Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/2

Another Dean story

I enjoyed reading the article titled, “A man who bumped into history” (Dec. 24), regarding CHP officer Ernie Tripke’s investigation of James Dean’s fatal traffic accident on Sept. 30, 1955. I wanted to add to that story about how my dad, Bob Harris, bumped into history on that day also. 

Dad was 18 years old and working at Charlie Olivera’s Chevron gas station at Fairfax Avenue and Highway 466 in west Bakersfield when he heard on the radio that Dean had died in a traffic accident somewhere near Paso Robles.

The gas station was located in a high traffic area where all of the CHP officers could conveniently stop by and refuel their patrol cars. At approximately 2 a.m., CHP officer Ora Hunter stopped in to get gas and said, “Bobby, look who I wrote a ticket for speeding.”

Hunter showed dad the ticket. Dean’s name was on it, and he had been cited for driving approximately 85 mph on the Grapevine.

Dad told Hunter that he had heard on the radio that Dean had died in a traffic accident. Hunter did not know about the accident and called his office to confirm. He then told dad, “Guess I should frame this one.”

Steve Harris

Arroyo Grande

Showering a non-issue

Thankfully, “don’t ask, don’t tell” finally was repealed. I am a Vietnam veteran, and in the 1960s, there were two countries that had gays serving openly. I don’t know if that was official policy, but nobody cared. The many countries that have gays in their military must be laughing at us for our niggling.  I worked for the government for 35 years, and two things standout. First, we research everything to death. We could have asked any of the countries that already have gays in their military about how to make it work. Secondly, we overreact to any event. 

My hope is that the top brass resistant to “don’t ask, don’t tell” will get over being culturally anachronistic. They need to heed the law and pass it down to the troops.

It seems to boil down to Donald Anderson’s letter about showering (“Sex not for politics,” Dec. 22). I’m gay. I showered from junior high to college through all my sports programs. I showered with people at my gym, and I showered with all my military peers. What is the big deal? Like Barney Frank said, “We don’t get ourselves dry cleaned.” Showering is a non-issue.

Rick Tibben


Shameful smut theatre

I was appalled and offended by two recent “New Times” articles titled, “Have you no shame” and “Artsy smut for your butt.” As a performer, former board president and financial supporter of the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre, I am deeply saddened and extremely disappointed by the theatre staff and board of directors for allowing the tasteless and grossly vulgar smut called No Shame Theatre that is currently being presented on their stage.

The San Luis Obispo Little Theatre is one of the oldest community theaters in the United States and has prided itself in presenting to the community “quality” entertainment for all ages since its inception. It has presented a variety of well-known plays and musicals as well as lesser-known and thought-provoking productions.

And now, on the same stage, there is no holds barred filth loosely disguised as an “art form?” This stuff belongs at some late night comedy club where you can be as crass and offensive as you desire, not on public property in our community theatre! The theatre is a nonprofit organization that leases the facilities for $1 per year. Does the City Council condone such offensive and inappropriate activities on their property? I would hope not.

Mike Kee


Christmas dinner thanks

This year’s Christmas Dinner for the Homeless once again reminded us that our community is like no other. Through the generosity of countless individuals, more than 300 homeless people were provided a sumptuous meal, musical entertainment and much-needed care packages. Each dinner guest left with a sleeping bag, winter coat, sweatshirt, socks, underwear and toiletry bag.

Tremendous gratitude goes out to: the Odd Fellows Hall, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, Congregation Beth David, Congregation Ohr Tzafon, Temple Ner Shalom, the Jewish Community Center of San Luis Obispo, The United Way, SLO Camp-n-Pack, Apple Farm Inn, Marie Callender’s, the Teixiera family, the Talley family and San Luis Sourdough.

Also, Stephan Lamb and his Cal Poly Americorp volunteers, The Laureate School, Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab, William Miller, Pacific Energy, Roman Bukachesky, the Bob Neumann family, Ride-On, Fred Monroe, the Jenny Ortiz family, U-Haul, PG&E, the Claddagh School of Irish Dance, SLO Kiwanis Club, San Luis Garbage and our brilliant musicians: Billy Foppiano, Franky Pariedes and friends.

We also wish to extend thanks to the numerous altruistic members of the community who give selflessly year after year in order to make life a little easier for those less fortunate.

Sheri Eibschutz and Naomi Blakely

Christmas Dinner for the Homeless co-coordinators

Not for hearts and minds

Hearts and minds, minds and hearts — let me think about this a minute. I still don’t get it. You want to win people’s hearts and minds with machine guns, armored vehicles and artillery. Russia tried the same foolish game and retreated sans the winning of hearts and minds.

