Keep athletics in mind
Lost in the discussions about the budget shortfalls for education is the effect budget cuts are having on the athletic departments at local high schools. Not only are athletic directors having to make value decisions on where their dwindling funds are to be allocated, but whole sports programs are being dropped. This may seem a small price to pay in comparison with other education cuts, but athletics plays a large roll in keeping some at-risk students in school.
In particular, I have seen firsthand the efforts of Dwight MacDonald, the athletic director at Arroyo Grande High School in Lucia Mar Unified School District. He dedicates long hours, along with his coaches, to provide competitive athletic programs on limited funds. At the same time, they try to keep the students focused on the positive attributes of competition and not the issues beyond their control, such as budgets. No doubt other school districts face similar challenges.
I ask that everyone keep their local athletic departments in mind when considering where to allocate your limited donation funds. Athletic foundations and boosters are qualified nonprofits and greatly supplement the athletic department budgets.
Means to avoid fines
The April 5 Sacramento Bee article “More tickets more money” begs a couple of questions.
First, is there any other way to punish lawbreakers who don’t deserve to go to jail other than levying a fine? Or is the article suggesting that there should never be any increase in traffic law enforcement, because of the inevitable increase in fines and how it may look?
Since traffic deaths in this country far exceed all the violent crime deaths put together, I should hope that’s not the position. The article clearly implied that the population at large might be being picked on by law enforcement for the purpose of generating revenue. The inescapable truth is that regardless of the motives law enforcement may have for doing their job more efficiently and with more zeal, we as a society should welcome it.
Although most would rather cry foul and claim the reason they were cited was to meet some quota or to generate revenue, there’s one inescapable, elephant-in-the-room truth that these folks conveniently forget. Each and every one of us has the means of totally exempting ourselves from paying traffic fines!
A proud history
George Bekey (“Losing our Edge,” March 3) identifies an issue underlying Republicans’ intent to slash basic research support: worldwide industry adopts U.S. innovations, many times outdistancing us in application.
This is basic economics, even found in farmers’ markets where successful new products or concepts are imitated until much of the value becomes dispersed over many vendors.
Bekey, however, concludes by suggesting (without basic research) that America will end up a “Third World country,” which he defines as exporting agricultural products while importing high technology ones.
The attitude that practicing agriculture is child’s play unsuited to Americans is prevalent among the 100 of you who live in America’s cities and towns for every one of us who makes food happen.
You don’t know or care where your food comes from as long as it’s a bargain. It’s therefore increasingly coming from those Third World countries. Big food companies don’t care about quality or freshness, or mind spending billions on fuel getting it here. Cheap food for indifferent American shoppers is all that matters.
Since George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, American farmers and ranchers have quietly and proudly gone about the business of feeding this country and the world, while making America great.
According to Joe Tarica, it seems: If you like something, say so. If you don’t, say so louder.
Regarding Tarica’s recent “Joetopia” column targeting cell phone use in cars, specifically his own fumbling experiences using his Bluetooth hands-free headset, the simple, common sense answer to your problem is to quit answering the phone or making calls while driving.
All of this wonderful, ever-evolving technology in our world is already quickly creating a population of self-centered, socially inept, rude, purposefully illiterate people. They use their cell phones simply because they ring, simply because they’re bored, simply because they need to say something — anything — to somebody. Entitlement reigns supreme. Common sense takes a dive into the toilet.
I don’t know about you, Tarica, but I have yet to overhear a single cell phone conversation that couldn’t have waited until the person got out of the store, got out of line, got out of the movie theater, got out of the doctor’s office waiting room or got out of the car, and conducted it in a more appropriate environment.
And the definition of “appropriate”: marked by suitability or rightness or appropriateness.
Charging the Leaf
As a delighted owner of a new Nissan Leaf electric car, I’d like to comment on the cost of electricity for an electric vehicle in contrast to the description laid out by Jon Hoffman in April 11’s Tribune.
A search of PG&E’s website will reveal a rate schedule directed at residential owners of EVs, schedule E9, which combines with a time-of-use meter that replaces the standard analog unit at no extra cost. Note: this is not the so-called SmartMeter.
The midsize Leaf has a simple on-board timer for controlling time of charging, and I’m sure the Volt does as well. To encourage charging during the low demand night hours, the E9 rate for both tier one and two is 5.3 cents per kilowatt-hour between midnight and 7 a.m. for May through October. November to April is slightly higher, at 6.2 cents.
As we are seeing about 4 miles per kwh in routine daily use, it works out to less than 2 cents per mile, substantially less than Mr. Hoffman’s estimate. Should we move into tier three, which is likely, the off-peak rate then moves to 14 cents per kwh — still much cheaper than $4 gasoline, even at 50 mpg.
San Luis Obispo
Regarding Bill Morem’s March 10 column, “Revolutionary solutions to battle ‘corporatocracy’ ”:
The 10-point plan Morem supports is clearly anti-capitalism and pro-government socialism.
Take the recommendation, “Ban paid political advertising in favor of a government-funded electronic and print media network that would provide free and equal time to all candidates.”
Recent revelations about the government-funded NPR tell us all we need to know about the biased outcome of this proposal.
And take the final recommendation, “Ratify a Citizen Bill of Rights that guarantees every American the right to affordable food, shelter and a clean environment.”
This reeks of entitlement mentality that ties citizens as dependents to their government for their daily needs as opposed to self-reliance and personal responsibility that our country's founding fathers envisioned.
A “safety net” for those truly in need is one thing, but a nanny state for everyone is not the incentive that has made America great.
This leftist drivel from Morem is typical of what The Tribune promotes.
Not new taxes
The taxes the people of California would be voting on, if we could have the chance, are for extending existing taxes on sales, vehicles and income that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave us in 2009. These are not new taxes as some would have you believe but an extension of what we are already paying.
The additional cuts to education, health, safety, etc. will affect us all for a long time to come.
Hmmm, let’s see
Let me see if I understand: To reduce budget deficits, we are laying off school teachers. We are reducing aid to the disabled, the elderly, ill, homeless and poor. We are eliminating youth programs, senior day care and any other program that doesn’t have a lobbyist. We continue to support two (or is it three now?) wars at a rate of $10 billion dollars a month. We have made bankers, corporate CEOs and investment managers obscenely rich, but we continue Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. We are doing our very best to blame all our financial woes on government employees, collective bargaining and union workers. And this just in: General Electric pays zero tax on a profit of more than $14 billion dollars. What could be wrong with this picture?