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Ask a Marine

I wonder if Starkey spoke to any real Marines about their take on "Jarhead" ("The few, the bored, the Marines," Split Screen, Nov. 10-17). The former Marines I spoke with thought it was a load of garbage - a left-wing propaganda film. Yes, the left produces propaganda just as blatantly as the right. I realize it's nice to watch something that confirms what you already want to believe. But it might have been interesting to balance the movie review with an informed opinion on the subject matter.

 

Zach Frederick

San Luis Obispo

 

Criminals thrive
among us

There is quote from the movie "Batman Begins" that seems perfect for your article regarding Anthony Dacayana ("Devil among us," Nov. 3-10). It simply states, "Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society's understanding."

 

Lori Anderson

Los Osos

 

 

Never an excuse
for hatred

I understand that Megan's Law serves a valid purpose of advising the public about the presence of former sex offenders in the community. However, I do not believe it does anyone any good to spew out the vitriol contained in your article on Anthony Dacayana. Mr. Dacayana has served lengthy prison terms for his crimes followed by an extended period of civil commitment at ASH. A jury was presented with all the evidence and made a considered choice that he should be set free.

Your story says that Mr. Dacayana has started drinking again, but were you aware of his being banned from local alcohol recovery programs due to his notoriety? You write that he was arrested for "failing to register" as a sex offender, but did you report that according to the Justice Department web site, he was lawfully registered at the time of the arrest? It is my understanding that someone who tried to help Mr. Dacayana suffered significant damage to her car due to vandalism after her involvement became known.

We are all taught from an early age that it is bad and uncivilized to hate. However, with someone like Mr. Dacayana is in our midst, it is tempting to give into our lower selves, fuel our sense of righteous indignation with hatred, and still feel like fine upstanding citizens. But when we allow ourselves to see another person as less than human, we run the risk of becoming less human ourselves.

 

Jean Matulis

Cambria

 

 

Heartworm can
come from anywhere

Alice Moss' "Caution at the kennel" New Times article (Nov. 3-10) was quite informative and much appreciated. Her concern of animals brought here from hurricanes Katrina and Rita posing a threat of disease to our county's animals is true, but not the only threat.

Heartworms, an infectious vector-borne disease transmitted by mosquitoes, is already present in SLO County. It has been here way before these hurricane-rescued animals arrived. The potential for this disease to continue arriving in our county continues on a daily basis from interstate commerce - planes, trains, and automobiles. Also, a dog coming into our community from "anywhere" has the opportunity to be a carrier of heartworms. Furthermore, people can travel and an infected mosquito can piggyback on their clothes, baggage, etc. and bring it here.

Canine influenza is both infectious and contagious. It is present at animal shelters, vet clinics, pet stores, and basically anywhere an infected dog has been. The longevity of this virus is extremely durable in the environment. For instance, when a person walks their dog and their dog decides to use the common "doggy pit stop," the dog can pick it up from urine previously left from an infected dog.

All kinds of nasty infectious and contagious agents are out there. Communicable disease is a part of all our lives, animals and humans alike ... go forth on your journeys and "walk with awareness!"

 

Sheryl Glidden

PALS foundation

San Luis Obispo

 

 

Destruction for the sake of destruction?

One needs to ask if Lisa Schicker, Julie Tacker, and the new LOCSD Board were the captain and crew of the Titanic, and saw a ship-sinking, life-threatening iceberg ahead, would they avoid it to save their community or intentionally plow into it because it would have made them alter their intended course?

Hopefully the LOCSD will immediately restart their mandated, funded, and permitted sewer before they lose their low-interest loan, get fined millions of dollars, and the rest of us be made to pay for their folly.

 

Cynthia Milhem

Atascadero

 

 

Set a good example: used recycled paper

Who makes the printing decisions for the county of San Luis Obispo and those who express their opinions about voting in the state of California? Where is the circle-of-arrows symbol for recycled paper?

It was noton the sample ballot from the elections division in San Luis Obispo.

It was not on anything sent out with our governor's opinion.

It was not on anything sent out from those opposing the governor's opinion.

It was not on the jury summons sent from the county of San Luis Obispo.

It was not on the shipping and mailing guide from the U.S. Postal Service.

It was not on anything sent out from nonprofit organizations.

Please allow me to salute the Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce. Every bimonthly newsletter is printed on recycled paper.

 

Nancy Clemens

Grover Beach

 

 

Wal-Mart has customers' best interests in mind

In Suzanne Arthur's opinion piece denouncing Wal-Mart ("The High Cost of Low Price," Nov. 10-17), presumably readers are to forget that nobody holds a gun to Wal-Mart employees. If working conditions are really as bad as she and other critics suggest, Wal-Mart employees can always decline to work there.

