Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 12/15

Have a say

County residents can now have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to get involved and have a say in where supervisorial district boundaries are drawn.

I agree with The Tribune’s editorial that an independent and impartial commission be formed consisting of perhaps two citizens residing in and representing each current district, plus a member from the county counsel, planning commission and administrative office (“County needs new lines that don’t carve up SLO,” Dec. 5).

I also feel the final decision should not be made by the Board of Supervisors because of interest conflicts. Supervisors are elected to represent and serve their constituents’ interests and welfare, not their own personal and political agendas. It’s a bit like the fox guarding the henhouse — the temptation is too great for them to have the final say as to where their district’s boundaries will be drawn. Perhaps the independent commission can be empowered to make the final decision?

Should there be more or fewer supervisorial districts than the current five? Should the redistricting guidelines be amended? Should family incomes be part of the criteria? Should all of San Luis Obispo’s city limits be in one district? These and other questions should be addressed and citizens should be included in discussions.

Betty Cary


Not the answer

I am writing because I am concerned about the situation regarding our animals in California. Every year, millions of cats and dogs are euthanized in animal shelters because we do not have enough money or resources to support them all.

I think this is a disgrace. The word “shelter” has the connotation that these places are a home for our animals to be when there is nowhere else, rather than death row. California needs to allot more money to our animals so that new shelters can be built, resources can be provided, staffing can be sufficient and neutering or spaying programs can be implemented.

Trying to wipe out a large portion of a population is not an ethical response to this problem whatsoever. Euthanasia is not the answer.

Kendra White

San Luis Obispo

A liberal ‘Carol’

Everyone loves the part in Charles Dickens’ tale, “A Christmas Carol,” when Ebenezer Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning and starts spending money like crazy. But I suspect that if a liberal had written “A Christmas Carol,” it would have had quite a different story line.

First of all, it would be called “A Holiday Carol,” with lots of drama, language and dysfunctional family issues like an angry, rebellious Tiny Tim and a drunken and abusive Bob Cratchit who may or may not be Tim’s real father.

There would be a media frenzy as Scrooge, the evil Wall Street CEO, is hauled off to court for various labor and environmental violations. At the trial, Scrooge would be tried for running a non-union sweatshop with life-threatening noxious coal fumes, the wrong kind of light bulbs, an illegal janitor making only $23 an hour and no wheelchair access for Tiny Tim. Alas, no joy for poor Scrooge as he would spend Christmas Future in jail.

No, instead of a timeless tale of redemption, forgiveness and Christmas joy, the liberal version would be a mindless tale of political correctness, social justice and retribution where in the end, the government gives everyone a holiday goose.

Larry Bargenquast

Santa Maria

Rest, Elizabeth

Thank you, Elizabeth Edwards, for sharing your story and your life with us. You are a testament to strength, wisdom and sacrifice. You certainly endured more than your share of pain and suffering, but were always able to smile and demonstrate love and happiness to everyone who surrounded you. Your children should know that you were revered by many people who would never have the fortune to meet you, let alone correspond with you.

So many children, spouses and family members lose their loved ones to this terrible disease called cancer. It has affected many people I know and love. My own mother is a cancer survivor, which is a journey that changed our family forever.

Elizabeth, you will always be remembered as a fighter and never as a victim. You conducted yourself with grace and dignity beyond what most of us would even strive for in our own ordinary lives. I only wish I had had the honor to have met you in person. You have made an indelible mark in my life, as I believe you have in other’s. Rest in peace, Elizabeth (I want to dedicate this letter to the memory of my friend, Joanne).

Kimberlee Leroux

San Luis Obispo

Breaking silence

Here we go again! This professed conservative has been silent for a while, but issues continue to build that require open comment. Beloved Berkeley stands at the top of the list with its move to enshrine the WikiLeaks whistle-blower as a national hero. Screws are definitely loose!

Next, our esteemed president continues his mastery of math, proudly saying with the announcement of the creation of 39,000 “new” jobs that “it’s working.” Oddly enough, later on the same day, the government announced a .02 percent increase in unemployment (i.e., the loss of about 30,000 jobs). Go figure! Back to school for Barry!

Then comes the push on the DREAM Act to reward persons of illegal status with benefits at our expense. This is being done at a time when the government continues to deny any increase in Social Security benefits for seniors who have put money into the program for umpteen years.

Lastly, the Arizona debacle continues as the “Justice” Department continues its assault on one of our own states that is in desperate need for the government to enforce its own immigration laws. Ah, what a political party won’t do to buy a voting bloc!

Good luck America!

Harry E. James

Paso Robles

Complex issues

The Tribune has recently printed a host of commentaries and opinions on illegal immigrants, most of them negative.

For instance, Victor Davis Hanson’s commentary (“Is illegal immigration immoral,” Nov. 30) makes a case against the morality of illegal immigrants and those who employ them.

Another person demeans agriculture as the only United States business not to pay fair labor wages and suggests farmers offer health insurance, housing and 401(k) plans to attract American-born employees (“WebTalk,” Nov. 30).

Pretentious and groundless words from Americans who demand the world’s highest wages and cheapest food, making those of us who face the serious daily business of making a living farming more than a little furious.

The big food companies that supply that low-cost food you find in your supermarkets don’t care where it comes from as long as it’s cost-effective for them to sell to fickle shoppers with too much time on their hands.

People need to eat, farmers want to farm and workers want to work. The complexity underlying what’s right and wrong is impenetrable. Under our system, things have settled in the way they are and maybe we should just leave it alone.

Mike Broadhurst


Why the fee?

I pay property tax bills to Los Angeles County and Riverside County online with electronic checks. There are no fees associated with their e-check payments. On the other hand, San Luis Obispo County charges a $2.50 bank fee to make a payment online. Why?

I am sure it costs the county more than $2.50 to have a person open a handwritten bank check and then enter that payment into the computer. Someone now has to process that check for delivery to the bank.

In all, how many people handle that check before the county receives a payment in their account? An electronic check goes into the computer and funds are deducted from the bank directly to the county’s account.

As long as the county continues charging a $2.50 bank fee, I will spend 44 cents to mail them a payment. I am doing my part in keeping another government employee employed.

Larry Thomas

Arroyo Grande

Council candidate

The core group of the Save Our Downtown organization has voted unanimously to support the appointment of Dan Carpenter to fill the vacancy on the San Luis Obispo City Council created with the election of Jan Marx to mayor.

Carpenter has been a candidate for City Council twice and has spent his own money and hundreds of hours to meet the citizens in door-to-door meetings and at forums. He has served more than seven years on city advisory boards.

He failed in his recent bid for City Council by less than 1 percent. Carpenter is a respected married man and a lifelong resident of the city.

His knowledge of the workings of city government make him a person who is ready to hit the ground running to tackle a great many of the city’s financial problems and future growth issues.

Gary Fowler

San Luis Obispo

Violation of process

The San Luis Obispo City Council is currently considering filling the seat of a council member who became mayor. The Tribune reported that the council will do this by appointment.

The democratic process in a representative republic (which is what the San Luis Obispo city government is) requires that citizens vote for said representatives. Having City Council members select a representative is a violation of the representative process in such a republic.

Since government functions only with money, the best way to make a government truly democratic is to make all taxes voluntary. That way, everyone starts voting for government the day they come into the world and keep voting until they leave, or even after death if they have an estate.

Voluntary taxation means rich people cannot use the power of government to force others to help pay for what the rich want. If rich people want something such as a road to their house, they should pay the whole cost.

Gary Kirkland