Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 10/25

Get the health care facts

It was nice to read that Doreen Case has been lucky enough through her life that she is not only able to be covered by the highly popular taxpayer supplied Medicare program but is also able to afford, through a taxpayer-supported pension plan, the money to purchase a private health care option (“Will it help or hurt,” Oct. 18). 

Had her husband not been lucky enough to get a state job, had he worked in the private sector and been forced to change jobs during economic downturns or they were struck with a catastrophic illness or injury during their working years would their health care options be as good? Not by a long shot.  If their pension plan was eliminated and they were deceived into enrolling in 401(k) programs run by unscrupulous profit-generating private corporations, like our health insurance industry, could they now afford supplemental insurance?

Probably not.

Nothing irritates me more than old people on the government dole denouncing national health insurance for working families.

For the ignorant among us, Medicare for All, HR 676, is a national insurance program, unlike Canada’s national health care program. Your family’s lives may depend on you getting the facts straight.

Terry Mohan

San Luis Obispo

Vote ‘yes’ for water hike

Historically Paso Robles has been known for rolling up its sleeves and handling our own issues. Over our history a number of decisions were made and solutions established that allowed this community to enjoy the many things we have today.

We are faced with a challenge — sufficient water for the future. This is not a temporary problem; it is one that will confront our community and our style of life for years to come.

The availability and the cost of water in Paso Robles, the county and the state will not get any less expensive or become any more plentiful in our future. To think otherwise is unrealistic and shortsighted.

Will it cost us? Yes. Will water cost more in the future should we not address the issue now? Absolutely. We may not completely solve the issue with a communitywide approval in November, but we will put our community in a position to better address this significant problem.

That is the way we have done things in Paso Robles historically. That is what future generations expect of us. That is our best choice to deal with this significant issue. I encourage you to vote yes for Measure A-09.

Greig Welch

Paso Robles

Rice’s misconceptions

In his letter of Oct. 11 (“Middle East breakdown”) Ken Rice presents the odd notion that Iran is developing offensive missiles in response to fears of an Israeli attack.

Has Rice not heard the constant Iranian threats to “wipe Israel off the map?” Is he not aware of the ceaseless flow of money, armaments and training from Iran to the terrorist organizations Hezbollah and Hamas and their many deadly infiltrations into Israel and thousands of missile attacks?

Graciously, Rice believes that after the Holocaust, the United States “should have invited fearful European Jews to America.” Presumably, Jews have no right to a country in the region, despite a continuous Jewish presence for more than three millennia; the existence of an independent Jewish nation for a thousand years; the extensive Jewish purchase of lands in Palestine from 1898 to 1948; and the flood of Arab immigrants from outside Palestine in the period from 1920 to 1948, drawn by jobs created by Jewish economic development.

We won’t even talk about the 850,000 Jews forcefully evicted from every Arab country after 1948 (most resettled in Israel), nor the billions of dollars of confiscated Jewish land, homes, businesses, bank accounts and personal property.

Ray Berger

Arroyo Grande

Thanks for the hand

I would like to thank the gentleman who drove our friend into Paso Robles after he crashed his bike on Genesco Road Saturday. We appreciate the time he took to help us, delaying his dirt bike trip with his son.

With no cell phone service out there, it would have been a long walk to get our friend help. Thank you very much.

Van McCarty

San Luis Obispo

Headline didn’t fit story

The headline in the Oct. 16 Tribune read, “U.S. may put premium on healthy living.” This headline should lead one to think the government is considering providing some sort of bonus for people who maintain healthy lifestyles. But we all realize that isn’t the way our tyrannical Congress looks at their constituents. What we found as we read the story is that the Congress is considering charging those who do not maintain healthy habits.

The headline should have read, “U.S. may penalize unhealthy living.” Or perhaps the headline should more properly have read, “Government looks for another way to take money from its citizens.”

I realize this article came from the Washington Post, but your staff should realize that the Post typically writes with an agenda.

You should assess any Post article before publishing it to assure the headline fits the story line.

Jim Vint


Sad business as usual

The unfortunate incident of a donor and feedlot coercing the agenda content at a Cal Poly convocation on agricultural sustainability is sad business as usual.

When our local tobacco control coalition asked President Baker to stop accepting payoffs from the tobacco industry — ostensibly for rodeo team performance (the only college sport still in bed with big tobacco) — he said, “No.” The average total payout to the team was under $1,500 per year, but still big enough to cause Poly to knuckle under to pressure and to keep kids a little closer to addiction in the process.

Community members even offered to supplant the tobacco money with local donations. We still do.

I’ll be speaking at Poly’s University Union Room 220 on Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to explore how corporate profits propel pandemics such as obesity and climate change. All are welcome, especially Dr. Baker.

Stephen L. Hansen

San Luis Obispo

SLO’s unsafe streets

I was shocked and saddened to read your Oct. 17 article about a young girl punched in the face in broad daylight in downtown San Luis Obispo. 

