Let’s begin today’s roses-and-raspberries event with a basket of both roses and raspberries.
The bouquet of red roses goes first to the judge who decided enough was enough in his dealings with veteran soap opera actress Jensen Buchanan, and ordered her held in jail pending a probation-violation hearing, probably early next month.
Buchanan was released from jail last November after being convicted in a DUI crash. Authorities say she violated probation when her ankle monitor allegedly detected a higher-than-allowed blood-alcohol content between Dec. 29-Jan. 11. She was on probation after serving a month and a half in custody for the DUI crash on Highway 154 in 2016 that nearly killed an Arizona resident.
People who ignore the law — especially laws that imperil others — should pay the price, and in Buchanan’s case that means staying in jail until her hearing.
The basket of raspberries goes to those who consider themselves to be above the law.
We now move from scofflaws to heroes, specifically U.S. Forest Service Prevention Technician David Dahlberg, 32, who was honored for heroism at President Trump’s State of the Union address.
David faced a wall of flames last July to help rescue 63 youths and counselors at Circle V Ranch Camp. The danger in question was the Whittier fire.
David had to keep the invitation from the White House a secret, but he was there for all the world to see when his act of heroism was acknowledged by the Commander-in-Chief on Tuesday evening.
David was humbled by the Washington experience: “I don’t have words to describe it. It was just awesome. I was on my best behavior.”
And he’s now the proud recipient of our roses award.
Another community hero received her reward a few days ago when Lompoc’s Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize was given to Sarah Bleyl.
Sarah is director of the Lompoc Public Library System, which has literally blossomed since she took the reins in the fall of 2015.
Sarah reflected on the importance of libraries in her own life: “I grew up very, very poor, and I was the first person in my family to go to college and then to get an advanced degree.”
About receiving the Peace Prize, she echoed David Dahlberg’s sentiments: “I have no words” to truly express how it feels.
We know how we feel — libraries are a crucial part of a community’s social fabric, and those who work so hard to keep them going strong deserve the Peace Prize — and, of course, roses.
Roses to developers of the new Enos Ranch shopping mecca, and to consumers excited about something new in town.
The retail area is filling in, and shoppers are becoming accustomed to the sometimes-torturous traffic/parking problems presented by a new development.
The 113-acre, mixed-use project was OK’d by the city in 2016. It has seven distinct zones for different uses. In addition to the retail, office and warehouse space that have shaped the development's southern section, auto dealerships, community facilities and residential apartments will soon take shape in the northern portion.
The development is also expected to involve creation of 318 single-family apartment units, a park and a new elementary school, but that’s all in the future. For now, shoppers have new options.
It’s always a gamble when commerce drifts out to a community’s edges, and downtown businesses can be justifiably concerned. But city officials are addressing that issue with a downtown revitalization that is already pumping new life into the city’s core.