Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 10/6

Integrity in balance

Someone recently wrote in complaining about the protesters at Troy Davis’ imminent execution, calling it “mindlessly emotional.” Easy to throw labels around these days, isn’t it?

It’s hard to call the former warden of that Georgia prison “mindlessly emotional,” nor former President Jimmy Carter and the Pope. There were people generally pro-capital punishment as well as people, like members of Amnesty International, who are against capital punishment. Troy Davis was an example of someone who should not have been executed. It was as if the integrity of the American justice system was hanging in the balance.

For those who believe capital punishment is cruel and unusual, that it is prone to mistakes, and that killing is wrong, whether it’s a murder or an execution, Troy’s case was like any case, and he shouldn’t have been executed. That goes for the mean dude in the South who dragged a human being as well. He should be kept in jail. That goes for the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, by our government in Yemen, which isn’t capital punishment, but a case where there never was even a formal charge in court.

One label we can’t throw around is “Christian,” if we believe in capital punishment and government assassinations. At least, we can’t apply it to ourselves.

Adrienne Dickinson

San Luis Obispo

Cambria scarecrows

This October, there will be a population explosion in Cambria. At the invitation of the Cambria Historical Society, about 200 scarecrows will take up residence throughout the East and West Villages and along Moonstone Beach Drive. And they are not your everyday scarecrows.

Think Harry Potter and Hagrid, a wonderful old man with his lawn mower bemoaning the fact that he’d rather be golfing, nuns bursting into song, a soldier saluting the flag, and Jack Sparrow, just to name a few.

The scarecrows began appearing in Cambria in 2009. Last year, they came back and invited a few friends. This year, even more are descending on our little village.

So, in this time of negative news about the economy and frustration over those in Washington feeling they don’t need to do their job, why not do something fun? Take a trip to Cambria. I dare you to walk around the town without bursting into a smile. You deserve to have some fun, right?

The second week in October, the Cambria Historical Society will be celebrating the scarecrows with three days of fun-filled events. Check out CambriaScarecrows.com.

Sue Robinson

Cambria Historical Society

Thanks for the work

Many thanks to county road maintenance for moving and trimming the shoulder along the bay on Third and Fourth streets in Baywood Park.

Walkers are now able to walk safely and comfortably off the pavement and away from traffic. This is much appreciated, especially by those with children and animals.

Dorothy Brandt

Baywood Park

Missing real issue

The editorial “Charging for Sunday parking” (Sept. 30) entirely missed the point. What the editorial should have addressed is why is the “big brother” Department of Transportation in Washington mandates the size and the quality of signs that the City of SLO and other cities and towns across the country must use.

Surely you must jest! Where has local control and local direction gone? This kind of meddling is a perfect illustration of how we are being strangled by bureaucratic nonsense.

Ronald Pearce

San Luis Obispo

No truce yet

The Voices section on Sept. 19 included an piece titled “The electronic cigarette truce.” As a community member of the San Luis Obispo Tobacco Control Coalition, I believe some facts about e-cigarettes need to be known before anyone calls a truce.

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are devices that electronically vaporize solutions containing nicotine, which is inhaled. E-cigarettes are not regulated by the FDA, but some laboratory testing was done in 2009. The FDA found traces of cancer-causing agents and a lack of consistency with the quality and amount of nicotine inhaled with each puff; every e-cigarette may vary by brand. Until the FDA can prove the safe exposure of e-cigarette vapor, they should be treated like regular cigarettes, with smokers complying with current smoking regulations.

The packaging and advertising for e-cigarettes is directly marketed to teens through sleek labeling and a variety of flavors, increasing their desirability and the risk of teen nicotine addiction.

A “replacement customer” is the term used by the tobacco industry to describe the teenagers they addict to replace those who die each year from tobacco-related diseases.

Even though e-cigarettes may seem harmless, the short- and long-term effects are unknown. Remember, there was a time when cigarettes were thought to be harmless as well.

Diane Glaser

Shell Beach

Smart moves

Atascadero lately has made plans to add a new public bridge over Atascadero Creek and a public gathering plaza in downtown. These are two smart moves by Atascadero’s government.

Other smart decisions are not permitting a second movie theater to be built. The land where the second movie theater was proposed should be street retail and also would be a great location for a downtown bowling alley.

Atascadero is trying hard in this downturn economy to attract sit-down restaurants and big-name stores to the city. I feel Atascadero should also work to bring a new major employer to the city. A large employer like Kaiser Permanente or some other large firm would create head-of-household jobs and draw population to Atascadero, which would attract classy retailers like Macy’s, P.F. Chang’s Bistro, and other high-end stores to the city.

Along with these additions, Atascadero deserves a good-sized organic grocery market like New Frontiers. I feel Atascadero is on the right track to becoming the new big “hub” and leaving its “bedroom community” reputation behind.

David Pecci