Sides of grief
As a marriage family therapist, I have been a witness many times to deep grief. When a client is grieving for either a 2-legged or 4-legged family member, the sobbing is very personal to that person.
One person’s grief cannot overshadow another person’s grief. The story I hear about Annie is that the new owners have experienced some recent losses in their family, and if that story is true, I send them my condolences.
Chuck Hoage is grieving, too.
I am wondering: Has our society become so unfeeling that we believe that what the individual wants is more important than doing the right thing?
Grief fogs the mind. We make decisions that later on we sometimes regret. I only hope that if grief is clouding the new owners’ decision to keep Annie, that at some time they will recognize that Hoage’s grief is as powerful as theirs.
Sometimes from a fog of grief, we believe our pain is more than someone else’s.
I hope Annie gets to go home soon to Hoage. I understand that Hoage has the name of the new owner, and he is respectfully withholding that information. I respect him for that.
Build Atascadero up
I have never written a letter to the editor before, but Lon Allan’s column (“Council’s La Plaza project decision on the money,” Aug. 3) provoked a strong reaction. Allan states that Atascadero is a bedroom community, and “the majority of the residents here are satisfied buying their goods and services outside the city.”
As a local business owner, I strongly disagree. Our customers come to us from as far away as King City, Fresno and Santa Barbara. Allan, why would you shoot Atascadero in the foot by telling everyone that it has nothing to offer the discriminating buyer?
The less we merchants sell, the less sales tax there is for city services. Are you consciously trying to undermine business people? We are all working more than 50 hour work weeks to keep our businesses alive and vital. And you are telling everyone not to bother driving here to buy anything.
How about positive words about our zoo, our wine festival and our gorgeous lake park with rockin’ concerts on Saturday nights? If you are proud to be an Atascaderan, let’s see some columns about why shoppers should be driving to our town. Let’s build Atascadero up, not pull it down.
In an era of public debate over government salaries, pensions and other untoward behavior, the death of San Luis Obispo Fire Chief John Callahan was a particularly tough blow.
Chief Callahan was a rare example of someone who did all that was right without friction. He was a man at ease with his responsibilities and had a willingness to help all achieve a higher level in their personal lives. He had a profound influence on my desire to achieve the preparedness level he had hoped all citizens would maintain.
Only one week before his death, he had taken the time to write me a personal thank you note for presenting himself and three other members of the Fire Department with “citizen-nominated” commemorative medals from the Department of Homeland Security.
The chief’s work within the community was unending, and several hundred citizens had a chance to meet him through the Community Emergency Response Training classes the department put on. The training was a key element of disaster preparedness in the chief’s eyes.
Chief Callahan was a true professional and a great asset to the Central Coast. Honest, humble and a true professional, Callahan would be the ultimate role model for anyone in public service today. Thank you, chief.
School bus dilemma
I am a parent of a Templeton Middle School student. This is our first year in the district, and when we learned of the busing (or lack of busing) situation in Templeton, we were shocked.
We are more than five miles out in the country down a road that isn’t safe to walk or bike. I work in San Luis Obispo from 8 to 5 daily, and I have no idea how I am going to get my son home from school.
The school suggested I contact the community center. The community center told me to contact the school as they do not provide services for children over 12 years old. I have hit nothing but dead ends in my quest to figure out this dilemma.
Am I the only parent who lives in Templeton and works in another city without family in the area? Do I have to choose between my child’s education and my only source of income?
Marriage is basic right
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown’s stand against the stay on Judge Vaughn Walkers’ ruling is the honorable, correct and legal position (“Majority’s wishes,” Aug. 19).
Proponents of Proposition 8 invoke phrases in support of their position such as “California voters spoke” and “a clear mandate was issued.” Where basic freedoms and civil liberties are concerned, opinions and votes don’t count — such rights are a given.
A majority of Americans once believed that slavery was both correct and proper. The “will of the people” once decreed that only male Americans could vote. The people of many states once “mandated” that racial segregation was necessary throughout public places and institutions, even outlawing marriage between races.
Today, presumably, most Americans would say our forebears were simply wrong in all those beliefs. We don’t conduct opinion polls on such issues; we legislate in favor and extension of such rights. When a ballot proposition or bill is placed into law that instead contradicts a basic right, the courts should step in and strike it down.
I sincerely hope that independents will soon dominate the political landscape of this country. It has become clear to me over the past 40 years that Republicans are basically oligarchs and do not care about the commonwealth of the nation, and Democrats do not have the guts to call them on it.
Hypocrites and cowards.
We need politicians who will tell voters the truth without being afraid of the consequences. My hope is independents.
Annie’s rightful owner
The people who have Annie the dog have no right to her at all. Why on Earth would they be so selfish and mean-spirited? What point are they trying to prove by keeping her?
To say they have bonded with her in a few weeks is ludicrous. What about Chuck Hoage, who owned her for seven years? He has more than bonded with her, and he is her rightful owner.
These people who are holding Annie are the epitome of what is wrong with our society today. They are totally self-centered with no consideration for anyone but themselves. I see absolutely no rationale at all for them to keep Annie.
