Poor bicycling baby!
This is with regard to bicyclist Kylie Mendonca's major whine, "Bike tickets are lame" (Nov. 9). Poor baby! Just because stopping her ride at a signal or stop sign "constitutes an unnecessary loss of momentum," she feels that she doesn't need to obey the laws that apply to all of us: drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. It's just not convenient, nor does it fit in with her mindset that bicyclists "ought to be given a little leeway in the way they approach driving laws." Sounds a lot like the attitude that our esteemed president takes toward our laws and Constitution!
She whines that all the fines she's had to pay due to her lack of conforming to the law "contribute to [her] late rent and undernourishment." Again, I say, poor baby! She might always ride with both hands on the bars, but one can only wonder how much of the time she harbors her head in the nether regions of her anatomy.
Cars and bikes alike: Act responsibly
Let me see if I get this right. If a car runs a stop sign and no one else is around to see it, is it still a crime? You bet. According to the California Vehicle Code, cars and bicycles are allowed the same rights and responsibilities. Please act accordingly.
San Luis Obispo
Same roads, same rules, same rights
According to Kylie Mendonca ("Bike tickets are lame," Nov. 9), it is not a crime to run a stop sign on a bicycle if no other traffic is around. She cites the fact that bicycles are self-propelled, much lighter than a car, and have no blind spots among other things to support her claim that bicyclists should have some leeway in obeying driving laws. Can I pick and choose which rules I follow? Nope. All vehicles must obey the same traffic laws. How else can we have a reasonable expectation of the behavior of other drivers of vehicles?
I certainly agree that promotion of cycling should be an active part of our city's growth and transportation plan. The many benefits of cycling as a form of transportation are undisputed. More exercise, less dependence on foreign oil, less emissions, and fewer cars on the road are all very good things.
However, as we encourage others to ride bicycles and we teach our children to use self-propelled transportation, let's teach them the principles of vehicular cycling, which means that we follow all the rules of the road, not just the ones that are convenient.
I do not dispute your statistics, Kylie, and I applaud you for taking the time and energy to gather them. However, given the number of cyclists that I observe constantly breaking laws, I feel that the number of citations issued is extremely small. If all cyclists rode predictably and followed the rules of the road, crashes involving cyclists would dramatically decrease. Then and only then will parents encourage and perhaps even require their children to ride their bikes to school and extracurricular-activity destinations instead of being chauffeured in the family SUV.
The San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition, with assistance from the SLO Bike Club, Air Pollution Control District, and First American Title Company, offers free classes in safe cycling principles to all SLO County residents, taught by League Cycling Instructors (LCI) certified by the League of American Bicyclists. Six of these classes were taught in 2006 and more are planned for 2007. Visit slobikelane.org for more information.
San Luis Obispo
Good for the Dalidios and New Times
I'm so happy for Ernie and Kristy Dalidio ... at long last. (When they first began this project, kids who were born that year are now high school juniors.) I was also happy to see this week's Shredder comments, and the fact that In-N-Out has shown up for the first time, in print, in relation to the project in New Times, of all places. Never thought I'd see the day. You covered this well over the past months while still exerting your signature wild streak in the commentary now and then. Thanks.
You've saved us a trip
Congratulations, Ernie, you ol' country boy, you! Now we'll all be able to experience the wonderful lifestyle of Orange County without having to drive 200 miles. Can't wait to see those butterflies.
Chris Von Der Lohe
Homeless story shouldn't have attacked hospitals
I just finished reading your article, titled "San Luis Obispo's dying fields (Nov. 2). I am sickened by the direction that Karen Velie and New Times chose to take this story. Rather than addressing the disposition of the homeless in a responsible manner, you chose to attack the very institutions that give endless care and attention to the homeless. Our local hospitals give the same care to all regardless of their address or lack thereof.
Hospitals do not house people, nor is it their responsibility. It is the responsibility of our hospitals to triage and treat, admit and discharge. The fact that taxis are called (and paid for) and hotel rooms secured for the homeless is above and beyond what hospitals should be expected to do. It is done because people in healthcare care. Physicians are placed in the awful position to discharge many patients into less-than-favorable conditions daily. The world is full of human catastrophe.
