Student's name should not have been released
I read the article last week in the Tribune about the plagiarism charges of a Mustang Daily writer, and then, most recently, in the New Times' Shredder ("Don't mark my words," Aug. 4-11).
First off, while I believe the Daily strives for excellence, I don't think it's fair to compare it to a professional newspaper. As I am sure you know, almost all of the writers are not paid for what they do, and being paid is the principal qualification for being a "professional." In fact, almost all the non-wire stories that run in the paper are done by students enrolled in a Mustang Daily class. As such, the Daily is an educational enterprise, in which the students are "learning by doing."
As a journalist myself, I don't excuse breaches of journalism ethics. However, to hold student journalists to the same standards as your own professional standards is unreasonable at best. Further, because Laman was enrolled in the Mustang Daily class, and she was accused of and disciplined for plagiarism, the university has an obligation under the FERPA Act to keep all the details of the student involved, and all allegations and disciplinary actions, confidential. Accordingly, I believe that the Tribune has now violated the spirit of FERPA in releasing Laman's name.
In doing so, I believe the Tribune has made a breach in journalism ethics. Reporting the facts is important, but reporting the name, in this case, is unnecessary to reporting the story.
Former Mustang Daily writer
Schicker and Tacker are traitors
We now have written evidence that directors Schicker and Tacker have been communicating with and aiding opposition lawyers in lawsuits against our LOCSD.
An e-mail was read aloud at the Aug. 4 CSD meeting, specifically naming these two turncoats as undercover workers for those groups that have been bringing lawsuits against our community. When elected they took an oath to protect this community against such actions.
If this community were the military, they would have been brought up on charges of "aiding and abetting the enemy" and been court marshaled for their actions!
We cannot allow our elected officials to keep misleading our community with half-truths and using any means to make themselves appear to be working for the betterment of Los Osos.
Please join me in letting the turncoats know we are tired of their disrupting meetings and aiding and abetting the enemy, or we will, in effect, court marshal them!
When will we stand up to Big Oil?
They're predicting $3-a-gallon gas shortly. When are the American people going to wake up to what's happening in the oil and gas industry?
First, ignore what the government says, as it's mostly lies provided by the giant oil/gas corporations. Most of all oil produced in Alaska is shipped to the Far East - Taiwan, Japan, and possibly China - not to U.S. refineries. I would bet the method used probably exempts all the income from U.S. taxes. Incidentally, the oil companies, I believe, pay a lesser percentage than an ordinary citizen making $30,000-$40,000 a year. I'm sure you've all noted that every oil company has reaped double or more of its profits the last several years. Since they produce most of their own oil with no increase in cost, it's gravy.
Now they want to do more drilling in Alaska. Let's just ship what we produce there now to our West Coast refineries and reduce the price by 50 percent. Of course, the politicians would have to take a 50-percent cut in their bribes (campaign contributions), which I'm sure they won't do.
Shredder: 'tabloid tawdriness'
At Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, we take offense and exception to last week's "Shredder" column ("A life is a terrible thing to waste," Aug. 11-18).
Although we realize that such columns are meant to offend and therefore boost readership, this one exceeded the boundaries of tabloid tawdriness by ridiculing a serious effort to constantly improve patient care - not just at Sierra Vista - but at hospitals across the nation. While the New Times takes particular delight in achieving new lows, taking cheap shots at real, life-saving programs starts to scrape the bottom.
Despite the Shredder's cynical take on our sincere measures to create an environment and culture where our patients get the best possible care, we pledge to give your columnist (and everyone else) the highest quality of health care we possibly can, whenever it is needed.
Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center
Many thanks for your informative article in Strokes and Plugs about the "Yoga Fore Golf" program (Aug. 4-11). Unfortunately, the way it came out it suggests that the program was originated at the Avila Beach Golf Resort. Actually, from the beginning this was a project conceived of and planned at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort, and the Avila Beach Golf Resort was brought on board to direct and instruct the golf portion of the program.
Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort
Statements about the Los Osos Sewer Assessment and voting issues are off base.
Yes, only property owners voted, and voted overwhelmingly to approve an assessment that was specific for a treatment plant at the Tri-W site.
Yes, only property owners are subject to the discharge prohibition by the state.
Yes, only property owners are legally bound to pay for the costs of wastewater treatment.
Yes, the ballot was very simple, and the voter (property owner or otherwise) has the obligation to understand what the hell they are voting on.
Yes, a ballot is only a legal record of choice in an election - nothing more, nothing less.
Yes, the Los Osos directors who were duly elected in 2002 are being subject to a recall for basically doing exactly what they said they would do in 2002.
I think that alone says more about Los Osos than anything else.
