New Times / Letters to the Editor
Carrot farmers get no sympathy from me
John Franks - Pismo Beach -
Having just read the article regarding the plight of residents of New Cuyama (New Times, “Rooted beneath,” Sept. 22) I have to say that I have zero sympathy for carrot farmers. We lived in the little community for years and while we loved the town, the carrot people were a blot on it. Twice in the past they, through their reckless spraying of toxic pesticides by airplane, caused children at the local school to get sick and the school had to be closed. When we lived there our child was nearing school age, and so, knowing this history, I called the farm manager to inquire about their current practices. I expected someone who would be understanding and reassuring. After all, these are children were talking about. But no, he was immediately rude and abusive, and, thinking that I was calling from the school, threatened that he might just call the school district to lodge a complaint.
So we came to dread the regular sprayings from above, feeling that the concerns of residents were of no concern to the carrot people. Another oddity, we thought, was that they have both a conventional and an organic carrot business, each separated from the other by a narrow road. If you’re spraying from the air onto a crop on one side of the road, what’s the chance that the organic crop on the other side is being contaminated? High, I suspect. Finally, deciding that we didn’t want to play a game of Russian roulette with the health of our child, we moved. Good luck to the people of New Cuyama. I suspect you’ll have to fight for your rights
Oh, one other thing I should mention, a photo in the story shows a farm mass watering during the day. Yeah. That’s a good way to lose half of it to evaporation as any good gardener could tell you. Nighttime is best as there’s no need to worry about mold. The desert environment of New Cuyama is proof against it.
SLO needs a proven leader
James Papp - member , SLO Cultural Heritage Committee -
The recent—and successful—struggle to save the quarter-millennium-old mission aqueduct from casual destruction by a developer’s backhoe shows why experienced leadership is necessary for San Luis Obispo. Demolition began shortly after 7 a.m. one morning. The Chumash archaeological observer called the tribal chair, the tribal chair called me, we alerted Jan Marx, and the mayor immediately sprang into action. A stop work order was issued, and within days the city and the developer reached a preservation and display agreement that will make them both proud.
The candidates for mayor have a long list of ideals; only Jan Marx has a long list of accomplishments, both before and during her tenure as mayor. The city commission I volunteer for, the Cultural Heritage Committee, is bound by reams of municipal, state, and federal regulations. As an activist, it is easy to be flippant about process, but we live in a rule-bound society. Unless you understand process, you don’t achieve product. All of my work with Jan, even when we don’t agree, shows her to be the city’s most thoughtful, committed, and—more important—effective advocate of both our natural and historic environment.
A thought on the student-to-resident ratio
Todd Katz - SLO -
Regarding the opinion piece “It’s not just about trees” (Sept. 22), the statement that “concerned citizens are simply requesting that the CalPoly student-to-resident ratio” be limited to one Mustang for every 2.5 residents is technically intriguing. One approach: at the beginning of each semester, an attractive electronic ankle bracelet would be placed on anyone enrolled in CalPoly (except senior citizens). This will allow the city—at any moment—to know the numbers and locations of college students in our midst, as well as figure out which ones are actually living in town.
Food in the green waste bin
Gary Corsiglia - SLO -
So I’ve been trying the food in the green waste bin program for a couple of weeks now. First week: the daily dumping of the counter top food bin into a green waste bin that had plenty of garden clippings. Three warms days later, the green bin was covered with maggots. I rolled the green bin to the curb and washed it out after the clippings and food were picked up. I stopped including meats in the counter top food bin and only dumped it when it was full instead of daily. There were no maggots, but this week I didn’t have any garden clippings, so I rolled my green bin to the curb with about two food bins of food in it. I just can’t see that having every household in San Luis Obispo rolling nearly empty green bins to the curb on a weekly basis will result in positive energy after considering that the green waste trucks will be stopping to pick up thousands of nearly empty green bins. I’m thinking that next week I’ll recycle the counter top food bin in the blue bin.
Campbell should be removed from the county Planning Commission
David Broadwater - Atascadero -
At a Sept. 22 public hearing, 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold’s appointee to (and chairman of) the SLO County Planning Commission attacked American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights to speech, assembly, and seeking redress of grievances. Upon assuming office, Don Campbell swore an oath to uphold the U.S. and California constitutions, an oath he has clearly and egregiously violated.
When another commissioner asked the planning director if someone who applied for a garage conversion and failed to pay the required processing fees, as Phillips 66 has for its Nipomo rail-spur proposal, would be allowed to proceed as Phillips 66 has, Campbell interrupted with what he called a “rebuttal.” He said that an unidentified man in the oil industry told him that five unidentified people speaking at a prior SLO County hearing had said the same things in another jurisdiction.
That was no rebuttal. It was a despicable theft of the microphone to divert attention from a question of equal enforcement of the law and use his power to demean and de-legitimize critics of a multi-national corporation’s plan in our county.
Don Campbell has demonstrated unacceptable disregard for his oath of office and the citizenry that Supervisor Arnold purports to serve. His immediate removal is required.
Unwanted railway spur, how pathetic
Hans & El-Jay Hansson - Arroyo Grande -
The public has shown the SLO County Planning Commission time and time again that we do not want the Phillips 66 railway spur on the Nipomo Mesa. Hundreds of pleas from not only local residents, afraid of losing their health and home, but representatives from Los Angeles and other large cities, fire departments, etc., are on record requesting denial. On Sept. 22, another lengthy meeting had 75-plus public comments—first the Planning Commission went straight to making a list of problems and how to mitigate them. Evidentially 10 major mitigations cannot be solved. Next the meeting was postponed again. Is the Planning Commission trying to wear down these good people?
Political Watch 9/29/16 Electing to create: Central Coast artists make a statement on everything from The Donald to the local housing crisis Hobnobbing with Helen Buying a stake: Family-owned wineries often get help from top investors Santa Maria area housing among most expensive in country, study says Nipomo resident sues CHC for allegedly disclosing his mental health records Heat breaks records, cuts school day short in Santa Maria