Bouquets and Brickbats: Let’s look at new policies on mountain lion removal

The shooting of a young mountain lion that wandered into a residential neighborhood was both sad and regrettable, yet we recognize that authorities’ No. 1 priority was to keep residents safe.

We aren’t going to indulge in Friday-morning quarterbacking, but we do urge authorities to review their procedures and examine whether they can better avoid killing lions that wander into urban areas.

To that end, we echo the advice of one of our letter writers, Suzanne White-Nichols, who recommends that local officials learn more about nonlethal ways to remove mountain lions.

One example: Be prepared to have two people available to shoot tranquilizers at the lion at the same time, should that prove necessary.

In her letter on today’s Opinion page, Suzanne suggests officials attend an upcoming workshop in Solvang on this issue. She told us she plans to deliver invitations to several local agencies — including the SLO Police Department and the county Sheriff’s Department.

“I hope and pray they send somebody,” said Suzanne, who belongs to the Mountain Lion Foundation and has experience in tracking and collaring mountain lions for a research project.

She makes an excellent suggestion, and we offer a mountain of wildflowers to authorities who take her advice.

Pismo, Lucia Mar still can’t get along

Two years ago, we offered to send bouquets to the Lucia Mar school district and the city of Pismo Beach if they could negotiate an amicable settlement of a dispute over redevelopment revenue.

Unfortunately, the two sides have yet to reach agreement, and the bouquets have dried up and withered to dust, leaving us no choice but to replace them with brickbats.

In case you missed it, here’s a brief recap of this ongoing saga: The city of Pismo Beach has been threatening to dissolve its redevelopment agency, and the Lucia Mar district has threatened to sue if it does, since that would mean it would miss out on millions of dollars in redevelopment revenue that the city had been contractually obligated to pay.

Pismo Beach City Manager Kevin Rice says the two sides could still come to an agreement. We hope so, because otherwise, this could wind up in a drawn-out and expensive court battle.

We’ll provide better-late-than-never bouquets if the two sides can find a way to work things out.

Fond farewell to Ron’s Nursery

In yet another sad sign of the times, Ron’s Nursery in Grover Beach has shut down after 26 years in business. As much an oasis as a nursery, Ron’s had a strong base of loyal customers not only from the South County, but also from far outside the area.

A trip to Ron’s was a weekend ritual for many — a place to browse for plants, garden supplies, house wares and gift items, to attend seminars, get pointers from the knowledgeable staff and to socialize with friends and neighbors. For helping customers to stop and smell the roses — literally — we offer a huge bouquet of thanks, appreciation and wishes for better days ahead to Ron and Peggy Ann Carlock, as well as to Ron’s staff.