Regarding San Luis Obispo County’s proposed daytime student curfew, kudos to Bob Cuddy, (Jan. 29 column) for pointing out just how fragile our human rights can be, even here. He nailed it. County police and educators skated around constitutional rights questions as deftly as Jeremy Abbott pulled off his championshipwinning quad/triple jump at national figure skating competition in San Jose last week.
But locally, no one is cheering. Daytime curfews have failed in cities like Los Angeles, embarrassing officials, sowing fear among students and targeting police with discrimination complaints.
Surveys show no drop in juvenile crime where daytime curfews exist — one reason San Francisco repealed theirs. Informed parents and alternative education students who will be unfairly targeted continue to insist county supervisors drop this proposal, because ultimately, freedom is the real victim of daytime curfews.
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The conflict over whether Joe Paterno warrants praise or condemnation reflects our culture’s discomfort with contradiction.
Some want to praise Paterno’s virtues as a coach, teacher, husband and father and disregard that he could have done more to stop Jerry Sandusky’s alleged abuse of children.
Others vilify Paterno and claim that only the Sandusky incident should define Paterno’s character. If we are uncomfortable with both the constructive and destructive parts of our own character, we will struggle to recognize the contradictions of Paterno. When we can see and accept our own flaws and limitations, we can better restrain their destructiveness.
Maybe Paterno’s failure to recognize his own contradictions blinded him from seeing that his friend, Sandusky, was a contradiction of opposites. After reflection I want to recognize both aspects of Paterno — I want to recognize and pay homage to his humanness.
San Luis Obispo
Obama’s done plenty
I disagree with R.L. Hyde’s claim (Letters, Jan. 28) that President “Obama cannot possibly be re-elected based on his record of accomplishments.” I think Obama’s accomplishments are significant.
First, rather than gamble the future of our country over partisan politics, he continued the Republican policy of shoring up the financial sector that was teetering on the brink of collapse at the end of the Bush administration. Experts at the time thought this was the best way to save us from sliding into a full depression. Rightly that policy is now being analyzed and reviewed. Our economy is recovering, even if at an agonizingly slow pace.
He accomplished passage of comprehensive health care reform. The full effect of this — good or bad — will not be experienced by Americans until 2014.
He “got” Osama bin Laden, went after the Somali pirates and withdrew our troops from Iraq. He has dealt with a Congress that is willing to let the American people suffer rather than ever agree with him on anything. The only thing he hasn’t done is unite the country. But I ask you, do you see anyone who can?
Fight heart disease
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States today. Heart disease knows no boundaries of age, sex, ethnicity or financial status. Women are at particular risk for a number of reasons, one being a lack of understanding of the risk factors involved, and another the differences in the presentation of the symptoms of a cardiac episode in women.
During February, The American Heart Association and Go Red for Women target women to help raise their awareness in the fight against heart disease and learning to “love your heart” to live a longer, healthier life.
Learn your numbers (weight, blood pressure, percentage of body fat, body measurements), evaluate your diet and exercise regime. Stop by your local fitness facility or healthcare provider during February to learn your numbers. Taking preventative steps today can significantly reduce the chances of getting heart disease tomorrow, next year or 10 years from now.
On Friday, Feb. 3, join millions of women on National Wear Red Day and wear red to help raise awareness about women and heart disease; to help the important women in your life — your mother, your daughter, your sister, but especially — yourself!
Join the movement. Learn your numbers. Go Red and find your own personal way to fight heart disease.
Kristi A. Jenkins
Trustee, Cambria Community Healthcare District
Did you hear about Newt Gingrich’s idea to colonize the moon? Wow, and they called Jerry Brown “Moonbeam.”
San Luis Obispo
Europe’s ‘free’ stuff
Stew Thomson, I read your letter on Jan. 26, and it makes me wonder about your definition of “free.” According to you, Western Europe is great because they have free everything. Medicine, education, public transportation, etc., all free.
Ever wonder where the money comes from to provide these free services? And, goodness, five weeks of vacation. I guess that you haven’t noticed, but Europe is about to go bust because they can’t afford all this free stuff anymore.