If physicians/hospitals didn't discharge patients after their course of treatment, they would be called hotels. Ask yourself how you would react if your loved one was denied a bed in one of our local hospitals because "they were full with people that had nowhere to go." Your altruistic judgment would be out the door along with your sick family member heading out of the county in search of a hospital that had its vacancy sign on.
The lack of homeless care is a nationwide problem related to the lack of funds and facilities provided to our social agencies, not a lack of medical care or consciousness. After all, our hospitals are the only businesses I know of that give services for free on a daily basis.
Don't put stock in mass-produced letters
With most of the media's attention focused on election results, it has become easy to slip an agenda-driven form letter into a newspaper opinion page. Sean Herbert's Nov. 9 letter telling Americans to stop eating fish ("Think nuts instead of fish for protein") is a great example. The same exact letter, word-for-word, was published by at least 20 other U.S. newspapers this month. Each time, a different person "signed" it.
This scam is run by animal rights groups that preach strict vegetarianism. One such organization, the Farm Animal Reform Movement, uses a computerized system to send thousands of duplicate letters to newspapers every year. Activists are told by e-mail to lie when editors call to verify that they are, indeed, the "authors."
The animal-rights fringe frequently claims that animal protein will be the death of us. But as U.S. meat and fish consumption has increased in recent decades, our life expectancy has skyrocketed too. Besides, zealots who resort to mass-produced phony letters to make their point don't deserve to be taken seriously.
Center for Consumer Freedom
director of research
You can help a child
Celebrate National Adoption Day: Nov. 18. Children are waiting. Through no fault of their own, 118,000 children in the United States that are now in foster care are waiting to find permanent, loving families.
We encourage everyone to join the celebration to help children in foster care find homes to be with forever a child you could care for and love unconditionally and help reach their full potential.
Visit www.nationaladoptionday.org for a list of events already scheduled. Call our local department of social services to look into foster care and adoption.
Every child deserves to live in a safe, loving, and permanent home.
San Luis Obispo
Cruelty isn't fashionable
Fur Free Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when thousands of people, worldwide, congregate in front of fur stores to protest the methods of raising and killing fur animals.
Every fur garment is a product of immense pain and suffering. "Ranched" animals, mostly minks and foxes, spend their entire lives in appalling conditions, only to be killed by painful methods. Because fur "ranchers" care only about preserving the quality of the fur, animals are gassed, strangled, or electrocuted for their pelts.
It is clear that fur, once a symbol of glamour, is now the symbol of vanity, cruelty, and greed. Don't be fooled: There is nothing fashionable about cruelty and pain.
Anyone motivated by compassion toward animals is welcome to join our annual Fur Free Friday protest on Nov. 24, noon, in front of Mr. Michael's Furs, 746 Higuera Street, SLO. For more info, call 441-5897.
San Luis Obispo director
I'm not going nowhere
I moved to this area 17 years ago, like others, to get away from the city. To be close to the ocean, small communities, and the rolling hills. This is Paradise. I'm not a college graduate and neither is my wife, but my wife and myself live in a modest home raising our two boys. The two of us both work (blue collar jobs) and we do okay, considering that this area has become very expensive to live in. Just like other employees, we like to receive raises, too. However, you would think that after listening to the political ads and reading the paper, the only ones we really care about are teachers, nurses/doctors, and police officers.
"We have to make it so they can afford to live here." What about the rest of us? What about the clerk at the grocery store or salesman at Sears or the mechanic at a car dealer? When you go out for dinner, who's going to wait on you? Or when you go to the lumberyard, who's going to help you load your car? Don't you think they want to live here, too? We would like it more affordable, but you sure don't see us in the paper whining.
Then you hear of a person complaining, "I've been here 30 years and I only earn $75,000 a year and I can earn more somewhere else." Sounds to me like you should be doing very well. But if $75,000 isn't enough, well MOVE. Yep, you can say he should have gotten an education to better himself, and you are right. But I chose to do what I do, just as a cook or a salesman or delivery person did. Just as you chose to do what you do. However, I'm not going nowhere. I like it here. So to those who keep complaining that they are not paid enough, I do believe Bakersfield is hiring.