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It's 'growth,' not 'green' between the lines 

Avila Beach

The Trib reported in early March that “a coalition to form a Green Coast Innovation Zone on the Central Coast is moving forward … .”

It read: “The idea to promote the region as a place to encourage green technology firms started after several local representatives went to a Washington summit on clean energy hosted by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara. The representatives were Michael Manchak, executive director of the Economic Vitality Corp. of San Luis Obispo County; Pacific Energy Co. owners John and Stephanie Ewan; Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s Patricia Wilmore; and Central Coast Clean Cities Coalition leader John Van Bogart.

“The local group included Manchak, EVC board members Kris Vardas, Tim Mahoney and Mike Silacci, and representatives from businesses such as Cannon Associates, RRM Design Group, The Gas Company, AT&T, FirstSolar and SunPower, as well as San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach city leaders, and representatives from Cal Poly and the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.”

I was delighted until I saw what it was all about: “promoting the green zone would be an appropriate use of federal economic stimulus money.” Get the money. And do exactly what with it?

As a former analyst in three large (very large) county government departments, I thought I saw an opportunity to volunteer my services as an administrative coordinator. Now, I’m not so sure. Modern “business as usual”? Sigh.

For those who cannot read between the lines here, the list of players and the statements made tell me this is about “growth,” not “green.” And we’re right back to “build, baby, build” until every patch of ground in this little bit of heaven called SLO County is covered with concrete.

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