Be alert for scams
I received a telephone call from a young wo-man who was very distraught and claimed to be my granddaughter. She stated that she drove to Mexico, got intoxicated, was involved in an automobile accident and as a result was incarcerated in a Mexican jail. To get out of jail, she stated that she needed $2,225 wired to an attorney in Spain who just so happened to be in Mexico and very able to resolve her incarceration and automobile repairs.
I recognized immediately that this was a scam. I told her to call me back in twenty minutes so I could arrange to wire her the money. I hung up and called the Sheriff’s Department and proposed a wiretap. The officer told me nothing could be done because of California law, and that the caller was most likely outside the United States.
This kind of imposter scam is cowardly, cruel and abusive in their attempt to prey on the elderly who love their grandchildren. Victims of imposter scams are urged to call the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP or go to http://ftc.gov.
Trees don’t belong
Sweet Springs Nature Preserve is not a community park with ball fields or rose gardens. This nature preserve is one of the few places in Los Osos where natural habitat is restored and preserved.
Beautiful eucalyptus trees are not part of our natural flora. They displace native vegetation, the toxic soil under them allows little else to grow, they alter the pH of the spring affecting aquatic animals, and they draw up large amounts of water affecting Sweet Springs and the adjacent wetland. Bird diversity in eucalyptus groves is at least 70 percent less than native vegetation, according to studies from the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. Additionally, removal of eucalyptus trees possibly helps the monarchs. A four-year study by the Big Sur Ornithology Lab showed that monarchs that roost in eucalyptus trees have much higher mortality than those that roost in native trees.
Native willows, live oaks and local scrub help provide a beauty that is unique to Los Osos. Eucalyptus trees no more belong at Sweet Springs than on the slopes of Haleakala in Hawaii, where they have also been planted. Please support the Morro Coast Audubon’s work toward restoring native habitat at Sweet Springs.
Don’t be dissuaded
I’m shocked that the photovoltaic electric systems installed by the Navy will result in net losses to the taxpayer (Oct. 9)! I don’t suppose this has anything to do with the systems being overdesigned, installed by only performance-bondable contractors and by workers paid the “prevailing wage.”
As a general contractor at a solar firm performing government work, I am uniquely qualified to discuss the inefficiencies involved in most government-contracted work — local, state and federal. Bonded contracting eliminates 90 percent of competitive contractors. “Prevailing wage” laws add 30 percent to 40 percent for labor costs. The result is simple. No government-administered contract will be efficient or cost-effective. That includes remodeling and highway building (including photovoltaic solar).
The problem with the article is that the losses suffered by the Navy were not put into context, and electrical users in the private sector may be dissuaded from looking into solar.
How many Americans watching the Ken Burns special on Prohibition compared it to the drug wars of today?
Think about it. Here we have historians and social scientists telling us that prohibition does not work, that a ban on something makes it not only more desirable but profitable, yet most Americans think banning drugs is a workable solution to the evils of abuse just as their grandparents thought it was for the abuse of alcohol even though Prohibition proved otherwise.
Why does it continue? Because it pays for prisons, prison guards, government budgets (asset seizure), police personnel and equipment, etc.
There is an effort to put an initiative on the ballot in California. It is titled “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine.” If you live in California, find it, sign it and vote for it to end the insanity. If you live in another state, look for it once the one in California passes and the idea moves forward to other locales.
Their liberty is our liberty!
Where’s the tree?
What happened to that stately magnolia tree on the corner of Madonna and Los Osos Valley roads? I cannot believe the city allowed it to be removed. I have no idea how long that tree stood on that site or how much joy it brought to the citizens of SLO who passed it every day.
There is so much ugliness in this world, and to remove something so grand is a crime.
San Luis Obispo
Help homeless more
Recently The Tribune wrote about $30 million that will be spent on the LOVR interchange so drivers won’t have to be inconvenienced. Do you know how many will be ousted from the place they call home when that work begins?
I’m speaking of those who live under the overpass, whose numbers have multiplied since the inhumane eviction of disabled and mentally ill people from their home just up the road.
