Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 10/9

The jobs balance

I am a senior at Atascadero High School, and for the first time I am taking three Advanced Placement classes. I am not trying to imply that I am smart but more that I am trying to expand my knowledge.

My family and I were having an interesting discussion one night about imports and exports, which could have a direct effect on national debt.

There is an increase in college enrollment because Americans want to get high-paying jobs right out of college, although it is getting tough to find a job now. Honestly, not everyone is meant to go to college, and the people who work at McDonald’s or other entry-level jobs do play a big role in keeping the economy running.

With the masses attending college, there aren’t as many people doing apprenticeships or going into manufacturing jobs, which are essential for exporting goods. If we could somehow switch the balance, then our national debt might go down instead of rising constantly. Maybe something needs to be changed to make average jobs more attractive, or maybe there just aren’t enough of those jobs. However, just because someone didn’t go to college to get their job doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary.

Sam Rabellino

Atascadero

We’re in control

The Tribune’s Sept. 30 editorial “High local gas prices are frustrating” perpetuates the myth that San Luis Obispo residents are helpless in the face of our gas prices being the highest in the state.

I talked to the man who is protesting at Costco’s gas station in town and learned that a website, Californiagasprices.com, publishes prices all over the area daily. I then talked to Costco management, and they told me they only match local prices — they do not beat them. 

By avoiding Costco gas, the only so-called “wholesaler” in town, residents can deliver the message that, until Costco leads the way by living up to its “wholesale” sign, we will shop elsewhere. As The Tribune knows, supply and demand is at the heart of competition. We’re only helpless if we choose to be.

Lin Whitehead

San Luis Obispo

Senseless spending

When it comes to how our tax money is spent, I rarely state my opinion, positive or negative. But this project is too absurd for me to pass up: the bike lanes from South Vine Street to the Highway 46 West interchange in Paso Robles.

OK, there was grant money that was earmarked for improving that specific stretch of road. You use it or lose it. What I don’t understand is the spending on extensive concrete curbing, “bumping brick” rows crossing the road at regular intervals and painting the bike lanes. Sure! A road with decorative touches is just what we need!

It gets better! In the past few weeks, workers have painted the bike lanes a “brighter shade of brick red.” Why? Is sprucing up the color considered maintenance or maybe an upgrade? All of the money wasn’t spent the first time around? You would think that the agency doling out the money would just say, “No!” And if our city leaders knew about it, I hope they said, “We don’t need it.”

But common sense did not prevail. So on your way to Target and OSH, sit back and wonder why we are so fed up with the way our government works ... for a brighter shade of red.

Millie Drum

Paso Robles

An inspiring site

On Oct. 2, I took my dog Roxy for her walk along the beach in Cayucos. I noticed that there was an unusual amount of people in the water and on the beach. As I stood there, I noticed that these were actually many handicapped veterans surfing the waves.

Before long, I joined the others on shore clapping and yelling, “Good job,” as a man with only one leg and one arm rode a wave in with a huge smile.

Roxy was approached by a well-wisher named Janis Roznowski, director and founder of Operation Comfort. Janis told me that in 2006 she was visiting a young man who was injured in the war and who always wanted to surf. Janis introduced me to Carolyn O’Connell, who started Amazing Surf Adventures’ Operation Surf. Together these two groups make it possible for war heroes to surf in our waters. I also had the chance to speak to a young man who is currently serving in Iraq training dogs to sniff out bombs. (He looked too young.) Everyone wanted to share stories, and what stories they have! I met the most important people, people we pray for, right here in Cayucos.

My reason for writing this is to let people know that this happened in our town. I hope to bring these surfers back. Give them a real “Cayucos welcome.”

Kathy Pashone

Cayucos

Some people are bad

In response to the “Integrity in balance” letter (Oct. 6), Troy Davis was tried and convicted in the shooting death of an off-duty policeman. The officer, Mark Allen MacPhail, was breaking up a fight when he was shot in the chest and in the face. He left behind a wife, a 2-year-old daughter and an infant son. That same night, Troy Davis had been party to a shooting that wounded another man. He also was accused of pistol-whipping a homeless man near where MacPhail was murdered.

The “mean dude” was Lawrence Russell Brewer, who kidnapped, then chained James Byrd Jr. to the back of a pickup and dragged him for 3.5 miles before he died of decapitation when his body struck a culvert. Anwar al-Awlaki was known as the Internet Osama bin Laden and reportedly the spiritual adviser of two of the terrorists who flew the planes on Sept. 11. I commend President Barack Obama for ordering al-Awlaki and bin Laden’s deaths.

We all have a right to our opinions, as does Amnesty International; however, I feel no loss of integrity, no less a Christian and certainly no sympathy for people who take the lives of others. Isn’t it time we realize there are bad people in this world?

Frederick Raboin

Arroyo Grande

Thanks for bike racks

Thanks to all the county employees who have worked so hard over the past year to finally get the much-needed bike racks installed in downtown Avila Beach.

Not only is the color blue vibrant, but it has also added charm to our community. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Betty Woody

Avila Beach

The new Birchers

Forty years ago, I found a magazine published by the John Birch Society, the screwball domestic fascist outfit active throughout the Cold War. This rag, called “American Opinion,” said that Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon were all communist agents for the USSR. The Birchers also claimed that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ordered his followers to injure themselves during marches and pose for news cameras to seem like the police and attack dogs had mauled them.

The Birchers of yesteryear created an alternative reality for themselves as the tea partiers do today. Their “birther” nonsense has never completely gone away, and lots of liars still say Barack Obama is a Muslim. The spirit of John Birch spoke through Rush Limbaugh when he blamed the Sierra Club for the Gulf oil disaster and when Rick Perry described social security as a “Ponzi scheme.”

Really, what can we say about people living in a parallel moral universe who think school teachers and nurses have cushy jobs undeserving of well-earned pensions but tobacco industry CEOs, Wall Street sharks and oil barons are completely entitled to their fortunes?

The Birchers of yore along with the GOP/tea partiers of 2011 all proudly shout: “Facts? We don’t need no stinking facts! We’ll believe whatever we want! Yeehaw!”

Jay Bonestell

Los Osos

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