Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 3/1

Works in progress

What is with all the of the half projects around Atascadero? It seems that the whole town is under construction. Why can’t we finish one project before moving on to the next? Between the downtown, the overpass and now two 10-screen movie theaters, why can’t we finish any of these projects?

I will be surprised if any of these projects get finished. All of these projects are bad for business and for the people of Atascadero, especially the teenagers. They have nothing to do in Atascadero and have to either go over Cuesta Grade or to Paso Robles to do anything.

If we could finish the downtown, it would bring business to Atascadero so the small businesses could stop closing. It would also give something for the teenagers to do in Atascadero.

T.J. Lindsay Atascadero

Eliminate the Senate

There are different citizen movements intending to amend the Constitution for various reasons. The most recent effort is to reverse the recent ruling by the Supreme Court giving corporations the same right to donate to political issues as human citizens (“Supreme Court lifts campaign spending limits,” Jan. 22).

I suggest an amendment that would be simpler and perhaps more popular.

The Constitution, Article 1 Section 1 says: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

My amendment would simply delete the word “Senate.” Make the country unicameral. The Senate is a vestige of a compromise that was offered to states to attract them to the new union. It has shown itself to be an expensive and time-wasting anchor around the neck of democracy.

If the House of Representatives were the only legislative body, politics might still be messy, but it would be a lot more democratic.

Art Armstrong Los Osos

Please help two Haitians

While serving in the army, I participated in a humanitarian relief mission to Gonaives, Haiti. I witnessed the devastating effects a natural disaster, Hurricane Jean, had on this impoverished country. I worked with two young men, James and Al, who interpreted for our team.

While there, I formed a close bond and was able to bring them here on student visas. They have attended California Coast Language Academy, Cuesta College and Al is attending Cal Poly. They intend to return to Haiti and help rebuild it.

Out-of-state tuition is expensive and though they have lived here for four years, they are not qualified for in-state tuition. With three sons in college, we can no longer pay their tuition.

We were very thankful to Cuesta College for waiving tuition for the last three semesters and to members of our church for financial help. Cal Poly cannot assist them.

We recently set up a scholarship fund — called “SLO 4 Haiti” — with the San Luis Obispo County Foundation for their education. Donations would be greatly appreciated.

Cory and Karen Pfau San Luis Obispo

Singin’ ‘Swingin’ ’ praises

I attended the sold-out opening night of “Swingin’ With Sinatra” at San Luis Obispo Little Theatre recently. Can’t say I was too surprised because it looks like director Mary Meserve-Miller has pulled it off yet again.

Brimming with hot showgirls, dancing, deep belly laughs, fine acting, incredible singing and backed up by a seriously talented six member band, “Sinatra” rocks.

Amid a load of talented performances, Ayrton Parham’s Elvis was a total hoot, Mike Miller’s Dean Martin was just too funny and Renee Rettler’s (a.k.a. “Sugar Pipes”) gusty rendition of “Ol’ Man River” just about brought down the house.

Jeff Salisbury in the lead role not only looks like a young Sinatra but sounds like him too. If you can find a ticket, do plan on attending. A whole lot of fun for sure.

Tom Ogren San Luis Obispo

Priced out by premiums

A recent item in The Tribune announced that Anthem Blue Cross will raise premiums by 30 percent (“Anthem Blue Cross to raise premiums,” Feb. 6).

One of our relatives, an Anthem Blue Cross policy holder, can only afford to pay $500 a month to insure his wife, but not $1,000 a month to include himself. Now he will have an even harder time.

Some of our friends in business for themselves have had to give up their health insurance because of decreased income. Multiply the people we know by several million and that is the state of our nation.

Yet our representatives in Congress on both sides of the aisle find all sorts of reasons not to reform a broken system. How many more people must die or suffer needlessly because they can’t afford health insurance or pay medical fees?

Please send a postcard or e-mail to senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and representatives Lois Capps and Kevin McCarthy. Tell them that they and their fellow legislators need to pass health reform now!

Yolanda Waddell Los Osos

Disgusted with Pitts

Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column on Feb. 14 calls Sarah Palin an avatar of shameless hypocrisy, an anti-intellectual and one who represents mental mediocrity and ignorance (“Run, Sarah, to show us if we’ve turned to ignorance”). All this because she ponders a run for the White House and opposes President Barack Obama.

I find it amazing that Pitts can support the civil rights and free speech of African-Americans and not extend these rights to women who are attempting to move into new responsibilities in business and politics. Palin is a forerunner in the populist movement sweeping this country and does not deserve to be called ignorant because he disagrees with her.

We wonder if the countless columns Pitts wrote calling for fair and equal representation extend only to those in his own group or party.

Women have fought hard to break the glass ceiling in politics and business and have willingly supported other groups who have been prevented from achieving the American Dream.

I am disgusted with Pitts’ insults to a woman who disagrees with him.

Sandra Santini Morro Bay

Diablo too big a gamble

I attended one of the recent meetings held by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding relicensing the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

My question was concerning the fact that at some power plants, radioactive tritium has been found mysteriously leaking from the plant and ending up in groundwater in the nearby towns. My question is: has the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gotten any closer to the answer for this?

In The Tribune, there was an article about the Vermont Senate voting (26-4) to close Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant after 2012 (“Vermont Senate votes to close nuclear plant,” Feb. 25). In other words, no relicensing because of concern over leaking radioactive tritium.

So far, we do not know if we have the same problem here at Diablo, but with a nuclear plant that is already 30 years old with aging piping and equipment, above-ground storage of nuclear waste and no repository to date, it is of great concern as to the advisability of relicensing the plant for another 20 years.

And the cost! With billions of taxpayer dollars guaranteed to the nuclear industry and no way for it to guarantee safety of the radioactive waste for millennia, I say this is too much of a gamble to bet on.

Marty Brown Atascadero

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