Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 6/29

A bird far from home

The emperor penguin recently discovered in New Zealand, 2000 miles away from its home, was apparently looking for food. Mistaking the white sand of the beach for snow, which it eats to hydrate itself, the penguin ingested large amounts of sand, which endangered its life. Fortunately, the surgery that followed looks to be successful and a future return to the Antarctic, or possibly a zoo, is in the offing.

The name Happy Feet was not given this penguin without reason. This was the title of the 2006 movie about a baby penguin, Mumble, who was unable to sing like its peers, but instead tap dance to the movie audience’s delight.

Although the movie was fun for kids of all ages, the serious side of this movie mirrors what happened to the real penguin. Toward the end of the movie, Mumble goes looking for the cause of the food shortage he and his fellow penguins are experiencing and discovers the reality of huge fishing trawlers which are seriously depleting fish stocks throughout our oceans. He goes in search of the humans in an attempt to reason and communicate with them.

Apparently, from what has happened to the real penguin in New Zealand, Mumble was not too successful. Here’s to hoping that this real life tragedy does more for our oceans than the movie did.

Rex Farris

Grover Beach

Withholding pay

I applaud the actions of state controller John Chiang, in not paying our legislators until a properly balanced budget is approved. It is about time these legislators found out how it feels to be on the short end of a very big stick. Finally, special interest groups or lobbyists will not be involved in balancing the budget, the legislators in Sacramento will, or they will not get paid. I wonder if that same kind of thinking would work in the federal government. Can you imagine if there was a federal law prohibiting senators and representatives from being paid unless there was a balanced budget? Just think about it — maybe one day it will happen?

Mark Sobowits

Paso Robles

‘Safety issues’

Recently, The Tribune published a story that stated nuclear plants are safe according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). However, Norimitsu Onishi also recently blasted Japan’s similar “safety myth” and “unreasonable overconfidence in the technology of Japan’s nuclear power.”

We are getting sidetracked with “safety issues,” however necessary they are for the time being. The unthinkable has happened in Japan. How can we avoid seeing nuclear power plants as inherently unsafe? Even the best “safety measures” cannot be worth the risk of living in an environment poisoned by one nuclear power catastrophe.

Decommissioning is not primarily a “safety issue,” but a fundamental human rights issue, intended to safeguard the common good. Will we need photos of the suffering men, women and children of Chernobyl and Fukushima plastered on billboards to wake us up and help steer us in a new direction? 

Melanie Statom

Morro Bay

Dream world

Ms. Rubba (letters, June 27) admits to rudely forcing herself into a private conversation, makes baseless assumptions and then labels the afflicted “heartless,” after regaling us with her less-than-tragic personal stories. Her mother is getting family care, obviously better than government care, and God forbid she has to go a “home” and get “upset.”

Her sister does not have health insurance.

New Jersey has an adequate safety net for such short-sighted people, fully funded by the working taxpayers.

Taxpayer-funded dentures and hearing aids would be nice, as would be free magazine subscriptions and car insurance.

I want to offer Rubba a reality check: If you think Obamacare is the answer to all your family’s problems, you are living in a dream world.

Look at the law, read it, find out exactly what this disaster is going to do to your mother’s care before butting in with unfounded opinions. This polite group of seniors obviously has more on the ball than you.

Also, forgo the Starbucks and send the money to Mom. She needs it more than you need extra caffeine.

Jon A. Hartz

Arroyo Grande

Secretive COLAB

Thanks to San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill for trying to shine a light into the corners of the secretive and shadowy organization known as the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business (COLAB).

Over the years of observing this organization I have found that one of COLAB’s major mouthpieces is an individual working to bring listeners and advertising revenues to his awful radio broadcast. It reminds me of the nonsense and half-truths being spewed by the likes of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.

I am glad there is someone like Hill who is willing to take the heat to show the secretive and prejudicial activities of this organization. It is hard for me to understand why a member of this group would be unwilling to let folks know they are members of this shadowy organization. I am proud of the groups that I support, and whenever I can I encourage people to support them too.

What is COLAB trying to hide? I hope Hill continues to expose groups like this.

David Blakely

Santa Margarita

Tattered flag

Last week, I was in downtown SLO with a visitor from Spain who was in the USA for the first time. When she saw an American flag at the corner of Palm Street and Chorro Street, she insisted on having her picture taken in front of it. The flag was on a very short pole at eye level. I was very embarrassed that the edge of the flag was in tatters. I hope that whoever is responsible for this flag will take it down immediately and replace it with a new one that will better represent our country for us and our many visitors.

Wendy Crawford

Arroyo Grande

Slip vs. stupidity

Regarding “Obama’s Mistake” in the letter of Henry Haflinger on June 26, it seems he is not familiar with a slip of the tongue. I find it quite remarkable he has no knowledge of such a slip and can compare that to the blatant stupidity of Sarah Palin.

,b>Darla Pierce

Arroyo Grande