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Don't play Russian roulette with California

I could agree with Justin Ruhge's letter; however, if Duke Energy were to sell the property to the city of Morro Bay for what is it worth in millions of dollars, it should be redeveloped for a culture center for our tourists that come in from the Central Valley and Northern and Southern California.

However, there is a potential risk that hasn't been examined, that I want to represent. The dangers of having a major catastrophic earthquake on the San Andreas Fault zone still does exist, and having more nuclear powers plants is like attempting Russian roulette in our own state of California.

 

Scott C. Presnal

Morro Bay

 

 

What kind of message does 'free cigarettes' send?

I was shocked and outraged to find an advertisement for free cigarettes in the Oct. 20-27 issue of the New Times. As a nurse, I too often see the ramifications of smoking cigarettes and using tobacco products - COPD, low birthweight babies being born, and cancer, to name a few. Nicotine is an addictive substance, both physiologically and psychologically. This is not only recognized in the medical field, but also by local, state, and national governments. It is up to health care providers, educators, parents, and the entire community to prevent cigarette and nicotine abuse, especially in our youth. By including a pamphlet to receive a free carton of cigarettes, your publication is saying it is okay to use tobacco products. What kind of message is that to our community?

 

Marissa Desatoff

Arroyo Grande

 

 

Religion and government don't mix

I agree with James Hildick ("Isn't Halloween a religious holiday?" Letters, Oct. 20-27) that we need to follow our Constitutional laws 100 percent regarding religion and government - but I chuckle when he claims that the ACLU is responsible for removing religion from government. Religion was never meant to be a part of our government, long before the ACLU showed up. Who says? Our nation's founding fathers. Article VI of our Constitution says, "but no religious Test shall ever be required as Qualification to any Office or public Trust."

You see, the writers of the Constitution had to deal with Puritans, Quakers, Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, Baptists, Anglicans, and others. They knew they needed to bring the religions together to unite the states, and allowing any one religion to control the administration of tests would drive the states apart. Of course, this is still true today. Imagine how you would feel if leading politicians starting making decisions based on a religion you did not favor.

 

Mark Mitchell

Morro Bay

 

 

Gail, put down your ax

Gail McPherson's letter blaming Roger Briggs for Los Osos' sewer woes ("Roger Briggs, this is all your fault," Oct. 20-27) should tell you something: she has a problem with the truth. Her bizarre history of the project, which includes nonsensical statements and phrases like "economic cleansing for redevelopment goals," makes you wonder if she was even here. In fact, she wasn't.

When volunteer citizens' groups were making the tough decisions on our current project, Gail McPherson was employed as the wastewater systems manager at the city of Riverside. And while the "Stop the Sewer" group - predecessor to the "Move the Sewer" group - was busy filing lawsuit after lawsuit, delaying the sewer during the most inflationary period for construction costs ever, Gail McPherson was being investigated by the State Water Resources Control Board for providing false and misleading experience on applications. McPherson ended up pleading no contest a criminal charge and agreed to pay $40,000 to the state in restitution for the cost of the investigation.

It's clear from the vindictive tone in her letter that she has an ax to grind. That's fine; I can see why. If she could just keep it to herself and not drag our nice community down with her though, we'd appreciate it. I mean, is her intent to show the rest of us what it's like to be fined?

The scary thing is Ms. McPherson is the guru behind the current CSD board. She's their main spokesperson and the "expert" they look to for advice. If you're a homeowner in the prohibition zone, you should be concerned.

 

Doug Morin

Baywood Park

 

Duke harasser
should be named

Re "Sexual harassment suits plague Duke" (News, Oct. 20-27) - what do you mean you will not print the man's name? His name should be on the public list along with all the other sexual predators. Would you want this man living next door to your wife and children? Also, what of the co-workers that evidently condoned and probably giggled about his outrageous and perverted actions? Guilty!

The anger and frustration that has permeated this community for the past several days will not easily go away. The apparent secrecy and acceptance of this behavior reflects the type of company we have in our midst. How do we fight the Giant Smokestacks, Duke Energy?

