Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 7/13

For a worthy cause

Thanks to Bill Morem for his article July 7 on Sunny Acres.

Yes, our community needs to get behind Bill Seavey in his efforts to keep the roof over the heads of those now living at Sunny Acres, to keep them from being put back under bridges and on the streets.

The need for the 8,000-square foot residence Dan De Vaul has proposed, needs to go forward immediately and this can happen if the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission could find it in its heart to waive its fees for such a worthy cause.

Betty Woody

Avila Beach

A valuable service

I watched the local news last night, oh boy. No, the English army had not just won the war. Two stories back-to-back stuck out. One, a homeless man burned to death under the Madonna bridge, yet another tragedy for the homeless in our county. Then, a story about Dan De Vaul and his ongoing issue with the county regarding his Sunny Acres ranch, where the homeless not only are safer, but are given the chance at sobriety with meaning.

Whatever one might think of Dan De Vaul personally, there is no getting around the fact he provides a valuable community service for our homeless population. I know this because I visit the ranch occasionally and I’ve talked to Mr. De Vaul many times. He has donated his time to help others understand issues surrounding homelessness in our county.

Back to the news. A homeless man dies. He could have been at Sunny Acres and lived. The reality of this slaps you in the face. I think the county supervisors need an extra slap to get the message home.

Brian Miller

San Luis Obispo

Educational squeeze

A story on the front page of the New York Times on July 9 described the havoc being wreaked on both of California’s university systems by the current state budget.

As someone who graduated from University of California, Berkeley, and just finished a 35-year teaching career at Cal Poly, it greatly saddens me to see how support for higher education in this state has deteriorated. Class sizes are increasing, classes are increasingly unavailable to students, faculty are leaving, job candidates are refusing offers and the two systems are now turning away many prospective students.

Both Democrats and Republicans can be faulted for this. But the fact that a Republican has been governor for 24 out of the last 30 years indicates to me where much of the blame lies.

Our state senator, Sam Blakeslee, was educated in the UC system, and our state assembylman, Katcho Achadjian, earned a degree from Cal Poly and has a daughter attending UC Berkeley. I wonder when these folks will speak out in favor of supporting higher education in California, even if it means increasing tax revenues. California’s economy thrived for many years in large measure because its universities produced graduates whose skills enabled them to provide leadership in a wide spectrum of industries. This will cease to be the case if our universities continue to be squeezed financially.

Jay Devore

Los Osos

Misconception

Ron Neal’s letter to the editor dated July 11 attempting to debase Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a prime example of a systemic misconception prevalent among voters of this day and age in America.

There seems to be a misconception that has arisen over the years in this country, that Supreme Court justices are somehow politicians, if you will. This false belief has led to senseless mudslinging toward our Supreme Court justices.

Justices of the Supreme Court do not campaign. They are appointed after a lengthy screening process by both the Democrats and the Republicans.

The justices’ calling is to study the Constitution of the U.S., and to the best of their ability make their rulings based on the letter of the law, as written in the Constitution.

I would direct those who are not happy with our laws and wish to change them to write their congressional representatives, whose job it is to make or change our laws.

Mike Morgan

Los Osos

Resist the oligarchy

The ultraconservative activist justices on the Roberts Supreme Court have turned “free speech” on its head. It is no longer free. In a 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205 (U.S. Jan. 21, 2010), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations and unions have the same political speech rights as individuals under the First Amendment.

Quite literally, this Supreme Court has made money the ultimate measure of speech, and elevated corporations to citizens. The rest of us are, in effect, second class citizens. A few very wealthy and powerful people, along with corporations, have more “free speech.” The poor have none. This is hardly protecting our basic rights.

This basic corruption of the United States democracy, in favor of the powerful and growing oligarchy, should be resisted with all our resources and energy.

Jim Carlisle

Atascadero

First responsibility

I wonder if Congress ever thinks to serve its constituents, rather than itself and its individual members.

We are broke. Let’s stop giving away money that we don’t have to folks who don’t deserve it. I wonder if the people in Congress really feel that they are representing the citizens of the United States.

I think that members on both sides of the aisle are more concerned with their own political parties than their country. We have the most wonderful country on Earth. Let’s not give it away to the U.N., or to anyone else. It seems to me that the first responsibility of this or any government is to protect its citizens from invasion. Is our government fulfilling its responsibilities?

It wasn’t very long ago that our representatives voted to spend millions of dollars that we didn’t have, without the slightest idea of what they were doing. Term limits should be implemented.

Norman Drain

San Luis Obispo

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