A.G. in bloom
Congratulations to the city of Arroyo Grande for its “sweep” of the America in Bloom awards in St. Louis, Mo., recently.
Arroyo Grande took home a record four awards for numerous achievements in community involvement and improvements it has made to the environment of the city.
The California Central Coast has many beautiful cities that would benefit from participation in America in Bloom.
The program focuses on beautification, community involvement and environmental action. Congratulations to Arroyo Grande for a well-deserved showing at the national awards.
America in Bloom contest committee chair
Don’t shirk voting
The military and economic policies of the Bush administration that steered our nation toward its current web of financial problems — and those of the Schwarzenegger administration that have entangled California in its own nasty web — are Republican policies that clearly haven’t worked. Nor will they work, no matter how much money big business spends mesmerizing America.
Those corporate dollars, however, are having their intended effect: Conservative campaigns have proven themselves more capable than their liberal counterparts at getting their supporters riled up enough to vote. Most polls and analysts agree that liberal voter apathy will be the deciding factor in pushing state and national legislatures even closer to complete gridlock than they already are.
Liberals and independents: Please do your part to prevent further economic meltdown by making the simple effort to vote. Not bothering to vote aligns you with the sorry likes of Meg Whitman and other vote shirkers and is a slap in the face to all who take that most basic act of American citizenship seriously.
Our democratic system bestows the right to elect representatives for all levels of government. As Thomas Jefferson eloquently stated, “All power is inherent in the people.”
Exercise of this enormous power places tremendous responsibility on every voter. This includes being knowledgeable about all the important issues and assessing qualifications of the candidates.
A candidate, if elected, should be able to meet the challenges ahead and have common good as the uppermost consideration. There are no shortcuts to being a responsible voter.
For these reasons, the advice offered in Michael Van Belleghem’s letter (“Get out and vote,” Oct. 5) is imprudent. He argues that if we vote for an incumbent, “things will stay the same or only get worse.”
His statement would be valid if all the incumbents took the same position on every issue. This, of course, has not been the case. If one analyzes the position taken by all incumbents on an issue, it would be clear that many had opposing positions.
Belleghem’s approach is tantamount to throwing out the baby with the bath water. Voting against an incumbent is advisable only if the incumbent has not served the constituents well.
San Luis Obispo
Enjoyable garden club
On a bright, sunny Saturday in May, we attended (at the invitation of our daughter, Shelly Lackey) an organic barbecue luncheon in Morro Bay.
Sponsored by the Estero Bay Community Garden Club in support of its local community garden plots, it was a very enjoyable experience indeed. The weather was the good, the food was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We hope the garden club continues to be successful with its “green” project.
We would certainly want to attend another luncheon sponsored by this group in the future.
Michael and Janetmartha Woodson
So if I’m reading Michael Van Belleghem’s letter to the editor correctly, he’s saying that because someone is an incumbent, they can’t possibly be doing a good job (“Get out and vote,” Oct. 5).
Using that kind of logic, I have a new idea on how to vote. Since every time someone new comes into office they get a “cushy retirement and health care plan,” why not just keep them there as long as possible?
Then there will be no new hands in the retirement/health care plan pot, and we’ll be saving money! Kind of like when they hand you that receipt at the grocery store and tell you how much you saved.
Just think, we won’t have to do any research on the candidates! That leaves a lot more time for watching “Clean House” and “Hoarders!”
Gains and losses
I continue to be amazed at how hard it is to get things through the Arroyo Grande city process, yet Nick Tompkins continues to bring projects forward with administrative support.
The most recent is the addition of a Food 4 Less grocery store, plus a commercial building and large restaurant, to a corner at South Courtland Street and East Grand Avenue that he purchased in 2007 (“City weighs adding Food 4 Less,” Sept. 10). What amazes me is that he is planning a new building when we have so many empty store and restaurant spots on Grand Avenue.
In addition, adding a grocery store will definitely hurt the business of the neighboring stores, possibly bringing yet more vacancies.
His argument that it will bring in tax revenues is empty. He is not adding something unique to our town; instead, he will draw business away from the other struggling businesses that work hard to keep their doors open during this recession. He may bring in more tax revenues, but much more will be lost when these other restaurants and stores lose business.
Tompkins already won to redevelop a portion of Arroyo Grande Village. Why must he disturb the other end of town, too?
Three meals and TV
More than 30 years ago, a 15-year-old girl was kidnapped, raped and killed by Albert Greenwood Brown. Brown then called her mother and taunted her about how the girl had died. Brown was finally scheduled to be put to death, but some judge has put a stop to it and says it will be several months before he makes a final decision. The mother has no closure. The killer has three meals a day and TV.
Little Polly Klaas of Petaluma was kidnapped, raped and killed about 17 years ago. Her killer, Richard Allen Davis, has three meals a day and TV.
A few years ago, Rex Krebs kidnapped, raped and killed two local college girls. Their families suffer each day and have no closure. He has three meals a day and TV.
Of the several hundred inmates on death row in our country, most of them will die of old age after three meals a day and TV. What a terrible injustice to our so-called justice system.
San Luis Obispo
Help the economy
Would increasing the tax rate on the wealthy make them pay more taxes? Not very likely.
Most of them do not collect a fixed salary. They are the ones who pay the salaries. If tax rates are too high, they can lay off employees, invest in gold or other nonproductive tax shelters and lower their taxable income.
Or they can move.
If it is state income tax, they move to another state. Such moves have caused New York and California to lose a great deal of wealth. Nationally, Donald Trump has hinted that he might move to another country, as some of his wealthy friends are planning to do, if their income tax rate gets too high.
But reducing their tax rate, or extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, would provide some incentive for them to increase their taxable income by investing in new business ventures or in business expansions. This means more employees, each with more taxable income and more tax revenue for the government.
This may not be the way to punish the rich for being rich, but it sure would help the economy.
San Luis Obispo
Claim of equality
I just don’t feel like “liberty and justice for all” applies anymore. Our society mocks any and all differences for their originality and unique approaches.
They are not banned and ridiculed for any disastrous consequences. They are outlawed and hated because they are unknown, untried ideas burrowing through the foundation a culture built on tradition.
We must remember that all traditions were at one time new and untried. We need only courage to bring our proud claim of national equality to life.