Bouquets and Brickbats: Local teen is a real life saver

We toss 17-year-old Noah Erwin a big bouquet of water lilies for his role in rescuing Donna Przybyla, 78, during an aqua aerobics class. Noah was on lifeguard duty at the Paso Robles Municipal Pool last week when Przybyla suddenly became limp during an exercise session in the pool. Noah pulled her from the water and checked for vital signs while others called paramedics, who transported her to Twin Cities Community Hospital.

Przbyla, who had a seizure that was linked to brain surgery she underwent a few years ago, is recovering and looking forward to getting back in the water. And Noah is taking his part in the rescue in stride: “It was a big team effort,” he told a Tribune reporter. “I don’t want to take sole responsibility for everything that went on.”

Drinking rules apply in Pismo, too

Here’s a sobering statistic: Pismo Beach has more DUI arrests per capita than any other city in the county. That’s partly due to the community’s popularity with tourists; according to a story in Sunday’s Tribune, 40 percent of those arrested for DUI between 2008 and 2011 lived outside of San Luis Obispo County.

What’s more, some of those visitors appear to be under the mistaken impression that the DUI laws that apply in Santa Maria or Bakersfield or Los Angeles don’t mean much in Pismo Beach.

One Pismo police officer interviewed for the story had this to say: “We often run into people who are coming to the city (who) almost feel like, ‘We’re in Pismo, so there are no rules.’ ”

But guess what? Not only are there rules, some Pismo Beach police officers have been specially trained in DUI enforcement.

We agree that there’s nothing wrong with pounding down a few brewskies after a hard day at the beach, but it’s not OK to put lives in jeopardy by then getting behind the wheel of a car. Tourists who forget that can expect a couple of parting souvenirs: A swill-soaked brickbat and an “I went to Pismo and all I got was a lousy DUI” T-shirt.

Oceano CSD takes appropriate steps

The Oceano Community Services District was putting the cart before the horse when it required the public to comment on agenda items prior to hearing staff presentations. But after Los Osos resident Julie Tacker objected to the practice — and contacted an advocacy group that threatened to sue the district — the board agreed to change its policy and allow comments after staff reports. That makes sense; members of the public should have the opportunity to hear the details of a project before they comment on it.

Some Oceano residents are questioning why an out-of-towner would challenge the Oceano board on its procedures. We, too, find it a bit odd that Tacker, who formerly served on the Los Osos Community Services District board, would take such an interest in Oceano. Nonetheless, we believe her criticism had merit.

The OCSD board did the right thing in modifying its agenda, and for that, it earns a parliamentary bouquet.