Sunday, December 17, 2017     Volume: 31, Issue: 46
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Weekly Poll
Do you think the Carrizo Plain should stay a national monument?

Absolutely. The Carrizo is one of the last undeveloped areas of the San Joaquin Valley, a protected habitat for endangered species, and a natural wonder for the public.
Yes, but I don't think it's as clear cut as some think. The Trump Administration should take a look at its status.
The feds should consider reducing the size of the monument.
No. The Carrizo should be privatized. Allow the market to tap into its natural resources.

Vote! | Poll Results

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New Times / Letters to the Editor

One view of California Valley cannabis production

Ryan Lovejoy - California Valley -

Cannabis is currently bringing immense value in many forms to all of the people residing in the California Valley. Whether a landowner grows cannabis or not, his or her property is worth more because of cannabis in the valley.

Businesses ranging from the lumber stores, landscaping stores, tool rentals, propane companies, local gas stations, and countless others each benefit economically from the legally approved cannabis activity.

Then we have the Americans who are plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and laborers who are given a multitude of job opportunities from the cannabis business in the California Valley.

This plant has given the hard-working people of the valley a second chance at self-sustenance and an honest living.

The first concept of suburban residential zoning did not work.

Cannabis farms should most certainly be regulated and inspected for the security of the natural environment and the end user, whether they are using for medicinal or recreational purposes. The importance of regulating cannabis production does not simply end at preserving the natural environment; it positively impacts our local economy.

The solar farm was given the opportunity to offset its impact by dedicating land to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and cannabis farmers should be given a similar opportunity. This would benefit the California Valley by establishing more protected sanctuaries for the endangered animals, while also promoting needed jobs for its residents!

We would be protecting the native species more by not pushing farms into hiding with no regulation or oversight. By promoting black-market farms, there is a higher chance that poison, trash, and the illegal taking of animals will occur. This is something that none of us want to see.

The California Valley is not a wasteland. It is a beautiful place that deserves our protection. Cannabis grown right can grow in harmony with this beautiful valley. The people have voted that they want more access to this beautiful plant. Let’s give the opportunity to small farmers to provide as many choices as possible and compete with big corporate cannabis. The little farms, if given a chance, will not only provide more options for the consumers, but more economic opportunities for the hard-working people of the California Valley.


Kudos to Trump

Gary Wechter - Arroyo Grande -

I couldn’t be happier or more pleased with President Trump’s decision to remove us from the Paris climate accord, an agreement that was bad for America and another campaign promise fulfilled.

This accord was just another example of how the left, with good intentions, follows through with bad policy. We all know that the admirable goal of affordable health care for all resulted in unaffordable health insurance. Or … a living wage for workers devolved into the goal of a $15 minimum wage. Really! Does anyone think a family of four can survive on a $15 hourly wage?

Then the high ideal of welcoming migrants, the poor, and oppressed into our country turns instead to illegal aliens funneled into sanctuary cities, encouraging lawlessness and increasing crime. Or … gun control laws that make it difficult for lawful and responsible citizens to get guns while doing little to prevent the bad guys from getting them. You get the picture.

The Paris accord was bad for middle-class jobs and for the standard of living of our poor as it would substantially increase the cost of energy and be reflected in the cost of everything we buy. This would disproportionately impact the working poor and others who are financially challenged.

President Obama expected us to bear this burden in spite of the fact that everyone in the know knows that commitments made under this accord were voluntary and unenforceable and that even if all participating countries lived up to their commitments the result wouldn’t have much of an effect on the climate. So, once again, good intentions (let’s save the planet) result in bad policy (hurts the middle class and the poor).

In spite of President Trump’s wise decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, the United States is and will continue to be a leader in alternative energy development and dissemination. A policy of all energy all the time offered at the lowest possible price is the best policy for America. Through job creation and prosperity, we’ll be in the best position to lead the world to a healthy, prosperous, and secure future. Thank you Donald Trump.


A place to be yourself

Ethel 'Tink' Landers - GALA Volunteer Art Curator, San Luis Obispo -

When I read about the rainbow flag burned at Mayor Heidi Harmon’s home I reflected on times past. I’m 67 years old and have been a participant at GALA (Gay and Lesbian Alliance), San Luis Obispo, on and off, since 1995. Back then, many of us were afraid to be open about our true identities. Many of us hid from our families, friends, churches, and employers in fear of rejection or worse. Many of us had already suffered emotional, if not also physical, harm because we were members of the LGBTQ community. GALA, San Luis Obispo, offered us a place to be. To be real. To be free. To be authentic. To be safe. In many cases GALA offered us a place to be connected and eventually be partnered. Years have passed, however, and the benefits GALA offers are still in place today. GALA is a safe, welcoming, place of community, where we all can just be.

Labels really don’t serve us well, maybe they never did. For sure the LGBTQ acronym does not reflect our dear allies, evolving straight friends, the evolving community of faith, the evolving love of family, friends, and peaceful, respectful people from all cultures.

An art exhibit opens June 12 at GALA titled, “Proud to Be …”. It represents great diversity in media, styles of expression, and in the artists themselves. It represents our ongoing evolution into a kinder and gentler community. GALA brings people together. Please enjoy this exhibit and just be.


Trust the scientists

Mike Sassard - Paso Robles -

I am not a politician, I do not have a Ph.D., but I put my faith in those who have put in a lot of study and are telling and warning us about our climate changing. They also do not have any ulterior motives.

I believe my eyes when I see a video about abnormal ice melting in the Artic and a polar bear who cannot find food for her young.

I can’t help but believe that the recent move, in Paris, about this by our president was a mistake.

We, including him, have these scientists for a reason. They do research and tell us what we need to know. That includes our president, if he will listen.


The blame game gone awry

Jeannette Watson - Arroyo Grande -

With Hillary Clinton’s recent reappearance and Kathy Griffin’s bizarre stunt, we are witnessing a new phenomenon: the art of blaming others for self-inflicted wounds.

Sadly, Hillary has yet to come to terms with her stunning defeat at the hands of an inherently unlikable victor. While she starts saying that she bears responsibility for her loss, she then immediately transitions into blaming everybody but herself. Her desperate grasp for power was all too visible. She refuses to see that she lost because of who she was and what she did and didn’t do. It was the truth of her character that did her in.

Then Kathy Griffin showed her incredibly tasteless judgement with her photo holding the severed head of President Trump. And what does she do? She holds the strangest of press conferences to tell the world that she is the victim, blaming Donald Trump for making her do it. Her claim between sobs that “He broke me” was woefully misplaced. Griffin broke herself.

To ascribe the real blame for their demise, Hillary and Kathy need only to look in the mirror to find the truth.