Friday, December 30, 2005

American Values: Progress, Taxes, Good Weather Forecasts

Breaking Blog News...Dave Congalton, one of the founders of this CCNM Community Blog, has been given more Internet work. KVEC AM 920 wants him to blog for his afternoon drive program and will stream his show online to help him say "yes!" Congratulations, Dave!

Our other radioman/blogger guy, Bill Benica has some thoughts about why words are spelled the weigh theigh are and more...

What's another phrase that means "taxes?" Guy Murray reports from Nipomo, where people don't seem to complain when their "taxes" are increased...

Thom Hutchings writes on the "American Values" lesson a 700-mile fence can teach us and our youngsters...

Is "American Exceptionalism" alive and well? What is it? Jim Silva lets us stand in another's shoes until it gets a bit too uncomfortable. That's when you know you're closer to what's really important...

Thanks for visiting this year and get ready for what feels like a Great 2006 coming our way!

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Great Debates Continue

More and more, Americans think it was a bad idea to invade Iraq. CNN/USAToday/Gallup poll released in August, found 54 percent of those surveyed felt that it had been a mistake to send troops to Iraq.

Do we blame the mainstream media for not telling us about how bad a mistake it's been? Or should we take responsibility ourselves?
Mickey P. Rowe spells it out.

And to pull back to the largest of the Big Pictures, David Ciaffardini presents the do-it-yourself, Great Debate. Now that should get us back in the Christmas Spirit!

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

When Common Sense Is Needed

Reenee, our blogger from Santa Maria, has new post and it's solid: what went wrong with how Arellanes Junior High School dealt with Hector Maldonado. Hector and three other boys were involved in a fight on school grounds. He was arrested and then...

Common sense disappeared in the process and Hector "disappeared" into the immigration enforcement system for six days. What's the Department of Homeland Security doing mixed up in this?

Further south, a commentary from the progressive point of view concerns whether the Santa Barbara News Press will give a "free ride," to Janet Wolf. Meaning no heavy criticism. It's a simple, common sense concern.

Supervisor Susan Rose has decided not to run again and Wolf has announced she will campaign for the 2nd District County Supervisor seat.

Meanwhile, we watch the SB News Press attempt a standard of journalism excellence: "free debate and fair reporting." Could we also have a large quantity of common sense to go with that?

Note: this blogsite now has a Google PageRank of 5 and many contributor blog pages have a PageRank of 3 to 4. As the web-savvy in our readership knows, this is major good news!

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Gimme Some Truth

25 years ago tonight was a Monday and Howard Cosell told the nation of John Lennon's gunshot death during "Monday Night Football."

Lennon was age 40 and creatively ready for the second half of his life, according to reports. Newsstand Greg asks, "where were you then?"

Nice to see Ron Fink again, blogging on how President Bush could, er, ah...lie.

Progressives in Santa Barbara have an all year 'round tradition: the Friday Night Film Series. Take a look, if you haven't been somewhere out of the ordinary for some time.

Thanks again for visiting the ole Yule Blog...and please send some one new our way too!

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Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Reason: 'Tis The Season

Dave Congalton's latest post tells us of the latest change in local media management.

Los Osos water and sewer issues take two to tell the story, don't miss either Ann Calhoun or Steve Paige. They make it plain and simple to understand how government officeholders can vaporize taxpayer money.

Finally, a touching story from Karen Lee Stevens about the little pug that could. Something for everyone this first weekend of December. Our sincere thanks for visiting our blog of current comment and please return again soon!

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Toward More Peace And Goodwill

Monday night, 11/28, Congressman Bill Thomas (R-Bakersfield) was "officially notified to wake up and smell the reality," according to the post from Leggs Ortiz.

Iraq war protesters appeared at Thomas' annual "Academy Night" designed to sell the military academy experience to area high school students.

Third edition of the monthly RogueVoice is due to hit the newsstands and Stacey Warde gives us the inside look and his monthly rant at no extra charge, just below.

Steve Paige on how suing the State Water Quality Control Board on the grounds of "proximate negligence" could save Los Osos millions of dollars.

The Los Osos Sewerville saga marches on in a hot meeting tomorrow, December 1st. Remember to hide the dawg!

Will San Luis Obispo county soon be known as a golfing mecca? Guy Murray outlines plans for a new hotel in Nipomo to serve golfing tourists.

Reenee of Santa Maria expresses her thoughts about student sexual activity, school newspaper censorship and how some adults choose to live in denial.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Rogue Voice December Edition

The third edition of The Rogue Voice is nearly completed. We go to press Monday and will be on the stands Thursday, Dec. 1 (look for our new polished black racks with the Rogue Voice logo).

It's hard to account for the focus and tone of each issue as it comes out. Our debut edition was a mish-mash resulting from first-time jitters, and number two contained a wonderful quality of pathos (although a few detractors found it depressing), and the forthcoming third edition is hugely political. We didn't plan these things. They simply happened.

