Next time, get help from a professional
Vaccinations will always be controversial. I find the picture on the front page of the May 31 New Times ("This could sting") to be disturbing. None of the vaccines that we use are that gacky, murky, snot-colored fluid in that syringe. Vaccines are clear and sterile.
If you ever want to publish a picture of a chest x-ray in your paper, make sure you ask which way the heart should go. I'd be happy to oblige.
Wanda Lo, MD
San Luis Obispo
Horses and resources
That was a pretty impressive use of fossil fuels on display at the Madonna Inn this weekend. I expect to see plenty of letters from the folks who loathe behemoth vehicles and wish them to be banned. I wonder, if all recreational use of horses ended tomorrow, how much fuel, water, and land could be saved for future generations.
Nipomo incorporation is a bad idea
Do you think we need more politicians? Do you eagerly anticipate the next tax increase? Do you want to see Nipomo developed to the extent that it looks like something that belongs in the San Fernando Valley? If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you're probably in favor of incorporation for Nipomo.
The most common reason given for incorporation by its supporters seems to be the desire for "local control." Although this sounds appealing on an emotional level, it doesn't withstand the scrutiny of logical analysis. Incorporation is likely to lead to the problems alluded to in my first paragraph, along with a few other undesirable results.
If we as a community decide to incorporate, we will be making a very dangerous and expensive mistake. If this issue should ever come before us on a ballot, please vote with your head, not your emotions.
Cuesta accolades are misplaced
The May 10 issue of New Times had a remarkable article on Cuesta College's drama department and especially bree valle ("Good morning, Starshine"). (And the fact she doesn't capitalize her name indicates to me how low her self-esteem must be, rather than the "statement" she pretends it is!)
Where are references to the predecessors who "made" that department with their hard work? For example, Nella Girolo, who did 40-plus shows, including scripted musicals and self-written musical revues with Colleen Aceto and Jason McBade, who was doing exciting and innovative plays before Girolo came on the scene. And all of these were family fare, neither of those instructors feeling constrained to produce "edgy" and controversial shows to secure an audience.
Also, Anet Carlin should be remembered, for she helped to physically build the Interact Theater on Cuesta's campus, and then returned after years with the Great American Melodrama to produce wonderful shows that were edgy, but not over the edge.
I think the accolades are misplaced, and perhaps others should be given credit, and their kind of performance sought once again.
Don't forget bright ideas and hard work
One of your letter writers has suggested "poor outcast is a saint" in his tirade of May 31 ("Long live the homeless hippie"). He says that 90 percent of the population (in America) owns 10 percent of the wealth. Perhaps he would rather like to live in Africa, Asia, or much of the rest of the world, where the people own nothing. He says the rich get that way by lying, cheating, stealing, and killing. I guess if you are trying to start a class war, you don't want to mention the possibility of bright ideas and hard work. Your letter writer, while he is feeling sorry for himself, need not worry about America running out of poor, homeless, and those who will not work for the company store. If we run out, we can always import them like everything else.
Democrats don't offer a free ride
In response to Donna Peterson's letter on May 24 ("Choose the party that promotes independence"), I want to point out that the history of the Democrats has not been to take care of people from the cradle to the grave, nor are they against independence and freedom. That is simply absurd! This is not a party that wants to give people a free ride through life, yet they do want to make the playing field fairer, and provide "safety nets" for the less fortunate. No amount of Medicare, social security, or welfare is ever going to make someone rich, so the incentive to provide for yourself is never taken away. Yet there's a belief that a rich society, such as ours, should help out the less fortunate, and that makes us uniquely human and altruistic.
Unfortunately, this "all about me" attitude seems to prevail in some minds and is detrimental to our society as a whole. You may be down on government having power, but do you really want the power to lie in the hands of private corporations and stockholders who only have profits in mind?
There are certain basic necessities of life that the government should provide, and some things that privatization just doesn't work for. Our health care system is a perfect example, as it is highly inefficient, discriminatory, and not available to all Americans.
As for the comment, "We don't want to lose our American heritage to worldwide ethnicities," where do you think your relatives came from? It has been the culture of America to be the melting pot, and that is the beauty of this country. It seems that Donna's attitude is more of the problem than the solution.
