Opinion » Letters



I'm not threatened by all-inclusive monikers

In the Opinion piece "Going, going ... gone?" (Dec. 8-15) Don Feder is confusing apples and oranges with regard to Christmas. On Dec. 25, I, along with many other Christians, will go to our various churches to remember the birth of Christ Jesus of Nazareth. At around the same time, Jews will celebrate Hanukkah, Muslims will observe Eid, and some folks of African descent will celebrate Kwanzaa. This is called freedom of religion and it is guaranteed in our Constitution. But who or what we choose to honor during in the month of December has very little to do with the end-of-the-year family reunions and gift giving or the various myths that are resurrected during this festive season.

The New Testament makes no mention of reindeer with red glowing noses or animated snowmen. Santa Claus was not some magic fat guy who lived at the North Pole. In fact, we have no idea what date Jesus of Nazareth was actually born on.

Don't get me wrong; I love all this seasonal stuff. I look forward to decorating the tree with ornaments, garlands, and lights, and feasting and exchanging gifts with my family. But to refer to this period of time with the more all-inclusive moniker "Holiday Season" certainly doesn't threaten my Christian beliefs in any way. If other Christians feel their beliefs are being threatened by a more open acknowledgment of all the various spiritual celebrations, then they need to reexamine the quality of their faith in those beliefs.


Jim Kunkler

San Luis Obispo



Happy Spendmas

Re all the letters debating Christmas versus Holidays: Why don't we just call it what it really is: "Spendmas." We can hang brightly colored flashing dollar-sign ornaments from our Spendmas trees to pay tribute to Mammon.

"Deck the Malls with Vows of Sales, ding-a-ling-a-ling, a ding ding ding."

"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, jingling Cash Registers, Oh What Fun it is to Ride a credit card into Debt."

Happy New Year.


Sharon Eckardt

Los Osos




Extend the holiday spirit to pets

'Tis the season to think of others with love and understanding in our hearts, so I am appealing to the property owners of this county, and in particular the city of San Luis Obispo. In the Tribune today, not one single for rent ad in the price range I can afford (under $800 per month) allowed pets.

Please rethink this. The county animal shelter is full of pets given up because their owners could not find housing that would allow them. Woods has hundreds of pleading eyes who don't understand where their families have gone.

Why not put "pets considered"? Then an owner can make the decision based on each individual situation instead of placing a blanket "no pets, no way" in the ad. In a time when many professionals are putting off marriage and family until later in life, or in my case as an empty nester, the companionship of a cat or dog is a blessing that fills our hearts beyond words. May the spirit of the season move you to consider those who can't bark/meow for themselves.


Kimberlee Turner

San Luis Obispo



Another angle on choice

I'm a political moderate who believes in sanctity of both mother and baby. I believe in responsible sexual behavior. Too many women have strings of abortions, returning to a life of promiscuity each time. This is wrong.

Having said that, I must also condemn the grasping cruelty of those who would deny rape and incest victims and faithful wives with dangerous pregnancies the choice of life-saving abortion. Such crises do not result from a woman's irresponsibility, but such ladies are ignored by pro-life zealots. True, some such women may choose to come full term, but it is their choice; not a verdict forced on them by the impersonal state. If pro-life zealots were honest, they would admit only babies are sacred to them. The mom and her family are expendable.

As things now stand, one extreme is as ugly and adversarial as its opposite. We dare not forget the "pro-life" murders at abortion clinics and the arson of Planned Parenthood here in the 1990s. We need compromise; not confrontation.


Steve T. Kobara

San Luis Obispo



No dirtbikes? Say it isn't so!

Regarding Malcolm Roe's reply ("Riders have nowhere else to go," Letters, Dec. 8-15) to my letter, I must admit I was woefully ignorant of the awful fate befalling the endangered dirtbike, and I deeply apologize for my insensitivity. I had no idea that the habitat of the off-road motorcycle (genus dyrtbikus scheisskopferum) was being destroyed so rapidly, and I shudder to think that its delightful call may never be heard again if nothing is done.

I consulted a local crankcaseologist, Professor Avril Knaffel, and he confirms that, as Mr. Roe says, this area was "once a haven for motorcycle riders" during a "quieter time." Avril wept when he described proud motocross herds being driven off the Salinas riverbed to make room for birds, amphibians, reptiles, rodents, plant life, and other pests. The cancellation of the "law enforcement charity motocross in the riverbed" makes police reluctance to participate in this injustice understandable. The confinement of off-roaders to the tiny Nipomo Dunes ghetto can only be described as ethnic cleansing, and this matter should be referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Now that I have been disabused of my ignorance, I can better understand a delightful natural phenomenon seen weekly on the Cuesta Grade: the migration of Great Black 4x4s, bearing their brood of dirtbikes, reaching 90 mph or more in the right-hand lane, risking all to reach their Nipomo sanctuary before the buzz wears off.


