Get informed, citizens
The debate forum between Adam Hill and Jerry Lenthall has been on Channel 2 and 21. It has been very educational about what is going on in our area. An informed citizenry is the foundation of a democracy--watch it.
Marijuana decision amounts to bigotry
I read with disappointment that the Board of Supervisors has decided to vote against the medical marijuana dispensary in Templeton. Although it is not the medicine of choice for me personally (I am fortunate enough to have other options that are far more effective for my injury), there are thousands who suffer chronic pain and other conditions who could be helped immensely by local access to a legal, regulated outlet for this remedy.
This is discrimination. A medicine that is legal by the choice, vote, and law of the California citizens is being denied to those who are suffering. Rite Aid, Wal-Mart, and other pharmacies sell pain meds for profit legally, and in areas with schools, churches, and single family residences, all without the ignorant bigotry of these hateful obstructionists. The same courtesy should be extended to the dispensaries, which are legal, responsible businesses that ensure that their clients have proper ID and documentation verifying their legitimate medical need for this unique and irreplaceable medicine.
I hope none of these people ever have to suffer the debilitating pain and other horrors that this safe and effective herb provides relief for.
Distance is in the eye of those with mobility issues
Your news summary regarding the controversy surrounding the proposed parking area at the Senior Center ("Thrice rejected plan moves on to the City Council," April 10) was fair and correct. Unfortunately, it included an argument by the opponents of senior parking that is very misleading and thus patently false.
While Mitchell Park may be only three blocks from the Marsh Street parking garage, the Senior Center is located on the park's far corner and is closer to five or six blocks away, depending on whether you exit from the elevator at Chorro and Marsh or from the stairs at the Morro Street exit.
Opponents of senior parking forget that many of the seniors who use the center have mobility issues. Example: I manage Tuesday bridge at the center. We average 28 seniors, sometimes as many as 36. Three of our players are older than 90. A third of the players are in their 80s, and the rest of us are in our 70s. One player comes in a mobility scooter. A third of our players have blue handicap parking placards. To have to walk three to six blocks to the center is an impossibility. Even shorter distances can be difficult at times--if not impossible.
While the proposed senior parking area may not fully "solve" the problems of parking at the senior center, it provides more senior spaces than are currently available to seniors and those with placards.
Senior Center board member
San Luis Obispo
It's time to change up our white-haired leaders
Since the Bush administration has come into power, I have had unrelenting indigestion. The war, corruption, scandals and they still are in power. It's enough to make a sane person go screaming into the night.
My theory is that bad government somehow trickles down into state and local government, too. It's sort of a copy-cat theory, or "If they can get away with it, so can I." Reading your piece about several appointed advisory boards and committees recommending that a parking lot not be built at Mitchell Park ("Thrice rejected plan moves on to the City Council," April 10) is a prime example. Somehow, Mayor Dave Romero seems to think that the community's input and the three local advisory committees' input doesn't matter.
Having watched Mayor Romero at several City Council meetings, his main interest seems to be the interest of the few instead of the interest of the many. This is also true of his allowing building heights to increase regardless of the Environmental Impact Reports presented to the council.
I think it is high time our fine city has a change of council members, just like it's time for change in Washington.
I hope Mayor Dave gets used to having either a competent and skilled black man or woman for our next president and not the same war-hawking cabal we've had to endure these past years. There's a place for respect for elders, as the mayor insists in his letter ("The mayor responds", April 10) but it still must be earned. Neither of the white-haired men have mine.
San Luis Obispo
I won't fight dirty, but I'll ask tough questions
A couple of folks have asked about the survey my campaign conducted last week, so I wanted to address the issue personally. I'm not going to hide behind surrogates or the critical issues in this campaign.
My survey--much like the one done by Supervisor Patterson's campaign--simply asked voters about public policies, experience, and issues on which he and I differ. There are issues on which we both agree, but the purpose of the survey was to quantify those issues where there are clear differences.
For example: We differ on our positions on government regulations like the "creek set-back ordinance," which I believe takes away homeowners' property, while Jim Patterson spoke publicly in favor of it.
This is an issue where we clearly disagree. If he stands by this position, voters deserve the opportunity to decide. If he's changed his mind, voters deserve to know this as well.
My campaign will be about my experience, my ideas, and my vision but it would be a disservice to voters not to point out the policy areas where Supervisor Patterson and I differ. Some of those differences offer a stark contrast between the two candidates, and I will not hide from those issues, even those that are politically unpopular.
I've brought together a team of effective and honorable people to help with my campaign. I have made it clear to them that I will not tolerate personal attacks or dirty tactics. But we are going to ask tough questions and demand answers.
We are going to demonstrate that there is a different direction we can take the county--a direction that ensures public safety, respects people's rights, helps rebuild our economy, and creates jobs.
The future of our county is at stake, and voters deserve no less.
SLO County supervisor candidate
Stating facts isn't push polling
The Shredder has confused facts with push polls ("Pushing, polling, and trolling for support," April 3). I received calls from both polls: the Patterson campaign's, right after Debbie Arnold announced her candidacy back in mid-January, and from the Arnold campaign in late March.
I knew immediately the January poll was from Supervisor Patterson's camp because of the negative questions and innuendo clearly against Debbie Arnold. The poll itself was very long, and questions were long and confusing.
I recently learned that the second poll done in late March was from the Arnold campaign. There were far fewer questions on the Arnold poll they were short and straightforward. I couldn't tell by the questions that it was an Arnold poll because they did not favor either candidate. There were not a lot of questions, but I remember two issues-based questions.
One question asked about Patterson supporting the effort in Atascadero to increase the creek setback areas. Patterson did speak at the May 8, 2007, Atascadero City Council meeting in support of increasing the creek setback. That is a fact, not a push poll. The other asked about support for bringing in a medical marijuana dispensary that the Patterson appointees are on record as supporting, also a fact.
Telling people what a candidate is on record as supporting is not push polling. Voters need to be learning what the candidates for supervisor stand for, and vote on June 3rd for the candidate who most represents their views.
If you think talking about issues Patterson supports is a bad thing, then maybe you should be voting for Debbie Arnold for supervisor instead.
Take an interest in nutrition and schools
Since many children rely on the school cafeteria for breakfast and lunch, food quality plays a major role in their health and well-being. School meals are often heavily processed, frozen, and reheated entrees like chicken nuggets and pizza pockets. Overconsumption of processed foods high in fat, sugar, and sodium has been a major factor contributing to the obesity epidemic in the United States.
Studies have shown that active, well-nourished children are more prepared and motivated to learn. Increased levels of physical fitness are associated with higher achievement in reading and mathematics. For our children's physical and academic health, nutritious meals are essential.
Some schools in the United States are implementing Farm to School Programs to improve the quality of school meals and the effectiveness of nutrition education. These programs not only offer healthy, local foods to students, they provide hands-on educational experiences to connect children with the source of their food. Local farmers benefit from direct sales of their products, which helps the community as well.
If you're interested in this program for schools in SLO County, attend the "Farm to School Conference" on April 24 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at the SLO Coastal Unified School District Building. Details and registration information are at www.centralcoastgrown.org.
My chronic slant could soon straighten out
Recently, my physical therapist offered me some hope. My back is stooped and I have been bent over now for seven years. When I asked her if there was a chance that I may walk upright again, she said that if a different political party is elected in November, there is a good possibility I will walk upright.
I said, "I hope so."
She said she doesn't want a change because it will put her out of business.