While I am quite content with the fact that our beautiful community has no need for suburban “mega malls,” I am limited to places I can walk and shop with my baby. Now I am rethinking downtown San Luis Obispo as such a safe place for mothers and children. In recent visits to San Luis, I have noticed a large number of vagrants, beggars and unsavory looking characters. I understand the charm of the “live and let live” mentality of a college town, but I am afraid this lunatic who randomly punched a young girl may escalate to assaulting babies. 

Why do I notice these threatening looking people on the streets of San Luis Obispo, but the police do not? I do have sympathy for the homeless and mentally ill, but allowing citizens to be harmed in broad daylight is not helping anyone. I hope that, at the very least, the police can increase their presence in downtown San Luis for a safe holiday shopping season for all.    

Mariam Shah

Arroyo Grande

County’s misdeeds

Is no one else flabbergasted that the former assistant county administrative officer purchased a house as a partner with an attorney doing business with the County of San Luis Obispo (Tribune, Sept. 27)? I have been waiting for the flood of indignation, and it was instead a drought. It seems unconscionable that a senior county official would consider such an arrangement.

Certainly, now that Gail Wilcox is no longer employed at the county, this may seem like a non-issue. What got my attention is the thin logic used to dismiss any concerns of conflict. Because Wilcox did not supervise the specific contracts awarded to her lawyer, the County Administrative Office dismissed any allegations of conflict.

No one seems to question how this arrangement could have been rationalized. The county is changing how no-bid contracts are being awarded, but isn’t more action necessary? How about disallowing these types of arrangements even if the employee has one degree of separation?

It makes one wonder how much more of this type of behavior is occurring. Even after Wilcox is gone, is this permissive, arrogant attitude still employed at San Luis Obispo County?

William Miller

Garden Farms

Lend POUNCE a paw

After 15 years of giving to our community, POUNCE Cat Rescue needs help from the public. We have donated our “spare” time to rescue, rehabilitate and spay or neuter abandoned, feral, sick and injured cats and kittens since 1993. We are in desperate need of funds to continue.

Funding is at an all-time low, and public donations are our main source of income. The money we receive is well spent for food, medical care, social rehabilitation, cleanliness and most importantly, spay and neuter.

We have many felines in foster homes waiting for adoption. One litter of seven was abandoned with their mom like garbage behind a motel.

Another litter was rescued after mom was killed by a car. Connie Peterson insisted on seeing if the mom was nursing and searched for her kittens until she saved them. 

Our work cannot continue without community support. We shall overcome any setback because the cats need help. How many people will do this? Very few.

To volunteer or donate, contact us at P.O. Box 6075, Los Osos, CA 93412 or call 528-732, 591-0202 or 528-2917.

Julie Olson and Marje Legerton

Los Osos

Dumbed-down event

We sat right behind The Tribune reporter at Cal Poly’s “Academic Discourse Dumbed Down” event with Michael Pollan. Instead of a presentation on issues confronting sustainability in agriculture, we got sound bites. Instead of a first-class learning opportunity, we got talk show. Out of the hour, Pollan got a chance to speak, in short responses, perhaps 20 minutes. As my kids would say, instead of an essay exam, the audience got a Scantron.

Our family pays for three Cal Poly students’ tuition and books. What if we and other Cal Poly parents withheld tuition because we don’t like professor furloughs or paying more tuition for less class time or wait lists for courses (especially prerequisite courses which, if full, can cost us another year of tuition and room and board)?

You see, we are all donors to Cal Poly. We pay for more than a piece of meat processing. A world-class university does not trade academic freedom for favors. The appropriate response should have been to host a separate event with speakers of other points of view.

Paula Lowe

Arroyo Grande

Solar fact check

We understand that First Solar and its fellow applicants very much want to get permits to build solar power plants in the Carrizo Plain (“First Solar aware of concerns,” Oct. 14). This requires an honest presentation of viable alternatives.

Downplaying the role of distributed (rooftop) solar power in meeting California’s renewable energy targets, their Viewpoint states “only 2.4 percent of our electricity would come from distributed solar by 2020, against a total renewable requirement of 33 percent, according to a February 2009 projection by the California Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative.”

First Solar is cherry-picking from the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI) report and ignoring cautions about the uncertainty of the report’s predictions. In one RETI scenario, rooftop solar power could provide two-thirds of the power needed for the renewables target.

In February, RETI reduced its estimate of renewable energy needed to meet the state goal. Distributed solar could provide 75 percent of that requirement — 27,500 megawatts — as California has more than 100,000 megawatts of residential and commercial solar potential.

Per the September 2009 issue of Natural Gas & Electricity, “There is no question that there is sufficient PV potential on existing structures and commercial parking lots to develop 27,500 megawatts of distributed PV in the state.”

Andrew Christie

Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club