Tragically, two weeks ago, I experienced what I hoped and prayed would never happen. As Noozhawk reported Nov. 4, “Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle and Killed on Las Positas Road in Santa Barbara,” a woman was struck and killed as she was attempting to cross Las Positas Road around 6:30 p.m.

She was struck by a truck, and the impact threw her body more than 200 feet. With the aid of an EMT, we began chest compressions until the authorities arrived. I believe she did not suffer and was killed on impact. I knew it was most likely a futile attempt, but we did what we could.

This tragic accident need not have occurred.

» There are no crosswalks on Las Positas Road, other than at Adams School. A flashing crosswalk at Las Positas and Stanley Drive has been needed for a very long time.

» Speeding on Las Positas is a common occurrence.

» Visibility of oncoming traffic is extremely difficult at Las Positas and Stanley. When making a left turn from Stanley onto Las Positas, you take a great risk as you can’t see over the hill as traffic approaches, especially if traffic is speeding.

I suggest three solutions for this inherent danger.

» Place a stop light at Las Positas and Stanley.

» Place a flashing crosswalk at Las Positas and Stanley.

» Place a sidewalk from Stanley to State Street.

Any of these or a combination would drastically reduce the probability of loss of life that occurred. I ask that the City of Santa Barbara act quickly to reduce this danger.

Mary Anderson
Santa Barbara

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Thank you to Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen for highlighting the many, many dangers along Las Positas Road in his Nov. 12 column, “Another Grim Week for Death and Destruction, with a Charlie Munger Sideshow.” I live near the scene where that poor woman was tragically killed, and he is spot on.

It’s not very convenient, but I will only enter Las Positas from San Onofre Road in front of Adams School, where there’s a traffic signal. The City of Santa Barbara needs to do something to address the safety concerns.

Lauren Hunter
Santa Barbara

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In his Nov. 12 column, Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen delivered a nice defense of Santa Barbara Planning Commissioner Barrett Reed and a deserved rebuke to City Councilwoma Kristen Sneddon. And I think, very tactfully done.

J.W. Burk
Santa Barbara

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Regarding the Nov. 17 article, “Santa Barbara County Grand Jury Describes Effects of Remote Learning in New Report,” the grand jury report was completely predictable in its findings of academic and socio-emotional consequences of the COVID-19 shutdown.

But a more comprehensive view of education in Santa Barbara County would indicate that socio-emotional damages from school experiences, and low literacy levels in our students are, sadly, nothing new.

Seared into my mind is the report on the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s Special Education Department, which the consultant termed “scathing and brutal.” He began his public comments, “Students come into this district with learning disabilities, and they leave with emotional disturbances.” That was in 2009, a decade before COVID-19.

I know well how far too many students suffer from the negative effects of their experiences in school. At one time I was hired as a consultant by SBUSD to develop a Parent Resource Center and provide outreach to community members. I learned of the desperation of parents as they tried to obtain a proper education for their children and did my best to advocate for them within the system. This was in 2010-2015.

In 2019, students throughout the county took the “Smarter Balanced” standardized tests to gauge their achievement in literacy proficiency. Although the wealthy, single- and small school districts bring up the overall score, the results indicate about only about half the students in this county meet or exceeded state standards in English. This was the school year before COVID-19.

The grand jury report was a snapshot of today, but the issues have been going on long before the onset of the pandemic.

Out of crisis comes opportunity, and I suggest that now is the time to address the root causes of these educational difficulties that have such a profound effect far beyond school years. May we re-think, re-set and re-commit to quality educational outcomes for every student, throughout our county.

Cheri Rae
Santa Barbara

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Thank you to all supporters who joined my mayoral campaign for improved leadership in the City of Santa Barbara. Each of you has been an important contributor to helping me bring vital issues to city voters’ awareness.

I congratulate Mayor-elect Randy Rowse and look forward to collaborating with him on making our city a better place for all!

Deborah Schwartz
Santa Barbara mayoral candidate

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Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli’s Oct. 25 story, “No Major Issues Reported in Monday Storm That Drenched Santa Barbara County,” was good news. We all know how fortunate we were to narrowly avoid the effects of this most recent, and disturbingly normalized, cycle of drought/fire/flood.

The 2017 Thomas Fire and the ensuing 2018 tragedy of the Montecito flash flooding and debris flows were events that we have never seen before and are indicative of the effects of climate change.

Catastrophic events like the 10-year drought we are in and a fire season that knows no end are clear and undeniable warning signs that things have changed and we need to do something about it.

Our community needs to address the devastating effects of climate change by being proactive. Let’s start by advocating for renewable energy sources locally and following the lead of Carpintaria by investing in recycled water infrastructure rather than depending on our reservoirs.

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors needs to stay on track with our countywide climate action plan, making the choices that will benefit the future generations of the county.

Continuing on our current path, without altering course, is like setting up a picnic in a patch of poison oak. Lunch may be nice today, but you know you’re going to pay for it tomorrow.

Nathan Irwin
Santa Barbara

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Dec. 10 is International Human Rights Day around the world and so it’s an appropriate time to list all the human rights violations perpetuated upon its citizens by the country with the worst human rights record on earth: China.

China has no freedom of speech, of religion, of a fair trial, of assembly … it’s a giant police state controlled by the communist government, a dictatorship that is obsessed with keeping its power and crushing dissent.

China overthrew the independent nation of Tibet in 1950, destroyed its monasteries, stole its artifacts and turned it into a resource extraction colony. China now forces Tibetan schools to teach in Chinese and is obliterating their culturage heritage.

Tibet has been described as the least free place on earth, along with Syria. No journalists or tourists are allowed to go there without government minders.

There are 2 million or 3 million Uighurs in slave labor prisons — no one knows for sure how many — being subjected to a genocide of terrible proportions. Falun Gong practitioners are imprisoned for practicing their yoga-like religion.

In a billion-dollar industry, the internal human organs of members of marginalized groups detained in Chinese prison camps are being forcefully harvested — “sometimes when patients are still alive,” an international tribunal in London has concluded as NBC News reported in 2019.

Hong Kong democracy activists are captured and imprisoned without fair trials. People are disappeared and tortured for expressing their beliefs or displaying their art.

The Winter Olympics in Beijing, starting in a few months, are an attempt to “sport-wash” their brutal regime’s policies. That is why protests are held at NBC headquarters across America, and why President Joe Biden has called for a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics this winter.

The Han Chinese majority has taken over and controlled other ethnic minorities to keep power. China is creating war islands in the oceans, infringing on international borders in India, forcing neighboring countries like Nepal to return refugees, building nuclear missile silos, and buying its way into foreign governments.

You can be arrested for having a picture of Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the Dalai Lama, who is respected around the world and one of the millions of Tibetan refugees forced to flee their homeland.

This is all why there are hundreds of Tibetan support groups — and now Uighur, democracy and Hong Kong groups around the world — protesting these Chinese Communist governments policies.

China is on the wrong side of human existence. What can be done about them? Write U.S. politicians to keep human rights on their agenda with China. Try to buy American products instead of those made in China. Convince Amazon to have an American flag on products it sells that are verified to be made in America.

Google-search the issues above and learn about them. Visit the websites of Tibetan support groups like Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet. Help local Tibetan cultural groups like the Tibetan Associations of Southern and Northern California. Attend our protests in front of the Chinese consulates in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Above all, appreciate the freedoms we have here in America.

Kevin Young
Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet

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