Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/4

Dumb comments

Buried in The Tribune’s story on the decision by the Board of Supervisors to deny Nicole Bennett’s request to host events on her North County ranch were two of the dumbest comments I’ve heard in a long time (“SLO County cuts off ranch owner’s special events,” Dec. 20).

First was the chilling quote attributed to Supervisor Bruce Gibson that government has latitude to decide “what’s a fair economic return.” Now there’s an interesting addition to constitutional law. And just what might that “fair return” be? If the board may determine a “fair economic return,” then it has an obligation to make public how that determination is made.

In the same article, Supervisor Frank Mecham said that his vote reflected a fear that with increased traffic, sooner or later there would be an accident. If it’s safety you’re worried about, why stop with Bennett’s operation? Let’s make the road completely safe and close down all of the special events that regularly take place in the area.

Singling out Bennett seems a tad mean-spirited, if not illegal (equal protection). The truth is, the reasons Gibson and Mecham gave in support of their vote sound hollow. All in all, not one of the board’s better moments.

Russ Surber Paso Robles

Generous donations

I want to thank everyone who helped me raise more than $4,500 for Darfur solar cookers, especially everyone at Applebee’s in San Luis Obispo, Trader Joe’s, Anna’s Ciao Bella Salon, Cathy Ahearn’s leadership class and so many others who were generous.

The Darfur Solar Cooker Project was inspired by the plight of women in Darfur, where more than 400,000 civilians have been killed and millions forced into refugee camps.

Women living in camps are relatively safe as long as they stay inside the camp, but they must leave the camp to collect firewood for cooking. When they do, they are often raped and murdered. Solar cookers require no wood, so women can remain safely in camp. In camps where solar cookers have been provided, there has been an 86 percent reduction in trips out of the camp to collect firewood.

My original goal was to raise $3,000 to provide solar cookers for 100 families. Through the generosity of so many, I raised more than $4,500, which is enough to provide solar cookers for 150 families.

Lauren Hutkin Laguna Middle School, Eighth Grade

Loan laws needed

The bankruptcy of one of the major borrowers of Estate Financial Inc. demonstrates the need for structure laws to require that a lender have all of the funds available for 100 percent of the loan prior to recording the loan documents (“Another hard-money borrower bankrupt,” Dec. 15).

The Tribune article reported that Estate Financial President Karen Guth said she needed $1.5 million to complete the San Luis Obispo condo project being built by David Andrew Fetyko.

She should have never allowed the project to start without all of the loan being funded. The county is now littered with partially completed projects because all of the funds were not available to the various builders.

Numerous contractors and subcontractors have also suffered financial hardships due to the under funding of loans.

Kirby K. Gordon Pismo Beach

Building obscured

San Luis Obispo has many beautiful public and private buildings. So it is a real shame that the city has erected a huge metal building immediately adjacent to the handsome main fire station on Broad Street.

Broad Street is one of the gateways to the downtown area. Unfortunately, the attractive, and no doubt costly, masonry exterior of the fire station is almost totally obscured as one approaches downtown from the south.

I’m advised by city staff that the Architectural Review Board did not review the metal structure because it was deemed an “accessory building architecturally compatible with the main station building.”

What a pity.

Kent M. Taylor San Luis Obispo

Capable government

I am now 86 and have been with Medicare since I was 65. It has been a Godsend for me. Contrary to the “just say no” Republicans who claim that government is incapable, I’ve found the service to be excellent.

And I ask those who are so fearful of “government takeover” and “socialism,” where did you learn to read and write? And think?

I and millions of World War II veterans could not have learned skills needed to defend this nation had we not been given free public education.

James Thomas Arroyo Grande