 

Melba Hixon

San Luis Obispo

 

 

Solar power isn't such a bright idea financially

This week's article on solar energy ("Sunshine daydream," Oct. 20-27) once again paints the financial picture much more optimistic than it truly is. The simplistic calculations of when a system will have "paid for itself" are inaccurate and very misleading. A proper analysis considers the opportunity cost of the original investment (also including taxes and inflation) if the money were to be used for other means as well as the maintenance costs and service life of the solar system. In both cases you have overrepresented its financial benefits by ignoring the potential income opportunities of the initial investment and the costs associated with the system.

For example, if you have $23k lying around, you have two big choices - buy this system or invest the money in conventional means. Over a relatively long-term period (like 12 years), a novice investor could easily generate an after-tax investment return of 3-5 percent ($690-$1,150), largely dependent on the individual tax situation. A successful investor could likely generate pretty close to the full $2,000 per year to pay these sorts of energy bills (at current rates) and still have the $23k left over after 12 years.

I'm glad that Mr. Oldham and Mr. Jackson are happy with their purchases, and I think there are some great reasons for solar energy. But the reasons for the person in the average small residential neighborhood to make the choice should largely be based on personal beliefs in support of alternative energy sources, not for promises of potential cost savings.

 

 

John Laferriere

Grover Beach

 

 

Cheers for Red Cross volunteers

I recently returned from a two week Red Cross assignment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, assisting with the relief effort for people affected by hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Recently, the New Times ran an article about two employees who also volunteered their time to assist with the relief effort ("Cross to wear," Oct. 13-20). My assignment allowed me to tour areas affected by both hurricanes and meet a wide variety of Red Cross volunteers from across the country and some wonderful Louisiana residents. I personally found it to be one of the most emotionally draining, stressful, bureaucratically frustrating, and at the same time most rewarding experience of my life. The success of this effort was due to the dedication and hard work of the over 21,000 volunteers to date that have assisted. Of these, one-third of all volunteers came from California.

While our various assignments posed unique challenges to each and every individual, it was our ability to want to help others that gave us the strength to stick with it. I applaud our local chapter for their support and thank all of those I served with and those that served before and since for your commitment to help your fellow Americans in need. I also want to give my sincere thanks to my city manager and the City Council of Arroyo Grande for allowing me to take my vacation to go do the right thing.

Daniel C. Hernandez

Director, Parks Recreation and Facilities

City of Arroyo Grande

 

National Guard: Good spellers need not apply

Concerning Janet Allenspach's letter about the National Guard ("How dare you allow the National Guard to advertise in this paper," Letters, Oct. 13-20):

As I read this week's letters, and read the entire paper, I came across this week's Guard advertisement.

If this is the best they can do, maybe we should let it stand. One would think that maybe there is some intelligence behind the uniform, if not in our government. But intelligence needs more than spell-check.

This week's ad states, "Excepting prior service & new soldiers." Does this mean that the ad is aimed at everyone who is either not prior service, or a new soldier? And if so, who exactly are you trying to recruit? Or, is it just possible, did you mean "Accepting"?

Maybe we need the military to recruit some people who can spell. Of course, the more educated look at the ads and say, "Like hell!"

 

Doug Bates

Paso Robles

 

 

 

Dish it, take it

Ref. Justin Ruhge's letter of Oct. 20-27 ("'Power to the People': A Communist mantra!): The author dismisses data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency upon judgment that it has a "built-in bias to the left."

Applying his policy, I shall ignore each of his many missives - on the basis of his bias to the right.

 

J. B. Thomas

Arroyo Grande

 

 

 

Don't play Russian
roulette with California

I could agree with Justin Ruhge's letter; however, if Duke Energy were to sell the property to the city of Morro Bay for what is it worth in millions of dollars, it should be redeveloped for a culture center for our tourists that come in from the Central Valley and Northern and Southern California.

However, there is a potential risk that hasn't been examined that I want to represent. The danger of having a major catastrophic earthquake on the San Andreas Fault zone still does exist, and having more nuclear power plants is like attempting Russian roulette in our own state of California.

 

Scott C. Presnal

Morro Bay

 

 

What kind of
message does 'free cigarettes' send?

