Friday, Jun. 22, 2012
John Spevak: Readers respond
Once again, it's time to open the mail bag and look at letters from the readers of this column. Actually, there is no bag of letters, just a queue of emails.
The first letter relates to a column I wrote about the tall trees planted last year in front of O'Reilly's Auto Parts, replacing the ones that had been chopped and hacked:
Great to see O'Reilly's trees flourish. However, there is a new "hack the trees up" business that needs to be identified. The beautiful sycamores at the restaurant at the intersection of Pacheco Boulevard and J Street have been butchered and are a new eyesore. What were the business owners thinking?
Gary, regarding trees in Los Banos, it seems that for every step forward there is a step back. I, too, was disheartened to see those restaurant trees mutilated. What had been great shade for their customers and passers-by became stark trunks with a few shoots.
On the other hand, I was glad to see that the new tire store being built in Los Banos recognizes the importance of trees. The Les Schwab Company saved several of the old olive trees and worked with Michael Amabile of Espana's and the City to help transplant others.
I also appreciate longtime businesses like Sorensen's Hardware and the Westside Veterinary Clinic, both of whom received awards from the city earlier this year, that make it a point to maintain the beauty and the shade of their trees.
On the other hand, a fast food restaurant at Pacheco Boulevard and Mercey Springs Road recently cut down several mature trees during its renovation process, apparently for no good reason.
I hope the day comes when every resident and business owner in Los Banos values the importance of trees, when the forward steps far outnumber the backward.
Another reader commented on a recent technology column:
I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed your column about your adventures with your new smart phone. I thought it was quirky and entertaining. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, the public.
Warmly, Morgan Vogel, Sent from my iPhone
I'm glad you enjoy my quirkiness. You seem to be quite technologically adept, writing me via your own smart phone. I'm still struggling. It seems just yesterday I was making calls spinning a dial on a big black telephone. Now I have a phone in my pocket which I seem to use only incidentally for talking with people.
I hope your Italian trip materializes. Italy is a super country to visit. I've been twice, once with a tour and once with a friend. It's possible to get by with the language if you know a little Spanish. The people are friendly.
Your co-guide, Joanne Hoefer, is a soul mate of mine -- books, travel and horses are common interests. She'll do a good job with your group.
Cheers, Shiena Polehn
Thank you for the encouragement. I heartily agree with you about Joanne. She has logged thousands of travel miles all over the world and has been to Italy many times. We are lucky to have her.
And I agree with your enthusiasm about the trip. We have a good group going in September, and the more we talk about Italy, the more excited we get.
More and more people are contacting Margaret Gomes about the trip as we get closer to the July 1 deadline for confirming details and payments.
People are realizing there's still time to contact Margaret -- until July1 -- and join us on our visit to Rome, Tuscany, Florence and Venice.
We have a good size group already, with several spaces still available. We'll know on July 2 what the grand total of Autumn Italian Holiday travelers will be.
The last letter relates to a short note I wrote on the passing of longtime Los Banos resident and good guy Louis Amabile:
I always read and enjoy your columns but felt compelled to drop a line after reading your note on Louis. In three sentences you brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my heart.
Comments on the writings of John Spevak, an Enterprise columnist for 28 years, are encouraged, and can be sent via email to email@example.com.