Working toward safety
One year ago, mother and psychiatric technician Donna Gross was murdered on the job at Napa State Hospital. On Sunday, Oct. 23, workers at Atascadero State Hospital will hold a vigil honoring her and commemorating the first anniversary of her death. Members of the community are invited to attend this event, taking place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the hospital’s entrance. Simultaneous vigils will occur at all state hospitals and developmental centers across the state.
Donna’s murder sparked a statewide movement for improved living and working conditions for patients and staff at California’s state hospitals — the Safety Now Coalition. A recent study based on Department of Mental Health and Cal-OSHA records shows that assaults on psychiatric technicians rose by 30 percent and on registered nurses by 52 percent between 2005 and 2009. In the past five years, attacks on staff have doubled at ASH.
Twenty-one years ago, ASH’s George Bergstresser was murdered on the job.
The coalition of five unions representing all nonmanagerial employees is dedicated to resolving the chronic safety deficiencies producing excessive workplace violence and obstructing ASH’s ability to fulfill its mission — treating the mentally ill and protecting the public.
Applause for doctor
A round of applause, please, for Dr. Ahmad Nooristani and his staff and supporters for opening a free clinic here in SLO.
His persistence and seeing the overwhelming need for this here is awesome.
When I worked as a nurse in Santa Ana, it was so obvious that people without insurance would wait until they were gravely ill to come to the hospital. This of course cost the hospital thousands of dollars more as the patient required long hospitalizations and expensive treatment.
If only I were 20 years younger, I would be there with him in a New York minute; not only is his persistence paying off, but his compassion is also showing!
Thank you, doctor, for seeing and acting upon this need. I wish you and your staff much success — the kind you feel in your heart!
Tear up this bill
There are two contemptible things about Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s Wilderness and Roadless Release Act (HR1581). The first is that it is very bad legislation with an undisclosed agenda hidden in plain sight. The second is that McCarthy hustles this nonsense as a “conservative.”
He promises more revenue to local communities, greater access to “padlocked” wilderness study areas and a return to local control.
What doesn’t he mention? None of the “problems” he cites, nor the solutions he promises, has a basis in fact. Nor does he disclose who helped him draft the bill: big-money advocates from the off-road recreation industry.
McCarthy could profit from less time spent jawboning at fundraisers and twisting the arms of tea party freshmen, and more time reading in the American conservative tradition.
If he did, he might encounter people like Russell Kirk (“Nothing is more conservative than conservation”), Richard Weaver, Allen Tate, Donald Davidson or current national treasures such as Victor Davis Hanson and Wendell Berry. But that would require thought and involve no “whoop-dee-doos.”
Mr. Congressman, if you and your friends really want to “tear” something up, tear up that bill.
This letter is long overdue. I write to thank you for carrying David Brooks’ weekly column. A lifelong Democrat, I nevertheless think Brooks, a thinking man’s conservative, is the most knowledgeable and fair-minded of your columnists.
He always manages to subordinate his ego (we all have one) and he never distorts the truth to advance his position on an issue.
Thank you for carrying his column. By all means continue to do so.
Pride in obstinacy
When I became legally able to vote, I was mesmerized by democracy in action. Twenty-odd years later, I am frustrated beyond measure by what has become of both the Republican and Democratic parties.
For simplicity’s sake, I remember a time when being a Republican wasn’t about being anti-abortion nor, was being overtly religious imperative to a candidate’s success. And Democrats weren’t nearly as vehement in their belief that all people deserve all things all the time because this is America, after all, right?
As I watch young American citizens struggle to find the means to go to college, I am dumfounded by bill AB131 which “lets illegal immigrants apply for state-funded scholarships and aid at state universities.” And I am disgusted by the concept of religious freedom in a country that, more and more, is using religion as a means to attempt to deny those of us who believe “differently” our right to retain a legal medical procedure that is a choice to be made only by individual women.
Obstinacy has become a source of pride in our political process, and that arrogance will ensure that this country is no longer united, whether under God or not.
Support for children
The members of Central Coast Funds for Children thank the many generous people of San Luis Obispo who attended and supported our annual Soup Supper. Our supper, held on Sept. 18, was once again a success, raising more than $14,000, all of which will be donated to local agencies that provide for children with needs.
Central Coast Funds for Children is proud of our accomplishments. For the past 17 years, we have focused our attention on the children of this county, and to that end, we have been able to raise and donate more than $1 million to agencies serving our children. This entire fundraising effort has been possible because of the wonderfully generous gifts of time, money and donations from the business community and the many friends of CCFC.
We appreciate the support you give the children of San Luis Obispo.
Susan Murray, Jeanette Meek and Sue Carpine
Chairpersons, 2011 Soup Supper
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Bipolar and depression and schizophrenia, oh my! Scary? Not to the 200-plus people who attended the third annual Beautiful Minds Walk on Oct. 1 at Laguna Lake Park.
They supported their loved ones and friends who suffer from these and other ugly mental illnesses. They were brave. They were getting out there and boldly defying stigma. They were getting educated and informed about brain diseases. They were proud to have helped raise over $10,000 that will go for further education programs in our county. They were, and still are, beautiful.
And I thank them deeply and the sponsors who helped. Please visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness, San Luis Obispo County (namislo.org) for more information about meetings, support groups and educational opportunities.
Sources of pride
This is National Friends of Libraries Week, making it a good time to publicly thank the Friends of Nipomo Library who contribute so much of their time and expertise to significantly enhance our services. Our Friends group began in 1990 and over the course of the past years has donated more than $68,000 to cover the costs of children’s programming, special collections and equipment.
I know that the Nipomo Library is a source of pride for our community. Our Friends group is a source of pride as well. I hope this week everyone will visit our website at www.fonl.net to find out how they can join and support this outstanding group.
Susan R. Gillespie
President, Friends of Nipomo Library
Recycle, reduce, reuse
Obviously, some people who receive The Tribune at home or work have not read the info on the bag in which the paper arrives: “This bag is 100% recyclable. Recycle with bottles, cans and paper products. Visit www.plasticbagrecycling.org for more details.”
The bags also have two symbols on them indicating they can be recycled.
We commend The Tribune for using these bags, which we put in our blue recycle bin. Isn’t that what “Recycle, Reduce, Reuse” is all about?
Diann and Paul DeMello