Opinion » Letters



Hair designers can support the arts, too
In response to Ralph Gorton’s comment, “the art you’ll buy in a hair salon is about as good as the haircut you’ll get in our gallery� (“Where have all the galleries gone?� June 15): Ouch! I bought my first painting in a plant shop in Miners Oaks when I was in my 20s, and I still love it. I’ve been collecting art and selling art for more than 30 years—about the same time I’ve been a hair designer.

My husband, artist John Barrett, is also a collector, and between us we have more art than we can display. You’ve insulted us and my clients by your statement. It’s not where you buy art that determines its worth.

We noticed that you didn’t slam the restaurants, coffee houses, and wineries that host art shows. Thankfully, they support the artists in this county when the galleries are few and closing fast. We have artist friends all over the United States, and even those that were doing well a few years ago have seen sales slow recently.

The reason people aren’t buying as much fine art is a reflection of the society we live in. We’ve taken away funding for art education, we would rather watch DVDs and play video games with our kids than go to museums, and any extra money is spent on flatscreen TVs.

By the way, Ralph, a hair designer and an artist aren’t that far apart. Come by and see me do a tri-colored weave on a geometric A-line bob with volumetric layering in the bangs to hide a receding hairline and you’ll get the picture.

Pamela Barrett

Pamela Barrett Salon and Gallery

Paso Robles

Patronizing the arts is good for you and society
In “Where have all the galleries gone?� (June 15), writer Glenn Starkey observed difficulties for local galleries. “Locals look but don’t buy,� he said. The article left me wondering why: Why do San Luis Obispo residents accessorize multi-million-dollar homes with custom countertops, cabinets, flooring, and furniture—but not with art? In a town that fills its driveways with top-of-the-line vehicles, why are the galleries struggling?

Addressing why people don’t buy art is the first step to increasing the local gallery life expectancy. Perhaps our population has not experienced the value of owning art. Purchasing a painting or sculpture that speaks to you is an honor that far outshines owning a flatscreen TV. Original artwork enriches a living environment, unlike trite reproductions of soulless commercial decor. Art takes time, knowledge, talent, and skill to create, and, as a collector, you become a part of this process.

I am an active resident in San Luis Obispo in my late 20s, and recently purchased my first big-ticket art item. I had to budget to do so, and it was well worth it. I am simultaneously giddy and proud. I also am happy to help support any artist who creates engaging artwork.

Art is the barometer for the times. Art allows us to be individuals in a world of increasing conformity. If we aren’t interested in the arts, then we aren’t fully interacting with the world. I hope that those faithfully attending gallery openings value their experiences and realize that those experiences wouldn’t exist without the art. The residents of San Luis Obispo have the opportunity to patronize this essential sect of society. What better place to start than locally?

Sara Egerer

Frame Works framer, designer, gallery coordinator

San Luis Obispo

Lido’s not in the Bistro wine league
One of the claims made by Kathy Marcks Hardesty (“Lido doesn’t miss the boat,� June 15) is “And it was my next dinner experience that substantiated my belief: Lido will become as much a dining destination as are Hoppe’s Garden Bistro and Bistro Laurent to SLO County.�

I have dined at both the bistros a number of times. Both boast a very impressive wine list of distinction, which includes wines from France.

No restaurant can be given the grade to be in the league of Garden Bistro and Bistro Laurent that has a wine list as mundane as that of Lido.

Brahama D. Sharma

Pismo Beach

Chaos takes over when order stagnates
Regarding “Young People Feed the World� (June 15):

When a species reaches a point of being so dominant that it smothers all life, manipulating nature to its sole advantage, it will become a disadvantage for all.

As we overpopulate the planet, we are clear-cutting the rainforests to feed more and more people, yet all over the world people are starving to death? Our chemicals and factory farm fecal matter are polluting our air, waters, and land, yet there is poverty? As we expand like locusts devouring everything under our rule, we are driving other life forms out of their homes into extinction, homelessness? Using imminent domain, we are forcing people from their homes and selling them to developers, the gentrification of working class neighborhoods, homelessness moving on up?

The laws of physics state that order falls into place from out of chaos, and, in return, chaos returns when order falls into stagnation. Stagnation spawns chaos.

Evolution is a form of order growing out of chaos, but as a species becomes too dominant, chaos returns to seek a new order and evolution moves on, seeking a new direction.

