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Cat’s pajamas
 
Regarding “Lions Share� by Kathy Johnston: Excellent article! My backyard fronts a canyon off Price Canyon Road and about five years ago we had a mountain lion that frequented the area with her two kittens. We saw them multiple times and were always amazed at their beauty and grace. We can coexist, as Kathy’s article states. Thanks for the great article.
Gary Henderson
SLO



Super devastating
 
Thank you so much for exposing this scheme to put a Wal-Mart Super Center in Atascadero. I live off Del Rio on the West side, and a Super Center would be devastating to our area. I hate Wal-Mart and would never want a store in Atascadero especially so close to our beautiful foothill area. It’s nice to see some good reporting in the New Times again.

Kathleen Furtado
Atascadero



Right time
 
Who committed a greater evil?  The city of Atascadero with its secret courtship of Wal-Mart, or the Editors of New Times with their sin of omission? What were you guys thinking when you failed to print the time and location of the May 30 City Council meeting? How can the public plan to participate in local government if the media fails to report complete and accurate stories?

Robert Skinner
Atascadero

Because we knew the time of the meeting would change and sure enough, it did. It is now at 6 p.m. at the Atascadero City building. Ed.


Influence without accountability
 
Yes, Wal-Mart has cheap prices and their associates are nice people.  They are the folks from our community!  Next time you are in Wal-Mart, ask an associate what they make per hour, if they have benefits and when was their last raise and how much.  Wal-Mart does not have an affordable health care plan. Wal-Mart has the biggest turnover of workers of any other company in the U. S. Their business model gives its CEO $27 million to take home last year. If Wal-Mart comes to town, they will be the second largest employer in the City of Atascadero giving them tremendous influence and no accountability.

Please also consider, Wal-Mart imported billions from China last year and pays their Chinese workers, who work 7 days a week, far less than their American counterparts do. Rent the documentary movie Wal-Mart, The High Cost of Low Prices at your local video store and educate yourself.  Over 300 cities have fought and successfully kept Wal-Mart out of their communities.  Sam Walton said he would only come to communities that welcome Wal-Mart.

I am not against development, but development that will benefit Atascadero’s community. Join our effort to OPPOSE WAL-MART and keep a Super Wal-Mart out of Atascadero. Come to the May 30 City Council/Parks Commission/Planning Commission meeting at the Atascadero City Hall (old bowling alley) to Oppose Wal-Mart.

Lee Perkins
Atascadero


 
Playing Blackburn
 
I read your opinion article (4/20), “I’ve got you on my mind.� I find the article objectionable. Your reporter failed to speak with experts and preferred to listen instead to manipulative psychopaths. That was a serious error in judgment. These men he listened to are sexual predators who prey on children, women and now Daniel Blackburn. Yes, they have sucked him in and are playing Blackburn for all it’s worth. To bad Blackburn did not speak with some experts in criminal behavior before becoming an accomplice in creating uproar at a woman’s expense.

Cassius Allison, Retired Unit Supervisor
yosemitesam@tcsn.net


You betcha
 
I work at ASH. We are placing bets on your source of the photos of Roper. My bet is that you got them from Roper. You know the old saying in show biz that no publicity is bad publicity. Please let me know if I win the bet.

Anonymous



More Roper
 
I found Daniel Blackburn’s article “I’ve got you on my mind,� very interesting and that Atascadero State Hospital would allow this type of conduct with one of their employees, much less a supervisor. I was disappointed not to find a follow-up story in your April 27 issue. Will you publish a follow-up story? I hope so.

Jim Bratton
Atascadero


See Blackburn’s Town this issue, page 12. Ed.


Point and pick up
 
A gentleman wrote from Hawaii that on May 1, everything was more vibrant because the illegals were missing. I wish he would explain how he knows who is illegal. Maybe he needs to work for Homeland.  They need someone with that talent.  He could just point and they could do the pick-up.  Also, those people who can’t get service in the emergency room because of so many illegal aliens receiving free medical care. How do they know that? I am as nosy as the next person, but I don’t have such excellent hearing and eyesight that I would be able to learn a persons ability to pay just by sitting in the emergency room looking at him.

Bonnie Bonilla
Las Vegas



Special place/anyplace
 
After reading this years “Best of SLO� results I realized something. San Luis Obispo is losing its uniqueness. Shouldn’t the Best of SLO be things that make SLO special and unlike anywhere else? When one looks at the list of winners, you might think  that SLO is on the verge changing from a special place to anyplace. Most kid-friendly restaurant, McDonalds? If Best Buy, Starbuck and McDonalds are now what we consider the best of SLO, our “best� is  prepackaged big corporate mediocrity. Hopefully this poll is not showing that as big corporate moves into SLO and small businesses are driven out, our best isn’t so special any more. You might consider revamping the poll in the future to show the best of what makes SLO unique and the truly special place it is.

Michael Helper



Cox broadsided
 
Dave Cox asserts the Dalidio Ranch project would not bypass environmental review. Dave Cox is completely wrong. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) states that voter initiatives of this sort are exempt from CEQA review. (See CEQA Guidelines 15378(b)(3)). There is no existing Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that is legally adequate to assess the current Dalidio project. The 2004 Dalidio Marketplace EIR has been de-certified by SLO City Council and cannot be used. Its data are also outdated and therefore invalid. The same applies to the earlier environmental studies.  The truth is, under the Dalidio Ranch Initiative, there will be no public hearings by Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors to analyze environmental concerns.

