Opinion » Shredder

Really SLO?



Chicken Little called me the other day. She said the sky is falling, and it's all the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) fault—especially those fellows from the Bakersfield office. Who do they think they are? Coming to our town to listen to residents berate them for doing what their bosses asked them to do.


The tension that clouded the BLM's May 22 public meeting in San Luis Obispo over opening 1 million acres of federal public lands in California to oil and gas drilling—and possibly even fracking—almost came to blows! The one dude who stood up to question whether oil and gas drilling is actually dangerous to the environment (umm, it absolutely is) was shouted down by extremely agitated environmental activists with bees in their bonnets about losing the $8 million fight over Measure G.

The either extremely brave or extremely stupid Paso Robles resident, Peter Byrne, poked the hornets' nest of self-described Climate Crisis Warriors and was physically confronted for his trouble, according to The Tribune. Geez guys. The amount of adulting happening that night was at the Christopher Olcott-meets-Mr. Rick's-in-a-2016-drunk-and-angry-barroom-brawl-ready kind of level. Your children would be so proud if you had to beg a judge to let you move from the San Luis Obispo County Jail to some Southern California pay-to-stay-at jail just because you were scared of the repercussions for your actions!

Really guys? One person questions what a hundred or more of you have said and you lose your shit? Climate Crisis Warriors unite to beat the rest of the world into submission! Ya'll should be ashamed of yourselves. Byrne may be wrong, but he's still allowed to speak his piece at a so-called public meeting where his comments don't even count in the public record anyway.

Really BLM? What's the point of having a meeting if you tell the hundreds of people who show up to speak that the only way their comments will count in the public record is if they're submitted in writing? If the Climate Crisis Warriors weren't already pissed off before you got here, they certainly were once you told them that.

And this all came after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted the aquifer exemption for the Arroyo Grande Oil Field that warriors have been fighting against for several years running now. In an April 30 letter to State Oil and Gas Supervisor Kenneth Harris Jr., U.S. EPA Region IX Water Division Director Tomás Torres declares that the oil field areas in question have not and will not serve as a source of drinking water because they contain commercially producible quantities of oil.

The hornets were abuzz with righteous indignation and needed to take it out on someone!

At least our stinging warriors are fighting against a cause worth fighting against. I'm not so sure the bumble bees hovering around the Cambria Community Services District's (CSD) every move are bumbling in the right direction. Cambria residents Mary Webb and Christine Heinrichs are so upset that the county is allowing Peoples' Self-Help Housing to build affordable housing that they appealed approval of the plan to the California Coastal Commission because of the coastal burg's tenuous water situation.

Really ladies? Who appeals an affordable housing project in a county with one of the highest housing costs in the country?

"Using a noble goal to place people in harm's way and further stress limited community resources is not a solution to anything," Heinrichs said about the issue in April.

The queen bees are concerned that the extra housing units will exacerbate the water crisis that has prevented development there for decades. Meanwhile, Cambria has families shacked up together simply so they can afford to live and work in the fancy little hippy paradise that survives on tourism dollars. It seems to me that the affordable units would spread the housing love around a little bit to the folks who are already overcrowded into units and already using the water that ya'll are so concerned about.

Even 5th District County Supervisor Debbie Arnold, who talks about how much she hates affordable housing on a regular basis, is supportive of the project!

And finally—really State Parks? On May 26, the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area had its third death at the park in less than one month. Chief Ranger Kevin Pearce is having a busy season. For a park that averages about two deaths per year, having three at the beginning of the season is kind of a big deal. What will the toll be by summer's end?

The April fatalities compelled Bob Cuddy to write a May 23 commentary ("Long Overdue") calling out everybody (including New Times) for doing nothing about the deaths. It, of course, prompted some pretty awe-inducing comments on our website. Our internet trolls never disappoint!

Jesse O'Reilly wrote, "If I lived in a padded world where I couldn't live on the edge then why allow us to even buy Corvettes?" What does that even mean?

Then we have Ian Tanner: "If you don't like what happens at the dunes, then don't go out there." Really Ian? Tell that to the family members of the three people who have died at the dunes so far this year. Δ

The Shredder has a hard time understanding people sometimes. Send your comments to [email protected].


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