Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 10/28

Economy & demand

The latest Republican talking point is parroted by Tom Watson in a Tribune article on Oct 25 (“Watson may be tough competition for Lois Capps”). He and his ilk like to blame the current administration for handcuffing businesses because economic uncertainties inhibit job creation.

Do they not understand that the capitalist system we currently operate under is inherently economically uncertain, more so than any other system other than laissez-faire?

A good example would be Cuba, a country with draconian economic control. I doubt if the average Cuban street vendor even noticed this latest global recession. He still got his weekly bag of flour and health care. Now that’s economic certainty.

I’ve been an employer. I’ve hired people based on my need to produce more due to demand. Minimum wage, taxes and insurance were all trumped by demand, not on how I perceive what the current administration is doing.

The “economic uncertainty” buzz is only about making this administration look bad. It sounds good and has traction with the low-information voter.

Joe Hugh


A pig in a poke

Cambria has a limited fresh water supply, so we will just suck some out of the infinite source, the ocean. Just have to squeeze the salt out of some of it and put the rest back in the ocean, desalination. Make sea water into fresh. The dream of the ancient mariner.

Where has this worked before? We have lots of sunshine in the Carrizo Plain for solar power. Have any of those plans actually been put in place yet? Well, no, but we are special (smart enough to live in Cambria?) so we should be able to do that. Has any other small community been successful in building and operating a desalination plant? Well, no, but ...

Since medieval times, we have all been warned about buying a pig in a poke, when sneaky salesmen would sell a cat in the bag instead of tomorrow’s diner. Isn’t that what the desalination salesmen are offering today? How much will it cost to build and operate? Can’t say, it hasn’t been planned yet.

A pig in a poke is still an unknown, even with the lipstick of solving all of our problems, while ignoring the fact that pig farms often have negative environmental impacts.

Jim Brownell


Noise vs. substance

In this political season, there has been more noise and less substance than in any prior election I can remember. Don’t tell me what is wrong with the other person, just tell me about your record and what you will do for me.

This guide will help you focus on what might be important to you and help you decide for whom you should vote. If most of the questions are answered “yes,” vote for the incumbent. If most are answered “no,” vote for the challenger.

 Do you believe the incumbent is running on his/her own voting record?

Do you believe the incumbent’s voting record is fixing America’s economic problems?

Do you believe the incumbent has worked to “drain the swamp” of political corruption?

Do you believe the incumbent represents and mostly votes for your interests and values?

Do you believe that you are better off economically now than you were two years ago?

Do you believe the past two years of spending and new laws have made things better for you?

Your answers to these questions provides you with insight as to whether the incumbent should stay in the office or be replaced by a new person, regardless of party affiliation.

Gerald Goldstein

San Luis Obispo

Campaign bullying

On the TV news, I saw clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decrying bullying in the schools. Then came back-to-back ads of Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown debasing one another.

These ads are on the major networks when our children are watching TV. The kids are also absorbing their parents’ reaction to the ads — silence or repeating the statements.

Bullying is intended, repeated, aggressive, ongoing behavior to overpower, destroy or manipulate someone else. Standard campaign tactics include intentional, repetitious, aggressive rhetoric to overtake, destroy and manipulate voters to get power.

Campaigns should be job interviews where candidates suit up, tell us what they can do within the limitations of the office, recount their experiences, abilities, talents and awards, share their vision and plans to improve our way of life, answer questions truthfully and intelligently as they pertain to the office they seek, tell us how they are preparing to hit the ground running if elected and assure us that our world will be safe no matter who wins because they will work tirelessly to improve California, win or lose.

Why are we surprised when children bully others? Isn’t this how successful candidates grab power?

Pamela A. Mahony

Grover Beach

Strength in balance

One of our city’s greatest strengths is the balance of viewpoints on the Arroyo Grande City Council. Each of us comes with different expertise, reflecting sometimes divergent points of view, but always with a passion to work together to solve problems. We must preserve this balance by electing Tim Brown and Joe Costello. Councilman Costello’s record goes without saying. After 12 years in leadership, his experience is proven.

