Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/30

Blame the gun dealers

After the tragedy in Tucson, Ariz., all the finger-pointers came out of the woodwork. It’s too easy to put blame where blame isn’t due when you don’t have the facts to back it up.

If a partygoer leaves after drinking alcohol and gets into an accident, the host is held liable. If a patron leaves a bar after drinking, the bartender is held liable. Why can’t gun dealers be held liable if someone with a mental health history buys a gun and goes on a shooting spree?

Guns aren’t the problem, it’s the gun shops and sellers who are the problem when they are not vigilant with background investigations on potential buyers.

You cannot blame Sarah Palin for her stupid ad or the National Rifle Association for promoting guns for someone’s rash behavior. Stronger gun-selling regulation is needed, not blaming those not involved.

I know what you’re thinking, who is this guy? Someone who cares, that’s who. Call you representative and get the ball rolling ASAP.

Raymond C. Porter

Paso Robles

Don’t use taxes for pain

As a taxpayer in San Luis Obispo County, I protest the valuable resources and money used by various law enforcement agencies to investigate and arrest a group of nonprofit businesses that were openly delivering medical marijuana under what they believed to be the protection of California state law (“Raid raises plenty of questions about medical marijuana,” Jan. 9).

Is not our money better spent on educational assistance, the needs of homeless children and families or the untreated and uncared for mentally ill? And indeed, our county will spend even more justifying the arrests. The group of 12 people arrested are not criminals, they are entrepreneurs.

I do not want to pay more taxes. I want my tax money to be intelligently used to enrich lives with education and health care and to help alleviate the misery of humankind. I do not want my tax money to add to the pool of pain.

As a fellow human being, I am disgusted by the terror and violation that each of these people (and in some cases their families) were subjected to during and after the arrest.

Margaret Geever

Morro Bay

More war, more money

So it looks like Erik Prince, former head of Blackwater Worldwide (now Xe Services) will be training Somalis in the art of war, with several Arab countries picking up the tab (“Blackwater founder training Somalis,” Jan. 21).

Whew, saving us taxpayers some dough. Let’s hope that they do not become our new enemies in the near future as those we fight today have become. Throughout Russia’s occupation of Afghanistan, we funded the Afghanis millions, armed them with all sorts of weaponry and taught them how to improvise in the art of bomb-making, which they use against us today.

It’s easy to support a war to keep it over there, throw in some patriotic rhetoric like freedom and liberty with the glory of such a valiant cause and you’ll have plenty of support. It seems we are stuck in the dark ages, high-tech style. Death and mayhem win over any progress we’ve made.

Go capitalism, because enough is never enough. Now get out there and make some money. Michael Sanchez

Los Osos

Lichtig is courageous

Regarding the article titled, “SLO unions call economic study biased” (Jan. 22):

Of course representatives of the San Luis Obispo police and firefighters’ unions want to challenge the study from the Financial Sustainability Task Force. That’s their job. They represent employee union interests and anything they can do to discredit this study serves to keep their employers from having to give up money. Targeting Michael Gunther, the facilitator of the task force, seems a bit desperate.

City Manager Katie Lichtig knew she had big budget issues when she was hired. She was wise to form a community-based task force. The fact that many members were San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce members is not surprising.

Any group of responsible citizens would include many Chamber of Commerce people. The task force represented the interests of the whole community, not just the local businesses or the unions.

The real issue is the city’s ability to control costs when revenues are down. By far, the largest category of expense is personnel costs. Any reasonable task force, with or without chamber members, would come to similar conclusions.

Lichtig is addressing the most difficult issue in a responsible way. I applaud her courage.

Ed Cox

Morro Bay

There’s vacation; there’s war

In his letter, Myron May (“What was the cost?” Jan. 12) is concerned about President Barack Obama’s recent vacation expenses. I wonder if the staggering costs of the horror from George Bush’s (dishonest) Iraq war would be of interest, too?

Darrel Boles

Paso Robles

Smart meters — smart move

I would say that Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s new smart meters are doing great. Business must be good to be able to donate an electric car and $10,000 (“PG&E donates electric trolley for lighthouse tours,” Jan. 10).

