Many thanks to Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina for his June 2 story, “City of Santa Barbara, Former Finance Director Named in Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Harassment.”
If true, and the rumors have circulated for years, it is appalling that then-finance director Bob Samario was able to operate with impunity for so many years, especially with the heightened awareness of sexual harassment in more recent times.
The allegations against City Administrator Paul Casey are just as troubling. Santa Barbara has had one woman mayor after another for years. How could Mayor Cathy Murillo and then-Mayor Helene Schneider not know this was going on in their own house? Are they that out of touch?
Something is rotten at city hall. Please do more of these stories.
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Regarding Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen’s June 4 column, “Goleta Driver Arrested, Passenger Ejected in Suspected DUI Crash on Highway 101,” his comments on the sexual harassment lawsuit against the City of Santa Barbara were spot on.
Attorneys will always say that they haven’t seen lawsuit documents and so they can’t comment on it. By comparison, City Attorney Ariel Calonne’s statement indicates that he truly has no idea what’s going on. How could he not?
What I really want to know, though, is what Mayor Cathy Murillo and the City Council knew about this apparently open secret and why didn’t they ever do anything about it?
It’s time to clean house.
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I’m not sure even frequent users of the Santa Barbara Public Library give much thought to where the library’s funding comes from. While the library is included in the city budget, the allocated funds have been reduced drastically and in the coming year it is projected that the library will take another huge hit.
Regular users will feel the impact in that the library will only be open five days a week. The library is understaffed and yet it doesn’t have the money to rehire the hourly employees it had to let go.
The library has done a phenomenal job during the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to offer services and digital resources, but while free to the public, the funds have to come from somewhere.
The city council will be discussing the budget on June 9. Please take the time to write Mayor Cathy Murillo and the city council and ask them to reinstate some of the library’s much needed funds. You can also attend the meeting and speak during public comment.
Additionally, you can donate to the Santa Barbara Friends of the Library, which raises funds to support programs and books.
Barbara Cronin Hershberg
Santa Barbara Friends of the Library president
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Flying out of the Santa Barbara Airport recently, I was surprised to find significant changes to the Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint. Passengers are now told to leave their electronics in their bags and to put each carry-on bag in a plastic bin — both diametrically opposite to previous practice.
Why hasn’t Noozhawk covered this development? It’s newsworthy, and it would be helpful to travelers.
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In the May 28 letters to the editor, J.W. Burk writes: “Locally, the Foothills Forever group is seeking to raise $18 million to preserve 200 acres in our own backyard. Instead of just selfishly setting aside land for a few to visit occasionally, why not use the land to start such a model campus that shares humanitarian protection with the environmental?”
A “Beacon of Reality” Award for J.W. Burk.
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