I served on the Air Pollution Control Board for several years in the past, so I know quite a bit about their goals. I know they were ecstatic when the state reduced the measurement of dust in the air down to the 10 parts per million it is now. It gave them a new lease on life as a government watchdog.
What I do not know is:
What does this small particle do to my body? Is it absorbed and discarded or does it remain and pollute my lungs, etc.? How much does it take before my health is seriously affected?
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When I take my grandkids down to the beach and they inhale some of these sand particles, have I put them at risk? Are they at risk of future health problems caused by my stupidity in exposing them to nature? Is one day of exposure OK? How about 10 days? Ten years?
Are the kids at Mesa Middle School protected, or should the school be closed? How about Lopez Continuation High School? Who let these schools open in the first place?
Should evacuation of the Mesa be considered? Is Santa Maria safe? Will bureaucracy eventually eat itself?
Not better people
I was going through the security checkpoint at the Columbus, Ohio, airport. A female security officer was checking our IDs. I showed her my driver’s license. It’s fairly new. So I told her, “It’s a new one.”
She looked at it and said, “Nice picture.” Then she added, “How come men always take better pictures?” So I told her, “It’s not because we’re better people.” She smiled.
I think she liked my response. It must have been the right answer because she let me go on my way.
San Luis Obispo
Don’t down trees
Ah, Los Osos. If you did not exist, fiction could not invent you. Where else on Earth would a leading bird organization propose improving a bird sanctuary by cutting down the biggest trees for miles around?
And where else would the local planning commission hold a meeting on the subject, sure to be attended by at least 100 passionate, angry, teeth-clenched, by-God-I’m-right activists in a dinky room that holds about 12 chairs, with a loud, raucous party with a loud Dixieland band playing full blast 40 feet away?
Well, it did happen on the night of Oct. 13. You shoulda been there — or not. Trim the eucalyptus trees so that the canopy is reduced, but it will slowly fill back in (mon-arch butterfly habitat), lay the big branches on the ground along the future path (nurse log habitat), drill some holes in the trees (cavity nesting bird habitat) and wrap a natural fiber rope around the bottom of the tree (hemp will do) for the clematis vines to grow on (nectar-loving critter habitat), clamp some critter cameras to the tree hooked to the Internet so the whole world can see, and donate money to the wonderfulness of the Sweet Springs Nature Preserve, but do not cut down the big trees and make 80 percent of the public hate your guts!
Speed limit there for reason
Although I agree that there should be a few more passing areas on Highway 1 north of Cayucos, and that one should pull over if driving below the speed limit, most often the driver who is insistent on passing other drivers only wants to greatly exceed the speed limit!
I don’t know if that was the case in the tragic accident where a Pennsylvania woman sadly lost her life and her husband was critically injured, but many times it is. This is a beautiful stretch of highway, and supposedly most people are driving on it to take in the wonderful scenery, but how often do you see them tailgating someone who is driving at least the speed limit?
I don’t feel that anyone who is driving the speed limit should feel obligated to pull over every time someone behind him wants to drive at a speed which is clearly breaking the law. The speed limits are there for a reason, which was so clearly, and sadly, demonstrated in the recent accident.
Take a couple more minutes to enjoy the views and the music or conversation in your car and get there safely and let others do the same!
Theft of our future
From the conclusions Patti Launders came to in her letter (Oct. 20), one has to suspect that she hasn’t tried to get a job recently. People are not demonstrating for more welfare or higher pay; they are demonstrating because they are afraid that there will soon be no jobs for hard-working, educated and creative Americans.
Of course people are frustrated when they see the current corporate mindset of CEOs whose priorities have been personal profit at the expense of the future of the companies they were supposed to serve. That these individuals would feel entitled to drive their companies into the ground while reaping obscenely disproportionate incomes, then reward themselves again with funds from the bailout money, is beyond immoral.
Unfortunately, due to the political influence such people have, very few are being held accountable, and such practices continue. This is not capitalism; it is theft of our country’s future.
San Luis Obispo
Time to retire
With so many serious challenges facing this great nation, we should be looking to elect people to Congress who are problem solvers, not game players.
It is time for Abel Maldonado to retire from politics.
San Luis Obispo