We're also supposed to forget that Wal-Mart does not and cannot kill their competition. Wal-Mart's customers do this. The worst that Wal-Mart can do is offer better value to their customers than their competitors. People vote with their dollars for which businesses should stay in business. It's this fair, completely democratic process that Wal-Mart's critics hate most. They hate the superior value that Wal-Mart offers; they hate the freedom of choice that many of us have to choose Wal-Mart over other retailers; and they work tirelessly to obstruct both.

I'll continue to shop at Wal-Mart because they, unlike many of their competitors, haven't forgotten that they work for me first - not their employees first, and not their suppliers first. I completely understand that Wal-Mart is going to catch a lot of flak for this.

Jay Stewart

Arroyo Grande

 

What do you have against successful business?

I love a big box ... store, that is - and my favorite, along with the rest of the world, is Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart; other big box stores such as Home Depot; locally, Food-4-Less; and other great American successes like Microsoft are being denigrated and criticized for the crime of doing their job too well, for running their business so effectively that they attract uncountable hordes of joyous customers.

Wal-Mart is one of the most impressive success stories in the history of business. Founded about 50 years ago as a single five-and-10-cent store in a small Arkansas town, it has grown into a worldwide corporation under the leadership of its brilliant founder, the late Sam Walton, and now his able successors. It is the largest corporation in America, with sales exceeding $245 billion. Wal-Mart has over 4,000 stores worldwide, serves over 100 million customers per week, and employs more than 1.3 million people.

Despite the extraordinary success and popularity of Wal-Mart, we are constantly bombarded by what can be called no less than hate pieces about this American icon. New Times recently ran a lengthy and almost completely erroneous opinion article touting the "horrors" of Wal-Mart. What makes people so hateful of success? Jealousy? Envy? Ignorance? Stupidity? 

 

August Salemi

Atascadero

 

Morro Bay stacks have extreme-sports potential

Keeping the Morro Bay stacks is a great idea ("Keep the stacks in the landscape," Letters Nov. 10-17).

Just think what we could do with them.

We could put rock-climbing grips on two of them and a bungee jumping platform on one of them.

To make the stack experience available for all to enjoy, one of the stacks could have an elevator with a viewing platform at the top. Wow! Can you picture the view? To create more space, let's link them all together with an enclosed catwalk.

In addition to the attractions below, this would bring people from afar with spending cash for the recreational stoke. Morro Bay, I double dare you to take the leap. Got your base-jumping 'chute?

 

Sharon Eckardt

Los Osos

 

 

Take your kids
to the symphony

Saturday was another free dress rehearsal for the SLO Symphony, sponsored by Mid-State Bank. Thank you, Michael Nowak and SLO Symphony musicians, for putting up with distractions caused by 3-year-olds experiencing music in a variety of ways.

I have attended many performances at the PAC, but I am especially grateful for the opportunity to have my children hear the symphony live many years before I would normally be able to take them. I encourage parents to start sharing the symphony with their little ones. It will be up to these children to keep the PAC filled in the years to come. Go to SLO Symphony's web page to find upcoming "No Ties Allowed" dates.

 

April Brassfield

Grover Beach

 

 

Atascadero: enforce your noise ordinances

Sunday, Nov. 13: As I'm sitting here writing this letter, two of my neighbors are riding their motorcycles on their home tracks. Just outside our house, the noise level is almost 100 decibels, well in excess of the city's noise ordinance limit of 50dB. How do I know this? I used a decibel meter.

On the other side of our home, a second neighbor is running four motorcycles around his track. Yes, I did say four; I can count them through the dust cloud. One of the motorcycles does not have a muffler. Since this neighbor's property is 300 to 400 feet away, the noise is not as loud, but still in excess of the city's noise limit.

Yesterday, because of the motorcycle noise, we had to cancel a family barbecue.

Atascadero PD said it wouldn't enforce the noise ordinance against motorcycles. Sometime back when I complained to APD I was scolded and told that they didn't appreciate wasting time on small matters like motorcycle noise. I was told I would have to arrest noisemakers myself. It didn't matter that two neighbors and we had filed written complaints as required by the city's ordinance.

APD will, however, enforce the noise ordinance when it comes to amplified sound such as garage bands or stereos. I guess somehow that noise is more offensive than 100dB motorcycle exhaust.

I suggest that the city either enforce its ordinances across the board, without discrimination, or remove them from the books.

 

Doug Marks

Atascadero

 

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