Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/7

Remember this story

On Sunday, Oct. 11, Steve and I demonstrated in Washington, D.C., with the National Equality March, walking with an estimated 200,000 people, demanding full equality under the law as guaranteed to all Americans, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Many straight allies and tens of thousands of the younger people marched.

We are legally married in California, but the importance of being “married” was made evident because of a medical emergency on our flight home. While waiting in line for the restroom, Steve passed out. Awakened by the co-pilot who asked if I knew Steve Click, I said, “He’s my husband,” and I was taken to him. With oxygen, Steve was fine.

Landing in Salt Lake City, we were met by EMTs. I identified myself as his husband and was treated as such, even though the EMTs said that with HIPPA regulations, I could have been sent away until Steve was finished with his evaluation. In our case, our relationship wasn’t questioned, even though Utah and the United States don’t recognize our marriage.

When people ask why gay folks think it is important to have the right to marry, please remember this story.

Dana Belmonte


Canned news stories

The recent headline news about too much Bisphenol A (BPA) in canned foods always includes a snipe at Del Monte green beans. That’s too bad because I worked at the company in the 1970s, and upon quitting, left with the knowledge their brand name had the clout of rigid standards behind it.

Del Monte Cannery No. 35 in Emeryville employed me for nine years and quality control was paramount there as it was in all their facilities.

So much so that I still only buy brand-name foods, especially Del Monte.

Fresh vegetables are not always an option because of the time involved in their preparation and many consumers fear the lethal effects of deadly pesticides and poorly managed handling which have resulted in deaths. Frozen and canned vegetables are legitimate and healthy choices for the consumer.

To my knowledge, Del Monte green beans have not killed anyone; however, what has bored the American public to death is the continuum of canned news stories about life-threatening foods.

Mary Alice Altorfer

Paso Robles

Ironic statements

John Canaday’s letter (Nov. 5) stating that conservatives act upon their beliefs privately while liberals want to force everybody to do things their way was ironic. 

In that same paper, on the front page, we had Merry Susan Hyatt, a self-proclaimed Christian, wanting to require the California public schools to offer Christmas music because (and I paraphrase now) children love Christmas and Jewish children never object. Is Hyatt a liberal or conservative?  

Since Canaday portrays conservatives positively, I assume he is one. According to his own reasoning, however, if he supports Hyatt’s initiative, he automatically turns into a liberal. 

Ron Doron

San Luis Obispo

Praise for Maldonado

State Sen. Abel Maldonado should be commended for his leadership to successfully pass fiscally responsible legislation that protects the health of the children of San Luis Obispo County without increasing costs to taxpayers while bringing more federal funding to our state.

Thanks to Sen. Maldonado, nearly 5,500 children in San Luis Obispo County and nearly 1 million children statewide will continue receiving critically needed health care coverage through Healthy Families. This program has enabled children with diabetes, asthma and other illnesses to get the care they need, and has allowed kids to consistently see the doctor or dentist to prevent minor illness from becoming much more severe, deadly and costly. His efforts will literally save lives.

This move was a smart investment in California’s future. As we look ahead to addressing next year’s state budget challenge, this work gives a great example of thinking short- and long-term and using our state funds most effectively while placing a high priority on California’s children.

Candy Markwith

President, United Way of San Luis Obispo County

Education, not death

Three cheers to Nicholas Kristof (Nov. 2) for suggesting, even urging, that the United States spend money on building schools in Afghan-istan instead of sending more troops to slaughter or be slaughtered in what appears to be yet another (remember Vietnam) bottomless war pit.

What a novel idea: to educate instead of to sow death and destruction and, in turn, to reap what we have sown, mounting counts of death and injuries to Afghan civilians and to U.S. soldiers. Imagine fostering literacy instead of hatred.

Marybeth Lucas

San Luis Obispo