Greetings, fellow Avilones. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! No, I’m not having a Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz moment, but something akin to that. Let me explain. Like many of you, I’ve spent my share of time on the Bob Jones Trail – mostly on the stretch from the San Luis Obispo Bay Estates to the golf course and beach. Over the span of these 25+ years as an Avila resident, I’ve witnessed on the Trail a growing number of walkers, runners, cyclists, skaters, strollers, skateboards, scooters, golf carts, wheelchairs, and more.
BUT it wasn’t until last month that I observed two firsts – at least for me. I was crossing the bridge leading to the 18th fairway at the golf course, heard an audible “clip-clop” behind me, turned around, and saw two horses crossing the bridge. Beautiful beasts they were, and I was truly surprised and pleasantly delighted to see them. If that wasn’t enough for one day, a little later on, while heading back home along the Trail, I passed a jogger who had a birdcage strapped to her backside – like would be a backpack. Inside the cage was a parakeet – yes, a parakeet out for a jog with its adult parent! I might have commented but didn’t want to ruffle any feathers.
ODDS AND ENDS
I offer a delayed “shout-out” to the SLO County Public Works Department for quick action after I sent an email asking that the weeds at the corner of San Miguel Street and Avila Beach Drive be removed. I noticed that visibility of oncoming, outward traffic was hindered due to the height of the weeds. In less than one week, the weeds were “wacked” sufficiently to improve the sightlines. My thanks to Director John Waddell for his timely mitigation of the problem.
I know this may sound redundant, but the summer crowds have arrived. Things around Avila will begin to look more normal again, hearkening back to pre-pandemic days. Community events are returning to venues such as the Avila Beach Golf Resort, Central Coast Aquarium, Point San Luis Lighthouse, and others. We will miss another year of the Avila Farmers’ Market but hope for a robust revival in 2022. I imagine it will take some time to iron out just where and when the wearing of masks and social distancing will still exist. In spite of California’s relaxing standards, it appears that individual counties and businesses are still able to implement protective measures if they so choose. We need to support their decisions.
On a related note, it appears that the “Foundation” Board of Trustees will be meeting in person this Jul.. Our last in-person gathering occurred in January 2020, but it seems like forever ago. We have since then been conducting business in front of our screens. I don’t feel guilty in admitting my “Zoom” fatigue runs high. While it may be convenient for meetings of all sorts, I believe the impact is a reduction in the depth of dialogue and exchange of ideas – to say nothing of the technical difficulties that some of us have experienced during “Zoom-time.” Virtual meetings have their place, but for a “relic” like me who thrives in face-to-face encounters, the sooner I can surround myself with actual people in 3-D form, the better. The energy generated by being with others is difficult to replicate while squirreled away in one’s room.
You may recall that last year, around this time, the “Foundation” announced its intention to stray from our usual grant-making processes to aid those agencies we support due to the economic challenges they were facing. Applicants had historically competed annually for the funding of programs, projects, or operating capital for the finite dollars available. Last year our Trustees felt the best way we could help our community partners was to simply allocate to agencies the same grant amounts they received the previous year, and that said funds could be used for any efforts to keep their doors open or to restore operations when the time came. Here we are a year later, and much is still uncertain, though beginning to improve. Revenue challenges remain for most non-profit organizations, and more time will be required to achieve solvency. With that in mind, the “Foundation” Board of Trustees has decided to once again roll over grants to our agency partners for the same amounts as awarded in 2019 and 2020. It is our sincere hope that next year we can resume the usual grant-making processes.
As always, I welcome your feedback, input, and ideas to help enhance life in Avila Beach. That’s it for now, fellow Avilones. See you at the beach!