Bouquets and Brickbats: SLO Council trumpets peace, quiet

In the interest of neighborliness, it’s nice to overlook an occasional loud party or home improvement project going on next door. But a regular barrage of noise is another matter, which is why we believe the San Luis Obispo City Council hit the right note when it yanked a piano teacher’s permit to give lessons in her condominium. For that, the council deserves a well-played bouquet.

Whether it’s piano music, rock ’n’ roll or bagpipes doesn’t really matter. Residents have a right to peace and quiet in their own homes, period.

In this case, we can second-guess whether the city should have issued a home business permit in the first place, though it might have worked out had all the conditions been carefully followed. They were not. Much as we would hate to see Deborah Marcus lose work as a result, we believe the council had no choice but to pull the plug on the piano lessons.

CSU needs its salary info straight

The numerically challenged California State University system gets a rush order of eraser-tipped brickbats after making “several inaccuracies” when comparing CSU presidents’ salaries to what other presidents earn at similar universities. The problems were laid out in a California Watch report published in Wednesday’s Tribune.

After revising the figures, it turned out that CSU presidents still earn less than their colleagues at comparable universities, but in some cases the differences weren’t as great as previously stated.

For San Diego State University, for example, the average pay earned by presidents at comparable universities dropped more than $50,000, to $406,782. The president of San Diego State — the highest paid of all CSU presidents — earns only slightly less, $400,000.

This may seem like nitpicking, but if CSU officials are going to argue that high salaries for university presidents are necessary in order to compete with other institutions, is it too much to ask that they base that on comparison data that’s both fair and accurate?

Hearst, ‘Kane’ bury the hatchet

We toss a bouquet of rosebuds to Steve Hearst — William Randolph Hearst’s great-grandson — for endorsing the showing of “Citizen Kane” at the Hearst Castle Visitor Center. The March 9 showing will be a featured event of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.

The Orson Welles classic, released in 1941, is widely viewed as a stunning indictment of publisher William Randolph Hearst and his lifestyle. Hearst hated the film, and as a result, major theater companies refused to show it at the time, though it went on to win wide acclaim.

Steve Hearst, who has seen the film many times, told The Tribune he believes it’s time to provide the public with an opportunity to view the film in its proper context. We say bravo to that open-minded approach.

By the way, tickets for “Citizen Kane” go on sale at 8 a.m. Monday on the festival website, http://www.slofilmfest.org, or by phone at 546-3456.