Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 2/18

No legal right

As much as I like sitting in the sun and having a cup of coffee, the City Council in San Luis Obispo has no legal right to adopt an ordinance to allow cafe seating in the public right of way. These streets were “offered” to the public for their benefit to gain access to the lots they fronted.

And, unless specifically stated, I doubt any of these offers included the right for the lot owner to use this space for cafe seating.

What’s more disturbing is the city’s idea that they have the right to “charge” these cafes some sort of rent for using something they have no authority to authorize in the first place. The city might be the public entity that accepted these access offers, but they have no right to use them except in a way that was originally intended.

As much as the city would like to think the streets and sidewalks are theirs, they aren’t. They are simply “holding” the offer for the public’s benefit and until that original offer is legally modified, the city has no right to unilaterally change it.

K.C. Gibson

San Luis Obispo

Insulting rhetoric

Unhappy with water development plans drafted by Paso Robles city officials, a group of residents formed to take part in their local government.

For this action, they encountered the ire of The Tribune and local radio station personnel, who cleave to the concept that local government officials can do no wrong and the rest of us should just stand back and pay up.

Newspapers and radio stations at their best are trumpets for the people. At their worst, they are advertiser-driven flutes for the established powers, assisting in stifling dissent by the people. Their rhetoric at these grassroots efforts is bizarre and insulting to the very people it purports to serve.

Whenever people strive to take part in important community decisions, they should be praised and not reviled. The citizens of Paso Robles have spoken at the November election and want our city officials to take a different approval to an expensive public works project.

Citizens’ wishes are not to be brushed off as irrelevant. We reside in a republic and have a right to peaceful and productive dissent.

Noel C. Foerst

Paso Robles

Time to wake up

So Sarah Palin is positioning herself for a run at the presidency (“Palin doesn’t rule out a presidential run in 2012,” Feb. 8). I do hope she wins the nomination, as someone so frighteningly clueless would surely bring out the Democratic vote.

On second thought, the election of bungling, criminal Republican administrations from Nixon/Agnew through Bush/Cheney make me wonder what it will take to wake Democrats from their voting complacency. Now, more than ever, it’s time to wake up.

Richard Strasburg

Morro Bay

Our problems

The devastation in Haiti is horrific. Our country and many other nations have come to the rescue. My only question is: Who is coming to the rescue for our local poverty-stricken areas of Oceano, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo and other communities? We have corporate jets from our area sending nurses and supplies to areas of the world in need of help. They could also be driving to our local neighborhoods providing the same help.

Some Haitians are resorting to gang warfare to secure food and are looting and robbing their neighbors. Guess what? Every night on the news we hear about gang warfare on our local streets. Why do we as a community ignore our problems in favor of others?

Imagine the impact we could make on the world if we healed ourselves first? I’m not suggesting we forsake our neighbors around the world.

I’m suggesting we take as much interest in our own community as we do in theirs. Will it take an earthquake in Santa Maria to gain the attention it deserves?

Bill Rabenaldt

San Luis Obispo

Dangerous direction

As I witness the administration’s management of our government, my frustrations continue to grow. Although I favor conservatism, I try to understand all sides. The results seldom vary. This country is being led in a dangerous direction and I fear for our future. Free enterprise approaches extinction.

The recent Massachusetts election showcased my concerns. President Barack Obama has downplayed its significance while continuing to ramrod his personal agenda. Whatever happened to government for, by and of the people?

He’s shown no “transparency” as he’s closed all doors while the Democrats alone work on health care. He’s spent billions in public funds to buy union favors and senatorial votes (for example, Louisiana and Nebraska). However, buying a beer for a vote has been outlawed for years.

Some of the media tried to warn us about Obama — citing his liberal/radical history and associations. History is a good forecaster of the future. If anyone thinks socialism is the way, they should go to Russia and observe the thousands who sit on benches waiting for the government to take care of them. And, if you feel a single “dictator” can’t shape your future, read your German history.

Harry James

Paso Robles

Where was U.N?

Where was the United Nations relief efforts in the first days after the devastating Haitian earthquake?

I understand the fact that the United Nations headquarters being destroyed in the disaster had something to do with the delay, however, why don’t they establish centralized depots around the globe to house the necessary supplies so they can respond within an acceptable time frame to such disasters?

Such an idea would not only create jobs and foster better international relations, but would also prevent such needless and inexcusable suffering and death. Or, as a “civilized” society, are we too concerned with bailing out greedy banks and corporations? Does race and poverty have anything to do with the response? One has to seriously consider this, particularly after Hurricane Katrina.

Also, in defense of The Tribune’s editorial choice to show a Haitian child on the cover recently, people who complain about harsh images regarding disasters should realize:

A) the nature of the story demands it

B) our news is sanitized enough as it is

C) look at foreign news publications sometime, as they routinely show much worse.

Thanks for taking off the rose-colored glasses in this instance. Besides, how many children read the front page?

R.R. Vagnini


No medical MJ

The people of Nipomo were right to reject a Los Angeles man’s idea for a marijuana dispensary in their community (“Marijuana clinic still possible in Nipomo,” Jan. 28).

“Medical marijuana” is such a joke. It is an outright ploy for dope smokers to have their drug of choice legalized. California’s marijuana laws are so liberal already that anyone of any age can easily obtain a “medical marijuana” card for almost any reason and start legally smoking the stuff the same day.

If California was serious about marijuana as a drug, they would look to the drug we already have called Marinol. Marinol has the same qualities as marijuana and has been legal for many years. It is a prescribed pill and does not make a person high.

It is as methadone is to heroin addicts.

You know the whole “medical marijuana” issue is a sham when you hear their ads on the radio touting “clinics” being open and a doctor present 24 hours a day with many different varieties — for your convenience.

“Medical marijuana,” what a joke.

Joseph Kenny

Arroyo Grande

Vote eroded

The ability of the vote of a single person to influence an election is continuing to be eroded. First, it was the “special interest” and now it is limits-off to the corporation. We truly have the best government that money can buy.

James Pope

Paso Robles