Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 4/21

Wild things

Really? Really! For a moment, I hoped Fran Zalesny’s Viewpoint was a joke (“Be aware of hiking hazards,” April 15).

I’ve pretty much had my fill with people wanting to explore the outdoor beauty of our county, but “gosh, oh golly gee whillikers, maybe there’s some inherent danger in that and oh my goodness, warn everyone of the perils of the wilderness. Oh, and be prepared to find out who needs to be sued if I’m injured in the wilderness because, darn, somebody must be held accountable!”

Live in an apartment. Live in an urban area. Live in a high density housing tract. You won’t run into anything (other than people possibly) who mean to do you harm. Do whatever you need to do to keep the wild things at bay.

I am unafraid. I welcome the fact that we have “wild things” that consider my presence an encroachment on their domain. Hallelujah for the fact that they exist where I explore at all.

Jeri Luther


Fashion’s impact

Judythe Guarnera, in her letter (“Irrelevant fashion,” April 17), asked why anyone should care about a political candidate’s hair style or the way they dress. There are as many answers to this question as there are people, some of them, no doubt, empty or trivial, and some, I am sure, would be very interesting, providing legitimate food for thought when viewed from a historical perspective.

It is ingrained in human nature for peopleto have more trust in those who seek political power that are appealing to the eye and politicians throughout history have understood this.

In today’s world, especially in our culture of celebrity worship and short attention spans, the majority of a candidate’s money and effort are spent on creating their image and clever one line campaign slogans.

That is what wins elections, more so than the content of a candidate’s political philosophy or their proposed “solutions” to the problems facing our society, which, more times than not, turns out to be empty promises anyway once they are in office. So yes, like it or not, the reality is that how a candidate dresses and how they wear their hair is very important.

Tim Sanford

Grover Beach

Not learning

How about a “brickbat” for Adrienne Garcia (“A.G. grad protests Syracuse commencement speaker,” April 20)? It seems sad that a university student should be ignorant of what a university is all about. It is a place of learning, not a place for promoting only viewpoints that agree with yours.

The students at a university have the right to hear and evaluate a diversity of opinions and decide for themselves if they agree or not. That is how we learn. Closing one’s mind and attempting to close off unpopular opinions is not learning!

Gerald Freedman

Los Osos

Honest people

On Friday, April 16, I was shopping at Wal-Mart and left my purse in a shopping cart. I would like to thank the kind person who turned it in. It’s nice to know that there are still honest people in this world.

Kay Jarvis

San Miguel

Ludicrous outrage

While I am not a Sarah Palin fan, I think it is ludicrous for Leland Yee to become “outraged” over the details of her contract to speak at CSU Stanislaus (“Palin contract found in a trash bin,” April 14).

Anyone who has achieved the status of this woman has demands that are not uncommon to her position and the few details that were discussed are certainly not out of line.

But the Contra Costa Times sure made it a big deal, as did The Tribune by picking this article up and publishing it. This article does not discuss whether or not the CSU Stanislaus Foundation refused to let Yee view the contract or whether or not this was a draft of the contract(s) that were simply shredded — as most documents are and should be at public institutions.

Once again, this is a Sarah Palin, right of the line “hunt” and Democratic Senator Yee from San Francisco played his role well. Why not call Nancy Pelosi to speak? We wouldn’t have to pay for her jet, she returns to California every weekend!

Dona Nelson

Arroyo Grande

Glib nonsense

W.R. Cole says peace can be achieved between Israel and Hamas if we “become more forceful with Israel,” demanding a halt to home construction and insisting on discussions with the Palestinians (“Two-nation answer,” April 8).

This freakishly glib notion is utter nonsense. It ignores 60 years of violent history directed at Israel by Palestinians and the surrounding Arab countries. It does not take into account the Hamas constitution calling for the destruction of Israel and it demands nothing from the Palestinians in return for concessions by Israel. The list goes on, but space is limited. 

Cole should read up on Mideast history. Peace cannot be achieved with those who hate and teach their children to hate. Israel is a sovereign nation and America’s friend; the Palestinians are a mob that feeds on bitterness and alienation. It is likely to remain so for decades.

Jackson L. Forney


Nuclear hyperbole

Charles Krauthammer is light years ahead of Bill O’Reilly as a conservative commentator, but his eagerness to once again belittle our president has led him to quarrelsome hyperbole in his commentary on the recently concluded nuclear proliferation summit (“Obama’s nuclear posturing, part deux,” April 16).

The summit was all window dressing and posturing because it failed to address and presumably agree on a solution to Iran’s moves towards a nuclear bomb and Pakistan’s plutonium production. Krauthammer also says that Ukraine, Chile, Mexico and Canada’s getting rid of quantities of enriched uranium was a “minor thing.”

And somehow, President Barack Obama is responsible for not being able to convince the leaders of 46 nations at a two-day conference to bring Iran and Pakistan into line on issues Krauthammer deems important.

Should Obama have refused to host the conference? Should he have produced an ultimatum demanding action on these two issues ? The right wing of the Republican party is getting pretty hard to please!

George Miller

Los Osos

Troubling turn

Last June, I retired from the Lucia Mar Unified School District after serving for 32 years as a school counselor. During those years, I experienced firsthand the joys of guiding young people as well as the frustrations of losing dedicated counselors due to budget cuts.

The district’s established counseling programs are once again being threatened by cuts. The current proposal drops the total number of district counselors to only three counselors to cover Arroyo Grande, Nipomo and Lopez high schools.

Guidance technicians without counseling credentials could be added at some sites and final decisions about numbers of each will come later this spring.

At this time, six high school counselors and all three middle school counselors have received pink slips. Can you imagine a middle school without a counselor or a high school counselor with a load of approximately 1,100 students?

This turn of events is especially troubling since the counselors have developed and provided a guidance program approved by the School Board three years ago. The program guarantees that every student, whether at-risk or highly focused, will receive assistance in developing graduation, college and vocational plans and career options.

We must support an adequate number of qualified counselors in our schools.

Judy Leonard

Pismo Beach