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Give Real Property Lenders a break

This is in response to the article in New Times, titled "More hard luck with hard money" (Feb. 14). Our economy goes through cycles, usually about eight to 10 years of growth, then one to two years of slow down and catch up. Our last slow time was 1988 to 1990.

We missed one in 1999 to 2000, so now we are long overdue for some slow times and price re-adjustments. People who do not recognize these patterns should not be in the investment game with all of their liquid assets. I'm pretty sure Mr. Jarmin did not hold a gun to people and force them into his office to offer them a 12 percent return on their money. The lure of big gains comes with risks, and all of Mr. Jarmin's clients were fully aware of this when they signed over those funds for him to manage.

I have been investing with Real Property Lenders for more than 16 years. My son, my mother, and myself all have projects that are either repossessed or special programs to allow the borrower to repay their loans. Rod Jarmin is by far and away the most professional of the hard money lenders. You'll also notice that he is hanging in there and trying to do what his investors want to do with each project on an individual basis, whether it is to form an LLC and borrow enough money to finish and sell a home or liquidate it as is. He is there every day listening to each and every client as to their wishes instead of closing his doors like others.

Give him a break, everybody is in the same boat!

Jim and Sharon Bohner

Susan Gallagher, Tricy, and John Gallagher

Paso Robles




Feeling sheepish, New Times?

I enjoyed the notice for the Western Bonanza Junior Livestock show (Feb. 14), along with the photo of students and their sheep being judged. However, with regard to the headline--"Go hog wild"--ewe must be kidding.

Dug Chisholm





It's ugly business, becoming a nugget

It was remarkable to read in your article ("Go hog wild," Feb. 14) about the livestock show that visitors "can look at the process that the exhibitors are going through to prepare their animals."

Does this mean if I visited the show I could watch a sheep's tail being docked (cut off without anesthesia)? Or view how a pregnant pig typically lives in a gestation crate (a pen too small to turn around in)? Or maybe I could watch them cut off the toes of turkeys (Yes, this is also done on most organic and free-range turkey farms--check out Or watch the disposal (most often by suffocation or grinding alive) of a male chick at an egg-laying chicken hatchery (done because males don't lay eggs and egg-laying strains of chickens don't grow fast enough to be raised profitably for meat)?

I wonder how many people who visit this type of event are willing to consider the process that these animals endure to go from a live being into a hamburger, hotdog, bacon, lamb chop, or chicken nugget?

Peggy Koteen

Animal Emancipation

San Luis Obispo




In a car vs. bike battle, the car will win

Mr. Fleischman's commentary ("Riding a bike can be hazardous to your health," Feb. 14) certainly raises some important points. Yes, it is dangerous to ride in town these days, but what is disturbing to me is how you never hear about the few riders and auto drivers who think traffic laws don't pertain to them. Fortunately, they are few and normally not a threat.

Yet, what concerns me is that there is always that one (see below) who blows the red light or stop sign, and if nobody is watching, they could become a large, unaesthetic hood ornament. Here's what happened: I was recently traveling eastbound on Los Osos Valley Road, heading to SLO from Los Osos, and a group of at least 50 riders blew the stop. Not one of them stopped as they pulled out in front of me, a solo vehicle at the time. I saw them coming and had plenty of warning as I said to myself, "They're not going to blow the stop are they?"

Yes, my fears were soon realized while I was forced into emergency braking, desperately attempting to slow approximately 4,300 pounds of Detroit iron into a panic stop situation just in time to miss the middle of the pack--but only by inches. Here's the clincher: I was greeted with obscenities and gestures, and some things I've never seen before. I was just glad I didn't nail at least three or four of 'em while commenting to myself, "Never seen that one before."

No wonder some motorists are furious with these bicycle outlaws. I can't help but wonder, after reading Fleischman's piece, if it has become a war zone out there. Like a train vs. pedestrian, a bicycle is no match for a car, and I'm afraid that fatalities are only going to increase due to 1) increasingly inattentive drivers and 2) cyclists who refuse to understand physics and rules of the road.

If we're going to survive, we must be aware and careful. All of us. Because a life is worth something whether either party thinks so or not. I'd like to think we're smarter than that. Please don't prove me wrong.

