Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 7/7

Brooks mistaken

In David Brooks’ recent column in the Opinion section of the newspaper on Alcoholics Anonymous, he writes that Alcoholics Anonymous has 11,000 treatment centers (“The gospel of Bill Wilson,” July 1).

This is incorrect.

Alcoholics Anonymous does not have any treatment centers, although many treatment centers encourage the use of Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-step program and may hold Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. 

Alcoholics Anonymous’ sixth tradition says: “An Alcoholics Anonymous group ought never endorse, finance or lend the Alcoholics Anonymous name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige, divert us from our primary purpose.”

David Shanks

San Luis Obispo

Act now

It’s time to take back our world from the clutches of Big Oil. With each passing season, it’s more and more obvious that global warming due to the burning of fossil fuels has polarized temperatures, causing increased atmospheric turbulence and meteorological mayhem throughout the world.

Meanwhile, as if they haven’t caused enough damage to our ecosystem, Big Oil continues to block important environmental reform and clean energy legislation. We need to insist on a transition to sustainability now, not in the distant future.

Now is the time to write, call, gather and speak out until we obtain the change we need. If we don’t act now, there may not be a future.

Samantha McTighe

Grover Beach

Budgetary reality

A friend is going to traffic court to fight a minor speeding ticket. My friend says the officer “padded” how much he was exceeding the speed limit. I hope The Tribune will consider reprinting my advice to him:

You can tell the judge what happened, he may lower your fine, but it won’t make much difference. You’ll still be convicted and 75 percent of your penalty (which includes city, county and court fees, stacked on top of the base traffic fine), won’t decrease.

Today, courts find it expeditious to rubber-stamp citations. Judges write “guilty” even when there is reasonable doubt.

Sorry for the bad news, but that’s the new budgetary reality. Your citation wasn’t about traffic safety, you were nicked to help the state and county stem the bleeding.

And the reality of confiscatory fines, traffic cameras and officers pressured to bring in the cash won’t change until we speak loudly at the ballot box. We must lobby politicians and enact drivers’ rights ballot measures if we’re to safeguard our wallets from these public-salaried Robin Hoods.

Expect to spend $300 when you leave court and at least $300 more in higher insurance premiums. You have my sympathy.

Bruce Curtis

Los Osos

Do the job

Once again, our uncaring, inept, arrogant state Legislature has failed to pass a budget as required by our state constitution.

Now our Governator has decided to punish state employees by reducing their pay to the minimum wage rate. Why not stop paying the members of the Legislature until they pass a budget? They would not receive any back pay after the budget is passed nor would they receive per diem payments for that period.

As an alternative, even though I dislike ballot propositions, it’s time someone introduces one to say the following:

If the Legislature fails to pass a budget by midnight on June 15, the entire Legislature will be disbanded at 12:01 a.m. on June 16. The past year’s budget will remain in effect for one more year, an election will be held in November to elect a unicameral Legislature and no present or prior legislators will be eligible to run for the new Legislature.

This way we might get a Legislature that does the job we are paying them to accomplish.

Stanley D. Schaffer

Arroyo Grande

Thanks for stranger

I discovered, upon reaching home after a shopping trip at Albertsons in Morro Bay, that my gold bracelet was no longer on my arm. This is one of my most prized possessions (sentiment-wise rather than monetary).

I had been to other places, but Albertsons being the last, I decided to check there first. To my great relief, some kind, honest person had found and returned it.

I so wish I knew you so I could personally thank you, but since you did not leave your name, I must use this letter as my means of saying thank you. I so appreciate it.

Jennie Blue

Los Osos

Never-ending issue

The recent Grover Beach City Council meeting brought to the forefront the never-ending water issue. The City Council was treated to an outcry from the citizens over a looming increase in the water rates that, if implemented, would cause suffering and mental and financial anguish to the resident and business communities.

What brought the outcry to full board during the meeting was the 4 percent cushion to cover potential increases in staff salaries that may be granted in the future that was built into the proposal.

