Opinion » Letters



A glimpse of the future

In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, there will be flying cars, and trips to the stars. But men will have cried a million tears, because it's been 500 years, and Los Osos will still be arguing about where to build its sewer.

Bill Laidlaw
Arroyo Grande



Forget about Bambi

Regarding Supervisor Patterson's ordinance against feeding wildlife: Patterson doesn't need to pass an ordinance to protect you whiners and complainers from the wildlife your neighbors feed. You can simply move next to the proposed Atascadero Wal-Mart. No more animals. No more tranquility. No more rural. Problem solved!

Kitty Crockett



Downtown SLO, preserve your views

I live in Los Osos, and enjoy going into SLO. This is a very special city. When I recently heard that five-story buildings were being considered for SLO, I decided to investigate what this would feel like. I noticed that a four-story building not only blocks the views of the mountains, but also barely shows the sky. I couldn't imagine how anyone could want five stories.

Please do not ruin the charm of SLO by eliminating the sky views and creating a "closed-in feeling." If anyone wants to make a comment to the SLO City Council on this issue, I got this address from the Internet: slocitycouncil@slocity.org.

Marie Smith
Los Osos



Surely I missed something?

In your July 13 issue, I read, "Closed-door negotiations to change the face of downtown San Luis Obispo will see the light of day for the first time on July 18, when the city council decides whether to approve an exclusive agreement for a massive hotel complex known as the Garden Street Terraces." ("Five-story hotel takes shape")

I went on to read that these confidential negotiations had gone on for 10 months and the project would "help accomplish the city's goal of increasing sales tax and increasing transit occupancy tax."

I'm surprised New Times isn't investigating the city of San Luis Obispo. In your article, "Like 'I Love Lucy,' but with Wal-Mart" (also July 13) you state that Atascadero City Manager Wade McKinney may have some explaining to do because he "was aware of negotiations with Wal-Mart and was actively involved with orchestrating the arrival of the big-box store … ."

This is a crime? In an attempt to increase sales tax revenue, the Atascadero City Council unanimously passed a motion in 2004 to maintain the corner of El Camino Real and Del Rio (the proposed Wal-Mart site) and several others as prime commercial sites. Retail development is needed to help fund much-needed road repair and perennially under-funded police and fire operations.

How is it that San Luis Obispo gets a pass on 10 months of "confidential negotiations" for a "massive" downtown project, and Atascadero officials are skewered for simply being aware of negotiations with a prospective retailer?

Ken Phillips



Find a new banner, Paso

The subheading, "Paso trusts God sort of," with the byline of Patrick M. Klemz (July 13) gives a glimpse as to the rationale of the unanimous adoption of the motion to display an "In God We Trust" banner during the Paso City Council meetings.

City councils' meetings, scheduled in accordance with the bylaws or the municipal code of the particular city, in California, upon being called to order, proceed to if not an invocation, definitely with "Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag."

How do I know?

As a registered parliamentarian, past governor, Region VII (American Institute of Parliamentarians), past chairman, Public Relations, California State Association of Parliamentarians, I have made it my required public knowledge.

Without reciting the pledge in its entirety, we all know it includes the words "under God," and ends with the words "and justice for all."

In light of this, for any city council to undertake the adoption of the motion to display a banner stating "In God We Trust" for the duration of the meeting is of little or no value to the conducting of the business of the people of the city to which the council members are elected and are sworn by oath to obey all laws without reservation or evasion.

Paso City Council surely can find a more fitting decoration to make the meetings not look like a gathering in the library.

Brahama D. Sharma
Pismo Beach



Even tragedies can inspire goodwill

It's not often that you read an obituary and feel good. That's how I felt after reading about the families of the two victims of the tragic crash in San Jose recently.

Their loss of a son and daughter is great, yet they had the courage and compassion not to punish the driver who smashed into the victims' truck if he was suffering from diabetic shock.

The family of the woman has even asked that memorial donations in their daughter's name be forwarded to diabetes organizations.

This is truly stilling and inspiring may they find peace.

Marty Brown



Let another paper take care of locals

Hurrah for Richard Francis on his letter to the editor ("Ryan, you screwed up '55 Fiction'") in your July 13 edition of New Times. He said everything I wanted to shout!

I have two close friends at work who entered stories. They both got "silence" for their efforts. Needless to say, they were not happy with the results of the judging.

I have the solution to the problem (no one from San Luis Obispo getting a story printed). Here it is:

New Times runs a 55-word story contest for national/international entries only. The Tribune runs a 65-word story contest for locals only (San Luis Obispo city/county).

The format would allow you (New Times) to bask in the glory of a truly international writing contest and allow the Tribune to serve as an outlet for the creative writing efforts of the community.

This would be a win-win-win deal for everybody! Please consider this.

John Russell
San Luis Obispo



Let your words carry your emphasis!

Richard Francis wrote a letter in your July 13 issue castigating you for not printing any letters from San Luis Obispo in the "55 Fiction" stories ("Ryan, you screwed up '55 Fiction'").

