Opinion » Letters



Commentary jumped to racial conclusions
Freelance writer Shawna Galassi sees the disproportionate representation of blacks in prison as part of a plot to disenfranchise black voters ("Felony disenfranchisement," Oct. 12). But men, compared to women, are also disproportionately represented in prison. Does this mean there is also a plot to disenfranchise male voters?

Too many people jump to the conclusion of racial discrimination whenever the racial composition of a particular subpopulation (convicts, college students, NFL quarterbacks) is found to differ from that of the general population.

Joe Erikat

San Luis Obispo



SLO city could learn from Santa Maria
Your article on county code enforcement made me glad to know that someone actually cares about their community ("Complaints drive car clean-up orders," Oct. 5). Thank you Harley Voss and Art Trinidade for your efforts to clean up SLO County. As a code enforcement officer in the wonderful city of Santa Maria, I understand the frustrations and constant challenges. Your efforts are to be commended.

Unfortunately, as a resident of the City of San Luis, I find the city code enforcement completely nonexistent. The city continues to stick with its motto "If we ignore it, it doesn't exist." FYI: If you ignore it, it will continue (as it has) to get worse. Home Depot has had an abandoned car in its parking lot for almost a year yes, Mr. City Attorney, it's still there! Food 4 Less/Trader Joe's currently has two.

Today, my son and I came across a giant pile of trash, personal belongings, and an overwhelming smell of urine in the bushes on the northwest corner of the Trader Joe's parking lot, clearly visible from the street. Near the easternmost exit at the Home Depot, there have been two shopping carts filled with trash and partially covered by a blue tarp left for several months. Numerous campers are found in the Trader Joe's parking area, as well as on Long Street across from Kennedy Fitness and on Sacramento. The city of SLO apparently has no desire to enforce any laws regarding camping on public streets. It appears that the owners of the shopping center where Trader Joe's is located feel that it is an acceptable use of their property to allow camping and storage of numerous vehicles many just stored, others up for sale. Does this city have conditional-use permits to address this type of blight? Wake up! This problem isn't going to get any better. The city of SLO has a lot to learn from people like Harley and Art, and certainly from the wonderful city of Santa Maria.

Michelle Tasseff

San Luis Obispo



Don't stereotype students
The commentary on Cal Poly students, in my opinion, was not nice at all ("I want to be a Cal Poly student," Oct. 5). To stereotype and put everyone into a catalog of being bad, or not caring, or not being responsible, is very irresponsible on your part. I work for a local nonprofit agency, and we have benefited from very responsible volunteers from Cal Poly in our program.

Sure, we have all heard stories of students getting involved in mischief and so on. I was young once, and I did a few things that I look back at now and say, 'That wasn't very responsible." But it is also permanent residents who live here in San Luis Obispo, and they are not students, and they use their front and/or backyards to leave abandoned cars and other useless items. Let's not forget those outstanding citizens who leave furniture on the sides of isolated roads instead of properly disposing of the said items. These are not students. They are residents of our county.

A suggestion to you would be to go out and introduce yourself and meet your student neighbors. The rewards of meeting people from all walks of life are very rewarding, and you might find in that a longtime friendship.

Bob Crandall

Morro Bay



Keep up the good work, New Times
Recently, I was enjoying sitting on my patio, enjoying the warm evening, when my thoughts were interrupted by the phone ringing. I was in a good mood, so I ignored the fact that I didn't recognize the number, and answered. It being an election time, I wasn't surprised when the lady on the phone asked if I would answer a few questions for her political survey. "Why not?" I replied, and she began.

The survey dealt mostly with the Atascadero City Council election and the handling or mishandling of the annex project. Would I vote for so-and-so? Did I think the city administrators were doing a good job? Of course, there were several questions dealing with the big "W" as well.

All in all, it took about 10 minutes, and I only had to correct the woman five times on the pronunciation of Atascadero.

She thanked me for my time and said she had one more question: "Do you read the San Loui Obispo New Times paper?" The question stopped me, and it wasn't because she mispronounced San Luis Obispo. I asked her to repeat the question, and she did. I had to laugh. I said "yes" and hung up.

I have to say congratulations to you, New Times, for stirring the pot. You have people worried, and I think that is great. I have lived in this county my whole life, and I know how biased our mainstream media can be. You may have had some trouble in the past, but you should be proud of your work of late. Good job, and keep inspiring accountability.

Jeni Weiss




Take your yard signs in at night
Some people must really be afraid that Christine Mulholland is going to be the next mayor of San Luis Obispo, because they stole all of Ms. Mulholland's political signs from my yard in the middle of the night.

