Speaking for those who can’t
Thank you for speaking up for those who cannot speak for
themselves. It has been a slim year for adoptions and donations.
The organizations you mentioned do great work at helping the people
and animals of the community with low cost spay/neuter programs,
sheltering, fostering, and finding new homes for the animals.
These groups can use monetary donations, and each one has a Wish
List of specific items needed
– large and small. Also, volunteers are always welcomed and
Christine Russell
San Juan Bautista
Speaking for those who can’t

Thank you for speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves. It has been a slim year for adoptions and donations. The organizations you mentioned do great work at helping the people and animals of the community with low cost spay/neuter programs, sheltering, fostering, and finding new homes for the animals.

These groups can use monetary donations, and each one has a Wish List of specific items needed – large and small. Also, volunteers are always welcomed and appreciated.

Christine Russell

San Juan Bautista

All we need to do is nuke Baghdad

Just before the War in Iraq began, I had the correct response to the 9/11 attacks but no one wanted to hear it. They said it was not the way to go. They said we are beyond that type of brutality. Here we are now, more than two years later into this war,CNN reports as of 12/12/05 2,000 U.S. Military are dead and between 26,690 and 30,051 Iraqi civillians. Saddam Hussein is still alive, Osama Bin Laden is still at large and the very morons our troops are dying for are either attacking them every chance they get or harboring those who are. To top it all off our leaders say that there is no clear end in sight although they keep promising us one.

When we dropped “the bomb” on Nagasaki, zero U.S. Military died, and in a city of over 600,000 only 39,000 civilians died. Brutal, yes but when you consider the alternative, it was the right thing to do. With a tactical nuclear strike on Baghdad a lot of our current problems would have been resolved. We could have threatened any country harboring a terrorist that attacks U.S. soil with the same fate and once again achieved a peace through fear as well as having any known terrorists handed over to us. Now the world knows that we have weapons but will never again use them, even if we are attacked, the United States of America is all talk. Like a barking Chihuahua. Just an annoyance.

Ron Silva

Online Pinnacle reader


Seems like it was ‘just a dog’

A year has come and gone since my beloved dog was killed from behind while on my property. Our local CHP officer responded when I informed them that I had located the person who killed my dog. The driver admitted to killing my dog. The officer sided with the driver, theorizing that my dog ran into the path of the truck.

The officer refused to acknowledge my neighbor who witnessed evidence that was found on my property and my dog’s final resting spot and his physical condition. The officer did not arrest the driver, but instead returned my evidence, a turn signal lens that was located behind my dog. The officer told the district attorney that no crime was committed. The DA said a crime was committed. The driver pled no-contest and received no jail time and 100 hours of community service at the local SPCA.

The DMV did not suspend his driver’s license. The DMV said that this was an incident and not an accident. In civil court, the CHP officer stood with the driver. The judge would not accept my veterinary report stating “no physical trauma to dog.” The judge also showed no interest in my home video of the accident site or my neighbor’s written statement. I found out later that a victim’s restitution fines exist. I called the DA. They told me that I wasn’t a victim and that I was lucky they even pursued this matter.

Phil Novak


A heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Hollister

Most folks know the expression “It Takes a Village” referring to a community that helps to raise a child. I think Hollister is that kind of community because of what happened to my daughter and my granddaughters.

On Nov. 9th, my daughter Karen, Kelly her 12-year-old and her special needs daughter Amy, 8, were at home on Barnes Lane when the house caught fire. They all got out safely. She said the fire crew (Company No. 93) was there in about 4 minutes. Nearly everything was lost, including the Christmas presents she’d been buying since July.

While a tremendous tragedy, the volume of help and love given to our daughter and family exceeds anything I could have ever imagined. Larry and Diane Bawden (members of the church Karen attends) took them to their home and told her to stay as long as they needed. Church members offered furniture, utensils and clothing, while other members offered checks. A friend, Kaleena Scargill, started a benevolent fund at the bank. The fire crew gave her gift certificates to Safeway and Target; Nob Hill presented them with certificates to Target, groceries at Nob Hill and a set of dishes. Karen’s fellow employees at CCNA started a collection. Kelly’s school (Rancho San Justro), Amy’s school (Ladd Lane) contributed money and gift certificates for groceries – blessings seemed to fall from the sky.

God bless you all for your extreme generosity. The world needs to know that Hollister is a loving caring town that takes care of it’s own. A rare village indeed!

Betty and Ed Muztafago

Daytona Beach, Fla.

What would Jesus say about hyperbole?

I was interested in last week’s article covering the Happy Christmas! Happy Holidays! controversy. I am sympathetic to the people who would wish and be wished happiness under the rubric specific to the believer – Hanukah, Christmas, Ramadan, and Kwanzaa. All holy days should be appreciated, if they are indeed holy. Homogenizing these good wishes seems consistent with our culture’s homogenization of almost everything else and equally damaging to the blessings inherent in diverse life and cultural forms.

However, the hyperbole around this controversy misses entirely the real scandal. The real scandal is that many of us Christians insist on the letter but not the spirit of the season. And our actions belie our words. The most dramatic example of this is the effort of card-carrying Christians to cut millions of dollars of support for present day “widows and orphans,” while rewarding greed in the form of tax cuts to the most wealthy among us. Should we Christians be surprised at the reaction to our celebration of Jesus, when there is no sign of his beatitudes in our political and social decision-making?

In stark contrast to this display of hearts of stone is the blessing of our county with a new homeless shelter by the work of Fishes and Loaves and their collaborators in local social justice and church groups.

When our celebration of our religious holy days is marked by virtues Jesus preached – the sheltering of the homeless, the feeding of the hungry, and the visiting of those sick and in prison – I would venture to say that anyone wished a Merry Christmas, rather than feeling appalled, would feel blessed and happy indeed. As Francis, who also did and preached these things used to say, “peace and all good! Pace e bene!”

