Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 2/2

A splendid job

Few people will remember the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce’s leadership before Dave Garth took over. As mayor from 1969 to 1979, I’m one who does. The Chamber’s leadership was negative, reactionary and close-minded to new ideas about community improvements. It was also about to go out of business because it was nearly broke. Relationships with the city government were sour to say the least. 

That was the state of affairs when Garth assumed Chamber leadership. He brought with him a professional attitude and an open mind to different ways of looking at and working with our city. 

He also led a sometimes painful re-evaluation of the Chamber’s relationship to the City Council. 

The subsequent change of attitude within the Chamber has paid off handsomely for both the business community and the city. It probably changed a few Councilmembers’ attitudes toward the Chamber as well.

Garth has done a splendid job and San Luis Obispo is a better (and happier) city because of his positive influence.

Ken Schwartz

San Luis Obispo

Louder than ever

In December 2010, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act was signed into law. It says TV commercials can’t be broadcast at a higher volume than regular programming. But since then, commercials seem to be louder than ever. I’m talking wake-the-neighbors-four-blocks away loud, even on local stations that never previously displayed this sort of aggression.

Is this because: 

1. TV is run by corporations that can buy elections now and are therefore above the law?

2. Advertisers think it’s fun to see how fast everybody dives for the mute button as soon as their ads come on?

3. All TV CEOs own stock in the Lee Majors Bionic Hearing Aid company and will benefit from destroying our hearing?

4. TV stations know we can get most programming on our computers and want to hasten their own demise?

5. All of the above?

Anne R. Allen

Los Osos

Without guns

I hope all our gun-packing politicians notice that the government of Egypt was brought to its knees by demonstrators without guns. If they had used guns, the police would have massacred them.

Arthur Armstrong

Los Osos

Brickbat deserved

A well-deserved brickbat should be given to the decision makers involved in the pay of Cal Poly’s new president, Jeffrey Armstrong. The salary awarded by the CSU Board of Trustees, not to mention the $30,000 “kicker” from the Cal Poly Foundation, was unconscionable, irresponsible and disrespectful.

Why does he have to be the highest-paid president in the CSU system or be paid more than Warren Baker, who had 31 years of service? Would he have taken the job for much less? Most probably, and if not, then perhaps he is not the best person for the job.

Make excuses and rationalize all you want, but this is a slap in the face to the California taxpayers, not to mention the students, parents, staff and faculty, all of whom are struggling to deal with the present economy and tight budgets. To add to this insult, the CSU board made this decision a few days after Gov. Jerry Brown proposed $500 million in cuts. Incredible!

It is this type of action that understandably sets off the tea party types. While I agree with almost none of their positions, they do have a few valid complaints. This is one of them.

Ron Lyons

Arroyo Grande

Decline higher pay

As a fourth-year Cal Poly student, I would like to comment on the issue regarding new Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong’s salary increase. President-elect Armstrong, who is from Michigan State, is going to make $22,000 more than former President Warren Baker did. And that’s after Baker served Cal Poly for 31 years. Plus, Armstrong’s getting $30,000 from the Cal Poly Foundation and rent-free housing on campus.

In times of overspending and record state and federal budget deficits, I feel Armstrong is both morally and ethically obligated to at least take the pay of his predecessor and to decline the unnecessary money received from the Cal Poly Foundation as this money could be used for much more useful goals, such as helping struggling students pay and receive a quality education in rough economic times.

Ryan Whiteside

Arroyo Grande

Local heroes

On behalf of the Friends of Cayucos Library, I offer oceans of thanks to local heroes Tom Craig, Shera Hill, April Kluver and directors/writers Stacy Peralta and Sam George for bringing the classic surfing documentary, “Riding Giants,” to the big screen at the Cayucos School auditorium recently.

Friends of the Cayucos Library is the appreciative beneficiary of their hard work and goodwill. It was a great community spirit-filled evening!

Kate Throop

Cayucos Friends of the Library president

Where we’re headed

The front-page article on the reasons for the financial collapse of 2008 (“Panel: Negligence, risk-taking fueled economy’s collapse,” Jan. 28) neglected the third and most important of the three reasons cited by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission: “systemic breaches in accountability and ethics at all levels.”

Ethics implies morality and morality, for most people, is dependent upon a healthy fear of God. How many people are going to do the right thing if no one is looking and doing the wrong thing makes them rich? Only those who know that God sees everything.

Russia and some of the other ex-communist states should be rich countries, judged by their wealth of resources. But Communism denied God and the result is a culture devoid of ethics and accountability and full of poverty. This is where we are headed unless there are dramatic changes soon.

Allen Pritzlaff


Get screened

As the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States, breast cancer will take the lives of 40,000 women this year alone.

Breast cancer survival rates among low-income and uninsured women continue to be markedly lower, due to late diagnosis. It is well known that early detection saves lives, but many women cannot afford a mammogram and will not have an annual breast exam because of cost.

Due to new legislation, our clinics are now able to enroll low-income or uninsured women age 40 and over in a state program that will pay for their annual breast exams, pap smears and mammograms.

Community Action Partnership San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) Health Services is your local provider of cancer detection services.

Our FortyWonderful program strives to increase awareness regarding the importance of early detection through regular screening and make certain that lack of insurance is not a barrier to these life-saving services.

