Opinion » Letters



Keep up the good work on gas prices

Yes, yes, yes, the price of gas will hit $4 a gallon soon. Yippee, I say. Good job, GW. I'm so thankful that I can contribute to GW and all his Republican buddies' bank accounts while I put less food on the table so I can drive back and forth to work. Keep up the good work, boys.

Ronald Mac

Paso Robles





Settle's arguments weren't germane

Whether we address Honorable SLO City Council member Allen K. Settle or Professor Allen K. Settle, it is immaterial to respond to his letter ("Let me explain residency for elected officials," March 27).

The fact that those elected to Congress often acquire property in locations near Washington, D.C., is not germane to the residency requirement for those serving locally as an elected official. Settle's citation that the Commerce and Contract Clauses of the U.S. Constitution that applies to congressmen is applicable to him as SLO City Council is without merit.

Mr. Allen K. Settle compounds the situation by stating, "I do this and more but occasionally spend time at another property or traveling on city or university business," in that he equates his being on university business with city business.

Furthermore, the last statement, "In addition to serving on the council, I attend several meetings outside the city"--how is this last statement germane to the issue of residency?

Those who serve as officials elected to Congress must serve in Washington, D.C., and indeed have to reside in the vicinity, necessarily far away from the declared residency to be eligible to be elected.

How is this related to one staying in Arroyo Grande on extended stays, maybe more than in the residence declared as the primary residence, to meet the requirement for registering as a bona fide voter in SLO city and serving on the city of San Luis Obispo council?

The logic presented by Professor Allen K. Settle is not conducive to a discourse in lecture period presentation to university undergraduates. However, the rationale presented is one expected from the seasoned politician to express unrelated wide-ranging points that are necessarily full of double-talk.

Brahama D. Sharma

Pismo Beach





Thanks from the fishermen

Well, another well-written article ("Collaborate or collapse," March 27)! It was very timely, as we had a meeting with Congresswoman Lois Capps recently here in Morro Bay. The issues did include the subjects presented in the article and I'm sure it helped her get a clearer understanding of what was going on in her area. She arrived here at 9:30 a.m. and stayed till 2 p.m. We had some very good discussions, and she is interested in our activities and will be acting on our behalf in some of the issues that we are facing on a federal level.

She has been here in the past and is very gracious and has always kept her office very accessible to us. Anyhow, Kathy Johnston's writing made a hit all around, 'cept of course for the ugly mug on the cover.

Thank you, Kathy. You seem to be able to always capture the spirit of the story and get the facts straight. To do both is quite an accomplishment.

Thanks from the Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen's Organization.

Jeremiah O'Brien

Morro Bay





Put local fishing efforts in context

Kathy Johnston's feature article on local fishery conservation efforts ("Collaborate or collapse," March 27) did an excellent job of covering this very encouraging development, and does much to make up for some lopsided previous writing by Ms. Johnston on this subject.

Local cooperative efforts like this are preferable for many reasons to centrally imposed regulation. I'm glad our local fishermen understand the advantages of sustainable fishing and the need for conservation.

But this 2,000-word piece still said very little about why these conservation efforts are needed, and some readers may wonder what all the fuss is about. It also deeply buries the lead, or near-lead: the fact that this year's West Coast salmon season will probably be canceled, an unprecedented disaster that's received wide coverage everywhere but SLO town.

Instead of just alluding to the problem of bycatch--what a lovely euphemism--it may be worth explaining exactly what bycatch is: the catching of unwanted fish and other marine life, most of which is killed or severely injured and dumped over the side.

Every year in the United States alone, more than a million tons of bycatch is discarded, and this amounts to more than 20 percent of fish caught in U.S. waters.

The notorious Gulf of Mexico shrimp harvest is conducted by bottom trawling and results in more than 80 percent bycatch, uprooting countless plants and corals. This is why alternative fishing methods are being developed.

And this is why every journalist needs to learn the four Ws, including "why," along with the big C, "context." This story is playing out amidst a huge worldwide problem of over-fishing and marine destruction.

Bill Persinger

Morro Bay




Anti Wal-Mart propaganda stinks

Thank you for printing John Crippen's excellent commentary, "Wal-Mart isn't a threat" (March 20). Mr. Crippen's common sense is something that the residents of Atascadero of goodwill should take to heart. Today, I read that another large local business is folding in our dying town. Soon, others may follow.

