Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 12/12

Revisit Smart case

I am writing this letter to the new sheriff of San Luis Obispo in support of the Smart family, asking that his office prioritize and thoroughly revisit Kristin Smart’s case. 

This has gone on long enough. Fourteen years is a long time to not know what happened to their firstborn child.

And since, in my opinion, the original investigation was seriously botched, I feel it is at least owed to the Smarts to revisit what happened to their daughter in May 1996.

Kristin Jackson

New Braunfels, Texas

No more houses

Once again, Supervisor Bruce Gibson, along with his smart-growth, anti-property rights cronies (especially my supervisor, Jim Patterson), have attempted to cram down the throats of the citizens of Templeton a high-density housing tract that the citizens of Templeton don’t want.

If we wanted to live like rats in a maze, we would move to Los Angeles. This is a perfect example of “we don’t care what the people want, we know what’s best for them.”

Richard Placak


County building codes

There were two front-page stories in The Tribune recently that talked about high-density, multi-family homes (“Setback for Templeton housing plan” and “A.G. is Food 4 Less-less for now,” Dec. 9).

Both plans were ridiculous by the absurd number of proposed homes per acre. The article about a Templeton housing proposal said county rules would allow up to 26 units per acre, or about 1,700 square feet per unit if they were one unit per lot (including house, garage, driveway and a square foot or two of lawn). This is absurd, especially for a high-end community such as Templeton.

The other proposal was for Arroyo Grande near Grover Beach with 36 units proposed on 1.63 acres, which is about 2,000 square feet per unit — also absurd.

They would have to be three-story condos, not single-family homes, to fit that densely. Lower income people should rent or buy older homes and not be squashed into tiny three-story new condos in higher priced cities. What is wrong with the San Luis Obispo County building codes?

Wendell Shultz

Arroyo Grande

Do you feel safe?

In a recent Viewpoint, Loren Sharp wrote about the safety of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, but not a word about the radioactive nuclear waste stored in casks above the ground right around the plant that is next to two earthquake faults (“Diablo is on top of seismic issues,” Dec. 5).

He also said that the safety of San Luis Obispo families and neighbors is the No. 1 priority of the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and the operators of Diablo Canyon.

It is really very difficult for me to feel safe living eight miles from a nuclear plant sitting on an earthquake fault and casks filled with radioactive waste sitting above the ground as possible targets for terrorists. Do you feel safe with this in our neighborhood?

Lynne Levine

San Luis Obispo

Inventive and telling

I recently saw a bumper sticker that I thought was both inventive and telling: “Annoy a Liberal.”

Inventive because of the gentle fun it pokes at liberals while pretending to address conservatives.

Telling because, aside from their overriding goal of furthering the interests of the wealthy, Republican legislators and conservative media appear to have little agenda beyond annoyance.

Credit where credit is due: Catering to the rich and irritating liberals are undertakings they perform with distinction.

Richard Strasburg

Morro Bay

Parental involvement

The current trend in education reform seems to be heavily focused on teacher evaluations. I found the New York Times article by Sam Dillon about Bill Gates being behind the plan to overhaul teacher ratings an interesting read (Dec. 4).

But like so many studies on this subject, one very important element keeps getting left out: the parent. While I personally don’t like evaluation by committee, if that is to be the future for teachers then they deserve a well-balanced committee.

Every child is unique and has varying issues that may impact his or her ability to learn. Parents working with their child’s teacher create a strong foundation for success. Regardless of the outcome, however, a parent knows the effort a teacher has put in with their child.

It would be a shame not to include parent observations and comments in any teacher evaluation. The same applies when evaluating a school or school district. The success of a school greatly increases when parents are involved. Study after study has shown the most successful schools have parents engaged in their system.

As education reform begins anew, be sure to speak up for parent involvement. Parenting does not stop at the kindergarten door.

Barbara Harris

Paso Robles

Channeling Churchill

President Barack Obama has become adept at channeling Neville “Peace for Our Time” Chamberlain when dealing with Republicans. Hopefully, a Democrat equally adept at channeling Winston Churchill will show up before November 2012.

Bill Schwennicke