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I'll be brief

The Avila Cam sucks. Please do something about it. Jim Scott




Flagrant censorship disturbs me

I am the Nipomo distributor of HopeDance. This is an excellent bi-monthly publication that educates citizens particularly about voluntary simplicity. I have been leaving issues at Nipomo Library since it opened about six years ago. I left 25 issues of the most recent issue of HopeDance (HD). On leaving the library, about a half hour later, all 25 issues were gone.

I felt that this was strange as there hadn't been 25 people entering the library. Since then, I have found that Brian Reynolds, CEO of county libraries, ordered all libraries to remove that issue of HD. This disturbs me as it is flagrant censorship the government controlling what we read.

I request that Mr. Reynolds explain to his public exactly why he had that issue removed. I feel I have a right to ask this question as I donate a lot of money to both the library and to HD. This censorship is contrary to what my country was founded on. I fought on D-Day long ago for "freedom of information" without government censorship (like Hitler).

I have a few issues, if anyone wants to see it.

Bill Denneen




Kudos to the library director

Three weeks ago, while at the Palm Theatre in San Luis Obispo, I picked up a copy of HopeDance. Upon looking at the front page, I was surprised to see article topics dealing with subjects appropriate for an "adult" bookstore perhaps even the Palm Theatre but definitely not a public library adjacent to an elementary school such as Nipomo Public Library.

It is reassuring to find that we have such observant library management that this issue was quickly removed from the rack. HopeDance does not belong there. Brian Reynolds and his staff are to be complimented. Freedom of speech does not include pornography in the open racks of public libraries.

Ken Shamordola




The surfers are right

Wow! It has hit our coast also. I had just finished reading the L.A. Times series on Altered Oceans (a five-part series posted on their web site with graphics and videos), and then I see this local story ("Sea sick," Aug. 3).

What the surfers say is true: Our local ocean has become toxic for us on so many days. I remember when I used to frolic in the ocean at Santa Monica as a child. Not so anymore. And I'll be a bit more wary of my dog walks along Pismo. And my own swimming here is becoming questionable.

Pamela Stones

Quartz Hill and Shell Beach



Can bad water lead to bad air?

In reaction to Eric Meyers' letter ("I'll stay out of the ocean," Aug. 17) regarding your Aug. 3 article, "Sea sick," I too, would like information regarding an alleged group that is suing the EPA. Something weird is happening in the Pismo Beach/Oceano Beach area that warrants concern. I would like to take this another step further and say that in addition to contaminated water, the air quality is also less than "clean."

My fianc» Dennis and I live in Oceano and have both been plagued with never-ending respiratory symptoms (much like Eric's: sinus, ear, and lung congestion) since Memorial Day. We, at first, thought that there was a difficult and pervasive "bug" going around and that it would take time to fight it off. No big deal some viruses are very stubborn. But our symptoms have lasted more than three months. My fianc» finally gave up and went to his doctor, who was appalled by what ended up as a serious bacterial infection. He prescribed antibiotics, which Dennis dutifully took. Two weeks later, Dennis was sick again, and my symptoms (untreated) remained.

We are not environmentalists by any means. We realize that the Pismo/Oceano beaches attract tourists, who keep our communities thriving. While we are not opposed to vehicles soaring through the dunes and cruising the beaches, we are leery of the air quality that we are subjected to. I can only deduct that if the water is contaminated, and the water washes up upon the sand that these vehicles kick up, the contaminants in the wind are swept over to our little community. My big concern is who would complain? We are a white minority in a very low socioeconomic region that predominately consists of "undoc" Hispanics. Makes you wonder what if this was happening in Shell Beach?

Cecilia Laughton




A lyric ode to an endless bummer

In response to New Times Aug. 3 article "Sea sick," I submit the following as a tribute to our ocean:

In this harbor waves are breaking behind these gunwales without keel/I bend my sixth string around the back of this old morning chill.

I'm stretched across the middle of this romantic scene/Just another way that I can make this old hollow ring.

I'm counting on my paycheck to keep myself in line/And banking on the thoughts I see to buy up some more time.

So give me one more dollar and I could buy some pills/Keep the liquor coming out, keep it running out my gills.

Or crack this fishbowl open and throw me to the sea/And let me walk from this rhyme and grace the tallest wave I see.

Robert Hutchings




If you like jazz, thank Roy Ford

I would like to thank New Times and journalist Francesca Nemko for the excellent piece covering the Central Coast jazz scene particularly the famous jazz artist series at the Hamlet in Cambria ("Jazz with local flavor," Aug. 17).

