Bouquets and brickbats: Park reprieve feels like a political stunt

Surprise, surprise! Morro Strand State Park will remain open after all! Thanks to a last-minute, $10 million reprieve approved by the governor, Morro Strand and several other state parks will be allowed to stay open past July 1, while deals are negotiated to allow nonprofits or other government agencies to take over their operation.

Four applicants — Cal Poly, the Central Coast State Parks Association, Options and Achievement House — have submitted proposals to operate the popular Morro Bay campground.

We suppose we should feel grateful, or at least relieved, that the state of California didn’t shut down the Morro Bay campground. That would have been another big economic hit for the city, as well as for small businesses.

Yet this doesn’t exactly feel like Christmas in July. Instead, it seems like just another ill-advised political stunt. We agree that it makes sense to find less expensive ways to operate state parks, but the Brown administration could have saved itself a tick-infested brickbat — and maybe even earned a wildflower bouquet — had it not resorted to same old scare tactics.

Overnight parking plan draws clients

It took some time to line up participants for the safe parking program at SLO’s Prado Day Center, but there are now five clients enrolled in the six-month pilot project. Instead of parking their vehicles on the street — where they run the risk of being ticketed for illegal camping — participants are allowed to park overnight in the Prado Day Center lot.

As a condition of participation, clients agreed to take part in case management offered through the Community Action Partnership of SLO County. That means they’ll receive counseling and other services to help them find permanent housing.

This is a huge step for the fledgling program; a successful trial run could lead to a more permanent arrangement and, we hope, to expansion of safe parking to more locations.

We offer bouquets of encouragement to participants and to staff at CAPSLO.

Capps makes move on organic food

Rep. Lois Capps has collaborated with an upstate New York Republican congressman to introduce the Organic Standards Protection Act, which would allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to maintain the integrity of organic certifications.

The law would make it possible to impose penalties on growers who sell products that are labeled organic, even though they may contain substances prohibited under organic certification.

The legislation would help growers and buyers: Legitimate organic farmers would face less competition from those who falsely claim their products are organic, while consumers would be sure that food labeled “organic” truly is organically grown.

The Central Coast, which ranked second in California for organic farm sales in California in 2009, would be a prime beneficiary of the legislation.

We appreciate the bipartisan effort, and we raise an organic bouquet of fruits and vegetables for Capps and her co-sponsor for raising awareness and protecting the growing industry of organic produce.

Editorials are the opinion of The Tribune.