Did you know we carry T-shirts?
Just a quick response to Lily Carver's letter ("Bikini-clad 'model' worries me," May 10). We're sorry that Ms. Carver was offended by what we saw as a creative use of our windows on that sunny Saturday afternoon. We thought having a model sitting in a beach chair in the window might be fun and create some interest kind of a "back to the beach" theme. The intent was twofold: The main purpose was to promote "Beauty and the Beach," a fundraising event/fashion show that weekend benefiting the Surfrider foundation, sponsored by Coverings, Salon Lux, and Moondoggies, but also as a way of calling attention to a new line of swimsuits we had just begun carrying. We were surprised that anyone found this shocking, especially as the model was merely sitting in a beach chair reading a magazine.
The "girl in a fishbowl" idea is one that we got from the Standard hotel in Hollywood, where people sign up to sit in a glass case behind the front desk during check-in hours, usually doing something mundane like reading, studying, sleeping, or perhaps creating a performance, and it's something we've done in our windows in the past. The model, Becky Pryor, who's modeled for coverings extensively over the past year and appeared on America's Top Model TV show, had a great time hanging out in the window for a few hours. She reported no rude behavior by anyone mostly just curiosity (several parents brought their kids in to say hi to her) and people wondering whether she was real or not.
As for the men hanging out in front of the store, our guess is that Ms. Carver didn't realize we carry men's denim and T-shirts. Perhaps that's what they were staring at.
Elections used to mean something
I was absolutely outraged when I heard that Ray Buban and Mike Jackson had established a recall petition for Mike Brennler and Ellen Beraud from the Atascadero City Council. Do elections and voting mean nothing in our nation and community anymore? Both had won by a good margin in November and now a handful of individuals, with seeming unscrupulous motives, are trying to undermine our entire electoral process through this unjustifiable action.
Mike and Ellen are people who truly care about our community. Here they are giving time away from their families to help Atascadero be a better place to live, and they are being attacked before they barely have a chance to participate.
I feel that this petition is totally invalid and an affront to true democracy. Consider that before I donate to any political campaign, I have to look at my grocery bill. I wonder, where are the people who started this petition getting their money from?
Hooray for the fa¡ade
I was astonished to see that someone had complained about the fa¡ade of the Dwellinart Gallery on Garden Street in San Luis Obispo. Anyone who has spent any time on Garden Street would realize that the new fa¡ade on Michael Ackerman's studio is a gift to our growing community.
I have lived in San Luis Obispo since I was 3 years old. My mother and father moved our family business, San Luis Traditions, to Garden Street in 1992, when I was 6 years old. I have spent much of my childhood on Garden Street, doing homework at my parents' work. Now that I am the design assistant at Traditions, I am pleased to continue to spend most of my time on Garden Street.
Garden Street is known for its character. For as long as I can remember, it has been a place of diversity and uniqueness. From the concert-going college kids at Downtown Brew to the quiet dreamers at Linnaea's, Garden Street has always attracted a variety of people.
San Luis is becoming a "mini Santa Barbara" with all of our box stores and chain stores coming in. With the aggressive growth in downtown San Luis Obispo, I think it is important for our little town to keep its character.
We need people like Michael Ackerman. We need local businesses to get creative to keep our small-town charm alive.
Hooray for Dwellinart's new fa¡ade!
San Luis Obispo
People voted conservative and look what we got
In his letter, "Society needs to change" (May 17) John Budlong ends with his last sentence, "Finally, come election time, be sure to cast your ballot and vote for conservative candidates who will abide by our Constitution." That's just what happened in the last two presidential elections and look at what we got: an administration that looks at the Constitution as "just a damned old piece of paper."
Choose the party that promotes independence
Once again I must respond to David Georgi, about his letter on May 17, "Republicans, change to a better party." I understand now that David Georgi only writes or talks and doesn't ever read or listen to others. His vitriolic speech not only makes him mean spirited, but totally incredulous.
Listen up. Some (a lot) of us don't want the U.S. government to tell us what to do, or take care of us from cradle to grave. Tell me how the government is going to continue paying for Social Security and Medicare to all (including millionaires and the almost-legal illegals).
We don't want to lose our American heritage to worldwide ethnicities.
We do want to fight terrorism wherever it lurks. And, if you want to talk immoral leadership, personally I'm still reeling over the vision of Monica and Bill in the White House (a defining moment in our country's history).
I think Democrats and anyone not declared should switch to a party that promotes independence and free will.
Do your part: Question everything
There are a tremendous number of good points in Kylie Mendonca's piece, "Global gluttony" (May 17). She certainly puts it to Patrick Howe ("Global pizza," May 10), who would rather the government deal with global warming, Peak Oil, and various environmental degradations.
