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Race story was great

Just wanted to compliment you on the cover story ("Let's talk about race," June 21). It's great to see and read articles on the issues of racism in SLO. I grew up in Grover City aka Grover Beach and ever since I moved out in '97, I realized I was definitely sheltered in those issues, and I'm a Filipino male growing up in a dominantly white town. My best friend is black, and it wasn't too long ago when he was walking in downtown SLO when he saw a white kid being jumped in a parking lot and he came to help him out, and woke up in the French Hospital ICU. Last thing he remembered was a racial slur. It's ironic because most of the friends he's introduced me to are white. SLO definitely needs work on racial awareness. It makes me more proud to tell people in Los Angeles about SLO when there are articles like your last cover story. Great job!

DJ Brown Monkey

(James Astrero)

Los Angeles




What about reverse racism?

This week's story in New Times about racism was a very good article. But when talking about that issue, we also have to talk about reverse racism and discrimination. My ethnic background includes Italo-Albanian, Irish, and Native American Indian (Micmac) and I am 42 years old let's talk age discrimination. By the way I live in Guadalupe, where it is 88 percent Hispanic. Also I am called a white Mexican with my first name, Marcos. Confusing.

My blonde-haired 5-year-old son is taking folklorico and speaks Spanish with his mother, who is Swiss Italian. I grew up with my father saying that if all of us were the same we would not learn anything, and to this day I really believe that.

Racism is a comfort zone and is an example of how people are not educated enough about others. Books, magazines, and the Internet are good ways to see how others are, but actual human contact is the best way to learn about others. Put away the fear, pride, and egos and be more humble when gaining knowledge about others. People are tribal and like to be associated with clans or a group. That has nothing to do with racism. It is the human factor. It is a defensive mechanism that we all have inside us. Fear is the main reason we have racism, the unknown. If you look at it from a scientific aspect we are all anatomically the same.

Yes, San Luis Obispo is predominately white Americans, but Los Angeles is predominately Hispanic Americans and New Orleans is predominately African Americans, and Cal Poly is mostly white, Florida International University in Miami is mostly Hispanic, and Howard University in D.C is mostly African American, and so forth. With all that is said and done, we all bring a unique gift to the table whether it is language, history, or even one's culture.

It is all about learning and knowledge. Thank you.

Marcos Tosches





Congestion commandments are crap

I have just finished reading the newly published "10 Commandments for Motorists" issued by the Catholic Church.

It is the biggest crock of crap that I have encountered in many years. Another typical governmental (Catholic Church, Vatican City) attempt to insert more control over our individual lives.

Being born and raised a Catholic and American, I find these new "Commandments" a total waste of time for anyone to come up with. Sounds more like Vatican City civil servants had nothing better to do.

I further think that anyone who takes these "Commandments" seriously is stupid!

After all, there are many laws in this state (and country) that already espouse the same thing but as a matter of legal law. Now the Vatican tries to put a moral spin on already existing laws and practices that have been taught since childhood both in schools and at home, and will attempt to enforce them as they did during the Inquisition.

Shall I forgive someone who was drunk and plowed their car into me (or a group of children) killing and injuring many? Hell no! I want them punished!

But I get the drift that this attitude may violate one of the commandments. I for one will continue to use common sense and obey the established legal laws of the state of California and the United States of America. I have no need of a government that harbors pedophiles to further impinge on my God-given rights as they have already been established by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. I do believe in God but also believe that these attempts by "Scholarly Religious Zealots" is not heavenly at all !

Paul Mancini

Grover Beach




Common law is common sense

My solution for all the disagreement about what/who constitutes "marriage" is to legalize "common law marriage" in all states. If you've lived together, in whatever capacity, as a "team," supporting each other and caring for one another for whatever amount of years is fair, especially if you're raising/supporting children, then you both/all should have the "benefits" of "marriage." And, there's no need for "divorce" just draw up a "dissolution of relationship/common law marriage" agreement and have it notarized. Sounds positively "civilized!"

Cinthea T. Coleman

Baywood Park




Questions and answers

When does the truth become a tirade? When the crook gets caught.

