Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/5

Simple pleasures

Just a brief note of thanks to the masterminds behind the idea of painting the downtown utility boxes. Thank you as well to the local artists who shared their talent on these unique canvases.

My sons and I enjoy discovering each new work of art and I feel lucky to live in a town with such sweet and simple pleasures. Bravo!

Denise Indvik

San Luis Obispo

Criminal or patriot?

Omar Khadr, a 15-year-old al-Qaida fighter, sees his people, culture and religion attacked by a foreign invader and does what he believes is right: he kills an American commando.

For that, he is called a war criminal, held at the Guantanamo concentration camp for eight years, and finally prosecuted and sentenced to an additional eight years in prison (a United States military jury wanted a sentence of 40 years behind bars).

Let me see if I understand correctly. If we were invaded by a foreign army and one of our armed-to-the-teeth gun-nut civilians killed one of the invading soldiers, would we consider that civilian a “war criminal,” as Khadr, or would he be hailed as a true American patriot?

Joseph Codispoti

Paso Robles

Getting us out

In his letter to the editor (“A gray cloud,” Nov. 4), Loren Birra complains that “life has not changed for the better for anyone except the Obamas in the past two years.”

I guess he doesn’t get it. On the same day his letter ran, the Business page headlines were: “Economy shows some improvement,” “U.S. auto sales put in their strongest performance of the year” and “Unemployment fell in more than 85 percent of the nation’s largest metro areas.”

He forgets that President George Bush got us into this mess and President Barack Obama is getting us out. President Obama’s policies have averted another Great Depression.

Don Bearden

Los Osos

Literature, vulgarity

We’ve been following the local controversy over whether school books with vulgarity, detailed sodomy and sexually explicit language should be assigned to our children. Paso Robles teacher, Geoffrey Land, described one San Luis Coastal book as “ one person’s literature is at times another’s vulgarity” in his Viewpoint (“Don't censor ‘Kaffir Boy’ because it discomforts some,” Oct. 17).

So parents beware! You have to do your homework and research if you want to know the content of the literature that is required reading in the schools, especially if your students are taking honors or AP classes. If you don’t care what your kids read, then no worries. If you do care, then you have the choice of opting your child out of reading an offensive book. The job is all ours.

As Land states, “ any parent can sympathize with the desire to uphold moral standards and protect our children from unnecessary vulgarity in required school readings.”

So parents, you need to take it upon yourselves to keep unnecessary vulgarity away from your children because the schools and your school board obviously won’t.

Henry Hafliger

Arroyo Grande

Thanks for votes

We deeply appreciate the support from our volunteers and the voters who studied the issues during our grassroots movement and voted “yes” on Measure H.

Several environmental issues have been brought to light by the campaign, including (but not limited to) clean air/no idle zones and the magnitude of the Unocal/Chevron 322-acre oil spill near the proposed Margarita development.

It is our hope that the voices of all who stood for the integrity of the Damon-Garcia Sports Fields and South Hills Open Space will be a guiding influence to City Council members. Health, safety and quality of life must be in the forefront of planning for the southern part of a city that has set national standards for protection of clean air.

The less expensive, alternate route for the proposed, developer-driven alignment of Prado Road deserves to be studied with transparency.

Proponents of the initiative are indebted to the continuing encouragement and input from citizens who care about keeping our children healthy and our city beautiful.

Mila Vujovich-LaBarre and Rosemary Wilvert

San Luis Obispo

Shameful attack

Regardless of the outcome of the San Luis Coastal School Board election, I would like to compliment Jim Quesenberry for his positive campaign. In contrast, Walt Millar’s recent negative letter to the editor was a misleading, patronizing and shameful attack on Quesenberry (“Fox and henhouse,” Oct. 20).

Quesenberry has been a dedicated teacher for more than 35 years, has had two daughters attend and graduate from schools in our district and has been an active past president of the teachers’ association. What better qualifications for the school board did Millar want? 

Quesenberry is extremely experienced and familiar with the needs of the constituents in our district. His full familiarity with students’, parents’ and teachers’ concerns is a strength, not a weakness.

There was no conflict of interest here. He is no longer a teacher, he’s retired. The idea that he is a “fox in the henhouse” is untrue and is defamation of character, no matter how much Millar tried to sugarcoat it with statements praising Quesenberry’s excellence in teaching.  

Mike Tomac Morro Bay

A nice campaign

Thank you, Atascadero, for the support you showed for all of our candidates in this election. This was the nicest campaign I have participated in. Our community demonstrated that the great majority of folks, representing a wide diversity of opinions, can discuss our important issues and concerns openly and politely. I am especially honored to have been selected to serve a third City Council term in my hometown.

We are a great community with a remarkable history and great potential. Our city staff and City Council will work hard to maintain our momentum and accomplish even more as we approach our centennial in 2013. I will write more as we prepare for the coming year.

Again, thank you all for supporting the candidates of your choice and being part of the process of making our community one of the best places to live.

Tom O’Malley


A quick end to war

Here is a way to end the war in Afghanistan really quickly: Scrap the volunteer army and re-institute the draft. Trust me, we’d be out of there in a New York minute.

Francis X. Dennen

San Luis Obispo