Our only criteria has been literate, readable stories you'd want to read with a glass of wine, or with whatever medicine suits you best in those special quiet moments when you want to get away.

What's clear is that we're a bit quirky, maybe unorganized, but fully devoted to quality material. We're also hoping to encourage dialog among those who may disagree.

For example, the December edition's lead story by Jacqueline Marcus focuses on the government's case against John Walker Lindh. Is he a traitor or a scapegoat? Marcus makes it clear that the government was looking for someone to blame amid the smoldering ruins of 911. Have we delivered justice to the real perpetrators of that horrible crime? And does Lindh really deserve 20 years of prison time?

Then, Dr. Steven J. Sainsbury writes a compelling argument in defense of the death penalty, noting that Stanley Tookie Williams' execution scheduled for Dec. 13 will come not a day too soon. Once dead, he'll never hurt another soul again, Sainsbury says.

Miguel Rivera, in a piece titled, "The racial divide," inspired by Bill Cosby's controversial remarks of blacks taking responsibility for themselves, points out that violence is more likely to occur within one's own community than to come from outside. It's pointless, therefore, to blame others for the harm and injustice we do to ourselves.

The overall slant of this edition, though, tilts heavily to the political left of the spectrum with a key piece by West Virginia author Charles Sullivan, "Iron-fisted America;" my own "War talk" editor's rant which praises Jack Murtha for having the cajones to speak his mind; and Dell Franklin's "Sharing the misery," a critique of the "affluent" generation's refusal to partake in the sacrifices we all make to share in the burden of living.

We hope you enjoy our next edition and look forward to hearing your comments. Please eat and drink responsibly this weekend, and have a great holiday.

Editor's Rant for the December 2005:

Nobody Wants To Hear It, But It’s Time We Had A Conversation

By Stacey Warde

As we go to press, the House of Representatives is in an uproar, the Bush administration is on the defensive and Dick Cheney is still delusional about ties between Saddam Hussein and 911.

These things happen.

The mighty and the deranged fall, and--we can only hope--better, wiser men and women will take their places.

The mighty arrogant, of course, go to hell. And by the time they’re gone, things have gotten so bad that anyone who
replaces them--wise or otherwise--will be an improvement.

Don’t expect many esteemed wise or better leaders to arise from the centrist Democrats who continue to fail miserably at usurping conservative values from Republicans.

They can’t seem to locate themselves on the values map, so they’ve been mimicking their counterparts across the aisle in Washington, showing little of their own initiative, originality, creativity or chutzpa. They haven’t found it in themselves to articulate their own or their party’s values, let alone come up with any interesting talking points or compelling and worthy legislation.

Recently, however, Congressman Jack Murtha, a Democrat from Pennsylvania who’s managed quite well to extol conservative and sensible values, won both esteem and scorn in the House for being a much better, wiser politician than any who’s spoken in a long, long time.

Murtha, a decorated war vet, stood up in his formidable Marine Corp bearing and said, it’s time to bring the troops back home from Iraq. Bring them home, he said, not tomorrow or 10 years from now--but now.

Both Democrats and Republicans must have freaked when they first heard it. They’re so used to falling into lockstep with Bush that no one’s ever ventured a disagreement, or suggested charting a new course in the war on terror. We’ve lacked a good fight like this in Congress far too long.

We haven’t had much worthy debate or discussion in the nation’s highest offices in nearly six years. It’s about time someone stood and said, “Enough.”

Republicans, of course, initially called into question Murtha’s character, arguing that only cowards cut and run. Democrats responded angrily, demanding apologies, and finally, if only haltingly, rising to the occasion of a challenge. Reports from Washington said that during the heated debate House Democrats “surged” toward Republicans, calling into play images of soccer fans on the verge of rioting.

It’s great stuff, really, filled with drama, and a shift toward addressing and hashing out some substantive issues. The White House, meanwhile, has toned down its criticism of Murtha, agreeing that yes, indeed, he’s a real patriot, and someone who can’t be written off as another quack-mouthed liberal, but he’s wrong about withdrawal.

The whole debate thing has taken interesting turns, with Democrats rising in defense of Murtha’s impugned character, and Republicans reminding the nation that public discourse, even high-profile disagreement, is healthy in a democracy, which is a far cry from the “yer either fer us or agin’ us” post-911 rhetoric of George W. Bush.

Debate such as this ought to have occurred long before Congress gave away its power to wage war way back in 2002, turning over its war powers to the executive branch — one that, as it turns out, has had difficulty reading intelligence reports. But that’s another story. Simply stated, the Democrats have been a bunch of pussies--until now.

Finally, at least some members of the party have demonstrated enough courage to voice what a majority of Americans have known from the beginning: The Bush administration, whether knowingly or unknowingly, misled the nation in its call to arms against Iraq.

It was an unnecessarily costly and fatal mistake that could easily have been avoided had Congress initially engaged in a lively debate on the merits of such a war. From the start, the war against Iraq had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, fighting terrorism, or spreading democracy. It had everything to do with an administration
run amok, and no one stood in the gap to oppose it.

