Opinion » Letters



One of “the rest of us�
 I am truly impressed with your press coverage of the “FUNdraiser� for the SLO Little Theatre (“Legends of Little Theatre�, New Times, March 9). I am certain the theater is very grateful.

 However, I wish to take issue with and personal offense of Ms. Meserve, who made some very blatant statements regarding her efforts as the only person who makes money for SLOLT.

 I have been in two very financially successful plays at SLOLT. The time and effort spent by the “rest of us� (i.e., those who appear in other productions at SLOLT) is considerable. Take three evenings per week for three months to rehearse, build a set, locate props—all the work it takes to put on a play. None of the dedicated people who give their time and talent are paid a salary. We do it as a “LUVraiser�.
 Ms. Meserve is a salaried employee of SLOLT and it is her job to make money for the theater.

 I think the board of SLOLT owes the “rest of us� an apology for Ms. Meserve’s untactful and egocentric comments.

Nancy Green


Toilets, not task forces 
 Transient Task Force? How militaristic. (“You don’t have to leave, but you can’t stay here,� New Times,  February 23). Just what we need. I do hope these brave soldiers are armed. What color are their uniforms, soylent green perhaps? Imagine that! A turd, an actual turd on the ground. Oh my heavens, how vulgar. Perhaps this task force would be better equipped armed with doggy bags? By the way, John Peabody, you didn’t mention how far away this turd was from the locked bathroom, or perhaps I missed that part. Oh well, yes, I believe you have the answer, with Bess locking up those bathrooms.
 That’s the logical way to deal with it. Right on, Bessie.

I wonder how much it costs the taxpayers for this badly needed task force, and if it is perhaps viable to spend that money on feeding, housing, or even keeping the restrooms open and stocked with toilet paper; we could appoint Ms. Kisser the Director in charge of…of…I don’t know, perhaps we would just give her the TASK to let her take asswipe as a title. Anyway, thank god we have a wonderful, and creative (civil?) servant such as Ms. Kisser to deal with the despicable reminders to a SLO population of “beautiful people� who find it so offensive to be asked to give up a whole quarter…reminders of how a shop-till-you-drop society deals with the problems that are in the wake produced by the grinding motors of speedy, upward mobilization. Full speed ahead, Betsey, and let’s sock this problem right in the Kisser!

C.A. Caci
Pismo Beach


Badges and rubber bullets
 Regarding the flautist (“Flogging the Flautist,� New Times, March 9) for crossing the railroad tracks; I know the police department employs many officers that possess the skill, tact and intelligence that are required to do effective policing. I’ve known a few of them. Can’t we have a higher standard regarding employment qualifications and get more of those guys on the payroll?

 I’m reminded of the familiar KSBY news video used for the occasional Mardi Gras update. Police in riot gear march en masse down some neighborhood street where people are partying, mostly in homes. A lumbering cop at the bottom of the screen is shooting rubber bullets up at the balconies and porches of the homes where people were gathered peacefully. The video clearly shows a stout, spectacled fellow in conversation getting shot in the backside and grabbing his left butt cheek, looking puzzled and turning to see the source of this unprovoked attack.

 Whether they are bravely defending railroad crossings from solitary flautists, or just having a bit of fun shooting up the villagers with rubber bullets, there are a few clowns with badges that are squandering the trust and respect that the rest of the police deserve. Those clowns need to be schooled or fired. Children can be overzealous, not professionals.

 Leave police work to those with the talent, and pay them well. Eric deserves better, the guy on the porch deserves better, we all deserve better. How about it, chief?

Monty Ellman
Los Osos

County is crippling Nipomo
 Ethel Landers’ comment on growth (Letters, New Times, March 9) is typical of a growing group of residents that think if we only stand still things will get better. She is totally correct about traffic problems in Nipomo being the fault of the County of San Luis Obispo. SLO County Planning has severely crippled the proposed new Willow Road freeway overpass to be built in Nipomo by eliminating both side frontage roads that connect to the Los Berros Road overpass.

All traffic will be either be put on Thompson Road or funneled back to an already-overburdened Tefft Street. The SLO County planning department still believes if traffic gets bad enough you will give up your cars and use some alternative transportation; no matter how far the commute.

 There are two major sources of funds that build needed infrastructure: taxes, and growth and development fees. Both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are trying to convince voters to pony up more sales tax money to fund their alternate transportation wish list while continuing to ignore long overdue road improvements and expansion projects.

 Unfortunately, Nipomo’s developer fees have been spent in other county areas, or wasted on perpetual environmental reports and traffic studies. The fees have not necessarily been put into Nipomo’s traffic crisis. SLO County’s motto for the last 20 years has been,†“If we build it, they will come.� Well, they built the houses, but the roads were forgotten, and now a larger community is here along with their cars and trucks still using the infrastructure that was last updated in the late 50s.

