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Maybe the whole place should be parking

When I hear of stories like that of the conflict in Pozo ("A Pozo state of mind," Oct. 11), I can't help but feel that it is indicative of the greed in our culture. Enough is never enough. While the owners say all the right things and appear to care, the young new owner says that he wants to double the attendance at his festivals--numbers being the root of the conflict in the first place.

My question is: Who's going to compensate those who may get fed up and want to leave but find that they can't sell? And it's hard to believe that the county has given them carte blanche to run roughshod over the neighborhood when they should be finding ways to alleviate not just the Pozo problem, but similar situations near wineries, etc. that exist throughout the county.

Maybe the saloon should buy everyone out, raze their homes to the ground, and turn the entire area into one giant parking lot.

Jason Burnam

San Luis Obispo




Check out what we deal with

It's one thing to live in town and visit Pozo for occasional concerts. It's quite another to live next to the saloon. Along with the items mentioned ("A Pozo state of mind," Oct. 11), add theft and vandalism to the list of things some of us have to put up with.

After a recent concert, we were awakened in the night by a car's horn and bright lights. I discovered a drunk dead asleep against his steering wheel. Sometimes car alarms go off during the concert, and we are treated to the incessant sound, which can go on for a while as no one knows where in the mass of people the owner is. People have blocked our driveway with their cars and others have wandered onto our property as if it were some public thoroughfare. We keep the gate locked now.

Then there's the public urination, defecation, vomiting, and heaps of garbage--especially beer containers--thrown willy-nilly. Occasionally the saloon puts an outhouse near the entrance of the field, but few seem to use it. Then there are the expletives. And, of course, there's the total loss of privacy.

Everyone isn't like that, thank goodness. Fortunately no helicopters have landed in the field next to us recently, but when they do our house gets sprayed with rocks.

I've proposed a few ideas, most importantly that since the saloon has a huge field next to it that they park the vehicles there, or that they put up a fence between us and the field where hundreds of cars park. Also, we have asked that they turn the music down, get better groups to attract better people, and have fewer and shorter concerts.

We know that they have a business to run, and we are not trying to take that away from them. We have had cordial conversations with the Beanways and, in general, like them. Even though they have expressed a desire about making things better, it's difficult to control that many people.

Still, unlike past years--which were absolute nightmares--this year was better. We'd like to be fans of the saloon again, but Party Central? God, I hope not.

Ron and Pat Yap





Here's to hoping Pozo continues to improve

Glen Starkey's article on the Pozo Saloon ("A Pozo state of mind," Oct. 11), while mostly correct, is a little off on the main point. He says that "their once surly neighbors are making five bucks a car providing parking in their fields." Nonsense for most, I think.

I happen to know some of the people who live out there and while this year has been better as far as having less concerts--for which the neighbors are very grateful--some of the concerts they have had are raucous and the concertgoers still raunchy and rude. I've witnessed it.

For some reason, the crude among us--which the bar seems to attract--seem to feel nothing for pulling up outside a neighbor's house, getting out of the car, and immediately unzipping and relieving themselves within full view of the residents.

People will liberally throw any and all garbage--especially beer bottles and fast food wrappings--willy-nilly. At the end of concerts, they often linger and, smashed, will get even drunker or have tailgate parties of their own, sometimes hanging around until the wee hours. Residents have been called vile names with their children standing just feet away. Cigarette butts are dropped, which causes worry about fire. Drugs and marijuana smoking are common.

The neighbors feel that they can't leave for fear one of these moral midgets may break in. There is no rest for these poor people until they are all gone. SLO residents, who had to ban Poly Royal because of the behavior of partiers, try to imagine having one or two dozen to put up with a year.

About the grandfathered-in stuff, did the fathers have loud speakers back then? Did they have revving automobiles? They did have bear and bull fights, but we've banned those.

I speak for myself, and not for Pozo residents. Those I know are hoping that future concerts will continue to improve. They are not opposed to the saloon and recognize its historical value. Neither do they want to deny the Beanways their profits. All they ask is some respect: smaller crowds, fewer concerts. With that, I suspect everyone would once again love the saloon.

Jack Moore

Santa Margarita




The road to Pozo is a travesty

In his article ("A Pozo state of mind," Oct. 11), Glen Starkey says that the Pozo Saloon wants to double the attendance at its concerts to 6,000. How cow? Have you driven that road lately? It's already so full of axle-bender potholes the size of swimming pools and patches from former ones and cracks galore that the road is barely holding up now. And most of the damage is probably attributable to the saloon. Why should the taxpayer be paying for its maintenance? It shouldn't be. If they want to make a killing off of gargantuan functions, they should at least be maintaining the road.

And what happens if someone out there has a medical emergency or the unthinkable happens at Diablo? That little two-lane road is not going to support those kinds of numbers.