The problem with the Democrats, and this whole country, in fact, is that in the shadow of 911 we gave up our capacity for wrangling over competing ideas, the basis of democratic governance. We didn’t challenge, for example, the faulty theses for staging a preemptive war that had little or no basis in fact.

The rationale for war was presented as a slam-dunk to the American people, and even to the United Nations, and nary a Democrat uttered a single protest.

And it’s not as though there weren’t any signals along the way, on the road to Baghdad, to warn us that this was going to be a terrible mistake. Any armchair analyst could have seen the case for war with Iraq was bogus from the start.

Who couldn’t have felt badly for Colin Powell, for example, when he tried to convince the United Nations and the world of the urgency to take action against Saddam Hussein as Powell unveiled cartoonish drawings of alleged mobile chemical-biological units that the Iraqis supposedly kept in their arsenal and which was one example of several
terrifyingly immediate threats Iraq posed to this country and the world?

The cartoons suggested loudly and clearly that intelligence for this supposed threat rested on thin evidence. Where were the satellite images? Where was the hard evidence for weapons of mass destruction?

There wasn’t any. Even an unqualified analyst could have told us that. But we were too spellbound by the phantasmagoria of the Bush administration’s call to arms to question the source of these fantastic claims, a guy codenamed, of all things, “Curveball.”

Meanwhile, when it became clear that the U.S. was determined to strike Saddam Hussein, an estimated 10 million citizens worldwide marched in protest. Where were the voices of dissent in Congress? They, too, it appears, were fooled by faulty intelligence, and too absurdly kowtowed by the administration’s misbegotten crusade to liberate the world from a tyrant instead of bringing terrorists to justice.

Murtha’s right, we need to get the hell out of Iraq, reposition our combat troops where they can be most effective against terrorism, and return to the tradition of healthy debate in our public and political discourse.

Stacey Warde is the editor of The Rogue Voice, an independent monthly publication on the Central Coast of California. He can be reached at stacey warde at roguevoice dot com.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Mellow Sunrise, Vivid Sunset: Reasons To Be Thankful

Dave Congalton remembers what happened ten years ago on a SLO county highway causing a seismic shift in the local media scene.

Steve Paige, our other blogger from Los Osos and a homeowner, says about the LOCSD loan problems: it's "Chinatown: the Movie" or follow the money.

Gary Ray Rogers has discovered the single most reported injury our soldiers returning from Iraq suffer--and it's probably nothing you expected.

Reenee from Santa Maria asks what can we do to protect our children behind the wheel? as car accidents keep killing. Please drive carefully this holiday season.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Getting Ready For The Weekend

ere's an original question: what reason(s) do you have to be thankful? Writer and new guest blogger Karen Lee Stevens suggests there could be at least one more.

Are there too many office product suppliers in Atascadero? City resident Craig Louis Dingman examines the situation.

Should the parents of a child with disabilities "bear the burden of proof" in determining whether a school has failed to provide an appropriate education? Gary Ray Rogers points to the latest roadblock for disabled students and families.

Thank you again for checking in with us, and please tell a friend about our blog. And do come by and visit again soon!

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday, Monday

How dangerous is it for kids to play football in Paso Robles? Steve Boggan makes a point in a guest posting below this one.

Tomorrow residents of Nipomo will meet at the Nipomo public library to explore incorporation for the town--get the agenda here.

Dr. Don makes an impassioned plea for improving our system of voting, citing Euclid in the process!

Ann Calhoun in Los Osos, must be eating nitroglycerin heart pills like popcorn as she tells us about the likelihood of a potential, history-making loan default.

Reenee of Santa Maria praises the benefits of reading a go0d book while on vacation. She also says it time to "move on" from the Judge Diana Hall "story." Is it a story about lawbreaking...or can Judge Hall get a fair trial in Santa Maria?

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Is Youth Football Dangerous In Paso Robles?

Guest blogpost from Steve Boggan, Paso Robles.

Youth Football is becoming a dangerous activity on the Central Coast.

Everyone knows that football is a rough sport. But even football has rules to keep players from being hurt. For example, it is illegal to block a player in the back, or tackle him by grabbing his facemask. Serious injury can occur unless players respect one another's safety, and the rules are enforced by the officials.

But this season, having observed many youth football games in the area, I am noticing some dangerous trends. I see some coaches on a win-at-any-cost ego trip, allowing, and in some cases encouraging their players to do whatever is necessary to beat the other team.

I see some referees who are incompetent and untrained to look for and penalize illegal blocks. I see league officials who are arrogant and unresponsive to concerns. This has created a dangerous atmosphere for kids to try to play a good, safe, clean game of football.

It is also teaching them that good sportsmanship doesn't pay off.

I believe we need to reevaluate what football is all about; rough-and-tumble, yes, but also, with sportsmanship, respect for other players, and fairness. Kids need to learn that there is honor in winning only when it is done fairly, and with basic human concern for the safety of others.

