I’ve been a resident of Santa Barbara since 1996. In that time I’ve been able to etch out a career, marry, have a successful business and somehow buy property here. After reading a previous article, I was redirected to your website, which was claiming that the Santa Barbara waterfront will be underwater by 2100 in the Jan. 14 article, “Draft Report Says Rising Seas Will Significantly Affect Santa Barbara Beach Areas.”

Your position is a minority opinion, and is seriously contested in the scientific community. Because of this fact, I can see why you have cut off free speech on your portal. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, independent media is dominating. It’s just a matter of time. Not allowing for free speech may ultimately be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Look at the election in Britain. Citizens are sick and tired of Globalists who restrict free speech, calling anything they don’t agree with “hate speech.”

I can only hope you re-think this decision. If not, it’s no skin off Santa Barbara’s back.

Theo Howe
Santa Barbara

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Gov. Gavin Newsom has rolled out his budget, and his focus on the increased threat of wildfire is spot on. We live in a time of climate extremes.

While we always had destructive major fires, the regime we are now faced with has left seasoned fire commanders confronted with challenges they did not and could not expect. We are asking our steadfast firefighters to have physical and mental strength that they cannot sustain.

The solution to this ever-present threat requires a comprehensive approach that includes preventing fires, detecting fires, utilization of technology to improve firefighting strategies, ignition hardening of homes, reducing the fuel load through vegetation management projects, providing rigorous training to our firefighters and, most important, increasing our firefighting force to meet the challenges California faces.

Newsom’s historic investment of nearly $1 billion on this issue does this.

The future is clear for firefighters and emergency managers who serve during weather-induced calamities; fires, floods, heat emergencies, power outages and debris flows are occurring at a frequency we are not adequately prepared for.

We Californians need to strengthen our determination to combat today’s threats. Newsom gets it and I believe our legislators also get it.

Robert Lewin
San Luis Obispo

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I am enthusiastically endorsing Bruce Porter for Santa Barbara County’s Third District supervisor.

Bruce has a wealth of important experience from his years as a colonel in the Army Corps of Engineers. This includes road construction, bridge building, water conservation, oil spill clean-up (think Kuwaiti oil disaster), and all aspects of practical infrastructure that are so important to the future of our county.

His post-Army years of active community service, particularly on the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District board and other community volunteer work have demonstrated his desire to serve and enhanced his experience for supervisor.

His present career as a financial investment manager further prepared him to deal with county financial issues.

In these days of partisan bickering and political ambition, it is refreshing to have a candidate such as Bruce who is a registered Independent, not interested in partisan politics. He is free from the symbolic issues that have infected our modern governments.

He has no interest in future elective office or counterproductive political ambitions. Bruce is very much in tune with the environmental and social traditions of Santa Barbara County.

My four years as a county supervisor gave me the experience to understand how important a competent, multidimensional and experienced person is to address the issues of our county, now and for the future. Additionally, the freedom from interest groups and posturing ideology is critical to independent and sound decisions that our county desperately needs.

For all the above reasons I heartily recommend Bruce Porter to be our next Third District supervisor. And I invite everyone to join me in supporting his campaign in the March 3 election.

Brooks Firestone,
Former Santa Barbara County Third District supervisor
Los Olivos

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As we approach the unusually early March 3 election, I want to express my support for Bruce Porter in his bid to become Santa Barbara County’s next Third District supervisor.

I’ve known Bruce for several years through his involvement in a number of local nonprofit organizations. In that time, I’ve come to know him as a straight-shooting, thoughtful leader with the ability to find common ground among groups with different viewpoints.

We need more of that in our county politics: someone with an open mind who will listen to the other side and reach a decision based on common sense, not political allegiances.

I’m confident Bruce has the knowledge, tact and skills needed to serve both the North County and the South Coast on the Board of Supervisors. His voice is one we desperately need in county government.

Rodney Smeester
Santa Ynez

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