Collective bargaining for public employees, especially schoolteachers, is not as old nor as sacred as J.A. Hyde (“The way it works,” March 23) suggests, nor does it work as he imagines. Collective bargaining came to teachers via the Rodda Act in 1976. The act required managers to recognize a representative group for teachers and to negotiate in “good faith.” Both sides were to recognize mediation and arbitration, but it was not binding.
During my teaching career, I served as a teacher negotiator for 23 years. During that time, we never had a “highly paid union negotiator” on our side. Teachers represented teachers. Management, however, had a highly paid labor attorney to negotiate for the district with all costs paid by the state. Teachers could not, by law, make a “take it or leave it” demand, but often management’s position was: “Here is your piece of the pie. Divide it as you wish.”
Even when an arbitrator ruled in favor of teachers, the ruling was never binding on administration. In the end, administrators always received a pay package greater than that negotiated for the teachers.
I am sorry to say it, Mr. Hyde, but the real world is not the imaginary one you envision.
The huge difference between nuclear accidents and most other kinds of mishaps is the genetic implications. Death and injury by escaped radiation is hardly on a par with other industrial accidents in that the human genome and the generations yet unborn pay a continuing price in genetic mutations that have no time limit.
By the same token, despoiling our planetary heritage raises serious questions of our obligation to stewardship of and for the planet.
Accidents will happen. True. But to willfully proceed with actions that clearly threaten our Earth may seem fine for morons, but it is not a moral or healthy condition for an intelligent human race.
Devastating climate change and our increasing carbon footprint (plus other forms of gluttony) give the lie to parental compassion for our descendants. Need I elaborate?
San Luis Obispo
Cut off their pay
Here’s a thought that could more quickly put an end to the forces loyal to Gadhafi and against the insurgency: Avoid the armament of pro-Gadhafi troops, and go after the source of their remuneration. If the pro-Gadhafi forces aren’t paid, I’ll bet they will stop fighting. It’s a rule among mercenaries; no gold, no fight!
And that ought to open the flood gates for the insurgents to capture Tripoli with little or no further assistance from the international community. Isn’t that what we really want?
Then the international community can dwell on helping the citizens to write a constitution based on democratic principles as a model for other Middle Eastern nations seeking a similar end.
I don’t see why the international community should become otherwise involved.
Grateful for care
In February, I was admitted with pneumonia to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton. This was my first experience as a sick inpatient in a hospital.
During my entire stay, I was very grateful for and appreciative of the care I received. The emergency department medical and nursing care was prompt and wonderful, and the medical-surgical floor was great. Staff were very professional, introducing themselves and explaining what they would be doing. This included nurses, nurses aides, respiratory therapists, lab techs, radiology techs and housekeepers. When I called for a nurse the response was immediate.
I would also like to commend the outpatient diagnostic center. I was in there for labs and X-rays the week before my admission and was pleasantly surprised at the ease of the process. I was in and out in under an hour and my doctor had the results the same day. Well done!
I hope that I do not have occasion to make use of inpatient services again, but it feels good as a nurse and former nursing administrator to have experienced the excellent care provided at Twin Cities.
A goal achieved
On behalf of Outside Now, I would like to thank everyone who supported the Dare to Wear Green fundraising gala and auction on March 19 to benefit Nature Academy and our other nature connection programs.
This spectacular event was made possible by the generosity and creative energies of Ariel Shannon and the staff of Bluebird Salon, Pithy Little Wine Co., Sally Loo’s, Sustenance, California Pizza Kitchen and the more than 150 individuals and businesses who donated auction items.
We were ultimately successful in reaching our fundraising goal of $10,000, thanks to the dedicated community members who attended the event and participated in the auction. I feel grateful to live in such an engaged and generous community that actively supports us in caring deeply about our connection to nature.
We look forward to continuing in our efforts to connect more San Luis Obispo County residents to the magical wonders of our natural world.
Executive director of Outside Now, San Luis Obispo
Funds for children
Central Coast Funds for Children’s first fundraiser of 2011 took place at the New Frontiers Natural Marketplace on Jan. 15. Central Coast Funds for Children was the recipient of a percentage of the daily sales and garnered $1,233 for the day.