That’s why we have all the poverty, wars, and predatory corporations running amok at Earth’s expense. If we don’t get a grip on our population, our polluting ways, and our wars, nature will do it for us in a most unpleasant manner. If you want children, OK, but don’t deny others the use of birth control in the name of dogma.

Sharon Eckardt

Los Osos

Atascadero City Clerk needs to wake up
After following the records saga in Atascadero, it seems to me that Atascadero City Clerk Marcia Torgerson is on a HUGE power trip. Her quotes make her sound like a spoiled child who won’t share her toys.

Torgerson needs to realize that the citizens of Atascadero elected her to office, and they can easily not elect her next time. It seems quite strange that she can hold an elected city office and work for the city at the same time. Ms. Torgerson also needs to realize that she can be prosecuted individually, along with the city for her disregard to state law.

Chris Lowe


I have no sympathy for drunk drivers
I am writing this letter to get something off my chest. I was recently at a local gym working out and overheard the gym’s personal trainer lamenting his woes to his client. He was boo-hoo-ing the fact that he recently got a DUI and had to pay all this money to get his car back. He said that the fines were exorbitant and basically a lot of other “feel sorry for me� crap.

The whole time he was talking, I wanted to shout at him that if he got a DUI, he most likely deserved it. He should just shut-up and take it like a man—but wait, a real man would NEVER drive drunk in the first place!

All of those “poor me� people who put themselves in the position to get tickets never stop to think about all the lives they are risking when the get behind the wheel. I know firsthand about the damage that they can do. My mother was killed by a drunk driver. She was simply walking down the street with a friend and got plowed over by a woman who didn’t stop to think before she got behind the wheel.

Anyway, I think that the extra hoops that drunk drivers have to jump through to get their licenses/cars back should be more of an Olympic feat than just paying some fines. Maybe then it wouldn’t be something to brag about at the gym.

Siobhan McDowell

Pismo Beach

My eyes are now open
After viewing “The Dark Side� on PBS’ Frontline program last Tuesday (June 20) I can see why the administration and their comrades in Congress want to gut the funding for public broadcasting! The Bible-thumping, make-believe Christians who support these democratic deviants can be sure that God will not bless America as long as these lying devils rule this country.

Terry Mohan

San Luis Obispo

Signs of the times
As I drive around the county, I can’t help noticing that there are still signs for Rodger Anderson in people’s yards and in open spaces. It makes me wonder if Mr. Anderson can’t manage to get his signs down, how will he manage the job of supervisor?

David Nelson

Morro Bay

Kick the bums out in November
In an effort to stop companies like Halliburton from cheating our troops and stealing from Americans, Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., introduced an amendment to the military appropriations bill that was intended to improve contracting “by eliminating fraud and abuse and improving competition in contracting and procurement.�

Every Senate Republican voted against the measure to make the contracting process honest and to impose penalties on those who break the law. Republicans made it clear by their votes that they are willing to fight for military contractors’ right to lie, cheat, and defraud the taxpayers.

In November, we need to make it clear to these Republicans that they do not represent our values and beliefs. We need to kick these bums out and give our country’s Democrat watchdogs a chance to protect our troops and our hard-earned tax dollars.

Gale McNeeley

Santa Maria

Health Services says thank you
On behalf of EOC Health Services, I want to express our gratitude for the continued support of Clifford Chapman and Don Shidler. They once again provided the most exquisite venue on the Central Coast for our fund-raising event: the Afternoon of Epicurean Delights. Their contribution is priceless.

A debt of gratitude is also owed to the 60 gracious food and beverage purveyors, as well as the 16 musicians and two sound technicians who volunteered their time and talents to make this year’s event the most elegant yet.

I also want to thank the exceptionally committed community volunteers that helped make our event so successful: Gretchen Gonyer, Jim Weilbacher, Charlene West, Sandee Menge, and Carol Devore.

According to attendees, this year’s event was “so classy!� “I was very impressed by the variety of foods and vintners in attendance.� “The music was great.� “That venue could not be surpassed.�

The Afternoon of Epicurean Delights is not only a fabulous way to spend a beautiful Central Coast afternoon, it benefits programs that are working to meet the growing need for healthcare, health-related education, and advocacy in our community.

Finally, many thanks to our generous underwriters whose donations have ensured that the funds raised by the event will go to provide direct services in SLO County.

We look forward to another successful event on June 3, 2007, and hope to see you there.

With deep appreciation to all our event and community supporters,

Raye Fleming
director of Health Services

San Luis Obispo County

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