Don't like POPR? Grow up!
I respect Andrew Christie's right to rant and rave if he doesn't approve of the new viewshed ordinance, however his views appear rather skewed when attacking POPR as a private organization ("Viewshed outcome is insulting," Aug. 30). The Sierra Club is certainly a very private club of its own, so it's kind of the pot calling the kettle black. He missed Katcho's irony and honesty completely!
The same people Andrew is in bed with to emasculate the property rights of those like myself came out of North County to try and sway the election in Katcho's district, and now their noses are out of joint because he doesn't vote for what they want? Grow up! POPR is composed of some very nice people who simply feel they are entitled to historic property rights and resent the intrusion of others, many who do not even own property in our county, to dictate the use of their hard-earned property.
Many of us who gave time or donated funds support their beliefs and, believe me, their support base is far larger than just POPR's founders they just do most of the work to protect our property rights.
Dear Mr. Christie
Your commentary ("Viewshed outcome is insulting," Aug. 30) summarized the events of the meeting very well. Although it must feel like a losing battle that continues to be waged, I believe that commentaries such a yours are the only hope we have to finally stop the insanity.
The latest actions of the Board will most certainly have an effect at election time. I hope that supervisors Jim Patterson and Bruce Gibson will be joined by people who have the welfare of the special place that is San Luis Obispo County as their main priority.
Many thanks for your efforts.
Throw the bums out
Thank you, New Times, for your fearless printing of Andrew Christie's opinion on the viewshed vote ("Viewshed outcome is insulting," Aug. 30).
I am stunned by the Board's failure to protect the North Coast hills. We have to throw those bums out.
Have to love your Shredder, too.
A lowlife is a lowlife
Don Wood, in his pissy little letter, "Everyone could enjoy the dunes" (Aug. 30), claims that the reason there are so many accidents on the Oceano Dunes is because the "tree huggers" and "otter lovers" have forced the off-roaders into a small area. As an unabashed tree hugger, otter lover, plover lover, and archenemy of everything loud, destructive, polluting, wasteful, and stupid, I say this guy is full of poo.
Accidents occur on the dunes primarily because the yahoos involved in off-roading are the sort who get off on speed, risk, recklessness, being inconsiderate, and raising hell. Add booze to the equation and smash-ups become inevitable. The amount of space available to them is irrelevant.
Mr. Wood says there should be designated trails to stay on so "the dunes could be enjoyed by everybody." Hello? Does anyone really believe the run-over-the-plover crowd would respect designated trails? Do rowdy jerks respect anything at all?
When it comes to enjoying the dunes, decent people longing to experience peace and quiet in nature while engaging in non-destructive recreation would find that impossible with a bunch of screaming machines tearing through the sands nearby.
Mr. Wood's expression "the damn environment," as he defines the outdoors is revealing. He and his fellow redneck nature bashers see ecosystems merely as places to trash, just as graffiti vandals indiscriminately view any surface, natural or man-made, as simply something to tag, utterly unconcerned with the blight they inflict.
A lowlife is a lowlife, whether he uses a can of spray paint or a muscle wagon to make the world a more miserable, nastier, and uglier place.
Do something about the mess you helped create
It's funny how humans (ex: Helen Saulsbury) can't accept responsibility for the problems that they themselves cause ("Pigeons are an overpopulated nuisance," Aug. 30). She says pigeons are overpopulated and blames them for the polluted water. Bravo! Ignore the fact that we humans are overpopulated and that we are the ones polluting and destroying this planet.
You're failing to realize that the problem with killing the Pismo pigeons lies in the fact that they aren't even the proven polluters. It's just people not wanting to accept responsibility for what they've done. We always have to blame another species. Kill, kill, kill is that the only solution that we know anymore? Or do people just want an easy way out? Get over it, stop blaming others, and start doing something about the mess that we have caused and that you are a part of.
If you're still under the illusion that pigeons are the problem, there are humane ways to reduce their numbers without killing them. (Birth Control Pellets are available at www.peta.org.)
California ranching isn't cheap
Regarding the Libertarian Party chairperson who must be stupid ("Can someone explain this to me?" Aug. 30): I'm sure they are referring to the Williamson Act, AKA The California Land Conservation Act. The Williamson Act gives farmers and ranchers a tax break from the assessed value of their land so they can keep farming and feeding us at a reasonable cost. If the local government participates, the state compensates it for tax "loss."
