Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/28

Limiting improvement

The Tribune recently connected the dots. First were stories of San Luis Obispo Creek — an open sewer in 1890, then the 1960s, with rotting debris and garbage (just as I remember it). Citizens were able to take charge improving safety and health of their community. The uplifting story of PG&E’s generous employees and their service to all at our lighthouse was the next example of good citizenry, culminating with columnist Bob Cuddy’s inspiring reminder of JFK’s “... what you can do for your country” speech.

Contrast the above with local attempts to eliminate toxic, damaging, expensive (sewer-clogging) plastic bags. I still can’t eliminate the lingering grotesque spectacle of the stuffed-shirt naysayers from COLAB. It seems “we the people” can’t anymore even do the obvious to better our beautiful county without shrill, accusative, derisive ne’er-do-wells continuously crowing how the “guv’mit is stealing our freedom. My Gawd.”

Veterans will be starkly (and maybe sadly) reminded of drill instructors’ oft-repeated admonition (55 years ago for me) to self-centered malefactors who brought shame upon the unit, respectfully restated herein to whomever it may apply: “Hey, maggots, bet your mother is proud of you now, huh?”

Charlie Lawrence

Paso Robles

Managing education

Jeffrey Armstrong’s apologetics for the latest Cal Poly fee increase fall short. True, there is a widening budget gap to be made up, but there are other ways.

The managerial layer of the CSU system has grown faster than any other part. The salaries in that layer have increased even faster — to wit: Two-thirds of $1 million for one president and one provost, even while faculty and staff took a pay cut. At the same time, the teaching load of the tenured professors, the most expensive part of the faculty, has dropped as the priority shifts out of the classroom and into publication. The gap has been filled not by hiring additional professors but by part-time lecturers (of whom I am one). Our contribution will diminish along with the budget; class size will increase, and sections offered will decrease.

There’s no question that if California is to be economically competitive, we need to invest more in California’s educational systems, top to bottom. But before we ask for more from the students, or even the legislature, we should spend what we have more efficiently.

Christopher Perello

San Luis Obispo

Let’s build canals

For many years, I have watched the North get flooded and Texas dry up. Both at the same time. It was said that you couldn’t build a railroad from East to West, or you couldn’t build freeways across the nation. We did. Now, let’s put some of our returning soldiers to work, and civilians, and build a couple of huge canals, with smaller canals branching off to manmade reservoirs.

Instead of the government giving away our money to companies, they can pay for the work being done and, in turn, the workers will pay for lodging, food, transportation and entertainment. This therefore creates employment and flood and drought relief.

David T. Manion

Cambria

Reimagine the Dunes

Scientific evaluation of the Oceano Dunes dust problem is entirely unnecessary. In order to determine the future of the recreational area, all that’s needed is some common sense plus a little imagination.

For example, imagine the following scene at the Dunes without ATVs: A diverse group of visitors from everywhere is enjoying the peaceful tranquility of the unique natural beauty that surrounds them. Seniors are walking along the shore holding hands. Children are busy building sand castles. Lovers of all ages are strolling by the breathtaking sand Dunes, gazing into each other’s eyes.

Later when the sun comes down, this diverse group visits local establishments of all types, parting with their cash in the process. Eventually they go home and share their ATV-free Dunes experience with family and friends. Word spreads fast, and soon many more visitors of all ages, backgrounds and interests, begin arriving with their credit cards.

Common sense and a little imagination could determine the future of the area, but, unfortunately, it won’t.

Money will.

Vic Montalban

Grover Beach

A farm-fresh thanks!

As many people know, Lillian Larsen Elementary School received about $10,000 worth of garden boxes filled with edible plants, a tool shed, chicken coops and garden tools. Without the enthusiasm, motivation and connections of one very special lady, this never would have happened. I am indebted to Sandra Dimond and the North County Farmers’ Market Association for making it possible for the school to receive this large donation from Sunset magazine.

Sandra is a true believer and supporter of farm-to-school programs. She is very devoted to locally grown products, farm-fresh produce and nutrition education. She has been very passionate about promoting the North County farmers markets and buying locally grown. Her passion has spilled over to assisting me with introducing and educating students about healthy eating and tasting fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs that students have never tasted before. Twice a month, students at Lillian Larsen enjoy the taste-testing of fresh produce introduced to them.

A very sincere thank you to Sandra Dimond for her support of the Lillian Larsen Farm-to-School Program!

Christina Wilkinson

San Miguel

Listen to a student

Our teacher recently discussed with us about the New Tech High School in Nipomo. I have heard of this school before. In fact, my parents have already signed me up for the year 2015. I have read about its good elements as well as the bad. I found that many people are looking at it in the wrong way: They believe that this is a way to have teachers receive less pay or get fired. I also heard that some people are upset because they think that they should focus on other schools first. I know that most of the computers in the Lucia Mar district are slow and not as “up to date” as we would prefer, but I think it’s better to be able to use advanced technology to prepare for college than to work on putting advanced technology in elementary schools.

I think that this new high school is an opportunity for children who want to embrace learning, become successful and learn valuable life lessons.

I really wish to attend this school, and before you tell anyone that they shouldn’t be able to enjoy learning with hands-on activities and learn what I need to be successful in the world, send your child there first, and listen to him/her tell how great it is.

Elliott Hoving

Sixth grade, Ocean View Elementary School

Preposterous pizza

I am a San Luis Obispo native studying abroad in Italy during my third year at UC Davis, living in a place where food is valued beyond profits. Here, food is understood to be an important connection we as human beings have to the earth that surrounds and sustains us. So, living here and hearing that my home country has just nominated pizza sauce as a vegetable is not only ridiculously laughable, but frightening. When the façade created by institutions such as the National Potato Council and the American Frozen Food Institute is stripped away, it melts down to a fight between health for the future generation of patriotic, tax-paying citizens — and profit. Incredibly, the potential profit sounded better to the members of Congress than the well-being of children.

What type of leadership chooses to benefit those already extremely advantaged rather than help everyone grow in a healthy way? I am in a country with a now-former prime minister widely mocked and a government system that is not without issues, but a country that would never undermine the quality of their food and therefore health.

It’s also the same country that invented pizza, and I assure you: No Italian would believe pizza to be a vegetable.

Rebecca Lucas

Padua, Italy

Salute to ceremony

A heartfelt thank you to the Paso Robles District Cemetery and all those involved for the excellent Veterans Day ceremony. The keynote speech by Lt. Col. Erick Krivda was especially poignant. If The Tribune could obtain a copy and publish it, I would love to share it with other veterans, family and friends who live outside the area.

Don Oldt

Paso Robles

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