Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/29

A bit of irony

How ironic. A letter from Will Powers (Nov. 24) describing the San Luis Obispo City Council’s “elitist money-slinging boondoggle”: the facelift of a couple of blocks in downtown SLO while the same City Council can’t afford programs for seniors and poor people.

Of course, everyone knows San Luis Obispo’s attitude toward the poor and the homeless, preferring they become invisible except when they come up from Nipomo or down from Atascadero to go to work and empty the garbage cans, pump the gas, serve the hamburgers, mow the lawns, etc.

The irony: Right above Will’s letter, an article about how 30 years ago Alex Madonna gave some people a ride to Cambria because their bike’s tire went flat on Thanksgiving. Must have cost him 10 bucks for gas and 45 minutes, and you would think he donated a kidney or something. It’s amazing The Tribune didn’t refer to his act as “heroic.”

Finally, in the list of charitable organizations where the old and poor could get a Thanksgiving dinner, San Luis Obispo wasn’t on the list. A note to the City Council: Your downtown had a lot more character 50 years ago, cracked sidewalks and all, with its functional shopping instead of rows of taverns and trinket junk shoppes that come and go. Today it is just plastic yuppie.

Wayne Roberts


Merchant Marines

It was very gratifying to see in The Tribune the Veterans Day tribute paid to local veterans who served in the military from World War II to the present conflicts, and I was especially pleased to see Don Eaton among those so honored. But there was one conspicuous absence: There was no Merchant Marine veteran among them.

As one who served as an officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine from 1942 to 1946, I cannot let this oversight pass without some mention of the essential role my fellow mariners played during that war. Only after several decades did Congress finally designate us as veterans. We were noncombatants, but how could the Allies have fought a global war without the merchant fleets? They delivered the troops, equipment, ammunition, food and medical supplies, often dying in the effort. Only the U.S. Marine Corps suffered a higher percentage of casualties.

Let me cite a few personal examples of service by crews: They brought supplies to Suez for the British Eighth Army just before the action at El Alamein stopped Romnel’s advance; delivered a Naval Construction Battalion to New Guinea, an Army field artillery unit to Guam, and supplies to Okinawa, among other service.

The Merchant Marine had a job to do, and they did it well. They are true veterans and deserve more recognition than they have ever received.

Harold Spencer

Paso Robles

Thanks from scouts

Cub Scout Pack 425 wishes to thank the community for your generous support of our annual popcorn sales fundraiser. With your help, our pack raised $15,000 and was the top-selling pack in the Los Padres Council region. One of our cub scouts raised over $4,500!

If you know a boy in first grade or older, we encourage you to visit Los Padres Council at www.lpcbsa.org to learn more about the many benefits of scouting. Membership is open all year.

Rick Simmons

Pack 425 cub master