.

We say this in the wake of a ruling last week by an Alameda County judge, who decided Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s furlough order affecting 200,000 state workers was legally flawed.

We assume that was the decision the unions were hoping for when they filed their legal challenges. Yet the ruling left many state employees in an anguish of uncertainty. With furloughs apparently no longer an option, they worried the governor would turn instead to massive layoffs to balance the budget.

That’s a legitimate concern. Capitol Weekly, a Sacramento publication focusing on state government, is reporting that layoffs and a 5 percent pay cut have been mentioned as alternatives to furloughs.

With the state’s financial ills continuing, state employee unions may be better off accepting furloughs as the lesser evil.

A bouquet if they do — but a brickbat if they fail to consider what would be in the best interest of all of their members.

Kudos to Pounce for continued work

We’re delivering a cattail bouquet to Julie Olson and other members of Pounce, the feline rescue operation that closed its doors in Los Osos last year at the behest of county code enforcement.

The shelter had been the target of complaints about traffic, odors and other problems, and code enforcement officials said the residential neighborhood in Los Osos was no longer an appropriate location for such a busy operation.

Since then, Olson has relocated nearly 100 nonadoptable cats to a new sanctuary in Oroville. Several Pounce volunteers continue the organization’s rescue work here in San Luis Obispo County, which includes trapping feral cats so they can be spayed and neutered, as well as fostering cats in private homes until they can be adopted.

Taking a swing in the right direction

We award the city of San Luis Obispo a birdie bouquet for taking a swing at improving the bottom line at the publicly owned Laguna Lake Golf Course. The golf industry isn’t recession proof, and the city is wise to the follow the lead of private courses that have been offering promotions to encourage more play.

The City Council voted this week to trim a buck off the cost of a round of golf played in off-peak, early afternoon hours. It also decided to ease restrictions on alcohol sales, so that a concessionaire could put beer and wine on the menu. (There is no concessionaire at the course now, but the city is seeking bids.)

While some current players interviewed by the Tribune seemed a bit blasé about adding alcohol sales, we suspect that won’t be the case with everyone. A burger and beer could make a bad day at the course a bit more palatable — and a good day even better.

Roses for Poly’s Rose Parade effort

It may be redundant, but we’re sending a big bouquet of roses to the Cal Poly float builders who worked so hard on this year’s winning entry in Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses parade. The float won two awards: the Bob Hope Humor Award and the Viewers Choice Award decided by online voting.

This was the 62nd year the two Cal Polys — San Luis Obispo and Pomona — participated in the parade. We hope the record continues another 62 years, at least.

The project gives great exposure to the two Polys; it provides hands-on learning for students in a variety of disciplines, including design, engineering and horticulture; and it’s an unforgettable way to ring in the new year. Makes perfect scents — er, sense — to us.