Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 10/21

Side effects

While the notion of spotlighting our county as a world-class destination (“Savor’s success was a group effort,” Oct. 14) is no doubt exciting to the tourism industry, I read a little deeper into that phrase, “world-class.”

I worry about the unintended consequences of marketing a place of natural beauty. Crowding and smog in Yosemite, traffic snarls in Napa — these are some of the consequences that our “outside” competitors now deal with.

Wooing the tourist dollar can be a slippery slope. What happens when the flood of tourists and resultant higher prices of real estate render home ownership even more unaffordable for the working folks who are here? Or when the ever fickle tourists move on to the next secret place? I would argue that marketing “a California that no one thinks exists anymore” is one way to ensure that it won’t endure.

In tandem with nourishing tourism, we should also be finding more ways to forge high-tech partnerships with our university and bring more sustainable, smart tech jobs to our county. That way, perhaps the full spectrum of our county’s residents — not just world-class tourists — can continue to savor our Central Coast.

Gretchen Clark

Los Osos

Not excused

I read the two letters praising the Copelands for all they have done for the city (Oct. 17). The letters were right, the Copelands have done a lot to improve downtown. But that does not mean they had the right to do what they did to Ernie Dalidio.

It saddens me to think of their illegal hidden actions against a project. Do they think they are the only ones allowed to develop anything here? It was a deliberate act to halt what they deemed would be competition and they used their power to influence all the downtown people, along with others, to spearhead this movement.

They owe everyone who voted for Measure J an apology and others compensation for their deeds.

Carolyn Garver

San Luis Obispo

Best for mayor

Betty Winholtz has proven that she is to be trusted, but her opponent for mayor of Morro Bay, Bill Yates, has not. Winholtz has consistently advocated over the last eight years for the people of our city, both residents and businesses alike.

The last time Yates ran for office, he was rejected by the voters because of his poor performance as a representative of the people who live and work here. Those who live here expect their local government to listen to their concerns and to provide services to them.

Yates was only interested in providing service to his favored special interests instead of to the general community and he showed no concern for the majority of our residents.

Yates’ way of ruling did not cause the city to flourish and has been the cause of much of its decline. I was a member of the City Council under Yates and I suffered directly from his unprincipled usurpation of power as mayor.

Winholtz works for our entire community and is the best choice to help our city move through these troubled times. She is not contentious, she listens to everyone, she is respectful of all our residents and is the best candidate for mayor.

Colby Crotzer

Morro Bay

Flawed thinking

The pro-Proposition 19 stance taken by Joseph McNamara in his Viewpoint (“Regulating marijuana is about public safety,” Oct. 10) is remarkable for its flawed thinking. 

McNamara regards alcohol and tobacco as fine examples of successful “public safety” regulation and argues the same regulation for marijuana. Since alcohol and tobacco are at the top of the “problem” drug list and their regulation does nothing to ensure health or safety, how can one conclude that marijuana will be any different? 

The statement that marijuana prohibition “has also made our drug problems much worse” is completely incorrect. The drug crisis is the alcohol crisis, which leads to the current out-of-control prescription drug crisis — all regulated.

To say, sarcastically, that “no one dies over a beer deal gone bad” is to be seriously out of tune with the daily tragedies played out for families over beer deals gone very badly in the form of accidents, brawls, domestic abuse, homicides and sexual predation. 

The number of  people who have been murdered by wandering into a marijuana grower’s hidden enclave is tiny in comparison to the number of people killed by alcohol and tobacco. 

As McNamara concludes, “that’s because we regulate alcohol.” He wants to “do the same with marijuana.” Heaven help us.

M. Power Giacoletti

San Simeon

Above reproach

In my 10 years serving as a trustee for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, I have had the good fortune to work with many excellent school board members, but none has been finer than Marilyn Rodger. I strongly endorse her in the upcoming election.

Throughout her tenure on the board, I have found Rodger to be ethical and above reproach. Her thoughtful debate and decision making have supported our students, staff, parents and community. Her only special interest is doing the right thing for our kids.

California schools have lost billions of dollars in state revenues and San Luis Coastal is not immune from these devastating cuts. We need experience, quality and courage in our school board members. We need Marilyn Rodger as a trustee for our district.

Chris Ungar

Los Osos

Replacement bond

Please consider the following when voting on Measure I:

This is a replacement bond measure, not a new one. The old bond ends at the end of this calendar year and is replaced by Measure I. Measure I will cost $38.50 per $100,000 less than the old bond.

All of these funds will be spent to improve school district facilities.

Before families move to a community, they do research about school quality and local support. Passage of Measure I will be evidence of both. Furthermore, these bond funds will help stimulate local and county economic development through expenditures associated with the construction process.

The Atascadero Unified School District is the second largest employer in the city with 620 employees to educate more than 4,800 students per day. Additionally, for the safety and education of students, the district manages a food service program, a bus transportation services program, and a building and grounds maintenance program for all 11 school campuses.

I encourage your support on Measure I. Atascadero Unified School District is a vital part of the infrastructure of Atascadero. This is a perfect example of your local tax dollars working to provide for the health of our community and our kids.

Robert Donaldson


New blood

Californians need to send new blood to Sacramento to help fix a broken Legislature. I believe the best choice for Assembly is Democrat Hilda Zacarias. Hilda obtained a degree from Cal Poly in Business Administration (major in accounting) and has experience in small business, having owned and operated her own tax and accounting firm. She has the expertise to help balance California’s budget and understands where waste is hidden.

As a member of Santa Maria’s City Council, Hilda helped pass four balanced, on-time budgets without sacrificing safety personnel.

