Deck the Halls, Fa-la-la, la-la, la-la
Ah, Christmas came early to the developers of the Margarita Ranch when the Three Amigos (Supervisors Ovitt, Lenthall and Achadjian) voted to approve the project. In Bob Cuddy’s report in the Tribune, no mention was made of thrown shoes, so this all-day hearing was likely quieter than the last, with no flying Nikes, Birkenstocks and Pumas clunking on the floor like lumpy raindrops.
Cuddy also notes that “representatives of the developer” . . . “were still submitting ‘a flurry of papers’ to the Board and county planning staff on Tuesday . . .” which meant that the Supervisors and staff wouldn’t have time to actually read the stuff before voting.
And, “During the afternoon hearing, [supervisor] Gibson painstakingly went over the proposal line by line, arguing that findings the board was about to ratify could not be legally sustained. He repeatedly asked Achadjian, Ovitt andLentahll to justify singing off on particular conclusions. . . . “ While “Achadjian, Ovitt and Lenthall declined to reply.”
Except for Ovitt saying “the board had to make a decision by Jan 9 to meet a state deadline,” only to have County Counsels say, Naw, there is no state deadline, (sorry Harry, can’t hide behind that claim) and that the decision to vote dump the whole issue onto the new board and let them wrestle with this monster was entirely the Board’s choice.
And so it went. I didn’t have to be in attendance to tell you that for me it was all déjà vu; The Done Deal, The Stone Faces, The Decline To States, The Made Up Stuff, the “We Have No Choice The State’s Making Us Do This” Lie, the bewildered audience asking for real answers and getting blank looks. All déjà vu.
Sigh. Santa Margarita has turned into Los Osos. Lawyers to follow. And like Los Osos, will the good taxpayers of the County (who are going to foot the bill for all this legal wrangling) discover too late that IF ONLY the Board had done this right – carry this over to the next board with time for staff and community and developers to hammer out all the last-minute, stuffed-in “flurry of paper” – that despite that delays, it would STILL turn out to be cheaper and faster than what will now transpire?
Ah, and will the developers of the project come to the same conclusion? If so, their victory yesterday was Pyrrhic, indeed. Merry Christmas.
God Bless Us Every One
The rain has missed us, except for a few splortles here and there. The early morning sky is blowsy and air is surprisingly warm. The wind is softly ringing the wind chimes on the porch. If you aurally squint, you can imagine they just might be church bells. All over town, small children are stirring, willing the clock to move forward so they can fly from their beds to see what Santa has brought them. It’s Magic Time.
No children in this house, but the dogs rose when I did only to look at me funny then go back to bed. Too early for them. When the sun comes up, it’ll likely be time for a trip to the dog park for their Christmas treat.
In no time, the day will be gone and friends and family will gather for what started out as a joke but which has now become a tradition in this house: Christmas Dinner ca. 1950, with what can only be called “regrettable food.” For any of you old enough to remember the 1950’s I need only say, “Green Bean Casserole,” and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. For those younger, 1950s “regrettable food” almost always involved a can of Campbell’s condensed soup poured over something else, usually something that just didn’t quite fit – i.e. green beans with cream of Mushroom soup over it – but also something that also didn’t slide off into absolute nausea. Not inedible, exactly, but . . . . Regrettable.
And if you are of a certain age and want to read something that will truly bring tears to your eyes, get a copy of James Lileks, “The Gallery of Regrettable Food,” (Crown Publishers, NY, 2001) complete with vintage color photographs from vintage home magazines and vintage cook books. Especially alarming are the ones involving chopped up vegetables imbedded in huge molds of brightly colored Jello.. Trust me on this. Tomato aspic is NOT a food you want to approach lightly. Nor “Creamed Brains on Toast,” or “Tongue with Carrots in Spinach Nests,” or the chapter, complete with photographs of the chefs and their creations, called: “Famous Chefs Forced To Use Marshmallows.” (The “Famous” chefs in question were hired by the Campfire Marshmallow Company which put out a little recipe booklet called “How Famous Chefs Use Campfire Marshmallows.” The recipes were designed to make marshmallows seem like a delicacy, in hopes that “people might regard these puffy delights as a sign of breeding and taste.” Notes the author, “The project was hampered by one small detail: when attempting to convince someone your product isn’t just for campfires, it would help to remove “Campfire” from its name.”)
So, it will be – as all days are – a Holy Day. Hope yours is the same.