Fun without drinking
There is a lack of activities for young people to do in San Luis Obispo County. The choices are either going to a bar, a party or staying home, which limits social interaction. The majority of college students like to party, but what about the other half who would still like to socialize but choose not to drink? Even more, consistently going out can get expensive.
I believe San Luis Obispo does a great job with Farmers Market and Concerts in the Plaza. The only problem is that these events are also limited to certain weather conditions and Concerts in the Plaza only happens during the summer.
My idea is to get young people together without spending a lot of money or involving alcohol. I think it would a great idea to rent out a place and have the people who want to attend pay just $5. This event could take place once a week with a different live band volunteering to play for free each time.
All in all, I think this would support a good habit of being able to have fun but still be responsible.
Robber baron plans
Determined, methodical, efficient and ruthless.
These are the words that come to mind when considering the latest political manipulations by the right wing as they offer their “solutions” to solve the very problems they created. Because of the lack of oversight of big business, banking, oil companies and agribusiness over the past few decades, 2 percent of the population now owns 95 percent of the wealth.
They have used that wealth to buy representation in Congress and the courts. They are now trying to eliminate the last bastions of the common man — unions and community organizations — because these represent the citizens likely to vote against them.
There are a few rich people who believe they must give back to the country that gave them opportunity (for example, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates), and they believe they should pay their fair share of taxes willingly.
But the right wing wants to balance the budget on the backs of the fading middle class, the disabled and the elderly. They certainly can’t revisit the tax cuts and consider bringing back the rates that we had during the Eisenhower Administration. That would not be part of their plan to take us back to the robber baron 1880s before all the laws were enacted to protect us ... now forgotten.
Propaganda against EPA
The recent letter suggesting the Environmental Protection Agency is a hindrance to progress is pure special interest propaganda (“EPA a hindrance,” Feb. 22). Big business wants to end control over its operations, and not because of an altruistic interest in making things better for us all. It’s all about greed. Top executives and investors want to make more money for themselves, and they could do that if allowed to do whatever they wanted, regardless of the harm they caused.
Consider these facts: In the late 1970s, 9 percent of the total income of United States residents went to 1 percent of the people. Today, those in that upper 1 percent bracket get 20 percent of the income and have been paying a continuously declining share of their incomes in taxes.
This is a key reason why things are so bad. A tiny minority gets richer and more powerful while the majority receives a steadily declining share of the United States total income and carries an increasing share of the tax burden. Is this how democracy is supposed to work?
We need stronger controls over business practices that damage our financial and our physical health — controls that include the EPA. Rein in the modern day robber barons and things will finally change for the better.
Desperate in Africa
While living and working a number of years ago in Nigeria, West Africa, I observed the overwhelming differences in the lives of the rich and the poor in that country. Even the most basic necessities were denied to most of their citizens, and Niger, Chad and other neighboring countries operated in similar fashion.
The current tumult on the African continent comes as no surprise. When you have little or nothing to lose except your life, you will be motivated to sacrifice even it for a cause you deem worthy.
The horror of the present conflicts can only emphasize to what ends desperate people are driven — people desperate for power and those wanting only to live lives of hope and peace.
May the impossible happen. Justice for all the oppressed on this vast continent.
Close tabs on Patterson
The anti-Walmart crowd has thus far been unable to stop the project at the city level, but whether it could be stopped at the county level remains to be seen.
Atascadero has a Level of Severity I water level designation and Paso Robles has a more severe Level of Severity III. The water level study presented to the County Planning Commission showed Atascadero’s water basin as separate from that of Paso Robles.
However, Supervisor Jim Patterson’s Planning Commissioner, Dan O’Grady, made a motion to not separate Atascadero’s water basin from that of Paso Robles and instead manage them as one single basin as a “way to manage water resources in the North County.”
The Tribune (“Worries rise as water levels fall in North County,” Feb. 13) states, “declaring that a water basin is LOS III allows planners to come back with regulations on land use and water that could impact building in the affected area.”
How water is managed and how that affects building projects, some argue, could affect the Walmart project.
After many alert citizens of Atascadero let Supervisor Patterson know they were watching his vote very closely, he ended up voting with the findings of the study and against his appointee.
Atascadero is wise to continue to watch Supervisor Patterson closely.
Thanks for civics lesson
The Atascadero High School political science class took a visit to City Hall on Feb. 9.
We would like to say a special thanks to James R. Lewis, the assistant city manager for Atascadero, and to all the people of City Hall who keep our municipality running smoothly.
Lewis gave us an interesting background lesson on American civics and local government and then led our class on a tour. He answered all of our questions and facilitated a thoughtful discussion with the newest generation of American citizens.
Atascadero High School Academic Support Center
Daylight-saving time can be canceled in this country by writing to your Congressional representative and requesting him or her to introduce legislation. Congresswoman Lois Capps hears from me yearly, but I’m only one voice.
So everyone who realizes that rearranging our lives twice a year is harmful to our health should contact their representative. No matter what we do with our timepieces, there are still the same number of hours of daylight and darkness.
Price Canyon meeting
If you are interested in the ongoing saga regarding the proposed Price Canyon development project in Pismo Beach, you should attend the next City Council meeting Tuesday. There are going to be some interesting topics, and all should be there if you have an interest in Price Canyon.
I know there is something just not right about the whole process and the city’s way of handling this game-changing project that will increase the city’s size by 77 percent. That’s right, you are not reading it wrong: 77 percent.