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Investigate my mail carrier

Re: Street Talk (Nov. 17-24): What issue do you think the New Times needs to investigate? You opened up a Pandora’s Box.

I would like a reporter to “ride along� with the mailperson on Portola Road.

Last night, at 6:03 p.m., I drove out to my mailbox, flashlight in hand because it is pitch dark and I am about 1/10th mile from the street. The driver was two houses past mine. Many times I just wait and get my mail in the morning. The holidays haven’t even begun and we can look forward to 7, 8, or 9 o’clock service.

Last year I spent November and December calling. My weekly delivery of Time and Newsweek were erratic and sometimes nonexistent or appearing 10 days later. I personally went and spoke with the postmistress, who happens to live in Lompoc. “Not our fault� was her mantra. Try documenting her “hours at the office.� One call, after asking to speak to her at 3 p.m., she’d already left for the day. It’s been this way for two to three years, the last two exceptionally unacceptable.


P.E. Moore

Portola Road , Atascadero



All chains are responsible, not just Wal-Mart

In response to Suzanne Arthur’s opinion piece about the new Wal-Mart documentary (“The High Cost of Low Price,� Nov. 10-17), I wonder if the crews who filmed it and the people supporting it have forgotten about the dozens of other huge retail chains across the country paying low wages without benefits. Wal-Mart seems to be at the top of the hot list, as if they’re the only ones paying lower wages or pulling people from mom-and-pop stores. All the big chains are to blame as a whole. Everyone I know thinks they pay too much for groceries, so what’s wrong with a Supercenter? It’s only an inexpensive grocery department added into a regular Wal-Mart store.

So if you disapprove of Wal-Mart, maybe you should remember how huge that certain coffee chain or clothing store is you’re in the next time you hand over more money than you should to the minimum-wage, part-time paid employee. Wal-Mart gets bigger all the time because so many people like shopping there. If you’re against them, don’t forget your chain choice is probably paying poorly without benefits, but you overlook it because they operate from a smaller-box store.


John Zweedmer

Morro Bay



What’s American about Wal-Mart?

To last week’s pro-Wal-Mart voices: Please note that those “superior value� products brought to you by that “impressive� company you tout are mostly produced in China; that’s Communist China.

Wal-Mart moved their worldwide purchasing headquarters to Communist China in 2001, and now purchase over $15 billion in Chinese products annually.

Who produces those products? Mostly women and children working in the labor hellholes China is famous for; (3–10 cents per hour tops in horrid working conditions).

Who sells these “superior value� products? Wal-Mart sales clerks working below the federal poverty line for a family of three. The company brags that 70 percent of their employees are full time, but fails to disclose that they count anyone working 28 hours a week or more as full time. There are no health care benefits unless you have worked for the company for two years. Reliance on public assistance programs in California by Wal-Mart workers costs the state’s taxpayers an estimated $86 million annually.

So, enjoy your Wal-Mart shopping experience. Know that your purchase will send your American dollar out of our economy to a communist country and the “superior value� of your slave labor purchase will place just that much more of a drag on our own public assistance programs.

As the pro Wal-Mart folks stated, Wal-Mart is one of the most impressive success stories ever. What’s most impressive is that any American can even walk into the store and not be ashamed.


Steve Ryan

Pismo Beach

Stewart and Salemi, at least see the film

I was very disappointed when I read the two letters to the editor supporting Wal-Mart (Nov. 17-24).

I would suggest that Mr. Stewart and Mr. Salemi actually view the film “The High Cost of Low Price� before they make their judgments. If they were more informed on the issues they might actually agree with Ms. Arthur.

Mr. Stewart stated that Wal-Mart employees are not forced to work there. In fact, in many small towns where Wal-Mart has set up shop they have killed preexisting local business to the extent that their employees do not in fact have anywhere else they can work. And in the process they have destroyed what were often good-paying union jobs and replaced them with part-time minimum wage jobs with benefits that many Wal-Mart employees cannot afford. In fact, many of these employees end up on government assistance in one form or another, and this is just one of the many examples of the hidden costs of Wal-Mart. Also, Wal-Mart most certainly does intentionally kill other businesses. They have all sorts of tactics that they use to do this, such as selling items that other stores sell at a loss until they put those stores out of business, and then they jack up the prices. In response to Mr. Salemi’s suggestion that people who dislike Wal-Mart are stupid, jealous, or ignorant: I would say that their concern comes out of compassion, awareness, and a preference for social justice. If more people really understood the high cost of Wal-Mart’s low prices, I do not think that so many of them would shop there.


Sara Hackett

San Luis Obispo



You’re blaming the wrong guy

In the Nov. 10-17 edition of New Times, Alice Moss wrote about the SLO Youth Football team and how they were disqualified and forced to forfeit their games (“Paper Tigers�).

