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What's that? Huh? 

In case you were waiting with bated breath, the appeal against the approval of The Hub—the bar, restaurant, and entertainment venue proposed for 1701 Monterey St.—was unanimously denied by the SLO City Council. The Hub is happening, and soon you'll be able to drink booze, throw axes, get your bicycle fixed, and listen to live music all in one location. Best of all, you can do it knowing the Richey Rich NIMBYs of San Luis Drive didn't get to squash your fun with their "too much noise in my backyard" hysteria.

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Quick recap! The Hub plans to occupy a 12,000-square-foot former furniture store as well as 12,000 square feet of outdoor space, bringing eight businesses together: Central Coast Brewing, KROBAR Craft Distillery, Nautical Bean Coffee, Art's Cyclery, What the Truck Mobile Cuisine, Lone Oak Seltzer, SLO Axe, and Whalebird Kombucha. The issue was that the proposed site backs up to a creek, and on the other side of that creek dwells the notoriously prickly residents of tony San Luis Drive. Got a couple of million? You could live there too.

Led by Hana Novak, chair of the San Luis Drive Neighborhood Association, the neighbors filed an appeal of the city's original approval of the project, which passed because it met all Planning Commission requirements and fit perfectly into the tourist-friendly nature of "Hotel Row."

"The San Luis Drive neighbors requested a noise study to be prepared by the applicant from the beginning of the project's conception, but that was not required by staff nor recommended by the Planning Commission," Hana Novak complained in a letter to the city. "We feel strongly about the potential noise effects of this project and that our concerns are not being taken seriously that we paid to have a study done for the project."

Hope you didn't have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it. Surprisingly (not), the noise study prepared by Buellton-based 45dB Acoustics came to the exact conclusion those who paid for it had wanted.

"Of particular concern is the outdoor axe throwing noise, which may be likened to a hammering noise during a roofing project, with a highly impulsive sound when the axes impact the target board," 45dB's Sarah Taubitz wrote in her report. "Impulsive," eh? Is the noise "done without forethought" or "acting on impulse"?

But wait! There's more! "Outdoor games that may also include pickleball, pingpong, cornhole and the like, are apt to encourage cheering and yelling of brewing company patrons."

Cheering? How dare they! Not near my backyard!

And this gem: "The brewery, restaurant, and other business operations may very well include early-morning deliveries, of kegs for example."

Wow, delivery trucks? With kegs? Is that out of character on Monterey Street, which is lined with hotels with restaurants and bars? Taubitz's recommendation to mitigate the sound is to erect concrete walls around the project, like a prison or something, but instead, the SLO City Council agreed to require a "sound curtain" inside the building where music is played. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets a tiny squirt of "STFU" grease.

And speaking of shutting the eff up, can the SLO Democratic Party please grow an integrity backbone or simply shut its piehole? They just endorsed attorney Erik Howell in his bid to join the Pismo Beach City Council, and the dude's more tainted than the spot between your stainer and your drainer.

In 2018, the one-time California Coastal Commission member was fined with other commissioners for not disclosing their ex parte communications, as a Pismo City Council member in 2016, he was investigated (and eventually cleared ... good job) by the Fair Political Practices Commission over potential corruption, and in 2019, his law license was suspended for 60 days by the state bar for professional misconduct.

At a time when the Republicans are using bribe-taking former SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill as a cudgel against Democrats, does it make sense to endorse Howell simply because you like the way he votes? The Dems should endorse candidates with unquestionable integrity.

With their tacit silence toward or outright endorsement of violence, voter suppression, and attacks on personal freedoms, Republicans are digging their own graves. Don't give them ammo!

I'm still waiting for local Republicans to condemn tRump's continued attack on democracy, or at least to condemn the pepper spray attack by one of his MAGA minion. On Sept. 20, 46-year-old Miguel Angel Olivares of Arroyo Grande allegedly sprayed peaceful demonstrators on Templeton's Vineyard Drive overpass on Highway 101 and was arrested for elder abuse, among other things.

SLO County Democratic Party Chair Rita Casaverde may have misstepped on her Howell endorsement, but she's capitalizing on Tuesday's attack.

"For more than a year, we've seen the MAGA crowd on this same overpass, but their right to assemble peacefully was respected, as undemocratic and racist as their symbols are. No one attacked them. But, it only took weeks for them to come after our retired neighbors who are rallying in support of freedom and democracy," Casaverde wrote in a press release.

I know all Republicans are not "MAGA Republicans," but the very soul of your conservative movement is at risk. Would you rather win by aligning yourself with violence, cheaters, liars, and fascists than win fairly?

Dear both parties: You suck. Δ

The Shredder is an equal opportunity attack dog. Agree to disagree at


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