Afghanistan is the old silk road, the crossroads of Asia, and the United States is sloughing through the country, armed to the teeth, diesel engines belching, kicking in doors, searching villages and, oh yes, winning hearts and minds.

At the sit down meetings you see in the news (you know, the heart to heart meetings with the villagers), my guess is the villagers are Taliban in the absence of our troops.

My message to the administration is to cut the political correctness, tell us you’re in Afghanistan to kick some behind and stop insulting the American people’s intelligence.

Mike Morgan

Los Osos

No pigeon funding

The United States is decrying the lack of educated citizens in our country to fill jobs of all kinds in the United States, so that it has had to import many more educated ones from around the world.

Locally, we read about budget cuts, hiring freezes and many teachers being laid off due to these cuts (or some having classes of 70 students)!

On the other hand, thanks to The Tribune, we read that Pismo Beach has granted up to $335,00 to get rid of pigeons.

I grant pigeons are very messy, but I’d much rather have an educated child! This is an educated community — colleges are our business! Can’t we do better than this?

Anne Furtick

Paso Robles

Cause of Alzheimer’s

I would like to call attention to a hoax being fabricated before our very eyes: The recent congressional hearing on requests for funding of Alzheimer’s research is a travesty.

There was no challenge whatsoever to the thesis that the disease must have a biological explanation. What about the hypothesis that Alzheimer’s phenomena are really the end product of a lifetime of psychogenic autism? This possibility, which is fairly obvious to psychoanalytic thinking, is never mentioned, as if such a thing is impossible. Why? It appears as if psychoanalytic thought is ruled out of court, with no possibility of appeal. I blame our pathetic education system.

Lester Goldfisher

Arroyo Grande

Slap in the face

There is so much wrong with the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” that deserves mentioning. Firstly, being gay is not a civil right like being a minority; it is a sexual deviance. Secondly, gays are already serving honorably in the military! “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was put in place to protect them by discouraging them from displaying their sexual conduct in public and getting beaten up by people who don’t understand or don’t tolerate such actions.

Not only does the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal promote violence on openly gay troops, but suddenly, every time a gay service member gets into an altercation for any reason, it will now probably be a hate crime.

I work with gay people every day. I trust them with my very life. My co-workers are outstanding, professional people. There are also a lot of gay people, however, who test straight people’s tolerance. I don’t believe the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is going to further their interest.

The defeat of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is yet another slap in the face to the citizens of this country who continually vote and support traditional family values only to have totally out-of-touch judges and legislators overturn their will.

Joseph Kenny

Arroyo Grande

Cat suffered in death

Are you kidding me? Gayle Cuddy’s column titled, “Sylvie eased family’s pain over parting” (Dec. 29), has me incensed. I’m exceptionally glad, Cuddy, that your elderly cat had a lingering death so that you didn’t have to make the “big decision” that would have spared your cat pain during her last days.

Her obvious distress wasn’t enough of a clue for you? Her change in routine? Her inability to care for herself? Her thinness? Her listlessness? Her incontinence? Her weakness?

Poor you. You didn’t enjoy a movie you went to while your cat was at home getting on with the business of dying, and you found relief in not having to make the “dreaded” decision?

Your cat suffered. You had it in your intelligence, your hands, your love for Sylvie to make her passing more peaceful, and you chose to remain passive in that. I’m not alone when I say that euthanasia of a pet is a devastating decision that is exceptionally painful. I also know that animals speak in a language we can all understand if we only bother to listen.

You owed that to Sylvie. Why weren’t you listening?

Jeri Luther


Armed and friendly?

The gravity of a Christmas slaying notwithstanding (“Shooting kills two near Santa Margarita,” Dec. 26), I had to laugh when I read the paragraph where Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, Rob Bryn, delivers the time-honored description containing the words, “the suspect was believed to be armed and dangerous.”

To quote comedian Dennis Miller from one of his early stand-up routines: “The suspect was described as being armed and dangerous. I don’t know about you, but armed pretty much says it all for me. When are they ever armed and gregarious?”

Jack Neville


Cheers to Thompson

Three cheers for Wren Thompson, the young woman from Los Osos who expressed her sadness over the “scientific illiteracy” of some conservatives in discussions of global warming (“Terrible stereotype,” Dec. 28). Thompson feels that their “blunt disregard for science” gives other conservatives a bad name.

Cheers, too, for The Tribune for printing Thompson’s letter, and for her parents and teachers. Let’s have more letters from people like Thompson and many, many fewer from the writer she cited.

Bert Bender