Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 12/16

In name of ‘no taxes’

California budget shortfalls this fiscal year are on target to trigger additional deep cuts to state colleges and social services. CSU universities have traditionally responded to funding cuts with increases in yearly tuition and fees — they have approximately tripled the past 10 years.

Funding cuts to social services such as mental health, however, have no offset, and so an already heavy burden on those suffering from mental disorders and their caregivers will increase once again. Our legislators, instead of providing for relatively “low-cost” preventive treatment today, would inadvertently sentence many mentally ill to a “high-cost” prison term in the future. This makes no sense, economically or morally.

A fair tax burden, shared sacrifice and productive public-private partnership would alleviate, perhaps solve, California’s intractable problems. Instead, we pepper-spray our college youth and criminalize our mentally ill, all in the name of “No taxes!”

Dan Biezad

San Luis Obispo

A classic Scrooge

I read with interest the piece by Patrick Pemberton and Sarah Linn about holiday movie plots and found that I agreed with most of what they said.

However, even though Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” plot has been used in many formats, I believe that somehow the 1951 Alistair Sim version Of “Scrooge” has to be mentioned, as it is in my opinion the best of those renditions of Dickens’ classic. If “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street” are mentioned, then by all means this movie deserves mention somewhere. As a kid, our family watched the 1951 “Scrooge” every Christmas as a family tradition.

Surely the way this movie was done is scary, and the unbridled joy of Scrooge’s redemption at the end is the best. In this time of Occupy Wall Street, the 1951 version could never be more appropriate.

Michael Burrell

San Luis Obispo

Oak tree giveaway

With all the issues surrounding trees in Los Osos and Baywood Park these days, it’s time to offer a positive perspective. OneCoolEarth.org will be giving away 100 local live oaks (specifically grown in Los Osos soil from Los Osos acorns) near the Baywood Farmers Market on Third Street from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.

We would also like to invite the public to help us plant acorns at Whale Rock Reservoir on Old Creek Road in Cayucos this Saturday, Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Old Creek Road is a beautiful drive that runs 7 miles, from the stoplight on Highway 1 at the south end of Cayucos, and intersects with Highway 46 West between Cambria and Paso Robles.

Wear a coat with big pockets or a carpenter’s nail pouch on a belt (to carry the acorns), long pants and work boots, a small day pack with a snack and some water, and meet above the lake by the big concrete retaining walls 2 miles up from Highway 1. For information, call 801-0668.

Lionel Johnston

Pismo Beach

Roll back water rates

I was happy to see a healthy turnout at the recent Public Utilities Commission hearing in Los Osos regarding the egregious water rate increase requested by Golden State Water. As many people at the hearing made clear in an eloquent fashion, we should be looking at rate rollbacks rather than further increases.

The rates that GSW proposes are tantamount to denial of service. The entire situation with three water purveyors in one small community is a mess. We need the help of our publicly elected officials to clean this up so one agency with good public accountability supplies us with water. There needs to be a legal cap on annual water rate increases, similar to that for property taxes. It may be time for a legislative initiative!

Peter Bresler

Los Osos