Regarding Noozhawk’s April 8 article, “3 Arrested on Murder Charges in January Double Homicides on Santa Barbara’s Eastside,” many thanks are owed the Santa Barbara Police Department for the arrests in the Jan. 3 murders of two Santa Barbara High School students. As a resident of the neighborhood where the murders occurred, I’ve been resentful of how the case was handled, but I hope the suspects will be convicted and rot in prison.
Acting Police Chief Barney Melekian was quoted as saying, “As a society we must continue to work with the young people in our community to ensure that no more lives are lost.” I agree, and I hope the police will start with being more forthcoming with people like me who live in neighborhoods where gang members live. I’d like to see more police patrols.
And to Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen, thank you for listening to my concerns and for keeping the murders of Omar and Angel in your columns. You didn’t have to do that, but it gave me encouragement to speak up, too.
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Regarding the April 7 story, “Detectives Reopen 1975 Cold Case Homicide,” it is good the Sheriff’s Department is working on cold cases in Santa Barbara County.
Now, it is time they found the person or persons who blew up the maintenance worker in front of the UC Santa Barbara Faculty Club, the two kids hacked to death on Goleta Beach, and the young man who tried to stop the destruction of the Bank of America in Isla Vista.
Why have these people not had their cases solved?
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From previous letters in this space, readers may be aware of ill-conceived plans for a widely unpopular housing project here in Los Alamos. It involves as many as 13 dwellings on a relatively small plot with poor road access and traffic hazards.
Sacramento is requiring Santa Barbara County to add 25,000 new housing units this decade. The size and speed of the directive contributes to flawed planning and siting decisions.
The county Planning and Development and Public Works departments aim to issue permits here that would cause harm to the well-being of nearby residents and to the wider community. They would also result in increased risk of injury from traffic-related accidents.
Taking refuge in technicalities, planners expect to avoid a traffic study and environmental review. Instead of applying actual knowledge of the traffic realities here, they intend to sidestep a study by resorting to general handbook formulas.
To move this project forward also requires the suspension of intellectual honesty. In estimating traffic volumes, a loophole allows planners to ignore the existence of half of the dwellings to be built and of all the vehicles associated with them.
Further, with regard to the dangers posed by a one-lane bottleneck that would see substantially increased traffic, the county’s transportation planning supervisor unapologetically claims that the county would not be legally liable for any resulting accidents or injuries.
The Planning and Development Department also is trying to minimize awareness of the depth and range of discontent with the plan. It has decided not to include, in the public report and record, some comment letters that were sent to a range of officials by community residents.
As a homeowner and board member of our street association, I have expressed views critical of some of these actions. Planners were not pleased. This led to asking for my resignation from the Los Alamos Planning Advisory Committee.
The county has the power to make decisions that affect our lives. Planners ought to be candid, aware of consequences of their actions, and seek and respect input from local residents who must live with the results. If they did, we would have better outcomes.
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