Letters to the Editor 3-8-19

League supports Voter’s Choice Act


The League of Women Voters supports the Voter’s Choice Act (SB 450) and the potential it entails for increased voter participation and an eventual reduction in the cost of running elections.  We believe that with approximately 75% of county voters choosing to “vote by mail”, the current model of using established neighborhood-polling places has become inefficient and expensive.

Yet while we encourage our county be a leader in bringing about these changes to our election system, we also recognize that full, effective implementation of the Voter’s Choice Act by 2020 poses significant challenges that may be difficult to overcome.  We support the interim actions proposed by the County Clerk Recorder to move our county in the direction of full implementation of SB 450 and regret that the Board of Supervisors has rejected these interim steps.

We advocate tirelessly for active and informed public participation in our government at all levels.  Access for every qualified voter to the ballot box is a non-partisan issue that should be supported by every elected representative.

We look forward to working with the county to educate voters about the candidates, the issues, and the workings of the election process.  As in past elections, we stand ready to serve as precinct workers.  The March 2020 primary election will be here before we know it.

Ann Havlik and Cindy Marie Absey


League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County

Sky is not falling


Thank you for Al Fonzi’s reasoned response to the previous weeks' hysterical claims that the sky is falling because of climate change.  Yes, climates change, they always have and will probably continue. The men quoted in Mr. Weymann’s article are not scientists but social engineers.  Yes, we all want a safe environment for everyone but social manipulation is not going to help people who work, pay taxes and need to provide for their families.  One large volcano such as Mt. St. Helens discharges more CO2 gas in a day than all the U.S, factories in over one year. Should we pass a law?   In his article, he notes one of the causes for so-called “deniers” is religion.  Ironically, Mr. Weymann seems more the zealot for his worship of climate change and global warming.  Certainly, be alert but the sky is not falling.

William Thompson

Paso Robles

Save the Bears


Polar bears are a symbol of the wild arctic, making their home in punishing terrains. They are highly specialized mammals relying heavily on sea ice environments for food and other aspects of their life cycle. Satellite data show Arctic sea ice has been decreasing for the past 30 years portraying the bears with a world disappearing under their feet. Polar bears are typically born on land but live on sea ice hunting and feeding on seals. Arctic ice thinning, linked to warmer temperatures, causes the animals to move ashore, ravenous.

In a study by the Polar Bear Specialist group, of 19 polar bear subpopulations, 4 were found increasing or “stable,” 8 were in “decline” while 7 were in Arctic Region habitats considered “data deficient.” In a recent commentary, Dr. Susan Crockford was mentioned as a reputable source on the study of polar bears. She runs the website “Polar Bear Science,” does not study polar bears in the field, and has not published in any peer-reviewed journals on polar bears.

The Associated Press reported in September of 2018, bears descending on the tiny Alaskan village of Kaktovik, located on Barter Island. In fall, bears are forced toward land because sea ice is the farthest away from shore.

Novaya Zemlya is a Russian archipelago stretching into the Arctic Ocean. In this Russian, Arkhangelsk region, this year the situation became traumatic for humans declaring a state of emergency with marauding bears scavenging and coming into contact with humans. On land, bears eat reindeer, fox, small rodents, waterfowl, fish, berries and human garbage

While it is advantageous bears are flexible in foraging on land, it is unlikely to save them from disappearing sea ice, said Steven C. Amstrup, a researcher with Polar Bears International. “The bottom line is there is no evidence any alternate foods will benefit polar bears at the population level. Even now, the shore environment only has enough food to support the smallest grizzly bears at a low population density.”

The World Wildlife Fund reported in 2013, ministers from the five polar bear range states met in Moscow for the first International Forum on Polar Bear Conservation. The leaders made significant commitments to address issues of polar bear habitat. Polar bears are considered a “vulnerable” species and designated “endangered” in 1973.

Lee Perkins


Climate change source


Recent opinions on climate change in this paper may leave readers wondering about a simple authoritative source. Google: “Emanuel Climate Primer” and download the pdf. Emanuel is a scientist of utmost integrity and knowledge — and a political conservative.

Ray Weymann


Thank you, Al Fonzi


In this age of information overload, I find it very beneficial to quickly identify sources of value, and those that aren’t worth pursuing.

Based on the commentaries written by Al Fonzi and published in the Atascadero News (Feb. 1, and Feb. 15 especially, but certainly not exclusively), I can now eliminate him as a source of valid information, or even interesting opinions. 

Seriously Al?  Redistribution of wealth as the reason for claiming Climate Change is due to human activity??  It’s a conspiracy promoted by all the world’s leading climate scientists, and indeed, all the world’s leading scientific minds?   What nonsense!    I personally prefer reading words that shed light on, and provide verifiable facts on, difficult and unpleasant subjects.  Those that cast dark shadows based on unsubstantiated and unverifiable claims are simply a waste of space.

Think of the time I will save going forward.

Steven Smith


Let’s not go splat


The world changes constantly, both politically and our climate. There are obviously differences of opinion politically. These are useful and necessary regardless of your politics. But on scientific matters, we depend on experts who have deeply studied a subject, whose findings have been checked and rechecked by other experts, and proven out as time and more information comes along.

In the matter of global warming, the scientific evidence is overwhelming that the main cause is the increase in CO2 due to fossil fuel burning. More than 95 percent of experts in this field agree, and their expertise is what we base our collective action on. While there are a few citizens who, for their own reasons, deny this, they are incorrect and risk severe damage to the world we all must live in. If they only harmed their personal slice of the world, like in politics, they would be welcome to their own opinions. But they harm the world of all of us, and in so doing put our children’s lives in future danger. Like the story of someone who doesn’t believe in gravity, and jumps off a roof to prove it, they still go splat. Denying planetary warming doesn’t make it go away, and the result will be we all go splat.

We’ve been digging up “dead dinosaurs” and injecting them into the atmosphere, when burning coal, oil and gas for almost 200 years. Common sense demands there must be SOME effect of this: as with everything else on earth, when you do a bunch of something, something else is affected. Some ask if a little extra CO2 might be beneficial. Fair question, but as scientists have done the investigations needed, it has become very clear that we are in deep doo doo, with difficult decisions to make.

We have an opportunity of incredible proportions. Building railroads,  freeways, the internet, and the space program all led to huge increases in jobs and wealth. Now we should become world leaders in the technology needed to reduce our need of fossil fuels. We need visionary leaders, not old school deniers, to make this happen. The jobs, jobs, jobs this will create will be a huge economic boost and we can show the world how California can lead and be proud of the world we leave our children. And of course, one more upside.

We don’t go splat.

Dan Cook



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