Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 12/29

Public face

I literally gasped when I read Lin Whitehead’s Dec. 12 comments grouping Save Our Downtown among the downtown “monied interests.” First of all, unlike the (SLO) Downtown Association or the Chamber, no one in our group derives any financial gain from what we do. We attempt, best we can, to be the voice of the “average guy,” which heretofore has seldom been heard regarding downtown development (I say this speaking from the perspective of serving 14 years on two SLO advisory commissions).

What Lin apparently doesn’t recognize is that our downtown is the “average guy’s” “front yard,” the public face of our community and not solely a money-making enterprise for the wealthy few who have financial interests there. Our focus recently has been on the enhancement of the downtown pedestrian experience. We believe that this is crucial toward maintaining downtown’s viability when there are fewer discretionary dollars being spent in this “down” economy. That is why we, along with the council majority, supported the so-called “two-block beautification program.”

Allan Cooper

Chair, Save Our Downtown, San Luis Obispo

Soldier’s homecoming

I want to acknowledge the generosity, selflessness, graciousness and love expressed by friends, family and strangers who made my son’s homecoming (SPC Warren Pittenger, 82nd Airborne, 2-325th AIR 2nd BCT, B Company, completing a seven-month tour in Iraq) a definite “Hero’s Welcome.”

Getting him here from North Carolina was a prayer answered by the Ventura family (Robin and Stephanie); Anna Mafort-Lacy, with help from Trena Wilson, immediately spread the word to “her people” — Kenny Klein of Lee Enterprises, Cheryl Tolan with Welcome Home Troops and all the volunteers (photographer, banner captains, table captain, family captain); veteran Armed Forces members — the list goes on and on. Flags, flowers, balloons, Girl Scout cookies, a pie, a keepsake banner (signed by all the folks who were there) were given as symbols of appreciation, gratitude and thanks for Warren serving his country and, in essence, us.

And of course, a huge thank-you to friends and family who came to welcome him home. Most of all, a heartfelt “thank-you” to his beautiful, loving and supportive, wife Alyssa — a beautiful, wondrous and blessed sight for a soldier coming home.

Carrie Brown

Atascadero

A special place

Compliments on covering Wild Cherry Canyon on the front page (“Hope renewed for Cherry Hill Canyon,” Dec. 22). If this pristine area is purchased, thus protected, it will connect Montaña de Oro State Park to Avila Beach and complete (almost) the California Coastal Trail going from Oregon to Mexico.

Our coast is such a special place to hike to enjoy the junction of land and sea.

Bill Denneen

Nipomo

No scorn for liars

Paul Krugman’s commentary in Dec. 27’s Tribune, “The post-truth campaign,” hit the nail on the head.

George Bush 2 and Karl Rove discovered that in today’s 24/7 news cycle, a sitting president and/or one of his advisors could outright lie to the press and to the American people. If the lie was revealed as a blatant deception at a later date, it appeared on page five of the newspaper and perhaps not at all in what passes for news on television. It is abundantly clear that politicians no longer need fear that wholesale lying will bring a nation’s scorn.

In the same issue, Richard Riggins’ letter “Don’t lose progress” laments the fact that we appear to be going backward as a country. How can the United States serve as a beacon of democracy to the world when the world sees our leaders as a bunch of lying hypocrites, beholden only to their corporate donors and millionaire — no, make that billionaire — buddies?

Michael Morin

Atascadero

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