Opinion » Letters



Welcome to the party

I’ve got to hand it to my fellow Los Osos resident, Ben DiFatta—now that Judge Tangeman threw out a ruling adverse to building a clean, healthy sewer system in Los Osos, and then seeing anti-sewer supervisorial candidate Judy Vick soundly beaten. Ben has a letter in the June 8 New Times (“Support Blakeslee’s plan for Los Osos�) that begins with this line: “This sewer issue has gone on long enough.� I couldn’t agree with you more, Ben. It sounds as if you’ve finally joined the party.

It would be useful, my friend, to send that same message to Chairperson Schicker and her cohorts. It’s not too late to save Los Osos from them, and I greatly appreciate your change of heart.

Lee Ferrero

Los Osos

Some terrorists dying won’t make a difference

The death of Al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda terrorist, means less to the Iraqi mess we are in than the Dodgers winning a game now means to who wins the world series. This hoopla over his death is as Shakespeare said: "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

What happens to a few terrorists will not make a gnat’s difference. What makes the difference is U.S. military imperialism, which has created thousands of terrorists like Zarqawi, and will keep creating more and more and more. Only our withdrawal from Iraq will stop it.

The hawks didn’t—and still don’t—like it that we withdrew from Vietnam, and they will fight us getting out of Iraq. But like the bullies they are, they only know how to get us into war—not how to win it. And never will. Thinking in black and white in a multicolor world leads only to misery.

Roy Berger

Arroyo Grande

Don’t push your vegetarian agenda on me

Good job, Katie Baker (“Living in filth,� June 1). You certainly have learned a lot from the Bush administration. It is ridiculous to assert that to avoid the bird flu, you should become a vegetarian. What an idiotic notion.

First of all, there is no bird flu in the United States yet, and there is no human version of this flu. The news hype is just that—at this point. The people who currently contract the disease are generally those who work with large quantities of birds, in other countries, which leaves out most of the U.S. population. This does NOT extrapolate to "eat ANY meat and you risk getting the bird flu." Why don't you find out a little bit of the science before you spew fear for no reason other than to push your vegetarian agenda? Sorry, but I am not threatened by your scare tactics.

Katie, if being a vegetarian is so easy, then why do we have teeth for eating meat? Why is it difficult for even "true believers" to be completely vegetarian? I have known many who find it difficult to abstain (and "cheat," regardless of their animal-welfare beliefs), and it seems that you think you are more "virtuous" than the rest of us because you fight your natural and God-given desire to eat meat. You are not superior, and those of us who still choose to eat meat are not moral failures for our choice.

I have no intention of trying to change you into a meat eater, so why do you insist on trying to convert me to vegetarianism? It's none of your business, and I don't appreciate misinformation being spread for no good reason other than you just can't keep you nose out of other people's business.

Julie Hansen

Los Osos

Fight pesticides and buy organic

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is supposed to protect our health and the environment—so why do they continue to allow the use of organophosphate and carbamate pesticides without conducting adequate safety and risk-assessment tests?

The EPA has until Aug. 3 to issue a final tolerance approval for 20 organophosphate and carbamate pesticides, which were derived from WWII nerve agents. Organophosphate and carbamate pesticides are banned in many industrialized countries, including England, Sweden, and Denmark. These agents are considered by most scientists to be particularly dangerous for fetuses, infants, and children.

I urge you to write the EPA at U.S. EPA Region 9, 75 Hawthorne St., San Francisco, CA 94105 or through their web site at www.epa.gov and tell them to adopt maximum exposure protections for these dangerous agents or take them off the market permanently. In the meantime, it's more important than ever to buy organic.

Cathe Olson

Arroyo Grande

Lost in ‘Les Miserables’

Whoever wrote the article "As the floor turns" (June 1) either has tunnel vision or is blind in one eye and can't see out the other.

I was first appalled by the way the critic compared one child actor to the other, thereby excluding the alternates. I personally saw the show opening night and thought that Mika Kilpelainen (Gavroche) totally rocked! Did you see the energy in his fingertips? And Molly Dobbs (the young Cosette) was great and made it her own.

Secondly, the critic mentions that some of the people repeated their roles before they graduated, but failed to mention Brian Baldwin from Templeton High school, who was newly cast in the LEAD ROLE as Jean Valjean. He was powerful, phenomenal, and performed unlike anything he has ever done before. Heather Malcolm (who performed Fantine once again) had a touching performance and brought tears to my eyes. Also, another repeat performer was Hailey Boaz (the elder Cosette) who had an incredible voice. Can we have a show of hands for who all can hit those high notes with such ease? Brian, along with his co-stars, deserves credit and should be recognized also.

Susan Skanes


Urge the government to release a report

Thanks for doing your “follow up� series on the past year’s major news stories (June 1). John Peabody’s coverage of the death of Carrizo Monument Manager Marlene Braun was an exemplary and sensitive piece of investigative reporting, and it helped to launch the Department of Interior’s (DOI) investigation of the circumstances leading up to her suicide.

Your piece last week mentioned the fact that so far, the DOI report has not been made public. Your readers might like to know that they can sign an online petition urging the DOI to release the report. It is a very simple process. Just log on to www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/867699812. It is important for the federal government to understand that they can’t just sweep this under the carpet.

Sarah Christie


Go Green, like Bill Denneen

The Democrats have a reputation of "tax and spend." The current Republican Administration has a policy of "borrow and spend." During the past five years, Bush has borrowed more money than did all previous presidents combined while at the same time degrading the environment (habitat) that nurtured us. This is why I am a Green. Join me.

Bill Denneen


Los Osos didn’t get its wish

If the recent articles in the local newspapers are factual, the Los Osos Sewer Saga will be coming to an end, quick. The LOCSD voted 5-0 to allow SLO County to decide where, when, how, and at what cost for the sewer to be built in the middle of a battle-weary little town. How could this happen, and who is responsible? We can all decide for ourselves.

In eight years, the LOCSD has allowed $25 million to be misspent, stolen, or just given away to the consultants, attorneys, and contractors. Why? We can go back to 1998, when someone called the “Solution Group� convinced Los Osos that they could build a “FASTER, BETTER, AND CHEAPER� sewer. This never happened, and this group knew back then that it never would.

Now you must determine: Is there a continuing need for a CSD? Are you willing to pay $500,000 a year to manage the trash and water departments? Has Pandora’s Dream cost this town too much already? Do you know that the “Solution Group� and the “Dissolution Group� are made up of the same people?

All Los Osos asked for was good government, but they never got their wish. Too bad.

Tom Salmon

Baywood Park

Keep Atascadero special

In answer to senior vice president of the Rottman Group Keith Mathias’s request for ideas about what Atascaderans would like to see developed at the Annex, I would like to submit the following:

Country stores with an organic marketplace as the center, clothing, food, wine, specialty stores unlike nearby towns, craftsmen workshops and stores, an art center, children’s activity area, and an independent movie theatre like the Palm in San Luis.

These things will bring people from other areas and off the 101 to spend time and dollars.

Another Wal-Mart here would be a mistake. Let’s keep Atascadero that special, unique place.

Marty Brown


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