Central Coast Funds for Children volunteers were present all day in the beautiful new store to let shoppers know that the funds would be going to further our mission of helping children with needs in San Luis Obispo County.
Since 1993, volunteers from Central Coast Funds for Children have raised and distributed more than $1 million to qualified nonprofit agencies benefiting children. Central Coast Funds for Children holds several fundraisers each year and the proceeds from New Frontiers are a great start to what promises to be a fun and event-filled year.
Central Coast Funds for Children wishes to thank Dusty Colyer, marketing manager, and the entire staff at New Frontiers for selecting us as one of the beneficiaries of their generous donation. We look forward to another shopping day on June 15 when we will again have the opportunity to raise funds for children in San Luis Obispo County.
Jeanette Meek and Linda Butler
Central Coast Funds for Children
Don’t sue protester
It seems that Will Powers’ one-man picket has struck a nerve. Costco apparently doesn’t appreciate citizens exercising their rights to free speech. Powers, it seems, is upset with Costco’s fuel prices. No big deal. He chose to carry a sign stating such. No big deal.
Costco, in its corporate wisdom, has chosen to sue Powers, claiming that he trespassed (really?) and he called an employee a “fascist bastard” (oh no, not names!).
Even a child can see that Costco has fallen into the trap. It looks like a David and Goliath struggle. I offer this advice to Costco, at no charge: Drop the lawsuit. Ignore Powers and quit bringing negative attention to yourselves. He will soon tire and move on.
Oh, and find some new lawyers in your legal department who are smart enough to avoid this litigious type of petty overreaction in the future. Shame on you!
San Luis Obispo
Electric car not cheap
PG&E customers should not purchase a vehicle like the Chevrolet Volt if they expect a low operating cost.
Electrical rates for PG&E customers may be the highest in the contiguous 48 states. PG&E has a graduated rate scale and most of us are now in the $.29 per kilowatt-hour tier.
If you purchase a vehicle such as the Volt (a compact car) you will be in the $.40/kwh tier, a result of higher electrical use. The annual electrical cost for the Volt will then be $2,160 based upon the all-electric usage of 36kwh per 100 miles and 15,000 miles per year.
The use of a Prius (a midsize car) will result in an annual fuel cost of $1,500 with gasoline at $5 per gallon and 50 mpg. The national average electrical rate is $.11/kwh, so the Volt is a good choice for low cost operation in most states.
I read that radiation from the damaged nuclear plants in Japan, in the form of radioactive iodine 131, has been detected in the milk of cows in San Luis Obispo.
Nuclear and health officials are falling over themselves to convince us that the amount is so small as to be insignificant. In the early 1950s, the U.S. government tested above-ground nuclear devices in Nevada.
Those of you as old as I am (62) will remember seeing newsreels showing the mushroom clouds above the deserts of Nevada. The fallout from those tests was carried across the nation to the mid-Atlantic states, where it fell on the grass eaten by cows.
I was a young child at that time and my mother saw to it that I drank milk at every meal. In 2004, I had my thyroid gland removed because it contained a malignant tumor caused by iodine 131. It has generally been accepted, except by our government, that the higher than usual rates of thyroid cancer in the mid-Atlantic states are due to the radiation from the Nevada tests.
Radioactive iodine causes thyroid cancer. It may be 50 years or more before the damage is discovered.
Karen L. Beatty
Muzio’s long history
The Tribune’s article April 2 article about the closing of Muzio’s Grocery & Deli has missed one crucial fact about the business.
The current owner may have owned Muzio’s for the past 15 years, but Muzio’s Grocery is a historic business in San Luis Obispo — which had been located at the 870 Monterey St. location for at least 50 years before Lori Miller purchased it. This was more than just another SLO downtown business closing, this was the end of a historic downtown business name.
Missing facts like this in your articles just diminishes The Tribune’s credibility as an actual “local” San Luis Obispo newspaper. Any “real” small-town newspaper would have added the historical significance of Muzio’s, and perhaps would even have included some background on the store from the San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum.
Shon W. Hand
San Luis Obispo