I have heard Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen speak several times about the website’s editorial philosophy of not taking political positions, and I applaud his reporters for generally playing it straight with the news. But I have also asked him to reconsider his position and, in light of his Aug. 7 column, “Santa Barbara County’s Big COVID-19 Error Isn’t the Only Hole In Its Reporting,” I will ask again.
There is a dearth of reasonable and clear opinion editorials in Santa Barbara, and that absence allows government officials, like those responsible for overlooking 28 coronavirus deaths, to avoid public accountability.
The News-Press and the Independent are blinded by ideology, which skews their judgment, but Noozhawk has a reputation for centrism and moderation.
Furthermore, Macfadyen has a knack for identifying the right angles on important issues. He doesn’t always write an extended opinion editorial, like today’s column, but when he does, it’s refreshing. Please reconsider and start writing one each week. I think it would be good for Noozhawk, but Santa Barbara desperately needs your leadership.
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Regarding Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen’s Aug. 7 column and staff writer Joshua Molina’s July 31 story, “Santa Barbara County Announces 28 Previously Unreported COVID-19 Deaths,” I still don’t understand exactly how this error happened. It also would be nice to know if anyone was disciplined for it.
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I’m writing to compliment Noozhawk on Brian Goebel’s columns on the coronavirus. In a time when most other news and headlines seem to reflect only fear and emotion, it is truly refreshing to see crisp, data-driven analysis based on facts not panic.
Kindly take whatever steps are necessary to encourage him to continue contributing his thoughtful detailed reasoning to the public conversation.
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I want to express my concern about Brian Goebel’s interpretation of the COVID-19 data as reported in his Aug. 2 column, “California has Flattened the COVID-19 Curve — Again.” He starts off his commentary by saying that his previous claims about California’s curve flattening in April were correct.
However, his claims were not correct and his assertions that they are can be quite problematic in our fight against COVID-19. When experts speak of flattening the curve, they mean flattening the curve to the point where hospitals will not be overwhelmed, and to the point where the number of active cases in the community are low enough that a sharp increase in the number of cases upon reopening is unlikely.
Yes, the rates of increase in California’s cases and hospitalizations are starting to go down, as they did in late April. However, as we saw in June, California did not effectively flatten the curve in late April and that is why there has been such a sharp increase in the number of cases in California throughout June and early July after the state’s reopening. This had demonstrated that reopening the economy too early and not properly enforcing social distancing and mask guidelines are very dangerous at this stage in the pandemic.
I read Goebel’s data analysis columns in late April and thought they were problematic back then in terms of his assertion that the curve had flattened and that businesses should reopen. I was hoping that I was wrong in thinking it was too early to reopen Santa Barbara County, but my concerns proved to be true and cases have gone up significantly over the last month and a half.
So this time I felt it was important to point out that he was completely incorrect in April that California had flattened the curve, and his assertion that California has flattened the curve again is also incorrect.
I am happy that Goebel includes several paragraphs regarding the importance of safety measures such as wearing masks and social distancing. But it is important that his comments about the curve being flattened — and the statement about his April predictions being correct — be removed from this column to prevent further spread of misinformation in our community.
Thank you to your team for continuing to provide lots of informative local news on a daily basis!
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How can Brian Goebel’s Aug. 2 column be true? I was under the impression that California was breaking records with positive coronavirus cases confirmed in a single day, a week, so many deaths in one day or in a single week (July 27-Aug. 2).
Why not keep a record of tests taken daily throughout California and count the total positive AND negative results for that particular day? Because it would be impossible. It’s easier to lie to the public by making up a number of positive results every day without mentioning negative results. Just saying …
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I appreciate Brian Goebel’s columns on COVID-19 data. It’s a breath of fresh air to read differing viewpoints in Noozhawk. Thank you for promoting fair and equitable reporting for all your readers.
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By giving a platform to Brian Goebel, who is neither an epidemiologist nor a public health expert, Noozhawk continues to promote a fake narrative about the coronavirus that is literally killing us.
California’s economy was reopened far too soon, with predictable results. The responsible thing to do would be to remove these columns from your website.
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Thank you for publishing the thoughtful COVID-19 columns by Brian Goebel. In particular, his Aug. 2 column was well researched and informative. In a time when bias and misinformation are so prevalent, his columns are worth their weight in gold.
Thank you, Noozhawk, for your commitment to giving us the opportunity to read independent voices during these tumultuous times.
