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To serve you better?



Start planning to drink your Saturday morning coffee hunched over your smartphone instead of with newspaper in hand because SLO Town's daily paper, The Tribune, will no longer be printing a Saturday edition starting on Nov. 2. Instead, it'll publish "a new weekend package with expanded newspapers on Fridays and Sundays and access to the Saturday edition exclusively online," publisher Tim Ritchey wrote. "We invite you to 'go digital' and visit our website or eEdition, which replicates the experience of a printed newspaper online. You'll also find our EXTRA EXTRA digital supplement with more national, international, and entertainment news and Sports Xtra, our sports supplement."

EXTRA EXTRA? Xtra? Sorry, Tweety, but your cage will have to wait until Sunday for a fresh liner. Old fish, you'll need to be wrapped in Dunder Mifflin double-bonded printer paper.

Forgive me for making fun of The Trib. In truth, it breaks my heart to see our beloved daily paper struggling. Aside from Thursday and Sunday editions, The Trib can usually be folded in fourths and still slid under a closed door. Monday's edition is so thin a slight breeze often blows if off my porch and down the street.

Ritchey can lay on the window dressing about how the eEdition "replicates the experience of a printed newspaper" all he wants. The bottom line is The Trib's taking something away from its readers with no reduction in subscription rates.

It reminds me of the letter I got back in February from Charter Communications Spectrum cable television, which essentially said that to serve me better, it was taking away two of my channels—Cinemax and EPIX—but continuing to charge me the same ridiculously high rates. I could, however, add both stations back for another $15.98 a month to, you know, serve me better.

Gee, thanks?

Many people have already canceled their subscription to The Trib, and I fear this new move isn't going to engender more goodwill toward the publication, which has cut or relocated many reporter and staff positions. It no longer prints its own paper, having years ago shuttered its printing press, and it moved from its sprawling building off South Higuera to smaller offices on Tank Farm Road.

If you value print journalism, I encourage you to subscribe to The Tribune, which can trace its roots back to 1869. Journalism matters, and The Trib is doing all it can to survive and continue to serve SLO County. Viva la Trib!

"Die minorities!"

I'm actually not sure if that's a direct quote from greeting cards threatening to shoot minorities allegedly sent by Richard Orcutt, 62, to property managers and homeowners in his neighborhood. I like to imagine the American flag-festooned cards were filled with Hallmark-like greetings for every occasion.

"There are people in our lives who hold a special place ... " (and inside) "but you're not one of them, beaner, so Imma bust a cap in yo ass."

"Thinking of you on this special day ... " (and inside) "with my fully loaded .38 special, with which I'll kill you dead, Sambo."

"Your birthday should be something to remember ... " (and inside) "because after I shoot you, you'll never have another one, slant-eye."

Orcutt's attorney Guy Galambos assured New Times that his client "did not write or send the threatening cards in this case."

Law enforcement said the investigation is ongoing, so they won't reveal the evidence they have against Orcutt, but Galambos claims it's "a circumstantial evidence case; there is no direct evidence of Mr. Orcutt's guilt."

Shmaybe, but that hasn't stopped the SLO County District Attorney's Office from filing a criminal complaint charging Orcutt with 10 felonies—seven charges of making criminal threats, one charge of attempting to make a criminal threat (insufficient postage?), and two charges of possessing an assault weapon.

Oh yeah! Almost forgot. The SLO Police Department said that when the SLO Regional SWAT Team and SLO County Sheriff's Special Enforcement Detail (overkill much?) served a search warrant at Orcutt's home, they found about a dozen handguns and two dozen rifles and shotguns—two of which were illegal assault-style weapons—not to mention thousands of rounds of ammo.

"Richard Orcutt is a 31-year veteran of the San Luis Obispo Fire Deparment. He spent his career saving people's lives and property. Richard's close friends and family know that he is not a racist and not dangerous," Galambos said in a statement.

He just likes guns! Lots and lots of guns! In the sage words of Childish Gambino, "Look at how I'm livin' now/ Police be trippin' now/ Yeah, this is America/ Guns in my area/ I got the strap/ I gotta carry 'em."

According to the criminal complaint, Orcutt threatened death or great bodily injury to eight people.

Add in the recent Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting by Santino William Legan, and it feels like this is all getting too close to home. In an LA Times report on the crime, during the shooting someone in the festival crowd shouted, "Why are you doing this?"

Legan allegedly replied, "Because I'm really angry."

Me too. Δ

The Shredder, to serve you better, no longer offers curse words. Shit, just kidding! Send ideas and comments to [email protected].


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