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Like Your Freedom? Thank A Vet

Veterans' Day today...if you love the benefit of our country's liberty, thank a vet...a WWII vet, a Korean War vet, a Vietnam vet, a Gulf War vet, an Afghanistan War vet and returning vets from Iraq.

You might also help Veterans fight for the benefits this Republican congress wants to cut from the budget. May all vets receive the benefits they were promised. End of editorial. --Newsstand Greg, Vietnam tour, 1969-1070.

Dave Congalton asks: should we worry if wealthy, pro-GOP big business investors want to buy The Tribune's parent company Knight Ridder? Is this buyout good or bad for print media today?

Korie Bayer, citizen of Templeton, asks a Public Servant for permission to attend a meeting regarding public business and learns about access to power...who has it and who doesn't.

Thomas Hutchings views the US from halfway around the world, sees criminals in the White House and gives his perspective on the Iraq vs Vietnam comparison.

Guy Murray spots a change in Central Coast family customs because Holloway's won't be selling pumpkins this year. Guy also urges us to support local farmers who grow these treats.

Leggs Ortiz takes time to read The Tribune and recoils at a column written by Victor Davis Hansen. We offer our own right of center writer, Ron Fink, as a suitable replacement.

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Ventura Actions Against Wal-Mart

California and the Central Coast has a history with Wal-Mart. It's recounted in the cover story of the Ventura County Reporter. Community activists in Ventura have mobilized to keep Wal-Mart out of their city.

Since Wal-Mart filed their proposed pre-application September 30, 2004, with the City of Ventura to develop a store in the location currently occupied by K-Mart on Victoria Avenue, the Stop Ventura Wal-Mart Coalition has undertaken local advocacy, community education and policy development efforts.

The Ventura group is supported by the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, CAUSE, and leads the fight to keep Wal-Mart out of the city. The current VC Reporter article quotes a community organizer.

Why Wal-Mart Should Stay Away From Ventura

“There are many people who feel this isn't the kind of business we'd like to see--but we do recognize it's a challenge to keep a business from opening up,” said Cesar Hernandez, community planning director for CAUSE.

Hernandez argues that there is already a Wal-Mart in Oxnard, just six miles away and that the goal of the coalition isn't to just keep big boxes out; it's to create jobs that pay well.

Proposed Law Tightens Retail Requirements

But the city has an option, according to an article in the Ventura County Star co-written by Nan Waltman, chairwoman of the Stop Ventura Wal-Mart Coalition. It can require review of existing large sites when they change hands, but it would require a new city ordinance.

The current Victoria Avenue K-Mart lease is set to expire in 2007.

The Stop Ventura Wal-Mart Coalition has submitted an ordinance that would meet this need. Reoccupation of large retail sites would require approval of the Planning Commission--after the impacts on traffic, housing and damage to local businesses are mitigated by the retailer.

CAUSE has sought changes in the proposed 2005 City of Ventura general plan and has drafted a land use ordinance that would directly address Wal-Mart's proposed development. The draft ordinance has been endorsed by the Stop Ventura Wal-Mart Coalition and has been received positively by members of the Ventura city council and staff.

Learn About Wal-Mart's High Community Cost
You're invited to a movie presentation of
"Wal-Mart, the High Cost of Low Price"," sponsored by the Ventura Stop Wal-Mart Coalition, Tuesday, November 15, 2005 07:30 PM. Location: 3127 Trinity Drive, Ventura. Ticket price is free!
Join the team to stop Wal-Mart from opening a store in the K-Mart building on Victoria near the present location of Trader Joe's!

Directions to the movie: Main Street (from Downtown towards Pacific View Mall), Emma (right), Porter (left), Valmore (right), Channel Drive (left), Trinity (left).

Click for more about film screenings.

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Monday, October 31, 2005

Dear Public Servants: Remember Me?

I'm a taxpayer. I know that you probably get tired of hearing this one but I think I pay your salary. Sure, you spend a lot of time with the movers and shakers of the development world and they're probably a lot more interesting than I am but you're still supposed to be looking out for me. Maybe we should meet for lunch and get acquainted?

sincerely, Jane Q

Witness this "grassroots effort" by Westpac and the way that our public servants can be invited to private strategy sessions while the public is locked out of the process.

Carol is the project manager for the huge urban-style project being proposed in Templeton and has often made claims of a desire to involve the public in this process in a "grassroots" way. Names of county officials have been changed to protect...the names of county officials. The county tried to submit the project with a negative declaration based on a traffic assessment that is incompetent at best.

From: "planner A"
Subject: Traffic Meeting; Westpac
Date: October 25, 2005 2:10:01 PM PDT
To: (carol's e-mail)

I have a request from 2 members of the public (Korie Bayer and Jane Q) to attend the meeting on Thursday regarding traffic. Since Oasis and Associates is hosting the meeting I indicated to them that it wasn't appropriate for me to invite them.

