Stuck between a trailer and a hard place
Why do people who own $50,000 of various sorts of RV equipment not seem to be able to afford a place to store it?
On one side of the street is an enormous trailer capable of moving every vehicle on the block, and the rocket scientists then park the massive, diesel-spewing tow vehicle directly across the street, allowing a few feet in the center for traffic to get through.
Try calling the city for an exercise in frustration.
Try talking to the RV owners for an exercise in personal protection.
San Luis Obispo
Thanks a lot, Nixon
What a terrible disgrace Nixon's War on Drugs is! $195 million worth of marijuana is destroyed ("Cross-county effort hits massive marijuana grow site," July 12) when, if it were legal, it would have brought in $15 million in sales tax, $2 million of which would have gone to the county and cities of this county.
There is much less violent crime associated with marijuana use than with the legal drug alcohol. The whole thing was a scheme for Nixon and the war hawks to silence the young Vietnam War protestors. And, of course, once it was funded, local authorities liked having all those federal monies to buy neat stuff, like the fanciest helicopters and Army tanks, for their special drug units.
Talk about pork barrel and wasted taxes and, of course, lives destroyed by incarceration instead of medical treatment.
It seems like the worst presidents we have come from California and Texas.
Buddhist teachers do society a service
Hey New Times. Thanks for the article on local Buddhism ("Seeking freedom of the mind," July 12), and kudos to those who are helping the men at CMC find more awareness and peace. Those generous teachers are doing a great service to society.
San Luis Obispo
Don't forget about this sangha
In the article last week about local Buddhist sanghas ("Seeking freedom of the mind," July 12), the writer omitted the wonderful North County sangha with an affiliation with the White Heron Sangha. It meets at the Atascadero library on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The format starts with a 30-minute meditation, followed by announcements of Buddhist activities and then a 10-minute tea break. From 10 to 11, there is a topic that we study and talk about. We are now working on Lama Sury a Das' Buddha is as Buddha Does. All sentient beings are welcomed. Peace.
For more information, people can phone Jan at 459-4010.
We need responsible gun use
Please allow me to comment on Mr. Alarid's letter ("Most guns are owned for recreation," June 5) about guns' alleged recreational uses. I question whether it is responsible to make heroes of folks who violate gun laws. I believe his figure of 40,000 deaths in shooting crimes might be understated. I also question his contention that "millions of lives are saved by guns" an old and weary line. Finally, his allegations do not refute anything I wrote about gun dangers and the need for responsible use.
In the July 5 New Times is a brief article in the "News and Blues" section confirming my views on gun dangers. A man sleeping at night was wounded by small-bore bullets that penetrated two walls in a drive-by shooting. The line between self-protection and gun aggression is easily crossed. Gun advocates can make a good offense the best defense, gunning down anyone who might be dangerous.
Also, every gun used in crimes was once legal. The legal gun market feeds the illegal black market. Making guns readily available to the law-abiding also makes them more available to criminals.
Again, responsible adults should be allowed to use bolt-actions, shotguns, and some semiautomatics, like our Garand rifle. Bans on civilian use of submachine guns, automatic and auto/semiauto rifles, and light and heavy machine guns should remain.
So I support responsible use of certain classes of guns.
Steve T. Kobara
San Luis Obispo
Give us the hard facts
I had to just shake my head while reading Matt Kokkonen's hit piece on the health care issue ("U.S. Medicine: Don't knock it," July 5). It was no doubt provoked by the film Sicko, by Michael Moore, which he mentions. His argument is called ad hominem in logic. You don't have to provide any hard facts just use the words "socialized medicine" (and throw in socialist and communist where you can!). It raises the scare tactic of the red specter, and we all know what a slippery slope we will be facing: communism!
Stick to the facts, Matt. Show us, with hard data, how we have the best health-care system. How many people exactly wasted their money instead of paying health insurance premiums? Give us the number of Americans who have benefited from the medical research. To be fair, give us the number of sick Americans who have been refused coverage for expensive treatments. And don't forget the number of people who are dropped by their health insurer because the client is no longer profitable.
We cannot have a sensible discussion on health-care issues if we don't address the morality issue. It is not moral to provide health care only to those who can afford it.
J. M. Avila
Chinatown or Cope Land?
