Regarding Noozhawk’s Dec. 4 article, “Santa Barbara Floats Ordinance to Combat Public Nuisance Behavior Near Liquor Vendors,” I would just like to ask, why limit enforcing nuisance behavior to liquor stores?
This sickly behavior is seen all over town. It should be disallowed EVERYWHERE. And we have an excellent police force that can help us do just that.
Good civic behavior seems to be taking such a terrible hit these days. Must we only take baby steps in the attempt to restore our fair city?
• • •
I understand that Laura Capps is running for Santa Barbara County supervisor as a campaign ethics reformer. If only her deeds matched her words.
I recently saw an email that originated from the Capps campaign, informing supposed “supporters” that they need to let the campaign know if they do NOT want to be on her list of endorsers. In other words, they have to actively “opt out” even if they have not explicitly endorsed her — even if they don’t actually support her.
This is not standard campaign practice: candidates are supposed to actively request endorsements, and many go so far as to get written authorization from endorsers to ensure that they don’t claim support they don’t have. Indeed, several people I know have already objected and asked to be removed, both because they have not endorsed and because they are concerned about the ethics of using an “opt-out” process.
Bottom line: it is unethical to claim support from people who have not explicitly given it, and then expect them to find out about it and request a correction.
Oh, and you might want to check and make sure you aren’t listed without having given permission.
• • •
Can someone please explain the value of the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Bureau releasing the name of a 16-year-old boy killed in a car accident, as reported in the Dec. 4 story, “Coroner Releases Name of Oxnard Teen Killed in Highway 101 Crash Near Orcutt”?
He was a passenger, an innocent victim. This does nothing but further traumatize the family. Maybe if the coroner had a family member die in a traffic accident, he or she would understand the respect and decency that should have been extended in this circumstance. Same goes for Noozhawk in publishing it.
• • •
The Santa Ynez Valley Union School District superintendent’s alleged bad behavior appears to result in massive settlement payments of $100,000 and $91,000 (our tax dollars) to two former Santa Ynez Valley Union High School female employees in 2016. This was uncovered through California Public Records Act requests.
Two more female employees, including the assistant to the superintendent, abruptly resigned in 2019. The superintendent, not the school board, hires an investigator with our tax dollars to investigate his alleged wrongdoing.
The superintendent declines to disclose the costs and outcome of the investigation because “these are still active matters.” Apparently, the disclosure of information related to the investigation may threaten the district’s legal strategy if the latter two female employees choose to litigate their claims.
I’m a passionate supporter of education with an understanding of how budgets work. Maybe there’s a better way of getting the district back in shipshape. For example, insist that the focus and spending be redirected to the education and support of the students and the teachers. We have a small school with tremendous opportunity for school leaders to interact with and get to know every student by name, their interests, their parents/guardians/siblings, and their educational/vocational path — starting with ninth-graders and following through senior year.
Public participation in school board elections and school board meetings are essential. The next school board meeting is 4 p.m. Dec. 13 at the district’s Administration Office board room, 2975 E. Highway 246 in Santa Ynez.
Michelle de Werd
• • •
I am a resident of Lompoc. I grew up here, and like other young people with ambition, I left immediately after high school because I recognized that there was zero economic opportunity for me to stay.
After 15 years, I have returned home because the industry I have been working in for my entire career — cannabis — has taken hold in Lompoc and shown promise to bring about tourism and opportunity for our town to finally thrive, survive and provide lasting economic opportunity to our residents. I am excited to be able to invest in my own community again after 15 years away.
I am incredibly dismayed, however, watching a handful of loud but uneducated voices appeal new cannabis farms, and continue to lie and discriminate against this plant and the people who utilize it — for any reason.
Not only are these appeals without any scientific or studied merit, but whether those making the appeals realize it, their behavior and fears are deeply rooted in racism and lies.
Either the opponents to these farms are financially incentivized to sabotage the economic growth of majority-minority communities like Lompoc, they are racist, or they are simply uneducated and misguided. I truly hope it is the latter and we can educate away a lot of this nonsense.
Please, do not perpetuate the sins of our past by using them to make decisions in the present. Most important, the election is over and the people have spoken. Cannabis is now legal and your energy would be better utilized in providing economic opportunity in our majority-minority and economically flailing cities like Lompoc.
• • •
Arts Outreach and its board or directors would like to thank everyone who helped make our annual Real Men Cook fundraiser a huge success.
From Pat and Monty Roberts, who once again graciously allowed us to hold the event at Flag Is Up Farms, to our outstanding community volunteers who helped our small staff make the benefit run smoothly, this event could not happen without the tremendous support of many.
A big thank you to our business sponsors that donated time and goods: El Rancho Market, Mission Linen, Nielsen Building Materials, Steve Jacobsen, Solvang Farmer Pumpkin Patch and Health Sanitation Systems.
Huge thanks to the 27 vintners/brewers who donated their time and delicious refreshments, and also to the 56 amateur chefs who donated their time and cooking talents to help make this the most successful RMC ever.
Finally, thank you to the more than 500 community members who came to enjoy the fun and help Arts Outreach in our mission to continue to bring arts experiences to the students and seniors of our wonderful community.
Mark your calendars for RMC 2020, which will take place on Oct. 24, 2020!
Arts Outreach executive director
• • •
Noozhawk welcomes and encourages expressions of all views on Santa Barbara County issues. Letters should be BRIEF — as in 200 words-BRIEF — and letters under 150 words are given priority. Each must include a valid mailing address and contact information. Pseudonyms will not be used, and repeat letters will be skipped.
With rare exceptions, this feature is published on Saturdays.
By submitting any content to Noozhawk, you warrant that the material is your original expression, free of plagiarism, and does not violate any copyright, proprietary, contract or personal right of anyone else. Noozhawk reserves, at our sole discretion, the right to choose not to publish a submission.