Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 10/2

Choices

I just read that Atascadero Junior High School students were raising money to fund their sports programs and pay for classroom supplies; a fine choice. And the choices our elected officials make are to waste tax dollars in good times and borrow in bad times.

We have to live within our means, pay our bills, pay our taxes and get second jobs when necessary. We save for rainy days because we know they will come. We’re responsible; we have to be. Politicians are manipulated, bent, cajoled, promised and praised for spending other people’s money for fat pensions, big raises that are supported by misleading statistics, “justified” eye-popping yearly budget increases, and support for unsustainable programs that do more to provide a job than cure the intended ill.

We know this, yet we allow it, so we’re not without blame. We continue to elect irresponsible representatives because they can “deliver.” They boast the latest “project” won that will bring money into their district, and we pat them on the back. The next day, we complain that kids have to raise money to pay for their school programs because the school budget, which has been growing and growing to astronomical proportions, has to support the growing administrative appetite.

Sorry kids, we all have to make choices, and ours trump yours.

Russ Lovell

San Luis Obispo

We deserve answers

How much money did the county of San Luis Obispo spend to bring Dan De Vaul to trial? Come up with an actual dollar amount. County taxpayers deserve to know.

At this point, would it not make more sense to spend the money on fixing up Sunny Acres rather than to retry Mr. De Vaul?

We will be waiting for a reply from the county. We deserve answers, and the homeless still need our help.

Virginia Rogers

Grover Beach

Doing fair share

I am replying to your editorial on the Homeless Shelter Project dated Sept. 20. I am totally in favor of the plans for the shelter in San Luis Obispo. However, I was shocked at the comment on the North County community not doing its fair share.

El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) has provided food and shelter for the homeless for seven years. We have a 30-bed shelter at First Baptist Church in Atascadero, and with 28 congregations and organizations, we serve hot meals seven days a week in addition to case management for the clients who reside at the shelter. We use more than 1,000 volunteers each year who work hard to help us in providing services to the homeless. ECHO is also in a planning process of expanding our services to include a shelter with multipurpose center.

I suggest you spend some time visiting our facility to observe firsthand the efforts that are being made to provide our fair share of services in North County.

Norma L. Mueller

ECHO Board Member

De Vaul left out

Both the editorial by your staff and the Viewpoint from Supervisor Adam Hill discuss our need to pull together as a community and find solutions for the homeless. To my chagrin, neither writing mentioned Dan De Vaul’s efforts. There was no commendation for his efforts, no attempt to build on what he had started. How can both a county supervisor and a local newspaper omit Sunny Acres?

I visited Sunny Acres about a year ago. What I saw was a model for what a homeless clean-and- sober living facility should be. People were working, and there was a family atmosphere. Each person I spoke with emitted a sense of pride in being at Sunny Acres. They seemed grateful for the chance to be productive.

I took a tour and saw the tents, the trailers and the other conditions the county found substandard. I saw the old cars, backhoes and tractors.

I also saw the welding shop, pumpkin patch and strawberry field. De Vaul spoke of needing new housing, and he had ideas. What he lacked, in my understanding, was money.

Supervisor Hill, The Tribune ... you want a solution? Get Sunny Acres back up and running and call for the people of our county to pitch in and bring everything up to code.

Brian Miller

San Luis Obispo

A preventable death

The current health care debate brings to mind the story of my brother Paul. Paul died in 2004 from a heart attack; he was 49. I’m convinced he wouldbe alive today if he had lived in one of the other democracies of the developed world, virtually all of which have some version of “right to medical care” in their national constitution.

Paul worked for a division of a large company and had the employer-provided benefits many of us enjoy: good medical coverage, 401(k) plan, etc. Then an automobile accident forced him out of his job and on disability.

He had been under a cardiologist’s care while working but had not seen the cardiologist for a few years while he struggled to pay his bills and get training for a new, less physically demanding career.

In a recent Newsweek article (“No Country for Old Men,” Sept. 21), T.R. Reid poses the rhetorical question: “What should be the ethical basis of America’s health care system?”

Paul had started a new job in his new field a couple of months before the heart attack. Three weeks later he would have been eligible for medical insurance at his new job.

Ron Pigeon

Arroyo Grande

Theater welcome

We enthusiastically support John Roush’s plan to build La Plaza Cinemas in downtown Atascadero. Can Atascadero residents please think outside the box for a moment? Couldn’t more movie screens mean more independent films? How about a Central Coast film festival? 

This project should be viewed as a compliment, not a competitor to Colony Square.  Taken together, these two projects could finally create a heart and soul in downtown, not to mention bringing much-needed tax dollars to the community. 

One only needs to view the wildly successful tourist destinations of The Grove in Los Angeles or the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco to see that “if you build it, they will come.” We’re tired of driving to San Luis Obispo to browse in a bookstore or see an independent film. 

Susan and Kurt Bowerman

Atascadero

Concert a success

Last month, Coastal Christian School hosted its “Afternoon of Worship” at the Rotary Bandstand in Arroyo Grande. It was a beautiful day, with great fellowship, nice weather and awesome music. Coastal Christian School would like to acknowledge everyone who helped make the day so memorable.

We’d like to thank “Worst of Sinners,” the worship band at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Maria, for selflessly giving of their time and talent to play all afternoon — everyone there was inspired and blessed by their words and music; Mike Bergantzel from Oak Park Christian Church in Arroyo Grande for donating his sound expertise — we couldn’t have done it without him; Harvest Bible Church in Arroyo Grande for the use of their tables; Arroyo Grande Parks and Recreation and the South County Historical Society for all of their help and support; all of the Coastal Christian School students and parents who helped out the day of the concert; and of course everyone who came to the Rotary Bandstand that day to hear great music and support Coastal Christian School.

We are blessed to serve students in such a generous community; we can’t wait till next year’s concert!

Coastal Christian School’s “Afternoon of Worship” committee

Arroyo Grande

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