Louise Bender

Santa Margarita




Nuclear cheerleader left out facts

In response to my piece ("'Too Cheap to Meter,'" Sept. 27"), Norman Mehl cites France and Japan as nuclear success stories ("Nuclear power is here to stay," Oct. 11). Like all nuclear cheerleaders, he left a few items out of the rosy picture he paints: The opening of Japan's $32 billion reprocessing plant has been delayed for the 10th time due to technical malfunctions, including accidents last year that resulted in workers exposed to radiation, and its largest nuclear power plant remains closed indefinitely due to earthquake and fire damages incurred last summer.

France has only managed to reprocess a fraction of its nuclear waste, creating by-products in the process that remain in leaking tanks that threaten a prime agricultural region. And a French government report on the economics of reprocessing concluded: "This strategy, from the viewpoint of the utility, represents an increase in the cost of a kilowatt-hour, which appears as an obstacle to its competitiveness, an element that is increasingly intolerable ."

The other point Mr. Mehl does not mention: Reprocessing does not make nuclear waste go away. What remains somehow has to be stored safely somewhere, forever.

Our species has proven too "mentally challenged" to come up with the answers to the problems posed by nuclear power. But readers can help send back a very large piece of nuclear pork slouching toward Congress right now by going to and signing the petition to stop taxpayer subsidies to the nuclear industry.

David Weisman

outreach coordinator

Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility




Why support a dangerous technology?

I hope no one took the opinion of Norman Mehl seriously ("Nuclear power is here to stay," Oct. 11), and I am surprised New Times would publish such ludicrous remarks.

First of all, David Weisman ("'Too cheap to meter,'" Sept. 27) operates the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, so of course he understands and appreciates the subject of nuclear power and its complexities. Second, the claim that 500 nuclear plants around the world have operated for decades without a problem is false. Have you heard of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Japan's recent nuclear disaster? And, sure, nuclear power works for France, but that is because they have a stable government so relentless on national security it makes the Patriot Act look weak.

In reference to the nuclear recovery facilities, California has been waiting for the like since nuclear power first came around a half century ago. Why support an energy technology that has the capability of obliterating us through malicious intent or by accident? Nuclear power has only appeared cheap and feasible because of the horrifically tight relationship between old-time energy companies and the state and federal government, exemplified by fat subsidies. Where is the fair market in that?

Mehl was only right in saying humans have great potential, so think of this: Imagine what technological and market breakthroughs could occur in alternative energies if they received equal treatment as nuclear power. The United States could improve and develop alternative energy supplies at lower prices (think of the computer industry), push that market abroad, and help provide safe and clean energy for developing countries--and improve our international reputation and remove the means for terrorist threats. My young generation already has enough to clean up and defend from in the future. Let's remove nuclear power from the picture to make that a little easier, please.

Wesley Schweikhard





Nuclear isn't the future

We are pleased to inform Charlee Smith that, contrary to the assertions in his letter ("You just don't want nuclear power to work," Oct. 4) and the nuclear lobby's public relations campaign, nuclear power is not necessary to meet the country's future energy needs or to curb the impacts of global warming, and is, in fact, a highly uneconomical way to attempt to do either of those things.

The American Solar Energy Society has released a peer-reviewed report that found that energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are more than up to the job. The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research has just issued a report and a roadmap on how to reduce carbon emissions to zero and phase out nuclear power over the next 30 years, pointing out that the untapped potential of wind and solar power in the United States eclipses the electricity produced by all our nuclear power plants and could provide more than twice the country's current total electrical power production. Solar energy installations create 700 percent more jobs per megawatt of energy. New energy sector jobs created in the regions with the greatest wind and solar resources will revitalize local economies. Clearly, this is the future.

Ken Smokoska

Global Warming/Energy Committee chair

Sierra Club California




Ignore the silly catchphrases

A couple of signs have cropped up around Los Osos. One says "Don't buy the Lie." What is the lie? (a) The county and the TAC are carefully (and responsibly) reviewing all options for our wastewater problems, or (b) the same old crowd is again trying to derail our process by means of scare tactics and misinformation.

The other says, "If you don't know VOTE NO." Both the county and the TAC have generated very clear and informative fliers that describe the processes they are following and the logic behind those processes. Anyone who does not "know" should take the time to read those fliers or go onto the respective websites, and they will then "know" and can "VOTE YES!"

I urge all property owners in the prohibition zone to ignore these silly catchphrases. Remember who got us into bankruptcy and more than $40 million in debt. A NO vote will return our fate to that incompetent crowd and will bring the full fury of the Regional Water Quality Control Board down on our citizens. A YES vote will allow us to develop a project that can be funded and will be eligible for numerous grants. Vote YES on the Los Osos 218!

Earnie Nelson

Los Osos

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