Opinion » Shredder

Same as it ever was



I don't like to speak ill of the dead—they can't defend themselves—but can we all agree former 3rd District SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill accepted bribes? When he committed suicide, he was under FBI investigation, and now that cannabis magnate and Natural Healing Center owner Helios Dayspring pleaded guilty to giving Hill $32,000 for favorable votes for his pot farms, it's time to face the facts about Hill.


This little office appliance generally liked Hill's stance on issues, but that didn't stop me from shredding his bombastic, bullying, and often-boorish behavior, his strong-arm fundraising "techniques," or his inability to control his temper. I didn't, however, believe he was capable of accepting bribes. Turns out, I was wrong and he was dirty. I bring this up because the silence from theSLO County Democratic Party about these Adam Hill revelations has been deafening.

I know liberals like to think they're always on the righteous side—the side protecting the vulnerable. In this case, Hill—who for more than a decade was the face of the local Democratic Party—was the bad guy, so where the hell is the outrage from within? Hey supervisors Bruce Gibson and Dawn Ortiz-Legg! Hey SLO County Democratic Party Chair Rita Casaverde! Any comment? Hello?

As of Aug. 11, the SLO Dems' website still listed Adam Hill as 3rd District supe! Where's the embarrassment of being associated with his corruption? Is this lack of condemnation of Hill's behavior complacence, neglect, complicity, or mere hypocrisy? Someone needs to tell the public what the Democrats stand for, or the public is going to assume they're for bribery if it furthers their political agenda.

I get that critical race theory is the current front line of the ongoing culture war, which is why Casaverde has been going on about a "gaslighting email" the Republicans sent out about Resolution 21-27, which aimed to ban the teaching of CRT in the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District. It's easier to continue this fight rather than face the elephant of Adam Hill filling every smoke-filled political room in the county. Until the Democrats stand up and acknowledge and denounce Hill's corruption as forcefully as possible, he will be a weapon to attack liberal ideas and other liberal politicians.

While we're on the CRT topic, however, I have to point out that the Republican letter reads, "We should not be teaching that one group of people are the oppressors and the other group of people are the victims," which is why Casaverde and others are worried about the loosely worded—and recently passed by a district school board more than half full of oppressors—Resolution 21-27 and how it will be interpreted and enforced. Can you teach slavery without acknowledging "that one group of people were oppressors" and the other "victims"?

The Republican Party of San Luis Obispo has also been circulating a fearmongering flyer calling for the recall of Lucia Mar Unified School Board members Colleen Martin, Dee Santos, and Don Stewart. "It's about the children!" the flyer implores, going on to claim that these three board members pushed through Character Strong curriculum, which "has links associated with social emotional learning (SEL), which is a new name for critical race theory." Oh my! Lions and tigers and bears!

Scary stuff! SEL aims to teach self-awareness, social awareness, and responsible decision-making. Ooh! Wouldn't want that! Character Strong is teaching patience, kindness, honesty, respect, humility, etc. I know! That sounds very un-American! Also, it's worth pointing out that neither are "a new name for CRT."

Anyway, how are students going to learn anything if they're masked, amirite? There are still conservatives and parents fighting against mask mandates for school children. Some are concerned about damaging a kid's psyche or that masks increase suicidal ideation in children. Huh? Really? Well, the Central Coast Psychological Association to the rescue!

They sent out a letter signed by more than 20 local psychologists that read, "We have not worked with a single client who reported increased suicidal thoughts as a result of having to wear a mask." They also cited a UK study of 11,000 people that found "consistent mask wearing had no association with poorer mental health. In fact, the researchers found that people who adhered to face-covering guidelines actually had better mental health than those who did not."

Kids are resilient, and most want to learn and return to school and their social lives. If wearing masks is the price they pay, they can do it. The sooner the vaccine holdouts and anti-maskers jump on the health bandwagon, the sooner we can squash this pandemic and get back to arguing about homelessness. Who am I kidding? Let's multitask, people!

In response to the idea to open El Chorro Regional Park to the county's homeless population, the county will instead open a safe parking program for "vehicle-based unhoused residents" beginning Aug. 13 on a dirt lot on Kansas Avenue, by the SLO County Jail and Animal Services.

It's going to be sweet, right? A treeless bulldozed lot surrounded by fencing, a couple of porta-potties and showers, and a dumpster. Very inviting. It's terrific the county is doing something, but now law enforcement can legally make people move from, say, the Los Osos Library, because they've provided an alternative. Sigh. Δ

The Shredder admitted it was wrong. Put up a historical marker and comment to shredder@newtimesslo.com.


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