Letters to the Editor 9/25

September 24, 2011 

Mindless emotions

The anti-death-penalty crowd made a big deal out of the recent execution of Troy Davis in Georgia, despite the recantations of witnesses.

Now, where were these emotional vigilists at the other execution the same day? In Texas, the white supremacist who dragged a man to death finally met his justice, yet there were no vigils, no candles, no weepy crowds.

Why not?

If the death penalty is always wrong, why did this execution go quietly?

Could it be that the candle-bearers realized that standing up for a white man who tortured a black man to death would make them look like idiots?

So, is the death penalty OK for this guy but not for some other guy?

This may be the beginning of actual thoughtful consideration of facts for these vigilists instead of the mindless emotions shown so far.

Jon Hartz

Arroyo Grande

Bring on Walmart

In reference to your article on San Luis Obispo County having the highest gas prices in the state (Sept. 13), I think it’s time for a Walmart to come to Atascadero. The high cost of gas combined with a 10.5 percent unemployment rate in the county shows how much the people in Atascadero really need this store.

Driving out of town to shop is wasting gas. In addition to shopping locally to save gas, we will keep our tax dollars in town as opposed to giving it to Paso Robles or other cities.

There are plenty of other benefits from having a Walmart in Atascadero. The store will add many jobs and provide goods at low prices at a time when people need the savings, again another way to cut back when gas prices are rising.

Icey Hagedorn

Atascadero

Poly students a delight

On Sept. 15, Hospice of SLO County had the honor of working with 30-plus students from Cal Poly. Through the Week of Welcome program, these students went through the city doing community service projects. Because we are a volunteer hospice organization and have a small staff, HospiceSLO had quite a to-do list for our office/house.

These wonderful students came in and completed every task with such a great attitude! We cannot thank them enough (I know they were tired of hearing me say this) for working in our garden and patios preparing for our 2011 Tile of Life Ceremony, removing wallpaper, organizing and cleaning our storage room, moving heavy furniture, assembling shelving, and preparing manuals for our volunteer training. Every task enables us to continue providing our services: respite care, bereavement counseling, education, etc., at no cost to the community.

It truly was an honor. I look forward to working with them throughout the year as they continue to volunteer here at HospiceSLO.

Tracy Sturgell

San Luis Obispo

‘Sinister’ thinking

Would you believe it was too “sinister” if our governor or president proposed raising the gas tax $1 or $2 per gallon, justifying the raise because they were only “trying to change human behavior with sanctions or incentives”?

Would this higher price help persuade auto and truck shoppers to switch to higher mileage or hybrid vehicles?

Richard Moen

Atascadero

Best place on Earth

My husband, Adrian, and I have had the privilege of residing full time in the North County for more than 10 years. In that time, we have seen many changes — some good, some bad, many out of our (the county’s) control. It has been an interesting decade everywhere, to say the least.

Today, we were able to experience, once again, why life here — to quote Jack Nicholson — is as good as it gets. We attended the Taste of Downtown (Paso Robles), an event supported by 35 restaurants and wineries in the downtown area. The food and wine offered by all the participants was amazing; the graciousness and warmth shown by the participants was genuine; the experience was priceless.

Once again, major kudos and thanks go out to Norma and her Main Street gang and to all of the downtown Paso businesses that remind us that there is no place like home!

Michelle Heryford

Templeton

Being better humans

Regarding “County shelter needs your help” (Sept. 15):

Let’s treat pet overpopulation differently. There will always be irresponsible owners who don’t spay, neuter or tag their pets. Some will always let them roam. They aren’t affected by a heart-rending story.

We need systemic change. It needs to become unacceptable to be a backyard breeder, to not ID tag, to let your dog roam, and to simply dump your pet at Animal Services. The mindset needs to change ... like with smoking or driving drunk. We aren’t going to adopt our way out of this.

But this takes time, collective will and consequences that will make folks change their actions.

We need something today. Animals are being killed daily solely because of irresponsible humans.

Right now, please:

1. Adopt one more if you can.

2. Do not bring your pet to Animal Services to get rid of it. Your pet causes another to be “bumped” and killed. Find a new home for your pet yourself. It should take some effort to ditch a life.

3. Speak up! Tell your friends to ID tag their pets, stop letting their dogs roam, and definitely not turn an unwanted pet into Animal Services right now.

Let’s be better humans.

Hal Owens

Santa Margarita

A better America?

I thoroughly enjoyed the “Snapshots From SLO County” on the front page of the Classifieds section this Thursday (Sept. 22), the one with the one-room schoolhouse in the foreground and Hearst Castle up on the hill in the background.

Is this the tea party’s idea of a better America? This is where the rich guys live in castles high on a hill, and public education is relegated to one-room schoolhouses where the masses can be taught creationism, abstinence, altered history and pseudo-science.

Darrell Greene

San Luis Obispo

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