Letters to the Editor

Paso council candidate: Tribune’s attack on me is ‘biased journalism’

Michael Rivera is a candidate for Paso Robles City Council.
Michael Rivera is a candidate for Paso Robles City Council.

The recent attack by The Tribune against me and Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) is another example of bias and fake news. (The headline referred to me as a “member of an alleged hate group.”)

CAPS has been discussing the issue of overpopulation, including high levels of immigration, and its environmental impact for 35 years.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has been discredited as a reliable news source by pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post and Harper’s, as well as www.splcwatch.org, www.splctruthreport.com and www.splcinfo.com. Recently, it paid a $3.3 million settlement for calling a practicing Muslim an “anti-Muslim extremist.”

When news organizations print such one-sided innuendos, they lose their own credibility. Any organization operating in the public arena is subject to criticism. For The Tribune to print attacks by the SPLC without giving readers information to evaluate those attacks is biased journalism. This is why the public distrusts the media.

I am happy that CAPS and other groups educate the public about how illegal immigration and immigration-driven population growth have turned the “Golden State” into the “Dependent State.”

No one at CAPS hates anyone. We love people, we love California, and we love the incredible scenery and biodiversity that surrounds us. However, we know the population increase of 10 million since 1990 has had an alarming impact on our communities and our environment.

Michael S. Rivera, Paso Robles

SLO needs to prioritize bike safety

In response to the sentencing of Lisa Smith, whose texting and driving caused the death of Bridget Dawson, a cyclist on Broad Street: Driving a vehicle is a privilege, not a right.

That privilege is earned by demonstrating to DMV that you know the laws, you are healthy and you can execute proper driving skills. When you kill someone because you chose to be distracted and text while driving, you should lose that privilege. You have now failed the ultimate driving test. You are a danger to self and others.

How long should this privilege be revoked? Forever. Bridget Dawson lost her life. Her family will suffer this loss forever. Yet Lisa Smith got probation and community service. It is a tribute to Bridget’s family that they did not press for jail time.

SLO needs to prioritize bike safety, such as placing rumble strips between road and bike lanes. How about on Broad Street? How about safer bike lanes separated or protected from cars? Bridget went to the hospital, dead. Lisa Smith lied to police and went home.

Nancy Steinmaus, San Luis Obispo

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