Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 12/16

Inadequate studies

Loren Sharp’s Viewpoint was intended to provide comfort that the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was “on top of recent seismic issues” related to safe operation of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant (Dec. 5).

To the contrary, his portrayal of seismic studies that “will never be complete” paints a picture of futility, that is to say that we will never be able to fully and adequately characterize the earthquake risk at this facility.

Certainly the discovery in 2008 of the Shoreline fault, passing within 1,800 feet of the reactors, shows that prior studies were inadequate. But there is no reason why a detailed, comprehensive and peer-reviewed study cannot be undertaken to provide definitive answers on seismic risks prior to relicensing this facility.

We need to know with a high degree of confidence whether there are other undiscovered faults close to the plant and their potential for generating earthquakes. Presumably, this will involve geologic mapping and trenching, earthquake monitoring and 3-D seismic profiling.

As PG&E ratepayers and residents of PG&E’s various nuclear emergency planning zones, we should demand that PG&E complete the comprehensive seismic study prior to relicensing Diablo Canyon.

Erik Layman

San Luis Obispo

A Pismo alert

I just want to alert everyone about the proposed project for Price Canyon. Pismo Beach officials and the planning department seem to want to get a 1,700-acre project approved no matter what and then have it annexed into the city.

City officials have even had the developer write a letter asking for the city of Pismo Beach to assist in getting water for the project. When I see a city working for the developer, in essence it tells me they are all in and are going to approve this no matter what anyone else may want.

The planning department told me the current size of Pismo Beach is 8.94 square kilometers (approximately 2,210 acres). So if you annex 1,700 acres for the new project, that will increase the size of the city by 77 percent.

I don’t think we need 1,700 acres of beautiful, pristine land. That is old-school development that the Local Agency Formation Commission calls urban sprawl and not smart growth.

I only wanted to alert you to what is being planned so you can support or oppose it as you see fit. You can access the Local Agency Formation Commission report online to see the enormity of this project. 

Jamie Guthrie

Pismo Beach

Look into 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 actively re-examine the Kristin Smart case.

People in our city certainly feel the loss of Kristin. We feel the pain that her family suffers. We join her family with hope that this case will be resolved.

Sue Chinchiolo


Some clarifications

I would like to clarify my remarks quoted in David Sneed’s very good article on the need for the right solar incentives delivered at the right time (“Incentives to increase use of solar get mixed reviews,” Dec. 13).

My quote regarding the price point for selling electricity to the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was in reference to the anticipated payment by the utility companies for over production of electricity by those people who are a part of the current “net metering” program.

For a true feed-in tariff to make financial sense would require a price per kilowatt hour well above 15 cents. Pacific Power in Oregon currently offers a feed-in tariff payment of more than 50 cents per kilowatt hour generated by small (less than 10 kilowatt hour) independent photovoltaic system operator/owners.

If our goal is to truly make solar electricity an appreciable part of our energy mix in California, then a credible feed-in tariff would make the impact that so many of our leaders like to talk about.

John R. Ewan

Pacific Energy Company

Enjoyable walk

Hurray for Atascadero!

I took my three boys on the “Holiday walk around Atascadero Lake Park” the other night and enjoyed it immensely! It was wonderful to take in the sights and sounds of the season.

The high school band marched and played, several local groups sang, some played bells and one homeowner even put on a puppet show for children! Good neighbors were sharing their fire rings and serving free hot cocoa, cider, popcorn — even cotton candy!

We just moved here from an area where, unfortunately, these types of gatherings just don’t happen anymore, mostly due to gang violence. We’re looking forward to getting to know the wonderful people here better. Thanks also to the Charles Paddock Zoo for opening your doors free of charge. What a beautiful evening. 

Jennifer Tolbert


Good job, Sports

I would like to congratulate The Tribune on their expert coverage of sports. The recent USC versus UCLA game started the other night at 7:30 p.m. (about my bedtime). I did stay up until 9:30 p.m., halftime, however.

The next morning, my newspaper was on my driveway, as usual at 5:30 a.m., with a story on that football game and the score. I didn’t like the outcome, however, but it was in the Sports section that early. Thanks again. Jerry Mapson

Paso Robles

Wood smoke harmful

Protecting innocent bystanders from secondhand cigarette smoke is indeed laudable and bouquet-worthy (“County ahead of curve on smoking ban,” Dec. 3). But the county is far behind the curve in protecting those bystanders from wood smoke that is far more of a killer smoke.

The most recent analysis by the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board said that “about 14,000 to 24,000 premature deaths annually are estimated to be associated with long-term exposures to PM2.5.”

The main sources of PM2.5 in San Luis Obispo County, and the state, are residential fireplaces and wood-grilling restaurants.

Children and the elderly are particularly at risk. In a Montana study, the lung capacity of children was reduced by 30 percent with exposure to wood smoke. 

The United States is spending $50 million to help Africa, Asia and South America deal with the harmful effects of wood smoke, yet an innocent bystander, child or otherwise, can expect no protection from this killing smoke in our behind-the-curve county.

M. Power Giacoletti

San Simeon

Thanks, and thanks

Recently, my Mini Cooper stalled on the Niblick Bridge. I called Pete Johnston’s towing and they quickly responded, knowing that stalling on the Niblick Bridge is against moral law.

I want to thank all the good drivers who passed by without slowing or pulling over to ask if I was all right. I want to thank those drivers who cursed, yelled, flipped their middle finger, laid on their horns and who otherwise did little to avoid almost hitting me. It renewed my belief that the people of Paso Robles are not quite as caring as I thought them to be or they thought themselves to be.

I would really like to thank a patrol car that stopped to ask if I was all right. And I want to thank Mike from Pete Johnston who did some return yelling to those drivers.

Once again, thank you, Paso Robles.

Sharel Arfa

Paso Robles

Missing detail

In response to the letter to the editor titled, “Inventive and telling,” by Richard Strasburg (Dec. 12):

A small detail was omitted. My bumper sticker reads: “Annoy a Liberal. Work, Succeed, Be Happy.” 

Sorry if I annoyed you.

Daryl Griggs

Morro Bay

Questions for Joe

Joe Tarica thinks there are too many CHP officers (“Police piece has readers seeing red,” Dec. 11). He also believes the San Luis Obispo Police Department officers are overpaid. He supports his second argument with some salary figures. His first hypothesis is a guess based on his observations.

Here is some homework for Joetopia: How many CHP officers are there today and how many were there in say, 1980? How much has the population grown over those 30 years? What is the number of registered vehicles and number of licensed drivers in 1980 versus today?

Also, please look at total compensation packages when comparing salaries, not just base pay (I am curious to see how the San Luis Obispo Police Department stacks up to the rest of the police departments in the state in terms of salary and benefits).

Just for informational purposes, I recently drove from San Luis Obispo to Bend, Ore. and back. I saw three police cars on the trip in California and eight in Oregon.

Chris Black

San Luis Obispo