Wednesday, May 25, 2016     Volume: 17, Issue: 11
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Santa Maria Sun / Community

Citizen's Alert

Benefits, Meetings, Protests, Forums and Public Meetings


Community Notebook 5/26/16 - 6/2/16

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1

• 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 Santa Maria Planning Commission has its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 110 E. Cook St., Santa Maria. 

THURSDAY, JUNE 2

• The Santa Maria Planning Commission has a study session at 10 a.m. in the Community Development Department, 110 S. Pine St., Santa Maria. 

• The Santa Barbara County Local Agency Formation Commission has its regular meeting at 2 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 105 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara. Agendas are available at www.sblafco.org

• The Buellton Planning Commission 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 5/19/16

• On May 12 the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on Rep. Lois Capps’ (D-Santa Barbara) California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act (H.R. 3565), which would expand the California Coastal National Monument by adding several locations along the coast to the monument, including the Piedras Blancas Light Station near San Simeon.

During the hearing, Capps, who is a member of the Natural Resources Committee, testified before members of the committee on the importance of protecting iconic portions of the California coast for years to come.

“Efforts to further protect the Piedras Blancas Light Station have been a long-lived, grassroots campaign on the Central Coast,” Capps said. “While the lighthouse is an historic treasure in and of itself, the point also boasts incredible native plant and animal diversity both onshore and on several islands. Including Piedras Blancas in the California Coastal National Monument would significantly enhance the visibility and access to this coastal treasure while protecting the area for generations to come, which is the epitome of a win-win solution.”

The Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area is an important historical landmark along the Central Coast of California. The lighthouse was illuminated in 1875 to provide navigational assistance to all sailors off the coast. The light station was designated as an Outstanding Natural Area in 2008 through a congressional designation championed by Capps in order to recognize the site’s historical, natural, cultural, scientific, educational, scenic, and recreation values. Including the light station in the California Coastal National Monument would provide additional protection to the site, provide greater access to the monument for visitors, boost local tourism, and reaffirm the importance of this site to both California and the entire nation.

In addition to the Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area, the expansion legislation would add three additional onshore sites to the California Coastal National Monument, including the Lighthouse Ranch (8 acres) and Trinidad Head (13 acres) in Humboldt County and the Cotoni-Coast Dairies in Santa Cruz County (5,780 acres). In addition, it would remove the exception for currently exempted offshore rocks and small islands off the coast of Orange County, adding them to the monument as well.

The bill is now eligible to come before the Natural Resources Committee for a vote, which could greenlight the bill to come to the House Floor for consideration. Sens. Boxer and Feinstein introduced similar legislation in the Senate (S. 1971) last year.

• Also on May 12, the House of Representatives passed Lois Capps’ Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act (H.R. 1818) with strong bipartisan support. 

Military medics receive intense emergency response training as part of their training. However, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) licensure and training is handled at the state level and there is no uniform standard of how to count this military training toward civilian licensure. H.R. 1818 would make it easier for veterans with military medical training to continue their careers as EMTs in the civilian workforce by assisting states with streamlining certification requirements for veterans with military medical training.