Though I was not impressed with the plans for our new Chinatown, I was less impressed with the hypocrisy of this proposal ("No summer break for Chinatown project," July 5). They want to tear down four historical buildings, but will preserve the "antique oven" and the "Shanghai Low Restaurant sign" to preserve the flavor of Chinatown? How precious.
Give me a break, and just call a spade a spade. Call it Cope Land. Calling it Chinatown is an embarrassment to this community.
San Luis Obispo
Help us to protect Cayucos
Howdy, all. In regard to Decicco's "Cayucos Del Mar" project, I would like to point out that there has been a truly remarkable positive outcome as a result of this proposed development. It has brought this community closer together.
When the project was first brought to our attention by an article in the Bay News, Cayucos residents began talking to each other and a grass roots organization quickly became the "Concerned Citizens of Cayucos." This project has brought together people in Cayucos who would otherwise have never met each other. At a meeting of the Cayucos Citizens Advisory Council at the Vets Hall, there was a standing room only overflow crowd opposing the project. A petition opposed to the project has been circulating and has more than 1,200 signatures. There have been fundraisers and informative events letting people know about this "project."
We have become a "neighborhood" that has spread through all of Cayucos and beyond. As a result, we are forming new friendships and becoming more vigilant and active in our community.
To fully understand the problems associated with and the scale of this project and its impact on our residential neighborhood, please visit our web site: www.cayucosproject.com. Help us protect what is left that makes Cayucos such a special and unique coastal town by signing the secure online petition.
Show some courtesy on the Bob Jones Trail
I have been an avid walker on the Bob Jones Trail since it opened many years ago. Lately it has been getting a lot more use, which is nice to see. However, there are still those people who insist on not putting their dogs on leashes and the dogs come running up to you and your dog, who is on a leash and they just say "he's harmless." Famous last words from so many people "He never did that before." It's just common courtesy, people, please. Use the dog leashes.
And then there are those people probably the same ones who don't clean up after their dogs! What is that all about? Can't you read the signs posted where the supply of poop bags is? Clean up after your pet!
And then there are those people who think it's funny to leave their pet's poop there on the side of the road with a picture of Bush in it. Clever, but there are better ways to advertise your political agenda than to leave your dog's messes on our trail. It's not your trail it's ours. Please have common courtesy.
San Luis Obispo
Make government less about money
Under our current election system, corporate and wealthy special interest groups have too much influence over candidates and lawmakers once they are elected. Campaigners have to be rich or well connected to run a viable campaign. This process often discourages qualified people from running for office.
The Fair Elections Now Act would level the field by providing public campaign funding. This would allow qualified people with new ideas to run for office. The Fair Elections Now Act would provide funding only to those who qualify, agree to strict spending limits, and accept small contributions from individuals. This would help candidates spend less time fundraising and more time talking to voters about issues that matter.
We could truly be a government "for the people, by the people."
Keep a close watch on our money
In the 1980s, the printing of our money was granted to the Federal Reserve, which, in spite of its name, is not a government agency, but rather a consortium of private banks that decided it could make money by printing money and convinced the Reagan Congress to "make it so." The Reserve did not want to mint our coin as it could not see profit in it.
Circumstances have changed, however, and the U.S. Mint, which is a government agency, has through its program of commemorative coins, state coins, etc. been returning billions in profit to our treasury. This has not escaped the attention of private, profit-making entities such as the Federal Reserve, its board, and its dividend-hungry shareholders.
Thus came into being HR 5818, a bill introduced by a gaggle of non-celebrity members of the House of Representatives, and therefore "under the radar." This bill purports to get rid of the penny, an apparently innocuous goal, though the rounding out of otherwise uneven prices to the highest or lowest even number would cost the consumer and the ethical businessman both money and grief.
Buried in the bill, however, is language that turns the minting of U.S. coin over to the Federal Reser ve, a private, profit-making group. Thus, the billions of dollars of profit currently returned to the U.S. Treasury to defray the costs of government borne by you and me, the taxpayers, would now go into the pockets of the already wealthy, whose taxes have been cut to 15 percent on their dividend profits by this administration, while yours and mine hover around 35 percent on our earned income.
Is this either right or fair? Silly question. Lobbyists' money talks and common sense and morality walk.
Contact your representatives and urge them to vote against this bill. Apathy and inattention will cost us dearly, and though it sometimes seems otherwise, our collective voices do matter.