Editorials

Bouquets and Brickbats: KCBX meeting broadcasts will be missed

Say it ain’t so, KCBX! After more than 30 years, you’re pulling the plug on the weekly meetings of the county Board of Supervisors? Call us nostalgic, but we’re going to miss listening to the supes during the morning commute.

Granted, the decision makes business sense. The Tuesday board meetings have waned in popularity; program manager Marisa Waddell told The Tribune that the supes meetings have the smallest audience of all daytime shows.

But since when has public radio been about ratings? Shouldn’t it be about public service?

At least we’ll still be able to catch meetings on computer — the sessions are streamed live on the county’s website at www.slocounty.ca.gov   — or on cable TV. But that doesn’t quite make up for the loss.

Radio is an excellent option for those who don’t have access to a computer or cable. It’s also great for those times when it’s not possible to sit in front of a screen for hours on end, waiting for a particular item to come up on the agenda. After all, you can’t watch TV while tooling down the road at 67 mph — not if you want to stay alive.

At least KCBX has agreed to continue broadcasting the supes meetings through the end of the year, rather than abruptly stopping at the end of July as it had originally intended. For that, we toss the station a day-old bouquet for giving us a chance to wean ourselves off the Tuesday morning supes show.

Watch out while walking

We’ve heard of the dangers of distracted driving, but distracted walking? Have we collectively lost all common sense?

Apparently, yes, because according to an Associated Press report, injuries to distracted walkers have more than quadrupled over the past seven years. Naturally, cellphones are often involved.

Some government agencies have launched public information campaigns to alert pedestrians to the dangers of this particularly idiotic form of multitasking; one state — Utah — tried to impose a $50 fine on pedestrians who use electronic devices while crossing light rail system tracks.

We have no control over what happens in Utah. But, please, let’s not give California legislators any ideas.

If you must text or talk while you walk, at least sit down on bench or duck into a Starbucks — or expect to be tripped up by an electronic brickbat.

A fond farewell to Book Exchange

We raise a bouquet of flowers preserved and pressed between the pages of a large book for the Los Osos Book Exchange’s decades of offering literary leisure.

Since the early ’80s, the Los Osos Book Exchange has offered good reads to members of the community. Opened by George Kastner, the store changed ownership in 2004 when Joan Campbell took over.

Through the years, the store sold countless books, many of them collector’s items. The book exchange was also famous for its witty storefront banners created by artist Rudy Raidl. A sampling of some of the slogans pitching the book exchange: “A farce to be reckoned with,” “Don’t be cheated somewhere else!” and a rebus that translated to “A book in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

However, with the advent of e-books and electronic readers, sales began to decline, and things got worse with the recession. Campbell tried to adjust by setting up book outlets at other sites in Morro Bay and Cambria, and also by selling novelty items at the main location. Things didn’t get better, and Campbell has decided that it’s time to close the books on the business Aug. 31.

May Campbell and company have the best of luck in their next chapters.

Editorials are the the opinion of The Tribune.

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