Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 6/20

Promote business

I moved to San Luis Obispo in 1973 with the intention of running for elective politics. I planned to run for the Congressional seat held by Burt Talcott. I became disenchanted with politics because it was so destructive of family life. I settled into the community as a practicing attorney. I have grown sort of “long in the tooth” but still watch politics carefully.

I see people like Sen. Sam Blakeslee, who has moved from a successful career into politics. I have to say I admire his grit.

Sen. Leland Yee, a San Francisco super-liberal, is a socialist/communist/progressive. You can look up the definition of each of these terms on Wikipedia and you would find they are very similar. This guy has proposed legislation in Sacramento that would require that tax breaks for a business be tied to whether the business “created jobs.” Sometimes a tax break saves a business from going bankrupt.

Saving a business is just as important as “creating” a new job. We should applaud the efforts of Sam Blakeslee to promote business — and deplore the actions of socialists/communists like Leland Yee.

Melvin de la Motte

San Luis Obispo

Obama’s magic

For all their criticism of President Barack Obama, conservatives have inadvertently pronounced him to be a magician.

You see, it is required of conservatives that they mouth the claim that the president’s stimulus package “didn’t produce a single job.” Put a coin in the tea-party jukebox and this statement will play. Well, what do you know? Those of you who traveled upper Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo during the recent renovation of that stretch no doubt observed a sign by the side of the road that read, “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” i.e., the stimulus package.

Thus, as you observed dozens of workers toiling day after day to spiff up that road, they were doing so without having a job, because the stimulus package “didn’t produce a single job.” Ergo, President Obama is a magician: He managed to get workers to perform for weeks on end without their having a job.

And when similar workers acted in a similar fashion on thousands of such projects across the country, via the stimulus package, they were doing so without having a job. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d call that magic.

Will Powers

San Luis Obispo

Appreciation

I want to thank Scott Smith of Art’s Cyclery for setting up an awesome day of cycling and fun! Thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support of fitness and well being in our community. You are greatly appreciated!

Heidi Breese

San Luis Obispo

A strategy is needed

Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all the cancers tracked by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute that still has a five-year survival rate in the single digits (6 percent). There are no early detection tools and no effective treatments. Despite these facts, the federal government has no long-term comprehensive research strategy to combat pancreatic cancer.The Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act seeks to develop a long-term comprehensive strategic plan to combat the disease. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein are both co-sponsors, but our congressional representatives have not yet signed on to the bill.

As a two-year survivor of pancreatic cancer, I know how few of us are able to press for more research or participate in support groups. If you or a loved one is affected by pancreatic cancer, please do what you can to further this urgent research.

Together, we can make a difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer.

Lachlan MacDonald

Arroyo Grande

Money matters

There are a few things that jump right out at you as you review the article written by Bob Cuddy titled “Highest-paid SLO County government employees” published on June 12.

For the most part, this select group of individuals falls into one of three clear and distinct categories: They are elected officials, they are post-graduate-degree professionals or they are law enforcement officers.

First of all, the county’s elected officials are not “employees.” Secondly, that the county pays its doctors, lawyers and other professionals six-figure incomes should not come as a surprise. It’s a matter of retention. The county has little choice but to pay such specialists a wage comparable to what they could earn in the private sector — otherwise, why would they take the job in the first place?

Finally, the high pay earned by sheriff’s deputies is a reflection of the county’s emphasis on public safety and commitment law enforcement. What’s most frustrating about the list is that these revelations of alleged overly generous salaries are used to make the broad-brush implication that all county workers are overcompensated. Tell that to the family services workers, the roads crews, the personal care aides, the bus drivers and the office clerks.

Jim Mallon

San Luis Obispo

Alarming thoughts

Reading the article by AnnMarie Cornejo titled “Breaking ground for new hotel in SLO” about the city of San Luis Obispo approving the building of a four-story Hampton Hotel at Los Osos Valley Road and Highway 101, two alarming thoughts crossed our minds.

First, the city allows this building, which will have a sign four stories tall, whereas they denied Zaki’s Restaurant, across the street, a sign on an existing sign pole!

