Even less sense
Your April 29 front page article, “Bill sparks land use debate,” writes about Rep. Kevin McCarthy and 23 other representatives who have introduced legislation to open up 43 million acres of government-owned land to the public. The article states, “decades ago the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service declared these areas unsuitable for a wilderness designation.” Decades ago, we were not as concerned about the expense of maintaining such areas.
Now, with a full-blown depression, huge public debt, people losing their homes and without work — it makes even less sense. The article goes on to say that environmental groups oppose this legislation. Of course. That is what they do! One of the environmentalists who opposed the pending legislation was even quoted as saying that this new legislation could lead to “commercial activity.” Wow! In the middle of a depression, this could lead to jobs! What a concept.
Morro Bay has long needed a conference center space large enough to accommodate mid-size business meetings and events.
Case in point, the annual Winter Bird Festival presentations are held in the high school auditorium, the only space in town sufficient for 400 people. Burt Caldwell proposed an attractive waterfront venue, approved by the Coastal Commission, which could have provided year-round and mid-week revenue to our existing hotels, restaurants and shops.
It’s unfortunate that the current Morro Bay City Council has refused to proceed further with this project. Some additional time and rent negotiations seem preferable to more empty storefronts, reduced services and crumbling streets.
Thank you, Burt, for attempting to help our city.
Former mayor, Morro Bay
A regrettable loss
I have had the precious honor and privilege to spend the past four years participating and working with Chief Mark Miller in the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program in Emmitsburg, Md. Entry in the program is extremely competitive, and those fortunate enough to receive a letter announcing their selection have proven to possess exceptional fire service leadership skills and are outstanding community activists. Chief Miller has exemplified those worthwhile attributes, plus more. He is a pillar of strength — a person I can turn to for sage advice and professional wisdom. He has taught me how to hear the interests and concerns of both private and professional stakeholders. I have oftentimes found myself listening to a situation in which he acted and learned an important life lesson that I should have learned myself.
I value my relationship and friendship with Chief Miller. But more importantly, I see his leadership skills and his ability to communicate with both public and private interests as a valuable asset to the community and it’s interests. The decision to relieve Chief Miller as the fire chief of the Cambria Fire Department is an unfortunate and regrettable loss for all of the citizens of Cambria.
Lieutenant, Fairlawn Fire Department, Fairlawn, Ohio
‘I Am’ a powerful film
Once in a while, a movie comes along that is not a blockbuster with high-tech whatevers in it. It is a movie that is powerful because it has something for everyone to take heed of. It is currently at the Palm and is called “I Am.” I urge everyone to see it and be reminded of what kindness and compassion can do for our lives.
San Luis Obispo
On April 27, I was supposed to meet with Peggy Peterson — one week too late for her to help me get my books into the hands of local teachers, and for me to put those profits back into her favorite music programs for youngsters.
What is most interesting is that I was not a FOP (friend of Peggy’s). I recently met her through a mutual friend who knew that we both shared a love of teaching. Being relatively new to the Central Coast, that was all that I knew about her.
Peggy invited me to her house for breakfast. We shared stories of teaching and a love of Shirley Temple, and I immediately felt the genuine warmth of Peggy, her home and her family. Even more remarkable is that in a single meeting, Peggy had a huge impact on me. I can’t say exactly why, but I can’t get her out of my mind, either.
If we are lucky, we will meet someone like Peggy in our lifetime and will be moved to greater giving in her absence. Strangely, I miss her, and I can only imagine the loss to her family, her FOPs and this entire community.
Why is it that when Republicans are in office, “deficits don’t matter” (Dick Cheney)? Yet, when Democrats are in, the Republicans kick and scream about spending and the programs that help the elderly and needy. The last three Republican administrations have successfully trashed our country with their sociopathic ideologies of greed and corruption. Now in our face is their Machiavellian urge to justify their actions by doing whatever it is they want at the expense of whomever or whatever to satisfy their political and personal economic gain. The Republicans don’t have a policy problem, they have a mental health problem.
True Americans look out for each other. We look out for those less fortunate than ourselves. We are the most generous nation that has ever existed. Don’t let the Republicans bury that concept by pulling the proverbial rug out from the very people who not only elected them but pay their salaries as well. We are better than this!
Medicare not free
After reading the two differing viewpoints about Medicare in the April 24 Tribune, my husband and I realized that neither mentioned that Medicare is not free to those who are enrolled.
