Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 4/8

Lucky so far

I appreciate the caution of the three supervisors in asking PG&E not to renew the license at Diablo Canyon. When something as unforeseen happens as the situation in Japan, it would be foolish not to re-evaluate the safety of Diablo Canyon — a reactor near active earthquake faults.

We can learn from the mistakes in Japan. We need battery backup to the cooling systems that last 72 hours, not the current four hours most U.S. plants now have (or the eight hours in Japan). It is also disturbing to learn that the emergency cooling pumps at Diablo were unknowingly disabled for eighteen months (Union of Concerned Scientists).

What if there had been an accident then? We have been lucky thus far; Let us not waste this opportunity to ensure our safety in the future.

Marla Lipshin

Santa Margarita

NIMBY at work

The California Academy of Science in San Francisco shows a film illustrating the threatened death of up to 80 percent of the coral reefs in the world’s oceans due to global warming. When these reefs die, more than 80 percent of the ocean’s species will also disappear, utterly destroying the biodiversity of the seas. As an industrial nation, we can help in this fight by eliminating fossil fuels and switching to wind, solar and the like.

It is therefore beyond ironic that the proposed solar farm in the Carizzo plains is being opposed by local environmental activists. Similarly, there is a wind generation farm in Texas being opposed by local environmental activists. These activists argue that the land where these developments are proposed is unique and forms a habitat for a variety of species, several of which are endangered.

Unfortunately, the same argument could undoubtedly be made for any large tract of land anywhere in the United States. That is, it would undoubtedly be unique and undoubtedly the habitat for some creature.

These local objections to this urgent problem are examples of the NIMBY principle at work — that is, this is a terrible problem that needs solving but not in my backyard. No wonder nothing happens.

James M. Duenow

San Luis Obispo

Our choice to make

1. Nuclear power boils water to create steam to generate electricity. With the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, we have seen one of the worst things that can happen using nuclear power.

2. We drill for oil to run our country and to drive to the market. With the BP oil disaster in the Gulf waters, we have seen one of the worst things that can happen when drilling for oil.

3. Solar energy: What is the worst that can happen? I’m still thinking ...

4. Wind power: What is the worst thing that can happen? Oh, I know — it might be loud.

Solar power, or loud power, or potential human destruction for eons?

It’s a tough choice, but it is a choice and it is ours to make. You might have to write a letter, or cut back on energy usage —or you might have to run as fast as you can.

Barbara-Jo Osborne

Morro Bay

Trust issues

We rigidly adhere to the strictest standards for inspecting and testing our gas pipeline — Trust us.

Our SmartMeters are absolutely safe — trust us.

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant is safe and secure — trust us.

Trust us ...?

Don Dirkse

Arroyo Grande

A nail in the coffin

Well, I guess SLO City has decided that it’s more important to put another nail in the coffin of downtown businesses than it is to support them —adding parking fees to Sunday’s “free pass.”

What do I think might happen? Well, were I attending church downtown I’d take myself over to Panera Bread, Applebee’s or the Madonna Inn for lunch thereafter. I wouldn’t want to spend any additional time downtown putting quarters in the coffer — or having a giant parking ticket.

Oh — and first we must pay for new parking meters. Of course it’s so wise to build another parking garage right now...when businesses are suffering and the city is already having major financial trouble.

Oh yes, they’ll just raise parking fees, ticket fees, and of course, taxes. And then all will be well — or will it?

Carol Kiessig


Too late for change

I have tried hard to understand the reason why the state Legislature and the United States Congress dislike the poor, the sick, the disabled and the elderly so much.

“Dislike” is the right word to use. If you read the newspaper and watch the news on television, you know that I am right. Look at the March 26 headline: “Budget will hurt county’s vulnerable.” The United States Congress, which has not given the elderly a cost-of-living increase in two years, will give us an increase. However, Congress will take it away by raising the cost of Medicare insurance. So that is three years now without any help from our Congress.

Government goes out of its way to help the rich and large corporations by cutting the taxes they pay. Why? So they can become richer. This is all to help the men and women in legislature and Congress to keep their large incomes.

If our government representatives could get rid of all the poor, sick, elderly and disabled, it would make them very happy. Some people would say that I am wrong. But, for me and many others, it is too late for change.

John Sylvia

San Luis Obispo

Appropriate timing

How appropriate that Brian Roberts’ letter honoring his father was published April 1, just the day after poet John Donne died in London on March 31, 1631.

Filling in the words between “no man is an island” and “for whom the bell tolls” is a thoughtful tribute to the many who have lost their lives in the tragic events in Japan and to his personal loss.

Dorothy Johnson

Paso Robles

Ditch Pitts

How much longer do we have to put up with the ramblings of Leonard Pitts Jr.? I am not upset with his recent article about birthers, but that he mentioned that John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone.

Pitts was wrong to do that. He should know that the Canal Zone was an American territory that issued American birth certificates to American parents. McCain’s father was an American naval officer stationed in the Canal Zone. Being born on an American military base makes McCain a citizen, regardless of where the base is located. Pitts should also know that a child born abroad is still an American citizen as long as both of his or her parents are American citizens. Only one of Obama’s parents was an American citizen, which could be why some people (not I) question his place of birth.

I am also upset that Pitts chose to make this a racist issue (as did Whoopi Goldberg). I don’t care what color our leaders are. People have the right to believe what they do without being called names for their beliefs.

Please consider removing Pitts. I am tired of reading his one-sided opinions when he does not respect the opinions of others.

Adrian M. Hurtado


Check animal shelter

The story of Sandy the Chihuahua (April 5) being lost in Grover Beach, and somehow finding her way back to her owner in San Luis Obispo after four days on the street is nothing short of amazing!

The story I read sounded like Ms. Elich tried very hard to locate her pet, but I would love to have read that she in fact also visited the San Luis Obispo County Animal Shelter to see if Sandy had been picked up as a stray.

I am a volunteer at the animal shelter, and I can’t begin to tell you how many stray and lost cats and dogs are picked up daily from all over San Luis Obispo County and brought into the shelter. These lost animals obviously belong to someone or to a family that is missing them and loves them very much.

We are trying very hard to raise awareness that the public should check the animal shelter in San Luis Obispo for lost pets. So many dogs and cats are there waiting to be found by their owners.

Sheila Steward

Arroyo Grande