Please send an email to Korie indicating whether or not they can attend. Thanks for you cooperation.

"Planner A"
Planner, Inland/Environmental Division
San Luis Obispo County

Subject: Westpac Traffic Meeting
Date: October 27, 2005 1:50:45 PM PDT
To: Carol's address

Dear Ms. Florence,

I have received your voicemail regarding the traffic meeting that you have arranged for today, October 27, with regard to the Ramada Project. I understand that this meeting will be attended by Caltrans, SLOCOG, a representative from the Department of Planning and Building, and a representative from the Department of Public Works as well as other agencies.

I also understood you to say that the purpose of this meeting is to ensure that all parties are "on the same page" on this issue. What I am having trouble understanding is your unwillingness to submit to our request to observe this meeting.

As you are aware, Citizens concerned for Templeton's Future has submitted a request for review of the mitigated negative declaration submitted for this project. A major concern with regard to our request for an EIR is that the traffic impacts will be tremendous and unmitigable. The previous traffic study has been found to be grossly inadequate and the models for the calculations are very unclear.

As it is our hope that we be "on the same page" as well, it makes no sense that Westpac is unwilling to allow us to attend. It also runs counter to the stated claim, as quoted in the Paso Robles Press, that it is your desire to involve the citizens of the community on a "grass roots level."

Please clarify your position on this matter. Your concern that the details of this meeting will "not be helpful" to us due to the "very technical issues" involved has been noted but I would respectfully disagree and submit that it is exactly these technicalities that we should all be allowed to understand. I am sure that Westpac shares in our desire to achieve transparency in this process.

Thank you for your consideration,

Korie Bayer, Templeton

(no reply received)

From: high-ranking county
Subject: Re: Urgent - Meeting today
Date: October 27, 2005 11:32:01 AM PDT
Cc: planner A and other high-ranking county officials

Ms. Bayer:
Thank you for your email regarding an inquiry into a meeting scheduled for today. I did some checking and was informed that the meeting you are referencing was initiated by a private party--in this case the applicants agent--and the meeting is not a county meeting.

Since an applicant or agent can convene meetings and extend invitations to who ever they want, I don't have the authority to override their action. I also understand that Mr. A informed you that he would forward any relevant information from the meeting on to you.

-- High-Ranking County Official

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Sunday, October 30, 2005

For The Vast Audio Radiance

It's no secret to our blog readers that three of our bloggers are also experienced with radio. Bill Benica and Dave Congalton can be heard weekdays in San Luis Obispo county.

The subject of radio has come up in blog postings by David Ciaffardini and comments from readers.

Your blog publisher, Newsstand Greg, also has a radio career under his belt...and he recaps what it means.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"Activist" vs "Active in the Community"

A few months ago I was a wife, a mom, and a nurse practitioner. I didn't have a clue what a mitigated negative declaration was and I thought that if an empty lot was zoned 'Commercial Retail' it meant that it would not be covered with high-density housing but would someday have one or more buildings on it with a commercial function of some kind.

I thought that the unincorporated communities were represented by an advisory group which had some authority in assuring that the citizen-created community design plan was adhered to. I thought I had a representative on the Board of Supervisors...

What is the difference between an "activist" and someone who is "active in the commmunity?" I can't say for sure but the trend seems to be that if you're willing to just help out and do as you're told then you're "active in the community." If you want to help out but you see some elephants in the room and you would like to point them out -- then you're an "activist" which tends to carry some negative connotations.

It's unfortunate, really. I think that all of us want to live in healthy and balanced communities. We just need to try to figure out how to work together in finding the best way of getting there. --Korie Bayer

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Tuesday's Latest Bloggings

What's the cheapest gallon of gasoline where you live? Guy Murray asks if it's less than...well, let's let him ask the question.

Ann Calhoun is an astute observer of SLO county media...and compares The Tribune to Rip Van Winkle!

Jobs for disabled people, Gary Ray Rogers tells us, are still scarce despite nearly 70 years of federal programs to hire disabled workers.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Road Goes Through Pismo Beach

"The Road Less Traveled" is the name of Melissa Etheridge's new greatest hits collection. Look closely at the cover which shows Melissa standing on...Pismo Beach sand!

A breast cancer survivor, Etheridge was on the David Letterman show last Thursday night (10/20) and told Dave the photo was taken on the Pismo sand. The things one can learn from a little tv.

Have a great week and thanks for visiting again. Don't forget to leave a comment on any posting you choose, or send the editor an email. I read and answer every message. Thanks!

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

What is the Ramada Project?

I guess this is another example where it's hard to define exactly what something IS, but it's easy to say what it's NOT.

What Ramada Is NOT--A Mixed-Use Project

In trying to come up with a definition of "mixed use" for this blog--you know, try to gain credibility by quoting facts--I've found that "facts" are hard to find. This seems to be the case with all of the land use issues I've been trying to educate myself on over the past few months.

