Opinion » Shredder

A fly in the supes

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Boy, would I like to be a fly in the room of COLAB’s (Coalition of Labor, Agriculture, and Business) eighth annual dinner and fundraiser this March 30, at the Alex Madonna Expo Center. First of all, I’d totally lay fly larva in the $120-a-plate filet mignon dinner of COLAB Government Affairs Director Michael Brown. I’d also buzz in his ear and make him try to bat me away.

“Ha-ha! Missed me. Bzzzzz!”

Unfortunately, I can’t be a fly in the room. In fact, I can’t be in the room at all.

According to Michael “No Snowflake Libtards Allowed” Brown, the fundraiser dinner isn’t open to the press. It’s apparently only open to wealthy right-wing donors and business interests as well as the guests of honor: conservative 35th District Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham and three-fifths of the SLO County Board of Supervisors. Can you guess which three? Can you?

I wonder if it’s the same three who members of the public have already suggested violated the Brown Act, which also happens to forbid closed-door meetings? Remember them? There’s 1st District Supervisor John Peschong, 4th District Supe Lynn Compton, and 5th District Supe Debbie Arnold. Hmm. Three-fifths of a deliberative legislative body constitutes a quorum, doesn’t it? This is a meeting that forbids press oversight. If they discuss county business, this would be a violation of the Brown Act, wouldn’t it?

When Brown denied New Times access, he assured Staff Writer Chris “What Have You Got To Hide?” McGuinness that the supervisors would not be discussing county business. They were simply there for Brown to “praise” their work, and he said that an “abundance of caution” would be employed to make sure the Brown Act would not be violated. Um, OK! I guess we’ll just have to take your word for it. One question though, how do you praise their work as supervisors without discussing county business, which they supervise?

“Thank you all for coming tonight! I’m Mike Brown. By the way, no relation to the Brown Act. Ha-ha-ha! What a great crowd! I haven’t seen this many white people since Trump’s inauguration. Hey, how about our conservative supervisors, eh? They sure fit nicely in our pocket, don’t they? Let’s give it up for them!”

“Hi all. I’m board chair John Peschong. Thank you for praising our work on the Board of Supervisors, work that we obviously can’t discuss because of the Brown Act. I’d just like to say we all love labor, agriculture, and business … and America. We love America. OK, thanks for dinner and good night!”

Yeah, right.

Look, some things strain credulity, like the SLO Tribune’s apology for running a photo of Matthew Frank’s (aka, the SLOStringer) deadly car accident along with a promotional email sent to 1,600 non-subscribers asking them to sign up.

According to publisher Tom Cullinan, it was the paper’s parent company’s (McClatchy, with 28 other papers around the U.S.) fault! “The information in the email, including the photo, was selected by our parent company’s regional marketing team without an understanding of the context of the news article from which it was pulled.”

No one on the Trib’s staff approves of such emails? Really? Are you that understaffed? I heard McClatchy’s now farmed out your proofreading to Sacramento! And you’ve already farmed out printing to Fresno! We need a good daily paper—every community does—and I hate to see The Tribune falling apart.

I’ve got to say, though, judging from your March 26 commentary “Grab the sunscreen, we’re going to the Grove (beach, that is),” you could make better use of your resources.

The Trib’s editorial board wrote an open letter to Grover Beach to say it’ll never be a cool beach town until it rebrands itself.

“The name ‘Grover’ worked just fine back when the community was promoting itself as ‘the home of the average man.’ But if you want to promote yourself as the home of the not-so-average, young, hip man (and woman), you need to capitalize on your major asset, which is your beach,” they wrote.

I wonder if that’s why Grover City changed its name to Grover Beach in 1992? Whatdya think, Tribsters? Nope, not good enough. The Trib suggested changing it to Grove Beach, which they claim “speaks of trees and freedom and the fragrance of orange blossoms.”

I smell something, but it ain’t orange blossoms—it’s the rank odor of giving unsolicited advice, especially your closing thought that draws a connection to the blue Muppet Sesame Street character Grover.

“Go with Sesame Beach,” the Trib concluded. “We guarantee the hip kids will love it.”

Hey Cullinan! Maybe you should change your name to the Sacramento Tribune? Yeah, how does that feel? Save a few column inches for another apology, this one to Grover Beach!

Look, the best way to show contrition is to admit you’re wrong when you’re wrong, so mea culpa! Last week I lumped SLO City Councilman Aaron Gomez in with the navel-gazing SLO City Council—Mayor Heidi Harmon, Vice Mayor Dan Rivoire, and Councilmember Andy Pease—taking them to task for spending too much time discussing a tree ordinance infraction. In fact, Gomez had recused himself from the discussion. I’m sorry!

The Shredder is more annoying than an ear gnat at bedtime. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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