This year, $90 is deducted from our monthly Social Security checks, totaling $2,160 a year. Then, we must have supplemental insurance. This year, we pay $846.20 per quarter, or $3,384.80. Our total expense is thus $5,544.80 per year. We also pay our yearly doctor/hospital deductible amount of $155 each, or $310. We pay for vision and dental expenses.
Our prescription deductibles are $620. Usually, our drug costs are not much more than that. True, a portion of the drug expense is cut if we can use generics, but that doesn’t always work.
Bottom line: we will pay $6,474.80 this year, whether we use the benefits or not.
We assume that if our bills are less than the amount we pay, that extra money goes toward paying the bills of others who are not as healthy as we are. That’s good. Our point is that we, like everyone else over 65, pay for Medicare. We’re grateful for it, and we wish everyone had a similar, single-payer program.
Paul Krugman’s April 26 commentary in The Tribune pointed out that federal tax rates have fallen significantly over the past 30 years, and that as a percentage of U.S. income taxes are lower than those of most other wealthy nations. And yet, greedy, pampered and spoiled Americans whine that they’re overtaxed. This reminded me of economic philosopher Adam Smith’s view that taxes are our individual contribution to our nation’s economic health, which allowed us to prosper in the first place.
Prevent Lyme disease
Our Board of Supervisors recently declared May “Lyme Disease Awareness Month.”
Lyme disease, transmitted by the bite of a tick, is the most common vector-borne illness in the U.S.
When caught early, Lyme disease is easily treated. If untreated, it can invade any organ of the body, wreaking havoc and causing a wide variety of symptoms that mimic other diseases.
The San Luis Obispo Lyme disease support group wants to help you protect yourself from this disease.
Wear long pants tucked into socks when out in nature. Permethrin should be applied to clothing. Do not lean against trees. Perform regular tick checks. Remove any attached ticks by pulling directly out of the skin with sharp tweezers. Contact CALDA (lymedisease.org) for information about testing removed ticks for infection.
Not everyone infected with Lyme disease will present with the classic bull’s-eye rash. If you are bitten by a tick, you may want to make an appointment with a Lyme-literate doctor. Particularly, watch for a rash or flu-like symptoms.
Interviews with two doctors in San Luis Obispo County who treat Lyme disease revealed that at least 100 people in our county were clinically diagnosed in the past year. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
San Luis Obispo Lyme Support Group
Praise for local school
With so many education systems in distress, it is refreshing to have come from a school where education was the primary concern, and teachers and students had a relationship that revolved around more than just the classroom. As an alumna of Templeton High School class of 2010, I would like to compliment the school on how well it prepares students for life after high school.
The curriculum can be as challenging as the student would like it to be — as the courses offered are varied and made up of many levels — and the teachers are there to help students succeed at every step of the way.
It is this constant, positive support system that allows us to adequately prepare for college and the challenges that new curriculum brings. In an age where we hear many negative things about schools, I can confidently say that Templeton High School goes above and beyond what it needs to do to make students successful and provide a network of supporting teachers who become friends who follow you not only through high school, but after graduation as well. Well done.
Storm Lake, Iowa
Why travel far?
Travel magazines tout outdoor adventures. Imagine “golden oak-covered hills, blue skies, lazy days while you fish, camp, picnic, hike, sail, enjoy spectacular views.” Where? Here!
A struggling economy and high gas prices remind us of the richness of our own treasures. Why not stay home to get away? San Luis Obispo County Parks has unsurpassed recreation and camping opportunities and offers well-appointed facilities for solitude-seeking individuals as well as more civilized RV camping with hookups.
Lake Lopez, 10 miles east of Arroyo Grande, has 354 campsites and something for everyone: camping, fishing, boating, skiing, sailing, windsurfing, picnicking, hiking and equestrian trails, mountain biking, canoeing, bird watching and so much more.
Santa Margarita Lake, east of Santa Margarita, has thousands of acres available to hikers, bicyclists and equestrians and 60 primitive campsites. The lake offers great fishing and challenging sailing.
My citified grandchildren love to camp. Their perfect outing is Lake Lopez and Santa Margarita Lake with side trips to the waterslides. They love attending the ranger’s education programs and telling scary stories around the campfire while eating s’mores. Me, too.
Travel magazines tout exotic places. We’re lucky, we have them right here. For information, visit www.slocountyparks.com/activities/camp.htm.
San Luis Obispo County Parks Commissioner