In the March 3 story, “Joyce Dudley to Retire as Santa Barbara County District Attorney,” Dudley was quoted:

“There were a lot of things about this whole criminal-justice reform, and the community feeling less safe, and ‘defund the police,’ and this whole movement, and it had an effect on local politics, on the Board of Supervisors, and on funding,” she said. “And when I was doing the last Board of Supervisors hearing, and I felt like I was fighting uphill.”

I read that as: 1) the Board of Supervisors wanting a more progressive district attorney ;on issues such as less law enforcement funding, inmate population decrease, “no cash bail,” less prosecution of petty crime, and no use of “sentencing enhancements” when prosecuting “gun crime” or other violent offenses, and 2) Dudley being resistant to the pressure.

Apparently, that was a hill on which the 12-year veteran district attorney was not willing to die.

I’m sorry to see DA Dudley go, am thankful for her service to the people of our county, and wish her well in retirement.

After reading the article, I sat wondering: when Santa Barbara County voters go to the ballot box in June to decide on a new DA, to what extent will they consider public safety? Hopefully, they won’t make the same choices as did voters in the counties of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Those elections have brought frightening increases in lawlessness and crime.

Hib Halverson

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Please forgive my repetitive letter to the editor, but Eileen White Read and R. Rothschild’s March 4 letters really didn’t age well. Haven’t they heard that the COVID-19 panic is over? What are they going to do now that politicians are running for the exits and their precious mask mandates are falling right and left?

Dan González
Santa Barbara

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K.W. Boss’ March 4 letter to the editor about the Chick-fil-A drive-through is full of red herrings. I hate riding my bicycle past that restaurant. I sometimes have to stop, move onto the sidewalk and walk past it. It’s a hazard.

I laud Chick-fil-A’s employee satisfaction, but that’s not what the March 1 article, “Santa Barbara Council Gives Chick-fil-A 90 Days to Fix Traffic Issues at State Street Restaurant,” was about.

Suggesting that the City of Santa Barbara’s action is a slippery slope that could lead to sanctioning other businesses is a distraction. Suggesting that it’s about Chick-fil-A doing too much business is ridiculous. And saying the City Council should “spend a few hundred thousand dollars on a study to determine exactly how much business volume is appropriate” is simply embarrassing.

And then Boss mentions how State Street downtown has been turned into a public thoroughfare — something people enjoy daily — restricts the flow of traffic. Motor vehicle traffic on State Street has been terrible for years. Boss might only have seen this problem occasionally, but I’ve seen it very often, and it only takes one time for it to injure someone.

I salute the City Council’s actions. Bravo!

Brian Epstein
Santa Barbara

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Regarding the March 8 article, “Santa Barbara County Supervisors Deny ExxonMobil Oil Trucking Proposal in Split Vote,” I am deeply disappointed at Supervisor Joan Hartmann’s vote to deny yet another fossil fuel-related project (trucking oil to a processing facility). Perhaps she doesn’t realize how important gasoline and diesel fuel are to her new constituency in the Third District.

We are a working community that relies heavily on the availability of fuel to get us to work, work the fields that supply food to the region, and get people to medical appointments.

Santa Barbara County sits atop a vast oil reserve; industry experts say that it would take a few days to reactivate oil production in this county. I would hope that she reassess her position and votes to support permits to be issued that would allow a resumption of oil extraction, transportation and processing to help relieve economic pressure on low- and medium-income families who live and work in the Third District.

Continuing down the current “green energy” path will only bring irreparable harm to the most vulnerable communities in the Third District and the entire county.

Ron Fink

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Regarding Randy Alcorn’s March 6 commentary, “Invasion of Ukraine Gives Us Much to Contemplate,” I was a lifelong Democrat who voted for President Donald Trump in 2020 for two reasons: 1) Joe Biden is an incompetent fool. 2) The leadership of today’s Democratic Party is determined to destroy the country I love.

Nothing since my vote has convinced me I’m wrong — just the opposite. And for Alcorn’s information, we Trump voters are not the problem.

J.L. Suárez
Santa Barbara

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I DO NOT share Randy Alcorn’s opinion. The present Democratic Party leadership allowed the disaster in Afghanistan and allowed the bully Vladimir Putin to destroy Ukraine.

It is unimaginable that the United States would not lift a finger to protect the Ukrainian people who are pleading for help.

President Joe Biden has allowed us to no longer be self-sufficient in fossil fuel, has allowed the highest inflation rate in resent history, has lost control of our Southern border, etc., etc. Gas prices are over $5 a gallon. I am paying three times what I paid for heating fuel compared to this time last year.

I hope our country survives in time for the current administration to be replaced with leadership that will not allow BULLIES to control our lives. If BULLIES are not stopped via CONFRONTATION, they will continue their horror.

I am one of the proud 80 million people who voted for President Donald Trump. I do read daily what is going on in the world via Fox News. I DO NOT trust the lies that come out of the conventional news media.

Joe Gechter
Santa Barbara

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President Joe Biden accuses his opponents of siding with George Wallace, Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis — all Democrats, by the way — while Alcorn compares people he doesn’t like to the Russian regime committing war crimes in Ukraine. And he has the audacity to complain that those of us who disagree with him are divisive and the threat to democracy?

