Opinion » Letters



It'll take more than paint to fix the graffiti epidemic

So, you've noticed a rise in graffiti in the San Luis Obispo area within the past few years ("The writing on the wall," Feb. 21)? I've noticed some changes, too. I've noticed the Costco. I've noticed the giant parking lots and the glowing signs. I find those chunks of concrete and glowing letters so much more offensive than any tag on any wall. I never asked to look at those signs every time I go to work. And the worst part is no one is going to paint over them for me.

If you think you have a problem with some tags or illegal artwork, don't just paint over it. If you think the children are being influenced, don't just start some anti-vandalism program. I've got news for you: D.A.R.E didn't work for anyone I knew. Start a program that teaches children how to express ideas and issues in a constructive way, don't just teach them to say no and follow the rules. Maybe then they'll stop spraying their emotions all over your precious town.

You say you feel sorry for these people? They're "disturbed"? Not only that, but they wouldn't even be doing these things if graffiti weren't in the background of every movie and TV show? You see increasing amounts of graffiti in movies because our society is slowly suffocating. More and more youth are acting out their frustrations. They're giving society a piece of their own mind. Hell, maybe they're just pissed because you're spending time and money on paint rather than effective rape prevention programs, public transportation, or, God forbid, a real homeless shelter.

Sorry folks, but this graffiti epidemic ultimately reflects on more problems than can be covered up with a few cans of Joe's paint.

Priscilla Pineda

San Luis Obispo




Why not reach out to Dan DeVaul?

Is there a neighbor anywhere who will say they will welcome a homeless shelter or a people's kitchen in view of their property? No one that I know.

Mr. DeVaul is reaching out a helping hand to those who no one else will help ("County gets tough, personal, with Dan DeVaul," Feb. 21). But it seems that, to our code enforcement, it is more important to have expensive permits purchased than to help the less fortunate among us.

I just read that our South County community leaders are meeting to try to find a solution to our homeless problem. Why don't they reach out to Mr. DeVaul, offer to help him clean up his property, and get the permits needed to keep Sunny Acres open.

Maybe if kindness was given to Mr. DeVaul like he is giving to those living at Sunny Acres, he would be willing to use some of his 72 acres to help other homeless families.

Will code enforcement and South County community leaders looking for a solution for our homeless be willing to reach out to Dan DeVaul to see if something wonderful could be worked out that would benefit all the homeless in our community? Seventy-two acres could allow plenty of room between Sunny Acres and family units.

I called and talked with Mr. DeVaul, and he was receptive to any idea that would benefit the community in solving our homeless problem and help those among us who need our support.

Please, will all of you work together to make our beautiful community even better by helping the homeless? They need the community help.

Betty Woody

Avila Beach




The county has more important issues than Dan DeVaul

In response to the article about Dan DeVaul of Sunny Acres ("County gets tough, personal, with Dan DeVaul," Feb. 21), I realize that none of us knows the entire story, but it does appear that this man has been operating his sober living facility for several years without complaint. When suddenly his facility becomes front-page news for months and years, it seems that something else has changed.

Many people don't understand how expensive treatment programs are, and how few of them there are. Treatment also costs the taxpayers of this county dearly. Why are we not doing everything we can to aid Dan DeVaul in his mission to help people who need exactly this aid? It is difficult enough to be a homeowner and try to comply with all the regulations involved in any change or improvement. How about having the county change its outlook and realize how much good he is doing? Pretend he is not a thorn in your side and is providing a valuable service that is much needed instead?

I'm certain that the Board of Supervisors has other really important issues to take up its time and energy.

Mica Krieger





Cycling doesn't have to be that dangerous

When I started reading Mr. Fleischman's piece about the dangers of bicycling in SLO ("Riding a bike can be hazardous to your health," Feb. 14), I thought at first that maybe he just was the victim of bad luck. I have been living and cycling on the Central Coast for almost 30 years and have had only one vehicle-related incident that had me really worried. That was an intentional act on a rural road at about 10 p.m. on a Friday night--a risky time to be on the road, even with good lights. Granted, I have done primarily recreational riding for most of that time, and I may be somewhat lucky too, but I do ride in town as well.

