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The End of Sunny Acres

We devoted the entire second half of Monday’s broadcast to an exclusive interview with Dan DeVaul from Sunny Acres, the controversial clean-and-sober facility out on Los Osos Valley Road. Dan’s attorney, Jeff Stulberg, read a statement on the radio announcing that Dan was giving up his years-long battle with the county: Sunny Acres will stop serving meals to residents this Friday. County officials will be invited to come out on Saturday and decide what will happen with the 40 men and women who currently live there.

Regardless of what you think of Dan DeVaul, I urge you to listen to the podcast that will be available tomorrow on the KVEC web site. Listen to his voice. Listen to the surrender in his voice. He’s spent. He’s giving up. The county made yet another unscheduled inspection of the property last week and that appeared to be the final straw for Dan.

As Jeff pointed out, there’s much sad irony to this decision. He quoted Sheriff Pat Hedges as saying that he prefer the residents be at Sunny Acres, rather than roaming the creeks. He named examples of where county mental health and other departments had begged Dan to take clients because no one else could handle them. There was a barrage of phone calls, the last one from a woman who used to live at Sunny Acres, in tears at the memory of how Dan DeVaul helped her.

So we have a real pissing match here, don’t we. The county wants Dan to follow the code and pay enormous fines. Dan wants to be the cowboy in the spirit of Alex Madonna and do things his way.

Meanwhile, what about those 40 homeless people? Who cares for them now.

It is a pity that it has come to this, shameful that the county and DeVaul could not reach some kind of common ground. It’s not too late. Is there a county supervisor willing to step forward and make some kind of 11th hour deal? Let’s hope so. Closing Sunny Acres is not the solution.

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