Don’t trash Lopez Lake cleanup

The Lopez Lake shoreline is at a low level, exposing once submerged trash. A cleanup day will be held this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Lopez Lake shoreline is at a low level, exposing once submerged trash. A cleanup day will be held this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Who wants to wade through a sea of trash to get to a lake? Not us, which is why we’re glad to hear that ECOSLO and County Parks have been teaming up on lakefront cleanups.

With water levels dropping on account of the drought, volunteers have hauled more than a ton of trash from newly exposed shorelines around Lopez and Santa Margarita lakes over the past year.

For pulling cans, bottles and even a bicycle out of the muck, volunteers deserve our thanks, along with a big bucket of sweet-smelling bouquets.

Interested in helping out? There is another ECOSLO-sponsored cleanup Saturday. No need to register; meet ECOSLO at the Lopez Lake Marina at 9 a.m. Sturdy shoes are advised; other supplies will be provided.

Oh, and for those planning a pleasure trip to Lopez Lake — or to any recreational area, for that matter — please don’t make more work for volunteer cleaner-uppers. Make sure you haul your garbage to a trash can — or expect a six-pack of brickbats in your ice chest.

Mid-State Fair loses a class act

After a 38-year career with the California Mid-State Fair — including more than a decade as CEO — Vivian Robertson is retiring.

Her history with the fair goes back even further; Robertson, 59, showed animals there starting when she was a preteen.

Robertson — then Vivian Sayler — was appointed CEO in 2004. Under her leadership, the fair continued to attract big-name entertainers — Justin Bieber, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, John Mayer, Maroon 5 are a few; expanded year-round operations; renovated buildings and grounds; and weathered a major recession and record-breaking drought.

Yet it didn’t lose sight of the real heart and soul of any county fair — kids, animals, crafts, carnival rides, food and fun.

Robertson has been paid many kudos and compliments during her career; this description, offered in 2004 by livestock superintendent Jo Ann Switzer, is one of our favorites: “She is not a quitter, and she will hang until the job is done no matter what.”

Not only did Robertson “hang” with the job during some challenging times, but she did it exceptionally well. For that, we offer her a best-of-show bouquet and blue ribbon.

‘Pony car’ helps vet on road to education

To match her Mustang convertible, we toss a revved-up, yellow-and-black bouquet to Janette Pritchett, who has her dream car thanks to an Oregon woman’s last wish.

For readers who missed the full story, here’s a recap: Before Kathie Elliott died of cancer last year, she and her husband, Rick, talked about the beloved Mustang — Kathie called it her “pony car” — and decided it should go to a female veteran in need of a helping hand.

As Tribune writer Cynthia Lambert reported on Wednesday, a chain of coincidences put Rick Elliott in touch with Pritchett, and a few months ago, the car was trailered from Oregon to its new owner.

The car has made a huge difference for Pritchett, a Cuesta College student and mother of three who has been working to get back on her feet since separating from her husband. She had been relying on public transportation to get to classes and to see her kids before she got the Mustang, along with a beaded key chain that had belonged to Kathie Elliott.

To all who helped carry out this good deed — a long list that includes the veterans program that nominated Pritchett; the driver who transported the car to California; and the SLO chapter of Womenade, which covered the driver’s expenses — we present a trunk load of late-model bouquets. May your example drive us all to similar acts of kindness.