Most obvious solution better than no solution
I can assure Mr. Quisenberry ("Don't blame hunters, blame cats," Letters, Sept. 1-8) that no environmentalist thinks introducing predatory house pets to natural ecosystems and their wildlife is a good thing. Public education is likely to be far more effective than any attempt at a cat-curbing ordinance. Yes, bells would be nice.
Does the bird hunt in Morro Bay happen inside the Morro Bay Bird Sanctuary? Yes. The problem is created by proximity. Firearms may not be discharged nor any bird deliberately harmed within Morro Bay's city limits. The Morro Bay city line extends into the estuary, bisecting the grassy island area where large concentrations of wintering waterfowl, and waterfowl hunters, are to be found. Aside from the untenable situation of a hunting zone located directly adjacent to a bird sanctuary - akin to a drag strip located next to a hospital - the demarcation is poorly marked.
To further split the hair: If a hunter in a boat on the south side of the city limit fires a shotgun at a goose in the water on the north side, or flying overhead from north to south, is he hunting in the sanctuary? What if he shoots the bird in the air outside the sanctuary and it falls in the water inside? Or vice versa? Does it depend on what the meaning of "in" is?
To sum up the problems and their potential solutions: Thousands of cats and opossums: non-obvious and complicated. Fifty to a hundred guys with shotguns: obvious and simple. Ban hunting in the estuary.
Sierra Club, Santa Lucia Chapter
Donate to Katrina victims
Mid-State Bank and Heritage Oaks Bank are matching donations made by those wanting to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. You need not be a customer of either bank in order for them to match your donation; a desire to help is all that is required. No donation is too small to make a difference at this tragic and devastating time. I urge all to donate whatever they can to ease the suffering of those now in such desperate need of our assistance.
Many, many thanks go out to both Mid-State Bank and Heritage Oaks Bank for exhibiting such compassion toward our fellow Americans in their desperate time of need. Their generosity in matching our donations will dramatically increase the funds available to the Gulf Coast survivors. Both of these financial institutions are fine examples of the goodness and goodwill in this community we call home.
Gays aren't allowed to help?
KSBY has been reporting recently that the Tri-Counties Blood Bank is working to get 400 pints of blood to victims of Hurricane Katrina but needs another 1,800 just to cover local needs. Feeling the need to help out, I phoned the Tri-Counties Blood Bank to set up an appointment to donate blood. According to the KSBY newscast, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds, and be in good health to donate. It should also be noted that another requirement is that you can't be gay.
Although blood bank officials say "for every pint of blood donated, there's the potential for saving three lives," they rejected my donation attempt on the grounds that I am homosexual. Although I am 29, in top physical health, and have the desire to make a difference, the woman at the blood bank told me, "We don't take blood donations from gays ... " and hung up on me. Apparently, they are truly not in dire need for donations as was reported. Although the horrible treatment I received from the person at the blood bank was shocking on its own, the overall practice of blood bank officials deciding the fate of victims in need of blood based on ignorance is unconscionable.
It breaks my heart to see that even in San Luis Obispo, hatred and discrimination trumps charity and kindness. More and more I am beginning to experience behavior like this in our community; the underside of "the spirit of the Central Coast."
San Luis Obispo
Taxes are not 'private donations'
When do taxes become private donations? In "Sick no more" (Aug. 25-Sept. 1), the public is led to believe that Healthy Kids is funded from private donations so immigration status can be "ignored."
Take off the sugarcoating and realize that Healthy Kids is funded from a 50-cent tax on cigarettes, a matching-funds grant funded by SLO County taxpayers, as well as private donations.
Recall CSD egotism
Voters in Los Osos/Baywood, pay attention to your community! Look where the "No Recall" signs are posted: large, empty lots; rental units; Realtors' property. Look at where the "no vote" money is coming from: owners of large pieces of property, owners of rental units, developers, Realtors, and people who don't even live here.
This morning I stood at the fence surrounding the Tri-W site. I witnessed the panic of a terrified doe as she ran back and forth inside the fence, trying to get away from the noise and people who were there to take down the trees. I am so angry and so sad at what is happening to our community today.
Three of our CSD directors refused to wait for one single month in order to hear the will of the voters. Fear and/or arrogance appear to be the real motives for their stubborn refusal to wait for the results of the vote on Sept. 27. Or, are they so married to this site fiasco that they pushed to cause so much damage thinking that the voters would resign themselves to a fait accompli?
Regardless of where the sewer ends up, I will certainly vote to recall those three men who are so full of themselves and their own agenda that they could not wait 30 days to find out once and for all what the voters of our community really wanted. People of Los Osos/Baywood, join me in voting to recall these men. They do not honor this community.
