Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 8/10

Ideological wish list

Thank you, Cal French in your “Explain support,” Aug. 5 letter for pointing out the way Republicans in Congress are using the Interior Department spending bill to try to kill the Endangered Species Act, neuter the Environmental Protection Agency, relax safety testing for offshore drilling and on and on.

Obviously, for those who agree with all these things — and living where I live, I know you’re out there — if you want an economy free of regulation (see: Wall Street, 2008), industry freed of “red tape” (see: Tennessee coal ash spill, 2008; West Virginia coal mine explosion, 2010; Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, 2010), and the free-market paradise of unfettered individual striving promised by Ayn Rand (see: Somali pirates), you have no problem with the Republican amendments to the interior bill that seek to wipe out protections for our health and the environment.

But let me ask you: what is this ideological wish list doing in a spending bill?

Susan Harvey

Paso Robles

Take a good look

I read in The Tribune on Aug. 2, that on Aug. 5, tenants living at Dan De Vaul’s facilities were faced without a place to live because of a court order that ruled some of those housing conditions are illegal.

These folks were homeless until De Vaul gave them a place to live and work. Now the county is causing them to be homeless again rather than help make the facilities they have been happily living in legal!

Roaming the streets and living down by the creek may be legal, but how safe and humane is it for men, women and children? I think that Judge Charles Crandall and the county should take a good look at how their actions and decisions affect human lives.

Lynne Levine

San Luis Obispo

Suspend pay

A question: If you have a job, does your employer pay you while you are seeking another position on his time?

When we elect officials into Congress to serve, why should we have to pay them for running for another office? Should their pay not be suspended while they are running for another office?

George Pistoresi

Paso Robles

Artificial crisis

We did not have a debt crisis. The crisis we had was artificially provoked by the GOP, which took Congress hostage. The ransom is cuts that, among many other things, threaten to end the capacity of my primary-care physician to treat me under Medicare.

We do have a debt problem. In January 2001, there was no deficit and the debt was declining. Since then, both have soared. Some major causes according to the Congressional Budget Office:

Alone, the Bush tax-cuts cost $1.81 trillion, compared to the $1.44 trillion cost of all of Obama’s new policies.

The Bush wars, fought off-budget, cost $1.47 trillion.

Despite its culpability in making the decisions that escalated the debt, the GOP pledges that its representatives on the bipartisan committee charged with cutting $1.5 trillion by December will not even consider taxing the principle beneficiaries of the Bush tax policy. Their soaring wealth did not create jobs. Instead, unemployment rose for 66 consecutive months following the 2001 tax-cut legislation. Beginning in October 2006, employment rose for only 11 months, then declined for the remainder of the Bush presidency (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

What was the real reason for the “debt-ceiling crisis?”

Max Riedlsperger

San Luis Obispo

Forced to streets

If our Board of Supervisors and county counsel are so concerned about people’s health and safety, why are they forcing Sunny Acres residents back to the streets instead of finding them safe housing?

Is it because they take no responsibility for people who live on the streets and can’t be sued when one of them is hurt or dies?

Shame on you all.

Becky Jorgeson

San Luis Obispo

A peaceful world

I enjoyed reading about the 25th reunion of the Great Peace March of 1986, since I was one of those 400 marchers who made it to Washington, D.C.

I have priceless memories of the nine months I spent on the road with this exceptional group of people. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I learned so much about middle America, its citizens and myself.

I have five grandchildren now and from time to time I share little tidbits about my march experiences with them. My wish for them is that someday they will be able to live in a peaceful world.

Phyllis Braiotta

San Luis Obispo

Against A and B

The Tribune has made it clear it will do all it can to make sure the upstart police officers and firefighters in San Luis are put back in their places.

In a country where 400 individuals control as much wealth as the poorest 120 million among us, this binding arbitration fight needs to be viewed in context.

If a handful of public safety individuals make a nice, even a very nice, living as a result of their ability to force the wealthy, represented by the City Council, to bargain in good faith, our local newspaper, which in my opinion is a mouthpiece for the rich, apparently believes it must weigh in and help stop them.

When Councilman Andrew Carter says the sky will fall if measures A and B are not passed, he’s just being pragmatic. If public safety leadership points out the devastating consequences budget cuts will have on citizen lives, they’re using “scare tactics.”

The wealthy have been waging class warfare in this country for decades and it’s amazing how often the average person falls for their lies.

Strike a blow against those who are slowly, inexorably turning this country into an oligarchy. Vote no on measures A and B.

Will Powers

San Luis Obispo

Change in statute?

Measure B affects local police and fire unions by repealing the statute that gives them the right to use binding arbitration, passed by voters 11 years ago before the downturn in the economy.

The wording of the arbitration statute gave the arbitrator little flexibility. Either the arbitrator had to rule for the city’s or the union’s proposals. In 2008 there was an arbitration in which the arbitrator ruled for the union.

Then the city said “arbitration” in and of itself was wrong and blamed “arbitration,” instead of condemning the wording of the statute.

In 2000, the mayor, City Council and city attorney didn’t warn residents of the poorly written arbitration statute.

After the arbitration award, I wrote two Letters to the Editor, which were published, suggesting changes in the wording of the arbitration statute.

Arbitration is a valuable tool in labor/management relations and has been used throughout the United States with success, employing the most venerated persons acting as arbitrators with the use of good arbitration contracts and statutes. These arbitrators fulfill their obligation to make a fair and reasonable decision within the bounds of well written clauses in the contracts or statutes.

In the case between the police/fire unions and the city, there has been no reported attempt to change the arbitration statute. Instead, here we are again, the residents of the city of San Luis Obispo, having to make a yes/no decision for our representatives.

Couldn’t our representatives have tried to negotiate a change in the arbitration statute?

Allan J. Mayer

San Luis Obispo