Letters to the Editor

Candidate for Atascadero City Council turned homeless shelter event into a campaign stop

The front steps of Atascadero City Hall were crowded with supporters of the ECHO Homeless Shelter during the 7th annual Long Walk Home event in August.
The front steps of Atascadero City Hall were crowded with supporters of the ECHO Homeless Shelter during the 7th annual Long Walk Home event in August. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

I would like to thank all the community members and businesses that supported ECHO Homeless Shelter’s Long Walk Home event on Aug. 25. It was a great turnout and show of support for an organization that is helping people who are less fortunate than ourselves.

I was surprised, however, that one candidate for Atascadero City Council tried to turn the walk into an hour-long commercial for her campaign. Susan Funk brought 20 people in campaign shirts, wagons with bubble machines and an extra-large campaign banner to announce she was in attendance. This kind of political self-promotion was not right and can jeopardize ECHO Homeless Shelter’s non-profit status with the IRS.

I did notice that the other Atascadero City Council candidates and local elected officials who participated were respectful and made it their priority to remember they were participating to support the ECHO Homeless Shelter.

Vicky Morse, Atascadero

Broad Street Bikeway does an injustice to the aged

What happened on Sept. 4, when the San Luis Obispo City Council voted for protected bike lanes on Broad and Chorro streets and chose to deprive aged persons — some with disabilities — of their right to park their cars near their homes is strongly linked to ageism.

The World Health Organization defines ageism as stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination against people on the basis of age. It adds that it is an insidious practice that has harmful effects on the health of older adults, yet it is the most socially “normalized” of any prejudice and is not widely countered, as racism and sexism are.

Protected bike lanes in narrow streets with many driveways are known to be dangerous for cyclists. Protected bike lanes are mostly seen in wider streets in other cities, but SLO cyclists present at the meeting would not consider the more reasonable solutions offered to them because the fate of their elders and of the Anholm neighborhood did not concern them.

We have made progress on racism and sexism, but ageism is still in the far background of most people’s minds, although it is widespread. It is high time to add ageism to our list of repugnant “isms” and to educate those who practice it.

Gary Dwyer, San Luis Obispo

Another good reason to vote no on Prop 6

The Tribune’s editorial describing several beneficial projects funded by the current gas taxes is spot on. There is another compelling reason to vote “no” on Proposition 6.

Almost anyone who lives in this county is aware of the history of human carnage at the Cholame Y. Finally — though many years too late — we can end it by continuing a gas tax averaging just 27 cents a day. I live in the South County, and travel through the “Y” only infrequently.

It is unlikely my life will be saved by the improvements. But many lives will be saved. Probably not my life, nor yours, but somebody’s. Somebody with a life, loved ones and a story to tell. People of all political beliefs should be able to agree that for a nominal cost those lives are worth saving here and now.

Some will rail against inefficient government or Sacramento spending priorities. They should recall that it was Ronald Reagan who believed that politics is the art of the possible, and who raised the gas tax. There are no painless solutions to improving road safety. We all need to pitch in — if not for ourselves then for each other.

Thomas Burhenn, Arroyo Grande