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Let the sheriff run his department

Some time ago, during a public hearing, Supervisor Jerry Lenthall told me that the sheriff doesn't answer to the Board of Supervisors, but to the people who elected him.

So, now I wonder about the confusion over whether the board can or cannot put Sheriff Pat Hedges on administrative leave while he is being investigated for purported wrongdoing. Would a supervisor be placed on administrative leave if there were a questionable action in his or her district? Or would any other elected official? No.

Is this a knee-jerk reaction to the complaint brought by a department employee under investigation? Or is it something else?

It is idiotic to think that one should warn someone under investigation about one's plan of action, as some people have suggested. I also think it odd that an individual under investigation would find it necessary to file a complaint before the investigation is completed. It brings to mind the Shakespearean quotation: "The (individual) doth protest too much, methinks."

As a civil libertarian, I disagree with Sheriff Hedges on some points. However, he should be allowed to run his department without outside interference.

Richard E. Venable

Arroyo Grande

 

 

 

Nuclear power is here to stay

"Too cheap to meter" (Sept. 27) by David Weisman is a classical example of someone who wants to control something they don't understand or appreciate. We are a Third World country in terms of power generation. Whereas there are about 500 nuclear power plants in the world that have operated successfully for decades without problems, California has two that are under fire continuously by the mentally challenged.

France, which has so much nuclear power that it sells to other countries, also has a recovery plant in Normandy so that spent rods can be used over, eliminating the waste that we are forced to store because of people like Weisman. By the way, Japan, which is mostly under power by nuclear energy, has also developed a recovery system.

Nuclear power is here to stay, and the only reason we are so far behind is because of the constraints unfairly placed by the chicken-hearted. There is one guy in Nipomo who writes (and gets published) about the dangers of stored waste and which way the winds will carry the nuclear cloud if Diablo explodes. How pathetic.

Humans have great potential, but there are those who don't want progress and use our political opportunists--who know less than they do--to throw up roadblocks to progress. Wind power is not a bad idea, except that it can't begin to supply the power we use.

Norman Mehl

Santa Maria

 

 

 

Join me for a battle rooted in love

The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act was passed by both houses of the California State Legislature. A coalition of local clergy is supporting same-sex marriage by signing on to an amicus brief to the California Supreme Court. Isn't it time we straight allies to the gay and lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community took a stand too?

As a Unitarian Universalist, my faith calls me to realize the inherent worth and dignity of every person. I believe it is time for us to stand up and stand with our gay and lesbian friends who are being systematically denied the most basic rights and recognition--the very things we in the heterosexual world take for granted day after day.

On Friday, Oct. 12, at Mission Plaza, from 4 to 9 p.m., we will have an opportunity to "stand up and stand with" by participating in the vigil called 7 Straight Nights for Equal Rights.

In partnership with Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry in Sacramento, and various local faith groups, the SLO UU Fellowship is encouraging straight friends, family members, and allies of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community to come forward and stand up for civil rights for all.

Help win this civil rights battle--a battle "rooted in love." Please join me Oct. 12 at Mission Plaza. Add your voice to the growing number of my friends who say, "This just isn't right."

Gina Whitaker

Arroyo Grande

 

 

 

Campus paper's gun ad turned me off

I'm a Cal Poly student, journalism senior, and just moved here from Germany three years ago. Luckily, I'm immune to all that most of the students up on the hill are, all that New Times so often mocks, much to my delight.

On the first day of classes this quarter, I saw yet another piece of the puzzle to amuse and, this time, much more appall me: an ad for the local indoor shooting range. In a student newspaper, yes?

Well, it is sure nice to break up the Pottery Barn atmosphere dominating the Mustang Daily advertisements every once in a while, even if only to acknowledge those few of us "Poly" students who despise the Greek offspring lifestyle and don't say "Poly." But an ad for a shooting range? Really?

I sure am biased because I can't stand the NRA mentality, but even if I weren't considering the great many school shootings, a student newspaper is definitely not the right place for a shooting range ad--though, tempting as it may be as a student with Cal Poly ID and said ad, I could "SHOOT FOR FREE with purchase of 2 boxes of ammo per person."

Lucky me. Being older than 21, I could even shoot a revolver or pistol. My heart goes out to all those students merely 18 who have to be satisfied with a rifle or shotgun.

