Letters to the Editor 3/31

March 30, 2012 

Where’s the line?

I have a question for Dave Congalton.

Dave, if you had a daughter, and she testified before Congress on the right of women to have contraception covered in their health insurance, and a national radio personality took to the airwaves and for three days broadcast to millions his opinion that your daughter is a “slut” and a “prostitute,” and she has so much sex she could barely walk and she should send him a sex tape ...

And if bloggers across the country then wrote that boys at your daughter’s college are divided between those who have her phone number and those who are trying to get it, and some fool wrote a letter to The Tribune saying that your daughter shouldn’t have been called a slut and a prostitute, but yes, of course, she is wanton and immoral ...

If all that happened, would you sneer at those calling for the radio personality in question to depart from your radio station as “liberals ... complaining about a conservative talk show host”? Would you reply, “Go listen to Air America and KCBX and enjoy your view of the world”?

How far is too far for you, Mr. Congalton?

How much is too much?

Joan Carter
San Luis Obispo

Short of funding

Annually, The Marine Mammal Center treats hundreds of sick or injured marine mammals along the California coast, with a large number of patients coming from San Luis Obispo County. Nationwide, marine mammal rehabilitation facilities, primarily nonprofits, are coordinated through NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and respond to more than 5,000 animals each year. Since 2000, federal Prescott Grants have funded these organizations, sometimes largely sustaining them. Disappointingly, Prescott funding has not been included in the 2013 federal budget.

Marine mammals are sentinels of ocean health and offer early indications of unhealthy ocean conditions. Prescott-funded organizations are the nation’s first responders in such cases and often provide the only surveillance for potentially dangerous public health issues. Many legislators nationwide have joined the marine mammal rehabilitation communities in asking Congress to restore Prescott funding to allow us to keep a pulse on ocean heath.

Congresswoman Lois Capps has provided admirable leadership in this regard. Sustaining this funding addresses the government’s obligation to these federally protected animals, is in the public interest, has high public support, and is demanded by leading conservation and ocean stewardship communities. Alarmingly, without federal support to supplement the limited resources of marine mammal rehabilitation facilities, much of the vital work of these organizations will cease.

Dr. Jeff Boehm
Executive director, The Marine Mammal Center

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