I agree with Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen, who calls Santa Barbara’s “missing middle” housing proposal a better choice than homeless housing at 400 W. Carrillo St. I live in the neighborhood and would much prefer to see more middle-class individuals and families moving in.

I also liked the bear story in his July 31 column, “Montecito Interloper Caught Bear-Handed During Early Morning Walkabout.”

Claire Davis
Santa Barbara

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Why is Noozhawk publishing opinion columns by Brian Goebel? He is not an epidemiologist and is not qualified to write lengthy treatises on the coronavirus pandemic. Why not invite an epidemiologist or public health expert to write a weekly column? I can guarantee that individual will not say “we should recognize that reopening has been largely successful.”

The reality is 150,000 Americans are dead, millions are infected and more will die. Meanwhile, California’s reopening is a train wreck. Effective implementation of public health measures means following protocols dictated by science. Goebel is not a scientist.

Our current federal administration is led by a science denier whose unwillingness to follow basic public health protocol contributed to our stunning death count. In the midst of this nightmare, you publish Goebel’s unsubstantiated criticism of Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is following public health protocol dictated by science.

Does “largely successful” mean having so many cases that tracing is no longer possible? Is the fact that one cannot get a COVID-19 test result for days if not weeks “largely successful”?

COVID-19 made a fool out of Goebel several boring columns ago. My concern is that by facilitating his mental masturbation, Noozhawk will cause even more local residents to not wear masks and practice social distancing, thus increasing the risk that COVID-19 gets a foothold in our elderly community.

Public health protocol during a pandemic is a topic for public health professionals not lawyers.

Peter Neushul
Isla Vista

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How is COVID-19 test data reported on the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department website? What does it represent? On July 24, the “Total Test” data was as follows: 70,350 tests were administered; 5576 were positive; and 64856 were negative. The number grows every day.

Is this the number of individuals who were tested, or the number of tests given? It stands to reason since these are point-in-time tests that an individual could be have been tested more than once in the last few months, especially those who previously tested positive and need a clean bill-of-health to return to work, public safety employees and health-care professionals. In addition, some employers require regular testing for essential employees.

The answer to this question would be important, because if people are tested multiple times and the cumulative result is reported, it could alter the severity of the issue.

Ron Fink

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We’ve been living and dying with COVID-19 for five months plus. We’ve learned much about the virus and are still learning. But the obvious lesson to learn is that Americans are selfish and we are suffering more than other countries because of it.

The July 24 letters to the editor is a perfect example.

From the “rules don’t apply to me” attitude of Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen who disobeyed guidelines in order to host a wedding, to a young couple who thinks their home remodel gives them the power of a housing association to dictate public landscaping, and to others who find ways to dismiss the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s easy to point to the virus or others as the source of our pain.

In reality, our selfish attitudes and behaviors are our biggest problems. So while the virus attacks and kills our bodies, our selfishness is killing our communities and our country. We’re pathetic.

Maggie Light
Santa Barbara

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Given the nearly identical July 24 letters to the editor from event planners Jill Remy and Zohe Felici, I’ll go out on a limb and conclude that the bride in question did not hire them?

Daniella Barnes

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Maria Fotopoulos’ July 23 column, “Environmentalists Abdicate Leadership in Addressing Overpopulation,” hit it squarely on the head for me. I forwarded her essay to my environmental blogees.

Who is standing up for the displaced animals and plants? If we keep building more housing, by tearing down historic houses and putting up Ed St. George monstrosities, Santa Barbara’s character will be lost forever.

More hotels bring more tourists, who later may decide to move here. The cycle continues. Christopher Garcia’s July 24 letter to the editor is correct. We’re attracting people who think they “can buy their way through our city.”

Why are we designated a sanctuary city? So we can attract more illegal immigrants with zero skills.

Leon “Lee” Juskalian
Santa Barbara

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In her July 24 letter to the editor, Montecito gerontologist Denice Spangler Adams extolled President Donald Trump’s leadership in managing and handling the coronavirus disaster and remarked how we should be wide open now. She was apparently disagreeing with Randy Alcorn’s July 19 column.

The current infection rate and death rate is not trivial and should not be treated frivolously. The latest data I have seen is that in the United States 4.19 million people have been infected and 148,000 have died. This is a 3.53 percent rate.

The California figure is worse: 448,486 infected and 64,174 have died. This is a 15.2 percent rate.

Of course, this changes daily, but it gives a reasonable picture.

Citing one paragraph: “President Donald Trump is the only politician holding up the dam against disastrous flood waters. STUPIDITY is losing our country, our Constitution and civilization. Locking down citizens, closing schools, destroying commerce is STUPIDITY.” Then the blame is cast, of course, on the public health scientists and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Is this “Denice through the looking glass”? Are we such fools that a caustic letter implying Trump’s leadership is all that will save us? The whole issue has been from Day One the lack of leadership from Trump.

This pandemic is a national problem that is exactly the responsibility of the president to lead. The federal government has the resources and expertise and money that the states do not have. The abject and indeed criminal failure of the federal government under Trump to assume its role and responsibility in this pandemic has no redemption. Too many people have unnecessarily died.

Richard Coleman

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Some people in the United States might think that the federal government must invest more money in controlling the COVID-19 situation at home, not abroad. However, in recent months, we have seen that pandemics have no borders and they do not see anyone’s skin color, caste, creed or sex.

To end the pandemic at home, we must end the pandemic throughout the globe. The U.S. government could end this pandemic through providing additional money in the next emergency supplemental legislation for international affairs.

The international affairs budget supports critical development and diplomacy programs around the world. It helps developing countries fight pandemic disease, sustain natural disasters and reduce poverty. It received a total of $56.6 billion in the fiscal year 2020 budget deal, which passed in December 2019. The international affairs budget leverages less than 1 percent of the overall federal budget.

At a time like this, the world needs U.S. leadership more than ever. The government must keep helping developing countries in order to fight COVID-19 at home and overseas. I strongly urge Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both D-Calif., to protect the international affairs budget like they have done in the past.

Nehal Tibrewal
UC Santa Barbara

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