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Signs of the end of days 

Yikes. Did you see that a guy got arrested at the SLO County Jail for driving an allegedly stolen car to visit a prisoner?

Setting aside for the moment the brainpower behind such a decision on the part of the driver, let’s focus on the creepiness of the policy that has the sheriff’s department checking up on everyone who visits the jail.

Can you say ‘Guilty by association?’

Here, in spokesman Rob Bryn’s crisp, masculine prose, is the way the situation was described in a sheriff’s press release: “San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Dept. Special Problems Unit (SPU) deputies performing a routine audit of persons visiting prisoners in the county jail recovered a stolen car and property taken from a house in Templeton on Saturday.  The law allows deputies the ability to search for contraband and weapons when person(s) or vehicles come on to jail property. Large signs warning of the search are posted at the entrance to the sheriff’s facility.”

The release says he was “confronted by SPU personnel” when he pulled into the parking lot at the main jail who told him to prepare to be searched. At about that time, they got a report of a stolen car.

Like I said, dumb move, but a creepy policy. (A personal aside: This is why I didn’t visit you on Father’s Day, Dad.)


Finally, something to bitch about! For months we’ve been left with no real information about the budget, whiling away our time worrying over which of our precious beaches will be closed to our precious RVs.

Now that we’ve finally got a state budget plan, we can finally complain about things that will actually happen. Prisoners will serve less time. Fees will go up at community colleges, teachers will be laid off, and bananas will get brown faster. Just keep all the prisoners, poor people, laid-off teachers, abandoned welfare kids, and necrotic MediCal patients away from my beachfront RV, and I think we’ll all get through this mess together.

Fair play

If you’ve been following the health-care debate, you might have noticed that when President Obama talks about groups that back his plans, he calls them “stakeholders,” and when he talks about those that oppose them, he calls them “special interest.”

Something similar seems to be is going on when it comes to local environmentalists. Back when Protect Our Property Rights helped water down the viewshed ordinance, designed to keep Highway 1 and surrounds pretty, the environmentalists cried foul. Special interests, they fumed, were writing our laws!

But if you read Kylie Mendonca’s story about plans to try to ban special events on farms, they suddenly see things differently. Now the SLO County Planning Commission, trashing its own staff, hired an environmental group to put the ordinance together. But don’t worry, the commissioners explain. It’s not the same thing. They had a good reason. The environmentalists were the only ones who had access to a computer that day. Whatever. Same thing.

An open songwriting note

This is an open note to the loser—no really, he didn’t win!—who wrote me to bash New Times’ new music awards. Steve Key, host of the songwriter’s showcases at The Clubhouse in SLO and The Porch in Santa Margarita, complains that the name of the award should be “The Downies,” because, he gripes “the contest and awards show is all about promoting Downtown Brew.” He notes that five of the six acts selected to perform at the awards ceremony have played there. He says this proves that the contest wasn’t a blind judging, in which the judges didn’t know who they were listening to. He goes on, complaining about other imagined reasons he didn’t win.

Well there, Steve, your gripes have been publicized. But as for me, I suspect this wasn’t the Kennedy assassination. I’m guessing the reason you didn’t win is because the other guys were better. But maybe I’m biased, because everybody knows Glen Starkey is the Shredder.

Seven signs of the end of times

I don’t have anything else this week, so I’m leaving you with the seven signs of the apocalypse:

1. Steve Key did not win the New Times songwriting contest.

2. America has a Black president who wears mom jeans.

3. I have a foot fungus that looks like a skinny Rush Limbaugh. Impossible.

4. There is a movie named Apocalypse Now. That pretty much says it all.

5. Kids are pooping in pools like there’s no tomorrow. What do they know that we don’t know? SLO’s Sinsheimer pool hasn’t been able to operate for a full day in, like, six weeks. (Note: When I say “like,” I mean this may not be true.)

6. I have nothing else to say.

7. Didn’t you just read #6?

Shredder can be reached at

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