Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/23

Fur Free Friday

On the day after Thanksgiving, local advocates participate in what is known internationally as Fur Free Friday, when activists gather to protest the fur trade.

Community members are terribly disturbed that caged or trapped animals suffer so horribly just to be skinned for fur coats or fur collars for greed and vanity.

It is troubling that people don’t consider the plight of the animals when they buy fur items. How can anyone wear a coat with fox trim, likely from a mother fox who was trapped in the wild, whose babies are abandoned, crying for her and starving to death.

Please help us speak up for the animals by joining our annual Fur Free Friday protest. For more information, call 441-5897.

Peggy Koteen San Luis Obispo

Library letdown

The library has been a wonderful resource for my family over the years. There is no way we could have purchased the many books, DVDs, etc. that we and other library users have shared.

Brian Reynolds plans to use volunteers “more efficiently” to maintain library service while eliminating 11 positions (Library laying off 11 workers, Nov. 12). County Supervisor Frank Mecham says volunteers won’t replace paid staff.

So who is going to do the work of those 11 employees? Are branch hours going to be cut again because there isn’t enough staff to go around? Will there be fewer new books and other materials because there aren’t enough people to order and process them?

It seems obvious that the person who thought they were being fired and replaced with a volunteer is right.

No volunteer intends to cause another person to lose his job. They only want to enhance the organization.

To use volunteers as unwitting agents to facilitate staff layoffs is simply wrong.

Budgets are tight, but solving the problem with semantics and sleight of hand is something we expect from Sacramento; we don’t need it at home.

I urge the library director and the Board of Supervisors to reconsider these layoffs, or at least be more forthright about their plan.

Dee Mooneyham Atascadero

Tree treasures

The recent removal of a mature ficus tree on Monterey Street points up a controversy regarding downtown trees.

Chamber of Commerce President David Garth believes that the trees are harmful to businesses by blocking signage, obstructing and altering sidewalks and invading sewer lines, and he would like to see them removed and replaced with smaller trees.

Members of Save Our Downtown recently completed a survey of stores on Higuera Street to ascertain the experience of the businesses who deal with the trees daily. We visited 29 businesses and were pleased to learn that, except for one person whose business entry was blocked by a tree, enthusiastic affection was the feeling overall.

Even though the trees do necessitate sidewalk sweeping and occasional roto-rooting, the distinctive character lent to the downtown by these mature trees is something that can’t be overestimated. Not only do the tourists love them, but our residents too are more than aware of the benefits of the shade they offer and the character they lend to our downtown.

Our conclusion is that downtown Higuera Street businesses consider the mature trees a treasure and an asset to be cultivated, not to be removed and replaced.

Elizabeth C. Thyne San Luis Obispo

A better plan

Thanks for taking abortion out of the health care bill. Some say it is “anti-choice,” but we all have choices and the best ones are made before pregnancy. How can those in the medical field support abortion? You can save a child at 5 months and abort the child until 6 months. Not wanting the child does not make the child a glob of cells.

Adoption is an honest alternative where everyone wins. Those who support abortion can pay for it themselves, not with my tax money.

Carol Valine Zarek Los Osos

Get checked at 40

I am sending this letter out to San Luis Obispo County women and readers of The Tribune. I read an article about a controversial suggestion recommending “against routine annual mammograms for healthy women in their 40s” (Hold off on mammograms until age 50, group says, Nov. 17).

I was in my 40s, very healthy and with no symptoms when I went in for a routine mammogram and was called back in for a closer look and then a biopsy. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My recommendation to all women is to ignore the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and have that mammogram in your 40s. It may save your life. It saved mine.

J. Whitesides San Luis Obispo