Tuesday, November 24, 2015     Volume: 30, Issue: 17

Weekly Poll
What would you like to see the United States do about ISIS?

Air strikes are a start, but let’s put boots on the ground.
Look for less confrontational ways to address the situation, like economic sanctions and a multilateral peacekeeping effort.
They’re a pissed off byproduct of the 2003 Iraq invasion. Maybe it’s time to stop creating more terrorists.
Let’s begin by helping the refugees that fled from their violence.

Vote! | Poll Results

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New Times / Letters to the Editor

Public spaces belong to everyone

Lucia Casalinuovo - Oceano -

I enjoy hiking on Ontario Ridge every other day. It is a magnificent, wide open space we can all share in peace. Unfortunately, someone has placed a huge religious symbol, a cross, right on the top of the mountain. A plaque under the cross incites people “to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” I resent having to look at this display of religious fanaticism every time I hike up there. Religious fanaticism of all denominations breeds discord and resentment. People have fought and are still fighting in the name of their religion. Therefore, religious beliefs must be kept private. Please, remove your cross from the top of Ontario Ridge before someone else does it in anger. Display it, if you must, in your front yard. The view and the trail on Ontario Ridge don’t belong to you alone but to all of us. We all have the right to a peaceful, fanaticism-free hike. 

Investing in oil doesn't make sense

Allen Root - San Luis Obispo -

We must not allow the expansion of the refinery in Nipomo. Photovoltaic markets are expanding 50 percent per year world wide. Many nations get substantial electricity from wind, Denmark averaging 34 percent. This, while oil industries have higher costs of exploration and extraction, and lower demand and product price. Shell Oil just abandoned an $8 billion exploration effort in the Arctic, and Exxon announced 7,000 layoffs, in an industry that has seen 300,000 lose their jobs. Trillions of dollars in investments in the carbon industries have been divested. Now many are required to reinvest in renewables, and Wall Street is watching. Paraphrasing Amory Lovins: Investing in carbon extraction or new power plants in the face of renewable mandates and expanding carbon trading is akin to buying up carriage makers as the automobile was poised to solve London’s horse manure crisis. We cannot simultaneously develop carbon extraction and jump on the expanding, bright new world of clean air, water, job creation, and great standard of living.

Bullet train or water?

Alan Eft - Orcutt -

As the drought worsens, I wonder how committed our state politicians and law makers are to our health and well-being. If concerned as they say WE should be, then they should be doing some SERIOUS planning.

It seems to me that they aren’t focused on water or a drought that will not only affect California, but the rest of the country and some of the world as well, since California supplies food to those outside this state.

Law makers and politicians are focused on getting billions of dollars for a bullet train that most California tax payers don’t want because they get no benefit from it anyway.

Why can’t the money be spent on water, where it is needed more than for a political pet project?

During a good rain, we lose millions of gallons of rain water to storm drains and then the ocean. This water can be captured and treated for our use. Also, desalination plants can be built to convert sea water into usable water. It will cost money to do these things, but it can be allocated from the bullet train funds, or maybe some other less important project.

Water is the lifeblood of this state for both farmers and the rest of the population. Save us now while there’s still time. Provide water for the 40 million Californians instead of a bullet train for a few thousand.

State politicians and law makers: Please divert project money with questionable widespread benefits to water projects that will save lives, not just commute time.

SLO's judges will never be anything but local

Diana Rocha - Pismo Beach -

It should come as no surprise to anyone having found themselves the victim of the injustices dealt out daily by our local branch of the Superior Courts of California: Our local authorities are crooked. Corrupt. Unable or unwilling to be impartial, and fraught with unsound judgments.

But that doesn’t mean that John Trice is any more guilty than the rest of the judges serving at the SLO branch of the California Superior Courts. It just means that he pissed one of the other judges off enough for them to throw stones through the glass house windows of Judge Trice first. In the hopes that he wouldn’t throw them back, or that if he did throw them back no one would listen or notice because his windows were broken first. That being said, as a former victim of the corrupt practices of Judge Trice, his minion Lee Cunningham, and their partners in crime at the McGuire and Ashbaugh law firm, I feel that in the end, after 18 months of bargaining and backlash, Judge Trice was fair in his final disposition of my case.

Judge Harmon is the one who should be getting all the negative publicity. She is a terrible judge for criminal or drug court cases (but might do much better in either small claims court or civil court). Put in perspective, both of these judges have accomplished all they will in their career and are nearing the end if their chance to leave a legacy before they retire and die. They will never be Supreme Court judges. They will never be appellate judges beyond the local branch of the court. Let them just evolve out of their present positions of power, to hopefully be replaced by someone of the next generation that have more insight, more understanding, and fewer connections to the local good ol’ boys network. So they can do the job without violating any of the statutes found in the Crimes Against Justice section of the California Penal Code.

We need community brainstorming to address climate change

Georgia Sanford - Grover Beach -

In his talk Nov. 13 at the Grange Hall in SLO, David Barsamian of Alternative Radio stressed the urgency of getting off fossil fuels in the few years we have before climate change becomes irreversible. He exhorted the audience to work in our own community here and now, not to wait for government action, which may be too little, too late.

How can we meet this emergency? Improved mass transit could help to reduce the hordes of cars on the roads, but buses too use fossil fuel. This crisis demands bold imagination. How about rickshaws for those who cannot ride bicycles? Fleets of 100 percent electric cars with solar powered batteries? Horses and buggies?

All of us must join the massive brainstorming called for.

Thanks for the Veterans Day help

The Board of Directors - Historical Society of Morro Bay -

For Veterans Day, the Historical Society of Morro Bay and Veterans Helping Veterans in Need hosted lunch for 100 veterans, family members, and friends to network and celebrate military contributions to Morro Bay’s history.

Thank you to community members, individuals and organizations who helped make this event a huge success. Help came from many groups, including Chuck Stoll and his team from the Morro Bay Senior Center, who served up a great meal; the honor guard from Marine Corps League, Detachment 680; Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum; Cambria American Legion, Post 432; Chaplain John Angel; Morro Bay Fire Department and city of Morro Bay; AGP Video; Cambria artist Phil Hauser; Elsie Deitz; Tom Wilmer; and numerous community members who pitched in to help.

There is not room to thank everyone individually, but please know your hard work and contributions were greatly appreciated. We also thank Albertsons, Cookie Crock Warehouse, and Costco for their generous contributions.

The Historical Society of Morro Bay hopes to present more events of this type in the future. Those interested in learning about the organization can go to historicalmorrobay.org or call 399-2772.

Once again, our sincere thanks to all.