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Californians are slow to get worked up about things. They either grow up mellow or move here and mellow out. Maybe that’s why nobody seemed to want to believe it when New Times started asking about reports of racist signs and symbols at the Crops House on the Cal Poly campus.

The campus officials were like: “What? No way. Maybe they had a Halloween party!” As if that would excuse a lynching symbol and a sign that said “No ni***ers.” Plus, who has Halloween parties three weeks before Halloween?

And then they checked it out and found out, yup, there was some pretty nasty-looking shit on display at the Crops House. So what did they do about it? They gave the kids “a talking to.” End of story. Hands brushed off. Move along.

Gee, I wonder why Cal Poly has problems with diversity recruiting? I wonder why only one percent of the university’s students are black?

Now I want to know a whole bunch more about this house.

For one thing, I’d like to know more about how somebody gets such a sweet deal.

Think about it. This is free, on-campus housing, subsidized by the California taxpayer, where the students in question don’t have to worry about things like dorm rules, societal norms, or, you know, people like “that guy.”

And who named it, Kenny Rogers? Do they skip dinner and sit around singing “Lucille?” “Four hungry students and a crops house in the field ; ”

Check out the picture. The place looks like the College Republicans invaded Animal House in tweaker country. There’s just all sorts of junk strewn amid the McCain/Palin signs. Oh, wait, we didn’t run that photo, the one that has the McCain signs in view of the noose and Confederate flag. You owe us one, Mr. McCain, my friend.

I want to know exactly how you get accepted into the house. Are there any black kids out there? (Don’t tell me, let me guess.) Is it only for guys, because it sure looks like it? If so, is that fair?

When was the last time a minority kid was allowed into the house? Are all the fair housing rules followed? We’ve heard reports about the raging parties they throw, and if you look closely at the photo we did run you’ll see the stack of plastic cups on the table. Even the Cal Poly officials we talked to had heard about the parties. How does that square with the whole “dry campus” thing?

Somebody told us the Crops House is officially part of the Cal Poly housing system. If it is, I don’t think anybody was too strict about enforcing the residency hall handbook, which states: “We affirm the dignity inherent in all members of the community, and we strive to provide a climate marked by respect for individual differences and backgrounds.”

Best-case scenario? Some ignorant kids did something really stupid, got all into themselves about how out-of-bounds they were being. Thought it was funny to be doing something everybody else thinks is wrong.

Worst-case scenario? I think you can paint that yourself. I have the sneaking suspicion some campus officials are going to be revisiting this issue.


Santa Margarita

There’s no secret why the Santa Margarita Ranch owners want to get their project decided while the current members of the Board of Supervisors are still there.

Everybody seems to believe the project will skate through with the current, pro-growth majority. It should; these guys are constitutionally aligned with this sort of project.

But the ranch supporters have also bought themselves some insurance. According to numbers supplied from a ranch opponent, Supervisor Jerry Lenthall has taken more than $29,000 in political contributions from ranch owners or contractors who’ve done work on the project since 2004. He’s been the big winner, but Harry Ovitt received $6,300 over that time period. According to this analysis, incoming Supervisors Adam Hill and Frank Mecham haven’t taken any linked donations. Supervisor Bruce Gibson also took about $6,000 from owners, but nothing since 2006.


Yes on 8 money

Speaking of money in politics, the Los Angeles Times has a nifty database where you can look up who has been donating money to which side on the Proposition 8, gay-marriage battle.

I tell you, you walk down SLO’s Thursday Farmers’ Market and you get the sense that everybody’s all happy with gay marriage—there are “NO on 8” signs everywhere—but that may be just another example of what an island SLO city is in the county.

According to the database, the county’s money is flowing nearly 10 to 1 in the other direction. According to the map, SLO County residents have contributed more than $295,000 to Yes on 8, while just over $30,000 has gone toward the no side.


Memo to the Prop. 4 letter writer

A letter writer last week wrote about all these things kids need to get their parents’ “consent” for, including piercings, tattoos, and R-rated movies. She was making the point in favor of Proposition 4. But let’s be clear, Proposition 4 puts in place “parental notification” before a minor can get an abortion. Not permission. Not consent. Notification.

Hey, by next week we’ll have chosen a new president. Whoever it is, I hope they don’t forget folks like me, Joe the Shredder.

Readers Poll

Are you satisfied with diversity representation in school textbooks?

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