Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 11:01 pm | Fair 65º


From Our Inbox: Letters to the Editor for Week Ending June 15, 2018

About Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown’s election win, Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen wrote in his June 8 column:

“Not even six months after the deadliest day in Santa Barbara County history, Sheriff Bill Brown breezed to re-election, winning a fourth four-year term. There now may be no accountability for decisions made before, during and after the twin disasters in Montecito, but he’s certainly made his mark.”

I hereby bestow upon Macfadyen the early June “Beacon of Reality Award.”

Hib Halverson

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I just want to thank Noozhawk contributing writer Melinda Burns for her excellent June 12 article, “San Ysidro Creek Has a History of Menacing Montecito Community.”

Ruth Ackerman

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In Joshua Molina’s June 11 article about Target, he writes: “In the early 2000s, Santa Barbara was cold to a Target on city-owned airport property because the liberal City Council majority at the time viewed it as a ‘low-paying retailer’ that was not unionized.”

Couldn’t your reporter simply have reported the facts and not added a label that is divisive and unnecessary? The sentence conveys the facts without adding the word “liberal.”

Also why is “low-paying retailer” in quotes? There’s no context or additional quotes from named sources.

I expect that kind of reporting in the Santa Barbara News-Press, but really, you can do better than that low bar.

Tracey Morris
Santa Barbara

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We have been living in Lompoc for 24 years. During that time, my husband and I have devoted our lives to improving the quality of life in this city. We have volunteered our time and what little extra funds we have to support many of the positive events, activities and ongoing projects that we believed would improve the image of this city.

In the past four years we have watched and tried very hard to halt the poorly thought-out decisions of three members of the City Council who have continued to do everything they can to change this city from a family-friendly and safe place to live to now a city that welcomes one and all as long as these council members think they are going to make money on their projects.

This has been done without any regard to the impact on the safety and well being of our families.

The decisions have gone to allowing “safe and sane” fireworks into the community, which supposedly would bring ALL this money to our nonprofit organizations and the city. This decision was made against all the testimony from our public safety personnel and many community members who pointed out the liabilities and problems associated with fireworks that are shot off by some members of the public. That situation keeps getting worse every year!

Then we have put up with a proposal to put a motorsports park on airport property that belongs to the city. This has gone on for five years and has cost the city thousands of hours in staff time and depleted some of our funds in the process. Due to the stubbornness of a past mayor and his minions, we are still going to be faced with this proposal until the City Council finally says, “Enough!”

Now we come to the cannabis “industry” and its assertions and requests for the city to welcome those associated with the business into our lovely, safe and hard-working community. This issue has made me ask “Why?” Once again, this project is costing the city thousands of dollars hiring a consultant and using valuable staff time to appease this very vocal group of people.

An ordinance has been written that states areas where these businesses can and can not set up shops. There is to be a 600-foot buffer zone around ALL centers or businesses that are considered to be youth centers. This is done for the protection of our children and families.

For some illogical reason, three members of the council have decided that dance studios are not considered a youth center. This is in spite of children being involved in the activities associated with dance.

Doesn’t it make you wonder and ask, “Why are they so unfeeling, unthinking and inconsiderate to keep insisting the dance studios are not a youth activity? What is the motivation behind their actions, which now will involve the city in a potentially expensive lawsuit?”

One can only make some wild guesses about why the three dense, uneducated and indifferent council members are insisting on continuing the charade of caring about the community when they are doing nothing but putting our children in jeopardy! Their actions also will affect the 51-year business of someone who has put all her efforts into improving the quality of life in Lompoc.

Mayor Bob Lingl and Councilwoman Jenelle Osborne are the only ones who realize the seriousness and ramifications of this questionable decision.

We still are in serious trouble about not balancing the budget and we have a major debt of millions of dollars to pay to the city’s PERS fund. This was the first time we were very late in presenting a completed budget, thanks to the same three members of the council — Jim Mosby, Dirk Starbuck and Victor Vega. This issue seems to be getting swept under the rug but it is not going away any time soon.

If you really care about Lompoc, we will have an election in November to choose our council members who are up for re-election. We will be voting by districts this time and if you don’t understand that, the city is offering workshops and information on district voting.

The three members whose terms are finished are Vega in District 2, Starbuck in District 3 and the mayor, who is elected by the total city for a two-year term. Find out which district you are in through the city’s website.

If you live in either district, please consider running for that council position. I realize people are hesitant about running and cite some roadblocks, but just remember none of the present council members had any experience before they ran.

Just saying positive things about Lompoc is not sufficient. The only way to change the direction in which the city is heading is to do it at the ballot box and replace Starbuck and Vega, who have caused the downward spiral of Lompoc.

Ann Ruhge
Former Lompoc city councilwoman, 2006-2010

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This was submitted as an editorial opinion on Thursday and of course it was not published. Go figure???
Phil Unander

I read with interest the June 13 story by Noozhawk reporter Janene Scully concerning the sentencing of Julia Di Sieno. I am a neighbor on Carriage Drive in the middle of the players.

As in all of the prior news reports concerning this case, Scully is very heavily biased in her reporting. Today she used a few paragraphs to report that Julia was sentenced to 2 years probation, and then uses the rest of the 26 or so paragraphs to retell the trial and all of the allegations against her.

She quotes the attorney for the Nohrs and Bardessono, who states “During recent months, we have spoken to numerous people who are fearful of Ms. Di Sieno and reviewed hundreds of documents evidencing bizarre and troubling interactions she has had with individuals both locally and across the nation.” I wonder why she was not interested in reporting about many of the neighbors that do support Julia and had also witnessed bizarre and troubling behavior by the Nohrs and the Bardessonos?

It was NEVER just a one-sided story as Scully would have her readers believe. Many of us were willing to give our opinions and observations to her to assist in her in fair reporting, but it seems she is only interested in fake news.

Phil Unander
Santa Ynez

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