Saturday, December 20, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 41
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Why is car insurance so expensive on the Central Coast?

Because illegal immigrants drive around without licenses or car insurance.
Drunk drivers.
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Dumb people on their cell phones causing accidents.

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Citizen's Alert

Benefits, Meetings, Protests, Forums and Public Meetings


Community Notebook 12/18/14-12/25/14

MONDAY, DEC. 22

• 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.

Political Watch 12/18/14

Eric Bauman, the vice chair for the California Democratic Party, will be the featured speaker at the annual holiday dinner at the headquarters for the United Domestic Workers of America in Santa Maria on Dec. 18. Bauman is also the Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, which also happens to be the largest Democratic Party organization in the country. Bauman has served in a variety of senior-level positions in state government over the years, including as the senior advisor to California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez and Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, and special assistant and liaison for the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities to former Gov. Gray Davis. Bauman was a registered nurse who spent several years working in intensive care and trauma nursing before moving into hospital administration. He helped found Consultants in Nursing Services Administration, a health-care management consulting firm, in 1991.

• The American Legion recently awarded State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) with the 2014 Leo P. Burke Legislator of the Year. She was chosen for her work in authoring Senate Bill 1110, which requires state courts to steer military veterans to Veterans Treatment Courts. As of Jan. 1, 2015, military veterans going through the court system for non-serious crimes will be eligible for treatment programs that address issues related to substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, sexual trauma, and other conditions related to their time in combat.

• Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) announced during a brief session before the Legislature on Dec. 5 that he intends to introduce a bill to make assisted suicide with medical assistance legal in California. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that Monning wants to model the bill after Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. A new push to make assisted suicide legal in the state was prompted by the death of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old California resident with an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer, who moved to Oregon to take advantage of the law. Similar legislation and ballot measures to make assisted suicide legal have failed in the past.

• A bill to name the U.S. Post Office building at 801 W.Ocean Avenue in Lompoc after a federal correctional officer killed in the line of duty passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 8. Corrections officer Scott J. Williams was working in the line of duty at the federal prison in Lompoc on April 3, 1997, when an inmate stabbed him to death. The bill authored by U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) received unanimous bipartisan support. The bill was referred to the U.S. Senate, which passed the bill on Dec. 15. Capps is pushing to get the bill signed into law before the end of the year.

• The Institute of Local Government and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) awarded Santa Barbara County with three Beacon Spotlight Awards last month. The awards recognize county programs that promote sustainable practices addressing climate change. Specifically, the county was recognized for reducing greenhouse gases emitted by county facilities by 5.8 percent and county energy use by 8.6 percent since 2008. First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal accepted the awards on behalf of the county during CSAC’s annual conference last month in Orange County.

• California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriguez, along with representatives for the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia, issued a joint statement Dec. 8 in support of collective action to curb climate change. The announcement was made during the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru. California and the three provinces plan to establish targets before next year’s conference for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.