Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/11

Vote yes to ban bags

The Integrated Waste Management Authority should vote to support the single-use bag ordinance today. This ordinance has been thoughtfully crafted with significant public and business input to maximize environmental and economic benefits. It has the support of the California Grocers Association and the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce for a simple reason: It will save businesses money. (Or “job creators,” in election season speak.)

By passing this ordinance, we will stop sending more than $5 million per year out of our county’s economy that we spend on single-use plastic and paper bags and keep it locally. While six months ago, all IWMA board members were in agreement on this issue, some have chosen to cave to the demands of the American Chemistry Council and their “Keep Bags Free SLO” campaign. A robo call here, a misleading ad there, and interestingly enough the mindsets of some of our local elected officials switch from pragmatic problem-solving to re-election strategy.

Look, these days it’s rare that businesses and environmental groups find common ground, and it’s an opportunity for progress that shouldn’t be squandered.

Chad Worth

San Luis Obispo

A path exists now

Regarding Steven Singer’s Jan. 9 letter: There is apath to citizenship in place now. Illegal immigrants just have to follow it. And it is not instantaneous, what a burden to follow the rules.

My father and his family came to this country through Ellis Island in 1927. They followed the rules. In 1971 our family brought my father’s aunt over from Czechoslovakia. We followed the rules by having a sponsor, housing, work or other proof of financial responsibility and a list of other hurdles. There is no reason the new immigrants can’t follow the rules in place now.

This county has regulations for every conceivable activity (OK, except zip lines on private property, but the Board of Supervisors is working on that). Why is it you feel the people from one country can ignore the laws? Dan De Vaul is taking a load off the county by housing the homeless, yet he has to follow building codes or risk the loss of his land. The homeless — who are all citizens, I believe — are the ones living in the streets and creeks. The system is broken. First care for those here legally, then worry about those who aren’t here legally.

John Gajdos

Morro Bay

Respect his decision

Your editorial in Friday’s Tribune regarding Sen. Blakeslee’s announcement that he likely won’t run for re-election was disrespectful and mean-spirited.

I have never met Sen. Blakeslee, but know him to be of the highest moral character and integrity. He works diligently and intelligently for his constituents’ best interests. Is it possible that he is tired of trying to function in the quagmire we call our state Legislature? I will be as disappointed as you if he chooses not to run but will respect his decision and thank him for his hard work. You owe him an apology.

Pamela Dunlap

Arroyo Grande

Just another push?

I just read the Obama administration’s proposed new regulation that would allow certain undocumented immigrants to remain in America instead of having to return to their country while their re-entry applications are considered.

Our president believes that the separation would be a hardship on the family. This same president had no problem sending our troops abroad. I wonder if he thinks the separation of the illegal family hurts more than the separation of the American family that’s separated when their loved one is sent abroad and maybe won’t return home ever. I also wonder if this is just another political push for the upcoming election.

Betty Woody

Avila Beach

Give Paul a chance

It’s nice to see some positive recognition about Ron Paul. And I opine Washington is completely dysfunctional so being called “oddly out of sync” is a compliment. I urge everyone who has been let down by the duplicity of the Obama administration or disenchanted with our foreign policy and spending, the Federal Reserve and Wall Street’s blatant disregard for the common wealth, the militarization of our police and loss of liberties since Sept. 11, our treatment of veterans or being the policeman of the world to watch Paul’s 50-minute speech at the Salute to Veterans Rally in Iowa.

Being a veteran himself, you can see that he really cares about the lives of our troops and the general welfare of our nation. He’s up there telling everyone the facts and the facts are the good old U.S. of A. has gotten itself into a pickle between empire and internal welfare. Those who are profiting from our covert empire or drunk on the power do not want us to hear that. But it’s the truth; empires are unsustainable. All I am saying is: give Paul a chance.

Scott Ziering

Santa Margarita

Just vote them out

If politicians disgust you then exercise your clout. When you enter the polling booth, then throw the whole bunch out. Enough said.

Jim Paglia

Atascadero

Dramatic declines

The funding and legislative support for education in California has been slowly declining for the past 20 years. We are now ranked 46th in the nation for per-pupil spending.

Even more dramatic declines have taken place in the past three years. In this period more than $20 billion has been cut from our schools and colleges and we have lost about 40,000 teachers and support staff.

This is especially troublesome because of the demographic shifts we have experienced in California. The poverty levels and number of second language learners in our schools has increased exponentially and the middle class no longer has access to an affordable college education. Instead of cutting, we should increase our support with massive amounts of funding to our schools to meet these challenges.

This crisis in public education should be unacceptable in a state like California that has such wealth and natural resources. I am reminded of a quote by Garrison Keillor: “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”

The key to upward mobility and a place in the middle class has always been a strong public education system. What are we doing to our children; what are we doing to their future; what are we doing to this country?

Frank DePasquale

Cambria

Bag brouhaha

This whole plastic bag brouhaha is much ado about very little indeed except the plastic-bag manufacturers wanting to make money at the expense of the environment.

Twenty years ago, my husband and I were living in Italy, and the markets charged for plastic bags, so 95+ percent of the people brought along their own reusables. It all worked smoothly, and the Italians are still alive and well.

Sue Salvadori

Atascadero

Soccer season’s on

At a time when the “new normal” is to cut programs because there isn’t enough money, members of Central Coast Funds for Children continue to successfully labor at earning and providing critical funding for children’s programs around the county.

The Oak Park Soccer League gratefully acknowledges Central Coast Funds for Children for its recent donation that will allow up to 90 teenage girls in Paso Robles to play soccer throughout the 2012 season.

Armando Corella

Director, Paso Robles Housing Authority

Fix the sidewalks

While shopping in San Luis Obispo on Thursday the toe of my shoe caught on a raised place in the sidewalk. I fell flat down and am bruised and skinned. No serious injury, but very sore from the fall. I urge the city of San Luis Obispo to make repairs to the uneven sidewalks in the “beautification project” that is being discussed. Safe sidewalks should be a priority in any downtown improvement projects.

Elaine Thomas

Nipomo

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