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Can you dig it? 

Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles. Crews are starting construction in Los Osos for the sewer project.

Actually, crews are scheduled to start construction, which you know and I know is not the same thing as actually starting construction. Bruce Buel, Los Osos general manager, made sure to emphasize that the July 20 construction start date isn’t guaranteed — but what in life is? We could all be obliterated by a huge meteor passing through our neck of the solar system. Splat! Like a bug on a windshield.

Bruce also said that the early July groundbreaking ceremony would be short and sweet, possibly because the longer it lasts, the more opportunities there are for someone to make a scene. We wouldn’t want anyone interrupting the speeches by driving up on a motorized Honey Hut, would we? I wouldn’t be surprised if the CSD board hired snipers to take positions on nearby rooftops.

After the workers break ground, Los Osos still has to weather an initiative to move the sewer somewhere else and a recall initiative aimed at three sewer-sympathetic CSD board members. Both votes are scheduled for late September.

Considering that work will begin — or is scheduled to begin — in late July, there could be quite a sizeable hole that would need to be filled in if voters naysay the project in any way. I suppose that the project needs to move forward, especially when directed by the board to move forward as fast as possible, but I sure wouldn’t want to be in Bruce’s shoes if Los Osos folks tell the crews to put down their shovels after they’ve been digging for months. He’d probably be praying for a meteor.


Bait and switch

The SLO Downtown Association was happy to report the safe recovery of Steely Dan, the public art trout who apparently went missing until it turned up near Woodstock’s. If you hadn’t noticed, don’t worry. I didn’t either.

In its account of the event, the Association mentioned that “no further vandalism has been reported since Cal Poly graduation weekend,� ending its summary with a sassy “Coincidence?�

In a word: Probably. Class doesn’t have to be in session for vandals to do their worst. And if that’s their worst, I’m seriously worried about the moxie of this generation’s vandals.

These fish have been around for a while now. As their novelty wears off, so does the attraction to abuse them. Think about it. When’s the last time anybody did anything to Puck? Granted, the statue sits in the middle of a plaza regularly patrolled by security guards who yell at you if you simply try to spin him — even though he’s on a base that’s designed to spin. Are those guys idiots or what?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a drunk student or drunk business executive — if you’re a drunk anyone and lack a certain amount of judgment to start with, you’re going to do something stupid, like steal a giant fish or call up your ex and say a bunch of stuff you’ll half-remember and fully regret in the morning.

Granted, Poly students are responsible for the majority of stupid incidents in SLO throughout the year, but then, there are quite a few of them around most of the year, aren’t there?

Well, the Association’s probably right. Maybe it isn’t a coincidence that vandalism drops noticeably when school’s out for summer, but it’s probably not a coincidence either that bars and stores seem to be easier to get into. What’s that old saying about biting the hand that feeds you?

I yam what I yam

Memo to Jan Strain: You don’t have nearly the bite that you once did, and I’m not talking about public-art fish or the SLO Downtown Association. Ha.

Jan’s the Nipomo resident who told San Luis Obispo that she’s “99 percent sure� she knows who I am, or was, or whatever. She admits that she doesn’t have a clue as to my identity these days, but she’s almost positive that I’m not who I used to be, because my “column abruptly changed� after New Times founder Steve Moss died, and now it lacks bite.

Have you ever changed your hairstyle, Jan? Ever reinvented yourself? Or do you wear the same frumpy housedress from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31? Excuse me for not doing the same tired thing day after day after day after day.

As far as I know, I’ve been me for as long as I can remember, which is probably about as long as you’ve been putting your foot in your mouth.

And as for me lacking bite? Jan, you live in a place that can’t even get its act together to become a city. Here’s some unsolicited advice: Stop pretending you’re a forensics investigator from “CSI: Miami� and start worrying about being the change you want to see in the world or whatever trendy crap motto gets you through each boring day.

Oh, and be careful who you go around accusing of not being as tough as they used to be. Insult the wrong person, and someone just might “abruptly change� your face.

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