Betty Winholtz for mayor
In my opinion, a council member should be in tune with the needs, age levels and life choices of the city they represent. For example, the importance of Dial-A-Ride to many people who need transportation. A council member should live in and love their city and be ready for it to progress. However, the choices should not be detrimental and destructive to the very thing that attracts its citizens and visitors.
I have discovered that my city of Morro Bay has such a council member, and I am once again inspired to tune into the meeting because of this member. She questions, examines and personally looks into each proposal, variance or suggestion, sometimes relentlessly, before endorsement. Wow. I then understand it, too. She considers all parts of our city: the north, south and slowly disappearing waterfront.
Come to think of it, these attributes could make a great mayor too. Go for it, Betty Winholtz!
Jackie Heitman Morro Bay
Save the A.G. malt shop
I am deeply saddened by the recent 3-2 vote by the Arroyo Grande City Council to move ahead with the relocation of city hall (“A.G. council OKs swap of buildings,” March 30).
What disappoints me the most is the demolition of the “malt shop.” Even if the council felt this building was not technically “historic,” they could have opted to leave it in place and adaptively reuse it. This building contributes to the sense of place that the Village evokes.
The malt shop helps to show how our rural, simple farming community developed and became what it is today: a thriving downtown where residents and tourists love to hang out. It is not just the 100-year-old buildings that help make the Village special and unique.
I am not opposed to all change in Arroyo Grande or the Village. I serve on the Planning Commission and vote each month to develop the city. But there is appropriate development, and this is not it. I have passionately helped with every one of the councilmen’s election campaigns because I thought that they stood for the same things that most of the residents desire, like protecting the Village.
Enlightening film festival
A tip of the hat to everyone involved with the San Luis Obispo Film Festival for their work in putting on this event. Especially to the people whose job it is to select the films to be shown and to Jim Dee and Director Wendy Eidson for their recommendations on the “Take 2” radio program.
Particular attention should be paid to the film “Burzynski.” This documentary film tells the story of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, a cancer specialist who discovered a method for treating cancer in the 1970s that does not involve chemotherapy or radiation and has no side effects.
A 20-year struggle with the Food and Drug Administration to have his medicine approved followed, even though it was obvious to everybody that his treatment was saving lives. It works. The tumors disappear.
This film sheds a harsh light on the FDA and on “Big Pharma.” It’s a very enlightening film and very convincing. It doesn’t leave any doubt in my mind as to who the good guy is here and who the bad guy is. Burzynski may finally be gaining the upper hand. His cancer medicine is now in the final stage of testing. We’ll see what happens next.
San Luis Obispo
Tea party hatefest
While listening to a news segment on the radio yesterday, I learned that the “Tea Party” cultists are planning another large hatefest, similar to the “Conservative Woodstock” staged in the Nevada desert recently, where President Barack Obama was reviled as “a Communist dictator who is taking us to hell.”
According to the aforementioned report, the upcoming event will be held April 19, coordinating with the 15th anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, an act known to the “hatriot” movement as “the first shot fired at Lexington.” Of course, this atrocity killed 168 innocent people, including many infants and toddlers who were in the building’s day care center at the time.
I wonder if good people in America today sometimes feel like the worried Jews of Germany, circa 1932, who were hoping in vain that human reason and decency would prevail over the terrifying, hateful new populist movement sweeping their nation.
In today’s crashing economy, the youth of this area have suffered much of the brunt of their family’s crisis and therefore bring it with them to school, contributing to an ever widening achievement gap among students in our local districts.
More and more young people are struggling with how to cope with the stresses associated with trouble at home and within peer circles and their communities. They are finding strength in self-medicating with drugs, alcohol and risky behaviors. Many of them are putting their education on the back burner so that they can focus on handling personal issues. As local schools cut counselors, they cut the life support for these students.
I have watched as local districts have demolished what once were highly responsive counseling programs, aligned with meeting students’ needs and providing supportive services. Shame on them! In times of crisis, counselors become the oxygen for these suffocating young minds.
Local schools are responsible for educating all their students, not just the ones who stand in line and do what they’re asked. Bring intervention and counseling services back to the youth who so desperately need it. Please reconsider putting these life-changing positions back into schools!
Just fish in a tank
The other morning, as I was feeding my fish, my thoughts became analogous to the situation our country currently faces. I gave a pinch of fish flakes in what I determined to be the appropriate amount, into a tank that has the temperature that seems to fit an acceptable range.
Furthermore, due to consultation with the experts at the pet store, there are no overly aggressive fish — so no undue competition for food. I guess you’d call this a level playing field. Sounds pretty good, right?
Yet, I ponder their lives. They have no challenge, no adventure and greatly prescribed limits. I decided this represents socialism, and I, the great provider who my little fishies swim to for their provisions, must be big government. Before we give away all of our freedoms and money to the government, we need to decide if we want to be fishes in a tank or experience risk and reward, success and failure.
My fish have life, but they do not have liberty, and I would venture to speculate that their “happiness” is quite watered down.