Opinion » Letters



I don't have time to respond to you
I am a Cal Poly student. I'm from San Diego, and I've lived in this town for five years and ... I want to respond to your commentary ("I want to be a Cal Poly student," Oct. 5).

Unfortunately, I don't have the time. Between taking classes, completing my senior project, volunteering at the Juvenile Hall and for various nonprofit agencies, coordinating campus-wide fundraisers for children's cancer charities through my sorority, and, oh yeah, working full time at Cal Poly's Community Center to pay rent (and bills) and to save up for my ever-increasing student loans, I just don't have the time to write a scathingly sarcastic article to counter your blanket stereotypes about my peers.

I want to go on and on in an endless tirade about the students who give everyone else a bad rep. I just don't have the free time.

Harmony Quismundo-Newman

San Luis Obispo




Let students enjoy their youth
Your commentary by Amy Mordan was amusing satire ("I want to be a Cal Poly student," Oct. 5), but it points out a growing resentment I see in SLO town toward college kids. Friends have moved away from the Foothill area, traffic complaints are common, but I wonder if it's just cranky, middle age at work and a little envy to boot. This is a college town. It always has been and always will be. I like the energy that Poly and Cuesta students bring to SLO without it, we'd be the Visalia of the Central Coast.

People have short memories and tend to forget what they were like 25 years ago, when frats were flourishing and a dry party only happened in the desert. Stories of college exploits my friends tell make us wonder how any of us survived. We probably did far worse things, but now hold good jobs, raise kids, and lead pretty normal, tame lives. Most of the college-age crap you see now is pretty harmless, anyway. Sure, Poly dudes and dollies are generally clueless, arrogant, self-centered, and far more materialistic than our brethren in the early '80s, but that's the world we live in now. So let the coeds and frat boys enjoy their Bull-Sweat breaks from midterms and senior projects and the few years of exuberant freedom they have before the constraints and responsibilities of adulthood envelop them.

As they say, youth is wasted on the young. Let's just hope a little trickles up to the rest of us.

Colin Jones





Vote for Betty Winholtz in Morro Bay
It's time to think about who you'll be voting for in the upcoming election. I feel this election is very important to the future of all Morro Bay residents. I endorse Betty Winholtz' re-election because she is not afraid to express her viewpoints, even if it goes against the other council members. She has a wealth of information, a huge heart, and spends endless hours committing herself to the ordinary residents of Morro Bay. She has worked diligently to protect the city's environment and manage growth. Her goals have been and will continue to be: balance city spending, protect the integrity of city zoning, promote affordable housing, and support estuary protection. She deserves to be re-elected.

Kristen Headland

Morro Bay




Vote down tax-increase measures
The people of Morro Bay and a number of the cities in the county are facing the issue of increasing their sales tax in the coming election. I hope you look at what the political hacks (councils and mayors) are doing or did with the past money you provided them to run our cities.

In my opinion, they have all wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on things they could have controlled. Take Morro Bay, for example: They have bought more than $7 million dollars' worth of property over the last five years. They have given away funds for employee salaries and benefits that now allow some employees to retire at age 50 with 30 years' service at 90 percent of their salary. The rest can retire at 55 and receive more than 80 percent-plus of their salary. We have hired consultant after consultant for thousands of dollars, all for naught.

Let's make the councils and mayors do the job we elected them for or vote them out of office. Vote no on Measure Q and the other sales tax-increase measures.

Chuck Reasor

Morro Bay





Yes on Y keeps us close to Mayberry
We love our hometown of San Luis Obispo. We thought we knew our hometown. A surprising side of San Luis Obispo came to light for us during a recent ride-along with the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

The surprising part was how much work the police have to do each night. On an average Friday night, there were just three patrol cars on duty for our entire city. It was nonstop busy on what Officer Caleb Kemp said was a "slow night." To me, it seemed Officer Kemp could have pulled over every fifth car we saw for some violation. This all happened while we were responding to the calls that came in from dispatching from folks who had called the police for help.

As business owners and residents in town, we count on police response. We don't want our city to fall behind in safety. We don't ever want SLO want to reach a tipping point where we fall behind in police services and crime increases. As our population increases, we need to step up and keep investing in safety and infrastructure.

We may think we live in Mayberry, but all you need to do is check the police log to see that we live in the real world. When you vote, please consider yes on Measure Y for the sales tax increase of a half-cent that will restore sworn officer positions that have been cut in our city due to state funding takeaways. Our household will gladly pay the $5 more a month to ensure that the services that impact our lives the most continue to be there when we need them. It's a small price to pay for our safety and living in a town as close to Mayberry as you can get.

Amy and Peter K. Kardel

San Luis Obispo






Measure Y is good for open space
For many years, the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club has worked with the City of San Luis Obispo to assure that the wishes of city residents to protect, preserve, and acquire open spaces are honored. In polls and surveys, residents have consistently asserted that maintaining open spaces within and around the urban reserve lines of the city is essential to ensure the quality of life in San Luis Obispo. We depend on these vistas and valleys, pathways, and woodlands for the rest and enjoyment that these lands offer: "the solace of open spaces."

Increasing population, development, and economic pressures make it more important than ever to secure the protection of our city's natural heritage. The Santa Lucia Chapter has been a key partner with the city in protecting Bishop Peak, and now, most recently, the Brughelli Ranch. The chapter has contributed funds, trail-making know-how, and muscle, along with hundreds of volunteer hours to improve and maintain our open spaces. Testimony by chapter staff at City Council meetings has assisted city staff and the council to maintain firm guidelines in the definition of open space and its uses.