These prophets of doom and gloom who hate Wal-Mart continue to spew their propaganda manure and it stinks! These snob socialists want to tell the rest of us where to shop or not to shop. These mean-spirited folks are indeed a sore lot. I see them at the City Council meetings on a regular basis. I wonder when they last cracked a smile?

They certainly do not speak for many of us, nor do they have anything of value to offer when it comes to bringing business, revenue, or jobs to Atascadero. These superior elites insult those who work at Wal-Mart or shop there. They consider such people stupid and inferior. If these socialists have jobs or prices lower than Wal-Mart, then they should put their money where their big nasty mouths are.

Meanwhile, we shall see these vocal Wal-Mart haters at future City Council meetings and hear their toxic nonsense. It's sad that they are so angry and unhappy. Perhaps spring will bring a smile to their long faces. We can dream, can't we?

Constantino Santos






Opposing Wal-Mart is fine by me

I have never been prouder of Atascadero and its positive citizen action. Tom Comar's opinion piece critiquing Wal-Mart and its assured negative effects on their community and economy ("The case against Wal-Mart," March 27) is accurate, well documented, and persuasive to me.

Pro Wal-Mart types like John Crippen ("Wal-Mart isn't a threat," March 20) are used to skating by the truth instead of facing it, which is why it is so refreshing to see Atascadero citizens challenge Wal-Mart falsehoods, overstatements, and their general nationwide con job. I am one here in San Luis Obispo who has never--do not now and will never--shop at any Wal-Mart. That's because I have long seen their negative effects.

I consider the Oppose Wal-Mart group and Atascadero Shield Initiative to be fine examples for other groups who want to preserve local control, small and medium business, and our Central Coast character.

Way to go, people!

Bob McAfee

San Luis Obispo





Remember that we're all human

I am a senior at Atascadero High School. Whenever I go down to San Luis Obispo, I see lots of homeless people. I know that, for some, it is their choice, but for the people who didn't choose that style of life, I would like to know what this city and, more importantly, the county is doing to help these people. I think we think of them as inferior people and that they're not as important as the rest of us, but I think we forget that we are all human sometimes.

Cody Kleman

Santa Margarita





Progress is good for all

I love Morro Bay and feel that I'm fairly well informed on what's happening here. However, I am in the dark about why we have such a lack of new businesses wanting to open up here. I keep hearing the same thing over and over: "We need new businesses."

Yes, parking in-lieu fees are high, permits are high, but I think there are still enough people and companies who are willing to pay to be here. What I've been hearing about more and more and noticed myself is that a certain couple of members of this current council keep trying ever so hard to keep not all, but most brand-new projects from happening.

I feel that is a big discouragement to anybody. I have heard for myself all the red tape one has to go through here in particular.

Something needs to happen with the old Denny's, which has become an awful eyesore, and I think another chain there would be great. You should call a company you're interested in seeing here and tell them about that site.

Last, let's not get carried away thinking we're losing all our open space or becoming some big, overbuilt place. I love what Morro Bay has and looks like, but if we want better services and roads, then the city must grow in order to survive.

Future money in the pot is depending on tourism and tax revenue. Keep stopping progress, and we will be suffering for many more years to come.

John Zweemer

Morro Bay





Exercise choice and try a veggie burger

I just turned off my television. Channel surfing late at night, I happened on the Channel 2 animal ethics/animal rights programming, stunned. The show was documenting beef slaughter (cows) on our modern American industrial killing floors. The cruelty and abuse made me sick for my species.

The inhumane "industrial production of farm animals" to feed our meat addiction has fueled major pollution of our waterways, given back the least net gain in food value, gobbles up huge energy costs (trucking, refrigeration, grain/hay production, water, etc.) and is saturated with antibiotics, growth hormones, fertilizer residue, feed residues, and adrenaline toxins from their horrifying deaths. Then you've got packaging and E. coli.

If I haven't made my point, here it goes again. When you buy and consume meat products (dairy too!) you are partially responsible for these slaughterhouse scenarios, the giant water use and pollution that factory farming necessarily produces, production and distribution of tons of antibiotics and hormones ultimately into our bodies, air pollution/energy to move and store, and millions of tons of non-healthy accompanying methane gas.

Do the best you can. Try a veggie burger instead of a cow/chicken/pig/lamb burger. We each have the power to look for choices, and they're everywhere.

Linde Owen

Los Osos

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