However, I would like to add to the article the information that Roy Ford, one of the original creators of the Hamlet and for many years the sole owner, has been a major factor in keeping the series alive these past 15 years, and that all of the Central Coast lovers of jazz music owe him a great debt.

Charlie Shoemake




The war in Iraq is a success

In response to "Let's get a new leader" (Aug. 17):

It is a tragic fact that the Democrats, in their objective to regain political power in Washington, have exploited an incessant campaign to disparage the military effort in Iraq and our goals in the Middle East to protect the nation's security and economic interests.

George Bush and his administration may be fairly criticized on the domestic agenda. But the tale of war deaths, as an example, is exaggerated.

In nearly four years, those deaths have not surpassed those murdered on 9/11! The Iraq War is a great success. Why? Iran's potential nuclear capability has been long forecasted. We now have Iran surrounded by our invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Iran and the terrorists in Iraq and Lebanon understand the Democrats and liberal media are supporting the terrorists' efforts by their criticism of Bush, the war in Iraq, and our support of Israel in the conflict with the Iranian puppet, Hezbollah.

The Democrats hope the citizens will not understand the real issue in the Middle East so that they can embarrass George Bush!

Bush is relying on diplomatic means to hopefully bring Iran to its senses. The Iraq War is achieving its objectives to establish a democracy in the Middle East despite the Iranian-encouraged conflict between Shiaa and Sunni Islamists. The clock is ticking, and it is an atomic clock!

But diplomacy and the true success of the Iraq War and support of Israel doesn't work with the Democrats. For they hope Bush fails in the Middle East so that they can regain power. That is a traitorous political tactic that betrays our military.

Otis Page

Arroyo Grande



Remind Pismo: People must be informed

Why would people who otherwise appear sane spend a lot of volunteer time working at state and local government? Here are some words, written into California law many years ago, which particularly answer that question.

"The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created."

This is from the preamble of the Ralph M. Brown Act, known as California's open meeting law. It is especially important today in Pismo Beach, where two councilmen want to muzzle the public so they will not be criticized.

Art Anthony

Pismo Beach



Constitution in crisis

President George W. Bush has failed to carry out his oath to "Preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States." His claims of presidential power during times of war have led to unprecedented abuse of that office. His claims have fundamentally altered the structure of the American government by upsetting the system of checks and balances, and nullified fundamental liberties, including the Fourth Amendment's guarantees against unreasonable searches and seizures and guarantees of due process.

He took this nation to war on falsehoods of WMD and that Iraq's support of Al Qaeda was instrumental in the attack on the World Trade Center. His administration lied about torture at Abu Ghraib and who was responsible. Facts prove the abuses were sanctioned at the highest levels of the executive branch in secret memos. His administration has assured a right to imprison Americans and foreigners indefinitely without habeas corpus. He authorized warrantless wiretaps.

This president's secret memos justified the abuses based upon a conception of the powers of the executive office that gave him the authority to disregard statutes and international law with self-granted powers of the commander-in-chief mentioned nowhere in the Constitution.

Wars of aggression, torture, domestic spying, and arbitrary arrests are the hallmarks of a dictatorship. America can no longer afford the likes of George W. Bush and his Republican-controlled Congress. Only you, the American voter, can bring about a change in direction for this great country. November will seal the fate for America's future as the democratic leader in the world. Vote wisely. Your future as free Americans depends on it.

George Dailey

Santa Maria



Veterans' ocean visit should inspire pollution solutions

I was fortunate to be able to witness a portion of the therapeutic surfing clinic local volunteers were able to provide to a very appreciative group of wounded U.S. military veterans last week at Pismo Beach.

Unfortunately, the time our community was helping them enjoy our local waters was also a period when those very same waters were declared by county officials as being unhealthy because of alarming levels of bacterial contamination. Bummer man!

Whether our military veteran guests saw the official warning signs posted on the beach and willingly chose to ignore them, I don't know. After experiencing combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, water pollution may seem a small concern, especially after flying across country for your first opportunity to go surfing. But it would also be horribly ironic if one of those same courageous vets was finally felled because of water-borne illness contracted during this otherwise marvelous rehabilitation program.

Water pollution and health warnings are too common along the shores of Pismo Beach. Among government officials willing to acknowledge this as a problem, there is no consensus as to where the pollution originates or what can be done to prevent it from getting worse. And as far as I can tell, there hasn't been enough effort put forth to answer those questions.

It seems as though our now sea-worthy war veteran guests have once again proved themselves heroes by venturing into our local waters and, we can only hope, inspiring an equally heroic community effort to solve the recurring pollution problem. Then, perhaps, we can invite more veterans to rehabilitate themselves in our ocean without unnecessary risks to their and our health and safety.

David Ciaffardini




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