I would like to compliment The Tribune for its “fair and balanced” reporting of the news. Their publishing of letters from “right wing nuts” that criticize political cartoons and The Tribune is one very good example of their “fairness” (“Who drew cartoon?” April 1).
As far as “balanced” goes, their dropping of Bill O’Reilly’s column was by popular demand, but they showed “balance” by then adding another conservative commentator to their roster.
The cartoon of March 31 was “fantastic.”
Watchful and aware
The news of human trafficking of Filipino workers in Paso Robles reminds us that human trafficking can happen in any of our local communities (“Paso pair accused of human smuggling,” March 31).
Soroptimist International of San Luis Obispo has been following the tragic effects of human trafficking for more than two years. This international organization improves the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world.
Locally, Soroptimist International held an educational seminar in January 2010 to raise awareness and educate other local nonprofits. Two FBI agents (female, I might add) who specialize in human trafficking were the guest presenters.
Soroptimist International members feel that trafficking, especially of young adults and children, needs to be brought to everyone’s attention. Reporting of suspected perpetrators can be made to local law enforcement or to 888-373-7888.
Please be watchful and aware: if live-in housekeepers, nannies or caregivers do not leave a premises as normal workers would, if children or teens appear to work in a household and do not attend school or seldom leave the property — these could be human trafficking victims.
If you feel a situation is not right, it is not. Contact local law enforcement and let them check it out.
Who will volunteer?
Thanks to The Tribune and Bill Morem for reporting on feeding the hungry in San Luis Obispo County (“Study finds county is getting hungrier,” March 29). The article raised awareness about those who need and about those who step up to help.
I have been donating breakfast food monthly to Prado Day Center for more than a year and I had not realized until recently the “desperate need(s)” of this program, like their budget was used up and funds may not be available to purchase food.
I am not an official donor, just a monthly one. Each month after the 20th, I call and ask what is needed and these are the items that I buy. For the breakfast program to continue, Prado Day Center regularly needs staples, paper products and items not available from the Food Bank Coalition. I bring the cream cheese.
Another recent Tribune article created an influx of supplies but they will eventually be gone and if there is no additional news article, who will volunteer to help Prado Day Center help feed others? Will you?
San Luis Obispo
I heard on the local news that Congresswoman Lois Capps (one of the many congressional people in California who are poster children for term limits) was in San Luis Obispo on March 29 to push the health care bill she helped sign into law.
Funny thing was, from what I heard, it wasn’t a town hall meeting where any could voice their opinion, it was only for her constituents. One thing Capps highlighted was how there are more than 90,000 people in her district who are not medically insured.
What I’d like to know, and may never find out, is of the 90,000 people she claims are uninsured, how many of those people can afford medical insurance but have chosen not to have it? How many of the rest of them are illegal aliens? Like I said, this is a question I may never get an answer for because it easier to exaggerate the truth than to be totally honest about it.
The cash flow
In my 52 years of life, I can’t remember a single government agency that thought they received enough funds. I was reading The Tribune on March 25 and two articles caught my eye.
The first was an article where San Luis Coastal may have to cut “after-school enrichment classes” (“SL Coastal’s $9M deficit has many fathers”). The article also mentions state-funded programs. There seems to me to be no end to these “programs” that exist in our government.
Back in 2005, when the economy was rolling and money was flowing, the schools were still saying they needed more money. About 52 percent to 55 percent of the State General Fund Budget is already spent on K-12 and higher education.
Maybe in a time when our kids don’t seem to be doing well in school, we should be concentrating on the three “R’s,” instead of programs and enrichment classes.
In the second article (“Paso spurns parcel tax”), Jim Lynett, head of the Paso Robles teachers union, said that the $8 a month parcel tax is “only a movie a month.” Well Jim, a movie a month for this tax and a movie a month for that tax and pretty soon we’re not going to the movies anymore.
“Blabberers of Osos, put a sock in it” read The Tribune editorial on Feb. 1, 2008. Well I believe the “blabberers” have been vindicated. Our “weekly sewer gripefest,” as you put it, has resulted in the re-evaluation of the county’s flawed Wastewater Treatment Project by both the Planning Commission and the California Coastal Commission.
The Planning Commission listened to the “malcontents” and caused the county to make some major environmental changes in the project. The Coastal Commission was also not fooled by Supervisor Bruce Gibson’s presentation and saw the need to make significant changes in the project, changes in accord with those the citizen-heroes of Los Osos have been pointing out for years.
Currently, the noble citizen watchdogs are trying to read the 500-page response of San Luis Obispo County to the Coastal Commission’s environmental objections, but there is only a single copy to read and this must be read at the Department of Public Works office.
This lack of transparency prevents community participation and keeps the process and progress secret and unavailable.
I would ask the county to please open up and be more democratically inclusive. Working together, we will get the best possible project!
Cortez for sheriff
One of the most significant political races to be decided in San Luis Obispo County this year is that of sheriff. This race has fielded a total of six candidates, all wanting your attention and ultimately your vote.
I’ve taken a very hard look at each of the candidates, their educational levels, previous (or current) law enforcement experience and most importantly, their level of “command experience” (if any) and its relativity to the task of sheriff. Ultimately, command authority determines effective law enforcement, officer morale, department-wide cohesiveness and the public perception of fairness.
Our sheriff’s department is now represented by two distinctly different union groups with various expectations and goals that I believe will ultimately clash, causing who knows what kind of dysfunction or calamity within the department.
I want to elect a sheriff who is ready to lead on day one. Please read the soon-to-be-received candidate ballot statements and you will know conclusively that only one candidate has the proven, seasoned experience that is demanded of the high office of sheriff. I know that candidate as Joe Cortez, the past police chief of Pismo Beach.
Vote for Zimmerman
I have known Mike Zimmerman for several years and I have learned to like him. More importantly, I believe San Luis Obispo County will like Zimmerman as 4th District Supervisor. I have found Zimmerman to be reliable, trustworthy and completely honest.
Zimmerman is a real friend of agriculture. He has a ranch in the Huasna area and has a clear understanding of the problems facing agriculture in San Luis Obispo County.
Zimmerman is a friend of business. He is a businessman in Arroyo Grande and is intimately familiar with the problems and challenges facing businesses here.
Zimmerman is a friend to people. He is involved in several charitable activities and has been working in the political arena for years. His character and experience drive him to help the people of San Luis Obispo County.
Zimmerman is a good parent. He and Joan have successfully raised and nurtured eight children. All of them have learned about agriculture through 4-H Club and through raising animals.