Opinion » Letters



Will brake for the ignorant

In response to Marsha Nettleton's letter ("Stop: This means you,- Oct. 6-13) complaining about skateboarders, bicyclists, and Rollerbladers not stopping at stop signs and stop lights: I am a bicyclist, and I stop at all stop signals, and I agree that everyone is required to comply with these traffic rules. However, I also am a driver, and in contrast to Ms. Nettleton, I will brake for bicyclists and other pedestrians who may be too ignorant or foolish or lazy to stop for stop signals, because I think that the serious injury or death that could result to a bicyclist or pedestrian from a collision with a car is too high a price for them to pay for their error in judgment.

Matt Colonell

San Luis Obispo


Batten down the hatches

In response to Ms. Hildick's letter published on the 6th of October ("Congress, get with the program-):

If Mr. Bush is the most brilliant president of the 21st century, then America is in for rough times indeed.

Joseph Crockett

Los Osos


Stop with the cheap shots, people

I like the New Times. I'm getting sick of its readers. In this region that prides itself on small-town charm, how can writers to the New Times take so much joy in being mean and spiteful?

Every week the opinion page is peppered with sarcastic diatribes against people with opposing opinions. Instead of respectful disagreement, there's caustic retaliation. Last week, Michael Larrea called a previous letter "pathetically ridiculous- and told the writer to "stop being a whiny little brat and grow up.- This is shameful. Civilized people don't insult others while hiding safely behind the opinion page. Letters like these poison debate and polarize the community. It's depressing, and it's epidemic. Please, everybody, just stop.

If you delight in fostering hostility and seeing your cheap shots in print, go to L.A. Leave this region and this page for those more concerned with listening, promoting dialogue, and building consensus than giving your ideological enemies a black eye.

Christopher Shelby

San Luis Obispo


James Dean was not on his way to Laguna Seca...

This is to bring a major error to your attention in your story about James Dean ("Closing in on the ‘Dean mystique,'- Sept. 29-Oct. 6). Your story states he was killed on his way to Laguna Seca. That is not true. Dean was on his way to a race being held on the runways of the Salinas airport. Laguna Seca did not open until the summer of 1957.

Joe Stephan

Avila Beach


… he was going to the Salinas Airport

I just read your article called "Closing in on the ‘Dean mystique.'- You said Dean was headed to Laguna Seca the weekend of the crash. Many other sources say he was headed to the Salinas airport - configured for road racing. While Salinas is very near Laguna Seca, there is a difference. He only competed in about three races in '55 before his demise... they were at local Southern Cal sites... old airstrips from World War II were being used and configured. I heard that an AF general was a big race fan and permitted races to go on without a hassle. Salinas was his first venture north. I'm in San Jose and pretty familiar with Laguna Seca and Salinas. The latter is a decent commercial airport now.

Rick Deutsch

San Jose


Thanks for the Dean coverage

Having been on Laguna Seca a couple of times myself, I felt those turns again in your words. Thank goodness it was you this time, not me. At my age I doubt the heart would survive what was so much "fun- way back when. A Dean fan forever with family that was with Warner Brothers during Jimmy's films, I was given one of the red jackets by my aunt in 1956 with the story to "put it away; it will be worth a lot of money someday.- I wore it to shreds in high school after finding out where it came from. Great story John, thank you.

Tom Corso

Lakeside, Ore.


Charlee may need a math lesson

I am not a mathematician and I did not read Barbara Mitchell's commentary ("What happened to the War on Poverty?- Sept. 29-Oct. 6); however, I am compelled to respond to Charlee Smith's letter ("Thirty-seven percent not a ‘large majority,'- Oct. 6-13).

Charlee, according to the facts you presented in your letter, 20 percent of American soldiers are African-American. You clearly pointed out that this is not a majority. But did you forget that African-Americans make up only about 12 percent of the population in the United States? Do you see where I'm going here? Furthermore, your facts indicate that minorities as a whole make up only 37.5 percent of enlisted personnel. So, whites make up 62.5 percent of enlisted personnel, right? How come you didn't indicate that whites make up 75 percent of the population in this country? I know you questioned Barbara's sources. Are you perhaps relying on Fox News for your information?

Andrea Devitt

San Luis Obispo


De Vaul isn't the best example for students

News that Cal Poly architecture students, under the guidance of President Baker and Professor Watry, are going to push through development of Dan De Vaul's Sunny Acres "estate home- and homeless enclave raises interesting issues about ethics and professional education.

