Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/20

Search for better life

In his Jan. 9 criticism of my Jan. 2 letter, Steven Singer charges that I am “unsympathetic to the plight of undocumented workers” and that I “fail to recognize the principles upon which this ‘land of the free’ was founded.”

If Mr. Singer were to reread my letter, he would discover that I wrote nothing about immigration; he would have discovered that my letter focused solely on the dunderheads in Sacramento who passed the law that gives a free pass to lawbreakers.

If Mr. Singer reviewed the history of immigration to the United States, he would discover that our country was not “founded and populated by revolutionaries fleeing the persecution of intolerant governments.” The vast majority of legal immigrants came to the U.S. for economic reasons. Many of the original colonies were commercial enterprises. My father-in-law, for instance, came from Norway (one of those intolerant governments) because, being the third son in the family, he had no realistic chance of making a living on the family farm.

That same story was played out millions of times during our history by legal immigrants (not revolutionaries, but farmers, carpenters and laborers ) searching for and finding a better life.

Dwayne Head

San Luis Obispo

Post-party mess

To the group that had the party at Sinsheimer Park the night of Jan. 13, all I can say is, I hope you had a good time because I didn’t.

Picking up the 30 or so beer bottles, pizza box and other pieces of trash was no treat on my morning walk. All this mess was spread in and around the children’s play area within just a few feet of three trash cans.

The worst was all the cigarette butts put out in the sand in which children play. You know who you are, and you should be ashamed. What would your mother say?

Kim K. Ryan

San Luis Obispo

Tax stability

Dan Walters’ commentary in Voices (“Raising taxes on the wealthy in California is risky proposition,” Jan. 15) puts a finger on the critical deficiency of California’s (and the nation’s) tax system: A shrinking tax base. Our taxes are becoming evermore dependent on an ever-shrinking number of “rich” income earners.

Nearly half the income earners in this country (and probably in California as well) pay little or no income tax. Doesn’t it make more sense to broaden the tax base by taxing every income earner, even if only a little?

This approach would lend stability to the tax system, as opposed to the unstable scenario described by Mr. Walters. Additionally, everyone would, thus, have the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing to the support of this great state, instead of getting a “free ride” by a small minority of “rich” taxpayers.

J.D. Braun

Paso Robles

Hunters not threat

I’d like to help Mr. Robert R. Lyon with his confusion about the brant geese (letters, Jan. 18). He quotes John Roser as saying the number of brant geese has dropped 76 percent since the peak in 2001-2002. A 76 percent drop certainly sounds scary, but he forgot about the part which said that this drop was from the peak numbers.

The reason that he didn’t blame hunting for the drop in numbers is because hunting is not the problem. The season for these birds is only for one month, and the daily bag limit is only two birds with a limit of four in possession. Do you really thing that the few brant hunters who are lucky enough to shoot a couple of geese a season are really killing enough birds to cause any kind of harm to the numbers? To be anti-hunter is to be anti-conservation. Hunters put way too much effort and money into conservation to damage the species. If you really care about waterfowl, you should join Ducks Unlimited. Maybe the geese are choking on plastic bags?

Corey Lintner

Arroyo Grande

Keep the bags free

What happened to the good old days before plastic grocery bags? We used paper bags that were free, as they are now.

By choice, most grocery stores offer paper or plastic bags at no additional cost. The part I don’t get is why stores will be imposing a 10-cent charge for paper bags when they’ve always been free. I guess it’s a good idea if you can get away with it!

With The Tribune’s Jan. 12 article regarding this issue there’s a photo that shows a girl with a sign stating shoppers use 500 plastic bags a year. Ten cents per bag adds up to $50 per year per customer.

Keep the paper bags, but keep them cost free. They recycle better anyway.

Gene Johe

San Luis Obispo

Where’s the proof?

Was an Environmental Impact Report done before such a regulation was jammed down our throats? Was the ban based on science? Is there any actual proof or evidence that bag litter is as bad as implied? Has follow-up been done on the effects this regulation has had in other areas? Where is the proof that these bags are as harmful to wildlife as claimed? I also want to know if studies have been done to determine the level of bacteria that is possible when fluids from raw meats, etc. start into the fabric bags.

The fabric that “reusable” bags are made out of is not readily recyclable. Neither is the polypropylene that the other style of “reusable” are made from. Ironically, the so-called “single use” bags that are being banned are the type of plastic that is easily recycled.

Yes, this is a relatively minor issue. But it is a glaring example of a much broader movement that is ruining our country. I have been warning people for years that the worshipping of the environment propagates baseless laws and regulations that are quickly eroding our freedoms and quality of life. So far, people are not listening.

Jody Langford



There’s a silver lining for the plastic bag ban and 3-gallon toxic waste spill in SLO.

Because retailers won’t have to pay for bags anymore, they can pass the savings along in the form of lower prices to us customers, right? And wait! There’s more! Charging consumers for paper bags opens up another profit line for the retailer; they can now add shipping and handling to the cost of the bags we purchase. Certainly they cannot be expected to provide them at their cost only, and not without a few cents of profit to boot! A real win-win situation!

The thousands of gallons of raw sewage spilled into the sea over the years pales in comparison to the gigantic 3-gallon chemical waste spill in SLO. Let the sea life (and surfers) worry about the sewage. For SLO, it’s NIMBY now. What, me worry?

Lloyd Wetherbee


Remember when?

Can your readers remember back some years ago when the media said something like this: “Take plastic bags and save a tree” when you paid for your purchase at the checkout stand.

Myron May

Arroyo Grande

A small price to pay

I applaud the courage of the waste management board members who voted to ban single-use plastic bags from county stores. Yes, it may mean a little inconvenience for some shoppers until they get used to it, but a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for reducing the litter and waste for future generations (our children and grandchildren), and to protect our sensitive marine environment from harm.

Costco’s bottom line has been aided by their elimination of bagging, and shoppers there don’t seem to complain. Reusable bags have been the norm in Europe for decades. And no, doing something like it’s done in Europe doesn’t make us (gasp!) socialists or wimps. French and Italian shoppers have been using net and canvas bags to bring home all the wonderful ingredients for two of the world’s great cuisines. It wouldn’t hurt us to emulate not only their reusable bags but also the use of fresh ingredients and a commitment to a healthier diet. Come on, everybody, there’s a lot of really important things to focus on as we struggle our way out of the Great Recession. Having to bring your own bag when you shop isn’t one of them.

Daniella Sapriel


What of dog poop?

Darn, once people run out of their supply of plastic bags what are they suppose to use to pick up dog poop? Will zip-lock plastic bags be outlawed also?

Felicia M. Cashin

San Luis Obispo