Bouquets and Brickbats: Mural solution a sensible one

The Atascadero City Council earns a plein-air bouquet for coming up with a commonsense way to allow murals on commercial buildings. Murals still will be treated as signs for processing purposes, but the council has agreed to waive the usual $605 application fee.

The policy change should resolve the controversy surrounding the clever new mural on the K-Man Cycle & Run building. We hope it also will encourage similar artistic ventures elsewhere in the city. No one wants to see the town painted red, but a dab of color here and there — artistically applied, of course — would be a wonderful touch.

Kudos for Doc Burnstein’s support

We’re dishing up a two-scoop bouquet wrapped in chocolate-scented cellophane for the Tri-Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, in acknowledgement of its support for Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab in Arroyo Grande.

The trades council has offered to treat customers to free ice cream today from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“We want the public to know what the unions really stand for ” said Steven Weiner, executive secretary for the trades council.

That’s a refreshing switch from the bullying tactics of Camarillo-based Carpenters Local 150.

In case you missed the earlier reports, the carpenters’ union has been picketing Doc Burnstein’s since last October, but not because of operations at the shop itself. Rather, it’s protesting because nonunion labor was used to make some improvements to a new Doc Burnstein’s outlet in the Santa Maria mall.

Here’s what’s really galling: Doc Burnstein’s had nothing to do with hiring the construction workers; that was the mall’s decision.

We’ve already given Carpenters Local 150 one brickbat, but now we’re all riled up again. Splat! There goes another helping of stale brickbats and cream.

$1 million for a comic? Not so super

We normally don’t get all high-and-mighty over how the rich and famous spend their money. It is theirs to squander, after all.

But when we learned that an anonymous buyer recently paid $1 million for a rare copy of the first Superman comic, we just had to lob a kryptonite brickbat on general principle. With all due respect to the Man of Steel, $1 million for a Superman comic book? Talk about skewed priorities.

But wait, here’s an idea: How about taxing such frivolous purchases by, oh, 100 percent, maybe? And make sure the proceeds go to good causes — starting with education, children’s health care and supportive services for the elderly.

Purple Hearts deserve recognition

We salute Atascadero’s Tim Haley with a miles-of-remembrance bouquet for leading the effort to designate a local stretch of Highway 101 a Purple Heart Trail. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the U.S. military who are killed or wounded in combat, and Purple Heart Trails are highways that are specially posted with signs to honor and remember those veterans.

Haley, a Vietnam veteran, asked Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee to sponsor legislation adding a 115-mile stretch of U.S. 101 — from San Ardo to Los Olivos — to the network of Purple Heart Trails. He also is raising funds for the Purple Heart signs that will be posted along the trail. For information, contact Chuck Ward at 466-3062.