Opinion » Shredder

A need for slapping


When people talk about a “vector control district,” I automatically picture myself caught in an elevator near a Trekkie convention next to some chinless man-child shouting into his flipped-open cell phone: “This is Vector Control to Sector Seven, Vector Control to Sector Seven. Come in Sector Seven!”

Nerd gatherings would be a better use of time and money than the idiotic dance that’s been hosted on this issue by the SLO County Board of Supervisors.

Here’s the latest: The supes decided this week that, even though they were the ones who forced a vote from all the property owners in the county on whether to increase taxes to fund an expanded program to battle bugs and rodents, they said they didn’t understand it well enough to vote for it themselves.

They wouldn’t support their own ballot measure.

It’s essentially a concession that the entire process has been poorly explained—I’d say inaccurately—and poorly run. County Supervisor Frank Mecham himself never got the ballots he was due for properties he owned—he had to cast a last-minute ballot by hand in the minutes before the supes closed the vote June 23. The supes voted unanimously to abstain from casting their own 700 ballots—representing all of the property the county owns.

This was, thus, a total waste of time and money. If the supes don’t even support the effort, they shouldn’t have held a vote on it. If the process was so bad they couldn’t understand what was going on, they should have fixed the process.

And what about the $280,000 they blew on this effort? It’s nothing compared to the overall budget, but at a time like this, when people are going to lose jobs and others are going to lose services because of the budget mess, it ought to be criminal to piss away money like this. Criminal.

This may mark the first truly idiotic decision of the new board’s tenure. (I’m open to arguments.) Think before you act, dear officials. Measure twice, cut once.

I’m as angry as a cloud of killer bees—I don’t use that racist term “Africanized.” This was a bad idea from the start, an attempt to cut an existing program by passing on the responsibility for starting a new one to the taxpayers.

The information sent to voters made it sound like we’d all get West Swine AIDS flu from the clouds of mosquitoes that magically breed in the dry Valley Fever-infected dust our county has been producing for the past several years.

If there’s a call for slapping, I’ve got dibs on the supes.

Speaking up for the prostitutes

The Notorious S.H.R.D. got a letter from our favorite local prostitute complaining about Craigslist’s recent clampdown on her marketing efforts.

Craigslist, you may recall, made a big deal the other month in announcing a crackdown on “erotic services” ads. This came after newspapers—the same ones who Craigslist effectively decimated by stealing all their classified ads—took delight in branding a Boston death the result of a “Craigslist Killer” because the alleged killer met the woman through the adult ads.

So we knew they were cracking down. Now we know how they’re doing it.

“Roxanne,” a local working gal and a loyal reader, wrote to explain that Craigslist seems to be screening erotic services ads with calls. Here’s the way she describes a conversation she had with a caller who rang right after she tried to place an ad:

Caller: “Where ya located?”

Roxanne: “Pismo Beach.”

Caller: “How much you charge?”

Roxanne: “$150 half hour, $300 hour, $100 fifteen minutes or less.”

Caller: “Will you have sex for that?”

Roxanne: “Sure! I’ll do anything. For that much, I better be willing to do anything, right?”

Caller: “OK, I’ll call ya’ later on to set an appointment.”

Roxanne: “Great! Looking forward to your call.”

Instead of a call, she got denied the opportunity to place the ad and had her phone number blocked from placing any more.

Roxanne herself takes a contemplative, philosophical approach to the change that looks at the broader sociological implications. Or maybe not. Here’s her take: “Fuckers. How is an honest prostitute supposed to help all these rich fucks enjoy the fruits of their years of careful investing and hard work?”

Good question, and I’d be in a far better position to rail against the beginning of the death of one of the Internet’s best little “l” libertarian and little “d” democratizing institutions if New Times didn’t itself take a rather prudish approach to “adult services” ads. They’re still there in the back of the book, but they’re required to be small and, um, classy, with drawings instead of boob shots. Plus the have to be licensed businesses. That’s right; it’s business time!

Clearing up the contest

How can I be clearer? Several have asked me for clarification on this month’s contest. Here’s the deal: Send me some places you think would be good (hopefully funny) locations where the City of SLO should place one of its spiffy new cameras. Like the City Hall bathroom, etc. I don’t care if you send me one idea or a hundred—it’s not like we’re getting audited. So go to it. I need them in time for next week’s column. And remember, this time I’ve got real prizes.

Shredder can be reached at [email protected].

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