Thursday, February 21, 2019     Volume: 19, Issue: 51

Santa Maria Sun / Letters to the Editor

Oceano needs a safe beach

Lucia Casalinuovo - Oceano -

Last week, State Parks disclosed its proposed new general work plan for the management of Pismo State Beach and the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. 

Good news: There are plans for a boardwalk on the foredunes to connect Grand Avenue with the Arroyo Grande Creek and a small structured campground (versus the free and wild camping-anywhere-you-want happening at present on the beach ) next to Oso Flaco Road with its own access to the off-roading area. This campground will reduce the number of camping sites on the beach south of Arroyo Grande Creek and will relieve some of the congestion on Pier Avenue and Oceano Beach. 

Bad news: This southern entrance to the off-roading area would not replace Pier Avenue, and only reduces its camping traffic by 20 percent. Oceano residents and visitors will still be denied a beach that's safe for pedestrians. State Parks' proposal does not resolve the issue of air quality on Pier Avenue or the Mesa, which in my opinion can be resolved only by closing Pier Avenue and fencing off the La Grande Tract, the biggest cause of PM 10 pollution. 

Surprisingly, State Parks also wants to improve its own maintenance road from Highway 1 across the Oceano campground to the beach. Apparently, Parks wants to improve this road solely for its own convenience. It will not be a public road. 

Parks' "new" plan totally ignores county residents' need for safety and clean air. I am completely convinced that in a conflict, all parties must win. So in this fight over the Oceano beach and dunes, everyone must get something: The Chumash need to have their sites well fenced off and protected. The Arroyo Grande Creek needs to not be crossed. Oceano needs a safe beach. People on the Mesa need good air. Off-roaders need a piece of sand to ride on. 

The Oceano beach and dunes are a big, delicious, precious pie of which each of those parties must have a piece for the peace of all. Here is a way to meet everyone's needs: 1,000 street vehiclesâ€"not 2,500 like at presentâ€"can drive through Parks' improved maintenance road directly from Highway 1 to the beach for day use only of the stretch between Grand Avenue and Pier Avenue. Where else would day beach users park? No beach traffic on Pier Avenue nor south of it. The beach between Pier Avenue and the end of the La Grande Tract (and La Grande Tract itself) belong to pedestrians and non-vehicular beach users, like equestrians. The La Grande Tract has been designed as a buffer zone by the county's coastal plan and it's the biggest cause of PM 10 pollution. Off-highway vehicle users could use the southern entrance and campground for their piece of the cake.

Please check out Parks' plan at and send in your comments. Remember, everyone has to win!

How to train a terrorist

Larry Schiffer - Paso Robles -

With the full admission of departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and the seeming unwillingness of those agencies to make a fulsome attempt to reunite the thousands of children taken forcefully from their parents when they came to this country seeking asylum, one has to wonder what the future of these children’s lives would look like.

When we hear from psychologists and community activists on the subject of youth disenfranchisement, it brings to mind some speculation on what the lives of these children will be like in 10 or 20 years.

Here is just one possible scenario. After being torn apart from their families and sent to camps where they are put in cages with Mylar blankets and improper health and emotional care, would it be any surprise that a number of these kids would form a deep and abiding hatred for this country and be prime targets for recruitment by gangs and terrorist organizations? Is our government creating a culture of resentment and animosity strong enough to increase the possibility of future acts of violence by the kids in response to the cruel treatment they received at the hands of the so called patriots whose establishment of the zero tolerance policy led to this potential nightmare? Is MS-13 ready to recruit these lost souls? This is another legacy that will survive the era of Trump and throw our country into future chaos.

Weekly Poll
Should Lompoc residents be allowed to keep chickens as pets?

Yes. They are just like cats or dogs.
No. They belong on farms and not in the city!
I'm undecided.
The only chicken I care about is crispy and comes in a bucket.

| Poll Results