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Sign me up for Save the Dirtbikes

    Mr. McCay (“No dirtbikes? Say it isn’t so!’ Letters, Dec. 15-22), thank you for admitting you woeful ignorance. The rest of your letter confirms this fact.
    Let me wish you a quiet Christmas, and I mean that, David, no sarcasm and no middle finger being held up here.
    Let me know when the Atascadero Chapter of Save the Dirtbikes is ready to be part of the solution. I’m in the phone book.

Malcolm Roe
Santa Margarita



Riding is not a crime

    Thank you, Malcolm Roe, for speaking up for “us� dirt riders (“Riders have nowhere else to go,� Letters, Dec. 8-15). I don’t live in your area, but we have the same problem down here: Where to ride and not “annoy� people.
    I’ve even gotten to the point where I’m afraid to tell anyone when they ask what I do for fun and relaxation, since I am 61 and female! You can bet I’ll get beat over the head for this one (as a granny, shouldn’t I be sitting/knitting and looking out the window?)
    Us “dirt-throwing noise-making obnoxious people� down here used to be the ones who kept areas clean and picked up when others chose to dump their trash/garbage. Now that those who hate us most won’t allow us to ride, these same areas look like garbage dumps. So we did/have done things other than make noise, throw dirt, and be obnoxious!
    It’s too bad we don’t have more and better places to ride where we wouldn’t “annoy� people who think it’s a crime to enjoy what we do. After all, those of us who choose to own dirtbikes (the two-wheel and four-wheel kind) do pay taxes that are supposed to be used to develop off-road riding areas.
    Thanks again for all you said.
    P.S., do any of those people who gripe and complain about everything someone else does do anything for fun?!

Carla Hartley
Lompoc



Dirtbike habitat is expanding

    Thanks to David McCay for his enlightening letter (“No dirtbikes? Say it isn’t so!� Letters, Dec. 15-22). David, you may find some comfort in the fact that the city of Atascadero has taken a “leading edge� (to quote a City Councilman) approach to providing habitat for the Dyrtbikus scheisskopfum and its smaller, but just as vocal, cousin, Dyrtbikus merdeuxum. Our City Council majority passed an ordinance extending the range of both scheisskopfum and merdeuxum to residential neighborhoods; persuaded in part, by public testimony of riders and a dirt-bike retailer from Paso Robles. Fortunately for Dyrtbikus the Council ignored the majority testimony from supporters of quiet neighborhoods.
    Also worth noting: Another small ghetto of several thousand acres has been established on Los Padres National Forest land near Pozo. This area of public land has been set aside for offroaders, including Dyrtbikus and the Great Wheeled 4x4 (Microcephallus roodneceae).
    One more item: How do I become a member of Save the Dirtbikes?

Doug Marks
Atascadero



Second Amendment follies, indeed

    Thank you for reporting excesses in “Second Amendment follies� (“News and blues,� Dec. 8-15) and Michael Savage’s savage statement about going for his Glock pistol at the mere mention of “social justice.� Though the words have been distorted, true social justice is right and necessary. Clearly, Mr. Savage believes violence is acceptable for dealing with frustration. Perhaps he’d favor lynching or sniping at noisy neighbors.
    Second Amendment follies shocked even me. Those who favor having women and children fire machine guns now have the effrontery to sponsor a hunting foray for blind people! What about bystanders and neighbors? A guide is no substitute for using one’s own eyesight and common sense. But common sense has been short in the pro-gun extreme in recent years.
    The case of Alan Cooke, who wounded himself while twirling a pistol, is also instructive. In their zeal to promote universal gun ownership, some zealots violate a cardinal rule of gun use: That guns are dangerous and must be handled with utmost care. Regarding hunting rifles; an 8mm Mauser round has a muzzle velocity of 2,418 feet/second and muzzle energy of 2,582 feet/pound. Three hundred meters away, velocity is 1,818 feet/second and energy is 1,460 feet/pound. And at 915 meters, bullet energy is still 200 feet/pound. Do we want blind people indiscriminately blasting such power?

Steve T. Kobara
San Luis Obispo


Sales-tax increases are rarely ‘temporary’

    In another local paper an article appeared stating that 57 percent of Morro Bay residents supported a sales-tax increase. I know San Luis and a few other cities are also planning a vote on an increase.
    Let me give you a few facts of what will happen! I worked for the Board of Equalization for over 30 years dealing with the sales tax and observed other communities vote for increases. The proponents always say it’s “temporary� and put a sunset clause in the law requiring it to expire in two, three, or four years. This is how they make the word “temporary� to appear to be true. The politicians then spend the money on continuing projects. At the end of the period they tell the people, “If you don’t vote to extend it we will have to cut the police, fire, and other needed services.� They have you hook, line, and sinker and you will never be able to get rid of the increase. In all the years I worked at the Board I don’t believe there were more than one or two times that it decreased. In fact, most increased them even further with more threats.
    The problem develops because our local and even state politicians give away all the tax money for salaries, ridiculous retirement programs, and buying up property they don’t need.
    I would urge voters to vote no on any sales tax increase until the politicians get the house in order first.

Chuck Reasor
Morro Bay



When was Christ ever in Christmas?

