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Missing but unmissed 

Former County Supervisor Jerry Lenthall is the tall drink of water who just keeps on watering. Shredder thought Lenthall was all done supplying items for the column and yet, even in his absence, he provides.

See, they had this nice swearing-in ceremony the other day for the new supervisors. Frank Mecham took over Harry Ovitt’s seat. Thus, as is only fitting and proper, following the sweating-in ceremony, Ovitt rose from his seat at the supervisors’ desk, shook Mecham’s hand and offered him the seat. A class act, and a nice public demonstration of the principles of democracy. I think I heard a flag fluttering, and fireworks.
    Adam Hill, however, took over for Lenthall. And Lenthall was a no-show. Thus, no handshake, no welcome, and no class on display.
    Hill didn’t have any problems finding the seat, however, and I’m sure he’ll have no problems filling it. Despite his imposing size, Lenthall didn’t leave much of an impression in his chair.
    At the SLO City Council, there are promising signs of continued gift-giving as well from new council members Jan Marx and John Ashbaugh. Marx, returning to the council, is again showing herself as the do-your-homework variety of public servant. When talking about the pave-the-park parking lot the council finalized the other day for the senior center in Mitchell Park, she noted that she’d looked into how many people in the center’s bridge club were even city residents. Not many, she found.
   Ashbaugh, in contrast, is quickly proving himself as the annoy-your-colleagues variety, with ample interruptions and listen-to-me-style speeches. Shredder expects him to settle down, but sincerely hopes he does not.
   Here’s a personal aside to the young woman who was cutting nasty cheese at the Jan. 6 meeting—squeeze your cheeks, chicky, because they don’t allow that sort of thing at these council meetings. Somebody’s bound to tell Andrew Carter on you, and that man will call you out.

Tossing it
    Call it the Dumpster dive opportunity of a decade or the dumbest government decision since the war, but according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, as of Feb. 10, thrift stores, re-use stores and Goodwills are going to have to toss out all their used kids clothes and toys.

That’s right, just in time for the worst recession in American history, Congress and the Bush Administration are apparently banning thrift stores from selling used kid stuff.

Here’s the background: After last year’s scare about lead in everything from lunchboxes to T-shirts, Congress passed a law demanding that retailers verify that all children’s products are lead-free.

In practice, that means that all children’s products sold after Feb. 10 have to be tested for lead. It costs upwards of $1,000 to get the test done, per batch of product. That’s not a big cost for Mattel, one of the manufacturers actually found to have sold products with lead. But it is a big deal to people who hand-make toys, games, and clothes. In other words, it’s a big deal to the type of folks least likely to make products anybody has to worry about.

It’s an even bigger deal to consignment shops and thrift stores, because they can’t go around spending $1,000 to test a $1 hoodie. Their only apparent choice? Toss it out.

Attention grateful “victims”
 Charles Lynch is the former owner of the medical marijuana dispensary in Morro Bay, the one that was shut down when the local sheriff called in the feds to shut him down. Lynch is set to be sentenced Feb. 23 at 8:30 a.m.

This is where the former patients could come in. At Lynch’s sentencing hearing, the judge will likely hear from Lynch’s former “victims.” That’s the word the feds are using for his patients. So, if you’re a “victim” of Charles Lynch and his county-authorized, state-decriminalized sale of medical marijuana to people with prescriptions from their doctors, don’t forget to volunteer to tell the judge at his sentencing the many ways Lynch changed your life. There will be a rally to follow. The Federal Court House is at 312 North Spring Street in L.A. Act fast. The last day to send a letter to Judge Wu is Feb. 5.

I don’t know how this escaped my attention until now. It turns out the SLO Downtown Association last year had to drop plans to adopt a marketing slogan “Escape the Valley Fever” in promotional efforts designed to attract people from inland areas to their fair city.

Turns out that, since Valley Fever is a real disease, a fungus infection caught from blowing dust, and since 35,000 people get infected from it every year in California alone, and since it actually kills people in the area the marketing materials would have targeted, and since we have it here, too, it was deemed insufficiently cutesy.

So I’m starting a new contest for an even better slogan. The rules: it must both insult and threaten prospective visitors to San Luis Obispo, and yet be super duper cutesy. Godspeed. ∆

Send all contest entries to

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