I feel so bad for Hoage, and I am sure he is very sad. Annie has a right to be with her owner. I have a dog and imagine I would be very distraught were I in the same situation.
What kind of people would do this? Their lack of compassion for the dog owner is wrong, wrong, wrong on every level! Bottom line: The people who are holding Annie need to do the right thing and give her back to her rightful owner now.
I am a paraplegic, paralyzed from the waist down, and use a wheelchair. My concern is the lack of compliance with the laws about access to bathrooms and equipment in doctor’s offices and hospitals such as exam tables, MRI machines, bone density machines, scales, etc.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act, which says that all public facilities and programs have to be accessible to people with disabilities. Many facilities lack equipment (programs) that can be adjusted to be easily accessed by paralyzed people, and older people who tend to get more infirm and shorter with age.
I find that there is an arrogant attitude in San Luis Obispo. My own doctor refused to get an accessible exam table, but the surgeon has two! When I went for an MRI the other day, they said I had to bring someone to help me get on the table, but I said, “No, they had to help me.” The table was about 36 inches high, and my chair is 19 inches from the ground.
Why do I always have to remind offices that they have to supply help? What is a person to do? Now do you see why people sue for access?
Chivalry is not dead
My friend and I were struggling to tie down a new mattress on top of my station wagon outside of Costco in San Luis Obispo. I stopped to grumble about how difficult this was going to be for us as we are older citizens (with a blue disabled tag in the window, you’d think we’d have received more help than we did), but we resumed our struggle.
We had just restarted when a tall, slim fella appeared seemingly out of nowhere (with his right thumb in a splint — yikes!). He wondered aloud what the two of us were up to.
When we explained, he said, “Give me the cord box, and I’ll handle it!” Over our weakening objections, he tied the bed set to the wagon top with “trucker’s knots,” which really did the trick. Then he left, politely refusing payment.
What we really want to say is thanks so much. We are thankful for your expertise and glad that chivalry is not dead. We made it home safely.
Judy Beach and Ruth Blum
Growth isn’t progress
We need to think about the word “progress.” Most of us live in San Luis Obispo County for the “SLO life.” Think about that: We choose to live here because we like it. Our reward is city and county governments obsessed with growth.
Growth is not progress — growth is only change. More motels, more people and more traffic are not progress. These are good for business but only detract from the salubrious life most of us want to enjoy.
Progress is not paying taxes for renting a house or paying to park downtown and at beaches. Progress is not creating Laguna Lake, filling it and now being unable to dredge it. Progress is not charging a fee to fish at our county lakes.
With all the “progress” we have made, we are losing the “SLO life.”
Next time you vote, think carefully. Most candidates promise growth, but I doubt that is what the public really wants. While growth is inevitable, we should strive to avoid the congestion, taxes, fees, crime and general loss of freedom and joy that accompanies growth.
Let Florida grow, or New York, Ohio or wherever the populace is foolish enough to confuse growth with progress. Save and savor the “SLO life!”
Let Annie decide
We have had a border collie for 13 years. She is loving, obedient and, most of all, smart.
Everyone involved should gather in one location and, without coaching from anyone, let the dog decide.
Climate change lies
I’d like to comment on Gordon Fuglie’s letter titled, “No political motivation” (Aug. 8). He infers that scientists studying the alleged anthropogenic global warming issue can absolutely be trusted because “the universal scientific method is driven by ... the independence of its discipline.” This is technically known to those in the business as “hogwash.”
It’s obvious to this observer that if one’s livelihood depends on how data are collected and interpreted, only a fool will believe the collector/interpreter with less than a skeptical tenor. Such skepticism was shown to be completely substantiated in last year’s e-mail scandal involving the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
In his next paragraph, Fuglie drops the ever-weakening bomb of an “argument from authority,” when he says, “I offer what used to settle debates: the voice of authority.” I’d like to thank Fuglie for the entertainment value of this statement. It brought me great pleasure.
There’s a reason it “used to settle debates,” but no longer does.
It is laughable to the nth degree that someone even remotely familiar with the issue would actually think that appealing to the authority of proven liars and cheaters would have any positive effect on his attempts to influence his audience.
Fruits of Islam
Welcome to the latest formula for Muslim outreach: First, offend your local community. Next, try to build bridges.
Developers of the mosque near ground zero claim it represents an olive branch, in spite of the fact that more than 63 percent of New Yorkers oppose its construction so close to the 9/11 gravesite.
This is because most Americans view Islam as somehow playing a role in 9/11 and don’t feel comfortable with an Islamic center in such close proximity.
Yet, Islam maintains its deniability. Whenever a terrorist acts in the name of “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), there is an immediate rush of people who claim this is not the true nature of Islam.
However, after decades of witnessing violent acts rooted in Islam (1993 World Trade Center bombing, 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, 9/11, 7/7 London bombings, Ft. Hood massacre, Christmas Day shoe bomber), Americans have grown more and more skeptical of these assertions.
In fact, these extremists were merely taking talking points from the Quran 9:29: “You shall fight back against those who do not believe in Allah.” Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits.”
If these vicious attacks are the fruits of Islam, what does that say about the tree?
San Luis Obispo