Is it a badge of honor or an anger-inducing snub to get included in the Shredder?
Whatever feeling it instills in the names that make my witty, yet politically astute column (What? Somebody has to sing my praises!) or in the people who read it, certain governing bodies can't help but make the cut over and over again.
For instance: The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, which just couldn't stop finding its way into headlines this past year—a trend I certainly hope continues. With school board trustee Chris "I'm Always Right About the Liberal Agenda" Arend at the district's helm alongside Superintendent Curt Dubost, who's tasked with constantly cleaning up after the board that governs him, I have no doubt that the North County school district will sail through 2022 with more unabashed news-making shenanigans.
If blowing up what should have been a relatively inane discussion about an elective ethnic studies course at Paso Robles High School into a raging issue for anti-higher education conservatives wasn't enough, Arend decided it would be a good idea to chastise Spanish speakers during board meetings for speaking Spanish. Now, the district's staring down the barrel of a U.S. Department of Education investigation into discrimination against Spanish-speaking families.
I'd say that guy, Arend, deserves a slow clap for doing what he does best: Introducing national hot button issues to the Central Coast, such as critical race theory, and being a white man who perpetuates systemic racism but doesn't believe it exists and who believes some women can be too emotional to hold public office. He's from a different era, right?
The Republican Party of San Luis Obispo also deserves a slow clap for doing what it does best: Drinking the Trump Kool-Aid. The far-right true believers who make up the base of RPSLO's membership thrust SLO County into the national spotlight again this year. Hundreds cried foul (fowl) during a ridiculous stunt at a SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting where public commenters clucked (See what I did there?) over purported vaccine "passports" and alleged fraudulent voting. One little chicken even accused former SLO County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong of being associated with China's Communist Party.
Gong resigned from his post over the summer and moved to work in a clerk-recorder's office in a different county for many reasons—but I wouldn't be surprised if RPSLO's temper-tantrum over fraud that doesn't exist nudged him over the edge. Grow up, kids! Trump lost and you still have the freedom to be free-dumb.
Speaking of the Board of Supervisors, whew! The shitshow—yes, shitshow—that we got to witness this year was impressive.
Between RPSLO, the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture, and Business's Mike Brown (Can't you just hear his monotone drawl?), 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold, 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton, and 1st District Supervisor John Peschong, they made a right mess of the Integrated Waste Management Authority, appointing a new county clerk-recorder, being blasé about COVID-19 regulations, redistricting, and so much more.
Every week was a new wonder to stare at with wide-eyed awe, newish rhetoric to listen to as it fell from conservative supervisors mouths like a plague of locusts rushing to defend the decisions they knew they were going to make before they actually made them. Yuck.
But even yuckier still were the rumors that became reality. The U.S. Department of Justice announced that Natural Healing Center founder and cannabis power player Helios Dayspring pleaded guilty to tax evasion and bribing late 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill.
Rumors of Hill's pay-to-play attitude about his votes as a supervisor had been rampant for years, but on-the-record allegations and actual proof of those actions were few and far between. Same goes for Dayspring's criminal ways—the rumors about that man whisper about criminal behavior that's far worse than bribery and tax evasion. Hill won't pay the price for his actions with anything other than a tainted legacy, but Dayspring is heading to prison, supposedly.
The company that he allegedly no longer has a stake in is suing the city of SLO for pulling its dispensary permit over the matter. Lawsuit documents state that Dayspring owns the property in question, and the Natural Healing Center, which his girlfriend is now the CEO of, would have rented the building from him for $55,000 a month. Wow! Such drama.
Stay tuned for more about Dayspring's dilemma in 2022.
Also up in 2022; more COVID-19; more arguments over the SLO Police Department's $52-million new building; a possible lawsuit against the county over redistricting; and questions, questions, questions about who will represent the two halves of SLO County at the state and federal levels. Will we hear anything more about the civil rights violations at the SLO County Jail? I'll let you know.
Because there's only one place that will keep you elated, agitated, and belly-laughing all the way through 2022. It's me. I'm the place.
As one extremely satisfied reader put it in a recent voicemail: "You got a rag going. The Shredder is some anonymous asshole. ... Burn the fucking thing, man. ... You guys are nuts. You appeal to all the overeducated assholes in SLO ... It's lame, you guys are lame. Fuck you!"
Hey bud, I hope you feel better soon! Keep reading for more quality content! Δ
The Shredder is an anonymous asshole. Send constipated irritations to firstname.lastname@example.org.