Standardized tests are rubber rulers
Thanks so much for the article regarding standardized testing ("This is only a test," Aug. 11-18), and double thanks to Ivan Simon of the SLOHS English department.
Standardized tests may have a place in education, but unless we accept them for the rubber ruler they are, we're up the educational creek with a mesh paddle.
Sharon Frederick did slap someone
Per the letter from Joyce Albright ("Sharon Frederick did not slap anyone," Aug. 18-25) - Joyce needs to get her facts straight. Sharon Fredrick did indeed slap Jan Garbedian on the night in question. There is an "Incident Report" and Frederick was cuffed and hauled off to the "slammer" during the June LOCSD Board meeting. Seems as though there was an outstanding "bench warrant" for Frederick's arrest and the sheriff's department "nabbed" her at the meeting. Where there's smoke, there's fire, as the saying goes. So much for this "woman with impeccable credentials." I cannot believe that she earns her living "teaching people how to care for babies." Hell, she can't even take care of herself, given her well-reported and documented "outburst"! Not only does she need to be segregated from society at large, but, given her record, she should not be anywhere near children.
Mrs. Pearl Seiberg
What do you know, Joe?
In response to the letter from Joe Sparks ("No recall," Aug. 18-25), where the hell did he come from? He suddenly started showing up at the LOCSD meetings - I have been attending those meetings for well over two years, and Mr. Sparks only showed up within the last six to nine months. What is he up to and what is he expecting to derive from foisting the most costly sewer system in the U.S. upon the poor folks in Los Osos? Could it be that Jeff Edwards has him in his "back pocket"? Just something to think about.
Billie Rae Bollman
Facts first, Mr. Watterworth
Ah, I see from Mr. Hank Watterworth's Aug. 18-25 letter ("Schicker and Tacker are traitors") that is possible to fool a whole lot of people a whole lot of the time. Seems a purloined and hilariously misdirected e-mail was read aloud at a recent Los Osos CSD meeting. All kinds of claims were made in the e-mail by its author, and Mr. Watterworth is ready to gleefully hang the "turncoat" CSD members referred to in the e-mail.
What was missing in the purloined e-mail, of course, was any evidence that any claims in the document were actually true. Apparently Mr. Watterworth doesn't understand that anyone can claim any sort of chicanery in an e-mail, slander anyone by telling the most outrageous lies possible, all with absolutely no proof whatsoever and somebody - in this case, Mr. Watterworth - will believe it all.
What's interesting about this incident, however, is why CSD attorney Jon Seitz didn't stop the reading of the letter the moment he got wind of its content and request an immediate adjournment into closed session. Unless, of course, he had seen a copy of it and knew all about the planned public reading beforehand? If that was the case, then that raises all sorts of other interesting questions.
Clearly, there's a whole lot more to this story than has appeared in the papers. But, Mr. Watterworth's right about one thing: Hanging first, evidence and facts later. It's much more fun that way.
We want our LOCSD-TV
I have just learned that the Los Osos Community Services District has cut back their use of Channel 20 and will only show the most recent meeting from 10 p.m. to 5:45 a.m. They will also be running some sewer commercials - Madison Avenue-style narrations of excerpts from Water Board letters, obviously meant to scare our community into thinking we can't move the sewer, when of course those very same letters tell us the Water Board cannot mandate a method or location of cleaning up our pollution problem, just that we must.
Shame on you, LOCSD, for using my money to intimidate me and my elderly neighbors with threatening excerpts. Shame on the new public information officer, Michael Drake, for spinning; just what you vowed you wouldn't do.
It is clear you are meddling in the recall election using District funds.
Fouche, Senet, and Cesena absolutely support a sewer project, but their expertise and common sense tells us what we always knew: Any sewer belongs out of town.
Take down your yard sale signs
Well, it looks like it is garage/yard sale time again. I like going to yard sales, but I am getting a little frustrated with it. I am tired of following signs for a few miles just to find out that it was a yard sale last week. I would think if people make some money at their sale, they could at least buy a gallon of gas and go take their signs down. They are left on poles for weeks and even months and finally fall down. Just take a drive down Tefft Street in Nipomo and see for yourself. It makes the streets look shabby.
I went on a four-mile drive around Nipomo today and pulled down over 50 old signs. Some were over a month old. My first thought was to go to the addresses on them and throw them in your front yard. You are littering "our" yard, so why not litter yours? Well, I didn't. I picked them up. So if you had a yard sale recently on Kent, Knott's, Burton, Oak Glen, Colt Lane, or Day Street, you don't need to go take your sign down. I did it for you, thank you. Please take down your signs after your sale and help keep our town looking nice.
