Opinion » Letters



Cesspool of corruption?
Kathy Johnston’s article on the County’s developer enforcement effort is a breath of fresh air. If you do something without a permit in the County, you not only have to undo what you’ve done, you also get prosecuted. It used to be that way at the City of San Luis Obispo, but no longer. Violate development law, who cares? Chop down a tree without a permit because its in the way of your megabucks development, no matter. Build a secondary unit behind your house without a permit, that’s OK too. Do an Environmental Impact Report on a big project, ignore it, well, what can we do after the damage is done? The city simply rolls over. They call it “making it right.� The net effect is it’s easier—and lots cheaper—to break the law than get a permit, since not much will happen if you do, by chance, get caught. Developers all know this.
When citizens complain about violations in their neighborhoods, they get a bureaucratic runaround designed to reduce them to pulp. When an enforcement officer gives  a citizen  the brush off, his boss
congratulates him for the “ good response!� If citizens don’t back off, they become “the problem,� with staff turning—sometimes viciously—on the complaint maker while condoning the obvious law violation.
Development enforcement in the city has become a cesspool of corruption. It’s disgraceful, but with media that look the other way, so citizens at large remain uninformed, that’s the way things are likely to stay—unless fresh faces dedicated to following and enforcing the law get
elected to the City Council. With one exception, that being the brave
Christine Mulholland, present council members condone the current mess by their silence and inaction.
Please, decent citizens of SLO, run for office! This is an election year. A majority of Council seats are open. This city desperately needs people in office dedicated to cleaning up the dirt at City Hall. Can we hope for a “clean sweep� Council taking office next winter?

Richard Schmidt
San Luis Obispo

King’s a king
It was with great pleasure that I read King Harris’ article about Central Coast TV Anchors.  I had the pleasure of working with King at KEYT for seven years (I worked out of the Santa Maria satellite office for six of those years), and felt that he handled himself with professionalism, poise, and confidence. The year I was at the main station in Santa Barbara allowed me the opportunity to communicate with this remarkable man on almost a daily basis and I consider myself lucky to have had the experience of working with someone of such talent and personality. 

Toward the end of his tenure at KEYT, things got very rocky, but, being the type of person that he is, King reported the situation professionally and wrote about KEYT with the charm of a fine gentleman. I’m very glad that he is still living on the beautiful Central Coast.  Thanks to him for the impact he has had on local television, and I hope he continues to succeed in the crazy world of media!

Libby DeLangie 
[email protected]

Best voting system?
I have lived in San Luis Obispo for almost ten years (not including my days at Cal Poly) and every year I look forward to the New Times “Best of ...� issue.  However, I was talking to some friends and realized that some categories favor the big corporate entities. For example, last year Starbucks won for best coffee house. 

That is not fair if there are 12 locations in the county and each vote is tallied to the corporate name rather than the specific location. For example, Starbuck’s at Von’s shopping center should be one vote for that location; smaller local coffee houses like Outspoken or Rudolph’s can’t compete with 12 locations of Starbucks. With your voting system our great local business owners are at a big disadvantage. The local entity will never win. Please consider this next year in your “Best of..� issue. 

Teresa W. Navarro
San Luis Obispo, CA 
[email protected]

Rosy scenario
I read Alice Moss’s recent “Tour de farce?� article. Michael Helper’s comments make him appear to be†incredibly nearsighted. Instead of seeing the positives of the event, he focused on the things he perceived as negative. I was among the crowd in front of his store, and I took pictures with one of the cameras that I had†purchased from his store.†Many other spectators were taking pictures; their cameras and equipment had to have come from somewhere. Perhaps they had purchased new digital photography equipment earlier in anticipation of the race.

What about money generated locally by the Tour Of California? I wonder if any local people that earned extra money through the race spent their extra earnings locally? My wife and I have shopped in his store for years, and have purchased several cameras†and accessories from Photography 101, but I am afraid we have†made our last purchase there.†With the trend toward “box stores� we have tried to support specialty retailers, but his attitude makes it hard. The Tour of California caused him one day of inconvenience, but the ripple it put into the local economy is hard to quantify.

