Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Take care of yourself

The Nov. 23 New York Times editorial on Medicare ignores two salient facts:

1). The government cannot give a profit-driven health care industry ready access to the public purse. Medicare recipients should have access to basic care, at very low cost, through an HMO (and this should include dental and vision care). But anyone who wants state-of-the-art (i.e., very expensive) care, should be paying for an expensive supplemental. A truly ethical fix to this problem would require something like the French approach, and that will not happen here.

2). Most Americans have fallen into an unhealthy (i.e., ignorant and undisciplined) lifestyle. Eating and drinking are in the category of pleasure, and although the health outcomes of our diet are fairly well known now, that information is suppressed by the “food” industry and not widely disseminated. Coupling the American diet with a sedentary lifestyle and a jungle of stressors (e.g., how am I going to pay for medical care now that I have lost my job, etc.) is the coup de grace. One might count on vicarious spiritual atonement with no obvious consequence in this life, but hoping for vicarious physical salvation just further enables a for-profit medical industry to take all of us into bankruptcy. People must learn to take care of themselves.

Brian Lindberg


Bag ordinance ridiculous

I read your article about the Integrated Waste Management Authority and did some research on their website. While researching, I found 97 letters written to the IWMA about the plastic bag ban ordinance; 82 were opposed to the ordinance, and 15 were supporting.

This ordinance will criminalize individuals and businesses that provide free plastic or paper bags to customers, a crime that carries up to six months in jail. And civil liability for businesses that are not in compliance with the bag ban and sue businesses for $1,000 per day for every day on which a violation exists. Now you see why so many people stood up against this, because it’s so ridiculous.

I’m asking Supervisors Jim Patterson, Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson to vote no on this ordinance, vote no for another tax, vote no for lost jobs in California, and vote no for a six-month jail sentence for small businesses.

Niki Todaro

San Luis Obispo

Are jobs gone forever

Some how we lost 20 to 25 million American jobs.

Was someone careless or was that part of a plan?

Since about 1815 the U.S. Congress used import tariffs to protect U.S. industries and American workers from foreign competition. The Democratic and Republican parties support free trade. The import tariffs are now gone. The American jobs are now gone.

Who will bring them back?

Hy and Florence Weiser

Avila Beach

FDR offered a good deal

Gene Strohl’s letter (Dec. 1) tells of Roosevelt’s leadership in coping with the decade-long depression brought on by Wall Street’s crash in 1929.I was a kid and know the psychic damage done to families then, especially to my mother and father. He was a skilled craftsman who could not find enough work to pay the rent. We moved almost every month. New schools for us kids. Too frequently hot dogs, beans or potatoes for dinner. Really, more than 10 years of very hard times.

FDR was elected in 1932 along with a Democratic majority in Congress. Reluctant to increase the debt, he was soon persuaded to do it in order to provide relief for the unemployed. The new Democratic Congress overcame the Republican minority and cooperated with the president. Banking and the stock market were reformed, infrastructure, dams for flood control and regional development provided jobs, a conservation program was enacted to keep young men off the streets and care for our forests.

It was called the New Deal.

Ken Rice


A message for voters

Memo to 2012 voters: You can’t fix stupid, but you can unelect it!

Tony Evans

San Luis Obispo

Wear white at night

Earlier this year in rural Maryland, a 16-year-old skateboarder died when a car hit him at dusk. He wore a black “hoodie,” and the driver probably couldn’t see him.

Wearing white or light colors or reflective gear helps a driver see pedestrians or bike riders. We love our children and want to keep them safe. This simple solution can save lives. Even light or white hats, scarves or gloves help visibility. Give drivers a chance to prevent a tragedy.

Remember: It’s right to wear white or light at night.

Kathy Bond

Grover Beach

Community shut out

Once again, Atascadero’s Colony Days is under public scrutiny over who is allowed and denied participation in its events (Tribune columnist Lon Allan, Nov. 1). Yet Colony Days committee members have unanimously refused to answer a few simple questions sent to them on Nov. 8 about how their decisions are made.

The instigating issue, this time, was the North County Tea Party Patriots’ entry in the Oct. 15 Colony Days parade.

Every committee member was asked questions such as: What guidelines (written, corporate or personal) supported their votes to approve the Tea Party Patriots’ parade entry? Were any groups or individuals denied participation in any Colony Days activity? How were the parade entries of congressional candidate Abel Maldonado, supervisorial candidate Debbie Arnold, and 2012 council candidates (Bob) Kelley, (Jerry) Clay and (Roberta) Fonzi consistent with the Colony Days rule that only “meet the candidate booths” are allowed?

Colony Days regulations provide vague guidelines for exclusion from its activities — being “controversial” or “unsuitable,” or having the potential to “change” or “detract from” its events, leaving the door wide open for bias.

The committee’s silence about how they open and close their door shows the community is shut out, too.

David Broadwater


Leaders need to go

So, the best and brightest (supposedly) of our leaders in Congress, given a critically important job, couldn’t solve a problem in three months? Imagine if they were executives at a big, successful corporation such as Apple, Ford, G.E., Google, etc, and came back to the CEO to say they had given up. They’d all be looking for new jobs. Why should the folks we send to Washington to represent us be held to any lesser standard than those in private industry? They all deserve to lose their jobs.

Joe Dervin


Trees, they matter

When trees are property, expendable, of no intrinsic value, they become endangered.

In our area, we lose more and more large, stately trees each year — and they are not being replaced. Worldwide, according to the World Resources Institute, more than 80 percent of the Earth’s natural forests have already been destroyed.

Trees matter. At this moment in history, we find ourselves poised on the edge of evolution or extinction. Anyone who is alert and paying attention can see the truth of this statement.

I’m proud to be a tree advocate. So much is lost from our web of life when the carbon-sequestering canopies are lost.

Looking at the property on the east end of Sweet Springs, the site of the contentious Audubon treeremoval project, one is struck by the amount of open grassland there. Most of the big eucalyptus trees are conveniently located to the perimeter of the large veldt grass area. In studying the property, and being mindful of the global need for large tree preservation, I see no need to eliminate those magnificent, gracefully naturalized trees that lend a special tranquility to the Sweet Springs preserve.

Debbie Highfill

Morro Bay

Prop. 13 did good

Before Prop. 13, people, even those owning their homes, were losing them to exorbitant property taxes. The state used these taxes as a cash cow to build their coffers and help balance their budget. The Jarvis and Gann initiative was meant to protect homeowners from this sort of tax gouging.

It is true that the state took a hit when Prop. 13 passed and cut state revenues. It also forced the state to be more prudent with its spending habits. We homeowners are still benefiting from that proposition. The state cannot raise our taxes more than 2 percent a year, even on those of us who have purchased homes since 1978. As a home sells, the property taxes on that house are assessed at 1 percent of the new purchase price. As homes sell at higher rates, the property taxes go up proportionally, and the state receives those additional funds.

So far the courts have upheld the proposition. Let’s hope that continues, or we will again be at the mercy of Sacramento’s never-ending need for additional money.

Grover Beach