Shouldn't an important part of an architect's education be in ethics and respect for the laws which govern the profession? Since De Vaul has long demonstrated contempt for the law, why are Cal Poly students being used to engage with him? Since De Vaul's land is neither zoned nor designated for any of the proposed uses, why are the students being taught disrespect for planning law by being led to believe by their professional mentors their project has legitimacy? There are ample other properties zoned for the proposed uses. Why not work on a plan for one of those?

The world has plenty of sleazy architects, planners, contractors, and developers already. Why is Cal Poly, from President Baker on down, teaching its students in a disrespectful way that will further swell the ranks of sleazy professionals?

Terri Drake

San Luis Obispo


Don't blame Shirley Bianchi

A staunch conservative politically I am, and I disagree with Supervisor Bianchi on land use issues at times, etc. etc. However, she tries to be fair and practical. A mean-spirited letter suggested that Los Osos has spoken and that she should gleefully welcome new LOCSD board members ("Shirley Bianchi, where are you?- Oct. 6-13).

Perhaps since the letter was written the author has heard Roger Briggs' announcement regarding the whole issue of a state "cease and desist- mandate. Perhaps Mrs. Bianchi, knowing what was coming, was waiting and hoping her constituents wouldn't get hammered, as she knew they would, before commenting about or abetting their foolishness. I'm sure she, rather than taking 51 percent over 49 percent, felt like a parent who knows the kids might be experimenting with drugs. You can counsel all you want, but some of them will still try to swim upstream, not studying and learning what the consequences will render. So, swim upstream in storm season, party away in glee: but don't blame the supervisor who tried to explain what might happen if you inhale.

Ken Marks



What happened to Los Osos' Prop 218?

This is a question I hope you, or one of your readers, can answer for me:

I live in Arroyo Grande and have read about the sewer problem of L.O. for years. It looks like it is drawing to a close.

But I remember an election in L.O. run pursuant to Prop 218 a few years ago. At that time the property owners voted to assess themselves for a sewer. That was property owners, as required by the proposition, who voted (many of whom did not live in L.O. because the moratorium wouldn't let them build), and they wanted to build, so they agreed to be assessed.

Now there was a recent election where registered voters, who may be renters - even students living several to a house - not owning property, have voted in a board that has stopped the sewer.

And I was told fines or penalties brought against the district by this action will result in liens on property owners , not the voters who recently invalidated the vote of the 218 election. Is this possible? Doesn't any assessment have to be voted in by property owners , as per 218?

Lorna Brown

Arroyo Grande


I didn't agree to $205 a month

I was bothered by a sentence in a recent lawsuit document: "As it is, those in the Prohibition Zone agreed to pay $205 per month for 30 years.-

The only "agreement- was the assessment amount of $3,889.30 for the bond, with a hope of future grants. The former CSD handed out a red card titled "Cost Breakdown for Developed Property Single Family Residences,- which stated that the total ongoing costs were $107.80/mo. This included the assessment amount, repayment of the state revolving fund, and operation and maintenance. This does not include decommission of tank or hookup. $107.80 does not equal $205. (Original Community Plan costs were $9.88-$38.75 month for everything!)

I understand the many reasons that the costs have increased, but I hate to see stated on a legal document that we agreed to $205 per month for 30 years when we did not. We also protested the acceptance of the high bids... that is definitely not an agreement! Am I missing something? Somehow the assessment vote of $3,889.30 was used to commit us to a "blank check-!

This "blank check- is not just about paper money, it is about people surviving: trying to buy groceries, medicines, etc., or moving: losing their neighbors, schools, stores, doctors, church connections, daily routines, and physical surroundings. Does this sound like a rational agreement?

Marie Smith

Los Osos


How dare you allow the National Guard to advertise in this paper

I was very dismayed to see a National Guard ad in your employment section. What upset me were the lies printed so boldly, and the reverse, sick psychology the government is using.

For instance: It says if I join I can stay near home. Tell that to the National Guard fighting in Iraq. It implies 100 percent of college tuition will be paid, when actually two-thirds of recruits never receive any college education and only 15 percent ever graduate with a four-year degree. It states one can serve one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Tell that to the National Guard serving in Iraq, over and over. It implies medical benefits. If you come home with cancer from depleted uranium, no amount of medical is going to do you any good. Or if you come home with only one arm or leg, there goes life as you know it. One thing that is true is that you will travel - to Iraq, to kill or be killed.

How about some truth in advertising? I know the government has stooped to new low levels, but the New Times , too? I was hoping you were above such indiscretions.

Janet Allenspach


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