John Girard
San Luis Obispo†††
[email protected]

I need my spot, man
Glen Starkey’s article on hating transients was perfect! †It finally put into words what I have always thought. I agree with you, they are lazy bums who sit on the streets and ask for handouts instead of getting a job. I offered a bum a job at my restaurant washing windows for a free meal and some extra cash and he replied, “ I would lose my spot here.� In other words he didn’t want to lose his cool begging location! †I was shocked. †Once when I was in San Luis Obispo I saw a bum who was about 25 years old with his dog and a sign that read,� Please help with my travels.� †I told him, “Oh sure I’ll go to work so you can travel.�

 He proceeded to tell me, “F--- off.� So thank you for saying what most people think. †Maybe some of the people who give these lazy bums money will think twice about it and donate to a local shelter instead. That way the money will go to those who really need it.
The article on meth almost sent me packing, but Starkey has restored my faith in your newspaper. Keep up the positive work.

Cyndy Jones
[email protected]

Outside the box
Thinking outside of the box (stores), I wonder how the new eminent domain Supreme Court decision would work if the City of San Luis Obispo were to pursue it in regard to the Dalidio Ranch property? Maybe the city could acquire the ranch for the good of the city’s citizens, plus the 30,000 Cal Poly and Cuesta students. That gorgeous fertile farmland could then be used for Cal Poly agricultural projects, Mr. Dalidio would receive money for his land, and the city would not have to contend with more mall sprawl. Sounds like a win-win situation to the never-ending Dalidio dilemma.

Naoma Wright
San Luis Obispo

Cultural fabric
We’re grateful for Glen Starkey’s in-depth article, “Art of Compromise� (New Times, March 30). I’m sure all local artists appreciate the exposure and debate, but I’m speaking now for my team at Ferro Mobius. It’s clear to me (as owner and “front man�) that we would not have realized the success of Desert Willow, Community Bridge, Perpetual Hope, or indeed any of our projects, without the tireless and enthusiastic contributions of Dave Curry and Dave Hinmon. Behind us stand our families, associates and many vendors.
We appreciate your illuminating the difficult process of siting Community Bridge. We feel that SLO’s growth and development should not be stopped outright by just any historical structure or ecological consideration or public art installation. However we feel it’s equally important that all of us, including our developers, really get that the cultural and historical fabrics contribute mightily to the unique and beautiful character of this place. It should be possible to relocate a piece of public art, and it should definitely be an involved and thoughtful process. The contribution made by public art can’t be measured as bed taxes or wine revenues, but it is nonetheless vital. Step up and get involved. Each of our experiences in San Luis Obispo is the sum of all our contributions.

Allan Root

Get used to it
Regarding the Mar 23rd letter titled “Save our dunes,� I can appreciate your concern for the dunes and its wildlife. I’m not an off- roader and live just a stones throw from the beach.  But the off- roaders have been given that area so as to keep them off the rest of the dunes. I see off-roading on the beach a part of beach life just as much as the person who likes to just sit in their beach chair watching the sunset. Taking away that area would be like kicking the Indians off their reservations. How would you feel if the off-roaders rallied together to keep the sunbathers contained within a designated area just because they don’t agree with your method of enjoying the beach? Whatever happened to good old-fashioned give and take?

If I go to the beach, I know where the off-roaders are, and know that the area I choose to walk in will not result in me getting hit by one, unless of course I wander into their area, then it’s my own fault.  Bottom line is that EVERYONE has a right to enjoy the beach, just some more than others. I had a bird hit my car the other day while driving home from work; should we start closing streets to vehicle traffic now?

Mike Simpson
[email protected]

Really get used to it
In response to “Save the dunes�: We humans are also a part of nature!
The ever shrinking area of dunes allowed for off road use is part of a necessary human need also—recreation. It may not be my choice of fun, but for the THOUSANDS of people and families who come out on a weekly basis to play with their toys on the dunes—it is their re-creation. There are hundreds of miles of coast for all to enjoy. This small section needs to be available for all of us who enjoy this activity. Keep the dunes open! And remember the enormous tourist dollars it brings for local business.

Arwyn Evenstar
Arroyo Grande

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