Not the enemy
I’ve never been to ground zero, but I can understand the feelings of those who lost family members and friends there on 9/11. What I can’t understand are those who would dump our American values to keep an Islamic group from building a community center on land it has owned for years just because it is in the vicinity. Two blocks away is hardly “overlooking” ground zero.
As Americans, we are entitled to freedom of religion. How could we deny American Muslims their house of worship? The building is planned to be a community center where all kinds of programs are offered and one of them would be for worship.
Already a synagogue is right across the street from what will soon be a beautiful park as a national shrine at ground zero.
I’m with the mayor of New York city, Michael Bloomberg, who has spoken in favor of the construction. Let’s encourage our moderate, peace-loving Muslims. They are not the enemy.
John S. Alongi
San Luis Obispo
City hall distraction
In Arroyo Grande, fixing the Brisco Road interchange and building a new police station are things we need and deserve priority. The new city hall has distracted everyone.
I’d rather have good traffic flow and police with modern facilities than a city hall and village that impress tourists.
Your recent story about the $350 million runabout of 38-year-old Russian multibillionaire Andrey Melnichenko seemed disproportionate and revulsive to me in context to the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, where millions are homeless and hungry (“Billionaire in Morro Bay,” Aug. 18). Despite a net worth of $4.4 billion, Melnichenko has no value.
Michael L. Baird
Really? The fact that some rich guy and his wife own a ridiculously expensive yacht is newsworthy? Come on.
I’m sure that more than one family struggling to retain a home or buy clothes for the kids was more than ecstatic that you chose to focus on such a meritless bit of news so they could enjoy it over their breakfast of dry toast and cereal while checking through the “help wanted” ads. Really?
Fine pigeon feeders
People feeding pigeons in the area of the Pismo Beach Pier should be subject to a fine of $100 and the fines should be enforced. Every two weeks, the underside of the pier over the beach area should be washed with a high-powered pressure washer. Surely no one would could object to a clean pier, not even the Coastal Commission.
These measures would reduce the pigeon’s feed supply and nesting areas. In 10 months, another evaluation could be done based on a pigeon count versus water bacteria count. This is a very low- cost situation.
The city should also challenge the agency that tests the water as to what data they use, if any, to determine their criteria for dangerous types and levels of ocean bacteria.
Focus on real threats
Blaming crime on marijuana is like blaming bank robberies on cash. By lobbying against dispensaries, large grows and full legalization for adults, opponents of the cannabis plant inadvertently enrich foreign drug cartels.
Opponents also demand that the medical marijuana community remain clandestine, that the price of relief be artificially inflated and that medical marijuana patients themselves be victimized by black-market thugs.
It is ridiculous to think that people would rather meet a gangster in an alley to purchase pot of questionable quality and purity when they can walk into a store where their rights as a consumer protect that transaction from fraud.
While we cannot end gangsters’ attraction to black market profit margins, we can stop black market consumption. We must re-legalize marijuana. It is costing to much, both fiscally and socially, to continue to treat free adults like children and inmates.
By accepting that marijuana has medicinal qualities and is a safe recreational drug with a demand that’s being supplied regardless of current prohibition, our society can ease the suffering of sick people while concentrating our limited law enforcement resources on real threats.
Could be offended
Isn’t it amazing that President Barack Obama chose to cancel a ceremony in honor of the National Day of Prayer because he did not want to offend anyone?
However, he throws a White House state dinner for Muslims in honor of their holy day and announces his approval of a mosque at ground zero. Looks like a lot of people could be offended by that.