Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 10/29

Local doctor lost

Last Sunday, this community lost one of its signature pillars when Dr. George R. Ward died.

Dr. Ward was a kind and generous husband, father, friend and physician. Medicine was not only his vocation but his passion as well. He shared this passion generously. He was one of those professionals who took time to listen and was always ready with sage advice, a story or a joke.

We miss you George. This place will never be the same without you.

James M. Duenow

San Luis Obispo

Quick to forget

One of the latest polls, of The New York Times/CBS News variety, states that the Republican Party is seen as the party better able to reduce the federal budget (“Groups that voted for Obama switching to GOP,” Oct. 28).

One wonders how these folks can overlook, or ignore, the previous eight-year administration that was responsible for the largest budget deficit in the history of our nation. And the political cartoon of thisissue indicates the same thought.

Jeff Jeffries

Los Osos

Build and build more

In honor of Halloween, let’s call it the nightmare in Price Canyon. Like zombies rising from the dead to terrorize the surrounding countryside, the plans to build a brand new city in the middle of Price Canyon have been resurrected by the city of Pismo Beach and a group of developers.

Never mind that there’s no water for the project. Never mind that potential traffic impacts could back traffic up all the way into San Luis Obispo. Never mind that the project violates almost every planning guideline in the book. These guys just want to build and build and then build some more.

Ironically, in the guise of promoting more tourism, their plans destroy the two things that visitors enjoy most about our area — visiting and learning about agricultural land (wineries) and seeing and enjoying open space.

Like slaying a vampire, let’s drive a stake into the heart of these plans and get rid of them for good. Write or call the Local Agency Formation Commission at 788-2096 and tell them to vote unanimously against annexation of this land.

If you love San Luis Obispo County and Price Canyon the way they are, stand up and put an end to the nightmare of urban sprawl. Happy Halloween!

Gary Linquist

Morro Bay

See the Jack House

The Jack House is one of those city icons that everyone knows about but rarely takes the time to check out.

Last Sunday afternoon, I stopped by to go through the Jack Haunted House and I have to stay it was very well done. The tour was not only spooky, but quite informative. It was a great way to get in the Halloween spirit.

Do your family a favor and make some time to visit the Jack Haunted House on Halloween Day.

Janey McGuire

San Luis Obispo

What to believe in?

I would like to vote this November for people and initiatives that I can feel good about.

As voting day approaches, we find our candidates for sheriff have some baggage. Parkinson appears to have been a professional witness available to the highest bidder or to the closest relative. Cortez wanted to be a disabled retiree eligible for a tax-free pension. All of this is mind-boggling for a voter who wants to cast a ballot and feel good about choosing the best available.

And you, The Tribune, are promoting the State Parks Initiative. No doubt our parks need help. Help was cried 10 years ago, or less, for a billion-dollar save-our-parks initiative that was passed for the very same cry now resounding. Where did that billion-plus go?

It seems that in this day of revelation, of follow-the-money, you would have told us how that billion-plus was spent before asking for more.

As the saying goes, a billion here, a billion there, etc. Before you know it, you have a government that is close to bankruptcy.

So tell us, please, before I tear up by my ballot in disgust, is there one honest man or a deserving initiative that I can believe in?

Daniel Beck

San Luis Obispo

A logical choice

I, like many voters, was attempting to determine which of (what appeared to be) two qualified candidates to vote for as sheriff of this county. I then read your recent article concerning Joe Cortez’s workers’ compensation claim (“Sheriff hopefuls explain injury claims,” Oct. 9).

Cortez, while chief of the Pismo Beach Police Department, filed for permanent disability due to a cardiovascular injury caused by the stress and strain of his employment. He now wishes to come out of retirement and run for sheriff. I am at a loss to understand how he, who had difficulty handling the stress of running one of the smallest departments in the county, can now undertake running the largest department in the county.

If he is elected, I see a disability retirement due to stress in the near future funded by taxpayers to go with his current retirement. Capt. Ian Parkinson, however, seems to have managed handling the budgets and personnel of the San Luis Obispo Police Department with no such ill effect.

It therefore seems logical that he is more capable of the pressures of this position and I am voting for Parkinson for sheriff and wish Cortez good health in his retirement.

Terry O’Farrell


Something amiss

The Tribune has done a terrific job in following the various campaigns in the county, but I feel something has gone amiss. Recently, there have been some findings that make me question whether Ian Parkinson should continue to be endorsed by The Tribune.

I am very upset that Parkinson did not disclose on the record his relationship to a family member during a trial where he served as an expert witness. This leads me to believe that he is not as honest as he professes.

The Tribune has a responsibility to the citizens of San Luis Obispo County to endorse a candidate for sheriff with the integrity that we deserve. I believe Joe Cortez is that candidate.

I am confident that The Tribune will reverse its endorsement and choose Cortez because it’s the right thing to do.

Mary Schultz

Pismo Beach

Fox and henhouse

Jim Quesenberry’s résumé is very impressive. In fact, Quesenberry is a terrific teacher and person. However, as a candidate for trustee on the San Luis Coastal School Board, voters need more information about Quesenberry’s service as president and executive councilmember of the San Luis Coastal Teachers Association where, according to Quesenberry, he “demonstrated fiscal responsibility and negotiated contracts.”

In 2008, while funding to all schools was being cut and teachers laid off, the San Luis Coastal Teachers Association demanded a 17.5 percent raise followed the next year by a 5 percent raise.

As a 2008 candidate for the board, I was asked by the association interview panel if I would agree to large pay raises and a formula for salaries based on compensation levels at well off school districts. It is my opinion that the San Luis Coastal Teachers Association withheld their endorsement because I refused.

San Luis Coastal teachers are among some of the best compensated in the state with excellent working conditions.

