Opinion » Letters



Cue the ominous music

Regarding Avila's beach closure after a shark sighting policy: We all know how this story goes. Roy Scheider tells the city fathers that they need to close the beaches, but the chamber of commerce overrules him. Pretty soon there's a giant rubber shark snacking on the tourists while Richard Dreyfuss argues with a crusty old sea captain after exclaiming "This woman didn't die in a boating accident!" Oh, the humanity!

John Cox





Not bad, but I have a few questions

Not a bad article ("Point and shoot," Nov. 29). It was one of the more balanced articles on Tasers and use of force that I have read in some time. I do not, however, think that $68k a year quite qualifies for a plasma screen and Rolex ... at least not in California.

My questions to you are: 1) Why is it when reporters give statistics on deaths attributed to the use of Tasers, they do not present statistics on the number of successful apprehensions aided by their use? 2) How many of those deaths involved a person who had pre-existing health conditions and/or who was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs? 3) Why not promote not fighting with the police?

Trust me, we'd rather take someone into custody without a fight, but unfortunately, the suspect makes that decision.

Sgt. Robert Noriega

San Jose State University Police Department

San Jose




Let's all beat up Atascadero City Councilman Tom O'Malley

Mr. O'Malley has the gall to work on numerous local nonprofit boards. By "work" I mean he actually lifts tables, hauls equipment, and picks up trash. He doesn't just go to the meetings and leave after the pictures are taken. Once while volunteering for one of my pet projects, he injured himself and was hospitalized. He didn't even have the good sense to sue me for his injuries. Duh!

Mr. O'Malley uses his affable nature, interpersonal relationships, and love for his hometown to raise thousands and thousands of dollars to support many local causes, from businesses, organizations, and individuals that think his vision of a kinder, happier, more prosperous Atascadero has some merit. Go figure.

Mr. O'Malley is a "connector." He constantly exhorts individuals to get involved, as if that's going to help anything. Because of his never-ending invitations to be involved, accompany him to this or that, sign up for this, contribute to that, I feel connected on levels I never knew existed. Pbbbt! Thanks a lot! Most people have the good sense to sit on the sidelines and let someone else do the work. Mr. O'Malley obviously lacks this quality. Sad.

And don't get me started on Mr. O'Malley's campaign support. Check it out yourself. Mr. O'Malley is so obtuse he actually complied with laws requiring candidates to report sources of support. That makes this information public. Anyone can look at it. Is Mr. O'Malley out of his mind?

Take that, Tom O'Malley!

Steve Martin

Paso Robles




Drive the enviro-nuts somewhere else

Some people are just not happy unless they make others' lives miserable. There should be a special place in hell, where a devil prods them every minute to keep them uncomfortable, like they did to their neighbors when the were alive.

That includes the no-life-of-their-own environiks who now want to ban people washing their own cars. The contention that the detergents used cause problems for the ecology as they make their way into streams is a lie. The detergents are required to be biodegradable.

Let us sensible people get a bunch of pitchforks and drive these nuts out of the state. Let them spread their ignorant bull elsewhere.

Roy Berger

Arroyo Grande




Here's what the viewshed vote revealed

In case anyone had any doubts, the corrupt and shameful viewshed vote means that nothing we do matters more than keeping Jim Patterson in office and electing Adam Hill.

Maria Lorca





Supervisors aren't interested in sensible compromise

Regarding The Tribune editorial of Nov. 29, "Stunningly, supervisors squander an opportunity."

The Tribune's editorial about the failure of the Board of Supervisors to enact effective viewshed protection in the North Coast area was right on. This board's pro-growth, property-rights, "screw the General Plan" cabal (Achadjian, Lenthall, Ovitt) once again showed they are more interested in political scorecards than in sensible compromise. The ridiculously weakened viewshed ordinance written by the small but vocal "Protect Our Property Rights" (POPR) group gives essentially no meaningful viewshed protection in the North Coast area. Their version of the ordinance eliminates viewshed protections from about two-thirds of the proposed viewshed area, leaving only very weak viewshed protections along the Highway 1 corridor. Probably the clincher for the board majority was the argument from some POPR folks that the planning commission's sensible compromise solution was equivalent to communism.

Think this outcome is no big deal? Think again. Remember when Orange County and northern San Diego County still had a rural character, and hillsides were a thing of beauty? Those hillsides are now carpeted with row after row of pink stucco starter castles right up to the ridgelines, which seems to be the same vision that Achadjian, Lenthall, and Ovitt have for this county. See you on Election Day.

Michael Sullivan

San Luis Obispo




Fiscally responsible folks can't buy new homes

We keep reading bad news about declining home sales in San Luis, and more recently about retaliation in the form of public services cuts. Buying a new home is almost presented as everyone's patriotic duty, and responsibility has almost become a cuss word.

