The Jan. 14 Noozhawk article, “Santa Barbara Theaters Upgrade Services for Hearing Impaired,” outlined the looping technology that was installed to make local theaters more accessible for those with t-coil equipped hearing aids.

This was publicized relative to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and a woman wrote to say she no longer needed to depend on captioning to understand the films.

While it is terrific to have that technology available to the public who can utilize it, the implication in the woman’s letter was that the loop replaced captioning. However, that is an error. There are people with hearing losses who cannot hear the dialogue in a movie or decode people’s speech regardless of how good their hearing aids are.

To make communication accessible to the most people requires using sign language interpreters, closed or open captions, hearing loops and any other options. Individuals are different and their access needs vary widely in order to be inclusive.

Ken McLellan
Advocate for People who are Deaf, Independent Living Resource Center Inc.

Jo Black
Sign language interpreter

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As someone who has lived in Santa Barbara County’s First Supervisorial District for some 50 years, and spent 35 of that teaching high school here, I’ve watched local politicians come and go.

Generally, we’ve been well-served and thoughtfully represented by our public servants, but one who has stood out as particularly skilled and passionate about protecting this community and bettering the lives of the broadest spectrum of the region’s residents has been Das Williams.

Perhaps not incidentally, I’ve paid attention to Williams’ career from the start, since I remember his rather serious presence in the front row of a 10th-grade English class at Dos Pueblos High School about 30 years ago. I believe he took a not entirely direct path from there through Santa Barbara City College, a degree in political science from UC Berkeley, work as legislative aide to Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, and eventually a Master’s in Environmental Science & Management from UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School.

He’s done especially well for all of us, serving seven years on the Santa Barbara City Council, six years in the Assembly, and the past three years on the county Board of Supervisors. Whether your concern is the environment, land use, mental health, economic stability, public safety or education, Williams has been passionately supporting and frequently crafting beneficial and far-thinking public policy.

It would be sad and self-defeating at this juncture for us to turn our backs on experience, imagination and a record of progressive success in favor of political dynasty.

Charles Clouse
Santa Barbara

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I think Santa Barbara County Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann is one of our local Wonder Women.

The vast Third District includes the urban centers of Goleta, Isla Vista and Guadalupe, the Gaviota coast, our bountiful agricultural lands, Vandenberg Air Force Base and the Santa Ynez Valley. It is the largest and the most challenging district due to its sheer size, great diversity of constituencies, and enterprises.

Hartmann’s performance in office represents everything a public servant should be. She is knowledgeable, responsive and committed to meeting not only her constituents’ needs, but also the needs of residents and local businesses countywide.

Given her core belief that we succeed when we work together, it’s no surprise that she gets along well with all her board colleagues as well as the rank-and-file county employees. Hartmann demonstrates her commitment to responsiveness and openness by being available; in addition to holding office hours in three offices, she holds monthly pop-up office hours throughout her district.

Having served as Third District supervisor for eight years, I know that it is hard work. Hartmann’s success in meeting our challenges head on is due to her high level of energy, intelligence and integrity. I am proud to support her, and strongly urge you to re-elect Joan Hartmann for Supervisor on March 3.

Gail Marshall
Former Santa Barbara County Third District supervisor

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At a Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting in November, Third District supervisorial candidate Bruce Porter, who serves as a trustee with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, urged the board to use part of the county’s $1.3 million of excess cannabis revenue to expand food distribution into Isla Vista.

Porter’s suggestion to help combat local food insecurity was met with blaring silence from the very person who was expected to respond: Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, who represents Isla Vista.

Hartmann has avoided questions about spending local cannabis revenue on programs that directly improve living conditions for Isla Vista residents. When FreeSB, a group of UC Santa Barbara student activists and alumni, asked county leaders to allocate some of the tax revenue to help offset the rising costs of higher education, Hartmann attacked the group as a front for the cannabis industry and dismissed the proposal as a “cynical ploy” designed specifically to target her.

Her silence is especially concerning given the widespread occurrence of food insecurity in the area. An estimated 21 percent of Santa Barbara County adults are considered food insecure, according to a survey conducted by Cottage Health.

The issue is even more acute among students. Forty-four percent of students in the University of California System were food insecure in 2015, while 38 percent of community college students in the Santa Barbara area reported some form of food insecurity.

While UCSB students have tried to address the problem by opening up a food bank on campus, their efforts to address the larger problem only go so far. Access to the campus food bank is limited to students registered during the current quarter and those with an annual income greater than $14,484 — slightly above the federal poverty line of $12,490.

Isla Vista is not only composed of UCSB students but also has residents who attend Santa Barbara City College, full-time working adults and families who have lived in the area for years and who are completely unaffiliated with the university. These non-UCSB student residents, and UCSB students who don’t qualify for the campus food bank, are left on their own when it comes to combating food insecurity.

Porter’s plan to use cannabis revenue to fund Foodbank of Santa Barbara County operations in Isla Vista is not an idea that should be ignored. Food security is a major problem in Isla Vista and it’s a problem that can’t be passed or pushed on to the college to solve.

Porter’s plan is exactly what Isla Vista needs to make the community stronger and show that Isla Vista residents matter to the county.

Katie McClain
UC Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara County Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann is a highly responsive representative for local interests. When the Vandenberg Village Community Services District asked if she could get county permission for us to drill some test water wells on county property, she helped us out. We asked and she delivered.

As a veteran, I suggested to her that she should reduce county park fees for veterans at state parks. I asked and she delivered. Hartrmann’s father was a soldier in Korea, who succumbed to injuries received in theater; this may help to explain her deep commitment to veterans’ needs.

Hartmann has been very attentive to the Vandenberg Village community, participating in the Route 1 Farmers Market, addressing community concerns about a proposed clinic, and working with local advocates to create plans for a local park and playground. She has held office hours each month and sponsored local hikes.

She attends many community functions and has hosted a number of well-attended forums on fire safety and road improvements. She also helped to bring more than $2 million for Burton Mesa fire prevention work. She delivers for our community.

Grounded by an inquiring mind and sharp intellect, Hartmann’s leadership skills are an enormous asset to Santa Barbara County and help her navigate the day-to-day and longer range challenges on the horizon. We are fortunate to have her working on our behalf.

Christopher Brooks
Vandenberg Village

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Please join me in voting for Joan Hartmann in the upcoming election for Santa Barbara County’s Third District supervisor. I have known Hartmann for several years and have found her to be a caring, compassionate, intelligent woman, willing to listen to all sides of an issue.

Hartmann has reached out to residents here in Los Alamos to hear our concerns and offer creative solutions. Her involvement in our community, through monthly public meetings and attendance and support of our community events, shows that she is a woman of service and integrity, who truly wants the best for Los Alamos and all the communities she serves.

She has established a clear track record of supporting local business and creating an environment to encourage business development. Hartmann has represented the Third District with distinction, often taking on projects and completing tasks behind the scenes without any fanfare or notoriety.

I know she will continue to serve the with the same passion and dedication that has been a hallmark of her professional life. It’s vital that we vote our values, so I’ll be voting to re-elect Joan Hartmann. She’s been an effective advocate for us all.

Carole Bloom
Los Alamos

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