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Welcome to the Slo Coast Journal. Published monthly, the Journal brings you information about California's Central Coast and surrounding area.
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Morro Bay Council Is Historic

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 city history.

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 Facility (WRF)
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 City’s Goals
Sound too general? See details at Center

Jack McCurdy
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 community uses.

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 future. Read More


Emergency Safety Violation at Diablo Being Explored

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.  Read More



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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 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.