Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 12/27

Democrats the issue

The Fresno Bee’s illegal immigration series did little to characterize the source of the problem (Nov. 22 to 24). Illegal immigration is an unlegislated and unfunded federal subsidy for certain labor markets.

The subsidy is cheap illegal labor, which presumably lowers consumer prices for farm products, some manufactured goods and some service products.

The cost of this “unfunded” subsidy is billions of tax dollars spent on ineffective and sometimes violent border and immigration enforcement. Additionally, billions are spent to provide social services for the illegal “cheap” labor.

A nonviolent legislated and funded guest worker program, without amnesty, would surely be no more costly than the current bureaucratic mess. At the polls, however, illegal immigration favors the Democratic Party that perpetuates the problem with legislative inaction. This leads to party demagogues in favor of “comprehensive reform” that trades amnesty for votes.

Illegal foreign workers and their employers are not the problem. The workers want to earn a living, and the employers want to be competitive. Clearly, the federal government is the problem — in particular, the Democratic Party.

Pat Moore

Morro Bay

Priorities askew

I am amused by some of the letters of complaint I read each day, and I laud the letters of praise as well. David T. Manion, if you are in doubt about President Barack Obama’s citizenship status, Google it (“A secret location,” Dec. 22). He’s American, black and president of the United States. Deal with it.

I read in the newspaper the other day that billions are set aside for a high speed rail system from Los Angeles to San Francisco (“State gets $624M for high-speed rail,” Dec. 10). Wow, I’m impressed. How about our educational system, Medi-Cal and infrastructure? Where is the money for those projects? There are bigger things to worry about than a rail system that goes faster.

The California government’s priorities are a little askew, if you know what I mean. Unemployment is at an all-time high — what about creating jobs? I hope old Jerry Brown does a better job this time than the younger Brown did years before. I just hope the government’s priorities get in line with the people’s wishes and not their pet projects.

Raymond C. Porter

Paso Robles

Calculation error

I read the recent article titled, “Tips for paying down your mortgage” (Dec. 18) by Janna Herron with interest (pun intended). However, after doing a few calculations myself, I discovered that the rule of thumb that you can reduce your 30-year loan by eight years with an extra payment a year, as described by Pava Layrer (and that many of us have remembered), is not accurate for all interest rates.

It turns out to be accurate for a 9 percent loan, but the term reduction is lower as your interest rate declines. For example, if you scored a 4 percent loan recently and pay extra each month by one-twelfth of a payment, you only reduce the term of the loan by 3.9 years.

I was shocked, as I’ve never heard this described before, and I suspect many readers (and real estate folks) will be equally surprised. Just thought I would point out this error.

Dennis Petersen

San Luis Obispo

Thanks from CASA

Most of us welcome the holidays, but imagine how different it is for children who have been abused or neglected, taken from their homes and placed in foster care. These children often cannot share in the excitement of the holiday season because of the uncertainties that surround them.

But because of the caring members in our community, many of the children who have CASA volunteers will receive books, toys, clothing and gift cards.

CASA would like to thank the individuals and businesses who made generous donations to children in the juvenile dependency system: Altrusa International of Cinco Ciudades, Autumn Povey, Banana Republic San Luis Obispo, Bank of America Home Loans San Luis Obispo, Cindy Gater and friends, the city of San Luis Obispo’s general employee group, Dawn Fielding, First Presbyterian Church of San Luis Obispo, Kenneth and Lori Hensley, June McPhee, Kimberly Allen, Limberg Eye Surgery, Patty Smith and family, Presbyterian Women of Cambria, RETechnology, Sandy Carroll, the Sheriff’s Department Bike Restoration Program and U.S. Agriseeds’ employees.

More than 100 children in San Luis Obispo County have a CASA volunteer, a consistent, caring adult who speaks for them and advocates for needed services and a permanent home.

Thank you to our wonderful community!

Cathy Orton

CASA resource development director

Protect our beaches

Thank you for your article titled, “Pismo may get sea-wall support” (Dec. 8). By next summer, the Pismo Beach City Council and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to begin coastal armoring projects at six sites (mostly in Shell Beach).

They plan to carry out these projects without a full study of the impacts further armoring will have to the surrounding environment and to recreational activities in Shell Beach.

These impacts include additional stress to existing armor, erosion of adjacent unarmored bluffs, reduction of beach access and beach width and the impact on the quality of recreational opportunities at or near the sites (kayaking, surfing, tide pooling, etc.).

Our county’s chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has officially submitted our comments regarding this plan to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and to the city of Pismo Beach. A copy of these comments can be found on our website.

In the coming months, we encourage research and more public discourse regarding the “armoring race” taking place in our coastal environment. After all, Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches, for all people.

Brad Snook

Surfrider Foundation volunteer coordinator

Zumba-thon success

C.L. Smith Elementary School has a long established holiday partnership with Whiz Kids Toy Store. Shoppers have an opportunity to purchase toys for students whose families are struggling financially. This year, the need was greater than ever, and the store did not collect enough toys for each of our deserving children and their siblings. But this is the time of year for miracles.

Preschool teacher and part-time Zumba instructor Erin Brzykcy offered to organize a Zumba-thon. Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance fitness program. Flyers were passed out inviting members of various health clubs to join us.

To my amazement, more than 100 Zumba enthusiasts showed up for an afternoon of calorie-burning, body-energizing movement. The cost of admission was an unwrapped toy. We had more than enough toys to put a smile on the face of each of our deserving students.

Special thanks to Brzykcy and her amazing group of Zumba instructors — Sally Unks, Victoria Chase, Danya Nunley, Brooke McMillen, Trish Hall-Dello and Carol Janssen.

Thanks also to Whiz Kids owner Lesa Smith for her continued support of this yearly tradition of giving. And finally, thanks to organizers Sue McShane and Carol Cauley for making the dream a reality.

Amy Shields

C.L. Smith Elementary School principal

Fix school budgets

California schools used to be the best in the nation. The school districts claim to have money problems, yet while driving past many of the local schools, one finds new multimillion dollar performing arts centers, gymnasiums, libraries and remodeling in progress.

This is unfortunate for the local voter who is expected to vote for school bonds thinking they are voting to pay classroom teachers, buy books and do other things that will directly help our kids get a better education.

The problem is that money is assigned to certain budget categories such as building and grounds or, alternately, to teacher salaries. The California Legislature could be smart enough to fix this problem by making the budgets more flexible so new performing arts centers could be delayed if teachers or students were in jeopardy.

The way the schools are run today is like the family that lets its children go hungry because money can’t be put in the food budget because it would be taking money away from the vacation budget. Of course, there are many things about California that used to be the best in the nation!

Robert Parkhurst


Too many fees

Regarding the letter to the editor titled, “Why the fee?” (Dec. 15):

Trust me, if it isn’t the county or some other business that charges a fee for online payments, it’ll be a business, utility, etc. that will charge you for processing a written check.

My health insurance gets me for $2, plus my 44 cent stamp every two months. It may not seem like much, but add in every other person who prefers to write a check, and you have quite a sum of money over and above what you pay in premiums.

You just can’t win!

Janet Ross

Santa Margarita