Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 2/6

Un-events are magic

The letters by William Tuck (“Water Management,” Jan. 23) and Dick Williams (“Winery Traffic,” Jan. 26) on the new Law winery (Jan. 14) recalled a letter of my own prompted by a troublesome reference in the report to winery “events”:

So, Don Law, in what sounds like a wonderful owner concession to neighborhood peace and tranquility, promises there won’t be any “special events” held at his newly permitted winery and tasting room.

As part of a local wine culture in which privately held “events” are commonplace, and in which loud entertainment frequently presented is just good business, he seems to have given up more profit-making potential here than he needed to. How come?

The answer is in a discovery our local wine industry seems to have made last year that an “event” isn’t one if you don’t call it one. You can put on, say, a four-hour session of live music every Sunday by, say, a changing three-person folk group that plays the whole time at, say, the 75 db level measured at your winery-afflicted neighbor’s doorstep, and one that attracts, say, 10 to 15 extra visiting cars per hour. But if you don’t call or advertise those sessions as “events,” the county won’t count or regulate them that way. Magic!

Brad Frederic

Paso Robles

Security cameras? Not

I am writing to express my displeasure with the installation of the numerous surveillance cameras in the Village of Arroyo Grande. I have been a resident of the Village area for 30 years, have looked out for my neighbors and their property, have personally eradicated graffiti in Arroyo Grande when it has arisen, and voted for the bond issue to build a new police station.

Although I know that the Arroyo Grande Police Department expresses in their mission statement that they will utilize the latest technology to do their job, they also state that they want to provide for a quality of life whereby residents have a sense of security and freedom.

I actually find that the security cameras cause me to feel less free. I could expound but will leave it at that. I’m for taking them down and spending the money on something else.

Kevin J. McCarthy

Arroyo Grande

Facts about Obama

Here are the facts, whether you like it or not.

(1) President Barack Obama bailed out the auto industry, and his failed cash for clunkers didn’t hurt as much as we thought it might. It was a nice try, but car sales are up, and thousands of jobs were saved.

(2) Obama ended the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. It ended without fanfare, which is wonderful.

(3) Obama got some kind of health reform passed. No one since President Truman has done this.

(4) Obama took out Osama bin Laden. No deaths for any Americans. Bold, and he has crippled al-Qaida like no one has before.

(5) He has the grudging support of hawkish Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

(6) He kept forces out of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and other hot spots in the Middle East, where this is most definitely not our fight.

(7) The gun program that went awry in Mexico is his biggest blunder to date. He admits this was a misguided program.

(8) He is well-respected worldwide, which lifts American prestige worldwide. Under George W. Bush, our country was never more laughed at or criticized worldwide.

Brian Miller

San Luis Obispo

Capitalism controls

Allen Litten in his letter “Europe is broke” is correct that “life is not fair.” He fails to recognize, though, that we are responsible as moral beings for the welfare of our fellow humans who are less fortunate than we. One can find satisfaction in paying taxes to see that children have a good education, workers are not exploited, the aged and young have security, and health care is available to all. This is the social setting we need and desire.

Allen is incorrect when he says that wealth generators when taxed will quit.

I am old enough to remember the “happy days” of the 1950s, one of America’s most prosperous eras, when the tax rate on top earners exceeded 90 percent.

Capitalism needs government control to benefit humanity.

Stew Thomson


The right thing to do

If a construction site creates dust (air pollution), it is controlled; if a farmer creates dust (air pollution), it is controlled; if an oil refinery creates coke dust (air pollution), it is controlled; if a landfill/dump creates odors and dust (air pollution), it is controlled.

All of these happened at one time or another in SLO County and were controlled. Blowing wind was not an acceptable excuse. Why then can’t the dust (air pollution) from the Oceano Dunes State Park be controlled with mitigation measures? State Parks has done it at other parks.

A recent study in Bakersfield, reported in The Tribune, confirmed the well known health impacts from particulate matter by comparing their levels to emergency room visits. Those health problems, asthma, lung infections, heart problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc. are happening here on a smaller scale. It is the responsibility and duty of the county supervisors, Air Pollution Control District and State Parks management to stop that.

Let’s support them in this effort because it’s clearly the right thing to do. For particulate matter/health information or to be added to the email list, send an email to ccca10@charter.net with your request.

Rachelle Toti

Arroyo Grande

Hoodwinked on water

To all who live on the Nipomo Mesa and get water from NCSD, Golden State, Rural Water Company or Woodlands: You have been hoodwinked and scammed.

NCSD is talking out of both sides of their mouth. On one hand, many of you have attended NCSD “Educational Meetings” and heard that their pipeline project to Santa Maria is “mandatory, required by the court.” On the other hand, on July 27, 2005, NCSD Director Ed Eby stated: “The stipulation does not require us to do anything. The stipulation says NCSD contemplates bringing in water and therefore the purveyors will buy that water from NCSD. There is nothing in the stipulation or any court order that says we are required to buy supplemental water. We are contemplating it. We are doing that on our own volition. We are not doing that on court order. There is no court order or decision that says we have to get supplemental water.”

There is no mandatory requirement to build a pipeline to purchase water from Santa Maria. If NCSD is not telling the truth about this, what else are they fabricating?

Go to this link and listen to Director Ed Eby’s own words: www.nonewwiptax.com/Pages/Half_Truth_1.html.

Carla Haynie

Arroyo Grande

Our deadly roads

Why did we wait until KSBY’s Tricia Rittger was killed? To err is human? No, because no one cared, especially those who are paid tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars to care.

The kind of extremely hazardous road where she was killed exists elsewhere.

There are egregious examples to be found:

Opposite the Ventana Grill restaurant and the Shore Cliff Lodge at 2575 and 2555 Price St./Shell Beach Road.

On the business section of old Highway 1 near the Shelter Cove Lodge.

On the county/state stretch of Avila Beach Road during concert events and all the time because of parked cars where none should be allowed.

Very dangerous, as the recent death of Rittger proves, is the Cliffs Shell Beach Road crossing. And, multiple deaths will occur on Avila Beach Road (and may well at the other locations). Guaranteed!

Is there a Caltrans/CHP jurisdiction involvement on these roads as well as county, and city in the case of Pismo Beach?

Joe Boysen

Shell Beach

SLOPOST and safety

I would like to take a moment to thank the San Luis Obispo Parks, Open Space and Trails Foundation (SLOPOST) for its continued support of San Luis Obispo County Parks.

With our economic climate the way it is, SLOPOST enables our parks to provide programs to at-risk youth such as the DEER program (Discovering the Environment through Education and Recreation) and recently purchased a rescue board for our aquatics program.

The rescue board enables county lifeguards to swiftly and safely access a swimmer in distress and is an essential tool in keeping our parks safe.

Organizations such as SLOPOST help to keep our parks safe, accessible and fun!

Tim Faes

San Luis Obispo County park ranger