Al Moriarty shouldn’t expect redemption from his literary pursuits

Al Moriarty spoke in Santa Barbara before his move to Washington State.
Al Moriarty spoke in Santa Barbara before his move to Washington State. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Less than two years after pleading no contest to felony fraud charges, Al Moriarty, 82, is out of jail. Now that he’s a free man, he plans to recoup the $10.2 million he owes his investors by writing his autobiography.

He has high hopes for the project: He claims his book will prove his innocence and make millions of dollars. Even more fantastical, Moriarty expects his life story to be made into a movie.

Sounds like a man badly in need of a reality check. We almost feel sorry for him, until we think about the many victims defrauded of their savings through Moriarty’s Ponzi scheme.

One of those victims, Sehon Powers, told The Tribune it’s ridiculous to believe Moriarty will be able to pay off his debts. Still, Powers doesn’t mind that Moriarty is out of jail, so that he can at least try to make some restitution.

We don’t disagree, though we hope Moriarty comes up with a better (as in more realistic and, of course, legal) way to make money.

Al, by the way, has relocated to Washington state; we’re sending him one last brickbat as a souvenir of San Luis Obispo County.

Bus too big for its bridges

Accidents do happen, but trying to maneuver a double-decker bus that’s 14 feet tall under a 12-and-a-half-foot bridge is not your normal fender bender. Remember, too, this was a trained bus driver — not your everyday distracted motorist — who tried to squeeze the big SLO Transit bus beneath the overpass on Highland Drive near Cal Poly.

Fortunately, the driver wasn’t injured and there were no passengers in the bus when the accident happened Monday morning.

There was, however, major damage to the bus, along with a brief bit of notoriety for SLO Transit as photos of the mishap hit the Internet.

Along with a double-decker brickbat, the driver gets a measuring tape.

Hot for tamales

Strawberries and avocados and even garlic have been known to draw foodies to festivals. Now we can add tamales to the list of hot foods.

Example: Last weekend, city officials in Atascadero expected 1,000 people for their first-ever tamale festival, and instead got 7,000. It doesn’t take high-level math skills to figure out what happened next: The tamales sold out. Sure, there were other treats for sale, but running out of tamales at a tamale festival is a bit like hosting a Super Bowl party without football.

On the bright side, a city that’s tried numerous promotional ventures — with varying degrees of success — has hit on the right recipe, and is planning for a much bigger crowd next year. Until then, we offer an array of edible bouquets — in flavors mild, spicy and in-

between — to all who left the first Atascadero Tamale Festival with empty stomachs.