The greening of SLO
Our green SLO City Council has made great strides in saving the Earth, but there’s much more to do. Here’s a short list:
1. Ban hotels and motels and Airbnbs from giving guests tiny plastic bottles of shampoo and lotion. This would eliminate hundreds of thousands of these pieces of plastic pollution each year. Since the city makes so much from hotel taxes, they must exert leadership in greening city tourism.
2. Ban leaf blowers. Their primitive engines put more greenhouse gases into the air than a truck. Their noise pollution drives people crazy. And their main accomplishment is stirring up dust and putting it into the air we breathe — a third form of pollution. Brooms and rakes have none of these negatives and also build muscles.
3. Since autos are a thing of the past and we’re entering the auto-less future, the city must eliminate its two lots of free downtown employee parking. It must also eliminate auto allowance subsidies for the city manager and city attorney. If the city expects residents to change how they get around, it must lead by providing a good example.
Brenda Holmes, San Luis Obispo
Support Global Fund
At the height of the AIDS crisis nearly two decades ago, the world came together to fight back, creating the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This international partnership has helped save 27 million lives since 2002. This is stunning progress, but we cannot claim victory yet.
HIV and TB treatments aren’t reaching everyone who needs them and progress on tackling malaria has stalled. Since the beginning, the U.S. has played a leading role in the Global Fund, providing a full one-third of its financial resources. That must continue.
I urge our members of Congress and President Trump to continue strong support for the Global Fund by recommitting to provide at least one-third of the total $14 billion needed to step up the fight, save more lives, and move us closer to ending these diseases.
Bob Leppo, Pismo Beach
Here’s why we need vaccines
Why are vaccinations still so important today? Because I lived through a period when measles and polio vaccinations were not yet developed and we suffered the consequences.
In 1943, my mother had German measles when she was pregnant with me. As a result I’ve been severely hearing impaired all my life.
I also lived through the outbreak of polio in the 1950s. l saw polio hit my mother and she ended up a quadriplegic for 14 years. Polio also hit my little sister and now she is wheelchair bound. Oh, and my aunt also contracted polio. This happened to my family in a four-week period in 1951.
Back then we were a healthy family, or so we thought. It does upset me when I hear about parents who are opposed to having their children vaccinated. Vaccinations can help stop these dreadful diseases and their consequences.
Sue Mongillo, Arroyo Grande
It is interesting that some big corporations pay no taxes, but if I tried that I would be in the gray bar motel. Corporations that do pay taxes pay at lower percentage than I pay. It looks like we are getting taken to the cleaners by our messed-up government. This needs to stop. We need to elect new members of the government who will be more interested in the electorate rather than their big money supporters. Let’s make a change.
Gary Gall, Cambria
Non-allergenic plants for better health
We live in exciting times! The fact that we can choose to plant landscapes and gardens that do not trigger the miserable allergies so many of us suffer from is a relatively new discovery.
The weepy, itchy eyes, runny nose and asthmatic cough are all too common. Emergency room personnel are very familiar with patients, adults, children and infants who arrive day or night unable to breathe.
Tom Ogren, a SLO resident biologist and Cal Poly graduate, has been successful in researching and developing allergy-free gardening, not only locally but in many other communities, including Ireland.
Maria Barrows, San Luis Obispo
The lesson of the black hole
Yes, we proved various nations can work together to achieve a common goal: Take a picture of a black hole. It was done to prove a theory by Einstein. The best minds got together, the funds were found and dedicated in budgets, language barriers were overcome. What’s even more amazing is that no one got special credit or fame by doing this. A pure action to advance knowledge and truth.
This was just a trial run, for after all, it was just a photo of a black hole. Why not tackle next the black holes that afflict us daily: climate change, hunger, infant mortality, war, genocide? We know the theories, the right actions, the costs. We know we can work together, why not do it?
Carmen Fojo, Los Osos