I'm a Vincent man myself
I was much interested in your recent article ("The world's fastest Vincent," Sept. 27), as I owned and rode a Vincent H.R.D. for more than 20 years and was acquainted with Marty Dickerson and his dealership. I didn't set any records, outside of a personal one (107.46 mph, electronically timed at Rosamond Dry Lake in 1949).
My bike was a strictly stock, fully equipped Vincent H.R.D. Rapide that I bought from Vincent Martin, who, I believe, was the first Vincent dealer in Southern California. I sold it about 10 years ago, and at nearly 90 years of age, I no longer feel agile enough to handle a solo motorcycle.
The Vincent was a fabulous machine.
I am considering writing a history of the make.
I feel that I have to point out, however, that the title is not strictly accurate. That distinction belongs to two New Zealanders: Russell Wright and Robert Burns. The bike was a Vincent Black Lightning enclosed in a streamline shell. It did 185 mph solo and 162 mph with a sidecar attached. These were recognized as world records by the Federation Internationale Motocycliste in 1955. The records were set on a straight stretch of highway at Swannanoa, South Island, New Zealand, on July 2, 1955.
Thank the Beanways for great concerts
Why can't anyone say anything positive about the Pozo Saloon? It is a great venue to hold concerts. All you hear are people complaining about the noise and mess. I personally enjoy the shows in Pozo, as do many other SLO County residents.
Residents of Pozo complaining about the noise, you should be happy you get to hear all these great bands for free. And in response to "The road to Pozo is a travesty" (Oct. 18), you blame the saloon for the condition for the road. That is ridiculous. The road is old and not maintained well, but the road is not used by saloon-goers exclusively! So people, lighten up. Stop complaining and enjoy the shows and thank the Beanways for bringing in such great bands for us to see.
Nuclear is practical
Surprise, surprise! I was almost disappointed when I received only three responses ("Nuclear cheerleader left out facts," "Why support a dangerous technology?" and "Nuclear isn't the future," Oct. 18) to my letter on nuclear power ("Nuclear power is here to stay," Oct. 11). With all of the tree huggers in SLO, I expected to see an added page of negativity.
I enjoy the opinions--it's like attending a freshman debating class. Bringing up Russia's attempt to build a cheap and dirty nuclear plant in 1986 and the leak at Three Mile Island in 1979 that did no damage was a pathetic response.
Wind power: My education was in physics, however I spent most of my career in electronics. At the time I retired, I owned and managed a large, profitable business in power conversion. I was approached by an investment group to look into the prospect of wind-power generators.
As is obvious, the wind doesn't blow at a steady rate, and at times there is no wind at all. So the first problem is storing the energy so the output is constant. This means storage batteries.
The next problem is converting the source to interface with domestic power. That means large components, conductors, and safety equipment. Synchronizing this power is a major consideration and is not free. I am not against wind power, but we are talking about gigawatts.
Stationary power plants are far more practical. If the hecklers of Diablo would not stand in the way and would let Diablo truck away their spent rods to be reclaimed at some later day, we would see cheaper power.
I'm leaving Grover Beach
As a homeowner and business owner in the offbeat community of Grover Beach, I admire the city's efforts to bring about a badly needed facelift. In recent years they have striven to revitalize commerce by adding stoplights and erecting traffic medians along West Grand Avenue. And again this month there has been great talk of mixed-use projects at the corners of Grand and 4th Street and Grand and Highway 1, including ambitious plans for hotels, retail, and residentialÜdevelopment.
Despite their good intentions, however, all of these big ideas will be in vain so long as Grover Beach continues to allow off-road vehicles on its pristine dunes and beaches. As long as Oceano and Grover Beach condone and support this activity, which is detrimental both to the environment and to human life (such as the boy who was run over and killed this summer and barely made the news), the Grand Avenue corridor will never be anything but an extension of this off-road playground, and the only businesses that will thrive will be those that cater to the dune-buggy crowd, namely ATV rentals and fast food chains.
Any other businesses that try to offer something thoughtful or eclectic will be as doomed as the endangered plover, and local residents will remain inundated with fried cheeseburgers, monster truck exhaust, and T-shirts emblazoned with "Grover Bee-atch."
It is for this precise reason that I am terminating my commercial lease on West Grand Avenue and relocating my specialty shop to downtown San Luis Obispo on the first of November.
