Santa Maria Sun / Community
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Community Notebook 7/30/15 - 8/6/15
MONDAY, AUG. 3
• The Solvang Planning Commission has its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang.
• The Vandenberg Village Community Services District has its regular board meeting at 7 p.m. in the District Office Conference Room, 3757 Constellation Road, Vandenberg Village.
• The Santa Maria City Council has its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 110 E. Cook St., Santa Maria. Agendas are available at www.cityofsantamaria.org.
• The Lompoc City Council has its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 100 Civic Center Plaza, Lompoc. Agendas are available at www.cityoflompoc.com.
• 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.
• 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/agendas_minutes.sbc.
• 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 7/30/15
• California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced on July 24 that she plans to review two videos released by anti-abortion activists aimed at discrediting Planned Parenthood’s procedures for providing fetal tissue to researchers, to see if any laws were broken, according to the Associated Press. Harris announced the move in a letter to four Democratic members of Congress who requested an investigation. In the letter, she said her office will look into “allegations that individuals impersonated corporate officials from a fake biologics company, resulting in the release of secretly filmed videos of Planned Parenthood physicisans without their consent.” State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, released a statement on July 27 calling the videos, and resulting harassment, attacks directed at Planned Parenthood. “The recent attacks on Planned Parenthood are not just an unwarranted assault and violation of an organization, but represent a dangerous attempt to undermine the reproductive rights and health care of all women and families by anti-abortion activists who apparently will stop at nothing to advance their ideological agenda,” Jackson said, adding that she commends Harris for her willingness to investigate the videos. The videos show Dr. Mary Gatter, a Planned Parenthood medical director in Sorthern California, meeting with people posing as potential buyers of intact fetal specimens, according to the AP. The conversation focuses largely on how much money the buyers should pay. Federal law prohibits the commercial sale of fetal tissue, but it allows the not-for-profit donation of tissue if the women who underwent abortions give their consent. Planned Parenthood said the payments discussed in the videos are about reimbursement costs for procuring the tissue—which is legal, according to the AP. David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress—which released the videos—said it follows all applicable laws when making the videos that he called investigative journalism. The AP reported that Daleiden released a statement saying Planned Parenthood is “trying to use the power of their political cronies to shut down free speech.” The videos led to investigations of Planned Parenthood’s policies on aborted fetuses by three Republican-led congressional committees and three states, according to the AP.
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