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Cluck, cluck 

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With all of these COVID-19 pandemic shutdown orders and travel restrictions, tourist meccas like Pismo Beach must really be suffering economically. Not.

"Due to travel restrictions throughout our state and nation, Pismo Beach saw record numbers of visitors traveling to our area and using our parks, beaches, and other public facilities," a Pismo Beach staff report presented at the Jan. 19 City Council meeting said.

Boy, that's ironic. Even with the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area being closed to off-roaders all summer long, Pismo broke tourist records. Well I guess State Parks can stuff it because those Central Valley peeps love it here whether they end up in the emergency room or not!

Standing in a non-socially distanced line without masks to slurp up that Splash Café clam chowder gold. Going down the new cement slides from the pier to the beach and hurting themselves despite the warning signs at the top. Trashing the city because eating COVID-19 takeout is all there is to do here! Aren't visitors swell?

"The increased number of visitors brought with them an increase in the amount of trash generated," the report stated. "When you combine the high number of visitors with the takeout situation, it is not surprising that our trash volumes were higher than normal or anticipated."

Trash is one of those weird government functions that just happens without us noticing until now. The trash is piling up and the slow bureaucratic waste management machine is trying to adapt, but it's just so hard!

People don't like to lift lids with their hands. Trash cans get full, and people just pile their discarded items on top, where the birds can pick through it and the wind can too, making an even bigger mess. City Public Works Director Ben Fine said the city has hired more maintenance positions devoted to picking up litter and emptying trash cans in the pier plaza area, but keeping things clean—which, let's face it, has never been the case in that particular area—depends on better human behavior!

And take it from a shredder. Humans are the worst!

There's a virus on the loose that's actually killing people. Killing them. And we can't get people to wear masks to prevent themselves and others from getting infected despite a concerted public health campaign. People will be assholes just because it's inconvenient for them not to be. So street trash will always be a thing in Pismo.

As will tourists, apparently. City Manager Jim Lewis said that the city's sales tax and transient occupancy tax receipts show that businesses actually saw increased revenue from June to October 2020, as compared to 2019! What pandemic, amirite?! So, Pismo's hotels must not have followed the state's occupancy restrictions.

Things are so good in Pismo, that the city is the only one in SLO County that hasn't offered any grants to struggling businesses. Grover Beach is tallying close to $750,000 in funds its given in business grants while Pismo is tallying a big fat zero.

Jocelyn Brennan, president and CEO of the South County Chambers of Commerce, said that many of the city's smaller businesses are struggling. So Pismo's hotel business is booming while the rest of us are Zooming, trash is blooming, and the city's small businesses are dooming.

You know who isn't Zooming? SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow. He declined to attend a public meeting with the Gala Pride and Diversity Center after he found out that a rather large crowd intended to tune in to hear his answers to questions about his views of LGBTQ-plus rights. Cluck, cluck, Danny Boy! You sound like a chicken.

Wait, you guys! He did offer the nonprofit board an opportunity to meet in private! Which we all know is super lame. Double cluck, cluck.

The public has a right to know what a top law enforcement official believes about how his extremely vocal religiosity impacts how he does his job when it comes to the LGBTQ-plus community. He already is living on a cloud of denial when it comes to other parts of his job, such as conflicts of interest in prosecuting Black Lives Matter protesters and a vow to not force churches to abide by the COVID-19 rules the rest of us have to adhere to. Sheesh!

Well, some of us think we have to adhere to those rules. And some of us—not so much.

The city of SLO has levied $19,000 in fines to seven businesses it believes have violated COVID-19 regulations. Wowzers! SLO's Administrative Review Board is hearing multiple appeals from Kennedy Club Fitness, which is challenging three $1,000 citations issued to the gym for allowing indoor exercise.

Gym lawyer Jordan Cunningham—who also happens to be our state Assembly member and has been very vocal about his displeasure with what he sees as Gov. Gavin Newsom overstepping the bounds of emergency authority when it comes to issuing executive orders about the pandemic without consulting the Legislature—said there was "no evidence" to prove that indoor activity at the gym "imperils anybody's life."

"That's because there is no such evidence," said Cunningham, who apparently isn't afraid to Zoom at a public meeting about controversial issues. "It's conjecture."

Well, he's definitely not clucking. And the city doesn't seem to be bucking. Δ

The Shredder is hungry for chicken nuggets. Send food to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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