Lots of gray area makes it easier to chase away those pesky community residents who say, "Hey. Wait a minute. That's not what they're supposed to be allowed to put there."

Like many others, I look at this project and I see a housing development with a strip mall and mini-storage thrown in to justify the demise of our last, large vacant commercial parcel on the 101 corridor. I see a developer who wants to maximize profits in a market where empty retail spaces abound while housing is still red hot.

I see an unincorporated community with no self-sustaining economy or hope of eventual incorporation--Heck, I'd settle for some hope that my kid could have a chance at a local job when he grows up--and a government that shows no motivation to correct that.

Too Many "Gray" Areas?

And I see a county planning department that is making decisions based on it's own budgetary mission without looking out for the long term benefit of the tax-paying residents of Templeton. I'm pretty sure our right to representation is guaranteed in the constitution but I could be wrong. It's probably a gray area.

Anyway, I did a Google search on 'mixed use project definition.' There are articles that describe the concept pretty well, but I've got to tell you I had a good belly laugh in the googling process.

Can you guess what showed up as number '5' on the very first page? There she was in all her glory: the Paso Robles press story, "Mixed-use Project Proposed in Templeton."

Come on. Click the link. On the page she was surrounded by mixed use articles from the Las Vegas strip and metropolitan Minneapolis. Imagine that and then our own supervising planner, Chuck Stevenson, describing why this is a great idea for a 40 acre commercial retail parcel in an area on the edge of town and surrounded by a tractor shop and a bunch of cows. Seriously, folks. It was a funny read.

What Is the "Mixed Use" Definition in SLO County?

The county will be seeing this "mixed use" phrase a lot in the coming years. It will often be juxtaposed with that sexy "smart growth" term. Some of the projects, like the fabulous Colony Square Project in downtown Atascadero, will be the real deal. But there will be many who exploit the terminology for personal financial gain or simply due to a lack of willingness to look at each project individually.

They will label all who oppose a project as NIMBYs and they will forge ahead with "political will" instead of trying to listen to our concerns and maybe recognizing that they are shooting themselves in the foot by plunking down a mass like this in such an unsuitable size, shape, and location.

If this gets built in a form anywhere close to what's on the table now, a mere mention of the term "mixed use" and Cliff and Harry had better start sharpening their pencils for the next big verbal spanking because the TAAG meeting for that project will have to be held at the football stadium.

Unveiling this project as a model for smart growth? Nothing smart about that.

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Ramada Project vs Mixed Use Label

When it comes to wanting to build homes or commercial structures, the term "mixed use" sometimes enters the picture. And it may be part of the discussion a lot more often if Korie Bayer's experience in Templeton is any example.

The case in point is the "Ramada Project." Is it, or is it not, a "mixed use" development?

Sure this is a tough question, but the people of Templeton need a good answer. Glad to have Korie asking the question in the first place, right here in our all slo county blog pages.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

The Last Of The Titans

Your'e looking at the Titan missile liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Wednesday, just before noon. Our new blogger, Guy Murray, shows the complete launch sequence here from Space Launch Complex-4 East on south base.

This marks the end of the 46-year Titan missile program.

Photo provided by Guy Murray

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Sun Begins To Shine

Cleaning house is just the first step to open self-government. Cleaning up the aftermath requires help and a few letters of request, such as this from the newly re-staffed Los Osos CSD.

..."Today, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) staff, in a breach of contract, unilaterally pulled our State Revolving Fund loan for a project under construction. This decision places our Los Osos Community Services District in debt to contractors for several million dollars..."

Ann Calhoun's Can(n)on prints the letter in full...

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Welcome To South SLO County's Page!

We debut a new regional page for our blogging conversations. Look for more people to join our south SLO county blog page from Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach soon.

Introducing a new south SLO county voice, Guy Murray, resident of Nipomo and a lawyer.

Nimpomo Hills photo: Guy Murray

What's Nipomo's biggest challenge? Guy says it is, "who will control Nipomo's destiny? People who have no attachment to our community; don't shop in our community; don't live in our community?

Or, will we have our own, those of us who work, live, and breathe here in Nipomo plan and control that destiny?"

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Want To Read Some Good Stories?

Gary Ray Rogers rolls his wheelchair through Costco and lets us know how how it rates for disabled accessibility.

Newsstand Greg asks: are there any "central coast censored" stories that need more exposure? Ideas wanted.

Ann Calhoun helps you help Los Osos. She proposes a model letter to state senator Maldonado and state assemblyman Blakeslee.

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Friday, October 14, 2005

"Hooligans" Attend Templeton Advisory Group?

Hi everyone! I'm Korie Bayer coming to you from the rowdy North County community of Templeton. Did you hear about the group of hooligans who attended the last regular meeting of the Templeton Area Advisory Group?

Those folks were so angry and abusive that there were citizens who feared for their safety.