Why does the rest of the world have nothing? Because the crook took what they had. What is a "class war"? That's when the crook has to give back what he took. Bright ideas and hard work are what you need to protect yourself from the crooks. Two wrongs may not make it right, but it sounds like justice to me.

Karl Brown

San Luis Obispo




No need to throw stones

Overall, I very much enjoyed the article, "Can We Talk?" of June 20. I would like to remark though on the comments of Mr. Ronald Adams. I became very upset when I read the reactions of this man after being called a derogatory name. It's a shame that as a young, healthy male he feels the need to walk around town fashioning weapons out of landscape.

As a female in my particular line of work, I get called degrading and derogatory names quite frequently, but I have yet to experience the need to physically lash out at anyone. I read Mr. Adams' little section of the article a second time, just to see if perhaps I missed some crucial detail that may have justified his behavior, though I doubted I would find one after reading he "boned out" from the scene.

Anyway, upon my second reading I was mortified to discover that Mr. Adams is a local firefighter. This is a man who has dedicated himself to saving life and protecting the general public. Violence leads only to more violence! Mr. Adams, I do not mean to put you on the spot or make you feel further discriminated against, but I do hope you will reconsider your physical reactions towards others who are obviously ignorant and not worth wasting your freedoms and life potential over!

Heidi Voelker

San Luis Obispo




Rate increase all wet

Earlier this evening I participated in the San Luis Obispo City Council hearing on the critical water rate increase. 'Twas a true and living example of democracy gone wrong. Four closed minds and Miss Mulholland. Long thought we could never agree on anything. But her lone "no" vote was a breath of fresh air in a fetid atmosphere.

The only consistent theme I heard was the blasting of past councils (as in Los Osos) for their many failures to act appropriately in a timely fashion. Interesting, since many of these political and bureaucratic seers have been around for most of the past decade or more.

Walter G. Wulff

San Luis Obispo



Disappointed in Starkey

I'm 69 and have tried to view various art forms objectively but "Knocked Up" is a complete flop. The women are great actresses, but the remainder make Butthead and Bevis look sophisticated.

This movie wasn't just bad, it was disgustingly filthy, which obviously will garner a large audience. So much for the taste of much of our society.

I read New Times from front to back weekly. I love it. But for Glen Starkey to give this flick a $9.00 bargain ("Mixed blessings", June 7) has left me stunned, raising real concerns with your sense of values. I'm terribly disappointed at this, seeing as I have had much respect for your good judgment.

Gary Luttrell

Morro Bay




Go ahead and dive!

Taking trash is not illegal ("The dive that delivers," June 14). In 1988 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that once an item is left for trash pickup, there is no expectation of privacy or continued ownership. Which means that once an item, be it a carrot or a computer, is deposited into the trash, it belongs to anyone who wants it. So, Dumpster divers rejoice, the clueless cop or Dumpster owner have no say or jurisdiction over what you choose to take from a Dumpster.

There are caveats, however. Never break into a locked Dumpster or into a locked area where the Dumpster is stored. Also, no noise and no mess, the Dumpster and the surrounding area should look exactly the same as when you got there, even cleaner. Abide by these few cautions and the vast world of food and goods available at Dumpsters is yours for the taking legally. Happy diving.

August Salemi





Nacimiento pipeline is a pipe dream

The San Luis Obispo City Council has made a critical and hugely expensive error affecting all of our citizens.

The mistake: authorizing a go-ahead for the Nacimiento pipeline project.

Councilmember Andrew Carter in a June 13 Tribune "Viewpoint" article notes three supporting arguments but ignores the most important issue of all that Nacimiento is NOT a reliable water source.

A better bet would be to invest in a desalination program. If properly designed, desalination would deliver essential water, on demand and as needed.

Scenario: A long-term drought dries up Nacimiento Lake, shutting down that water source. Other SLO water resources dry up and a water emergency exists. A huge political scramble ensues and the council votes to install a desalination system, the only viable option left.

The Nacimiento pipeline turns out to be useless and a very expensive pipe dream.

In an act of courage, the council should reverse itself by revoking Nacimiento pipeline funding and vote to implement a desalination program that will meet our critical water needs in an emergency.

Philip Ruggles

San Luis Obispo

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