Bouquets and Brickbats: WFirst 5 works to make up for funding veto

For failing to cut kids a break, our lame duck governor gets a timeout and a cubby full of blockheaded brickbats. As reported in Saturday’s Tribune, Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed $256 million in CalWORKs revenue that provides child care subsidies through the state’s welfare-to-work program.

That left 222 SLO County families in the lurch —until SLO County’s First 5 Commission came to the rescue and agreed to provide $300,000 to cover child care expenses for children 5 and younger. That will cover three months’ worth of child care assistance; First 5 officials hope the Legislature will have restored funding by the time those funds run out.

We recognize that there isn’t nearly enough state revenue to cover all worthy programs. But without dependable, affordable child care, many working parents who are already struggling financially are left with the lousy choices of quitting their jobs, finding substandard child care, dragging their kids to work or worse, leaving them home alone.

The First 5 Commission gets it — and for that, we toss it a crayon-colored, kid-friendly bouquet.

Giant home sent back to blueprints

Cypress wreaths all around for the county Board of Supervisors, for judiciously turning down an application for a ginormous, 5,300-square-foot home in Cayucos. Not only would a behemoth be out of character for the area, it also would take out cypress trees lining the front of the lot at the corner of Lucerne Road and Ocean Avenue. The county isn’t saying no, but it is sending the applicant back to the drawing board for some downsizing. Wise move.

Perseverance helps in run for position

Lillian Judd of Los Osos earns a “Survivor” T-shirt, along with a blue-and-white bouquet wrapped in red tape. As Tribune writer Bob Cuddy recently reported, Judd is applying for a seat on the new state commission that will redraw legislative boundary lines.

She started out as one of 30,000 applicants, and made it through various steps — application, essay questions, letters of reference, personal interviews — to become one of 60 finalists for the important task. The group will be further winnowed down to the final 14. No matter the outcome, Judd’s willingness to serve the public is impressive. We’ll keep you posted on her progress.

Calm in the face of uncertainty

We offer hang-in-there bouquets to the half-a-dozen-or-so local candidates for public office who still don’t know the outcomes of their races. A handful of contests — SLO mayor and council, Morro Bay mayor and Paso Robles and Shandon school boards —are too close to call until all the absentee and provisional ballots are counted. That still could be days away.

We would be nervous wrecks, but the candidates themselves seem remarkably poised — which is the kind of calm under pressure we want in our public officials.