Bill Morem’s March 10 column (“Revolutionary solutions to battle ‘corporatocracy’ ”) followed by Ken McDaniel’s March 11 letter (“Cuts not enough”) provided meaty reading.
The Republicans’ incessant drumbeat of “No Taxes, Never!” is a classic example that if you repeat a lie enough it can be seen as the truth. My father directed a division of the company that built the rockets that put men on the moon in 1969. He made $40,000 a year when the men on the shop floor made $10,000 a year. With it, he was able to raise seven children, own his own home, and park two (newish) cars in the garage. At 93, he still receives a pension from that company.
Three of us graduated from the UC system, another got her nursing degree from a California community college. I never heard my father complain about taxes. We all were able to attend some of the best colleges in the world.
What has happened to us that we value the profits of the obscenely rich over the well-being of our nation? Will we sacrifice our nation’s future for the sake of short-term profits by people we will never know? We need to “take back America,” — not from the “socialists”— but from the capitalists!
Your article on the failed Taurus launch (“Poly group’s hopes sink but resurface,” March 5) brings back an interesting memory.
NASA’s first attempt to send a spacecraft to Mars, Mariner 3, failed for the same reason in 1964. The honeycomb nose fairing of the Atlas-Agena rocket collapsed around the spacecraft. It was quickly determined that the fairing failed because the honeycomb was not vented.
In about a month, Lockheed built an older design with sheet-metal fairing and the identical Mariner 4 spacecraft was successfully launched at the end of the 1964. It flew past Mars on target in summer 1965 and radioed back to Earth the first close-up images of Mars.
A disappointing, lunarlike, cratered surface was revealed, forever dispelling the idea of man-made canals on Mars that had been suggested by telescopic images. By the way, before those launches the nose cover was called the “shroud.” For quite obvious reasons that name was abandoned and forever after the term is “fairing.”
One thing we can all agree on through personal experience is the difference between a good teacher and a bad one. We all remember the good ones who prepared, cared and insisted on results. Their compensation, whatever the pay scale, was not enough. Unfortunately, the opposite is true with those who didn’t care, didn’t prepare and just showed up. We all know that both types exist.
Shirley Bianchi, our former supervisor, writes in a March 12 letter to the editor that Fox News wants teachers’ pay reduced. Not true.
Shirley, what Fox News wants is results from teachers. That network points to the downward trend in “results” from our students for the past 20 years. What Fox News has advocated is an end to tenure. Teacher tenure has become a practice that provides job security to those teachers who don’t produce results and leave our children less prepared when they progress to the next level of education.
No different than any employee who doesn’t take his/her work seriously. What employer should be obligated to continue that relationship? What employer is more important than our school system? Forget the political sniping and help to maintain high standards for our teachers. Then help to get them the best wages.
I worked for a major airline for 37 years. In the 1970s, this airline bought another airline using our pension funds. Because of this act, they had to put into place a pension plan for their employees.
In the ’90s, the airline went to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), where the employee buys shares of the company through a reduction of wages and purchase of stock for six years before reverting back to the corporation. Shortly after the ESOP was over, the company filed for bankruptcy. Now the stock was worthless. It took several years of lawsuits to recoup a minimal amount of money.
I retired in 2003. In 2008, the airline terminated the pension plan. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation took over the pension plan.
Congress sets the limits on pension plans! Since the company terminated the plan, Congress has reduced my pension on three separate occasions.
Again, the company repeated the same thing as they did in the ’70s. Last year, they became the largest airline again by merging with another airline, by terminating the employee pension plan. Protect your pension plans, stop corporate greed and corruption of our congress!
Board has failed
A gesture was made by the Board of Supervisors to address residents’ growing concern over wireless SmartMeter installation in the county. Where installation has occurred, there are consistent complaints regarding health affects, fire safety and billing increases.
Though the board unanimously agreed to send a letter of concern to the California Public Utilities Commission — the state agency with legal authority to halt installation — the board did not do what other jurisdictions have done to protect their residents: Pass a symbolic resolution telling PG&E to delay installation until AB 37, a House resolution offering residents wired options, is addressed by the state Legislature.
