SLO County got a whole lot of mileage out of last April’s marathon. An economic study estimated that the event boosted the local economy by $3 million. That included $2.34 million in expenditures on food, gas, hotel rooms, souvenirs, etc., by participants and their supporters. On top of that, the organizer of the event — Get Off The Couch Potato Sports Productions — spent $675,000 on staffing, tent rentals, restrooms and other equipment.
For that strong finish, we’re racing to pick a fast-blooming bouquet for all involved in SLO’s inaugural marathon. By the way, next year’s event is already set for April 21, 2013; registration opens July 21.
Steps made toward proper licensing
We’re big fans of cottage industry, but an unlicensed pig slaughtering operation pushes the envelope — especially when it’s been operating under the radar for three decades. Artxezin Mariscal Amezcua, a retired Santa Maria High teacher, is accused of running the illegal operation on his 6-acre Nipomo property.
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He faces five misdemeanor charges of violating the state Food and Agriculture Code, including two counts of operating an unclean establishment.
Amezcua told a Tribune reporter that he believed he was properly licensed. Even more concerning, he seemed largely unaware of state health and safety regs.
Such ignorance of the law would normally merit a tell-it-to-the-judge brickbat, but we’re impressed that Amezcua has already taken steps to make things right. He’s cleaned up the property, and is working with regulatory agencies to complete requirements necessary for licensing.
So, no brickbat or bouquet for now — but stay tuned to see how this story develops.
Still no website? Get cracking, Avila
This just in from the county grand jury: The Avila Beach Community Services District still doesn’t have a website.
Granted, this may not seem like a huge issue, not when there are so many other concerns facing our communities. But lack of transparency is a problem, whether you live in a city of 50,000 or a town of a few hundred.
Besides, in this day and age, cats and babies have their own websites.
So why not Avila? District Manager John Wallace told The Tribune that setting up a website is “an expensive endeavor.” Apparently, it’s also a time-consuming one: A consultant has been working on a website for the past six to nine months. It’s expected to launch in the next 30 to 45 days, he said.
Meanwhile, residents of Avila Beach can keep tabs on what’s happening the old fashioned way, by checking the agenda posted at the district office or the post office. That’s fine. But we’ll toss the district a welcome-to-the-digital-age-bouquet just as soon as it launches that long-awaited website.
Donations will give boy service dog
For coming to the aid of ayoung boy in need of a special canine companion, we offer South County residents a huge, heart-shaped bouquet.
Last month’s fundraiser at Mongo’s Saloon in Grover Beach raised more than $15,000 to purchase a trained service dog for 9-year-old Lucas Appleton, who has Friedreich’s ataxia. The disease causes progressive damage to the nervous system and can affect speech or the ability to walk.
Lucas now uses a walker and sometimes a wheelchair.
Thanks to the generosity of many South County residents — and especially Linda McClure, who organized the fundraiser — Lucas shouldn’t have to wait much longer for his new companion.