Watch out for hooning
Chris Shelby wished there were a law prohibiting motorcyclists from revving up their engines to ear-shattering levels ("Street Talk," April 19). There is such a law in Queensland, Australia. "Hooning" is against the law there. When I saw that word in the newspaper, I asked for a definition. It means "making rude noises with a vehicle."
My pronunciation is just fine, thanks
Regarding the section "You Can Say That Again" in the April 19 cover story, "You can't do that in SLO": The article was interesting and informative. We who live here on the Central Coast know what a magnificent and pristine area this is.
The Central Coast is rich also in its cultural heritage, which reflects a Spanish, Mexican, Hispanic influence. Though your article points out that "an unofficial" New Times poll revealed that "absolutely nobody" is pronouncing Higuera correctly, this is not true because many bilingual (Spanish/English) residents such as I do phonetically pronounce Higuera in Spanish as EGUERA and not HIGHGEARAH as many are wont to do.
With the Central Coast being an area of such rich culture diversification, I feel that the more we can get our residents to appreciate that all languages must be honored and thus pronounced correctly leads to more mutual respect, and a better understanding of cultural differences and similarities. This being said, our magnificent area can only become better.
I've got a T-shirt slogan for you
No, Mr. Parkhurst ("Not everyone here is on the same side," April 19), although I was born and live in the United States, I am definitely not on your side. To attempt to shift blame for the waste of our sons' and daughters' lives in Iraq onto some supposed comment uttered in the heat of frustration further demonstrates your state of denial.
Blame for the disaster in Iraq rests fully on those "Great Americans" who followed blindly and help to perpetuate the lies, misinformation, and faux patriotism extolled by this administration and its media propagandists.
Those who wanted to demonstrate their "machoness" vicariously through our military are the ones to be feared because they are the breeding ground for fascism. A more appropriate T-shirt would have been "America, protect it from the ignorant."
San Luis Obispo
I'm in for this idea, and a few more
Regarding Charles Groth's "Here's an idea for saving the planet" (April 19): That's a great idea. I spent 18 years drilling oil and natural gas wells offshore and have a little knowledge about drillships and semi-submersible vessels. I believe Mr. Groth is onto something big here if the anchoring and motion compensation technology used on drillships was to be in combination with generation and power-plant technology onboard something the size of an aircraft carrier, there is definitely a doable source of clean energy that's just sitting there waiting for the right people to come together and put this idea into action. I'm in for whatever contributions I can offer.
I've also been kicking around a few ideas for putting military surplus to good use in solving some of the problems that increasingly hinder us. The problem is how do I go about obtaining authority to locate surplus items and finding who to contact even to submit my ideas. I would also need some type of grant, as I'm definitely not independently wealthy at least not monetarily. But I guess you could say I have a wealth of ideas.
Less gun control means more safety
Wailing, evil claptrap was spewing from the mouths of anti-gun zealots before the bodies of the slain Virginia Tech students were even cold.
Those who have the guns have the power. Those who have power, control. When the people have guns, they have the power and control, e.g. "We the People." Therein lies the supreme beauty and clarity of the Second Amendment, which gave forever the power and control directly to the people. "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." That is as clear as a church bell banging on your head the power is to the people, not to governments or to criminals who will always have guns.
Ponder this as the anti-gun hysteria explodes on the airwaves after the recent shootings. Gun control takes guns from the people, thereby leaving guns only in the hands of governments and criminals, which have become indistinguishable from each other.
Had just one student had a gun in his dorm, the killer could have been stopped dead in his tracks and dozens of young lives saved. Their precious young blood stains the hands of every legislator who has ever signed a gun-control bill. There was a gun ban in effect on the Virginia Tech campus. Only the shooter was armed, and he knew his victims were not. Real safety demands less gun control, not more.
There's more than one tragedy here
Why aren't we flying our flags at half-staff every day for our kids who are dying in Bush's Middle East war? Many of these kids are also of college age. How do you think they and their families feel when they see the Virginia Tech kids getting all this attention, along with flags at half-staff?
We also should be flying our flags upside down for a nation in deep dung. The fruit that falls from the Dingle Berry Bush stinks.
