Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/24

Too many awards

Is it my imagination or are there too many award shows? I sometimes wonder how the actors and actresses find time to make the movies that they are being awarded for, since all they seem to do is go to one award show after another.

I don’t want to give away my age, but I remember in the good old days when there was only one show, the Academy Awards, which was done in real style. All the actors wore tuxedos with black bow ties, and their shirts were buttoned up all the way. The actresses all wore beautiful gowns and left most everything to the imagination.

They should call next year’s show the “Golden Cleavage Award Show.”

Merl Deena

San Luis Obispo

Preserve Morro Bay

In response to Gil Rivera’s letter titled, “Too much government” (Jan. 13):

Regarding my sponsorship of a tree ordinance that prevents the trimming/cutting of trees in Morro Bay: The ordinance is limiting. It says, “No tree shall be trimmed or removed during nesting season, which is Feb. 1 through June 30.”

The city designated itself a bird sanctuary and Tree City, USA decades ago. The city continues to co-sponsor the Winter Bird Festival. It seemed consistent to have such an ordinance.

Regarding the Morro Bay State Park campground renovation of eight years ago: I am a member of the nonprofit group, Save The Park, that challenged State Parks’ plan. Many residents of both Morro Bay and Los Osos worked to reduce the number of trees proposed for cutting, preserve the monarch roosting site and stop destruction of historic stone work.

We felt it was important to maintain the character and attraction of the campground. More beauty was preserved because of the group’s effort.

Betty Winholtz

Morro Bay

Cooperation needed

California’s budget mess is a Gordian knot. The problems are deeply rooted in the structure that has grown over the “good years.” Politics aside, there are structural problems that will be difficult to correct without drastic changes.

One aspect no one pays enough attention to is the issue of “ballot box budgeting.” It sounded great and got public support, but it totally disregarded the effect on the overall budget.

It ties the hands of the Legislature and the governor and totally ignores whether or not the money is available or what other programs will need to be cut to meet the requirement. This will have to be fixed before the budget crisis can be sensibly repaired.

There is no question the state pension system is also a giant drag on the state. But it is a contractual obligation that is difficult to change without support from state retirees.

What may eventually need to happen is the state declares bankruptcy and the contracts are then set aside. Drastic and a disaster, yes.

We need to find some way to make the unions and retirees understand the disastrous consequences of this action and its dire effect on them and gain their cooperation before it’s too late.

Donald Anderson

Arroyo Grande

Mercy, please

Regarding the article titled, “Raid raises plenty of questions about medical marijuana” (Jan. 9): So we have children taken from parents and a dead pet. Then, presumably innocent people are locked in a van for hours. Truly, the most harmful thing about cannabis is law enforcement.

Some of the people victimized by this sting apparently were raided and locked in a cage over legal interpretation? Mercy, please.

With medical cannabis, it seems the “medical” is ignored by law enforcement and the people involved are de facto criminals only out for a quick buck, even though case law has repeatedly held that cash is an acceptable reimbursement to nonprofit co-op growers and organizers. Why do our county leaders refuse to accept that? What do they expect us to do, mow the grower’s lawn?

Most patients can’t grow their own medicine. It takes a strong back, advanced horticultural knowledge, privacy, security and many four- to nine-month crop cycles to get anywhere near producing market-grade medical cannabis.

Yet law enforcement would have us believe that anyone who sprouts a seed is a gun-toting millionaire. How cruel to demand that citizens go through that for relief.

Again, mercy, please. My heart goes out to everyone hurt by this.

Scott Ziering

Paso Robles

Solution exists

In response to the letter titled, “Teacher frustrations” (Jan. 16), I agree with Lucia Casalinuovo. Even a highly qualified teacher with years of experience will become frustrated and less effective as the number of students increases. Teaching a class of 20 students is productive and enjoyable for both the teacher and students. The students learn more, enjoy their educational experience and get a well-rounded education.

The solution already exists for getting back to that student-to-teacher ratio without reducing the number of students in the classroom. Add another credentialed teacher to the classroom in the form of a mastery tutor.

The mastery tutor receives about 30 percent of an average teacher’s salary and is employed “at will.” This means they can be moved to the classroom(s) with the greatest need and can be employed or let go as the need arises.

I am sure that a targeted funding program could be adopted that would allow a cadre of mastery tutors to begin alleviating these overcrowding concerns in the classroom.

Mike Balster


A thin line

Thank you for your coverage of the recent Tucson shootings. One problem gun moderates face is the fact that the line between self-defense and gun aggression is thin. Some pro-gun people believe that “a good offense is the best defense” and a few seek and then shoot down people they suspect of threatening their Second Amendment rights.

Shooting on suspicion is the lowest criminality. In Poland and Russia during World War II, Hitler’s Einsatzgruppen shot thousands of natives on suspicion of being Jewish. Too often, they shot the wrong people. But that didn’t bother Hit-ler’s riflemen, nor does it distress pro-gun extremists.

Some compromises are necessary in balancing the right to own arms with public safety. I believe bolt action guns and semi-automatics carrying five to ten rounds should be available to trained, responsible adults. But Class II guns should be strictly regulated, and Class III guns ought to be banned. Many pro-gun laypeople agree.

Unfortunately, many pro-gun leaders don’t. They want unconstrained use of all guns. Imagine how many people would’ve died at Virginia Tech or in Tucson if the killers had a MAC-10 that cycles 1,000 rounds per minute. Too many gun fanatics think “compromise” and “responsibility” are dirty words.

Steve T. Kobara

San Luis Obispo

Who dropped ball?

Regarding Nicholas D. Kristof’s commentary of Jan. 14 (“Why not regulate guns as seriously as toys?”).

There is no doubt that alleged Tucson shooter Jared Loughner has mental issues. The question is why Pima Community College didn’t report this and get Loughner in the database that would have prevented him from buying any firearm, let alone a handgun. Who dropped the ball here?

The same question goes for the Army recruiting command. Why was Loughner rejected, and if it was due to mental instability, why wasn’t that reported?

Regarding Australia’s ban/buy back program, there is a report available on its effectiveness. You can find it at www.gunsandcrime.org/auresult.html. Regarding gun suicides, the report said that gun buy back “had no impact on gun suicide rates, which continued to drop at essentially the same rate.”

Regarding assaults, the report said, “the ban buy back had no perceptible impact on assault rates, neither increasing nor decreasing it.”

Gun homicide rates did drop by half over the next seven years, but so did the overall homicide rate. The report states, “The homicide rates provide no support for a proposition that the ban/buy back has helped.”

C.J. Bell

Arroyo Grande

A word on whales

Yes, we can make a difference on this planet! Strengthen the ban on commercial whaling. Stop whaling completely in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Kathleen Conway


End whaling

From the bottom of my heart, please stop whaling!

Isaac Wollman

San Luis Obispo

Stop slaughter

Stop the Japanese slaughter of whales.

Al Barrow

Los Osos