Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/20

Tree loss a shame

It grieves me to see mature trees being cut down. These trees are decades old and are being cut down in the questionable name of progress. I see it all over town, at Cal Poly, at numerous “upgrade” and “improvement” construction sites. The latest on my side of town is that beautiful magnolia tree at the fire station on Madonna Road, and now the tall pine trees at the Laguna shopping center. What a shame! Reminds me of some of the lyrics from the Joni Mitchell song “Big Yellow Taxi.”

“They took all the trees

Put ’em in a tree museum;

And they charged the people

A dollar and a half just to see ’em.

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got

’Til it’s gone;

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot.”

Vince Uhler

San Luis Obispo

Thanks to PG&E

As president of the Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers, I want to publicly thank the 20 members of PG&E’s Environmental Field Services and Shared Facilities Departments who did so much to give their time and talents at the Point San Luis Lighthouse Historic and Recreational Park on Oct. 27.

These PG&E workers from all over California volunteered with the Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers, and in one day they:

1). Hauled, stacked and cleaned debris filling a 20-ton roll-off hauled from all over the 15-acre historic reserve;

2). Sanded, primed and painted two gigantic historic water cisterns built in 1889, each holding 50,000 gallons of collected rainwater;

3). Sanded and stripped all paint off the steps in preparation for staining the lighthouse stairway;

4). Washed lighthouse windows; and

5). While waiting for more paint, raked and pulled weeds.

All of the above tasks were done with a smile and “can-do” attitude that we will not forget.

If you’d like to become a Point San Luis Lighthouse Keeper volunteer, or take a trolley tour to Historic Point San Luis, call 541-5763.

Stew Jenkins

President, Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers

Don’t blame Prop. 13

After reading his letter on Nov. 11, I realize I have a lot in common with Fred Frank. We’re both old and apparently we lived in our homes for a long time. However, I disagree with Fred on the lost revenue. We purchased our three-bedroom home in 1979 and raised our four children. When the kids left, we stayed in our home because we didn’t need a larger place like some people do.

During those years in our neighborhood, we have seen most of the houses around us sold and resold. Every time a house sold, the property value increased, which means the property taxes also increased. We also had a new housing development built close to us, which was an additional 22 homes, and not long after, around the corner a additional nine-house complex was built. That means more property taxes coming in. And that is just in my neighborhood. What about the new shopping centers that have come into town? So no, I don’t think Prop. 13 is the problem with lost revenue; I think it’s the waste in government spending that’s the problem. In closing, I would like to know since Prop. 13 passed, how many people are still in the same homes from 1978? Very few, I would guess.

Michael Haynesworth


Insurer’s bad move

In early October, my husband and I received a letter from our health insurance company that the policy would no longer be available to us after Jan. 1, 2012. They apparently don’t make as much money in this area as they do in the urban areas. This is the third time this has happened to us.

I think this is something our county supervisor, assemblyman and state senator should look into. If an insurance company wants to do business in our state, they should offer their product in every county. I hope the people of San Luis Obispo will contact their elected officials and ask them to change this very discriminatory policy!

This is going to cause great financial difficulty for thousands of people in San Luis Obispo County.

Maggie Fertschneider


Bring troops home

Charles Krauthammer (Nov. 4) tells us that the Iraq war — started during the Bush administration on the false premise that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction presenting an immediate threat — was won by “the surge” and then lost by President Obama. How has he lost Iraq? By deciding to comply with Iraqi wishes and pulling out all but 3,000 to 5,000 troops by year’s end.

And what would Krauthammer have us do? He would have us retain 28,500 troops in Iraq for an unspecified period of time by somehow convincing the government and people of Iraq to change their minds about wanting us to leave. The size of the force should be no problem. After all, he writes, we have 40,000 troops in Japan and 54,000 in Korea. Many Americans, including me, ask why we still have so many armed forces in those places.

Iraq was not ours to win or lose. We invaded a sovereign country on a false assumption. The same age-old tribal and religious conflicts exist there now as were present when we started this unjustified war. The 28,500 American troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future would only serve to embroil us in Iraq’s centuries-old problems.

Thank God Obama is bringing our troops home from Iraq. I hope it is a trend that will continue during his second term in office.

George Miller

Los Osos

Good for Larry Allen

Larry Allen’s Viewpoint in The Tribune of Nov. 13 is lucid, accurate and courageous. Science has been repeatedly under attack locally and nationally. Millions of Americans are fed up with those who whine whenever science and reason don’t support their beliefs, their desires or their financial interests. They blame scientists, academics and teachers. They don’t want scientific truth; they want convenient truth, their truth.

Larry Allen is listing the findings of the APCD scientific studies. Those who don’t “like” the findings will probably once again attack science. As Allen says, the APCD board has been charged with “reducing dust emissions from the Oceano Dunes.” Pismo Beach, Grover Beach and Oceano leaders seem to be only interested in appeasing a few business owners rather than protecting the health of their citizens.

Thank you, Larry Allen. A good scientist is a good teacher.

Lee BeDell

Avila Beach

Do away with war toys

Just about everything in the paper these days makes me mad; however, the Nov. 11 “Family Circus” takes the cake: What are we teaching our children when we have Bil Keane (God rest his soul) depicting his children in army fatigues surrounded by tanks and “war toys”? I’m so fed up with this atmosphere of war. How about some “peace toys”?

Francesca Nemko

San Luis Obispo

Precarious situation

This was the bottom paragraph of an article on page A3 of the Nov. 12 edition of The Tribune. It should have been in banner font on the front page. Too many of your readers don’t appreciate what is happening to our economy and why we are in such financial peril. Here it is:

“ data from the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. Census and other agencies showing that the wealth of the richest 1 percent of Americans has almost tripled over the last generation, while the poorest 20 percent has seen an increase of just 18 percent.”

Art Armstrong

Los Osos

A few words of thanks

A great big thank you for the excellent publicity you gave Estero Bay United Methodist Women’s Bazaar on Nov. 12. It was a great success in the fellowship with a caring community as well as generating funds for local and national projects.

Thank you to all who came and ate lunch including a variety of homemade soups, pies and sandwiches. (When was the last time you had chicken noodle soup made with home-made, hand-rolled noodles dried on a wooden noodle rack?) The “vintage” linens, tea towels, baby quilts, jams and jellies, wonderful selection of baked goods, Christmas decorations and collectibles made it a fun shopping experience.

Beth Cook

Morro Bay

U.S. just as guilty

One hundred and seventy children and many other innocents have died in Pakistan and Afghanistan as a result of U.S. drone bombings. “Terror bombing” is usually defined as the intentional targeting of civilians. The key word here is “intentional.” It is argued that if a child dies as a side effect of the targeting of a militant, then the child’s death is not intentional. But if the U.S. drone bombers suspected that the children they killed were in the same house as a targeted militant, then this is morally equivalent to intentional killing (even if the bombers say they did not want children to die).

In other words, the U.S. is as guilty of terrorism in its “War on Terror” as are our terrorist enemies.

Is it any wonder that the U.S. is so hated by the majority of the population in these countries?

Laurence Houlgate

Paso Robles