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Yes, he's a young Yoko

Glen Starkey has somehow become the New Times' answer to Paula Abdul.

The headline on Starkey's column about Sean Lennon said, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." I assumed this meant the younger Lennon had inherited his father's talent. But I realized my mistake as soon as I listened to the four Lennon selections available at Starkey obviously meant Lennon had inherited his mother's talent.

Jim deYong

San Luis Obispo




I'm not gonna say it that way

Regarding Federico DeLeon's lesson in pronunciation ("My pronunciation is just fine, thanks," April 26): Pronouncing "hi-GUER-ah" as "e-guer-a" is wrong simply because the locals have pronounced it in the anglicized manner for at least the last 45 years that I have been around.

When cultures come together, there is a merger of cultures. One does not take over the other (isn't that what Spanglish is all about?). We do not call the demon city to the south "los AN-hell-es" as they would in "ME-he-co," and we ain't gonna start now.

Robert John





Developers' voices seem to count for more

I was amazed about an article in the other local newspaper, "Planners frown on hillside annexations" (April 27), for a lot of reasons. The most amazing thing that totally baffled me was that Mayor Dave Romero said he has not made up his mind, even though the article said there were 150 people against the annexation and only two for it.

What does this mean? Is a developer's voice worth 75 other citizens? Then, I thought that Mayor Dave is behaving this way because he knows that there are three county supervisors who would approve this project (and much more) in a "New York minute." Something is wrong when the mayor of SLO has to basically ignore the will of the people out of concern that the three county supervisors will approve a much larger project without any open space because they can only hear the cries of the two people who are for the project.

Wallace Lees

San Luis Obispo




Thanks for the reminder

I have to congratulate August Salemi for his clear thinking in the light of the tragedy that occurred at Virginia Tech on April 16 (Less gun control means more safety," April 26). It's so clear that the solution to hundreds of students running around panicked, unable to identify the shooter, is to arm them all with their own weapons. Obviously, the solution to this problem is more guns, not fewer. Never mind the fact that the campus and its occupants had no idea what was going on. Never mind the fact that it took police long enough to identify the person responsible for the massacre without stumbling onto a campus where everyone is waving a gun.

It's obvious that anyone who wants a gun should be given one even a student with a police record of stalking and a long list of fellow students and teachers in whom he inspired fear. The fact that someone with such blatant violent tendencies should be given a gun is without question.

And, for the record, not one letter has been printed in this paper blaming gun enthusiasts for what happened at Virginia Tech. Yours was the only irrational letter, eager to use a tragedy for your own political purposes. You're the only one spewing anything, and neglecting your creepy "those who have the guns have the power" mantra, you should be ashamed for attacking a group of legislators who could have prevented a mentally disturbed young man from being allowed to carry a gun in the first place.

So congratulations, Mr. Salemi, for reminding us that though the world is down one unstable gun-wielding murderer, there will always be more wackos eager to fill his place maybe even in our own backyard.

Lauren Ballantyne





Rising green voices are encouraging

Thank you, Ken Haggard and Rachel Aljilani, for your well-developed commentary, "Let's drive some wedges" (April 19). Your carbon reduction wedges model, supported through sustainable planning and green building practices,

offers a reasonable approach to reduce energy demand and reverse the global warming trend.

While attending the 2010 Imperative global emergency teach-in (web-cast), hosted by Cal Poly in February, I learned that buildings are responsible for 48 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions annually. As you know, Architecture 2030 has asked the global architecture and building community to adopt targets for all new buildings, developments, and major renovations to reach a greenhouse gas emitting standard of 50 percent by 2012 and to be carbon-neutral by 2030. I'm encouraged to hear a growing chorus of the same (green) message, one I know you've been singing

for a long time.

Teddy Llovet

Morro Bay




Who's side are you on?

There are people who believe that since our congress authorized the war that this means a firm commitment to the Iraqi people. Other people believe that since the United States hasn't won a war since World War II, our word is not worth much, and no country trusts us anyway. Between these extremes, there are a lot of views, but most loyal Americans don't want to see us get our ass kicked in Iraq.

I made the comment in an earlier letter ("Not everyone here is on the same side," April 19) that I overheard one man tell another one, "I hope we get our ass kicked in Iraq that would teach George Bush a lesson." He hated George Bush so much he was willing to have our children killed to show him up. I was offended and pointed out that we need to keep in mind that just because someone lives in the United States, it doesn't mean they are on our side.

I took a poll of my many friends who uniformly thought I had good reason to be offended by anyone who hoped we get our ass kicked in Iraq. One of your letter writers wrote that although he was born and lives in the United States, he is definitely not on my side ("I've got a T-shirt slogan for you," April 26). So, I guess we are left to wonder whose side he's on.

Robert Parkhurst





Don't use 'fascist' lightly

Regarding the great T-shirt controversy and the venom it has spawned: It seems that some of your readers have great difficulty dealing with opinions with which they disagree, to which their first response is to start name calling. The first word used is usually "fascist."

