Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 7/22

Where money’s from

Regarding Richard Kinz’s letter (“Where’s money from?,” July 15) chastising San Luis Obispo for spending money on improvements:

San Luis Obispo has two revenue sources for the funding of public art. The funding is generated by a percentage of the city’s capital improvements and an in-lieu fund from private development projects. The funds are placed into a public art account and earmarked for public art only.

When the public art program was established, the city showed great foresight in understanding the effect of healthy or lean budget years. The funds for the currently approved public art piece that will grace the entrance to San Luis Obispo at Marsh Street came from the 2007-09 budget cycle.

The City Council’s diligence in money management made it possible for this addition to be made during this lean year. On the surface, the spending of funds for public art at this time might seem frivolous. However, the contrary is true.

As the city grows and develops, the need for creative elements is more essential than ever. The City Council’s money management and wise decisions when the public art program was being developed have guaranteed the present dividends to the community and to its citizenry.

Ann Ream

Chairwoman, Arts Council’s Art in Public Places Committee

Much work to do

There was one mistake in the headline of David Sneed’s excellent article, “County ponders climate change” (July 16). The headline should have read “County citizens ponder ...”

The daylong workshop I attended was not for government officials, but for citizens. The elected officials had met previously to draft their responses to climate change. The role of the officials was to get us up to speed on their planning efforts. The role of citizens was to add to their list of strategies and voice our preferences.

Citizens divided into groups to address health and emergency preparedness, impact on the marine environment, infrastructure/transportation, agriculture and water supply/wastewater. New ideas emerged, such as more community food gardens to improve health and reduce reliance on imports. There was a call for extensive outreach to prepare people for coping with existing and future climate change.

There is much work still to be done. My hope is that more people turn out for future workshops to broaden participation.

I also feel that the proposed strategies are not only the responsibility of government and nonprofits to carry out, but individuals and grassroots groups as well.

Judith Bernstein

Paso Robles

End this game

As a resident of Katcho Achadjian’s district in Oceano, I found that whenever I asked him about our problems with off-highway vehicles, he would answer that he had to recuse himself because he owns gas stations and would not be impartial.

Then why is he still sitting on the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District board? And why are there people from beach cities who may have an economic stake in the outcome of the PM-10 study on the board?

Why can’t there be a delegate from Nipomo or the Mesa? Achadjian, recuse yourself. You can’t play this game all the time.

Terry Sweetland


Not the answer

The so-called “news” in The Tribune never ceases to amaze me. Your front-page article regarding President Barack Obama and his ongoing rant on Republicans for blocking another extension to un-employment compensation is plain nuts (“Obama calls jobless victims of Republicans,” July 20).

First of all, Democrats are in the majority. So how can the minority block any proposed legislation in the House of Representatives? Second, how many weeks will unemployment benefits be extended (we are at 99 now) before the liberals finally decide that it’s over?

Folks, unemployment is terrible for those that need a job, but handing out taxpayer dollars forever is not the answer. Job creation in the private sector is the only thing that will get us out of this mess, along with huge reductions in spending by state and federal government officials.

This irresponsible spending has got to stop. It’s killing us, our kids, our grandkids and future generations, regardless of political affiliation.

Overspending doesn’t work in our homes, so why is it OK for the government to overspend?

This is serious, and we need to stop this insanity starting this coming November.

Gilbert Zepeda

Paso Robles

Arrogant Americans

Sure, I often resent the taxes I am forced to pay to enable the government to care for its citizens, just as I resent the reality that the private sector is unable or unwilling to do so.

What I resent even more are my countrymen who fail to realize it is no longer the year 1795 and endlessly complain about the fact that our government cares enough about the needy to try and do something.

These same citizens have usually already achieved the American dream or some share in it. They have never tasted poverty, had to abort their educations to support a family, felt the sting of racism or the devastating illness that was uncovered by insurance, and never endured the futility of rejection in the search for employment.

These arrogant Americans also find it deplorable that their country has taken on the role of conscience of the world, bringing aid to those abroad who suffer from famine, disease, natural or unnatural disasters or war.

In a shrinking universe where technology enables one to connect with anyone in the world in seconds, these complainers would prefer we become isolationists, nestled snugly in our own little paradise. To me, that is un-American.

Tom Bauer

Morro Bay

Nuclear rebuttal

We’re happy to correct Joe Tarica again in his ongoing efforts to wave away the environmental impacts of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant (“Sierra Club gets all upset about fish,” July 17).

Tarica dismisses our citations of the historical record and biological studies as somehow just the opinion of “an anti-nuke activist group.” Not so.

Tarica’s gut feeling that Diablo Canyon’s destruction of marine life and habitat is “an impact we accept in exchange for the vast amount of energy produced” is to be weighed against the findings of the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Department of Fish and Game and the California Coastal Commission over 25 years.

All have found that the plant’s impacts on the marine environment are devastating, reach far beyond the immediate vicinity and should be halted or mitigated.

That, and a court ruling, is why the state has adopted a policy on phasing out the “once-through” cooling of power plants, a policy that gives Diablo Canyon 14 years — more than any conventional coastal power plant — to clean up its act.

Andrew Christie

Director of the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club

Brilliant show

If you’re a fan of TV shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and would like to see a breath of fresh air in local community theatre, then don’t miss Suzy Miller’s amazing original show, “Shimmy Shake Shine,” at the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre.

My wife and I were just amazed with the brilliant burst of local creativity and talent. You won’t be disappointed.

Bryce Engstrom

Arroyo Grande

All geniuses

When I was a kid, I thought being stupid, naive and ignorant wasn’t a good idea if you could avoid it. Then I read about how BP purchased sponsored links at the top of Google search results pages. They purchased search words like “oil spill” and “BP oil spill” and put their propaganda in the sponsored links, keeping the American people just that — stupid, naive and ignorant.

No one seems to care, and laws don’t keep them from doing that. It’s not illegal to be evil or keep people stupid, but it should be. When BP pollutes an entire Gulf and is able to keep an entire country from finding out, or at least keeping it as quiet as possible, that’s just wrong.

I just realized while writing about right and wrong, truth and reality, that we are all geniuses. When people talk about being American, it isn’t about hiding the truth, it isn’t keeping people stupid, it’s about people using their minds, doing what’s right and having the facts correct before they act. The truth is not bought, the truth just is.

Jonas Richardson

Los Osos