His point is well taken, although maybe there just weren't any good ones submitted locally. My point is this: I hope Mr. Francis doesn't consider himself an aspiring writer, for he doesn't seem to understand about punctuation. Any good writer knows that his words alone indicate the stress, not exclamation marks. Mr. Francis, not trusting his own words to carry the stress, used exclamation marks after every sentence, an unbelievable 20 times.

Good grief!

Jan Strain!



Islamofascists will learn the hard way

I am not Jewish, and after reading the letter ("Israel doesn't want peace," July 20) from Sharon Eckardt, I would like to voice my opinion on the war between Israel and the Islamofascists!

We are in the beginning of the destruction of the Islamofascists in the Middle East. One by one, they will fall: Syria, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the others who wish to destroy the infidels (i.e. anyone not born a Muslim).

How many times does Israel have to kick the butt of the Islamofascists before they realize they cannot defeat the Jews and America? Jew haters want to blame Israel, but what religion preaches the destruction and training of suicide bombers in grade school? What religion preaches death to the infidels and the Jews on a daily basis? What religion preaches worldwide dominance? What religion preaches hate by uneducated preachers in religious centers across the world? Every war against Israel since 1948 has been started by dirty shirts and uneducated men who want only one religion to rule the world.

Yet Sharon Eckardt blames the Jews. The Islamofascists overstepped the bounds again and Israel and America will eliminate the threat in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and the world!

Only force will eliminate the forces against the western world and its allies. Hitler and Tojo found out the hard way. Don't mess with the west when you have a president with balls in the U.S.! Victory!

John Sanchez



Anti-Semitism is alive and well

This is in response to a letter by Sharon Eckardt (July 20), regarding her statement that "Israel does not want peace." Sharon, you're kidding right?! Look at the history of the Middle East. When has Israel ever initiated violence against another "tribe," as you call them? Israel, this tiny little slice of land, surrounded by enemies, has only ever chosen to defend itself against the Islamic fanatics that want to see it wiped off the face of the earth. Defended the land that has been the original home to the Jewish people for thousands of years. The homicide bombers that cause constant terror to citizens are not Israelis, nor Jews.

Israel has never been the side to defy the peace accords. The land that Israelis occupy was won in a war initiated by Arabs against Israel. Too bad, they lost. Israel has NEVER made any statement regarding "exterminating Palestinians from the face of the earth." Looking back again to history, though, I do recall someone saying that about the Jews, around 1938, and now the same rhetoric coming from the Palestinians and their allies across the Middle East and even Europe. Anti-Semitism is still alive and well. And I can't believe I actually agree on something with the infamous Otis Page.

Lisa Ellman
Los Osos



Sand isn't the only contaminated thing here

Is San Luis Obispo County dumping on Santa Barbara County? Why do we want 860,000 cubic yards of contaminated sand next to our city?

Is the contaminated sand less likely to cause damage to humans in its remote location?

Do we need $4.5 million for road repairs if the trucks did not damage them hauling the contaminated sand? Do I smell money contaminating Santa Maria city officials? Yes.

Robert Bohlinger
Santa Maria



Thoughts from a former Atascadero leader

I have some thoughts regarding the article in the July 13 issue of New Times ("Atascadero leaders have something to hide"), plus the Wal-Mart scenario. I was a member of the first Atascadero City Council (1979-82). I was a member of the Planning Commission (1988-92). I was again a member of the city council (4/94-11/96), serving as mayor from 7/95 to 11/96. I own a home in Atascadero and still participate in community affairs. I have been a member of the Chamber of Commerce since 1962, serving as president in 1968 and 1972.

Regarding Marty Tracey's phone message to the Gaughans, we will never know if he acted on his own or under the approval of City Manager Wade McKinney. Everything has been hidden by closed sessions, which appear to be Brown Act violations. It appears the council has been given poor and incorrect advice by City Attorney Enright on multiple occasions.

In reference to the Wal-Mart situation (not a part of that New Times' article), we have Wade McKinney making conflicting statements. First, he tells us he has not talked with Wal-Mart representatives. Later, he tells us he has talked with them in the past. Come on, Wade. Which is it?

George Highland
San Luis Obispo



Gay doesn't mean promiscuous

One more time, I feel compelled to correct the inaccurate statements of resident Central Coast homophobe, Otis Page. With regard to Assembly bills 606 and 1437 being a "Trojan Horse" to "indoctrinate children in the gay, lesbian, and bisexual lifestyles," let me explain this one more time. A PERSON CANNOT BE MADE GAY, TURN GAY, OR CHOOSE TO BE GAY. I have known a bunch of gay men in my 52 years of living and not one of them ever claimed to be indoctrinated or converted. I have known gay men (including myself) who have tried not to be gay. Anyone can choose not to be sexual, but our sexual orientation is a part of our nature, apparently from birth. I now choose to accept myself as I am.

As far as having a "preoccupation with promiscuous sexual relations," all I can say is that all of the gay men I know here in the Central Coast are either in long-term monogamous relationships or are dating with that in mind. We are no more promiscuous than our heterosexual counterparts. With the reality of HIV and other STDs, we ALL need to be careful.

Sadly, our pathetic partisan governor has already stated he will veto one of the bills in question. But again, I ask Mr. Page to let go of his practice of judgment, condemnation, and stone throwing and focus on his own character defects.

Jim Kunkler
San Luis Obispo


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