J.E. Curtis

Baywood Park




Stay safe, you bike riders

My name is Jacques V. Riddel, age 59, and a Vietnam vet, service connected. It's too bad Mr. Fleischman hasn't learned in his bike riding ("Riding a bike can be hazardous to your health," Feb. 14) that they just don't see you or care about you. You're in their way. Also, with the cell phone, they are busy trying to drive and talk at the same time.

I was born and raised in Santa Monica and have been riding a bike for 55 years. I moved to Santa Maria in 1982. I have worked for the Den-Mat Corp. for 23 years, and on my 20th anniversary, I had to make a change and started riding my $57 K-Mart Huffy Stone Mountain bike to work, as gas at that time was at $3.50 a gallon.

This July, I will have been riding three years, and as of Feb. 14, 2008, I have put 6,200 miles on that bike. I leave my home at 4 a.m. in the morning, helmet on head, head light and rear red flasher going. I ride Blosser Road to Skyway Drive, which is 55 MPH for those cars and trucks.

I guess "God" is watching out for me, as I have not had one close call with those 4,000-pound cars or 20,000-pound trucks. You see, I ride my bike thinking that those cars and trucks don't see me. Mr. Fleischman needs to ride with that same thought: "They don't see him."

I hope I will not hear about some guy killed in SLO on a bike. Until they change any laws or give bikes their own space, this problem will never go away. After June or July, when the cell phone law changes, you still wouldn't be seen, and if you are, you better be out of their way. Sorry?

Thank you for your time, and I hope Mr. Fleischman stays safe.

J.V. Riddel

Santa Maria




If there's money to be made, it's a party

Wow. In Sunday's Tribune, I saw the full-page ad: "LET THE PARTY BEGIN." I thought the party was over.

I hope SLO's police chief is on top of this. We all know how San Luis Obispo is known for its riots. Hopefully, she brought in a couple hundred police officers, as we don't want anyone throwing a Gatorade bottle at a bike rider and causing another riot.

Then I realized that Mardi Gras is not a money maker for the city. It's all about the money. If the city can make a few bucks, "LET THE PARTY BEGIN."

Ronald Mac





Supervisor candidate is a Trojan Horse

So, Mike Ryan's former aide is running against Supervisor Jim Patterson. But when she was interviewed on the radio, she couldn't come up with a single example of how she would be different than Patterson, or why she is dissatisfied with his service.

I predict her campaign will be long on slick mail pieces and expensive TV ads, funded by the same special interests that supported Mike Ryan, and short on substance or specifics about what she seeks to accomplish. My guess is that there will be more public giveaways to private development interests. Given what I have seen of Debbie on the Santa Margarita Advisory Council and as Ryan's representative, I would say she is a Trojan Horse, not a Pozo Cowgirl. Voter beware!

Drew Sweeney





Local leaers should say, 'Enough is enough!'

City and county employees sure know how to play the game of bluff when it comes to salaries.

Even though non-government employees have no pay increases, the government employees always demand more, with the threat of going elsewhere if they don't get it.

I say, "Go, go, don't let the door hit you in the rear!"

I am sure there are plenty of non-government employees who would like a crack at those sweet salaries, with the generous vacation time, personal days, 10 or more holidays, health insurance, and whatnot--and, on top of that, the pleasure of living in this wonderful area on the Pacific coast, which many, able, non-government employees can't afford to do.

We need council members and supervisors who have the guts to say "No! Enough is enough!"

Roy Berger

Arroyo Grande




If it's better in another county, move there

I am tired of reading about our county supervisors, police officers, firemen, teachers, and psy-techs complaining about their pay, how other counties pay better, and they should be paid the same. Well, I would have to say this: If you like the better pay in another county, I would suggest you move. I am neither of the above mentioned, but I am happy for where I am and where I live. But don't let me stop you from moving.

Steve Molter

San Luis Obispo




Charity begins at home, right?

I've always considered myself pretty smart in math and finance. I learned early in life that you shouldn't buy something until you can afford it. Our federal economics blow my mind.

Congress has voted to issue more than almost $200 billion in rebates to individuals and businesses. Those individuals, if they're smart, will use the money to pay off debts or save for a rainy day rather than go on a shopping spree.

The administration again is asking for more than $500 billion to continue the war in Iraq. Where does this money come from when we're in debt for more than $3 trillion?

Meanwhile, the administration is promising other nations monetary help while telling our neediest and most vulnerable that their services will have to be cut. Whatever happened to "charity begins at home?"

Colleen McLean

Arroyo Grande

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