The Cal Coast Crazy Train Never Stops

Aaron Ochs
5 min readFeb 18, 2023
Cal Coast News co-founder Karen Velie
Cal Coast News co-founder Karen Velie

It’s true. I used to get upset when I was randomly dredged up on Cal Coast News every time one of their articles about the late SLO County District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill appeared. But now that the state appellate court correctly ruled in 2021 that there was no evidence to show I coordinated with him to harm his political adversaries, I couldn’t care less. I see every mention past that ruling as smouldering remnants of a sick obsession from one person and one person only.

Hill passed away in Aug. 2020. Even his most hardened critics — who continue to wax poetic about his crimes and follies — have said, “Let the man rest in peace.” Any active stigma or association with him has long since withered on the vine. Does this mean government malfeasance in San Luis Obispo County has magically died with him? No. But it does mean that his influence no longer bears weight on the issues that residents countywide face. Whether or not one supports Hill, the reality has sunken in for most people. Most.

Enter good ol’ Karen Velie. Bless her little psychopath heart. She wants to keep the Cal Coast Crazy Train going.

On Feb. 16, Velie published an article with the headline, “SLO County supervisor’s widow claims he was murdered.” The article referenced the fact that Dee Torres-Hill, Supervisor Hill’s widow, sent an email on Valentine’s Day to District 4 Supervisor Jimmy Paulding, pleading with him to investigate Hill’s alleged murder. Torres-Hill, who copied a broad swath of who’s who in SLO County, claimed she had evidence and threatened to release said evidence for public consumption. She also mentioned that Velie and her radio show host “work husband” Dave Congalton were “paid liars.” When I caught wind of this email, I figured: Well, it’s going to appear on Cal Coast News. And like clockwork, it did. Right on the money.

Dave Congalton replied to Torres-Hill and took the high road, for once, and said on his show Friday, “I want [Dee] to be happy. I want [Dee] to be well.” He went on to advise Torres-Hill that as someone who had his fair share of hardships, he recommended that she take a deep breath, take a step back, and get on with her life. You know what? It pains me deeply to say this, but I wholeheartedly agree with Congalton, which is why I’m not going to comment on specifics about the emails…

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Aaron Ochs

Author, artist, advocate and entrepreneur from Morro Bay, California.