All about the money
The Air Pollution Control District meeting Wednesday was an interesting study in obfuscation. Many Nipomo Mesa residents spoke regarding health problems they believe result from particulate matter blowing off the Dunes. A settled fact is that the particulates originate from the off-highway vehicle area at the Dunes, causing federal air quality violations about every 5 days. We’ve had 47 to date this year.
State OHV Division Director Phil Jenkins spoke about how his agency was willing to fund a required technical expert on health impacts, but he doubted that could be done within six months.
Although a pre-eminent authority from UC Davis, Thomas Cahill, could be hired quickly, Jenkins made no assurances that Cahill would be the choice.
Saddest of all were Jenkins’ statements that he wasn’t convinced the particulates were caused in any way by thousands of OHVs churning up sand, destroying vegetation and surface crust of the Dunes. I find it disturbing that a uniformed law enforcement officer would so transparently toss aside public safety responsibilities to protect the OHV community.
The APCD and Board of Supervisors were not necessarily “rolled,” but need to be reminded that State Parks has a vested interest in keeping the Dunes open to the OHV community. It’s all about money.
Next to a recent article about crime in state parks (“Crime on the rise,” July 25), there was a box titled, “Volunteers help keep the peace.” I think it should have been titled, “Overwhelmed state parks give up enforcement role.”
A volunteer states he is the “get-out-of jail-free card” before the ranger arrives? What would the statistics be if Oceano Dunes Superintendent Andy Zilke actually enforced the laws instead of letting off-highway vehicle enthusiasts warn other off-highway vehicle enthusiasts about their violations before the rangers get there?
How about we have volunteers dress up as CHP officers, warning DUI suspects and speeders that they might get a ticket? Is that acceptable?
I know the state is under financial duress, but can’t the Parks Department recruit reserve officers from the general public like regular police departments do? I’m sure there are many people who would love to be in the khaki vests as “park officials.” Just a thought.
The second page of your newspaper states that “The Tribune is committed to quality journalism ...” Wouldn’t you agree that quality journalism calls for facts to be in front-page articles and opinions on the Opinion page?
How, then, can the following paragraph be included in Bob Cuddy’s front-page article (“State Senate hopefuls debate minus Blakeslee,” July 27)?
“Laird came across as a witty, dedicated career legislator with a strong work ethic and experience both broad and deep, who understands complex problems and has thought long and hard about how to approach them.”
Tom Young Avila Beach
Quota International of Morro Bay would like to thank Morro Bay McDonald’s for providing more than 100 lunches for the children and counselors from Camp Hapitok at their recent “A Day at the Bay,” provided by Quota International of Morro Bay.
Children enjoyed visiting the aquarium, Natural History Museum, building sandcastles and flying kites on the beach. They especially enjoyed their lunches, including pies and toys.
Morro Bay Quota and Hapitok campers thank McDonald’s for their generosity.
Publicity chair, Quota International of Morro Bay
Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee responded to the San Luis Obispo League of Women Voters invitation for a debate by saying that Mondays are not possible because of Budget Advisory Committee meetings.
The League asked about Monday, July 19. Blakeslee responded, “No, there is a Budget Advisory meeting. They are scheduled for every Monday.” To me, when the League scheduled the debate for Monday, July 26, the League was saying, “We don’t care about your commitment to the California budget. We are more important than the California budget.”
I am offended that citizens expect Blakeslee to not honor his commitment to voters by being at a debate instead of doing state business. If he was at the debate instead of the budget meeting, someone would complain about that, too. Blakeslee’s priorities are where they should be.
Mary Lea Harris
Doing his job
How rude of Sam Blakeslee to stay in Sacramento and do the job he was elected to do rather than take the day off for a debate! The irresponsibility of a politician actually doing his job.
Especially in the middle of a budget crisis. The nerve.
No wonder the media is verbally flogging him. If he were elected to the Senate, could we actually expect him to do that job, too? Unheard of!
San Luis Obispo