Opinion — Bouquets and Brickbats: Community earns potful of praise

We’re dishing up bountiful bouquets of sweet peas and squash blossoms for the many volunteers who provided thousands of free Thanksgiving meals this week. With so many local families experiencing joblessness and other financial setbacks, it was awe-inspiring to see volunteers pitch in to ensure that no one had to do without a holiday meal.

Whether you delivered a food basket, took a turn on the serving line at one of the many free Thanksgiving dinners held in SLO County, or donated fixings for a holiday meal, you’re on our list of great people we’re thankful to have in our community.

Bad timing for screening protests

The turkeys who threatened to disrupt holiday air travel with a massive pat-down protest can go home to doggy bags of leftover brickbats smothered in gluey gravy. We get the fact that some passengers find the new screening methods intrusive, but trying to tie-up air traffic when so many people are anxious to get home to their loved ones is nuts — not to mention inconsiderate.

And while we’re on the subject of screening vs. pat-downs, can we please call a moratorium on the “don’t touch my junk” line? It was clever enough the first few dozen times we heard it, but it’s gotten as stale as our Thanksgiving dinner rolls.

Bottom line: If we hear it again, we’ll let fly a few choice phrases of our own — along with some bare-naked brickbats.

Loudly calling for a compromise

We’ve put a bouquet on ice for Andrew Adams, the owner of the Clubhouse at This Old House, and we’ll thaw it out just as soon as he reaches agreement with neighbors fed up with late-night ruckus coming from the club.

Some background: Residents who live near the historic eatery on Foothill Boulevard have told the county planners that Adams is violating terms of his permit by allowing loud music to be played late at night. The county has given the business until Feb. 10 to find a way to appease the neighbors.

We hope a compromise can be reached, because both sides made valid points. On the one hand, residents are entitled to a good night’s sleep. On the other, the Clubhouse is one of the few places in town that caters to older patrons who want to avoid the downtown college party scene.

Habitat houses a welcome addition

The Paso Robles City Council earns a home-sweet-home bouquet for helping Habitat for Humanity build six houses on the city’s west side.

The council — acting as the Redevelopment Agency — agreed to contribute $270,000 in redevelopment funds earmarked for housing projects for low- and moderate-income families.

While housing prices have fallen substantially in SLO County, there are still many, many families priced out of the market. Projects such as this one are an excellent way to make home ownership a reality for local families, and we’re glad to see the city of Paso Robles on board.