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Let's do something about the feds taking our records

I am a client of the Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers. I know personally that Abe (Abram Baxter) has turned away clients who didn't have the proper documentation. I also know that no matter how accommodating they are, if my letter is out of date, I will not be served.

With all my health problems, medical marijuana has helped me deal with my disease and the severe nausea that it causes. I am disabled and am not able to drive, nor do I have anyone who would take me to Buellton, so that is not an option for me.

I'm sure the DEA has bigger fish to fry with the growing trend of meth users. I have another issue with the DEA. My medical records are protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and it was reported that they took customer files. I have nothing to worry about, but is it not against the law to just take my medical records? If they suspected me of a crime, they may be able to subpoena my records, but they were just taken. If anyone else feels the same way, you can contact me. I want to do something about it.

Having a dispensary in San Luis Obispo County is the most compassionate thing that the community can do. It is medically necessary, and the state law allows it. State law says they can exist. It was reported that they didn't know why the dispensary was raided. I can only guess that law enforcement is not in line with what the purpose of the dispensary is.

In the lobby, there are locked doors to keep the unwanted out. They follow strict guidelines, so please let them conduct a very important service.

Elaine McKellips





I don't even know how much gas costs

Please let me, too, speak out loud in regard to Rick Cohen's "Remember the days of gasoline price wars?" letter in the opinion section (April 5) and suggest that there are still other ways of avoiding the higher price of gas these days. Alternative transportation modes to the automobile exist, even here in San Luis Obispo County, for those who care to use them. We have a great bus system, carpool groups exist, bike lanes connect most of the major cities together, and, if you're fortunate enough, maybe you can actually leave your car at home and walk to work. Did you know that you can ride a bus from San Miguel to Santa Maria for about $3? Try that some time in your car and see how much it costs you.

Americans have addicted themselves to the automobile and all the necessary demands that require its support. Those of us who choose to live a life that is not based around the car aren't even aware of what the price of gas is these days. Think about that for a while, while you're sitting there at the pump, or choosing which station to not buy gas from this week.

Barry Lewis

San Luis Obispo




It's not whether we love the country

On a recent Saturday morning, out for breakfast at a busy Templeton restaurant, my attention was directed to the uniform appearance of the staff who mingled with the customers taking meal orders and cleaning tables as well as the cooks visible in the kitchen. They wore black T-shirts. On the back was "America Love It or Leave It" in large red, white, and blue lettering.

What could they be thinking, you may ask? Could it be a simple expression of affection for the country we live in? Or, given the politics of our time, dominated by the so called "War on Terror," is it a classic conservative rant intended to attack those who question the justification for the war in Iraq?

The right to dissent is the essence of a free and democratic society and, as such, accepts the expression of all views under the principle of free speech. But intolerance to dissent as expressed on those black T-shirts shows a knee-jerk deference to authority that is the foundation of fascism.

As a believer in free speech, I defend their right to wear T-shirts with intolerant views, but I am offended by their message. Are they asking us to leave the United States or telling us to leave? Do they know that two thirds of this country now opposes the Iraq war?

The question is not really about who does and who does not love this country, but what kind of country we love, democratic or fascist, and do we love it enough to question its leaders when they are wrong?

Marty U'Ren





State parks are for everyone

My name is Dan Doberstein, and I have been a resident of Nipomo since 1996. I am opposed to vehicles in the dunes and on the beach for the following reasons:

1) It's not safe. Often when walking on the beach, I see drivers ignoring common sense or manners. I do not feel safe walking my dog, running, etc.

2) The dune riding area has turned into a single-use area. Going there to walk is out of the question. I have tried to swim there only to have motorcycles zip by within feet of me while on the beach. Should they at least stay off the beach?

3) This is a state park. It's meant for everyone, not just one group. They have taken it over in every way. It's theirs and theirs only now. What about the rest of us?

4) The rules that do exist on driving and behavior are poorly enforced. Drivers often flaunt the speed limit and safe driving.

5) Every year people are killed or severely injured in the dune riding area. The park management lets in too many riders, any type of vehicle, very young riders, etc. How long before the state, county, and cities are sued due to another death or injury in the dunes?

There are other places for these folks to go. They should go there. Anywhere they go, they cause the same problems. They should buy land for this use as it becomes the only use for any area in which they dominate. State parks are for everyone.

Dan Doberstein





Leave off-roaders alone and do something constructive

Oh my God! Can you hear me now! I'm actually screaming!

You "brethren" who are bitchin' about the off-roaders, recreational users, ATV riders, etc., need to shut the hell up!

