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Monte Mills is my hero

I want to apologize to Monte Mills, his Lucky Horseshoe Band, and his fans for the embarrassing blunder in the article on the Bangin' 58's ("Making the band," Aug. 23).

While I'm honored by and appreciate the story, I need to set one thing straight. In the article, it was said I felt this new band is "waaay better" than Monte Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band. What I said was I felt the Bangin' 58's are "waaay different" than Monte Mills.

While both bands may be playing some of the same tunes, our approaches to the music vary. I would never intentionally disparage his band, as I owe Monte a lot for the impact he has had on my life and musical education. The first time I ever stepped up to a microphone and sang a song was with his band. Monte is an icon and a legacy not to be taken lightly or for granted. He has kept western swing alive and well on our Central Coast, and continues to be one of the premiere entertainers of our area. I'll be happy if the Bangin' 58's experience one-tenth of the impact and success Monte has experienced. My hat's off to him, and I'm very sorry for any misunderstanding created.

Paul Brown

The Bangin' 58's




What an embarrassment

The Aug. 21 Board of Supervisor's meeting was an embarrassment. A private group and their lawyer wrote public law, while an amazed public watched. The POPR ordinance, which was approved by three members of the Board of Supervisors, provides virtually no protection to a thin corridor along Highway 1. Absolutely no protection is provided for the remainder of the Cayucos rural area, including the spectacular views from Highway 46 West.

Supervisor Patterson was the lone voice of reason on the Board, since Supervisor Gibson had to recuse himself. He showed his firm support for protecting this incredible resource and voted against the POPR ordinance.

So why did the other three supervisors vote for this weakened ordinance that was drafted by a private group in secret? And why did they allow POPR's private attorney to fine-tune the ordinance with no public input?

Supervisor Lenthall led off by saying that they must come up with an ordinance they could be proud of. Yet he never explained his vote. The public deserves an explanation. We are left with assuming that campaign contributions had an undue influence.

Check it out for yourself by viewing the video of the Aug. 21 meeting at

Sue Luft





This one-time 'norm' needs to bite the dust

Thank you for publishing Kathy Johnston's "Stance on same-sex marriage comes under scrutiny" (Aug. 23).

We have all known about David Weyrich's stance regarding gays since he brought out the now-defunct Gazettes in 2000 and announced that the papers would not publish anything positive about homosexuals. It is heartening to learn that Central Coast Wedding Professionals no longer lists Weyrich's Villa Toscana among its members, whether the inn withdrew or whether the CCWP refused to allow it to remain a member. I applaud the CCWP for taking up the matter.

Particularly noteworthy is the 2000 Gazette quote by Weyrich in the article: "Call us old fashioned, but it hasn't been too many years since our professed beliefs were the accepted norm in America." Mr. Weyrich might recall when slavery was the accepted norm here. He might recall when disallowing women's vote in America was an accepted norm. I could list more of these so-called "professed beliefs" and "accepted norms" that are no longer held. The professed belief that homosexuals are not to be accepted in society is the next one to bite the dust, and the sooner the better.

Richard Kinz





I've got a question or two

Your Aug. 23 story on David Weyrich's Villa Toscana putting the brakes on allowing its premises to be used for "same sex marriage" ceremonies ("Stance on same-sex marriage comes under scrutiny") raised a question.

Villa Toscana is a high-end bed and breakfast hotel, is it not? So, does Mr. Weyrich have a policy to check the sexual orientation of guests before allowing them to check in? Or maybe a policy of checking marriage licenses of guests to make sure there's no immoral civil-union fornication (of any stripe or gender) going on upstairs in the Villa's spiffy suites?

Ann Calhoun

Los Osos




Why do we blame the pigeons?

I went for a walk last Saturday morning, pondering how pigeons could be contaminating the ocean ("Pismo pigeons can relax," Aug. 23). As I walked in front of the Pismo Coast RV resort, there was a strong odor of sewer. It occurred to me that it's typical of our species (human) to blame some other creature for our failings. Has science gone off its rocker too in this world gone slightly mad?

Using the science that came up with blaming the pigeons for contaminating the ocean, we can make a case for illegal refuse dumping in the Oceano Dunes or sewage spills into Pismo Creek. It's worth considering.

