Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 10/25

Consider Cortez

I am writing to thank you for publishing the article about Ian Parkinson being an expert witness in a case that benefited his family (“Parkinson help in civil trial questioned,” Oct. 20). I think it is important that we, citizens of San Luis Obispo County, be informed on all issues regarding anyone running for office.

I think Parkinson is a good person, has done a lot for the community and definitely may be a good candidate for sheriff in coming years. I do not think he is qualified at this time.

Our sheriff’s office seems to currently be going through a transitional period where we need someone with integrity, good leadership, education and experience that is beyond reproach.

I feel that Joe Cortez is the candidate who represents this leadership.

I am asking you, The Tribune, to reconsider your endorsement of Parkinson and to consider approving Cortez for sheriff at this time.

Jackie Fabbri

Pismo Beach

Ward has experience

I support Chuck Ward for Atascadero City Council. While most state there is little difference between the candidates, I’ve learned that Ward stands alone because of his business and corporate savvy.

You see, Ward is the only planning commissioner who voted against a second theater in the downtown. As a planning commissioner who supported it, I asked “why?”

His response wasn’t that he didn’t like it or that it wouldn’t survive, but rather that financial backers might think twice about backing future projects if the risk could be jeopardized by political whim and rhetoric. This made sense, and it was an analysis I had not considered or heard from others.

Ward is the only candidate who was selected by a majority of the present City Council to sit on the planning commission. He served our country as a Marine, practiced in the corporate world and was integral in the establishment of the Veteran’s Memorial and Purple Heart Trail along Highway 101.

It is clear that his savvy and experience separates him from the others. As stated previously in a letter to the editor by Jerry Clay, “Don’t let this gifted man who has so much to offer our city get away” (“Endorsing Ward,” Sept. 22).

Vote Chuck Ward for Atascadero City Council.

Dennis Schmidt


Vote ‘no’ on Prop. 23

As a 17-year-old high school student studying political science and environmental science, I am concerned about the current discussion surrounding Proposition 23. If passed Nov. 2, it would suspend California’s plans to implement air pollution control set forth by AB 32.

Proponents of the bill argue that a stop to AB 32 will save jobs and money for Californians. They neglect to acknowledge the value of nature, alternative resources and the need to cut pollution and waste. These environmental concerns resonate with many Californians and are endangered under the proposition.

Texas oil companies are said to have initiated Proposition 23, trying to protect private interests by preventing the reduction of oil use. The political scheming and campaigning reveal the widely held attitudes toward the environment today.

The question of conservation, especially in the case of this proposition, has boiled down to money and jobs. I look forward to the day when more people view the protection of the environment as an ethical responsibility as opposed to a financial question or an ignorant topic of complete disregard.

I hope to see Proposition 23 denied and California’s pollution regulation goals maintained. It is important to the state’s future and the nation’s hopeful re-evaluation of environmental stewardship and care for nature’s well-being.

Brett Buckingham


Elect Quesenberry

Jim Quesenberry is an excellent candidate for San Luis Coastal Unified School District board. He recently retired from Morro Bay High School. In his many years as an educator, Jim has been a strong advocate for student success. His career has included teaching English classes, educating English Language Learners and coaching various sports.

Jim’s positive involvement with the school and his community has been one full of energy and conviction. Jim would be the right choice for a new SLCUSD board member.

Liz Moore

Los Osos

Re-evaluation needed

When I attended a public planning session at the City/County Library a couple of years ago, it was more of an explanation of the way things were going to be rather than the public input/town hall event that had been advertised.

Much later, when I saw the petitions for (what has become) Measure H, I was encouraged to know that others had similar thoughts, questioning “putting a racetrack next to where the kids play.”

An alternative plan could join the intersection of Tank Farm and Broad to the proposed Prado/Highway 101 interchange.

The alignment would run diagonally across the questionably tainted tank farm property, leaving the northeast properties suitable for calmer traffic, compatible with residential development and sports field use, and the southwest area, which is more in the alignment of the airport flight path, could remain largely commercial and light industrial, as is its current usage.

Hopefully, public transportation and paths for nonmotorized travel can be developed to help break our historic, vehicle-centered planning.

Recently, I attended a debate on the issue at the Madonna Inn, and passions ran high on both sides of the issue. My conclusion: Measure H can help bring about a needed re-evaluation of current and future transportation development in the Margarita Area.

Ron Tilley

San Luis Obispo

Improved opportunity

The November ballot carries bond Measure I and I encourage all voters to support it. A 1990 tax override measure will expire June 2011, but we have the opportunity to extend it at almost a 40 percent reduction and give the school district $117 million.

