Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/1

Precious panel program

On Oct. 15, three very precious people came together at Cal Poly to engage in a fascinating dialogue on problems facing organic and conventional agriculture.

Michael Pollan, an expert on problems concerning overgrazing and over consumption of meat; Gary Smith, Monfort Endowed Chair in meat science at Colorado State University; and Myra Goodman, co-founder of Earthbound Farm Organic, discussed current and future challenges to growing food on a crowded planet with diminishing resources.

I would like to commend those who made this fantastic event happen: SARC Program Associate Hunter Francis, CAFES Dean Dave Wehner and Cal Poly President Warren Baker. Hopefully in the future Cal Poly will host more forums like this incredibly wonderful one and even include roundtable discussions to fully educate all on these issues.

Sheila Baker

Paso Robles

Drain on environment

As chairman of Friends of the Earth Marine Reserves Network, Marinet, I wish to comment on the destruction of the trees in Shell Beach which provided roosting sites for cormorant migratory birds.

Decisions are made with little thought of their historic importance or role they play within the marine ecosystem. Such appears to be the destruction of these trees, and it is such a pity that this reflects the lack of understanding in some people toward the unique, rich and diverse marine habitat around Shell Beach.

I spent the best holiday of my life watching sea life in your extended community, and it is precious and must be protected from such cavalier decisions in the future. Everything in life is interdependent on another; some are so unique, such as the kelp beds off Shell Beach.

Man has a custodial role to play, and those days of raping our environment should be consigned to the dustbin of history. It is time to wake up and be less of a drain on the environment and more of a steward of our planet.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you.

David Levy

Friends of the Earth Marine Reserves Network, Marinet

Lessons of history

Our superb soldiers deployed overseas have an unprecedented double burden — they must both win the fight and “win over” a culture.

Unfortunately, our deployed armies are uniting enemies over widely dispersed areas. When trained and well led, these locals may even prevail over our superior technology. We only hold the ground we stand upon.

The message above sounds familiar, but it is from another time. It is from our revolution, when William Pitt ended his insightful speech to Parliament with biting words worth quoting: “If I were an American, I would never lay down my arms while foreign troops were on my soil.

Never! Never! Never!”

Substitute “Afghan” for “American” in Pitt’s quote, and his words still resonate true. American policy — with precious young lives in the balance — should never ignore the clear lessons of history.

The defining issue of Obama’s presidency will not be health care — it will be Afghanistan!

Dan Biezad

San Luis Obispo

Just get a consultant

A person would think that the recession is over at the county and city level. Every time you pick up the paper to read, there is always an article about a city or county agency hiring a consultant firm, spending anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000 of taxpayers’ money. Let the money flow.

Leroy Brown


Funding the Dunes

If the county were to retain control over the chunk of the Oceano Dunes the state wants to buy and if the county were to outlaw riding on it, then the biggest responsibility for enforcing that should be the state’s, for the state park’s users would be the most likely to trespass and break the law.

The state could pay for enforcing it by increasing the entrance and overnight fees.

Whatever the off-roaders are paying now is not enough, and will never be, to compensate the rest us for the destruction that such use of a precious and limited resource causes.

Besides, would you not outlaw drunken driving because we cannot always enforce it?

This argument is ludicrous.

We must write laws for what is right, not only for what we can enforce.

Lucia Casalinuovo


A community asset

On behalf of Templeton Boy Scout Troop 434, I would like to express our appreciation to the Santa Lucia Sportsmen’s Association (SLSA) in Atascadero.

The Boy Scouts of America is an organization that serves to prepare young boys to become mentors, adult leaders and successful members of society.

When I contacted the SLSA to set up a shotgun skills event, I received sincere help from Trap Director Butch Phillips, who provided Troop 434 with his time, knowledge and the use of the equipment and facility at the SLSA. Butch showed he truly cares about the boys. He was there for the entire shoot, ensuring the kids learned the safe and correct way to handle a firearm. To see the looks on those kids’ faces and hear them rave about their experience afterwards was a satisfying reward.

I speak on behalf of all the kids and parents of Troop 434 in expressing our thanks to not only Butch, but all who run this wonderful organization.

I hope to bring the kids back and spread the word to other troops as to what an asset you are for this community.

Monica Swift