Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/15

CHP help needed

I was in the recent traffic jam on Cuesta Grade. I left work about 4 p.m. and almost slammed into the back of someone before the bottom of the Grade because of the stalled traffic.

I do not believe it was entirely the fault of Caltrans at all. The CHP knew there was an equipment problem, had to know that at 4 p.m. it was completely jammed and did absolutely nothing about it. At that time, there were no warning signs outside of San Luis Obispo on Highway 101 going north.

Finally, at the bottom of the Grade, there was a sign saying that one lane was closed. That left everyone wondering which lanes the traffic should be in and which one was going to close . Only when you got to the top did they let you know that it was the left lane.

If you were in the middle lane, as I was, you were left to inch along a lot slower than everyone else. At the top of the Grade, there was one lonely CHP officer sitting in his car.

The traffic management for that mess was frightfully missing and could have been somewhat alleviated if the CHP had done their job.

Shari Bone

Santa Margarita

Way to go, California

In the last election, most of America had a tea party and elected conservative candidates to change the course of the economy and the march to the left.

California had a pot party instead and chose to continue the march to the left by electing the very people back to office who have caused the demise of this once-great state. They also voted down Proposition 23 in support of AB 32, the “clean air at any cost” bill.

Most everything you eat, wear, drive or consume comes to you in a diesel truck. Truckers and farmers will be given the choice of either replacing all of their equipment or leaving the state. What would you do?

The dollar is being allowed to devalue so the price of oil will go up, and soon fuel will exceed $4 per gallon. You young college people just received your reward for voting Democratic: a 15.5 percent rise in your college tuition. Way to go, California.

Bob Blair

Arroyo Grande

Cuts will cost later

A recent Tribune article said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have provided counties $133 million, money that funds mental health services for special education students (“SLO County fights state special education law,” Nov. 8). This puts the financial burden on our counties, so they have filed a lawsuit to suspend these needed services until funding is restored.

When will we learn that balancing our budgets on the backs of our most fragile people costs us more in the long run? Children with mental health issues and learning disabilities need early intervention and access to counseling and support. Our teachers, who are now handling more students because of budget cuts, have an ever-growing influx of special needs students and fewer people to help them.

When the County Board of Supervisors closed the Paso Robles mental health clinic, it sent 400 patients scrambling to find help in a county where no private psychiatrists are available for low income families. You may think this only affects those families directly involved, but in reality, it affects everyone when people with mental health problems can’t get help.

Remember this: Children who get help early can go on to live productive lives, and that is good for our county.

Pamela Barrett


Ocean View thanks

Ocean View Elementary School’s community support is amazing!

Thank you to our local businesses, families, teachers and students, who helped raise more than $26,000 to benefit our student programs!

Despite the rain, more than 50 volunteers, including Cal Poly engineering students, the Ocean View teaching staff and our fabulous PTA, put on a fun, family-focused event. These dedicated individuals hosted carnival games, food booths, a farmers market and a silent and live auction.

On behalf of the entire staff, I would like to thank our donors, parents and the community for joining us. In supporting our field trips, student learning and student recognition programs, you have enriched the lives of 587 children!

Thank you for participating in a fun, memorable event!

Cynthia Ravalin

Ocean View Elementary principal

Tax on all groceries

I’m just an average woman raising a 36-year-old disabled daughter. Have any of our government leaders ever considered taxing all purchases at the grocery store?

I can’t imagine the resources that would be generated for the state of California.

I read the newspaper every morning, and it just seems to me that when the general public needs food at the grocery store, they should be taxed on all purchases.

No loopholes.

Jackie Clifton

Paso Robles

Grateful for help

On Nov. 5, we were involved in a serious traffic accident on Highway 46 East. We are very grateful to a passer-by who immediately came to our aid. She provided much needed physical and emotional support. Thank you, Ms. Perez!

We are also grateful to personnel of the Paso Robles police, fire and animal control departments, as well as the staff at Twin Cities Community Hospital. Their competence, professionalism and compassion were very much appreciated.

Jim and Barbara Neuman


Points of view

In his letter, Joseph Codispoti says that we should understand al-Qaida fighter Omar Khadr’s killing of a United States soldier in Afghanistan from Khadr’s point of view (“Criminal or patriot?,” Nov. 5). Codispoti says that Khadr believes “his people, culture and religion” are being “attacked by a foreign invader.” This, Codispoti seems to say, makes him like a hero and a patriot.

In his letter, Tom Neuhaus praises Codispoti’s letter and thinks that it is unfair and hypocritical of us to have violated Afghan sovereignty (“Invasion of territory,” Nov. 8).

Taken together, these letters assert a bizarre double standard: Neuhaus holds Americans to an arbitrary absolute standard of conduct, but Codispoti judges our country’s enemies according to their own standards. How about understanding American actions from an American point of view?

Americans are fighting in Afghanistan because Afghanistan’s Taliban government overtly harbored training camps for fanatical, self-righteous terrorists who murdered more than 3,000 people in America. That we violated Afghan sovereignty strikes me as irrelevant.

The Taliban also oppressed Afghan women brutally as a matter of policy. Do Codispoti and Neuhaus think we should understand that from the Taliban point of view, too?

Walt Bethel

Arroyo Grande

Glub, glub, glub

The final results for governor are in, and the loser is California. Didn’t those of you who voted for Jerry Brown originally learn anything the first time around? If you voted to elect Gavin Newsom then you have added insult to injury. I did not vote for either of those two clowns, so all I can say as California sinks in the West is glub, glub, glub.

Lem Hair

Pismo Beach

An honest campaign

You are a class act, Hilda Zacarias. You ran your campaign for Assembly with honesty, integrity, civility and grace. I hope future candidates will follow your example. And I hope you will consider running for elected office again. You are a remarkable woman and an effective leader. You will always have my vote.

Jeanne Harris

San Luis Obispo

Stimulus still needed

In a recession, the belief of bankers, conservatives in general and, unfortunately, the vast majority of the public is that government needs to cut taxes and cut spending. It was true in 1929 and it is true today.

Back then, it took five years, the strategy of John Maynard Keynes and 25 percent unemployment to persuade the president and the more radical Congress to begin borrowing in order to create jobs and prime the pump of our economic engine.

Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has repeatedly argued in The Tribune that we should use this strategy. Zachary Karabell, author of the “The Curious Capitalist,” summarizes in “Time” magazine (Nov. 8) the argument of a Pulitzer prize-winning economist as the irrational policy of orthodox austerity and budget cutting that led to a decade of deflation and depression in the 1930s.

Worried about the debt? Karabell argues that “on a relative basis, the federal debt burden has hardly changed over the past 20 years ... the percentage of the federal budget spent servicing that debt has actually decreased. The days of government stimulus appear over at precisely the time we need it most.”

Ken Rice


Credibility in question

This “suspected” drunken driving case about a high-ranking CHP officer has far-reaching implications, the first being the image of what I feel is an elite group of law-enforcement officers having their credibility brought into question by the actions of one individual (“Trial for CHP officer delayed,” Nov. 5).

I am sure that evasion of responsibilities is not taught at the CHP academy. The case has now been brought into the limelight for more public scrutiny and so to the detriment of the CHP’s reputation.

Drunken-driving busts happen constantly, so Marty, take your lumps, go to class, take care of your personal problems like the rest of us try to do and get on with it.

Mike Finley