SLO-grown bouquets for water savers, volunteers and others who made a difference

St. Paul Pioneer Press

In recognition of Christmas, we planned to give nothing but bouquets today, until we learned of the theft of $1,000 worth of gifts for needy kids from the Elks Lodge in San Luis Obispo.

Good-hearted members of the community stepped up and donated $400 worth of replacement items in time for a Sunday gift distribution. Bouquets to them, but we’re giving a huge lump of coal and a bundle of brickbats to the thief who would stoop so low as to almost literally steal candy from a baby.

With that off our chest, we move on to a special, end-of-year presentation of bouquets to locals who made a difference — for the better — in 2015. Here they are, in no particular order:


We continue to be amazed by your commitment to the causes you cherish, be it serving meals at a homeless shelter, helping out at the local dog park, tutoring kids, or keeping hiking trails in good repair. Our county would not be the same without you.

Before we move on, we toss bouquets of holly and mistletoe to all who are volunteering at Friday’s annual Christmas Dinner for the Homeless.

Water savers

While the most recent water consumption data showed a little backsliding, for the most part communities in San Luis Obispo County have been doing an exemplary job of conserving water. That’s thanks in large part to residents who have ripped out lawns (or let them “go golden”), shortened their showers, made sure dishwashers and washing machines are fully loaded, etc. And we don’t want to overlook those businesses — including agriculture — that have been doing their part to conserve.

We have extra-large bouquets — drought tolerant, of course — for Cambrians, who have led the county with the lowest per-capita consumption of just 48.7 gallons per day. (Note to Nipomoans: You were at 119.6 gallons per person per day in October. You can do better.)

Frank Mecham

We didn’t agree with all of his votes, but conservative Supervisor Frank Mecham showed true grit in voting with his liberal colleagues Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson on several key issues, including the Paso Robles groundwater basin management district and the Las Pilitas quarry.

Mecham has chosen not to seek re-election, so next year will be his last on the board. We already miss you, Frank.

SLO Solidarity

It’s easy to ridicule the whole “safe space” movement on college campuses, but get too caught up in the satire and we miss the very real messages students are delivering. Cal Poly students involved with SLO Solidarity are raising important concerns about tolerance and diversity on a campus that could use more of both. Good for them.

El NiÑo

No, it won’t end the drought, but we can use every single, blessed drop of rain. So welcome, El Niño.

League of Women Voters

The group’s call for civility at public meetings could not have come at a better time. But now we need some gentle enforcement. What say you, League?

SLO County Fire Safe Council

This consortium of local agencies does a lot of good work, but what impressed us most in 2015 were its efforts to draw attention to the danger posed by Cambria’s dying pine forest, as well as to find solutions.

Letter writers

We sometimes forget to say it, but you rock. It takes courage to stand up for your beliefs; it takes even more courage to sign your real name to your opinion. While we can’t publish every letter, please know we appreciate your efforts. Oh, and keep them coming in 2016.