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Say it out loud

I have noticed that Toyota trucks seem to be very popular in San Luis Obispo and have also noticed that most of them have a decal with an acronym on the side of the bed.

I know it stands for "Toyota Racing Development" but what were the Toyota designers thinking? "TRD"? They obviously weren't hooked on phonics.

Jim Scott

San Luis Obispo

 

 

 

Someone saw this coming

A predictable result of the lack of concern for public safety by the Off Highway Vehicle Division of State Parks and Recreation has been demonstrated recently by the unfortunate death of an innocent child playing on Oceano Beach.

Nell Langford

Pismo Beach

 

 

 

 

Boy isn't just another Dunes statistic

Regarding the death of the 4-year-old boy at the Oceano Dunes on Saturday, Aug. 18:

The news coverage, as if to seek a way to soften the blow, captured his last meal: a cupcake before death. Yes, just another vernacular shortcoming to normalize fatality and to minimize the ongoing mechanized death trap of the State Vehicular Recreation Area at Oceano Dunes.

Children get run over and killed on streets, sad but true. But how twisted and surreal does it have to get when you are left to acknowledge that the death of a child under an oversized vehicle took place on the beach the Pacific shoreline? What more will it take to convince the leaders of this county and this state to accept that this vehicular recreational activity is nothing less than an assault on human life, let alone the relentless destruction of the environment?

To merely log this poor 4-year-old boy's death as another annual statistic to the accidents that occur at the Oceano Dunes is to say that a cupcake is worth your last breath. The county and the state have gruesome frosting on their hands.

Deanna Cox Miranda

Shell Beach

 

 

 

No one's telling the true health-care story

The real healthcare game is the slant "you" and the rest of the media keep putting on it ("The Health Care Game," Aug. 16). There has been no real reporting done to date with regard to health care. The media doesn't want to admit the truth.

There is health care coverage available today for everyone in California. See www.coverageforall.org.

Using charts available there, people who may not be able to afford or qualify for conventional health care may apply. The problem is they don't want to take the time. Most people without would rather blame the government instead of themselves because they have not followed up on readily available information. Of course, the media is also hiding that information.

Then there are available health clinics and emergency rooms. They don't care if you are a legal naturalized citizen or an illegal immigrant. They treat you and turn you loose. Then they charge people with insurance outrageous fees to offset their losses.

Then people blame insurance companies for inflating and raising premiums. The fact of the matter is people with insurance are subsidizing people without insurance. If we could stop this travesty, perhaps premiums would go down and be more affordable.

What happened to the idea of towns and cities paying the tuition of medical doctors and then having them come back and work for a decent salary for a set number of years in county- or city-owned clinics to help those who can't afford conventional health care? After their set time to repay their tuition they could leave and go into private practice.

The fact is SB840 and universal health are doomed to fail.

David Ion

Los Osos

 

 

 

I don't share this councilman's vision

So San Luis Obispo Councilmember Andrew Carter says that our town's opting for Lake Nacimiento water will be "a decision for the ages" ("SLO Council says yes to Nacimiento, but voters may decide," Aug. 16). I'd be a lot more impressed if Carter weren't an automatic "yes" vote for any development project that comes down the pipe (pun intended).

Carter, who along with Mayor Romero and Councilmember Brown, supports raising height limits on buildings in our city, as well as beating the drum for the massive Dalidio farm shopping center, has his vision of what he would like the city of San Luis Obispo to become in the years ahead. It surely isn't my vision, nor that of many other slow-growth residents.

One wonders why Carter moved to San Luis Obispo a few years ago when Los Angeles apparently would be much more to his liking.

Richard Kranzdorf

San Luis Obispo

 

 

 

Why invite Wal-Mart to town?

Evil never seems to run out of minions to do its work, does it? Last week, I attended the first ever "We're Listening" seminar put on by the Atascadero City Council. Initiated by Ellen Beraud and Mike Brennler, this seminar displayed all of the wondrous things that will be happening in Atascadero. Outside of Wal-Mart's display of their proposed "battleship" of a store, our new downtown looks to become a lovely and bustling place, the envy of all the West Coast. At last we have some council members who can help Atascadero be the successful and beautiful town it deserves to be.

Unfortunately, there are some who want to see Atascadero fail. They want only to have a super Wal-Mart here and no downtown. What sort of "person" would wish such ill upon Atascadero? Well, a group of malcontents exists that wants to recall Mike Brennler and Ellen Beraud from the council. Without them, Wal-Mart could come to Atascadero and wipe out any dream of a beautiful downtown.