When you sleep in your nice warm bed tonight, please ask yourselves if you are doing everything you can to help house our homeless. Many cities have been allowing homeless camps for years; we need to do the same.
Wooden cabins can be built for only $1,500 each, with no permit required because they are less than 120 square feet. With two bunk beds, these cabins can house four people each. This is a viable solution.
Just imagine how much better you’d feel if you tried to help the homeless more. And if you need a reality check, I’d be happy to take away your cash, cell phone, car, wallet and jacket — and drive you to the outskirts of another town and see how it feels.
Please — just try to put yourself in their shoes.
San Luis Obispo
A hard aspect
It’s remarkable that today, here in the United States, there is still some 45 percent who believe in creationism as the dominating method as to how life evolved here on Earth.
The new and in-depth findings that have been made in recent years regarding DNA and genes all clearly show that life in all of its magnificence clearly follows Darwin’s concepts of evolution and natural selection.
One aspect dealing with evolution — that is very hard for many people to adjust to — is time. To consider that life began here on Earth some 4.6 billion years ago; and that the common ancestor of all of today’s mammals, including humans, occurred only about 2 million centuries ago; and that humans, in their present form, left Africa only some 125,000 years ago, are all truly disturbing concepts.
Down through the millennium, change does take place, however, all brought about through mutation and or natural selection.
The importance in following a scientific system of investigation is that answers are arrived at through a natural system of data analysis and verification.
On forefront of aid
How inspiring! There is now a free health clinic in San Luis Obispo serving the county. And it took an immigrant from Afghanistan to start it. This is a national story that will bring more praise to the “Happiest Place in America.”
Since we seem to be on a roll with a free food bank, why don’t we start seriously doing something about providing free (or subsidized) housing as well? Makes no sense to “fix up” the homeless if they are just going to go back to the creek. And shelters are a very short-term solution.
My suggestion to help: Why not modify the onerous building codes that make cabins like Dan De Vaul’s supposedly unin-habitable (despite having doors, windows, electricity, sheetrock, and adjacent sanitary facilities)? I’m tired of them being labeled “shacks”; they aren’t. Don’t forget, Fresno homeless have only tool sheds.
This county, now that it has a free health clinic, could be in the forefront of not only housing the homeless but also aiding the disadvantaged or financially traumatized in general. Toward that end I will be presenting a free Downturn Survival Seminar in January. Email email@example.com to be on a mailing list — subject line “Seminar”).
William L. Seavey
Educate, be great
Reading the Sunday (Oct. 9) paper, I learned that the U.S. is the only wealthy country in the world that hasn’t substantially increased the percentage of young adults with the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree over the past 30 years.
The 50 most educated metropolitan areas in the U.S. have an average jobless rate of 7.3 percent, while the least educated metro areas’ rate is 11.4 percent. While the national unemployment rate remains more than 9 percent, the rate for those with a bachelor’s degree is just 4.3 percent.
Given these facts, it seems odd that our strategy during this period of economic turmoil is to raise college tuition beyond the reach of average families. Investing in education pays dividends. Taxes paid over a lifetime by an average earner with only a high school education do not cover the costs of the 13 years of a K-12 education. Earners with college degrees pay back the costs of a primary and secondary education, and then some.
To remain great: educate.
San Luis Obispo
Think, and pull over
I just finished reading one letter (“Drive slow? Pull over,” Oct. 14) and the viewpoint about rigid vehicles (“Rigid vehicles deadly in crashes”).
Another death happened a couple weeks ago on Nacimiento Lake Drive when a small car (Echo) ran into a Ford F-350 pickup. Well, the driver from the Echo was killed, while the driver of the pickup walked away. That is like driving into a tank!
The letter about pulling over rang true with me. I live at Heritage Ranch, and there are limited places to pull over. When someone is behind me (tailgating), I try to pull over wherever I can. I am reminded of what my mother told me, that you never know what is going on in that vehicle. Could be a sick child, or any emergency. It would be nice if people would think of that and pull over!
Deciding not to vote for Mitt Romney because a claim has been made that he is not a true Christian is very wrong.
I can think of many much better reasons not to vote for Mitt Romney.