Nancy Graves

Grover Beach




Pigeons are an overpopulated nuisance

I can't figure it out. Pismo is willing to spend $30,000 to send the troublesome pigeons to another location to cause problems there ("Pismo pigeons can relax," Aug. 23).

How about trapping them and putting them humanely to sleep?

Feed them to the animals at the Atascadero Zoo.

Let people who enjoy squab have them to eat. (It's delicious, by the way.)

Or, if the animal rights activists don't like these ideas, then how about they take them home with them and let them ruin their yard and house?

I can think of lots of better places to spend 30,000 of our taxpayers' dollars.

Didn't we learn anything from the part the pigeons play in our polluted water? Or from the bridge collapsing in Minnesota? They are not cute little pets, they are an overpopulated nuisance and a health hazard.

Next thing we know, if the animal activists get their way, we'll be spending tax money on relocating rats!

Helen Saulsbury





Can someone explain this to me?

Okay, so I must be stupid (unable to understand it). The county loses money by taxing farmland at a lower rate than they do a commercial enterprise (store or market) or massive residence (home), so the state should compensate the county for the lost revenue, correct?

In other words, the county loses money because I live in a small home, therefore the state should compensate the county for lost revenue, correct? No? Why not?

Now, you all know I am not in favor of most government regulation, so it will not surprise you to hear me say this is sheer foolishness. At best, the county gets a reward for letting farmers go on farming. At worst, at some point, the farmers and the homeowners will be taxed at the highest possible rate (envision a 5,000-square-foot home in place of my 1,000-square-foot twin house and a hundred such houses on the farmer's land) so we are all forced to flee the county altogether.

In my humble opinion, if you must tax, and if one of those taxes is placed on property, it is much better to tax property at the use the owner has put it to, period. It makes no difference what could be done with land. What matters is what is being done with it. So I pay a higher tax per acre for a home than a farmer does per acre to farm the land. He and I use the same amount of community services. Those services are not used on a per acre basis, they are used on a per person basis, correct? I think so!

Gail Lightfoot

SLO Libertarian Party chair

Arroyo Grande




Everyone could enjoy the dunes

If the tree huggers and otter lovers hadn't forced the off-roaders into such a small area on the Oceano Dunes, maybe there would not be as many accidents! Duh!

I have a bad knee, so there is so much of the dunes I can't enjoy anymore on my dual sport motorcycle. And I truly believe I never hurt the damn environment one little bit.

P.S. There could be designated trails to stay on, like in the forests, so all the dunes could be enjoyed by everybody.

Don Wood

Santa Maria





What's the problem with file sharing?

In recent years, there has been a huge uproar from the industries complaining about file sharing over the Internet. I don't understand what the big deal is.

For years before the Internet existed, file sharing was around. Thousands of people would buybooks, movies, and music and let friends borrow them. This is the same concept as file sharing. When someone would loan you a book, you got to read it and never pay a cent. Movies have been ripped off since the invention of the VCR, and music is one of the easiest things to share.

But in all the years before the Internet, there were never authors going on national television saying they want to ban the sharing of books that if you loan a book to someone, you face jail time.

That is one of the best things about sharing you can borrow a book, read it, and if you like the book or author, go out and buy some of their books. Same with movies that come out on television. If you like it, go out and buy it. File sharing has been around a long time and no one had a problem with it, so why start now?

Robert Bunnell

Santa Maria




Neighbors to the south need help

The unpredictability, length, and scope of the Zaca Fire has kept the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter, on red alert for nearly two months. Our ongoing disaster plans included bringing in resources for sheltering and feeding 1,000 people, with contingency plans for 20,000 if the fire entered populated areas. Evacuation warnings kept us on our toes as the smoke and flames made county residents uneasy.

Being prepared meant bringing in 10 teams of Red Cross Disaster Shelter Volunteers from across the country, 1,000 cots and blankets, and food for a projected evacuation population of thousands. We trained nearly 200 more volunteers, brought in five additional emergency response vehicles for mass feeding, and provided the public with updates and preparedness information.

We were ready for whatever happened because that's what we do. While all American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, it does not come without cost. The Zaca Fire has put a strain on our local resources as we receive no outside funding from federal, state, or local governments. To help support the Santa Barbara County Red Cross Chapter, call 687-1331 or visit

Janet L. Stanley


American Red Cross

Santa Barbara County Chapter

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