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News, schmooze 

The inside of my mouth is so caked in chalky Valentine’s Day candy residue I can’t even swallow the chocolates I stole off a coworker’s desk. It’s not my fault. It’s just that when I get depressed, I find anything nearby and stick it in my face. Basically, I’m just a walking Cathy comic. Ack! Are there any hot studs out there in need of a temperamental columnist with a God complex? Eek!

Really, though, it’s a depressing time. My inbox has been filling with humor, thrills, chills, and some stuff I don’t really understand. There was Michelle, who was responding to all that stuff I said about the Sheriff’s Department not testing blood they found on (alleged) murder weapons in the Dystiny Myers case. I just thought they were being cheap and lazy—you know, real crappy dates. Not that I wouldn’t put out anyway.

“I say we get Nancy Grace involved,” Michelle said. “She would bring this out to the nation. There wouldn’t be the cover up that is going on. She would love to watch this case especially since you say that the cost of a DNA test is holding back the evidence.”

First of all, hell no. I’ve already got Oprah and Jenny McCarthy making my life miserable. If you unleash Grace’s psycho brand of attack “journalism” on this town, I might have to kill myself, and being that it’s SLO, I’ll have to tighten the noose with a smile on my face.

And everybody’s already so happy about being labeled happy. I’ve heard that people from Arroyo Grande, Oceano, Los Osos, and anywhere near the “happiest place in America” are jumping aboard the ecstasy train—the feeling, not the narcotic. Aaaand the label is like public relations Spanish fly. We’ve been getting slammed with calls from chipmunk-voiced PR reps doing everything from teasing us with mystery celebrities spending Valentine’s Day in Pismo Beach—I can only assume involved in some very sensual dune buggying—to others who want to wine and dine reporters because they know we’re all broke, easy, and will put out faster than Nancy Grace pouncing on a baby gazelle at the watering hole.

Everyone in this dungeon has been too busy covering actual news. You know: really good stuff, the types of stories that have reporters coming back purple-faced and flabbergasted by what they just saw or heard.

So let me roll out my Wheel O’ Crazy and give it a spin. First up is Oceano, where an audit was supposed to uncover why district money was essentially disappearing and random accounts were being opened without board approval. That audit just disappeared. Poof! Magic. But, like most magic tricks, there’s a whole lot going on behind the scenes. Before they got canned, the auditors looked at about 400 financial transactions and concluded that more than a quarter of them looked fishy—give or take. And then, ta-da!, the board let it vanish. Most of them also seem to have plum forgotten about the decision, too.

How about another spin? And, it’s the Narcotics Task Force, once again. After charges got dropped against three marijuana delivery service operators, the NTF decided to try to find some new stuff the accused did wrong. So they started calling up patients and in no uncertain terms asked if the collectives did anything illegal while selling medical pot. Local cops have tried this tactic before, and it got their butts sued. They came out on top in that case, but these stunts often seem to ruffle the public’s collective feathers. For one reason or another, people tend to get miffed when cops start calling and asking if they’ve been involved in anything illegal. Imagine if your pharmacist got pinched for selling his body and you got a friendly call just checking in to see if you ever solicited his—how do you say?—um, services.

At the county Planning Commission, they’re still hemming and hawing over SunPower’s solar project. Spending no less than five days in hearings—and they’re not even done—the commissioners are so entrenched in the minutiae, they’ve had debates about the paint color of transformer boxes.

I poop you not. This commission—remember it’s comprised now of a 3-2 majority of total noobs—is so worried about the aesthetics of miles and miles of solar panels, they don’t want a bunch of mismatched colors mucking the whole thing up. It’s a feng shui tactic that at one point had a county staffer yelling to just say the boxes should be earth tone and move on. Might I suggest a nice neutral, such as sandalwood, or perhaps elderberry?

The commissioners have been rocketing the project through in order to meet SunPower’s funding deadlines. I guess they’re still picking at the last details like a kid at a scab. Vet commissioners like Dan O’Grady and Carlyn Christianson have been getting bogged down in micromanaging and were at the forefront of the color debacle.

Not that any of it matters, because the whole kit and kaboodle’s going to be appealed. At least when the Board of Supervisors gets its hands on this project it will have the appropriate palette—though I think the kid with the scab is spending his time more productively.

If you keep picking at the Shredder, it’s never going to heal. Stop scratching at [email protected].

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