Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 2/14

No lecture needed

In response to Robert Olson’s letter, “Profit is needed,” Feb. 11: 

I do not think that Tribune readers needed a lecture or a condescending letter about profit and the virtues of the “free market.”

Personally, I believe the majority, if not all, of The Tribune’s readers understand the need for businesses to make a profit.

The decrying of profit alluded to in Olson’s letter did not appear to me to be about companies making a profit. I think the concerns expressed were over obscene profits and simple greed. It was not the making of a profit but greed at the expense of the average American taxpayer in the form of seven- and eight-figure bonuses even though these clowns required hundreds of billions of dollars to stay afloat.

Unless I missed the boat here, our financial industry almost took down the world’s economy. These poor titans of financial wizardry even needed a taxpayer bailout because they were simply “too big to fail.”

I’ve noticed that when certain writers to The Tribune cannot speak to the facts, they resort to condescension, name calling and sarcasm. None of these tactics are of any value to solving the problems we face. They are only adding to the problem.

Fred Raleigh


Reefer madness

Regarding “Keep an open mind about a Nipomo pot dispensary,” Jan. 24:

The reefer madness propaganda about medical marijuana dispensaries promoted by law enforcement, if it is true, is really an admission that the police cannot protect the community from crime.

The police pretend that marijuana use leads to violent crime even though all the evidence is to the contrary. (Ask any cop when they last had a case of domestic abuse connected to marijuana.)

Allowing a medical marijuana dispensary poses less of a risk to the community than a bank, a liquor store or any other business with cash transactions. If the cops say they cannot protect a medical dispensary, why should anyone believe they can protect any business or home?

People need to remember that we are talking about marijuana, a substance that has never killed anyone, not something dangerous like plutonium or nuclear waste.

Ralph Givens

Daly City

Pulmonary program

My parents recently asked me to read the viewpoint in The Tribune, “A hospital’s tough decision” by Rick Castro (Feb. 7). This article attempted to justify a vital program closure.

My mother has been a patient of the pulmonary maintenance program at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital for the past 10 years. I told mom the program closure appears to be nothing more than a “business” decision.

What this “business” decision doesn’t take into account is that most patients utilizing the pulmonary maintenance program are elderly and unable to go to a local gym for treatment because of the exact nature of monitoring required and the use of oxygen during their exercise. Mom explained she has staff support to not only coach her but to also keep a continuous eye on heart and oxygen rates during her workout.

I am convinced this decision was reached in consideration of dollars only and not patients’ needs. My hope is “someone” with Catholic Healthcare West will see these letters, rethink their position and keep this vital program running in the South County.

Again, the majority of patients are elderly, in poor health and have no other local options for continued treatment. Please Catholic Healthcare West, reconsider this decision and do the right thing for your patients and our community.

Steven Becker


Don’t let pets down

A few days ago, I took my pet to the veterinarian for his annual checkup and shots. During the examination, I asked the doctor if she had experienced any impacts due to the current financial situation. She said that veterinarians everywhere are currently seeing a dramatic decrease in the number of pets being brought in for regular preventive care.

Unfortunately, there has also been a corresponding increase in animals being brought in with serious illnesses that might have been avoided or mitigated with regular visits to the vet.

I know that times are hard for many and cutting back on a pet’s annual checkups might seem a logical way to trim expenses. However, the long-term consequences of this could mean either rushing to find enough money to pay for an expensive emergency procedure or having to make the gut-wrenching decision to prematurely terminate the life of a loving pet.

Being a pet owner comes with obligations that include taking your pet in for regular checkups and making sure that all vaccinations are kept up-to-date.

Your pet’s well-being is entirely dependent on you making all the right decisions, including those relating to health care. Don’t let your pet down.

Charlie Felix

San Luis Obispo

Enjoying our world

It was breathtaking. A friend and I were out recently when he spotted a bald eagle eyeing a mud hen in a stream. The eagle soared lazily up and around before finally making a dive for its hapless victim. What stunned me, however, was the progression of vehicles that passed us with occupants too boxed into their vehicles to open their eyes to life outside their cars.

See, I’m an off-road enthusiast. I’m one of those people deemed by some in our society to be a person who doesn’t value nature. Little thought is given to the reality that some of us go to the Dunes, some of us rock crawl and some of us explore the world around us be it on dirt roads or black-topped ones.

In and around our own backyard, I’ve been part of a migration of thousands of Painted Lady butterflies. I’ve been lucky enough to witness the rarely sighted badger foraging for dinner at dusk. I honor the world around me, and I take the time to see it.

Seems to me, we should care less about the people who enjoy exploring their world and more about the people who seem incapable of seeing it.

Jeri Luther


Murtha’s ironic death

A staunch supporter of universal health care, Rep. John Murtha, died following a botched “routine” surgery after receiving government health care at a government hospital. How ironic. No thanks.

Jody Langford


Politics as usual

I listened recently as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs voiced our president’s outrage at Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby. It seems Sen. Shelby is holding some 70 nominees hostage until he gets two big payoffs for his state. Pork barrel politics at its worst. The White House was quick to react. Gibbs called Shelby’s actions the “poster child” for “how this town works.” I admired Gibb’s eagerness to resurrect the idea of change.

A few weeks ago, I watched Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cut two deals to advance the health care bill. First, Reid secured Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu’s vote with a $300 million bribe and days later sold out the entire country by promising that the other 49 states would subsidize Nebraska to secure Sen. Ben Nelson’s much needed 60th vote.

I didn’t really watch — I couldn’t — as these deals were strictly back room. No C-SPAN here. Pork barrel politics at its worst.

How can this duplicity be justified? Where is the champion of “hope and change,” the man I voted for? Our president speaks of lofty goals with a powerful and charismatic voice. Such a pity that this talent is wasted on politics as usual.

Steve Puglisi

Pismo Beach

Haiti still needs us

Pleasant Valley School, a small school district located six miles east of San Miguel, is helping Haiti in its time of need. The Pleasant Valley School Student Council set up a snack sale for our students, and all of the money goes to help Haiti.

Each Friday, a different class donates food to create healthy snacks at recess. The students look forward to things like nachos, bagels and quesadillas. So far, we have raised more than $500. Our goal was $1,000, but now we have raised it to $1,500.

Our little school of only 120 students and volunteer parents is hoping to inspire other schools and get them to help support Haiti, too.

“It is nice to see how our small school can make a big difference” is a quote often expressed by students, parents and teachers. It feels good to help!

Don’t forget Haiti. They still need us.

Student Council of Pleasant Valley School