Editorials

It’s not all or nothing on water district

A road leads to well site in a vineyard near Highway 46 east of Paso Robles.
A road leads to well site in a vineyard near Highway 46 east of Paso Robles. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Call us old-fashioned, but isn’t voting the way we settle things in a democracy? That’s how we pick our presidents; it’s the way we choose who sits on our school boards; and, in lots of families, it’s how we decide which movie to watch or which appetizer to order.

The same principle should apply to management of the troubled Paso Robles groundwater basin. We believe landowners in the district — who will be the ones paying for a solution — should decide whether to create a new management district for the basin. So do county supervisors Frank Mecham, Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson, who voted Tuesday to forward an application to create a district to the Local Agency Formation Commission. If a majority of commissioners approves of the idea, basin landowners will then get to vote on whether they want a water district.

Supervisors Debbie Arnold and Lynn Compton voted against submitting the application. Among other reasons, Compton said she couldn’t support something that did not have the support of all the landowners.

Using that logic, Compton — along with the other four board members — should not be sitting on the Board of Supervisors because they did not have the support of all the voters. The Los Osos sewer project should not be moving forward because not everyone supported it. Proposition 13 (or any other proposition you care to name) should not be in effect because well, you get the picture.

As Compton noted, there are disagreements about how to manage the Paso groundwater basin. But there will never be a solution that will have 100 percent support of all landowners, who have competing interests and ideas. Under the circumstances, majority rule is the best way to decide on a course of action.

Mecham, Hill and Gibson recognized that with their vote, and for that, we toss them people’s choice bouquets.

On lighting, ball is in SLO’s court

We won’t be lobbing any brickbats — at least not yet — but we find it odd that there is no lighting at any San Luis Obispo city tennis court. Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo High School courts are lit, but not Sinsheimer Park or any other city court. Yet the city has lighted facilities for just about every other sport, including soccer, baseball, softball, skating, volleyball, even horseshoes.

Tennis and its cousin, pickleball, are hugely popular among people of all ages, yet not everyone is at liberty to play during daylight hours. The city is considering adding lights to the Sinsheimer courts, but not for another few years. We’ll serve a big bouquet to the city if it can move up that timeline.

Grover uses its water wisely

To conserve California’s water supplies, we’ve been thinking about swearing off almond-scented soap and importing flowers for our bouquets from somewhere that gets lots and lots of rain. Somewhere like Meghalaya, India, for example. According to numerous sources found via Google, that’s the rainiest spot on the planet, averaging 467 inches of rain per year.

But then we considered all of the energy involved in transporting flowers halfway around the world, and since we’re still basking in the warm glow of Earth Day, we decided that wouldn’t be such a good idea.

So, we’re showering residents of Grover Beach with bouquets of tissue-paper roses for their water conservation efforts.

Sure, Cambria is the superstar when it comes to saving water, and it has received statewide attention for that. But Grover Beach isn’t far behind.

According to state figures, Cambria cut water consumption by 43 percent for the nine-month period ending in February 2014, compared with the same period for the previous year. Grover Beach reduced use by 41 percent. That’s a remarkable achievement by both communities.

Neil, how about rockin’ SLO again?

Neil Young earns an amped-up bouquet for his surprise visit to SLO Brew last week. For audience members lucky enough to attend, it was an unforgettable show.

For those disappointed fans who missed out, how ’bout an encore performance, Neil?

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