San Luis Obispo
Cambria fire danger is real
I respect Doug Buckmaster for the many generous things he does for others. However, on the subject of Cambria's proposed fire safety rules ("Cambria fire ordinances are absurd," May 24), I must disagree strongly.
When we moved to Cambria in the late 1970s, our applications for fire insurance were refused by several companies. After numerous tries, we found a company willing to write a policy for us. Most companies declined because of the high risk for fire in Cambria.
The Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) grades fire departments throughout the country on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the worst). Insurance rates are based on these ratings. In 1998, enough improvements had been made that Cambria's fire department was upgraded from ISO 6 to ISO 5 the level at which it remains. The next year, we applied for fire coverage at another insurance company with lower premiums. Refused again. Fire risk too high.
Already this year, one of the major insurance companies announced that it would write no more policies in the entire state of California because of the drought and the increased danger of fires.
I applaud Chief Putney and the fire department for their efforts to protect Cambria despite the odds against them.
I was at a book group meeting on Lodge Hill when firemen came and requested that cars be moved so they could drive the fire truck through. If they had been going to a fire at your house, would you have been worried more about the downed wood, gophers, etc. in the forest?
The present conditions put all of Cambria at risk. I ask that you support efforts to create defensible spaces. Even those will not guarantee safety but will create much better odds. Fire danger in Cambria is very real. I hope that Mr. Buckmaster's words will not come back to haunt him.
Pamela C. Thompson
We need more information
Why is there no "Beach Blotter" in any of the local papers to inform the public about accidents and deaths on the beach and dunes? We have a right to know why there are so many ambulances, fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles racing down our local streets to the ODSVRA.
Where's Peter O'Toole?
Now may be the time for Bush to rent the fine film, Lawrence of Arabia. Maybe it will make some sense to him probably a lot easier for him than reading the book. Oops, I forgot he doesn't read. We all want stability, but it seems this administration wants something more, and will stop at nothing to achieve this impossible "goal." History will keep repeating itself. After all, we're only human.
Locals took away my cynicism
In my 60 something years I have sometimes become somewhat cynical about the basic goodness of people. However, on June 1, a number of people in SLO helped to restore my belief in the kindness of strangers.
My husband and I had just left the Marsh Street parking lot when I stumbled on an irregularity in the sidewalk and landed on my face on the concrete. I, of course, was dazed and bleeding. It truly amazed me and my husband at the number of people who stopped and offered assistance. I particularly want to thank the young college-age man who went and obtained ice for my face, the gentleman who went to his car and brought me a clean cloth for the ice, the young man who later helped me get back up on my feet, and the woman who saw the fall and stayed with us and even walked us back to our car to make certain I could do so safely. All strangers on a busy Friday afternoon who took the time to help another stranger.
Democracy versus hypocrisy
President Abraham Lincoln once declared "No foreign country or foreign army will ever drink the waters of the Potomac . If this nation ever goes under, it will be because it will rot from within." The stench has gone around the world several times. Apparently, we have gotten used to it.
Recall the words "Give me liberty or give me death"? Was the hero of American independence a slave? No, he was a free man. He was talking about justice. Liberty without justice is only a different form of slavery. Does the term "Taxation without representation" ring a bell?
During the Indian rebellion of 1857, the Hindu people were upset at the English troops' occupation of India. Referring to the Sepoy Mutiny, Mr. Mahatma Gandhi posed this question to his people: "Why are you angry at a few thousand British troops occupying our country? On the contrary, you should be angry at the millions of Hindus who allowed this to happen!"
Yes, we and only we are to blame for what is happening in our country today because we have allowed it to happen.
The arrogance that only our lives and our interests are important in this world is not only foolish, but very dangerous, not only to others, but to ourselves. Provocative language not only cost money, but cost innocent people their lives. The devastation of our precious resources leaves the country insecure while only creating additional enemies abroad.
Don't believe our military actions in the Middle East are Democratic or Christian. Don't believe we are defending our troops by putting them in harm's way while simultaneously asking them to deny freedom to millions of innocent Iraqis. Jesus Christ affirmed, "By the fruit, you know the tree." America, the world is watching!
Luis B. Castellanos