Darlene M. Reynolds
Thank you, Rose
A tip of my hat to the memory of Rose Bowker. The threads that she wove into our community tapestry were magnificent indeed. We cannot dwell on the fact that she is no longer with us, but instead be warmed by the memory that she once lived among us.
Past 25-year resident
Bamboo surfboards, bamboo planes...
Your article "Bamboo guru" (Strokes & Plugs, Sept. 1-8) reminded me of my Filipino friend of years ago, J.M. "Ching" Artiaga, who came to the U.S. as a college graduate in the '60s. He lived in the Philippines through the war years as a youth.
Ching told me that the Philippines had an air force before the Japanese attacked.
It was a dozen or so fighter planes made of bamboo. He said the pilots made valiant attempts to fight off the zeros and other planes. But the planes were slow, having engines that were at least 15 years old, and all were shot down by the enemy.
Even though I was in the Philippines in World War II and was very interested in the history of Pacific Theater war, I had never heard that story. Most of that history, however, has been covered in books, movies, and TV, except - as far as I know - the brave Philippine bamboo air force crews.
By the way, we used bamboo frames for our tents and for swimming in the ocean.
The Filipinos provided us with shoots 4 inches and thicker. The leftover ones we cut into 8-foot lengths and used to ride in the waves of the Lingyan Gulf near where we were camped on the island of Luzon. It was young Filipino kids that showed us how to place the bamboo poles in front of us and clamp our feet around them in order ride the waves.
It's about health, not property rights
I would like to respond to Jennifer Van Beurden's letter, "People have a right to build" (Sept. 1-8).
Jennifer, we are concerned for our community's health. The cell tower, placed in town, will radiate for 2 1/2 miles, affecting many of us in Los Osos.
Over 100 physicians and scientists at Harvard and Boston University schools of public health have called cellular towers a "radiation hazard." And, 33 delegate physicians from seven countries have declared cell phone towers a "public health emergency."
In 1998 the Vienna Resolution, signed by 16 of the world's leading bioelectromagnetic researchers, provided a consensus statement that there is scientific agreement that biological effects from low intensity RF exposure are established. It says existing scientific knowledge is inadequate to set reliable exposure standards. No safe exposure level can be established at this time.
Studies have shown that even at low levels of this radiation, there is evidence of damage to cell tissue and DNA, and it has been linked to brain tumors, cancer, suppressed immune function, depression, miscarriage, Alzheimer's disease, and numerous other serious illnesses.
Children are at the greatest risk, due to their thinner skulls and rapid rate of growth. Also at greater risk are the elderly, the frail, and pregnant women.
Our federal government once told us that asbestos, cigarettes, thalidomide, and the blood supply were "safe," and were later found to be harmful.
Sewers aren't just about toilets
Ellen Ammener suggests the use of composting toilets as a solution to the sewer controversy in Los Osos ("The ultimate solution for Los Osos," Opinion, Sept 1-8).
This alternative to the flush toilet can be used in favorable conditions. However, it requires special care. In private homes, where owners and renters seldom give proper care to septic systems, it's not likely that composting toilets would be successful in general use. It is not a solution to the problems of wastewater treatment. The water used for baths, showers, clothes washing, dishwashing, garbage disposals, and the many uses of kitchen and bathroom sinks far exceeds that used in toilets. All this wastewater must be handled separately, and a sewer of some kind is the only practical choice.
Don't quit your day job, Mr. Smith
Two years ago C.L. Smith gazed into his Republican crystal ball and gave us a vision of what the world would look like on the fourth anniversary of 9/11 ("9/11+2," Opinon, Sept.11-18, 2003). Let's see how he did.
Mr. Smith's prediction: "China will have cracked down on North Korea and unification talks with South Korea will be seriously underway."
Reality: North Korea has reprocessed enough spent uranium fuel rods to make 20-30 atom bombs while China seems more concerned with a possible trade war with the U.S.
Mr. Smith's prediction: "All American troops will be out of a self-governing Iraq with a relatively small American security force left in Afghanistan."
Reality: There are even more U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, with absolutely no timetable for their withdrawal.
Mr. Smith's prediction: "Internal change will transform Iran to become an ex-member of the Axis of Evil."
Reality: Iran has elected an extreme hard-liner as president and is actively pursuing nuclear capabilities.
Mr. Smith's prediction: "We will be six months away from the creation of an official Palestinian state."
Reality: Israel has retreated from Gaza, leaving it essentially in the hands of Hamas.
Mr. Smith's prediction: "Gasoline will be $1.39 a gallon."
Reality: This prediction was his closest, missing the mark by a mere 115 percent.
And as for his statement "America has tendency to err on the side of caution ... We have seen this in the environmental movement where the 'you can't be too careful' rule dominates"...
I think the people living along the Gulf Coast might disagree.