Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/14

Use money for schools

Regarding the article about San Luis Obispo’s 50 top paid public employees:

Reading about the salaries paid to the city employees made me sick to my soul. Our public schools are struggling to keep teachers in the classroom and their pay is not that great. A police officer’s overtime alone can pay for one teacher’s full salary for a year.

Why are there so many fire captains, fire chiefs and highly paid police sergeants, lieutenants and officers? Come on people, don’t you think that our schools deserve better?

Our kids are taking the biggest blow for the selfishness of our police and fire departments. Think about it, all you need is a GED to become a police officer or a firefighter.

Peter Villalobos


Dunes doesn’t fit

The Sacramento Bee perspective in The Tribune on Oct. 7 about State Parks doesn’t mention the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area that causes the air in the Nipomo Mesa to be unfit to breathe (“What’s next for California’s struggling state parks system?”).

I voted against Proposition 21. Why do we have a off-highway vehicle division in our fine California State Parks Department? Why are vehicles promoted as a type of “recreation?” Vehicles have taken over our lives and we have become addicted to them.

The Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area doesn’t even have a regular park anymore. Rangers should be leading walking tours, not riding on the beach and directing traffic. We must kick our vehicle addiction, not promote it.

Bill Denneen


Poor need legal help

Judge Charles S. Crandall correctly said that lawyers who work for the public good without compensation should be congratulated (“Many lawyers work for the public good,” Oct. 30).

The heads of the California Rural Legal Assistance and the Senior Legal Services are paid positions.

What our local groups do is mainly fill out forms and advise poor lay people how to present their matter in court, many times against an attorney.

There have been several attempts made by and in the local bar (2007, 2008 and 2009) to promote “in court” representation of the poor, which have met minimal, if any, success.

There is a program sponsored by Loyola Law School, locally represented by Jacqueline Vitta Frederick, that is asking lawyers to give telephone legal advice to poor, elderly cancer-stricken people. This effort, again, has met with minimal, if any, success.

Perhaps Judge Crandall’s congratulations should include a request that our local lawyers give some free “in court” representation and advice to poor, elderly, ill people.

Allan J. Mayer

San Luis Obispo

CASA provides legal help

In the Viewpoint titled, “Many lawyers work for the public good”(Oct. 30), Charles S. Crandall, on behalf of the San Luis Obispo Superior Court, thanked the many lawyers in our county who provide pro bono legal services to those who would otherwise lack access to the system.

We are fortunate to live in a community where caring people are willing to share their time and expertise on behalf of others. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are trained community volunteers who donate thousands of hours annually to provide a voice in court for children from our county who have been abused or neglected.

These CASA volunteers provide the court with valuable information and recommendations based on personal knowledge of the child’s circumstances gained by hours spent with the child as well as by communicating with everyone involved in that child’s life including teachers, doctors, family members and social welfare professionals.

They also provide the child with friendship and support throughout the court process. On behalf of the CASA board of directors and CASA program, I would like to acknowledge the benefit to children, families, the court and the entire community provided by CASA volunteers.

Teresa Tardiff

Executive director, CASA for Children of San Luis Obispo County

Americans first

To set matters straight right off, I am an American and a registered Democrat and I am sick and tired of the polarization of our country between Republicans and Democrats.

I believe it first reared its head during the presidency of the second George Bush when Republicans controlled the House of Representatives, the Senate and the presidency.

Then the Democrats took over in 2009 and said, “It’s our turn now,” and fine-tuned the art of partisan politics. Now my congressman, Kevin McCarthy, vows more of the same: “McCarthy says he wants to be majority whip” (Nov. 4).

He flat out vowed he has little desire to work with Democrats. Well congressman, how do you expect to accomplish anything worthwhile with the slimmest of margins in the House and a Democratic Senate and president? More posturing and spewing of right-wing slogans? That should work well for the American people.

When will both parties recognize that most people are Americans first and either Democrat or Republicans second. Please start working together for what is best for the nation, not your party.

David Sumi

San Luis Obispo