Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 12/06

Tobacco-tax revenue

I have read in your newspaper and other media outlets that thousands of people die annually from use of tobacco products and second-hand smoke (“600,000 estimated killed by second-hand smoke,” Nov. 26).

In our Constitution, Article I, Section 8, it states: “The Congress shall have the power to ... provide for the general welfare of the United States.”

Isn’t allowing the growing, selling and use of tobacco products in the United States against our general welfare?

I haven’t read in any media outlet the amount of tax money federal, state, county and city governments take in from the sale of tobacco products. Is that why the elected in our country will not take any action about the danger of tobacco?

I would like to read how much money our various government units take in from tobacco taxes!

Which is more beneficial to the welfare of the people in the United States, tobacco or the taxes on it?

Myron May

Arroyo Grande

SLO council seat

It has come to my attention that because City Council member Jan Marx has been elected mayor of San Luis Obispo, her former City Council seat is now open and will likely be filled by appointment of the existing City Council members.

According to Section 406 of the city charter, a special election to fill the seat would have to occur if the City Council fails to appoint within 30 days of the vacancy.

The problem for democracy here is that the practice of appointment to a body by that body is inherently incestuous. The obvious and fair course of action for the City Council is to appoint the candidate with the next highest votes in the last election.

Then the problem with the city charter that permits a City Council seat to become vacant in the middle of the term and filled by appointment of the City Council needs to be addressed with a referendum or initiative to change the charter. The city of Morro Bay did it. So should San Luis Obispo.

Marty U’Ren

San Luis Obispo

Robbery in 3-D

Let’s be honest: 3-D isn’t something new! It was OK when I was a kid, way back when, and it really hasn’t gotten that much better. It is more expensive, and I have heard all about the people who get headaches wearing those glasses. Yes, I am one of them.

I think a movie should offer the option of seeing it in 3-D or not. However, the “movie machine” has decided for us, and everything is 3-D. Am I the only one who thinks this way, or are you too busy picking up your glasses from your popcorn to see who just picked your wallet?

I mentioned this to one owner of a local movie theater, and he said that he too has mentioned this to the studios, who seem to be drowning in all the money we keep throwing at them.

I went to the see a movie with my grandkids and wife and spent around $70 on popcorn, drinks, candy and the cost of tickets plus the cost of 3-D glasses. The only thing that was cheap was the parking. Oh yeah, this was the matinee price.

When a distraction becomes that expensive it should be called robbery. Voluntary, of course.

George Edwards

Paso Robles

Endorsing Andreen

I advise the San Luis Obispo City Council to seriously consider all candidates when filling their open seat. Patty Andreen would make an ideal City Councilwoman because of her experience and personal characteristics.

We served together on the San Luis Coastal Unified School District’s Board of Education, where she was an intelligent and thoughtful consensus builder. These skills were critical in our ability to cut 10 percent from our $60 million budget and would be important in the city’s struggle to close a $2 million budget shortfall.

Andreen was instrumental in developing an excellent relationship with the four school district bargaining groups. An ability to have fruitful labor negotiations will be essential in resolving the city’s difficulties. She also skillfully communicated to the public the hard choices made by our board.

Andreen is well known to voters in the city of San Luis Obispo, having been elected to the school board in 2000 and nearly elected as a county supervisor in 2004. Difficult choices need to be made, and Andreen has the analytical, cooperative and communicative skills, combined with the experience, to deal with the serious situation facing the city of San Luis Obispo.

Glenn F. Oelker

San Luis Obispo

Good choice for tower

In response to the recent article titled, “Plans move forward for treelike phone tower in Los Osos” (Dec. 1), I would like to say that the San Luis Obispo County planners and the Los Osos Community Advisory Council did the right thing by approving the “monopine” cell phone tower.

Our company, Deadlines Engineering Inc., has designed hundreds of these types of monopole towers in the last 15 years, and when properly designed and installed, they are almost impossible to spot.

On my daily drive home from my office in Morro Bay, I would pass one of these towers and never noticed it until someone pointed it out to me. It’s on southbound Highway 1 at the Los Osos/Baywood Park exit, near the Rock Harbor Christian Fellowship church. If you don’t know where to look, you won’t see it.

Given the latest technology in making cell phone towers look like pine, fir and palm trees, I’ll bet the one planned for the Sea Pines Golf Resort will be just as hard for the general public to spot as the one near the Rock Harbor church. Plus we get a new “pine tree” that bugs can’t kill.

Aaron M. Reed

Morro Bay

Time to get out

I had an epiphany several days ago. Al-Qaida attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. We launched our invasion of Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) on Oct. 7, 2001, a mere three and a half weeks after planes flew into the World Trade Center.

What were our “leaders” thinking? You can’t plan a wedding in three and a half weeks! Invading Afghanis-tan was an enormously complex undertaking filled with the potential for unanticipated consequences, and we devised our plan in less than a month.

So here we are, in the 10th year of the war, hemorrhaging $190 million a day in support of this misguided adventure. Our occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has only intensified Muslim hatred toward the United States. For what? Osama bin Laden dragged his dialysis machine into Pakistan and hasn’t been seen since.

We are in the midst of a horrible recession. That $190 million a day would sure come in handy now, wouldn’t it? For example, we might be able to extend unemployment benefits to some really deserving people or help some of the 51 million who don’t have medical coverage. It’s time to get out.

Lee Van Leeuwen

San Luis Obispo

Pay to live here

There is absolutely no historical empirical evidence that tax breaks for the wealthy, or anybody else for that matter, creates jobs. In fact, research data suggest the opposite.

We live in a very special country. Let’s pay for the privilege. This is not to say that, just like corporations, there aren’t opportunities for cutting costs as well.

Tom Harrington

Morro Bay