As a partner of the City of San Luis Obispo, as a business operating within the city, and in concert with many chapter members who live within the city, the Santa Lucia Chapter supports Measure Y, a small, half-cent increase in sales tax, because it will enable the city to fulfill its commitment to its residents to protect open space and to revive its open-space acquisition program.

Karen Merriam

Santa Lucia Chapter Sierra Club chair





Dalidio does more than other developers
Lots of talk about Dalidio but not a peep about all the new Madonna development on Los Osos Valley Road. They're not building an overpass. They're not building parks and organic farms. Where's the fairness? Ernie Dalidio has gone farther than any other local landowner. He deserves a yes vote on Measure J.

Beverly Davis

Grover Beach






Don't say 'poor Ernie'
The issue is not whether Ernie Dalidio is a nice guy. The issue, in fact, is only partly over Measure J (aka the Dalidio "Ranch"). The bottom line is what we want for our county in this generation, and what we will bequeath to the next generation, and the one after that.

The new shopping malls sprouting throughout the county will give us more big-box stores. Again, is that what we want? Isn't it time to think outside the box? For those in San Luis Obispo, it's what our city will morph into in the years ahead. For those in the North County, it's the threat of a Wal-Mart Super Center in Atascadero. And for those in the southern part of our county, it's projects such as the Canada "Ranch" property, which calls for 30 acres of a mega-mall named Crystal Oaks (as with Dalidio "Ranch," note the quaint title).

It didn't have to come to this. Attempts were made to enter into discussions with Mr. Dalidio regarding the purchase of the land. None got anywhere. About three years ago, after a particularly contentious San Luis Obispo City Council meeting on what was then called The Marketplace, I personally approached Mr. Dalidio and threw out the possibility of raising money to buy the property. I remember his reply as if it were yesterday.

"Over my dead body," he intoned thus keeping the land in agriculture or making it into a regional park never got off the ground. If Measure J is defeated, however, a greener future for most or all of the 131 acres is likely.

The urban pressures on our county are huge. Los Angelesization looms from the south and San Jose rushes down from the north. Developer money from L.A. and Texas is involved in the Measure J campaign, though we aren't told how much.

It's not "poor Ernie." It's "poor people of San Luis Obispo County, present and future" if Measure J and other similar projects are approved throughout the county. It's up to us to decide.

Richard Kranzdorf

San Luis Obispo





Imagine strip malls over open space
It is absolutely imperative that Measure J go down in flames on Nov. 7. The premise itself is absurd: that massive, community-altering developments can bypass planning and environmental review, with their approval dependent on how many millions of dollars land speculators can raise to manipulate the public.

The one high point of this campaign is the throng of "Yes on J" signs the land speculators have slathered around the county, which help us comprehend the implications of this vote. Everywhere you see a "Yes on J" sign in front of open space, take a moment to visualize that grazing or farmland buried beneath acres of asphalt, strip malls, and tract homes. That is surely our future if this measure is approved.

"J" stands for joke, right?

Kathy Price

Arroyo Grande





Dalidio article was unfortunate
Regarding the Sept. 28 article on Measure J ("How does Measure J measure up?"), it is unfortunate that the front-page caption cast the issue in terms of "whether you love or hate Ernie Dalidio." Measure J presents serious land-use and development-approval process issues. To suggest the measure has anything to do with liking or disliking the developer trivializes the important issues.

It is also unfortunate that the article fails to discuss the logical provision of services to the property if it is ever developed. The City of San Luis Obispo is adjacent with services and utilities immediately available. Instead, Dalidio proposes a large urban development using well water and a package treatment plant for sewer services. Sounds like Los Osos all over again.

Dalidio's architect claims there was plenty of precedent for a developer-instigated vote like Measure J, pointing to a grocery store vote in Paso Robles in 1980. There is a big difference between having all the voters of a city vote on a city project versus having all the voters of the county voting on a city project. The missing ingredient in Measure J is "community of interest." Voters in Creston and Oceano have nothing in common with SLO City voters when it comes to dealing with the impacts of Dalidio's project.

Kent Taylor

San Luis Obispo




Cal Poly: Stop wasting resources
On Earth Day 2004, Cal Poly President Baker generated good press by proclaiming his a sustainable campus. Forthwith, Cal Poly would be a shining beacon of sustainability.

Judging from its current football stadium rebuild, Cal Poly remains clueless about sustainable construction. Last spring, many gasped in disbelief as the university smashed to smithereens its Air Conditioning building, a charming historic structure, to make space for Baker's latest edifice complex. Among the casualties was a lot of fine Spanish tile roofing, smashed and hauled to the landfill. Simultaneously, just 300 feet away, trucks were unloading a similar amount of brand-new Spanish tile for the stadium. Given tile manufacture's high environmental costs, why didn't Cal Poly demonstrate sustainability by recycling its existing tile?

Now, that same stadium project is dumping into the trash a lumberyard full of nearly new plywood and lumber enough to build many houses and save many acres of forest. Again, no effort to salvage or pass along to those who could salvage this valuable and environmentally costly material.

Such waste is unconscionable, and has no place on a sustainable campus. Cal Poly must get its act together to match its actions to its sustainability rhetoric.

Jeff Smith

Morro Bay


Add a comment