Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 2/9

Rampant speculation

In 1999, the government repealed the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial banks from investment banks. Since then, rampant speculation in derivatives and other nonsense created a multi-trillion dollar bubble of fraudulent debt.

A large majority of American citizens rejected the bailout of Wall Street, yet our representatives supported the transference of our tax dollars to bail out Wall Street.

The bailout hasn’t worked. We must re-enact Glass-Steagall and immediately separate viable commercial banks from the investment bubble of fraudulent debt.

Our leaders are willfully promoting an agenda of austerity to pay for the speculative bubble.

The LaRouche Political Action Committee has solutions to this crisis: A new Glass-Steagall Act combined with a new national bank to issue credit to all 50 states earmarked for infrastructure projects (like a North American Water and Power Alliance and a high-speed rail system). These projects would employ millions. Americans should rally behind LaRouche’s New Deal and persuade our present leaders to do the same.

Emily Esslinger

Los Osos

Bus issues

After hearing every City Council member and the public speak at the Grover Beach City Council public meetings about the proposed West Grand Avenue Master Plan, I noticed that there was one item that was not brought up one time in the whole process: SCAT buses!

I would have thought that the elected officials and the city would know that every hour, from morning until evening, the SCAT buses run down Grand Avenue. There are numerous stops that are right in the heart of this proposed project.

They talk about slowing down traffic. Well, when a big bus stops to pick up or drop off passengers, it’s going to slow it down a lot. You can’t have one lane going down Grand Avenue and you can’t have roundabouts because a big bus has to use that same roundabout. I don’t think the planner had that in mind.

You need to keep it the way it is: two lanes on both sides. SCAT buses keep the best on-time schedule around and with the new ways to slow down traffic, it will put the buses behind schedule. Consider the buses and passengers, please. SCAT does a great service to our community.

Joseph Holmes

Grover Beach

Preparedness

On Jan. 15, the New Life Community Church in Pismo Beach sponsored a Disaster Preparedness Day. Pastor Ron Salsbury and his staff are to be complimented for providing an amazing public service for the residents of San Luis Obispo County.

More than 1,200 people received information from a variety of professionals. The church was able to bring together organizations such as American Red Cross, search and rescue, the fire department, PG&E, Southern California Gas, Miner’s Hardware, etc. Attendees left the event with useful and important information.

In the event of a large-scale emergency, thanks to the efforts of New Life Community Church and those who participated, many of our residents will be prepared not only to take care of their own families, but to help their neighbors. This will be a great service to our first responders.

Shelly Higginbotham

Pismo Beach

The right thing

Once again, The Tribune opines on the vision, value and the citizens of Paso Robles (“Nacimiento project long in the making,” Jan. 19). I believe there were reasons it took more than 30 years to approve the Nacimiento project. I don’t believe we can forget the fact that Lake Nacimiento is, after all, a lake fed by water runoff, so when citizens most need the resource, it may not be available to the extent desired.

One should also note the need for additional water is, to a large degree, the depletion of the aquifer and those drawing on this resource. Little has been done to evaluate and manage this resource.

Addressing Paso Robles’ funding, a significant portion of the funding was to come from new development that has not been forthcoming and may not for years in the future. This will then require current citizens to shoulder a significantly larger burden.

It is fine for The Tribune to “want local decision-makers ... to approve projects,” but decisions need to be in the best interests of all their citizens.

When all is said and done, the citizens of Paso Robles and their representatives will “do the right thing” for Paso Robles.

William Tuck

Paso Robles

Already a failure

Gov. Jerry Brown is already a failure this early into his term. His budget proposal indicates his unwillingness to attack California’s budget problems. He may understand that it may already be too late, but I sure would like to see him give it a shot.

Shirlene Gregory

Pismo Beach

Listen to people

I recently read an article in The Tribune about California and the “re-branding” so needed by the California Republican Party to regain their power (“State GOP struggles to find its niche,” Jan. 31). Re-branding the GOP will take more than some inspiring tag lines and notable 30-second videos.

Could the rejection of traditional conservative values speak to our left coast, which realizes that the greedy, corporate-friendly free-market capitalism worshiped by the Republican Party is toxic for our society?

Both parties share the blame as systems are clearly corrupted, but as we slide further down the slope in so many areas, the Republican Party (without apparent common sense) defends the rights of business over those of people or the world we live in. Even the tea party is silent when cutting the Pentagon’s budget is mentioned (it is almost 5 percent of our gross domestic product).

