Saturday, August 23, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 24
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Santa Maria Sun / Community

Citizen's Alert

Benefits, Meetings, Protests, Forums and Public Meetings


Community Notebook 8/21-8/28/14

MONDAY, AUG. 25

• The South County Advisory Council has its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Nipomo Community Services District Headquarters, 148 S. Wilson St., Nipomo.

• The Solvang City Council has its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang. Agendas are available at cityofsolvang.com.

TUESDAY, AUG. 26

• The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has its regular meeting at 9 a.m. in the Betteravia Government Center’s Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 511 E. Lakeside Parkway, Ste. 141, Santa Maria. Agendas are available at http://santabarbara.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx#current.

• The Lompoc Unified School District has its board meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the Education Center Board Room, 1301 N. A St., Lompoc.

• The Guadalupe City Council has its regular meeting at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 918 Obispo St., Guadalupe.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 27

• The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission has its regular meeting at 9 a.m. in the Planning Commission Hearing Room, 123 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara. The agenda is available at www.sbcountyplanning.org.

• The Nipomo Community Services District has its regular meeting at 9 a.m. in the NCSD Boardroom at 148 S. Wilson St., Nipomo.

• The Lompoc Planning Commission has a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Lompoc City Hall Council Chambers, 100 Civic Center Plaza, Lompoc.

THURSDAY, AUG. 28

• The Santa Maria Airport Board has its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in the airport boardroom in the administration building, 3217 Terminal Drive, Santa Maria.

• The Buellton City Council has its regular meeting at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 140 W. Highway 246, Buellton. Agendas are available at cityofbuellton.com.

Political Watch 8/21/14

• After months of party-line squabbling that followed January’s drought emergency declaration, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Aug. 13 to put a comprehensive water bond before voters in November. “Water is the lifeblood of any civilization and for California, it’s the precondition of healthy rivers, valleys, farms, and a strong economy,” Brown said in a press release. “With this water bond, legislators from both parties have affirmed their faith in California’s future.” Voters will see a $7.5 billion measure that represents a compromise between Republicans and Democrats. The Sacramento Bee reported that Assembly members voted 77-2 in favor of the measure and then broke into applause. The Senate margin was 37-0. Watersheds around the state would receive $1.495 billion through the bond, $810 million would go to fortify local water systems, $520 million is allocated for increasing access to potable drinking water, $700 million is set aside for water recycling projects, $395 million for flood protection, and $900 million for groundwater, the Bee reported. State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) referred to the bill as a fiscally responsible water package, in a press release sent out by her office, adding that it will provide important funding for water supply, quality, and infrastructure improvements while simultaneously protecting the environment. “I’m pleased that in a state that is so regionally diverse and is sometimes divided, we were able to come together on a bond that offers something for all,” Jackson said in the release.

• California’s Department of Managed Health Care is reviewing whether it made the right call when approving health plans that limit abortion coverage, according to a KQED blog. Leaders of the California Legislative Caucus sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown on Aug. 13, asking him to urge the department to reconsider its recent position on what is considered a “medically necessary” abortion. Recently, two Catholic universities, Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount, announced their decisions to deny most abortion insurance coverage for their employees. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that until the current controversy arose, insurers in the state treated all abortions sought by women as medically necessary. The Chronicle added that the federal health care law doesn’t mandate insurance coverage, but California is one of few states that guarantees abortions rights by both statute and with privacy protections in the state Constitution. Marta Green, the Department of Health Care’s chief deputy director, told the Chronicle that the department was conducting an “in-depth analysis of the issue surrounding coverage for abortion services under California law.”