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Cutting corners

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What do you do with a New Times? Wrap a fish, line a bird cage, pack it into moving boxes?

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Well, apparently, this paper isn't good enough for any of that. It isn't even good enough for a person whose Facebook name is Sandy Boo to wipe her own ass with. Boo, who said she grew up in a Salvadoran village so poor they used newspapers to wipe their butts, thinks so little of this little alternative weekly paper that "I would not insult my soiled anus with this garbage."

Ooh! Sick burn!

New Times doesn't want to see your poo either, Boo, so there!

But we do want to know what you, dear readers, would do with a New Times—go vote in this week's online poll. I'll wait.

Boo wrote that comment in Central Coast Families for Education Reform's Facebook thread responding to a post asking everyone to go vote in the "countywide vote" posted on New Times' website about critical race theory. That Facebook group's members, who claim they are "nonpartisan" folks interested in recalling three Lucia Mar Unified School District board members who apparently single-handedly destroyed their children's chances to learn during the COVID-19 pandemic, heeded the call to action!

"Should critical race theory be taught in K-12 schools?" the poll asked readers.

What do you think this "nonpartisan" group of rabble rousers thinks? It's definitely partisan!

A whopping 314 "people" elected the response "No, critical race theory is divisive and racist." Overwhelming the more reasonable responses with divisive and racist votes! It happens every time the righty-tighties get wind of a politically juicy poll question and word spreads through the Central Coast's conservative crazies to make their voices heard!

They want you to know: Teaching our children the full breadth of American history is racist against white people!

It's so weird, you know? Only 38 readers total responded the week before to the "countywide" poll question asking what people would do during a public safety power shutoff. Too soft?

I guess it didn't drip with the politics of the moment, so people just ignored it. Nothing to be angry about here! Trolls, amirite?

Luckily on this coast we have more than one kind of troll. We have racist trolls. We have tree trolls. And the tree trolls were just emotionally exhausted after the June 28 Grover Beach City Council meeting, where they exerted their efforts to try and save a dying century-old live oak tree from being demolished for affordable housing!

One woman, who lives right next to the lot in question, cried over the thought of the tree going anywhere—acknowledging that she never knew the tree existed until a few days before the meeting. But after realizing it existed, she spent the day with it, taking photos and connecting with the dying septuagenarian.

"It's so awful," she told council members, choking back tears for her newfound friend. "Instead of building more and making the density more, why not less to save that tree?"

Well, let's see here: The tree is rotting from the inside out, according to an arborist. And Grover Beach has the ability to put 50 affordable housing units on an empty lot at a time when an expensive area with an already severe housing availability crisis is about to have an even bigger crisis because COVID-19 era eviction restrictions are going to expire in September.

But, yes. Let's make sure that old dying oak tree has a chance to live out its remaining months in relative peace with the buildings surrounding the empty lot it sits on. You never know, a falling limb may even take out the annoying neighbor kid who lives next door! It's definitely not a liability to the city, which owns the lot, or anything.

Other residents complained about losing "rare" open space in Grover Beach. Yeah, nevermind the Oceano Dunes Natural Preserve and Pismo State Beach, which are literally a few blocks away from this lot. The beach is miles long, buttressed from civilization by a wide strip of dunes, oaks, and vegetation.

Thank goodness, Grover Beach City Council members had their heads screwed on straight—Councilmember Karen "I Am A Tree Hugger" Bright who advocated for ye ol' oak tree in years past said the tree isn't healthy, it's a liability, and the housing is sorely needed.

Good thing the tree wasn't healthy, amirite?

You know whose heads are screwed on a little crooked? The folks over at Central Coast Community Energy (also known as 3CE), who pulled a little bait-and-switch on all the people who it promised PG&E rate discounts to when it was marketing itself to local cities and counties.

"Discounts themselves—that goes away entirely," 3CE Chief Operating Officer Rob Shaw said.

Why? Well, they kind of, sort of, maybe didn't end the fiscal year in the black. They ended it $500,000 in the hole. In other words, those much-touted discounts the community choice provider used to sell its product to you—Joe and Jane Consumer—made it so that 3CE didn't bring in enough revenue to pay its operating expenses. Governing bodies, amirite?

All you told-you-so conservatives out there are going to say "I told you so!"

But really, when you run a utility like a business, you get PG&E, which burned down part of California because it didn't invest enough in infrastructure maintenance. Cutting corners to maintain that nice profit doesn't really work either. Δ

The Shredder only cuts corners when wiping. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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