Opinion » Letters



Allow us to bestow this honor upon you

I am a student at our Lady of the Perpetual Douche Bag, where I presently study Douche Bag as a second language. The benevolence and sheer goodwill that you have displayed through renting to us Douche Bags has not gone unrecognized.

I would like to acknowledge your "charity through rent" program with the highest honor known in the Douche Bag community. Yes, sir, I wish to salute your charity by making you an honorary Douche Bag, and, as you are a landlord, and we are mere Douche Bag students, you will be placed in the pantheon of Douche Bag royalty.

That's right: You will, from now on, be known as Lord Douche Bag, Q.V.C/S.O.B. It's the least we Douche Bag students could do for such a charitable and munificent Douche Bag such as yourself.

Tim Farrell

Los Osos

Ed. note: The preceding letter was written in response to Patrick Klemz's letter, "Landlords are, in fact, charitable," printed in New Times' Feb. 7 issue. To our knowledge, Klemz isn't a landlord. Whatever else he may be is a matter of opinion.




Will Romney's boys go overseas now?

Mitt Romney said that his five sons were serving their country by working to get him elected president. That's obviously not going to happen. Mitt is a staunch supporter of your children serving in the war in Iraq, so this frees up his sons for military duty, right?

Jim Scott

San Luis Obispo




Homeless people represent society, too

I just read your article in New Times ("Where to go?" Feb. 7) and would like to comment on it. I'm a homeless male in SLO, and one of the biggest problems I face is finding affordable housing. I receive a monthly check that is not enough to afford rent and pay all of the other bills, so I have no other choice but to live outdoors.

I check the local paper daily, Craigslist, and have friends looking out for me. Speaking for myself and many other working poor, it is a crime that one the richest states in one of the richest countries on Earth allows its citizens to live this way. I take that back--not live, but merely exist. It seems to me that a lot of the news stories are about the homeless when they are causing a problem (or so it seems). How about a story about the homeless who are trying to get off the streets and improve their lives?

I know many of the homeless in this community, and not all are troublemakers. We are a micro-organism of society: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Denver Hoffman

San Luis Obispo




Don't misunderstand me, the police are really helping

An indirect quote in Kai Beech's Feb. 7 article "Where to go?" attributed to me may have left the impression that I was criticizing the response of the SLO Police Department to a developing situation in Meadow Park. This was partly due to the timing of the story, as an increased police presence was evident in the park shortly before the article was published, and highly effective interventions have been ongoing by the department for several days since I spoke to the reporter.

I've been especially impressed by officer Russ Griffith, who is working tirelessly and has been diligent in addressing neighborhood concerns. I have spoken to several Meadow Park neighbors who also appreciate the increased attention to a growing trouble spot. The rapid response to an area that seemed to be developing a problem is of great help to the neighbors, and I've seen more people using the park already.

Jonathan Ellis

San Luis Obispo




A police presence in Meadow Park is welcome

Thank you for highlighting the growing issue of homeless people living out of Meadow Park ("Where to go?" Feb. 7). I've lived next to Meadow Park for five years. From this vista, I've watched violence, drug consumption, and increasing homeless squatting.

The same homeless man who regularly intimidates at City Council meetings, ranting about being a "political refugee," has appointed himself "king of the park," ruling it more convincingly than the local police. I've heard countless shouting matches with frightened passers-by. I've also been personally confronted by him for touching religious articles that he keeps in park trees.

Meadow Park is at the center of a triangle between the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter, Prado Cay Center, and downtown San Luis Obispo, which receives the majority of police attention. As the park is just beyond easy reach of downtown, with several areas hidden from the road, it has become the chosen safe zone for local homeless people. Unfortunately, as more homeless occupants have moved in, local families and their children have stayed away. Local parents express that they're afraid to bring their children to the park.

I've personally called the police several times about activities in Meadow Park, but I've always been left with the impression that my calls were unwelcome, that my calls were "the problem." When asking the police to cruise through the park more regularly, I was made aware of a lack of resources and lack of legal options rather than receiving a helpful willingness to "serve and protect" or to take any helpful action toward relieving the real problem. The police spokesman's comments in your article seem to reflect this same sentiment.

