Opinion » Shredder

Shock and outrage

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Big news this week! Abortions are on the chopping block, Diablo Canyon Power Plant might stay open, and Oceano is going to vote on the same fire tax it voted against two years ago.

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One of those things is not like the other, right? Well, maybe it is to the good, upstanding citizens of Oceano, who are faced with a lesser-of-two-evils decision: Pay more taxes or receive questionable fire service from the county. Sounds like fun!

Perpetual outspoken anti-dunes activist and Oceano resident Lucia "I hate State Parks" Casalinuovo was very upset that the Measure A-22 tax would be paying for fire service to respond to just regular ol' medical emergency calls! As if!

"We need to have a distinction between fire emergencies and medical emergencies," Casalinuovo said. "Instead of calling the ambulance, which should be at a fair price [and isn't], they call the fire department to take care of medical emergencies."

Actually, "they" call 911. And 911 dispatchers dispatch both fire and ambulance to a medical call because firefighters are also medically-trained first responders. That way, if you're having an actual medical emergency, you can get a medically trained first responder who happens to be closest to your location to start figuring out what the hell is wrong with you and just maybe save your life.

At $180 per year—aka $15 per month—landowners in Oceano can keep their fire service, which also happens to respond to medical calls (just like everywhere else). Or they can just say no to the tax, and potentially get service from the county for a full three days out of every week! Wow! Que magnifique.

What happens if there's a fire or medical emergency on one of the four days of the week that the county isn't guaranteeing coverage. Shrug! Who knows? Oceano has no idea, and neither does the county.

"The county would never say, 'Oh well, let's try to figure out if Oceano's tax doesn't pass," Oceano Community Services District General Manager Will Clemens said. "They're not going to spend their time on hypothetical things that could happen in a community."

County Administrative Officer Wade Horton said it would be "premature" to detail a backup plan if the measure fails.

Umm, hey Wade, Will? Oceano's tax already didn't pass two years ago. So what the hell has the county been doing since the 2020 election? Apparently, crossing its fingers that Oceano will pass the same exact tax that lost by 11 votes in 2020.

In order to get covered all day, every day, it would cost an extra 49 cents a day. If it's your time to dial 911, are you going to wish you voted in favor of that tax? Might be too "premature" to venture a guess. Only the future knows.

"The devil you know is better than the devil to discover," Oceano Community Services District board member Allene Villa said.

And she just might be right.

Do we think Gov. Gavin Newsom recently discovered that California's energy grid was devilishly underprepared to live without Diablo Canyon? It's not like he's new to the way things work in this state. He was around when PG&E started talking about shutting down its nuclear reactors during Gov. Jerry Brown's administration—he was the lieutenant governor.

Now, after many years of funding, meetings, agreements, etc., to decommission Diablo Canyon Power Plant starting less than two years from now, he's thinking maybe it's not such a great idea. Newsom recently told the LA Times editorial board that California would be "remiss" not to try to get PG&E to apply for federal funds earmarked to keep nuclear energy plants open.

So how long has this idea been germinating? How long has he known that the state's renewable energy trajectory wasn't going to be able to make up the difference? Hopefully he's at least had his eyes open to the dilemma since the beginning, even if he did keep his politicized mouth shut.

He's apparently fine with pissing off San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, a local nonprofit Diablo watchdog that's all about getting rid of nuclear power. Spokesperson Linda Seeley said her group was "not only shocked, we were outraged!"

Outraged!

"There have been so many years put into this orderly shutdown of this nuclear power plant, and all of a sudden Newsom comes in and throws the apples all over the ground," Seeley said.

What the hell, Newsom? Pick those apples up.

Meanwhile Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) actually agrees with the governor!

"I think the governor's right—we'd be remiss in not at least trying" to grab some of those federal dollars, Cunningham said.

So, leave those apples on the ground?

You know who needs to pick up all the apples? The Supreme Court of the United States. A leaked draft court opinion? Who's ever heard of that? Was it on purpose?

Abortion rights have been in the conservative crosshairs for a very long time. We all knew the day would come as soon as Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh made their controversial way onto the bench. And we should have prepared!

Relying on common law rulings for protection isn't necessarily protection. Court rulings are too easy to overturn. We need civil rights to be codified. At the state level. At the national level. Now we all need to pick up the apples. Quick. Δ

The Shredder has a juicer. Send apples to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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