Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/15

Extravagant rec center

Your Local section front-page photo package on Cal Poly’s new $78 million recreation center gave me some food for thought. In fact, it gave me some indigestion.

I read of the strain on our educational structure because of the greatest recession since the 1930s and of the need for frugality. And yet Cal Poly students seem to be able and willing to pay $65 per quarter for a deluxe rec center.

As a child of the Great Depression, I can’t help but reflect on how Abe Lincoln did some pretty fair learning by the light of candles and how Socrates did some pretty fair teaching under the shelter of shade trees.

Am I advocating going back to candles and shade trees? No. But there must be some middle ground between them and the new Cal Poly Rec Center.

George Miller

Los Osos

Priorities out of whack

Why do we reward criminals with free housing, three meals a day and a guaranteed health care plan, yet punish our less-fortunate neighbors with homelessness, hunger and unaffordable medical insurance?

Alisha Enns

Santa Margarita

Was war worth it?

Some reflections on the end of the Iraq War. Does anyone in San Luis Obispo remember the enthusiastic efforts of Sam Blakeslee and Matt Kokkonen in 2003 using their catchy slogan “Freedom is not Free” to urge San Luis Obispans to support going to war? Did they really believe then that our freedom would be at risk if we did not invade Iraq, that our nation’s defense and intelligence services were so weak we could not contain threats from this tiny country?

I wonder what Sam and Matt are now saying about their efforts nine years ago? I wonder whether they feel in any way responsible for the 4,500 dead young American men and women, the hundreds of thousands Iraqi dead, the $1 trillion monetary cost and the incalculable damage this misguided war has done to U.S. credibility and reputation in the world community?

Laurence Houlgate

San Luis Obispo

A state bank could help

Has the idea of establishing a state bank ever been put forward in the California Legislature? I think that North Dakota has had the Bank of North Dakota since 1919. And it contributes to the state’s revenues.

I should think that if one were set up in California, it could go a long way toward increasing revenues even if it were only the state itself that used it.

Doris Highland

San Luis Obispo

Bring on the wolves

I read with interest, amusement and then dismay Gary Grabowsky’s letter (Jan. 12) about the gray wolf being an invasive species. As far as I am aware, canis lupus (timber wolf) used to range all over North America, long before any other humans made an appearance in California, outside of Native Americans.

It was almost within our lifetimes that human beings drove this species out through a policy of extermination.

I submit that this lone wolf is only trying to reoccupy territory its ancestors once roamed.

I would love to see wolves occupy any and all of their former ranges to some degree (managed).

This would help the ecological balance by selecting the weak and infirm prey for food. Bring them on!

If anything is invasive, it is us!

Michael Burrell

San Luis Obispo

More piano, please

I am writing in response to the article “Treble in Paradise” (Jan. 7) about the revocation of a permit for Ms. Deborah Marcus to teach piano in her home. There have been a number of good suggestions presented, yet I believe some facts were left out. Has Mr. Jay Chester ever allowed a decibel level measured in his home? It could be that any sound would not be acceptable to this man, including the TV, video games, the radio or chirping birds.

So what does that mean for any of us in our homes? While we do have the right to enjoy our homes as our sanctuary, we do live in neighborhoods and communities of people doing things. I was at the hearing in December, and it seemed that as long as the Steinway was never played, there would be no problem. Mr. Chester stated that the upright Yamaha was not the source of his distress. So, problem solved — the Yamaha it is!

Colleen Wiest

San Luis Obispo

Business misconception

Recent letters to the editor about the Occupy movement, show many people think the purpose of a business is to provide jobs for people. This simply isn’t true!

Men and women start businesses to fill a market need (real or perceived) and to make money from that activity. The business provides a product or service, and if the business is successful, it grows. If it isn’t successful, it fails.

If the business grows, the owner makes money, and as growth continues, there is a real likelihood the owner will hire people to assist in producing those products or services thus providing jobs.

Many people seem to think the purpose of business is to provide jobs, but businesses’ only purpose is to provide something consumers want to buy, and to provide that at a profit. Providing jobs for people is a side benefit, not the goal of the business.

Jim Vint


What’s with Romney?

I was born in Rhode Island, and I lived in Massachusetts, so I have long been interested in Eastern Seaboard politics. I have been following the career of former Massachusetts governor and now presidential candidate Mitt Romney for some time, and I am, frankly, puzzled by him. Gov. Romney was opposed to tax cuts for the rich — “I’m not for tax cuts for the rich. The rich can take care of themselves.” Now candidate Romney supports tax cuts for the rich.

In 1994, Romney was pro-choice, and now he is pro-life. He described immigration reform proposed by Sen. John McCain as “reasonable.” Now he considers that reform as amnesty. He supported “cap and trade,” but now he is opposed to cap and trade. He was governor of Massachusetts when the state installed universal health care, including “mandates” for state residents, but now he is opposed to “Obamacare.”

How in the world can any Republican or any citizen of the United States support someone for president who has been on both sides of almost all of the majors issues of our day? I will be very surprised to see Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for president.

Robert Matano


Wonderful SLO people

Thank you so much to the gentleman who found my daughter’s flute at the bus stop outside the Senior Center and turned it in to the police! I don’t know who you are, but you made our day. My daughter was absolutely heartsick when she realized she had left the flute on the bench.

But after only a short hour of dismay, a call to SLO Transit revealed that the police already had it.

What joy and relief! More proof that SLO is a wonderful place filled with wonderful people.

Kathy Keil

San Luis Obispo