My advice to all who do not want their yard signs stolen is to put them in their windows or take them in at night and only put them out in the daytime.

These signs are expensive, and stealing them is illegal. When I reported my theft to the SLO Police Department, I was told that "this was happening all over town."

Naoma Wright

San Luis Obispo



Please study Measure J
Your paper had quite a spread on the Dalidio proposal! Those for it have signs up everywhere, and if you don't see any signs against Measure J, it's because they are vandalized, i.e. removed. They were put up legally!

Please study the issues. There are no plans for traffic flow. The initiative was written to free the out-of-town developers. We in San Luis Obispo already voted it out once, so the opposition has made it a county issue.

I am against Measure J, and I am a voting citizen.

Donna M. Wilson

San Luis Obispo



Cap the Paso Robles school bond
Measure T 06, the Paso Robles school bond, needs a cap to limit the taxpayers' liability. It should be set to cover the cost of the bond. This would be at approximately $35 million the school board knows what it is.

When that cap has been met, the collection of property tax for funding the bond should be discontinued.

Without the cap, the Paso Robles school district will collect tens of millions of dollars in taxes over 25 years as a windfall profit. This is due to the expansion of the property tax base, a function both of rising house prices and the building of new taxable property.

With such a cap, they will be assured of collecting enough to pay for the bond, and the taxpayers will know that they cannot collect more than that.

I. J. Swarbrick

Paso Robles



Where's the pro-growth mayor candidate?
There is no real distinction between any of the candidates in the SLO mayoral race! All we have are radical anti-growth Democrats and not-so-radical anti-growth Democrats! There are those of us in town who have a positive reaction to the words "growth," "development," and "business." Where is our candidate? We want a mayor who understands that it is business that has made this town great, not government. The government in this town needs to stop naively squashing and squeezing the life out of business and progress, thinking they can engineer the "perfect lifestyle" through legislation and political will.

And tell the City Council to stop putting their names on new buildings and parking structures downtown. The people and businesses of this town pay for those projects not the City Council.

Zach Frederick

San Luis Obispo



Rodger Anderson makes Cuesta proud
As a Cuesta College graduate and current employee, I would like to encourage San Luis Obispo residents in the 2nd District to vote for Rodger Anderson. Rodger has actively served the community for more than 25 years. His proven leadership and experience give him an obvious advantage over his opponent. His terms as councilmember and mayor of Morro Bay have given him the perfect "training ground" to hold the position of supervisor. Rodger has a track record of being fiscally responsible and has a balanced view of what is best for the Central Coast.

Cuesta College's motto Lifelong Learning Happens encourages students to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. Our school has already produced a wonderful leader in Sam Blakeslee. I would be proud to have Rodger Anderson, another Cuesta College honored alumnus, represent us as our 2nd District Supervisor.

Cathie Babb

San Luis Obispo



John Spatafore deserves our votes
As a retired educator, I am always interested in who is elected to the board for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District. This year, an outstanding individual, John Spatafore, is running for a seat on this board. During the time that I have known John, he has proven to be a consistently strong advocate for children and their needs in our schools. John has been highly involved with youth sports groups for a number of years, and he was appointed to San Luis Coastal's Board of Trustees when a vacancy occurred.

Since he has served on the district's board and on several district committees, including the Budget Reduction Committee, the Personnel Commission, and the Superintendent's Advisory Committee, John has proved that he has the ability to focus on issues that serve the best interests of all of the children, and he does so while being able to help draw together various interest groups. John's strengths lie in maximizing the district's resources and planning effectively and creatively for the future. John is an asset to the board and deserves our votes.

Dr. Susan Dressler

retired vice president of instruction,

Cuesta College



Remember: Schwarzenegger's an actor
Most polls show Schwarzenegger ahead. If accurate, this probably means a percentage of Democrats and progressives plan to vote the celebrity ticket. Stop! If you're for better public education, a tax structure that benefits the middle class rather than large corporations, more affordable healthcare, and alternative energy development remember, the Gov. is a Republican, he's backed by large corporations, this is an election year, and he's an actor.

Less than a year ago, Schwarzenegger was showing his true colors as he spent bundles of taxpayer and corporate money attacking public school funding, public school teachers, worker unions, and progressive California politics in general by attempting to redraw district lines. It's one thing to suspend belief for a couple of hours watching Schwarzenegger defeat the bad guy. It's another to believe he'll be the champion of the progressive causes that mean so much to Californians.

Keith Wimer

Los Osos



This party can be deadly
Seven words that describe the Republican Party: lust, gluttony, greed, wrath, envy, pride, and sloth. Would you vote for these attributes?

Jim Nelson


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