To schedule an appointment, call our clinic in San Luis Obispo at 544-2478 or Arroyo Grande at 489-4026. Both sites welcome walk-ins, are handicapped accessible, accept Cen-Cal and FPACT and have bilingual/bicultural staff.

For more information about the FortyWonderful program, call 544-2498.

Kayla Wilburn

CAPSLO Health Services clinic coordinator

Simple solution

There is no denying that we’re facing a difficult situation with the budget. There is a simple solution that is rarely discussed: cut military spending.

According to the National Priorities Project, $1.1 trillion has been spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Our share of that cost in California is well over $100 billion and in the city of San Luis Obispo, more than $100 million. If only one-fourth of those dollars were redirected to the state and city, our budget deficit would disappear and all programs and services could be fully funded.

Many important local programs and services are being cut or eliminated in order to fund the wars. Think health care, police and fire protection, library services, senior services, public transportation and funding for education, to name just a few.

Tell your elected representatives to reduce military spending and redirect it to human-serving programs and services.

Dwight D. Eisenhower said it well: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

It’s time to stop the theft!

George Griffin

San Luis Obispo

Missing the point

Two members of Congress are suggesting new gun laws in a knee-jerk response to the shootings in Tucson. They are missing the point.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy said that if the ban on high-capacity magazines for hand guns was still in effect, the shootings in Tucson would not have happened. She is wrong. The shooting would have taken place anyways, but maybe not as many people would have been shot.

On the other hand, if the alleged suspect was utilizing a much smaller 10-round magazine, one of the heroes of the day, Patricia Maisch, may not have been able to grab it and more people may have been shot.

Rep. Peter King wants a law to make it illegal to carry a firearm within 1,000 feet of a lawmaker. Why? Isn’t it already illegal to shoot people? If someone wanted to shoot a lawmaker, does anyone think that a law banning guns within 1,000 feet would stop them? No.

To make guns and law-abiding gun owners at fault here is wrong. It does nothing to the criminals. What we need is enforcement of the gun laws we have now and prosecution of people for committing crimes, instead of making excuses for them.

Randy Carr

Arroyo Grande

Heart disease battle

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States today. Heart disease knows no boundaries of age, sex, ethnicity or financial status. Women are particularity at risk for a number of reasons, such as a lack of understanding of the risk factors involved and the differences in the presentation of symptoms of a cardiac episode in women.

During February, the American Heart Association and Go Red For Women will target women to help raise their awareness in the fight against heart disease. Learn your numbers (weight, blood pressure, percentage of body fat, body measurements) and evaluate your diet and exercise regime.

Stop by your local fitness facility or health care provider during February to learn your numbers. Taking preventative steps today can significantly reduce the chances of getting heart disease tomorrow, next year or 10 years from now.

On Feb. 4, join millions of women on National Wear Red Day and wear red to help raise awareness about women and heart disease to help the important women in your life like your mother, your daughter, your sister, but especially, yourself! Join the movement. Learn your numbers. Go red and find your own personal way to fight heart disease.

Kristi A. Jenkins


Insanity defined

Let me get this straight. In order to fix the mess created by people like him and his cohorts in Sacramento, Gov. Jerry Brown wants to cut some spending and raise taxes. Haven’t you all noticed that this hasn’t worked in the past? How about the following:

Eliminate as many nonessential government departments as possible.

Deal with the unions and their lavish pensions.

Eliminate the subsidy for fluorescent light bulbs.

Drill for the oil that we have and sell it.

Stop funding illegal immigrants.

Unions, environmentalists and politicians (who spend our tax dollars, plus more, on everything you can think of that’s not essential to the primary function of state government) are killing this once great state of California.

President Barack Obama has been quoted as saying, “under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” So what does our state government do? Create their own version of cap and trade while our unemployment is sky high. Another job killer and policy to drive business out of our state.

Great work! And thanks to all my California friends who voted for the continued liberal machine that’s taking us to ruin. What’s that definition of insanity?

G.R. Zepeda

Paso Robles

The only way

It’s amusing to connect the Jan. 26 front page article about the Cal Poly president’s proposed $350,000 salary (“President’s potential pay: $350,000”) with Dan Walters’ commentary titled, “Bankruptcy for states a bad move.” 

The 2009 salaries for state elected officials topped out at the governor’s $212,000, though he didn’t actually accept it. Yet all 23 state university presidents make more than $250,000, according to your table.   On the opinion page, Walters argues that Republicans are trying to hide their true agenda behind their idea that states should be allowed to declare bankruptcy. He says they see bankruptcy as a way of undermining public employee unions. 

Yes, Walters, bankruptcy is possibly the only way to protect taxpayers against the alliance of state politicians and state employees, unionized or not. 

Mimi Gerstell

Morro Bay


The county has approved the removal of 120 eucalyptus trees because they are non-native (“Plan to cut eucs moves ahead,” Jan. 13).

I’m puzzled as to how people who are perhaps 40, 50 or 60 years old know what is “native.” It may be that some of these people were born outside of California, thus they are not “native.”

Speaking of non-native, zebras might pose a problem, but let’s not go there!

Bill Hoak Cambria

Why allow class?

My question to the city of San Luis Obispo is this: Why are you allowing a religion class on Islam to be taught at a taxpayer-supported public space (“Course to give A Taste of Islam,” Jan. 24)? Does this mean that Catholics, Mormons, etc. will now be able to teach religion classes at the library?

Barbara Almstedt

Morro Bay