Secondly, is the wisdom of allowing construction of another hotel in this area, when we understand the new Marriot Courtyard is having trouble with room occupancy. And our county already has an uncompleted Hampton in Arroyo Grande sitting empty due to financial problems.

Is this an example of shortsighted need for fee monies versus long-term common sense?

Ken and Darlene Kellett

Los Osos

Some numbers

For no other reason than “it’s time,” six teachers and 100 or so students will be severed in one quick blow from San Luis Coastal Unified School District.

These students and their teachers are not the district’s responsibility, so says Superintendent Eric Prater. He bases his decision on numbers alone, not the people affected. The jobs offered to the teachers being axed is a classroom aide, which means somebody else loses their job. There is no guarantee these six teachers will get the job he offered, so basically they are now amongst our unemployed.

Because the district is so high on numbers, here are some. We have 20 percent reserve in funds, or money in the bank, and the minimum level is 3 percent by law. The district will save $500,000 on those six teachers and their program. In the next breath, the district will then allocate $6.1 million in spending for programs that may or may not have an impact on student success. There is no guarantee of that, but there is a guarantee that six teachers are removed from their classrooms and a hundred or so students won’t receive services from the district.

Your child is a number to San Luis Obispo Coastal, as far as administrators are concerned. Is that OK with you?

Brian Miller

San Luis Obispo

Congrats Mrs. R

I wasn’t surprised to see “Mrs. R” (as the kids call her), Elaine Rosenfield, being selected as this year’s Teacher of the Year for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District.

I have had the opportunity to work as a guest teacher (substitute) in her classroom a number of times over the past few years. Each time I arrive to work with her students, I find them very motivated to learn and experience (there is always some sort of special project going on).

Teaching is not a 9-to-5 job with summers off, but a profession of caring people who are constantly thinking and planning how their current life experiences can be transformed into educational “adventures” for their students.

On behalf of the almost 400 members of our local division of the California Retired Teachers Association, I congratulate Elaine on the honor she has earned by her dedication to her students, their families and the community at large. I know that she is a fine representative of the thousands of teachers and other educational support professionals across the Central Coast, who educate every day and help take care of our youth.

Steve Click

Atascadero

Volunteers clean up

Thank you to all who helped clean up the neighborhood surrounding a future Peoples’ Self-Help Housing development at the corner of Thompson Road and Chestnut Street in Nipomo on a recent Saturday morning in celebration of NeighborWorks Week and National Homeownership Month.

More than 50 volunteers — some who were hopeful candidates to build homes through our mutual self-help program, others who already live in the neighborhood and some civic minded residents from other areas of Nipomo, including Supervisor Paul Teixeira — worked to mow weeds and remove trash along the road frontages despite the rain and wind that morning.

Thank you also to the Nipomo Lions who barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs for the hungry workers and to NeighborWorks America, which provided grant funds to help cover the costs.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time and Dumpster space before we reached Leaf Street, so we challenge the neighbors who were unable to work Saturday to complete the cleanup another day.

Sheryl Flores

Homeownership Development Director at People’s Self-Help Housing Corporation

A better plan

The recent decision by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ordering the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to delay Diablo Canyon’s application for a 20-year license extension for 52 months, until after all seismic studies are complete and analyzed, is a positive step.

However, additional seismic studies cannot produce a guarantee that Diablo can withstand the greatest calamity that Mother Nature might produce on any of the 13 faults in the immediate area, some of which may be connected. The Fukushima catastrophe this past March demonstrated in a dramatic way that science cannot predict the maximum earthquake that can occur at any given location.

A better plan would be to begin the decommissioning process for the Diablo reactors now, while simultaneously creating jobs to increase renewable sources of energy. 

Linda Seeley

San Luis Obispo

Grover Beach living

My family has only lived in Grover Beach for eight years now, but believe me, putting up with the pot holes and bumps is nothing compared to the lack of diversity, congestion, smog and heat of Orange County.

Every morning, we wake up here in the Paradise of the Five City area, inclined to ask, “When is checkout time?” We love it here.

Michael Miller

Grover Beach

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