Neil is a reporter for the Sun-Bulletin in Morro Bay, where he’s covered the region since the Jurassic Period. Neil has a bad habit. He likes to tell people what he thinks. This can be dangerous. Shh. Listen:
“I’m very interested in starting a nonprofit group to fight these enviro-wackos at every turn.”
That’s Neil not mincing his words on a local interactive web site. What’s with him? Doesn’t he know you’re not supposed to say things like that?
“They tell half truths like they’re Gospel and will do or say anything to get their way. I wish everyone who disagreed with their lawsuit tactics … would immediately resign his or her membership in the Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, and ECOSLO—”
Ouch. Hope there aren’t any enviro-wackos around. If there are, then—
“—Maybe by hitting them in their wallets, they’ll see that people are genuinely upset….I’m sick and tired of these people telling everyone else how to live and what to think—”
Okay, okay, Neil, we get the picture. Environmentalists irritate you a smidgen. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be doing their job.
But this has me wondering about the local environmental movement—I haven’t heard much from anyone lately about Costco or the Marketplace or all the other construction that’s planned and going up. There used to be lots of howls and press conferences and stuff.
According to Neil, the enviros are thriving just fine in Morro Bay, and that’s what has his undies in such a twist—they want to stop the Duke power plant project, stop the fireworks on July 4th, stop me from annoying the plovers, stop you from breathing out carbon dioxide.
You don’t often hear a reporter sound off like this about stuff like that. Usually when they do, it’s in the other direction—they’re mostly enviro-wackos themselves, cleverly disguised with notepads and ink-stained fingers. I should know. I’m surrounded by them. There goes one now.
I had to talk with the Farrell guy, so I called the Sun-Bulletin.
“Is Neil Farrell there?”
“Neil Farrell? Um, well … Actually, no. He’s on vacation.”
A likely story.
“When’s he expected back?”
“Um, well … Actually, the rumor is that he’s not coming back.”
Gee, if that’s the rumor there in the office, what could the rumor on the street be? That he was murdered by a pack of plovers, torn to pieces by enviro-wackos, clubbed by Sierra Clubbers? I had to find out what became of the county’s loudmouth reporter. I made some calls. Talked to flies on the wall. Had a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. More talk, more calls. Nothing.
The only rumor I could definitely nail down as a definite rumor was that someone had sent Neil’s screed to the Sun-Bulletin’s editor, who told Neil he was being transferred to the Carrizo Plains beat, and that Neil then said they could all stuff a red-legged frog in their nether regions and then go suck a wetland—so you may want to phone the front office and let them know that’s what really happened to him.
DUKIN’ IT OUT: Speaking of Morro Bay shenanigans, Duke Energy’s power plant will be very sad L this Christmas season—it won’t have its festive, gaudy electric star lit up to help us all get in the Holiday Spirit and warn wee ships from these treacherous shores.
One might think this was being done for the benefit of the city’s burgeoning enviro-wacko population, but no. Duke says they just didn’t think it was “appropriate” following recent layoffs to spend the $10,000 to $15,000 on putting the star up. They also said that they’d rather contribute to charities this year J.
At first I thought it was a gesture for Farrell—you know, have the plant go dark in soulful mourning L—but then I thought, Hey, which charities? Maybe all the deserving ones in SLO County should give them a call. And Duke’s right, of course. Those laid off workers would much rather see all that money just given away J.
WE DON’T LIKE TO SEE WHERE WE’RE GOING, WE JUST LIKE TO SEE WHERE WE’VE BEEN: I read last week that some guy named Dan Del Campo, who lives in Thousand Oaks, is planning a run for supervisor here in SLO County against Harry Ovitt. Del Campo is the former Thousand Oaks city councilor who’s also thinking about running for City Council down there again, but he bought a house here so he can qualify as a SLO County resident if he’s a registered voter for 30 days before the filing deadline—that is, unless he decides to run for City Council down in Thousand Oaks, in which case he’ll sell the house or rent it or whatever and not have to worry about appearing in this column ever again.
Me, I’m going to wear my pants on my head, unless my butt gets
cold, in which case my pants-hat will go back where I had it before I
stuck it on my butt, I think, but I’m not sure since I can’t
see too well, what with these pants on my head, so I’m going to
stop before I make a real ass of myself. ³