We toss a well-timed bouquet to the Board of Supervisors for voting to move forward with a new women’s jail — a decision that allows the county to lock in a $25 million state grant.
The board delayed the project last year because it wanted reassurance that the new facility will include enough space for counseling, educational and vocational programs. The Sheriff’s Department — along with other county agencies that will provide services at the jail — convinced the board Tuesday that the new facility will fill the bill.
Now that the supervisors are on board, the county will move forward to finalize contracts with the state. In addition to the $25 million in state funds, the county will kick in another $11 million for the expansion.
The women’s jail has been overcrowded for years, leaving the county vulnerable to lawsuits. The board was wise to take advantage of an excellent opportunity to partner with the state on a much needed project.
Not just happy; in good shape, too
Not only are we happy — as recently seen on “Oprah” — it turns out that most of us in SLO are reasonably fit as well.
A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that only 16.4 percent of county residents are physically inactive. Put another way, 83.6 percent of us get some form of exercise.
That’s good — but it’s not the best. That honor goes to Santa Cruz County, where only 12.2 percent of adults are physically inactive.
Santa Cruz has us beat on the obesity index too. The CDC report — which is based on census data and surveys — shows that 21.6 percent of adults in SLO County are obese, compared to 17.7 percent of adults in Santa Cruz County.
At the other end of the scale, in Stanislaus County 24.1 percent of adults consider themselves physically inactive. And at 31.7 percent, Yuba County has the highest percentage of obese adults.
Bottom line: We’re in good shape, but we could do better. Let’s say we start by lifting some 5-pound brickbats?
New lease on life for Paso building
Finally, a revival may be in store for the long-vacant Farmers Alliance building in Paso Robles — a 1922 landmark that’s been shuttered way too long.
Ray and Pam Derby of Derby Wine Estates bought the iconic building in the fall, and have applied to open a tasting room and wine garden there. They’re proposing to restore the exterior — down to the pink paint job and the historic lettering — and will re-use many of the fixtures and the old loading dock.
This would be a boon for Paso, furthering its reputation as a not-to-be-missed destination for wine connoisseurs. We offer a toast to the Derbys, along with a big bouquet of rosés.