Author: Bruce M. Curtis

County Perspective, February 2018

Cognitive Dissonance: “Toilets use recycled water – do not drink”, read the sign in a public restroom. I pondered, not the sign’s unintentional humor, as my wife and I rode our bikes on, but the city of Monterey’s more hilarious notion that I might ever tempted. Cognitive dissonance, the angst our brains experience when we can’t reconcile two conflicting beliefs, may be the best way to describe voters frustrated with whom they elect. County government, try as it may, never quite hears us; what we want, don’t want, don’t need or promise and fail to keep after years of...

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SLO County Perspective, January 2018

Gun Bust Dropped: This month’s column comes with a bit of legal flavoring, starting with the admission I enjoy going to see my grandchildren partly for the chance to go plinking at the firing range with my son-in-law. I’m a lousy shot, but like most guys, I love the sound, the explosive report. There’s no muzzle flash; they only do that in the movies. And though I’m not much personally into guns, that doesn’t stop me from being a strong constitutional originalist; I support the 2nd Amendment, I see our founding document as a fragile but vital bulwark against...

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Central Coast Economic Forecast 2018

Economic Summit Held in San Luis Obispo Economically, “things feel pretty darned good,” declared Economist Chris Thornberg, but problems we’re avoiding will come back to bite us, if we don’t talk about how to fix them. Much useful data could be gleaned from leading economists who took a shot at foretelling the economic future of both America and San Luis Obispo County, but their crystal ball became muddied by advocacy that at times took a pointed partisan tone. Economic health was clearly important to more than 500 business leaders and elected officials who willingly ponied up $135 each to...

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County Perspective Dec. 2017

The Bruce Curtis take on regional issues — County Perspective Terminal Velocity: I usually fly my plane on shorter hops, flying the airlines on longer runs, but I’m rethinking that. After delivering a four-seat prop plane to its new owner in Peoria, Illinois, in less time than the flight home, the airline equation has reached a tipping point for me. If I can fly myself from California to Illinois in eight and a half hours, and the return trip takes 11 hours in three different sardine-packed jets, for a lot more money… why do I need to ride the...

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Celebs & Weirdos: With the grandchildren in Puyallup. I can only pronounce Puyallup after a fashion and many years of practice — trivia for you Trekkers — which has led to spending long hours on the road between here and there. And I’m noticing more mobilized weirdness; the I-5 Alive Drive between here and Seattle seems to have morphed into Burning Man on the move and I’m wondering if cannabis — now legal in all three western states — isn’t partly to blame. You’ve got counter-culture bumper stickers, happy hipsters ambling along at 40 mph in ancient gold Buicks faded to diaper brown. Smoke trails from their windows, not their exhaust pipes, pungently skunk-toned. Oversize big rigs slowly pass other big rigs, 
engaged in slo-mo dosado the Germans call elefantenrennen, dragging us all to a crawl. The truckers don’t seem to be high, just oblivious. More of Hollywood’s elite — some would say elitists — seem to be sliding up and down hwy 101 incognito. Recently comic actor Will Ferrell was spotted in Paso Robles, munching down carbs to fuel a multi-day cycling adventure, while Justin Timberlake paused in A-town to inhale some expensive caffeine and recharge his electric car. Timberlake got plenty of requests for photos, being among the first in the boy band genre, if you don’t count the Monkees. Actually, former Monkee Mickey Dolenz was here too,...

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