Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/26

Empty talk

What happened to candidate Adam Hill, the full-throated populist who challenged former Supervisor Jerry Lenthall with a campaign that promised to end the practice of kow-towing to special interests? What happened to his pre-election promise to support affordable housing?

Recently, Hill sided with the Central Coast Home Builders Association on a 3-2 vote to delay the increase of “in-lieu fees” that are part of the county’s newly adopted Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.

This modest new law, designed to require developers to build a small number of “affordable” units alongside their market-rate homes or pay into a countywide affordable housing fund, was drafted with a five-year implementation plan. Now, less than one year into the program, the builders are asking for a reprieve.

Sadly, Hill sided with developers over the needs of workers and the homeless, voting to delay the modest increases slated for year two.

That means there will be fewer affordable units built in 2010 and less funding available for nonprofits.

As a candidate, Hill’s Web site says that “the time for empty talk and costly delays is over.”

But apparently that only applied to Lenthall’s empty talk and costly delays.

M.C. Perkins

Paso Robles

Comments warranted

James Cushing’s review of the San Luis Obispo Symphony concert on Nov. 14 (Cellist Harrell brings a quiet wisdom, Nov. 17), needs some comments.

The concert evening began with the outstanding and moving symphony foray by Craig Russell, which put the whole concert into the perspective of loss, grief and consolation. The concert was performed close to Veterans Day and Elgar’s Cello Concerto refers to World War I and personal loss.

The narration in Aaron Copeland’s Lincoln Portrait was necessary. The Lincoln text was meaningful and moving and fit well into our present time. David Selby’s voice sounded great to me. It was the message that counted.

I disagree that the evening was mainly about Lynn Harrell and Elgar. Michael Nowak masterfully and wisely composed this program. All pieces were important. Each piece had its place in the concert within the scope of the theme.

The orchestra showed a high degree of sensitivity, letting the cello shine.

I think it was a very memorable concert with a huge human scope (including the pre-concert lecture) and was beautifully crafted by an ever-growing orchestra in skill and finesse and spiced with a cellist of the highest caliber.

Thanks to all involved for that experience!

Eva von Franqué

Los Osos

Food boxes

Every year for the past several, the Bay-Osos Kiwanis Club has put together food boxes for families in Los Osos and Baywood Park that would otherwise not have a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. This year the Kiwanis Club asked other organizations in Los Osos to help collect the food and put together 46 boxes.

We want to recognize these organization and thank them for their help: Morro Bay High School Key Club, Small Wilderness Area Preservation, Let’s Celebrate Los Osos, Women’s Network, Rotary Club, Golden State Water Co., United Methodist Women, Chamber of Commerce and all those individuals who helped not belonging to any organization.

Joe Asire

Bay-Osos Kiwanis Club

Care packages

Thank you very much, community of San Luis Obispo, for supporting 9/11 America Thunder on Sept. 12, 2009. It was a great event to honor our servicemen, women and veterans on the Central Coast. Matt and Jean Kokkonen spent many hours organizing this worthy event.

We are very thankful to have the “goodies” that were brought and the proceeds from this event will be given to our support group. This year, we were given a check for $2,200 and so far, we have bought phone calls and paid postage for packages for all our sons and daughters serving overseas.

After 9/11 American Thunder, we sent approximately 30 care packages to ones serving in Iraq and Afghanistan from all the items that were donated.

In November, there were 11 boxes sent to ones serving in the desert. In December, we are anticipating 22 sons or daughters receiving our care packages. Every dollar that is donated goes to supplies and postage.

Military Parents of the Central Coast has been meeting since October 2001. We are a support group open to anyone who has a loved one serving our country. We meet once a month. If you would like more information or to make a donation, please e-mail me at Janice@JaniceSomers.com.

Janice Somers

San Luis Obispo

Holiday benefit

Dec. 12 is the fourth annual Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter benefit at the South Bay Community Center, following the Christmas parade.

There is a full day of Christmas fun planned with Santa, music, dancing, cookies, auction, raffle, gift card sale and a wide range of gifts for purchase.

This is a zero-budget event, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to the shelter, and we depend on our community for donated items and gift certificates.

We are collecting change again this year, but will also accept checks made out to the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter. New this year is an arts and crafts boutique, great for gifts that are homemade and local, and we’ll have more Christmas goodies from local bakeries as well.

The event begins at 10 a.m. and will run until 8 p.m. It’s an incredible event, benefiting all of us and a true expression of holiday spirit!

If you want more information or want to donate new items, especially gift cards or services, please call 528-5800 or 528-7638.

We wish to thank all of you in advance for making this a joyous occasion, this is goodwill toward all men.

Peti Johnson

Los Osos

Celebration of a life

Our community has lost a legend with the passing of Bill “Coach” Harvey. Coach Harvey taught in the San Luis Coastal Unified School District for 40 years.

During his tenure, he coached hundreds of our local youth in a variety of sports. From the time of his retirement in 2000, up until his death, he continued to return to Laguna Middle School two days per week to tutor students.

As an educator, he was a physical education teacher, athletic director, coach and a counselor. Since we taught side-by-side for 30 years, I know how much he loved what he did.

Coach Harvey genuinely cared for the students, espected them, held them to high standards and always did so with his wonderful sense of humor. As I meet many of his former middle school students, I am almost always asked how Harvey is doing and then a story is shared about how much influence he had on them.

A celebration of Coach Harvey’s life will be held on Monday at 4 p.m. in the Laguna Middle School Gymnasium.

Thank you, Bill Harvey, for being a friend, confidante and mentor!

Sheila Kircher

Paso Robles

Give bus drivers due

I ride the local buses all the time to get around. As a passenger, I see these drivers work very hard to pick up, drop off and help people every day. I think in my heart that they deserve more credit then they are getting.

The bus drivers have to deal with a lot like working to make it on time when there is a delay and trying to connect to other buses so that passengers can make their transfers. It’s a grind. They deserve raises, all of them. Not a penny, but dollars more.

I’ve researched other cities on what their drivers make and it is a lot more. The drivers in this area do not even come close to their range.

We can give the higher Regional Transit Authority executives raises, but we are not giving to the ones who are actually driving the buses and transporting the passengers who pay into the system. Drivers count.

I know it’s an economic struggle, but we should give these hardworking drivers the raise they are entitled to. I’m thankful to have a bus system that I can trust and rely on. Let’s thank these drivers for their community public service.

Joseph Holmes

Grover Beach