Bouquets and Brickbats: Ken shucks corn, and we all care

OMG!!!! Since posting a “how to shuck corn” video on YouTube, Arroyo Grande’s Ken Craig has gotten an earful of “wows,” a cornucopia of “cools,” a “U are a genius, sir,” and an invitation to move to Cleveland. (Don’t do it, Ken!) Oh, and did we mention that his no-frills, two-minute video has gotten more than 2.5 million views since it was posted Sept. 25?

Ken is as surprised by the response as anyone. A YouTube newbie, the 85-year-old retiree initially thought he would be lucky to get 50 hits.

For all its popularity, the video came about almost by accident: “My daughter-in-law was here at home cooking dinner for us,” said Ken. “When dinner was ready she said, ‘Somebody’s got to shuck the corn.’ ”

Ken offered to show her his method. She was impressed and insisted that the family make a how-to video to send to friends. The friends posted it online and, corny as it sounds, a star was born. We won’t give away his secret, but you can take stock in this: Ken makes shucking corn look easy as pie.

As his online fans would say, Ken, UR AWESOME! To further butter him up, we’re serving Ken and his family a bouquet of freshly picked cornflowers.

Scarecrows a welcome sight in Cambria

We toss strawflower bouquets to the brains behind the scarecrows of Cambria. That would be the Cambria Historical Society, which sponsors the annual display, as well as the amazing artists who create these characters, which — with due respect to the Wizard of Oz — are far more sophisticated than Dorothy’s straw-filled companion.

There are tourists, sports stars, a pirate, a bathing beauty, a marching band, a troupe of singing nuns, vacant-eyed zombies and — well, see for yourself. The scarecrows will be on display through Oct. 31 in East Village, West Village and along Moonstone Beach Drive. No matter where you live, it’s worth the trip.

Kudos to county/CHC agreement

The county Board of Supervisors and Community Health Centers of the Central Coast earn fiscally fit bouquets for coming to terms on a new two-year contract. The CHC had been threatening to close clinics if the county cut its funding, and that led to some heated public exchanges in the summer.

In negotiations that followed, both sides made concessions. CHC, for example, agreed to some wage and benefit cuts for employees, and the county restored several hundred thousand dollars in funds.

As a result, no clinics will close and hours will not be affected. That’s excellent news; CHC is a big provider of primary care for low-income families, and their best shot at staying healthy is through regular access to medical care.

Surfeit of sewage spills costing SLO

The city of San Luis Obispo will pay a $57,130 fine levied by the Regional Water Quality Control Board for four sewage spills over the past three years that collectively dumped 43,000 gallons of wastewater. Much of that wound up in local creeks. The fine will be paid from the city’s sewer capital improvement fund, which is financed by ratepayers. If that’s not bad enough, the water board says the city is responsible for a total of 51 sewage spills in the past five years.

For a city that seems flush with spills, we discharge a fouled-up brickbat. What a waste indeed.

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