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Letters 

No cripples at Little Theatre
 
Last weekend I was privileged to see The Cripple Of Inishmaan at the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre. What an amazing production! One word comes to mind to describe this flawless show: "Gorgeous!" This charming Irish play is wonderfully unique, fresh and completely professional in every way. The set, painting, set dressings, costumes, lighting, sound and ESPECIALLY the acting (by a supremely gifted cast) made the experience unforgettable. Once again, Bill McLaughlin has proven that he is the finest director on the Central Coast. Kudos to all involved! I urge readers who want to see an excellent show in the charming, intimate venue of the Little Theatre to run, not walk, to get your tickets now. It is sure to sell out.

Frances Allcock
Arroyo Grande


Cultural pornography?
 
I feel compelled to write to express my outrage and indignation at both the review of San Luis Little Theatre's The Cripple of Innishmaann and even more at the production itself. I had the misfortune to go to a performance of that bawdy production (on Easter Sunday, no less) and found myself bombarded by obscene language and blatant attacks on Christianity. I must admit it was a well-performed piece of blasphemous cultural pornography, but the talent displayed would have been better directed towards something more wholesome and beneficial to the mentality of the community. The unrestrained laughter that I heard around me each time something offensive was said leads me to believe that there is a direct link between works like this and immorality of character. The review of this show in your paper made it sound as though sharp dark humor were something to be sought out as instead of avoided. There is nothing funny about gimpy people. I won't even start on your opinion on the marijuana.

Glattice Chambelian
San Luis Obispo



Dispensaries by the Bay

 
As a San Franciscan, I would like to note that the "problems related to [medical marijuana] dispensaries in parts of the Bay Area" have been greatly exaggerated ("Reefer Gladness," Apr. 20). In fact, the vast majority of dispensaries in the area are responsibly run and considered good neighbors.
 
That impression was confirmed by a poll of San Francisco voters conducted last August, as the city was grappling with how to regulate the dispensaries. When this random sample of voters was asked if medical marijuana dispensaries were "a major neighborhood nuisance and crime magnet," 52 percent said no and only 30 percent said yes. An even larger majority said they didn't want it to become more difficult to obtain medical marijuana in San Francisco, and 84 percent agreed with the statement that "the number of medical marijuana dispensaries should be determined by patient needs, not by politicians."
 
Medical marijuana dispensaries have an obligation to follow the law and be respectful of their neighbors. As long as they do so, they are an asset to the community, as San Franciscans have seen for ourselves.

Bruce Mirken
Director of Communications
Marijuana Policy Project
www.mpp.org/Bruce@mpp.org



Ostman obsession
 
Is it just me, or is anybody else out there baffled by New Times’ recent spate of “follow-up� pieces about the murder of Sharon Ostman? What is this crap? Faceless, traceless homeless people in Oregon have become credible sources for news stories? And a drunken friend of the homeless claims something that the police patently deny, but it’s still considered newsworthy?
 
I profess to have no beef with homeless folks (in fact, Glen Starkey, I happen to rather like transients), but this particular foray into sensationalized gossip-mongering on the pages of what purports to be a NEWSpaper is not only shockingly lacking in journalistic integrity, it is also a complete waste of space. This sloppy stuff belongs between the pages of a sleazy crime novel.
 
Ms. Velie’s devotion to this sad, strange mystery is only a little bit commendable. Mostly, it’s just strange. There is no shortage of real issues to report on in this country, many of them full of the drama and intrigue Ms. Velie clearly has a penchant for. There is no need for her to dig through the garbage to find a good tale.
 
Go ahead and find out what happened to poor Sharon. We’d all like to know. Just don’t waste our time with pointless conjecturing.

Suzanne Walter
San Luis Obispo


Residentially challenged
 
As a member of the social class labeled as “homeless,� I would like to let the public know the truth about what it is like to be homeless in San Luis Obispo. New Times has written several times about homelessness, but none of the articles have touched upon what it truly is like. Do you know what it is like to arrive at the Prado Day Center and ask for socks or underwear because you don’t have any? Be prepared to do a chore to get them. In fact, be prepared to do a chore in order to get a lot of things—your clothing washed, or one of the donated sodas, or a bus token. You also need money in order to get things, not only from the Day Center, but from the shelter as well, such as a trashbag, razor, tampons, cups or even your silverware.
 
If that is not enough, be prepared to be told what you can wear, how to act, whether or not you can let a simple tattoo show and when you’re supposed to be in bed. Most people who have found themselves homeless feel low enough. Do we really need to degrade them further by treating them as if they’re children? It is bad enough that there are troublemakers within our social class who make the public treat us differently. But why go somewhere to get help when the staff also treats you as if you’re beneath them?
 
I don’t always agree with the actions and/or views of the general public, and I don’t expect them to agree with mine. It would just be nice if the public knew what it is like for the homeless in our community. Please don’t look down on all of us because we are residentially challenged. Not all of the homeless people in this area are rude drunks or addicts. In fact some of them may be the sweetest people you’ll ever meet.

