Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 4/16

Start with leaders

This newspaper recently published serious concerns about generous pay and retirement benefits for public servants — benefits no longer sustainable — that date to the reign of Governor Gray Davis (Pension costs burden local budgets,” April 11).

A union leader once confided to me, however, that the negotiating “targets” of unions are largely determined by benefits that management already gave itself. His clear message: If strong leadership provides a solid example of sacrifice, the workers and their unions would do the same.

It is fashionable these days to blame the furloughed workers, the struggling home owners and the needy sick among us for the problems of society. Those who run off with the nation’s wealth, who make fortunes by manipulating the media and who now claim that helping the poor and dispossessed will burden our children (children already robbed blind by our financial elite) are the true villains.

Because of their greed, added sacrifice is necessary, but this time, let it also include the leaders among us. Then you can focus on public servants.

Dan Biezad

San Luis Obispo

Grateful for help

­Gunnery Sergeant Robert L. Gilbert II was killed in action in Afghanistan during his fifth tour of duty. Receiving numerous medals and awards prior to death, he was awarded the Purple Heart at his bedside and the Bronze Star posthumously. More than a soldier, he was a wonderful young man I loved.

I am his aunt and a college student who had no resources to get to Ohio for the funeral.

Determined to be there, I contacted numerous agencies. Most agencies responded with “Sorry, you are only his aunt.”

Only his aunt? This aunt was determined.

Ultimately, gratefully, I attended the funeral celebration of Robert’s life and I had the opportunity to say goodbye.

Whether you believe in the war effort or not, there are aunts, uncles and other close loved ones needing financial support during crisis. I am grateful there were a few agencies that found it in their heart to prov-ide financial assistance. Please give to agencies like Air Compassion America, Wounded Warriors Family Support and the San Luis Obispo County Chapter of the Red Cross that understand and provide financial assistance.

I also want to thank the professors, staff members and fellow students at Cuesta College. Without their kind support, this heartbreaking loss would have been much more difficult.

Lynda Snyder

San Luis Obispo

‘Taking Leave’

I recently saw the San Luis Obispo Little Theater production of “Taking Leave” and I loved it. It is a very funny play about dementia.

Of course, it is serious and sensitive as well, but the excellent directing, acting and set make it a real treasure. We’re all getting older!

Sherry Lewis

San Luis Obispo

Safety a concern

At first glance, the Prefumo Creek bridge sounds like a great project. But once you dig in, you realize that it would definitely not provide a safe route to school.

This project was carried out without consulting those who know this neighborhood best, the residents of Laguna Shores. A lot of time and money could have been saved.

The safety issue is my biggest concern. The city is proposing a bridge for school children that is totally secluded by trees and bushes, over a creek, for 70 yards. In addition to that, it is proposed to be enclosed, a trap with only two ways out. Use your imagination to envision what will happen, from bullying to sexual assaults and everything in between.

Remember what happened on the Jennifer Street bridge when Rex Krebs abducted and murdered a college student. And that bridge isn’t even as secluded as the proposed Prefumo Creek bridge. This is supposed to be a safe route to school and it is anything but that.

I will commend the city council if they send this project back to the research stage so we can, together, come up with a plan for a truly safe route to school.

Jon Fugler

San Luis Obispo

Bring on the bridge

As a resident of Oceanaire Drive and a parent, I can’t wait for the pedestrian bridge linking C.L. Smith Elementary School’s neighborhood and Laguna Middle School.

I have always been impressed at the city’s layout of school locations — every elementary school is intentionally implanted deep within a residential neighborhood, away from busy and high speed roads. San Luis Obispo High School is even off the beaten path.

I intentionally sought out an apartment where my son can walk or bike to school without the danger of any busy streets. So it’s bewildering to me that residents would fight a proposal to create a safe, attractive and multi-use pedestrian passageway to our Middle School.

Expanding the ugly cement sidewalk along the raceway corridor of Los Osos Valley Road does not change the fact that it is an overused 45 mph road, with multiple entry and exit points to distract drivers, and wind that can actually whip faster than the cars.

You can’t disguise these things with a greenbelt. A bridge crossing the stream will allow kids to bike and walk among both neighborhoods and schools safely — creating an expanded community feel. It’s an absolute no-brainer.

Look forward to using it!

Lara Henry

San Luis Obispo

Right to smoke

John B. Delaney (“Assault on freedoms,” April 13) vehemently defends his right to smoke on the public sidewalks of San Luis Obispo. I have no problem with that, Delaney, as long as you keep every molecule of that smoke inside your own body. If you can, then smoke up a storm, I don’t care.

However, I should not be forced to inhale one particle of your poisonous spew. While you merrily exercise your right to smoke downtown, I have no choice when I encounter your toxic cloud. Your right to smoke ends at the tip of my nose. And, by the way, I pay for those sidewalks too.

M.J. Johnson

San Luis Obispo

Enlighten me

I’m an independent who leans conservative. I listen to all sides. Most of AM talk, Fox News, says we’re headed for big government hell. If Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck ran the country, would they propose the following?

Abolish all government social programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Health care is not a “right” and neither is your financial security.

Education is not a “right,” so all taxpayer funding of K-12 is stopped. Want your kid educated, you pay for it. Mandatory treatment in emergency rooms is abolished. Why should hospitals be forced to treat you for free? In short, no tax money is spent on anything not expressly allowed in the Constitution.

Same for state constitutions. Every legal adult will be financially responsible for themselves. Private charity exists to assist those in need. If no help is offered or available, you go without. If you arrive at the hospital with a ruptured appendix and no insurance or money, you may call a charity, friend or relative. If no one will cover the bill, you’re back out in the parking lot.

This sounds harsh, but I’m trying to understand what “pure” conservative principles would allow. Please enlighten me.

Gregg Littell

Templeton

Easter vs. old news

First I was disappointed, then frustrated, then the more I thought of it, downright angry. I cannot believe that on Easter Sunday, the most important day in the Christian calendar, there was not one religious word of this important event.

Are you not a newspaper? You goofed big time. Then to compound this mistake, you had yet another article on the Catholic church’s sexual abuse problem on the front page.

You have been running this story for a week, so this is already old news. I’m starting to wonder if I really want to subscribe to such a periodical as yours.

Bobbie Di Domenico

Atascadero

Rain readings

The rain amount stated in the April 12 newspaper for Paso Robles was trace, with a total for the year at 10.54 inches.

My rain gauge recorded 1.8 inches. I have a running total for the year at 24.3 inches. Where is Paso Robles taking these readings?

You gotta take them in Paso Robles, not in the Mohave Desert.

Clayton M. Leavitt

Paso Robles

Love for library

I like the library because there are books and I like to read. I also like the library because when I am in a peaceful mood, I can go to the library because the library is supposed to be quiet.

When I go to the library, the first thing I see are books. Books like mysteries, non-fiction, fairy tales and my personal favorite, diaries.

Madison C. Hansen

Third grade, Monarch Grove Elementary School

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