Bouquets and Brickbats: Lawmakers need to offer alternatives

Local Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian rejects the idea of extending state tax increases and instead favors more budget cuts. Yet aside from some vague talk about putting an end to government waste, Achadjian has yet to offer any specific ideas about what to cut.

What’s more, he opposes one of the major cost-reduction measures in the governor’s budget: doing away with local redevelopment agencies.

We recognize that Achadjian hasn’t been in his new job for long, and may need more time to develop concrete proposals. However, if lawmakers aren’t willing to get behind the governor’s plan, they need to offer taxpayers some feasible alternatives. We’ll toss them penny-saver bouquets when and if they do.

Morro Bay mayor goes overboard

Newly seated Morro Bay Mayor Bill Yates made waves when he proposed ousting the entire city Planning Commission and starting over. In a written report to the City Council, he complained that the commission had overstepped its authority in the past and had been disrespectful to staff and to applicants.

Yates later withdrew his motion — that’s good — but we can’t overlook his earlier outburst.

Without some hard evidence to justify cleaning house — such as a record of public complaints against the commission — this comes across as a personal vendetta on Yates’ part.

We also wonder, if the Planning Commission had really been behaving so outrageously, why did voters handily elect former Planning Commission Chair Nancy Johnson to the City Council?

We toss Mayor Bill a waterlogged brickbat for going overboard on this one.

Showers of flowers for rescuers

Senior Chief Deputy William Miller and Deputy John Pozdolski already have earned plenty of accolades for their heroic actions on Dec. 27 — and deservedly so. The two men risked their lives by repeatedly crawling into a burning home in Los Osos, first to pull out an unconscious man and then to help another occupant rescue her pets. They also rescued another person from an adjacent house.

The men already have received medals of valor from the Fire Department and safety awards from Sheriff Ian Parkinson, in addition to other commendations.

To those, we add above-and-beyond bouquets — along with our thanks and admiration — to two local heroes.

No courtesy calls from ranchers?

Good fences generally make good neighbors — unless you’re the Hearst Ranch. In that case, nothing short of a zebra-proof fence will do — if you want to ensure the safety of your herd of exotic animals.

Otherwise, they could wind up suffering the same fate as the three zebras that wandered off Hearst property last week and roamed onto ranch land several miles away. Two were shot dead by rancher David Fiscalini, who feared the zebras would harm his horses. A couple of days or so later, a third zebra was shot by another rancher after it wandered into a herd of cattle on his place.

We understand that zebras are cantankerous creatures, and we agree the ranchers were justified in their concerns for their own livestock. Maybe the shootings were inevitable, but we still believe it would have been the neighborly thing to pick up a cell phone and punch in the Hearst Ranch before firing away.

To add insult to injury, by the time Stephen Hearst was made aware of the incidents, Fiscalini and friend had already commissioned a taxidermist to make a couple of rugs out of the zebra hides. Now that’s downright tacky.

For their unneighborly ways, we’re sending the pair a saddlebag of brickbats branded with the Hearst Ranch phone number. Maybe next time they’ll think to call.