Regarding Karen Harris’ Viewpoint endorsing Neverland as a “boon” to the surrounding area (“Neverland could be a boon,” July 23):
I have been a resident of Los Olivos for 25 years and during that time, I have seen our beautiful little town change from an elegant, peaceful area to a crowded, noisy, booze-ridden “destination” for those city folk wanting to “get out to the country.” This is in large part due to the notoriety from the movie “Sideways.”
Since then, almost all the small, locally owned businesses have been forced out by high rents that can be charged to the mostly corporate-based mega wineries. Tour buses and limousines park in the middle of the street to transport inebriated passengers to more wine tasting. Rest assured, this activity will only increase with the change proposed.
Neverland is located on a narrow, quiet country road. The area is normally pristine and peaceful. When Michael Jackson died, the area became an absolute zoo. Luckily, this has died down.
Making Neverland into a state park would ruin the area. Quiet, peaceful areas need to be preserved for our future generations, not destroyed in the name of economic progress.
Numbers are down
Last April, 17 congressmen demanded the president immediately increase Mexican border security, stating “violence continues to increase at an alarming rate.” Sen. John McCain echoed the same tune, stating that border violence “is the worst I have ever seen.”
These statements contradict the facts. According to the United States Border Patrol, violent crime this side of the border has fallen by more than 30 percent over the past 20 years. And the FBI states that the four safest big cities in the United States are San Diego, Phoenix, El Paso and Austin.
So what about all the screaming over increases in illegal immigration? According to the Border Patrol, the numbers are down more than 60 percent since 2000.
Get to know park
Recently, there was an editorial in The Tribune about our county dog parks and the need for more of them (“SLO County needs more dog parks,” July 21). They are indeed a great place to find happy, healthy, social dogs and happy, social people.
Many people are unaware that there is a dog park in Atascadero, a place where you can bring your pup at the end of a long work day and let him run off his energy with his friends while you relax.
Heilmann Dog Park is a free, nonprofit park completely run by volunteers. Not everyone likes the idea of dog parks. They think noise, smell and poop, but the volunteers are very aware of these concerns and work hard to mitigate any problems.
Every third Thursday evening during the summer, the Heilmann Dog Park offers a no-cost social hour for dogs and people. The dogs chase tennis balls and each other while the people eat pizza and share their lives.
All of you are invited to come Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and see what it is all about. If you bring dog treats to share, be sure to bring enough for everyone. See you at the dog park!
As I was reading the newspaper one recent morning, I came across the “How your lawmakers voted” table (July 25). Imagine my surprise (not) to see that our “conservative, compassionate” congressman Kevin McCarthy voted no to extending benefits for the long-term jobless.
As Congressman Alan Grayson said on the floor of the House of Representatives, “May God have mercy on their souls.” Perhaps this November, we can make McCarthy one of the unemployed.
Because all the oil drilled in our oceans is free to go to the international market and be sold to the highest bidder (quite possibly communist China), how does drilling for oil make us oil independent?
Why do so many of my fellow seniors, who benefit from the national health care plan, Medicare, insist on denying that same health care plan to younger generations?
Why do the same people who back the trillion-dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan call for tax cuts? Do they think it is more fiscally responsible to become indebted to communist China rather than making the small sacrifice of paying for the wars through taxes?
Why is it all right for gays to risk their lives in defense of our country, but only if they don’t acknowledge they are gay?
Finally, is Rush Limbaugh opposed to same-sex marriages because he thinks they somehow impugn the sanctity of the marriage vows he made to each of his four wives?
San Luis Obispo