Bouquets and Brickbats: No 'green' in this pro-bag legal crusade

The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition wasted no time filing a lawsuit challenging the countywide ban on plastic grocery bags. The suit claims the county waste management board violated the law because it did not prepare an environmental impact report before adopting the ban.

Ironic, isn’t it? An industry group is using environmental law to target a measure aimed at helping to clean up the environment by encouraging shoppers to switch from plastic and paper to reusable bags.

But it gets even better: That same group selfrighteously claims to be a “nonprofit environmental organization” that wants to disseminate “environmental truth.”

Environmental group? No way, but don’t take our word for it — the state Supreme Court has said as much. In a court opinion filed last July in another lawsuit that “Save” filed against the city of Manhattan Beach, the court refers to the plaintiff as “a coalition of plastic bag manufacturers and distributors.”

(Incidentally, the court ruled that it was not necessary for Manhattan Beach to prepare afull EIR on the effects of a ban on plastic bags.)

While we aren’t trying to deny “Save” its day in court, portraying this legal fight as some kind of “green” crusade is ridiculous. “Save” gets whacked with a bushel of bagged brickbats.

Firefighters share the burden

We toss a huge bouquet of public service to San Luis Obispo firefighters. By agreeing to forgo pay increases for four years and to pay their full pension contributions, SLO firefighters will save the city nearly $2 million over the life of the contract. The firefighters union deserves credit for recognizing the city’s financial struggles and agreeing to this substantial concession.

We wonder, though, isn’t it time to bury the hatchet and stop boycotting the Chamber of Commerce public safety appreciation lunch?

Taking a stand against bullying

We’re downloading a bouquet of cyber-roses for the 16 Cayucos Elementary School students who created a public service announcement on the harmful effects of cyber-bullying.

The spot airs through the end of March on several local stations, including KCOY and KSBY.

The students contacted state Sen. Sam Blakeslee last year to enlist his support in combating bullying on social media sites.

“When I heard that these students had reached out to our office, I was totally impressed. Age isn’t the measure of leadership. Courage and conviction are what are required to be leaders, and these students have it,” said Blakeslee, who makes a brief appearance in the PSA.

We agree completely. Cyber-bullying can destroy self-esteem and make life miserable not only for the young victims, but also for their entire families.

For drawing attention to this insidious — and often anonymous — form of bullying, we commend Cayucos Elementary students Bryn Andersen, Carter Pope, Keana Alden, Kelsey Launchbaugh, Fallon Molnar, Sophie Nelson, Lexi Beaman, Shea Schwennicke, Ally Rose, Nathan Moran, Hannah Hill, Molly Held, Kalvin Hilliard, Lucas Epstein, Ben Sanford and Samantha Gingg, and their adviser, Victoria Doust.

Three cheers for robotics team

We toss Atascadero High’s robotics team abiomimetic bouquet for being invited to show their work at the prestigious White House Science Fair. Student Sean Murphy his mentor, Larry Price, and Titan, the award-winning robot, represented the team Tuesday in Washington, D.C.