In reading the Jan. 8 Noozhawk article on the Top 10 most-read stories of the past decade (“Most-Read Noozhawk Stories of Decade Follow a Dark Path”), I was disappointed that the article regarding Paula Lopez was included. It was obvious she had personal problems that, unfortunately, escalated into her arrest and she entered into treatment.

I can think of dozens of stories with more community impact.

Marnie Pinsker
Santa Barbara

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How come Santa Barbara developer Ed St. George is getting so much “news” publicity, as reported in the Jan. 3 Noozhawk story, “Developer Ed St. George the Newest Partner for 76-Unit Apartment Project on Milpas Street”? Other developers are not.

The Santa Barbara City Council asked him to supply some affordable housing if he was going to take away four units of housing and replace them with what he claims is a “boutique” hotel on West Montecito Street. The hotel design, he says, will be more in keeping with the Spanish style of the area than his previous designs.

Is this the way he supplies more housing? By helping to finance the colossal average unit-sized density project at 711 N. Milpas St.?

Why is he getting preemptive publicity before he goes to commissions and the City Council with his projects?

As I said, other developers are not getting this treatment. Should they be? Or should this special treatment by the news media be stopped?

Paulina Conn
Santa Barbara

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Regarding the Jan. 5 story, “Solvang Councilman Agrees to Pay Back Loan Allegedly Borrowed for Campaign Debt,” it is clear from his own comments that Solvang City Councilman Chris Djernaes thinks his constituents are fools. Shame on voters if they let him get away with whatever scam he’s trying to pull in Solvang.

Barbara Christensen

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Regarding Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina’s description of the new Santa Barbara City Council as “all Democrats” in his Jan. 5 story (“As of Tuesday, Democrats Will Occupy Every Seat on Santa Barbara City Council”), he’s been covering City Hall long enough to know that our city government is nonpartisan, and each member should work for the betterment of our entire community.

The political affiliation of a council member does not matter, and the story’s headline only acts to reinforce stereotypes. Prior members of the council who may be registered as Republicans have voted for social justice as often as those registered as Democrats have voted to conserve our budget dollars.

I remain unconvinced that our charter city is better served by district elections, but the voters and attorneys have decided otherwise. My best wishes in this new year to each council member, and to the city staff who inform them.

Loretta Redd
Santa Barbara

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Having just read Celeste Barber’s Jan. 5 reaction to Noozhawk columnist Randy Alcorn’s commentary (“Why Randy Alcorn Is Wrong About Changing the U.S. Political System”), I’d like to welcome her home after her years away from the United States. Only someone who has been away for years could possibly say how she thinks our present, democratic system is operating!

What would she think of having at least two out of our last four presidents (George W. Bush and Donald Trump) NOT elected by a majority of citizen/voters.

And what would she say about the situation in Congress whereby one senator (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.) dictates what the rest can even consider, irrespective of our nation’s needs?

And what of the U.S. Supreme Court justices who first hide their political opinions/philosophies when up for congressional confirmation and thereafter feel free to opine for their political party or president?

I don’t know if Alcorn deserves her charge that he is only interested in removing Trump or whatever, but please tell her to put away that 1960s high school civics pamphlet she has. During her absence, the democratic system no longer serves for the benefit of all of its citizens!

Ted Tedesco
Santa Barbara

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My support of Laura Capps to bring a new perspective as Santa Barbara County’s First District supervisor stems from a lifelong commitment in supporting democratic (and Democratic) values that began when I was a student leader in New York City for John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign. On the national level, we are seeing the destructive elements of an administration operating from a quid pro quo approach — that’s Latin for pay to play.

It is one that does not serve constituents but instead entrenches and corrupts those in power. I feel this is EXACTLY what is happening with our current supervisor here in Santa Barbara County.

A vote for Laura Capps helps us restore trust between lawmakers and the people they serve, not filling the pockets and egos of the politicians who are supposed to serve them.

Sara Miller McCune

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