I served on the Planning Commission with Commissioner Brown, both of us at different times being chair. While it’s no secret that Brown and I sometimes fall on different sides of the political fence, I’ve always known him to be passionate about the city and extremely well prepared and informed. His decisions always come after careful study and consideration.

It may seem counter-intuitive for me to endorse a candidate whose priority list may differ from mine, but it is most important to think about what is best for the city overall.

Balance is key, and just as my appointment to City Council preserved that balance, so too should this election. Therefore, I strongly echo the recommendation of The Tribune for Costello and Brown for Arroyo Grande City Council.

Caren Ray

Arroyo Grande

Double standard

I remember when Bob Dole ran for president against Bill Clinton. He was 73, I believe, at the time. Then more recently when John McCain ran for president, he was 72, as I recall. In both of those instances, people were all tied up in knots because they thought these men were “too old.”

Now former California Governor Jerry Brown, who is 72, is running again for governor of California. Funny, I haven’t heard one person complain that Brown is too old — double standard yet again!

Barbara Klein

Arroyo Grande

Three picks

I have known Tom O’Malley, candidate for Atascadero City Council, for 25 years. O’Malley’s hard work and dedication to this community is well established. O’Malley has a positive, productive and proactive approach to local government that is a valuable asset.

During my research of the candidates, I have recently come to know Brian Sturtevant. He is a bright, hardworking young family man who also works hard for Atascadero. Sturtevant has served the city well as a member of the Planning Commission and he will bring energy and a beneficial perspective to the City Council.

Joe Modica has been doing a great job as our city treasurer for the last eight years and he is running for re-election. For 15 years, I have known Modica to be steadfast and knowledgeable. As an Enrolled Agent, Certified Financial Planner and a Registered Investment Advisor, Modica is more than qualified to continue as our treasurer.

I strongly recommend O’Malley and Sturtevant for Atascadero City Council and Modica for Atascadero City Treasurer.

Madalyn McDaniel


Vote for experience

In this time of municipal budget shortfalls and significant financial crisis at the state and national levels, it becomes increasingly important to have qualified and experienced representatives on our local city councils.

As a Port San Luis Harbor Commissioner and president of the History Center of San Luis Obispo County, I have had the privilege of coming in contact and working with some incredibly competent and conscientious individuals.

Dan Carpenter is such a person. Over the past two years, I have had the privilege of working with Carpenter as the finance director of the History Center. In an extremely difficult time for California public benefit organizations, Carpenter’s insights, abilities and “no nonsense” approach has helped the organization continue to sustain itself.

By voting Carpenter to their City Council, the citizens of San Luis Obispo will ensure they have experienced, competent and committed representation.

Brian Craig Kreowski

Port San Luis Harbor commissioner

Water alternatives

Water alternatives are at the forefront of the Cambria Community Services District board election.

The Cambria Community Services District is forging ahead with a desalination plant approach for our water needs. Various issues make desalination a poor choice for Cambria, such as increased operating costs and expensive technical personnel. In a community of 6,000 people, higher costs will have to be passed onto Cambrians. And the environmental costs of desalination to our community, coast line and near-shore waters with their unique flora and fauna could have irreversible adverse effects.

Viable, lower-cost alternatives other than desalination should be considered instead. Gray-water systems, more storage tanks and side-stream reservoirs would be a more efficient use of our existing water with less cost than desalination. Addressing the issue with a scalpel instead of a meat cleaver will do the least harm.

It is notable that no Cambrian organization offered a public forum where citizens could hear the candidates’ positions and see them in debate.

Board candidates Valerie Bentz and Harry Farmer believe that alternative methods other than desalination can address our water needs while still maintaining the beauty and quality of life that we are fortunate to have in Cambria. I urge all Cambrians to support them.

