Today I had lunch at Sylvester’s Burgers with Pastor to celebrate my birthday and like Jack Benny I am 39 years old and have been for many years. Afterwards Penny and I drove down to Avila to photograph the fire damage and then I took her for her run. She did not think much of the fire smell. I was amazed how close the fire came to some million-dollar homes without damaging them. The owners of the homes owe the firefighters a big thanks.
County Health announced today 9 new COVID-19 cases in the county. This brings the county total to 356 cases of the coronavirus in the county. Officials reported 4 people are in the hospital with 2 in the ICU, 56 people are recovering at home, and 295 people have recovered from the virus. There has been one death in the county due to COVID-19.
The most common transmission of the virus is person to person contact with someone who has the virus up 6 from yesterday, second is by community contact up 3 from yesterday, and third by travel outside the county which has not changed. There are currently 6 cases under investigation by county health
By regions in the county North County has 206 cases up 6 from yesterday, South County with 90 cases up by 2 cases, Central County with 40 cases had an increase of 1, and the Coast remains the same with 20 cases.
A fire that broke out along Highway 101 near both Avila Beach and Shell Beach Monday afternoon has burned 400 acres and is 10 percent contained, as of Monday evening.
The blaze started at about 2:45 p.m. in the area of Gragg Canyon Road and N. Thompson Avenue close to Avila Beach Drive. Video footage released by Cal Fire shows the blaze burning on both sides of Highway 101.
Officials temporarily closed northbound Highway 101 between Shell Beach Road and Avila Beach Drive as firefighters battled the blaze. Firefighters have been attacking the blaze from the air and the ground.
Authorities issued an evacuation warning for the area east of Highway 101 from N. Bello Street south to Price Canyon Road and east to the Pismo Beach city limit. But the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office has since announced the evacuation order for the Pismo Heights area has been canceled.
Emergency personnel have set up an evacuation center in the Arroyo Grande Walmart parking lot.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon is up to her old tricks of trying to push her own agenda by feeding off of political unrest rather than looking out for the people of San Luis Obispo. It is clear from her behaviors that we cannot trust what she says.
By KAREN VELIE
San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon has come under fire from the California Black Chamber of Commerce for attempting to link racism to global warming.
Harmon, who has been a primary proponent of an ordinance supporting all electric building, asked members of the public to support the ordinance in a June 15 Facebook post. In order to battle racism and the pandemic, the community needs to support her clean energy proposal, Harmon wrote.
“As we confront racism and the pandemic, we also confront climate change,” Harmon wrote. “They are interconnected, and we do not reach justice until we reach justice on all levels.”
Shortly afterwards, the California Black Chamber of Commerce sent Harmon a letter accusing her of attempting to use the Black Lives Matter movement to promote her political agenda. The letter ends with a request for an apology from Harmon.
“We are stunned and angry about your online post this morning where you in effect make climate change a condition for racial justice in America!” the letter says. “It is clear why. You put a building code ordinance on the agenda tomorrow, one that you have an obvious political interest in passing. Perhaps your reelection in November has shorted-out your judgement.”
“You have combined the moral cry for justice Black Lives Matter with a ban on natural gas as interconnected with racial justice. How dare you?”
“This is a cheap political trick that betrays your values and sensitivities as mayor of the City of San Luis Obispo. And will not go unchallenged.”
The chamber letter then chastises the SLO City Council for holding the meeting at 3 p.m., in a city building that the public is not permitted to attend because of the pandemic.
Jay King, the president of the California Black Chamber of Commerce, said he was concerned that the wording of the letter was harsher than he had wanted, but that he agrees with the concerns listed.
“I stand firm in that they need to stand down,” King said. “You can’t conflate climate change with racial disparity. We trust our public officials will not play politics.”
When demonstrations triggered by the death of George Floyd spread to Philadelphia, vandals defaced a statue outside City Hall of an old white man. They spray-painted the words “colonizer” and “murderer” on it. But the statue was of Matthias Baldwin, a 19th-century businessman and abolitionist.
Baldwin was a vocal opponent of slavery decades before the Civil War. He founded a school for poor black children and paid the teachers’ salaries for years. He also advocated voting rights for black people well before the enactment of the 15th Amendment. None of this spared his likeness from today’s Jacobins.
Nor was the Baldwin episode an isolated case. Boston protesters painted graffiti all over the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial, including the phrases “Black Lives Matter,” “No Justice, No Peace,” and “Police are Pigs.” Yet that memorial honored the men who comprised the first blacks to fight in uniform for the Union Army during the Civil War. Their heroism was captured in the 1989 film Glory, for which Denzel Washington won an Oscar. In Philadelphia, too, vandals defaced the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution, with the graffiti “committed genocide.” Overseas, Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square was defaced and then covered for its protection by a large metal box. The British government cannot be confident that the nation can celebrate the leader who, more than any other, stood up to fascism.
Debate over symbols of the past is legitimate, but what we have now are indiscriminate attacks on all elements of our shared history. Today’s vandals are not really attacking evil; they are attacking the past. It is one thing to argue against honoring the Confederacy either because it fought against the United States or because it fought to preserve slavery, or both. It is quite another to destroy things simply because they date back to a time you cannot remember and cannot be bothered to find out about. The first is a reasonable argument; the second is nothing but malignant violence.
Debates over removing monuments should happen in public, overseen by elected officials. When the debate is given over to the mob, you get the sort of general vandalism that we see now. Taking down statues of Confederates is different from targeting those of America’s founders, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves but are celebrated for other achievements in the nation’s founding and for the advancement of liberty.
Wanton attacks on symbols of the past are partially rooted in ignorance. Given how much schools and colleges focus on racism in America’s history, it is no surprise that the mob assumes any old statue it sees must be of somebody irredeemable. The trend also fits the concept seen in other revolutions from the French Revolution to the Khmer Rouge of trying to erase the past and starting over from Year Zero. Today’s street vandals call the police “pigs,” but who are those displaying porcine ignorance, and who behave most like the pigs of Animal Farm, making no distinction between innocence and guilt?
In civilized debate, people can discuss the nuances of who we choose to honor and who, because fellow citizens want to honor them, we should accept in the interests of reconciliation and national unity. Such a debate would recognize that history is messy and that some people who achieved great things were also deeply flawed. It would also provide an opportunity for all sides to feel heard and make any decisions more sustainable. Lawlessness short-circuits this process, which is part of the extremists’ purpose.
A burnt hill side from the Avila fire that closed Hwy. 101 yesterday afternoon.
The fire came right down to these homes, but firefighters were able to prevent fire damage to the homes.
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