Stephen M. Myers
Random act of kindness
I am writing this to say thank you to the wonderful woman who stopped to help me when my car got a flat tire Tuesday evening Aug. 16 on Highway 1, next to Camp San Luis Obispo. I had already called for a tow truck but was waiting alone on the side of the road for what seemed eternity. This wonderful female stranger pulled behind me to see if I was okay, and then proceeded to wait with me until help arrived. She explained that she understood it was sometimes frightening to be a woman alone on the side of the road. She was a true angel and all she did was stay with me. Unfortunately with all that was going on I did forget her name, but I will never forget her kindness.
This is one of the wonderful things about our community; we look out for one another. If I ever see another female driver stranded alone on the side of the road I will remember this woman's compassion and stop to see if she needs assistance. I may not be able to fix anything, but sometimes just being there to help wait for a tow truck or highway patrol officer makes the biggest difference. At least, in my case it did!
Get a clue, Shredder
I was not surprised to be misquoted by the Shredder, but to have my name misspelled! That is an outrage! Having observed the Sewer Wars from across the Bay for so many years, I can only hope that Los Osos voters will vote in record number and move on with the task at hand. After all, isn't one of the first things we learn is that you need to take care of your own poop?
It's the big picture, Mr. Hornaday
Jeff Hornaday's article, "Lots of leaks, still no sewer" (News, Aug. 18-25), was a disappointment, especially since I gave him the facts beforehand.
Mr. Hornaday knows an e-mail confidentiality statement is not binding when purposefully sent to a third party.
My attorney explained confidentiality statements started with the advent of fax machines. If an attorney's office faxes a client, and the attorney mistypes the fax number, sending the item astray, then the confidentiality statement comes into play. But when a confidential correspondence is purposefully sent to third parties, confidentiality no longer holds. Mr. Hornaday saw my name on the address line was a third party. My attorney assures I was under no legal obligation to keep the information confidential - it was freely given to me as a third party.
Why focus on tiny details and not the big picture? That's probably easier because the issue is so big. The big picture? The sewer opponents and their recall candidates have no plan, much less one that meets the Regional Water Quality Board's requirements. Their "plan" is to stop the project.
The year 1984 saw the sewer cost at $34.6 million with 87 percent paid by the federal government. Today it's $150 million with low-interest loan financing. If they stop the project, we lose the low-interest loan, are forced to more expensive financing, lose the possibility of the $35 million WRDA federal grant money, and still have to build the project. Sewer opponents promise nothing except more delays, more costs.
Now, that's a big picture.
Some new gun facts for you, Steve
I just read the letter by Steve T. Kobara in the Aug. 11-18 issue ("Thanks for the gun viewpoints"). I wish I had been able to read his other letters. This one was quite humorous. I hope he was writing tongue in cheek. The class III "machine guns" I think he is talking about have been banned to the general public since 1934. The only "belt-fed automatics" I am aware of are military machine guns and they fall into that category.
If he is talking about the BMG 50 that the governor just signed the bill against, he has the wrong information. It is a single-shot bolt-action rifle that has been around for over 50 years. It is also the only "gun" that has never been used in a crime in this country.
If he is talking about the AKA and similar semiautomatic military look-alikes, he is wrong again. They can only fire once when the trigger is pulled. These guns are used in between 1 and 2 percent of the crimes in this country.
Gun restriction laws only work on the law-abiding citizen. They do not stop the evil bad people who are doing the bad things. Guns are used between 1 million and 2 million times a year to stop crimes. That is about four times more than guns are used in crimes. Remember, "Criminals prefer unarmed victims" and "Society is safer when criminals do not know who is armed." Criminals are basically cowards preying on the helpless.
Funny, I don't feel dead...
In reading the Aug. 18-25 issue, I was alarmed to read in the American Heart Association's advertisement on page 36 that someone in "this county" dies of cardiovascular disease every 33 seconds. I felt compelled to calculate how many people a year that would be. While I am nervous to open my math skills to the scrutiny of the entire county, I came up with over 955,636 deaths every year. (My calculation: 1 per second would be 60 per minute, times 60 minutes per hour, times 24 hours per day, times 365 days per year. Divide that by 33 to get 1 death per 33 seconds instead of 1 death every 1 second, right?) In a county of just over 253,000 in 2003, I find this figure alarming to say the least.
While often employed by what I consider worthy causes like the American Heart Association, I often feel a little manipulated by the "Every [blank] seconds, something truly hideous happens" tactic. This is exactly why.
Elizabeth C. Smallwood
San Luis Obispo