Bob Fountain


Withdraw support

In view of recent disclosures by The Tribune concerning Ian Parkinson’s alleged courtroom indiscretions (“Parkinson help in civil trial questioned,” Oct. 20), I urge you to withdraw your endorsement of this candidate and preserve the newspaper’s credibility.

Please join me in voting for Joe Cortez for sheriff on Nov. 2.

Pete Giambalvo

Arroyo Grande

Leadership proven

As long-tenured chiefs of police in the cities of San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande and Paso Robles, we have had the opportunity to work with both Ian Parkinson and Joe Cortez.

It is Parkinson who has demonstrated his leadership strengths in every aspect of our profession. He has shown the ability to build consensus, manage large programs and work collaboratively with other governmental agencies and community groups.

Parkinson’s integrity, work ethic and no nonsense style of management have built a wide and strong base of respect and support as is evidenced by his endorsements from law enforcement groups, elected officials and community leaders.

Each of us has seen and experienced the lack of trust and confidence that has divided the Sheriff’s Department. Parkinson’s 20-plus years working directly with members of the Sheriff’s Department uniquely positions him to restore trust in the leadership of the department, both internally and externally. Parkinson’s support from members of the Sheriff’s Department has been earned through years of contact and collaboration.

As former law-enforcement executives, we know that it is demonstrated leadership abilities that are most important in selecting our next sheriff. We strongly urge you to vote for Ian Parkinson.

Jim Gardiner, Rick TerBorch and Dennis Cassidy

A person we need

It is with great pleasure and confidence that I endorse Colleen Martin to be re-elected to the Lucia Mar Unified school board. Martin is a talented, organized and skilled professional whose greatest desire is to serve others.

She is a proven leader who has worked tirelessly to improve the schools in the district and the lives of the children who she represents. She is always well prepared and knowledgeable of the issues that come before the board and is willing to make tough yet fair decisions for the good of all.

She comes to the table with innovative ideas such as Saturday school to make up for lost funding, and was instrumental in getting defibrillators in our schools.

Martin is well-respected in the community and is known for her dedication and strong work ethic. Her dedication to children, determination to make educated decisions, devotion to all communities within the district and willingness to give more than 100 percent of her time and talents make her the kind of person we need on the school board.

Please join me and cast your vote for Colleen Martin on Nov. 2.

Mary Beedle

Arroyo Grande

Only three issues

There are only three issues in this election: The economy! The economy! The economy!

The reasons cited in the Tribune’s endorsement (Oct. 24) are exactly why Katcho Achadjian is the only reasonable choice for state Assembly.

You refer to Ms. Zacarias as a “moderate,” and then prove that she is a typical left-wing Democrat on the issues.

Off shore drilling: We would have thousands more high paying jobs right here on the Central Coast if we could develop our own resources.

AB 32 and Prop. 23: California again killing jobs on the basis of phony science.

Ms. Zacarias favors raising fees and eliminating the two- thirds majority rule for budgets so that it is even easier for the Democrats to spend our money.

There is a clear choice in the race for the Assembly seat and all other offices: We can keep going down the road of excess taxation and spending and irrational, excessive regulation and California fantasy, or we can get real and vote for common sense policies that will create an environment in which the private economy can again flourish in California by voting for Katcho.

Chris Arend

Paso Robles

No conflict

The Tribune recently endorsed incumbent Mayor Duane Picanco by stating that candidate Mike Gibson may appear to have a conflict of interest as CEO of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce (“A second term for Picanco.” Oct. 20).

Past and present mayors and City Council members all have resumes that include professions, passions and personal pursuits that contribute to their set of “interests.” Should an architect, real estate agent or garage door business owner recuse themselves from voting on any and all issues that involve commercial or residential development? He without a “conflict of interest” can cast the first stone.

The Tribune agreed that Gibson is an “extremely qualified candidate” and that he could “judge issues objectively.” This is the Gibson I know and served with as a past member of the chamber board. He has my vote on Nov. 2. No conflict of interest for me!

Patrick J. Sayne

Paso Robles