As part of its plan to crack down on overnight camping, the city of SLO has been considering strict new rules that would limit — or even ban — RVs from parking on city streets without a permit.
The proposal is in response to complaints about the growing number of homeless people living out of cars, vans and campers. There have been reports of several problems — including assaults, thefts, public urination and defecation and littering — on Prado Road and other areas where overnight campers have been congregating.
This is a serious issue that cannot be ignored, but any effort to ban overnight parking in SLO is simply going to drive campers to nearby, unincorporated areas.
We urge the city to partner with other agencies — including the county — to find more areas where overnight parking can be allowed, providing it’s well monitored. The five spaces at the Prado Day Center aren’t nearly enough.
As for making SLO an “RV free” zone that idea is so preposterous that we can’t believe it was even part of the discussion. For that, we’re limping into downtown SLO in a rusty, broken-down, oil-spattered, camper-sized brickbat, and we’re parking it directly in front of City Hall.
Bus driver’s actions in crash heroic
When a Mercedes collided head-on with a Regional Transit Authority bus on South Bay Boulevard between Los Osos and Morro Bay late Wednesday last week, passengers in the bus were lucky to have Sonja Pappas behind the wheel.
Pappas, who has driven the route multiple times daily in the past two years, knew exactly where she was and her surroundings. Good thing, because the crash caused the bus to become airborne and to careen off the road, down the incline and into the Morro Bay estuary.
“I knew where I was, and I knew the terrain,” Pappas said. “I just held on to the steering wheel, not letting go.”
Pappas’ head hit the windshield and her legs were in intense pain, while two passengers had slid up to the front and a third passenger bled with facial injuries, but they were alive after the incident. The driver of the Mercedes died on impact, officials said.
The RTA said that Pappas’ actions likely prevented the bus from rolling over, which may have caused worse injuries to those on the bus.
We present aget-well-soon bouquetto Pappas and her passengers, as well as one for her heroic actions in the sudden moment of danger.
Apple’s tax dodge a rotten move
A bushel of rotten brickbats is en route to Apple, which managed to worm its way out of paying millions of dollars in corporate taxes to California by setting up a financial office in Reno, Nev. — even though its headquarters is in Cupertino, Calif.
Nevada does not collect corporate taxes, while California’s corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent.
In its defense, Apple pointed to the jobs it creates and to the many charitable contributions it has made — including $50 million to Stanford University over the past two years.
“We have contributed to many charitable causes but have never sought publicity for doing so. Our focus has been on doing the right thing, not getting credit for it,” Apple said in a statement to The New York Times, which exposed the corporation’s questionable tax strategies in an article reprinted in Sunday’s Tribune.
Nice try, but we believe the “right thing” would be to pay corporate taxes in the state where Apple is based — a state where public education is in such financial ruin that some districts are shortening the school year because they can no longer afford to keep their doors open for 180 days.
So good for you, Apple, for caring about Stanford, but we’d be far more impressed if you showed your commitment to all of California’s students — who, by the way, are potential future employees and customers — by paying your fair share of taxes.