Regarding Noozhawk’s Sept. 1 article, “Owners Fighting to Keep Dogs From Being Euthanized After Neighbor Suffers Bite,” although the dogs were saved, I do not agree with the initial rush to just put down both dogs when it was not known which one might have bit the naive intruder in their yard.

We have two dogs, one a pit bull and one a mastif mix. They are both very loving to our three children and all extended family, but they are constantly harassed by homeless transients who walk up and down our street every day. Three especially aggressive, drunken males walk back and forth from the Milpas Street 76 gas station to the corner store on our street every day. They cuss, spit, yell, threaten, throw things, and have even stuck their heads and hands over our fence to menace them.

Now, if my dogs would have ever bit them, they would be put to death? What about the aggressive transients who are threatening my home? They don’t stop yelling at them when we come out and ask them to keep moving on. My husband and teenage son go out there numerous times, and I always worry when is this going to get out of hand. My daughter, who is 19, is scared to go out there and say anything.

This just makes me sick, to be scared our dogs could be taken away for others’ selfish actions. And if we call the police, they are gone by the time officers respond.

Really appreciated this article! I’m sad for those affected negatively but am glad they won their appeal.

Marisol Boynton
Santa Barbara

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I’m relieved that the Figone family won their appeal and that their dogs were saved from being euthanized, as Noozhawk reported in its Sept. 3 article, “Santa Barbara Owners ‘Elated’ After Judge Rules Pit Bulls Can Return Home.” The Santa Barbara Animal Control decision to order both dogs killed was unfair.

But I feel like there’s a lot more to the story with the neighbor who was trespassing when he was bitten. If the dogs were as aggressive as he alleged, why would he enter the yard in the first place?

Cheryl Hilliard

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Thank you for following up on the successful appeal of the euthanization order for the two dogs. It didn’t seem fair or humane to order both animals killed when no one knew which one may have been at fault.Criminals should be happy that the police can’t apply that same reasoning to them.

Carla Fuentes

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Why doesn’t Santa Barbara County apply to have the county split for COVID-19 case data? The South Coast could open its restaurants and get its economy going and avoid the economic destruction of families.

Peter Snowden
Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara County announced that it will move its COVID-19 testing site to the Goleta Valley Community Center from Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara to help Isla Vista residents get tested.

County public health director Van Do-Reynoso said the county moved the testing site to Old Town Goleta because it’s near the bus stop and close to Isla Vista.

I hope some reporter will ask Do-Reynoso whether people who are getting tested because they suspect they might have COVID-19 should be on a public bus!

Craig Porter
Santa Barbara

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My partners and I have closed the Enterprise Fish Company restaurant after 43 wonderful years, as reported in the Aug. 20 BizHawk column.

In the mid-1970s, Randy LaFerr and I graduated from UC Santa Barbara and wanted to open a restaurant that grilled fresh seafood over charcoal with seating around an exhibition kitchen. We found the right site at 225 State St., in a property built around 1925 with an iconic brick façade and smoke stack, previously home to a commercial laundry. We decided to call the restaurant Enterprise Fish Company to honor the legacy of that business.

When we started the restaurant in August 1977, we and the staff we hired were mostly in our twenties, so there was a tremendous sense of camaraderie. The energy of the staff was felt by the customers, and the Enterprise quickly became one of the top places to eat in Santa Barbara. It was bright, rustic, comfortable and fun. Standing in the restaurant on a busy night and feeling that energy took my breath away!

What makes one business successful while others struggle? For us, it was the people who worked there. They made the restaurant what it was, showing great spirit and pride until we had to close this year with the coronavirus pandemic.

I took my last walk around the Enterprise a few days ago, and I thought about the last 43 years. The building is so full of memories. I would like to thank all of the thousands of people who have worked there over the decades. I am tremendously grateful to the customers, both locals and tourists, who came in night after night for our lobster special, happy hour, birthday dinners or just a regular meal with loved ones.

We love being part of the Santa Barbara community because it is a community that is grounded, giving, generous and supportive. I knew that I wanted to find a way to stay in this beautiful city and eventually raise a family here. Thanks to the Enterprise Fish Company, I was able to do that! I will be forever grateful.

Michael Bank
Santa Barbara

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A strategy for increasing voter participation rates is for professional athletes and celebrities committed to advancing social justice to volunteer as poll workers in communities in their states with low voter turnout. Publicizing that they will be working at the targeted poll sites should increase voter registration and participation rates, along with the number of people who volunteer to serve as poll workers.

This approach could partially offset voter suppression efforts targeted at this segment of the population.

Jack Friedlander
Santa Barbara

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Steve Pepe’s Aug. 23 commentary, “Santa Barbara Wine Preserve BID Tax Not Ready for Harvest,” detailing objections to the proposed Santa Barbara County Wine Business Improvement District tax is telling. The idea is to place a “fee” of 1 percent to 1.5 percent on transactions at tasting rooms (or perhaps all sales) in the county. This is objectionable for the reasons Pepe notes,

In addition, we should consider the following thoughts in asking the Board of Supervisors to not approve this private interest legislation:

According to the information I have seen, about a quarter of the revenue generated by the “tax” is to be used for advocacy with elected and other government officials. This alone is a frightening concept. When people decide to pay for wine tastings — or to purchase wine at all — they do not decide to pay for advocacy of ideas that they do not know and of which they may not approve.

