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Apply the same rules to everybody

My hero will always be Marion Jones. She lost all her Olympic metals because of drug use.

Recently, 90 baseball players were found to be drug users as well. They and their teams should have any honors, trophies, or wins taken away as well. What applies to a great athlete like Marion Jones and her relay team should apply to baseball teams--and even governors as well. We should be consistent.

Bill Denneen





You missed a golden opportunity

I read "Putting the pieces together" (Dec. 13) with interest as I have a deep interest and involvement in suicide: as the father of a daughter who committed suicide, the county coordinator and teacher of a powerful class called "Family to Family" by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), and active involvement with youth support programs and classes.

I am pleased that you would even chose to address, in any form, a very timely "elephant" in the living room of our society that most people have little interest in until it touches their lives, as well as a topic that most people aren't comfortable talking about.

From my involvement with brain disease ("mental illness") that often leads to suicide, my reaction to the article is that it was narrowly informative in a couple of very general human and social observations. However, I don't think it leads a reader to any significant growth in knowledge or empathy for brain disease or the suicide that is often its result. While the purpose of the article may have been a quick narrow look at a "hot potato topic" (in this I think it succeeded), it missed a golden opportunity to give some real education for social growth and practical help that is a growing and unmet need socially and locally.

Just a few thoughts from a dad/educator who has a deep heart from a deep heart wound on the issue. Thanks for listening and have a great holiday season!

John Lamas





A Target could spruce the place up

I loved Andrea Rooks' commentary on Target ("All I want for Christmas is a Target store," Dec. 6), and I say hear, hear! We need our Target. Have you been out Los Osos Valley Road lately? Car dealers and shopping malls--and Mr. Dalidio's land is now in weeds. Looks awful. I guess that's what the powers-that-be want. What a shame. It could be so nice.

Joan Sales

San Luis Obispo




Movies--and stories--do make a difference

Regarding "Homeless and wireless" (Dec. 13): I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Kathy Johnston for applying her excellent journalism skills and allowing our community to get a little glimpse of the spirit behind the eyes and heart of Michael Ian. Michael is certainly one of the most genuine and sincere gentleman that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

As a side note, I would like to acknowledge and give credit to the team that made the film Suckerfish a reality. Our executive producer, Julio Mora producer Mary Garcia-Lemus and assistant director Brian Dutton dedicated endless hours in developing the film for the 2007 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.

During the Q&A after the second screening of the film, Michael was attempting to leave the theater when I called attention to his presence. His exit path happened to be blocked by a festival volunteer, the audience applauded, and he hesitated, but came up to the front and the story began to unfold.

A theme for the 2008 festival is "Where Movies Matter." Yes, they can and do.

Jose M. Lemus





Why question a candidate's religion?

At a time when shallow journalism is prevalent in all the major news outlets, it should be noted that the question of a candidate's religion is not only absurd, but runs counter to the Constitution of the United States of America, which states: "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States" (Article VI).

Now that there is a chill throughout the land and the Constitution is being rent asunder, it would be somewhat reassuring if at least one candidate would confirm this fact.

Charles C. Anderson

Pismo Beach

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