Opinion » Street Talk

Clean up that ranch!

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You all won't be surprised with what I'm talking about this week. I'm talking about that ranch that's been in the news. You know, the one that has piles of abandoned vehicles out front and junk everywhere, the one right on the edge of our beautiful, precious San Luis.

I, of course, am talking about Ernie Dalidio's ranch. I say, let's get that mess cleaned up! How long do we upstanding citizens--Christine Mulholland in particular--have to deal with this? Get your pitchforks, folks and let's all

What?

Excuse me? I do?

Okay folks, scratch that. Turns out Ernie's ranch isn't the one everybody's all upset about. You can excuse me for getting confused. I drive by his property all the time and see all that junk over there. I just assumed that was the one that code officials were going after.

Nah. They're going after Dan DeVaul. Again. He's got some junk out at his place, too, but his case is different, because he's also got actual people living on his property. He's trying to help them. And that's a problem. Just between you and me, those folks aren't all Rotarians. I checked the decals on those junked cars and didn't see a single Shriner's emblem. One guy's an Elk, I think, but that hardly counts. People join that just for the pool.

Anyway, DeVaul's neighbors had a meeting at the local house of worship and made an effigy of DeVaul and another to represent addicts in general and poked them with $45 penknives they bought from the Sharper Image. After a lot of chatter, they decided the right thing to do is to pressure the county to kick out as many of the recovering addicts as they can. Here are some actual quotes from neighbors, as reported by the Tribune. After one woman shouted, "We don't want child molesters in our back yard!" people were asked where the residents would go. Another neighbor answered, "That's not my problem."

Heartwarming, but not exactly accurate. I'm pretty sure the question of where the addicts and homeless folks of this county live actually is his problem, and ours as well.

By the next day, state parole officers were out at DeVaul's, commanding people from neighboring counties to get out of the situation. Too tense, I guess. A bunch more of them are moving out of a converted barn that the county condemned and are now going to be living outside in tents and such. That's a surefire approach to keeping them sober and on track. Good thinking.

In a separate but related issue, the other night the City of San Luis Obispo talked about how they'll be represented in the local "10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness."

The plan will be "a strategic document, with goals and action steps that set the direction of policy and resources to this end."

Hey, I feel much better. No worries about where the 50 or so people on DeVaul's ranch will go, because the county's going to have a plan, that, in 10 years or so, will do something.

At issue for the SLO City Council was which representatives the council was going to send to sit on the leadership council for the effort.

They went with Paul Brown. I guess Christine was busy dealing with other issues.

Something else

I guess we all knew that the City of SLO has been really keen on promoting the official Amgen Tour of California (Motto: Cyclists shouldn't dope, but ask your doctor if you should!).

And it sure was fun to watch all those strong skinny guys mope into town dripping wet the other day, even if it meant that the folks in Cayucos couldn't get to doctor appointments and such.

But now we know that the city wasn't just promoting the event, it was paying for part of it.

Seems the organizing committee that brought the tour to town again has a shortfall and turned to the city to bail them out. So the city will be paying about $7,500 for rider meals and hotel bills that weren't covered by sponsors. Maybe local homeless people should get into cycling. At least they'd get a bed and a meal. It's once a year, but hey, free is free.

And this

A well-placed city source says the skids look greased for the Copeland family to get a SLO City Council extension on its time limit to get everything in place for the mammoth, parking-lot-eating Chinatown project.

Apparently, the city's going to get the project reappraised so the Copelands aren't buying land at a year-2000 appraisal value, and the Copelands will get two more years to do the work.

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