Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 6/27

Only getting worse

In Dave Romero’s letter titled “Shared concern?” on June 1, Mr. Romero is frustrated with the San Luis Obispo City Council’s lack of public notification of their plan to reduce the number of lanes under the Johnson underpass. Taking into account the traffic congestion this lane reduction will generate in this high traffic area, his frustration is justified.

The current traffic and congestion problems in San Luis Obispo can be attributed to Mr. Romero’s City Council tenure, and his push to pave over every inch of San Luis Obispo with residential and commercial construction. It also explains the layer of smog over San Luis Obispo. These problems are only going to become worse, with the current city council pushing to pave over farmland in Orcutt and Margarita areas of our city.

G.R. Flores

San Luis Obispo

The NRC farce

The recent stories on the nuclear industry in The Tribune are brilliant and courageous, in the face of Nuclear Regulatory Commission propaganda.

It reveals the nuclear wildcat out of the bag, naked and raw. Far from their projected image of super-careful defender of public health and safety, the nuclear industry and its supposed watchdog, NRC, are revealed as masters of deceit and collusion. They will do anything to protect their hundreds of billions of dollars in public subsidy that would be much better and much safer spent on alternative forms of energy development that have, for fifty years or more, been blocked and thrown on the back burners.

The NRC is revealed as a farce. They have not shown the wisdom or the brains to regulate the hunting of wild geese, let alone the horrendous potential of atomic power. Those who have gone along with this billion dollar-driven scandal should be fired forthwith.

Ira J. Winn

San Luis Obispo

Wal-Mart’s burden

The Atascadero City Council meeting on June 14 brought out both supporters and opponents of the proposed Walmart off Highway 101 at Del Rio Road. Some criticized Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and claimed that the company is asking the city to cover the costs of the traffic adjustments, but this is simply not true.

While there will be some costs, this is to be expected any time a city allows a new developer or store to come in. City government gains from increased sales tax revenues, customers are drawn to the area and the store is able to sell to a new market. Wal-Mart has been criticized for using the term “fair share,” but frankly, that’s all they should be held responsible for.

The other businesses that plan to come into the annex must also pay their part, and Wal-Mart should not be expected to bear the full economic burden associated with facilitating traffic for the entire annex.

Jean Ponek


Defining racism

Those of us who must rely on reference to the facts, rather than the facts themselves, can hardly know if Adam Hill’s apology to Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business (COLAB) was or was not adequate.

However, I am amused that reader Bob Martz thinks there is any thread of analogy between racism and ridiculing Sarah Palin or “W” for idiotic statements. Then, reader Gerry Johnson offers a somewhat half-circular definition of racist.

If one wants to lampoon our American-born president for equivocation, bowling ineptitude, manufactured folksiness or any other personal or political characteristic, that is fair game. If black-face makeup, monkeys, stereotypical black vocal inflections, reference to birthright or any other allusion to the rather insignificant fact that he is partially of black ancestry is used, in parody, that is racism.

Craig Dingman

San Luis Obispo

Not listening

As I was buying a coffee at a local Starbucks this morning, I overhead a group of seniors discussing issues of the day. One spoke of repealing “Obamacare.”

I approached them and asked if they opposed “Obamacare,” and one gentleman said yes. I said I sought advice and wanted to tell them my story. At that point, the gentleman disinvited me from the conversation. He assumed I would oppose repeal, I suppose, and wasn’t open to hearing an opposing point of view. Rather rudely, I admit, I proceeded anyway:

My mother, who will soon turn 100, requires round-the-clock care. Putting her in a poorly run Medicaid “home” would require sacrificing her meager assets, along with upsetting her terribly. Government help? A home-health-aide eight hours a week.

My sister, nearly 60, is her round-the-clock caregiver, and, therefore, cannot work. Mom’s $1700 per month Social Security check supports them both. My sister has no health insurance. The state (New Jersey) provides minimal “charity care.” Mom’s Medicare and Medigap insurance cover her health care, except some essentials — a hearing aid and a denture (she has no lower teeth).

I wanted to offer those seniors a reality check. They didn’t want to hear it. And conservatives wonder why people call them heartless.

Johanna Rubba

Grover Beach

Unwarranted criticism

Walter Heer’s criticism of the Paso Robles City Council and city manager Jim App “Something not right” (June 22) is vague and unwarranted. He contends that the city manager is “isolated from the public” and “runs his own kingdom.”

To the contrary, years ago Mr. App initiated regular, open public meetings with City Council to set goals for the following budget cycle. Despite the stalled economy, regular goal-setting continues and city resources are allocated to the goals that City Council sets.

At each step of the way, public input is solicited and carefully considered. In this way, our city continues to be managed in a manner that is thoughtful and fair.

Ann Robb

Paso Robles

Why libraries?

I wonder why people criticize the libraries’ dollar charge on book transfers, instead of writing letters about the price of gas, the lack of funding for education and medical care. The library system, even with small fees, is one of the great ideas of our American forefathers. For a great republic, they saw the need for education and lifelong learning.

With books, magazines, newspapers, music and film, the library feeds and expands the intellect, the heart and the soul of man. Every great thought, feeling and episode of history is available in your library. You could have the equivalent of a college education, just with the help of your library. People don’t need the ownership of the great books, only the experience of making the great ideas their own. For with these ideas, we will have a more informed electorate and a better world.

As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Thank you, libraries, librarians and assistants for giving us access to the repositories of wisdom.

Al Abney


Libraries a bargain

First, we had the gentleman from Creston who believes that the library is loading their overhead costs on to the borrower with excessive special order delivery costs. If he thinks the cost is so excessive, why doesn’t he go get the book from the host library himself?

Now there is Mr. Key, who “uses the library a lot,” but objects to the proposed dollar fee to have books delivered to his branch — or does he just object to it being called a bargain?

Please, be advised that the fee has not gone up to a dollar yet, so order away. Many popular new books in the library have wait lists as large as 200 readers in line to pay the delivery fee.

This morning, I find there are 37 readers waiting in the queue to obtain the Jeffery Deaver novel “Carte Blanche,” a newly-licensed James Bond thriller, so the order fee is not deterring readers who recognize the value of the library services we receive. Yes, our library system is a bargain, indeed. Thanks to our hardworking library personnel and the tireless “Friends of the Library” volunteers.

Paul Carlson


Best be colorblind

The hypocrisy of the media never ceases to amaze me. If someone speaks out against President Obama, or his policies, that person is often labeled by the media as a racist.

Then in Wednesday’s Tribune I see an AP article titled, “First black first lady visits first black South African leader.” The article would have had been just as effective if it had been titled, “First lady (or Michelle Obama) visits Nelson Mandela.”

It appears the media can stress the color of the first family, and it is OK. It would be best if we were all colorblind.

Adrian M. Hurtado