Homebuilders continue raising million-dollar homes, then complain bitterly when no one will buy one. In reality, the builders have achieved their own Catch 22--they've priced themselves out of the market. To responsible folks, it's really no surprise that sales of new homes are down 20 percent. Only profiteers, whose knowledge of history and economics is poor, are surprised. Most fiscally responsible folks simply cannot afford to buy new homes.

Concocting an economy built on continual growth, with heavy losses when growth slows and catastrophic losses when sales remain stable, is not very smart. So our overseers propose raising rents still further to coerce people into buying new homes on credit. Idiots! Their greed and venality are exceeded only by their foolishness.

In closing, I must mention our board of supervisors, who just voted themselves raises while the rest of us struggle to get by and balance our budgets each month. The arrogance of that board is breathtaking. Such are the pooh-bahs of our Imperial Board. There are poor folks and sick folks receiving $300 a month, yet our Imperial Supervisors apparently feel "underpaid."

Steve T. Kobara

San Luis Obispo




Listen up, president

How can W. Bush not hear what everyone who has any sense is letting him know: that war is not the answer for anything? Do not bomb Iran, do not bomb Iran.

Alice Maxon





We've basically surrounded Iran already

How strange it was listening to Bush once again exhort the United States to war in the same manner as he waged his "weapons of mass destruction" campaign more than five years ago. Now the verbiage has morphed into "we cannot let Iran be a nuclear power."

How many of us have stopped to think about the fact that Iran is surrounded by the United States on all of its borders? Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Kuwait have all done "deals" with the United States to ensure our militaristic presence in these neighboring countries. If it were the United States hemmed in by an invading force, just how would we respond? Can we blame Iranians for wanting freedom from us?

It is just possible that the Iranians are a more intelligent race than we are--but we are too conceited to recognize other countries' points-of-view as we are guilty of cultural bigotism to the max?

Nancy Van Tassel





Toss the madman before it's too late

Are we honestly going to let George W. Bush get away with it again? He led us into one war on false intelligence--now it is shown that he was attempting to do the same thing with Iran. He knew that Iran had abandoned their nuclear weapons program back in 2003, and yet he failed to mention that when he threatened us with World War III!

We need to toss this war mongering madman before it's too late. He's got nothing to lose. We've got everything to lose!

Kelly Lewis

Los Osos




Congress needs to muzzle the White House war machine

So now we hear that Iran discontinued its nuclear program four years ago? And that Bush has known for months? But to Bush and Cheney, this intelligence report is only a twisted way of saying "Beware" in another language. "Don't confuse me with the facts--my mind's made up," says Georgie.

Will our paralyzed Congress please act now to muzzle the war machine in the White House? President Bush has been conducting this presidency without checks and balances for long enough.

Will the person who wants to inherit two wars in the next administration please stand up? I, for one, will be sure not to vote for him or her!

Regina Whitaker

Arroyo Grande




This book answers questions about Iran

A must-read for anyone still concerned why we are in Iraq--or, more importantly, why we may go into Iran--is John J. Mearsheimer's and Stephen M Walt's The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. It's an easy read, extremely well presented and documented.

In The Assassins' Gate, author George Packer posits, "We may never know why we went to Iraq." Mearsheimer and Walt go a long way toward answering that question and also toward answering why the same guys who brought us Iraq want to bring us Iran, and one should not be naive on this question. There is a very effective movement out there--extremely well organized, financially affluent, and with very powerful and influential people both within and outside the U.S. government--urging the United States to go to war against Iran.

The real questions are: Is war with Iran in the best interests of the United States? And are there alternatives to fighting? The answers are categorically no and yes. But one has to read it, and, as polls show, virtually no one wants to go into Iran. It is illustrative of the disparity between what people want and what the government

may do.

Robert G. Barnes

Santa Maria




National change is long overdue

Can we be the only ones on the planet who think we are right? The dominos have all fallen since the president and vice-president lead us into an unnecessary war. Spain, Italy, Poland, and now Australia have rejected the leaders who formed the small "coalition of the willing" as our partners in Iraq. Tony Blair had to stand down because of Iraq.

We are isolated in the world on the war and on the Kyoto Protocol. Under Prime Minister Rudd, Australia will withdraw its combat forces from Iraq and sign the Kyoto Protocol, leaving us as the only industrial nation to avoid its responsibility for harming the world's delicate balance.

We, too, are ready for a big change in leadership. We must reject the Republican apologists who still support this war, and elect a Democrat to change our country's direction. This change is long overdue!

Gale McNeeley

Santa Maria




We need to stand by Israel

As Israel tries to make peace with its neighbors, let us not forget that this small democracy is under attack by terrorists everyday. We must stand by Israel and not let the dictators of the Middle East vote it out of existence.

Wallace Schwam


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