If wineries want to do such advocacy they could easily take the money from their own pot.

Second, I believe it has been proven that the proposed mixture of government and free market agencies inherent in this proposal inevitably leads to questionable public policy. We remember bad effects from urban renewal and downtown improvement districts, for example.

We also know that assessment for marketing of agricultural products has resulted in laws limiting competition (California table grapes, dairy products, etc.). But, again, if the people who want to lobby for these ideas wish to do so, they are free under the law to contribute their own money to that cause.

Finally, this is a tax, pure and simple. Taxes should be voted on by the people being asked to pay them. Instead it is noted that, as the “fee” will be paid by nonresidents, we really need not concern ourselves with the equity. After all, they are not going to even notice it.

This is pretty blatant hypocrisy. If people are being asked to pay a tax, such as the transient-occupancy tax in hotels, we require a public vote to proceed. This transient consumption fee should be seen in the same light.

Glen Mowrer
Santa Barbara

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The Santa Barbara Vintners have been working on a Wine Business Improvement District for two years.

The first proposal was a 2 percent tax on all direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine sales, which would include wine clubs, tasting rooms, wine merchandise sales, food sales, winemaker dinners and weddings. The 2 percent tax would not apply to wholesale wine sales to grocery stores, wine shops, hotels and restaurants (the Trade), despite the law’s requirement that the funds raised be used for the “direct benefit” of those paying the tax.

Wholesale sales to the Trade are mostly made by the large wineries. The funds raised would be used to promote Santa Barbara County wines to consumers and sales to the Trade. In other words, the small mom-and-pop, 10,000-case wineries would be paying for the large wineries’ marketing costs to the Trade.

This initial tax proposal was not met with a lot of enthusiasm. To make it more appealing, the Vintners reduced the 2 percent to 1 percent, saying the county had provided the wrong tax information and only 1 percent was needed.

This second proposal of 1 percent received pushback from wine club members who said you tell us we are “special” and part of your wine “family,” but why are we paying a 1 percent tax the same as someone who is not a wine club member?

The Vintners then conducted a “survey,” which asked, do you favor a 1 percent tax on all wine sales or 1.5 percent on tasting room sales, which would include food, wine merchandise, etc. sales but not wine club or sales to the Trade. Noticeably, None of the Above was NOT a survey choice.

Allegedly, 60 percent voted for the 1.5 percent tax on tasting room sales, but the Vintners have refused to report how many wineries responded.

The Vintners then scheduled an “informational” meeting with the Board of Supervisors on Aug. 18. The county auditor-controller’s staff report, which was issued around Aug. 14, said the 1.5 percent “may not be practical or feasible.” Nevertheless, the Vintners went ahead with the supervisors’ “informational” meeting, having their Sacramento consultant make a presentation along with several Vintner board members. Some of the supervisors expressed concern about the self-reporting and the inability to verify and audit the 1.5 percent.

On Sept. 3, the Vintners announced they were scrapping their third wine BID proposal, the 1.5 percent on tasting room sales, and will next week propose a 1 percent tax on all DTC sales, which would include wine club sales but not wholesale wine sales to the Trade. So, the mom-and-pop small wineries will still have to pay for the large wineries’ promotion and marketing costs to the Trade.

What is the Vintners’ problem? It is structural. There are 270 bonded wineries in county. The Vintners’ website lists 78 wineries as members. Yet the Vintners want to tax the 192 wineries that are not members. Is there any surprise that the wine BID’s taxation without representation is being opposed? Where are Sam and John Adams when you need them?

Steve Pepe

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For a very long time I have been puzzled by the Carpinteria Unified School District board’s silence, since 2008, regarding the Warrior mascot imagery — in particular, the large Plains Indian statue located directly in front of Carpinteria High School. I am aware that it was discussed in 2008-2009, but it is still offensive to many.

Given the Carpinteria school system’s history of bigotry, long since corrected, I am surprised that this offensive image is still unresolved.

Terence Ford
Santa Barbara

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Assembly Bill 331 is about to become law and will be voted on soon. It will require ethnic studies as a requirement for a semester, up to one year, for K-12 grades and be a requirement for graduation from all California high schools.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond proposes a model curriculum written to include information in ethnic studies. But then he states, “Ethnic Studies courses will address race within the context of how white-dominated culture impacts racism and other forms of bigotry.”

What a terrible thing to subject a “white” child to as he or she begins a mandatory class. To be labeled as a domineer, insinuating an oppressor, immediately, no matter the child’s background. This will only cause students to remain in their own corners.

If teaching a mandatory K-12 class, taught from the perspective of a “white-dominated culture,” is what the superintendent of public education aspires to, then no wonder California students are falling so far behind in reading comprehension, math and critical thinking. What is your position on this Assemblywoman Monique Limón?

J.W. Burk
Santa Barbara

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