Anyway that's Harry Ovitt's version of events but I'm not sure what meeting he was at. Well, come to think of it, I'm sure what meeting he was NOT at. He was not at the September 15 meeting where close to 100 citizens turned out to weigh in on a huge behemoth of a "mixed use" project that county planners are trying to plunk down in our little town.

Harry was definitely not in attendance, but if you read the Tribune you saw how he later sent his legislative assistant to deliver a scathing admonishment to the board of volunteer citizens elected to represent our unincorporated community on development issues. It appears the group is charged with allowing the citizens to actually speak.

Ovitt aide, Cliff Smith, barked out accusations of personal attacks and abusiveness to citizens, planners, and developers then threatened TAAG with dissolution. I was at both meetings and I can tell you that the Ovitt rep's passionate scolding and finger-pointing display at the second meeting far exceeded any emotion displayed at the first.

In the end, he refused to provide a copy of the complaint or the speech instead stomping out of the public meeting with a slam of the door. It was a shocking site even for me and I have a four year old.

There is significant cause for concern over the Ramada Drive Mixed Use Project yet the citizens at the first meeting expressed those concerns with a tremendous amount of respect and poise. Okay, there were a few short bursts of applause--against the rules outlined by the TAAG chair--but hardly worthy of throwing someone out. Only one citizen wrote in to say that he supported the project but felt too intimidated to speak out.

Placed against the more than twenty letters offering a different view, I'd say that might be a personal problem. It's never easy to speak out in public--especially when you represent the minority. Still, all views were welcomed and encouraged, the crowd was a diverse group of soccer moms, retirees, farmers and professionals, and there wasn't a club or a cattle prod to be found.

I'd love to tell you more about the project in question, the unusual way it progressed through the planning department, and the way it's trying to sneak by without the proper environmental studies but I think we're out of time. Stay tuned for more from those naughty kids of Templeton. Thanks for listening. --Korie

(P.S. I hear the Ovitt/Smith "speech" is available as an mp3. Any takers?)

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Meet Korie Bayer, A Voice for Templeton

Korie Bayer has a number of neighbors who like to go to community meetings. At a recent meeting in Templeton, she got an upclose view of how some county public servants react to criticism. Wow!

Your publisher spent a week on vacation, but now I'm back at growing our blog. Look for more bloggers joining our effort to better inform our neighbors on the Central Coast.

After all, this is that friendly back fence for neighborly chat. Thanks for stopping by for a while. Revisit soon!

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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Rogue Voice Update

Our first deadline passed without much fanfare, but we’re proud of the response we’ve received and I wanted to give you a little update.

Dell and I recently located about 20 sites throughout San Luis Obispo County that offered to let us distribute The Central Coast Rogue Voice from their places of business. We’ll fill you in as things develop.

We’ve got a great lineup of contributors and stories for our first edition, which will hit the stands October 1.

• Dell interviews Adam Pollard, co-owner and chef at Taco Temple in Morro Bay.
• Ben Leraux describes the freedom of the road as he embarks on his journey across the country to wash windows and seek adventure. First stop, Albertson’s in Flagstaff, Ariz.
• Tito David Valdez reminds us that life ain’t so bad when you consider what it’s like to eat breakfast in prison every day year after year.
• Joe Bageant tells us what it’s like to carpool with Adolf Eichmann, the guy who’s just doing his job making bombs for illegal wars.
• Dr. Steven J. Sainsbury offers castration as a viable, humane solution to preventing repeat sex offenders from destroying another child’s life.

These are just a few of the many wonderful offerings that have come to us since Dell and I embarked on this project. Many more talented contributors have offered their support and ideas. Needless to say, we’re excited and wish to extend our invitation to you to send material and suggestions our way.

The Rogue Voice
P.O. Box 491
Cayucos, CA 93430


Deadline for the November edition is October 1.

Some of the things we’ll be looking for are point-counterpoint dialogs between artful and intelligent conservative and liberal opinion writers, political commentary, poetry, photos, illustrations, interviews with rogues, and humor. If you have any questions, contact me or Dell.

Meanwhile, we’ve been getting great support from our graphic artist, who wishes to remain anonymous at this stage, and from Cayucos artist Grady Houser. Both artists have helped us develop our roguish appeal. We hope you like it.


Stacey Warde

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Idiot Box Or Benefit To Mankind?

Photo by NASA
Ahh, the television set--once viewed as a tool for education--is now under fire on the Central Coast.

Dave Congalton on payback: the New Times shreds KSBY Channel 6.

Ann Calhoun cites a public official saying public access tv channel 20 in Los Osos may have "shared enough of both sides of the (sewer) debate" so it's NOT going to air any more "voter education" programs about the project. Next Tuesday is the vote to Recall three LOCSD members.

Craig Louis Dingman sees the Atascadero Main Street vision as a choice between hometown kitsch and sprayed-on stucco structures.

Rounding out what's new on the blog:

Bill Benica's post asserts "our Constitutional Rights are in danger!" Gary Ray Rogers prints a letter from the National Council on Disabilities to the Department of Homeland Security requesting specific help for disabled people hurt by the hurricane. The high costs of medicine and medical malpractice suits are tackled by Dr. Don Regan's latest in response to recent viewer comments.