Give us the development facts
As a group of professionals, we would like the City Council of San Luis Obispo to offer definitive facts to support the recent decisions they have made regarding development. Consistently, we are presented with the rationale that growth in business development must be accommodated as it increases the tax base, thereby benefiting everybody in the city.
Taking into account all the costs--such as the new infrastructure to accommodate buildings, roads to accommodate transportation, pollution mitigation due to added population, maintenance costs generated by new commuters commuting into San Luis Obispo, and added services --such as police, fire, and medical--the question arises: How does the average resident in San Luis Obispo benefit from all of this? Needless to say, people who have multiple real estate holdings in San Luis Obispo should not be included in this analysis.
An individual response from each council member, as well as recommendations from various staff findings, would be greatly appreciated.
and Joseph Kourakis
There is hope for Los Osos
As a group of pastors in Los Osos, one of the goals we share for our churches individually as well as together in our community is that of unity. Because of our common purpose, we also share a sense of sadness at the division and distrust that has arisen over the ongoing sewer issue, and we believe this division is destructive to our community. As the Bible says, "A city divided against itself cannot stand."
We are not so bold as to suggest we have an immediate solution, but we do strongly believe and plead for "less heat and more light" to be brought to bear upon the process. Rather than rancor and recrimination, our mutual prayer is for the setting aside of individual and divisive goals in favor of the pursuit of a plan that will provide an answer suitable for our community's needs.
We recognize that no one approach will suit everyone but we also submit that continued pursuit of several approaches will never suit our community's long-term health and well-being. With that in mind, we would humbly and lovingly suggest that our "calling" as a community is to live together in peace and with a goal of making Los Osos a community known for its people's devotion to one another, rather than their division. And this is not a plan of our own making, for it was expressed long ago by King
David as he set forth in Psalm 133:1: "How good and pleasant
it is when brothers live together in unity!"
In the end, we cannot let anything tear apart the fabric of our community. There is hope for our community. We will overcome this challenge and achieve our destiny as we come together, forgive those who have offended us, and rebuild the trust and respect between citizens and leaders that has been broken.
and Toby DePew
Millions will suffer in health care decision
Our Rep. Kevin McCarthy had a choice to stand with President Bush or our kids back home when President Bush vetoed health care for millions of children. He was one of just a few votes blocking Congress from overriding Bush's veto. Millions will suffer from this blind act.
Billions are spent in Iraq to keep the war going by this administration, and we make our kids pay with their lives for this? A recent CBS poll shows that eight out of 10 Americans want health care for our kids. This isn't party related. This is an out-of-touch Congress. There will be repercussions, I'm sure, and we will deserve it!
Rachel M. Hervey
Fear is the real terror
Around the dawn of the 21st century in America came the unveiling of terrorism as the new "evil empire" of
our world, apparently the replacement for the old Cold War. Terrorism is a tactic used to induce fear. Acts of terror are used to control others through various means of intimidation, manipulation, or violence. There are myriad types of terrorism.
One thing that we know about people who control others by using terror tactics is that generally they are not in strong positions, so they use terror to control. In fact, terror is most likely used because of weakness. To use terror tactics to gain control and power requires not playing by the rules.
All types of political terrorism have been used by leaders to control the masses. Some are brutal and some are more covert. Some use torture and killings, while others create fear by threats--those that are real or those that are created perceptions of threats.
Ruling by terror, whether it be by suicide bombers at one extreme or by using the politics of fear to subdue populations into submissive behavior,
is the norm in the new, endless War on Terror.
The most profound real danger to our democracy in this so-called war is not the terrorism itself, but in our responses to it.
The Libertarian perspective on SCHIP
As Libertarians, we are not opposed to helping the poor, especially children. Nor are we unaware of the high cost of living, especially here in California and our tourist-destination counties.
Our philosophy favors private solutions, especially when it comes to charity. However, we do want tax-funded programs to do what they say they will do and honestly explain exactly who benefits from any program.
The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) purports to be for poor children. However, the extension of SCHIP expands its coverage to families with incomes of up to $83,000 annually. The public is not fully aware of the numbers of children and adults involved. Total cost and extent of its growth are not revealed by those supporting the expansion of this program.
Interested readers can log onto the CATO's website, www.cato.org, and search for SCHIP to learn more about this program.
San Luis Obispo County Libertarian Party Central Committee