Opinion » Street Talk

Get on this, now

Happy New Year! Did you even notice? I did, but just barely.

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In the spirit of fresh beginnings, I decided to make a whole buttload of resolutions though not for myself. It's much easier to unload buttloads onto other people, don't you think? It's all the fun of starting new with none of the self-sacrifice. That's my kind of change.

For example, I resolve all the superfluous administrators at Cuesta College and in the Lucia Mar Unified School District to consider that we might consider their self-instigated salary hikes an affront in times of budgetary crisis. Teachers in Arroyo Grande are falling short on their rent and cardboard boxes aren't cheap JUCO students continue to attend class in an overcrowded barn, and, all the while, some lady in a corner office makes $150,000 for perpetually repeating that there's no money to go around. If she ever leaves, however, I'm available.

I resolve the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande to go through no more than three executive directors in 2007. Remember: If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, well, then you don't have to hire somebody new.

I resolve Supervisor Jerry Lenthall to stop staring vacantly at the ceiling of county chambers during public comment periods. True, speakers aren't always as interesting as grizzled mercury miner Harold Biaggini threatening to wage civil war on the county over a controversial trails plan that could drop easements on ranch land, but, hey, it's part of the gig though Lenthall probably could have skipped out of that particular session since it's pretty clear he and fellow supe Harry Ovitt basically take their cues from the Farm Bureau.

Speaking of which, I resolve the Farm Bureau to stop calling itself the Farm Bureau and go by its true identity: the Republican Party. Giddyup!

I resolve PG&E to stop wasting its time in Coastal Commission chambers offering the gift of access to an unappreciative public. For those of you who don't know, the utility recently dropped 1,200 acres of Pecho Coast into our collective stocking, purely in the spirit of Christmas, and liberal bellyachers like Andrew Christie of the Sierra Club summoned the gall to gripe about it. Rest assured, the easement offer had absolutely nothing to do with a plan to bury spent steam generators from its two nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon. Nothing whatsoever. That project causes no harm the installations are only a smidge radioactive.

Really, PG&E, a corporation like you shouldn't defend its actions before the public. You should be out playing with Chevron and Wal-Mart, coming up with reasons for rate hikes and lying to voters about municipal utility districts. You little rascal. Would you like a subsidy? It's in the fridge, right next to the Mountain Dew.

I resolve clean-water activist Joey Racano to put down his ongoing guide to social demonstration and pen a quick sequel to the adventures of Birty Bird the heartwarming story of an avian's discovery of friendship, which Racano e-mailed to half the county in October. How about Birty Bird Saves Los Osos? After December's flurry of scary new developments, everyone's favorite dysfunctional bedroom community appears about as far from building a sewer as ever.

No doubt Osos could use some leftover Christmas goodwill, especially with Public Works' Paavo Ogren stirring up conspiracy theories with his non-disclosure policy and CSD prez Lisa Schicker threatening to throw the agency upon its own sword. Erk! Meanwhile, local politico Sam Blakeslee continues to be blase about the whole debacle, calmly assuring all media types that his assembly bill will materialize the long-awaited wastewater treatment system at last and might just bring democracy to Iraq on the side.

Perhaps Birty Bird could fly in and save the day, sparing innocent county taxpayers from assuming the bankrupt district's ever-escalating mound of liability. See, Joey? Fiction can be fun!

On that note, I resolve Richard LeGros and all the folks at Taxpayer Watch to pay the $27,000 bill left over from the group's failed bid to dissolve the Los Osos CSD. LeGros told us once that the group shouldn't have to fork over the dough because the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) pretty much decided from the get-go that it would be unfair to burden the county with the CSD's debt and then spent the next several months determining to what extent it would be unfair. Maybe just a smidge? Talk to PG&E about how much that really is.

I tried arguing to Charter Communications once that I shouldn't have to pay my six-month-overdue cable bill because there was nothing good on TV. It didn't work, and neither will this.

I resolve the Atascadero City Council to open wide and say "ah" when it comes to communicating with the media rather than retracting like a frightened turtle into chambers. The November defeat of candidates Bob Kelley and Grigger Jones proved a big step toward public accountability and against what locals saw as the underground installation of unpopular developments by dastardly officials. All the same, it would seem unfortunate to trade one regime for another. Can I get an amen, Iraq?

I resolve San Luis developers like Tom Copeland to be honest about their intentions the next time they want to keep downtown rents inflated by opposing sprawl projects like Ernie Dalidio's. That is what happened, right? I don't know, but I've heard tell that Tom and his ilk gave a little more than kind words to the No on J campaign over the summer. Not to worry. Wherever its funds came from, that group used the bucks to lie er, spin away the collective opposition's credibility. Target, anyone?

I resolve the regional water board, namely chairman Jeff Young, to stop waving off concerns that prosecutors could one day press charges against cease-and-desist order recipients for basin plan violations beyond the residents' control. In mid-December, Young and his panel started their stopwatch and did their damnedest to derail the defense at the water board's supposedly impartial administrative hearings.

Verdict first, evidence later. I haven't seen so little due process since that one day in Seville when a man in scarlet robes kept saying "take heed" and coarse-woolen-tunic-wearing peasants scurried around with heaps of kindling. Do you smell smoke?

Finally, I resolve everyone on the Central Coast to open their consciousness to reality past the gate, around the corner, and even beyond the city limits. Perhaps, at the dawn of 2008, I won't have to make quite so many resolutions for so many people.

Oh, and I resolve to make no resolutions for myself.

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