Tuesday, July 22, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 19
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Santa Maria Sun / Community

Citizen's Alert

Benefits, Meetings, Protests, Forums and Public Meetings


Community Notebook 7/17-7/24/14

TUESDAY, JULY 22
• The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission has a special meeting at 9 a.m. at The Betteravia Government Center, 511 Lakeside Parkway, Santa Maria. The agenda is available at www.countyofsb.org.
• The Guadalupe City Council has its regular meeting at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 918 Obispo St., Guadalupe.
• 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.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23
• 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, JULY 24
• The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Measure C 2004 Bond Oversight Committee has its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the Support Services Center, 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria.
• 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 7/17/14

• U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara), along with U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-New York) and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts), recently introduced the Ban Poisonous Additives Act, a bill to protect industry workers and consumers from chemicals that the president’s cancer panel has indicated could cause “grievous harm.” Bisephenol-A (BPA) is one of the chemicals targeted by the bill. It’s used to make plastics and resins in many common consumer products, including food packaging. Exposure to BPA has been linked to numerous health problems, including breast cancer, altered fetal development, and infertility, according to a press release from Capps’ office. The bill would remove BPA from food packaging, encourage the development of safer alternatives, and ensure a safety review of all substances currently used in food and beverage containers. The bill would also require the Food and Drug Administration to examine the effects of BPA on workers who may have been disproportionately exposed to BPA during the manufacturing process. “The dangers of BPA are well-documented, and we must do everything we can to ensure that both the factory workers who package food and the people who consume our food are safe,” Capps said in the release.

• Hazmat-suit-wearing protesters with the Center for Biological Diversity and Food & Water Watch showed up at the July 9 California Coastal Commission meeting in Ventura. Their point was to get commissioners to consider a biologist’s warning that chemicals used in offshore hydraulic fracturing pose a toxic threat to sea otters and other marine life. Oil companies have fracked wells in waters off Huntington Beach, Long Beach, and Seal Beach, and in federal waters in the Santa Barbara Channel. Waste from fracking can be legally discharged into the ocean in federal waters. According to a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity, about half of the platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel discharge wastewater into the ocean. In a letter to the Coastal Commission, center officials said that oil companies fracking in California waters have admitted to using at least 10 chemicals that could potentially harm aquatic life. “The Coastal Commission needs to protect our waters by halting fracking off California’s coast,” center biologist Shaye Wolf said in a press release. The commission has said in the past that it doesn’t have jurisdiction in federal waters.