Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 8/8

Introduce truths

The Church cannot solve human problems by acting as if it is God by presuming to tell us what is right and what is wrong always.

The world is overpopulated, and to denounce contraception and abortion as evil simply adds to the problem, both physically and psychologically. The ignorance of pro-life advocates simply adds to the problem. Women and girls don’t have to become pregnant unless they choose to be, and promoting contraception should reduce abortions.

It is this sort of logic that lifts peoples above the level of others who exist in poverty and often despair. Evangelicals would do well to introduce these truths everywhere.

Nature is the best teacher: Tornadoes should suffice to teach that the best defense against them is a storm cellar. Each of us ought to prepare according to logic and common sense, just as it makes sense to use contraceptives to avoid pregnancy and abortion. By recognizing and preparing for the worst, rather than hoping for the best, each one of us can determine our fate to an extent greater than ever before.

Kenneth G. Ramey

Paso Robles

Flotilla’s intention

It is disconcerting to read of Mr. Cole’s disappointment with the abandonment of the Hamas/Gaza “Flotilla” on July 10. The notion that the flotilla was intended to provide humanitarian aid is misguided. Western news sources confirm that there is open delivery of nonmilitary aid to Gaza at the Egyptian border, with up to 300-400 trucks daily.

Mr. Cole refers to human rights in his letter. Human rights for Gazans have substantially diminished since the assumption of authorization rule by Hamas following its election to power by an approximately 30 percent plurality vote. Women’s rights have suffered considerably, and there are documented incidents of beatings and even abductions by the radical government. With many millions of dollars of European aid, Gaza sports modern buildings and a thriving population. There are no reports of lack of domestic needs. The border is now controlled by an Egyptian government that is far less friendly to Israel than in years past.

Hamas’ charter pledges destruction of Israel and genocide against its Jewish citizens. The flotilla is really an intentionally provocative effort to open shipping for gun-running operations. Iran has transshipped massive amounts of weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon and previously attempted similar shipments to Gaza. Hamas continues to send even more powerful rockets into civilian population on a regular basis. Support for flotilla is support of war in the Middle East, not peace.

John Belsher

San Luis Obispo

Why ban paper bags?

This is in regard to the article concerning the proposed ban on paper and plastic bags in grocery stores.

I agree with the ban on plastic bags. Even if disposed of properly, birds and animals pull them out of the trash, and the winds blow them into the creeks and ocean.

I don’t understand why we must stop using paper bags, which are more biodegradable.

What really disturbs me is the suggestion that customers bring used cardboard boxes into the store. This could cause an insect infestation. Instead of used boxes, wouldn’t plastic laundry baskets be a little more sanitary?

Phyllis Will

Arroyo Grande

Bile for both sides

So, the perpetual naysayers got their way at the last election and put in Congress a faction with an agenda of slash and burn. I’m talking about the tea party radicals that are holding this country by the throat because of their own ideology.

They won’t even compromise with the GOP. In addition, behind all the smoke and mirrors is a move to abolish President Obama’s health care plan and dismantle Medicare and Social Security, and to continue G.W.’s agenda of robbing the middle class to allow huge corporate tax breaks to Big Oil and others of their ilk.

Does anyone believe for a minute that they are concerned with the American people? No. They are concerned with Big Oil company tax credit for oil exploration and the capitol gains tax inclusion for hedge fund managers.

Please, keep in mind that the tea party’s agenda does not include supporting, but rather exploiting, the middle class. This, no doubt, will result in eroding the economy and credibility of our country to further their party’s objectives.

Let’s not leave out the liberals. President Obama and his cohorts have thrown to the dogs Social Security and Medicare in order to keep his socialized health care plan.

Joe Holland


Respect our rights

My name is Bruce Gibson, and I am a fourth-generation resident of rural Arroyo Grande. Certainly, the last three years have brought a lot of changes and a lot of unanswered questions to the people of the Arroyo Grande area about oil drilling.

The residents of Huasna Valley have had to donate a lot of money and a lot of time in order to help protect themselves against another exploitation similar to what was done in the 1980s. We have also brought to the attention of San Luis Obispo County that the last operator in Huasna left the site without plugging wells, removing equipment or remediation of contaminated soils. It has also been shown that the facts and figures presented to us have not been accurate.

This having been said, I would respectfully ask our planning department and our Board of Supervisors to please protect our right to breathe clean air, drink clean water and have no noise pollution.

Bruce Gibson

Arroyo Grande

The final decision

SLO voters will soon receive a ballot dealing with two measures that will influence the financial stability of the city.

Measure A would allow the City Council to negotiate reduced pension benefits for new employees without having to take the issue to the voters. This would permit SLO to follow the lead of many cities reining in out-of-control pension costs.

Measure B would rescind binding arbitration voted into the city charter in 2000, but now prohibited in all general law cities. Currently only 21 (4 percent) of 482 California cities still have binding arbitration.

Personnel costs represent 80 percent of the city budget, with police and fire being approximately a half of that. Compensation issues are now decided by an outside arbitrator rather than by the City Council elected by the city voters.

By the arbitrator’s decision in 2009, SLO police, who were already the highest paid in the county, joined the highest in the state, 20 percent higher than Los Angeles (per state-controller records). This decision cost $2.5 million a year, causing the city to refrain from hiring additional police personnel to deal with neighborhood issues.

The critical question is who should make final decisions on the largest item in the city budget: an outside arbitrator or the City Council elected by the voters?

For me, the issue is very clear. I am voting yes on both measures.

Dave Romero

San Luis Obispo

Council knows best

Jim App and the City Council know best for everyone. Jim App and the City Council informed the community that no city resources would be used in preparation for, during or after the Fourth of July celebration. Fortunately, Jim App and the City Council know best and allowed dedicated city employees to work for the celebration we enjoyed.

On July 5, Jim App and the City Council knowing best turned away a very wealthy business, as it did not meet the approved Town Centre plan and informed them to look elsewhere.

President Obama and Democrats, Governor Brown and Democrats and Jim App and City Council want to increase the tax we already pay even higher. At home, when your family budget is short, you must make tough decisions. Not so with government. Jim App and the City Council will tell you how bad off they are. They need more of our money to spend because Jim App and the City Council know best how to spend it. They raise taxes and fees and reduce services.

Ask yourself if this is the right time to increase taxes. Can you afford Jim App and the City Council?

Gary Nemeth

Paso Robles