Bob Blair
Arroyo Grande

Dalidio Ranch only looks green
 I voted against the Marketplace last year for two reasons:

 1. The big box stores would mainly drain sales away from downtown SLO and other places in the county, so the promise of new sales tax revenue was not accurate.  It was more like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

 2. No one could say how much it would really cost the taxpayers to build the Prado Road interchange and provide water, sewer, police and fire protection and other services.  In short, we were being asked to buy a pig in a poke.

 Unfortunately, the new Dalidio Ranch proposal has the same two problems, plus an even bigger one. By using a ballot initiative, the developers are now asking county voters to help them evade state environmental laws.

 I called the SLO County Planning Department and they confirmed that if the project is approved directly by the voters, California environmental quality laws will not apply. So a “yes� vote really means giving up our last line of protection against air pollution, traffic jams, water, and sewer problems, and a host of other negative outcomes this project could create.

 The developers are saying: “Don’t worry, you can trust us.�  Personally, I’m not willing to roll the dice with the future of SLO County.

Alan Thomas
San Luis Obispo

 Hodin is a meanie
 Russell Hodin is mean-spirited. He must be a member of the Save San Luis group. Mr. Dalidio has put up with this long enough. Save us from what? Affordable shopping! Spare me. We need to move forward. Sign the petition so we can get our TARGET.

Joan Sales
San Luis Obispo

Supporting businesses with business
 I am SO sorry to see that ONE mistake has taken its toll on your great paper. I forgive you and don’t think the article (“Meth Made Easy� New Times,  February 2) caused as much trouble as is being touted. We have a new editor—now let’s get on with it. I appreciate those companies that are still supporting you with their ads and I will continue to support them with my business. Those that have stopped advertising will NOT be seeing me.

Mariah Lang Braxton
Arroyo Grande

Democracy for the democratic
 Recent events from Los Osos to Palestine and Iraq should remind us of the risks of too much democracy falling into the hands of those unable to carry its responsibilities. One of our Founding Fathers, James Madison, wrote in Federalist Paper No. 10 about pure democracy in a society divided by factions, “It is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been short in their lives...�.

 We should be thankful that our country was established as a republic and not a pure democracy.

Ken Shamordola

Thomas’ timing promotes power
 It is interesting to see that Rep, Thomas waited until it is too late for an average person (low budget) wishing to use the Petition In Lieu of filing fee ($1,621) to qualify for the primary ballot to announce his decision not to seek re-election. Not only are individuals without the fee handy denied an opportunity to seek a seat in Congress, the time line for collection nomination signatures was Friday, March 10, 2006.

Only those few already in positions of power within the DemRep parties will seek to replace Thomas. No one else need bother to apply.

Gail Lightfoot, Chair
Richard Venable, Secretary
Gary Kirkland, Treasurer
Ed Moss, Immediate  Past Chair
Paul Polson, member
SLO Libertarian Party

Where is the Muslim outrage?
 The sometimes violent protests resulting from the publication of the infamous “Muhammad cartoons� (Hodin, New Times, February 23) have prompted many to ask, “Where is the outrage from moderate Muslims?� Some of these responses are coming dangerously close to admitting what many on the far right clearly seem to believe, but are not willing to openly state—that is, that the U.S. is not simply fighting terrorists and radical extremists, but is in fact engaged in a holy war against Islam.

 On behalf of the several Muslims I have come to know over the past three years, I would like to respond.

 One of the biggest mistakes we can make in our bitterly divided world is to judge a religion by the actions of its radical extremists. One could, for example, look to the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition as examples of Christian extremism, but we wouldn’t even have to look back that far. Radical Christian clerics, such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, advocate assassination and pray for the deaths of “liberal� Supreme Court justices.

And our president’s Christian faith has not prevented him from sanctioning assassination, fighting “preemptive� wars with disarmed nations, or from causing the deaths of at least 28,501 Iraqi civilians (www.iraqbodycount.net) in the name of the one who said, “Love your enemies.� Where is the outrage? Should these praise-the-Lord-and-pass-the-ammunition-examples serve as an indictment of all of Christianity? Of course not but, as usual, the extremists always capture the headlines.

 Before you judge Islam, or any other religion, at least take the time to find out about it and get to know some of the people who practice Islam.

 All of the Muslims I know worship the same God as Jews and Christians, refer to God as the “Most Compassionate� and the “Most Merciful,� and aspire to be compassionate and merciful as well. They abhor violence, care for the orphan and the widow, and seek to build bridges of peace between everyone.

Eric Parkinson
San Luis Obispo

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