This paper is a journalistic disgrace
New Times is unfit to be San Luis Obispo's weekly newspaper. Your last issue, like most of late, was a journalistic disgrace.
One "story" after another belittling people in the community who are fighting uphill battles to try to make it better, or at least to keep it from self-destructing. Snide side comments throughout your "news." Smart-assed bloviated hyperwriting like Patrick Klemz's ever self-obsessed verbosity, in which he belittles citizens' concerns about transport of toxic materials through their communities and sides with Chevron ("The path of least resistance," Sept. 21). Karen Velie's cover story on Measure J was one lie after another ("How does Measure J measure up?" Sept. 21), in which she passed off the most spurious propaganda of Dalidio's public relations machine as fact while distorting, ignoring, concealing, or dismissing legitimate concerns of Measure J opponents. She even invented some new lies, like calling 60-plus acres of asphalt parking lot and roofs a "green" development, and characterizing the Texas developer, a Bush friend and fund-raiser, as an "environmentalist." "Fair and balanced" news in New Times apparently finds no lie too ridiculous! This alleged journalist (Velie) was too lazy even to consult New Times files of past stories, which might have enlightened her about the sort of folks the developers really are. Or did she not need to be enlightened because all she wanted to do was abuse her public trust as a "news" reporter to transmit her own bias to the public as fact?
Traditionally, newspapers have not only had a higher regard for fact and truth than New Times, but have also "comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable." New Times' motto: "Comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted." You're an irresponsible journalistic disgrace, and a blight on the community's right to know what's going on.
San Luis Obispo
Support impotence? Vote yes on J
The Dalidio Ranch: Wow, what a deal! Butterflies, native plants, hundreds of trees, open space, a nature trail, a bike path, walkways, family and children recreation areas, soccer fields, a skate park, fountains, gardens, an organic farm and farmers' market, night-time darkness, solar panels, shopping, dining, lodging, workforce housing, and more. Something for everybody a veritable Shangri-La. Why would anyone oppose Measure J, the November ballot initiative to OK Ernie Dalidio's project?
Recall that old proverb, "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts"? Inside this very attractive Trojan horse lurk two threats to local control in every town in SLO County. If you value the ability to make informed decisions about developments in your neighborhood and the power of your voice in effecting them, it's in your interest to look over this gift-horse before accepting it. Stowed within the initiative, these subversive twins pose serious and long-term dangers for your vision of, and autonomy over, your town's future.
First, the decision-makers are deprived of information usually generated prior to voting on such a project. This is because the initiative explicitly exempts this project from state and local laws, which would normally require agency and public review and reporting regarding its effects before any decision is made (see official Ballot Summary and CEQA).
Second, the voices of the locals most familiar with the project and most likely to bear its burdens can be overridden by those less intimate with and affected by it. The influence of local councils, commissions, and committees could be negated or diminished by a county-wide vote of those with less knowledge and concern about the project.
Ask yourself: "What's in it for me?" You'll find there's more than you bargained for. The subterfuge squirreled away in this initiative is a sneak attack on your self-determination.
If this tactic is used for future projects near your town, your local representatives will be rendered virtually blind due to the lack of information essential for intelligent decision-making, and your voice about the future of your neighborhood will be rendered practically mute by the whims of those who know and care less about your community than you do.
Mr. Dalidio repeatedly says he got a "raw deal" in the battles over his prior projects. Whether or not that's true, that's no excuse for foisting a raw deal on the entire county, as his initiative does. SLO City's incontinent squabbling is now splattered across the county, forcing voters to choose.
If you're for ignorance and impotence, vote for Measure J. If you're for informed local control, vote against it.
We can have control
Oh San Luis. I've been holding my tongue for a while now, but I must finally ask some questions. Maybe this is a topic that has been covered ad nauseam, but with the Dalidio Measure J afoot, I must speak. Do you know that countless cities across America are trying very hard to create a city like ours? "Urban renewal" is nothing more than a San Luisification of towns that previously gave into suburban sprawl decades ago. Do you know that other towns are done with the corporate chain thing and turning to resident shopkeepers and artisans begging them for that cherished moniker: local?
Though the butterfly sanctuary sounds very sensitive and green, why do we want a dressed-up strip mall of redundant stores with redundant add-ons like playing fields and a Farmers' Market?
Think Dalidio should be able to do what he wants with his land? I can't. I can't have a storefront business on my downtown lot or cut down a tree without permission. Even if you are fond of the "big boxes," the proposed businesses are largely superfluous because of other big boxes. Think competition is good for the market? It is. But big guys aren't really competing locally, but nationally. As far as I understand it, Home Depot wouldn't lower a price because Lowe's came to our little town.
It seems we have very little control over what developers do, and that is frustrating. But here is an option. We can vote No on J.
San Luis Obispo
Don't be fooled by Dalidio
The recent article concerning the Dalidio ranch project sought to give the developers and their project a human face ("How does Measure J measure up?" Sept. 21). However, for their part, this project has nothing to do with community or quality of life, but only money! Don't be fooled into thinking that these folks are only trying to do the right thing. This has nothing to do with a "partially retired farmer." It has to do with greed, power, and spite.
Vic Montgomery attempts to blame the victims of the City Council's approval of the Gearhart Automall. The 10-year credit, at taxpayers expense, for the poor auto dealer to pay their required fees must also be our fault. How about Vic's Village at Maymont project being approved in less than three months on one of the most contaminated sites in the city? After 30 years of dealing with local governments, Vic knows it's easier to sway a few politicians than to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteers to fight them.
