Bouquets and Brickbats: Land use commission did right

We offer a first-class bouquet to the county Airport Land Use Commission for the thorough and careful way it considered the application for a 200-bed homeless campus in San Luis Obispo.

Because the proposed location for the homeless services center lies in a flight path, the project needed a pass from the airport commission to proceed.

We understand that this wasn’t an easy decision for the commission. In the end, though, we believe it did the right thing in allowing the project to move forward at Prado Road and South Higuera Street.

San Luis Obispo desperately needs a new shelter, and given the lack of alternative sites, this is the surest way to make it happen in a reasonable amount of time.

Murals should be encouraged

We aren’t going to get yanked into a long-winded philosophical debate over art vs. advertising — at least not today. But for the record, we get a kick out of the freewheeling bicycle mural on the side of K-Man Cycle & Run in Atascadero. It’s a bit of whimsy in a world that’s too often filled with bland beige walls, and for that, we toss paintbrush bouquets to artist Kathleen King and cycle shop owner Keith Schmidt.

Rather than nitpicking over whether to charge a signage fee for such works, we’d like to see the city find a way to encourage more high-quality murals on commercial buildings throughout Atascadero.

Hats off to pelican rescuers

Pacific Wildlife Care deserves a hand-picked beach grass bouquet for coming to the rescue of many of the ailing brown pelicans stricken by a mysterious malady. More than 500 sick or dead pelicans have been found along the California coast since the first of the year. Last week alone, there were more than a dozen of the birds recuperating at Pacific Wildlife Care’s facility in Morro Bay.

We’d love to hurl a foul-smelling brickbat at whatever it is that’s responsible for this unusual wave of illness, but no one seems to know what that is.

We are glad to see that the state Department of Fish and Game has joined the effort to track down the cause, and we hope agencies come up with an explanation soon.

Drop in tree fee welcome, overdue

Here’s something to bark about: The city of San Luis Obispo has been charging $2,080 to plant a tree at the Laguna Lake Commemorative Tree Grove. That included the actual planting, plus five years of maintenance — but exactly how much care can a young, healthy tree require?

After hearing that the price was too steep for the general public, the City Council recently chopped it to $410. That earns the council a cut-rate bouquet, but the city also gets a beetle-riddled brickbat for charging too much in the first place.