So I suggest to all the litigants and anyone in Los Osos who desires additional votes towards sewer issues that they propose a legally binding taxation on themselves and not just the property owners in the prohibition zone.
I will certainly support it, but will recall supporters? Renters? People outside the prohibition zone? Now please don't hurt yourself as y'all belly up to the bar.
Otherwise (and I sincerely do not mean this to be derogatory), put up or shut up. In the meantime I suggest you vote no on Measure B (if it's on the ballot), and no on C, D, & E.
Sewer problems just the beginning
Per the New Times article (Aug. 11-18, "Los Osos bears witness") by Jeff Hornaday - seems as though Mr. Hornaday needs to get his facts straight before going to press.
For example, he states at the April CSD meeting Pat McClenahan waved her middle finger "toward an unruly public," but when McClenahan made the offensive gesture, that certainly did rile members of the public. In fact, her termination should have been demanded. At the July 7 LOCSD board meeting, Director Richard LeGros came completely unhinged and said, "I do not resign because I have f-ing balls!" He should have immediately resigned and gone straight to County Mental Health for some much-needed help. At the June CSD meeting, Sharon Frederick was cuffed, hauled out of the meeting, and booked! How about that, Mr. Hornaday! In July, the Los Osos Taxpayers Association filed suit against both the LOCSD and the State Water Resources Control Board for violations to Proposition 218. That should just about bring you up to date on the real problems in Los Osos.
Billie Rae Bollman
Ask Pandora about conflict of interest
Pandora's Dreamteam is pouring out the nasty letters lately, accusing two directors of improprieties ("A LOCSD conflict of interest?" Letters, Aug. 11-18) she herself seems to have indulged in often.
Remember, this is the woman who resigned from the Board so she could put in a $700,000 PR contract bid on the project and $200,000 for her husband for landscape. She's the one who rallied us behind a "cheaper, better, faster" effluent and ponding system. She's the one who later promised us a "drop dead gorgeous" redesigned sewer plant. Then don't forget that she was instrumental in putting in the county's largest skate park where we once had a grassy lawn for concerts and events. Now she wants us to support Jeff Edwards taking over Sunnyside for a Beverly Hills-style pool, spa, and boutique venue.
Julie Tacker and Lisa Schicker have been pure to their word. They have done nothing illegal by representing the community that wants answers. They are making the CSD transparent and it's about time. Let's get perspective. The sewer doesn't belong in the center of town. It said so in the EIR. The rest is spin. Pandora's Box (remember the story?) should be closed. Let's move the sewer out where it belongs and ask Pandora to tend to her roses.
Close Pandora's Box, stop writing while stoned
Listen Pandora, closed secret meetings have no place in a democracy where alleged representatives of the public are making public policy and spending public money.
The CSD is not an exclusive club, and I'm grateful that some people took the time and effort to shine a little light on the manipulations some board members want to hide. Yes, we need a sewer, but the gang of four has to go. Give us real representation and give the people some information, options, and choices. There is obviously huge resistance to the project location and it needs to be worked out in a public forum, though messy those can be. Most people will resist having capricious policy forced on them and some may be offended by the pathetic threat of "do it our way now or it will cost you more." The word "extortion" comes to mind.
And Jean Fergus ("Don't recall; buy a modular home," Letters, Aug. 11-18): I'm trying desperately to resist personal attack, but buying a modular home is the solution? Are you stoned? I have nothing against people enjoying recreational intoxicants, but it's better not to drive, talk on the phone, or send e-mail until you're a little more clear-headed.
Sharon Frederick did not slap anyone
This is regarding your slanderous comment about Sharon Frederick ("Los Osos bears witness," Aug. 11-18) - a businesswoman whose life is devoted to teaching people how to care for babies. Hardly someone who would engage in physical aggression. She is a highly respected member of our community and would never slap anyone!
The investigating officer who was on hand that night took a statement from the accuser within minutes of the purported "incident" and found no physical evidence that the woman was touched. This woman has filed two other frivolous lawsuits - which were dismissed - against Los Osos citizens. An associate and I were within three feet of the purported "incident" and neither of us saw or heard anything. If Tacker testifies under oath against Ms. Frederick, it will be perjury.
Your focus might be better served by investigating the e-mail Al Barrow sent to obstructionist attorneys. He quoted directors Schicker and Tacker as saying that they were willing to provide LOCSD documents so that lawsuits could be designed and initiated against the LOCSD. It is well known that Schicker and Tacker regularly meet with these attorneys (whom Tacker calls her "friends") and with the various groups that have been set up to obstruct construction of the sewer. These are the people whose underhanded behavior and lack of integrity should be receiving your attention.