Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 6/25

Prison budget fix

Many of California’s budget problems were caused by the loss of jobs outsourced to other countries. Let’s do the same thing with our prisoners.

If it costs $50,000 per prisoner, per year to supply them with food, security, cable TV, health care, weights and transplants, why not outsource this job to Chile or Mexico?

If we paid Chile or Mexico $5,000 per prisoner, per year, the balance sheet would look like this:

In California, 2,000 prisoners times $50,000 equals $100 million.

In Chile, 2,000 prisoners times $5,000 equals $10 million.

Savings: $90 million.

Let the guards pick the worst 100 or so from each prison, which would help with the overcrowding but not cause any layoffs for the guards at any one prison. Put the teachers back to work teaching our youth, get our economy and children back on track and balance the budget. Budget fixed.

Tom O. Mills Paso Robles

Self defense saves

Basic self-defense can save lives. In Maine, three female college students came to the aid of a fellow classmate by fighting off a man trying to assault her. In San Diego, a female jogger fought off an attempted assault by John Gardner III, the man who raped and murdered two girls earlier this year.

We should not be lulled into a false sense of security by thinking, “This only happens in big cities,” or “I don’t run alone,” or “I don’t go to unfamiliar places.” In reality, more than 73 percent of sexual assault victims know their attacker — a classmate, co-worker, ex-boyfriend or friend. This doesn’t mean we should live our lives in fear, but rather take action to reduce our risk of becoming victims. One way to do this is by learning basic self-defense.

The Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center (SARP) offers women’s empowerment and self-defense workshops, both to the community and small groups.

The workshops concentrate on awareness of self and environment, assertiveness and physical techniques. For more information on self-defense workshops and the SARP Center’s other services for survivors of sexual assault, please call 545-8888 or visit www.sarpcenter.org.

Jess Hawley

San Luis Obispo

Very little hope

For all those who hate environmentalists, I say we finally face the fact that we are all “hiking to hell.” We will soon have no birds, trees, animals or oceans. We will have a sterile concrete pad to live on until we are dead and that will be that. I am convinced that the non-environmentalists will win.

A survivalist, to me, would be a person who only cares about himself, but knows that without other life, he cannot exist. I feel there is very little hope for human kind. We don’t have to be ecologists to know when all other life besides us is gone, we will be too.

Maybe we can bridge the gap between those who want to wipe out life and those who don’t. Maybe we can call ourselves survivalists that have decided we need Earth and its life to sustain our own.

If there is hope for life and humanity, I would like to think so, but very much doubt it. Look around and say goodbye. Will humankind in their final moments take a gamble of life or death? Will we pull the final trigger on ourselves? I say “yes.” Man is not smart enough to save himself. Oh well, who cares.

Jonas Richardson

Los Osos

Stop war on trees

In the past year, more than 20 trees have been removed on the west side of Paso Robles in a half mile radius between Merryhill and Townhouse Terrace. None of these trees has been replaced.

These trees provide shelter to wildlife, much needed shade in summer and increase property values. If a tree needs to be removed, it should be replaced. Lack of shade and tree stumps now line our westside neighborhood.

Stop the war on trees on Paso Robles’ west side.

Dick Williams, Donna Buchholz and Marian Von Dollen

Paso Robles