Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/30

Toward the future

I was pleased to see the article in The Tribune indicating that more people believe the health care law was a step in the right direction (“Poll: A majority of Americans want to keep health care law,” Nov. 23).

There are many good attributes in this law, which helps provide better access to health care for many Americans. Unfortunately in today’s political climate, the Republicans, Democrats and other political parties are more interested in who has the greatest number of elected officials in the House of Representatives and Senate.

They continue to pit Americans against each other, rather than working toward a better and more productive solution. I would urge all elected officials to tone down the rhetoric and remember who they are supposed to work for: the American people. We want a prosperous nation working toward the future of our country.

Gary Felsman

Arroyo Grande

Origami for luck

For the past eight years, I have accompanied my partner and best friend, Kay, to the Coastal Integrative Cancer Center for her weekly treatment program. It has been a long, but successful haul thanks to the superlative care provided by the oncologists, nurses and support staff.

We cannot say enough about the professionalism, as well as the warmth and personal attention, shown to each patient by the entire crew.

This week, there was a small change in what had become an ongoing ritual of the weighing in, the pre-consultation, the hooking up and setting of dials and the greetings exchanged with other “regulars” in the large, but intimate treatment room.

It was in the form of a small brown bag, sitting on the counter of a visitor’s room. On the outside, lettered by the donor, were the words: “Made by a 10-year-old girl from Los Osos, origamis for good luck. Free.”

Inside was an entire flock of artfully folded, multicolored, beautiful tiny origami birds. Mine sits on my desktop, next to my computer, a daily reminder of all of the good things in life.

Nancy Aaron

Morro Bay

Beautiful northwest

I am on a road trip from Canada, traveling along the Oregon and California coasts. I have never had the opportunity to see this part of the states before and wasn’t sure what to expect. All I can say is that I am overwhelmed by how beautiful it is: redwood cathedrals, flaming sunsets, a sea lion rookery in the cliffs near Big Sur, even the lone lighthouse in the frothing waves near Highway 1.

I was particularly excited to walk on the sand dunes near Oceano Beach, but there is a road running along the beach, with vehicles passing every few minutes (probably more on weekends and sunny days). 

I just wanted to write and say that I think it is tragic that cars have become so important that roads are built in places like this. It is easy enough to park our cars in the parking lots and walk. Why ruin such stunning landscape with asphalt and traffic? I hope that the same fate doesn’t destroy the rest of the coast with it, too.

Larissa Diakiw

Montreal, Canada

Grateful for what?

Let me see if I understand Joe Whitaker’s letter to the editor stating that Iraq should be grateful to us for “democratizing” them (“Ungrateful Iraq,” Nov. 26).

We invade and occupy a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 on the false premise of weapons of mass destruction (see the movie “Fair Game” for a little update).

We kill and maim more than 100,000 innocent civilians and destroy their country. Meanwhile, our own country has slid into financial crisis due to many factors, including the trillions of dollars spent in Iraq.

So, what is it exactly the Iraqis should be grateful to us for?

Victoria Grostick

San Luis Obispo

The right solution

Jan Marx almost certainly took the decision of who would fill her former seat on the San Luis Obispo City Council away from the voters and gave it to the City Council when she failed to relinquish her seat before running for mayor. That may be legal, but it’s not right.

I only see two honorable ways to fill this opening. One way is to hold a special election, an expensive solution to Marx’s selfish choice. The other is to appoint the third place finisher, Dan Carpenter. That seems fair as Carpenter was edged out by less than 1 percent of the votes while finishing more than 10 percent ahead of the next candidate.

Given the expense of an election and Carpenter’s demonstrated support by thousands of voters, it’s clear the right solution is to appoint Carpenter to the open seat on the City Council.

We cannot allow San Luis Obispo to become a city of back-room deals and sleazy partisan politics. I encourage everyone to make their support for Carpenter known to Marx and members of the City Council. Let’s then pass a law that prohibits politicians from running for future public office without first vacating their current public offices.

Gordon Knudsen

San Luis Obispo

Appointees can serve

A recent letter suggested Jan Marx should have resigned from the San Luis Obispo City Council before running for mayor (“Choice usurped,” Nov. 17). The writer lamented that Marx’s election to mayor, midway through her term, allows the City Council to appoint someone to serve out her term.

The writer also implied that only a loser in the recent election should be appointed to the vacancy because they had the “integrity” to run. The charter does not limit applicants to those who have run. The City Council may appoint the most qualified person.

Past appointments have included Allen Settle, Ken Schwartz and Kathy Smith. Settle was appointed to the City Council when Keith Gurnee resigned and was elected numerous times thereafter, serving approximately 30 years in total.

Smith was appointed to the City Council after Settle was elected mayor. Voters recently returned her to the City Council. Former Mayor Schwartz was appointed when Smith resigned. These examples demonstrate that appointees can serve the city well.

Patty Andreen

San Luis Obispo

Remember in 2012

As the lame-duck session of Congress gets under way, we are hearing the emboldened Republicans and some Conservadems voice opposition to an extension of unemployment benefits.

I would like to remind these selfish narcissists that the unemployed had nothing to do with the latest economic meltdown. Indeed, if anything, those in Washington, D.C. (both Republican and some Democrats) had everything to do with the disappearance of a trillion dollars of wealth by voting for the relaxing of trade, lending, credit, banking, real estate, investment and speculation regulation.

The greatest theft in world history took place and not a single person has gone to jail. Not one banker or politician. And now these self-righteous debt hawks want you to believe the unemployed would rather stay home and watch TV while collecting their weekly $400-plus unemployment checks instead of a $1,000 a week paycheck. Remember how these elected officials vote in the next few months and send them home in two years. Remember in November 2012.

Joe Hugh


Don’t get along

Everywhere I turn, I hear pleas for political “compromise,” for “bipartisanship,” for “reaching across the aisle” or, the most inane, for “coming together.”

I see these utopian dreams as signs that too many Americans are willing to give up on their core principles so that we can all just “get along.”

Well I have no interest in getting along politically with those whose policies and practices I consider abhorrent, whose plans, if implemented, will seriously damage the security, freedom and economic self-determination that we (unfortunately) take for granted.

No, my idea of a solution to these political conflicts is to convincingly defeat those who would harm America, the lone “shining light on a hill” in a world filled with tin-horn dictators, bankrupt cradle-to-grave social democracies and inhumane theocracies that see terrorism as a religious duty.

Should my political opponents choose to give up their long-proven failed policy initiatives and join me in this cause, I welcome them. If not, then I intend to do all I can to drive them from the public square.

Robert Olson


Laws and corruption

Our 2,613 county fees, when added to the numerous city, state and federal fees, equals many thousands of disincentives to commerce.

As Tacitus wrote almost 2000 years ago, “The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state.”

Scott C. Boyd