Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/24

Modified food risks

In answer to Bill Presley’s question (“Modified food labels,” Jan. 21), “Haven’t we been eating new and improved (modified) foods for years?” I can assure him that genetically engineered foods are light-years away from vitamin-fortified cereal, gluten-free cookies, a smoothie with a protein boost, etc.

This is about crossspecies genetic manipulation — genes from a trout inserted into a tomato — unleashing never before seen and never before possible organisms on the world.

The motivated folks I’ve been training here to gather petition signatures to get The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the November 2012 ballot know how serious the implications of that are. It’s not hard to get educated. Go to http://www.labelegmos.org and http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org . And if you want to help circulate those petitions, write to me at jeannegmo@gmail.com.

As for Presley’s other concern, we’re thrilled that the Sierra Club has endorsed the California Right to Know Campaign. I think the Sierra Club is still “the club of John Muir,” but, thank goodness, it knows we are no longer in the century of John Muir.

Jeanne Blackwell

San Luis Obispo

Revive middle class

Concerning Dan Walters’ “Raising taxes on wealthy in California is risky proposition” (Jan. 15): Is it possible Walters has the facts right but has come to the wrong conclusion? His premise is the state, relying heavily on taxes paid on the highly variable incomes of the wealthiest among us, is condemned to an endless cycle of boom and bust. Walters’ solution is to broaden the tax base to include many of those currently considered too poor to pay income taxes.

The tax base has shrunk not because so many have been given a “free ride” with the tax burden shifted to the wealthy, but because so many have been dropped from the middle class into poverty or near-poverty and genuinely have become too poor to bear the burden.

Rather than trying to stabilize state finances by taxing those who can least afford it, wouldn’t a better long-term solution be for the state to adopt policies designed to encourage the re-establishment of a taxpaying middle class? In the meantime, isn’t it reasonable to ask those who are the recipients of the wealth once controlled by the middle class to assume that share of the tax burden once borne by the middle class?

David Feleay


Water project woes

We are offended by the Nipomo Community Services District’s continuing publications, workshops, persistence and now assessments to move forward with this water project before those on the Mesa have even had a chance to vote on it.

This project will be “affordable” for few, not many! We want more possible solutions explored if there is any water shortage before even thinking of this massive and extremely expensive project.

Paula Betker

Arroyo Grande

Stoked about bag ban

Rock on, Arroyo Grande High School Surfrider Club!

What a powerful, visual image of what goes into our environment from one shopper (“Plastic bags are banned in county,” Jan. 12).

Kudos to Molliann Jones and Emma Vogan for showing what we are doing to their future landscape, and kudos to the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority for doing something about it. To use Surfrider parlance, I am just “stoked” about the whole thing.

Margie Hurd

Arroyo Grande

Lions Club thanks

The Nipomo Lions Club chartered in 2006 and has since grown to nearly 40 members. Thanks to the generosity and support of our community, we are able to donate an average of $12,000 yearly to more than 25 local charities and buy glasses for children in need and hearing aids for the hearing impaired.

None of this would be possible without the help of our local businesses. We would especially like to thank the local media for their ongoing coverage of our events.

We are truly blessed to live in a community that is so willing to help others.

Bill Morrow

President, Nipomo Lions Club