Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 5/2

Stop Village changes

In regard to the small article on the front page of the April 13 Tribune, titled “Park gets facelift,” I am disgusted.

What is with Arroyo Grande City Council, considering changing the name of Village Green Park to Centennial Park? Haven’t there been too many changes to the Village as is?

It was decided by the powers that the “swinging” bridge needed to be “stabilized.”

The City Council is looking to make the Village into something that it shouldn’t become. There are too many people who want to change what doesn’t need changing. What these people are doing is actually ruining what those of us who were longtime shoppers of stores such as Don’s Variety, Louise Ralph’s, Baxter’s, etc., want.

The City Council should just go ahead and change the name of Arroyo Grande, as they want to change everything else. Maybe they should find another name for the city since they want to change everything and totally obliterate what the Village is meant to be.

What is wrong with staving off all of the ridiculous “Village growth” and letting Arroyo Grande citizens enjoy what little is left?

C.J. Cochran

Arroyo Grande

Unsustainable system

I just received notice of yet another increase in my health insurance premiums. Anthem (the same firm that raised my premiums 39 percent last year) is bumping me up another 13.8 percent. Incredibly, my deductible is also going up by 18 percent! My annual outlay — before the insurance company ever pays a dime — is now more than $10,000 a year.

I write not as a proponent of one health care system over another but only to point out that our current path is unsustainable. As it is, we are each just one medical tragedy away from the poorhouse. Meanwhile, the politicians we elect to oversee this unsupportable health care system enjoy gold-plated plans that cover their every need. I propose that, until we get this travesty under control, all elected officials forgo government-funded health insurance.

They should be required to buy “free-market health care,” so they can feel the pain we feel, so they can negotiate the minefield of making claims and having them denied, or skipping treatment for lack of funds or, more likely, lack of coverage.

Until the people with the power to change the system have to live within the system, things will never change.

Jim Mallon

San Luis Obispo

Republican hypocrisy

The right wing metamorphosis over the NATO intervention in Libya has been astounding. At first, Republicans such as Newt Gingrich advised an instantaneous no-fly zone (I guess acting alone with no planning). Military expert Mike Huckabee, (doubtlessly relying on his bachelor’s degree in religion from Ouachita Baptist University) weighed in, also urging immediate action. When the coalition was formed and the no-fly zone was imposed, the right wing decided that it had taken too long. Days later, they completely reversed course, concluding that our limited Libya involvement was wrong. Wow!

Fox News began bellowing about the cost of the intervention, telling us how expensive cruise missiles are (a breathtaking bit of hypocrisy in light of the cost of Afghanistan and Iraq). Overlooked in all of the din was that England and France had asked for our help in Libya. A perfectly reasonable request, since they have spent twenty four years combined as our allies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, thank you, President Barack Obama. If there is one thing we should have learned, it is that unilateral, open-ended military action to pursue regime change is a horrible mistake.

Lee Van Leeuwen

San Luis Obispo

Their fair share

“Individual tax cuts for the well-off create jobs.”

Republicans hammer that misconception into something resembling truth. Repeating something over and over doesn’t make it true. Income windfalls for financial top tiers don’t fund jobs; they fund investment in portfolios to increase established wealth.

There is nothing inherently wrong with doing well or growing one’s net worth. Yet, I don’t think the tax code should enable those with the means and tools to do that on their own.

Job creation is a function of small businesses.

Ninety-eight percent of them make less than $250,000. Ninety-eight percent of all Americans make less than $250,000. That’s where to target tax relief.

The Democratic proposals do just that. Sixteen tax cuts have been enacted for small businesses. The deal on the table is to let the temporary tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 expire.

Additionally, the tax code for large corporations is on the table. Cuts can be made there, especially in relation to tax rates in other countries, coupled with closing loopholes in the code that allow companies to avoid tax. General Electric rings a bell.

Everyone across the political spectrum agrees we’re in this together. Democrats are suggesting that all pony up their fair share.

Jamie Ford

San Luis Obispo

Deceptive message

Kenneth Schwartz’s obsession in his recent letter (April 27) about a few stock photos in the mailer that the Firefighters union sent to San Luis Obispo city residents appears to be an off-handed attempt to accuse the union of some deception while ignoring the text information. Ken doesn’t dispute the “factualness” of the message in the text, but tries to disparage the union for using photos that may not be authentically San Luis Obispo.

Expect all of the “big guns,” past and present, from the city to start using their bully pulpit in the local media as well as organizational meetings and senior residences to spin their propaganda. There will be more of this message deviation as the information about arbitration and pensions continues to come out.

