The Tribune recently claimed California tax increases need to be retained because San Luis Obispo County will nearly lose a listed $3 million. Think again.
This is unnecessary, because our Sacramento officials should be reducing bureaucracy and overhead involving ridiculous payouts and benefits. The 2004 California Performance Review recommends aligning programs by functions, consolidating services and abolishing entities.
It discontinues 117 organizations, creates 11 mega departments and provides 15 major proposals for the largest fiscal savings. The total savings was estimated to be $32 billion. There was no problem funding education, health and human services.
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Why do most politicians continuously ignore the CPR concept? To keep education, health and human services an issue, maintain bureaucracy and retain tax increases.
Politicians who want longevity are held hostage by managers and unions. Their methods are infiltration, demonstrations, media propaganda/endorsements, campaign contributions and the threat of litigation. Response tools are joining taxpayer advocacy groups, utilizing media and the voting booth, campaign participation, initiatives, referendums and recall.
No moral standards
The Tribune’s May 25 story that the two suspects arrested for rape at Cal Poly will not face criminal charges is not surprising. How can investigators collect sufficient evidence in just two weeks? Did campus police interview friends of the suspects or just rely on people coming forward voluntarily? Did police check out his cell phone for incriminating evidence or after-the-fact boastfulness? Or gather any evidence or take any steps to verify the victims’ stories?
I was particularly disappointed with the response of President Jeffrey Armstrong, who assembled a task force to develop a set of recommendations to promote a campus community that does not tolerate sexual assault. You mean Cal Poly has been “tolerating sexual assault” up until now?
The problem is more deep-seated. Many students come to campus having spent most of their teen years exposed to wanton sexuality in the media, especially the Internet. Values are no longer taught other than to “educate”students that their values are whatever they choose them to be. There are no moral standards in society. These are the issues a reputable academic institution like Cal Poly should be dealing with and not the touchy-feely approach that is the task force.
Even though I believe that renewable energy sources are great, I am concerned with small wind energy systems. Stop and imagine if the rooftops of your neighborhood were filled with moving objects. It seems as though that would not be very peaceful — not only more noise pollution, but also a visual disturbance. I know that I would find it stressful.
I also wonder what the impact would be on the birds around my neighborhood that, especially this time of year, are so protective of their nests and go after anything moving. They probably wouldn’t even have nests in my area if there were wind energy systems.
And since Los Osos and Morro Bay are on the Pacific Flyway for migratory birds, we need to know if these structures would affect any birds that are dependent on the National Estuary and the surrounding lands for survival.
I urge you to think twice before recommending this type of renewable energy systems in neighborhoods.
I was honored to moderate a recent forum, “Sticks and Stones, Bullying in the Schools and the Community,” sponsored by the Central Coast Clergy and Laity for Justice (CCCLJ). It featured young panelists from minority communities who had been targeted by bullies, as well as Police Chief Deborah Linden for the Anti Defamation League and County Sheriff Ian Parkinson.
We learned that bullying consists of acts of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt, harass or intimidate another person physically, verbally, or emotionally. It includes hazing, harassment and verbal or symbolic hate speech, such as cross burning. Since the rise of the Internet, cyber bullying has become virulent through social networking or media commentary sites, emails, or YouTube — and more so when the bullying is anonymous.
If not prevented in childhood, bullying may “mature” into adult behavior, for instance racist or sexist hate mongering, intimidation designed to chill First Amendment rights, orchestrated attempts at character assassination, and/or media disinformation “hit pieces” targeting individuals.
CCCLJ’s support of school intervention programs helps prevent bullying not only from poisoning the student experience, but also from poisoning the future of our democracy. CCCLJ is to be commended.
Jan Howell Marx
Mayor of San Luis Obispo
The real goal
The May 14 Tribune printed a Perspective column that was an editorial from The Record of Stockton. I am assuming that The Tribune’s editorial board agreed with the column or would not have printed it. The legislation in question portends to help poorly informed voters avoid the tribulation of sorting through confusing ballot initiatives by making it unlawful for sponsors to pay petition gatherers.
The whole concept is an effort to further tilt the playing field, as business and taxpayer interests have a much harder time calling out volunteers than public employee unions do. The unions are trying to use the process to take money from taxpayers and give it their hand-picked Democrat politicians, who in turn give it to the union employees. This unholy alliance already has rigged the policy game in California — to the detriment of taxpayers and businesses. Further to their advantage is the appearance of full support from the McClatchy editorial boards.
