Opinion » Shredder

SLO burn


It’s been more than a week since the election but I still can’t reconcile myself to the outcome. I was sure she was going to win, positive! But I guess I have to resign myself to the fact that Jan Marx will remain SLO mayor. Of course, there’s still a glimmer of hope. As of Nov. 16, there were still more than 4,000 votes to count, and the gap between Marx and her challenger Heidi Harmon was narrowing. It was Marx at 51.13 percent and Harmon at 48.48 percent. If Harmon can win 60 percent of the remaining vote she’ll squeak into office! I invested in red rose futures and everything! I gotta wonder what’s taking so long. Are there hanging chads? Just count the damn things already!

In the meantime, the SLO City Council under Marx’s leadership continues to run like a grade school recess slap fight, thanks in large part to the fact that outgoing Councilmember John Ashbaugh is completely out of fucks to give. The Nov. 15 meeting started with an innocuous bit of business—the appointment of a new member to the seven-member Architectural Review Commission (ARC), which creates architectural guidelines and approves or denies new construction and major commercial remodeling project designs. Easy-peasy, right? Rubberstamp that jazz and move on, OK? 


Marx and Coucilmember Carlyn Christianson questioned proposed appointee attorney Lydia Mourenza based on her lack of qualifications and communication style. Ashbaugh retorted that she was replacing another lawyer on the commission and intimated that Marx was despotically rejecting her because Mourenza has been critical of Marx and the council in the past.

Marx, like the good little Roberts Ruler she is, tried to pass a motion to shelve the decision while Ashbaugh bellowed, “I’m still talking” (and talking and talking) and Marx retorted, “You’re out of order” (over and over). This went on for an embarrassingly long time. Ashbaugh even tried to get Councilmember Dan Rivoire to back him up, but Rivoire wasn’t having it, saying he supported Mourenza but stared disapprovingly at Ashbaugh’s childish outbursts. The appointment failed, 2-2. 

Wondering about Councilmember Dan Carpenter? Well, now that the election’s over and he lost his bid for SLO County supervisor, he’s sulking. He no-showed because he had more important things to do … in Hawaii! Where’s my plane ticket? I thought we were friends, Dan.

Finally Marx encouraged other citizens to apply for the ARC appointment at City Hall while Ashbaugh warned people to be sure they had no unresolved issues with Marx beforehand or they could expect to be the victim of her vindictiveness. Is he onto something? Small city corruption at work? Oh my!

Anyway, keep tallying those votes! My red rose investment is counting on an upset, and speaking of upsets, Johnson Avenue-area residents Ray Righetti and Lanny Hernandez are real, real worried about Transitions Mental Health Association’s (TMHA) Bishop Street Studios proposal for the old Sunny Acres Orphanage location near the old General Hospital. It would create an assisted living facility for those suffering from mental illness.

TMHA wants to refurbish the old derelict building to create safe housing with on-site mental health services.

Um, where will high school kids go to scare themselves with the ghosts of dead orphans, engage in faux satanic rituals, or spray graffiti?

For their part, Righetti and Hernandez completely support TMHA and its mission (wink-wink) … just not in the old Sunny Acres location. No, wait, they don’t support the project because it will cost too much. No, wait, it’s because it’s like going back to the Stone Age when we warehoused people in mental hospitals. Yeah, that’s the argument! 

No, wait, it’s because we’re NIMBYs but can’t admit it!

Hernandez claimed he’s not worried about the type of people who would live there, just what they might do. Sheesh! Keep those stigmas to yourselves, guys. 

Instead, Righetti and Hernandez have proposed using the location for the SLO Center for the Arts, a creative space where artists can come and make art and stuff. Um, no, they have no plan on how to fund such a project. It’s just a better idea that the loony bin thing, amirite?

Yeah, artists! That would be awesome! Vincent Van Gogh, Kurt Cobain, Jackson Pollack, Edvard Munch, Sylvia Plath, Ludwig Van Beethoven—let’s fill the space with artists! They’re extra stable! They’d make great neighbors!

“Hey, did anyone drop an ear? I found this bloody one on the street.”

“Anyone have a shotgun I can borrow? How about a gas oven?”

Yep, much better idea, guys!

On a lighter note, after we posted a video of SLO Town’s Nov. 12 downtown anti-Trump rally on our Facebook page, Wesley Murphy posted a comment saying, “Ugh get the fire hose,” which, you know, is hilarious! Remember the good old days when Civil Rights protestors had hoses and police dogs turned on them? Ha-ha-ha! Yeah, good old fascism is back in fashion. Thanks, Obama! If you hadn’t been elected president and scared the beejesus out of America’s uneducated whites, Orange Mussolini wouldn’t be trying to figure out how to dial out of the White House

“I dial a 9 first? Really? This place is a dump. I have hotels nicer than this. Yuge hotels. The best hotels. Somebody bring me a taco salad.” 

The Shredder is as sane as you are. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.


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