    I read your paper each week and I do love it! In fact, I do like reading anything I can get free about SLO.
    I am a street person here in SLO. I want to respond to the comments in the New Times two weeks ago on all the Christians mad at taking “Christ out of Christmas.� (“Going, going … gone?� Opinion, Dec. 8-15; Letters, Dec. 15-22).
    My question to them is, was Christ ever in Christmas?
    I admit I spend too much time in the library. I’ve discovered in the World Book Encyclopedia (1950s edition) under Christmas that the early church fathers chose Dec. 25 because of the Feast of the Sun or winter solstice. The idea of light over darkness turned from a pagan celebration to a Christian one. Scandinavian countries still use the pagan name “yuletide.� When the pagans of Northern Europe became Christians, their sacred evergreen trees became part of their new Christian festival. Gift-giving, the use of holly, mistletoe, and yule logs all come from the days before Christianity. I thought Christians were supposed to follow Christ and be honest? Whatever happened to “thou shalt not steal�? Seems these people who call themselves Christians have found no problem ripping off the pagans to put “Christ in Christmas�! And now they’re mad? Just think how mad Jesus must be!

Robert Johnson
San Luis Obispo



No oil drilling

    There are people who are now swayed by King George’s recent Bully Pulpit tactics. Thinking to themselves, “George will take care of us, always has, always will.� Are these the same people who want to use all of our natural resources without looking back? I think so. And further, the people who believe in George at this point in history are not qualified to vote, as they are blindly following ineptness. No drill!!!

Michael Swanson
Atascadero



No motors on the dunes

    I’m excited to be a fist-time visitor to Nipomo. I have heard and seen much of the beautiful dunes that grace your shorelines. What troubles me is the thought of any motorized vehicle on these precious dunes.
    What may have been a fun sport, a giddy pastime, is just that: a thing of the past, like racism, sexism, and any of the old-school behaviors rooted in ignorance. We now know better! Please encourage visitors and residents alike to enjoy the dunes without a motor.

Lori Andgren
Minneapolis, Minn.



There’s nothing merry about wasting trees

    Christmas. “’Tis the season,� so they say. Many folks begin their celebrations by killing a beautiful five- to 10-year-old tree and propping up the corpse in their living room to watch it shrivel and dry. Oh, what fun, and fa la la la. Macabre? Indeed.
    “What a beautiful tree,� friends say. “Yep, I cut it myself,� you reply. Or, perhaps you just hired someone else to kill it by buying one already dead.
    More than 85 million trees, along with the unconscionable waste of land, energy, and manpower are killed for Christmas decoration each year, only to be discarded a few weeks later.
    The real spirit of Christmas is nurturing and new life. A living tree embodies this spirit and brings pleasure not for just a few days, but for years to come.
    Anyone truly believing in Christmas would be repulsed at the thought of killing a tree to “celebrate.� A very merry, living, Christmas to all.
    (Apologies to those who find the word “Christmas� offensive. Just substitute “holiday,� “winter break,� or whatever else is currently correct.)

August Salemi
Atascadero


NRC needs to listen to the citizens

    I attended the “hearing� by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the nuclear waste generated by Diablo on Wed. Dec. 14. The NRC did most of the talking in a strange system of citizen input.
    I was arrested in 1978 in front of Diablo because, as a biologist, I felt the plant should not be constructed until the nuclear waste issue is answered. They said at the time, “Don’t worry — we’ll take care of it.� Three decades later they still do not know — I do not consider storage on site next to an earthquake fault and subject to terrorist attack an answer.
    If the NRC has a “hearing,� I suggest they listen to the citizens — we are the ones living downwind of this potential nuclear disaster.

Bill Denneen
Nipomo



Close Diablo Canyon

    Last night, I attended the hearing for on-site waste storage at Diablo Canyon, and here we are again, stuck between economic and environmental paradigms. One side sees nuclear power as the cheapest source of electricity, the other as the most costly.
    This is due to greatly differing methods of accounting the costs of production and waste storage. It still strikes me, wherever I travel, to hear that we are still a culture that deals with problems only after they surface. Would not an enlightened culture foresee the potential economic and environmental costs in production and waste storage of nuclear power and decide that a preventative method, like solar or wind, would lower the costs of production to an acceptable level for all generations?
    Then again, stockholders do not take risks in order to be wealthy. And, they are becoming wealthy by imposing their most dangerous costs of production and storage onto many generations. NRC, please close Diablo Canyon.

Jacob Voit
Minneapolis, Minn.



Senator Stevens doesn’t fool me

    In one of the dirtiest political ploys in recent times, Senator Stevens, of Alaska, is attempting to attach a bill authorizing oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge to a bill with the primary purpose of funding for our troops. He is making this attempt because he has been unable gain sufficient backing to pass a bill to drill in the Refuge on its own merit. Sen. Feinstein is leading the charge to stop this dirty trick. Go Sen. Feinstein.
Ted Hanley

Ted Hanley
Santa Maria




I do not support arctic drilling

    I support my senator in blocking any version of the Defense Bill that would open the Arctic up for oil drilling.
    Arctic drilling has nothing to do with a Defense Department bill. Including controversial drilling provisions in a bill that funds our troops is dishonest and dirty.
    Senator Stevens is holding up funding for our troops so that he can line the pockets of his big oil cronies.
    Even military leaders are angered by this move to bury Artic drilling in the Defense appropriations bill. A group of top generals, including former Marine General Anthony Zinni, sent a letter to Senator Frist criticizing these backdoor tactics.
    Congressional Republicans have tried similar tricks in the past. They couldn’t pass drilling provisions in the budget, so now they’re trying to sneak them into the Defense bill.
    Drilling in the Arctic Refuge won’t help us at the pump or reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but it will line the pockets of big oil companies that are already recording record-high profits.

Ron Stock
Paso Robles

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