You are free to support any legislation you want, but you are also obligated to tell your readers the real goal of the legislation. Now we know why the voters are poorly informed. They have to be policy wonks to understand how they are being screwed, since their newspapers support the fix.
Duane A. Fischer
Editor’s note: As is regularly mentioned on our Opinion pages, editorials from other newspapers are offered to stimulate debate and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Tribune.
One hint to the source of “A Drinking Problem: Bingeing common, say Poly students” (front page headline Sunday, May 22), may be found in the headline of the Local section (same paper): “A weekend of wine, wine and more wine.”
San Luis Obispo
The residents of the Johnson Avenue area should be aware that on May 17, the City Council approved plans to modify traffic striping under Johnson Underpass so as to reduce the current two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction. This was approved as consent item “C8 Pismo/ Buchon Neighborhood Traffic Management” with no plans presented at the meeting and no special notice to Johnson Avenue residents.
This heavily traveled route between the Johnson Avenue area and downtown is a vital traffic link. In my opinion as a longtime traffic engineer, reducing the through lanes at the underpass will create confusion and congestion, with unnecessary inconvenience to motorists from the Johnson Avenue area. At the council meeting, I pointed out that there are less extreme ways to resolve current problems. However, the council ignored my request that the project be delayed, citing concern that the changes must be completed prior to the start of high school classes this fall.
In my opinion, changes of this magnitude, affecting a large area of the city, should be made only after proper notice and an opportunity for affected residents to provide testimony.
If you share my concern, you should notify City Council members or city administration in the near future.
San Luis Obispo
Editor’s note: Dave Romero is a former mayor of San Luis Obispo and, before joining the council, was the city’s public works director.
Thanks to Kohl’s
Templeton Troop 434, Boy Scouts of America, would like to give our thanks to Kohl’s in Paso Robles, particularly to Dayton Milbrath, Ricardo Del Real-Pinedo, Debi Chavez, Susan Zollo and Summer Woods.
These Kohl’s employees donated their time working very, very hard to help Troop 434 to a successful benefit yard sale. Troop 434 was able to raise a substantial contribution, which will go towards equipment and a sport-fishing trip for the boys.
We would also like to thank Paso Robles Jamba Juice, particularly Matt and Emily who sold Jamba Juice at the yard sale and donated 20 percent of the proceeds to Troop 434.
Also, a big thanks to the wonderful community in North County who purchased items at the yard sale. It is a true privilege to live in our area, where our Boy Scouts are supported.
Once again, a small group of credentialed teachers for San Luis Coastal who teach disabled adults find their jobs in jeopardy. They are contracted on a yearly basis and work 32 hours a week over a twelve-month year. In these hard times, dollars are difficult to find and tough decisions must be made. I do understand how difficult it is to administer funding for all the programs needed. As I understand it, there is a newly identified group of needy kindergarten-through-12th-grade students that the school system is attempting to help.
I served on the Achievement House board of directors during the 1960s and ’70s. Two of the teachers in the group are part of the Achievement House system. The clients do achieve there and progress in so many ways. It is a productive, stimulating, worth-building atmosphere for a group typically ignored.
The other four Adult School teachers, whose jobs are threatened, do their valuable work at Pathpoint and Casa de Vida. Let us hope that money can be found for both programs, but not at the expense of adults with disabilities trying to work past some very tough challenges.
San Luis Obispo
Two new fans
Our family recently spent a couple of nights in San Luis Obispo, and we have voted it the nicest place we experienced in our entire trip to California.
We especially liked the way friendly people helped us find our way around, how clean the entire city was, and how we were treated when we had car trouble.
We will be back. You can count on that.
Mr. & Mrs. A.B. Clem
Focus on reform
In its full page ad on May 20, Stand Up for California, which is sponsored by the Service Employees International Union, said that Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian is waiting to hear from us about the looming budget cuts. This is what we want Katcho to hear:
Individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments that consistently spend more than they take in and continue to increase the amount of debt they owe ultimately go bankrupt. Today, California is at serious risk of bankruptcy. The cuts we now face as a result of runaway spending in the past are going to be painful. But bringing the budget into balance without raising already burdensome taxes and creating a more business-friendly environment are essential to restoring California’s economy.
We applaud Katcho’s focus on reforming government to make it more efficient and accountable to taxpayers, cutting wasteful spending and programs, and making California’s economy more competitive for job creation.
We hope he will resist the pressure from ads like the one mentioned above, which use scare tactics to pressure legislators into giving in to policies that will further damage the California economy.
Paul and Sheila Mangione