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If it’s Saturday, it must be roses-and-raspberries day.

First, roses to everyone who had the nerve to fly to South Korea for the Winter Olympic Games. Being that close to a demilitarized zone, over which North and South Korean soldiers stare at each other and contemplate mayhem has to be unnerving. And it’s cold.

But the Games could be worth it. For one thing, attendees have the pleasure of watching the world’s best at winter sports, including 242 athletes competing as members of the American team. That’s the most athletes sent by any country, which means viewers can expect a haul of gold medals.

Our roses presentation will, perhaps, compensate a little for the average cost of travel and expenses for a week in PyeongChang — about $5,000.

And a basket of raspberries to anyone or any group that tries to disrupt the Games.


There are plenty of good reasons why strawberries are a top crop in Santa Barbara County year in and year out.

First, strawberries are a treat to eat. Everyone know’s that. Second, strawberries are a leading local crop because local growers know what they’re doing — and that’s the reason we offer roses to North County farmers who keep King Strawberry on top.

The Strawberry Sector Awards were handed out recently at the EconAlliance Growing Possibilities Agricultural Forum at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

Besides individual growers, several North County families were honored for their pioneering contributions to local agriculture, among them the Alton Allen family, Abel Maldonado Sr. family, Luis Chavez family, Miguel Chavez family and the Sheehy family.

We can’t say enough good things about local growers, and what they have contributed to our communities. Roses all around.


We also have roses for anyone who has the courage to step forward and apply for one of several city committee openings that were announced last week.

The volunteer positions are available in Santa Maria’s Board of Appeals, Landmark Committee, library Board of Trustees and Community Television Board.

These may not sound like the sexiest of office-holding opportunities, but all are vitally important to the Santa Maria community’s continuing success and growth into the future.

For example, as a member of the Appeals Board, you would be helping make decisions regarding the city’s building code — which means you could have a direct impact on how your city and neighborhood will look.

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As part of the Landmarks Committee, you would participate in decisions about the designation and preservation of local historical landmarks.

There are lots of reasons why these positions are so important to the city and its residents, but one good reason for individuals is that this is an excellent way to get started in public service. These committees are often the launching pads for City Council seats, and on up the political ladder.

Are you rose-worthy?


And finally, a bus-sized basket of raspberries to our federal elected leaders, specifically members of Congress who are so self-involved in partisan dogma they can’t perform the simplest of government tasks.

We’re referring to the endless wrangling over a federal budget, one that will supply funds to agencies that help, in one way or another, most of us living out here in the hinterlands.

We understand that Democrats and Republicans generally have divergent agendas. That is the nature of a bifurcated political system. What we really can’t understand is how the folks we send to Washington to do our bidding somehow lose sight of the real objective as soon as they cross the Potomac.

Our biggest raspberry prize yet.