Thursday, November 27, 2014     Volume: 29, Issue: 18

Weekly Poll
How should we deal with people arrested for drug offenses?

Put ’em in jail.
Treat ’em.
Put ’em in jail and treat ’em.
Seize their property, prosecute them for half a decade, and dismiss their cases.

Vote! | Poll Results

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New Times / Letters to the Editor

Bottled water is the true enemy

Helen Saulsbury - Arroyo Grande -

SLO County needs to address something bigger than the Styrofoam issue. We are being charged for plastic bags, yet the sale of bottled water has soared. There is no campaign to stop the sale of bottled water. Did you know we are paying more per ounce for that water than gas? Tests have proven that bottled water is insignificantly different than most tap water.

Oil is used in the manufacturing of those bottles. There is no good news: The bottles fill streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and our landfill; they are eyesores everywhere. We are very green in SLO County. It is not enough to bring our bags to our stores; we need not focus on Styrofoam; we need to stop the real abuser: bottled water.

'The thing between the legs'

Rodi Bragg - San Luis Obispo -

Shredder has ironically become the Voice of Reason as of late, especially in light of the recent exploits of one particular fraternity’s misogynistic actions (“Remember to not get raped,” Nov. 13). I wasn’t surprised when I first read about Pi Kappa Alpha’s said Facebook posts. But what got me was the onslaught of sexism occurring in our own town at the beginning of Cal Poly’s fall semester. Cal Poly students really put the WOW in Week of Welcome.

Over the course of WOW, I heard from friends who witnessed misogynistic behavior such as:

1) Putting signs in front of frat houses on the first day of Cal Poly saying “I’ll be your daughter’s first” and “I’ll f*ck your daughter.”

2) Overheard conversation between two assumed Cal Poly students (wearing yellow WOW shirts): “I would f*ck the legs and the thing between the legs.”

What these two occurrences go to show you is that there is a culture of sexism at Cal Poly and in our town that breeds this paradigm that makes these people feel entitled to whatever “object” they desire. To these people, girls are not people. They are just a thing. They aren’t even a dirty person such as c*nt or a nasty person with a p*ssy. They are just “hot young boxes” and “things.”

I give my condolences to the victim of this assault, and I applaud her bravery for coming forward. But it doesn’t surprise me that in this misogynistic culture, rape happens. What does surprise me is that more people aren’t standing up for people (yes, people) like her. What surprises me is that no one is stopping these clowns from harassing our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, our friends, and ourselves because what ends rape is when people stop raping people.

What are we going to do to stop it? Email your responses to

Remember nuance?

Debbie Highfill - Morro Bay -

In our public airspace, don’t you see how the rhetoric comes from the inside out? I’m noticing that people who aren’t working on developing compassion and seeing the humanity in all people are the ones who simplify things into stock labels and simple vilification. For instance, our president is a human being like the rest of us. He has many faults and also many good qualities. He accomplishes good thing and also makes plenty of mistakes.

With intelligence and the desire to practice compassion, we are able to see nuances and the good in every human being.

I long for the day when our rhetoric embraces our ideals and we can be an inspiring country and a model for others once again.

Pet owners: Beware of wily coyotes

John Winthrop - Cayucos -

Sad to relate that my beautiful, black rescue kitty, “Mister Johnson,” disappeared from my yard on Veterans Day. He had never even left my yard before, and I think he got nabbed by a coyote. I see them running the hills and creekbeds near my Cayucos home all the time while out on my bike, many have been spotted in and around town, and they are extra hungry and thirsty with this prolonged drought.

It is easy to get into my neighborhood (18th Street) via the dry creekbed from the eastside cemetery, under the freeway, and coming out at 24th Street. They hunt at night, often two or more, and they will nab your cat (or small dog!) in no time.

I really miss my funny, gentle kitty and advise you to keep yours in at night so it doesn’t happen to you, too!

Don't leave the library in the dark

Carolyn LeVesque - Arroyo Grande -

I recently went to my local branch of the SLO Library System, located at 800 W. Branch, Arroyo Grande. It was about 6 p.m., about an hour after the sun had set, and the library was closing at 7. Right away, as I drove up, I noticed how dark it was in the upper parking area where I usually park, which is to the left of the building. I then went to find a parking spot in the section of the parking that is to the right of the building. Again, I noticed how dark several sections of that was. There was even a bulb out on the streetlight that should have been illuminating a set of stairs going from one section of the lot to another, lower section.

When I entered the library, I went immediately over to the staff on duty at the desk and asked if they were aware of the burnt-out bulbs all through the parking lots. They told me they were aware, they had reported it in the past (evidently to no avail), and that it effected them directly as the section of the parking lot they themselves park in is located in the dark areas as well. I asked if it was a money-saving or budget issue, but they didn’t know the answer to that.

As I left, I counted 19 burnt-out bulbs—and there may be more, as it was hard to see them all in the dark. This figure represents about a third to a half of the parking lot lights. Lights on the building itself were dark, but most of the burnt-out bulbs were located in sections of the parking lot that were now deep pockets of darkness.

In my opinion, this failure to properly illuminate the parking area represents a serious liability problem for SLO County, which I believe oversees the library facilities. Perhaps I’m wrong about where the responsibility lies, but I believe the matter needs immediate attention and correction. It’s easy to see how a person—library staff or patron—might trip over a curb or step, break a hip, get a concussion, be assaulted in the darkness, etc.

Would you please see that the correct person or department get this complaint and remedies the matter before someone gets injured?