Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 2/13

Hold the bashing

In my opinion, Gary Stitch hit the nail on the head in his Feb. 3 letter (“Bashing the other”) when he asked the question, “Does every issue have to include vitriol on both sides?”

It seems to me that our nation is growing more and more politically apart, and every commentator, whether a politician, columnist or even a letters to the editor writer, feels compelled to verbally annihilate anyone who might express a contrary opinion.

One only has to identify the author to know in advance what the message will be and which political party will be bashed. This is especially true in an election year. Why can’t we regard the other side’s viewpoint as being equally important as our own, and all of us work together for the betterment of the whole nation, instead of verbally praising only those who agree with our own political philosophy and bashing those who don’t?

Earle Murie

San Luis Obispo

Who is the tyrant?

Kathleen Parker, in her commentary “The cost of conscience” (Feb. 6) believes that requiring Catholic institutions to provide the same health benefits as all other employers in the United States is an act of “coercion and intimidation” by “tyrants” (our government).

But consider this: Not all employees who work at Catholic institutions practice the Catholic faith. Non-Catholic employees are completely free from any Catholic restrictions about birth control. Why would Catholic institutions want to control or restrict these employees’ health care coverage? Why don’t they want them to be free to enjoy all of the same health benefits that all other employees in the United States are provided, including health insurance that covers contraception?

Catholic institutions shouldn’t have to worry about Catholic employees utilizing health benefits that cover contraception included in the plan. Perhaps they are not sure about their own Catholic employees’ devotion to avoiding birth control. Perhaps they feel the need to use coercion and intimidation to enforce their policy against birth control by making sure their health benefits don’t cover it.

I ask myself, who is the tyrant here? And who is simply trying to see that all Americans get comprehensive health care coverage?

Phil Middleton

Pismo Beach

Topaz and traffic

In response to the Feb. 3 letter from Santa Margarita resident Kevin Alf Lee about traffic concerns, there is important information to clarify:

1. Topaz Solar Farm is one of two large solar projects located off Highway 58.

2. Topaz currently provides shuttle buses from San Luis Obispo for South County, Atascadero and soon Paso Robles. Currently these buses transport more than 85 workers every day to and from the site, significantly reducing potential traffic. The few employees driving their own vehicles to Topaz come from Creston, Paso Robles and the Shandon area, and are not going through Santa Margarita.

3. Large trucks (more than 30 feet from kingpin to rear axle) must come to Topaz via Interstate 5 through Buttonwillow, not from the west.

Anyone who witnesses unsafe driving behavior in cars or trucks should take down the license plate number and call our toll-free hotline: 877-228-3331.

We take “safety first” extremely seriously and maintain records of every vehicle that comes to Topaz on a daily basis. We hope to ensure everyone’s safety and continue to work with all the communities near the Topaz Solar Farm. For more information: www.topazsolar.com.

Dawn Legg

Construction liaison, Topaz Solar Farm

Stating the obvious

In response to Mr. Gary Stitch, who sees “hate” and “an agenda” in the phrase “do-nothing Republican Congress” (Letters, Feb. 3):

A Pew Research Center poll from last December found that among all respondents “a record-high 50 percent say that the current Congress has accomplished less than other recent Congresses, and by nearly two-to-one (40 percent to 23 percent) more blame Republican leaders than Democratic leaders for this. By wide margins, the GOP is seen as the party that is more extreme in its positions, less willing to work with the other side to get things done and less honest and ethical in the way it governs.”

“Independents are particularly critical of the Republican Party. By a 54 percent to 30 percent margin they say the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party, is more extreme in its positions, and they are twice as likely to label the Republicans than the Democrats as the less honest and ethical party (42 percent versus 21 percent).”

I think there’s a difference between having an agenda and simply stating the obvious.

Henriette Groot

Los Osos

Still accredited

Your reporter did a very good job covering the report received from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges for Cuesta College. However, the most important thing The Tribune can emphasize in its coverage is that Cuesta College remains an accredited institution.

This notification does not change the status of any transferable courses. It merely requires continued work on the commission’s recommendations. As long as Cuesta remains a community college, its accredited courses will remain accredited.

I have seen the dedication and extreme efforts of Cuesta’s administration, faculty and staff in responding to the last commission report, and this year’s result is very surprising. Tremendous effort and progress had been made in every area noted by the commission in 2009.

Now, even more so, we must all stand behind our premier community college, recognized by educators, students, state officials and our general population as a jewel in the system. Everyone needs to understand what the college personnel must go through to finally complete this long process, and I suggest it’s time to dig deep and donate whatever time and money we can to its continued operations.

Roxanne Carr

Shell Beach

Walking on water

Regarding Gary B. Rath’s Feb. 5 letter, “Keep Religion Private”: He asserts that Jesus never walked on water, based on the ancient Hebrew.

First, Rath should know that the earliest New Testament writings were not written in Hebrew, but in Greek. Secondly, the word in question is the Greek preposition, epi, which can be interpreted as “by” or “upon.” In every major English translation of the Bible, however, the three gospel passages that tell about Jesus walking on water, namely, Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:15-21, all take the meaning to be Jesus walking on the water.

Although some scholars believe that either “upon” or “by” could be the meaning, certainly Matthew’s version makes it clear that the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. For example, Matthew 14:24 says that the boat was “far from the land,” and after Jesus walked to the boat on the sea, Peter tried but sank!

Finally, religion that is kept private is hardly the faith Jesus promoted. What started in private was shared in public, and that is good news!

The Rev. John Springer

San Luis Obispo

Thankful attitude

Thank you Kathe Tanner for “Thought to have been stolen, Cambria signs were moved in apparent prank” in the Feb. 6 Tribune. This seemingly harmless prank showed a total lack of respect for our students’ property. It will be easy to demonstrate to our students how our “Y” Camp Character Building Pillars: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship were all totally violated with regard to this situation.

To anyone who feels practical jokes are OK, please do think about whom you are affecting and whether there is a nicer and more positive way you can bring joy and a laugh. These children have taken their service learning project “Thank You For ” to heart. They know their artwork display reminds people to be thankful for something in their lives every single day.

Small steps can lead to big movement, and that is exactly what our “Thank You For ” festival is all about. Cambria “Y” Camp kids know every “Thank You For” thought you think or say plants happy energy every day. We challenge everyone to do the same for your community. See where your positive attitude, thoughts and words can lead and exactly how powerful you can be.

Stephanie Stacy