The government didn't even see the transition from the horseless carriage to the Model A Ford. (It was no doubt still subsidizing oats and barley back at the turn of the century.) Obviously, the present administration, which invaded Iraq to a large extent to secure its oil resources, didn't see the private-sector-inspired boom in alternative fuels.
Now, as to whether an individual can make a difference: Obviously there are some things an individual can do, and lots of things he/she simply cannot.Global warming is occurring and will no doubt, according to the latest research, wreak havoc in the next several centuries. Industrial man has been "at it" since the early 18th century, and we only discovered the severity of our C02 emissions in the mid-'50s.
Some of us recognized a few decades ago that a corporate and central government economy was destroying communities, and that "globalizing" the rest of the world with the "religion" of material prosperity was doomed to fail. Maybe we didn't see global warming coming, but we saw plenty else. Consequently, we started simplifying our lives in every way we could and not just to save money.
You can do your part, but you have to start to question everything. As Kylie said, live in (or build) smaller houses, recycle everything you can, drive less, share with your neighbors, conserve (or make!) electricity, grow some of your own food, etc. If you don't think you can do some of these things, you are truly part of the problem.
William L. Seavey
Cambria fire ordinances are absurd
It is deeply distressing to see the district and its fire department so determined to destroy the ambience of this community with grossly overstated tales of fire danger.
This is not Riverside or Los Angeles or Ventura counties, where subdivisions flow solidly into the chaparral and where they have horrendous Santa Ana conditions. We don't have either in Cambria.
Cambria is unique and needs to be treated as such. Cookie cutter fire plans, supposedly formalized by the state, should not be applied arbitrarily here.
The clumsy premature release of "Defensible Space Ordinances" is just one more case of CCSD overreaching. It seems like they again have been fed a bill of goods.
Wiping out the understory is devastating to animals and only encourages the growth of non-native grass, which is far more flammable. The ordinances are absurd.
The directors should vote on and pass the Cambria Forest Plan, and then work with a forest ecologist, competent arbologists, and other experts if, and only if, we really do have a bona fide fire threat here.
Forest management should not be done by a fire chief or the CCSD. We must protect, not destroy our forest.
Pet bill has only benefits
The California Healthy Pets Act (AB1634) is a very important bill that will save the lives of hundreds and thousands of companion animals and save California taxpayers millions of dollars each year. This in and of itself should be enough for this bill to pass. California needs to become fiscally responsible, so let us start here, where saving lives and money goes hand in hand. This should be the California Dream, something everyone in our great state can be proud of. I think it is!
Since this is a controversial topic, and the "guts" of this bill have been hashed over time and again, I just wanted to place my vote in support of this very important bill and urge our "elected" officials to sit up and take notice. There are only benefits a win-win situation.
director of animal care
North County Humane Society
Help the world with a good coffee choice
One of the easier things we can do to be kinder to our neighbors in the world is to buy fair trade coffee. Did you know that at Trader Joe's the 14-ounce cans of fair trade coffee cost the same as the other kinds? Next time you pick up a can, think about the living wage you can ensure for the growers and pickers, many of whom work in co-operatives. Sometimes I think we forget how simple it is to make a difference.
San Luis Obispo
Volunteers aren't just free laborers
Last week, the Board of Supervisors presented a resolution commending County Parks' volunteers for their significant contributions that benefit residents and visitors alike. Over the years, volunteers have contributed hundreds of thousands of hours helping with ongoing projects, maintenance, fundraising, and recreation programming. Last year they generously gave more than 50,000 hours of their time.
While it may be tempting for some to add up the hours of volunteer time, multiply by an hourly rate, and determine the economic value of volunteering, this would be very short sighted. By using economic measurements, it assumes volunteer time is no more than just "free" labor.
It's like the parks these volunteers choose to serve. We could see parks only as a place for kids to play, or we can see them supporting the physical and mental health of our citizens, promoting economic stability, reducing juvenile crime, increasing workplace productivity, providing activities for young and old alike, and helping the environment. How can you place an economic value on that?
So the impact park volunteers make has immeasurable value. They are extraordinary individuals who choose to give freely of their time, energy, and talents. They act on an internal calling to do what they consider truly worthwhile.
We are all the beneficiaries. We should all be grateful.
SLO County park commissioner
How would you have answered?
I have a question to ask pro-choicers. Please, take a moment and answer this question as honestly as you can. Answer from your heart and not your head. When you were being knit together in your mother's womb and she could have asked of you, "Little one, do you want to live or do you want to die?" what do you think your answer would have been?