Yes, the board has no authority to tell PG&E what to do, but in other cities and counties, PG&E has said it would honor such requests. Therefore, “deployment” of the wireless meters in SLO County continues.
The board has failed to do all in its power to maintain the welfare of its residents. Hopefully, South County cities will learn from this compromised gesture and stand strong for its residents.
Thank you for the excellent article, “The Aftermath of Death,” (March 4) by Linda Lewis Griffith. Certainly the death of a loved one can trigger many difficult grief responses, as she outlined. In addition, the bereaved may experience many other feelings that are overwhelming and painful.
The Center for Grief, Education & Healing at Hospice Partners offers one-on-one grief counseling to those who have lost a loved one and are seeking support. Grief support, including groups, is also offered by Hospice of San Luis Obispo County. Both agencies offer their services free of charge.
Director of the Center for Grief, Education & Healing at Hospice Partners
Teach without worry
The March 10 paper said 50 teachers at Lucia Mar Unified School District were getting layoff notices. Others will have their hours reduced.
As a seventh-grade student at Judkins Middle School, I need my teachers to be able to teach without worrying about getting laid off. My social studies teacher has taught us how well early politics went, but I don’t see it today.
If the adults today cannot fix the problems, how will I be smart enough to fix the problems when I am older?
How are we supposed to be the smartest generation?
Unions fought for us
I’m so tired of reading how teacher unions and other unions are “robbing the taxpayers blind through binding arbitration,” (“End arbitration,” Mike Morgan, Feb. 25).
While it is irritating that some people are retiring at a ridiculously early age with full benefits and pension, these are not the people who are robbing the taxpayer.
The big corporations, companies and individuals who are making billions of dollars and not paying their share of taxes are the problem. If they did pay taxes equivalent to their earnings, like ordinary citizens do, the country and state would not be in financial crisis.
Through the media, financed by these robber barons, we are led to believe that our problems are caused by working people.
By the way, private-sector workers can thank the unions for a 40-hour work week, unemployment insurance, and a myriad of other benefits that companies did not and would not provide voluntarily.
Union members fought, and some died, to allow workers to live the American dream. Now the unions are attacked as the problem.
Who lives in the biggest house on the block, Mr. Morgan? I don’t think it’s a retired teacher or a government worker.
Martha M. Garcia
I can’t believe it! The City Council has come up with another ill-conceived plan to keep Ernie Dalidio from ever developing his property. Remember his development plan? It already included public open space, parkland and natural areas.
I’m sure, if anyone had asked him nicely, he would have included some room for the Bob Jones bike trail, too. What the city is suggesting leaves that eagerly anticipated section of the trail in limbo; while they try to “annex” the property of someone who doesn’t want to be annexed and wasn’t even asked!
This island of agricultural land is already surrounded by commercial development. What is being suggested is illogical and seems just another effort to wrest control of this property from its owner. Where does this hateful disregard of Mr. Dalidio’s property rights and the will of the voters come from? It seems common sense and fairness in the SLO City Council are mighty uncommon.
In contrast to Alice Welchert’s concern for the harvest of seals in Canada (“Seal Slaughter,” March 17), I consider it a wise thing to do.
Just as we do not want cats and dogs to overpopulate, the harvest of seals in Canada is a good thing. Unlike the United States, Canadians recognize the value of their fishing industries and protect them. Harvesting the excess seals is also a good way to keep these animals from increasing to levels where they become sick and diseased.
Policies in the U.S. are doing the exact opposite. We have sick marine mammals, invasions on harbors, boats and facilities and destruction of our fish resources. Because of federal laws, nothing in our country can be done to stop this overpopulation.
So, I am going to look for Canadian fish products and support them. If only people here in my country would have such common sense. There is an old saying: “Seals eat fish. Lots of seals eat lots of fish. They don’t eat potatoes.”
Steven L. Rebuck
San Luis Obispo