Sunday, July 12, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 19

Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on June 3rd, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 14 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 14

CANARY: Off-kilter


There’s nothing I can say to heal the fissures exposed in this country right now. The whole thing is a bit bananas. 


With advocates in the streets protesting against police brutality directed at people of color, and mayhem advocates in the streets doing their best to have some hell-raising fun, it’s hard to keep it all straight. But—and I don’t do this very often—I’m going to have to agree with what Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino said when she announced a curfew for the city. 

“People came to our beautiful city to do a peaceful protest,” she said. “Then, other people came in to destroy the message that had been conveyed earlier.” 

So now, on top of being half-on-lockdown, half-off-lockdown due to a pandemic, we now have a curfew! What the hell? Are we in high school? 

Busting out the windows at the mall? Doing doughnuts around a fire in the middle of the street? Come on! Grow up! You know who you are and you know this is your fault. 

And then in San Luis Obispo, some jackasses in a car cruised through the streets to shoot out the windows of businesses and, apparently, just needed to disrobe a store mannequin (which is weird, amirite?). 

The police violence that people are protesting is real. The endemic racism that’s built into government institutions is also real. The fact that another black man is dead because a police officer didn’t show restraint while restraining is yet another gigantic clue that something needs to change. And the tense situation between the police and protesters is a direct result of that. 

All of these people choosing to use this time to foment chaos in an already chaotic situation need to keep their antics in their box of high school keepsakes, where it belongs. The thin tightrope that society is currently walking in the wake of a pandemic that exacerbated an already strained situation doesn’t need to break just because you needed to feel like a kid again. Eat some Cocoa Puffs to feed that need. I’ll buy the milk. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is attempting to prevent something that might not ever happen in the first place by further restricting prisoners already restricted because of COVID-19. Officials are apparently concerned that the unrest outside the prison’s walls is going to leak inside, and they want “to ensure the good order and security of our institutions, as well as ensure the safety of staff and inmates.”

But when that pandemic started to flare up, the prisons basically didn’t 

do anything to stop it—and then the bureau basically lied to the public about how widespread it was at the Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution until it was forced to do otherwise. So that whole virus leak was OK. Just not the one where prisoners can protest their conditions or the treatment they receive inside or outside. 

Speaking of asinine situations. The Santa Barbara Coalition for Responsible Cannabis filed yet another lawsuit against the county for a cultivation project the county Board of Supervisors approved in April. So, how many lawsuits do you think this coalition of mostly grape-growers and wineries is going to file before it gets its way? 

The canary needs some rest. Send a pillow to 

Weekly Poll
What'd you make of the county's decision to close beaches for the Fourth of July weekend?

It was sensible since counties to the south closed their beaches.
I was OK with it. I set off fireworks at home instead.
It was ridiculous. The restrictions have to stop.
It didn't matter. I went to SLO County.

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