Thanks again for visiting and please drop by again!

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Punch! Jab! Right! Left!

Is it the Hand of Fate hitting us in the face...or is it scientific reality?

You may be ready for the next Big Battle guest blogger Reenee sees coming.

Middle class healthcare could be better in Viet Nam than on the Central Coast.

Take a few minutes to peacefully read the Lompoc Peace reasons to protest on Saturday, the 24th, for a shout that will be heard from the Central Coast all around the world.

You may be "streaming" without even knowing it. On a totally different topic, have you seen our Accessibility blognews lately?

Thanks for visiting and please tell a friend about our blogsite. Our goal is to break last month's record of more than a thousand new, unduplicated visitors. We fully appreciate your support.

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Same Topics, New Postings

Photo by NOAA

Hurricane Katrina's
damage is now recognized as the worst natural disaster in US history. The recent Indonesia tsunami's cost estimate is $10 billion and U.N. estimates of insured losses from Katrina range from $9 billion to $25 billion in the last three weeks.

Ron Fink asks "what's next for New Orleans?" and offers numerous opinions plus three "shoulds."

Absolutely shocking to read "the confessions of a Bush-basher" written by David Ciaffardini, of all people.

Ever wonder why 38% did not evacuate New Orleans before Katrina hit? Gary Ray Rogers explains.

Read all about revising the history of the "Solutions Group" in Ann Calhoun's lastest.

Code Pink in San Luis Obispo has a goal to end the War in Iraq and a calendar of events to accomplish this.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

MJ Juror Book, ESHA And Vietnam Battlefields

Thanks for browsing by. Have you seen the view from Santa Maria?

Our guest blogger, Reenee, has the reaction to the Michael Jackson juror/reluctant acquitter/book author story.
Our Green man in Vietnam, Thom Hutchings, reads the US press with this response to a column by Thomas Sowell.
What's an ESHA? Those in Los Osos know, and Ann Calhoun provides the story of how the LOCSD may not fill in forms with all pertinent information, and at what cost.

You might want to check the comments section of your favorite bloggers, that's where some of the most fun is found on this here blogsite. Or leave a comment all your own, wherever you desire. It's our way of spreading democracy throughout the Coast.

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Time To Make The Call

You'll want to call in to Dave Congalton's talk show Thursday...listen to the case for the impeachment of George W. Bush! Dave also presents a timeline of government response when the last American city was destroyed by a natural disaster--the San Francisco earthquake, 1906.

Then there's Ron Fink with his take on the "darling of the wine and cheese liberals of southern SB County"...Representative Lois Capps. Has all she's accomplished been a tattoo removal program and a failed attempt (the Gaviota National Seashore) to federalize her coastal district's coastline?

How did you remember the events of 9/11? Our Lompoc Peace and Justice Coalition helped the next generation visualize the cost of war.

Closer to home, Dawn Legg gets near the reason why legislation is/isn't getting done in Sacramento.

Have your friends discussed how much responsibility George W. Bush shares for the Katrina aftermath--and preparations beforehand? Mickey Rowe pummels the keyboard for answers.

Leave it to David Ciaffardini to tell us where we can get chocolate marshmallow popcorn along with our first run moving picture shows. Yummy!

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Two Questions, Three Web Sites, One Can(n)on

Where is the post-hurricane "leadership" of George W. Bush? asks Mickey P. Rowe.
Another question from David Ciaffardini: has Dick Cheney gone AWOL?
Leggs Ortiz logs in recommending three web sites she reviews.
Ann Calhoun spotlights the Los Osos CSD and legal liabilities of airing ads less than 30 days before an election.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Thoughts For This Labor Day Week

Ron Fink asks: should New Orleans be rebuilt?
David Ciaffardini outlines the hurricane test of our compassion.

Newsstand Greg pays respect to Labor Day's "salt of the earth."
Dr. Don explains the "symbiotic" tax code.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Talk About The Weather
Talk About The Government

Lompoc Mary asks what's the worst kind of weapon in existence?
Guest bloggette Reenee wants a "today appointment" with her doctor.
Ron Fink shows how the weather can be politicized in a blame game.
Bill Benica's solution to lawless New Orleans: "shoot the loot!"
Doc Regan knows disaster news means we are prepared here, right?
Ann Calhoun finds a new wrinkle in the Los Osos sewer saga.
Margo Viers lives in a building where death knocks three times.
Leggs Ortiz "personal" hurricane tells what she wants from "them."

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

What Is The ABC Plan?

More than one spectator has wondered just what is this "ABC Plan" that Joey Racano promotes? In fact, I emailed him the same question and he sent me this link to the complete document.

Now it's up to the people to look at it and see if it's an agreeable place to start reconsidering the Los Osos sewer/park fiasco. --editor, CCNM

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