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Regarding Neal Graffy’s Aug. 5 column, “There’s a Lot More Behind ‘San Andrés Street’ Than an Old Name,” I have lived on Santa Barbara’s Westside for more than 40 years and owned and ran a business in the shopping center at the corner of San Andrés and Micheltorena streets. I did not realize much of the history that Graffy discussed, and I thank him for increasing my understanding on the how and why San Andrés Street got its name.
I also found Andrés Pico’s varied ethnic heritage especially interesting and instructive.
I support keeping the name of San Andrés Street but also strongly support finding another way to honor the remarkable woman, Dolores Huerta.
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I want to thank Neal Graffy for the history of San Andrés Street. As a fifth-generation Westsider, I was unaware of any of that.
Non-Westsiders are pushing the City of Santa Barbara to rename our main street, even though most residents never asked for that. Now it turns out that their background research is all wrong, too.
I’ll be curious to see if the city dares to turn its back on a genuine hero of California, who wasn’t just a Californio but black, too.
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Sorry, crazy liberals, but you don’t get it both ways. If you are going to pull down Abraham Lincoln and Father Junípero Serra statues and burn flags, San Andrés Street does not get a pass.
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Thank you for the Aug. 1 story on local volunteers who pick up litter (“Residents Step Up to Clean Up Their Santa Barbara-Area Neighborhoods”). We hope this will encourage others to have second thoughts about tossing their trash, teach their children to be responsible with their litter, and pick up litter themselves.
We’ve been picking up litter weekly all around Goleta and Noleta as volunteers for about 15 years with members and friends of Cambridge Drive Community Church in Goleta. In a typical year, we pick up the equivalent of 120 black 33-gallon bags of litter in about 250 person hours.
We love to see others doing it when and where they can.
Judy and Don Nason
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The City of Santa Barbara’s 50-year water “deal” with the Montecito Water District requires Santa Barbara customers to pay 80 percent more for water than MWD customers for the same amount. Now, Noozhawk, in its Aug. 2 story, “Santa Barbara Council Accepts $10 Million Matching Grant to Operate Desalination Plant,” reports that without making a second 50-year deal with the State of California to run the desalination plant at full capacity to access a puny $10 million grant, “a rate revenue increase up to 20 percent in one year would be necessary,” according to Santa Barbara water resources manager Joshua Haggmark.
We Santa Barbara water customers are screwed locally by rate gouging even before Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 55 gallons-a-day ration becomes effective.
Excellent reporting! Move into the Montecito Water District to save big bucks, or out of California to survive.
Denice Spangler Adams
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In his July 25 column, “How to Become Mighty Warriors of the Lord,” Jim Langley writes, “… as we witness a boisterous minority of protesters and malcontents destroying much that’s been built over the past few centuries in our country. It’s time we take a stand for what we know is right and not hide from the dangers that confront us all.”
The “boisterous minority of protesters and malcontents destroying much that’s been built over the past few centuries in our country” must be a reference to those demonstrating against the remnants of slavery that still reside in American culture and the Indian land theft that this country is built on.
Can I assume that “It’s time we take a stand for what we know is right and not hide from the dangers that confront us all” is referring to the troops the federal government has sent to cities to wage civil war with U.S. citizens? This is a precursor to any dictatorial takeover and must be resisted at all costs.
As Langley quotes the Bible, where is the examination of how God has, in biblical history, sent a plague to destroy unjust leaders and countries that displease him. Isn’t COVID-19 such a plague directed at the world but disproportionately adversely affecting the United States? What does the plague say about God’s thoughts about President Donald Trump’s administration and its policies?
You want to become a “Mighty Warrior of the Lord”? Then follow the direction of Christ and stand up for those who have been enslaved and unjustly treated throughout the history of this country. Stand up for the American Indians who have had everything taken from them by the perverted doctrine of Manifest Destiny.
When Langley faces his judgment day, I anticipate he will be questioned about the actions he took to help his fellow man in these troubling times. How will he answer?
In the spirit of providing information from both sides of a perspective, Noozhawk needs to publish this rebuttal to the troubling religious perspective that Langley represents.
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Don’t do it, Trader Joe’s! Don’t succumb to the cancel culture or “woke” culture that has lost its sense of humor! The Trader Joe’s labels of José, Ming and Giotto are part of the good-natured and benign charm that permeates the stores. It makes us smile and appreciate your references to international flavor. It is not demeaning but clever and fun.
We need some fresh air of good humor to be introduced to Briones Bedell, the East Bay high school student who charged Trader Joe’s with harmful racism in labeling some food products. If anything, such over-sensitive reactions demonstrate the sorry example of what high school teachers are doing to our students.
Is Traders Joe’s really going to cave on this thinned-skinned nonsense?
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