If you need/want a "real cause" to lobby for, you should do it for those who are lower-income wage earners who pay taxes, the homeless, and the nearly homeless who could use someone like you to help get them needed medical care, a place to live, and just everyday needs! Now this is something that's way more important to do something about than always giving those who are trying to enjoy life a little every so often a bad time.

P.S. All those "recreational users" do pay a high price for doing what they enjoy in registration and user fees, etc.

Did you know that the meaning of recreation is to create anew, restore, refresh to refresh your strength and spirit after work and it is also a means to restore one's health?

Carly Carter





Presidential forecast looks dim for Democrats

I'm making a prediction about the next presidential election: If the Democrats insist on nominating someone like Al Gore or John Kerry, who is a stuffy elitist, the Republicans will win again. Also, although I think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would make excellent presidents, because of prejudice against strong women and black people in general, neither will win if nominated.

Look back, Democrats, to see what qualities the last two Democratic presidents had that the above lack. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both had the common touch. They didn't pontificate when they spoke. They spoke the language of middle America. Even their choice for their own first names shows the common touch: Jimmy, not James Bill, not William. And they were both from the South.

The only Democratic candidate so far that comes even close to having those qualities is John Edwards.

Say what you will, Democrats, if you don't support John Edwards, or a similar candidate with the common touch, you will lose again in 2008, no matter who the Republicans run. You and the Republicans each have about 40 percent of the votes, which leaves 20 percent moderates, neither on the right or left. To get enough of those votes you must have a moderate candidate, not one that always brings up the issues of the extremists in your party.

Roy Berger

Arroyo Grande



Moderates are drowned out

I'm exasperated by the gullibility of both conforming conservatives and liberals. On both sides are expectations about how "good" right-wingers and left-wingers should think, vote, and act with outrage over the slightest deviation.

I dislike both extremes about equally and believe neither has the best interests of people at heart. For example, Republicans got us into the Iraq war to make a name for themselves, and now Democrats want to pull us out for reasons of self-assertion. Sloth and selfishness motivate both sides.

Conservative expectations are that a "good" follower will be anti-conservation, pro-gun, anti-abortion, and pro-big-business.

Liberal expectations are that "good" followers will be pro-gay, anti-gun, pro-choice, and anti-Christian.

In addition, followers of both extremes share some obnoxious traits. Both are pro-youth and anti-elderly, pro-tax increase, and anti-poor. Despite such obnoxious commonalities, both sides fling cliches like poison darts.

Fortunately, I know moderates who aren't afraid to cross party lines. My friend, a Vietnam War Marine and a moderate conservative, favors banning the M-14 rifle from civilian use, supports sensible conservation, and favors allowing abortions for rape and incest victims and moms with toxic pregnancies. He also supports fiscal responsibility and equitable taxes and funding.

My friend represents core American values, yet he and other moderates are all but inaudible amid cacophony from left and right. Loud noises cause deafness.

Steve T. Kobara

San Luis Obispo




Ban all vehicles from all beaches

The ongoing vehicles on the beach controversy is really a no brainer. Those awful ORVs and other destructive, ugly, noisy, polluting musclewagons don't belong on the seashore any more than pedophiles belong on the grounds of pre-schools. It really burns my ass to think that a bunch of mean, nasty, rude, and stupid yahoos with the collective intelligence of a lobotomized turtle should be allowed to despoil our beautiful coastlines with their ruinous machinery, just to get an adrenaline rush.

I was just reading an infuriating report in a recent issue of Audubon Magazine, which dealt with the sickening destruction of certain beaches on the East Coast, caused by loutish scumbags racing their fat-wheeled, mechanical monstrosities along the dunes and shorelines where endangered birds like the piping plover (an eastern relative of the snowies) and least terns try to nest. A dumbass bumper sticker often seen on musclewagons there reads, "I love plovers, they taste like chicken." Oh, haw, haw! Ain't that clever?

The Audubon article mentions how the ORV punks perpetrate constant acts of vandalism and hurl vicious threats against park personnel and citizen volunteers attempting to protect wildlife from the depredations of these redneck mutants.

The ORV-ATV lobby is made up of the worst anti-environmental thugs who think beaches are their personal sandboxes and drag strips that they can tear up and trash with impunity. The idea that such activity is a wholesome family-oriented form of recreation is utter crap. It's similar to a rapist claiming that his assaults on women are a valid form of sexual expression! All vehicles should be banned from all beaches everywhere, now!

Jay Bonestell

Los Osos

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