As long as the county taxpayers realize that if this project is approved, the cost for the next battle, to close off access to city roads to Dalidio traffic, may well come out of their pockets. Vote NO on Measure J to save San Luis Obispo!
San Luis Obispo
Top 10 reasons to support Measure J
10) Texas financier will finally be able to afford a deck in front of his mobile home.
9) Prevents car dealerships from developing the property.
8) Gives an outlet for Chinese goods, allowing China to enter the free market.
7) Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! With pay that will make you want two!
6) More shopping choices for farmworkers to shrewdly spend that final paycheck.
5) Easy-care asphalt will cover that unwholesome dirt.
4) Mixed-use zoning allows faeries and unicorn glen.
3) Thomas Kinkade planning a new series of yester-mall paintings inspired from this project.
2) San Luis Obispo will finally catch up to Fresno.
And the No. 1 reason to support Measure J: Nature is sooo last year.
San Luis Obispo
Quit whining and vote on the county measure
Hmm? Measures are bad? Instead of allowing their elected officials to do their job, certain people in SLO decided on a measure, didn't they? The Dalidio property is in the county, not city. The city had its chance! For Mr. Thoma ("Question Dalidio opposition," Sept. 7), I would suggest that he probably voted on the city measure, so vote on the county measure and quit whining. You guys started it. For Ms. Wright ("Farming is still an option for Dalidio," Sept. 21), I think you have a wonderful idea of sharing, so if you own property or a home, why not donate it to the homeless shelter (for pennies on the dollar)? After all, "I think having land and home and sharing it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own."
I'll defer to Dalidio's judgment
I have never met Ernie Dalidio, but he seems like a nice man and I know he is a very patient one. While Madonna and others have made millions, and continue to, with ho-hum developments, Mr. Dalidio has in good conscience kept on trying to make farming the property viable. If he feels that time is past, I must defer to his judgment.
And from what I have seen and heard of his proposal for the land, it looks like a welcome addition to the area. It would be great to have another place to stroll and buy vegetables direct from the growers.
After due consideration, I will vote for Measure J.
Police your own, students
This letter is in response to Ben Biesek's recent request for respect concerning his fellow Cal Poly students ("Treat students with respect," Sept. 21). Ben has a valid point in "we are not going away any time soon." True, how unfortunate it is that about the time an awakening to the bigger picture is occurring, that batch of students is on their way out and the new batch is pulling the same ol' same ol' in the same fashion as their predecessors.
I write this as a resident of Stafford Street. For those unfamiliar with this section of San Luis Obispo, it is basically an alley behind the 7-11 on California, right smack dab in the middle of Party Central. As a 38-year-old carpenter and a 30-year resident of the county, I've been there, done that however, living on this side of town is in fact a first for me.
Saturday morning I was up at 5:30 in preparation for a full day of disaster cleanup at the engineering building on campus, a cup of coffee from my neighbors at 7-11 the prominent event in my near future. Stopping to pick up beer cans, beer cups, empty cigarette packs, food wrappers, and other detritus along the 50-foot stretch of the alley, I was dismayed to discover that an empty beer carton I was carrying to the dumpster was in fact saturated with urine, so much so that it wet my pant leg. I still finished my early morning cleanup, sans friendly mindset so predominant only moments before.
My walk to work took me past the Hacienda Apartments on California near Foothill, where the manager was stoically policing the grassy area in front. He pointed out several used condoms among all the rest of the party favors strewn about. This street, only a day before, from Stafford to College Drive, was a far cry from the kegger fallout so readily apparent as far as the eye could see.
Ben, it certainly sounds to me that you get it, but I'll be the first to say that many of your peers do not. Police your own, young man, as we did in my day. Me, I'll keep on picking up the trash in my alley, since it doesn't seem to throw itself away. Maybe next time the beer carton won't be pissed on, and the rest of us won't have reason to be pissed off.
San Luis Obispo
Don't shred your own, Shredder
As we celebrate 20-plus years of New Times in San Luis Obispo County, it's refreshing to see that the Shredder has managed to maintain his/her important position throughout the years. But where, exactly, is the Shredder kept these days? In the same broom closet where Glen Starkey once had his desk? I suggest that you let the Shredder get out more, to learn about all the shreddable shenanigans going on around SLO Town and SLO County. Surely there's more to expose than just the staff at New Times ("The first day of the rest of your life," Sept. 14)! Why pick on them especially the paper's long-serving journalists? Maybe the Shredder's teeth have grown dull in the darkness of that closet. Or did someone sneak in and file them down?
San Luis Obispo
Send a clear message to the governor
On Sept. 22, Gov. Schwarzenegger denied Californians their right to quality, affordable healthcare by vetoing Senator Kuehl's Universal Healthcare legislation (Senate Bill 840). This is understandable, since Schwarzenegger accepted about $4.4 million from the private insurance industry for his election campaigns. That was an unwise decision by the governor. Apparently, the governor forgot that the voters of this state will have the last word next November.
The California legislature affirmed our right to quality, affordable healthcare by passing Senate Bill 840, and now we must fight to bring it back in the coming year.
For the majority of Californians who have no healthcare or struggle with skyrocketing premiums for poor coverage, the November election is our chance to send a clear message to the soon-to-be ex-governor: "You work for the people of this state, not giant corporations!"