Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 9/26

Stop water rate hike

Is anyone aware that the Nipomo Community Services District plans to raise water rates and there is something you, as an NCSD customer, can do to stop this rate increase? The proposed higher water rates must pass a Proposition 218 protest hearing set for 9 a.m. Oct. 12 to become effective.

NCSD sent a seven-page (blue) mailer of information to its customers during the past month explaining the water rate hikes and outlining the protest process.

To stop the water rate hike, 50 percent plus one NCSD customers (over 2,000) must write a letter of protest and deliver it to the NCSD board secretary at the NCSD office at 148 S. Wilson St. or mail it to:

Nipomo Community Services District

Attn: Board Secretary

P.O. Box 326

Nipomo, CA 93444-0326

The written protest must contain a simple statement that the property owner protests the increase in water rates. Include in the letter the address and the assessor’s parcel number of the parcels that receive water service. The letter must be signed by the property owner and dated.

Send your letter before Oct. 12 to protest the water rate hikes.

June Theriot

Nipomo

Why not help De Vaul?

I pass by the De Vaul ranch almost daily on the way to work. By outward observation, Dan De Vaul has made huge strides in upgrading the ranch’s appearance, which originally seemed to be the trigger of controversy. Then the debate came over the “safety” of the people living there.

As a pastor, I have visited the ranch on a few occasions. We have Sunny Acres occupants visit our church. Students from our college group helped construct the temporary housing units there. I appreciate the county’s attempt at enforcing health and safety guidelines, but has anyone ever asked the occupants whether they prefer sleeping in a shed with access to water, toilets, food and a sense of community, or do they prefer San Luis Creek? Where do they feel safer?

The living units are hidden from public view. Can’t we make a humanitarian exception for people who have few other options?

I know this has become an emotionally charged standoff between a stubborn man with a good heart and a politically backed group with a variety of agendas. What if the county spent the tens of thousands of dollars in personnel expenses on helping a guy who is trying to assist the homeless?

Mike Sparrow

San Luis Obispo

Age and experience

An article you printed recently quoted eminent scientists, saying: “Scientists have known for more than 100 years that carbon dioxide in our atmosphere traps heat ...” I am not 100 years old, but I think it was around 1950-60 that the scientific consensus said we would all freeze to death because of the pollutants we were sending into the atmosphere.

It is not ignorance that prevents me from accepting the majority scientific view of global warming. It is experience. I am an old man, and I can remember when nerves (not a virus) caused ulcers. I know when we considered a moon landing, a large body of scientific opinion said the moon was covered by more than a mile of fine dust. Continental drift was a joke. Bummer, being old and discovering that scientists are not all that reliable.

Global warming seems to be real, but whether it is a natural cycle that has been going on for millenia, or whether it is caused by methane, carbon dioxide, the sun, or whatever, I do not know. Did we cause the global warming that raised the oceans centuries ago?

What we should be talking about is acid rain, a real problem with no room for disagreement.

Lorenzo Lowe

Avila Beach

Harmful mapping

Would you want legislators to require tons of poison dumped in the ocean surrounding Avila Beach and Morro Bay? That is essentially what our leaders are doing by ordering PG&E to map the fault lines around Diablo Canyon.

PG&E met with fishermen recently to inform them of their plans. They plan on sending 250 decibels into the ocean with air guns. They plan on going in circles from San Simeon to south of Avila for two to three months.

According to PG&E, these high-energy seismic surveys have been done for oil drilling offshore but have never been done near shore. There is a reason why. There are well-documented studies that found that very loud sounds cause severe physical damage and death to marine-life eggs and larvae within a few meters of an air gun and affect the ability for marine mammals and fish to detect natural underwater sounds. It also damages their orientation systems, disrupting feeding, mating and resting.

Our near-shore coastline has 29 State Marine Reserves for a reason. It is the breeding and spawning grounds for hundreds of species of fish and mammals!

Tom Hafer

Atascadero

Farmers markets

I am a student at Atascadero High School, and I want to address the benefits of shopping at farmers markets.

Firstly, when you limit your shopping at supermarkets and start shopping locally, it keeps money within the community instead of in the hands of corporations. This ensures that local farmers can continue to stay in business while also stimulating the local economy. Also, when the farmers sell directly to you, they bypass the middleman. This makes it a better deal for consumers.

