Monday, March 30, 2015     Volume: 29, Issue: 35

Weekly Poll
Are invasive species problematic?

Oh yes; humans need to be more careful in how we impact the environment.
Nah, it’s survival of the fittest, bro.
No more so than all the other things humans do.
Only when they try to butt in on my private conversations at parties.

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New Times / Letters to the Editor

Why are you picking on us, New Times?

Mary Riley - San Luis Obispo -

When we first saw the utility box covered with weird, dripping paint at Broad and Pismo, we assumed it was graffiti. We waited for the city to paint over it. Only upon close examination did we realize it was done on purpose. So what do all the tourists who drive by that corner think? It looks like our neighborhood has been tagged.

For three years, some of the neighbors (including Peg Pinard) have been asking the city about this. Suddenly, out of the blue, New Times is on a campaign to ridicule our concerns. Why devote 2,000 words of vitriol against Peg and the neighbors (“The debate of public art in SLO,” March 19; “Shredder Stew,” Feb. 19)? I’m sure the artist has many personal friends who think his work is great. But this is public art in the wrong place.

You say the biker represents San Luis Obispo. What about the deer with the gunshot coming out of its chest? And your argument that we are wrong to say it is public art even though it was paid for by the public and in a public space doesn’t make sense at all.

Thank you, Peg, for voicing our concerns to the city these past years. And shame on you, New Times, for trying to mock a group of concerned residents. You normally have higher standards than this.

Yes, these two projects are one

Andrew Christie - Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club director, San Luis Obispo -

Thanks to Rhys Heyden for hitting the nail on the head in his report on the wider implications of the proposed Phillips 66 refinery rail terminal and the company’s stonewalling when confronted with the fundamental nature of its project (“Warning shots,” March 19).

The ongoing denial that the delivery of tar sands crude oil to the Santa Maria refinery would impact air quality both here and at the Rodeo Refinery more than 200 miles away is something that Communities for a Better Environment, Center for Biological Diversity, ForestEthics, and the Sierra Club pointed out in our comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Santa Maria Refinery project. In separating the two, Phillips 66 is attempting to hide the full scope of the project and the magnitude of the threat to public health.

This flaw alone—and it is far from alone—invalidates the entire Environmental Impact Report and its attempt to analyze the project’s potential impacts and propose mitigations for them.

The final EIR will either acknowledge that the two projects and their impacts must be analyzed together or perpetuate the deceit of attempted separation. Which way the county goes on that issue will tell us all where the county intends to go with the project.

Oppose the 
Oceano water 
service increase

Lucia Casalinuovo - Oceano -

I protest the proposed increase in water service charges planned by Oceano Community Services District. Contrary to what it claims, the increase would do nothing to help us with the drought. I rather think that Oceano District needs the increase to pay for the deficit caused by its dysfunctional governance. I suggest that the Oceano District decrease the salaries of its bureaucrats to pay for the deficit it caused. If the Oceano District wants to address the drought, then it should impose a moratorium on yard-watering, for a lot of our water goes into our yards. Residents of Oceano, please send in your written protest or go to the April 20 meeting at 6:30 p.m. to voice it. If the district receives protests from more than 50 percent of the properties receiving water services, then the board cannot adopt the proposed rate increase.

Don't forget cloud seeding

Greg Larson - San Luis Obispo -

Why, as California is running out of water, have we not demanded that a cloud-seeding regimen be implemented, publicly or privately?! It has been known since Project Storm Fury in the 1960s that clouds can be manipulated to either grow or dissipate by using small amounts of strategically placed silver iodide in timed intervals. This would cost far less than building desalinization plants and pipelines to disburse the water.

Cloud seeding has been used to extend the monsoon season in Vietnam and used to lessen a hurricane’s strength. Are we going to run out of water without at least trying this option?

Talk directly to the supes about Wild Cherry Canyon

Debbie Highfill - Morro Bay -

Talking with neighbors and letters to the editor are good, but I urge everyone who is concerned about the Wild Cherry Canyon development to address their concerns to the Board of Supervisors. It is easy to get their email addresses by putting “San Luis Obispo County supervisors” in the Google bar. Hopefully we will have an outpouring of sanity to their ears!