Disband sororities, frats
In reference to your editorial on sororities and fraternities in last Sunday’s edition of The Tribune, I disagree with your statement that shutting down Cal Poly’s Greek system is too drastic. The Greek system is no longer needed (if it ever was). It is outdated, outmoded and creates an atmosphere of exclusivity and snobbishness.
Whatever good comes from sororities and fraternities can be duplicated by on-campus special-interest clubs. Alcohol consumption still seems to prevail among members during sorority and fraternity functions, and given the history of these groups, they will probably continue in spite of slaps on the wrists by the school’s administration.
Sororities and fraternities should be disbanded for good, now!
Take caution, kayakers
Concerning the photo of a smiling kayaker with a young sea lion on his kayak (Classifieds, Thursday), this is very unusual behavior by the sea lion.
Having spent much of my life fishing abalone from small boats, I have seen this unusual behavior before. The general consensus among commercial divers is that something has scared the sea lion out of the water, something which overrides the sea lions’ fear of man. Something like a lurking great white shark.
Be cautious, young kayakers. We are in great white shark season.
Steven L. Rebuck
San Luis Obispo
Don’t take higher bills
For the past year, my cable bill had been about $150 per month. That included TV with premium channels, telephone and Internet services.
Then came my new bill: more than $200 per month. So I called and complained. The very polite person I talked to explained that I had been on a special package for the past year and the year was now up and they had put me on this “new plan.” I told him I would not pay the higher price.
He still made a couple mild attempts to justify the new rate. When it was clear that the new rate was not going to stick with me, he was immediately able to find another plan, only five dollars more than the old plan.
I acted appropriately surprised and graciously agreed. Actually I wasn’t at all surprised since the same thing had happened for the previous two years.
You just need to play their game. It is, to say the least, an unethical practice and takes advantage of many who could scarcely afford the previous rate, let alone the new one.
So, when you receive your bill and it is one-third more than you were paying, you don’t have to take it. Just make them find you a new “plan.”
Redesign Terraces project
I have strong misgivings about the Garden Street Terraces project slated for review by the City Council on Nov. 1. My primary concern is the massive amounts of charcoal-black brick used. The “cornerstone” building at Broad and Marsh streets will be a 50-foot-high, boxy structure built completely of this dark brick, relieved only by generic glass windows, a couple of balconies and a rigid metal awning. No landscaping is evident.
The Marsh and Broad street juncture is recognized as the gateway to SLO’s downtown. The dreary, institutional-looking building slated for construction on this site is not only repelling but completely unrelated to the charming context of “Old Town.” Our downtown core draws many tourists to the small shops, restaurants, galleries and museums. These buildings have evolved over time from Mission style toward more contemporary structures but always with a relationship to the past: repetition of warm colors (not black) and the use of similar materials, such as stucco, decorative tile and red brick.
The small-town feel is destroyed by inserting massive structures in the center. Let’s send this project back to the developer/architect for redesign.
San Luis Obispo
Bats are gentle mammals
I was so happy to see the commentary by Dan Ashe (“Holy fungal terror, Batman! There’s trouble in the bat cave,” Oct. 20) in The Tribune. I have been a music educator in local elementary schools for the past 18 years, and every year during Halloween I do a lesson on bats and tie it in with a song called “Bat Dance,” which the kids love.
I have been a member of Bat Conservation International for more than 20 years and continue to teach children that our fear of bats is completely misguided. My mission is to educate children that bats are to be revered and not feared. Many students have gone on to educate their parents about their superstitions about bats. It’s unfortunate that Hollywood has created so much fear and deception about these intelligent, gentle mammals.
White nose syndrome has become a very real threat to our worldwide bats, and scientists are trying to find out exactly what it is and how to stop it. Obviously it takes money to conduct this research. I hope we find a solution before it’s too late. Our environment depends on bats to eliminate harmful insects, scatter seeds and pollinate night-blooming plants and fruits. Hopefully we can create a world where facts and reality trump myths and archaic superstitions. For more information: www.batcon.org.
San Luis Obispo
Recycle newspaper bags
Shame on recent letter writers for not recycling their newspaper bags. Just put those bags along with veggie bags, bread bags, etc. together and return them to a supermarket.
It would be nice if everyone recycles. Save the job of plastic workers, and we could have dry newspapers on foggy and rainy days.
As Daddy used to say, “If you don’t vote, don’t complain about the politician.” If you don’t recycle, well, you know what I mean!
Men affected, too
Think about all the “Think Pink” in the past few weeks.
Now think about this: Breast cancer is not only a women’s disease.
Of the six or seven close friends we know who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, two are men. Yes, that’s right, men. This disease strikes men in surprisingly large numbers. Yet many people are not even aware that men are also susceptible to this same cancer as women. It metastasizes in men just the same as in women, and can be just as fatal.
This is something everyone, but especially men, should be aware of, and it is a fact that needs publicizing.
I am joining the discussion over income disparity. The problem with our income distribution is not that it is just unfair; it is economically unsound. All economists know that a consumer-growth economy cannot operate efficiently with a great disparity in income and without a large middle class.
The percentage of income received by the richest 1 percent of the population reached about 24 percent just before the 1929 stock market crash. It went from 9 percent in 1973 to again 24 percent at the time of the 2008 collapse. Recovery this time may be much harder:
1). Our recent economic expansion was even greater than in the 1920s, which requires a longer period of retraction.
2). Public and private debt is much higher.
3). Defense spending is much higher than in the 1930s.
4). We are in a health epidemic; half of current bankruptcies are for medical reasons.
5). We baby boomers are starting to retire and will be a drain on society.
6). The global warming storms of this year set a record in cost. This will only increase.
7). Spurred by foreign competition, U.S. manufacturers are abandoning planned obsolescence. Many of our consumer durables will now last 10 to 20 years instead of three to four years. In our economic system, this, ironically, exacerbates unemployment. So does automation and outsourcing.
Armed against fear
In reference to the article in The Tribune on Oct. 3 entitled “A sigh of relief in Fort Bragg,” the article portrayed the fear of the residents and that they “kept weapons close by” as double-murder suspect Aaron Bassler was loose in the woods close to town.
If some could have had their way, they would have removed all of the firearms from the residents’ possession. Imagine the fear that the residents would have experienced had they not had firearms to protect their families and loved ones.