Secondly, the food at farmers markets is always so delicious! Oftentimes it is grown both naturally and organically, so the taste is far superior. When produce is imported from elsewhere, it’s picked before it’s ripe, leaving the buyer questioning whether it’ll taste good. When you buy fruits and vegetables from farmers markets, the food is picked at the peak of its flavor.

Lastly, shopping locally at farmer’s market helps the environment. When you buy food from local vendors, the amount of fossil fuels used is drastically reduced because it travels a shorter distance.

So next time you need some strawberries or a head of lettuce, pass on going to the supermarket and instead ride your bike over to farmers markets and support our local farmers.

Claire Jacobs

Atascadero

More on Solyndra

A different perspective of the $523 million loan that was wasted by Solyndra, versus Tom Neuhaus’ Sept. 22 letter “Thanks for humor”:

Neuhaus’ assertion that the Chinese are “thrashing us in renewable energy investments” fails to mention that they do it with money they have. On the other hand, the $523 million given to Solyndra was borrowed money which will have to be repaid along with accrued interest by the taxpayers.

The fact is that the Obama administration approved that loan and took second position to insiders for repayment. Those funds could’ve been put to better use. Neuhaus attempting to blame this on the “Bush administration” is comical!

Janos Beny

Cambria

Only half right

In response to The Tribune editorial “Grocery bag fee should be higher” (Sept. 14): Bravo for advocating a sensible approach to help wean customers off using wasteful plastic bags. A bag fee (minimum 25 cents per bag) is reasonable and should be implemented countywide, as Santa Cruz County has done recently and as Los Angeles County is considering.

However, The Tribune is only half right when it claims that “the worst offenders” are flimsy single-use paper bags and plastic bags. Actually, the worst offenders are flimsy single-use plastic bags and single-use Styrofoam packaging at fast-food restaurants, and other Styrofoam products used in shipping and packing.

Flimsy plastic bags and Styrofoam products are very seldom recycled and often end up in landfills or blowing around the county or finding their way into streams and oceans, where they linger for many years and do not decompose readily.

Paper bags have several advantages over plastic:

Paper bags come from a renewable resource (trees) rather than from oil; paper bags are easier to recycle than plastic ones; paper bags break down in water and won’t harm or kill aquatic animals, as plastic bags frequently do.

Make your views known to the Integrated Waste Management Authority and the Board of Supervisors!

Michael Sullivan

San Luis Obispo

Invest in community

The economy is wreaking havoc on small, locally owned businesses. I want to reach out to our local community and urge you to make a conscious effort to support small, family-owned businesses and bypass fast-food chains/franchises that thrive because they can offer dirt-cheap specials, backed nationally by huge corporations.

Morro Bay has a small population of 10,000, yet has five nationally backed or fast-food chains that are thriving because they are able to undercut prices that are unattainable to small local business.

Add to that corporate national advertising and the Walmart effect. Morro Bay has already suffered too many causalities. Empty buildings litter our town. Please be part of the solution and invest in your community.

Roberta Donnelly

Morro Bay

Tired of waste

Nowadays, finger-pointing and passing the blame seems to be the norm. I, for one, believe all of us who are registered voters should accept part of the blame for the mess in both state and federal government.

Reason being is we elected these people to represent us, and the job is not being done to fully benefit us. Overspending, unregulated war expenses, nonessential laws being passed (banning plastic bags, Proposition 8 debates).

These things are back-burner issues compared to the financial fiasco our country is facing. Cutting Medicare, MediCal and any health care program to save a few million is not the solution.

Cut government waste spending on nonessential projects. Government perks are costing taxpayers billions, and they just keep on going up. Tell your representatives to cut the waste and put the money where it is need, helping us — their constituents. Maybe it is time for a third party, the Dems and GOP haven’t been doing too well lately. It should be call the American Citizens Tired of Waste Party.

Raymond C. Porter

Paso Robles

How hated?

I am really tired of the Bush haters’ constant blathering about how much our United States of America is hated around the world. Says who?

I guess the thousands of folks trying to get into our wonderful country daily — legally and illegally — did not get the memo about how hated we are.

Michael Miller

Grover Beach

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