I found the reasons for The Tribune’s endorsements of Marilyn Rodger and Kathryn Rogers very persuasive (“Re-elect school board incumbents,” Sept. 23). Please vote for Rodger and Rogers.

Let Quesenberry enjoy his well-earned retirement. Keep the fox out of the henhouse.

Walt Millar

Avila Beach

Better for all

President Obama and his administration are working to better the lives for all Americans, not just the top 1, 2 or 5 percent.

It has only been two years since the Bush administration and its deregulation policies completely tanked our economy. Let’s give the Obama administration more time to get our economy back on track.

We Americans want everything to happen overnight, but rebuilding an economy doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, good planning and great effort.

Please join me in supporting Democratic candidates on Nov. 2. Vote!

Elaine Genasci

San Luis Obispo

Door to door

It happened about 10 years ago. I was comfortably reading in my condo when I looked out the window. It was in the fall. It was cool and windy. Not a day to stroll in the park, I said to myself.

Presently, there was a knock on my front door.

I padded downstairs and opened the door. Before me stood a smiling woman, hunched over a bit to defend against the cold.

“Hi,” she said, “I’m Betty Winholtz. I’m running for City Council and I would like your vote.”

I was really impressed. This lady was braving the elements and campaigning door to door! Gee, I thought, none of the other candidates was doing this. I thought this Betty lady really wants to serve the community and she underscores her dedication to serve with this above-and-beyond effort. So I decided to vote for Betty Winholtz right then and there. Since then, I have not been disappointed.

Several weeks ago, Betty, who is running for mayor, knocked on my door again, asking for my vote. Oh, there’s that other candidate who owns the jewelry store on the Embarcadero. You can go in there and talk to him about issues in between customers.

Anyway, you know where I am placing my vote on Nov. 2. Go Betty!

Mike Messinger

Morro Bay

A clean campaign

We were just a little amused when we read Mary Beth Armstrong’s letter seeming to claim that Katcho Achadjian’s challenger had taken the initiative to campaign “without mudslinging and negativity” (“New blood,” Oct. 21).

We were there to see Achadjian run three clean and positive supervisorial campaigns, not to mention a bruising primary for this Assembly seat, during which he was widely esteemed for remaining above the fray.

Far from following anyone’s lead on this issue, Achadjian has abided by a campaign code of ethics in four elections that span more than 12 years.

In this current race, Achadjian never refers to his opponent or contrasts their views in any of his campaign materials, preferring to speak only about his own endorsements and experience.

By contrast, his opponent’s recent mailer offers to compare the candidate’s views on a ballot proposition. It identifies Achadjian not as a county supervisor nor as a coastal commissioner, but as a “gas station owner” who “supports the dirty energy Proposition 23.”

In addition to his other relevant experience, Achadjian has repeatedly proven his ability to walk the talk of clean campaigning and in doing so has earned our respect and our votes.

Gary and Tricia Hagerty

Arroyo Grande


We read with interest your editorial regarding the 4th District supervisor candidates (“Teixeira has experience to become a supervisor,” Oct. 17). We agree that there is not much ideological difference in the two candidates.

We live in Nipomo and have strong feelings about keeping our corner of the county from overgrowth. Mike Zimmerman is our preference for the following reasons:

Zimmerman is a smart, soft-spoken gentle giant. He is a man of integrity and experience. He has displayed social grace with strong participation in community activities such as a bioethics committee member for Arroyo Grande Hospital and the County Bar Association.

His family of eight children has led his life into such family-oriented groups as 4-H Club and the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association. His spiritual life is exemplified by his longtime leadership roles in his church. Technically, he is an estate attorney, helping families plan their legal futures and keep their present lives lawful.

Zimmerman’s nonconfrontational manner makes him a joy to know. How much better-rounded could a guy be? We support him for supervisor and we hope that you, too, will cast your valuable vote for Mike Zimmerman for supervisor in the 4th District.

Jack and Alana Hansen


Vote for a new voice

I know leadership qualities in a candidate. That is why I support Mike Gibson for mayor of Paso Robles. I was the past chairman of Frank Mecham’s campaign committee for supervisor. I have served on committees with Gibson and recognize those same qualities that make a consensus builder and leader.

We have the opportunity to vote into office an experienced advocate for business, community and education. My vote is for new energy and a new voice with Mike Gibson.

Greig Welch

Paso Robles

Studied the issue

The League of Women Voters is always neutral when it comes to endorsing candidates, but we do take action on issues that we have studied and for which we have developed a position.

Measure H is just such an issue.

The League’s position on local planning and land use policies and actions is consistent with the city of San Luis Obispo’s long-range General Plan — a plan that provides thoughtful input and analysis and careful consideration of the concerns as well as opportunities represented by the Prado Road extension.

The plan is especially respectful of human safety, quality-of-life, environmental and aesthetic interests related to this project.

Measure H would undermine all this.

That is why the League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County advocates a “no” vote on Measure H on Tuesday.

Emily Penfield

League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County president

Truthmobile trip

Maybe, on a sunny day, the “Truth Squad” can jump into the truthmobile and pick up the “No on H” folks. Then head north on Santa Rosa/Highway One.

While leisurely driving back to the San Luis Obispo city limits, soak up the view of San Luis Obispo’s skyline and the thick layer of smog. Maybe then the passengers of the truthmobile will truly understand that enough damage has been done.

San Luis Obispo does not need another road, anymore houses, cars or people. When I see this layer of smog I am disgusted, especially after growing up with the slogan, “San Luis Obispo, come up for air.” Unfortunately, the Los Angeles tourists brought their sprawl and smog with them — packed it in, but did not pack it out.

G.R. Flores

San Luis Obispo