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Bring on the ocean
Can someone contact Al Gore and find out when the Arroyo Grande Creek valley will become ocean? I am rarin’ to list our home as seashore property.

Roy Berger
Arroyo Grande

‘Truth’ is the most terrifying film ever

Having just seen the movie “An Inconvenient Truth,� I believe that this documentary should be shown in every classroom and in every school in the United States and throughout the world.
The Bible says: “There are none so blind as those who won’t see and none so deaf as those who won’t hear.�
If the information that is in this film is not heeded, I believe nothing will be able to save the earth.
This film truly is as advertised, “The most terrifying film you will ever see.�
Is global warming the predicted Armageddon? If so, it won’t be long now, and Katrina is just a minute taste of what is to come.

Naoma Wright
San Luis Obispo

What does Target have that Wal-Mart doesn’t?
Why do so many people get irate about Wal-Mart’s rotten corporate practices and nasty economic effects on communities, but don’t do the same for similar box stores, like Target? Is Target better than Wal-Mart?
An objective comparison (see suggests there’s not much difference. While Target beats Wal-Mart slightly in some areas of environmental awareness and in donating to community charities, it lags in other areas, most notably employee pay (starting wages comparable) and employee benefits (harder to qualify for and less comprehensive than Wal-Mart’s notoriously bad benefits).
Other Target shortfalls as a corporate and community citizen: Target has been tied to sweatshops in China and Third World countries and is being targeted by rainforest advocates for selling furniture made from endangered tropical hardwood. While employees are poorly paid, that’s not true for the corporate CEO who, having earned $23.1 million last year, is the second best-paid CEO in the retail business world.
So, why is it that when Wal-Mart comes to town, there’s a justifiable hue and cry, but when Target shows up, there’s silence? With a Target on the horizon in San Luis Obispo, isn’t this question worth looking into?

George Jones
San Luis Obispo

No more parents should lose their children
When I first learned of the brutal slayings of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker, I was filled with grief and rage. I know how devastating it is to have to bury your children. In October of 1998, my son Anthony (19) and stepson Michael (27) were murdered by domestic urban terrorists, also known as street gangs.
Isn’t it time to end a war that we never should have been in? How many more moms and dads have to suffer the loss of their children?
Support our troops! Bring them home!

Ginger Berg
San Luis Obispo

Patrick, do yourself a favor

Concerning Patrick Klemz’s commentary, “Losing Initiative� (June 22): If he has such a problem with Republicans because of their immoral war in Iraq, bloated government spending, and the unconstitutional Patriot Act, he should consider the libertarians. They may not win many elections, but the non-political ones are far more interested in providing the world with a consistent and non-aggressive outlook on life. At least he would not have to call himself a self-loathing whatever.

L.K. Samuels

Los Osos sewer problems destroy habitats
I have lived in the Los Osos-Baywood Park area most of my life. I very much enjoyed the vast tracts of silver lupine near the Los Osos Library, and I appreciated its importance for many species, such as the threatened Morro blue butterflies. It is now a wasteland.
I wrote many letters to the SLO Board of Supervisors, the Coast Commission, and the out-of-office members of the Los Osos Community Services District concerning this area to no avail, since now it is a huge, wet pit of barren soil.
Remember, Bruce Buel and all the others could not even wait one month to see which way the recall election for the three directors of the LOCSD would go! Recently, I attended an Audubon butterfly talk in which the speaker, Mr. Bouton, verified the importance of the silver lupine, and he stated how that critical habitat is now gone.
And anothter lecture at the Museum of Natural History in Morro Bay stated emphatically that the oocytes—or eggs—of Toxoplasma goudii are only passed into the environment by cats’ feces. So at least two things I really care about (since T. goudii kills otters!) will not be resolved by the sewer. In the case of the butterfly, horrible destruction of critical habitat has resulted due to the sewer.

Dean H. duVernet
Baywood Park

Where are the patriots?
Our president has taken us to war against a nation that was no threat to us and now establishes preemptive war as the policy of our country. He first used the excuse of “WMDs,� then “anti-terrorism,� and now claims that the Iraq war was for the purpose of “regime change.�
We have been there before in Hawaii, the Philippines, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, Iran, Guatemala, Viet Nam, and Chile. The results have been disastrous. What made him think it would work out well this time? He has jailed hundreds of people without charges, without defense council, and without trial—many of these secretly. His CIA has kidnapped people off the streets of our country and other nations, jailed them in unknown countries and released some without explanation. He has established a policy of secrecy in government unprecedented in our history. He has used the term “war against terrorism� to excuse all these unconstitutional measures. Where are the statesmen? Are our elected representatives asleep, apathetic, or only spineless?

Robert McDougle
Los Osos

Take my First Lady—please!
Jordan supplied a lot of the intelligence that helped us to find Al-Zarqawi, yet not one word of credit did Bush give to the Jordanians for their help. He hogged it all for himself. Oink! Americans should be told the truth about the help from Jordan!
Bush’s helicopter ride in Iraq: In Iraq, Bush looked like a terrified rabbit as he rode the helicopter with an armed soldier standing watch in the doorway. I hope he was wearing Depends.
After Bush’s return from Iraq, he bravely struts and jokes like he had just won the Super Bowl while thousands of people are suffering emotionally, economically, and physically because of the hell of his Iraqi war.
Dead troops, wounded troops, and their families are not celebrating. Nor is the suffering of Iraqis a fun day at Disneyland. This war is serious stuff, no matter your views about it. He should have been humbled, not crowing and joking.
This president is better suited for Comedy Central than the office of president.
Sharon Eckardt
Los Osos

