Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 9/23

Preventable disease

In following the health care insurance reform debate, it seems the assumption has been made  that  increased access to our medical profession would result in and guarantee a very much healthier nation. I next ask how much better health could we expect, what options would we have, what are the costs?

With a little research I found more than 80 percent of current health care costs are for problems arising from three areas: obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular illness. The glaring fact starring at all of us is that all three of these are nearly completely preventable at miniscule costs.

We do need health care reform, an educational personal health responsibility reform first and foremost.

Dane Howell

Morro Bay

Don’t feed the birds

A Sept. 1 article about algae blooms in Atascadero Lake has implications for Laguna Lake. If you love wild animals, you may not be aware that feeding them can hurt them, and humans too.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service explains that regular feeding of waterfowl can cause dependency on people for food, and overcrowding which can cause:

We need to inform visitors that love birds as much as we do that feeding them is a very bad idea. For example, a large flock of Canada geese should have migrated to Canada or Alaska for the summer. Instead, they have stayed for the handouts. Seagulls fly in from the coast every day for easy food, too. This adds to the overcrowding, the poor nutrition and the guano.

If you love wildlife, please write to the San Luis Obispo City Council (slocitycouncil@slocity.org) or call 781-7114, asking them to post signs that urge people not to feed the waterfowl and that also explain why they should not.

Meg Crockett

San Luis Obispo

Masks important

Recently a San Luis Obispo physician sent a patient from his office to the hospital as a “direct admit,” with contagious, flu-like symptoms. He did not give her a mask or suggest she tell the hospital personnel to do so.

I am a front-desk volunteer. My peers and I, most of us elderly, are not permitted to ask incoming patients why they are there, so we don’t know when to tell patients to put masks on to protect us, as well as other people in the lobby and the admitting clerk.

As soon as the admitting clerk was told by the patient, a mask was provide — but it was too late to protect those volunteers who were already exposed.

The doctor involved in this matter was indignant and argumentative when this was called to his attention. Please, doctors, when you send patients from your offices with suspected contagious conditions, provide them with masks. Not doing so is very inconsistent with protecting the public and health care providers.

We are reminded of this masking safety precaution many times a day by the media. This doctor’s behavior and attitude is extremely inconsiderate, unprofessional and may contribute to the impending flu pandemic.

Chuck Moorman

Los Osos

Cuesta’s priorities

Actions taken by the Cuesta College board of trustees at the Sept. 1 meeting were disturbing. Local voters should know what happened.

The board summarily approved — without cost estimates — a $25 million loan, increasing Cuesta’s debt to more than $39 =million.

This board did not approve the new debt to save positions, class sections or essential services. Part of the loan will be used to build a Learning Resource Center on the North County campus and to cover “overages” on the new Performing Arts Center.

While we cut classes and reduce critical staff hours for a growing student body, we borrow money to construct buildings instead of deferring them until the college regains its financial health.

I understand approval was unanimous, with no contrary opinions nor questions voiced about future budgets. The board barely commented as staff facing hour/pay reductions asked how to serve students or pay their mortgages.

The 5 percent salary cut the president and vice presidents took rang hollow, given that some top administrators had previously received step increases equivalent to 8 percent raises.

In 20 years, I have never seen the desperation I saw in students this fall, as they struggled to add a core English class. I ask local voters to contact members of the Cuesta College board and Cuesta’s president. Please help them to sort out their priorities.

Susan Marsala

English teacher