Christine Haeussling

San Luis Obispo

 

 

 

Benefit show dazzles despite setbacks

The I've Got Rhythm benefit opened at the Clark Center Oct. 4 to an enthusiastic audience swinging and swaying to the music of the Big Band era. Despite some very serious setbacks, the performers showed themselves to be true professionals, pulling together to give their all for Parkinson's research.

Earlier in the week, one of the Follies dancers fell and broke her wrist. Despite our concern for her, the rest of the dancers rallied to fill in the gap. And come together we did for the Wednesday night dress rehearsal in full makeup and costume. In the dressing room, while changing costumes, the unthinkable happened again. Another dancer fell and broke her wrist. Amid ice packs, 911 calls, and ambulance arrivals, we nervously continued the dress rehearsal. Distracted by worry for our fellow dancer, we were late for our cues, in the wrong costumes, and generally all shook up.

But being the troopers that we are, we got back on track and finished dress rehearsals on time.

Then comes opening night, and magic happened. In glittery sequins and fishnet stockings, the ladies of the Follies performed the first number, our signature song--"I've Got Rhythm"--and the audience roared their approval. All the old favorites of the 1930s and '40s got people tapping their toes and humming to such standards as "In the Mood," "Little Brown Jug," and "Fascinating Rhythm." Swing dancing and pinup pictures gave an upbeat flavor to the production, as well as some spectacular surprises. David with his aerial acrobatic ribbons and Briana dancing in her electric bodysuit had the audience wide eyed. As one patron said, "On a scale of one to 10, I give this show an 11."

Mary Fahey

Pismo Beach

 

 

 

Here's my farm question

I just got my solicitation from the Farm Bureau, asking me to support an initiative for the ballot that would prevent politically connected developers from using eminent domain as a front to seize private farms for development, increasing government and private revenues--a worthy fight and a lousy loophole. What do we do however, when the politically connected developers OWN the farm?

Miranda Joseph

Santa Margarita

 

 

 

Thanks from the Odd Fellows

The membership and directors of the Chorro Lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows would like to express their deepest appreciation to all of those who supported our recent charity fundraising event, whether it be by attendance, purchasing raffle tickets, barbecue dinners, or providing prizes and services.

It is a wonderful thing about this community that there are so many who will gather to have a great time and raise money for local charities and we want to thank you all for your generous support and friendship.

Brent LaMon

member, Board of Directors

I.O.O.F. Lodge #168

 

 

 

Humans don't cause global warming

It seems like almost everyone is jumping on the global warming bandwagon--state governors, world leaders at the G8 Summit, and some pseudo scientists, to name a few.

We have many scientific laws, but none pertaining to global warming. Therefore, computer climate models and predictions are not based on solid scientific evidence--only on what some people think might happen.

We are told that humans are causing global warming. From about 800 A.D. to 1300 A.D. we had the Medieval Warm Period where the earth was as hot or hotter than it is today. This was followed by the Little Ice Age from about 1550 to 1850.

In 1300, fewer than 500 million people lived on earth. In 1850, world population was more than one billion people. So how did twice as many people cause our earth to cool?

Humans are not responsible for our weather. Nature is. For example, some scientists have discovered that fluctuations in solar activity cause our earth temperatures to fluctuate. Go to www.oism.org/pproject for a scientific debunking of global warming. Let us get off this phony bandwagon!

Dominick Odorizzi

Porter Ranch

 

 

 

Go vegan, save the world

On World Food Day, Oct. 16, why not do something that will really help alleviate hunger: Go vegan. Approximately 40 million tons of food is needed to eliminate the most extreme cases of world hunger, yet farmed animals in Western countries are fed 540 million tons of food every year. The world's cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people.

This is not a new problem. In 1947, President Truman asked Americans to stop eating beef on Tuesdays and chicken and eggs on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe.

Meat production also wastes water and land. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of meat, but only 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat. Food for a vegan can be produced on only 1/6 of an acre of land, while it takes 3 1/4 acres of land to produce food for a meat-eater.

Animal agriculture also causes climate change--the focus of this year's World Food Day teleconference. A 2006 United Nations report revealed that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships, and planes in the world combined.

We can all save the environment and help the hungry--not to mention billions of animals--by going vegan. To learn more, visit www.GoVeg.com.

Heather Moore

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, VA

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