Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 2/26

Curfew unconstitutional

A daytime curfew still being proposed for kids younger than 18 in SLO County is unconstitutional in several ways, inefficient, expensive and unnecessary.

Potential constitutional violation issues:

1. All minors will be presumed guilty until proven innocent (against the due process clause of the Fifth and 14th amendments).

2. The right to freedom of movement guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

3. The Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

Daytime curfews:

  • Make all minors fair game for police approach: tourists, home-schoolers, school kids out in a public place after, say, a funeral or a dentist/doctor appointment.
  • Hinder parents’ fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children — especially parents with children in small private schools who often work outside regular school infrastructure.
  • Result in selective enforcement. Profiling?!
  • Set up officers for wasted effort at taxpayer expense.
  • Get kids used to a police state.
  • Are really only beefed-up truancy ordinances. Enforce the existing laws!

To keep kids from ditching school, let’s consider more carrot and less stick.

Help stop more embarrassing, costly, big government. Please sign a petition against the daytime curfew here: www.SayNoToSLODC.org and contact the Board of Supervisors at 781-5450.

Kristine Quispe

Santa Maria

Why more truancy laws?

Concerning the proposed addition of Chapter 7.23 “Truancy Prohibited” (daytime curfew) to the SLO County Code, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved/continued item off-calendar. Will there be more opportunities for discussion?

Degreed in history/political science, I have learned how our rights must be protected: freedoms from unwarranted searches, seizures and movement; the presumption of innocence until proven guilty; and the right of parents to raise their children, just to mention a few.

Our founders died for these rights. Once our rights are gone, they are gone forever.

The California truancy law in place is 53 pages long. Does SLO County need more/different laws than the rest of state?

Resource officers on school property ensure the safety and education of all children, not just truancy offenders. I was taught as a child that “policemen are friends and can help you.” In the 1960s, law enforcement officers were called “pigs” and other names. Our first-line defenders, i.e. law enforcement, deserve not only society’s respect, but their gratitude for the difficult work they do every day.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety,” Benjamin Franklin said.

Sherrilynn Palladino

Grover Beach

Proper credit for HEET

Stuart McElhinney and I were named in Judy Salamacha’s column as the people who did the paperwork for the Horse Emergency Evacuation Team (HEET).

Although our office has assisted a number of groups in getting 501 c 3 status, HEET is not one of them.

The credit properly goes to Carolyn Sokol, who not only did the paperwork, but provided the energy and enthusiasm necessary to get the organization off the ground. She was aided in her efforts by Kathe Hustace, who provided support, ideas, and information. Thank you for including the article on HEET.

Susan McElhinney

Morro Bay

Justice not served

I know it was a brief article (“Atascadero man was sane when he beat wife with hammer, judge rules,” Feb. 22), but I think the story was rather of how one judge and one doctor can call a man sane after four doctors declared him insane.

Kenneth and Margaret Cockrell were friends of mine for more than 20 years. For those years, it was love and affection.

Then one day, after missing two nights’ sleep, taking in a passion play, a wedding, and driving more than a thousand miles, Kenneth kills his wife and favorite person in the world. That’s insane. That’s not Kenneth. That’s behavior he never had before.

Is this judge a greater expert than experts in their field? Does he care that Kenneth has suffered a nightmare existence every day since his wife’s death and now has no chance to ever hold his own grandchildren?

Justice was certainly not served today.

Mike Stoudenmire


Learn good humor

In defense of Suzanne Davis:

Having survived to the ripe old age of 67, I have learned at least two things: to nurture and maintain a healthy sense of humor, self-deprecating and otherwise; and that to choose to take “offense” at nonpersonal things is foolish.

There are very few situations that do not lend themselves to humor, and even fewer that cause actual “offense.” It is hard to think of any, actually.

“Stick and stones” — usually good advice — does not even apply, as there is no personal attack on any one person in this obviously humorous essay.

Anyone around my age who has not learned these two things must have a very tough time on a daily basis, given all the freewheeling opinions found everywhere, and that is just sad.

Jon A. Hartz

Arroyo Grande

A few thoughts

I am an 80-plus male living on the Central Coast, and these are my thoughts on today’s issues.

Medicare and Social Security are not entitlements. I paid into the trust fund for more than 45 years.

I paid for Medicare starting in 1965 and am still paying by a deduction from my Social Security check.

I do not believe that the government or private insurance should be involved in any form of contraception. This is a moral issue, not a health issue. Individuals should buy those products with their own money if they need them.

I also believe that those entities should not cover any type of erectile disfunction treatment. This not a health issue; if anything, it is a personal pleasure issue.

I do not approve of abortion, but I strenuously object to anyone who believes that they have the right to tell a woman what she should do with her body.

I believe in the sanctity of marriage and the family. In my day, women were teachers, nurses or libarians. When they got married, they became stay-at-home moms. I don’t know what happened to the economy that requires a married woman to work in order to support the family.

Finally, when I was in grade school, there was one president, FDR, and we pledged to the flag and said the Lord’s Prayer. The teacher told our Jewish friends to bow their heads.

There were no Muslims or Buddhists, etc.

R.W. Donnelly