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How not to run a restaurant

We look forward to reading Kathy Hardesty’s articles in the New Times. After reading her restaurant review of Shawn’s on Main (“Simple dedication,� Nov. 11-18) we gave it a try and came away disappointed. I let Kathy know of our bad experience. I also left a message with Shawn. I spoke with Shawn by phone a few days later. The first words out of his mouth were how dare I let anyone, let alone Kathy, know of our bad experience and that by letting him know of our experience, we were just trying to get free food?

His arrogance rivaled that of another chef that aspired to greatness and now works at a former hamburger joint. His best friend is the only waiter, so don’t complain about the lack of service! I’m sure that some people out there will dispute Shawn’s arrogance. He told me that he is friends with likes of Daniel Boulud (Daniel NYC) and Charlie Trotter, so how can I question anything he does?

Sorry Shawn, I will ask every question and question every answer. What is that old saying? If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

 

Tobie Charles

tobiecharles@hotmail.com

 

 

You’ve got it backward, Dean

I guess I chose the wrong week to look in on the paper to which I used to contribute.

It’s hard to pick just one rotten vegetable from Dean Opperman’s stew of unsupported assertions (“Oh, I get it, now I’m the Antichrist,� Opinion, Nov. 11-18), but I think my favorite is his claim that George W. Bush has done “more damage to feminism than 20 years of rap.�

Elaine Chao, Ann Veneman, Gale Norton, and Condoleezza Rice would disagree, but those women are just Cabinet-level officers. Let’s not forget the millions of women who voted for the president, and the millions of women in Afghanistan whose lives are better now than they were before you-know-who took office.

If “West of Pecos diplomacy� really has created a “trickle-down paranoia that is ruining the neighborhood,� I read that as proof that the neighborhood needed renovation. How like a progressive to make the federal government responsible for his own mental health.

Here’s an alternate-reality thesis for Mr. Opperman, based on the fact that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other pioneering feminists were unabashedly “pro-life�: feminism killed itself as a political force by becoming progressive shorthand for all abortion, all the time. George Bush had nothing to do with that suicide.

 

Patrick O’Hannigan

San Diego

 

 

Free speech is free

Regarding the controversy about the gay-marriage art at Cal Poly (News, Nov. 11-18), it is interesting that there has been no outrage about the picture of Jesus defecating an Easter egg and other anti-Christian art, but so much outrage when someone questions gay marriage.

It seems that “free speech� is only free if you are criticizing something that is not politically correct. Furthermore, all of the negative comments deal with how people feel about the art, and nothing was said about the substance of the criticism — that gay marriage is the beginning of a “slippery slope.�

In fact, I heard that someone in Utah has already sued to allow polygamous marriages on the same basis that homosexual marriages were allowed in Massachusetts. The next step would not be marriage to an animal, but rather marriage to a child, both homosexual and heterosexual. NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) has been pushing for this for years. If homosexual marriage were legalized, all these other variants would certainly follow, with the possible exception of the man with the dog.

Let’s continue to debate this issue, because if debate is silenced just because someone is offended, then democracy is a joke.

 

Allen Pritzlaff

Atascadero

Kerry didn’t appeal to all democrats

Now the experts are telling us why Kerry didn’t win. Kerry didn’t win because most of our soldiers are from Democrat-voting families and when one ammunition dump out of thousands was pilfered, the leadership of the Democratic Party blamed the president for this, which was a direct condemnation of our soldiers in the field. These people and their families vote.

How can you expect plumbers, carpenters, and our building tradesmen, many of whom are Democrats who have real jobs, to vote for a man who campaigns with Ted Kennedy, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and others who have never had a real job?

We didn’t. And that’s why Bush won. The Republican Party cannot win with only Republican votes.

 

Ralph Raye

San Luis Obispo

 

 

Gee whiz!

Boy am I glad that’s over! All those politicians from both sides telling us what a bunch of losers and rascals their opponents are, so who are we to believe? How about that humongous debt we are racking up? Not to worry, though, our Congress and the president will take care of it, that’s what we pay them to do, isn’t it? Too bad our kids and grandkids will have to foot the bill, but that’s life. Luckily my kids are past the age to be called up to go to Iraq or else I really would worry. Well, gotta go, mustn’t miss my favorite show on TV.

 

Jeff Spry

jas721@juno.com

 

 

I’m not denying Tacker’s rights

The New Times in a Nov. 11 (News) article alleged that I challenged Director-elect Julie Tacker’s right to vote on the Los Osos Wastewater Project once she is seated as a Los Osos Community Services District Board member. This allegation is not true.

