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Where have all the clams gone?
Passing through Paso Robles today, I stopped for lunch at Margie's Diner and picked up your latest issue. I was disappointed to note that not one restaurant listed Pismo clams on its menu.

When I first visited the Central Coast in 1961, Pismo clams were the unique product and pride of the fishing fleet. Are they extinct?

Lawrence S. Lerner





People don't move here for Pottery Barn
Poor Ernie Dalidio was "shocked," feeling he was "stabbed in the back" by the Downtown Association ("Dalidio opposition may land Downtown Association in hot water," Aug. 24). Give me a break! You and your development partners and group of lawyers have been trying to shove this Marketplace idea down our throats for the past several years, and now you're trying to act the part of the victim? Go back to political acting school. This role of victim is not very convincing. Two thumbs down!

If I'm not mistaken, the Downtown Association's role is to represent its membership businesses in the downtown core to support them, promote them, and take care of problems as they arise. If there is a threat to their fiscal well-being, then action of some kind should be taken. The board and administration were being proactive, taking necessary action. It's called survival.

I just don't understand what Dave Romero and other council members and other community leaders, including the Copelands, are envisioning for San Luis Obispo. When I moved here 30 years ago, it wasn't because of the Sears out at Madonna Plaza or the J.C. Penny downtown. It was because of the unique Mission Plaza, the one-of-a-kind mom-and-pop shops and restaurants and beautiful San Luis Creek that connected them all. People don't visit or move here because we have a Pottery Barn or a Bed, Bath and Beyond or a four-story parking structure. Do we really want to homogenize lovely little San Luis Obispo just for more tax dollars? Mr. Romero, Mr. Dalidio, and the Copeland family, try to remember what brought you to San Luis Obispo.

Dixon Moore

San Luis Obispo




I said more than 'huh?'
It appears that the cartoonist (Jerry James, Aug. 24) of the mayoral candidates takes the recent Tribune article seriously. In that article's interview ("SLO mayor race has capital D," Tribune, Aug. 20), I had shared a lot of words with the reporter, but few of my words made it into print. It seems more like another person's spin than a representation of what we talked about. I had expressed to that reporter that I thought the upcoming Dalidio Project was dangerous in that it sets a bad precedent. If a person doesn't like the outcome of a legitimate election, then take it to another voting body. The Dalidio Project is still in the same location that will have to hook up to city services and bears the same influence on the city whose borders wrap around it. That parcel is cut off from association with the rest of the county by the unbroken border of the 101 highway and the city's tentacles on all of the other sides.

I also discussed the issue of our city's guiding leadership, who were behaving more like promoters in the pocket of the development interests. Instead of our elected representatives being the moderators of discussion and taking input from all sides to be factored into a final decision, there is the appearance of our governing bodies having the final decision scripted before the public meetings are held. It is more like theater to go through the motions of making a public decision.

My experiences in the meetings have me convinced that decisions are made in private meetings outside the public view. When our leaders openly promote in the media the projects of their developer special-interest friends, they are showing their true colors. When our public input into the public meetings is ignored or worse, and end runs are made around the public expression of the vote, at the least it is a breach of the public's trust.

Donald E. Hedrick

San Luis Obispo



Tommy showed true greatness
Thank you, Glen, for writing such a fine article about Tommy ("Touching San Luis Obispo," Aug. 24).

Yes, sometimes being a regular guy can indeed be a wonderful thing. I knew Tommy for only the last five years. When I saw him for the very first time, I wondered who was this poor man walking down the street with his mouth open, looking confused and having trouble moving?

Sometime later, my good friend, Rich Wilson, introduced me to this man. What I discovered very quickly was that housed in this slowly failing body was a funny, intelligent, kind soul. Talking with Tommy and in hearing stories from his friends, I learned about his past life before getting sick: tough rugby player, college football star, ladies' man, and dedicated coach to young people in sports. Through some assistance from loyal friends, Tommy began taking the right medications and became a little better not cured, only some help in dealing with the symptoms.

I'm sure many of his friends have thought, as I have, of how ironic it was that someone so strong, so tough, and so nice could ever have this horrible condition happen to him. Then I thought about people like Lou Gehrig and Muhammad Ali. That their real greatness didn't come in the form of homeruns or knockouts, but in how they lived their lives after they became sick. Tommy really showed his true courage and strength from how he faced his problems and how he lived his life. He was a great life coach to all who knew him. I'm sure glad I had that opportunity. Thanks Coach Tommy!

John Sorgenfrei

Pismo Beach



Thanks for the tribute
Wow. I just read your article on Tommy ("Touching San Luis Obispo," Aug. 24), as he coached my son also.