David McCay

Atascadero Chapter, Save the Dirtbikes



LaBarbera's Hispanic phobia

So Judge Barry LaBarbera reads the drug report that no GHB was found in Megan Lee Jewell ("Paso woman sentenced in deadly wreck," News, Dec. 8-15), but her blood alcohol was .15 - twice the legal limit? I wonder what Judge Barry LaBarbera would have sentenced either Ramon Gonzales or Camacho Rodriguez if the victim would have been Megan??? I bet you old Barry would have thrown the book at them if the roles were reversed! And for Judge LaBarbera to read a report that came from the crime lab and then state, "It's clear to me that there was an amount of GHB [in her body]"? Can this judge read?! What a miscarriage of Hispanic phobia by Barry LaBarbera! Or, how attractive is Megan Lee Jewell?


John Sanchez




We have enough disasters without war

In this season of "goodwill toward men," I ask this question: Aren't there enough natural disasters in the world such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, AIDS epidemic, etc., to make mankind realize that manmade disasters such as the war in Iraq should never have been started?

The billions and billions of dollars and manpower that have been spent destroying Iraq and killing and maiming thousands and thousands of people could have been better spent helping the thousands of devastated victims in Pakistan, rebuilding New Orleans, and on and on.

Any powerful nation can start a war, especially a war on a small country such as Iraq. It takes people with wisdom, vision, and courage to build rather than destroy.

In grade school we teach our children that fighting and hitting other children can be a punishable offense. In high school these same children are being recruited into the service to kill their fellow man.

It is past time for a worldwide peace movement to take root and grow and flourish so that war will become stupid, unnecessary, and obsolete. Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but not if every leader in every church, mosque, temple, synagogue, and religious organization in the world was on the same page and intensely advocated against war and for peace, and mankind practiced what was preached. What a different world our world could become!

Wishing everyone peace and goodwill now and forevermore,


Naoma Wright

San Luis Obispo



Lower the speed limit near Miner's

The following letter was submitted to the Morro Bay City Council and apparently no energetic action has been taken, which means citizens of Morro Bay are in eminent danger:

November 21, 2005:

Dear City Council, just about everybody in Morro Bay uses Miner's Hardware. One of us will be killed or injured going or coming from there. This is especially so as the speed limit on that part of Atascadero Road has just been raised from 35 to 40 miles per hour. The authority making this increase has used poor judgment and their decision must be reviewed by you. They will quote an engineering and traffic survey as their basis. This is what needs to be challenged. Atascadero Road is a business district, and a 25 mph speed limit is appropriate. Act now before anyone is killed or hurt. Remember, it could be you.

The Morro Bay City Council has the ascendancy for action if they wish to use it; after all, they do represent some 10,000 people. Further, a squeaky wheel gets greased, so if you want to stop an accident from happening, it would be helpful to write or speak to the Council and let them know your feelings.


John and Francis Budlong

Morro Bay



So much for compassion

In the midst of the "Christmas" season, celebrating the birth of the "prince of peace and savior," my Austrian governor, endowed with the power of life over death, squashes Tookie Williams like a bug. No mercy, no forgiveness, no redemption, just state- sanctioned gangland justice, in retaliation.

Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men. Now who's the thug?


Marilyn Peterson

Paso Robles

Twenty-four years' worth of tax dollars

Why are so many people saying that the death penalty is inhumane? Mr. Williams did not give his victims 24 years to prepare themselves for a gentle and peaceful death.

If he really had been a changed man, he would have done more than write a few books. He could have shown his worthiness for clemency by dismantling and stopping the Crips gang from ever hurting or killing another human being.

Every time someone is hurt or killed by one of his gang members, I believe he is also just as guilty. Anyone who can create and perpetrate this type of gang belief and activity deserved a much more inhumane death than the one so gently and kindly meted out by the state of California.

Why was he allowed to wait 24 years to be put to death? What happened to the good ole form of justice? The one where the convicted are taken behind the jail and shot or hung - immediately.

Our hard-earned tax money supported this man's existence at "The Q." Is this how you want your tax money spent? Supporting avowed killers?

Do I sound cold and callous? You betcha I do! I dare say I am not as cold and callous as Mr. Williams and the gang he created. I want my hard-earned tax dollars to be put to much better use, such as creating after-school activities for gang-age kids.


Lea-Marie Mix

Former Central Coast resident

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