Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/4

A simple solution

If everyone is all wrinkle-browed and lip-chewing about locating medical marijuana dispensaries in their communities because they fear it will attract dangerous “undesirables” and drug addicts, I have a simple solution: Have the state or the feds certify and license certain growers, inspect, seal and slap a special tag on their product, just like we do for tobacco, and then sell it with a prescription in a DRUG store. Last time I went into my local Costco pharmacy to get my “drugs,” I don’t remember stumbling over hordes of loitering gang members, drug traffickers and addicts attracted by the prescription pot being sold there. I think the suspicious-looking people who were milling about were there to get Costco’s delicious hot dogs at the food stand.

Ann Calhoun

Los Osos

Get the costs down

We are going about this health care problem all wrong. We need to get the costs down to provide medical services to all citizens. The legislation that is being considered in Congress will do nothing to address the real problem: medical care costs. To do that, we need to tackle the cost drivers — malpractice insurance, unnecessary tests, administrative costs, pharmaceutical costs, patients demanding unnecessary tests and services, insurance companies, etc.

Let’s tackle them one at a time. Let’s start with malpractice insurance which will probably take care of the next problem, unnecessary tests.

How much do doctors pay for malpractice insurance? How many patients do they have to see to cover that cost? How many tests do doctors authorize to ensure they will not be sued? Will bringing down the cost of malpractice insurance lower the cost for an office visit, operation?

How do we bring down the cost of malpractice insurance?

If Congress can solve this problem, maybe they can take on the next problem — administrative costs.

What we are suggesting is that our government slow down and take one problem at a time.

To do otherwise will not solve the real problem of exorbitant medical costs.

Ron and Cindy Jensen

Grover Beach

Public option, period

Every aspect of life in the United States today is affected by the health insurance industry and virtually every major decision made by working individuals is subject to its consideration.

Being aware of the historical machinations that brought us to this despicable truth may make it possible to prevent similar sociopolitical aberrations from occurring in the future, but that knowledge does nothing to change the current situation.

In fact, so insidious are the “safeguards” intervening against a change of the status quo, there is precious little that can be done. However, there is one thing that can and must be done to alter the current course (a course recognized by all sides of the argument to be insupportable if we are to remain a people with a viable economy and government), and that is by instituting a government-managed public option. Period. Not one with a trigger that may or may not provide some care for some people in some areas of the country. But a fully competitive system.

That comes with antitrust provisions that rein in the power of the industry that has brought us to this dire turning point in our history.

Mark Bailie

San Luis Obispo

Where grass grows

For several years I have been observing the growth of a pampas grass plant on the hillside at the end of Bristol Road where it meets West Branch Street in Arroyo Grande.

I first noticed the plant as a tiny seedling. Every year it has doubled in size and is now about 6 feet tall. More importantly, it is now accompanied by several offspring. Left undisturbed, they will infest all of the bank located below Trader Joe’s as well as any other areas where the wind-borne seeds become established.

Arroyo Grande, undoubtedly, is the pampas grass capital of our area. 

It appears that no one is concerned about being overrun by a plant that can reach the size of a compact car. Its razor-sharp leaves are next to impossible to remove by hand and are a challenge to any machine other than a backhoe.

The proliferation of pampas grass in our roads indicates that Caltrans and SLO County authorities do not consider this a problem worthy of their attention and needs to be addressed by city governments and organizations like Arroyo Grande in Bloom.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on “Mrs. Pampas” and her offspring at the end of Bristol Road.  Their removal or continued spread will be our gauge on the degree of interest in combating this invader.

Alex Mendoza