Monday, October 24, 2016     Volume: 31, Issue: 13

Weekly Poll
Should the Arroyo Grande Cemetery start watering its grass again?

Yes. It looks ugly and that's disrespectful to the families who come there to mourn.
They should water it a little more, but stay mindful of the state's drought.
No they need to find an alternative like dryscaping.
Leave it as is. Saving water is more important than aesthetics.

Vote! | Poll Results

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In the system: It's easier than you think to be labeled a gang member

Cover Story

In the system: It's easier than you think to be labeled a gang member


It was hard to watch a grown man like Noe Chang Sr. break down. He sobbed loudly while the judge and lawyers in the SLO County courtroom remained stone-faced. His wife joined him soon after, and the couple watched as two of their sons were handcuffed and led away from them as they wept.  The two brothers, 24-year-old Noe Chang Leon Jr. and 20-year-old Javier Chang, had j... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles



Freeport-McMoRan to sell off Price Canyon oil field


Amid falling oil prices and a mountain of debt, Freeport-McMoRan Oil and Gas is looking to offload some of its oil fields for a little bit of fast cash. The Phoenix, Ariz., b...

Chorro development approved by SLO City Council


“Tricky,” “challenging,” and “difficult” were the adjectives that San Luis Obispo City Council members used to describe the decision before them on Oct. 18: Whethe...

Cannabis culture and music festival at Pozo Saloon canceled


The Harvest cannabis and music festival slated for Oct. 16 was canceled at the last minute due to what the event holder said was pressure from the San Luis Obispo County Sheri...

Fired SLO police officer sues city


A former SLO city police officer claims he was wrongly booted out of the department. Now, he’s prepared to take the matter to court. The former officer, Kevin Waddell, file...

Stink worries delay food waste facility decision


A warning of sorts accompanied the SLO County Board of Supervisors’ vote to delay a decision on the green and food waste processing facility slated for Waste Connections’ ...

SLO sued over Rental Inspection Program


A lawsuit is calling San Luis Obispo’s controversial Rental Housing Inspection Program unconstitutional, but the city begs to differ. Landlords Steve and Janine Barasch, Ma...

Barren and unkempt: Families mourn amid dust and gopher holes at the Arroyo Grande Cemetery


Miriam Moustirats looked out across the expanse of the Arroyo Grande Cemetery with a frown.  “The cemetery has a lot of problems,” she said. “People have told me it lo...

Breaking ground: SLO City Council candidates talk about the city's housing crunch


You’d be hard-pressed to find a hotter topic in San Luis Obispo than housing. While the crux of SLO’s housing crisis is more or less undisputed—intense competition fo...


It's election season 2016

Editor’s note: SLO County residents are full of thoughts about the 2016 election, so New Times is filling the commentary section with letters to the editor this week. 

The great reckoning


When the dust settles from the 2016 election, we are going to need to take a long, hard look at what in the hell just happened. This time around, there is much to learn if w...


Please vote

By Charles Ewing - Bradley

The November general election is of utmost importance. Aside from voting for local, state, and federal elective offices, there are many important ballot measures to decide. Mo...

Cunningham is the choice for public safety

By Tim Farrell - Santa Margarita

As a longtime Central Coast resident, I care deeply about preserving our beautiful region and all it has to offer. We are blessed to live in such a great area and I pray my ch...

Dawn Ortiz-Legg will deliver results for Central Coast

By Don Maruska - Los Osos

As an entrepreneur and business coach helping people accomplish their objectives and serve their communities, I focus on what will be most effective in getting positive result...

Tom O'Malley is an honorable man

By Matthew Mansfield - Atascadero

My family and I have lived in Atascadero for 11-plus years, and we love the energy that’s been created with new businesses opening up, new family-friendly activities, and th...

Here's the rest of the story

By Dennis Schmidt - Atascadero

In a recently published New Times article titled “Balancing act: Atascadero mayor dismisses lingering concerns over potential conflicts” (Oct. 13), the writer excerpts min...

We need term limits, even in Atascadero

By Rolfe Nelson - former Atascadero mayor

Based on my own life experiences and strong convictions, I am an advocate for term limits at every level of government. We have all seen too many politicians who have been ele...

