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The good fight 

There's this thing that happens after it rains. Everything is wet. And it stays wet for a while, depending on the temperature, how much it rained, and whether it's day or night. Let's say—just, like, for instance—that the temperature drops below freezing.

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There's this thing that happens to water when the temperature drops below freezing. It becomes ice. I know it's a novel concept, but stay with me here.

Let's say—just, like, hypothetically—that all of that actually happened in North SLO County between Feb. 4 and 5. Well it did. It happened in Atascadero, where there were apparently 10 to 12 accidents before 9 a.m. CHP Templeton had to send a tweet out telling people to please, slow down, "The freeway is covered in ice!" And then, they actually closed down one of the lanes on the freeway! What??

This is literally the reason why people in the Midwest make fun of California! Bunch of liberal snowflakes when it comes to ice on the roads—only it was North County, which isn't liberal, so what gives? Also, who tweets before work, or on the way to work? I hope nobody read that tweet and promptly got into an accident because they were looking at their phone and not the road. Don't we have an emergency alert system that can send a text to everyone's phone?

It's like everyone was high, or something.

Well, nobody's higher than the city of San Luis Obispo, which made $224,000 in three weeks off cannabis business applicants! Eight storefront dispensary applicants paid the city $22,000 just to apply. Getting a regular old business license in SLO costs $191 if you're not located in the Downtown Business Improvement District ($341). Suckers!!

The city's only choosing three of you! And you lucky, lucky three will then get to pay the city $90,000 per year to renew your licenses and you will also get to pay at least 6 percent of your gross receipts in annual taxes.

Woot!! This city's got dollar signs in its eyes. Only, if it allowed all eight to open, SLOTown would be a whole lot richer, but the devil's lettuce would be everywhere!

Maybe SLO could use that money to pay off some of its pension liability. But the city would probably just hold a bunch of community meetings to "gather input" on what it can do with its newfound payload—and then hold even more meetings to make sure the input it got the first time was indeed what city residents really think. Then, once the city decided what to do with the money, all the shit-stirrers could feel their way out of their dark, dank bedroom closets to get ANGRY! because nobody told them what was going on and the city never listens to them.

Let that anger drive you, ladies and gentlemen. Put all those rational thoughts behind you. And you, too, could one day find yourself in a field of cognitive dissonance, yelling at the "other" for not seeing your stupidity in the exact same positive light that you do.

My oil-coated crystal ball is telling me that this county needs to prepare itself for that exact field of battle, once again. Gear up for more flyers than you care to recycle, city council meetings strewn with public comments that say the same exact thing, and, of course, the penultimate sign of the political time: eye rolls all around!

Local environmentalists have their panties all up in a bunch over Plains All American's plans to replace its super old, and probably too thin, oil pipeline through our county! And they're feeling sassy!

"Plains doesn't deserve a chance to spill again," Center for Biological Diversity organizer Blake Kopcho told us.

Preach that truth to power, Kopcho! They totally don't. They can take their crappy rusted pipeline, which leaked 140,000-plus gallons of oil all over a slice of Central Coast heaven in 2015, and shove it. Only, they don't want to just replace the damaged section of pipe. They actually want to replace the whole thing from start to finish, which probably wouldn't be a bad thing with the oil company's track record of sucking hard when it comes to leaky pipes.

Plus, you guys! Guess what? The company has also discovered the "importance of the Pacific Ocean!" At least according to Plains All American Government Affairs Director Steve Greig, who also said (cue eye roll) "We agree that we want to protect the environment."

Wow! I'm sure comments like that are going to work well with the likes of Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club Director Andrew Christie, who's readying his troops to fight Big Oil, starting with a city council meeting near you.

Meanwhile, our favorite U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) tweeted out the fact that he pulled up his avocado socks to meet with the California Avocado Commission. After witnessing a very #sad State of the Union, Carbajal must have felt the need to talk to some Central Coast folks about the trade war as a way of cheering himself up.

SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon isn't letting the man get her down either. "We're going to be OK," she wrote in a Facebook post with a photo of two Democratic female reps dressed in white at the #SOTU. "Hang in there team." Δ

The Shredder is hanging in there and kind of wants some socks with avocados on them. Send thoughts to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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