Author: Bruce M. Curtis

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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County Perspective – October 2017

Air Reach: “I want to take the pinch-hitter** course,” my wife summarily declared. That’s because I’m allergic to bee stings. For any of that to make sense, you’ll need the back story: Returning from viewing the eclipse in Oregon, I had barely leveled our Mooney 231 at 11,500 feet when my wife screamed, “Bee! There’s a bee!” I quickly completed the cruise flight checklist and turned around to face a very large honey bee patrolling the back seat. Her fear, that if I got stung I might not be able to safely land the plane, was genuine. I popped open my tiny cockpit storm window, filling the cabin with a 200 mph roar. We coaxed the bee into the front of the plane where the little honey-maker wandered lazily around until it ventured too close to the opening. Like an ant up a vacuum, nature took its course and the little guy instantly vanished. I was left with the mental image of the little bee fluttering to a stop, two miles above the ground, marveling at his new high-altitude superpowers. San Luis Obispo finds its own aeronautical reach dramatically extended after the county inked the latest of several historic airline service agreements. The latest opens up United direct flights to Denver. The deal follows agreements with American, Alaska and SkyWest connecting five of the biggest airline hubs in the...

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SLO County Perspective – August 2017

Computer Warfare, Employment, Cal-Trans, Budgets, Marijuana, and Protests COMPUTER WARFARE Driving through San Luis Obispo I noticed various small groups moving along the streets, but it didn’t register at first. Yes, they were protesters—I forget who or what they were protesting—but there they were, a small trickle of activists exercising that classic American prerogative to gather peaceably to express their opposition to something. Ever seen anyone march because they like something? Yeah, me neither, but this time I must admit to a small tinge of pride in seeing our normally georgic passivity disturbed by an organized political vent, if...

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North SLO Economic Summit makes forecast

County plans for loss of Diablo Canyon power plant The social media version of the north county’s economy is a snapshot of building momentum while Diablo’s closure closes in. At least that’s the TL, DR, (too long, didn’t read), condensation of data set forth at the State of the North County economic report held May 18th in Atascadero. The longer version, that there is much residents and businesses can be hopeful about, is tempered by a glass half full, because the county faces closure of one of its biggest, most lucrative employers. Heavily attended by dozens of business leaders...

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