Hill, the credit-taker

By T. Keith Gurnee - San Luis Obispo

In his ads falsely slamming his opponent, Adam Hill would have us believe that he and he alone protected the 900-acre Pismo Preserve and that Dan Carpenter opposed it. Despite...

Make up your own mind on Proposition 57

By Carol Keller - Arroyo Grande

In response to the Oct. 13 article “Law enforcement speaks out against Proposition 57”—a press conference leads to articles in both The Tribune and New Times!  It migh...

One clarification about a recent letter

By The Anesthesiology Department - Twin Cities Community Hospital

This letter is in response to a letter (“Not surprised about Twin Cities’ problems”) in the Oct. 13 issue of New Times in which Dr. Stephen Mulder describes himself as a...


Something stinks

Psst. I want to tell you a little secret. Come closer. Closer. OK, too close! Back the eff up. There. That’s better. Did you know that no one likes abortion? True story! Eve...

Street Talk

Is there a housing issue in SLO?

Carolyn Bird Kevin Gomez Jamie King Roanne Rogers

Strokes and Plugs

Superhero cookies: Gerry's Cookies in Grover Beach are cooking up a following


Ever wish you could buy homemade cookies instead of having to decide between quality and convenience? Well, now thanks to Gerry’s Cookies and California’s cottage food law...


The Last Cowboy photography exhibit runs at Studios on the Park through Nov. 27


Like the dwindling populations of Amazonian tribes clinging to an ancient way of life or the critically endangered Amur leopard of northeast China (last count, just 60 remaine...

Social commentary: Editorial cartoonist Russell Hodin wants you to embrace the messiness of democracy


He used to sneak into a trigonometry classroom at lunchtime in high school just to fill a chalkboard with caricatures.  Editorial cartoonist Russell Hodin said the trig teac...

The Race of Gentlemen meets stormy conditions but garners enthusiastic crowds on Oct.15


It’s Saturday, Oct. 15, and I’m looking for parking near the West Grand Avenue beach access in Grover Beach. Despite scattered showers, the area is packed as thousands hav...

Musical development

If you're in fifth grade and attend a school in the Atascadero or San Luis Obispo Coastal school districts, music from Frozen, Star Wars, and Harry Potter will be serenading ...

Miracle cure

Nipomo High School drama opens its season with Radium Girls, a fast-moving theatrical ensemble piece inspired by a true story. In 1926 radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie...

Little masterpieces

The Paso Robles Art Association’s annual Small Treasures show and fundraiser will be displayed in November and December at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles. Entries are l...

Bingeable: Rebellion


Where? Netflix. Historical dramas have to be a lot of things at once. They have to be grounded in historical fact, but not bogged down by too many details.  They have to h...


A bevy of big acts from Willie Nelson to The Pixies to Jimmy Eat World descend on SLO County


Willie Nelson plays Avila Beach this week. The Pixies play SLO Town on one of four warm-up dates before their European tour. A couple of nostalgia acts—The Doobie Brothers a...


'The Accountant' is preposterous fun!

Gavin O’Connor (Tumbleweeds, Miracle Pride and Glory, Warrior, Jane Got a Gun) directs Bill Dubuque’s (The Judge, The Headhunter’s Calling) screenplay about Christian ...


Throw back with Zenaida Cellars


Zenaida Cellars owners Eric and Jill Ogorsolka know something about the famous Templeton Gap that a lot of newer winery owners don’t. Just ask Jill why Theatre Drive in Tem...

Hayley's Pick

Tap It Brewing Co.'s Wheat Vine Ale and Kelsey See Canyon's 2014 Golden Delicious Apple Wine

If I were to give you clues like: “honey suckle,” “stone fruit,” “caramel,” and “oak,” you might answer, “chardonnay,” right? Well, what if I were to tell ...

Hot Dates

Frightful day

Put your costume on and get lost in the maze at the annual Halloween Carnival and Haunted Maze at the Elm Street Park in Arroyo Grande, Oct. 29 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The even...

Mysterious times

London 1959, southern coastal Australia 1988, and the Australian desert in 2039 are the settings for Andrew Bovell’s multigenerational mystery, When the Rain Stops Falling, ...

Variety act

Four comedians, each from a different background, will come together for a night of stand-up titled Mixed Bag of Nuts, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. at the Clark Center for the Performing...