Get real. If the Republican Party wants a seat at the table, listen to the people, not the corporations. Do what is right for our citizens and the world we all share. Sustainability and collaboration are the new black.

Allen Root

San Luis Obispo

Unconditional love

Three cheers and then some for Bruce-Paul Scott’s letter titled, “Taking his chances” (Feb. 5). I am 83 years old and have loved, cuddled, kissed and slept with my dogs all my life, as I do now with my dear 13-year-old Pekingese.

The only illnesses I’ve ever had have been from contacts with humans. I will always love my pets unconditionally.

Gaynelle Wordeman

San Luis Obispo

Concerning cuts

I am very concerned about Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget cuts to developmental disabilities groups and the services they provide.

As a newly working, disabled, high-performance autistic man, who now has job training with PathPoint EVR in San Luis Obispo, I am frustrated at our own governor for giving out budget cuts that will affect the disabled, including the autistic and people with down syndrome, etc.

The big question is: “Does everyone have to suffer when there is a lack of compassion going around Sacramento?”

Scott C. Presnal

Morro Bay

Super Bowl ads

Two companies really missed the boat by not advertising during the Super Bowl: Tylenol and Pepto-Bismol. If the ads and halftime show didn’t give you a horrible headache, they made you sick to your stomach.

After millions of dollars spent on a ridiculous half-time production and all of the expensive creation costs for the advertisements (not counting the $3 million per 30 seconds it cost to run them), a kid in a Halloween costume put them all to shame.

It took hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to create very expensive, very high-tech ads with gobs of special effects, but a miniature Darth Vader with a wonderful imagination stole the show. I think I’ll go buy a Volkswagen.

Rex Farris

Grover Beach

Loud and clear

Right on, Leonard Pitts Jr. (“Evolving backward,” Jan. 2)! Your message was loud and clear: the loud noise heard on talk radio and television news indeed demonstrates why the U.S. is no longer revered for intelligence and reason.

Although I doubt it, I hope the pundits of the obtuse read your commentary, particularly Glenn Beck, who likes to claim no one else pays attention to history, or any other part of their schooling, for that matter.

Mike Broadhurst

Cambria

Disingenuous column

Lon Allan’s recent column referring to the departure of the Atascadero police chief was disappointing at best (“People deserve to know why police chief left,” Feb. 8). Allan is no “cub reporter,” but a journalist with more than 30 years of experience.

His column was disingenuous at best, as he knows very well that both city staff and the City Council are legally prohibited by law from commenting on any personnel issue, no matter how much they may like to set the record straight. To infer that anything is amiss is shameful on his part.

The real culprit is a legal system where any “deep pockets employer,” in this case the city, must practice defensive law and agree to settlements to protect the public from egregious legal expenses that would easily surpass any agreed-upon settlement.

While the public should be informed, current law prohibits it. So tell the Legislature to change the law so that any settlement involving public money is a matter of public record or find a judge to issue a court order to open the record to public scrutiny.

But don’t impugn the City Council or city staff for upholding the law and their sworn duty to protect legal agreements and privacy laws that The Tribune has often defended.

Al Fonzi

Atascadero

Easy flood fix

Although I agree with the statement that “relief is needed” in correcting Oceano’s flooding problem, your editorial missed the mark entirely on the easiest and least expensive solution to their immediate problem (“Permanent flood relief is needed,” Jan. 30).

The answer is simply to breach the sand bar that stops the flow from Arroyo Grande Creek from reaching the sea. In the past, it was a routine task of annual maintenance required by the original maintenance agreement between the county and the federal government.

You may ask, “Why was it stopped?” You can thank the California Coastal Commission that concluded that breaching the sand bar was a “development project” requiring environmental study and would require a full coastal development permit if “mechanized equipment” (a backhoe) were used for the breaching.

With thousands of vehicles driving back and forth on a daily basis, they concluded a single backhoe on a single day would be something they couldn’t allow without thousands of dollars worth of study, staff reports, multiple public hearings and appeals.

Until someone has the backbone to stand up to the absurdity of the Coastal Commission, Oceano will continue to face these flooding problems. Breach the sand bar and the vast majority of potential flooding situations in Oceano will be resolved.

George Gibson

San Luis Obispo

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