Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/27

Peace Corps wonder

As yet another returned Peace Corps volunteer (Grenada, 1984-’86), I’m grateful for Bob Cuddy’s articulate reflections (“Renewed purpose for organization,” Nov. 20) about an agency as idealistic and imperfect as its many volunteers.

I recently was fortunate enough to take part in a local gathering of former volunteers (two of whom were the very first selected, in 1961) who shared their thoughts on the Peace Corps’ 50th birthday. Though we all worked in different countries and pursued different paths in the years since, we are all united by a sense of pride (and wonder) at having served our country in such a way. We also admitted to thinking frequently (even daily) about our Peace Corps experiences, adventures and relationships that shaped in such a singular way.

Last month, I received a letter from a former high school student of mine, who is beginning her stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana. It gives me hope that new generations of idealistic Americans continue to reach out to the developing world and allow themselves to be changed by the experience. So here’s to Peace Corps volunteers — past, present and future — and a happy 50th to the Peace Corps!

Geoffrey Land

Paso Robles

Effect on Cold War

Regarding Bob Cuddy’s

Nov. 20 column on the Peace Corps: I also have believed for a long time that the Cold War ended because of this exchange of people, ideas and sharing, as well as with the educational exchange of students.

Barbara Wolcott

San Luis Obispo

Women slighted, again

As a member of the SLOHS girl’s cross-country team, I have been disappointed in your representation of the Pac 7 league finals for the second consecutive year. Yet again, a centerfold of the boys’ winner dwarfs the subservient image of the girls’ victor, portraying the latter to be some kind of haphazard afterthought. Additionally, the male champion graces the front page, as well as the online article, as though the female version of the sport is an inferior hindrance which is eliminated in the interest of saving ink. It is disheartening to witness this incident which simply confirms the disparity between alleged equality in legislation versus executed actions.

Already at an anatomical disadvantage, it is an inarguable veracity that women’s times will be lackluster in comparison to men’s. Competing in a traditionally male-dominated field should be acknowledged as an impressive stance to overcome quintessential gender barriers. Instead, females suffer from continued underrepresentation. We do not expect a role reversal, with the female photo inches larger than the male, just that they should be equivalent in size. In this instance, separate but equal would suffice.

Emma Phillips

San Luis Obispo

Keep the trees

To Joe Tarica (“Joetopia,” Nov. 19): To follow through with your plans, don’t forget to obliterate the rest of our non-native plants in Los Osos, and we must get rid of those messy eyesore concrete blocks which we all live in under which nothing grows!

Today when I came home from hiking in our native chaparral, I found a deer tick on my blouse, I wonder why I never have gotten one at Sweet Springs or even a mosquito bite with all of the marsh land there?

Many of Los Osos’ trees and bushes have died because of pine pitch canker, the beetle bores, oak root fungus, scale and the myoporum thrip. Added are landscaping changes for views or development.

We need to keep all established trees and bushes for displaced birds and wildlife and us! From the air these super tall trees are inviting to all birds who need to take a rest!

From the ground these majestic trees bring a peaceful cathedral feeling to people. This is an amazing established ecosystem. Planting the veldt grass area with native plants will add another dimension to this famous historical landmark which is known throughout the world as having an “unusual (though man-made) combination of saltwater marsh, freshwater spring, cypress and eucalyptus grove.”

Marie Smith

Los Osos

Enough is enough

Regarding reports that hundreds of thousands in state money to feed a bunch of freeloading, do-nothing state senators and assembly members: I don’t care if you are liberal, conservative, independent, Democrat or Republican. This is wrong!

These guys get tax-free daily allowances and other benefits. The amount is small, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

What other things are they doing and getting that is milking the public dollars? So what’s going to be done about this “gimme, gimme” attitude these guys have?

Recommendations: 1). Deduct an equal amount from everyone’s allowance or paycheck. (It may have occurred in 2010 and some of those guys may not be around today. But it sends a message to all that this kind of thing has got to stop.) 2). Put them on notice that if it happens again they will be suspended without pay for 30 days. 3). Go to the ballot box and get rid of the freeloaders.

Leslie M. Luby

Arroyo Grande