Steve Molter

San Luis Obispo

Not such a mistake

Lee Van Leeuwen is wrong in his allegation that “Republican war apologists” misled the country in attacking Iraq because the “Bush administration ignored the real evidence” that  Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction (“Colossal mistake,” Jan. 10).

The record is clear. Democrats and Republicans in the Congress at the time believed he did. Major intelligence sources in and outside the United States believed he did. And Hussein wanted us to believe he did. Hussein used gas against his own people — a weapon of mass destruction.

That which Leeuwen says is “the most colossal mistake in the history of our country” may prove to be key in the Middle East in combating terrorism by installing a democracy in a nation where dangerous Islamic terrorism and infighting between Muslims results in massive carnage and suffering.

Besides that, there is the issue with Iran now faced by the United States armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. This presence compromises Iran’s own weapon of mass destruction, an atomic bomb that may be used to obliterate Israel. If all of this is a mistake, why has President Barack Obama continued the war in Afghanistan? Does Democrat sympathizer Leeuwen know?

Otis Page

Arroyo Grande

Quality television is here

I lived for years in the Bay Area. Now, I lovingly call the Central Coast my home.

After moving here, one thing that I really missed were PBS stations. I am thrilled that KQED is here. We finally have quality television. 

Mimi Kimball


Police salaries help plenty

If you live in North or South County, don’t complain about San Luis Obispo cops, the county Sheriff’s Department or California Men’s Colony guards making a decent living. Their salaries help prop up our local economies.

The city of San Luis Obispo’s lack of housing is another benefit for these communities. The saying goes, “good fences make good neighbors.” Many people outside the city of San Luis Obispo can also say, “good cops make for good neighbors.”

Mitch Rust

Arroyo Grande

A good, stiff cry

I am thankful for the recent study suggesting that women’s tears turn men off, lower their testosterone, dampen their arousal, etc. (“Turnoffs: scent of a woman’s tears,” Jan. 7).

Pardon the pun, but why should the softening effect of sadness turn anyone on? Testosterone should take a back seat to nurturing! Are we just a little obsessed with male arousal in this culture?

No doubt the drug companies will offer men a solution to this. Male enhancement medicines and anti-depressants evidently aren’t working, so women, plug your tear ducts?! Almost makes me cry.

Barb Alward


Thanks from Teens At Work

Teens At Work, a project of The LINK, would like to thank Central Coast Funds for Children for their generous donation to our program. Central Coast Funds for Children has been actively supporting programs that address the needs of children and youth in San Luis Obispo County since 1994.

This dynamic organization holds fundraising events throughout the year, such as their Academy Awards party in February and the “Soup Supper” held in September, to raise money to benefit groups such as Teens At Work. Their efforts make it possible for programs such as ours to exist.

The youth who participate in Teens At Work experience running a real business offering a variety of products and services. They learn the basics of being in the workforce — everything from proper grooming, manners and attire to developing and marketing products.

As we move toward eventual self-sufficiency, we rely on our community partners such as Central Coast Funds for Children to help sustain the program. On behalf of all the youth who have benefited from Teens At Work, our sincerest and heartfelt thanks to Central Coast Funds for Children.

Betian Webb

Teens At Work program director

He may be right

In his letter, Larry Bargenquast makes the following claims about poor Arnold Schwarzenegger (“Can’t fix stupid,” Jan. 25):

Liberal voters, unions and activist judges fought, opposed and attacked him at every turn.

Eighty cents of every government dollar was spent on employee salaries and benefits.

Hyper-environmentalist, anti-business regulations and a refusal to secure the borders stymied education, drove firms away and forced more than 70 hospitals to close.

In my opinion, the first claim cannot be substantiated. It’s pure partisan bunk. The second claim requires a question: What else is government supposed to spend money on? I’ll bet the vast majority of the money went to the public school system. Does Bargenquast want the public school system to not be funded?

The third claim suggests that Bargenquast doesn’t remember when Lake Erie was on fire or that one of the largest oil spills ever occurred just recently in the Gulf of Mexico.

Is this what Bargenquast is advocating? Unregulated large business doing its best to wreck the environment to cut costs? I’m sure it’s not what Bargenquast wants. If it is, then I suggest at least he’s correct about one thing: “You simply can’t fix stupid.”

T.A. Cyr

Arroyo Grande