First of all, she needs to get her facts straight. Bear McGill isn’t even a coach for Templeton Youth Football at any level. He is a coach for the Templeton High School J.V. team. Alice also said that Bear McGill wouldn’t comment on the issue, but what she failed to mention that she never even spoke with him about this subject.

I was also appalled that, in the article, the blame was placed on another person instead of the coach and the parent who falsified his own son’s birth certificate. I also find it hard to believe that he was the only one who knew about this action, as this county is too small of a community to not know if a returning player is ineligible.

Alice also stated in her article that my dad knew about this back in September. I guarantee that if my dad knew about this back in September, he would have done something about it then. Growing up with this man, I know he does not stand for cheating in any way, shape, or form.

So I think that any person who agrees with the article that was published needs to understand that football is a team sport and the decision of one person, including the coach, can and will affect the whole team.

Greg McGill




Editor’s Note: Bear McGill is indeed a coach at Templeton High School. New Times regrets the error.

New Times’ claim that Bear McGill declined comment was based on a call to the McGill residence where a woman answered and stated that Bear McGill was not interested in talking to New Times.



Kudos to the city of Arroyo Grande

Every time — and hardly a day goes by — I hear of another of the neverending squabbles among almost all of our neighboring community council members and staff, I am thankful to be living in Arroyo Grande. I know there must be differences of opinion among our Council and city employees — it’s just part of living and working with others — but they are willing to work out the differences in a grown-up way.

Much of the credit, I have no doubt, belongs to our city manager, Steve Adams. I just hope that we will be able to keep him here. I am certain he could be earning five to 10 times as much elsewhere.


Roy Berger

Arroyo Grande



Braun was a Bush administration victim

You story about the hounding-to-death of Marlene Braun for pursuing her responsibility to manage the Carrizo Plains (“To die on the plain,� Nov. 17-24) is typical of brutal Bush administration cruelty.

The neocons operate from a narrow ideology and are ruthless in destroying anyone who doesn’t follow orders. I have witnessed federal education programs started under the Clinton administration, having bipartisan support, get systematically dismantled. Program personnel were demoralized at every opportunity and attacks on program funding were ceaseless. Programs that put badly needed resources in schools serving teachers and students were replaced by huge budgets for textbook publishers and testing companies, making public schools a painful place for teachers and students. Such examples are at every level, from demanding abstinence-only programs in third world counties instead of birth control; to lowering mercury regulations resulting in millions of babies born with toxic levels; to wholesale attacks on any program that helps working people to using hideous weapons against Iraqis; to institutionalizing torture, assassination, and death squads. Never has there been such an administration based on sadism, cruelty, and arrogant incompetence in pursuit of its disastrous ideology. Republicans, switch parties and let the impeachments begin in the next Congress.


David Georgi

Shell Beach



Help our libraries!

During the week of Nov. 7-19, Nipomo Library was only open two days! The library was closed Monday and Tuesday due to insufficient staff and Friday because of the holiday. The Arroyo Grande Branch was also closed Saturday, Nov. 19 due to not enough staff (and closed Friday for holiday). Since January SLO County libraries have had to close early, close for lunch, or close altogether at least 20 times systemwide. Our libraries need extra people to fill in for sick or vacationing employees. If repeated library closures bother you, I urge you to contact the County CAO and the Board of Supervisors, and let them know so they will takes steps to resolve this situation in the next fiscal year — if not sooner.


Cathe Olson

Arroyo Grande



Raising public awareness is not ‘vitriol’

I’d like to thank Jean Matulis for voicing her opinion through her letter titled, “Never an excuse for hatred� (Nov. 17-24). Her letter is boosting the much-needed publicity devoted to keeping us safe from repeat rapists like San Luis Obispo’s Anthony Dacayana.

In Matulis’ letter, she reminds us that Megan’s Law serves the valid purpose of advising the public about the presence of former sexual offenders. Megan’s Law is great … but when Megan’s Law fails and SLOPD has difficulty keeping track of this guy, the community needs to heighten its awareness of him.

Jean’s letter says, “I do not believe it does anyone any good to spill out the vitriol (vitriol defined: the desire to see another suffer or extreme bitterness) contained in your article on Anthony Dacayana.� Counterpoint: It’s important not to confuse raising public awareness with vitriol, or extreme bitterness. “Devil Among Us� (Nov. 3-10) was written with good purpose and objectivity. Props to Abraham Hyatt for raising our awareness.

Also, I agree with Jean’s point not to “fuel our sense of righteous indignation with hatred ... .� Hatred won’t do anyone good, but necessary actions will. May I point out that supporters of this rapist are not the enemy; they’re just blind with compassion. We must forgive them and focus on the real problem. Our real problem is the grave threat named Anthony Dacayana that’s about to prey on our mothers, daughters, sisters, coworkers, and friends. Calling all Boondock Saints …


Mike Strand

San Luis Obispo

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