To set the record straight, I indicated that as president of the LOCSD Board of Directors I have an obligation to seek a legal opinion as to whether Julie Tacker’s historic involvement with the litigants would preclude her participation in closed-session discussions of the current lawsuit.

It does not follow that my asking this important question means that I sought to deny Director-elect Tacker’s rights. I did not at any time question her right to vote on the Wastewater Project. I asked the question regarding closed-session participation to protect the integrity of both Director-elect Tacker and the LOCSD Board of Directors, for it is in everyone’s interest to know if any legal conflicts exist.

The New Times article also states that Mrs. Tacker resigned as president of CCLO (the organization that has filed a lawsuit against the LOCSD) prior to her decision to run for the LOCSD board; despite the fact that the Official Candidate’s Statement identifies Mrs. Tacker as president of the CCLO. The issue of when Mrs. Tacker resigned from CCLO is important, for it raises questions regarding Mrs. Tacker’s possible participation in the CCLO lawsuit filed against LOCSD on Oct. 8, 2004.

 

Stan Gustafson

President, LOCSD Board of Directors

 

Keep it up, Dean

Dear Mr. Opperman, It is always
refreshing to read your articles in New Times. This latest one (“Oh, now I get it. I’m the Antichrist,� Opinion, Nov. 11-18) really hit the spot because I have the feeling it came from the deepest core of what constitutes our moral makeup as humans (I believe there are those individuals who are incapable of identifying with that concept and its practice).

I am certain there are many more who, like myself, are thankful that you are able and willing to articulate and advocate for what makes us human and for what is right by those who are unable to defend or speak for themselves. God knows there are many of them on this planet. You also do it with such forthrightness and tragic humor befitting this surreal path to potential mass destruction that is being led by the self-appointed representatives of the almighty.

I have very few intolerances in life, but one of the more drastic ones has to do with religion and its misuse to justify every oppression known to man, whether against children, women, the poor, or those who hold beliefs different from ours.

I hope you will continue to write. I think your articles are one of the better ones I have seen published.

I think we all need to do our part, no matter how small that part. We owe it to our fellow human beings, not just to ourselves. Most importantly, we owe it to the future generations.

 

Marilyn Farhat

San Luis Obispo

 

 

I had Valley Fever, too

Around 1993 I worked at Camp Roberts when I got Valley Fever (“Deadly disease with no cure,� Nov. 18-25). I was about 25. It took forever to get diagnosed. Only when another worker was diagnosed and died did anyone take me seriously. I was sick for six months and lost 45 pounds. It was getting to epidemic proportions and the Health Department was asking to be notified of new cases. I was trying to prove I got it at work. I ran into lots of obstacles with that. When I did some research, I found out that when Camp Roberts had a colored side of Post (east side) around 1945, they had several people die from Valley Fever. It was also grown and cultivated at the Men’s Colony by a leading researcher when some inmates were getting Valley Fever.

I am 36 now and still have to tell the doctors what the abnormal chest X-rays could be from.

 

Steve Armer

steve@broadwire.ws

 

 

A simple solution

Regarding the argument that marriage should be a union only between a man and a woman because if gays are allowed to marry, people will be able to marry dogs, children, or indulge in polygamy; the way around that argument is to define marriage as a union between two consenting human adults. End of argument.

 

Sharon Eckardt

Los Osos

 

 

Driving pointers

This letter is for all drivers within reading distance of this magazine.

One, if you can see that no other vehicles are behind me but you insist on pulling out in front of me anyway, put your foot on the gas pedal and get out of my way.

Second, turning your headlights on during the day is not so you can see better, it’s so you can be seen, helping to prevent a horrific accident and killing you, me, and everyone around us.

And third, if I can pass you in the slow lane on the freeway, get your butt over!
On behalf of all the rest of us, thank you for your kind consideration in these
matters.

 

Ramee Short

Oceano

 

Don’t let Calif. get away with this

The ideal time to criticize, overhaul, or improve one’s political party is right after an election, regardless of which one is successful.

Therefore, I write the following criticism of certain actions in Sacramento by the leaders of both major political parties. If we, the grassroots citizens of California, allow situations like the following to continue, neither party deserves their position and power.

The problem: Both parties jointly agreed to increase the memberships of several state commissions, which originally had five members appointed and responsible to the governor, by five new members of each party, with no reference to their qualifications. The purpose of the maneuver was simply to reward individuals for helping elect lawmakers of certain key committees. According to Dan Walters, who reported about this more than two years ago, members of some of those inflated commissions each receive $90,000 of our tax money per year.

If we profess to care about each other, we ought to take collective action concerning abuse of power.

 

Ray Jansen

Atascadero

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