Joe Morris

San Juan Bautista

Another view on birth control

I was bothered by your article concerning Plan B: “Will your druggist fill ‘Plan B’ pill?” (Dec. 11) that “Plan B is not an abortion pill.” Then you stated that it “works by either not allowing an egg to attach to the uterine wall or by interrupting normal ovulation”. My understanding, as well as some of your readers’ understanding, is that human life begins at conception. Human life normally begins when an egg is fertilized in a woman’s fallopian tube and then implants or attaches to the uterine wall. If Plan B does not allow this fertilized egg (newly formed human life) to attach, then this would prevent the natural course of the growth of a newly created human conceptus. Therefore this would be considered an aborted pregnancy, hence the term aborttifacient.

Antonio Meraz

Involvement can help community

I was contemplating our community and how it had changed. Was it for the better or the worse? We have lost our craft/hobby shop, bookstore, stationary/art supply store, shoe repairs and our vacuum repair store. We no longer have a catalog store, a bowling alley, a roller-skating rink (in San Juan Bautista), a downtown motorcycle rally, midget car racing at Bolado Park or free summer concert series on top of our parking and our only public swimming pool at Bolado Park.

We have however, gained more crime, more congestion on our roads and highways, more houses and four more huge developments on the horizon for more of the same.

We are told that our jail is too small so we must find funding to build a bigger one along with a new sheriff’s office and courts, yet, we can’t seem to open Emmaus House for battered and abused families or a new county library for the benefit of the whole community.

At this season of giving, lets see how we can all give in time and in kind, in funding and community spirit, to make our community a better place in the coming years. It’s still a great place to live. Let’s bring back some of the things that made it so special, so we can shop locally and enjoy what this community can offer.

Ruth Erickson


Merchants need to learn human nature

I recently witnessed several confrontations between downtown Hollister business owners and employees and owners and customers. It seems that some downtown business owners are under the false impression that they own the parking place directly in front of their establishments and that no one should park in that space unless they are a paying customer of that establishment.

They are under the impression that if there is no convenient place to park, the customer would go elsewhere. What they fail to recognize is that human nature being what it is, the opposite is true. If you filled every space, people would “circle the blocks” to find a place to park.

Try it and you will find out! You will also realize how ridiculous the unenforced two-hour downtown parking limits are.

Allen Coughlin


Hats off to zero tolerance

Kudos to District Attorney John Sarsfield for taking the initiative to reduce shootings by felons through his Zero Tolerance policy.

A similar program in San Francisco has resulted in a 50 percent drop in the number of killings attributed to gangs in high crime neighborhoods so far this year compared to 2004.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle: “The most important factor in the decline, police say, is authorities’ attempt to take those they consider the most violent, incorrigible off the streets with the help of the federal “Triggerlock” law which provides for prison terms of 10 years or more for felons who are caught with a gun.”

The incident at Calaveras Elementary School on Dec. 16 in which a known felon with a gun was quickly stopped by a sheriff’s detective and arrested by Hollister police will be a case to be prosecuted under the Zero Tolerance policy.

May this excellent cooperation between the Sheriff’s and police departments and the District Attorney continue to make San Benito County a safer place to live.

Carl Chase


Execution was the will of the people

Regarding Susan Swanson’s letter about “Tookie” Williams’s execution; with the exception of three years I lived in Hollister, the majority of my life has been spent in and around the south Los Angeles area. As a junior high kid, I lived through the “birth” of the Crips in the early 1970s. My childhood included my friends and me trying to get home from school while having to fight the “infant” Crips to prevent them from stealing our bicycles and black leather jackets. From those humble beginnings, Tookie’s “child” grew to the horror that it is today. He helped to create a sub-culture that condones violence against all non-Crips, against women, and all who aren’t Black. He made being a thug a ‘good’ thing, and showed no remorse for his crimes. For these acts alone he deserved to be deleted from society.

Williams murdered four innocent people, and was condemned to death per the laws of our state. Gov. Schwarzenegger denying clemency was ensuring that the law was followed, and the will of the people satisfied. In short: he did what we elected him to do. If Ms. Swanson does not believe that this was the will of the people, I invite her to ask the residents of the communities of south Los Angeles whether Williams should have been “spared.” The result will be a shock to her tender leftist sensibilities.

Given her zip code, Ms. Swanson should thank God that she’ll probably never find out what William’s true legacy really is.


Online Reader


A vivid look at being ‘thankful’

My parents recently became foster parents to two boys from Sudan, Africa, ages 15 and 16. I can’t begin to understand the experiences Joseph and Paul have had, for my life has been far too easy, and I have been so blessed. This was their first Thanksgiving, or any other holiday here.

My parents invited friends from their church, who are originally from Congo, Africa. Their names are African (Gadi and Bahati Nepa) but you can see how they have become African Americans. They are pursuing the “American dream” with two young boys, owning a home, and discussing real estate investing with my father and I. The Nepas must be a comfort and an inspiration to Joseph and Paul who feel a little like “fish out of water.”

We stuffed ourselves with more food than some people might see in a month. But instead of being anonymous and in a far off land, those “some people” were sitting at our table as brothers and friends. I’ve never had to worry about having food to eat, and I’ve never had my family all murdered by rebels. I’ve never spent a month walking to another country where I could spend six years in a refugee camp, dreaming of the opportunity to live in America.

My father wished he knew how to be thankful like them. “No, you don’t want to have the experiences we have had,” Gadi said.

I do know I should be so much more thankful than I am, and I am thankful for Joseph, Paul and the Nepas.

Tony Bruscia


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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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