Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 10/5

Diablo meetings

Choose your meeting related to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and waste storage site this week.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is holding a public meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Thursday at the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Luis Obispo. The NRC invites public input on a new “Waste Confidence Rule” that will determine plans to store highly radioactive waste at Diablo Canyon and 102 other nuclear reactors for the next 60 to 100 years.

The Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee is meeting today and Thursday at the Embassy Suites Hotel to review Diablo Canyon operations, as well as the status of radioactive waste storage at Diablo.

PG&E is holding an open house — to impress the public with how “safe” Diablo Canyon is — on the same day, Thursday.

If you are concerned about storing millions of pounds of radioactive waste on an earthquake-prone coastline, please attend the NRC meeting.

Linda Seeley

San Luis Obispo

Bus routes

I’ve discovered that shopping for bus riders is more convenient in Atascadero than it is in Paso Robles. This is because you don’t have to transfer to go to Albertsons, Vons or Food4Less. All three are on El Camino Real, which the Atascadero Transit bus covers from Home Depot to Paloma Park. The RTA bus only covers El Camino Real from City Hall and south on El Camino Real.

Now, if the Atascadero Transit bus decided to go through Templeton, I would almost always do my shopping in Atascadero instead of Paso Robles.

If the Atascadero Transit bus was rerouted to take Main Street to Sixth and Florence and then to Las Tablas Park and Twin Cities Community Hospital, it could make up its time margin by eliminating its cruise down Posada Lane, as the Paso Robles Transit bus has already done.

What a giant strain this idea would take off of me. Not to mention how many more tax dollars Atascadero would receive if it made shopping more convenient there than in Paso Robles.

Finally, if Atascadero had a Walmart, I’d never have any reason to shop in Paso Robles.

David Murray

Templeton

Interconnection

Thank you for the viewpoints of both Gary Peters and John Peschong (Sept. 25). Like Mr. Peters, I take the long view with regard to protecting our earth so we can thrive. Like Mr. Peschong, I would like to see small businesses succeed. Pitting the EPA against business, however, is a false argument.

Mr. Peschong mentions the $1.75 trillion cost of “overreaching regulations” on small businesses. What would happen if we factored in the medical costs resulting from contaminated air and water; the huge costs of man-made catastrophes which wipe out people’s livelihoods (i.e. fishing, tourism, farming); the devastation caused by the marked increase in extreme weather? Every business makes use of the basic building blocks of life on our planet, precious resources which are interconnected.

There is not a dollar value assigned to the interconnectedness of life on our planet, yet I strongly urge us to consider that humanity is not exempt from the bill Mother Nature may already be sending us.

Regulations, repeatedly demonized, are only tools. If thoughtfully crafted, they can help us maintain life. Mr. Peschong, I agree that we probably have some crudely written laws. Let’s refine those to better protect our planet, not throw them away. An economy not founded on sustainability starves, and so will its citizens.

Susan Richardson

Los Osos

Try harder next time

John Peschong’s debut Tribune column, “We can’t afford new regulations” (Sept. 25), suffered from the malady known as bad statistics, a disorder caused by the use of uncited sources. Symptoms include such terms as “a recent study” or “it’s estimated,” as in Peschong’s citation of massive job losses at cement plants and paper mills if those industries have to comply with new environmental and health regulations.

For the antidote to Peschong’s problem, Google “junk economic analysis of EPA toxic emission standards” and take a dose of the work of Laurie Johnson, chief economist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Dr. Johnson finds the industry studies Peschong got his numbers from “embarrassing,” their fundamentally flawed analysis resulting in a “gross exaggeration of compliance costs and employment impacts.”

(The cure for Mr. Peschong’s entire wrongheaded thesis is Dr. Johnson’s 2009 blog entry, “The Historical Record of Job Growth and Environmental Protection.”)

Welcome to punditry, Mr. Peschong. As another economics professor said of one of the studies you chose to rely on, from the perspective of a teacher grading a paper, “I would want to encourage the student to work harder on the next assignment.”

