Editorials

Cal Poly should not stand alone in saying no to hate

We offer bouquets of solidarity to the approximately 1,000 students, faculty and staff who gathered on the Cal Poly campus Thursday to spread the “no place for hate” message.

The rally was a direct response to the ugly death threat sent to the leader of a student group, SLO Solidarity, that’s promoting campus tolerance and diversity.

We hope this incident serves as a tipping point that will bring lasting change not only to Cal Poly, but also to the entire community. After all, cowards hiding behind anonymity don’t limit themselves to colleges. They spew their venom via racist and homophobic graffiti, voice mail rants, slurs yelled from passing cars, and incendiary online posts.

Often, the recipients of such hate choose to ignore it, figuring there’s little that can be done. But that attitude is changing at campuses around the nation — including here at Cal Poly.

Among other demands, SLO Solidarity is calling for a more diverse faculty and student body, and for an array of programs aimed at fostering awareness and tolerance.

In response, Cal Poly administration says it will present some proposals at the end of the quarter.

We look forward to that.

As Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said at Thursday’s rally: “We’ve done some work, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Agreed.

Wanted: Local grocers

In the Village of Arroyo Grande, it’s possible to buy barrel-aged cocktails, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, hand-packed ice cream and a dozen or so signature pizzas. But if you want to pick up a frozen dinner, a carton of eggs and a bottle of fabric softener, you’ll have jump in your car and head for a supermarket.

The Village is awash in dining establishments, but ever since JJ’s Market closed more than five years ago, it’s been without a grocery store — a fact residents stressed at this week’s Planning Commission meeting.

The commission was considering a proposed hotel planned for the Village, on the very site previously approved for a grocery store. Unfortunately, that plan fell through; developer Nick Tompkins said he was unable to find a grocer interested in the location.

We should point out that the lack of a grocery store isn’t just a Village problem; other communities are in a similar fix. Residents of the north end of San Luis Obispo, for example, are frustrated that the closure of the Haggen store on Foothill Boulevard has left them without a conveniently located supermarket.

Sure, there are other places to shop, but that generally entails driving. Given the growing number of retirees in our communities, it makes sense to have markets within walking distance of major residential centers.

Some communities have offered incentives to grocers willing to open up shop in underserved communities; one city even passed a law requiring convenience stores to offer fresh produce.

We aren’t advocating that approach, but if the recent exodus of supermarkets is any indication, this is going to be a growing problem that deserves real attention — not just lip service. Otherwise, we’ll be forced to shop for some freshly pickled brickbats — if we can still find a market in our neighborhood.

Water-wise tourism

We toss bouquets of dried flowers to local hotels that are pitching in to save water by replacing thirsty turf with drought-tolerant landscaping and switching to more water-efficient appliances and plumbing fixtures.

We especially like Martin Resorts’ approach: It’s offering guests a $5-per-night credit on multi-night stays if they’re willing to go without housekeeping services. Sure, conscientious guests are willing to do their part anyway by reusing towels and sheets, but a little incentive never hurt.

Great idea — we hope it catches on throughout California.

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