Iraq, Katrina waste
Now that our troops are leaving Iraq, there is much in the news about the billions of dollars “wasted” in the efforts to build electric plants, prisons, hospitals, etc. Many of the projects went unfinished or have been built so badly that they cannot function as intended. The Iraqi people are not better off or any closer to democracy.
The fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina brought reports of billions of dollars “wasted” in trying to rebuild New Orleans. The poor progress made in that area is a national disgrace, and our tax dollars have again “vanished.”
Where has all this money gone? It could not simply dissolve into thin air. The truth is that the dollars, our tax dollars, were given to contractors favored by the Bush administration who had no interest in conscientiously fulfilling their obligations.
There was no oversight to be sure they were doing the jobs they were hired to do. The government was only interested in the image they presented. It was a real dog and pony show.
Why would we want to put any of these people back into positions of power, and why aren’t we prosecuting the ones who authorized these travesties?
‘Mater lovers gather
The voting table at the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener’s fourth annual Tomato Extravaganza was a flurry of activity, as everyone wanted their vote to count in the “people’s choice” category.
Each hour, participants voted on their favorite variety of tomato and favorite variety of basil (nine different basil varieties were represented). The heirloom tomato Cherokee Purple was the winner each hour, while Sweet Dani and Genovese basil tied at the 11 o’clock hour. The Thai basil swept the noon and 1 p.m. tastings.
Thanks go to our co-participants: California Rare Fruit Growers, Achievement House, artist Sandi Heller and the 4-H All Stars. Special thanks go to The Tribune and other medias for getting our event out to the community. As a result, more than 350 people joined us in our new “Garden of the Seven Sisters” demonstration garden.
Although we have only one tomato tasting a year, we do have monthly “advice to grow by” workshops every third Saturday in the demonstration garden, which is located near Johnson Avenue and Bishop Street. Come on out, listen to the speaker, then amble around the garden and dream of what new tomato variety you’ll be planting next year.
San Luis Obispo
It’s the dog days
I feel sorry for people who live in big cities and miss out on charming, small-town celebrations such as our flag dedication ceremony Aug. 21 at the Vineyard Dog Park in Templeton.
The Templeton American Legion Post 220 led the ceremony with an invocation; a reading of the timeless poem by Wilbur Nesbit, “Your Flag and My Flag”; and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. The Honor Guard raised the flag on our beautiful new flag pole, installed by our good friend Nick Pokrajac. A basset hound crooned in appreciation.
The Joyful Three sang “America the Beautiful” and an animated rendition of “That Doggie in the Window,” a song that reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1953 by Patti Page. A real crowd pleaser.
Recognition went to Luke Taylor, a Templeton High School senior, for his winning mural for the first annual Student Art Competition. County Parks Director Curtis Black commended park volunteers for more than 1,300 volunteer hours to the dog park.
We have two upcoming small-town celebrations: Dog Splash Days on Tuesday through Thursday in Templeton, and the 10th annual Atascadero Wiener Dog Races on Oct. 9. Don’t miss this slice of Americana in your own backyard.
Big thanks to all
I wish to extend a big thank you to those who helped to make the joint tournament of Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Exchange Club of San Luis Obispo a “hole in one” for youth mentoring.
We are most grateful to tournament coordinator Rick Cohen and the entire Exchange Club for their enthusiasm in supporting local vulnerable children through a fun-filled afternoon of golf.
My deepest gratitude goes to all of our tournament volunteers, donors, golfers and sponsors, including Founders Community Bank, Michelob Ultra, LSA Associates Inc., Golfland Warehouse, Coastal Computers, ESPN Radio, Rabobank, Charter Media and Slime.
With the help of their dedication, more than 300 children will experience the life-changing benefits of having an adult friend and positive role model.
Executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County
Here are three aspects of 9/11 that must be considered carefully.
The first is the number of Americans who have accepted the government’s position, a position that was firmly established with the help of a complacent media. The pictures of the Twin Towers being hit and coming down played day after day with the stated “fact” that this was all due to one man in a cave in Afghanistan.
The second deals with the fact that no question was ever asked as to how 19 attackers where able to escape detection or how they were able to fly huge commercial planes over territory unknown to them and then strike their targets. How did our military protective services fail to perform established procedures?
The third aspect has to do with the fact that a crime has occurred and the normal procedures usually followed in investigating a crime were not followed here.
Valuable evidence associated with the crime scene was carted away and that information that would have aided the public in better understanding what happened was distorted or eliminated from the record.
The conclusion that must be reached is that a new and honest investigation must be made.