When the farm becomes unmarketable to other farmers, it may lose its designation and be subject to justified subdivision. The Williamson Act is not always appurtenant and can have its designation taken away or opted out of. Growing food or ranching in California is not a cheap proposition. It doesn't happen without tax relief.
A delightful consequence of the W.A. is that it preserves vast tracts of land in an undeveloped state. And many of these beautiful spaces are literally one quitclaim away from being lost. Forever. So as you take in these privately owned open spaces, you should be concerned that the farmer or rancher is making ends meet.
As far as your property taxes are concerned, you are taxed on the assessed value of your home, plus any tax benefits you personally have. In large part, the tax liability on your primary residence is determined by who you are and the source of your capital, not the size of your home. It's very possible that a six-bedroom home in your 'hood could have a much lower tax bill than a recently purchased one-bedroom house.
As far as business tax liabilities are concerned (and farmers are subject to these too), that can only determined by a tax professional who has access to your books.
I'm not convinced that disrupting the food markets to reduce the property tax liability for first-time homebuyers is a very solid political platform. Maybe you could try to get Mardi Gras back in SLO or something. People like to party on a full stomach.
San Luis Obispo
Does Foothill really need the work?
Driving home on Foothill Boulevard recently, I was stunned to find that the road was being resurfaced. Despite my chronic lack of understanding as to what political and/or bureaucratic thinking was behind it, I was appalled. Foothill Boulevard was a little rocky, I admit, but still good enough to go way above the speed limit. I shudder to think what this upgrade might be costing us, the taxpayers.
If you're like me, you'd much rather see this money go to a good cause. This country is in bad disrepair, when we cannot allocate money where it is actually needed. It's not like one needs to look very hard to find people and places that need and deserve funding. Just think of how two years after Katrina, New Orleans is still in disrepair at least in the not-so-well-to-do areas.
I can just hear what the officials have to say about how this is "different" money. Perhaps there is white money vs. black money, or rich money vs. poor money? But the last time I looked it still looked pretty much the same all round.
San Luis Obispo
Therapy's not all pathology
I read with interest the recent Tribune article about life coaching, "Guiding residents over life's hurdles" (Sept. 2). As a licensed psychotherapist, I have referred clients for coaching, particularly when their challenges are practical, short term, and solution based. Often coaching can provide a useful adjunct to deeper work that I'm doing with an individual.
I disagree, however, with Morro Bay business coach Ed Cox when he opines, "Psychotherapy deals with pathology. Coaching deals with relatively well-adjusted individuals." While many therapists do rely heavily on diagnosis insurance will usually not pay unless the patient is diagnosed with medical based mental illness a growing number utilize a non-pathological approach.
Check out www.GoodTherapy.org to learn more about therapy that is both collaborative, empowering, and, yes, even enjoyable!
Bad idea then, bad idea now
The Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRC) has determined that nuclear waste storage at Diablo is no problem. I was arrested in front of Diablo in 1977 because at the time PG&E didn't know what they were going to do with this terrible legacy.
I suggest that the NRC and PG&E's CEOs be required to store these casks in their backyards. I personally do not want to live downwind of this terrorist target.
The time has come for corporations and the NRC to be held accountable for their actions. Storage on site next to an earthquake fault was not acceptable in 1977, nor is it decades later in 2007.
This is what America needs
What a mess of intractable problems this country has! One fiasco after another has paralyzed the can-do spirit of America. There is a wise saying that the Bush Administration should heed: "If you find yourself in a deep hole, stop digging!" It is time to stop digging bigger holes (messes).
All of the rhetoric and huge, multi-million dollar PR campaigns to change public perceptions of the debacles that have been occurring with numbing regularity do not change realities. It is time to cut the mind-boggling losses and get down to rebuilding this magnificent country. We need to stop invading countries, overtly and covertly, and destabilizing regions for ever-changing, short-term gains. We need to take care of our Constitution and the rule of law. We need to tend to the common good of all Americans. We need to fix the rotting infrastructure in America. We need to stop borrowing billions from foreign countries every month. We need to get corporations and their headquarters back on shore for jobs, quality products, and services, and to pay their fair share. We need oversight and accountability to ensure good corporate citizenship. We need to make this nation more than a consumer nation. We need to protect the environment. We need real security for America. We need to come together and be a part of the solutions to the complex problems, not allowing ourselves to be duped and divided, making us part of the problems.
We need to stop digging!