The unions will need to spend a great deal of money, mostly from out of town sources, as the small locals here could never get their message out against the onslaught of community “leaders” and the Chamber of Commerce.

Keep in mind that these community “leaders” and the Chamber of Commerce were the driving force behind your ever-increasing water and sewer rates. Do you expect truthful information from them?

Terry Mohan

San Luis Obispo

Loss of frequencies

Radio frequencies that amateur radio operators (hams) use when they assist San Luis Obispo County’s first responders during emergencies will be taken away if a bill pending in Congress is enacted as written. Families that use two-way radios to communicate with relatives will also be adversely affected. Costs to all are virtually incalculable.

The Estero Radio Club — hams from Morro Bay and Los Osos — join with the American Radio Relay League in vigorous opposition to H.R. 607 and attendant bills in the House and Senate that would authorize the Federal Communications Commission to sell radio frequencies as bandwidth for commercial uses.

The ARRL heads the effort to have the bill changed so that radio frequencies used by local hams and others across the country are not taken away. Key frequencies that would be taken away are the 420 to 440 and 450 to 470 megahertz bands.

Thousands of land mobile systems licensed to businesses, broadcast auxiliary facilities, the General Mobile Radio Service and the Family Radio Service — used by countless taxpayers — would be affected by loss of these frequencies.

We urge you to contact representatives with your objections to H.R. 607.

Bill Bailey

Estero Radio Club President

Stop drilling in U.S.

What to do when you’re in a deep hole? Stop digging. The “Drill, baby, drill” argument can be settled by simple arithmetic using figures published by the CIA on the internet. The latest figures (2009) show that the U.S. consumes 22.5 percent of the world’s oil. The proven oil reserves of the U.S. are 2 percent of the world total. Further drilling would involve trying to magically convert 2 percent into 22.5 percent. Even T. Boone Pickens, former oil baron, has said this is voodoo arithmetic.

Jack Morrow


Confidence in Miller

The Cambria Firefighters of IAFF Local 4635 have been asked many questions about Cambria Fire Chief Mark Miller. At this time, it is appropriate only to say that we have enjoyed a very positive relationship with Miller and have appreciated his leadership and his work to move the Cambria Fire Department forward.

We have full confidence in Miller as Fire Chief of the Cambria Fire Department.

Fire Capt. Michael Gallagher

Vice President, Cambria Firefighters Local 4635

Billowing with thanks

Thank you for the April 15 article, “A Winning Wind Design.” Much recognition is also due to Cuesta College and Career Technical Education grand supervisor Sabrina Robertson. Without their tireless support and guidance, our wind turbine competition at Daniel Lewis Middle School would have never happened. Robertson and a colleague drove to Porterville and back the night before the event to pick up the wind tunnel we used. She also arranged for food and awards, recruited judges, scheduled the event and picked up every loose end. These acts accurately illustrate her dedication to this project and others she undertakes for the purpose of advancing the career technical education of the students of San Luis Obispo County.

Also, we’d like to thank Cuesta Faculty members Brad Steveson and Marna Lombardi, who judged the competitors. They skillfully guided the students through while giving words of encouragement and mentorship.

I can’t thank Cuesta College and Robertson enough. The parents of San Luis Obispo County students, past and present, can be proud that such a dedicated institution and its employees are right here in our community.

Whit Donaldson

Technology teacher at Daniel E. Lewis Middle School, Paso Robles

Don’t sign petition

Phil Dirkx falls short in describing the problems that will befall Paso Robles residents (April 8, “Paso’s water hike is fair and needed”) if they do not approve the water rates. He’s correct that there’s a contractual obligation to pay for the Nacimiento pipeline costs. However you personally feel about this decision, the debt is not negotiable.

If we cannot reach an agreement on a water revenue plan, the debt will be paid from the General Fund after our water revenues have been exhausted, estimated to happen in 2014.

So what happens then? A radical cutback of services, and all Paso Roblans will suffer. Without a repayment solution and a long list of mandated services, Paso Robles joins the list of California cities that are contemplating bankruptcy. No one wins in this scenario.

I urge Paso Robles residents to not sign the Concerned Citizens for Paso Robles protest petition. They don’t offer a viable solution, and they seem dedicated to destroying our city.

Paula O’Farrell

Paso Robles

Most caring place?

A question regarding the eviction of Port San Luis residents: If the “1984 rental agreement” says that renters can stay until they die or move away, why are the full-time (and it appears from The Tribune’s article, elderly) residents being forced out? Isn’t this a violation of their rental agreement?

Surely the Harbor Commission can show some human compassion and allow full-time, long-term residents to live out their days in their homes. Surely the “happiest place to live” can also be one of the more caring.

Nancy Jean Mann

San Luis Obispo