Timeshares aren't compatible with neighborhoods
As one of the Cayucos residents concerned about the proposed three-story (four stories if you include the underground parking) timeshare project at Old Creek Road and Highway 1, I have something to say to Kim Hatch, the project manager.
How can you say, "We believe it's as compatible as you can get" with the neighborhood? ("Proposed Cayucos development stirs opposition," March 29). How compatible are 17 units of constantly changing partying vacationers with a neighborhood of families and working people?
As for the project being a great place for putting up guests for a week, I don't believe that's how timeshares work. My understanding of timeshares is that a person buys a week or two of time per year for thousands of dollars. Allowing such a business in a family residential area is just wrong. Julie Sanders
What's wrong with uncovering sources of conflict?
While I agree with much of Jay Bonestell's opinion piece concerning the difference between the far right and the far left being negligible ("What's wrong with opposing extremism?" March 22), I have to strongly disagree with his treatment of so-called liberal apologizers for terrorist acts.
While awful, terrifying, deplorable, ineffective, and cruel they may be, terrorist attacks against occupying nations, namely the United States and Britain, are most certainly "understandable." There is no reason that they should put up with foreign occupation any more than we would at home. There is also no reason that we should not seek to understand the motives behind such terrorist acts. Anything is understandable, and there is nothing wrong with employing rationality to uncover the source of the conflict rather than simply reacting to the threat with more violence.
Something stinks in California
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he's doing what's good for California. I want to know why he's not demanding an investigation into why we are paying more at the pump than people in other states. I don't want to hear lame excuses.
I remember that Schwarzenegger held secret meetings with Enron before he became governor. What other secret deals may be effecting this price gouging? Something stinks! Let's contact our senators and congresspeople.
Remember the days of gasoline price wars?
I am angry about "pump prices." And, so I believe, are many others of us in California who must drive our cars to get around. My discontent got me to thinking back in time to the 1960s and '70s when gas stations in Southern California used to compete for business by actually lowering the price of a gallon of gas. In my mind, I still see the sign standing on the corner of one gas station announcing lower prices than those being charged by the station across the street all to get my business. And, wouldn't you know it, the next day the higher-priced gas station lowered their price below that of the competitor and so it became "Gasoline Price Wars."
If we are to believe that fuel prices are driven by supply and demand or the fear/perception of shrinking supply then perhaps we should help create our own local version of "Gasoline Price Wars." I wonder what would happen if, for a period of one week, none of us fueled up at, say, Shell stations throughout the county. Would they not be inclined to lower their prices to reduce their stagnating supply? And then, as we all return to buy Shell at reduced costs and abandon, say, Chevron, wouldn't their supply concerns cause them to lower prices?
Now, I am not suggesting that local dealers are at fault for skyrocketing prices, but theirs is the only place we, as consumers, can impact. And if distributors cannot sell their product to dealers, won't that too alter supply and demand? I cannot help but feel we are now experiencing "Reverse Gasoline Price Wars," whereby competitive stations look to each other to see just how much more they can charge and still get our business. Perhaps I need a course in economics I don't know. I'm just thinking out loud.
Article focused on the wrong colors and message
Ryan Miller ("Pink and green don't really mix," March 22) might have written a better article if he had contrasted the green-clad revelers with the black and red on the white flags at the event.
I write as one of the organizers of Blowin' In The Wind, the group that makes and presents the Iraq War Prayer Flags. Did we lament that events all across our nation observing this anniversary coincided with St. Patrick's Day? Yes, but we weighed the joy of young men and women getting drunk early in the day on Higuera Street against the tragedy of young men and women dying in Iraq. Tragedy won. By the way, many of the young revelers were respectful. The obnoxious ones once again get the attention.
Our message is simple: Please acknowledge the horrendous costs of this occupation. The media makes it quite difficult to convey a message when it chooses to give significance to asinine statements by drunks, rather than take the time to do good reporting. What a shame that Ryan did not interview Darlene Seigart, the mother of Carl Seigart who was killed in Iraq on Feb. 14. She led the procession, carrying the group of flags that included her son's name. Ryan could have asked her what she thought of drunken young men yelling, "The ultimate sacrifice!"