I see the T-shirts in a different light. To me, it is simply a frustrated reaction to the extreme left vitriol that so often is substituted for reasoned dissent. I refer not to those who simply think current national policies are wrong, but to the Michael Moore and Ward Churchill type of dissent that reacts to the events of 9/11 as "we had it coming."

Millions of Americans are steadfast in their belief that for all its flaws, this is a great and good nation, as are its people. They are bombarded incessantly with hate-filled opinions toward national leaders, and see cherished institutions ridiculed and every sacrifice met with satire or sarcasm. After a while, it's no wonder they become disgusted and express themselves with a T-shirt that says, "If you don't like it here, why don't you just leave?"

Most older veterans serve quietly with little or no fanfare and come home to lead lives as normal as possible, but never forgetting those friends who didn't come home and the sacrifices they made on behalf of a nation that seems ever more forgetful and ungrateful.

To those who use the term "fascist" so lightly, many of us have fought real fascists. It is a real insult, not easily forgotten or forgiven. So think a little before you resort to name calling. We are in need of reasoned thought, not hate-filled speech, lest we rend the fabric of the country so deeply that it will never be healed.

Lt. Col. Alfred J. Fonzi II (retired)




I am Otis Page

Patrick and Jim Mallon's commentary ("How to write like Otis," April 26) uses "novel sarcasm" to not go near and bypass the issues promoted by Democrats that undermine our nation today. It is the usual tactic to use pejoratives and disparaging statements (such as "Otis Page's rants") in attacking the letter writer with whom they disagree.ÜThe objective is obvious. Attack the person to keep away from the issues that are raised by the writer's letters.

What are a few of these issues? They include the Democrat's supported homosexual legislation to educate children in our schools on the homosexual lifestyles in the false name of toleration. The authoring of "hate crime" legislation to establish that criticism of homosexuals is a criminal act. The undermining of our military in Iraq on the specious and unproven assumption that the majority of citizens wish to give up the war, accept defeat,Üand bring the troops home. And by this apparent politicization of the war effort, encouraging our enemies in the Middle East to increase their horrific terrorist efforts by militant Islamists in Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan.ÜIt is the writer's belief the Democrats are transparently resorting to any tactic, including the traitorous betrayal of our nation to regain the White House in 2008.

These "chickens will come home to roost" in the election in 2008, despite the sarcastic protestations and avoidance of the issues as exemplified by Patrick and Jim Mallon's commentary.

Otis Page

Arroyo Grande




I speak for the bees

If you haven't heard by now, there's a serious thing happening to bees. It's called "Colony Collapse Disorder." For some still as-yet-unknown reason, bees are simply disappearing all across the globe. Yes, that little insect that many people consider a pest, but which, in fact, is very important to the pollination of our crops, is vanishing. It seems that those that leave on their food-finding journeys never return to the hive. Only the queen and a few babies are left. The hives are then avoided by other bees, which would usually scavenge the honey. Suspects include genetically modified crops, pesticides, cell phones, Wi Fi, and the ever-expanding worldwide electronic grid.

Thus it was with irritation that I read on SLO county's web site "If the swarm [of bees] does not move on and begins building a hive on your property, you can call a licensed pest control company to have it removed .... Call a pest control company if you find a hive in an area where people, pets, or livestock could be harmed."

I personally have had a swarm of bees land in a cypress tree of mine. Every now and then, they need to relocate and so will swarm and fly as one and land in a tree to rest for the night. They are almost always completely non-aggressive and, in fact, are usually very tired from their moving. The next day or two they usually do leave. I've stood right within one of these swarms, bees all around me, placed my bare hand just an inch from a mass of hundreds, and never had a sting. Please, if you see a swarm, don't panic. Just leave them alone and let them go about their business. And please don't call the spray guy. If you're worried, you can call an apiarist (bee keeper) or Cal Poly, who will send someone out to collect them. We need bees. Please let them alone.

Ron Floyd

Pismo Beach




Let's keep lightning out of NASA's hands

According to the National Geographic channel, one bolt of lightning has enough energy to power the entire United States.

With all the money, let alone lives, wasted on useless wars, why is Congress not making money available to research this? I know there are obstacles to be overcome, but there were in rocketing to the moon, too. Flywheels and capacitors are a couple of ways the large discharge of electricity could be stored. Look at its many advantages. No waste to get rid of or store for ages, no polluted environment, and reduction in dependence foreign fuel.

I am sure with research stations in areas with a lot of lightning strikes, something could be developed. We know all other sources of clean energy have limited capacities, so let's add lightning to our list of alternatives.

However, let's keep it out of NASA's hands. There's a bureaucracy that's only interested in blowing money on space projects and doesn't want interest in more practical projects to take funds away from it.

Roy Berger

Arroyo Grande

Readers Poll

Do you think the SLO County Board of Supervisors should have gone against their policy that states funding for independent special districts should not result in a net fiscal loss to the county?

  • A. Yes, the housing and job opportunity the Dana Reserve is bringing is important
  • B. No, it's giving special privileges to the Nipomo Community Services District
  • C. I trust them, they know what's best for the county
  • D. What's going on?

View Results

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