When I first heard that he had died I thought I should write a letter to the paper as he was a special person who needed some recognition.

Your article was a wonderful tribute to a very wonderful human. Thank you Glen and New Times for continuing to be a integral part of our community.

Michael, Lynda, and Chas (the son who played baseball as Tommy coached) Alamo

San Luis Obispo



Otis is officially insane
New Times readers have long suspected that Otis Page is off the deep end, and I have often criticized him in these pages over his sanctimonious opposition to same-sex relationships. But reading his description of what a smashing success the war in Iraq is ("The war in Iraq is a success," Aug. 24) has finally convinced me that poor Otis is quite insane.

According to Otis, the war in Iraq is setting the stage for democracy in the region. Never mind that a civil war is raging in U.S.-occupied Iraq and that nearly every general who is now allowed to speak freely by retiring from the military says the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld Chicken Hawks don't know what the hell they are doing. But the capper is that Otis has come up with a justification for the war that not even Karl Rove could have mustered: The invasion of Iraq was just a ploy so that we could surround Iran and contain its nuclear ambitions. And Page claims that it is the Democrats who don't understand the real issues in the Middle East?

Patrick Mallon

San Luis Obispo



Sexual fantasies and children don't mix
Re: Bob Banner's letter about his "shredding" by New Times. ("It's time for crybaby Bobby to change his (biodegradable, free-trade) poopy diapers.") Mr. Bob bemoans the fact that the HopeDance issue on sexuality was pulled from the libraries "because of a few nude paintings/drawings."

In fact, the cover art is a painting of a woman "fingering" herself, and one of the articles includes one of Mr. Bob's sexual fantasies (yuk).

Among other articles, we find "The Holy Whore" (a glorification of prostitution can you say "male fantasy?"), "Public Masturbator Blues," and "The Clitoris as Bridge to the Vagina."

Mr. Bob fails to admit that children have access to his free publication. The fact that his self-indulgent, explicit sexual fantasies are so available to children is downright creepy.

Chris Postii




Fund aids veteran rehabilitation
The veterans with artificial limbs who recently learned surfing at Pismo Beach were rehabilitated at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. There, a state-of-the-art facility is being built and equipped for rehabilitating the 22,000 seriously injured Iraqi War veterans all of it paid for with donated money from the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a nonprofit organization funded by private donations.

Private funding was necessary because Bush and the Republican Congress turned their backs on our disabled veterans and would not pass government funding for this greatly needed facility.

The Fallen Heroes Fund also provides free on-site housing and living expenses for family members from all over our country, so they can live nearby their disabled loved ones during the many long arduous months of rehabilitation, providing a big moral boost to the veterans.

To learn more about the fund, you can Google "Fallen Heroes Fund."

Roy Berger

Arroyo Grande



There's too much at stake: No on J
The proliferation of retail projects along LOVR is a major concern for many people who live and work in that area.

The addition of the Dalidio Ranch project will result in 30,000 car trips into the area daily, and 37,000 on Saturdays, according to a recent Cal Trans report. That will take the growing traffic problems past the tipping point into gridlock and long back-ups.

This is why people are concerned about Measure J. It is time to step back and take a very hard look at how much more retail and commercial activity can be introduced into that area without creating a traffic nightmare. This is the big picture we should be worried about.

If Measure J passes, the developers will be allowed to circumvent the normal planning process and start building this huge project without a viable traffic plan and no responsibility for the problems it creates. Local government will have no authority to stop them. The real solution at this point is to vote no on Measure J. There is too much at stake for everyone in SLO County.

Judy Vick

Los Osos



Let's not cater to zealots
In their everlasting quest to intrude into the lives of Americans, and to fatten their purses by contributions from their gullible flocks, a cabal of 13 far-right fundamentalist "Christian" groups is urging the Justice Department and the FBI to check out to see if the pay-for-view movies available in most hotels violate obscenity laws.

Of course, these folks have every right to hold their beliefs on pornography and the like, but what business is it of theirs to try to shove those beliefs down the throats of their fellow citizens? If guests in the privacy of their hotel and motel rooms choose to watch porn for relaxation or titillation, what's wrong with that? But, no, these Bible-bangers insist that such activities go against God's way and "demonize people," as if these fanatics haven't already done more than their share of demonizing and terrorizing vast aspects of American society, especially homosexuals.

The Justice Department and FBI have more work than they can handle now carrying out the rightist policies of the administration. We don't need to have them spend time catering to the agendas of these zealots.


Richard Kinz




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