Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/18

Too much to ask

The article “Whither have the geese flown” by David Sneed (Jan. 12) quotes John Roser as saying the number of brant geese has dropped 76 percent since the peak in 2001-02. He says a possible explanation includes global warming and a reduction of eelgrass.

Nowhere did he mention the destruction of brant geese during the hunting season and how many are killed and wounded to die later.

The brant hunters don’t seem to care about the population or wellbeing of the geese as long as they can continue to kill them.

One would think Fish and Game would consider the reduction of brant numbers and stop the killing of them, but that would be too much to ask of that agency!

Robert R. Lyon


Warren put it best

We hear a great deal these days about the widening gap between the well-off and the poor in our country. Everyone seems to have an opinion and/or a solution for the disappearing middle class. But I have not heard anyone put it better than Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

This is what she said: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there, good for you. But, I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory and hire someone to protect against this because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

She outlines the problem and the solution perfectly. We need her forthrightness and good common sense in Washington desperately.

Mary Ross


Ludicrous outcry

Let me get this straight. It’s not OK for our Marines to do a simple retaliatory act such as urinating on dead Taliban fanatics who sneak around and snipe at them behind their backs, and then the whole world condemns them for it.

But it’s OK for the Taliban to kidnap someone, torture them with severe beatings, interrogations and deprivation of basic necessities and then videotape them being beheaded and put it out for the world to see? And no outcry from the world on the scale that our Marines are getting right now? Seriously.

We send over kids (average age of 19 to 20 years old) to fight in a losing battle with countries rife with religious cultures we don’t begin to understand and then expect them to abide by the idiotic “rules of engagement” being forced on them in countries that don’t have the least bit of thought about pulling out a rifle/handgun and blasting away.

Easy enough to be an armchair politician safe and cozy in their warm homes and good food making these speeches about something so simple as urinating on dead soldiers who were trying to kill our very own U.S. Marines. I’m disgusted with our politicians on a lot of fronts lately, but this is just ludicrous in my book.

Mark Cave


Fear of death?

With regard to the Marines desecrating the dead: Is it fear of one’s own death that makes people place more emotional weight on respecting the dead than on respecting the living?

Evelyn Cole

Arroyo Grande

Not thrilled

I must admit I am not thrilled that Cal Poly is making the news because of a new state-of-the-art recreation center. Actually I’m upset and bemoan the fact they would be splashing it all over the news given the sad state of education in this state’s budget both at the college and lower levels, and they are happy they spent all that money (wherever it came from!) on a recreation center rather than a building that would house classrooms to teach subject matter?

Oh, and the students voted that it was OK to tack on money to their tuition fees for this, but watch out if you approach them for more money for actual costs related to their subjects.

The folks at the other gyms in the areas must be feeling rather put out, too, for it doesn’t take much to note that students, faculty and staff will no longer belong to outside private organizations when they have such a nice facility there.

No wonder people don’t want to get more taken out of their taxes — expenditures such as this one, while perhaps pledged by private individuals, would be better turned away in the scheme of things until private businesses are booming and the educational system on all levels makes us No. 1 in the nation again.

Carol Kiessig


Spreading apathy

Joe Tarica’s column “I’m already missing plastic bags” (Jan. 14) has lowered my confidence in our community’s ability to progress. The “I simply can’t be bothered” attitude presented in this article (and elsewhere) does not serve our community well in any matter, particularly the plastic bag issue. Unfortunately, this apathetic attitude seems to be spreading.

When I first learned of the ban, I was overcome with a feeling of hope that the San Luis Obispo County community could be a leading example of how to progress past the archaic “one-time-use” ultraconsumerist view and work together to rid ourselves of our addiction to an industry that clearly causes severe environmental disturbances and long-term problems.

The fact that we might have to look into alternative receptacles for dog poop should not take precedence over the preservation of our planet.

Kate Downey

San Luis Obispo

A fuss over nothing

Poor Joe (Joetopia, Jan. 14) will have to wrap his dog doo in newspaper like people used to do, rather than mummifying it in plastic for future generations to find.

What a fuss over nothing! There are great little shopping bags available for very little money that take no more space than a plastic bag, are stronger, washable and have a snap attached so that they can be attached to a purse, belt or to additional bags. Some are even made from recycled plastic bags!

I bought a couple of the recycled ones at Beverly’s this week, and there are hundreds of versions available online. They really work a lot better than the flimsy plastic or paper bags do and don’t pile up in the cupboard. Joe, this can be a win-win situation for everyone.

Carol Nelson-Selby

San Luis Obispo

How’d I live so long?

Hallelujah, we’re saved! Or at least the Earth is saved as a result of the actions recently taken by another unelected group of do-gooders in banning the use of plastic bags. In their inimitable wisdom, they listened to the environmentalists and decided that they would take this giant step to save the world.

It probably didn’t occur to them that it takes considerably more energy to produce paper bags than it does for plastic bags. Of course, plastic bags are made from that dirty old oil, and paper bags are made from replaceable trees.

I am in my 70s, and I often wonder how I’ve lived so long because the first 50 years weren’t totally controlled by various governmental alphabet agencies. Now I am even told what kind of lightbulbs to use, and now I can’t use plastic bags! Wow! That’s progress!

Stanley D. Schaffer

Arroyo Grande

Childish reaction

I enjoy Joe Tarica’s regular columns, but am surprised that he seems to be reacting so childishly to the inconvenience the plastic bag ban may cause him (“I’m already missing free plastic bags,” Jan. 14).

As the manager of the Abundance Thrift Shop in Los Osos, I’ll find the ban a lot more inconvenient: Our wonderful customers and friends have for years saved their plastic and paper grocery bags for us, and no item leaves the store in a bag that hasn’t been used at least once before. So we’ve been doing our bit to reuse and recycle those bags; however, like everyone else, we’ll adjust to doing without them.

I’m lucky enough to have done quite a bit of world traveling and have picked up plastic trash from beaches as remote as Svalbard in the Arctic and the Falkland Islands not far north of Antarctica. San Luis Obispo Countians are to be praised for helping even in this small way to reduce the amount of such trash.

Judith Cadigan

Los Osos

No bag for paper?

The Tribune has awarded a bouquet for the vote to ban plastic grocery bags (“Bouquets and Brickbats,” Jan. 13), and now I expect we will no longer be receiving our daily paper in a plastic bag.

Jim Hawthorne

San Luis Obispo