Really? In this day and age, when cities across the nation are cutting employees and are surviving with one city manager and one secretary, how does Grover Beach have the nerve to carry a staff of 62 full-time employees?

How does Grover Beach find the money to hire consultants and experts yet fail to meet the needs of the residents? The audience, a true cross-section of the city, blasted the City Council.

The issue did not pass for now. It may loom its ugly head again. We had best remain steadfast and continue to let the City Council know that we are not pleased with their actions. We will remember when it comes time to vote in November.

Anita Shower

Grover Beach

Wishful thinking

Apparently, my letter about the health hazard of particulate matter blowing off the Oceano Dunes because of vehicles destroying the natural protective crust struck a nerve with some off-road vehicle advocates (“Dune inaction,” June 14).

Michael Van Belleghem (“Natural particles,” June 21) apparently was unaware of the Air Pollution Control District report that documented my concerns. His criticisms seemed to come from his own wishful thinking on the subject and was essentially fact free. I also will not take his irrelevant advice to “tear down” my house to restore the Shell Beach bluff.

On June 24, Bradley Zane wrote (“End talk of ban”) citing “state experts” who disagree with parts of the report. Any scientific study is subject to criticism and misinterpretation, especially more complex and detailed studies, as this one was.

The bottom line is that the report was accepted by the Air Pollution Control District Board, the county Board of Supervisors and the county Health Department. Claims that there is no connection with vehicle usage, the destruction of the natural dune crust, high pollution levels and the resulting devastating health hazards are irresponsible.

The Air Pollution Control District report supports the argument to ban vehicles, restore the natural protective crust and remove an ongoing health hazard.

David Georgi

Shell Beach

Demand the best

The Tribune recently reported, “Grand jury: School district overlooked misconduct when hiring administrator” (June 26). The history of financial misconduct by Atascadero High School Principal E.J. Rossi in San Ardo Union School District and possibly at Atascadero High School is shocking. How can teachers, students and parents respect a principal with this kind of blatant financial abuse in administering at our high school?

The misconduct has been exposed and recommendations for future pre-employment background checks made, but what is being done in the here and now? Superintendent John Rogers’ judgment and excuses were weak at best.

Both my children went through Atascadero schools and I continue to be a taxpayer in Atascadero. I am outraged that the school district didn’t do a better job in its hiring process and, once hired, just pushed Rossi from assistant principal to high school principal. This is not the first time that an administrator was hired by Atascadero schools with questionable administrative abuses.

School districts educate our children. We entrust our children to our local schools and must demand the best of the best to coordinate that education.

Lee Perkins


Such craziness

Challengers are attempting to take down Arizona’s new law designed to protect its citizens from illegal immigrants because of the federal government’s failure to do so. The Arizona law mimics existing federal immigration law and, in fact, is less stringent.

Challengers include the United States government, the government of Mexico (unbelievable!) and many pro-illegal immigration groups.

Numerous United States cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco have enacted laws granting sanctuary to illegal immigrants by prohibiting their law enforcement agencies from questioning and acting on the illegal status of people within their jurisdictions.

Unlike Arizona’s new law, which reinforces existing federal immigration laws, these sanctuary laws explicitly ban enforcement of such federal laws.

Many other United States cities are “de facto” sanctuary cities where sanctuary laws have not been passed, but procedures are followed that produce the same results.

There is little or no attempt to help enforce federal immigration laws and illegal immigrants feel safe from discovery and deportation. Cheap labor and anticipated voting blocs are clearly trumping “the rule of law.”

Where is the outrage regarding the disparate reaction to and rejection of the Arizona law versus sanctuary laws and similar “de facto” procedures? Can a society survive such craziness?

Donald Hirt

Paso Robles

Krauthammer good

Two things for which I am thankful: Charles Krauthammer’s ability to tell it like it is and your decision to include (and continue to include) his column!

Lou Pera

Arroyo Grande