Opinion » Shredder

Happy holidaze

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'Tis the season for thankfulness, amirite? Just ask guest opinion writer and retired attorney John Donegan ("Harsh realities," Nov. 21), who scolded the soon-to-be-homeless residents of Paso's Grand View Apartments for not being satisfied with their crappy conditions.

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The residents, you might recall, sued to require their rental units be properly maintained, but instead of fixing them, complex owners Ebrahim and Fahimeh Madadi decided to evict everyone and go out of the apartment rental business because, you know, it's too expensive to maintain habitable conditions! Sheesh! Everyone's so demanding!

Donegan began his commentary with a lesson about how liberals are stupid and weak, unlike conservatives who are like the sagest smarty-pants to walk the freakin' planet: "When recognizing a problem, and proposing a solution to it, the liberal tends to focus on the human needs represented by the problem," he sneered, "while the conservative tends to focus on the pragmatic concerns in implementing a solution."

Get it together, liberals! Instead of worrying about low-income tenants having up-to-code roofs over their heads and the dignity of residing in units that aren't falling apart around them, you should be telling said tenants they should have been happy with their squalid conditions because they were only paying about $1,500 a month for these units, and you get what you pay for!

Since when is $1,500 for a one-bedroom apartment considered low rent? What Twilight Zone are we living in? Sounds like a rip-off to me.

I guess that's Donegan's conservative pragmatism at work, eh? "Pragmatism" seems to be a euphemism for "tough love," which is a euphemism for "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is a euphemism for "die in the streets, impoverished swines! You're a drag on society!"

"The ugly reality is that shabby housing like the Grand View Apartments provide a necessary service in offering those on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder a place to live, which they would not otherwise have," Donegan argued like a heartless conservative devoid of the empathy gene. I guess Donegan—the retired lawyer—can't really relate.

And for icing on the cake, Peoples' Self-Help Housing offered to buy Grand View from the Madadis for fair market value ... and got the silent treatment! Dear Ebrahim and Fahimeh, what's wrong with you? Aren't you closing the complex because you can't afford to be landlords anymore? We get that you collected around $80,000 in rents every month for years and years and never spent a cent on maintaining your building. I don't know your business expenses. Maybe that nearly $1 million a year simply wasn't enough to exterminate regularly, fix faulty plumbing, do general maintenance, yada-yada.

Frankly, if I was Judge Ginger Garrett, who ruled you could "go out of business" rather than fix the place up, I would have forced you to sell your complex to Peoples' Self-Help ... after forcing you to live in one of the bedbug-, cockroach-, and vermin-infested units for 30 days! You two suck.

And speaking of sucking, being part of SLO County's proposed new animal shelter sucks too! Back in 2018, Paso Robles and Atascadero were planning on pulling out of the deal because the cost kept ballooning. After some sweet talking and an offer by the county to put in another cool million to lower costs to the cities, they returned, but now everyone just discovered that what was going to cost $13.2 million is now projected to cost $20 million! Holy heck!

Turns out the new shelter's proposed site is also on a 1940s era Army landfill, just like the current shelter that suffers from soil instability, which is why they need a new shelter. There's also a labor shortage for this kind of big capital project, and thanks to tariffs, building materials are skyrocketing. Thanks Obama! (I know it's Trump's fault, but I really miss Barry O!).

"Obviously, it doesn't make anybody happy," Paso Mayor Steve Martin said at a Nov. 5 City Council meeting. "In my opinion, it's no longer cost efficient to look for another alternative."

Paso and A-Town also have the highest projected costs because they have the highest demand for animal shelter services! What's up with rural areas and their run-amok feral animal populations, eh? Clip those gonads, North County!

Did you hear the California Coastal Commission may be trying to neuter the live music events at the Avila Beach Golf Resort? Yeah, suddenly after years of awesome beachside concerts, the commission has decided it should have some say. It's really weird if you ask me, which you didn't, but since I'm already here: Either the commission hasn't done its job by overseeing the venue for the last couple of decades or it was oblivious that the venue fell under its purview or it's simply wrong and should keep its nose out of it.

Maybe we can thank the Avila Beach Community Council, which is convinced that the resort has been operating without the proper permits, even though the county has essentially said that's not the case. And now, the most overbearing regulatory body in the state is claiming jurisdiction.

Those little advisory bodies sure know how to throw giant temper tantrums. Maybe it's the one that needs to be neutered. Δ

The Shredder wants to see stars under the stars. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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