Elizabeth Carroll
San Luis Obispo



Broadwater’s broadside
 
As spokesperson for the Dalidio family I would like to believe that David Broadwater’s recent tirade on the Dalidio Ranch project stems from his ignorance of the proposal and not the arrogance of a no-growth advocate with little respect for property rights. 
 
Mr. Broadwater objects that a project located in San Luis Obispo County, and of significant relevance to every county resident, should be put on the ballot.  Does he think we (the voters of San Luis Obispo County) are too ignorant to vote on this issue? 
 
This vitriolic, anti-voter sentiment is ironic to say the least, given his and Save San Luis Obispo’s propensity for asserting the right to vote when it favors their point of view.  Not only did this group referenda the Dalidio Ranch last year with an enormous amount of mudslinging, but this is basically the same group of individuals that brought you Measure M in 2000, the infamous SOAR Initiative.  If it had passed, SOAR would have similarly required a vote of the people for any county project where an amendment to the General Plan was required.  Isn’t it hypocritical to say it was OK then, but now it’s a dangerous, precedent-setting issue?
 
Mr. Broadwater erroneously suggests that if this initiative passes the project will bypass environmental review.  Does he not know that this project has already had a minimum 12 years of project review, two full Environmental Impact Reports, traffic and circulation studies, economic studies, and at least 40 public hearings?  
 
It is one thing to oppose this initiative; it is another to stand in the way of our right to vote.  Apparently what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. 

Dave Cox/Barnett & Cox
dcox@barnettcox.com



Personal pettiness
 
I have lost respect for Mayor Dave Romero and Councilman Paul Brown for their juvenile verbal attacks on councilwoman Christine Mulholland at the April 18 SLO Council meeting. Councilman John Ewan’s defense of Mulholland was extremely admirable and compelling. He tried his best to get the point across that Mulholland would bring a balance to Supervisor Jerry Lenthal’s proposed committee. Watching two grown men harassing one lone councilwoman as disgusting. Would it have been the end of the world if they had been gentlemen and appointed Mulholland to the committee based on her many years of experience, her honesty and her hard work on Council, instead of showing their pettiness about her personality?

Noama Wright
San Luis Obispo


Tijuana summer
 
Thank you for your coverage of immigration legislation.
       
 I'd like to welcome volunteers to join me in Tijuana this summer.  From August 13-18, other SLO folks and myself will work with Esperanza International helping to build homes. These sweat-equity beauties are made of concrete block and lots of rebar. Volunteers need no skills, only a loving heart.  Tasks are available for all ages! We stay in a nice dorm with hot showers and cook most of our own meals.
       
The cost is $300 (tax deductible), which goes to Esperanza for their
overhead, site supervisors and materials, and about $100 for food and transport (carpools). I've done this for about 10 years. Each trip is an inspiring adventure!
       
For more details look at www.esperanzainternational.org .  For
questions about this trip: you may call me at 541-0185 or contact me at JLHofman@juno.com.

Jim L. Hoffman
San Luis Obispo


Sacred herb
 
Your drunk-in-public story is one for ALL parents, especially the ones that say “It’s not my kid.� I’m here to tell you it IS your kid, and they are behaving badly. Not only that, they are putting others at risk, which is not fair to the general population.
 
It was my honor to attend church Sunday in Pozo. The church of my choice is Reggae and its sacrament, given to me by the Almighty, is grown in the ground by the loving sun above. It does not cause me to vomit, pee in my pants, screw in the dirt in front of 900 people, or indulge in any other “odd behavior. Nor does it cause me to be violent or wreck my car on the way home. What it does do is allow me to hula-hoop all day and blow bubbles for the kids. It does not make me a negligent parent either.
 
Wake up America and smell the sweet smell of peace, love and brotherhood. Leave the booze at home. Only herb belongs at the Church of the Reggae.

Alice Rodriguez
Grover Beach



Councils in camps?
 
The world is in disarray: †pollution here, tyranny there, too many people everywhere. †Our hope is that individual countries will evolve, become enlightened, rehabilitate themselves so we can all live in harmony, with possibly less traffic. If that seems too onerous and long-term, we could opt for a less cumbersome solution. †
 
Simply move the main players. President Bush and his retinue could move, bag and baggage, to Irag. †Run Iraq from Iraq. President Fox could then follow in the footsteps of his countrymen, abandon Mexico, and officially take over the United States. Mexico (great potential) could be offered to Israel. †The Pope, in an act of charity, might forsake the gold-leafed opulence of the Vatican and go to Calcutta where he could take a Vow of Silence about birth control.
 
On the local level, all developers and those in the service of developers (Board of Supervisors, City Councils, Planning Commission, Grand Jury) should be forced to live in encampments along the 405 Freeway between LAX and Carson so they would know what's what and what's too much. †Purveyors of tobacco and "the other secondhand smoke" might profit from a move to Afghanistan where they could create a happy hybrid of smoke and heroin, making death just as inevitable, but infinitely more pleasant.

M. Power Giacoletti
San Simeon

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