Dying is a part of living
A few weeks ago, I participated in a last birthday celebration given by four hospice nurses and me, a volunteer. In that gathering of about 30 friends of the patient, most reacted to hospice as if “we� were a dirty word—a condemnation!
So, when I was questioned, my first response was with a question: “Where does the word ‘hospice’ come from? And what does it mean?� Unfortunately, for a group of “educated� individuals, most could not tell me.
The thesaurus says: hospice, inn, hotel, roadhouse, and more. It is also defined as a retreat, hospitality, old soldier home, and orphanage. Webster says: Lodging for travelers, especially young persons. A hostel. The Italians call it “ospizio�—hospitality.
In this age of instant multimedia, it is incredible to me that most people are not aware of the immense support given by the hospice, not only to alleviate pain, but to treat all patients and families with dignity and the respect owed to all humans with no judgment! The organization is not one faith or one way. The hospice is for all people, all faiths, all life choices.
What is most interesting is that many doctors, as well as the general populace, do not have the least notion of how much help the hospice is to “their� work! Doctors strive for cures and comfort. They honor “do no harm,� right? Well, hospice is all that and more. The nursing staff is a hardworking group of caring professionals, a team that shares concerns so as to better serve. Dying is part of living. When achieved in a calm respectful manner, there is no better way. As a three-time recipient of hospice care for my loved ones, given by loving hospitality medical professionals, that is the way to our individual heaven.

Franca B. Lockard
Santa Maria

Thank you, local sports heroes
I would like to thank a couple of “home-grownâ€? Central Coast athletes who recently donated their time to assist Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County.  Former big-league baseball players Casey Candaele and Robin Ventura served as celebrity bartenders at our recent “Tip the Bartenders Nightâ€? at the Cornerview Restaurant in San Luis Obispo.
Casey and Robin spent several hours pouring drinks, signing baseballs, and posing for photos as a spirited crowd of about 60 event patrons gave generous tips amounting to more than $1,300 for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Special thanks to Chicago Title Company, the evening’s sponsor, who kicked in another $500, bringing the total donation to more than $1,800.
The funds generated will be used to help match children on our waiting list with an adult mentor, with an emphasis being placed on volunteer recruiting efforts in the north and south parts of our county.  For information about Big Brothers Big Sisters, call 781-3226.

Rick Cohen
executive director, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Goodbye, Social Security checks
Looks like the feds in Washington are giving senior citizens the shaft again. If all of you remember, the feds passed the “Medicare Modernization Act of 2003� several years ago. What they didn’t tell you, nor did the news media report it, was starting on Jan. 1, 2007, all seniors on Medicare will be subject to an “income means test� to determine the premium they will pay for Part B of their Medicare.
Everybody pays $88.50 per month now, and it will increase to $173 per month for many on Jan. 1, 2007. And in three years, 2010, it is scheduled to go up to $413 per month. For many, this could be half or more of their Social Security check.
Talk about sticking it to the seniors. This is the max. I would urge you to write your House member and senators immediately and let them know we can’t afford such a jump in premiums.
It’s too bad the news media has been silent on this and not warned us earlier. Note, the increase is going into effect “after� the election in November. Could this have been planned?

Chuck Reasor
Morro Bay

Gallery troubles are not so simple
I dined solo the other day, and happened to pick up New Times for a little light reading while I ate. I came across your “Locals look, but don’t buy� article (June 15), and read it with increasing consternation.

It seems to me that the exodus of art galleries, if there indeed is one, may be due to a much more complex set of circumstances than you addressed in your article. Furthermore, belittling and blaming the customer will hardly improve the situation. In using the opinions of only a few current and former gallery owners, who may have a case of sour grapes, you do the rest of us a disservice. There are many other pertinent factors at play here.

You do know we are at war? That San Luis Obispo is under continual reconstruction to retrofit old buildings, the cost of which is passed on to owners and operators of all businesses—about 150 of them? That the cost of everything has skyrocketed? That consumers have an overwhelming amount of goods and services from which to choose, and the competition for their dollars is intense? That everyone is pressured and worried about the state of everything, and maybe not in the mood to indulge in pricey luxuries? And yet, as in all forms of enterprise, we work hard to succeed. Many do, many do not.
I would also like to make a point about one gallery mentioned in the “gone� sentence: the Landon Gallery. For those who have expressed concern, Mr. Landon is doing just fine, thank you. He did not leave his SLO location due to lack of sales or local patrons. His building was one of those under ongoing construction for seismic retrofitting, and terms for a lease were unfavorable. His work is available in 26 galleries around the country—several in the Central Coast area—and he continues to achieve success as an artist. In particular, you will find his work featured in my art and antique shop: The Pirate’s Chest at 2665 Shell Beach Rd., shop A, in Shell Beach. The phone number is 773-3537, should you wish to inquire. Had your reporter contacted Mr. Landon, he would have had this information. How many of the departed or operating businesses did your reporter review? I truly do not see sufficient hard facts to reach the article’s titular conclusion.
While I, too, have my ups and downs in business, I am ever grateful for my customers—locals and travelers alike. While not everyone is my cup of tea—and some I’d like to boot right out the door—the ones who share my love of finer things are always welcome to look, talk, and enjoy what I have to show them. They are under no obligation to buy. It’s called retail. What I hope they will do is enjoy the moment, speak kindly of me to others, and come again.

Karin Young
Shell Beach

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