Editorials

Hats off to Halloween helpers

Families gathered for a special trick-or-treat at the Thursday night Farmers Market on Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo. From left, Sophia, age 1, Angie and 2-year-old Josh Enriquez dressed up as their favorite superheroes.
Families gathered for a special trick-or-treat at the Thursday night Farmers Market on Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo. From left, Sophia, age 1, Angie and 2-year-old Josh Enriquez dressed up as their favorite superheroes. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

In honor of Halloween, we’ve got a big bowl of candy corn flowers for all who will be working hard tonight to make this a safe holiday. All you deputies and police officers, nurses and doctors, firefighters and paramedics (and anyone we may be leaving out) on duty tonight, grab a generous handful. You too, designated drivers. And if you’re volunteering at a carnival or haunted house tonight, take two handfuls.

If you do plan to trick-or-treat with the kids, it doesn’t hurt to brush-up on safety tips. One of the most practical pieces of advice we found is at http://childcare.about.com/od/childsafet1/a/trickortreat.htm. It suggests planning trick-or-treat routes in advance — including bathroom stops — and making sure kids’ costumes are “bathroom friendly” as well as safe (nothing too long; props like toy knives and swords should have flexible points; avoid masks; and make sure kids can be easily spotted in the dark.)

Now have fun, but be careful out there. And remember, in the city of San Luis Obispo, fines will double all weekend for noise, open container, unruly gathering, public urination and dangerous weapons violations. Violators also will be hit with a gunny sack of slime-soaked brickbats.

SLO residents conserved after all

Drought-tolerant bouquets are in order for San Luis Obispo folks who, it turns out, did a pretty good job of conserving water after all. A clerical error led to the mistaken conclusion that water use jumped by 26 percent in August, compared to the same month in 2013. When the correct numbers were plugged in, it was discovered that water use had declined by 9 percent. That’s not a huge drop — the governor is looking for a 20 percent decrease — but it’s respectable.

We understand that mistakes happen (yes, we make them ourselves from time to time) but this was a pretty big oops. It’s a bit like flunking an entire class and then figuring out that the wrong answer key was used after the grades were already posted and for that, the city of SLO earns a bucket of thirsty brickbats.

Safe Parking Program is valuable

We toss good karma bouquets to Prado Day Center for expanding the Safe Parking Program for people living out of their cars, as well as to the city Planning Commission for unanimously approving the request. Prado Day can now have up to seven vehicles in the program; the cap had been set at five.

While participation in the program is sometimes limited — there is only one vehicle enrolled now — it’s important to make the option available, especially since the city bans overnight sleeping in cars.

In addition to providing a secure area where people can sleep in peace, the program provides case management services that can help participants find permanent housing and jobs. In other words, it may be small in size, but it has the potential to make a big difference in the lives of participants.

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