Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/6

Simply buy the peak

There is a simple solution for those who would determine how Cerrito Peak should be developed: Buy it!

For those who think Mr. Reddell should be able, within reasonable limits, to develop his own property: Today it may be Mr. Reddell’s problem, but please be aware that tomorrow it may be your property that others want to control.

Doug Stevens

San Luis Obispo

Uncaring of homeless

The homeless in SLO must envy the lucky in Portland who can land a spot at Dignity Village.

It is hard not to see a parallel between Dignity Village and Dan De Vaul, (except Dan goes it alone with government interference and Dignity Village has government helping).

Imagine if our county had embraced Dan De Vaul’s efforts instead of attempting to vilify and destroy him and SLO’s version of Dignity Village.

In Portland the city built “wood shacks” for the homeless; in SLO they only tear them down while telling the homeless “to eat cake.”

You can’t solve all homeless problems with Dan De Vaul’s operations or with the city/county’s operations; each one serves clients’ different needs for help, each one serves a different constituency.

If Portland applied SLO’s standards to Dignity Village, they would be tearing it down instead of building it up.

Talking about the visual mess and being uncomfortable in their presence is a “NIMBY” position, not a legitimate one for our city/county to support.

Why are our leaders so blind/elite/uncaring to our homeless?

Richard W. Ferris

San Luis Obispo

Wrong on ab crunches

Dr. Platkin’s advice on how to do crunches is wrong. Lower-back problems are almost always the result of weak stomach muscles, but if you are going to start a regimen of exercise to strengthen your stomach, you must move cautiously.

After a laminectomy to remove a ruptured disc in 1978, I vowed to protect myself from reoccurrence by building a powerful stomach. However, since the rupture was caused by doing sit-ups almost exactly the way Dr. Platkin suggests you do them now, I applied research and discovered a much wiser and safer way to do them.

First, never do sit-ups or crunches without anchoring your feet, and never put your hands behind your neck. Just that few inches of lifting your head could cause a disc to rupture. Put your arms at your sides or crossed against your lower chest.

Anchor your feet under a bed or counter or buy one of those sit-up gadgets that fit under a doorway. Ten reps will not do the job. At age 73, I now do about 200 daily with weights.

I would also use caution doing Dr. Platkin’s leg lifts, as a much safer way would be to position yourself near some kind of anchor that you could grab hold of to assist you in the initial lift.

Wayne Roberts


Nonprofit solution

Recently both the federal and state governments have been talking about raising taxes on the rich. Democrats say this is an issue of fairness, but Republicans say it will impede job creation.

Here’s how to make it work. Raise taxes, but make 100 percent of those extra taxes subject to offsets based on gifts to charitable organizations. If Democrats object to this plan, then it will be obvious that fairness is not the issue — they just want a larger role for government. If Republicans object, then it will be obvious that job creation is not the issue — they just want to protect the income of rich people.

Nonprofit, charitable organizations are much more efficient in their use of money than is the federal or state government. Let’s encourage people to support them to solve the many ills present in our society, including education and social work.

Allen Pritzlaff


City shouldn’t grow

After preliminary maneuvering, a binding decision is scheduled for the proposed annexation of Los Robles Del Mar into Pismo Beach on Jan. 19. The decision will be made by the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). It approves or denies any annexation, not the city.

Los Robles Del Mar, which is currently under county jurisdiction, is proposed for development of 312 homes — the first in a series of projects proposed for the Price Canyon area. This project failed to gain approval in 2008 with more water than now proposed.

The argument by the city and developers that jobs will be created with annexation is not accurate, because nobody builds anything. The game is to get the entitlement, make the property as attractive as possible, float a loan against it or sell it to another developer.

The population has decreased, and there is an inventory of vacant land and approved housing already within the city limits.

So, call me. Really. Call me at 773-4035. Give me your address. I will deliver prepaid/preaddressed postcards to you. What could be simpler? Add your name, address and signature and mail it. Tell LAFCO you don’t want any expansion of the city. We have to submit written comments by Jan 9. Call me. Really.

Sheila Blake

Pismo Beach

Toy gifts stay local

The Tribune is correct in warning donors about the percentage of income some nonprofits use to promote their organizations. In an area like the Central Coast, that fear is minimal, but calls for support from some national organizations can inspire increased donations due to the expertise of hired public relations firms.

Locally, one national organization is unique. Toys For Tots collected and distributed through local social service agencies nearly 50,000 toys from Paso Robles to Lompoc this year for close to 20,000 kids. All money donations collected here remain here, and we spend it for toy purchases to augment the collection for age groups in need.

Nationally, the Toys For Tots Foundation has an awe-inspiring record for getting donations back into communities. A small staff in Quantico runs the campaign, their salaries coming from a private source for that purpose. The Marine Corps League Detachment No. 680 here in San Luis Obispo is responsible for the campaign in the Central Coast, and we are proud to thank the 650 volunteers who share their Christmas with others each year to help us get the job done. There’s more to celebrate: For every dollar donated to our organization, less than 2 cents is spent on getting the job done.

Barbara Wolcott

Executive director, Toys For Tots, California Central Coast

Where’s Capps been?

In the Jan. 4 article in The Tribune, Rep. Lois Capps stated that the current Congress is “pursuing an agenda that’s ideological rather than common sense” in “responding to people’s needs” (as though the previous Congress wasn’t ideological and also lacked common sense).

In this same article, she also stated that President Obama needed to use “his bully pulpit more often.” I wonder where Lois has been for the last three years because our president certainly is not camera-shy, and if he had been on TV any more, he would be eligible for an Emmy.

Returning to her lack of “common sense” position and based on her “bully pulpit” statement, I’m curious whether Lois isn’t afflicted with the same malady.

A.B. Solomon


We’re a lucky bunch

In this country, we are so lucky and, above all, privileged to have the right to vote. It makes our country strong and great. We need to show an ID to vote to make sure there isn’t any funny ACORN business going on or dead people voting, etc. You need an ID to buy many products, drive a car, etc., and the greatest privilege is voting for our country. Why someone wouldn’t want to verify a person’s ID doesn’t make sense.

Usually everyone has an ID of some sort and, if not, just call a Republican or Democratic headquarters and someone would help you out if you couldn’t get one on your own from regular sources.

My God, in some countries people are dying to just try and vote, and our country is so privileged to make it a right. It needs protection, and showing an ID would control that.

Penny Fries

Arroyo Grande