The expiring measure is $97.50 per $100,000 of assessed value, but Measure I reduces the cost to $59 per $100,000. This bond assures that every classroom in the district will be up to 21st century standards.

An income stream could result from the school district moving the Atascadero Junior High School to a vacant district-owned property on San Benito Road. The school district could retain the current junior high property and lease it tax-free for commercial development.

The $117 million will also allow the district to apply for matching grant funds that are out of reach now. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students, teachers, parents and the community.

Many of my business associates and friends are supporting this bond measure to assure our children an improved opportunity for the future.

Need further information? Call John Rogers at 462-4200. My wife, Bonnie, and I are voting “yes.” We hope you’ll vote “yes” with us.

Bob Wilkins


Harsh reality

I cannot recall the last time I experienced 111-degree weather. The mere suggestion of this temperature is excruciating. Anyone who was in San Luis Obispo during the heat spell recently certainly knows what I’m talking about.

In the midst of increasingly unpredictable weather, global warming is becoming a harsh reality everywhere. Proposition 23 will roll back California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or AB 32, resulting in more pollution. AB 32 made significant emitters of greenhouse gases report their waste and take action accordingly.

Proposition 23 calls for the suspension of AB 32 until unemployment reaches 5.5 percent or lower for four consecutive quarters. However, this is virtually impossible. Thus, Proposition 23 is an extremely deceptive attempt to extinguish the green economy in California. It is not ironic, then, that the major contributors of Proposition 23 are large Texas oil companies.

The most powerful decision we can make is to go out proudly on election day and cast our ballots. Californians cannot stand for this gross injustice and must band together and vote “no” on Proposition 23. It is crucial for the health of the economy, the health of California’s citizens and the health of our environment.

Paige Isaacson

San Luis Obispo

Global view

I would like to add to The Tribune’s endorsement of Marilyn Rodger and Kathryn Rogers for re-election to the San Luis Coastal Unified School District Board of Education (“Re-elect school board incumbents,” Sept. 23).

On Oct. 11, The Tribune reprinted an editorial from The Sacramento Bee endorsing Tom Torlakson for state superintendent of public instruction (“Schools need an energetic visionary”). The Sacramento Bee cited the hope that he and fellow Democrats will “challenge their own party and union benefactors if they want to get California to the next stage of public school improvement.”

Having served as a school board member for seven years, I recognize the vital function of the teachers’ union in representing the interests of the teachers.

However, it is important for school board members to take a global view of issues. They must determine what is the best for the students and the community as a whole, certainly considering teacher interests. This is my concern about the candidacy of Jim Quesenberry, who has had a long involvement in the local teachers’ union.

During their tenure as school board members, Rodger and Rogers have demonstrated their ability to balance competing interests, keeping mindful of what is beneficial for students and our community.

Glenn Oelker

San Luis Obispo

A stable future

The board of directors of A Better Atascadero is proud to endorse incumbent Tom O’Malley and planning commissioner Brian Sturtevant for City Council. We are also endorsing incumbent Joe Modica for city treasurer.

O’Malley has done an excellent job in making Atascadero business friendly, helping move the Colony project forward and helping save the Walmart project. Sturtevant has proven to be a thoughtful member of the planning commission and appeals to a broad base of the electorate.

Modica, a certified financial planner, has managed the city’s money in safe and secure investments while overseeing those accounts with city staff. All three candidates have been effective and professional leaders working well with the community and staff in all phases of their areas of responsibilities.

A Better Atascadero also supports a “yes” vote on measures E (for an elected mayor) and G (for a four-year term for mayor) and recommends a “no” vote on Measure F for a two-year mayor term.

We are confident that an elected mayor serving a four-year term will bring greater stability and direction to the future of Atascadero and that O’Malley, Sturtevant and Modica will be part of that future.

Ron Walters


Capps the problem

It is time we retire Rep. Lois Capps. She has aligned herself, shoulder to shoulder, vote to vote, with Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama on everything from the failed stimulus plan to auto and bank bailouts and Obamacare. She is the problem with our unemployment (jobs) and huge deficit.

Tom Watson is everything right. A citizen politician, a business man and an honored Naval graduate of TOPGUN. He is not self-serving and not part of this broken government. Capps is the problem, not the solution. Elect Tom Watson.

Howard Weinberg

Shell Beach

Last call for election letters

To allow for corrections and rebuttals, Friday is the last day we will publish election letters to the editor. Please submit all election letters by the end of today for consideration.