Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/14

Not an invader

Contrary to the letter of Jan. 12 titled “Wolf invader,” gray wolves are indeed native to California. They have roamed here since at least the last ice age tens of thousands of years ago until hunters wiped them out in the 1920s. There is no valid comparison to the invasive zebra mussels threatening local lakes, which were inadvertently imported from Europe within the past few decades.

What makes a species native is the ecosystem to which it belongs, not political boundaries arbitrarily drawn by humans.

It’s just a guess, but the subject wolf probably doesn’t know that he is in California, the border being poorly marked up north. In fact, the wolf probably thinks he is still in Oregon, if not Idaho or even Canada.

Ed Cobleigh

Paso Robles

Islands of garbage

For those interested in the damage that is being done by plastic garbage bags, may I suggest you Google “plastic islands.” Perhaps the information you read there will convince you that the small sacrifice of bringing your own bag to the grocery store may be worth it. Following is an excerpt from a news article from British newspaper The Independent:

“A ‘plastic soup’ of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said.

“The vast expanse of debris — in effect the world’s largest rubbish dump — is held in place by swirling underwater currents.

“Charles Moore, an American oceanographer who discovered the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ or ‘trash vortex,’ believes that about 100 million tons of flotsam are circulating in the region.

“Fish and birds eat it and die. It is a living and growing tribute to the audacity of humans who think they can do whatever they wish without taking responsibility for the end result.”

Joyce Albright

Los Osos

Proud of SCOTUS

This is in response to the Jan. 4 letter “Unchecked judges.”

First, in 1803 and again in 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that it had the power to and did interpret all the laws including the U.S. Constitution. This high court power came directly from the English common law. Oliver Wendell Holmes said the Union would be imperiled if the Supreme Court could not declare unconstitutional the laws of the several states or acts of its officers.

In 1935, the court struck down a major portion of FDR’s National Industry Recovery Act, a vital part of anti-Depression legislation. The justices were called “Nine Old Men.” FDR later tried to pack the court by adding more liberal justices.

The country survived, and we still retained nine justices despite claims of “unchecked judges,” which were leveled at that time.

There have been liberal appointees that have turned conservative and vice versa. Justice Hugo Block was a member of the KKK and became liberal after joining the court.

As a citizen, veteran and lawyer for 52 years, I am justly proud of the U.S. Supreme Court, federal judiciary and its procedures, even though I may strongly disagree with some of its decisions.

Allan J. Mayer

San Luis Obispo