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information about California's Central
Coast and surrounding area.
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Morro Bay Council
by Jack McCurdy
The new Morro Bay City Council, as of last
December 8 when members Matt Makowetski
and John Headding were sworn into office,
is the first in 35 years with four or more
members who are considered to have the
Morro Bay’s interests as a community
paramount in mind—and only the second in
But wait a minute—an all-time record of
such Council membership may be in store.
It would tie the unprecedented five-member
Council of 1978-80 that modeled
community-minded leadership in Morro Bay.
The four who are the first since 1980 to
reflect community-mindedness are mayor
Jamie Irons, Christine Johnson, Noah
Smukler and now Makowetski. His election
last June 3 “made” that four-member
majority on the Council. Headding is
considered an “unknown” as yet until it is
learned by his expressed positions on
issues and actual voting whether his
political sentiments add up to another
community-minded member of the Council
like his four colleagues.
Headding has said he is “an independent
candidate unaligned” with either the new
Council four-member majority or the
outgoing Nancy Johnson and George Leage,
who were long aligned with past Council
majorities made up most recently of former
mayor Bill Yates, Carla Borchard, Nancy
Johnson and Leage. (See: New Council ).
But if Headding turns out to be like the
other four on the Council, then all five
Morro Bay City Council will match the
1978-80 quintet with a living-record of
working on behalf of what is best for the
community and not for special interests.
Whether that materializes will be known in
the coming months—and whether it is
sustained will be known down the road.
In that historic period of 1978-80, the
Council was composed of mayor Gene Shelton
and Council members Bruce Risley, Tom
Harmon, Chuck Reasor and Tom Cantine.
Shelton provided important background for
the perspective on community-mindedness
from the past.
The emergence of the new four-member
majority (with a fifth possibly waiting in
wings) comes on the 50th anniversary of
the incorporation of Morro Bay as a city.
The Irons-Christine Johnson-Smukler
majority who were elected in 2012 has a
set of 2013-2014 goals most recently
adopted last year, which underscore their
determination to serve the community’s
most significant interests. They are:
1. Develop a New Water Reclamation
2. Improve Streets
3. Update Plans for Current and Future
Land Use Needs
4. Maintain Core Public Safety Services
5. Ensure Fiscal Sustainability
6. Support Economic Development
7. Improve City Infrastructure
8. Enhance Quality of Life
9. Boost Community Disaster Preparedness
10. Leverage Outside Resources to Support
Sound too general? See details at
New Water/Sewage Plant Takes Off
by Jack McCurdy
Just one month shy of two years
since the California Coastal
Commission rejected the previous
Morro Bay City Council’s misguided
idea of replacing the city’s old
wastewater treatment plant at the
same site overlooking Estero Bay,
the new Council has embarked on an
enterprising plan to build a Water
Reclamation Facility (WRF) farther
inland during the next five years.
The WRF also would process
wastewater and produce recycled
water for a variety of home and
The WRF must be the most
significant and productive capital
project in city history, given the
desperate need for water in the
community as the ongoing drought
here and elsewhere in the region
threatens to extend indefinitely
into the future and place the
security of Morro Bay as a city at
risk. The capacity to serve tourism
would be seriously undermined. Morro
Bay has come to rely totally on
expensive state water supplies
purchased by the city, which are
regarded as having an uncertain
Emergency Safety Violation at Diablo Being
by Jack McCurdy
A possible safety violation of emergency
procedures at the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant has been
discovered by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which has
called a meeting with the owner/operator of the plant,
Pacific Gas & Electric—but not here in San Luis Obispo in
whose vicinity the facility is located but in Texas.
Mothers for Peace, a
leading champion of the long-standing
challenge to the public safety of the
plant, strongly objected to the meeting
being scheduled in Texas, branded it
“incomprehensible” and immediately
called on the Commission to reschedule
the meeting from Arlington, Texas, to
somewhere with a one-hour driving
distance of Diablo Canyon. Numerous
meetings of the Commission or its staff
in California have commonly been held in
San Luis Obispo.
The meeting in Arlington
between the Commission and PG&E has been
set by the Commission for Wednesday,
Jan. 14, between 1 and 4 p.m.
* * *
* * * * *
And So It Ends .
We are sorry to announce
that this is our last issue of the Slo Coast
Journal. The above
articles are the last Jack has to offer - for the
time being. As the owner, editor, and person to
blame for this glitch, it must all be laid at the
door of my current, on-going health problems.
I love the
Journal, what it has become, and all of our
writers and contributors. For your kind and
generous past responses to
my mention of struggles with health
problems, l thank you for your understanding, appreciation, and support.
If you would like to receive a notice when we
are back online, please write to me at
JudySullivan@slocoastjournal.com. You will be
added to our "We're Back" list. Hopefully I'll
get it together enough to keep us offline only for a
very short time.