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Trouble right here in Morro Bay 

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Friend, either you're closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the presence of a sewer/water rate hike in your community. Well, ya got trouble, my friend, right here. I say trouble right here in Morro Bay!

Just listen to local gadfly and Save Morro Bay founder Aaron "Music Man" Ochs, who said during public comment in a Morro Bay City Council meeting, "Nationwide, voter suppression is happening. It's happening in Georgia, Tennessee, and Kansas—but Morro Bay? It's happening right now in Morro Bay."

Whaaaaat? Are you kidding me? I didn't even know it was possible to disenfranchise white retirees! Well, apparently it is! The city of Morro Bay has been trying to get a new wastewater reclamation facility built because apparently it's not cool to let raw sewage run into the Pacific Ocean. (So many rules! Get on that, Trumpster Fire!)

They've been going around and around trying to find a suitable location and figuring out how to pay for the proposed $128 million facility.

"Hey, we're on a fixed income? Anyway, I'm late for my pickleball match."

Check your couch cushions, Morro Bay! Dump your purses out on your beds, move the butterscotch candies out of the way, and count your change!

The whole "disenfranchisement" thing is about 1,000 votes in opposition to Proposition 218, which aimed to raise rates by $41 per single-family household per month. The city claimed those 1,000 votes were either undated or marked with a date prior to issuing the new proposed rate hike, which made them invalid.

Huh? Is that how that's supposed to work? Not so fast, Morro Bay!

"We don't want to go to court, but if that's what it takes, that's what I'm willing to do for the community," Ochs said.

"Suck it," City Manager Scott Collins didn't say but might as well have. "Everybody's looked at this from a risk assessment perspective and are confident that if there was a legal challenge, it would fail," Collins actually said to New Times.

Well, now Morro Bay City Councilmember John Headding is calling for a "healing motion that would begin to repair this torn relationship between the two factions."

Well, not actually "healing" healing, more like "empty gesture" healing. Headding said Morro Bay might count the votes and make the results public, just not count them toward the rate hike, which has already been decided. Suck it!

Huh? Is this the "Minnesota Nice" of Morro Bay? As in, "Go to hell" with a smile?

Ochs and his group are not appeased: "We hired an attorney to conduct the process the city has previously refused to do. To ensure fairness and transparency, we believe all votes should be counted."

I haven't seen this much bull poop since Los Osos started working on its sewer plant. You can't hold it forever, Morro Bay! Read Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi! You'll see!

Speaking of bull poop, remember the El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility, which was closed in 2008 because the state of California thought it'd be nicer to incarcerate children closer to their home communities? First the state was going to convert it to a 1,000-bed male medical patient prison, the Estrella Correctional Facility, but the state deemed it unnecessary after sending lower-level offenders and parole violators back to the jails in their communities ... where in the SLO County Jail's case they could die of medical neglect and stuff!

Well, the unused children's prison is still just sitting empty—137 acres on Airport Boulevard, with about 60 buildings and dorms. Paso Robles city officials know there's a big homeless problem in California, and they'd like to acquire the property for homeless services, farmworker housing, sports facilities, and other community uses.

Sounds great, right? And the state through its Department of General Services already designated the property surplus, meaning it was open to other state agencies for use, but there were no takers. Instead of the state continuing upkeep (sort of), why not let Paso use it to mitigate homelessness and more?

"Sure thing," the state said. "Just give us $4.8 million and it's all yours."

Um, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, the Golden State's perpetual camping population (I love a good euphemism, don't you?) jumped nearly 14 percent between 2016 and 2017. Hey, State o' Cali, ain't these "campers" part of your problem, too? And here's good o' Paso Robles offering to help fix it, and you want to stick them for nearly 5 million smackaroos? Douchey!

And speaking of douchey, it looks like the total demolition of Shell Beach landmark Alex Bar-B-Q by Compass Health for a proposed restaurant project, which was completed without permission or proper permits, is turning into a major headache for Compass Health. The city of Pismo Beach encouraged its planning commissioners to rescind Compass Health's coastal development permit, and even if they didn't (they did), City Manager Jim Lewis said he would direct his staffers to refuse to issue building permits.

Let's see. Compass Health has already drained the charm out of Avila Beach's classic dive diner the Old Custom House. Maybe they should stick to health care. Sometimes it's not better to beg for forgiveness than ask permission. Δ

The Shredder abides. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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