Cox also presents the ridiculous logic that voting for SOAR is equivalent to voting for the Dalidio Ranch Initiative. Wrong again. SOAR (Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources) was approved in places like Ventura County, where it is working successfully to allow LOCAL control of annexations that would convert existing open space or agricultural lands to urban use. The Dalidio Ranch Initiative, in contrast, abolishes local control and instead asks the whole county to decide a local land use issue—a very bad precedent.

Michael Sullivan
San Luis Obispo



Cox broadsided II
 
Poor Dave Cox, the paid Dalidio spokesman. So fact-challenged. In just one little letter to the editor, Cox calls Dalidio Ranch opponents “vitriolic, anti-voter� people bent on preventing a vote. Say what? I haven’t read that in any newspaper, but I do remember a LAWSUIT FILED BY THE DALIDIOS TO PREVENT VOTERS FROM VOTING on an earlier Dalidio development. Guess Cox is just confused about who sues to prevent public votes.

Cox also alleges thorough environmental studies have been approved for Dalidio Ranch mall. Say what? This “all new Dalidio Ranch� plan is just weeks old. There’s been no Environmental Impact Report on it, and no legal environmental “mitigations� will occur if it’s “approved� by voters instead of the usual way developments get approved. It’s all money saved (by not doing an EIR) and profit gained for Cox’s side, while the rest of us get unmitigated smog, gridlock on 101, and flooding moved from Dalidio’s to other peoples’ property. Voters take note: this method of approving developments means the same sort of unmitigated environmental mess could happen in your community too.

And Cox alleges Dalidio Ranch has had “at least 40 public hearings.� Nonsense. This Dalidio mall has been subject to NO public hearings. Nor will it ever be under the voter initiative process.

 Clearly for Cox and his Dalidio Ranch campaign, facts are what he says they are, not what’s true.

Terri Drake
San Luis Obispo


A killer idea
 
Prices for fuels derived from petroleum, a rapidly-dwindling, finite resource, are skyrocketing. Gutless wonders in government do nothing (can you spell “price controls�?). Our own gasoline addiction and failure to invest in alternative energy keep us dependent on the whims of producers in turbulent regions abroad. We are not likely to see affordable fuel prices ever again.

So, I have an idea: Let’s pave over prime ag soil in a region with a year-round growing season and build super Wal-Marts on it. The Wal-Marts will drive incomes down, kill local businesses, and import products made by outsourced manufacturing in China. Result: most workers won’t be able to afford to shop anywhere but Wal-Mart (Target, K-mart, your big-box name here). Then, since we can’t grow produce here anymore, let’s ship in grapefruit from Texas, apples from New Zealand, tomatoes from Mexico, etc. Their prices will skyrocket thanks to the fuel needed to ship them. Voila! The produce is no longer affordable. At the same time, the shipping pumps more gases into the atmosphere, putting at risk the only biosphere we know of that can support human life.

 And they say humans are the most intelligent creatures on earth?
Johanna Rubba
Grover Beach



Fuel alternative
 
In 1892 Rudolph Diesel invented the first diesel engine that ran on cooking oil. Daimler Benz introduced the first commercial diesel vehicles in 1923, and in 1935 the first diesel cars took to the roads, most of them taxis.

Late in 2006 Mercedes Benz will launch the new BLUETEC diesel vehicles with new V6 powerful, fuel-efficient engines, combined with new catalytic converters, and a revolutionary particulate filter that regenerates itself due to gas exhaust temperatures in excess of 550 degrees Celsius. This new system allows these engines to meet the world’s most stringent exhaust emission standards, including those of all 50 states and the California 2009 standards. A new improved sulfur-free diesel fuel is scheduled to be introduced in the United States this September.

This fuel has been the standard for years in Europe, where 40% to 70% of all cars are diesel. Mercedes Benz just completed a coast-to-coast test run of the New Bluetec M class 320CDI and the Lexus RX 400 H gas hybrid. The Bluetec not only got better fuel miles, but strongly outperformed the Lexus in the mountains.

Coming full circle, Rudolf should be very proud as these new vehicles can run on Bio-Diesel and other non-petroleum based fuels. The United States has the world’s greatest coal reserves, and Canada has the world’s largest oil sand reserves that could be turned into bio-diesel without the need for OPEC oil. There would be no need for new facilities at your local service stations and no need for large capital investment in tough economic times. This is a much better solution than E85 fuel proposed by GM or small Japanese gas hybrids. This Bluetec system could allow the American consumer to pay less at the pump, end our dependency on foreign oil, and make America energy independent, until the new hydrogen technology is perfected.

I recently sold my gasoline vehicles and now drive a diesel truck 20+ MPG and a diesel car 32 to 36 MPG. At present diesel is the same price or cheaper than regular gas, and more diesel fuel is produced from a barrel of oil. This is what Europe has done for years. Will the US change or will we continue to support our enemies and OPEC?

 
Bob Blair
Rural Arroyo Grande

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