Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina wrote an inaccurate article about theFeb. 25 Santa Barbara Unified School District board meeting (“Parents, Activists Speak Out About Sex Ed in Heated Board Meeting”). He didn’t correctly state the facts, and sounded completely biased.

First, the large group of parents (and students opposing Teen Talk who he failed to mention) who attended the meeting were not opposing sex education or the California Healthy Youth Act.

The purpose of their presence was to ask the board to consider a sex ed curriculum called HEART: Healthy Education and Relationship Training, which emphasizes getting parents and teens to talk to each other about sex. HEART is California Healthy Youth Act-compliant without being graphic like Teen Talk.

In his article, Molina credited Teen Talk with some of the things that HEART offers, which is not factual. I am requesting that you please make a correction to this article to present the facts more accurately or write a retraction.

Faith Frankenfield
Santa Barbara

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As Noozhawk reported Feb. 26 (“Robert Samario Abruptly Retires as Finance Director for City of Santa Barbara”), the Santa Barbara city administrator announced that finance director Robert Samario will be retiring after 24 years of service and after being on leave since November.

Samario’s abrupt departure was negotiated, we are told, among unknown city officials. We were also told that the City Council was never consulted about this action. I seriously find it hard to believe that lobbying was not going on behind the scenes.

This opinion is amplified by the words of City Councilwoman Kristen Sneddon, who was “happy” that Samario was retiring; City Councilwoman Meagan Harmon’s comments about being “happy” that he was being replaced by an experienced woman, Jennifer Tomazewski; and Mayor Cathy Murillo, who chimed in that she felt the finance department was now in “good hands” with this same woman.

It seemed to be four women against one man, and he lost. Is this sexism or could it be that Samario was too tough on the cost side of public employees’ salaries and benefits? Murillo did allude to her concerns about a budget shortfall and gave every indication she wanted to increase the revenue side (code for increased fees and taxes) to make up for any shortfall in the budget or employee pensions.

Is it not the progressive politicians of this community who criticize the few remaining conservative elements in town of being nontransparent and prejudicial? How do you define hypocrisy?

J.W. Burk
Santa Barbara

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In Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina’s Feb. 22 article, “Conservative Congressional Challenger Andy Caldwell Sets Sights on National Stage,” I would use a phrase from Shakespeare’s Julius Cesar: “Andy Caldwell is an honorable man …”

However, Caldwell is an inveterate climate-change denier. I perceive his position on climate change at once as illogical, irrational and, given the horrific impact climate change already is having on people around the world, including Santa Barbara, immoral.

In my opinion, his stand on climate change alone makes him utterly unqualified for Congress.

Karl Hutterer
Santa Barbara

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According to the Feb. 22 Noozhawk article, Andy Caldwell practices Christianity and is quoted as saying that he seeks to live out his faith every day. He says the demographic decline is suicide for the country.

Where does Caldwell practice Christianity? What parish? Where, exactly? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, for 15 years.

Caldwell has been knocking Obamacare for 15 years. And his medical insurance is what? The answer, my friend is blowing in the wind, for 15 years.

Your reporter got star struck. The rest of Caldwell’s comments are Anglophile blood and soil.

Matt McLaughlin
Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor Das Williams cares about the people he serves. That’s what I learned from my friends’ experience.

My friends’ daughter was one of the teenagers hit by a car outside Carpinteria High School recently (“2 Pedestrians Hurt When Struck by Vehicle in Front of Carpinteria High”). Williams showed up at their door, not to campaign for re-election or to justify the cannabis smell. He told them he was there as county supervisor to see if their daughter was all right, and to talk with them about the solutions he was pursuing regarding the dangerous traffic near the school.

Amid all the talk about cannabis and money, it seems like people are losing sight of the fact that Williams has worked hard for the people of this area for 17 years. They forget how much of a disaster befell Montecito two years ago, and how much of the response fell on Williams and his small First District office staff. They forget all the bills he carried in the Legislature to make things better for all of us in California.

I’m not downplaying the challenge that cannabis poses to the people who live near operations — that includes these friends and their daughter. I’m just saying that there’s so much more to Williams than that issue alone. I am grateful to him for caring so much, and so are they.

Renee Fairbanks
Santa Barbara

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Over the past 20 years, the threat of wildfires in Santa Barbara County has increased dramatically. The Zaca, Gap, Tea, Jesusita, La Brea, Sherpa, Rey, Alamo, Whittier, Rucker, Thomas, Holiday and Cave fires, among others, have burned tens of thousands of acres, destroyed hundreds of homes, and threatened thousands more.

Reducing the human and environmental costs of these fires requires public agencies, property owners and citizen organizations to work together. Santa Barbara County Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann has been a tremendous leader in bringing people together to improve wildfire protection in our county.

As a supervisor, she has supported important actions, such as expanding county wildland firefighting crews; initiating county-wide fuel modification planning by the county Fire Department, including major projects to protect communities in the Lompoc-Mission Hills area; approving a modern dispatch system that will, for the first time, put all local fire agencies on the same channels; and approving a state-of-the-art Community Wildfire Protection Plan for the San Marcos Pass mountain and foothill areas.

Hartmann has also worked extensively with citizen organizations — including local homeowners’ associations, the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade and the Santa Barbara County Fire Safe Council — to promote community wildfire preparedness.

Continuing these kinds of actions requires a supervisor with the energy and intelligence to learn the issues and work closely with our professional firefighters and concerned citizens. Wildfires are not going away, but we can limit the damage they do with responsible leadership, intelligent planning, community self-help efforts, and effective use of public and private resources.

Phil Seymour
Santa Barbara

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How many of us at every election wish there were a candidate with common sense or experience? Well, this time there is, his name is Bruce Porter, and he is running for Santa Barbara County’s Third District supervisorial seat.

Why do I support Porter as our next county supervisor? It’s simple: he is a born leader. He was a colonel in the Army Corp of Engineers and he is also an actual engineer. Think of our county wildfires, debris flows, drought, oil spills, etc. He will be a tremendous asset with his experiences.

Most of us with common sense would say that is enough information to vote for Porter alone. But he is also a financial advisor. Think about the county’s budget dilemmas and structural deficits with our pensions. Porter is a numbers guy and will look at our budget with a fine-tooth comb.

He also served as a school board member in Santa Ynez for eight years; he obviously cares about our kids and schools. Finally, he has served on numerous other boards and committees for the betterment of Santa Barbara County.

Now if everything I outlined above makes common sense, this election is over. And Santa Barbara County wins!

Lupe Alvarez
Former Guadalupe mayor

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There is some information that Ron Fink conveniently left out of his Feb. 11 commentary, “Paying For Local Government.”

The CalPERS retirement system has been terribly mismanaged, which means our tax dollars have been terribly mismanaged. This is certainly not a good reason to ask for more tax dollars.

CalPERS allows government employees to retire at age 50 or 55 with a large portion of their salary. Although I don’t begrudge them for taking advantage of it, most of us don’t get that added retirement benefit, and it certainly is not a good reason to ask for more tax dollars so we have to pay for it.

Lompoc government has been mismanaged, which means our tax dollars have been terribly mismanaged. This is certainly not a good reason to ask for more tax dollars.

Let’s get our budget and spending priorities in order before we start asking folks for more of their well-earned dollars.

Vote NO on Measure I2020!

Chris Anderson

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