Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 3/13

Break gang cycle

There are between 13 and 15 gangs in San Luis Obispo County with 595 gang members. Law enforcement aggressively arrests those involved in gang activities, but without a comprehensive prevention program, jailed gang members are soon replaced by new recruits.

We must do something to break the vicious cycle of arrest and replacement.

One of the weaknesses of the recently reported Bakari program at Cal Poly is that it only targets those who have already entered the juvenile justice system (“Responsibility and respect,” Feb. 22).

Risk factors other than arrest include truancy, poor grades, discipline problems, anti-social behavior and dropping out of school. We must recognize the warning signs and provide alternatives to joining gangs that are available at little or no cost. For some, the alternate may be sports, music, 4-H Club, arts, automobiles or crafts. There must be positive alternatives to gang membership.

We don’t want the problems associated with gangs that we see in Santa Maria, King City and Salinas. Make no mistake, it is not going to be easy and it will take several years before we see the fruit of our efforts. The longer we wait, the more difficult this problem becomes to solve.

Michael “Tex” Teixeira

Paso Robles

GLBT support

There still exists societal oppression against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons. Local help is available through the Central Coast chapter of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. We have been helping locally for 19 years. Our mission is three-fold: We support not only gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, but those that might be struggling with the issue of their son, daughter, relative or friend being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.

We also educate those in need of understanding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered issues. We have many booklets and other materials available. They can be obtained at our San Luis Obispo Farmers Market booth or by contacting us.

Lastly, we advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons not only by supporting political issues that involve their human rights, but by supporting them personally with issues of legal rights.

If you need help or would like to join us in our efforts for equality, contact Central Coast Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays at pflag.slo@gmail.com or call 801-2186 (between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. only).

Rick Tibben

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays board member

Accountability

As a native of Royan, I can attest to the wanton destruction of my hometown during World War II (“Zinn will be missed,” Feb. 20).

Though the German forces had agreed to give themselves up to the French liberation forces the night before this was to happen, the town (not a village, but a tourism destination of 12,000 inhabitants) was bombed and completely destroyed in 20 minutes. This act killed 900 French citizens and five German soldiers. The pain and suffering that ensued is unimaginable. It took Royan 30 years to get back to a semblance of normalcy.

Nobody has ever apologized for this obvious mistake or even informed the township of where the order came from. I am happy that Howard Zinn felt shame and remorse after this atrocity and apparently used it to benefit humankind. However, for those of us who suffered through this and lost family members, it’s too little, too late.

We are forever grateful to the allies who liberated our country at great personal sacrifices, but this is another example of no accountability for treasonable acts of war.

Jacqueline Françoise Hirondelle Bosanko

Paso Robles

A hearty thanks

I want to give a big thank you to all the unions who sponsored free ice cream for those who came to Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab on Friday, Feb. 26. The unions showed the public that not all unions cause these sort of problems (“Lining up to support Doc,” Feb. 27).

Second, I am busting with pride for our Central Coast people. Thank you to each of you who showed up and were willing to stand in line for up to 20 minutes in order to get your ice cream. Thank you for showing your support for us and for getting to know these unions. You are very special and that includes those who couldn’t be there. Be proud of yourselves and thanks again.

Kathy Trosper

Oceano

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