Congress not exempt
The letter, “We should decide” (April 29), could not be further from the truth. It states, “I got a lot of e-mails about the fact that Congress is exempted from the health care plan.”
In fact, members of Congress and their staffs are the only people in the entire country who do not get to keep their current plan. In 2014, when state exchanges become operational, members of Congress and their staffs will be required to drop the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan and enter a state exchange.
Exchanges will be set up at the state level and offer small businesses and consumers without health care coverage a chance to shop for the most affordable plan that meets their individual health care needs. I look forward to participating in California’s.
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Member of Congress
It is that time of year when teenagers are heading out looking for their first job. I manage a small bookstore in Pismo Beach and I am amazed at how ill-prepared most are at making a good first impression. If you know a young adult who is looking for work, please pass along the following tips:
• Always ask to speak with the manager or owner.
• Introduce yourself first, express your interest in working at the particular establishment, then ask if they are hiring or if you could fill out an application.
• Don’t come in with your friends.
• Dress like you are ready to start work today.
• Don’t chew gum or come in with a soda or coffee.
• Don’t come in with a stack of other applications in your hands.
If you conduct yourself in a professional, confident, responsible manner, the chances of getting a call back increase dramatically and you’ll stand out from everyone else.
Parcel tax A-OK
Thanks to Phil Dirkx in his column for at least considering a “yes” vote on the proposed Paso Robles school parcel tax (“Our schools’ health worth $8 parcel tax,” April 23). Eight dollars a month? Ouch!
Using my math skills (I learned them in school), I figured out that would cost just more than 25 cents a day. Where in the world, I wondered, would a parcel owner in Paso Robles find that kind of money? I thought and thought.
Maybe between the cushions of the sofa in the entertainment room or under the front seat of the SUV (Might even find that $150 cell phone that’s gone missing). Maybe cut back on some expenses, like one less teaspoon of toppings on the frozen yogurt or maybe one day a week get a double latte instead of a grande frappuccino.
It would be tough, I know. So tough that I doubt two-thirds of Paso Robles voters would approve. And I’m willing to put big money where my mouth is. Dirkx, I’ll bet you the parcel tax loses. I’ll give you 2 to 1 odds and I’ll bet you a quarter.
No offshore drilling
I hope we won’t forget that short-term fixes for the state’s fiscal ineptitude are not best served by granting more offshore oil drilling leases. The fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico should be a reality check.
Let’s keep our beautiful coast. We don’t want to look back and say, “Wow, why did we ever allow that to happen here, again!”
To the governor of the state of Arizona: I am writing this letter concerning the recent passage of the anti-immigrant law. I was born in Alhambra, California, and have lived some 60 years in San Luis Obispo, California, so I am a legal citizen of the United States.
My mother was of English descent, and my father was of Spanish descent. Consequently, I have inherited the traits of someone of Latin descent. When the sun is out, my skin easily turns dark.
I was planning a trip to your state in the near future, but I am afraid of what might happen if I am stopped by your police force. Will I get hassled or even arrested if I don’t have documentation? So the question is: do I need a passport to visit Arizona?
San Luis Obispo
It would only be fair for a property seller in Nipomo to be required to disclose the potential health hazards caused by blowing fine sand from the beach aggravated by off-road vehicles.
Silicosis and other lung diseases are serious conditions. I moved here nine years ago and had I been informed of this health danger, I would have settled elsewhere.
This disclosure may lower property values and could slow real estate sales, however, buyers should be informed of known conditions in advance of the purchase of a home. This lowering of property values may offset some of the possible profits made on retail sales to off-road vehicle operators.
Give clerks the job
What a wonderful find. Arizona court clerks found the coroner’s transcript from the gunfight at the OK Corral (“Court clerks find original OK Corral papers,” April 22). What a treasure, this document has been missing for 50 years.
Why don’t we put these same clerks on the trail of President Barack Obama’s missing birth certificate? This is the same birth certificate that was not submitted for his Senate or his presidential candidacy. Has he looked on eBay?
Abuse of influence
After reading the endorsement of Jim Guthrie by The Tribune (“Jim Guthrie is the best for 4th District supervisor,” April 25), I had to recheck my mailbox for the “Vote for Guthrie” balloons that should have been included at no additional cost.
In short, I found the article an abuse of the newspaper’s influence and power. The endorsement placed Guthrie on a pedestal and did not give credence to either Mike Zimmerman or Paul Teixeira as a potential 4th District supervisor. The Tribune has the right to endorse a candidate, but not at the expense of fairness and integrity to all.
The goal of this letter is not to argue for the best candidate, rather to advise The Tribune to hold back the pen, provide more neutral endorsements and stop propaganda. If you disagree with my opinion, at least remember the tactics of a politician of the 1930s and 1940s who used the media (on a much larger scale) to sway the entire world into war.
Ironic oil spill
How ironic it was for the world to witness the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico just two days before the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day. The first Earth Day was based, in large part, on the oil spill in the Santa Barbara Channel in 1969.
Even though it sounds more poetic in French (“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”), the effect is the same then and now: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Still, we should never stop working for positive change.