Hilda unilaterally pledged to run an ethical campaign, without mudslinging and negativity. Her opponent, Katcho Achadjian, to his credit, followed suit and agreed to do likewise. But Hilda was determined to follow the moral high road, even if she had to do it alone. It is her kind of moral leadership we need in Sacramento.

I have had the honor of knowing Hilda for more than 20 years. I know she is a brilliant woman who works exceedingly hard and has the highest sense of integrity. Voters in the 33rd district cannot make a better choice than sending Hilda Zacarias to Sacramento.

Mary Beth Armstrong

Avila Beach

Crucial juncture

The Lucia Mar Unified School District is at an important point in setting long-term goals, meaning elected board members will be making critical decisions regarding the quality of education received by our students.

It is for this reason that I support the election of Colleen Martin for school board. I have worked with Martin for more than 10 years on various committees and school site councils and I know her to be intelligent, with sound decision-making skills as well as a passion for educating students.

She has shown leadership as board president and is always prepared for topics that come to the board. Please support Colleen Martin for Lucia Mar School Board.

Bill Hart

Arroyo Grande

No hidden agenda

Tim Brown is the most qualified candidate for the Arroyo Grande City Council. Brown has been a dedicated servant to the city in his post on the Planning Commission.

He is intelligent, independent, level-headed and fair-minded. He studies the issues thoroughly. He always asks how much a project will cost and considers carefully how to spend the city’s money.

He votes with no hidden agenda. His only thought is for the good of Arroyo Grande. He has lived in the Village for many years.

He would add a sound voice to the City Council. He would serve the city well.

Lynn Titus

Arroyo Grande

A vote for future

As a parent of two children at San Luis Obispo High School and an educator in California public schools for more than 20 years, I am voting “yes” on Proposition 25 on Nov. 2, 2010.

Proposition 25 reforms California’s broken budget process by requiring a majority vote on our state’s budget. This is the process that is followed in 47 other states. And if our legislators fail to pass an on-time budget, they don’t get paid. Furthermore, Proposition 25 preserves the two-thirds vote in our state legislature that is required to raise taxes.

Year after year, our state legislature has failed to pass an on-time budget and it is our schools and our children who are paying the price. This year, the budget was passed 100 days late, the latest in our state’s history.

School districts, community colleges and state universities simply cannot plan for their students unless our state passes an on-time budget. Please join me in voting “yes” on Proposition 25 on Nov. 2. A “yes” vote for Proposition 25 is a “yes” vote for students and our state’s future.

Andrea Devitt

San Luis Obispo

Outstanding candidate

Joe Cortez will be an outstanding sheriff for our county. He is smart, well-educated and highly experienced as a law enforcement leader and manager.

Capt. Ian Parkinson lacks the necessary education and department level leadership experience to lead a modern force.

Please join me in voting for Joe Cortez for sheriff.

Art Anthony

Pismo Beach

Transfer authority

Dan Biezad’s letter to the editor is right on point (“Break the logjam,” Sept. 29). And we voters have a great opportunity this election to keep herding the two main parties into that very necessary center and to begin to reduce the power of the “far left” and “far right” elements that have resulted in our stalemated legislature.

Proposition 20 removes elected representatives from the process of establishing congressional districts and transfers that authority to a recently-authorized 14-member redistricting commission, minimizing the gerrymandering that the parties in Sacramento have imposed on us for far too long. I mean, does anyone really think Arroyo Grande has more in common with Tehachapi than it does with Pismo Beach?

Conversely, voters need to be aware of the legislators’ own initiative, Proposition 27, that will put the power of redistricting back in the hands of the very people who gave us our current districts. It’s interesting to note that 26 incumbent Democratic legislators have supported and helped fund this proposition, from the Speaker of the House to our own Lois Capps.

As the artist Bob Dylan sang, “You don’t need a weatherman,” to know why this is so.

Jim Irving

Paso Robles

Keep our roads

We are being urged to vote “yes” on Measure H so that Prado Road won’t be built next to a field where children play youth soccer. That sounds right, doesn’t it? We shouldn’t allow polluting, traffic-ridden roads anywhere near where our young people exercise.

So if Measure H passes and Prado Road isn’t built, what are we going to put to a vote next time? Broad Street runs next to the other side of the soccer field — let’s shut it down.

San Luis Drive runs next to the San Luis Obispo High School fields — shouldn’t we tear that one up, too? Los Osos Valley Road passes mere feet from Laguna Middle School’s fields. Shouldn’t that one have to go, too?

Madonna Road runs right next to people fishing and playing disc golf at Laguna Lake Park — how about we get rid of that one while we’re at it? Come to think of it, kids walk and bike on every road in the city. I guess they’ll all have to go.

If you’re for tearing up the city’s road system, Measure H is for you. I think I’ll take my chances and allow the city to keep its roads. I’m voting “no” on Measure H.

Jon Goetz

San Luis Obispo

A vote for Cuesta

The Cuesta College Classified United Employees are proud to announce their endorsement of Charlotte Alexander for the Cuesta College Board of Trustees.

Alexander has demonstrated her ability to digest the issues facing Cuesta College in these trying times as well as a willingness to ask questions and seek input of the people who work at the college.

Alexander brings a wide breadth of educational experience (including master planning), as well as traversing other governmental and nonprofit entities.

This is a countywide election and Cuesta College Classified United Employees encourages voters throughout the county to support Alexander with their vote. A vote for Alexander is a vote of support for Cuesta College, your community college.

Karen Reyes

Cuesta College Classified United Employees vice president