Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/5

Already a business

In his Viewpoint, Ed Cobleigh asserts that a businesslike model is needed for education (“Teachers need to make sacrifices, too,” Jan. 2). I’m wondering whether or not a vice president for an international marketing firm has ever had to sacrifice anything for the common good.

I can assure Cobleigh that education is run like a business. Management protect themselves and cut from the classroom first. Pay for administration is far greater than teachers, and administrators spend their time focused on computer screens and crunching numbers.

The bottom line is always the budget, and new, worthless programs are instituted in agreements with other businesses where all profit except the students. Management in schools pretends to be concerned and to listen to employee grievances, then does little or nothing to directly address such conditions. I’d say that’s pretty close to the free market Cobleigh describes.

And finally, administrators can always jump to positions that include better pay and benefits, because school boards offer increases in salary to attract the “best and brightest.” This same concept is nonexistent when hiring teachers.

If Cobleigh wants to cut money, there is one (and only one) way to save gobs of cash: end standardized testing.

Brian Miller

San Luis Obispo

Critical areas

Your recent editorial urged newly elected Sheriff Ian Parkinson to focus on “critical areas” such as public outreach, volunteerism and the budget (“Parkinson should look at four critical areas,” Dec. 26). Might I suggest some more critical areas?

Shut down methamphetamine labs in the county. If you have to, offer significant rewards on information, then hold the district attorney accountable for prosecuting these cases to the fullest extent of the law.

Focus on the demand side of the equation by publicizing a zero-tolerance policy for anyone caught with meth or meth paraphernalia, then follow through with the threat.

Work with other law enforcement agencies around the state to bring some common sense back to our treatment of the mentally ill. The double homicide on Christmas was not an aberration. It happens all too often when victims of schizophrenia are allowed to dictate their own treatment, even as the voices are badgering them to lash out at others or themselves.

Norm Cone

Paso Robles

Beautiful numerals

New Year’s Day was numerically unique: 1/1/11. It sometimes takes a 10-year-old to remind me to notice something so simple. As I sat, doing the same things I do every New Year’s Day (write goals, make a new budget, decide if this year I’m really going to start that diet), I took a moment to reflect on the simplicity of numbers.

They are one of the few things in life that offer us quantifiable answers. They help guide our political policies, discover our real community values and uncover our weaknesses. They stare us in the face and dare us to argue. Beautiful, really, isn’t it?

Caren Ray

Arroyo Grande

‘Original Legends’

This New Year’s Eve, my husband and I went to the Clark Center to see the “The Best of the Original Legends Series” produced by Mary Meserve-Miller and Robyn Met-chik. We had seen many of the original Legends shows over the years at the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre and had always been impressed with the terrific talent that was showcased there.

For this series of performances, Meserve-Miller and Metchik, along with super choreographer Suzy Miller, took the song and dance to a new level.

About 600 of us sat transfixed as we saw Ray Charles (Roy Henry) do “Hit The Road Jack” and “Georgia on my Mind.” Joanna Jones (of “The Sing Off” fame) and her father did “Unforgettable” to a standing ovation.

In short, Meserve-Miller did what she has done so many times in the past: created a fabulous and very well-received show.

The board of the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre should understand that while they may vote, we, who vote with our credit cards, are the votes that really count. On New Year’s Eve, about 600 of us said you were wrong to let Meserve-Miller go and maybe you should try to entice her to come back.

Alice Appel

Arroyo Grande

Don’t like it, don’t go

In response to the letter titled “Shameful smut theatre” (Jan. 2), by Mike Kee, and to everyone who was offended by No Shame Theatre: Feel free to continue to attend works put on by San Luis Obispo Little Theatre that you deem OK. But please disregard and do not attend any that you do not feel meet your standards, as there are many people who view things a little differently than you and enjoy these kinds of happenings in our little town.

While the little theatre puts on many great plays more suitable for regular theater-goers of all ages, they also provide an outlet for everyone else, the creative talent that have no outlet in this town. They held it at an hour that you wouldn’t walk in there on accident and never advertised it as anything other than what it was: an uncensored event.

As Kee pointed out, the theater is a public property and a community theater. Is everyone who attended not a member of the community? From what I heard, they had a great turnout and I plan on attending the next No Shame Theatre. It would be a shame to have my fun taken away from me.

Linnea Fritch

San Luis Obispo

Informed votes

Regarding the Associated Press article in The Tribune titled, “What you pay for Medicare won’t cover your costs” (Dec. 31): Of course.

In 1997, Newt Gingrich and others rammed through Congress Medicare Advantage, the boondoggle for private insurers to gouge the Medicare fund. Its more sinister purpose was to destroy Medicare.

Gingrich took to the speaker circuit and bragged about it. Next, government haters concocted the “Part D” drug program, further pillaging the fund. With no economies of scale available, Medicare submits to big pharma.

Now, the conservatives crow that government-run health care doesn’t work! Imagine that. All they have to do is misinform naive moderates. Meanwhile, millions fear that Medicare won’t be there for them.

To the moderates (the real majority): know that the country is in your hands. Our mainstream press, Supreme Court and Congress have been co-opted by corporate-driven idealogues.

Our country needs your informed vote. Competent, dedicated investigative journalists report on the mounting wave of misinformation and emotional blather. The truth is in periodicals, books and the Internet. One place to get started is MediaMatters.org.

Charlie Lawrence

Paso Robles

Winholtz appreciated

I enjoyed Judy Salamacha’s column about Betty Winholtz (“Winholtz’s mark on Morro Bay,” Jan. 3). Winholtz has been wrongly maligned by some of my peers. She was a well-prepared participant on the Morro Bay City Council. She did her homework and was aware of what the City Council was discussing.  

When we watched the City Council meetings, we could tell that she was respectful of the office she held. I personally would prefer to see my city representatives dress as though the job they were doing was important. 

She researched all aspects of the problems that came before the City Council. She presented her viewpoint and was able to understand conflicting viewpoints.

I’m happy to say that I’m one of the Morro Bay residents who appreciates the time and effort Winholtz spent on our behalf.

Anne Miranda

Morro Bay

Generous community

The Arroyo Grande Walmart had a giving tree for the low income seniors of San Luis Obispo County that Family Home Care takes care of. Within four days, the community bought close to 60 presents.

The faithful Walmart employees gift wrapped all the presents and personally signed Christmas cards. The Area Agency on Aging had two volunteers, Lois and Tom, who delivered the gifts and visited with the seniors.

We are blessed to have such a generous community. I just want to thank Jared Reindel, the Walmart manager, and his incredible staff for making so many seniors feel special this holiday season.

Mary Schultz

Family Home Care Inc.

Checking the gauge

Woohoo, they are finally checking the rain gauge at the Paso Robles Municipal Airport (“Dueling gauges a Paso airport,” Jan. 2). Happy New Year! I am sure the check will show the gauge is not working properly and will reflect what the residents in Paso Robles have always said regarding the reported rainfall totals: “Say it ain’t so.”

Sally Reynolds

Paso Robles