Another potentially fantastic Saturday on the Central Coast, and another sure opportunity to deal out some roses and/or raspberries.

After a few warm days, today’s expected high temperature of around 68 degrees should encourage a lot of folks to get outside, maybe do a little yard work, or head downtown for some sidewalk cruising and people-watching.

But before you start out the door, and if you live in one of Santa Maria’s northwest neighborhoods, take a few moments to mark Tuesday, Oct. 8, on your calendar.

On that day, beginning at 6 p.m., city officials will be holding the second in a series of community meetings, this one to advise neighbors about some changes in city procedures, and to allow residents to bend the ears of city officials about their concerns, and perhaps offer a few suggestions on how to make that area an even better place to live.

The first community meeting was held late last month, and focused on the city’s northeast neighborhoods.

The Oct. 8 event will be held the Foursquare Church, 709 Curryer St., and will offer a good opportunity for residents to make their voices heard.

Frankly, our elected leaders need all the help they can get, because running the county’s biggest city is a tough assignment.

Roses to those who attend, and roses to city officials for providing the perfect forum. Getting the whole community involved is huge.


A bushel of roses to the city of Buellton’s financial officers for once again winning a national award for financial reporting.

This is Buellton’s sixth consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. This award covers the city’s 2017-18 fiscal year.

City Finance Director Shannel Zamora said the award is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, which comes as no surprise, given Buellton’s string of back-to-back awards.

The city’s report was found by an impartial panel to meet the highest standards of financial reporting, which includes showing a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate the city’s financial story to taxpayers, and motivating residents and local organizations to read the report.

“Full disclosure” is the phrase we really appreciate, because so many governments at all levels don’t seem to accept the concept of transparency.


A week from today is World Teachers Day. It seems just about everyone and everything has a special day, but next week’s celebration is special, for a lot of reasons.

Think about it. Where do your kids spend the majority of their daylight hours when school is in session? Who is in control during those hours? Classroom teachers. It’s where the learning rubber hits the road.

Roses to all the heroes who stand in front of a room full of squirming kids and who helps them get through transformative phases of their lives, all the while learning about things that will help them to the end of their days on Earth.

The irony is that, as important as teachers are in most children’s lives, their’s is among the lowest-paying professions that require at least a bachelor’s degree.

Unfortunately, California — once the gold standard of public education — now is not even close to the top with regard to teacher status, ranked 24th out of 50 states in WalletHub’s best-state-for-teachers survey. Only Arizona is behind California in teacher/student ratio.

Ending the day on a sour note, raspberries to lawmakers who can’t see the wisdom of improving careers in one of society’s most important jobs.

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