Fortunately, I'm pleased to report that, for the first time in five years, I've actually seen a bicycle policeman ride through the park. What a welcome sighting! Meadow Park is a lovely resource. It would be a shame for it to be further ceded to the local homeless population, away from those taxpaying families who actually pay for it.

Brent Cavender

San Luis Obispo




Tell me, specifically, how poor immigrants are a risk

In light of the Jan. 30 Republican presidential debate and the near unanimous framing of illegal immigration across our southern border as a national security issue, I ask:

What is the national security threat from poor people crossing our border, on foot, looking for work? If they pose a national risk, say so. Specifically.

How would the much touted "fence" enhance national security? Specifically.

Our national history of foreign terrorism, as well as large-scale drug trafficking is about planes, boats, and trucks--legal and illegal.

If there is a national threat posed by poor people walking across the Sonoran desert or wading the Rio Grande, say so. Specifically.

I'll listen.

Otherwise, take your red herrings and find another issue to pander.

Jamie Ford

San Luis Obispo




Stop the tree-huggers and save Atascadero

Atascadero is dying fast, and the so-called downtown is far more down than town.

The Atascadero City Council members need to wake up and smell the coffee.

We must not allow a fanatic minority of socialist tree-huggers and other Berkeley types to sink our city to the ground. Atascadero has been called the armpit of the North County, as well as Paso Robles' ugly stepsister. Walk downtown and see the many empty buildings with for-rent or -lease signs, many falling off--which means there are no takers. Plenty of room.

The Colony Square, which some of us enjoy calling "Agony Square," appears to be at a standstill. Oh yes, apparently no one has shown any interest in Agony Square, other than the theater.

Meanwhile, in the north end of town, our socialists are working overtime to keep Wal-Mart from building its store, which many of us want and would provide us with low prices and tax revenue for our dying city, besides jobs for Atascadero, which are badly needed.

Keep your eyes on our dying city and stay at the Carlton, where empty rooms are numerous and high priced.

C. N. Santos





Support America, not Wal-Mart or China

No one will see this Atascaderan's car in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Shopping at Wal-Mart is repugnant and morally decrepit. Why is no one concerned about doing business with a country that is a communist regime with an excessive record of human rights abuse? The occupation of Tibet? How they treat their female children? Tiananmen Square? Etc.

Xu Jun, Wal-Mart China's director of external affairs said, "If Wal-Mart were an individual economy, it would rank as China's eighth-biggest trading partner, ahead of Russia, Australia, and Canada."

We justify supporting this country because things are "cheaper." How can we call ourselves patriotic when we support a country that takes jobs away from our own people? Closes down our own stores?

We should buy American whenever possible. If you can't find it here, then support Canada, Europe, South America, and quality items from Asia. It's not that hard to find this stuff, either. If you can't find it locally, Google it and have it delivered to your home. You'll save on gas while you're at it.

Faye Fraser





We have to continue to prosper

What Americans can agree on is that our government has not been effective in solving problems. When something isn't working, change is needed. The only question is change to what?

To implement change, we need a leader to inspire and guide us. Clinton and McCain clearly are not inspirational, and they represent the failed politics of the past. Obama is an inspirational new face who is talking about change, but is he just changing the chairs on the same political system that makes promises to get votes, but fails to solve problems? Our government has become for the benefit of the people in government. It is provider friendly, not user friendly. The last thing the people who are getting government checks now want is change.

We have to get past the rhetoric and get to substance. We have to answer the question of why this country has been prosperous, when other countries with the same resources are not. Are we going to go back to what worked in the past, or are we going to something that hasn't worked anywhere in the world? Do we keep our greatness, or do we change from what worked in the past? Remember, our productivity, not our politicians, gives us our standard of living. Much of the world has discovered what increases their standard of living, while we are turning away from it.

World War II was about the country sacrificing and working hard to provide our soldiers with the best fighting equipment available. We still have the best soldiers, but the country--especially the politicians--aren't behind them.

Obama has brought young people into the process, and this is vital because what we are deciding is their future.

To maintain a high standard of living, we have to continue to prosper, not just continue to redivide an ever-shrinking pie. What motivates productivity? Why is the Chinese economy growing by leaps and bounds, while ours is shrinking? History is a great teacher. Do we learn from it, or do we bet our future on populist rhetoric from a charismatic politician?

Walter Heer

Paso Robles

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