No wonder no one trusts the news media. Where does Noozhawk find these amateurish opinion writers?

Robert Ray
Santa Barbara

•        •        •

Randy Alcorn’s commentary was thought-provoking and informative, but he destroyed much of his credibility when he claimed that President Donald Trump and the Republican Party actions were the same as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s without pointing out that the same could be said about the Democratic Party.

Surely the riots and destruction brought about by left-wing groups that were considered acceptable to many Democratic politicians are not to be overlooked. The rioting, burning and looting in our cities was excused by many Democratic politicians as just people exercising their free speech and demonstrating in support of their beliefs. Some politicians even went so far as to pay the bail for some arrested demonstrators.

And if trying to be friendlier toward Russia and Putin was bad for the Republicans, what about Hillary Clinton’s highly touted “reset” and subsequent dropping of plans for a missile shield in Eastern Europe (I wonder how the Ukrainians think about that now) or President Barack Obama’s hot mic gaffe of telling the Russian president that after he was re-elected he “would have more flexibility” in his dealings with Russia?

For Alcorn to say that Fox News is a Trump “propaganda organ” without pointing out the Democratic Party “propaganda organs” such as CNN, MSNBC, NPR, etc. shows him to be either unobservant or disingenuous. Either way, he is not part of the independent middle ground of factual reporting. And the biased reporting of the various mainstream media outlets, and opinion essays like Alcorn’s, are a significant part of the problem he decries.

The extreme positions of both political parties and their supporting mainstream news media outlets make it very difficult for those of us in the middle to ferret out the truth. I think that is too bad that a skilled writer like Alcorn chooses not to be part of the solution.

Addison Thompson
Santa Barbara

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Dave Novis’ March 6 commentary, “As Goleta Remembers Its Founding, Let’s Not Forget Those Who Laid Its Foundation,” is meaningful to a lot of us.

It is great to see that Goleta is 20 years old and stable and safe. We in Goleta worked for years to incorporate the area into a city. After five votes, it finally occurred in 2003.

We first tried in 1987 with our organization, GOOD — Goletans Organized for Orderly Development. We tried to incorporate the valley of 80,000 residents, so today we have Noleta of about 45,000 and Goleta of 28,000. Attempts at annexation never worked.

Justin Ruhge

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Ron Fink’s March 8 commentary, “Is Garbage Reuse Sacramento’s New and Expensive Answer to Global Warming?” was meandering, lacking any quantitative data points, and demonstrated a lack of understanding of science.

Fink expresses a general contempt toward Sacramento and throws a smorgasbord of grievances at the wall. For someone who is so focused on the costs of government expansion and regulation, he does not once quantify the cost of the actions he is aggrieved by.

In fact, Fink appears to be far more concerned with belittling “green” actions and associating “green” with “expense.”

Fink demonstrates a lack of understanding and disinterest in the science behind the issues he questions, and his commentary lacks critical thinking. Below are just two examples (and my thoughts):

» “Apparently, Sacramento thinks our trash is what causes the weather to change. Sacramento politicians are selling the concept that organic waste such as paper and paper products create global warming and is an airborne pollutant.”

When municipal solid waste is deposited in a landfill it undergoes anaerobic decomposition that produces methane. MSW landfills are the third leading source of human-related methane production. So, yes, our trash does create a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

» “When methane burns it combines with other gases to form carbon dioxide; I thought the purpose of this program was to reduce these sorts of pollutants in the atmosphere.”

Methane is the second most abundant anthropogenic (caused by humans) greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, accounting for ~20 percent of global emissions. Methane is ~25x as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Since methane is a byproduct of our waste production, shouldn’t we at least harness it to produce energy? The Tajiguas landfill sells the energy produced by the landfill’s methane to Southern California Edison.

If Fink believes his opinion is important enough to be in the public domain and wants readers to take him seriously, I suggest he demonstrate a better understanding of the issues and use quantitative data points to support his arguments.

I would also expect Noozhawk to solicit more informed and better constructed opinion pieces for publication.

Cameron Toler
Santa Barbara

•        •        •

Heads up Montecito property taxpayers! The Cold Spring School governing board has set a dangerous, costly precedent that could hit your wallet next.

On a 4-1 vote, Cold Spring School District trustees decided to circumvent voters to incur more debt, after district residents voted down L2020 bond financing for any school building projects UNTIL after there’s a forensic audit of school business transactions.

We the people need to know: Is it lawful for a public school board to incur debt after denied voter approval? Can each of these four district trustees be held personally liable for this debt?

Since there is no oversight or chain of command for California public schools, taxpayers need answers. Santa Barbara City College wants a $250,000 million to $300 million bond approved. If voted down, will SBCC trustees vote to incur debt without district voter approval?

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office continues to investigate Cold Spring School after an intensive one-year Grand Jury investigation.

Apparently, four Cold Spring School trustees don’t respect the District Attorney’s Office any more than they honor the vote of constituents. Schools benefit from community support, so why alienate us?

Denice Spangler Adams

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