The dunes are going to humble us
No matter on what side of the issue you fall regarding the Oceano Dunes, there exists one simple and conclusive reality: Everything and everyone out there from the environment, to the pedestrian, to the OHVer is endangered. Despite their majestic beauty, the ill-fated dunes are a ticking time bomb trapped in a wicked vortex of human interruption, destruction, divisiveness, politics, egos, and greed.
With much anguish in my heart, I am moved to believe that one of these days, probably through an enormous tragedy, the dunes will bring us to our knees and expel all of us, from both sides, in order to reclaim their profound existence. Yes, one of these days, we will be deservingly humbled by the great dunes.
Deanna Cox Miranda
Off-roaders and animals can both win
We are all aware of the many issues surrounding the Oceano Dunes as a recreational area. The Oceano Dunes Recreational Area covers more than seven miles of coastline totaling 3,854 acres. Around 1,600 acres are usually open to vehicles with seasonal closure. This leaves 2,254 acres of open space in which motor vehicles are not allowed. In that 2,254 acres of pristine habitat, animals and plants have a place of their own without being bothered.
This very unique beach park brought in 2.1 million people last year, which made a significant contribution to the local economy. Families and people from all around come to play and have fun on this beach, which is the only beach in California you can use motor vehicles on. If they were to close down the dune access, there would be nowhere for these ATV-loving people to go and let loose.
Another fact is that there are privately owned parcels, to which the owners are entitled access. There is no way to block vehicular access to the streets and alleys identified on a tract map to the individual owners within the tract. The only way to block people from going on county land in the dunes would be to put up "no trespassing" signs or fence off all county-owned lots.
The Oceano Dunes are a beautiful place that should be used as long as they keep more than half of the land for conservation only. These dunes should be enjoyed as long as we continue to only allow ATVs in a certain area. The off-roaders will be happy and the animals and plants will still have a place to thrive.
Could respect be on the rise?
I just read your article, "The diminishing blue line" (April 12) about the "woes" of various "law"-enforcement agencies in your county. That article made me wonder.
Despite decades of violence promulgated and sustained, video games with instant-speed response times required of the player, and a society that is operating in the planned culture of fear, is it possible that insufficient numbers of young people are attracted to the forces of repression, coercion, implicit and deployed firearm and physical violence, and the other instruments of the police state that have slowly evolved?
As a traveler, I compare with the rest of the nations in which I travel and, as an American, I deplore what has happened to my country, especially in the past decade. Could it be that there is a sea change, a perception that brute force is not as effective as love, compassion, taking time to listen, and plain kindness and courtesy? Could it be that respect for other forms of life and other people's different experiences and perspectives is trying once again to resurface?
When I see constabularies without guns and scowls and disrespect in other nations, I know that I have come a long way from when I, like other kids of the era, came up automatically respecting and revering police figures.
heading northeast from Santa Cruz
I'd help pay for vasectomies
What about this idea: The government offers a $10,000 tax credit, or maybe just $10 grand, to any male who voluntarily gets a vasectomy. It would cut down on abortions, which some people accuse women of getting as a form of birth control. (Who got them "in trouble" in the first place?) It would cut down on the population and on unwanted children who have a tough life and end up in jail at the government's expense. That's an idea I would be willing to subsidize with my tax dollars!
I'm thankful for our military
According to Robert K. Dornan, former congressman, we sacrificed 400,000 men and women in the second World War, 100,000 of whom were pilots. We freed the Philippines, where our fellow citizens suffered the Bataan Death March. As a young person, I met a man, a hero, who had survived this horror at the age of 19. The Philippines would now be part of the Empire of Japan. They were rioting against us there the day they asked us to leave.
We also freed the French, who would now be part of Germany. No gratitude or civility shown from them.
Now South Koreans riot over a trade agreement with us. Ask a Korean War veteran what they suffered and still suffer from their time spent establishing freedom for them. No one younger than 40 in South Korea remembers. God bless America!
I am in awe and gratitude to our military because they love us enough to risk their lives for us, to establish freedom and safety. God bless them and keep them from harm's way. Our freedoms come at a terrible price.