As I read further--particularly the part where he decries the laws requiring cyclists to behave as other vehicle operators--I came to the conclusion that his misfortunes are due in large part to his own ignorance about how to ride safely in traffic. He needs to take a class on "effective cycling" (taught locally on occasion) and not only learn how to ride in a manner that minimizes risk of vehicular conflict but explains why cyclists are safer as part of the traffic flow. Cycling does have some inherent dangers, and there are a few aggressively dangerous drivers out there, but riding a bike does not have to be as hazardous as Mr. Fleischman perceives it to be.

It will also help if he can overcome his antagonistic attitude toward vehicle operators. While his points about the environmental impact of cars are valid, he has allowed his dislike of the situation to dominate his attitude, and this is probably reflected in his public behavior as well. I hope that he can open up his mind and look at cycling from a more "coexistent" point of view--he'll be both safer and happier.

Similarly, if he can take a more patient view of change in societal habits, he'll

find that the frustration and futility of wishful thinking will not drag him down so much.

Ron Holt

Pismo Beach




School shootings are tragic, but not surprising

We have seen lots of grief expressed as a result of the latest string of school shootings. This is understandable. What I do not understand is why there is so much "surprise" at what has taken place. Why should any of us be surprised? All of us have stood by while, all around us, a popular culture has developed that encourages and in fact rewards the use of violence and violent images.

For years, television and feature films have been packed with violence, of course. Even Rambo recently came out of his retirement home to blow away people on the big screen. But violence has seeped into society at an even deeper level. Have you stopped lately to notice the violent images that are appearing in other places? Skulls and skeletons are now a fashion trend. The hand grenade is a commonly seen automotive window decal--as if it is a thing of beauty. Just the other day, I saw a product logo sticker on the back of a pick-up truck. The logo included a graphic image of a sawed-off shotgun. This kind of macabre "marketing" is supposed to be a good thing?

All of these images, and innumerable other ones, are targeted toward the teen and 20-something age groups that have been victims of the recent school shootings. (You know, the culture that also embraces the idea "Get rich or die tryin'.") Our society has created a blizzard of violent images and marketed them as "cool," and for that reason, we have no justification for expressing surprise when young people take the next step and act out what they have seen. Society is simply reaping what the marketers have been selling (and what many have gleefully bought into, unaware of the eventual and inescapable consequences).

Doug Swanson

San Luis Obispo




Gay marriage ban amounts to unfair taxation

I received one of those automated sales calls this morning. It was from an organization wanting to make sure marriage is only between a man and a woman. Obviously the religiously righteous are at it again, this time with a lot more money.

It is my prayer that straight people start dealing with this issue using their heads, hearts, and compassion versus reacting with fear and intimidation.

There are currently more than 1,000 state and federal laws that negatively affect my partner and me by use of the term "civil marriage." These laws affect a myriad of life issues, including visitation rights when a partner is in the hospital the amount of income tax we each pay how an estate is taxed when one partner dies how our home is taxed and potentially lost after one partner dies and the fact that Social Security benefits, including $255 toward burial, may not be received by the surviving partner even though each one of us has worked and paid into that system for more than 35 years.

My partner and I are totally committed to our relationship and our family. We, like most married people, would like to pass along our hard-earned assets to one another and then eventually to our family members versus losing them to taxes. The issue of "gay marriage" is simply a matter of unfair treatment and unfair taxation and it is time these injustices are rectified.

Ethel Landers





All we need is an enemy

Without an enemy, how do we keep our arms factories in full tilt? How do we use up all the bombs that we can produce?

Unless we have an enemy, Iraq is our star enemy. Look what we used up until now. Our factories can make bombs and more bombs nonstop.

All we need is an enemy. I wonder if some of our arms factories that make the bombs are now made overseas. Better profit that way. The sad part is that this is not a laughing matter.

Milt Shochet

San Luis Obispo

Add a comment