In support of Andrey Melnichenko’s persona (“Billionaire in Morro Bay,” Aug. 18), I take exception to the views presented in the letters, “No value” and “Not newsworthy” (Aug. 20).
One letter writer says that “Melnichenko has no value,” while the other writer apparently believes that a “rich guy and his wife” from Russia, arriving in Morro Bay in their “ridiculously expensive yacht,” is not what families struggling to make ends meet deem newsworthy.
If Melnichenko has no value, then neither does anyone else. He is a human being, too. It might also occur to someone that he could be wanting to invest in the California economy. The infusion of his wealth into California’s economy could dramatically upgrade our state’s economy and might help struggling families. Would that not be newsworthy?
I can understand how even a spiritual person might feel a little twang of jealousy, but I felt a tingling sensation over the surface of my skin at the sighting of that yacht, while briefly experiencing a return to Old Mother Russia.
Nicholas J. Safonov
Public and personal
Marriage has two parts: the legal contract that becomes public record and the personal part.
First, the state or legal part: In this country, we’re all equal under the law, so anyone of the legal age can enter into a legal contract, right? So how can any adult American citizen couple’s right to enter into a marriage contract be in dispute?
The second part of a marriage would be the personal or private part, and that’s, well, personal and private. Or in other words, none of your business.
A great asset
I am writing in support of Mike Littwin’s excellent column (“Let’s stand up to the numbskulls,” Aug. 23). The reason the issue of a mosque near ground zero is so important to Americans is because our Constitution guarantees us freedom of religion.
Our First Amendment is unique and because the writers of our Constitution made it the first of the amendments, it was obviously extremely important to them. We have been asking our soldiers to fight and die to preserve that right.
In Iraq and Pakistan, there have been numerous bombings of mosques and thousands of innocent people killed by terrorists. President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus have warned us many times that we cannot win a war against the terrorists unless we win the moderate Muslims to our side, we desperately need them as allies.
We cannot expect them to be allies and trust us if we deny our own Constitution and refuse the building of a mosque near ground zero. This would be a great asset to the people who work and live in that area. I think it would also be a wonderful memorial to the Christians, Jews and Muslims who died in the 9/11 attacks.
A place of healing
Speaking as a native New Yorker who has stood on top of one of the Twin Towers and recognized names on the 9/11 victims list, judging Muslims by the actions of a few is like judging all Christians by the actions of the Ku Klux Klan.
The mosque near ground zero should be a place of healing, not a focus of hate.
A real American
Regarding recent columns by Victor Davis Hanson and Charles Krauthammer:
So who gets to be a real American? Not last year’s Latina Supreme Court nominee, regardless of how the previous nominee celebrated his Irish upbringing. Nor the gays and lesbians among us, their committed relationships somehow threaten ours.
Certainly not the blacks serving at the Department of Justice, they must be prejudiced. Nor the Hispanics in Arizona, no matter how long they have sweated in our fields and lived in our communities. Definitely not President Barack Obama, regardless of how many times the state of Hawaii confirms his birth record.
And now, because citizens of Muslim faith want to build a community center, they are the latest to be voted off the island. Or perhaps shoved off, as one political party pursues votes.
These politics of divide and demean have long been repugnant and corrosive to the best of America. Ironically, these latest attacks align perfectly with the wishes of Osama bin Laden, who would nothing more than to have America assail those of Muslim faith and drive them in his direction.
San Luis Obispo
Fund state parks
Support Proposition 21 to fund our state parks! Passage of Proposition 21 will eliminate all day-use fees at state parks. We could go to any state park as many times as we wanted to with no entry fee, which now ranges from $4 to $12 per day. It will also eliminate the need to add day-use fees to parks that don’t have them yet.
It will be a dedicated fee of $18 on DMV registration. It’s a real bargain.
Since the budget cuts, there has not been enough money to keep many of our state parks open, fully repaired or have lifeguards on duty at our beaches. We can have a dedicated fund with Proposition 21 that will only go to state parks.
If our parks close, we will lose tourist money that we depend on. Vacationers spend their money here and a lot of them visit because of our beautiful state parks and campgrounds. Motels, shops, restaurants, gas stations, charter fishing boats, kayak rentals, wineries and other businesses will all lose income if Proposition 21 fails to pass.
Yes, it will be a new fee on car licenses, but the benefits will be tremendous. Let’s pass this and not be shortsighted.
What a bargain for $18.
My adopted granddaughter, Angela Vargas, won two tickets from the South Bay library in Los Osos to a special preview of the movie “Flipped.” Vargas took her friend, Shelby Martin, a girl a lot like the movie’s lead character, Juli Baker, and boy did they have fun!
I was honored to introduce them in person to the author of the book that the film is based on, Wendelin Van Draanen. I had given them Van Draanen’s “Sammy Keyes” mystery books to read and now I will give them “Flipped.” I wished they had found the golden coin in the egg in the popcorn to get the autographed copy.
Van Draanen, be glad your movie opens in small theaters. Small is good. The DVD will bring more readers to you. Thanks for bringing the cast of “Flipped” to the Fair Oaks Theatre in Arroyo Grande. My two munchkins made me wait in line to meet the cast and then turned shy and watched me shake their hands.
The day was one of the best in their short lives (both girls are going into fifth grade.) God bless the child that has its own style, spirit and Keyes spunk.
Thank you so much for printing the photograph of progress on the new marine mammal mural at the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History (Aug. 21). The caption mentioned that we are still raising funds to complete the work. I would like to add some additional information.
The mural is being funded by the Central Coast Natural History Association, a nonprofit, cooperating association that assists state parks in the San Luis Obispo coastal area with educational programs and exhibits.
State park funds are not being used for this project. To donate, please visit the Central Coast Natural History Association website at www.ccnha.org or call Mary Golden, executive director, at 772-2694, ext. 102.
Morro Bay Museum of Natural History manager
I would like to commend Bob Cuddy for his insightful column recently (“Affable guy, awful race, open question,” Aug. 22).
He wrote exactly what I have been feeling and thinking for months about the vicious campaign ads we were subjected to.
Why can’t the candidates just say why they think they’re going to do the best job, instead of vilifying their opponents?
And, to my way of thinking, Meg Whitman’s ads are the very worst! I would never cast a vote for her because of the campaign she’s run.
I must be confused about a federal grand jury indicting Roger Clemens for lying to Congress. I thought Congress would be welcoming him as a new member of their club.
How in the world can Congress indict him for something they do to the American public on a daily basis?