Dana Reserve is an affordable housing illusion with irreversible environmental impacts | Opinion

Square peg in round hole

Dana Reserve development in SLO County can’t deliver,” (sanluisobispo.com, Oct. 21)

Several local news articles highlighted concerns from Nipomo residents and the California Native Plant Society regarding the proposed Dana Reserve Project in Nipomo. The project aims to remove 3,000 mature oak trees, impacting the Burton Mesa Chaparral habitat. The developers’ stated focus is on carbon reduction and oxygen replenishment, with plans to plant 1,500 new oak trees. However, there are still 16 Class 1 environmental impacts, some lacking effective mitigation measures. Notably, the greenhouse gas impacts of tree removals are overlooked.

Situated downwind from the air quality problem of Oceano Dunes, the choice of this site raises questions: Why not opt for the open, flat grazing/agricultural land to the east of South Thompson, free from oak trees and traffic issues? We must not be myopic when examining strategic housing placement, emphasizing the importance of preserving limited endangered habitats like mature oak woodlands.

Despite the illusion of the Dana Reserve as an affordable housing project, its irreversible environmental impacts prompt a call for the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors to address inconsistencies, deny the project and propose an alternative site with similar benefits but fewer environmental drawbacks.

Bruce Berlin

Arroyo Grande

Palm Street parking garages endanger pedestrians

“SLO is working to make its parking garages safer after deadly falls,” (sanluisobispo.com, June 28, 2022)

It’s a tragedy waiting to happen. Standing in line at the Palm Theater I’ve often held my breath as vehicles pull out of the city parking garage across the street as children scamper nearby. Youngsters excitedly run ahead of parents or grandparents heedless of the danger of the exiting vehicles. And the drivers themselves are handicapped by poor sightlines: a wall hinders vision on the right side of the exit gate. The situation is an accident waiting to happen, and the issue also exists at the other city parking garage near the library that exits onto Palm street.

Flashing warning lights and/or audio warnings are the answer. I don’t know what it would cost to install such systems in the two garages, but Kiwanis is willing to pay all or most of the cost of the hardware (assuming the city wants its workers to install it).

The solution to the problem has been suggested to city authorities and we await a response. Perhaps the $127,000 grant that the SLO police department received for traffic safety improvements also could be tapped?

Bill Rumbler

President, San Luis Obispo Morning Kiwanis

America’s greatest threat

Biden says he’s an optimist. But his dire warnings about Trump have become central to his campaign,” (sanluisobispo.com, Nov. 19)

Americans are as divided now as ever. Our differences intensified 15 years ago when Barack Obama became president. Millions of Americans were angered; his success threatened a century-old, fabricated theory of “manifest destiny” that white Americans were divinely ordained to settle North America. Many looked for revenge. Enter Donald Trump, who questioned Obama’s birthplace and eligibility — a baseless theory that gained traction.

Millions who were passive in politics for decades became awakened, and a new phase of American politics was born: MAGA. Trump was in the right place at the right time to catalyze this movement. Despite losing in 2020, he was poised to stay in power, but for the courage of a few who stood up for Democracy.

Domestic terrorism, rooted in white supremacy, is the greatest threat to America. The events on January 6 were a rehearsal. He’s promised to take up where he left off with an even stronger vengeance if re-elected. Is that something Republicans really want? American divisiveness cannot be ignored. We have to avoid any candidate that praises dictators, discredits the military and Department of Justice and vows to destroy the Constitution and overthrow democracy.

Brent Jorgensen

Pismo Beach


Do as I say, not as I do

Legal dispute continues over Cedar the goat and CA auction,” (sacbee.com, Nov. 8)

How ironic: A mother sees the anguish in her daughter’s eyes with regard to the upcoming killing of an animal that had become a pet to her daughter. Despite the mother’s signing what the Shasta County District Attorney describes as an irrevocable contract, the story’s author was correct when he mentioned that the county is trying to blame the victim for their recalcitrant behavior.

For the county DA, it’s more about doing what I say and not doing as I do. This is especially galling since Shasta is an example of a county that routinely tries to disobey state regulations they disagree with — and a county that wants to secede from the state of California. According to the article, the mother said she would refund the fair goat buyer’s money. But no, instead they sent sheriff deputies to apprehend the goat so it could be killed as per contract. Just the gas alone cost close to $200 — not to mention the deputies’ salaries and time. Perhaps, in the future, Shasta County will consider pursuing real criminals.

Fred Raleigh