I was shocked and outraged to find an advertisement for free cigarettes in the Oct. 20-27 issue of the New Times. As a nurse, I too often see the ramifications of smoking cigarettes and using tobacco products - COPD, low birthweight babies being born, and cancer, to name a few. Nicotine is an addictive substance, both physiologically and psychologically. This is not only recognized in the medical field, but also by local, state, and national governments. It is up to health care providers, educators, parents, and the entire community to prevent cigarette and nicotine abuse, especially in our youth. By including a pamphlet to receive a free carton of cigarettes, your publication is saying it is okay to use tobacco products. What kind of message is that to our community?

 

Marissa Desatoff

Arroyo Grande

 

Tobacco ads not appreciated

I felt sad and angry when I read your flyer insert advertising the "Natural American Spirit Tobacco" products. The free sample carton offer is an enticement for our youth, in particular, and would be very easy for them to access. Tobacco products are addictive, and the fact that it's organic is irrelevant and misleading by alluding to the suggestion of health. Tobacco and tobacco-related illnesses kill thousands of people every year. We need to be "lifting one another up" and encouraging healthy lifestyles, not encouraging drug use. It is my request that you screen your ads more carefully. Thank you.

 

Connie McNoble

San Luis Obispo

 

Religion and
government don't mix

I agree with James Hildick ("Isn't Halloween a religious holiday?" Letters, Oct. 20-27) that we need to follow our Constitutional laws 100 percent regarding religion and government - but I chuckle when he claims that the ACLU is responsible for removing religion from government. Religion was never meant to be a part of our government, long before the ACLU showed up. Who says? Our nation's founding fathers. Article VI of our Constitution says, "but no religious Test shall ever be required as Qualification to any Office or public Trust."

You see, the writers of the Constitution had to deal with Puritans, Quakers, Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, Baptists, Anglicans, and others. They knew they needed to bring the religions together to unite the states, and allowing any one religion to control the administration of tests would drive the states apart. Of course, this is still true today. Imagine how you would feel if leading politicians starting making decisions based on a religion you did not favor.

 

Mark Mitchell

Morro Bay

 

 

Gail, put down your ax

Gail McPherson's letter blaming Roger Briggs for Los Osos' sewer woes ("Roger Briggs, this is all your fault," Oct. 20-27) should tell you something: she has a problem with the truth. Her bizarre history of the project, which includes nonsensical statements and phrases like "economic cleansing for redevelopment goals," makes you wonder if she was even here. In fact, she wasn't.

When volunteer citizens' groups were making the tough decisions on our current project, Gail McPherson was employed as the wastewater systems manager at the city of Riverside. And while the "Stop the Sewer" group - predecessor to the "Move the Sewer" group - was busy filing lawsuit after lawsuit, delaying the sewer during the most inflationary period for construction costs ever, Gail McPherson was being investigated by the State Water Resources Control Board for providing false and misleading experience on applications. McPherson ended up pleading no contest a criminal charge and agreed to pay $40,000 to the state in restitution for the cost of the investigation.

It's clear from the vindictive tone in her letter that she has an ax to grind. That's fine; I can see why. If she could just keep it to herself and not drag our nice community down with her though, we'd appreciate it. I mean, is her intent to show the rest of us what it's like to be fined?

The scary thing is Ms. McPherson is the guru behind the current CSD board. She's their main spokesperson and the "expert" they look to for advice. If you're a homeowner in the prohibition zone, you should be concerned.

 

Doug Morin

Baywood Park

 

The Andre site is not appropriate

We have lived in Los Osos Valley for 28 years and have owned property in the center of downtown Los Osos next to the post office for 27 years.

We were not allowed to vote in the election to decide if the sewage from the people in town should be pumped next to our ranch in Los Osos Valley. The 14-vote majority was a result of not allowing many landowners in the CSD district the right to vote, even though we are now having our property tax bill assessed and will be subject to the same sewer fees as everyone else.

Lisa Schicker should keep her own CSD sewage in her own backyard ... the city produces the waste; it is their pollution and we are not their septic system.

Schicker also said her board has found "a willing seller for an alternate sewer location at the Andre site on the east side of town."

The Andre site is not "on the east side of town," it is in our valley and out of her jurisdiction. Also, the land not covered with PG&E power lines is in a serious flood zone bordering one of the few last remaining isolated wetlands in California. The environmental impact report will take years!

In the interest of fair play and substantial justice, please do not let a couple of bullies bankrupt the county and cause many more legal problems!

 

Richard S. Robbins

Los Osos

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