Wal-Mart denies any affiliation with the recall malcontents, but Wal-Mart is the one who will benefit by their work. Why would someone want to invite a corporation here that has a history of lowering the standard of living and puts local stores out of business? Who do they think will buy homes and pay taxes if all Atascadero has is a super Wal-Mart paying minimum wage? Perhaps these recall malcontents are really just Wal-Mart employees.

Deb Buckler

Atascadero

 

 

 

Help cheer on Atascadero's future

Displays at the Atascadero City Hall and recent Colony Inn meeting were eye openers. The city staff at the meeting came prepared with the facts, contagiously enthusiastic and focused on encouraging citizen-only participation.

City staff Marcia Torgerson, Steve Kahn, Marty Tracey, and Scott Hallett generated a positive and meaningful exchange of ideas. The new ideas for economic development, helpful solutions, and overall participation were a decisive first step in providing decision makers with diverse views on development. Many thanks to City Council members Ellen Beraud and Mike Brennler for pushing for transparency and this economic "visioning" process.

The event highlighted that the city is moving forward on several exciting economic fronts that have funding and do not require the questionable "money, money, money" of a Wal-Mart Supercenter or big box development at the Annex. With Downtown Colony Square and two hotels opening soon and more, a revenue stream is on its way to city coffers.

If you believed what Wal-Mart is saying about itself, you would think that it is offering the city and community the gift of a lifetime. Unfortunately, expensive self-promoting and self-serving ads are not where you find the truth.

A Wal-Mart Supercenter is a different kind of gift like the legendary Trojan horse. Inside the pretty fa¡ade lays the economic reality that will cannibalize smaller local businesses and chain competitors, throw hundreds out of good paying jobs, destroy values of the neighborhood, and drain our city of money, resources, and character (for a reality check, go to www.opposewalmart.com).

Atascadero is on its way to highlighting and developing its unique character. The event at the Colony Inn recruited a phalanx of cheerleaders for Atascadero's future! Join the pep rally for the City of Atascadero at the next City Council meeting: Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.

Tom Comar

Atascadero

spokesperson for Oppose Wal-Mart

 

 

 

Thanks for the giving

Everyone who gives money from the heart has a choice about where their money goes.

There are so many needy people in our community and let's face it, in our country and around the world and all of us on the Central Coast are lucky that we have so many charitable organizations doing such wonderful work.

We at Peoples' Self-Help Housing are always humbled and grateful when someone reaches deep into their pockets to help us provide a better life for those less fortunate.

Recently we have received significant financial gifts from some of our long-time partners, to help support our resident families, future affordable developments, and ongoing programs. I would like to take this opportunity to mention a $50,000 gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation for our homeownership program. United Way of San Luis Obispo County has announced their 2007 contribution of $12,900 in July for our Supportive Housing and Education Enhancement Programs. In addition we received help from a faith-based group in Sacramento, who arrived with 22 volunteers to work for one week at an Education Enhancement Learning Center, assist eight self-help families in building their new home, help restore a community garden at a senior site, and spruce up a multi family complex in need of landscaping and other improvements.

I want to guarantee all of you in our community that Peoples' Self-Help Housing will be good stewards of your donation dollars and that we take none of your good will for granted. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to express your generosity through Peoples' Self-Help Housing's affordable housing and supportive housing programs.

Jeanette Duncan

executive director

Peoples' Self-Help Housing

 

 

 

Question Social Security reform

The present administration and its supporters have been loudly calling for the privatization of Social Security (or "Social Security reform") for years. I and many others asked the logical question: What do retirees do if the market takes a plunge at a time when they do not have 10 to 20 years to see it rise again?

This last month has been a wild ride for the stock market. Some of my friends who relied on their 401Ks and other "investments" have seen their resources reduced by many thousands of dollars that they relied on for a dignified retirement.

Will the market rally? Perhaps. Yet, if that was their sole source of income, what would they do now? Those who have millions in discretionary funds have no fears about the present, but the vast majority of elderly do. What pays the rent, medical, food, and utility bills now? And who will bail out those who choose the route of investments should those investments bomb?

Social Security Insurance was not established as a gamble. If it is in trouble, there are other remedies: Prevent raiding of the SS fund by an administration seeking to cover other budget deficiencies raise the age of retirement by a couple of years increase slightly the contribution by workers and their employers tighten the standards for SSI.

What should never be done is privatization. All that does is raise the income of those in the investment industry. No one who wants to invest in the market should be denied that right. As long as they contribute to the Social Security Fund like the rest of us, we won't have to bail them out if or when the gamble they take doesn't pan out.

The next time some program of "Social Security reform" through "private investment alternatives" is presented, remember these last weeks and say, "No, thanks."

Istar Holliday

Arroyo Grande

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