Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/13

Afghan war justified?

President Barack Obama’s primary justification for expanding the Afghanistan war is that there is a continuing threat to our country as deadly as 9/11. We must act now to prevent more assaults on the homeland and on our allies.

I have to question the strategy proposed to deal with those threats. First, I am not convinced that military action is capable of squelching the al-Qaida threat. The movement’s recruitment of new fighters seems based on religious belief and a desire to expel an invading force and those beliefs will persist when we have withdrawn.

Second, al-Qaida can operate anywhere. It needn’t base its operations in any one country, so destroying its hideouts won’t put an end to its existence.

The other objective of nation building has proved hard to accomplish in Iraq and if building stable democracies in the Middle East is a reason for waging war, then we have a lot more wars in our future. I would like to hear from voices other than the military as to how the al-Qaida threat might be dealt with. Perhaps President Obama heard from those voices, but most Americans haven’t and we should have.

Judith Bernstein

Paso Robles

‘On your left,’ folks

While I’m certain well-intentioned in his concern, Skip Alford misses a key point in his plea for more courteous bicycle riders going to and from Avila Beach (“Cyclist warnings needed,” Jan. 10). The name on the sign at the head of the trail reads “Bob Jones bike trail” not Bob Jones walking trail or Bob Jones strolling trail.

As an avid cyclist and regular rider on the Bob Jones bike trail, I politely say “on your left” to the walkers who technically don’t belong on the bike trail. All too often walkers are two or three abreast and disregard my warning or look at me as if it is their entitlement to be on the bike trail.

It is much easier for a walker to move to the right than to force bikers into the next lane and potentially cause an accident, which has almost happened too many times (my shoes, like many, are clipped into my pedals, making me that much more vulnerable). While Alford makes a good suggestion, he should be reminded that courtesy goes both ways.

Ron Yukelson

San Luis Obispo

Use thrift stores

Another complaint is that some brand new rooms lack personality. The cure: Local thrift stores. Quick, inexpensive and highly personalized redecorating is possible in SLO thanks to some wonderful thrift stores.

They offer furniture, art and treasures that can be recycled to give a home a new look.

Patty Andreen

San Luis Obispo

Water rates

Many residents of San Luis Obispo County continue to pay excessive water rates because of uncontrolled development and the resultant construction of facilities to serve future residents.

Congratulations to Paso Robles voters for rejecting the excessive rates. How did this problem start, how does it persist and what can be done? 

The California Department of Housing and Community Development is a superfluous agency that allocates development for cities and counties instead of local officials. Lobbyists and their customers hold city and county officials captive by coercion, endorsements, campaign donations and lawsuit threats.

We can defeat the housing agency by counter-lobbying, modifying the government or changing the laws. Strategy groups can select user-advocated government candidates, propose referendums, initiatives or propositions and coordinate voting. “Technical” groups can provide seminars to conserve water.

Besides standard methods, some suggested seminar ideas are: landscape changes, instituting various recycling systems at the city, commercial and residential levels and using water-saving appliances and units like front load washers, demand-based water softeners, hot water recirculation systems and reverse osmosis replacement.

Eventually, Lake Nacimiento will not be seasonally reduced to a 26 percent capacity or less, making it marginal for all.

Werner Koch

Cambria

Sewer meetings

Kudos to The Tribune for the opinion piece on the Los Osos Sewer Project ... a fine piece of writing and a great roundup of the endorsements to move forward (“Los Osos sewer project needs to move forward,” Jan. 10). 

Remember: you don’t have to attend the Coastal Commission meeting this week; a simple e-mail will get the job done just as well. I tip my hat to the San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department (particularly Director Paavo Ogren) for their considerable focus that has kept this project (and all the moving parts) in play.

Lee Ferrero

Los Osos

Cal Poly takeover

Why didn’t the City Council tell the applicant the same thing their minions have been telling the rest of their employees for the last forty years? Specifically, you have to accept below-market pay because living in San Luis Obispo is such a valuable benefit. Oh, never mind, that predated the rude, inconsiderate Cal Poly students taking over the city.

Steve Smith

San Luis Obispo

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