Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/29

Unnecessary payments

Somewhere around $2.5 million is up for grabs by tenured teachers and management if they agree, by Monday, to retire early; likely 40 teachers and seven from management will each get a $50,000 boost (or boot?).

San Luis Coastal Unified School District and its board of trustees have agreed to offer this “golden handshake.” Tribune reporter AnnMarie Cornejo described this plan in two separate articles.

The focus is “to lower costs.”

The second article detailed new raises for teachers, employees and management, an increase in cost of $3.6 million.

A quote by one of the assistant superintendents: “ you have to closely manage the money and if you don’t have your finger on it, then the money tends to get handed out a little too freely.”

An entry-level teacher, if hired will start at less than a quarter of an assistant superintendent’s new wage. These new teachers are the ones filling the void and delivering the education to the students after the tenured, experienced, soon-toretire teachers make their “golden handshake” exodus.

Aren’t these payments overdone, unnecessary and counter to lowering costs?

All this spending sets a precedence that management and the board must justify in perpetuity. The money, remember, comes from taxpayers.

Robert T. Ryan

Avila Beach

Preposterous intrusion

I have lived here for more than 30 years, and the new cameras in the Village of Arroyo Grande are the biggest mistake and waste of taxpayers’ money I’ve ever seen. I know some of the money was from a grant, but to take $67,000 in tax dollars and use it for something that reeks of Big Brother watching everything is plain wrong. It is preposterous. To jus tify this to combat vandalism is really stretching it.

Our town doesn’t justify having this type of security camera spying on our every move. It is wrong and an invasion of our privacy. Do you want to live in a city where every move you make is recorded?

The physical presence and placement of the cameras is outrageous and gives off the sense of criminality and lawlessness to visitors. I know that if I was vis iting a town with cameras everywhere, I would think twice of shopping there.

For the police department to come up with this and then have the gall to ask for a bond to build a bigger police station is beyond comprehension. Don’t they think people have had enough government intrusion in their lives and will remember this fiasco when they vote on the bond?

This is a waste of money and an intrusion into our privacy, and I hope others in A.G. will contact Steve Adams and Police Chief Steven Annibali to have these cameras removed.

Don Brewster

Arroyo Grande

The wrong answer

It is outrageous that The New York Times columnist Tom Friedman thinks more education, in the U.S., is going to solve the unemployment problem (“ ‘Average’ is officially over,” Jan. 27). How can American workers compete with slave labor? Does Friedman realize that unemployment is still high for college graduates?

Apple produces its products cheaply in China but sells them at high prices in the U.S. How does that produce jobs in America? Not everyone has the interest or ability for college. What do we do for them? Notice how American companies are making higher profits, but unemployment is still high. How has the “world economy” benefited jobs in the U.S.? Are Americans better off now than they were 20 years ago?

Joe Fagundes

Morro Bay

Stop the makers of meth

As a nurse practitioner, after reading The Tribune’s piece on methamphetamine production in rural areas and the difficulties that law enforcement encounter, I found the associated violence from meth abuse/addiction most disturbing.

Methamphetamine has a wellestablished reputation for causing violent psychosis, as well as many other long-term health problems. We all pay for the cost of these damages. The DEA attempted to head off the current meth epidemic in America more than 20 years ago! The DEA directed Congress to encourage the pharmaceutical manufacturers to stop manufacturing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and other ephedrine-related drugs. These are the precursor drugs which enable criminal manufacturing of methamphetamine in its various forms. In fact, these ephedrine-related chemicals are too sophisticated to manufacture by any other entity than a pharmaceutical company.

Hence, if these drugs were to be eliminated by the pharmaceutical manufacturers, methamphetamine production would be terminated. There are fewer than 30 pharmaceutical companies manufacturing pseudoephedrine in the world. Permanently halting production of these chemical precursors of meth is a marvelous opportunity to improve public relations for pharmaceutical companies. By eliminating these complex chemical compounds, these companies could be heroic in sacrificing a fraction of profit for the greater good.

The risks of having these drugs no longer justifies the benefits. I can live without pseudoephedrine. Can you? Lucien Morin

Morro Bay

Just basic economics

President Obama never tires of mentioning Warren Buffett’s secretary’s taxes rate as part of his “fairness” campaign. The reason for lower tax rates on income of many wealthy persons, as in the case of Mr. Buffett and Mitt Romney, is that they get much of their income from capital gains. President Obama obviously believes that capital gains should be taxed at a rate closer to regular income.

This discussion is not new, and there are good reasons why capital gains are taxed at lower rates both in the U.S. and in other countries. Investments are made with after-tax income . If the after-tax return on an investment is too small, the investment will not be made. Increasing the tax rates on capital gains to the same rate as regular income greatly reduces the after-tax return, and that would drastically reduce investment and be a disaster for the private economy.

Is President Obama so ignorant about basic economics that he would actually trash the private economy? The only other explanation is that he is knowingly deceiving the public about tax issues and playing on envy in a desperate attempt for a second term.

Christopher Arend

Paso Robles

Time to stop singing

The only thing missing from Stew Thomson’s letter of Jan. 26, “European socialism,” is the grasshopper singing, “Oh, The World Owes Me A Living.” I suggest that we take the ant’s advice, “Work, and quit riddling around. Winter is coming.”

Jim Kopisch


An impressive story

I spend a lot of time with The Tribune, sometimes as much as two hours a day. I consider it time well spent. But it was never better spent than the evening when I read the commentary by Nicholas D. Kristof about a teacher who helped change the life of a marginal student (Voices, Jan. 24). This was the kind of story you wait for, sometimes months.

One line in particular stood out: “Teachers may have the most important job in America.” I think he’s right. I tend to believe that, too. It might be a year or even two before I read another story as impressive as that one. It might be a long wait, but the wait will be worth it. It always is. And that’s why I keep reading the newspaper.

Henry Schaufus

San Luis Obispo