Sunday, December 21, 2014     Volume: 29, Issue: 21

Weekly Poll
What would you least like to have in your backyard?

Oil-drilling and processing.
Nuclear power.
I live in SLO; I can’t afford a backyard.

Vote! | Poll Results

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New Times / Letters to the Editor

The law is there to be followed or changed via proper channels

Chuck Reasor - Morro Bay -

It seems that lately some people have taken it upon themselves to be judge and jury in some recent incidents. From their comments, it looks like they somehow can’t read the facts and use common sense, but just jump in with their emotions. The law is just that: the law. If it needs to be changed, you do it by the legislative process—not by putting blindfolds on and disobeying it.

Police officers are sworn to enforce the law that has been upheld by the Constitution of the United States. A recent letter by Tom Fulks of Morro Bay points to the federal investigation as the ultimate fact finder in the cases ("Dyspeptic op-ed," Tribune, Dec. 6).

In my opinion, we have the most corrupt Department of Justice and IRS this nation has ever seen. The DOJ has exhibited its lying and ineptness on so many incidents—the gun-running issue, as well as others—I don’t see how anyone could accept a decision coming out of that agency.

Please look at the law-abiding side. If a law says you can’t stand on a street corner selling live rabbits and an officer comes and tells you to stop, as it is illegal, you stop selling live rabbits. You don’t argue or resist, but follow the law.

In all of the latest issues that are on the table, the people thought they were above the law, and in some instances took a violent stance against the officer upholding his duty. To me, this is just plain stupid. If you think the law is unfair, make the change using the basis provided in our Constitution—not rioting and interrupting everyone else’s life.

Local birds have a right to be

Ron Epping - Los Osos -

The guns of late autumn and early winter near Morro Bay National Estuary disturb the sense of peace and serenity of those of us who may be more sensitive to the incongruity of anyone being allowed to discharge weapons under the guise of hunting anywhere near an area where scores of species come for protective wintering.

The barbaric “leaving” of birds shot but not killed or retrieved is another travesty. I have observed Brant geese, generally alone and bloodied, standing in the shallows next to Sweet Springs Nature Preserve as if waiting, forlornly, for a mate to return. Fish and Game was notified. No one bothered to call back. More than likely, these birds died alone, in pain, with a bewildered look so understandable for one of nature’s more docile creatures that, having flown thousands of miles, on the verge of starvation, alighting in what is considered a national bird sanctuary, were then blown away within days of arrival by a small minority of people with high-powered shotguns booming away from dawn to dusk, seemingly oblivious to or simply uncaring about the rights of the vast majority who care that these gentle, peaceful and awe-instilling birds have a basic right to be.

Here's to hoping for quality Atascadero elections into the future

Jerry Clay - Atascadero -

Regarding the recent Atascadero election: Congratulations to the incumbent City Council members who were re-elected.

You have a daunting task ahead of you. The $7.5 million debacle at Del Rio needs to be renegotiated with all parties. The fix must not drain our city’s finances.

Stimulating development of Colony Square, the Hoff property, and creating incentives for new businesses’ success must be a priority.

I want to thank the three challengers. You made this election meaningful.

Our Chamber should televise their 2016 forum as Paso’s Chamber did this year. Televised forums are seen by thousands.

Charles Scovell spent just about $4,000 on his campaign and received 41 percent of the votes. There’s a compelling message here for change.

The bad? Al Fonzi’s tacky conduct toward Chuck Ward and Charles Scovell. He used scare tactics and half-truth speculation to discredit Patriot Ward, using crude words like “dump Ward.” He dug up dirt on Scovell, dating back to his teens. To his credit, Scovell had gone back to school, was student body president at Cuesta, and operates his own business. He told me he was running for mayor to show other young adults they can turn their lives around as he did.

I want to thank Fonzi for his many years of (military) service to our country and his involvement in community service projects. I can’t condone his questionable tactics during this election.

I hope the 2016 City Council election brings out even more qualified candidates and spirited discussion. It’s the American way.

Bailing on nuclear will hasten catastrophic climate change

Carl Page - San Francisco -

The Rochelle Becker commentary on Diablo ("Don't count on Diablo," Dec. 11) is unbelievably myopic. You don’t mention climate collapse!

Focusing on earthquake danger to a nuclear plant has to be weighed against other risks. In this case, the plant makes carbon-free and inexpensive energy for 2 MILLION homes in California, which would be mostly replaced with natural gas if it were shut down.

Wind and solar could only take a third or less of the load. Natural gas is methane, which is an extremely potent greenhouse gas when it leaks in to the atmosphere, which some fraction always does. When it burns, it forms CO2, which is rapidly destroying the ocean, our low-lying areas, and our way of life. Catastrophic climate change is happening as we speak.

Note that the Fukushima plants—old, decrepit, and corruptly managed—never-the-less survived a much more powerful earthquake than what Diablo faces. They had trouble with the tsunami and the power outage, not the earthquake.

The standards used by the plant operators don’t sound that bad to me: a more realistic understanding of the faults, coupled with a more realistic understanding of how forces decrease with distance from quakes.

Replacing Diablo with fracked gas, as you implicitly propose, will increase the danger of earthquakes. Fracking causes little earthquakes, and little quakes cause big ones. You are insane to implicitly suggest doing that!