Did we get our message across? We cannot, as Ryan cannot, measure the efficacy or the impact of our approach. But I venture that our approach of asking people to take notice of the tragic results of the occupation of Iraq was a more productive undertaking than was such an article.
Most of us who participated in the procession on St. Patrick's Day are not in a "time warp." The end of the Vietnam War should not have encouraged anyone to think peace would prevail without continuous work. Countless people have been working arduously since then to promote peace. It is, obviously, a task to which we cannot stop devoting time and energy.
Blowin' In The Wind
San Luis Obispo
Off-roaders should offset their pollution cost
America now faces numerous problems because of our overuse of oil. The resulting pollution is causing widespread sickness. We have an administration that chose to go to war to secure oil reserves. And, even worse, the planet faces extreme climate change that threatens all life. Despite these clear dangers, we continue to tolerate public policies that encourage oil usage. Of these, the most blatant is the tolerance of recreational vehicle use.
Locally, we face the absurd situation of allowing off-road vehicles to destroy natural habitat and endangered species. The ORV area in the dunes attracts an ongoing public nuisance. The best solution would be to ban all ORV recreation. However, if a political compromise must be made to accommodate this powerful lobby group, at the very least ORV owners should pay the costs of offsetting their addition of carbon to the atmosphere.
As a starting point, I suggest that the average amount of carbon released in bringing the ORV to our area plus the average amount released by the ORV be calculated and added to the admission fee. If such a policy is not enacted, we are guilty of having a public policy that intensifies catastrophic climate change.
I was shocked by vehicles on the beach
I am writing to express my opinion regarding continued use of State Parks lands for off-road vehicle use.
I moved here in 1981. I still remember the first time I went for a walk on the foggy beach at the end of Grand Avenue. In my entire life to that point, I had never heard of cars on a beach. Imagine my surprise when a large truck came out of the fog right toward me, sliding around in the sand and surf! I had not seen the sign warning of off-road vehicle use on the beach, and had unknowingly turned to the south, only to walk into the oncoming autos, trucks, and trailers scurrying around in the surf. I was shocked!
I now know that SLO County owns 580 acres of the State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA), which is 40 percent of the off-roading area.ÜPresident BushÜhas stated "We are addicted to oil." Off-road vehicle use is a type of "recreation" that can no longer be tolerated. It uses a finite resource that is running out, contributes to global warming, pollutes the air we breathe, and makes the corporations that sell ORVs and gasoline even richer. This is not even considering the deaths and injuries such "recreation" has caused over the years in the beautiful dunes, nor how such practices have affected the state of the wildlife flora and fauna that live in this delicate ecosystem.
The SLO Board of Supervisors should tell State Parks to remove vehicles from this county-owned property immediately! Let the earth live! We are but transitory visitors here.
Wal-Mart opponents have an easy decision
Oppose Wal-Mart supporters have been called vicious, mudslingers, tree-lovers, and now, "earth-lovers" and "liberal socialists." What is a liberal socialist? We are a grassroots group representing Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Greens. Thousands of us in Atascadero oppose a Wal-Mart Supercenter. We happen to believe that Atascadero is a special city on the cusp of making a decision about our land use and development that will affect our town forever. Are we for gigantic big boxes, traffic, blight and noise, light pollution, cheap goods, poverty wages, and sprawl?
For Oppose Wal-Mart, this is an easy decision. Develop the Annex and keep supercenters out! I was recently in downtown Pasadena counting many stores, including Anthropology (women's fashion) and Smith and Hawken (a garden shop), I can only access via the web. These shops and many more would work at a LifeStyle center in the Annex and provide good development that attracts tourists. Our area is hungry for diverse shopping experiences. North County residents want to save money and have options, including fancier places to dine and shop. Residents, city staff, and developers have to persuade these businesses to come here. Atascadero can choose this alternative versus duplicating other big box exits off 101.
Trader Joe's chose to go to Templeton because the "green" grocery building was ready and the right size. Trader Joe's wanted to be in the middle of North County and not get involved in the rivalry of Atascadero and Paso Robles. Now we have a grocer just north of Atascadero!