Andrew Christie

Director, Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club

Prolonging process

When a 34-year-old man with a driver’s license (a sign of a legally minimal display of sanity or competence, one hopes) admits that he’s shot and killed his mother, we should be relieved somewhat by his honesty, his willingness to pursue a swifter path to inevitable incarceration.

Confession also probably helped Christopher Shumey feel a bit unburdened, and his details have likely enabled investigators to check more efficiently the accuracy of their measurements and scenario re-creations.

From what I’ve read in this newspaper, though, it looks like the judge is unwilling to accept Shumey’s admission of guilt (Sept. 28). I understand that our legal officials must encourage defendants to consider carefully all legal options, but in this case Judge Duffy appears more committed to prolonging the process than to ensuring that the accused receive fair and legally protective judicial proceedings. Fortunately, Mr. Shumey is in custody and, I’m confident, will not be released for many years.

It’s unsettling to read what’s been published recently about our local matricide and to think that some of our most sincere efforts at child-rearing, when we ask our sons and daughters to tell the truth, seem to have become easily shuffled-aside values in our legal system.

Joel Westwood

San Luis Obispo

Celebrate suffrage

Thanks to everyone who attended the open house for the North County Women’s Shelter & Resource Center on Sept. 23. It was a lovely event showcasing our new location in Paso Robles. We especially want to thank the Atascadero Show Choir for their amazing performances.

If you weren’t able to come by, please feel free to visit us in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You can find our address and a calendar of events on our website at www.ncwomensshelter.org.

One in three women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. Please take action and find out how you can help in the fight to end domestic violence in our community.

Jennifer Adams

Executive director, North County Women’s Shelter & Resource Center

Tribune’s plastic bags

The Tribune editorials of Sept. 14 and 16 seem hypocritical when they support charging the public two to 12 times what markets suggest for plastic bags.

The Tribune throws more plastic bags in my driveway every week than I get at the grocery store. I have reusable tote bags and use them at the grocery store, while I must throw away The Tribune’s bags because they are not recyclable.

The Tribune should set the example: Volunteer to do your share instead of adding costs to the consumer. For every newspaper home delivery, The Tribune should pay 25 cents to the recycling fund because the newspapers are enclosed in plastic bags like the grocery store’s.

The Tribune should pay that 25 cents instead of passing the costs along to customers. That would be more constructive than attacking COLAB because it stands up for protecting consumers. If you want to change human behavior, start at home, cleaning up your own operations before recklessly chiding others.

Jerry Bunin

Oceano

Overdue action

Prohibiting single-use bags in stores is much overdue and one of the best advances that SLO County can make in the sustainable movement.

As a member of the GreenFest Executive Committee at San Diego State University, a festival that educates students on sustainable living, I have learned the facts on plastic bags and have adopted into my own life ways in which to live sustainably.

One method is purchasing reusable bags made from recycled materials instead one of the 380 billion plastic bags that contaminate the United States every year. A study by the Ocean Conservancy has shown that close to 10 percent of the debris polluting the coastlines consists of plastic bags. Why, then, do Americans continue to waste when there is such a simple solution?

Banning plastic bags and adding a fee for paper bags leaves one alternative — environmentally friendly, reusable bags.

Although these are not free, they are a small, one-time fee for a bag that can be used multiple times. Why pay 10 cents per paper bag and continue to waste when one simple lifestyle change can result in the protection of the environment we all live in?

I encourage you to educate yourself on how to sustain your own life and to start making a difference today!

Jasmin Jakobsen

Former San Luis Obispo resident

Articles of interest

I found two articles of particular interest on the Top Stories page on Monday:

l. “DREAM Act”: I find it difficult to have sympathy for the illegal-immigrant college students who are having a hard time finding employment. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of legal graduates who have not been able to find jobs. Seems like sympathy is due for them.

2. “Election 2012”: It would seem to me that a photo ID to vote is a good idea. After all, I even have to show a photo ID every time I go to my doctor! I am sure that accommodations can be made for those who have a problem getting their picture taken. Some states have already offered to do it for free.

Edith W. Welter

Atascadero

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